Few things float my boat more than great new music and April has some guaranteed dance floor numbers (at the deeper end of the spectrum) which are well worth checking out. The picture I'm seeing this year is it's all about house music front and centre.
Jaimy - Feel The Funk (Fatal Music)
Without sounding like I'm paying his other releases out, this latest production from tribal supremo Jaimy is his best work in ages. A simple, jacking groove gets it going with only a hint of his usual madness – but this track has some seriously warped and demented vocals which take it from being merely good to being great. Sitting somewhere between Carl Craig and Derrick Carter in freakiness it works so well because it keeps the vocal as the main event. The music is a bed of jacking minimal beats and a dash of wobbling synth for good effect.
Subb-an - Corridors of Life EP (Immigrant Records)
Immigrant return with a housey EP, the debut of UK's Subb-an, who shows he's got funky Detroit tech-house blood in his veins. The opening track, "Moscow", uses a dubby bassline to accentuate a minimal arrangement. A few sparsely places synth crescendos and piano stabs make this a pretty mental ride. "Poloma" is a more rhythmical and percussive track with a straight-up house vibe nicely using ethnic vocals warped and delayed throughout the mix. Some added synth stabs and subtle rises complete this as a really versatile tune. I can't complain one bit about Ralph Sliwinksi's remix of Poloma which takes things into a darker groove which loops atop some quite headf**k effects and use of delay cut-off gates. Immigrant once again showing the house boys how it's done.
The Moti Brothers – I Love Budapest (Ready Mix Records)
A new concept is debuted by Ready Mix, showcasing a city and its artists under the title “I Love…” - in this case “I Love Budapest”. The original is where prog at it’s best for me – a lush, melodic trip which aims to be great music first and a dance floor tune second - both of which the original does in style. It’s refreshing to hear such a musical release which also has the energy to rock a dance floor without resorting to clichés. The first remix comes from Yvel & Tristan who strip things down to a really nice and minimal groove with spaced out clicks and snippets. Faces’ remix is a more peak-time style with a driving rhythm and bass-heavy synth line. It still lets up for an epic breakdown before dropping back into the groove. With two more remixes on the release “I Love Budapest” is well worth checking out.
Scope & Leigh Morgan - Isle of Indigo (Helveica Recordingz)
Scope has been flawless in recent times so his pairing here with Urbantorque's Leigh Morgan caught my ear. This is deep-as-it-comes futuristic house with a touch of old-school vibes. A simple percussive groove built with added spacey elements gets things rolling before the break. A beautiful piano solo drops into the mix to kick things into the next gear. Leigh adds his own UT Trip mix which strips it back the bare elements for a soulful chill house track. Finnish producer Roberto Rodriguez's remix goes deep and techy with crisp, almost jacking, beats and sections of mellow interludes before bouncing back into the groove. This release is a gem.
Deep Mariano & Guille Quero - WATD (FeralCode Recs)
W.A.T.D. is hands-down one of the best prog releases I've heard so far in 2008. It is a lesson in how to create an amazing atmosphere – starting out mellow with minimal percussion elements before building into an epic prog-house monster with a great energy you don't hear often enough. It has that elusive sticky vibe like you’ve heard it somewhere before. The addition of some nicely placed bleepy samples brings it into the current new-wave prog style mixing minimal techno and synthy prog. Martin Garcia puts in a solid effort with his remix, suitable for the more uptempo moments in the night.