Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

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BEN LOVETT'S GROOVEYARD

BEN LOVETT'S GROOVEYARD
BEN LOVETT'S GROOVEYARD

Pulling out of summer now but still a little sluggish on news and reviews Iâm afraid. That said, a few good things coming up...

Shhhh! SECRET CLUBBING

Good, particularly, to hear that former Studio 54 stalwart Kenny Carpenter will be flying into London for Mulletoverâs Halloweâen bash, October 31. The capital club night is quite a sensation. Heading the fast rising UK trend for âsecret clubbingâ (a bit like the early days of house â hedonistic events at mystery venues circulated at the very last momentâ¦) Mulletover has successfully established itself as a viable alternative to the stale, pretentious parties some its peers are promoting. Expect fancy dress and frivolity but, equally, a white-hot, totally serious DJ line-up.

Previous events have welcomed distinguished electro-housers such as Anja Schneider and Crosstown Rebels; not to mention the likes of A Guy Called Gerald and, now Kenny Carpenter. The man doesnât make that many âpondâ hops and is, of course, better known these days for a tough, but soulful New York house sound that oozes quality â both in the club and studio.

Naturally, thereâs no venue to give at this stage but keep your eyes peeled on www.mulletover.co.uk. This is set to be an amazing event.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Matter

But then so is Matterâs 1st birthday September 19th. The 02 Arena shindig promises much, what with confirmed entertainers including Carl Cox, Phillyâs 303 king Josh Wink and cosmic houser Tom Middleton. Expect hard ânâ soul; the party runs 10pm to 8am; you can book via Ticketweb.

Circus

Up in Liverpool, legendary Cream venue Nation plays host to the Circus 7th birthday party. The night founded by former Cream resident Yousef has gone from strength to strength, offering a rich variety of house sounds at an impressively consistent level. To be honest, September 26âs birthday blowout sums everything up. Chilean minimal house guru Luciano is flying in, so too Yank filter-king DJ Sneak. Able support comes from Dubfire, Mark Knight and, of course, Yousef â www.circusclub.co.uk has the full story.

Fabric

Details of yet another birthday have also reached us â Fabric will celebrate being 10 with a gargantuan 3-day bender representing all of the sounds and club nights it has touted over the years. Thursday, October 16, will welcome drum & bass magic from Andy C, Caspa, Skream and DJ Hype, while Fridayâs special FabricLive, October 17, will offer performances from DJ Craze, the Scratch Perverts and Simian Mobile Disco. Details are less clear for Saturday/Sunday but we understand that the club wonât be closing at all! Artists linked with the weekend marathon include Swayzak, Kenny Larkin, Hipp-e, Halo and Daniel Wang. Itâs gonna go bang!

Junior Boys Own

As far as studio news goes, we can all look forward to some inspiring 20th anniversary activity from the legendary Junior Boys Own stable. A new CD and book, both with the title Acid House Scrapes & Capers: 20 Years Of JBO, will launch October 5, documenting the labelâs meteoric rise and its hugely significant role in establishing house within Britain off the back of dance musicâs major Stateside and Ibiza revolutions.

Terry Farley (in this column only recently,) Andy Weatherall, Steve Maize and Cymon Eckles were the JBO kingpins but, then, so many others were involved in the operation too (such as Pete Heller and Steven Hall;) an operation which also included the cult Boys Own fanzine and some pretty epic parties.

Bill Brewster, DJHistory.com founder and publisher of the new book, sums up: âJunior Boys Own â a label that not only defined what British dance music actually sounded like but also what it should sound like. These are not just great records, or even great house records, but they also evoke something that is embedded in British culture.â

Farley, heavily involved in the new CD through Defected, adds: âEveryone signed to JBO were either our good friends or friends of friends, or they were just clubbers. Ed and Tom [The Chemical Brothers] and Rocky and Diesel were all just kids; there were special timesâ¦.â

Weâll have a full review of the book and CD soon, not to mention details of an amazing launch party; in the meantime, we can tell you that the double-disc compilation has some quality highlights: Bocca Juniorsâ classic Raise, Primal Screamâs Loaded (remixed by Farley,) X-Press 2âs Say What!, Black Science Orchestraâs New Jersey Deep and The Ballistic Brothersâ Iâll Fly Away to name but a fewâ¦.

