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Music Review: Jamie Lie A Kwie – The Groove Codex LP [VL Recordings]

By Music Reviews, Reviews

Today – about 10 years after since his first release – Jamie Lie A Kwie releases his debut album on the mighty Vatos Locos label. Known for his warm and charming groove tools, The Rotterdam-based DJ and producer has captured many facets on the entitled Groove Codex LP by introducing the listener to his personal vision of dub rhythms. A vision which is evident across titles across his work here; in fact, the 15-tracks album includes tunes called “Forever Dub” and “Re-Dub Overdub” that, as well as the other tracks on the LP, feature quite long analogue rides where large rolling low-grooves are boss.

 

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 Click HERE to buy the Groove Codex LP

 

With Jamie being a personal favourite among tINI and Vatos Locos’ head-honcho Hector, to name a few, so much that his first output for the label is from 2016, the album traces his whole artistic path, starting right with “Jungl“, originally released earlier last year on the label. This track is a straight and heady minimal house track that since the very beginning makes us live the frenzy of the jungle thanks to pounding kick, tribal congas and a percussion loop that constantly gets pitched up & down, giving to the track a sense of restlessness. On the opener, Jamie features dark and mysterious atmospheres with some odd synths moving on long lines together with smooth arpeggios patterns in an effective interplay, especially when the pads arise in the break, before the drums cycle back smoothly, sharp and dusty. 

 

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Up next, “Nordzee“, hits the spot by working on an interesting combination between the kick and the groove: the 4/4 beat takes a little further with a strange but effective the use of low percussions, to which is added an unconventional hi-hat right on the beat. Trippy and higher-pitched percs create a sort of hook for the drums to follow, with some mellow vibes also courtesy of lush and airy pads. Lifted two centimetres from the floor, we keep on floating on this intimate track.

 

On the entitled “Time & Again“, Jamie shows us his personal taste in the choice of drum sounds, bringing to evidence his love for fat grooves, re-taking some of those 2015-ish dub forgotten sonorities. Synths are further apart, shotting some harmonics on the heavy beat. A wispy breakbeat filters through, slowly coming to the listener’s attention during the break and continues for the drop, but once we are aware of it we can’t get rid of this stumbling shake.

 

 

Track 6, “Moving Current“, insists on a rusted groove where the drums are thin, with the exception of the clap which is fat and deep. On this one, Jamie gives to the drums the right dose of saturation, creating a grainy lofi feel. The snare roll picks the groove up at the end of four bars, creating an endless story combining with low reverberated pad chords that are drugging as down under smooth current. The synth line is melodic and introspective, sounding like an endless journey which takes us deep within the sea. This unfinished, infinite feeling makes the piece sounds fragile to its utmost expression.

 

Thus, “In Arts” goes back to a straightforward kick and bass relation. The kick is stingy and the bass rolls tight on it, with the drums getting more aggressive and the synths turning into hypnotic harsh-drivers, more harsh and definite. On this one, we lose that tinge of vagueness that we had so far for a more solid attitude. Reverbed drum hits create variation while the hat and clap proceed regularly and steady. The arp synth has a very deep house flavour, rubbery and everchanging. Melody is obscure and trippy, hypnotic, compelling. Just close your eyes, here’s everything you need.

 

 

 

 

Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi

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Music Review: Umberto – Subjectivity EP

By Music Reviews, Reviews

Hailing from Bologna, 320kb Music boss Umberto (also known as Dumbo) is back on Italy’s Daphian Productions to show the world what’s house music is all about. The entitled “Subjectivity” EP is a deep journey between rough ghetto beatz, acid rhythms and dusty neo-romantic post-industrial vibes, with the main track which also gets a remix treatment by Detroit legend Rick Wade.

 

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 Click Rick Wade to buy Subjectivity EP – DPV005

 

Opening track “Subjectivity” instantly shows a gritty attitude on a breakbeat groove, bringing us back in some US smokey bars, where the main protagonist is a delicate sense of swing, loopiness and sensuality. Overall, the sound is dusty and lofi in a very old school fancy, with Umberto knowing exactly how to blend this into a more modern and minimal way. Some spoken words kick in, bringing on some mystery and motion with a catchy pace, and we can’t stand still while it goes.

