Fail we may, sail we must. Andrew Weatherall’s mantra seems ever more fitting in these challenging times, but it’s one house music creatives have taken up with gusto over this last year, as the consistently high quality of new releases shows no sign of abating. Here’s to all these beauties being heard in their natural habitat soon.
** Single of the Month **
Jovonn - Random / Deetron - Dr Melonball (Nu Groove)
Many a head’s number one label, Nu Groove is back with the first in a series of new releases. You can hear the nod to Nu Groove in all four tracks but it's New Yorker Jovonn's 'Random' (already a firm Faith favourite, full of funk and that super tight Jovonn production) and Swiss star Deetron's V-NRG that really have an (updated) essence of Nu Groove and late 80s, early 90s NYC. Although it's Deetron's 'Dr Melonball' that's really got the ear today with it's incessant piano crying out for a dancefloor. Absolutely essential four tracker, this heavy first release does the heritage justice. More in this vein please. Order 12" Vinyl on the D-Store/Bandcamp: https://nu-groove.lnk.to/Jovonn
Cave Dwellers - Echoes Of Time EP (Ugly Music)
While we're on Nu Groove, this EP sounds as though it could have been made by the Burrells in Apt 1B in NYC back in ‘89. Four tracks full of that deep, emotive Nu Groove sound with a hint of Idjut Boys and a touch of Norway. The Cave Dwellers are the prolific Dan Tyler of The Idjut Boys alongside Mark Gilbert, who made this in their house cave deep in the Norwegian forest. All four tracks are worthy of your ears but my pick is ‘Seven O Seven’, dubhousedisco heaven, perfect to start your night at 7pm or finish as the sun comes up at 7am.
Joey Anderson - Without Reasons (Inimeg)
I clocked Joey Anderson dancing in a crowd years back, and although I was already a fan of his music, it suddenly made even more sense. His moves had a gentle, almost martial-arts like flow and were totally mesmerising. That otherworldly vibe is reflected in his music perfectly. ‘Without Reasons’ is the latest of a run of EPs he’s been putting out on his Inimeg label during lockdown and the title track is the New Jersey producer at his floaty, contemplative best. As the EP progresses, he heads into the darker, fever dream territory he does so well, but this EP is about the lead cut. Buy on Bandcamp.
IWDG – In A Lonely Place (Rotters Golf Club)
Ian Weatherall and Duncan Gray’s tribute to the much-missed Andrew Weatherall (and his late father, Bob) is a cover of New Order’s ‘In A Lonely Place’ and, complete with remixes from long term Weatherall collaborators Keith Tenniswood, David Holmes and Sean Johnston’s Hardway Bros, it’s a fitting memorial to the great man a year on from his untimely death. Profits are to be split between Andrew’s partner Lizzie and the Thrombosis UK charity, so this release deserves your attention for a multitude of reasons. Buy on Boomkat.
Scott Grooves - Machinik 8-17
Bandcamp continues to open up rare and hard to find releases to the masses, and this collection of tracks from Scott Grooves is a treasure trove from an artist who never seems to get the credit he’s due. As you’d guess from the title, this is Grooves in machine mode with drum machines and synths finding favour over his more organic sound palette, but whether you’re listening to broken down, dusty digital deepness or bright, jacking 707 workouts, the quality never dips. A masterclass in making house music with soul. Buy on Bandcamp.
Floorplan - Right There / Holy Ghost (Classic)
Father and daughter team of Robert and Lyric Hood debut on Classic but retain the Floorplan blueprint of uptempo, uplifting house tinged with gospel and techno. Both tracks aimed firmly at hopefully not too distant dancefloors. First up, 'Right There' leans slightly on Hood's techno past but still well in the house camp, female vocal sample, tough beats and incessant keys demands club action. 'Holy Ghost' doesn't let up on the energy one bit, piano loops and breakdowns, more sampled vocals, ass shaking bassline, not subtle but just works so well. Big music for big rooms. Download, stream or buy 12" Vinyl HERE.
The Spaces Between - Ghosts EP (F*CLR)
The Spaces Between trio formed out of a creative session in the summer of 2020, comprised of Terry Farley, Wade Teo and Ian Snowball. The Ghosts EP is all about the jazz greats who’ve gone to glory leaving their solid gold musical legacies. Chicago house luminary Harry Dennis was invited to lay down his sparse and haunting vocal over a bed of live instruments and electronica. Newly reformed Black Science Orchestra has a new addition in Darren Morris, but BSO began life in 1992 with Ashley Beedle and Rob Mello when they exploded onto the global dance scene via the iconic label Junior Boys Own. This priceless collaborative project has meant a perfect opportunity for Beedle & Farley to work together again, reinforcing the Junior Boy’s Own heritage. The Ghosts EP spans deep, spacy electronic through psychedelic sleazy funk, with the BSO conductors in full effect delivering some serious dancefloor heat.
Jimpster – Soul Spectral EP (Freerange)
This year sees London Label Freerange Records hit 25 years of releasing top quality tackle. Must be something in the water down there in Essex. On his latest offering the Soul Spectral EP, Jamie Odell brings the deepness, but in an incredibly understated way. On the title track crackling Rhodes chords hang suspended in the air like morning mist on Hackney Marshes, while Greg Paulus’ lilting trumpet spins you out into the stratosphere. Live percussion by Frenchman Laroye adds depth, creating the kind of loose joint that Jimpster loves to make. ‘Sanguine’ tugs at the heartstrings while ‘Thinking of You’ takes the tempo up for the dance. How do they keep up this output? Pre-order on Juno.
Alan Dixon – Night Time Melodies (Love Attack)
Well firstly before we start, lets get this straight, “I adore reprise mixes” , Frankie Knuckles for me was the Don of 'The Reprise’ and trust me he would be all over this beauty . Whoever is the piano player on this stunning record needs a credit of his / her own. Once again its a lights up, last record, sweaty clubbers tune . The strings are Drama personified , the bass line is gorgeous and the piano really is a good as it gets in these days . There's an Alan Dixon House version and a lovely Kiki Navarro club mix that are both crackers and will get played in all the right places / radio shows etc but its the 'piano reprise' that’s a work of art in itself and reminds me of why i love and miss House music in its natural setting. Pre-order on Juno.
Hazy James - Need Somebody (Our Starry Universe)
Beautiful House music that evokes memories of end of nighters during Acid House's golden era - sun rising over the hay bails turnout . In fact its got a bit of the Beloved about it which can only ever be a very good thing. Haunting vocals , some cracking dub effects that sit perfect with the slo mo beats. The Hardway Bros’ more peak time mixes have an obvious Sueno Latino european vibe that once again can never ever be anything but Balearically sound. Pre-order on Juno.
Tunnel Vision – Acid Neverland (Atomination)
For some reason all the music I’m currently digging is reminding me of raves in fields or sweat- soaked scuzzy warehouse parties . This beauty has that 80s vibe , throbbing Acid bassline, chanted / spoken lyrics in a very European way, some fantastic arpeggio and sweeping strings / synths - think early 80s Danceteria NYC or Rusty Egan at the Camden Palace. The European influence in electronic music very much apparent and cool at this moment . ‘King Cobra’ is another winner on the EP, much more straight up techy Berlin style and great in the mix, but without the super personality of ‘Acid Neverland'.
Reviewed by Terry Farley, Sharon Andrews, Dean Mushin, Stuart Patterson
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