Things are starting slow down a little on the release front as everyone heads off round the world to cash in on the summer festival scene and Ibiza schedule. Still, that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of gold if you dig deep enough, as well as the usual tripe that simply must be called out.
Smith & Mudd - Janet 50 on Claremont
Smith & Mudd always strike gold. The go-slow Balearic masters have an ability to cook up music so utterly blissed out and horizontal that no matter where you are, you’re immediately transported to a beach, yacht or pool side somewhere in the sun. In their first release for a while they do that once more with drawn out grooves, mellifluous guitars and glowing keys that immediately calm your mind. The I:Cube remix is even more new age with pan pipes and strong sunset vibes sinking you further into a slow motion disco coma.
Marvin Gaye - Sexual Healing: The Remixes (Record Store Day 2018) on Legacy Recordings
What the actual hell is this? Marvin Gaye’s family get so mad with Robin Thicke for maybe approximating one of the Motown godfather’s tunes they launch a class action law suit against him, but then a short time later they presumably sanction these genuine crimes against music? Three producers you’ve probably never heard of all slaughter a still classic tune with coy pop vibes, hi-nrg euro-dance drums and screw face EDM bass stabs. As if the now basically unnecessary Record Store Day didn’t already have enough to answer for, this release has to be the final straw.
Rick Wade - Conscience EP on Unknown Season Japan
OK, OK, last week we were mildly beefing on Rick Wade for prising quantity over quality, but this week all is forgiven. The Detroit house don has served up two perfectly dreamy, soft edged cuts of delicious deepness For Japan’s Unknown Season. The first is built on a shuffling bed of deft and jazzy drums with teary eyed chords and warm bass globules, and the second is an exemplary mid tempo filter house jam with gorgeous string samples and colourful Rhodes keys. Simple but devastatingly effective.
Mass Appeal - Waiting For Tonight on Fantasy Love
This one—one of only two tunes ever released from Mass Appeal—often goes for upwards of £350 on Discogs and currently isn’t even available. That in itself doesn’t make it good, but the clipped boogie-funk drums and knotty bassline sure do. The vocals from Homer Hammonds Jr and Terry Dukes bring a breezy feeling of romance to the party and it’s hard to imagine dropping this one and it not absolutely igniting the ‘floor.
Undercatt - Picture on Diynamic
Who remembers when Diynamic used to be good? Around eight years ago, it was a new and exciting label that brought a so called ‘fairground house’ sound to the table, one characterised by proper melody, rhythmic intricacies and a sense of real playfulness. Nowadays it seems to deal only in a modern reiteration of prog that isn’t as good: staid chord progressions, plastic feelings and out-of-the-box drum sounds that remain flat as a fart. For proof, check this from Undercatt, one of the label’s current crop of regulars.
Marquis Hawkes - Wanna on Aus Music
Marquis Hawkes gets a lot of shit, mainly from Americans. They think his artist alias was devised to make him sound black (though Europeans know Marquis is actually a nobleman of hereditary rank in various peerages, and it was actually chosen as a slight variation on his real name of Mark Hawkins) and they hate on him for calling his last album Social Housing (even though he lives in the German equivalent in Berlin), and for naming a previous EP Cabrini-Green after a troubled project of Chicago (which was rather silly). All that aside, he makes bloody good, US informed house music with killer vocal samples, bristling drums and sweat-including grooves. This latest brace for Aus might just be his best yet.
Patrick Berg - Discovery on Terminal M
Another week, another weak Terminal M release. Techno should be powerful, hypnotic, visceral, raw… but this EP never comes close. The incessantly dry hi hats, brittle chords, white noise releases and linear drums never incite anything close to shock or awe, and each of the three tracks follow predictable roller coaster routes that leaving you hanging over the side desperate to get off.
Check out our recent podcast and interview with Rick Wade, click here.
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