Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Various artists – Various Inspirations Wax Sampler – Deep Inspiration Show Records

LONG-RUNNING broadcast, the Deep Inspiration Show, has become something of an institution. Lovingly curated by the inspirational and knowledgeable Jazzman [aka René Wolski] since 2010, it has become a by-word for quality selections and a go-to for those wanting to hear proper house. An arbiter of impeccable taste and a flag-bearer far and wide for the best in deepness, the Jazzman is now a purveyor too with the launch of his own label of the same name.

It would be fair to say that the word ‘deep’ looms large over this fine debut, the Various Inspirations Wax Sampler featuring, as the name suggests, various artists whose work has been lovingly handpicked by the inimitable Jazzman himself. And so it should, given the pedigree of the man in charge. We would expect nothing less.

So there is definitely no surprise whatsoever that the EP kicks off with no tops-off, arms-aloft, ‘how many pills have you necked’ club banger but a finely judged, beautifully constructed and instantly lovable hunk of slow-grooving, yep, deep house. It comes in the shape of Sawdust from Estonian artist Neuronphase [aka Anti Aaver], a producer of genuine quality who has slowly but surely been muscling his way into the consciousness of the heads in the last couple of years with a brace of appearances on London-based Monsieur Cedric’s Série Limitée Records. Those who dug those Detroit-inspired tracks will love this too and with a solo release on Phonogramme in the offing, Neuronphase is a name to keep a beady eye on.

Little-known South African artist Deep Sentiments won’t remain little known for long if he keeps producing music as delightful and damn infectious as his vinyl debut Sleepless Zombies, a calling card not only to be proud of but also alert aficionados and labels alike.

Marco Nega has been plying his considerable and very talented trade for many years now. Most notably with Altered Moods, Batti Batti, Bu-Mako Recordings, Inner Shift, Underground Quality, Waehlscheibe and more, all labels that seriously know their shit. He’s a big favourite chez moi too and it’s very easy to see why the Jazzman got him on board. In return, Nega delivers the goods big style with Believe In Being Loved, a mature, classy and dead-drop-gorgeous cut. Hypnotic, melodic deepness at its absolute finest.

Icelandic artist Viktor Birgiss, main man behind the Lagaffe Tales imprint, prides himself on his ‘deep, technical and highly danceable’ style. He’s not wrong. Because his contribution here, That Time When, is exactly that. There is a real innocence about this sweet and almost simplistic little groove that is anything but simple. Rather it is simply superb.

Keeping the deep theme going ’til the very last, downtempo dude Roberto Bronco completes the collection with his brief-but-dope Deep Nights Outro, an enthralling teaser that inhabits that exciting grey area between hip-hop, house and, indeed, jazz. Nice.

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Thursday, 15 February 2018

2DeepSoul – Windows – Inner Shift Music

EVEN a brief shufty around this site rapidly reveals our deep affection for the Inner Shift stable generally, 2DeepSoul in particular and especially the good folks behind it all. Which makes it even more surprising that we didn’t wax lyrical when the essential Windows EP got its vinyl release towards the back end of last year. Fortunately we have the opportunity to make amends now that it has been made available for the download community.

After many years in the game Brad Peterson and Rai Scott know their way around this deep house malarkey that’s for sure. And over the course of five EPs together as 2DeepSoul a “sound” has distinctly been honed. Whether by accident or design I know not, but it’s there. In many ways opening cut Clarity is it, that sound, right there in a nutshell; dreamy, ethereal, morish. Contour Lines is more of the same to a point, but with a little more tech and a distant vocal sample, not a typical motif of the duo, added to the brew.

Proceedings get even better and more ear catching over on t’other side, as they might say in northern parts. Someday has the lady’s talented fingerprints smeared all over it, Rai Scott being a self-confessed ambient head at heart and, indeed, body and soul. It’s indulgently deep and delicious too, a track that in all honesty I think I could listen to all day long or even longer. It’s A Sign rounds off this fine affair. It’s more mesmerising than a mesmerised Franz Mesmer and house just as I like it; slow burning, deep and meditative.

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Sunday, 4 February 2018

Allstarr Motomusic/Manuel Costela – Love Souls – TH Pressing

LORD knows when he gets time to sleep that man Tominori Hosoya. If he’s not diligently and lovingly compiling his first album, then he’s busy dropping deep house bombs for a rake of well-respected labels. And then there’s his very own burgeoning imprint TH Pressing, which is back with its fourth vinyl-only EP, Love Souls

Only this time he’s taken more of a back-seat role and left the music to a couple of old hands on this rather charming release.

First up is Allstarr Motomusic aka George Btp, the driving force behind and the face of DeepArtSounds. His love of Prescription Records is no secret and indeed both Ron Trent and Anthony Nicholson have represented Btp’s Zurich-based label. There is a hefty nod in that direction with the beguiling Night Romance, a cut that Btp wrote coincidentally whilst in Tokyo, the home of TH Pressing. Sumptuous and comforting on the ears, the track chugs along delightfully and is elevated to the level of must-have by the sensual delivery of Debra Jones Davis [Altered Moods Recordings]. If there is a better spoken-word vocalist doing the rounds right now then I’ve yet to hear them.

And on the subject of classy songstresses, erstwhile DeepArtSounds collaborator Sarignia Bonfá pops up again here on Light Of The Soul. Not as breathless and pulsating as the previous track, it is nonetheless a satisfyingly deep, thoughtful and jazz-inspired offering that still stands head and shoulders above most releases searching painfully, insincerely for a similar vibe. You either have it or you ain’t.

Manuel Costela takes care of the flip. Head of both Bucketround and 2phonic Recordings, the Madrid-based artist has been plying his trade under different guises for a decade plus but there is real momentum building right now with a slew of productions appearing or in the pipeline on his own imprints or those of others. Here he delivers a couple of gems.

The soulful lilt of Sunshine Love is backed by a truly chunky groove and as such it is easy to hear why Hosoya snapped this up. But overlook Hurt at your peril. This warm, Rhodes-driven, electro-inspired number is an absolute joy from start to finish, seven minutes of sonic sunshine. Tip, as the hipsters say.

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