Brexit be bollox-ed as our house expert, The Insider, selects European sides from across the water – namely fresh missives from Sven Wenger and Paxton Fettel`s Ground Plane Aerial. Two new E.P.s coming care of Dutch imprints, Heist and Theorama Recordings. From the UK herself, London labels, Sugar Tape Recordings and Freerange, respectfully release music by Taho & Matt Sugar R, and Wisconsin duo, Solid Gold Playaz. The latter in tribute to producer Kenny Gino, who sadly recently passed away. Down on the coast, Mr. Bongo have Harvey Sutherland and the mighty Masters At Work overhaul Melbourne’s superlative funk outfit, Surprise Chef. Stateside, we check out the hotbed of 4 / 4`d hoofers that is Brooklyn, and 4 terrific tracks by Clive From Accounts for Razor N Tape Reserve. Moving south of the border, Mexican brothers Gerardo and Emanuel Cedillo deliver for Delusions Of Grandeur, using their artistic alias, Soul Of Hex. From Colombia, Medelin-based musical magician, Bosq, remixes Alma Negra, while the Bogota-born, Felipe Gordon also has an excellent E.P. out on Heist.
All selections and words by The Insider.
SURPRISE CHEF / MASTERS AT WORK & HARVEY SUTHERLAND REMIXES/ MR BONGO
You’ll find Surprise Chef at the vanguard of Melbourne’s underground scene. They’ve been bubbling away working out of their ‘College Of Knowledge’ studio, honing their sound through lockdown in the house that they all share. They hooked up with the UK label Mr Bongo through a chance meeting in a record shop in Australia. Two albums and a single later, Mr Bongo had the connects to invite a heaviest of remix teams on board to put their spin on two Surprise Chef album tracks. With Mr Bongo going so far back with Kenny & Louie, they were in prime position to bag the first Nuyorican remix for some years. And what a coup! Masters At Work inject their signature bounce, groove, and magic into Crayfish Caper, taken from the bands’ debut album, All News Is Good News. Mate of the band, fellow Melbournite, ultra-classy producer, Harvey Sutherland, then delivers his delightfully wonky ‘Weird Flex’ rework of New Ferrari.
SVEN WEGNER / NIGHT OF LIGHT / FLUID FUNK
Hamburg’s Sven Wegner is well practised in putting out classic house and techno cuts, but on the Night Of Light E.P., he swtiches his efforts toward some super smooth, electro-funk studio mastery. He started producing way back in the `90s with an Atari ST, plus some hardware synths, but these days he’s been getting more acquainted, with his soulful self. Night Of Light is hosted by Dutch imprint, Fluid Funk, who’s last few releases have been hitting the high spots, and Sven Wegner continues in the same mighty fine form. The title track lays down an easy, sway-able, vibe with its deep house sensibilities and jazzy swing. The playful Babette has that underground soul feel with some Irish fiddle accents that will make you think of Jean Luc Ponty for a moment. French Late Night lets the bass talk, with its RnB vocal and deadly piano stabs. It’s sleazy as fuck with, dare I say, shades of Moodyman? Closer, Sunny Your Mind, does it exactly what it says on the tin, as it lifts you up and swaddles you in the musical equivalent of a warm and cosy blanket.
CLIVE FROM ACCOUNTS / STRICTLY BUSINESS / RAZOR N TAPE RESERVE
Clive From Accounts has had releases on Fouk’s Outplay and On The Corner Records, and this month sees him grace the original music Reserve imprint of Razor-N-Tape with an E.P. titled, Strictly Business. You may find yourself distracted by his day job, but don’t let the comedy tag take your attention away from the quality of the music, as this E.P. packs punch. Tell Me is just about as heavy as it gets, with its epic opening impression made with a rolling deep house beat. The lush and nostalgic Without Your Love makes the mind sing and the body move, while the cold and icy breaks of Yukon round of this incredibly hefty whole. Keep your eyes out for this geezer. He is one piece of hot office property.
GROUND PLANE AERIAL / CHAMPAGNE TEST / THEORAMA RECORDS
Everybody’s favourite Copenhagen-er Paxton Fettel, is reborn as Ground Plane Aerial. The name`s changed but the skill, quality and charm of this dynamic young producer remains just the same. With a history that includes outings on hallowed labels like Delusions of Grandeur, Greta Cottage Workshop, Apersonal, and White Deluca’s Kolour LTD, the bar is high! Jazz-funk futurism is the order of the day as the second release on his own Theorama Records, is straight out of the space gate with the Champagne Test E.P. The tantalisingly titled Sex Tape Emulation saucily delivers swirling acid lines amidst funky bass, with a 909 bringing extra sparkle to this out of this world trip. Late Bloomer is warm and fragrant like a hot, balmy summer`s night. Shame it`s only two tracks but it`s two tracks that are lush, deep, jazzy and life affirming. More please GPA!
