This month’s scorching selection sees New Zealand duo Manuel Darquart team up with Italian house godfather Don Carlos, while White Isle sunset shaman Steve Miller’s Afterlife drops a rare dance-floor diversion. The City Of Angels` Jungle Fire are on the receiving end of some rocking remixes, as are Philly-based poet, Kameelah Waheed`s righteous rhymes. Australia’s Chubby! Records samples some homegrown talent. Gerd Jansen adds his juice Kid Simius` Spanish jive. Germany`s Simon Hinter delivers an E.P. of deepness for Jimpster`s Freerange. The mysterious Lore Of The Samurai does the same for Dutch label, Heist. All in all an octet of outstanding sides, cherry-picked, and covered in quality prose, by our resident expert, The Insider.
MANUEL DARQUART / KEEP IT DXy (DON CARLOS REMIX) / WOLF MUSIC
Underground scenesters Sean Whittaker and Louis Anderson-Rich are Manuel Darquart. The New Zealanders made London their home in 2016 and have been putting out high-quality house and disco via some very respected labels – Coastal Haze, Childsplay, Infinite Pleasure, and Wolf Music. Earlier this year they released the Miranda E.P. on Wolf, with track Keep It DXy pricking the ears of dream house legend Don Carlos. The duo citing Don Carlos as “A holy grail of underground dance music…a dream come true to see our name in the same breath as Don Carlos”, new school meets the old school on this two-track very limited 10” pressing, to keep it super-spesh! Carlos sprinkles his magic over the original track, switching up the drums, adding his dreamy Balearic loveliness. Manuel Darquart get dirty on the flip side with their Sleazy Sunday Mix. If you buy one record for your collection this year, then you have to buy this! If you can manage to bag yourself a copy on pre-sale that is. I hear they are almost gone..
AFTERLIFE / MOKSHA / SUBATOMIC
The original Afterlife, aka Steve Miller, has been carving a niche for himself for a double decade in the downtempo, Balearic and ambient scenes. In more recent years he has dabbled in the darker side, “the chug”. The title cut on the Moksha E.P. is firmly in ALFOS territory, setting the floor alight with a myriad of colours, shapes and textures. It’s a twisted jazz-come-techno odyssey designed with the headsdown foot-stomping soldiers of the spacedance in mind. Reminiscent of days of Café del Mar, Ad Astra does something familiar, while at the same time, its breezy and fresh. Abraxas shimmers and sparkles as Afterlife returns to his love of roots and bass, all floating along on a melodic and comforting groove. Legendary Del Mar resident Ken Fan, collaborates on Dreadbox. This dream team turn in a blazers’ delight of ever-expanding tape loops and hot drums, dub guitar riffs and classic dub organ delay. Could this be one of Steve Millers best to date? Daniele Baldelli loves it! (RELEASED 25TH AUGUST)
JUNGLE FIRE /ATOMICO / RAZOR-N-TAPE RESERVE
L.A. based, 10-piece, afro-Latin funksters, Jungle Fire, have been setting stages alight with their live act. The energy is high, as timbales, conga’s, bongo’s, drums, sax, trombone, and flutes marry together in a colourful carnival of Latin flavours. They’re back again on Razor-N-Tape with the Atómico E.P. It’s a five-track party of soulful South American beats remixed by a sterling cast of talent. Kicking off proceedings is hot property DJ & producer, Felipe Gordon, who delivers a stomping bass heavy mix. Label head JKriv adds his Elektrikossa Dub to La Kossa, blending acid elements in with the stomping house groove. DJ Nu-Mark delivers a scratch and breakbeat version of the title track, while Jungle Fire’s own Patrick Bailey delivers a full-on boogie-down take with his aptly titled Snake In Da Bronx Dub. You can almost see the steam coming outta the manhole covers. Samuel Miles provides perhaps the hottest spice on this E.P. with his remix of Biri Biri. The flavour factor is indeed high on this summertime hottie. It’s got five hot jalapeno’s out of five for me! (RELEASED 3RD SEPTEMBER)
KAMEELAH / AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL (BRUISE & NSW REMIXES) / RAMROCK
Philly hip hop artist Kameelah Waheed delivers powerful lyrics on this monumental release. Pledging allegiance to America, the dreamers, the lovers, the thinkers, the risk takers. At the same time, she questions how many rights can America change? Kameelah skilfully delivers her conscious narrative alongside a rolling hip house beat, a fusion of funk, soul, blues and fly content. Her words reminiscent of Harlem’s Last Poets – who wove righteous rhymes during the 1960s African American Civil Rights movement – and Gil Scott Heron’s concerns on social issues. This avant-funk also gives a nod to `80s New York and the Defunkt, Talking Heads, Ze Records mutant disco sounds. Reworks come courtesy of Ashley Beedle, who heads up North Street West, with Jo Wallace and Darren Morris laying down their signature moves and grooves. Production collective Bruise work their magic too, taking the track to a whole other level of euphoric and joyous orchestral house.
