Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Posted by Will Sumsuch | File under : ,
Our friends at Apollo are well known throughout the solar system for delivering fantastic deep house vibes with a real futuristic edge. Part of the Proton family, which encompasses a fantastic online radio station, distribution company and two other record labels, Apollo certainly have both the resources and pedigree to deliver some World class music.

'Meaning Of Life' is described by the label as "a soulful, jazzy, deep house track from Italian duo Cassino & Laben". The original mix has a nice light swing and a great build throughout, although soulful and jazzy would probably not be our choice of words. Don't get me wrong, this is a very nice track, but the remixes steal the show here.

Enter Night Drive boss Andre Kronert. His mix begins with some wonderfully simple but effective drums backed up with some powerful bassline action, building subtly into a sublime, uplifting piece of music. Unique and brilliant stuff- hats off to the Night Drive maestro.

Last, and definitely not least, Evans T (Dark Pleasure) delivers a beautiful, warm and sensitive slice of deep house. Brilliantly produced and well balanced. Classy stuff indeed.

Release Date: Dec 15th 2011

Check out Andre Kronert's inspired remix here:
Cassino & Laben - Meaning Of Life (Andre Kronert Remix) by Cassino&Laben

Check out the whole release here:
http://soundcloud.com/cassino-laben/sets/cassino-laben-meaning-of-life/ 

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Posted by Will Sumsuch | File under : , ,
DCSTrax have become well respected for their consistently deep, quality output, and this, their 15th release is definitely no exception. It warms my heart to say this EP is available on vinyl as well as digitally (albeit with a slightly different track listing)- proving this is a label standing firmly behind their material, and putting their money where their mouth is.

This is the debut release for German producers Ghostnotez (AKA Matt Flores & Doogie P). Bilk 123 sees the pair embracing the slower BPMs which are all the rage at the moment, and mixing their creation on analogue gear which really does make a difference to the sound. Atmospheric, warm and hypnotic, the track builds beautifully throughout, managing to sound both classic and brand new at the same time.

The first remix in the package is by Jay Tripwire, a man who should need no introduction to fans of proper house music. Already a favourite producer of mine, this may well be the finest work I've heard from him. On the surface you could say it's acid, or jackin', or moody, and you'd be right. However it's hard to explain just how beautiful, sensitive and, dare I say it, pretty this track is- I suggest you buy it and find out for yourself.

Finally we are treated to another stellar remix by OneThirty Recordings' boss Jevne Miller. Also keeping the BPM low, lovely rolling percussion, a killer bassline and some very sneaky steel drum sampling are the order of the day here. Fantastic.

Overall, this is without doubt this is the most compelling release I've heard so far from DCSTrax, and the quality of music on display places the label squarely into the territory of the bigger boys such as Freerange & 20:20. I hope this release gets the acclaim it deserves, and really puts DCSTrax on the map.


Vinyl release: 20th November 2011
Digital Traxsource Exclusive: 7th December 2011


Saturday, 3 December 2011

Posted by Will Sumsuch | File under :
It's getting less and less common for a hip hop record to make me sit up and take notice these days, but when it happens, it's a joy. This promo popped up in my inbox back in May, sent by the fantastically named 'Brown Bag Allstars'. It's a simple, no nonsense hip hop track with heartfelt lyrics and a great vibe. Interested to find out more about the producer I headed over to his website, where I learned the following:

"Born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin The Audible Doctor fell in love with music at a very young age. As a child he spent countless hours with his toy keyboard on the kitchen floor playing what he called his “muget” (music), that same drive and passion has followed him through the years. His parents recognized his talent early on and tried to nourish it by finding outlets for him to learn and grow musically. Piano lessons gave way to joining the city choir which gave way to guitar lessons and so on until Audible Doctor finally found his own niche with Hip Hop.

By his sophomore year in high school he began collecting records and DJing at friends parties, school dances, and anywhere he had the opportunity. Equipping his room with two 15″ speakers (that the neighbors across the street complained of when their walls started shaking), Audible Doctor would often have friends over for DJ sessions in his bedroom. After the purchase of a $15 Radio Shack microphone those DJ sessions became full on freestyle sessions with DJs and Emcees taking turns on the turntables and the mic. Later, when The Audible Doctor got his hands on a digital 4-track recorder he began writing rhymes, making beats, and recording himself and other local artists."

Audible Doctor's 'Church Night Remix' featuring June Haze is available to download for free from his website, alongside a wealth of other excellent productions:

 http://audibledoctor.com/downloads

http://www.brownbagallstars.blogspot.com

Friday, 2 December 2011

Posted by Will Sumsuch | File under : , , ,
I was completely bowled over by the 6 track promo sampler for this, the debut Shades of Gray LP. Following my extremely positive feedback, the lovely folks at Beef Records were kind enough to send me a copy of the double CD album. It's rare that I get any kind of physical music through the post nowadays, and it makes the experience of sitting down for a listening session feel so much more special.

