Both Jon Convex and dBridge have deep roots in the Drum & Bass scene - as part of Instra:mental and Bad Company UK respectively - and have a long relationship of working alongside each other on their respective labels, Exit Recordings and NonPlus. With all that history between them, it seems about time they worked together again.
With Convex now solidly out on his own - as Instra:mental are on a bit of a hiatus and NonPlus is now solely run by Boddika - he has had a lot more time to focus on his own label and music. His second outing on Martyn's 3024 label is another great release, featuring two vocal contributions from dBridge that do not disappoint. However it is 'Zero' that really catches the attention here, a quality slice of forward thinking Techno that will light up any dancefloor.
The Lied To Be Loved EP will drop via 3024 on the 23rd of May. Until then it is definitely worth investigating the Convex Industries podcast series, the newest 12" from the label by dBridge and keep your eyes peeled for the return of the Club Autonomic podcast series.
Even with the power of Google, you'll be lucky to find out much about October apart from a steady stream of releases dating all the way back to 2003. Following the Muscle Memory release on his own Caravan Recordings imprint in 2010 and the NY Fizzzzz collaboration with Appleblim, we've made sure to keep an eye on this chap.
His most recent work consists of two more collaborations with friend Borai, comprising the second release Never Learnt label. "Come what may, I'm holding on" seems to be the cry of the vocal sample in 'Level Abstain'. The track rolls out for a full eight minutes, aided by steady relationship between the kick and sub as well as pads that occasionally fall in and out of tune and time - blissed out house music for very dark dancefloors.
Level Abstain - October & Borai [Never Learnt]
Complimenting the A-side nicely is 'Vital Ital Rub'. More laidback and less insistent, but with a bassline to hold on to throughout, this is the kind of tune that can set the tone for a whole night. It comes as no surprise that these tracks have already gained support from firm HH favourites, Midland and Gerd.
Vital Ital Rub - October & Borai [Never Learnt]
As you might expect, this is a vinyl only affair - grab the 12" here if you want to hear the tracks in their full glory.
It's been a long time coming but Leon Vyenhall's Mauve EP is finally out this Monday. It's his debut release and will be made available on wax and on digital courtesy of Well Rounded Records. The EP is an intelligent and mature first effort, suggesting that although Vynehall doesn't have a large back catalogue he's certainly got a lot more in his locker. The EP is held together by a common thread but each track takes on it's own individual flavour providing a nice progression as you make your way through it.
Dreamy synths and soulful vocals massage the four four beat on 'Mauve', sure to get heads nodding, shoulders swaying and feet shuffling on the dance floor. 'Homage' is on a deeper tip. After taking a moment to reflect on the state of modern popular music the track eases into a pitched down and bass heavy cut sprinkled with dusty high hats. 'Picture Frame' rounds off the EP nicely by transporting you to a secluded beach somewhere in the Adriatic, a hammock swinger, cocktail drinker of a track. We're hoping to hear a lot more from this man in the future.
Mauve EP - Leon Vyenhall [Well Rounded Housing Project]
It has only been a month since we reviewed Midland's Placement EP and the guys at Aus Music already have the remix release ready to roll. As if we didn't already enjoy the original tracks by one of our favourite producers, Aus has enlisted Lone and Motor City Drum Ensemble to give two tracks the full remix treatment. It should come as no surprise that with two fantastic producers on board, the package does not disappoint.
The two track release will be available digitally and on wax from all good music retailers on the 30th of April, snag yourself a copy.
So far this year Huxley has continued to build on the strong foundations that he laid down in 2011. With two outstanding releases in as many months, the Saints & Sonnets co-founder demonstrates that he is both a prolific and consistent producer. Out Of The Box is his first EP on Leeds based label 2020 Vision.
All four tracks on the release meet the high standard that Huxley has set for himself but the A-side, 'Box Clever', is arguably the cream of the crop. A superb piano riff and poetic spoken female vocal sets this track apart from the pack, deep house at its best.
Out Of The Box EP - Huxley [2020 Vision]
The EP is available on wax now but you'll have to wait until the 5th May if you want to pick it up on digital. 'Feel What You Want' will only be making an appearance on the digital release.
With a new album forthcoming from the legendary Zed Bias later this year, including some fantastic collaborations, it is nice to get a few classic slices while we wait. Both these tracks were given away for social media milestones via his Twitter over the last month or so and we thought we would gather them together in case you missed them. Nothing like starting a weekend off like this.
Zed Bias - Subway Baby
Destiny's Child - Bills, Bills, Bills (Phuturistix Remix)
Stalwort of detroit techno Kenny Dixon Jr (AKA Moodymann) has made his latest LP, 'Picture This', available for free download. The enigmatic, eccentric and often controversial producer serves up 8 exquisite house/techno tracks all completely saturated with funk, soul and jazz. It is clear to see from this most recent offering how Moodyman has been able to transcend into such an iconic figure over the past two decades.
Expertly crafted vocal samples intertwined with irresistible guitar riffs and an insatiable rhythm make 'Got 2 Make It' a real highlight from the collection. 'Pray 4 Love' is a slow and sensual track perfect for laid back listening that unexpectedly leaps in to a disco-ready floor filler, demonstrating Dixon Jr's disregard for convention. The entire LP is a credit to Moodymann's originality and deserves to be listened to from start to finish. It's very rare to come across music of this calibre that won't cost a penny to pick up.
