Banban Tonton`s resident four-to-the-floor fancier, The Insider, furnishes us with six summer scorchers. Delivering a short list of fresh finds from the US and Europe that features old friends, Quinn Lamont Luke and Alex From Tokyo, plus a second outing from already firm favourites, Bruise.
Words, and hot house music, selected by The Insider.
GROUND PLANE AERIAL / ELUSIVE MANEUVERS / THEORAMA RECORDS
I’m placing this review at the top of this list, since if I had to choose one release this month to put in the No. 1 slot, this is it! This guy has to be one of Copenhagen’s most talented musical exports, surely? Under his previous moniker, Paxton Fettel he’s dropped a ton of highly regarded releases on Greta Cottage, Delusions Of Grandeur, Kolour LTD, Apersonal, with remixes appearing on Apparel and True Romance. Now, as Ground Plane Aerial, this passionate, full of heart, exciting multi-instrumentalist, DJ, and quality producer brings us the Elusive Maneuvers E.P. It’s a colourful carnival of jazzy, funky, house with high energy vibes that will charge you up to full. Ethereal Drop, with its lively tempo, dramatic stabs, and elegant musicality grace the A side, with the cheekily titled, Magik in Fuck Off Major, and its intense layers of complex keyboard licks and chord progressions, funk up the B. This is one talented producer who deserves the highest recognition for this stonkingly good release.
RETROMIGRATION / BLOOM STREET E.P. / WOLF MUSIC
London label, WOLF Music welcome Amsterdam-based Retromigration, with the German-born artist serving up yet another killer E.P. This hotly tipped player has been carving out a name for himself with his signature sound of chopped up beats n loops – with his talents on full display again across the Bloom Street E.P. The title cut is rollin’ New York house that’ll get your head nodding and your body aching to move. Flip it over to the deep and jazzy, Free Spirit, which takes you on a ride with its heavily infectious groove. One Night With Colin turns the lights down low for a smoky, deep house trip, while Slick Walkin’ brings the 12 to a jazzy piano close.
JACQUES RENAULT / SKY ISLANDS / LET’S PLAY HOUSE
New York based warehouse party, Let’s Play House, has been run by Jacques Renault and his long-time label partner Nik Mercer for well over a decade. With its enviable international roster, the highly regarded eponymous imprint followed a few years later. On Jacques` third album, Sky Islands, this deeply experienced, and highly skilled DJ and producer brings something so fresh in the shape of a thirty-minute mixed vinyl LP. Renault flexes his production muscle and explores his craft through a tribute to the nineties classic late-night radio megamix. The tracks are short – at 1:30 each – but are brilliantly bonkers. It’s a skillful blend of breakbeat, house and disco, that goes against all logic to create a sound that is both retro and at the same time forward thinking. Not the most DJ friendly offering, but one that megamix appreciators will enjoy to the max and back! We can look forward to the extended tracks getting a release, with some reworks, later on in the year.
BRUISE / JOY / FOUNDATION MUSIC
Production duo of the moment, Bruise, brought us the much acclaimed Presentation E.P. in 2020, on Nick Williams` Meda Fury. This time round the London underground collective’s top boy, Christian Campbell, takes us into orbit with another euphoric and joyful, serotonin-charged track that pays homage to the sounds of Detroit and UR. Vocal chants work alongside orchestral piano moves and deep house grooves. Come for the piano banger and stay for the choral stabs. Aced it once again Bruise!
RECUT / DIRTY FUN VOL. 1 / RECUT MUSIC
Mystery producer Recut is back with the third installment on his own Recut Music label. Dirty Fun Vol. 1 delivers, yet again, more well-crafted house and disco gems aimed squarely at the dance-floor – on a vinyl only format. Groove a Thon is a very naughty rework of the Isaac Hayes classic, with power added to the bottom-end to maximise the energy in the groove. Tox Disco uses slap bass and some heavenly strings to make the dancer gyrate over six minutes of glorious heat. The striped-back title track feels a little more psychedelic, while closing cut, Afro Machine, does something weird with its blend of reggae and house but it certainly works a treat.
QUINN LAMONT LUKE & ALEX FROM TOKYO/ NOT MY DAY / EL TRIANGULO
Just three weeks after the first release on newly formed El Triangulo, Quinn Lamont Luke returns with Alex From Tokyo on the firm. The original version of Not My Day saw the light of day a few years back on wax when it was hosted by Alex’s World Famous label. This time the tune`s given a shine by Tokyo Black Star, who delve a little deeper and darker, moving down to the basement where acid blends with tougher electronica, all softened by Quinn’s honeyed vocal. In addition, Quinn pulls off the cover of the century with his stripped-down version of the Lil Louis classic, Lonely People / Club Lonely. It isn’t easy to cover such hallowed ground, but Quinn Lamont Luke has done it with class and restraint. The only way to do it justice really. 10/10.
Selections from all these releases can be heard on Saturday – 8 til 9PM Japan time, from midday GMT – when The Insider will be my very special guest on The Remedy, care of FM Karuizawa 77.5 MHZ. Following broadcast, the show will be archived on Mixcloud.