Tuesday, February 01, 2005

crampton february 2005 house

by brent crampton ~ Whether it be funky and deep, bompty and quirky, or just click-click beepy – this is your monthly house music source for what’s hot and churning on the dance floors at the moment, as well as what you can expect to find in the record stores a few months down the line.

Blaze
Found Love: The Remixes
West End

At a recent trip to Smart Bar in Chicago to see Halo, the end-of-the-night peak came when he threw down the Kiko Navarro Remix. As the fellow Jacker’s on the dance floor sang, “I found love, a higher love,” life seemed good. And life seems much better now that I have the record in my case. If you missed the first release of Found Love, these remixes are a must for any soulful house collection.

The sedated and inspirational voice proclaiming a higher love is back again with diverse remixes. From the climax rhythm of Kiko Navarro’s Remix to the broken beat Original Shrine DJ Vocal Mix, this “Giant Single,” as the record sleeve proclaims, has a bit of everything for the soulful house connoisseur.

Having multiple remixes of a song gives the DJ a tool. For example, the Fanatix Dub mix gives hints of the chorus line, making any educated dancer recognize what may be coming up. At this point, the DJ can throw down the other record and drop another version of the song and tease the crowd or just drop the new base line with the full chorus on them.

Various Artists
Guns & Butter EP
D’lectable

With the fifth release from Lady D’s music boutique, D’lectable has quickly risen as a label known for putting out varied and quality house music. The Guns & Butter EP, set to come out possibly around April, is carrying on the tradition.

A Chicago-Jackin’ style track, Stacy Kidd’s Bad Accident has a thumping bass. The tracky horn drives the jam away from police sirens in the background as the cowbell percussion provides the perfect get away.

Backspace by Deep Code has a clicky-beep deep tech house feel, which sounds as if it took samples from the House of Mouths EP. An acid line creeps up in the break down and leaves to highlight the emotional keys.

Tonight by Justin Robertson featuring Hub brings a strong female vocal with a dark and melodic sound.

Triple Conack by Monkey Nuts has a straight-up jazz appeal with a house beat on top. Keys, trumpet, bass and drums make this an instrumental track for those early night warm-ups. Disco strings linger on later in the track to bring a classic old school feel giving this EP a well rounded package that will appeal to nearly all house heads.

Don Tinsley & Ben Armstrong
Finger Funkin Good
Uniform

While the full EP is set to come out on Jake Child’s record label, Uniform, sometime in April, I was slipped a preview of the Jason Hodges remix. Bringing in a cleaner base line than the original cut, Hodges lays down the funky guitar sample to lead the track. Half way through, he drops a minty fresh key that sent a chill down my spine. In the spirit of contemporary house producers, Hodges wastes no time in moving on to the electro-tinged voice and back to the funky guitar riff to end this quick-mix track.

To catch the original yet-to-be released Finger Funkin Good track, download my Musique Mix 03 (http://djcrampton.technomaha.com/brentfull.mp3) set (it’s the third to the last track on the mp3). After all, a remix can only be fully appreciated in light of the original.

Spettro
All Good Funk Alliance
White

Texas icon Spettro dishes out a promo with an original and eerie sound, complemented by a thick and pulsating bass line akin to a Joey Youngman track on side A with Fever. Chopping claps carry the track until a stabbing synth screaming you onto the dance floor erupts. The melody gives the perfect rhythm for the body to mimic.

On the B side with the Fever Remix, the heavy percussion with an emphasis on reverb gives a proper bounce. With almost a break beat appeal, the spacey funk lightly sampling the stabbing synth will accommodate well with house heads. The outbreak of the cowbell on the last frame before the track ends makes you wanna say, “I gotta have more cowbell!”

Demarkus Lewis
Light The Flame EP
Blue Iguana Music
Light the flame

Trevor Lamont and Ben Armstrong have started up a new deep house label, Blue Iguana Music. With artists such as Halo, Matthew Bandy and remixes by Jay-J set in the catalogue, this gem by Demarkus Lewis is set to come out sometime within the next few months. So keep your eye out for quality house music on this label.

