Tuesday, October 30th, 2012 | Sounds | No Comments
I haven’t posted that many reviews recently, so here’s a run down of some stand outs from the past few months.
First up, Theo Parrish teams up with Andrew Ashong on the most recent Sound Signature release, ‘Flowers’. Although Parrish’s touch can be heard on the title track, it’s certainly a welcome departure from his recent output. Ashong provides the two tracks on the flip, which are equally as catchy.
Andres follows-up from the popular ‘New For U’ release from earlier this year, with the second outing on his La Vida label, ‘Second Time Around’. A couple of tracks are updated and re-mastered versions of previous Mahogani releases - as to be expected all quality here and for me a better record than ‘New For U’.
Kyle Hall collaborates with Funkineven under the alias of Funkinevil on the latest release from Wild Oats. The a-side ‘Night’ is a raw acidic workout that’s reminiscent of Jamal Moss’ works - no holds barred on this one. ‘Dusk’ on the b-side keeps things mellower with it’s loose bass-line and keys - top quality jam.
Last year Spanish label Downbeat launched its Black off-shoot, with the wonderfully odd ‘Avian Oasis’ from Juju & Jordash. For the labels second release, prolific Ukrainian producer Vakula, gives us two slow jazz inspired cuts, (’For Kira Nevis’ and ‘Curves’), both of which are in the vein of Moodymann’s productions. The b-side features the excellent ‘Lbeat’ which ups the bpm and can be heard on this recent mix.
Damon Bell’s ‘Nommo’ EP released via Deepblak, also fuses jazz with deep house to fine effect. The a-side gives us the 12 minute long ‘Pathways & Mindframes’, which sounds a lot like Pepe Bradock - obviously a good thing. ‘The Call Of NgKah’ sees Bell in beatdown mode, reminiscent of Reggie Dokes’ productions and ‘Heru’ is a wonderful jazz cut-up - heady stuff, that is well worth your time.
Another one to be heard on this recent mix is the unexpected release from Track Mode. Since it’s launch in the mid-90’s, Track Mode has been responsible for releasing some fine deep house records from the likes of Larry Heard, Theo Parrish, GU and Jovonn. After a few years absence Track Mode returns with a release from label head Brett Dancer. I’m not sure if this is new material or from the archives, but either way, it’s a great record. Hopefully we’ll hear more output from Track Mode soon.
Over the summer Fred P re-issued a few records on his Soul People imprint, including the excellent remix of ‘Come This Far’, which was originally released last year. I didn’t pick this one up at the time (opting for the full album release instead), so I snapped it up this time around. Finale Sessions also re-issued a couple of older Fred P tracks, albeit slightly different versions, on Finale Revisited Vol. 1. ‘Dawn’ and ‘Emotive Vibrations’ get extended this time around, both clocking-in at over 12 minutes, giving the tracks ample time to build - some of Fred’s best work to date.
Finale Sessions also gives us a split release from Chicago’s Hakim Murphy and Amir Alexander on the ‘New Roots’ EP. For myself this record is all about the two Amir Alexander tracks, with their tough drum programming, Atkins-esque bass-lines and emotive pads. Amir treads a similar path on the ‘Gutter Flex’ EP, the excellent debut release from Argot - both records are highly recommended. More machine driven funk, this time from Hakim Murphy who gives us ‘Wet Analog’, the second outing on Ike Release’s Episodes label. Raw, heady stuff here - if you picked-up the first Episodes then you’ll know what to expect. Also, be on the lookout for Episodes upcoming third release, “Astrodynamics”, from Ike and Hakim under their Innerspace Halflife moniker - top notch.
Tuesday, September 11th, 2012 | Podcast | No Comments
Kicking things off with a couple of mellower joints from Hanna and Larry Heard. Horse Meat Disco provide a tasteful edit of Syreeta’s ‘Can’t Shake Your Love’. Brett Dancer returns with (new?) material on his essential Track Mode label and finishing things off with the latest release on Downbeat from Vakula, as well as the new Sound Signature release from Andrew Ashong & Theo Parrish.
Artist - Track (Label)
01. Hanna - Roses On The Wall (Silver Network) Info
02. Loosefingers - Glancing At The Moon (Alleviated) Buy
03. Syreeta - Can’t Shake Your Love (HMD) Info
04. Brett Dancer - The Lost (Track Mode) Info
05. Brandt Brauer Frick - BOP (!k7) Buy
06. Walter Jones - Fade Inn Moments (Westbound) Info
07. Aux 88 - Direct Drive (Direct Beat) Info
08. Konono No.1 vs. Burnt Friedman - Rubaczech (Congotronics) Buy
09. Seiji - Loose Lips (Bitasweet) Info
10. Vakula - Lbeat (Downbeat) Info
11. Andrew Ashong & Theo Parrish - Flowers (Sound Signature) Buy
Direct download: JGM_87_-_Glancing_At_The_Moon.mp3
Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012 | Vision | No Comments
Great interview with Theo Parrish for Slices magazine, where he expands upon his thoughts on digital dj’ing, knowing your history and mastering your artistry.
