Music Reviews

Show: New reviews | Artists beginning with: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0-9 | Compilations
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Diggin / Diesler

Diesler - Diggin

Tru Thoughts Recordings

Two years ago I received the compilation 'Shapes One' from Tru Thoughts, which featured un-signed artists of unbelievable quality. The one track that stood out for me was 'Cotton Wool', produced by an artist called Diesler and I knew he was going to be an artist to watch out for. Two years down the line and the 20 year old producer from Lancashire finally releases his debut LP on Tru Thoughts. The album kicks off with the now classic for me 'Cotton Wool' and the quality never drops with anthems like 'Burnley Wallet' and 'Heist Theme'. As you'd expect he mixes up the styles which blow any dancefloor apart and the perfect sound track for the summer. The album is released on CD format with all tracks available for vinyl junkies through three separate EP's.

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Simon Harrison, 05/05

Keepie Uppies / Diesler

Diesler - Keepie Uppies

Tru Thoughts Recordings

How times fly when you're having fun: It's amazingly only been one year since Jonathan Radford Diesler dropped his debut "Diggin It Somethin Rotten", which I can assure you has been a big favourite around these parts. I've been hammering the new single "Charmed" and was really looking forward to hearing where Jonathan was going to take us this time. There are some joints that continue from where "Diggin" left us, with those dirty funk bassline instrumentals and horns stabs, which we know and love. The main change is the excellent vocalists that include: Laura Vane, Double Yellow and Joseph Malik. All compliment the productions perfectly, and if you like "Charmed", you're in for a treat because there are more vocals hooks and lyrics that will be running around in your head for weeks.

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Simon Harrison, 04/06

Tie Breakers / Diesler

Diesler - Tie Breakers

Unique Records

Diesler returns with his fourth full length release that’s once again packed with aload of head snappin’ beats and rhythms that we’ve come to expect from the Dj/producer. In addition, he has enlisted some very talented musicians to spice up his work like mainstay Laura Vane, whose raspy voice is always pleasing to the ears. Here she blesses the Latin flavored “Samba Magic” and “Pickpocket”. A standout track that will be on many Dj playlists is “Buzzin”, an instrumental crackling with live horns and smokin’ beats. Sonar Kollektiv member Stee Downes contributes on two tracks, “Southside Morning” is one but the standout tune is unquestionably “Change Trust”. No wonders where Diesler finds the time to produce his own album when he frequently lends remixing skills to an assortment of 12 inch singles year in and year out. Despite the heavy workload, there’s no drop off in quality and “Tie Breakers” is a prime example of that. This is a strong release that will provide immediate satisfaction.

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Reg Dancy, 10/10

Tracks On The Rocks / Diesler

Diesler - Tracks On The Rocks

Freestyle Records

After treating fans with quality remixes over the years, Diesler blesses us with his compilation disc “Tracks on the rocks”. Diesler has assembled an impressive selection of tracks he has either remixed or performed on. In addition, he has enlisted an array of artists with their own unique talents to round out this engaging set. Some of the highlights include “Aiff”, a funk filled smoking track by Akwaaba that features the immensely talented Laura Vane. Laura also appears on “Hey Fella”, a tune performed by The New Mastersounds that receives the Diesler remix treatment with satisfying results. Another without question is “A Million Stories” by The Cuban Brothers, a deep funk groover. “Escape” by Unity is given a rare groove makeover that will generate a lot of buzz on the dance floor. There’s a wealth of gems here that will make “Tracks on the rocks” a mainstay in my cd rotation for quite some time. I have no doubt you’ll feel the same way. Highly recommended.

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Reg Dancy, 03/09

Prismic Tops / Dimlite

Dimlite - Prismic Tops

Now Again Records

Leftfield electronic hip-hop from Dimlite, who has been crafting warp flavored quirky beats since appearing on the Sonar Kollektiv label in 2003. Highlights include “On The Same Picture” featuring the talented Elan Tamara on vocals. “Sun Sized Twinkles” is filled with twisted electronic beats and features Dimlite on the vocorder as well. The track “Elbow Flood” starts out with dreamy cosmic soundscapes and then elevates into a mid-tempo bounce flavored beat that would make fans of Flying Lotus proud. I was a little disappointed that there only eight tracks on this lp but I prefer a short solid album as opposed to one bombarded with filler. That said, “Prismic Tops” is a nice antidote when you need a break from the traditional hip-hop and you like your beats distorted just a bit. 