As if Texas was on the tip of everyone’s tongue, Demarkus Lewis has been there since the beginning before the band wagon began. After bringing in a rolling base line in Clowin’, the track picks up with a one-bar bouncing acid line as a chorus orchestra rises and falls driving the energy up the wall. Blasts of melody and a repetitive line make this a driving track. And as if signaling that it’s time to move on, the acid line bounces back in and leaves room for the next track to mix in.

Keeping with an energetic chorus line, the Light The Flame track breaks out with techish synth and flat ‘n’ round base line. There is plenty of percussion to make this track a peak hour extravaganza. But just when you think this deep house label has gone a bit too housey, a swirling melody kicks in, bringing a balance of peak and deep to fit everyone’s taste in house music.

John Larner & Slater Hogan
Movin’ Our Way
Odds and Ends Music

This EP has a peak hour groove with a sampled 80’s funky-good-time sound (minus any electro influence). The A side has a movin’ vocal line with enough horns to make you keep on. The Q Burns remix on the B side is a stripped down funk with a light acid line in the background towards the end of the track. With plenty of breakdowns, this track is ideal for the fun and funky atmosphere that teases your crowd into submission. The Z-Mix is a samplin’-click-click-beep track that bounces the beat back and forth.

The A side original is definitely worth keeping around in your record box. The two remixes were a bit uneventful, but with the proper education of your crowd, they could be the perfect tools to layer over other tracks.

DJ Sneak
Funky Rhythm
Magnetic

As if everything DJ Sneak touches turns gold, this soon-to-be-considered-classic is being played all over the states by the bompty-bomp culture. The original DJ Sneak mix has an easy riding groove with the filtered spoken word, “this funky rhythm, you can’t control it, the more you hear it, the more you want it.”

Bringing in the high hat stompers themselves, Jason Hodges and Chuck Daniels churn out a more rhythmic choon with the choppy samples and funky guitar riffs. Which leaves Armand Van Helden to take things to the next step. Helden does some damage with a peak feel, turning the track into a mass-appealing 80’s electric guitar sampling rocker. Pick this track up before it sells on E-Bay five years from now for $50.

White Collar Criminals
Delirious EP
Fetish Recordings
Broken Hearted

You gotta love music with a message! And with the flooded market of bompty house, the new generation of housers often think “that feeling” of house only refers to the buzz you get from alcohol. The back-dropped vocals of Broken Hearted sings: “You broke his heart, and made him cry, and he’s been bruised since then. Now he’s found somebody new and you want him back again.” A perfect track to play out when your trying to get a message across to an ex-mate.

Novocain samples the kick from the classic Downtime Paper records. This is an easily overlooked track, but a second glance will reveal a cool and quirky melody worth playing out.

The flip side starts with hip-housey funky track Misunderstood driven by the base line. The undisputed highlight of the EP comes with No Hablo Espanol which pans out to be a south of the border light and smooth sounding jam. With a catchy Spanish vocal sample, the track is set over the top with a Latin guitar riff. This track is sure to catch the ear of any aficionado as well as the passer-by, beckoning them to the dance floor.

Morgan Page
County Line
Lowdown

With the original having a spacey funk and quirky feel, the real gem is Lance Desardi’s remix of County Line. It’s an excellent meld of different styles bringing in a Spanish guitar laced track having its fuse lit by the dirty base line.

Joshua & Karl Injex
The Sun, The Moon, The Stars
OM

This EP has a little bit for everyone – downtempo, funky house, and a tech house remix by Johnny Fiasco (his name alone should sell you on the record). Throughout all the mixes is an original sounding synth stab layering on top of each other. The original mix takes on a deep and funky feel. Johnny Fiasco brings a big-floor approach to his remix, making it the peak version of the EP.

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