Art Department (feat. Shaun Reeves, Damian Lazarus) - Robot Heart EP

Tracks             1. Robot Heart

                       2. Robot Heart (BLUD deep playa beats mix)

Genra              Deep House

When I first found out that Art Department had been asked to compose a track for the Robot Heart party at Burning Man festival I was left more than intrigued, excited in anticipation to hear what Art Department would have conjured up, baring in mind that these guys are at the forefront of a very modern and electronic development of Deep House music.

It’s a subsection pushing more of the hedonistic, warped and deeper electronic fibers of the scene, and on this occasion AD draft in the help of Shaun Reeves, BLUD - who turns in the remix - and Damien Lazarus to guarantee the job gets done with absolute ease. Obviously the task at hand was bigger than the norm though. It still needed to be a track that wholeheartedly embodied the Robot Heart/Burning Man spirit. With this heady mix of experience and talent comes a rich understanding of everything that is expected of them for this unofficial ‘soundtrack’ commission, and what a track they came with.

Robot Heart

Here, Art Department (+ Shaun Reeves, Damian Lazarus) provides a blissful 8mins of perverted, driving, desolate yet colourful dance music and within the initial 3mins the scene is set perfectly. Kick, bass and scuttling hat/shakers build up the rhythmic structure, whilst eerie, fixed chords float in the rear of the mix, introducing a slurry of white noise to form an peculiar cloud around the body of the track. The key component is that of a lonely yet regulatory off-hat, and it’s this vital percussion that edges the track in to its own and very solitary space.

 In come the power keys at 2mins by way of dark layered synth, initiating with filtering and showcasing low, mid and high notes that really push the mix around. It’s a focal point of the track that opens the door for Damian’s full vocal part. His words, “The rising sun, in dusty skies, the spinning crystals in our eyes”, lyrically symbolize the soundtrack unraveling within my ears. It’s pretty spaced out, but it’s a track that’s here to indulge in all things Robot Heart/Burning Man, so although normally I could find fault in such self-indulgence additions, I revel in them on this occasion.

 In to the break and a delayed, stabbed pad wobbles into the fore. It’s an aural light-relief that’s a stark contrast to the overall story created so far. It’s short lived, but a key factor in breaking the track apart and allowing some time for it to recompose the situation and clamber wildly back into rhythmical boundaries. 

 The remaining 3minutes culminate with riding cymbals flying through the mix along with a much closer mix of the white noise and an overall feeling of intimacy to the parts combined. A quality dance (sound)track for a very special party. A party that creates about as much mystery around it each year as the festival sees newcomer’s attend. Sublime work. In the box!!! 

Robot Heart (BLUD deep playa beats Mix)

Essentially, this mix does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a deeper beats mix. There are some subtle but nicely used percussive volume increases and additional work on the cymbals and rides, but it’s taken the over indulgent chords, keys and vocal. This is a great tool for those mix situations that need a hefty, minimal plateauing of a moment where all that’s required is bass, beats and space. It’s not a centerpiece track by any mean but the mixture of elements plough through with power and purpose and makes for top end b-side.


Reading the press release it was made clear by all parties involved that the task at hand was not just about them (AD/Reeves/Lazarus) providing the typical musical goods – something which would never normally be a questionable expectation. This HAD to meet and embody ALL that is Burning Man. The desert valley landscape, the ‘other world’ feel, the hedonism, the collectiveness and isolation, and of course most importantly, the Robot Heart ethos itself.

Robot Heart is a serious ear treat and characterizes the No.19 sound as much as it does cater for, and obviously focus on, the Robot Heart brief it was founded upon. I’m almost certain this is as close a soundtrack, as you will ever find on Robot Heart/Burning Man – at least in one 8 minutes track – and clearly by-passing the fact I’m sure not many (anyone) have attempted such a task anyway, but my point is, the boys dun’ good! Full Support!

