No Samples Were Harmed In The Making Of The Record

Review: Kevin McKay – No Samples Were Harmed In The Making Of This Record

Glasgow Underground

Rating: 9/10

Glasgow Underground owner and #2 top – selling house producer on Beatport, Kevin McKay, is about to embark on his next project: a 10 – track concept album of rebooted and revitalised classics that have been produced in a completely legal, sample – free way.

Due for release in September 2019, ‘No Samples Were Harmed In The Making Of This Record’ brings old favourites back to life and in the process, explores an underused method of production that could inspire artists on a global scale.

The album’s first single dropped in May – a vocal – driven cover of Randy Crawford’s 1977 track ‘Hallelujah’ on which Kevin joined forces with the #1 selling house DJ on Beatport, David Penn, to produce this Ibiza – worthy piano house record.

The second single ‘Million Dollar Bill’, featuring Start The Party, dropped June 21st and sees a pedal – to – the – metal cover of Whitney Houston’s hit capture the nostalgic essence of the original, whilst introducing a contemporary edge throughout.

With the likes of Alaia & Gallo, Matt Fontaine and Joshwa all featuring on the rest of the album, ‘No Samples Were Harmed In The Making Of This Record’ is a bonafide who’s – who of house royalty which is set to turn the genre on its head.

With new developments in audio recognition technology, sampling and legalities are at their most temperamental state; there is no guaranteed safe zone for producers and with so many labels re-issuing funk, soul and disco catalogues, copywriting restrictions are at an all – time high.Kevin McKayKevin took this situation as the main inspiration for the album’s concept and worked out how he could twist it to his advantage as an artist: “I’m a DJ at heart. I’m not a multi – instrumentalist composer or songwriter. I like having new exciting tracks in my sets and making them yourself makes playing them out all the most exciting. So, sampling is a key element of “my” music.

To sample things legally you have to ask the original songwriters if it’s ok and it can take 6 – 12 months to clear an idea. By the time it comes back I’m usually so over the original idea it’s a waste of time for me to record it. The one thing you can do quickly and easily is a cover version. These have traditionally been frowned upon as never – as – good – as – the – original.

However, the internet has made it much easier to find and record great singers and musicians who can perform just as well as the original recording artist (and sometimes better in my opinion!). So, my mission with this album was to do what I always have, be inspired by music from the past and make club tracks for today.

You might recognise some of the songs on this album, but none of them are the original performers. And the record is 100% legal. And hopefully 100% exciting when you are on the dancefloor.”

With over 25 years of music under his belt, Kevin McKay has established himself as one of the most trusted names in the business.

After hosting some of the biggest artists in the world on his Glasgow Underground imprint and pioneering a sound only identifiable to him, this is a game – changing project that could benefit and inspire the music industry from top to bottom. Who wants to join him?

Tracklist
Kevin McKay – Fever Called Love
Kevin McKay – Save Me
Kevin McKay & Joshwa – Such a Good Feeling
Kevin McKay & David Penn – Hallelujah
Kevin McKay – Move Your Body (Elevation)
Kevin McKay – I Got The Feeling
Kevin McKay ft Start The Party – Million Dollar Bill
Kevin McKay ft Start The Party – I Feel Love
Kevin McKay & Matt Fontaine – Get Get Down
Kevin McKay ft Start The Party – Don’t Leave Me This Way

Check out our other reviews here.

Koala T – Feel The Power

Review: Koala T – Feel The Power

Zulu Records.

Ranking 8/10

Continuing their release onslaught with what they say is “probably one of our favourite tracks of this year,” Brighton – based Zulu Records are taking things up a notch with this next one

A hands in the air party – starter from DJ and producer Koala T. MDE’s (My Digital Enemy) Zulu Records has the unique ability to bring some of the freshest house sounds around week – in – week – out, and now on their 165th package, they’re introducing another debutant to the mix.

Already accumulating some heavy support from the likes of Amine Edge, Sam Divine and Thomas Gold, it’s clear that this record will do the business on the dancefloor.

