This will be our third promotional review linked with Maouris promotions and we are grateful for the opportunity to listen to and review their latest releases. This time we have been fortunate to have access to 15 of their latest single/EP releases from November/December 2014 and January 2015 which have ranged from blissed out electronica to techno including some disco, house and electro. The format of this review will be a brief summary of the releases, labels and tracks followed by a more in depth review of the best three releases from which we will select our favourite release.
We were kindly informed by the Maouris team that our access would include a greater range of labels this time round including; Visionquest, Rebellion, Hot Creations, International Feel, Crosstown Rebels, Eskimo Recordings, Soul Clap Records, Firehouse Recordings (Kim Ann Foxman’s new label), BOSO (Mario Basanov/Ten Walls label), Play It Say It (Seth Troxler’s label) and boy were we pleased to have such great access to this cross section of the electronic music market. A great deal of time has been spent listening, repeat listening, researching and providing our feedback to Maouris, now it is time for us to spread the joy to our followers and friends at TBC. The artists which featured along with their release title, record label and short summary are listed below:
- Jay Haze – The Mulatar House (Soul Clap Records) – This EP features the bizarre and interesting Mulatar 3 sided string instrument which provides the foundation for the three tracks. Wonky, dreamy, balearic sum up this release.
- Kim Ann Foxman – Firehouse 001 (Firehouse Recordings) – Hercules and Love Affair vocalist Kim Ann Foxman has been toying with electronic music production and featured vocals for a while now which has lead to her setting up her own record label fresh out of Brooklyn. Groovy, Acid Squelch, Haunting vocals and trip breakdown sum up the release.
- Subb-An feat. The Million Plan – Vapour Trails (Crosstown Rebels) – Very extended player should be the format of this release as it features 6 tracks including the title track, Oasis and Black fire plus some great remixes including a Mathew Herbert classic. Bassy, Dubby, ‘Herbert-ised’ (new word for Herbert’s ability to create a new track with his remixes), Acid Arab sum up the release.
- Johannes Brecht – Enjoy the Void (BOSO) – Mario Basanov AKA Ten Walls has helped set up and launch the label with this immense Ten Walls tracks over the last 12/18 months and this new release is cut from the same cloth with the signature sound that the label is now renowned for. Progressive, Emotional, Atmospheric, Uplifting, Eclectic sum up the release.
- Len Leise – Music for Forests (International Feel) – the most bizarre release of this promotional selection and it needs to be heard to be believed. The words used to introduce this track by Maouris cannot be topped so I would recommend having a read – http://maouris.co.uk/music-detail.php?c=ifeel035-music-for-forests. Chilled, Dreamy, Nature, Percussion, Animals, Meditation sum up the release.
- Luca C and Brigante feat. Roisin Murphy – Invisions (Hot Creations) – The follow up track to Flash of Light from the same team gives us Invisions which is another great release featuring Roisin Murphy who is a TBC favourite through both her Moloko and solo artist releases. Deep House, Summery, Amazing Vocals, Luke Solomon Remix (which is epic), sum up this release.
- NTEIBINT feat. Birsen – Riptide (Eskimo Recordings) – George Bakalakos or NTEIBINT has releases on Warp, Kitsune and Bang Gang which ticks a lot of boxes that TBC admire in regards to record labels and musical genres. We were intrigued and interested with this release which is a blend of pop and disco. Electronica, Amazing Vocals (from Birsen, a Belgian vocalist), Pop, Disco, Electro sum this release up.
- Berkson & What – Make it True feat. JoJo De Freq (Play It Say It) – in 2014 Seth Troxler set up his own label which has featured Sharam, Clarian and Steve Lawler releasing tracks with a sound that you would be familiar of having listened to Mr.Troxler’s own DJ sets. Sunshine, Groovy, Acid Squelch, Luke Solomon Remix (he is on fire at the moment, Essential Mix on the cards for Friday 16th January, don’t miss it!) sum it up.
- Davi – Gates of Babylon (Rebellion) – From a subsidiary of Crosstown Rebels vast music empire comes a release via Rebellion and it is on the back of a recent wave of Arabic inspired tracks that Acid Arab have brought to the masses over the last 12/18 months. House/Techno, Progressive, Hazy, Summer, Arabic sum this one up.
- Laura Jones – Eskipade (Visionquest) – Laura Jones is a fan favourite since her rise in the DJ ranks over the last 3/4 years courtesy of great DJ sets and releases. TBC were fortunate to see Laura in her early days when she played with Ellen Allien at Sankeys in Manchester (October 2011 – Queens of Sankey’s) where she was excellent. This new release is more straight up dance floor music with a heavy groove consistent throughout, perfect for the bass rich club sound system. Tech-House, Heavy Groove, Acid Squelch, Kick Drum, Hand Clap sum up the release.
- Steve Lawler – House Record (Hot Creations) – Steve Lawler is a house music legend and provides the latest release for Jamie Jones and Lee Foss on their Hot Creations label with a sound that you would expect from the label; catchy, groovy house music. Acid House, Old School, Energy, Hand Clap sum this one up.
