Andreas Saag feat Filip Leyman – Leslie’s Vision (Room With A View)

Swedish producer Andreas Saag, a man that needs no introduction, is back once again with another brilliant release. Supported by the likes of Charles Webster, Iron Curtis & Soul Minority, it quickly becomes very apparent as to why once you give this a listen. The EP is titled “Leslie’s Vision” and features the very talented and good friend of Andreas, Filip Leyman.

The song is the result of a late night jam session between the two in Filip’s studio in Gothenburg.

Available in three versions, the original, deeper and deepest versions, there’s something for every occasion or DJ’s personal style.  The deeper the version the more it is stripped down from the original while simultaneously becoming deeper with less instruments.

The original is the main attraction, rich with live instruments including a Hammond organ, live drums, old drum machines and analogue synths that truly bring the track to life. Andreas’ beautiful and captivating piano solo steals the show. All his emotion was poured into this 3 minute or so segment and is well and truly felt by the listener. This climaxes into a menacing low bass-line played on organ bass pedals which, accompanied by analogue synths, smoothly ease the listener out of this 10 minute voyage of a song. This song is well and most definitely one of the milestones in Andreas Saag’s producing years, a sure classic that will still be as beautiful many years from now. Available now on Room With A View.

Andreas Saag feat Filip Leyman – Leslie’s Vision (Room With A View)



 

Words by Andile Ayza Mahlaba

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Prommer und Barck feat. Lois Longerling – Lovin’ (Best Works)

Berlin-based Best Works Records are back with their 10th release, staying true to their name with a powerful three track EP by veterans Christian Prommer and Jazzanova’s Alexander Barck aptly titled: Lovin’, along with a remix courtesy of Best Works co-owner Andre Lodemann.

A twist even more amazing than the Inception movie is perhaps too subtle a metaphor for the title track: Lovin’. It starts off with a slow and steady mid-tempo-like bassline, greeted by dreamy pads, subtle keys and a laid back vocal. Soon becoming more deliberate in its build-up (with the introduction of Prommer’s drumming pieces), and then… the listener is dropped down the rabbit hole. The tempo is drastically changed, highs are crisper, and a sultry female vocal is introduced – taking us all the way through Deep House wonderland. It really isn’t every day where you hear producers trying such daft experiments (successfully), but the experienced duo pull it off perfectly.

Everything about the Alex & Grizzly’s Dub will make you wanna bob, or at least move some part of your body. This, thanks to groovy basslines, inviting highs, playful keys, and some rather intricate kicks. Definitely one of the more dancefloor-friendly cuts on the release.

Lodemann makes full use of the vocals from the original, building effortlessly around them. In a remix which is more of a constantly building and changing journey, than just another re-arranging of patterns. Class deepness from the Best Works man.

The Prommer & Barck duo have given us a glimpse of their forward-thinking productions, and judging from this one, we’ll definitely be looking forward to their “Alex and the Grizzly” release, a first on the duo’s brand-new Derwin Recordings label – coming in April.

Prommer und Barck feat Lois Longerling – Lovin’ (Best Works)



Words by Daniel Gonsalves

Och – Dicken’s Tracks (PAL SL)

Och is the latest incarnation of Autoreply boss Dicken Lean. Having released under Confetti Bomb on his own label, he keeps good company with an illustrious collection of artists that includes Baby Ford and Dan Curtin. However, it is this latest moniker that sees him explore a tougher sound compared to the more minimal leanings of before, with a recent release on PAL SL already drawing attention from the likes of Zip, Gerd Janson and Miles Sagnia to name a few.

Bombay Bedbath is tech house with zeal. It sounds like it was recorded in the very rooms the producer probably pictured it would (and should) be thundering through. The tumbling percussion and rolling bass immediately draws the listener in, even before the moaning vocalist reminds us that ‘it’s too late’. There is also a strange gritty ‘oldness’ that permeates the entire production (helped along somewhat by some beautifully original artwork). That bleak, bygone-era-with-a-modern-twist image is touched on briefly in the floating, breathy soundscape of Interlude Intuitive. In contrast to the tautness of the opener, Out of Key In seems like more of an introspective moment, it’s uneasy rhythmic snaps and lamenting de-tuned piano spiralling deep into melancholic, bass-heavy techno territory.

Sitting down to write this review, I am sadly restricted to my headphones, and thus I can only imagine the devastation these frequencies will cause at high volume. Obviously not content with evoking an emotional reaction through his music, the producer has also felt the need to evoke a physical one too! Broken down into it’s parts, each track offers something of substance to fans of that genre, but as a whole, this is an instantly classic-sounding record that eclipses current trends and straddles the timeline stretching from ‘then’ to ‘now’.