Heavily influenced from 90s sounds with the clanging piano hooks and driving backbeat, “Feel The Power” is infused with era – defining genres. With solid floor – filling bass, addictive vocal stabs and intricate euphoric melodies, it ticks just about every box there is to tick.

Zulu Records have delivered yet again and they want you to get involved. Will you ‘Feel The Power’ with them?

Feel the Power is out Monday 17th June exclusive to Beatport.com, grab your copy here.

Check out our other reviews here.

irate-Copy-Touch-The-Sky

Review: Pirate Copy – Touch The Sky

LOST Records

Rating 8/10

An individual who continues to stamp his authoritative footprint on proceedings in 2019, Pirate Copy’s inimitable groove – heavy style is maintained in the form of his forthcoming single, ‘Touch The Sky’ to be released via Leftwing:Kody’s LOST Records on Friday 7th June.

Head of one of the underground’s most exciting and consistent brands, Kaluki, Pirate Copy prefers an authentic, do it yourself approach when it comes to creating raw, innovative dance tracks. This is evident throughout his 2019 discography with impeccable releases on the likes of Distance Music, elrow Music and his own imprint, Kaluki Musik

Boasting a deep, rolling tech vibe defined by his distinctive signature sound, ‘Touch The Sky’ fuses together an intricate percussive construction around an infiltrating 303 bassline dripping in funk. With no obvious drop present, the focus is on infectious vocal insertions layered with enticing strings, resulting in dance-floor ready rhythms perfect for any sunrise session.

Utilising 2019 to really develop his subsistence of the scene, Pirate Copy will be orchestrating several Kaluki stage takeovers at leading UK festivals including We Are FSTVL and Parklife. Additionally, the Manchester native will be performing at Pacha in Barcelona, Amnesia and Hi Ibiza in Ibiza, as well as soon unveiling an Ibiza residency alongside a Kaluki tour of South America later on this year.

They say that for some, the sky is the limit – not for Pirate Copy who will be within touching distance when the single drops Friday 7th June.

Check out our other reviews here.

Better Faster

Review: Luca Debonaire & Lukas Newbert – Better Faster

Zulu Records.

Rating: 7/10.

Following a solid first half of 2019, the next offering from Brighton based label, Zulu Records., comes from Dutch DJ and Producer, Luca Debonaire and versatile German Producer Lukas Newbert.

Showing no signs of slowing down, ‘Better Faster’ is a shining example of the distinctive, original flavour that Zulu Records is all about.

This exceptional outing follows a huge year of releases from artists such as Block & Crown, label owners MDE, Boris Roodbwoy, Spendogg and many more. All of which have received heavy praises and support from Thomas Gold, Kryder, Mark Stent, Judge Jules, House Of Virus and many more all year long.

Dedicated to delivering the finest eccentric house tunes, the return of Amsterdam based Luca Debonaire to the label is very fitting indeed.

With previous releases on the likes of PornoStar Records, Next Gen Records and Armada Music, Luca certainly isn’t short of success on the production front. It was only in April of last year that he released ‘Reach Out To Me’, Zulu Records’ biggest selling track on Beatport today. Now with the support of Lukas Newbert, ‘Better Faster’ was only ever going to have one outcome.

Locked and loaded full of funk and groove, ‘Better Faster’ demonstrates a sense of chaos that Luca Debonaire has mastered time and time again. Fusing together hypnotic synths with a rumbling backbeat creates one of the most driving productions you’ll hear this year.

Better Faster will be released, 20th May 2019 on Zulu Records.

Check out our other reviews here.

Strings of Life

Review: Ben Rainey & Carl Hanaghan – Strings Of Life

Zulu Records.

Rating: 7/10.

Coming up to the end of a huge 2018 as well as almost reaching the landmark of their 150th release, Zulu Records are ending another big year of music doing what they do best, releasing some of the freshest underground house music around.

The Brighton-based imprint are continuing their onslaught of new tunes, and up next is the rework of a classic. Carl Hanaghan has teamed up with Ben Rainey to revamp his version of ‘Strings Of Life.’

