HOUSE: FEBRUARY By Craig Torrance

01 February 2012
  • Words
  • Reviews
  • Tunes

Mixed by Matt Tolfrey:
Classic Through The Eyes Of... (Classic)

Back in the mid-90s Classic set about making deep house funky, sexy, fun and – most importantly – unforgettable, and years later the seminal label remains a bastion of the genre. With this new mix series, Leftroom boss Matt Tolfrey gets the enviable task of digging out some old favourites and mixing them together with some exclusive remixes, and the outcome is a proper schooling in deep house. Timeless classics like Jean Caffeine’s gorgeous ‘Jean’s Afterthought’ and Nail’s charming ‘(I Don’t Wanna) Hurt U’ sound at home next to fresh interpretations of Roy Davis Jr’s ‘About Love’ (Pezzner) and DJ Ali’s ‘You Don’t Know’ (Tolfrey). A thoughtful and captivating insight into a legendary label.
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Gavin Herlihy
Endless Feeling (Culprit)

With releases scheduled on Visionquest and Crosstown early in 2012, Gavin Herlihy kicks off what promises to be his finest year by debuting on LA imprint Culprit with this stunning three-tracker. He sets out his stall with the throbbing basslines and succinct grooves of title track ‘Endless Feeling’. ‘The Sequence’ has a bit more jack and funk to it as techy kicks and sleazy keys integrate with brooding bass and a cheeky vocal sample. The deal is sealed with ‘Tell Me What You Need’, an intricate composition of looping percussion and mesmerising pads. A killer piece of tripped-out house.
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Alexis Raphael
Into The Light EP (Hot Creations)

Having already shown great promise with his ‘Kitchens & Bedrooms’ release on Lower East last year, fledgling DJ and producer Alexis Raphael steps it up a gear with a full EP on Jones and Foss’ Hot Creations label. The co-promoter and resident of ace London party Crèche kicks things off with the booming bass, beats and bleeps of ‘Into The Light’ complete with an instantly recognisable vocal sample. ‘I Know Lovers’’ is a dreamier track with a sexy vocal sample and lots of swirling melodies over tight, tough beats, and ‘Beverly Hills’, with slick, techy beats under a gnarly bassline, completes an EP that packs a real punch.
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Bonar Bradberry
You Were Away EP (Needwant)

One half of We Love... Space Ibiza residents PBR Streetgang, Bonar Bradberry has also been carving out an impressive solo discography of late with releases on Red Music and Under The Shade and here he returns with another EP on smart disco-house imprint Needwant. There are two original tracks on offer, as ‘You Were Away’ amalgamates piano house with spacey grooves while ‘Lip Therapy’ builds with a fuzzy, filtered house feel until the keys drop again. Both will warm your ears on these cold winter nights. Throw in Space Ranger’s cosmic take on the former, and Maxxi Soundsystem’s soulful, electronic remix of ‘Lip Therapy’ and you have a package that really glows.
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Acos Coolkas feat. Naya Tomata
Don’t Fly Away (Audio Tonic)

Coming out of the unlikely outlet of Dubai, Audio Tonic draft in Russian act Acos CoolKas, aka Konstantin Atomas, and Vasiliv Basalev for their fourth release, and it’s an alluring listen. The duo forge together a soaring melody with downtempo house beats and Nata Tomata’s luscious vocals, the result an exquisite cut of melancholy slo-mo house. Stepping up for the remix is the irrepressible Jimpster, who ups the pace and weaves together the harmonies, pads, vocals and beats beautifully; The Maneken’s remix deals in dubby bass and drum machine action, and it all comes together to make up a very handsome release.

Reaching Out (mta records)

Nero may be slaying the dubstep world and taking it to the mainstream, but sadly the housier interpretations of the duo’s new single don’t really add up to much. First up is Mr French filtered funk and Work It Baby head honcho Fred Falke, who takes the monotonous lead melody and fries it up with his bog-standard riffs and the cringe-worthy sample of the mighty Hall & Oates that sounds so generic it’s like he’s picked it up off the studio floor and recycled it. Get Physical double-act Booka Shade score slightly better by starting with a hooky melody, but when the vocal and numerous synthetic synths kick in it can’t be saved.
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Tunnel Visions EP (Hourglass Recordings)

This new label coming out of Barcelona is launched by Wildkats, a London collective made up of Scottish producers Stuart Sandemann and Scott Dickie and their American counterpart Corey Baker. The trio are becoming known for incorporating their love of 80s funk alongside 4x4 house beats, and that’s instantly clear on ‘Tunnel Vision’, as the pumping beats are dissected by a new jack sample. ‘What’s Goin On’ combines grinding beats and bass with the sample a certain French duo used, and ‘You’re A Freak’ bring more bassy funk before Spaniard Sishi Rosch takes it on an electro trip, rounding off the fun.