Och – Dickens Tracks (PAL SL)


Words by Robin Would

Esa/Mervin Granger – Luxarama (Rememory Music) review

Esa Williams has been a very busy man.  Between curating Red Bull Music Academy workshops and running the popular Subculture nights in his adopted city of Glasgow, not to mention forming part of live act Sensu and DJing some of the biggest festivals around Europe, Cape Town born Esa has somehow found the time to launch Rememory Music, a boutique label complete with unique vinyl artwork, as well as summon a few friends (who also happen to be some of Scotland’s finest producers) for remix duties on it’s first two releases.

The latest of these is Luxarama, so named as a respectful nod to the artist’s childhood introduction to musical theatre by his late father, who he proudly names as the main driving force behind his work today.  With a foot so firmly rooted in the past, this EP evokes an almost nostalgic window on the future.  Esa has managed to inject his memories, history and inspiration straight into the shiny keys and dubby pads of the title track, each element evolving tantalisingly over an infectious 4/4 arrangement that itself seems to progress with every bar. In contrast, the Midnight Marauders mix is a far more submerged affair.  Ross Telford and Ali Herron (one half of OOFT) retain the undulating nature of the original, but this time rely on more polished keys and drier percussion as their preferred method of propulsion.  Williams ends things off with the Mervin Granger’s at the Luxarama dub, dispensing with the restraint displayed before, and opting to elevate the circular piano and radiant dub elements to dizzying, hypnotic heights.

Having already earned the seal of approval from the likes of Jimpster, Mixmag (House Tune of the Month) and EQTV.dj (Record of the Day), it is hard not to proclaim that 2011 looks to be a banner year for this young artist.  It’s no secret that this blog holds a special place for fellow South African expats, so we for one will be paying close attention.

Esa/Mervin Granger – Luxarama
Luxarama
Luxarama (Midnight Marauders Mix)
Luxarama (Mervin Granger’s At The Luxarama dub)

Words by Robin Would

Area – Tangled In (Steadfast) review

Steadfast Records has put itself on the map in a relatively short space of time, thanks in part to the prowess and respect earned by label head Brendon Moeller, but also being held aloft by a steady string of releases covering the spectrum from deep house to techno in its many varying forms.

Area (also known as m50, resident Reductio podcaster) has debuted his first full release for the imprint recently, which turns out to be a rather compelling modern-day union between New York and Chicago, two of the more iconic and historic cities in the dance music skyline.  The original of Tangled In staggers along in loose, syncopated fashion, steadily building a claustrophobic collage of tension around a gritty kick drum and swelling bass.  On the Bonus Level mix we find the helmsman summon his Chi-town sensibility, complimenting the abrasive lead with jacking percussion and a bouncier bottom end.  The DJ tool lends a nice touch too, stripping away the brazen rhythms to reveal the lighter layers of the mix, as well as as the quirky vocal.

The Area Elevation Remix of Dirt rounds things off, having first being released in digital format on the Echologist’s Snow Blower EP towards the end of last year.  It is here where Area comes into his own, lifting the dub stab from the original and burying it amongst taut, lumbering textures that wax and wane over pulsating staccato beats.  As happy unions go, this goes down as a fine effort that thoroughly deserves it’s place in the physical realm of music.

For soundclips click here

or stream the original in full below:

To listen to Area’s Reductio Ad Absurdum podcast, click here.

Words by Robin Would

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Pjotr – Sojush (Ethereal) review

Something is up in Moscow. With the likes of SCSI-9, Nina Kraviz and Anton Zap all calling the city home, and nights like Propaganda attracting the who’s who in the world of house, there certainly seems to be no shortage of talent or activity.

It is Zap‘s Ethereal Sound that introduces the elusive Pjotr for it’s latest release.  It is safe to say that the anonymous producer idea has been done to death, but one thing it undeniably provides is a platform where the music speaks for itself, rather than the reputation or history of the (wo)man behind the machine.  Sojush is a warm, winter blanket, literally. Listening to this record makes one want to pull it closer and snuggle.  I can’t really think of a better way to describe it.  All the staples are present (dirty analogue kicks, head-bobbing basslines, twinkly bells, upward-moving pads, etc.) but the strength lies in the execution.  Each track sounds effortless, simply requiring you to listen, and maybe dance if the mood strikes, but if not it’s okay – just listen.  One can almost picture oneself standing in the middle of the dancefloor, eyes closed, just letting each slowly-released element wash over you.  This is deep house, done WELL.

Stream below or by clicking here.