Carls’ 2014 version received support from Danny Howard and Zane Lowe and it’s easy to hear why this version has already gained plays from industry heavyweights such as Mark Knight, Kryder, Tough Love, MDE and many more.

Featuring the unmistakeable and iconic strings, this one will have you feeling both nostalgic and futuristic within an instant.

Putting their own deep tech-house roller stint on a classic melody was only ever going to have one outcome – this is a must have for both the club and the radio. Get ready to hear ‘Strings Of Life’ a lot more in the near future.

‘Strings Of Life’ is released 10th December 2018 on Zulu Records.

Check out our other reviews here.

wcf19

Review: Transcode – Distorted Time EP

What Came First Records.

Ratings: 8/10

Joining the WCF imprint with his ‘Distorted Time EP’, the Manchester based producer Transcode brings his driving sound to Egg LDN’s in-house label to showcase his versatile approach to production.

With the vinyl press being released at the beginning of November, followed by the digital version, which includes the bonus track ‘Backlash’, due out on Friday 14th December, the EP includes two remixes by the club’s close friends Secret Cinema and OC & Verde.TRANSCODEB&W‘Timewarp’ opens up the release, immediately setting a tripped-out tone with its distorted vocals and a slightly menacing melody, which bubbles under the surface throughout the track.

‘Rotation’ is a slightly darker and dubber production complemented by crisp hi-hats and well-rounded drums. It is a perfect intro to building up an extended set.

Secret Cinema leaves his stamp on ‘Timewarp’ with an ominous Remix of Transcode’s Original. Again, it fits into the shady feel of the EP but the Dutch producer brings an enchanting feel to the track, with a twinkling melody laced throughout.

Manchester based OC & Verde bring their stamp to the release with their remix of ‘Rotation’. Using a blend of drawn-out synths to build up a powerful lead, packed with raw percussions, it certainly shows the sonic direction the duo has been working on over the last year.

Completing the digital edition with a bonus track, Transcode rounds off the EP with ‘Backlash’. A punchy and unrelenting track, it’s a peak time tune which is one of those tracks for a heaving dance floor to relish in what the Mancunian producer is all about. (Previews coming soon).

Transcode – Distorted Time EP is out on Wednesday 14th November on What Came First, pre-order your copy here

Mike ‘Agent X’ Clark & Angel-A – Believe

Review: Mike ‘Agent X’ Clark & Angel-A – Believe

Sense Traxx Records.

Rating: 7/10.

Ready for a winter warmer? Sense Traxx are rounding off an incredible 2018 of music here with Motor City’s very own Mike ‘Agent X’ Clark and Angel-A.

You won’t soon forget the soul story of this song as Detroit native, Angel-A, delivers with inimitable vocal power the anthem ‘Believe’! Hands will be lifted…

So, ‘Believe‘. Where do we start? It’s just fantastic: a proper slab of uplifting house music – the piano riff alone is enough for goosebumps, then you’ve got a powerful reach-for-the-lasers vocal and an organ to give it that groovy feel. Throw in a bassline that’s funkier than James Brown’s underpants and you’ll know for sure that if you want to smile in the dance, this’ll do it for you!

On remix duties Sense have called in UK House heavyweight, Scott Diaz. Scott is lucky enough to split his time living between Brighton and Philadelphia, and those flavours combine in his cut of ‘Believe’.

Tightening up the drums and beefing up the bottom end, he keeps the UK and the US influence in the keys and excellent use of the vocals. It’s a proper sizzler. Bumpy and lush: get this in your gills.

 

Rounding off the package is our very own Simon Shaw. Simon’s take on ‘Believe’ is, as you would expect, a little different.

A roller from the start – the bassline drives this one forward alongside excellent housey stabs and relentless driving drums. The vocals arrive precisely when they need to, nestling nicely into the groove. This can be either a late-night tuff one or a midnight heater. Treat it as you will!

 

Remember, always use Sense Traxx records responsibly. Have fun, party hard but don’t forget to go home!

