Maouris Promotional Reviews – January 2015

HotC056 SEFF

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.

TBC

TBC Playlist September 2014

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Fabric #77 by Marcel Dettmann – Various Artists (2014)

FAZEmag in the Mix #27 – Adana Twins (2014)

FAZEmag in the Mix #28 – Adriatique (2014)

Wankelmoods Vol.2 – Wankelmut (2014)

DJ Kicks mixed by Will Saul – Various Artists (2014)

Too Slow to Disco – DJ Supermarkt (2014)

Tsugi Podcast #337 – The Emperor Machine (2014)

Defected Pres.Dimitri from Paris in the House Disco – Various Artists (2014)

Mister Saturday Night pres. Brothers & Sisters – Various Artists (2014)

Let Love Begin – Nicone (2014)

BBC Essential Mix – Amine Edge & Dance (2014)

Enter pres. Ibiza – Various Artists (2014)

RA Podcast #426 by Oliver Hafenbauer – Various Artists (2014)

DJ T Pres. The House that Jack Built Vol.1 & 2 – Various Artists (2012)

Playground Mix #100 by Hal Incandenza (Henry Saiz) – Various Artists (2014)

BBC Essential Mix – Finnebassen (2014)

Spread the Word – Agents of Time (2014)

Global Underground #40 by Solomun – Various Artists (2014)

Full Pupp Pres. 10 Years of Full Pupp by Prins Thomas – Various Artists (2014)

Defected Pres. Nic Fanciulli in the House – Various Artists (2014)*

BBC Essential Mix – Ten Walls (2014)

Classics

Kitsune Tabloid by Digitalism – Various Artists (2008)

Kitsune Tabloid by The Twelves – Various Artists (2011)

Kitsune Tabloid by Phoenix – Various Artists (2009)

Times Like These – Alden Tyrell (2006)

Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller #1-4 – Drexciya (2011-2013)

Eskimonde pres. A Decade of Eskimo Music – Various Artists (2012)

Eskimo Recordings Vol.3 – Various Artists (2001)

Run With Me – Kiki (2004)

Welcome back TBC followers to the latest instalment of the TBC Playlist. Once again we apologise for the delay between the playlist blog entries however 2014 continues to be a busy year at HQ. Summer 2014 saw extended 31st Birthday celebrations for myself and the adventures of the European festival and clubbing experience. This time round we sampled the wares of Berlin, in particular Melt festival in July followed a by a week of “relaxing” in East Berlin. I’m sure Betty Bitch will be telling you all about this adventure so I will not spoil anything but you may understand why we have been slow on the website updates. The best thing about a long break between Playlists is that we can offer an extended selection and we have been able to thoroughly enjoy and critique the best albums, mixes and releases of the last few months.

The September Playlist features a great diversity of music from the obvious techno selection to electro, house, progressive, disco and even features a new genre which has been a particular highlight of our summer ‘G-House’ or Gangsta House as it is more commonly known. We have some of the best artists of recent years; Dettmann, DJ.T, Nic Fanciulli, Digitalism & Dimitri from Paris, as well as some newer, lesser known, artists for you to discover; DJ Supermarkt, Adana Twins, Amine Edge & Dance, Finnebassen, Ten Walls, Drexciya and Oliver Hafenbauer. We hope that you enjoy reading the latest playlist and discovering some new albums/mixes and artists for your enjoyment.

While trawling through the latest releases and back through the collection to our last playlist in June it became evident that there have been some amazing mixes released as CD compilations from the ‘Big Boy Labels’ Fabric, Global Underground, DJ Kicks and Defected but also from other record labels such as Minus, Mister Saturday Night, Poesie Music (Wankelmut) and Full Pupp. The electronic releases were also strong from the BBC and Pete Tong in the Essential Mix, the Resident Advisor Podcast and one of our new favourites FAZEmag (the German equivalent, albeit a lot more credible, than Mixmag in the UK). Unfortunately there are only two artist production albums that feature this time round but both are worth checking out; Nicone are signed to Still Vor Talent an amazing electro label that was set up by Oliver Koletzki and Agents of Time who are an Italian group releasing their debut album that provides a great deep house, progressive and ‘haunting’ sound.