Words by Robin Would

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Lukatron – Facts of Life EP (Quintessentials) review

It is encouraging to see labels like Quintessentials flying the vinyl flag while still catering to the ever-growing digital market, and they continue a strong run of releases with the latest from Luke Solomon as Lukatron. With an already impressive discography dating back to the mid-90’s, he works the ‘vintage house’ sound to great effect under this new moniker. The record is a story of two sides, the A-side bringing the upfront party vibe while the B-side provides the deeper antidote.  Revolution aims straight for the feet with it’s funky piano loop laid over a bumping 4/4 groove.  Marvin Gaye samples run the risk of being overused in house music, but on Just About To Lose My Mind and Bring It they are complimented perfectly by warm pads and druggy beats, not doing much more than providing an identity to the idea.  Facts of Life lands the killer blow as an outstanding chugger regardless of it’s slower tempo and is elevated by skittering percussion and infectious soul claps.  Overall this latest EP affirms Solomon’s position as one of the UK’s most talented and prolific producers.

Words by Robin Would

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Tensnake Remixes ALOE BLACC ‘I Need A Dollar’ review

Aloe Blacc’s ‘I Need A Dollar’ gets the Tensnake treatment as the Hamburg disco don lends his magical touch to the soul-inspired original (below), turning into a sure-fire dancefloor weapon. The teaser up on soundcloud (above) has already attracted nearly 11000 plays in 6 days, clear evidence of his man-of-the-moment status, and he doesn’t disappoint on the latest offering with a solid, chugging groove complimented by Blacc’s soulful vocals. One can’t help but draw comparisons with early New York and Chicago sounds, quite obviously an influence on Mr Niemerski’s work.  With attention recently being paid by The Guardian and the imminent re-release of Coma Cat on Defected about to launch him into the general public consciousness, it’s nice to hear that Tensnake is still having fun and keeping the boogie alive.

Due out towards the end of September.

Review by Robin Would

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Ribn – Light Black EP (Mild Pitch) review

By now most of us will be familiar with Max Heesen (Langenberg) and Manuel Tur under their Ribn guise. A string of releases on Ovum, Millions of Moments and Mule should give you a clue to the creative direction of the duo; exploring the murky, dubby depths of house and techno. The latest release on their own Mild Pitch label shows them on top form once again.

Light Black states it’s intentions early on, with a crunching bass stab leading the way while the atmospherics slowly rise underneath. The pace is increased with the introduction of a ride cymbal that hardly lets go for the subsequent 6 minutes, while delayed stabs join muffled percussion to create an unrelenting rhythm, but still providing subtle nuances to keep the listener interested. Sin and Figs on the flipside is all deep, melodic charm, with it’s breezy synth line and shimmering strings layered over live handclaps, balearic snares and a rolling bassline. The track succeeds in capturing that warm ‘sunny terrace’ feel which is probably where it’ll cause the most dancefloor damage. The EP closes out with Stonedrum, a bumping slow burner with a pitched-down vocal and off-kilter percussion that compliments the mood perfectly. My only complaint is that at a paltry 4 minutes 50 seconds, the tracks ends just as it’s about to start. Buy two copies and have some fun with this one!

It is a worthy addition to the already sterling Mild Pitch catalogue, and Tur in particular shows no sign of slowing down, having already shown his hand in a variety of genres recently. Perhaps it is this diverse approach that has helped make this EP so well rounded, not  having to rely on a limp B-side remix, but rather showing confidence in their own ability as (obviously) skilled producers.

Words by Robin Would

Buy On Juno

Mild Pitch Myspace

Jitterbug – Beaten Trax EP (Uzuri) review

Uzuri Recordings welcomes summer with another storming EP from South London resident Jitterbug. This, his second release on the inimitable deep house label, starts off on a lush dub techno tip with the aptly titled Catacombs. Delayed chords and huge reverbed kick drum push the track forward at a comfortable pace, while what sounds like a reversed drum-loop sample keeps your interest over the top. The hypnotic pace and undulating synths make this track a winner for being exactly that, a slow-burning, loopy trip through deep techno. Dune Buggy ventures into more classic Deep House territory, with some old-school clap/hat combinations that almost seem to trip over each other, while the playful bassline bounces happily underneath without ever fully revealing itself.

Thanx Spencer up’s the tempo on the B-side slightly, with a more 4-to-the-floor approach, all groovy basslines and echoey sci-fi effects. The producers’ deft hand shines through on this track, with what seems like a multitude of synth lines drifting in and out of the frame, all working together to masterful effect. This is probably the most dancefloor-ready of the lot, and is sure to become a weapon in a few bags over the coming months. The EP closes out with a slo-mo disco workout (Ancient Ruins), once again delivered with beautiful restraint and sure to leave the dancefloor begging to be released from it’s irresistible clutches.

This 11th in the series from Uzuri certainly helps reinforce the uncompromising consistency of the label. One gets the feeling that each track released under it’s banner is produced, chosen and finally committed to wax with the utmost care and consideration, and I for one cannot wait to hear what they hit us with next!

Words by Robin Would.

Uzuri Myspace

Jitterbug Myspace