Bootholic 001 - T-RWRK

Tracks            1. Chante

                      2. Paqui Tu Heppa

Genre             House


Bootholic is the new, strictly vinyl only, label from the Holic Trax camp. The mission? To bring past classic’s back, up to date and in limited numbers. It’s a simple and enthralling prospect, with this debut release setting the standard, which from the point of view of Holic followers is already very high.


Chante - A solid, chugging gem of classic upfront House music with cool, sampled and intermittent vocal fills and archetypal House arrangement. It’s as though you can hear every raw punch of the drum machine it was made with as this plays along the 7mins53secs. Within 1min min all guns are blazing and by 2mins the first break rears it’s anxious little head. Vocals come in to play to cajole the ears and lift the mood, alongside some easy-peasy bass filtering, which drops back after a casual 35secs and straight back to form.

This whole track comes together with such aplomb that whilst I play this and think of fun words to write about it I’m filtering the bass in and out, which hasn’t gotten old yet - baring in mind I’m on my 1176th go doing only that. It will eventually get old, but the sentiment remains that this is a ballsy fist-pumping beauty that is hard to stop enjoying.

The formula is simple, the elements are incredible and the result is a class re-work of a 90s boomer, oozing dance-ability that can be given automatic record-box-essential certification. If you’re not already the coolest person all of your mates know then buy this. It won’t make you cool, but you’ll be seriously chuffed you now have this on limited vinyl! BOOM!


Paqui Tu Heppa. A masterpiece of chopped vocal samples and a pulsing bass line lead Paqui Tu Heppa out of the blocks and for the next 8mins05secs it’ll only get better! After the intro minute the upper percussive line enters the fray, with more stomping and upfront House percs than that of sister track, Chante. Brash off-hat’s and open/closed cymbals battle for mix space, whilst the kick and clap keep the rhythmic focus tight, in your face and rolling along sweetly.

Simple although expected filter breaks keep your ears in check throughout and the additional soft, swinging tease of a synth stab fits beautifully in to the mix, staying below the hectic hi’s but above the hard working low’s.

The breakdown doesn’t fall away from form and lets the vocal cuts take the stage again and tense hi-line synth create the anticipation. Dropping back in the mix at a little shy of 4mins30ses, the track makes the exquisite change of building to the drop. Drum rolling snare, windy white noise and nifty panning do the honours here to make the drop count above and beyond that of all previous, and from hereon it’s a further 3mins of unrelenting House music, plain and simple. 


I have been left ambivalent in my attempt to pick a favourite here. It’s not a requirement by any means, but I normally find myself choosing something at the end of the process after the millionth listen. Originally it was Chante, then Paqui Tu Heppa, and then back again. And then…well, you can see the trouble I’m having. The tracks are proper tunes. Good and proper House music, which will remain in my box forever, and how fantastic to see this on Vinyl only. Long live the Black Plastic, for this be some serious HOT PLASTIC right thur.

Chris Carrier – Love Bug EP

Tracks                      1. Love Bug

                                2. Love Bug (Kate Simko Remix)

                                3. Love Bug (T2 dub) (Vinyl Only)

                                4. Au Troquet Du Coin (Digital Only)

 

Genre                        Deep House

Love Bug: Talk about value for money. This grooves from the off and doesn’t let up for the entire 6min33secs. Typical of Carrier really, who always brings something incredibly upfront to the table. Here he delivers a pumping deep house cut of the finest quality. Stripped back to the bare essentials, but as always, with production values that leave it oozing a level of quality as though it had triple the elements going on. The low end is thick but pinched in all the right areas, whereas the high end is assertive and complimentary. Percussive elements are in the form of some nicely sampled mid range toms – although I feel they may not be toms, just well sourced sampled sounds used to achieve the desired effect. The overall result is a driving, yet grooving piece of house, something, which isn’t the easiest thing to achieve as many producers just lean to one or the other. This crosses both sides of the line and with absolute perfection. I’m in love, although not with a bug!