 

 

Up next, Detroit’s deep-house titan Rick Wade delivers a massive interpretation of Umberto’s A1, shifting to a beautiful uplifting mood. It’s house time baby. The kick pounds and a deadly play of 909 hi-hats dominates rumbling strings and the main vocal, which now is used in a more atmospheric way, sounding further and intense. The result is very emotional jam, with intense strings and choirs, throwing in some extra-colour on the original whilst taking groove to a tougher level.

 

The B-side opens with the laid-back Balearic jam of “Hypnotico”. The powerful and intricate drum patterns roll around the swingy hi-hat, in a rolling neverending flow. Some detuned stabs make us feel instantly on the beach, evening time, enjoying the sunset. Glidy synth and smooth piano-like chords fill the mids with class. Umberto, despite everything, doesn’t forget his dirty signature house sound, making of this one another playful fancy tune.

 

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Last but not least is closing “Was Nice To See You Dancin”, a super-soul twisted piece. Disco strings and a charming melody give to the track an old and kinda-happy vibe, the perfect tool for opening sets, with the right balance in between deep, funk and dancefloor attitude. Percussions are tight and groovy, with the snare’s sound cooked to the right point, crisp as it should be. During the break, the track lifts in a dense high pitched cloud of sound, before coming back to the ruthless 4/4 straight kick, bass and groove.

 

 

 

 

Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi

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Music Review: Patrizio Gabrielli – Comfortable Disharmony [Heko Records]

By Music Reviews, Reviews

Rome’s very own Patrizio Gabrielli (Joule) makes his Heko Records debut with the “Comfortable Disharmony” EP. A title that catches the digger’s attention even before he put the needle on the disk. And if they say that a book is not judged by the cover, well maybe a record could be, especially if it’s served on a colourful minimalistic sleeve.

 

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 Click HERE to buy HR008 – Comfortable Disharmony EP

 

With both Patrizio and Heko fierce supporters of the quality over quantity motto, the label reaches its 8th release after having released intriguing deep house and avant-garde/futuristic house gems packed with electro and minimal influences.

 

Opening proceedings, the super-deep “Astra” welcomes a combination of analogue spacey sounds and fat bass notes, rolling smoothly under a delicate airy and mild pluck that is constantly changing. The kick hits hard and digs deep, creating an emotive groove. The whole piece, as the title suggests, evokes cuddly melancholic feels, and the swingy 909 percussive pattern is liquid and well-balanced, perfectly melting the elements together.

 

 

Thus, the energetic “Polylove” brings the moods up. Dancefloor time. Again, the drums are very crisp and robust, with Patrizio working with the always-winning formula of kick, clap, hat and bassline for the first minute. On this one, the overall mood moves to more electronic-ish feel, also by focusing on 90s sounds, a trend that was already taken by the label in its latest releases. The heavy drums are yet combined with a chunky bassline and futuristic splashes of resonating acid lines in a flurry burst of sounds.

 

 

On the flip, “Kashmir” is the real deal of the EP. This one has been hammered by the label head honcho Giammarco Orsini over the last couple of years, and every time he dropped that, the crowd went bananas. With Gabrielli still keen to bring forward his deadly combination of 90s flavour and new-kind of house wave, the track rapidly follows into an early acid breakdown surrounded by distant delayed notes, whilst the drums are straight and in front. The lead synth is glidy and goes a super catchy and hooky melody alongside the slippery acid line. Magic.

 

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Rounding out the package, “Tribe” gets more aggressive: the bassline gets rid of its gloomy bassline, turning into a rampant gritty sawtooth. The breakbeat mood works seamlessly, with fat snares and sharp drum elements to close the matter. Delicate synths and celestial arp-lines literally spin over our head, in stark contrast with the rough bassline, with warm chords leading the whole EP down to the end.

 

 

 

Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi

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Back Inside – England Given the Green Light on Indoor Music Events from August 1st

By Music Reviews, News

More positive news this week for nightlife in the UK as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced today ‘Audiences adhering to social distancing will be able to return to indoor theatres, music and performance venues from 1 August’.