Before we move onto the music, let's get a bit of background on the duo themselves, taken from the label's press release:

"After 18 months of intense work in the studio Shades of Gray emerge with their debut album ‘Soul Machine’.  The duo of Michal Schwa and Nick West have progressively established themselves over the years producing consistently solid tracks and remixes for labels such as Neurotraxx Deluxe, Om Records, Salted Music, Dark Energy, Tronicsole and of course their home label Beef Records on which ‘Soul Machine’ is released. Released as a 2 CD set, vinyl and digital download, ‘Soul Machine’ includes 11 original tracks and 11 remixes from an all-star cast including veterans The Timewriter, Jef K & Gwen Maze, Soul Minority, Fiord and Lexy (Lexy & K-Paul) as well as some of the hottest emerging producers such as Peter Horrevorts, Steve Ward, Uone, LuRob and Londonground."

Opening the double CD case I'm immediately confronted with the following quote in the inner casing: "Life is not black and white, it is the subtleties you find amongst the million shades of gray that makes you who you are". Pretty deep, conceptual stuff- the excitement which has stayed with me from the material I've already heard grows stronger as I load up both CDs and press play...

The thing which impresses me no end about 'Soul Machine' is the quality which oozes from every sound on the record. This is considered, clever production, with a huge amount of flair and originality which has been carefully sculpted into an album which is truly a treat for the ears. No corners have been cut here, no obvious samples used- in short there isn't one point in the whole LP where the producers are giving any less than 100%.

House LPs are always difficult to get right and Shades of Gray manage a perfect balance between dancefloor sensibility and the depth & musicality required for home listening. 'Drums Of The South', 'Crazee' & 'Midnight Lover' are instant classics, and the rest of the collection isn't half bad either...

The remixers for this project have been well chosen, I really wouldn't say there's a bad mix in the whole package. Highlights for me have to be The Timewriter's inspired mix of 'Drums Of The South', Peter Horrevorts' sublime version of 'Back To The Future' & Fiord's dreamy take on 'Higher Ground'.

Overall this is a really special package of music, brilliantly written, carefully crafted and elegantly presented. If even half the music I get sent was anywhere close to as good as this record, I would be a very happy man...

You need this in your life!

Buy digital:
http://www.beatport.com/label/beef-records/2594

Buy vinyl/CD:
http://www.juno.co.uk/labels/Beef+Germany/
http://www.decks.de/t/shades_of_gray-soul_machine/bys-3o

To celebrate the release of Soul Machine, Shades of Gray are offering a FREE track from the album! Grab it here:
FREE DOWNLOAD – Shades Of Gray – Illusions (from the Soul Machine album) by Shades of Gray

Posted by Will Sumsuch | File under : , ,
Deep Edition is a new UK label which has been consistently impressing over the last few months with some great releases. Seeing talented newcomer Graham Laverty and bona fide deep house legend Nikola Gala on the same release got my attention, and I felt moved to put pen to paper.

Sunderland based Laverty is relatively new to the scene but has already gained support from the likes of Richie Hawtin, Nic Fanciulli, DJ Sneak, Timo Maas and Ekkohaus to name a few. His releases so far have been consistently solid, combining Deep and Tech sensibilities seamlessly.

The 'Speaking of You' EP is a debut solo release for Graham on the Deep Edition label, following his excellent remix of Martijn's 'Sweet Sound' back in December 2010. The first track 'Speaking Of You' sees a confident young producer playing with deeper shades of house layered over a solid techy groove. Some lovely percussive touches raise this track above the average, and the bassline drop after the breakdown is sure to produce a special moment when played out. The other original track, Mainline is more of a moody shoe-gazer, perfect for those later sets. Dark and atmospheric bass and vocals bubble over 'straight up' percussion with heavy high hats, making this a real dancefloor prospect.

Spotting Nikola Gala's name on any package tends to get us very excited indeed, and I'm happy to report that there was no let down here. Proper vibey, hypnotic driving house music from an on-form producer.

Martijn's remix of Mainline completes the package, and very nearly steals the show! Dark, pitched down vocals and heavy sub bass are the order of the day here- truly excellent stuff.