 

Love Bug (Kate Simko): Kate Simko slows matters down and it’s immediately apparent we’re going to be treated to a beautiful deep rolling version of the original. Spacious and delicate in all the right places, the Simko remix introduces some additional stabs and highly effected, but sparingly used vocal stabs. It’s perfect for the space she’s manipulating and certainly takes this whole affair down a notch in feel and energy, but absolutely not in terms of desired effect. This is perfect early morning/after-hours business. The delectable talents of Miss Simko allow for a more moveable mix and this is seen when the track drops down and out at 1min50secs – filets, reverb and high-line added - before dropping us back in at 2min20secs. Shakers do the high-end work, which add simply, yet effectively, to the slower, more tripped out vibe that’s been created. Top work and a genuine compliment to that of the original mix.

 

Love Bug (T2 Dub): This is the Tomoki edit, which is only available on the vinyl release and shorter by a minute. Additional organ keys ride over mix at points, and the arrangement is set just that bit different, but expect the same intensity and straight up dance floor drive!

 

Au Troquet Du Coin: This is… Proper!… Okay, so that comment is a touch sweeping, but that phrase pretty much equates to the same self-assured, pounding and concise feel that Au Troquet Du Coin delivers here. This is 5mins28secs of minimal (not the genre) techno music where the low ends tears a new one in the floor, the highs ensure you’re kept safe from falling, in to that said hole, just like puppets. And the middle is where you come in…. All you sweaty, house and techno loving folk are just there to suck it up and unashamedly produce your rhythmical response. It’s not polite, it’s not groovy and it doesn’t discuss snapback designs with foot shufflers. It’s fine, organic and breathy Beats, Bass, Hats and Percs, stripped to the basics and allowed to breath, create strict rhythm and work hard to square things up. Record box gold dust for the techno focused amongst you.

 

A thoroughly impressive EP from Mr Carrier, with great work from Kate Simko on the remix too. Holic Trax have bagged yet another top release and see’s them going from strength to strength. I haven’t had a bad word to say about any of their releases so far and I feel compelled to implore you all to take note and check this out when hits the shops. Lovely stuff!

Les Sins - Fetch/Taken

Les Sins (aka Toro Y Moi) is the other, OTHER moniker of Columbia, South Carolina native, Chazwick Bundick. No really, that is his name.

The highly talented producer has been making significant movements within the star-gaze, west coast and tripped out disco circles in recent times, although still relatively modest in general terms. Nevertheless, his music has consistently produced resounding recognition from the Internet/blogging community for a good few years now.

Celebrated for his somewhat sweet and soothing, occasionally spaced-out, trippy and always well conceived quality, original electronic music – under the Toro Y Moi alias (roughly translated as ‘Bull and Me’ – thanks random Wikipedia contributor…) – Mr Bundick has had a slight change of direction with this latest release under fresh signature, Les Sins, for Caribou’s Jiaolong Records.

Lead track, Fetch, is the confident party starter, full of intent and purpose, that will easily see it’s way in to a variant mix of DJ record boxes. It’s stuffed full of brash hat-work, unrelenting bass sweeps and sharp phrase transitions. To pigeonhole it would be a pointless task; in summary, it’s a gamut of 90s flavours. Hip-hop sampled sounds and drum-machines – sped up and laced with typical House arranging, fills, vocal loops and chord stabs. Rough from the get go, Fetch isn’t here to challenge, it’s simple and fun (almost but not quite) dance music and will do a very good job getting the young folk tapping their feet in synchronized harmony.