CHUBBY! RECORDS VOL.4
Aaron Andrew’s imprint, Chubby! Records, first delivered in 2015. Based in Sydney, it’s a highly selective situation with the label`s output being a bit of a blue moon! Just in time to quench the gagging thirst of its dedicated fan base, this various artist E.P. lands. It’s a vinyl only affair with four original cuts by Aleqs Notal, Jose Rico, David Swatten, and Aussie super-talent Ewan Jansen. All of these originals also get a rerub, but perhaps the most notable nugget on this hefty slab of wax is that by ace underground Aussie, Swatten, with his elegant and subtly laid-back Wave Energy. Legendary techno traveller, John Beltran, weighs in on Swatten’s OG and seriously ups the amps. Look out too for Life Recorder`s remix of Planetary Insanity and the Leonid’s version of Agonias. One for the deep house heads.
KID SIMIUS / CHICKEN MANGO / JIRAFA RECORDS
Spanish Whizz Kid Simius is all about the good vibes. Born in Grenada, now working out of the musical melting pot that is Berlin, Jirafa Records was launched in 2014 to showcase his own releases and as a platform for other artists. With outings also on El Rio and Tau, this colourful multi-talent has dabbled in a myriad of sounds – hip hop, Balearic, and disco – placing positive energy above any genre pigeonhole. With a dedicated following on his cheekily titled Acido Flamenco Rave Club radio show, broadcast on Ego FM, this month sees the release of his Chicken Mango E.P. It’s a delicious collection of dance-floor jams full of infectious rhythms and sunshine, sure to set the summer on fire. The title cut heads straight for the disco with a rolling bass-line and infectious beat. We Like To Party features cult Spanish band Hinds who transform the original into a piano house affair. Balearic Sundance and 300 Million Stars take us back to the islands, while Gerd Janson works his magic and adds serious weight turning We Like To Party into a magical, cosmic boogie bomb. Axel Boman loves it!
SIMON HINTER / HELENA / FREERANGE RECORDS
German producer Simon Hinter is a master of melodic electronica, and has been putting out music since 2010. With credible releases on Quintessentials, Madhouse and Freerange, his sound takes inspiration from the hip-hop, soul, jazz and funk records of his youth. Hinter draws on the past, delivering skillful and carefully crafted music with a forward thinking feel. His last release on Freerange took his sound to a whole new audience, leading on to further missives on Mad House and Nite Grooves. On the Helena E.P., Simon does what he does best. This music is full of emotion, its deep and its atmospheric. The title cut will move you both inside and out, with its moody strings conjuring up a widescreen cinematic feel, all riding on top of a deep house groove. Heating Element would make a pretty spectacular sundown soundtrack as it builds with its cracking snare and orchestral strings. E.P. closer Airbear picks up the tempo and rides us out into the sunset. This music is brilliant. It’s simple, its raw, and it’s emotional. More Simon Hinter please!
LORE OF THE SAMURAI / OUT THE DOOR / HEIST RECORDINGS
Mystery man, Lore Of The Samurai, drops his debut on Dutch imprint Heist. With an already well-established name, this warrior of the dance has gone undercover, and you cannot fail to be impressed by his masterful production moves. The music is expertly crafted and impressively executed over five ridiculously good cuts. The classic house of City Loop opens and beckons you on to the rougher side of Chicago on Deeper Into Orbit. Space Designer drops a syncopated bass-line that is sure to fire up the floor. Alpha Base is dreamy, at the same it possesses a break that rages into deeper and darker electronic territory. But the pick of the E.P. has to be Justifice. This is silky smooth, beautiful deep house that will glide and slice up the dance, with a vocal cry that turns this closing cut into an absolute stone-cold killer. (RELEASED 27TH AUGUST)
Selections from all these releases can be heard on Saturday 28th – 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.
Jose Rico – Agonias (Leonid Remix) – Chubby! Records
Kameelah Waheed – America The Beautiful (Bruise Remix) – Ramrock
Ewan Jansen – Basilica (Nail Remix) – Chubby! Records
Lore Of The Samurai – City Loop – Heist
Kid Simius – We Like To Party (Gerd Janson Remix) – Jirafa
Manuel Darquart – Keep It Dxy (Don Carlos Remix) – Wolf Music
Jungle Fire – Atomico (Felipe Gordon Remix) – Razor N Tape
Simon Hinter – Helena – Freerange
Aleqs Notal – Planetory Insanity – Chubby! Records
Afterlife – Abraxas – Subatomic