'Speaking of You' is released exclusively on Juno from 12th December and all other stores from 26 December 2011

Graham Laverty - Speaking of You Ep // inc Nikola Gala & Martijn Remixes by Deep Edition Recordings

Pre-order the EP from iTunes here:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/preorder/speaking-of-you-ep/id481174694



Posted by Jeff Daniels | File under : , ,
"Behold I bring you tidings of great joy to all people"

Okay, I must say how excited I am to tell you about this beauty,....here we have another sublime forthcoming release from the Atjazz stables, can't fault them at all, no sir-e-bob! 'At One' makes his debut appearance on the label, currently signed with 'Osunlade' at Yoruba Records. He brings with him his own take on "Techy Afro underground House", to great effect, And makes this recording a memorable journey, producing nothing less than a dance-floor belter! So without further adieu i bring to you, "African Healing Dance".... 'For Your Mind, Your Body and Your Soul" 'You Get Where I'm Coming From, Ooohhhh Baby".  \o/

Release Note blurb;

’African dance healing’ is an awesome workout of percussion, beats, bass and vocals and is a wash with stylish & precise synth production. This latest outing for the UK’s ‘At One; is set for the main dance floor and is backed up by Wyoma’s beautiful words of wisdom, “Wyoma honors dance as a healing and spiritual endeavor”. This careful selection of lyrics really does make you think twice and make you wanna get up and use those feet you we’re given. African dance healing does what it says on the tin, already supported with incredible feedback by Atjazz. Accompanying this wonderful piece of writing is another well rounded piece of music entitled ‘Miti’, a straight down the line dance-floor bumper, with a twist on what people know as “Techy Afro House” ‘At One’ has really started for us a new direction in this genre & we are very proud to have this artist as part of the ARCo. family.

At One is a new age DJ/Producer with an old-skool kick, playing in and around the U.K's capital city London on a regular basis, mainly spinning deep/soulful/afro house. Over the years At One concentrated on building strong networks and artist affiliations with the likes of Phil Asher, Sy Sez & Gavin Peters, Danny Native, Tayo Maronie, Matt Bandy, Neil Pierce, Dj 279, Cut Master Swift (DMC world champion), Plus many more. 
The music At One produces has an interesting twist to it’s overall sound, whatever genre it is. At One encompasses the best from every area within the genres he produces within and places these influences into his music whatever style his productions may be. The At One sound is neither old nor new but something in it’s own space which lasts the test of time.

Wyoma is a performer and facilitator of African and healing dance, as well as a body/mind consultant. For over twenty-three years she has taught and conducted workshops in a wide range of contexts throughout the United States. She has also worked in Africa and New Zealand. Central to her approach is the transformative and organic nature of African Dance, and the recognition of our body's own inherent wisdom. Wyoma honors dance as a healing and spiritual endeavor, and has become a creative force for transformation among her students, audiences, and associate performers.

Listen to the Mixes here

Released by: Atjazz Record Company
Release/catalogue number: ARC-035-SD
Release date: Dec 9, 2011

Posted by Will Sumsuch | File under : ,
I first heard Canadian MC D-Sisive on a DJ Format record back in 2005, on which his tone, deft flow, clever lyrics and innate sense of fun immediately caught my attention. Unfortunately I jumped on the D-Sisive bandwagon just as he entered a period of writers block.

After almost 3 years of silence he returned in 2008 with what must be one of the most prolific comebacks in music history. His return saw darker lyrics, a sharper tongue, as well as a genuine disdain for both the music industry and the current state of hip hop.

Without doubt one of the cleverest and most original rappers on the international scene, D-Sisive's recent output has been constantly compelling. Although some of the beats he chooses to rhyme over may not be my personal choice, his ability to paint a picture with words never fails to impress.

Having given away not one but two concept albums as free downloads (the sorely underrated 'Jonestown' LPs), D-Sisive has followed up with 'Run With The Creeps', released on November 15th 2011. Probably his most honest and original record to date, this album is full of dense, claustrophobic beats and introspective lyrics- fans of feel-good party hip hop need not apply. On first listen there are a couple of immediately likable tracks which are clearly more accessible, however I would rather not dissect the record- I strongly recommend it should be listened to in its entirety. It's a proper album with a beginning, middle and ending, exactly as it should be.

Railing harder than most against the morass of shallow, commercialised nonsense which passes for rap music these days, if anyone in the industry deserves a break, it's Derek Christoff. As his label Urbnet told me: "So far we have had the best response with this D-Sisive record. We hope this is the record that launches his career!"

Stream and Buy 'Run With The Creeps' here:

Posted by Will Sumsuch | File under : , ,
Some things are timeless like the holiday season and beautiful moving deep house music. DWR009 is the perfect reflection of timeless music with its alluring melodies, smooth well-formed breaks and exquisitely executed compositions.

The Original Artist, Proj3kt Dharma, a mysterious Canadian producer brings us a track both deep and smooth. Forgotten By The Universe, with it's organic mix of elements, from the trilling guitar to the sensual vocals, helps you to float off into another more peaceful and love filled universe while maintaining an empowering although more mellow groove to help you on your journey.

The second track on the release is "Forgotten By the Universe" (tONKPROJECT From Another Galaxy Remix). Between his label Behaviors and  his unforgettable signature sound and talent, tONKPROJECT frequently makes his way onto Beatport's Deep House Top 100 and has released on labels such as Apollo, Etoka, I Records, Lost My Dog, DeepClass Records, Urban Torque, Plastic City and of course Behaviors. With his remix he brings a lustrous track full of the smooth sensual feel of the original while bringing the power up with drivingly simple yet moving percussions and baselines.