We would also like to speak a little bit more about the Classics selection this time round, as to avoid the sense of them just being ‘thrown’ into the playlist without a proper mention. The classics this time are made up from some older gems that we found in our collection courtesy of Kitsune and their amazing Tabloid series which has three superb editions to enjoy from Digitalism, The Twelves and Phoenix. We also have a legendary electro collection from Drexciya (we sourced and bought 2 of this series on vinyl while in Berlin which was a treat) , Alden Tyrell and Kiki. Both the Kitsune and the electro collection provided some great entertainment as they are great for party music and are a great insight into artists and record labels that represent the pinnacle of their genre of music. You will not be disappointed in these classics, they are timeless. The last of our classics selection is Eskimo Recordings, we previously featured their Blue collection (2014 release) in our June playlist, and there isn’t a single release of theirs that doesn’t hit the mark. The two selections are Vol.3 collection from 2001 which includes a Frankie Knuckles classic and Eskimonde which is an anniversary special 5 disc collection of singles and 2 excellent mixes from The Glimmer’s. We will have some exciting news relating to Eskimo Recordings soon from TBC, they are fast becoming one of our favourite labels.

Now finally on to the best of the Playlist selection:

Fabric #77 by Marcel Dettmann – Various Artists (2014)

This is the third Playlist instalment in a row where a Fabric CD has featured and I had previously stated that this CD series was “hit and miss”, therefore you could say that Fabric are on a roll. I maintain my “hit and miss’ appraisal of Fabric as a CD series as they do not consistently deliver like Global Underground or Balance but I would definitely recommend you keep your eye out for future releases especially with Erol Alkan due up on the FabricLive series. Anyways, thats enough about the series as a whole, on to the Marcel Dettmann instalment. As with his BBC Essential Mix that we selected as our favourite mix from the June Playlist, this Fabric CD is another amazing addition to the Dettmann discography spanning back to 2008 with his first Resident Advisor podcast. Marcel’s MDR record label features heavily in the mix which allows his label to be showcased as one of the forefront in the techno genre, add to this tracks from Ostgut Ton, M-Plant and Dekmantel and you have a raw, comprehensive and relentless collection of techno for your enjoyment. At no point in this mix will you fail to be impressed; whether the mix is building, tracks are being blended to create an amazing techno landscape or you are being pummelled by a monstrous techno track. It is an experience to witness a DJ master the 70/80 minute mix limitation of a CD and this is the second time Marcel has done so, the former being his Conducted mix CD, so we cannot recommend this CD enough.

Too Slow to Disco – DJ Supermarkt (2014)

In 2008 at Bennicassim (Spain) festival we experienced a single DJ play the main outdoor stage, where acts like Roisin Murphy, Morrissey and My Bloody Valentine were due to perform over the weekend, and he totally blew us away despite only taking up enough room on the stage for his CDJ’s and a mixer plus some space to bust some grooves and pull some shapes. DJ Supermarkt has avoided the big time DJ status while maintaining an almost legendary status by those who have experienced him at one of the many European festivals. This legendary but also elusive DJ had not crossed the paths of TBC again until this year when in April he released a new compilation titled ‘Too Slow To Disco’ and announced a European Tour which saw him grace the UK with his presence, this left TBC HQ very excited. In July 2014, after waiting very patiently for a few months, we finally got to see DJ Supermarkt play live at Dry Bar in Manchester and purchase a nice shiny and signed copy of his album on Vinyl. Unfortunately the event in Manchester was only attended by around 13 people which made it very awkward with TBC jumping around at the front like lunatics however we were informed by the man himself that this “made his night” and therefore we saved any embarrassment. The album itself is best introduced by the words on the website link below so I will not waste any time on this and get straight on to the music itself. We were able to enjoy a few of the tracks off the album live at the gig and our favourites from the album; Ned Dohemy – Get It Up For Love is a dreamy, spaced out number, Rupert Holmes – Deco Lady is a quirky, slow number with a great guitar solo that could have featured in a 70’s film, Nicolette Larson – Lotta Love is a catchy country rock inspired disco track with a raspy female vocal and Don Brown – Shut The Door is a catchy, happy disco traffic with a great male vocal.  This album provides a great introduction to DJ Supermarkt but only a little dose of what he can deliver in one of his famous DJ sets. It is one of our more leftfield recommendations but you will be unable to avoid a big smile and shaking your ass to this one which makes it perfect for TBC. We have included some links to the album website and DJ Supermarkt’s blog so that you can get your disco fix.

Start

http://howdoyouare.com

Global Underground #40 by Solomun – Various Artists (2014)

The GU CD series has been on a long break, we have had to wait four years since the last release by Dave Seaman and when you are used to a steady release frequency since 2001 from the likes of Oakenfold, Warren, Sasha, Digweed, Deep Dish, Lavelle and Howells, a four year break makes you think the worst. With the likes of Renaissance going bust after a long history of amazing CD releases it was time to worry for Global Underground also. Our concern however was misplaced as Global Underground are back with a great new release from Solomun entitled Hamburg which is his home town (the album includes a great booklet introducing Solomun’s mix which the GU series is famous for). The first CD is a more chilled, progressive offering which shows us a slightly different side to Solomun for all those who have enjoyed his previous two mixes in 2012; BBC Essential Mix and his Watergate CD vol.11. The second CD is a much more upbeat and club friendly offering which you will want to turn up loud and get dancing too. Particular highlights of the second disc are Solumun’s own track Medea and the classic Radio Slave track My Bleep (Roman Flugel remix). I am not a big fan of the chilled vs clubby CD’s, as has become the norm for many mix CD double disc collections, however in this case I enjoyed both discs and therefore would highly recommend the latest GU mix #40 and hope we don’t have to wait another 4 years for the next instalment.