- SEFF – Jack’s Back (Hot Creations) – a great EP from a new artist to TBC but SEFF has worked with Steve Lawler and Dave Seaman already which gives him a great pedigree. House music with electro and great basslines which sound excellent played loud. We will keep an eye out for SEFF in the future. Electro House, Old School Vocal, Sub Bass, Evil Synths sum this one up.
- Sandeman and John Monkman – French Girl in Berghain (Rebellion) – Another release from Rebellion/Crosstown Rebels with a bizarre house track and a porno sounding female vocal that was born out of an experience at Berghain in Berlin for the tracks producers. Freaky, Shonky, Wonky, Epic Breakdown, Bizarre, Berghain sums this up.
- Moreon & Baffa – A Mental Process (Visionquest) – This producer team hail from Venezuela and now reside in Barcelona, which is one of TBC’s favourite places in the world, and their roots and environment suit their production style. They are traditional producers who understand music at a ground level and are renowned for their music ‘architecture’ and sonic landscapes. Progressive, Structure, Minimal, Deadbeat Remix (heavy, synth noises and storming bass) sum this one up.
- Dave Angel – Revelation (Crosstown Rebels) – A new release from a UK techno legend who has been around in the music industry since i was born in 1983. Dave Angel is well know for his 1990 mash up track featuring Sweet Dreams from the Eurythmics titled the Nightmare Mix (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pegKuWUR84Y) which is an acid house/rave stormer. Since this time he has released over 50 singles and albums making him a stalwart for the UK techno scene. Progressive Techno, Old School Vocal/Sample, Synths, Keys, 90’s, Bass sum up this release
As you will have identified from the diverse selection we have reviewed and summarised above selecting our best three releases and our favourite was very difficult. The variety of musical genres, some great remixes which transformed the EP, brilliant producers and featured artists have both entertained us over the last few weeks and had TBC asking themselves which releases stood out above the rest. The shortlist in no particular order:
1. Davi – Gates of Babylon (Rebellion)
- Over the last 18 months Acid Arab have brought us their collection of tracks, an amazing RA podcast and influenced a whole scene in House music where the arabic sound has become very popular. TBC have enjoyed this direction in House music and always keep an eye out for new records that sit in this sub-genre of which Davi has now added his production work via Rebellion/Crosstown Rebels. This EP is excellent, it oozes quality production skills and the progressive style used works perfectly with the arabic sounds. You can play both tracks back to back and they mix perfectly which is proof of the quality in the production. It is hard to pick a favourite out of Gates of Babylon and Eclipse so we can only recommend them both.
2. SEFF – Jack’s Back (Hot Creations)
- SEFF’s credentials over the last few years would enable you to predict that a great release was on the cards, working with Steve Lawler and Dave Seaman (two of the all time dance music greats) on their respective labels and with Great Stuff Recordings which is a TBC favourite label, however having not heard of the DJ before we were both surprised and excited with this release. Jack’s Back features three tracks; Like That, Jack’s Back and Zoot, and they are all excellent in their own way. Jack’s Back, the title track, is probably the weaker of the three but it still provides a great party feel and would be more suited to earlier in the night. Like That and Zoot are right on the money and provide energy, basslines, synths and old school sounds which sit between House and Techno perfectly, with Zoot being our favourite due to its marching beat and evil sounding synth sounds. We look forward to more from SEFF.
3. NTEIBINT feat. Birsen – Riptide (Eskimo Recordings)
- The most leftfield of our selections in the top three but we would expect nothing less from an Eskimo Recordings release and an artist that has featured on WARP, Kitsune and Bang Gang which is a diverse yet excellent array of record labels in their own right. NTEIBINT has produced a track which sits well within the urban electronic pop genre which has been very popular over the last few years nesting nicely between commercial pop music and the gritty urban club scene. The radio edit is probably our least favourite version of the track as it doesn’t provide you with enough of Birsen’s beautiful vocal and NTEIBINT’s electronic production skills. The extended version sits at around 7 minutes and is the perfect duration to enjoy both aspects of the song. You will definitely find yourself bopping away to the tune, humming to the vocal and wanting to play on repeat. The Dub version even provides an option to play out in the club during a disco or house set which is nice.
We would highly recommend all three releases but our favourite has to be SEFF as it is the most suited to TBC and we could imagine dancing around to Like That and Zoot on the loud sound system at one of our nights. The EP features three great tracks, doesn’t worry about remixes and just focuses on the dance floor and production. We hope to see SEFF playing out at some stage and hope the next releases maintain the same quality and style.
Notable mentions go to Johannes Brecht’s Enjoy the Void on BOSO and Subb-An’s Vapour Trails on Crosstown Rebels who were close behind the selections above but didn’t quite make it. There are also some notable tracks also that did not make it onto the shortlist but they were true gems on their respective EP. Luke Solomon’s remixes are standout for Luca C & Brigante feat. Roisin Murphy Invisions and Berkson & What Make it True. These are the two most recommended remixes across the selection. The Mathew Herbert remix of Subb-Ann Vapour Trails is a close third.
We hope you have enjoyed reading, look forward to your feedback and we will bring you more promo reviews soon.