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Reg Dancy, 10/10

This Is Embracing / Dimlite

Dimlite - This Is Embracing

Sonar Kollektiv

One of the best kept secrets in the Sonar Kollektiv catalogue is Dimitri Grimm aka Dimlite. "This Is Embracing" is his third album. He continues to impress with every single production and this album is brilliant. The beats are heavy but with the twisted sounds we've come to expect. Most of the album is made up of instrumentals with a few vocalists thrown in for good measure. They include Gaby Hernandez (known from Build An Ark and The Life Force Trio) who beautifully with Grimm. Buddy Leezle from the band 215/TFK is a welcome new vocalist and one name I shall be on the look out for: I'm sure he'll be on myspace. I hope Dimlite now gets some remixes out there because his previous work has been something special.

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Simon Harrison, 11/06

What goes around / Diplomats of Solid Sound

Diplomats of Solid Sound - What goes around

Record Kicks

Hailing from Iowa City, Iowa, The Diplomats of Solid Sound return with the follow up to the 2008 release “Diplomats of Solid Sound featuring The Diplomats”. “What Goes Around” features eleven tracks of old school soul filled with hip twisting grooves and a funky horn section. Among the highlights are “Promise Of A Brand New Day”, a rock ‘n roll inspired tune armed with vocals by the Diplomettes.  “Gimme One More Chance” lays down a nice groove that is augmented by a lush string section. “Bailout” is a funky instrumental that features some impressive work by Nate Basinger on the Hammond B3 Organ. With the album remixed by Adam Gibbons of Lack Of Afro, you sound quality is top notch. Overall this is a solid (no pun intended) release by Iowa based band that will delight those enamored with the vintage soul sound.

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Reg Dancy, 01/11

Trojan Document / DJ Andy Smith Presents

DJ Andy Smith Presents - Trojan Document

Trojan Records

Some labels get slated for churning out compilation after compilation of their back catalogue, putting new names to the compilations and different spins on the themes. With the results still ending in the same old tunes just shuffled into a different order. Trojan, however, manage to avoid this process. Perhaps it's because the Trojan archive is so extensive it's almost impossible to churns out the same old songs. For this next chapter in Trojan's 'mixtape' venture they have drafted in Portishead DJ, Andy Smith. This experienced DJ and self confessed vinyl addict has compiled his own 'Document' series over the last few years which mainly focused on the sounds of soul, funk and hip hop. This 'Trojan Document' glides through some of Trojan's best, rarest and most popular releases. It's rocksteady, it's reggae, it's dancehall, it's very good. There are tracks from The Upsetters, Hopetown Lewis, john Holt plus loads of other top notch reggae producers. Reggae heads will have heard the tunes and riddums before no doubt, but Andy Smith glides them all together to suit the summer vibe down to a tee. Bless up!

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Jax, 07/06

Holidays in the Shade / DJ Bootsie

DJ Bootsie - Holidays in the Shade

BBE Records

On his second full length release, DJ Bootsie taps into his Hungarian roots and delivers an impressive album steeped with cinematic soundscapes with classical and folk influences. One listen and it’s clear that Bootsie is adept at creating beats for hip-hop heads as well as composing potential film scores. Among the standouts is the haunting “Lieutenant Chrome”. “Ballad of the Space Ship Rigger Pt.1”, complete with searing electric guitar riffs is another banger. “Neil And Vincent” is a peaceful atmospheric down-tempo gem.  As impressive as Bootsie’s debut “The Silent Partner” was, this new release has a bolder and more refined sound. This should be the record that propels Bootsie to the recognition his talents deserve.

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Reg Dancy, 01/10

City to City 02 / DJ Deep presents

DJ Deep presents - City to City 02

BBE Records

Since the beginning of house music there has always been compilations that try to capture the early days and as time goes by some tracks do sound dated, but maybe it's a "you had to be there" kind of attitude that makes sense. DJ Deep's series started in early 2005 with some downright house classics and I'm glad to say the quality continues with Vol.2. Some of the big producers are on here but thankfully nothing too obvious: these include Mr Fingers, Jovonn, the underrated Romanthony, Mike Dunn, Pleasure Control and Risque 3. If some of these don't mean much to you, you should definitely give this a listen. Vinyl junkies will be pleased that 3x vinyl package is in the shops now.

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Simon Harrison, 06/06

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