Hacienda

Remarkably, October 5 will see JBO clashing with another clubbing institution, as Manchesterâs Hacienda drops its own acid-house compilation chronicle and book. The driving force here is New Order bassist Peter Hook, who bankrolled the clubs in its early (tricky) 80s days.

Hookâs book, Hacienda: How Not To Run A Club, recounts his experiences of the iconic venue, as well as those of friends. In actual fact, it precedes the release of the CD, Hacienda Acid House Classics], which arrives on New State Records October 19. Hook has personally selected and mixed some of this favourite Hacienda dancefloor moments from the late 80s and early 90s, including anthems by Hardfloor, Mr Fingers, Frankie Knuckles and Ralphi Rosario. Again â weâll have the review soon.

Watergate

That leaves the news that Euro DJ Sebo K will be the spinner mixing Berlin club Watergateâs fourth commercial compilation.

K is closely associated with a melodic tech-house sound, which unsurprisingly finds its way on to Watergate 04. Released October 12 on Watergate Records the CD is set to include tracks from Nina Kraviz and Guillaume & The Coutu Dumont (see my review of Cocoon I below) as well as US housers Mood II Swing, Rick Wade and Patrice Scott. Should be smokingâ¦.

And now on to reviews â only a smattering of singles this time round but theyâre all useful.

SINGLE REVIEWS

Prok & Fitch feat. Cevin Fisher â Mundo (UK Floorplay Music)

Brighton boys Prok & Fitch have earned quite a reputation following their huge 2008 remixes of Cevin Fisher classics Burning Up and Freaks Come Out. House veteran Fisher has himself become a fan, and contributed vocals to their brand new production â a hypnotic, pumping, sensibly crafted jack-house groove with, of course, those killer spoken word utterances. Stirring, moody stuff, and backed by similarly tough, tight remixes from DJ Wady, Patric La Funk and David Penn. The latterâs effort is particularly neat, with raw, organic drums adding to funâ¦.
4/5

Dekata Project â At Least We Can Dance (UK Doshiwa Records)

Loved the Projectâs Viral EP last month; this follow-up is arguably even better. Dubstepper Zed Bias and sax player Sam Sharp offer deep, soulful, groovy house with more impeccable vocals from Yvette Riby-Williams and a gorgeous wandering b-line. Then thereâs the excellent re-rubs. Nu:Tone whips up crisp, loopinâ and thoroughly beguiling drum & bass flavours; and rising star Roska serves up his sweet, inimitable blend of soul-house, breakbeat and grime. Brightonâs Hint provides an exclusive iTunes edit, adding delicate afro-liltinâ finesse and Ike Syntonâs Beatport-only effort pivots on a delicious electro-fied deep house backing with more jump than kangas on springsâ¦.
4/5

Smoove & Turrell â Beggarman (UK Jalapeno Records)

A third single from the Northerners widely-loved debut album Antique Soul, fusing 60s soul glide and 21st century breaks in fine style. Smoove & Turrell layer their funky, horny production with neat, story-telling vocals, and welcome in smart remixes from Crazy P (spacey, 70s wah wah-guitar heaven); Basement Freaks (heavy, heavy funk) and Smoove, minus partner (loopy, uptempo beats.)
4/5

Tortured Soul â Another Lover (UK Dome)

Can Tortured Soul do anything wrong? Their latest release from new album Did You Miss Me is emotive, deeply soulful 4-4 with solid production, meaningful songwriting and impeccable instrumentation. The remix package is also, again, fantastic. Dimitri From Paris drops a standout edit, guitar-lickinâ nu-disco fuelled by top b-lines, tinkling keys and 80s soul sentiment; meanwhile, studio legend Tom Moulton dishes smooth mirrorball grooves, Master Kev & Tony Loreto conjure punchy percussive house beats and lowdown synths, and Tortured Soulster JKriv cuts loose with live, outrageously funky breaks. Class all the way.
5/5

Tortured Soul actually lead us nicely onto albumsâ¦.