Release Date: Dec 19th 2011

Check out tONKPROJECT's sublime remix here:
http://soundcloud.com/behaviors/project-dharma-forgotten-by


Posted by Will Sumsuch | File under : , ,
Veteran Toronto emcees Dan-e-o and Promise are now tackling the world of music as a tandem. It's easy to say that Perfeck Strangers are an unlikely pair, but when listening to their music you would think they have been rhyming together for years.

Both accomplished rappers in their own rights, their union presents a "perfeck" melding of talent in the vein of Hip Hop's most heralded duos, such as Black Star, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest and Little Brother.

Dan-e-o and Promise have even been compared to legendary tag-teams like EPMD and Das EFX for the way they effortlessly flip lines back and forth with each other.

In 2012, their debut album, "Series Premiere" will air worldwide, with distribution via URBNET Records.

"Ghetto" is also available on URBNET's "Underground Hip Hop Volume 7" compilation, on iTunes now at: http://itunes.apple.com/album/urbnet-underground-hip-hop/id477620119


Posted by Will Sumsuch | File under : , ,
UM Records returns for its fourth release and the first for 2012 with Argentinian producer Santiago Santamaria's 'One Night'. The EP serves up four tracks of warm, moody and lazy deep house including two remixes - one from the current darling of deep house Alvaro Hylander, and the second from respected Candian house DJ/producer Jon Delerious.

Santiago Santamaria's influences lie in jazz and saw him study classical piano as a teenager. His production career started back in 2000 inspired by Detroit's sounds and early deep house. Followers of Plaster Records, Digital Department, GAM Recordings and more recently Deso Records will be familiar with Santiago's organic sounds and elegant deep house tunes but he's certainly one to watch in the coming year with another EP already in production for UM Records.

Alvaro Hylander needs little introduction in deep house circles these days as the man behind DeepWit Recordings. Originally from southern Spain but now based in Denmark his productions have been released on iRecords, Disclosure Project, Lens Media, Acryl Music, Behaviors, Alma Soul Music, TEAM and more with remixes for the likes of The Messenger, Sumsuch and Pablo Fierro to his name.

Calgary's own Jon Delerious has been a staple in the west coast house music scene since his first 'big' gig in 1992. Since then his production talents have seen him grow into an internationally respected DJ/producer. His music has been supported by a diverse array of artists from Gilles Peterson through to Laurent Garnier. As a DJ he's played around the globe with some of house music's finest including 'Little' Louie Vega, Carl Cox, Mark Farina and Ben Watt. A regular on Nordic Trax he's also been featured on City Life, Doppelgaenger, Filter Music and more over the years.

UM Records is part of the untitledmusic project that encompasses a blog, a worldwide weekly radio show on eNation, Deepvibes, Live1.fm, Westradio to name just a few, and the largest deep house fans page on Facebook. To date releases have been gathering strong support from the likes of Atnarko, Evren Ulusoy, Jay West, Andy Riley (Inland Knights), Jazzy Eyewear, Robert Owens, Fred Everything, Leigh Morgan, Rick Preston, Graeme Park, Jon Delerious, Matthias Vogt, Nick Holder and more.

Listen to the Preview Clips Here:
Santiago Santamaria - One Night (UM Records, UMR004) (Preview Clips) by Kahua Music

Release Date:
16th Jan 2012
Posted by Will Sumsuch | File under : , ,
For the fourth installment of the Blue Label Series, Eighth Dimension sets its sights on the burgeoning house music scene of South Africa and an accomplished Cape Town-based DJ/producer by the name of Ryan Sullivan. With singles on various labels (including his own Gut Feel imprint) dating back to 2005, and the recent release of his debut artist album No One Will Ever Know (on Triplefire Music), Ryan Sullivan is certainly no stranger to the recording studio or DJ's playlists. He approached Eighth Dimension with a pair of tough, polished house music tracks that exhibited a unique mix of rhythmic ingenuity and melodic know-how, immediately grabbing the label's interest. The two tracks, leading off this latest Blue Label Series release, are "MDH" and "The Chase."

We say: Fantastic, atmospheric, moody originals, showing some proper production chops. Remixes are all great, too- highly recommended!

Ryan Sullivan - Blue Label Series #4 : MDH / The Chase (Eighth Dimension Records - 8TH40D)) by Eighth Dimension

Out Now on Beatport

http://eighthdimension.com/

http://www.residentadvisor.net/dj/ryansullivan

Get a taste of the incredible Stereo 77 version of 'The Chase' here:
http://soundcloud.com/djstereo77/ryan-sullivan-the-chase-stereo