Amon Tobin - The Foley RoomNinja Tune
Ninja Tune have been very busy of late but it's one label over the years that constantly stick to what they are good at and that's releasing quality music. OK not everything maybe your thing but if you give your attention, everything is nothing short of excellent. Amon Tobin is one such artist who may not sell albums by the truckload but he does make good quality and well produced music. Not many labels would have the balls to release this album but that's one of the things Ninja does well. I've been struggling to put pen to paper and describe "The Foley Room" but it's somewhere between Dimlite, Matthew Herbert and The Cinematic Orchestra. If the thought of that has you slavering at the mouth, you will thoroughly enjoy this ace soundtrack. There may be sections where you scratch your head but keep going because it'll all make sense once you reach the final track.
Simon Harrison, 02/07
Amp Fiddler - Afro StrutGenuine Records
After much anticipation Amp Fiddler's sophomore set is finally with us. 'Right Where You Are', 'Faith' and 'Dope' from the limited edition 10"s are all included on the vinyl but unfortunately the latter is omitted from the CD version. On first listen it's these tracks that standout but by the second play it becomes apparent there are more gems contained within. 'Ridin'', an uplifting Philly disco influenced track is certainly one of the highlights for me along with the old school stepper 'Heaven' featuring Stephanie McKay and 'Hustle' a stunning sensual Marvin-esque piece with strings provided by Larry Gold.
Andy Allen, 09/06
Amp Fiddler - Motor City BootyMidnight Riot
Detroit native and veteran funkmaster Amp Fiddler has been a pioneer in the Motor City for over twenty years. The keyboardist/producer's resume includes a ten year stint in George Clinton's band as well as working with everyone from Moodyman to Maxwell. Released on Yam Who?'s Midnight Riot label, "Motor City Booty" is a 11 track dance floor burner that showcases his distinctive sound of formulaic funk and soul. Among the highlights are "Superficial" filled with soulful dance grooves peppered with funky keys and percussion. "Soul Fly Pt. 1" is vintage 60s soul while Pt. 2 is a pulsating party house groove. Both versions as well as other tracks here feature the sultry vocal trio Dames Brown as well as contributions from Nico Redd and Alena. Fiddler's myriad of infectious grooves are synonymous with the Detroit sound and ensures you'll have a funky good time throughout this enjoyable disc.
Reg Dancy, 11/16
Amycanbe - Being A Grown Up Sure Is ComplicatedDancing Turtle Records
Great debut album from this group of Francesca Amati (vocals) Mattia Mercuriali (guitar) Marco Trinchillo (acoustic guitar/drums) and Paolo Gradari (trumpet/guitar/keys) from Ravenna in north eastern Italy. The pointers/influences are Bjork, Aphex Twin and Belle & Sebastien with folk at the core but this is music that evolves beautifully in its own chilled world.
Graham Radley, 09/07
Ananda Project - Fire FlowerNite Grooves
Chris Brann's Ananda Project follow up their 'Fire Flower' EP from a few months back with a full length album packed full of deep house flavours. Included from the EP are the blissful 'Into The Sunrise' which is underpinned by subtle Latin rhythms and features Terrance Downs on vocals and the outstanding 'Remember When [The Wind Destroyed Our Village]', an intense atmospheric instrumental with a popping bass line, dirty keys and haunting wind effects. 'Time And Space' again fronted by Terrance Downs is a fine example of uplifting soulfulness but also check the Latin jazz dancer 'Free Me' and 'Where The Music Takes You', a superb slice of synth laden disco-boogie. Classic house music!
Andy Allen, 09/07
Ancient Astronauts - We Are To AnswerESL Music
Ancient Astronauts are Kabanjak and Dogu from Cologne, they are heavily influenced by funky hip-hop from the nineties but they add in Afro, reggae and dope beats mixed into a spacebeats shake up. There really is a big mixture going on here with favourites including Tippa Irie toasting on ‘All Of The Things You Do’ and The Pharcyde breezing through ‘Classic’. Great stuff.
