Okay, I was supposed to have this out like two weeks ago for August but as is the norm I was running behind and since I don't get paid for this deadlines are extremely arbitrary. Labels get in touch if you'd like me to review and possibly chart you releases. This time around there were 13 tracks to review so thanks to everyone for continuing to send me more materials for consideration.
Danny Tenaglia-The Space Dance (Tommy Boy Silver Label)
Nice to see the return of one of house music's legends with a new single promoting a brand new double disk mix on Tommy Boy of all labels. Here Danny Tenaglia gets together with studio wiz Rob Rives to harness his signature bare, sweaty chested tribal thunder to a new interest in all things German. There is definitely some underground Berlin influenced robot funk going on here but rest assured the drums come loud and the ominous vocal instantly recalls Tenaglia's all-time classic "Elements". The 8 and half minute plus "Terrace Vocalism Mix" is the main attraction here but the disk does contain a dub and radio edit for you less adventurous jocks out there.
The latest on Chris Fortier's Fade imprint comes from a new duo called Kyaro. Crazy Larry and Coalition of The Killing take this one all deep and druggy each with one of those massive spacy James Holden approved breakdowns. Their two remixes are okay but in comparison to the dark, chugging tribal tech attack of the original they truly pale in comparison. Guaranteed to move late night asses.
Various-Buzzin' Fly-5 Golden Yrs. In The Wilderness EP 2 (Buzzin' Fly)
Three of these cuts already made an appearance on the full length 3xCD compilation of the same name that came out earlier this year from Ben Watt's post-Everything But The Girl imprint. Nothing new to report here on those three-swirly, melancholy house with lots of progressive pastiches. What is nice is the bonus cut from Russians BarBQ entitled "Mad In The Moon" that inhabits a little tougher techno space than the other three tracks on this comp. Again another solid release from Buzzin' Fly.
Onionz feat S.n.o.w.-Nothin But Love (Toolroom)
Excellent West Coast and latin house vibe from veteran NYC DJ Onionz with a nice vocal hook courtesy of S.n.o.w. that recalls Mr. V's recent work with Masters At Work. The original mix also contains a dub as does the Funkerman remix but you could just as easily find vocal house tracks like this on OM Records so it is slighly unusual ground for Toolroom to tread but the Tiger Stripes and Magik Johnson remixes bring the focus squarely back to bleepy and bouncy tech house the label is better known for. A very memorable cut and a nice return for Onionz to the international stage.
FPS-Mist EP (Toolroom Trax)
A wicked two tracker from this up & coming Canadian duo that turned Steve Mac & Paul Harris' cheesefest "You" into a chugging low-end beast earlier this year. Here they create some peak hour rolling techno with booming basslines and drums popping off, both tracks are excellent but my nod goes to the A-side "Mist". Looking forward to hearing more from this duo.
West Indian Girl-All My Friends (Jason Bentley rmx)(Milan Ent.)
Here's a little guilty pleasure, end of the night type cut from this sun drenched 60s Laurel Canyon inspired combo. The illustrious Jason Bentley adds some swirling sitars and tamborines to some breezy beats for a fun and infectious summer time hit.
Analog Porcupine Specialist-Tainted Love (Nice & Nasty)
An interesting, if not totally necessary, re-rub of this 80s club classic. Some of the original Soft Cell electro hook is retained on this floor friendly a-side which features a female vocal and more of sleazy goth influence than anything found on the classic version (FYI-that version is not the original which was done by Marc Bolan's wife way back in the 1960s for the Motown label). It'll definitely get people moving but it isn't wild enough for me to give it a ringing endorsement. The b-side is a slowed down euro-Timbaland booty mix that was pretty off-kilter and maybe even a little better than the a-side mix.
Kid Atari-Colours, Forms, and Textures Vol. 1 (1fFBeats)
This was an excellent collection of seven free loops in support of Kid Atari's new album Black Tea for the OneFourFive imprint. It was an excellent score as the loops are filled with textures, basslines, and build-ups that could come in handy for any techno producer or adventerous three or four deck DJ. Don't sleep on these loops.
Matt Samuels-Much Love EP (Leaders Of The New School/Toolroom)
The a-side title track didn't do much for me with it's lack of original sounds but as I dug deep into the b-side I discovered subtle melodies and some great late night and/or early evening sounds that keep the techno vibe alive but back off the throttle for some excellent texture. "Close To" makes an excellent building record for a peak hour set while "Tomorrow Today" could just as easily played at sunset or sundown with it's tranquil head nodding appeal.
George Andrews-Sideline Soul EP (Leaders Of The New School/Toolroom)
George Andrews has been around for awhile mainly focusing on a West Coast meets Inland Knights style of funky house music. This marks his first appearance on the well-respected Toolroom label, here he drops three tracks for the label's ongoing "Leaders of the New School" series which has reached number seven and has been more hit than miss thus far. "Happy Landings" is again a dud -side with an emphasis on too much radio-friendliness. "Sweet Dreams" starts the single's venture into the deep straddling the line between peak hour and something slightly deeper and more substantive. "Smoke & Mirrors" finally gets everything sorted out and has all of the stony techno funk the late night heads require.
Mark Knight, Adam K, and Soha-From The Speaker (Toolroom)
Mark Knight and his Toolroom imprint are not only prolific but also consistant in terms of quality-a rarity in dance music. His latest mix for the label is a powerful indication that Knight may be one of dance music's biggest tastemakers for 2008. With all of that said this peak hour track of Knight paired with two of the Toronto scene's bigger names is a huge disappointment. Let me first off state that I think most of the output from Toronto from Chromeo to Deadmau5 is totally weak sauce. Unfortunately on "From The Speaker" Knight goes against his gut instincts and allows the Canucks to sculpt their trademark hooks and melodies which are totally overblow (think new school Tiesto) and the goofy vocal hook ("A little f*ck you from the speaker) majorly detracts from what little there is of this momumental slice of boredom. A huge letdown for a dude with a solid track record but that's what happens when you let your buddies handle things.
Dave Spoon-88 EP (Toolroom Trax)
Never been much of a fan of Dave Spoon who is too much of a prog house disciple from the Pete Tong school of commercial crap. However the "Baditude" track he dropped earlier in the season has turned out to be THE track of the summer and I grabbed his new one right away to see if he might be on some sort of roll. Sadly that is not the case here with waaaaay too much Armin Van Buuren fist-pumpin trance on the a-side, a bombastic b-side, and uncharacteristically flat remix from Mark Knight & Funkagenda who have been en fuego all year up to this point. A major bummer on this one.