 

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This is subject to the success of pilot schemes that will be taking place this month. Audiences, performers and venues will be expected to maintain social distancing at all times. Guidance for the performing arts, published earlier this month, also sets out further measures to support the safe return of audiences, including:

 

  • Reduced venue capacity and limited ticket sales to ensure social distancing can be maintained

  • Tickets will be purchased online and venues encouraged to use e-tickets to reduce contact and help with track and trace

  • Venues should have clearly communicated social distancing marking in place in areas where queues form and adopt a limited entry approach

  • Increased deep cleaning of venues

  • DJs must observe social distancing wherever possible

 

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This follows the government’s announcement of £1.57 billion funding for the arts, culture and heritage sector earlier this month. Details of which are still to be announced.

 

Safe to say this is a major step forward to us returning to normality. We now wait in anticipation to see which promoters will be coming back first. Safe to say I’ve missed standing front left and this a step closer to that.

 

See you on the dancefloor!

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Music Review: Carebears 606

By Music Reviews, Reviews

The soft and loveable Italian Carebears drop another spacey 2-tracker EP on their self-titled label.

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The opening track rumbles around a deadly 909 skipping groove made of gritty drums and dirty modular percussion. If at first, just a metallic synth rises to the rescue, we’re pushed high with the entry of the thunderous open hat, throwing our hands to the sky. The piece has a slow harmonic development, with the pads able to fade and arise smoothly, giving to the track an emotional and profound feel. In its whole length, the track is a neverending loop that cycles naturally, keeping the listener’s half-awake thanks to the overbearing bassline that literally carries the track from start to finish.

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The bears stick to the B-side rules, providing a slick and funky minimal jam get minimal on this B side. Some dry drums are pointed and very defined, with a sort of odd melody prowling on the background. The synth hits are shotted just where needed and die in silence after their appearance. Hypnotic high pitched perc completes the complex interplay.  A far vocal starts talking, polarizing the listener’s attention. Muffled stab kicks in halfway through the track, shifting the track into an uplifting and sunny mood. Well done bears.

Words by Francesco Quieti and Francesco Zambianchi

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Music Review: Guti & David Gtronic – Personality Disorder Remixes LP

By Music Reviews, Reviews

Personality Disorder Music is Guti & David Gtronic‘s launched at the end of last year with a massive 18-tracks LP. We talked about this new joint-venture with both the guys during the fantastic Guti’s Bday-bash during ADE last year, also premiering one of the peak-time from the album called “The Traveller”. The collaborative effort has seen both the label-heads involved in the LP and now, 6 months after, almost every original track got a remix treatment from good friends of the label like Hector, Sece, Giorgio Maulini, Chklte and Just_Me, to which are added the winners of the remix contest Del Fonda and Federika. The whole package flows smoothly on its 15 tracks, ranging from the summer-breezy atmospheres of US trio Imbue to more dancefloor-oriented gunpowder tools courtesy of Vatos Locos associates Sece and Randall M.

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Dailycid Music boss DJ W!LD opens the package with a tight, load of soul, minimal banger on his version of “Endless Positions”. An airy overprocessed pads moves smoothly in the pan, sweeping from left to right, while distant voices create a gentle contrast with the harsh sound of the drums. A second, masculine and low-pitched vocal kicks in boldly on the drop. Bass shakes powerfully and trippy percussive loop complete the frame with a just-right breakbeat feel, with the French DJ able to deliver a gentle and measured piece exploration in different music styles.

Just_Me‘s remix of “Nakata” – which in its original version also featured Argentinian Fosky, now involved as a remixer –  features his deep-techy signature. The rubbery and definite pulse from the low-end area keeps on the groove, perfectly matching with a second sampled bassline that kicks in later on. Pads arise, creating an opening just in time for the break. A very simple but effective re-interpretation, with a resolute and clear personality. No disorder here.

Next up, Buenos Aires-based and contest winner Del Fonda delivers a funky and robust remix of “Robot Love”, and we immediately get lost in the gentle piano chords. Harmony takes the piece immediately, while a swingy drums section walks tight and sharp on the deep kick. Noise sweeps and transitional effects are perfectly used in the break, emptying the track enough to get empowered back on the drop. With its short notes and a kind of nervous, raring feel the bassline do exactly what we really like, bouncing, rolling and carrying the track from start to finish.  