Defected Pres. Nic Fanciulli in the House – Various Artists (2014)

Ever since the year 2000 when i first began to go clubbing I have followed the career of Nic Fanciulli, from a young resident at Club Class in Maidstone, who also provided great Friday night entertainment at the River Bar Club Class pre-party with his infamous funky house DJ sets, to a residency at Ministry of Sound, a collection of Global Underground and Renaissance CDs, a superb DJ duo tour with James Zabiela called ‘One plus One’, his own nights in Ibiza and now even curating his own festivals at The Social in Maidstone, Kent. It is great to see that Nic remains at the forefront of dance music which is testament to both his DJ and production abilities. The latest Defected pres. release follows a recent purple patch of releases from Defected which includes MK, Henrik Schwarz & Dimitri from Paris (also featured in this Playlist). The Nic Fanciulli edition is another double disc release which does not fall subject to the normal chilled vs upbeat formula (as discussed earlier) and instead is packed with great house and techno from start to finish. The first disc has a more house music focus whereas the second includes some tougher techno tracks however both CD’s are as likely as one another to fuel a great pre or after party. We have enjoyed both discs of this release on more than one occasion and got ourselves in trouble with hotel staff at one point when enjoying at too high a volume in the early hours one morning in Manchester. This mix is definitely up there with previous releases from Mr.Fanciulli and will cut the mustard against the best mixes from the last few years.

BBC Essential Mix – Ten Walls (2014)

This mix only just made this playlist as it only aired on the 13th September however it has earned its place on this Playlist and will be in the running for one of our mixes of the year along with BBC Essential Mix of the year. We were excited that we had the opportunity to see Ten Walls at Melt Festival this year only to have our hopes dashed by an early set in the sweltering heat in Ferropolis that we couldn’t make it to, however Pete Tong came to our aid by lining up Ten Walls (alias of Mario Basanov who had a string of releases over recent years) for the Essential Mix. 2013 was undoubtedly the year of Gotham which rocked every dance floor globally and was the tune of the year for a lot of DJ’s. This resulted in 2014 being a year where every festival and club even has been clamouring for Ten Walls. The follow up tracks to Gotham haven’t disappointed either with the Requiem EP on which Requiem and Mongol are amazing tracks and then Walking with Elephants which has been equally as impressive. Ten Walls decided not to fill his Essential Mix with his own tracks, which is nice for a change as they always seem to be an easy publicity exercise for upcoming DJs to promote their new album. Instead he fills his mix with an amazing ensemble of house, progressive and techno tracks that leave you wondering why you missed him play at the big summer festival! Wow what a mix this is, tracks from Atom TM – Ich Bin Meine Maschine, Moderat – Bad Kingdom (DJ Koze remix), &ME – After Dark are stand out tracks and are great memories of the big tracks this summer past. He even slips in a great sample from the video game Mass Effect which satisfies the geekier fans (like myself). Please listen to this mix, we will put a link below and hope that it works so that you can enjoy.

Wow that was an epic Playlist review, all due to the high quality of the best of the selection which we have enjoyed listening to again and again while writing this blog article. My fingers are hurting from all the typing! Now it is time to put our necks on the line and actually try and pick a favourite from this superb short list. It would be easy to just pick the Ten Walls mix as it was the last mix we heard before writing the article or choose DJ Supermarkt just for the experience we had while discovering the album and attending the release tour party. However we had to put a bit more effort into our selection process and this made it difficult, as it always ends up being, but this month we have to give it to the mix which has remained as exciting every time we have listened to it (and boy have we listened to it a lot since we first received it in the post). The mix provides two individual party sessions over two discs, you would do well to find a better double disc compilation from the last few years and we have been buzzing about this CD ever since we first partied away into the night to it. This Playlist’s top album is:

Defected Pres. Nic Fanciulli in the House – Various Artists (2014) *

Congratulations Mr. Fanciulli you have earned the star next to your album and here’s looking forwards to your next mix CD. Hopefully we will catch you out and about soon as it has been a while since we last saw you live.

Thanks for persevering with this long Playlist and hope you have enjoyed our selection.

TBC