Minus 8 - Slow MotionCompost Records
Robert Jan Mayer, the architect behind Minus 8 is well established as a producer of quality drum n bass and down-tempo music. On his latest release, “Slow Motion” he delivers his usual assortment of gorgeous lounge flavored down-tempo grooves but he has also crafted some delicious dance tracks as well. Let’s start with “Letting Go”, where Virag’s blissful vocals are layered with an acoustic guitar strumming that feels like a cool breeze on an autumn afternoon. “Soverato” is a warm and seductive instrumental that is augmented by the sultry saxophone playing. “Enigma of a summer afternoon” is a mellow synthesized mid-tempo groover. Robert has exercised his ability to stretch out into different genres on previous releases with uneven results. Here he does a nice job infusing blissful dance tunes like “Wonderland”, which features Mirian S. “Make your Day” is an 80’s style boogie tune that is delightful and fun. “Hustler” sounds a little out of place here and the vocals are uninspiring but that is the only hiccup here on this otherwise enjoyable record. Overall “Slow Motion” will satisfy long time fans and will make new listeners feel right at home.
Reg Dancy, 12/09
Miquel Migs - Outside The SkylineOm
On his third studio album, DJ/producer Miguel Migs not only delivers his customary deep dishes of house music but also blends elements of lounge and reggae with sterling results. Migs superb production is highlighted with contributions from Meshell Ndegeocello, Capleton and Evelyn “Champagne” King just to name a few. Meshell sets the mood with the chilled out hip shaking “Tonight” with her husky vocals over a thumping bass groove. This is followed up with the soulful disco groove of “Everybody”, aided by dance diva Evelyn “Champagne” King. “They don’t know” is a reggae inspired drum n bass groover that features pioneer Freddie McGregor. “Changin” and “Getaway” are samplings of the infectious soulful house grooves we’ve come to expect, the former is a irresistible foot stomper with vocals courtesy of Sonny J Mason. This is one of the best full length DJ recordings you’ll find this year. Few will top this combination of soulful dance grooves and great vocalists and arrange a record as strong as this one.
Reg Dancy, 11/11
Mixed by the Unabombers - The Electric Chair Presents<br>Electric Soul Summer SessionsPIAS/Electric Chair
Now when it gets to the third in a series, some compilations get very tired - you know what to expect and they usually miss the boat altogether from the time its mixed to the eventual release date. But not here, the Unabombers manage to hit the spot with every track. From the slow funked up sound of the highly rated Platinum Pied Pipers, the blissful vocals of S.I.A. right through to the awesome isolee remix of Cardiology by Recloose. Regulars at Electric chair in Manchester will no doubt snap this up, but i'd also recommend it to anyone with a bit of soul - its as simple as that.
MKL Presents - Suits & DashikisR2 Records
Most of you should know MKL from his 3 Generations Walking guise that surfaced on Joe Claussell's Spiritual Life a few years ago, and he certainly caused a stir with DJs around the world. Lion1music was then launched and continued pushing the soulful deep house vibes. R2 Records have wisely put together a fine selection of sought after tracks and remixes from MKL's back catalogue on to cd. There were quite a few I missed, so this has been handy for me. Highlights include the 3 Generations Walking remix of Fat Freddy's Drop "Hope"and Francois Kevorkian's dub of "Midnight Bustling", and the other nine tracks are wonderfully produced house flavours.
Simon Harrison, 08/06
Mocky - Navy Brown BluesFine Records
Mocky's third solo recording sees him emerge with a sophisticated brand of Synth-Pop far superior to most. With an ear for a catchy chorus, the former Peaches and Gonzales cohort builds on soulful, melodic foundations with club-friendly beats and slick, electronic touches to (mostly) great effect here. Warp's Jamie Lidell co-wrote several of the tracks and lends his trademark falsetto to one. However, it is 'Fightin' Away The Tears', a collaboration with former Broken Social Scene vocalist Feist, that really impresses - she is certainly a vocal talent to listen out for. That said, Mocky's penchant for a one-dimensional, faux-Beck rap does grate on me, but there will be many who find this enjoyable, rather than just irritating.