Moving on, Vatos Locos head-honcho Hector gets gritty, puts his hands on “Du Sade”, providing a tremendous powerful version. Dirty drums invade the spectrum with harsh sounds and a fiery attitude, whilst the rampant bass never stops moving, literally melting whatever floats by. Pitched down vocal gets mental, humming an odd melody that we can’t get out of our head. More synths kick in aggressively, filling the scene, never settled. The wave of sound that invests us is thick and picks the listener’s up. It’s difficult to remain seated. It’s hard not to get involved. Heavy tornado-like mood bears down all. They should have warned us about. Parental advisory explicit content absolutely needed here!

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Man of the moment Giorgio Maulini puts all his Swiss class on his interpretation of “Waves In The Sun”, one of the deepest track from the original album, transformed now in a bold breakbeat piece. The bass is so garage, and the overall sounds are deliciously old school-ish. Fluffy pads are emotional and light as feathers on the solid groove.

With the kick getting straight from time to time, the track is always in constant motion, smooth and flawless, as everything that occurs in the tracks feels like a natural consequence, showing a real mastery from Maulini when it comes to time-management. Let the music speak (from himself). We like the tale, we like the story. On repeat Giorgio!

Towards the end of the album, DJ W!LD strikes back again with another remix, this time for “Jupiter Ascending”. Apparently, his rough version has nothing even close to capable of reaching the planet’s orbit, until some deep lush pads spread pleasant vibes, warming our cold journey to distant galaxies. To infinity and beyond.

Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi

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Music Review: Macarie – Kontent 002

By Music Reviews, Reviews

Romanian wonderkid Macarie is next on Vlad Arapasu‘s label KONTENT. It was indeed the boss himself who got the ball rolling earlier last year with three massive originals on the first EP. Now, he leaves the throne to his fellow-Romanian colleague Macarie using the exact same winning formula, as the young talent delivers three compelling original tracks, a deep dive in the new tendencies of the minimal house spectrum.

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Click HERE to buy KNTNT002 

Opener “Perry” features shiny synth lines that run smoothly on the tight beat. Long organic strings are in interplay with more shotted harmonic stabs, creating a suggestive “ups and down” mood. The rich groove structure is in constant motion and literally sticks in the listener’s head, while high pitched FXs hover in the upper part of the track with spacey hits, making the entire piece dynamic and enthralling.

Thus, “Low Pawz” really turns to be a natural consequence of the first piece. Here, things get tripped, as the kick breaks its regular pace, breaking into a wavy motion. Since the first minute, to the first kind of low-arp synthesizer, a new high-tone spacy synthesizer peeps out, revealing a skilful creative process by Macarie. The endless rotation, given by the constant repartee between these two ever-changing elements, manages to take the listener in a timeless space – considering that the slapping groove is pretty simple – allowing Macarie to create a lively harmonic development.

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B1’s “Papa Nicolau” is the darkest of the EP, resonating in the vast desolate lands suggested by the war-horns like a rousing call to harms. Cinematic harmonic elements and intense atmospheres wash the mix out over the rigid and swingy drums, suggesting a vague sense of ageing and authority. The heavy bass rumbles on the subs, while the kick hits hard on the upper mids, cutting nicely. Minimal tunnel.

Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi

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Music Review: Zohki, Bídlee – Down The Road EP [Obaidlí Records]

By Music Reviews, Reviews

Newborn Qatar-based Obaidlí Records‘ first release comes by the bídlee, the founder of the label, and Deep In You Music-head Zohki. With their very personal blend of minimal and deep house, the pair deliver four original cuts on Obaidlí Records, setting the standard for an ambitious project, aimed to bring some underground vibes in the Far East. 

 

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On the opening cut, “Default“, Moon Harbour and AVOTRE associate Zohki delivers a very engaging pace. Drums are tight and pressing, with open hi-hats that constantly differ on their rhythmic pattern, creating an extra-dose of grooviness. Far away spoken vocals create a floating mood, whilst well-balanced sweeping sounds help the track on its rolling endless movement.