Together (Join The Dots)

Also known for his disco-sampling output as Duff Disco, Jeremy Duff tends to reserve his edgier production side for his Duffstep project, as was exemplified by his ‘Getting To Sirius’ album on the same label last year. ‘Together’ sees this talented youngster somehow slice and dice together two-step garage beats with uptempo 4 x 4 percussion under hypnotic pads and chords and breathy vocals; the outcome is above par. On the remix front, Youandewan take it fully down the dubstep route, while Background Sound share house rhythms with dubstup percussion and beats. Left-of-centre stuff that deserves attention.
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Deepgroove & Thieve
Kings & Queens (Off Recordings)

It’s a Bristolian collaboration that seemed inevitable, as party-starters Deepgroove (aka Lee Pattison and Grayson Shipley) set the studio alight with their buddy Dan ‘Thieve’ Pearce, whos also been making huge noises with his other Eats Everything project. ‘Kings & Queens’ sees them pull out all the aces as they bash out harsh, techy beats, chimey keys and snappy percussion with maximum impact. ‘Over’ focuses more on choppy beats, a deep, moody bassline and hissy percussion, and it also comes up trumps. Off Recordings boss Andre Crom then commissions French duo Jef K & Gwen Maze for the title-track remix, and they come up with a high-octane, liner house groover that uses the keys accordingly.
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Wherever I Lay My Head (remixes) (Dessous)

After the album release the remix package tends to come, and here Dessous employs the services of Tom Middleton, Mic Newman and Genius Of Time to spice up tracks from Berlin deep house maestro Vincenzo’s ‘Wherever I Lay My Head’, out last year. King of the cosmos Tom Middleton reworks ‘Sometimes Saturday’ with the outcome an uplifting, feel-good slate of dreamy, airy house. Young Aussie producer Mic Newman then gives ‘Hello!’ a soulful, tech-
house feel, while Sweden’s Genius Of Time impress with their droning-cum-bleeping version of ‘106 Downtown’. All are decent enough, without being outstanding.
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Catz N Dogz
Jon Bovi (Dirtybird records)

Berlin-based Polish duo Catz N Dogz’ quirky, at times idiosyncratic take on modern house music, their techier 3 Channels project and the recent success of their own Pets Recordings label has seen them grow in stature over the past few years, and here CVS welcomes them back to the Dirtybird family with ‘Jon Bovi’, a well-constructed piece of contemporary house. Punchy basslines, piercing melodies and weird squelchy sounds all sit atop some tippy-tappy beats with a few big drops thrown in for good measure. If that’s not strange enough for you, there’s a ‘Dirty’ version which includes some even wackier, wonky elements.
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Douglas Greed feat Rosa Rough
Go Down On You (Gigolo)

Back in 1989 Lil Louis released ‘French Kiss’, famous for its ‘sample’ of a female orgasm. Since then, records featuring a girl faking an orgasm have seemed a little unoriginal. Don’t get us wrong, Rosa Rough does a great job of panting and moaning – she even offers to take us around the corner and go down on us! Apparently she likes the way we dance, and this has made her horny. While it’s certainly a very generous offer from the vocalist, what’s more likely to make you hard is the infectious wobbling electro-tech bassline and clippity-clop percussion. Rosa’s dirty. But Greed’s music is dirtier.
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Get Naked (Mishi Moshi/Snatch!)

Master of the big-room jackin house sound, Riva Starr doesn’t do things by halves, as he demonstrated last year with his Mixmag cover CD, and here he rolls out the big guns with superstar DJ Fatboy Slim and beatbox guru Beardyman joining him in the studio. The result is a supercharged ’leccy house monster with a looping sample taken from a 90s house classic, lots of drilling drum action and Beardyman strutting his stuff on the mic. Carl Cox & Jon Rundell then tech things up on the remix, and Riva also offers up the plonky, disorientated house beats of ‘Flexi Lady’. The sketchy kids down the front will absolutely love it.
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David August
You Got To Love Me (Diynamic)

At only 21 years of age, Hamburg producer David August already has an accomplished body of work behind him and the full backing of inspirational label boss Solomun as we await his debut album later this year. All this, and his latest EP sees him venture into pastures new with forward-thinking variations on a house tip. ‘You Got To Love Me’ is a brilliant piece of innovative dance-pop which combines a striking, acid-tinged bassline with subtle percussion and an infectious lead vocal. ‘On My Mind’ is all lush synths, decisive beats and bass and a sharp, floaty melody. He then shows a darker side with a growling, moody, bass-driven cut with a soft vocal injection. We predict that his album will be a bit special.
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