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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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.


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.


Simon Harrison, 06/06

1 Real / DJ Delores

DJ Delores - 1 Real

Ziriguiboom/Crammed Discs

Third album and he just keeps getting better. Brazil provides the source with the mix bringing in a varied selection of dance friendly influences . Behind this infectious dance music though DJ Delores addresses issues like capitalism (Proletariado) and idealism (Cala Cala) as well as on a lighter note looking at relationship. Regulars joining him include Maestro Forró, Gabriel Melo, Fernando Catatau, vocalists Isaar and Maciel Salu, and guest appearances by Silvério Pessoa and by Marion. Excellent.


Graham Radley, 02/08

Sweet Memory Sounds / DJ Derek Presents

DJ Derek Presents - Sweet Memory Sounds

Trojan Records

Who the hell is DJ Derek and how comes he gets to do a compilation for one the World's best reggae label's? If this is what your thinking then here is the answers. Derek is in his late 60's, used to be in a skiffle band, used to be an accountant and has a phenomenal collection of waistcoats. But this surely doesn't qualify him to be compiling for Trojan does it? Well, he's also got a monstrous collection of over 25,000 reggae and ska tracks spanning over 4 decades and has been spinning them to punters for over 30 years the world over. He's not just a DJ, he's a performer! So what's he chosen as his favourite tracks? Well it ranges from roots, to rocksteady through to classic reggae vibes. There are tracks by Toots, John Holt, Johnny Clarke and Dennis Brown. There's also compilation fave 'Police And Thieves' by Junior Murvin plus two classics from Max Romeo. If it's solid classics you're after along with the odd forgotten gem then DJ Derek's selection will be your cup o' cha. The CD is unmixed (always a bonus with reggae compilations) and contains 22 tracks full of reggae goodness. More splendid vibes from the ever trust worthy Trojan stable.


Jax, 03/06

Movement-Silence / DJ Devastate

DJ Devastate - Movement-Silence

BBE Records

A veteran on the UK scene for over fifteen years, DJ Devastate has been a student as well as a pioneer in the hip-hop game. Devastate has followed the likes of Marly Marl, DJ Premier and Pete Rock and in the process cultivated his own sound. With his debut, Devastate has created a laidback hip-hop gem with jazzy rhythms that would make followers of the native tongues period proud. The entire disc takes you back to a time when all was well in the world of hip-hop. It’s clear that Devastate has been sharpening his production skills during his hiatus because the compositions throughout are flawless. With no mc’s on board, “Movement-Silence” is comprised sunny instrumental beat gems combined with well placed sampling. Some of the highlights include “The Motion”, a funky track with a wicked kick snare drum beat. “Don’t Sop” is a jazzy number that features a popular Common sample. “Taken it slow” is a hazy mid-tempo banger that has a simple beat but provides the right amount of samples and catchy hooks to make it shine. Kudos to DJ Devastate for crafting a soulful hip-hop treat you can chill to. While he doesn’t break any new ground here his attention to detail towards crafting quality beats will force you to add this to your cd rotation.


Reg Dancy, 12/09

A Word To The Wise / DJ Mitsu The Beats

DJ Mitsu The Beats - A Word To The Wise

Jazzy Sport

Ever since he burst onto the with his solo project “A New beginning”, DJ Mitsu has made a name for himself not only as one of the premiere dj’s in Japan but worldwide. His latest full length release, “A Word to the Wise” offers a little bit of everything that adds up to an outstanding record. DJ Mitsu features some of hip-hop’s most sought after rappers like the underrated Maspyke on “Playing with Crime”, complete with clever wordplay and dope beats. One rapper whose stock continues to rise is Detroit’s own Elzhi. On “Get’em Up” he displays his lyrical prowess over a neck snapping beat. Jose James drops by to add his warm velvet voice to the wonderful “Promise In Love”. Other highlights include the funky “The Game Changer” by Wildchild and Georgia Anne Muldrow. “Dim Skyline” is an instrumental bamger that features Mark De Clive Lowe on keys. “A Word To The Wise” is that rare recording where there is nary a weak track amongst eighteen selections. As good as “A New Beginning” was, this one is significantly better. It would be very wise would be to pick this up, you won’t be disappointed.


