G-Transition – The Second Transition – Boe Recordings
Ukranian talent G-Transition (aka Brother G aka Gena Ivanov, co-founder of Mysterious Russian Soul label) makes a welcome return to ace East London imprint Boe Recordings for the concluding part of a special double feature. Having released The First Transition EP featuring the brilliantly slow-grooving and spaced out jam There Are No Tech House Zombies In Heaven at the start of summer, G-Transition is back to round things off with the equally must-have The Second Transition EP.
Although 10” vinyl-only this time and strictly limited to 200 copies, which for the first time are being self-distributed by label owner Ben Boe (real name Ben Parkinson), part two picks up where part one left off with two cuts of high-quality and leisurely deep house influenced by the best of Chicago, Detroit and New York. Guiding Light takes the honours, a slightly melancholic vibe and emotive strings and chords pushing all the right buttons for those of a deep house bent, while B-side It’s Not An Artform, Just Beats is almost more mechanical and prosaic by comparison but just as tidy, effective and thoroughly recommended.
Around since 2008, Boe has really hit its stride over the last couple of years as those State-side influences the label readily acknowledges have really risen to the fore in Parkinson’s spot-on selection of artists and releases. One to watch? You bet. Go Boe.
Paradice – Mercy EP – Cinch Recordings
Vinyl-only London label Cinch definitely knows how to pick them. Having debuted last year with the excellent Wizard Of HOP collaboration between Souliner and label head Roual Galloway, the imprint is back and bang on form with a super twelve that this time showcases rising German talent, the man from Mainz known as Paradice.
Title track Mercy quite rightly kicks off proceedings and does so in brilliantly uncompromising fashion showing no, ahem, mercy. Thumping, hypnotic and deep tracky house at its very finest, a veritable bomb to coin a phrase, taking no prisoners as it rattles along at pace driven by a full-on kick and some top percussion work.
The reverse side is much more for the heads. Reach Out is a distinctly funkier and melodic deep house affair with plenty of groove in all the right places. Yet as good as the first two cuts are – and they are seriously tasty – for my money they are both out-shone by the EP’s closing track, Shone. More bump and shuffle than the previous tracks and brimful with atmosphere, Shone is delightfully groovy yet packs enough oomph to keep a floor rocking. Highly recommended.
Ernie – Ink Theory – Contrast-Wax
Ernie, the deep house trooper from Madrid, continues his one-man mission to promote electronic beats of a deeper inclination. And not satisfied with recent sell-out releases on his own label Minuendo nor promoting other similarly-minded artists such as Deymare and 2DeepSoul, he is back doing the rounds and delivering more deep house delights but this time on two new labels.
Coming soon is a two-tracker debut for Zurich-based label Deepartsounds. Right now though is all about this strictly-limited – 100 copies only on vinyl worldwide – little beauty Ink Theory on UK label Contrast-Wax, clearly a name to watch out for already. Having singled out Ernie as the label’s debut artist, the ever-reliable Spanish producer does not disappoint. Indeed, Ink Theory more than holds its own alongside the man’s previous excellent offerings and in Black & Grey, Ernie delivers probably his most dancefloor-orientated cut yet. Chunky deep house designed to rock, Black & Grey thunders along with the aid of some serious hi-hat action with the sole intention of making you move. It works.
Cult Under Skin on the flip is a gorgeous grooving cut. Still seriously bouncy mind you, but more soulful perhaps thanks to the ace vocal stab and synth work that drives the track along beautifully if less frenetically than the A-side.
Contrast-Wax has set its standards high with this debut. If Carlsberg did deep house labels, this might be it.
2DeepSoul – Earth Energy Part 1 – Minuendo Recordings
There is no shortage of deep house talent around right now. Nor is there a dearth of great labels willing to stick to their musical beliefs and release quality electronic music on vinyl despite the obvious costs involved. And that is definitely a good thing. So it is particularly heartening to welcome the new release from the ever-dependable Madrid label Mineundo. Not only is the imprint a favourite round these parts, so are Edinburgh-based production duo 2DeepSoul, who make their label debut with this superior 10-inch two-tracker.
The partnership of Brad Peterson and Rai Scott has been around long enough to know a thing or two about great deep house music and in particular what makes a track work. The evidence is right here. Opening shot Serenade is all that is good about deep house: warm, emotive, catchy and danceable. It’s all here including a groovy little 303 hook, an infectious understated melody and deliciously subtle vocal work from Scott.
The Silence of Winter is more contemplative and chilled though by no means less classy. Here the beauty and strength is in the track’s laidback approach that marries perfectly with Scott’s genuinely stunning vocals.
Another strictly limited release – 250 copies only this time – and self-distributed by Minuendo once again, Earth Energy is well worth the time, effort and cash tracking down. Seek and buy.
Jacksonville – Views From Trains – Doppler Records
There is something very likeable about Jacksonville. Apart from being decidedly affable and good humoured, the Yorkshireman better known as Chris Lyth and now based in Edinburgh really does do a rather nice line in house music as this his eighth EP on his own label Doppler Records proves handsomely.
Views From Trains is proper dancing gear. And on both cuts Jacksonville is very much in touch with his disco – in the loosest sense of the word – side. The eponymous track probably shades it being all shimmery and sparkling house music with no small amount of depth and feeling too that would tempt the most committed wallflower to break loose and get down.
Love Lost Underground is perhaps more straight-up house – and that is not meant pejoratively by any means – thanks in large part to a beefier though not overwhelming kick that keeps the track chugging along sweetly. And as with Views From Trains, it also features a cheeky soulful vocal sample that you will know you know as soon as you hear it.
With support from the likes of DJ Sneak, M.A.N.D.Y., Huxley, Ethyl and Brothers’ Vibe, hopefully both Jacksonville Views From Trains will receive the recognition they richly deserve.
Johannes Albert & Monosoul – The Future Sound Of Limburg – Frank Music
The irony of Frank Music is that for a label that doesn’t appear to take itself too
seriously – its press releases are always humorous, self-deprecating and fun unlike many an earnest imprint that overdoes the worthy PR-speak – it does release seriously great records.
All five previous official releases have been ace and number six here – The Future Sound of Limburg EP – from label boss Johannes Albert and musical accomplice Monosoul is no exception.
Opening track Whatever is no-nonsense prime-time house music complete with dope beats and a lovely little acid line. By contrast Mornin Moanin is on a mellower tip being all about the warm pads and comforting bass teased out of their beloved Juno. In a similar vein and rounding off the EP in some style is the rather excellent beatdown of Jomo MF, a cut clearly constructed for late night or warm-up sessions but definitely no filler.
As Frank says, an EP made for jumpin’ and pumpin’. And he should know.