Saturday, 15 February 2014

V/A - Los Dedos Cortados - Minuendo Recordings

My love affair with Minuendo Recordings goes on and on. With every release the wonderful Madrid-based label grows in reputation, stature and self-belief. Now celebrating its tenth year it has gone from a vehicle largely for the inspirational Ernie and friends to an imprint at the very beating heart of the deep house movement that has become home for the scene's best talent, old and new. It has been a delight to watch it blossom from a great label to a truly great label.

Los Dedos Cortados [the 'cut fingers' if my Spanish translation software and the EP's artwork are to be believed], the label's 27th release, is classic Minuendo and highlights all that is best about the imprint. Legendary producers and artists, rapidly rising stars, beautiful artwork and attention to detail, more deepness than you could possibly wish for plus a long-overdue re-appearance from the man himself, Ernie.

Side one is the epitome of a label brimming with confidence. Featuring Soul Element (aka Stacy Kidd, the vastly-experienced US producer who has recorded for amongst others Dance Mania, Cajual and Peacefrog) and the iconic vocal talent that is Peven Everett, their track How Bad I Want Ya is classic soulful house done simply, with subtlety and to perfection. No tricks, nothing fancy or too clever, just a great song executed superbly. Nothing more, nothing less.

As if that weren't enough, the cut gets the remix treatment from yet another legend, a man whose records have adorned my shelves and those of countless disciples since way back when, none other than Glenn Underground. The man from Chicago's Southside does what he does best, adding a touch of jazz and GU magic, beefing and bumpin' up the track just enough whilst paying respect to the original throughout.

If side one is an all-Stateside affair then the flip is thoroughly European, at least by manufacture anyhow, and all about the label stalwarts. Making a second appearance on the imprint are Owen Jay and Melchior Sultana, the creative forces behind the Batti Batti label and key players in Malta's electronic music scene. Their offering Memento is delightfully lush, deliciously downtempo and stylistically a laidback complement to the Soul Element tune. 

Wrapping up proceedings is Tormenta Tropical from the tattoo-obsessed Ernie, his first artist appearance on his own label in the best part of four years. As usual, the man does not disappoint. Once again the track fits entirely with the rest of the release albeit with a Mediterranean undercurrent and a classic electronica twist. Deep, kick-driven, dream-like and a hefty nod to Manuel Göttsching's E2-E4, the quintessential Balearic chill-out, it is not only a welcome return for Ernie but also a suitably fitting way to mark ten years in the game. 

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