Taken's beginnings are a freeform affair. A looping introduction of hi-hats and tightly enveloped pink noise gets this rolling and the mood is set with a kitsch pipe/flute-loop, which delivers a tense but upbeat premise to what follows. It’s surprisingly faster by – and I’m approximating here – 3bpm, but the overall structure is far more relaxed and gives the track a much slower feel. From 1min onwards a bubbling triumph of synth-brass instruments, beats and keys enter the fray. Les Sins opts for a broken-beat approach, which is delivered with odd placed open and closed hat-work and percussion combos/fills. A stumbling and casual puffing tuba and bass horn play a little call and response, gently carrying me through the next 2mins with ease. The mumbling brass-work, soft slow attacking key/pads and breathy sample stabs that complete this ensemble present a very US/West Coast feel, something, which Mr Bundick is renowned for doing under his Toro Y Moi alias.

Fetch/Taken certainly draws a line in the sand for T.y.M. and shows he can effortlessly play up to the dance-floor desires the UK is demanding so fanatically these days. This musical swerve should see some well overdue credit thrust right back at him from the thriving UK house, techno and bass-led scenes. Good work from Chaswick, and another great release from the consistent Jiaolong Records.

Enjoy!

ps, Check out http://www.custom-cable.co.uk/ - they’re a really friendly Hi-Fi, cable and DAC specialist!

Tuccillo - House 19 EP

Holic Trax come back with their hotly awaited second EP, this time from Italian producer, Tuccillo. He joins Holic Trax with four originals that on first listen, will only add to the impact the scene felt when Holix dropped their debut by Mr.G earlier this year.

Tuccillo, a Spanish native, has had a fine string of releases in a steadily progressive 4/5 years of production output, releasing on 20/20 Vision, Apparel Music, Drumpoet Community, Freerange, and Circus Company to name a few. This four track showcases a poised confidence from start to finish with a varience in sound that should make many a producer, from bedroom through to top studios, sit up and take note. There’s a distinct lack of faddy, ‘scene’ bass or synth favourites here. It’s a quality blend of righteous, old skool grooves and modern, forward thinking production with no let up in energy or neglect for the needs of the dance floor. Let’s get tucked in, shall we!

House 19 leads the way as the EP title track. Bold off-hats and shattered claps fill the mix from the start paving the way for the unadulterated funk-fuelled slap of a synth bass that drops around 1m04s, a precursor for the attention seeking lead-synth. Utter old skool stab and delay, played as a 5-note progression, lays over the unrelenting clap and hat arrangement, which for the most part takes turns from the bass to play identical rhythm patterns, but occasionally combines to lead a phrase with the bass-line. A sumptuous title-track that sets the tone in almighty fashion for this EP.

Eves Sky takes things a little deeper. From the outset it’s all about the low end. Lower pitched percussion and hi hats scuttle around in languid rhythm, almost as if they’re about to fall off the mix somehow. A real teaser of a track that uses a subtle-spoken vocal in the back of the mix that adds to the growing mystery of the story being told. Well-worked high-pitched Tabla/Congo percussion adds to the texture here well and helps conduct the track too. For a jam-packed drum arrangement it works well, like an aural cobweb, perfectly maintaining the furtive and dark, yet utterly attractive quality. Ironically the breakdown screams Tori Amos’, Professional Widow (Armand mix) too. A great track for the darker and deeper heads out there but with nicely textured production additions that are to be expected from the likes of Tuccillo. I cannot wait to here this on a few big systems this summer. Perfect midnight vibes!

Dubao enters my head cans like no other track on the EP. It’s a kick, snare, hat and percussive arrangement that combine and deliver a prototype to a 2-step/Techno lovechild. Broken beat foundations are served up fittingly with a bit-crushed, mid-to-high-frequency synth, layered together and orchestrated as if in the middle of a cumulus cloud that formed from Mother Nature’s own, hand-rolled zoot! It’s as demanding as it is bouncy, yet melds this balance perfectly. As eclectic as the track is the arrangement and low-thumping kick and bass are infectious, serving to keep this rolling along so well. It’s clearly not going to be for everyone’s taste but it’s a weird and wonderful gem that’s deep enough for me.