Reg Dancy, 09/09

Phantom / DJ Oil

DJ Oil - Phantom


Lionel Corsini, aka DJ Oil has demonstrated a keen ear for old school beats and rhythms. His previous lp, the well received "Black Notes" is evidence of his production skills. Three years later he returns with "Phantom"  and he's out to take his musical vision a step further. "Paolo" is filled with pulsating percussion and Afrobeat rhythms  "Beetlejuice" has a brooding organ grinding groove and a little boom bap rap as well. In addition, the female African vocals highlight this eclectic track. "New Lord" has a dark and haunting groove filled with an assortment of vocal samples that capture the mood of the tune. Throughout "Phantom" DJ Oil seamlessly places vocals and events of everyday life into these live recordings for which no samples were used. Everything is on the table here from Blues to House to moody gritty soul. All in all this is an superb musical collage that should award him the the attention he certainly deserves.


Reg Dancy, 01/15

Music 4 Alternative Souls / DJ Simon S

DJ Simon S - Music 4 Alternative Souls


DJ/Producer Simon S has been at the helm of Futuristica for well over a decade. Few labels have consistently released as much high quality downtempo grooves and jazz infused soulful hip hop during this period. The aptly titled "Music 4 Alternative Souls" is filled with dreamy tracks and thought provoking hip hop that sink into your body and warm your soul. "Looking" is sublime downtempo soul by vocalist J.Mcfysian. Newcomer Georgie Sweet's tender vocals are a delight on the blissful "Half Human". Rapper Jack Jones spits poignant verses on the gritty "Slick". There's some notable remixes as well. K15 reworks "For You" into a lush house stomper and Mecca 83's layered beats on "Beautiful" are also a highlight. This superb release is just a snapshot of the notable contributions from the Futuristica family. Press play, lean back and enjoy.


Reg Dancy, 08/18

DJ Spinna vs P and P records / DJ Spinna

DJ Spinna - DJ Spinna vs P and P records


During the mid to late seventies, Peter Brown and Patrick Adams wrote and produced a number of future disco classics for their own label P&P records that would stand the test of time for DJ’s and record aficionados alike. With the help of DJ Spinna, we get re-introduced to these quality recordings all over again. When I think of P&P I think of Cloud One, probably their most successful group on the P&P roster and fittingly there are three tasty tracks from them.  The atmospheric “Dust to Dust” kicks off the disc and “Don’t Let My Rainbow Pass Me By” is another floor burner. Other notable cuts are “Ain’t It Time” from Queen Yahna, a string laden disco tune that could fit into the Salsoul catalogue. Eddie Owens gritty funk n soul track is bursting with a fierce brass section and serves as a nice diversion from the collection of disco and boogie tunes. This is just a sampling of the P&P catalogue but one that is definitely worth checking out.


Reg Dancy, 06/12

Intergalactic Soul / DJ Spinna

DJ Spinna - Intergalactic Soul

Papa Records

I first picked up on DJ Spinna back when he was producing hip hop and it was a great surprise to me and probably the house heads: that all of a sudden he was knocking out quality house productions equal to, if not better than some of the masters of the 4/4 beat. This was strengthened by the release of "We Can Change This World" featuring Heavy, which has been blowing dancefloors apart for a few months now and set to be a massive summer hit. It's not all uptempo with guests like Little Brother's Phonte, N'Dea Davenport, Eric Roberson and Lizz Fields these tracks just ooze soul. The latter half picks up the tempo with yet more quality vocalists including Trish Angus, Christian Urich from Tortured Soul and the Free Radikalz. Spinna proves yet again his versatility with a cracking second album.


Simon Harrison, 06/06

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