TAHO & MATT SUGAR R / DOPAMINOR / SUGAR TAPE RECORDINGS
Sugar Tape Recordings is a vinyl-only imprint founded by Matt Sugar R, as a platform for his own deep house and techno productions. As a regular host on Belgium’s Warm FM, Sugar has released on Detroit’s Visillusion and remixed for the likes of F.E.M. On the Dopaminovor E.P, Sugar gets together with techno legend David Jacopin aka Taho, who you’ll know from his early releases on Laurent Garnier’s F Communications and countless other outings on KMS, Ovum and Delsin. The result of this impressive meeting of musical minds is another two tracker that skillfully merges deep house and jazz with a sprinkling of funk – on speed. The title cut is a fully charged, hi-energy, electronically infectious groove. But flip it over to the monster Funky Boogie, that betrays it’s given name by going tribal, into more dark and deadly afro house territory.
SOLID GOLD PLAYAZ / NEXT TO ME / FREERANGE RECORDS
Solid Gold Playaz – Kenny Gino & Mike T – had been on a break for a while, finally coming out of hibernation to release their first production in sometime on Freerange Records in 2020. As a huge fan of Solid Gold Playaz, label head Jimpster, had worked with the Wisconsin duo to put out a further 12 – the Next To You E.P. With the new four-tracker already underway, it came as great shock when Kenny Gino sadly passed in July. With Mike T’s permission, Freerange Records proudly present this very powerful and poignant record. The opener is deep and emotional as its Kenny’s voice that’s sits on top of the hypnotic house groove. Who’s Playin’ Ya is raw and rolling Chicago house, while Do You Think closes out this collection with a juggernaut of a bass-line that just keeps on going and going. Rest in power Kenny G, your musical legacy shines on.
ALMA NEGRA / ZOUK COMBAT / ALMA NEGRA RECORDINGS
The Alma Negra collective is made up of brothers Dersu & Diego, and Mario. As a DJ and live performance crew, they’ve been putting out a colourful carnival of beats that represents their Latin and Capo Verde roots. The Switzerland-based, highly innovative trio have cultivated a global sound which has pricked up the ears and interest of a host discerning selectors. Gilles Peterson is a big fan! The Zouk Combat E.P. is yet another fine example of a multi-cultural approach that comes from a raging passion for percussion, highly infectious rhythms, and Latin heat. Paying homage to `80s Afro Disco, the title track is nothing but a dance-floor bomb! Sunrise cut Sosso is just what you want to hear when the sun comes up on the beach, while Timbal Madness delivers a tough timbale solo for the agile dancers. Alma Negra then bring in Boston-born, Medellin-based, in-demand, studio wizard Bosq for a truly righteous rerub.
SOUL OF HEX / PHARAOH MACHINE / DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR
Delusions Of Grandeur boast a roster of all thing’s quality and off centre. The London label welcome back Tijuana brothers, Soul Of Hex, who’s new E.P., Pharoah Machine sure ain`t for the faint hearted. The three tracks all have the dark and serrated edge that we’ve come to expect from Gerado and Emanuel. The E.P. opens on cosmic disco tip – which wouldn’t be out of place in a Daniele Baldelli set! The title cut fuses filtered synths with a bumping groove, adding a vintage vocal for maximum dance-floor devastation. The closing Dreams is moody, murky, and magnificent, with its low-slung hypnotic beat. This is one KILLER release from D.O.G.
FELIPE GORDON / HIGHLY CONDUCTIVE RHYTHMS / HEIST RECORDINGS
Colombian Felipe Gordon seems to be a name on everyone’s lips right now. The Bogota DJ / produce / musician is taking the underground scene by storm with a super-speed stream of muscular releases on cool labels such as Shall Not Fade, Local Talk and Toy Tonics. He’s a renaissance man, often finding inspiration in the past, and he’s back once again with a four-tracker for Heist, full of nostalgia and quality. Traversing jazz, deep house and funked-up acid, everything on this varied E.P. are designed to get your senses tingling and your feet moving. The luscious jazzy opener features Julian Rigal on Cuban horn, reminding us very much of St. Germain. Highly Deep and Conductive goes down to the basement, with its crunchy sub-bass and warm pads. Gordon also takes a surprising left turn with an acid drum workout, it too delivered to great effect! The closing cut flows in a more classic bumping house direction, rounding off another outstanding effort from this rising South American star.
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.
Taho & Matt Sugar R – Funky Boogie – Sugar Tape Recordings
Soul Of Hex – Say It Again – Delusions Of Grandeur
Clive From Accounts – Without Your Love – Razor N Tape Reserve
Alma Negra – Timbal Madness – Alma Negra
Felipe Gordon – Highly Corrosive Acid – Heist Recordings
Solid Gold Playaz – Next To Me – Freerange Recordings
Clive From Accounts – Tell Me – Razor N Tape Reserve
Sven Wegner – French Late Night – Fluid Funk
Surprise Chef – Crayfish Caper (Masters At Work Mix) – Mr Bongo