PercussHolic is a meandering 7m23s of spacious, driving house. Scuttling hats and claps blend to form a percussive sheath above a smoothly rolling bass line. Additional, stuttering bass plays either side of the smoother b-line and some prominent drum hits, with effects, are applied to increase the overall texture though the mix. Much more relaxed work here from Tuccillo and a nice break from the other three originals. It’ll suit those early morning/sunrise sets a treat and has the required guile to make this a quality track also.

Overall, this is an EP that seriously excites. I expect it to do the same throughout the scene too as it delivers a number of crucial things. It challenges me yet at the same time caters for some narrow-minded expectation I had waiting in the conservatory of my mind. It’s as fun as it is dark and troubling. And finally, it provides a mix of tracks that are as much paying homage to the origins of house as they are joining in with what’s currently hot, yet I haven’t found myself disappointed by said ‘joining in’.

Tuccillo impresses me with his variation and consistency in quality throughout the EP, whilst the guys at Holic, who put on some of the best House nights in London, appear to be attempting the same relative level of quality in their releases. I can’t wait to hear what’s in store for future EPs, and after this from Tuccillo, you’d be completely nuts not to either.

My latest work (within the collaboration project I’m involved in under the moniker, Jon&Leon). Work in progress, pre-master.
We would love production comments, feedback on the vibe and thoughts from all you wonderful soundclouders :)

Kastil - Keep It Simple EP

Keep It Simple EP is the 16th release on Seven Music from the exciting Spanish native, Mario Castillo aka Kastil. It’s a joyous blend of stripped-back House, and grooving bass lines, coated in a selection of modest but infectious synth lines. Clearly a producer with an eye in the past but a vision for the future, Kastil bravely strides forward with three House gems that will see them utilized in DJ sets across the spectrum of House sub-genres.

Title track, Keep It Simple, jacks from the start. Classic stabs and slow attacking pads call and respond above the thoroughly jackin’ drum/percussion arrangement. Despite the minimal percussive content, such is the calibre of the production that it still provides a grooving foundation. Funky as f**k and so very danceable.

Back To The Lab continues in the same vein as the lead offering. Scuttling snares and hats keep the vibe bouncing, but the overall feeling is softer and more spacious. Nice progressing pads, stabs and a well-rounded bassline meld together to produce an altogether more relaxed track. An intricate dialogue-vocal appears in stages and, though hard to follow, does sit well within in the track, providing another aural catchment. Meanwhile, midway, a midi-style trumpet riff helps the groove develop into a more danceable and catchy fashion.

The Shades remix of Back To The Lab offers a small yet significant alternative - a deeper version of the original with pitched-down synth stabs and a filtered bassline.

Deep Dialogue is immediately contrasting to the previous tracks. The slower hat arrangement talks well over a slower bpm, but the addition of some cool congo percussion adds a speedier rhythm to lift the track. Pads from the start keep things in a relaxing lull.  Perfect as both warm-up and lounge-down material.

This ‘original House’ EP will certainly do no harm to the reputations of both Kastil and Seven Music. Raw, modest and groovy, the infectious hooklines and sheer simplicity of the tracks are nothing short of irresistible – and the EP will inevitably find its way into many a dance music collector’s record bag.

Craig McWhinney - Heavy Stemmed EP

Craig McWhinney is a name that may not resonate with many in the UK. In Melbourne, however, things are a little different as he’s a name synonymous with a strong and varied Techno scene. He’s one of the founding members of Haul Records, a Melbourne-based label catering for lovers of quality electronic House and Techno.

This release sees McWhinney unite with Melbourne Deepcast Records, a blog website/label containing a podcast series that covers a gamut of worldwide electronic musical talent. Heavy Stemmed is the label’s third offering and comes with remixes from Mic Newman and Weekend Express.