ALBUM REVIEWS

Tortured Soul â Introducing (UK Dome)

Yes, Dome Records has decided to re-release the New Yorkersâ debut album, such is their recent musical prowess and influence. And Introducing is much the live-house treasure it was back in 2006, highlight tracks including Might Do Something Wrong, Howâs Your Life and Fall In Love. The soulful songwriting and masterful studio craft largely stands the test of time and thereâs bonus remixes now courtesy of Osunlade, Alix Alvarez and Spinna â one to sniff out if you missed first time round.
4/5

Various Artists - Cocoon Records: Compilation I (Ger Cocoon)

The illustrious German electronic music label follows up with a ninth instalment of its hugely successful club compilation series, this time focusing squarely on house rather than techno. Berlinâs Tobi Neumann and Matt Styles debut as duo eMT for the warm and fuzzy opener Extra Lunch â a solid start built on vocal snippets and stabby synths. Moving on, Lauhausâ Back To Ipanema is percussive, sun-drenched magic via Detroit, whilst Secret Cinemaâs Kurzweil uplifts thanks to rich strings and keys. There are, naturally, darker Cocoon moments from Radio Slave and Chymera but, more often than not, refreshing surprises â Guillaume & The Coutu Dumontâs Night In Køge represents 6 minutes of jazzy-Latino hustle and Time Maasâ epic Jetstream is pure disco-funk attack. Unmixed but utterly irresistibleâ¦.
5/5

Various Artists â Defected In The House Amsterdam 09 (UK Defected)

The Amsterdam club scene, as previously mentioned in this column, is once again thriving and Defected has shrewdly jumped on the cultural, continental bandwagon. Mixed over two CDs by Chocolate Puma and Hardoul, here is a compilation package bursting with fresh ideas well away from the usual confines of commercial clubland. Energetic highlights include Greg Van Buerenâs Waiting For U and Jark Prongoâs Big Bam Boom (a Puma alias.) Defectedâs bold move looks to have paid offâ¦.
4/5

Various Artists â CR2 Records Presents Live & Direct: Space Ibiza 2009 (UK CR2)

More hands-in-the-air summer madness from CR2 as the Ibiza season begins its wind down for another year and clubbers seek to relive the good times through any number of the White Isle mix albums currently hitting the market. This, admittedly, is one of the stronger ones â two CDs of high octane house cuts but with plenty about them. Highlights fly (and I mean fly) from DJ Wady, Lee Cabrera, Subliminal boys Harry Romero and Jose Nunez, Steve Lawler and Nic Fanciulli; thereâs even a bonus DVD with footage from this yearâs Space opening party (the vibe of which this comp is based on) and the albumâs mix-masters MYNC.
3/5

Various Artists â FabricLive 47: Toddla T (UK Fabric)

A vibinâ addition to the Fabric canon - Sheffieldâs 24-year-old beat-obsessed prodigy Todda T channels plenty of dancehall pep and originality into proceedings. In actual fact, FabricLive 47 is more than just dancehall, despite that neat opening number from Lilly â a ragga cover of Human Leagueâs Love Action â and the subsequent cuts from Duffy (remixed, of course, by Cavemen) and Monkey Steak. Thereâs electro, techno and grime here too; not to mention drum & bass. Renowned producer Clipz delivers the latter on one of the compâs highlights Offline VIP; elsewhere, Andy George crunches the beats through a devilish electro-pumped remix of T and Seroceeâs Manbadman. Todda T offers quite a number of tracks himself but thankfully thereâs as much freshness as there is speaker-freakinâ energy. Big and bassy, but pretty damn brave too - and that no bad thing.
3/5

Various Artists â FabricLive 48: Radio Slave (UK Fabric)

Wow. Fabric has knocked out its fair share of âLiveâ comps recently but Radio Slaveâs addition â number 48 in the long-running series â is a definite standout of recent times. Radio Slave, or rather South Londoner Matt Edwards, unrolls a highly sophisticated house and techno blueprint here, delicately fusing the 13 tracks on offer and creating subtle builds, drops and powerful percussive overlaps in the process. The mix is more than patient, but never soulless or inaccessible; Edwardsâ approach is meticulous to say the least, reminding, as the accompanying press release rightly states, of legendary crowd-reading and experimenting DJs Larry Levan and David Mancuso. Russian singer/songwriter Nina Kraviz, described by Edwards as a âRussian Moodymanâ makes an emphatic appearance with Pain In The Ass, whilst Michael Cleisâ thundering remix of Spencer Parkerâs Buzzinâ Fly biggie The Beginning earns an almost complete play. This is a special, special mix; proper, real-deal dance music.
5/5

Still working the late-night shift⦠Ben Lovett

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Please feel free to contact me at B&S with any dance orientated news that you feel would benefit others - Cheers!

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