Thursday, May 17, 2018

First Floor

Just before I took off for Vietnam at the beginning of last month, I became aware of a new magazine ‘First Floor’, put together by stalwart scribe Tim Gibney. Now I hadn’t been in touch with Tim for a long time, but remember him from such websites as . . . errr, one that I bought an acid house t-shirt from when my youngest son was about three. He’s eleven now. Like many friendships born online, we’ve never met, but that option is still open. In any case, I felt emboldened enough to get back in touch and was very kindly sent a mag in exchange for these few words.

It’s a labour of love. This is apparent not just because of its physical format, but in the lack of advertising. The inside cover at either end is reinforced by the presence of Deep Explorer, but this doesn’t really count, as it’s cover star Dubbyman’s label. Dubbyman looks refreshingly un deep house on the cover, more like one of the Ramones minus the speed or smack. And of course it’s the interview with him which occupies pride of place in the magazine. It’s a long and entertaining read in which Dubbyman’s words are never subordinate to the questions being asked, as it should be. There are other lengthy chats too, with, amongst others,Jonno and Tommo, Johannes Albert, Arnheim and Sensible Soccers, which ends on the not unsurprising note that “Now we don’t play sensible soccer anymore.” 

Well that had me welling up as I recalled my forays into the earl days of gaming and my encounters with Sensi. Almost as affecting though, was the use of an ‘s’ on an uncountable noun, which gives me sleepless nights just thinking about it. 

All in all though, ‘First Floor’ is a fine read and will, I hope, go from Strength to strength. It’s nice to have and to hold something. You can only convincingly sip from fine crystal while holding printed underground dance music media, so lets have the second issue pronto please. Well done everybody involved.

Monday, May 07, 2018

Nemesis EP - Simoncino (Unknown to the Unknown)

Title: Nemesis EP
Artist: Simoncino
Label: Unknown to the Unknown
Cat Number: UTTU083
Genre: Deep House

1: Slave
2: Frontline
3: Oh Baby Now
4: Nemesis

The Unknown to the Unknown production line shows no sign of shirking, so with that in mind Simoncino steps up for his second release on the label. And while it’s a competent piece of work, it does feel a little one-dimensional. ‘Slave’ is the most up tempo track here, and easily stands out because of this. The other three each navigate a mid tempo kick and embellish it with varying degrees of synth- led melancholia. Of the three, I’m the most sold on ‘Frontline’, whose cosmic credentials soar a little higher than those of ‘Oh Baby Now’ or the title track. They’re all good compositions; it just feels like they could have spread their wings a bit more.

Scammell (Jay Bliss remix) - OCH (Autoreply)

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Phoenix - Generation Next (7 Days Ent)

Title: Phoenix
Artist: Generation Next
Label: 7 Days Ent
Cat Number: 7DAYSGN1006
Genre: Deep House

A1: Sundance Kid
A2: Roseland
B1: Jungle (10.10.15)
B2: Gold Scorpion

An EP which is sophisticated, low key and confident. Both tracks on the A side grind in traction at different tempos, making use of house friction to oil their respective gears. ‘Jungle (10.10.15)’ makes use of an answerphone message which opens up to envelop the track (it doesn’t really, but sounds like it’s supposed to). Both it and ‘Roseland’ do a good job of unintentionally redefining a fuggy, funky ambience sporadically reined in by a metronomic tourniquet. ‘Gold Scorpion’ is hewn from the ten commandments of melodic Detroit techno, but lacks the peaks and troughs, as well as the depth, to make it truly memorable.