Got 2 Make It - Moodymann
Pray 4 Love - Moodymann
Download the full zip here.
When the first release from new label Love Fever popped onto our radar, we were just blown away. Born out of the East London underground parties that are well known for spreading disco-infused house vibes across the dancefloor, their debut release certainly follows that trend.
Bicep provides the first track, described as a "stripped back sleazy homage to the 90's Jersey house vibes we love so much!" and they certainly don't disappoint with a premium slice of house music. This is backed with a cheeky uncredited disco edit titled 'A Man's Best Friend'.
$tripper - Bicep [forthcoming Love Fever]
This vinyl-only release is available from the 16th of April via Juno, here - do not sleep on this one.
There has been both a proliferation of smaller start-up labels, especially in America, that are helping to fuel the revival of the 80's boogie sound and elements of classic house. Headquartered in the nation's capital, Future Times is a prime example; with a small group of internal artists releasing music under a variety of aliases (Beautiful Swimmers, Protect-U, Maximillion Dunbar, Rhythm Based Lovers) and gaining attention from across the disco-house sphere. Their music is a grab bag of disparate influences, and it can be easily heard in the wide-ranging Vibe 2 compilation, released in September 2011.
All 4 sides of the album offer completely different tracks each time, with little flow if listened to in order. Starting off with a scattered uneasy cut-up house jam from L.I.E.S. and Maximiilion Dunbar, we are assaulted with Tom Noble's 'Malaco', a slice of blown out analogue fuzz that sounds as if it were beamed from some Brooklyn basement in 1987. Alexis Le-Tan gives us some serious workout funk with 'Marathon Man', almost steel in its harsh drum grooves and military chant. On the other vinyl, Juju and Jordash's 'Musketache' is a lost brother of I:Cube's 'Falling'; both leisurely moving through a heavy synth space with 707's providing a background of low-slung beats. The always reliable Hunee gives us a good solid piece that is reminiscent of the previous 'Marathon Man' in its 909 and heavy breathing, but this track is more seductive in its approach.
Most of the pieces are moderate in tempo, but there are a few slower cuts on the compilation as well; Confused House delivers a DJ-tool esque drum machine jam, Steve Summers makes a contemplative synth piece more suited for home listening, and Swimmers & Gang gives us another 80's boogie edit to add to the slew of them (although it's still pretty fine). The star piece, however, goes to 'Volatile Memory', an ethereal work by Steve Moore with a drum loop hidden under layers of almost classical synth and distant choral accompaniment, with a lone high synth line rising up out of the ether in the latter half.
Overall, Vibe 2 is an excellent compilation from one of the better new American labels, and is a must-have for anyone who likes variation in their house/disco/whatever.
Vibe 2 is available to purchase on vinyl via Discogs or digitally at Juno Download.
Words by Jason Rule
Newcomer Squarehead is yet another top quality young producer to emerge from the Sheffield area. With his debut EP out at the beginning of last month on Bad Taste really turning some heads, the future is looking bright. To top last month off this was followed up by a great remix for Pusherman on the first release on the Dench label.
Keep It Moving EP Preview - Squarehead [Bad Taste Records]
Next week sees a split EP with Falcon Lake via Glyph Records and that is to be followed up by a limited white vinyl release with Checan is forthcoming later this year. If you want to get an up close and personal with Squarehead, get out to Square One this Friday night at Wire and check him out alongside the Vic53 crew.
Earlier today we received an email nudging us towards a free album. There was no mention of the reason but after being attracted by the music we discovered this LP is in aid of Taal Mala, a Canadian producer we featured back in 2009. He was in a serious traffic accident at the start of March which has left him in intensive care.
Elegant Replica - Taal Mala [Aufect]
Sanctums are Dan Solo & Typist, both fellow Canadians making interesting Electronica. Have a listen below to get a proper idea. If you're feeling generous, all proceeds of any donations will go to the Help Keenan Fund which has been set up by his good friend to assist him on his recovery.
DONATE HERE or HERE
03. Year One
05. Ghost Forest
09. Still Flame
10. Program Black
11. To Whom It May Concern
Keep up-to-date with Sanctums on Soundcloud.
Jacob Hodge and Matt Lambert started making music together as Outboxx after discovering a shared love for house music whilst studying in Bristol. After successfully integrating into the well established music scene in their adopted city the pair had a busy 2011, releasing EP's on Immersed Records, Well Rounded Records and Idle Hands. Their first outing in 2012, 'Power Cruising' b/w 'Through The Night', is the second release from the new vinyl only BRSTL label which is dedicated to house and techno music emanating from Bristol. 'Power Cruising' is a chilled, down tempo affair with hints of jazz coming through a steady house rhythm. 'Through The Night' is the stand out track on the EP combining soulful and upbeat house vibes with soothing vocals from Naomi Jeremy, making the perfect summer record.
BRSTL 002 is currently available exclusively from Idle Hands but will be available from other record stores from the 10th April.