Hot on the heels of the excellent ‘Picture This’ EP (available for free download via Scion), Kenny Dixon gives us a peek of his latest release, ‘I Guess U Never Been Lonely’, which sees him putting his flair on the Junior Boys’ track ‘You’ll Improve Me’. Limited Japan only release and yes, pricey.
Wednesday, March 7th, 2012 | Sounds | No Comments
2012 is only a couple of months in, yet there has been no slow in pace of new releases worth picking up. Here are a few things that I’ve been enjoying recently.
Dutch label Dekmantel offers the first in a series of releases celebrating it’s 5 year anniversary. Juju & Jordash’s contribution, ‘African Flower’, is the stand-out of the two tracks on the 12″. Another version of ‘African Flower’ was first included on the excellent Aesthetic Audio release from 2008 and has long been one of my favourite productions from the duo. The ‘Cosmic Dub’ included on the Dekmantel release, strips things down (compared to the Aesthetic version), giving the bass and guitar more room in the mix which furthers adds to the deep atmosphere of this track. Juju & Jordash also provide a remix, along with John Heckle for TR-One’s ‘Drum Dance’, on Apartment Records. All three cuts on this record are great; Juju & Jordash provide a more dubbed-out affair, Heckle gives us a swinging Chicago style remix and TR-One’s original gives us drum work-out for the first third of the record before breaking into some heavy chords & synth - highly recommended.
On the Detroit tip, Theo Parrish’s remix of Helium Robot’s ‘Jarza’ is one of the best things I’ve heard from him in a while. Sonically cleaner and with drum programming that is a lot more straight-up than most of Parrish’s productions - but there is no mistaking Theo’s sound in this excellent remix. Helium Robot’s original version of ‘Jarza’ as well ‘Crepitation’ are also recommended (although quite different from Theo’s translation). R&S teams up again with Juan Atkins to give us the new Model 500. Atkins is back to working solo (after working with UR members on the last release) and gives us two tracks that are reminiscent of his ‘Deep Space’ era material - a real return to form.
There’s been a lot of re-issues and compilations released over the past few months worth picking-up if you don’t have the originals (or enough money to buy them). First-up, Rush Hour, who always do a fine job with unearthing older gems, releases James Mason’s ‘I Want Your Love/Nightgruv’. The original released in 1996 has become quite sought after, fetching high prices on Discogs. ‘Nightgruv’ recorded in 1984 is a proto-house track that sounds a lot like Larry Heard. On the flip, ‘I Want Your Love’, is a slower boogie number - both tracks are so good that you can understand the previous high price tag. Rush Hour have also released a Burrell Brothers retrospective, collecting the finer moments from their Nu Groove releases. Included are some of my personal favourites like, Metro, Utopia Project and NY House’n Authority - some of the best house music around. Another New York house gem that has been long sought after, the Joubert Singers ‘Stand On The Word’, gets a re-issue from French label Favorite. Included is the wonderful Tony Humphries mix as well the more widely available (but equally as good) Larry Levan mix. New French label, Vibes and Pepper, gives us Claude Young and Terrence Parker’s ‘The 4 Play EP’, which was originally released on Claude Young’s Dow label in 1993. Four raw Detroit house tracks, two of which (the untitled a-side tracks) have not aged too well in my opinion, however the record is still worth picking up for the two great (untitled) b-side tracks.
Also seeing a re-issue, is Porter Ricks’ ‘Biokinetics’. Released in 1996 on Basic Channel sub-label, Chain Reaction, and now getting a much needed release on Type. Deep, immersive techno, that was (and still is) way ahead of it’s time and hugely influential for many producers and genres over the years - highly recommended. Italian producers, Donato Dozzy & Neel, gives us ‘Voices From The Lake’, another essential deep techno album. If you enjoyed Donato Dozzy’s album, ‘K’, then you’ll definitely enjoy what is on offer here. The album’s eleven tracks seamlessly build, giving it a live performance vibe and makes this a deeply compelling album that you’ll want to hear from start to finish.
Tuesday, June 16th, 2009 | Sounds | 4 Comments
BBE have been on form in recent months with some great releases. First up is Night Dubbin‘ - a fine collection of disco, boogie and proto house, compiled by Dimitri from Paris (and with one of the discs mixed by The Idjut Boys). The compilation focuses on dubbed-out (re)mixes from the likes of Francois Kevorkian, Larry Levan, Paul Simpson and Shep Pettibone. The Idjut Boys do a great job on the mix cd but the reason to own this compilation is the 21 unmixed songs - all of them complete gems. Given that the original 12″ versions of many of the tracks collected here are quite sought after, this compilation is essential for anyone that has even a passing interest in disco and the roots of house. Included in the liner notes are interviews with Francois Kevorkian, Paul Simpson and John Morales, who give the back-story and explain their techniques used in creating the dub mix.