Graham Radley, 08/09
Andre Zimma - The Calm In The TurbulenceSwedish Brandy
Daniel Paul and Hans Schaaf (DJ Honesty) are the group known as Andre Zimma. You may be more familiar with them as the duo known as Slope. The two DJs have been producing an eclectic array of house, broken beat and hip hop tracks for a number of years and have compiled a strong collection of 12 inches and lps on the Sonar Kollektiv label. Their latest project on Swedish Brandy is an assortment of down-tempo jazz flavored soul grooves and tasty house tracks enhanced by an impressive lineup of musicians. One of the notable contributors is the duo Amraah8, they’re featured on 2 tracks here plus an alternate take for each. “Aqua” is a gorgeous down-tempo electronic soul gem that features singer Clover, whose vocals blessed the unforgettable Deyampert’s “Heard Him First”. “Colors” is an ethereal slow grinding groove highlighted by the lust filled poetry of Channeng. I’m partial to the Comfort Fit remix but the original is enjoyable as well. There are many more highlights such as “Wicked Games”, featuring the whispery voice and the ambient electronic sounds of Delhia De France. In addition, there several solid soulful house tracks here to savor as well. “Mermaids Bay” is an irresistible house track that will have you swept away by the violin soloing and the lush strings. “M.U.S.I.C.” is another thumpin track seasoned with a samba beat and sweet tasting horns to match. It’s hard to pack seventeen songs into a disc that while maintaining a level of excellence but that’s exactly what we have here. Wow, this is one strong record with grooves for every mood and is certain to provide definite satisfaction.
Reg Dancy, 05/11
Andrew Wasylyk - The ParalianAthens Of The North
Andrew Mitchell aka Andrew Wasylyk is a multi-instrumentalist. "The Paralian" is a blend of ambient jazz and british folk soundscapes. While in Arbroath Scotland for an extended residency Wasylyk came in touch with a 19th century Erard Grecian harp. Along with a grand piano on hand he wrote a number of tunes to reflect the tranquility of the harbor town. "Greendrive #2" is a dreamy tune that evokes images of the east coast of Scotland. "Welter In The Haar" is a highlight that combines blissful Fender Rhodes and strings. "Adrift Below A Constellation" features soft brass rhythms as well as Wasylyk's warm vocals. Arbroath sounds like the place to escape from all the noise and this is the ideal soundtrack to bring along with you.
Reg Dancy, 04/19
Andy Compton - Compton's SoulPeng
Andy Compton of The Rurals has been blessing us with quality house music for many years but on “Compton’s Soul” he has flipped the script and delivers a collection of warm and sublime soul music in the vein of vintage Roy Ayers and early EWF. Andy features an array of talented vocalists who fill his compositions with lovely harmonies layered over soulful grooves. Compton sets the mood right from the start with the laidback “And it Rains”. With vocals courtesy of Divinti, this track captures the spirit of the entire disc with melodic rhythm guitar licks. Vocalist Jaidene Veda collaborates on the majority of tunes here and her sultry voice sparkles on the mellow funk number “Record By Record” as well as the smoky jazz infused “Too Good to Be True”. This is a very strong record by Andy Compton and company that provides definite satisfaction. When you need an escape from hours of electronic music this will be the perfect antidote.
Reg Dancy, 02/12
Andy Compton - Sowetan OnestepsPeng
The latest from Bristol based house producer Andy Compton is an ode to South Africa and the bond he has built over the past five years. In recent years South Africa has emerged as one of the most beloved scenes for house music and their dance parties have been known to attract thousands. It was there in 2014 that Compton met Soweto percussionist Bonging and Guitarist Shamrock. The trio proceeded to collaborate on several compositions and the result is "Sowetan Onesteps". The eleven track disc features Compton's signature lush production and sultry vocals layered over deep house grooves, Shamrock's guitar riffs and vocal scats adds new elements to tracks like "A Fathers Love" and "Chillin In The Ghetto". Bonging's conga playing evokes the spirit of South Africa and is felt throughout the disc. Vocal highlights include "Time" featuring Kenyan resident and vocalist Asali and "I Belong" features Celestine. This is another triumph for Compton. After thirty albums is still going strong and delivering tasty music.
Reg Dancy, 04/16