The production on Heavy Stemmed (Original Mix) owes much to Techno, with layers of mid-range percussive elements working against a broken beat kick that thumps attentively from the start. It’s a rough and repetitive hat/percussive arrangement that’s the driving force for the tone of this track. Sampled stabs and pad work provide the simple but dynamically contrasting melodic component. This is a colossal opening track, showcasing a highly charged slice of modern Deep Techno.

Following on from the EP title track is Flow - a far smoother offering which nevertheless upholds the raw percussive elements with some static-tinged effects. This track is all about the luscious, rumbling chord-pad that embraces the track throughout – and which, set against the chunking, almost bruising sound, makes for a nice versatile slice of driving, bass-heavy Deep House/Techno.

Weekend Express delivers the first remix of Heavy Stemmed with rough-edged percussion and softer kick works to reset the vibe and notch the bassline up a gear. A lighter, groovier version of the original, this will suit summer to a tee. A great switch of energies from Weekend Express!

Mic Newman steps up to the plate for the second remix of Heavy Stemmed. Slowing the track by at least 3bpm and creating a 4x4 feel in the hat and percussion, Newman immediately settles us into his groove, creating an altogether Deeper affair which, I suspect, will chart nicely. As with much of his recent material, the track moves really well and has on-point production and vibe.

This superb EP takes you on a sonically dynamic journey across a wide spectrum of genres including Techno, Dub, Garage and traditional House. For those ‘in the know’, it will come as little surprise that such a brave sound is emerging out of Australia’s/Melbourne’s electronic dance scene. Music lovers unite. Crank it up!

Mr.G - Danceholics EP - Holic Trax 001

Holic has been a consistent force in London for over five years now, proving they know a thing or two about how to put on quality parties. They’ve focused their attention on House and allowed its various sub-genres the opportunity to use their platform also - but, in truth, they are a House party through and through. When they felt it was high time to begin a label, they started Holic Trax. And who better to sign for their debut release than Mr.G (Colin McBean) The collaboration is nothing short of a stroke of genius - a class pairing of two solid gold House souls who have journeyed side-by-side through a naturally ascending history.

Mr G’s name is synonymous with honest and unforgiving House and Techno. He’s stayed true to this style throughout the 20 plus years he’s worked and lived in the scene - and, even now, it’s clear to hear in his current work. Creating this EP with little more than an MPC and a modest collection of outboard gear, the sound is typically raw and, of course, naturally groovy.

The EP kicks off with, Don’t Ever Give Up. An upfront cut of bass and synth-laden House, which confidently breaks into the groove from the outset. Simple two-chord stab work and a three-note bass pattern combine to form a delectable rhythm. A lesson in simplicity is what we have here. Mr.G’s slender use of synth elements could easily sound wanting, but with the experience of the man you find yourself caught in a typically brilliant amalgamation of very little that yields a hell of a lot. A driving, unashamed brute of a track that’s rounded off with a vocal sample (“Don’t fight the feeling, girl.”)

Second up is, Guidance (T2 edit), beginning with a pulsey yet acidic bass pattern which rolls throughout as the bubbling building blocks of the track. Demanding hat work on the offbeat carry the track forward with a vocal sample adding more texture and complimenting the harder, deeper work going on below, rather than offering lyrical riffing. This is a roller, which thanks to Mr.G’s expertise, is effortlessly delivered. Clever and well constructed, Guidance is no showpiece by any stretch of the imagination, but every good DJ set needs a consistent groover to carry the dance floor whilst you prepare your next move.

EP title track, Danceholics is an hypnotic affair going a stage further than each of the previous two tracks - offering a no-thrills groove in the low end and spaced-out, airy goodness in the mid and high-end. The leading synth is rather industrial with an ambiguous stab that rhythmically counteracts the bassline with it’s own straight-up timing. It’s a combination that works brilliantly and gives the track the ability to offer you more than just the bassline groove to move to for its eight-minute yield. A rather formal spoken tag line asks: “Haven’t I seen you somewhere in this building before?’, a common question with many a spaced-out party-head - but its formality only adds to the oddness and further compliments the track, especially given it’s destination; the dance floor.