Tom Breslin, 04/06
Monday Michiru - NexusArtistShare
With all the albums that Monday Michiru has dropped over the past ten years, it’s a crime she hasn’t received the acclaim she rightly deserves. “Nexus” is the fourth lp she has released through Artistshare and purchased through her website. Without the restrictions of the majors, she is free to create a record that capitalizes on her classically jazz influenced background while infusing an array of diverse dance and rhythms. To label her sound as acid jazz isn’t accurate when you have first rate musicians like Adam Rodgers on guitar and Kyoto Jazz Massive to give the music a fuller sound. The track “Your Eyes”, produced by Soulfeenix is a funky uptempo tune that features some nice Fender Rhodes playing beneath the sweet horn arrangements. “Sands Of Time” is an uplifting soulful club flavored track. “Candy” is a nice midtempo track that finds Adam Rodgers on acoustic guitar surrounding Monday’s voice with warm colorful melodies. I’ve only touched on a few but, the truth is, this a strong record throughout. If you own any of Monday Michiru’s records then this will make a nice addition to some of her strongest material (Optimista, 4 Seasons, Routes). If you’re new to her then purchasing this wonderful record would be a great place to start to familiarize yourself with such a talented artist.
Reg Dancy, 08/08
Monday Michiru - RoutesArtist Share
I've been going through a lot of Monday's old albums recently and what has astonished me is that not only do her production and voice sound timeless, but she's released over 19 albums since her debut in 1995: yes I've also got some hunting to do. Here is yet another self-produced album where Jazz and Soul is at the forefront of all thirteen varied tracks. Here she mixes up dancefloor tracks like 'The Right Time' through the Jazz style 'Yellow Light' and beautifully soulful 'I'm Still Here'. 'Routes' is released via Artist Share as was the previous album 'Naked Breath', a rather clever and interesting way to get your music to the masses. Hopefully this will give her the attention she has worked very hard for over the years.
Simon Harrison, 12/05
Monty Luke - Hard Work Not HypeDogmatik
"Hard Work Not Hype" is the debut of Detroit based DJ/producer Monty Luke. Luke previously was the label manager for Carl Craig's Planet E imprint but appears ready to step out with his impressive debut. The opening track "City Lights" is filled with pulsating drum programming and emotive synths. "Move" is a shimmering electro tinged house gem while "Willie Maze" is a chilled out down-tempo delight. Luke symbolizes the new generation of Detroit producers carrying the torch for deep house and electronic music. This deeply satisfying release shows the future is in good hands
Reg Dancy, 01/19
Moonchild - Little GhostTru Thoughts
"Little Ghost", the fourth lp from Moonchild picks up where "Voyager" left off. That means plenty of warm melodic mid-tempo compositions and hypnotic vocals. Lead singer Amber Navran along with Max Bryk and Andris Mattson collaborate on heavenly harmonies as well as horn and string arrangements. Like the previous release their lyrics paint colours of love and passion. The opener "Wise Women" is a funky number with swaying horn arrangements. "Sweet Love" follows suit with warped beats and chords that melt into your body. The aptly titled "Whistling" adds another layer of gorgeous melodies to their repertoire. This band has rapidly made a name for themselves by delivering yet another brilliant album. Navran's vocals are food for the soul. Pure bliss from beginning to end.
Reg Dancy, 10/19
Moonchild - VoyagerTru Thoughts
"Voyager", the third full length release from Moonchild displays tremendous growth from the West coast trio. Once again there's plenty of lush compositions filled with RnB, soul and folk influences. However "Voyager" is heighthen by a string section and a harpist giving this release a fuller sound. Collectively they've penned compositions centering around the varying dynamics of love. Amog the standouts are "Cure", led by Amber Navran's soothing vocals and gorgeous keyboard melodies. "Now and Then" features funky beats from producer Max Bryk not often heard from their compositions. "Let You Go" is aided by gentle guitar rhythms. It's easy to see why this trio has garnered a long line of admirers. This disc is filled with one gorgeous composition after another. Three years in the making, "Voyager" is well worth the wait.
Reg Dancy, 08/17