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. And with the Winter Music Conference just behind us, so many great choons are now on the market.
Various – WMC 2005 Promo – Mesilla Valley Madness
Starting off with a DJ Spun & Mystic Bill mix of “No Love,” the track takes on an atmospheric electro house feel with a sampled diva. Grey’s “Why Guess,” was the track that stuck out the most to me. With quirky stabs and a cool melody, this four-to-the-floor track brings a sub base line that carries the spoken word of Simone Salloum. Bringing the hollowed out funk feel courtesy of Mes’ “Uncle Bernie,” of course Mes samples the comedian Uncle Bernie, teaching us not to be afraid of the word “MF.” And while “MF is about expression,” Mes is expressing his dance floor sensibilities with his light percussion and looped keys. Bringing the Mesilla Valley Madness, John Walker’s track, “Shoe,” gets dirty with his acid base line and key stab. If you’re looking to drown your audience in subterranean house funk, pull this weapon out of your box.
Delano Smith feat. Diamondancer – A Message For The DJ – Still Music
“Message for the DJ - I’m a house head forever” declares a cool, calm and sexy female voice by the name of Diamondancer throughout this track. “You can’t move me without it, so don’t you even try . . . I tap my toes to that other shit, but house really makes me move. Some people need hip-hop, rnbs okay, but a funky laid-back funky sweet house track takes my mind away.” I haven’t seen much of Delano’s Smith’s name lately, but I’m usually pleased with his work when I do come across it. By far, this EP is the most exceptional by advocating not only a groove, but also a message in the music. With a breezy afro-carribean flare, the “Inception Dub” lays out the sand over beaches with percussion and atmospheric chords for a scripted sunrise. Coming back with a New York-night-lurking remix, the Jimpster “Red Light mix” stands out the most. The swaying chords give the backdrop to a subtle rising tension while displaying a connoisseur’s appreciation of deep house.
Brett Johnson – Un Quantize Mindz – Magnetic
If you like your bompty mind-twisting and raw, pick this track up. Just when all the ravers thought I was a jaded club DJ, I threw this down at a party the other night and watched them turn out. This track makes the goal of getting people to dance all too easy.
Lawnchair Generals – Truth remixes – Lowdown
A shining shadow of the past, the new Truth remixes get the cut and paste action like Sneak, Hector Moralez and Chris C only know how to do. Stripped down base lines with a less-is-more approach, this redo serves to preserve that momentary groove that the house community has come to enjoy, but in the process doesn’t break any new ground. If you liked the original Truth cut, pick it up and play it out.
Natural Rhythm – Robot Training Camp - .Dotbleep
Justin Long’s label doesn’t jack around when it comes to putting out quality releases (but they may jack the dance floor). “Groove Thing” provides a subtle and soulful jazz layer on top of a bompty appealing groove. Then seemingly to my surprise, “Downtime,” a notable acid jazz track, is encrusted on the pliable vinyl platter, pouring out diversity to what I otherwise thought was a house-or-bust label. With bleeps and blips, the next cut, “Digifunk Era,” takes on a spacey vibe cat feel through round-about base lines and digitized melodies. The last track is one that’s been available for download through www.digibag.com for over a year now, but with a touch up and redit, “BBQ Jazz,” is all sauced and sassed up. Through house, jazz and a bit of tech layering, this release is true to the Natural Rhythm form.
Matthew Bandy & Jake Childs feat. Derek Mayo – Feel It – Seasons
Two names that when put together, can spindle chills down your spine. Seemingly two flawless up-and-comers that have been making quite the shake lately, this release takes on shades of a deeper feel. With late night and poolside ripples, the male vocals of Derek Mayo hit the high notes to stimulate the deep chords of emotion.
Lil Mark – Montage – Aesoteric
For a grooveable true-to-house release, Lil Mark brings it correct. Four feel-good blippy tracks stand the test of appeal, but not the ring of originality. Nonetheless, dance floors need that steady pace of rhythm, and this may just be the round and flat catalyst for the job.