Closing the EP is the Dub mix of Don’t Ever (Give Up), a straight-up dub version of the opening track using a punchier kick to create deeper cut of the first.

Overall, this is a brilliant four-track EP of rolling House music with bass/low end grooves to keep any crowd dancing through the night (and morning). It oozes what, I think, Holic is all about and certainly reflects where Mr.G is right now. Quality UK House music containing certified groovers. Support it, bag it and enjoy it!

*This review originates from the fantastic house, techno and electronic music appreciation site, hotplastic.net. Go and say hello :)

No.19 WMC Summer Sampler

WMC 2012 has come and gone, but thankfully if you were not fortunate enough to go - and let’s face it, if you didn’t, you’re in the majority - there are certainly plenty of WMC-related releases to get your teeth into.

One such EP which will undoubtedly receive a high percentage of the dance music fraternity’s attention is No.19’s album sampler. As with all well-oiled labels, No.19 has timed its release perfectly to coincide with this fantastic pre-summer event.

Over the past 2 years, Jonny White’s No.19 has released some of House music’s finest work with a fair share of involvement from the biggest and most hotly anticipated producers and music makers in the business.

The EP brings together a strong mix of styles across the House spectrum, with tracks to suit the dance floor as well as a few deeper cuts to satisfy less intense moods and atmospheres. But such is No.19’s growth over the last few years that the diverse nature of this EP is no surprise.

Tracks such as ‘HTAD’ (Sect – Jozif remix), ‘Watching Ourselves’ (Audiofly, Robiie & Muan), ‘The Problem With Numbers’ (Alex Jones), ‘Stalker’ (Balcazar & Sordo) all cater for the deeper tastes, with ‘Heat’ (Droog & Inxec) really taking things to an intricately weird level with an off-kilter beat/percussion structure against synth work that can only have been achieved after a large lack of sleep. Creatively it’s luscious, but suiting the average set it will not. However this definitely adds to the charm.

Another highlight of this sampler is Teeloo’s ‘Whats Inside’. From the get-go, you’re faced with a less than typical House drum arrangement and electro-tinged bass synth, painting an incredibly stripped back picture, which is almost Timbaland-inspired. However, once it’s swinging, the vibe is unquestionably cool. Further joy comes in the form of an eery vocal, which is surprisingly a sample from ‘I Was Made For Lovin’ You’ by 70s glam rock band Kiss. And what a treat it is. Not only is it an intelligent use of such a sample, but of course a sign of true skill and creative freedom.

On the flip side, the EP does include plenty of upbeat and grooving House that’ll certainly find it’s way into DJ’s charts and live sets aplenty. There are decent grooves throughout, with the likes of Jonny White, Nitin, James Teej, Kenny Glasgow, Clockwork, Clayton Steele and Balcazar & Sordo that definitely does their respective reputations no harm whatsoever. Pay particular attention to Jonny White & Nitin’s collaboration, La Cueva, which is an opening track that certainly sets the bar high.

For me personally though, the standout track comes from Tony Smart & Terrance Kissner – Falling From Grace; a dark and deep affair that grooves low and really creates an atmosphere for just short of seven minutes. A sulky and almost chant-like vocal cements the mood here with, insisting: ‘There’s only one God’. A bass line that’s persistent from the start keeps the energy flowing and the high, ethereal synth-work do the rest to lift the track and tease the ears.

This is a strong selection of work from the label. It contains something for most, but is a tad shy of catering for everyone, which most will see as a plus. The mixture of track energies is key and this is strengthened further with the high quality production you can hear from each artist/collaboration. All in all, a great showcase.

*This review originates from the fantastic house &techno appreciation site, Hotplastic.net. Go and say hello :)