 

 

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Thus, “Xonoo604” gets mental and more-stripped back. A very essential and stingy 909-groove bounces above the kick which cuts sharply in the mid as well as the snares. The hi-hats sound metallic, recalling some Berlin-ish sonorities, with a twisted and delayed sinister synth that perfectly matches with the rest of weird hits and sounds.

 

 

On the flip, head-honcho bídlee takes control of B-side with the sublime deep house track “Morph Your Keys“. The kick gets lost in the rolling and lo-fi groove, designed to convey just a little low shake. The use of sampling is widely used here, with some lively real sound that we can actually feel and touch. Only at some point the kick and groove become more explicit, accelerating the piece suddenly after the dreamy and touching break.

 

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The closing “Down The Road” shows us bídlee‘s melodic approach, as he introduces some delicate ambient fluffy sounds, making of this one a very interesting and meditative piece. The listener is immersed in a colourful sound palette of samples, driven synths and smooth groove elements, with rich pads that arise and wave, making “Down The Road” the ultimate summer breezer.

 

 

 

Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi

Music Review: Benjamin Taylor – Drifting EP [BT Recordings 01]

By Music Reviews

Hailing from the eternal city, Luca Costa aka Benjamin Taylor has really stepped up this year with his Polarized EP on Burnski‘s Constant Sound, which was then followed by a remix on the same label. Benjamin’s sound commits to bring back some dub-techno sonorities, with deep and delayed chords, simple grooves and soft, ethereal atmospheres. The entitled “Drifting” EP on his own newborn BT Recordings is no exception: here, the Rome elusive producer serves two brilliant cuts that perfectly reflect his style and skills in the studio.

 

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Click HERE to buy Drifting EP – BTR001

 

Opener “Drifting” is pure dub pleasure. The main stab offers a very classic Panorama Bar-ish sound and flows elegantly above the essential groove. At the fourth minute, when we’ve already stuck into the loop, a tight clap makes his appearance, giving a twist to the whole dark mood. The arped synth fills perfectly the gaps left by the main stab and its ever-changing delay, giving life to an unwearying whirling of emotions.

 

 

The second track shows Benjamin’s attitude on also making real minimalistic jams. The entitled “The History Of The Future” features a fragile, understated, thin groove, made of just a few woody elements. The kick stings cutting in the mix. Distant vocals and noisy texture create a moving atmospheric layer for the very trippy heads. Re-sampled and over-stretched real sounds rule the roots, without ever taking over the track, marked by sad piano riffs and weird rumours.

 

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Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi

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Music Review: Benjamin Taylor – Drifting EP [BT Recordings 01]

By Music Reviews, Reviews

Hailing from the eternal city, Luca Costa aka Benjamin Taylor has really stepped up this year with his Polarized EP on Burnski‘s Constant Sound, which was then followed by a remix on the same label. Benjamin’s sound commits to bring back some dub-techno sonorities, with deep and delayed chords, simple grooves and soft, ethereal atmospheres. The entitled “Drifting” EP on his own newborn BT Recordings is no exception: here, the Rome elusive producer serves two brilliant cuts that perfectly reflect his style and skills in the studio.

 

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Click HERE to buy Drifting EP – BTR001

 

Opener “Drifting” is pure dub pleasure. The main stab offers a very classic Panorama Bar-ish sound and flows elegantly above the essential groove. At the fourth minute, when we’ve already stuck into the loop, a tight clap makes his appearance, giving a twist to the whole dark mood. The arped synth fills perfectly the gaps left by the main stab and its ever-changing delay, giving life to an unwearying whirling of emotions.

 

 

The second track shows Benjamin’s attitude on also making real minimalistic jams. The entitled “The History Of The Future” features a fragile, understated, thin groove, made of just a few woody elements. The kick stings cutting in the mix. Distant vocals and noisy texture create a moving atmospheric layer for the very trippy heads. Re-sampled and over-stretched real sounds rule the roots, without ever taking over the track, marked by sad piano riffs and weird rumours.

 

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Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi