Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Recommended Listening

Solderifter - Move With The Shadow EP [Peppermint Jam]

Soledrifter return to Peppermint Jam with a four track EP packed with deep house goodness. The EP kicks off with "Hallow Souls" which has a blend of dubbed vocal snippets with a rumbling underground groove punctuated by swirling synths and a dark, almost haunting bassline. "Can Make U Feel" has a trippier vibe with skippy beats, breathy, seductive vocals, a deep bass groove along with an eerie selection of synth effects. "I Told Ya So" combines two basslines, one electronic and squelchy while the other is good old fashioned slap bass that injects some serious funk. It's another deep, hypnotic underground affair. The package concludes with the title track "Move With The Shadow"; more deep, striking synths, haunting vibes and compelling rhythms. The whole EP could easily provide the soundtrack to an as yet undiscovered sci-fi series to rival stranger things! Available on promo now via Traxsource with an official realease date of 19th October.

Reviewed By Dean Serafini




Recommended Listening

Ridney ft Sander Nijbroek - Say What You Mean To Say [Duffnote]

Duffnote has always been one of my go-to labels; it's been a benchmark for high quality melodic vibes for a good few years now. Despite a strong groove, it's the vocals that steal the show, they're soulful, emotionally charged and totally engaging. The package includes a total of five versions including radio mixes and dubs. Ridney's own mixes go for the jugular with a deep underground kind of vibe, driving rhythms and a bassline that will challenge many sub-woofers. Richard Earnshaw's interpretations deliver a distinct alternative; the arrangement is more soulful with rolling bass tones and swirling synths. All in all it's the sort of track I often find myself playing over and over again. Those vocals though - I can't praise them highly enough! Available to pre-order now on Traxsource with a release date of 19th October.

Reviewed by Dean Serafini



Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Flashback

Sounds of Blackness - The Pressure [Perspective Records]

Heading back to 1992 and a track that's one of the finest examples of spiritually charged house music ever recorded. The original track was decent but the remixes from Frankie Knuckles and CJ Mackintosh elevated the track to new levels of awesomeness. Featuring the unmistakable vocals of Ann Nesby who has subsequently worked with the good and the great within the scene, this is a proper old school hands in the air slice of soulful house. The conventional wisdom is that Frankie's mix is the weapon of choice although I've always had a preference for CJ's interpretations which I found a little livelier. Whichever way you turn though, you'll find endearing keyboard arrangements and the most uplifting of vocals.

Reviewed by Dean Serafini





Label Spotlight - Salted Music

Owned and managed by Miguel Migs, San Fransisco based Salted Music launched in 2004 just as the transition to digital was getting into full swing. I still recall receiving the first few releases on vinyl promo and being mightily impressed. Over the years the label has helped to launch the careers of many acts and has served as the perfect vehicle for Miguel's own releases, many of them with Lisa Shaw on vocals. The quality of output over the 14 years has never dropped and while much of the music it has released could be labelled as deep house, it genuinely straddles a number of the house music sub genres. I've picked out 25 of my favourites from the label's back catalogue. Hope you enjoy my selections.



Recommended Listening

Miguel Migs ft Lisa Shaw - This Melody [Salted Music]

Neither vocalist nor producer should need much by way of introduction. The pair have worked together for nearly 20 years now delivering gem after gem going back to the Naked Music days. The "Original Mix" has a deep electronic funk infused groove, punctuated by a bumpy bassline and Lisa's mesmerising vocals. The "Salty Space Rub" plays with the vocals, dubbing them, changing the pitch and injecting swirling synths for an even deeper ride. The "Keep Pushin' Dub" again uses the altered vocal while the bass and synths do the damage. The package concludes with "The Love Vocal" which is a stripped back alternative where the bassline comes to the fore alongside the vocals while the synths are used with more subtlety to create an alluring atmospheric vibe. I'm still not sure which version is my favourite but they all work well. Available on YTraxsource promo now with an official release date of 5th October.

Reviewed by Dean Serafini



Recommended Listening

DJ Pope ft Ed Ramsey - More Love [POJI Records]

"More Love" is a wonderful slice of soulful house with a deep groove, atmospheric synth strings, a pulsating electronic bassline and an incredible vocal performance. Ed's distinctive tones are particularly engaging and there's an emotional depth that reminds me of some of Robert Owens' finest moments. The mixes come from DJ Pope himself and from long time collaborator DJ Oji, the latter taking a slightly warmer, mellower path as opposed to a cooler underground groove from DJ Pope. The package includes a reprise, dub and instrumentals to complete an impressive release. Available on promo now through Traxsource with an official release date of 29th October.

Reviewed by Dean Serafini



Recommended Listening

Jocelyn Brown & Inaya Day - Move Of The Spirit [T's Box Records]

The presence of two of the most recognisable voices in dance music and Terry Hunter on production mean that this is always likely to attract the attention of the soulful heads. Between the remixes, dubs and instrumentals there are a total of seven versions to choose from, all of which hit the spot nicely. Neither vocalist needs any introduction and you get exactly what you'd expect, sublime vocals, live bass, smooth production and an uplifting vibe whichever version you favour. This is soulful house music at its finest and fans of any of the key protagonists will definitely want to check this out. Available on promo now through Traxsource with an official release date of 5th October.

Reviewed by Dean Serafini




Sunday, 30 September 2018

Recommended Listening

Groove Junkies, Reesloul & Manoo ft Nichelle Monroe - Feel My Truth [Quantize Recordings]

This has been causing a bit of a stir since it surfaced several weeks ago. The track is a blend of Nichelle Monroe's exquisite vocals from Groove Junkies & Reelsoul - "My Truth", originally released on MoreHouse back in the Spring & Manoo's instrumental track which was created as part of his remix project for Sister Pearl's "Feel It". The result is a bounding Afro house stomper with driving rhythms & melodic chords but it's those vocals that really take centre stage; sweet, soulful and enticing, you can't help but listen intently. Available now on promo via Traxsource with an official release date of 5th October.

Reviewed by Dean Serafini




Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Label Spotlight - Peppermint Jam

Producing high quality grooves since the mid 1990s, Mousse T's Peppermint Jam first came to the attention of house heads with the release of Boris Dlugosch's "Keep Pushin" which tore up floors all over the world. The label's profile was taken to completely new heights when what had originally been an instrumental "Horny" was reinvented with the catchiest of vocals becoming a huge commercial success in the process. The years since have seen the label collaborate with Tom Jones, Roy Ayers, Roachford, Inaya Day & Roisin Murphy consistently producing wonderful dance music that embraces multiple genres, even if it usually comes back to house in the end. I've picked out a few shining moments from the label's considerable pool of releases. Press Play below to listen to my selections.



Flashback

Loose Ends - Love's Got Me (10 Records)

1990 proved to be something of a renaissance for Carl McIntosh and his UK soul outfit Loose Ends. Their album "Look How Long" enjoyed both commercial success and critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. Starting with the lead off single "Don't Be A Fool" which was followed up by this soulful gem it led to a surge of interest in their earlier material, most notably 1985's Hangin' On A String which went on to receive the remix treatment from Frankie Knuckles in 1992. On this particular occasion though, it was Knuckles' long term Def Mix production partner David Morales at the helm producing an extraordinarily deep, soulful groove that's still holding its own 28 years later.

Reviewed by Dean Serafini

Recommended Listening

Joi Cardwell - Best of Me [Curly Gurly]

Joi Cardwell is one of the most recognizable voices in house music, although having recently announced that she's to quit the scene to focus on other ventures we may have to make do with enjoying her back catalogue for a while. "Best Of Me" is a delightful slice of intelligently crafted soulful house music. My pick of the mixes is the DvT & M-Dubb Main Mix which has been crafted by David Vibes Tobon and Michael McKary Wright. Starting off deep and dubby the track mellows as the flute and lush keys kick in. Joi's voice is at its seductive best with an emotionally drenched delivery that makes you want to listen to every single word. There are a further seven mixes which include a lovely instrumental by the same production team swapping Joi's vocals for a haunting flute but I'm sticking with the Main Mix for now. Available now through Amazon Music & Spotify.

Reviewed by Dean Serafini

Frisky Rhythms Guest Mix - Rob Hayes

We are delighted to feature a guest mix show from Audio Honey supremo Rob Hayes. He's put together a wonderful blend of tunes that's sure to brighten your mood as we head into some Autumnal weather.