Believe is released Friday 16th November. Pre-order your copy here.

Check out our other reviews here.

Junior Jack and Tube & Berger 'E Samba (Josh Butler Remixes)'

Review: Junior Jack and Tube & Berger ‘E Samba (Josh Butler and Kellerkind Remixes)

Kittball get set to unleash a monstrous remix package.

After the huge success of Junior Jack and Tube & Berger’s collaboration on ‘E Samba’ 2018, which peaked at No.2 on the Beatport main chart and was No.1 in their House Chart for 6 weeks this Summer.

The mighty Josh Butler cooks up a combustible Tech House groove, powered by pressure beats and pulsing bass throb, armed with an explosive breakdown.

Also on the package Switzerland’s Kellerkind cooks up a dramatic tension filled Afrotech romp, teased with eery synth washes and a menacing bass line, underpinned by crisp percussive beats and huge power drums.

Josh Butler has firmly established himself as one of House Music’s most revered talents.josh butlerFollowing his massive debut ‘Got A Feeling’ in 2013, Josh has gone on to release on labels such as Roush, Cajual, Madtech, Avotre, Kaoz Theory, Rejected, Defected, VIVa and Noir, among others and boasts a remix portfolio including Fatboy Slim, Macy Gray, Nile Rodgers and Chic, to name just a few.

“After getting to know Tube & Berger quite well over the last few years and partying together in Australia, it’s a pleasure to be part of Kittball and this remix package for E Samba!!” – Josh Butler

Swiss artist Kellerkind’s back catalogue stands filled with two full length albums, as well as numerous pensive deep house melodies or compelling tech house grooves on esteemed labels such as Stil Vor Talent, Hive Audio, Noir, Suara, and Katermukke.kellerindConstantly permeating charts and playlists, the past decade has seen him lending his remixing abilities to the likes of Oliver Koletzki, Edu Imbernon, Tiger Stripes, Gary Beck, Lexy & K-Paul, Soukie & Windish, among many.

“I met Tube & Berger this Summer at a festival in Switzerland where we spent a good time together. Of course I already knew their work from their Kittball label and for me it was a honour that they asked me to do a remix of this classic tune.” – Kellerkind

‘E Samba (Josh Butler and Kellerkind Remixes)’ will be release on Beatport & Spotify on Friday 2nd November / Full release Friday 16th November 2018 on Kittball Records.

Track Listing

1 E Samba (Josh Butler Remix)
2 E Samba (Kellerkind Remix)

Grab your copy from here.

alto - k-town

Review: ALTO – K-Town EP

Resonance Records.

Rating: 8/10.

With an ear close to the ground, Max Chapman and George Smeddles’ Resonance Records has long been known for their early support of breakout producers with bags of potential and a platform to showcase it thanks to the label’s support.

At just 15 years old, London’s ALTO has a lifetime ahead of him and judging by the standard of his debut ‘K-Town EP’ on Resonance, this is someone you need to keep an eye on.

The K-Town EP is a no-nonsense statement of intent from ALTO – an incredibly mature production considering his age.

Kalsungo‘ opens the release and he wastes no time introducing us to a serious groover of a bassline over which he weaves an Eastern vocal sample and tight percussion. Heads will be nodding to this one and it’s no surprise that it’s already being supported by some serious names like Francisco Allendes.

Next up is ‘K-Town‘ which steps up the energy with a much more intricate drum arrangement and a subtle bassline that gradually makes itself known. Pads and synths are slowly layered as another vocal sample cleverly builds the track into a hypnotic, jackin’ peak time roller. With early support from names like Danny Serrano, this one will surely be hitting the spot across the board.

Two tracks which fit perfectly into any DJ sets yet come from a young man who has, incredibly, never stepped foot in a nightclub.

Having been producing since he was 10 years old, the quality of his productions is impressive to say the least, and reflects his untainted approach to a saturated scene. We are very excited to more from ALTO.alto ukWith people like Max Chapman and Resonance supporting the young talent from day one, the sky is the limit for ALTO and his is certainly going to be a name on everyone’s lips when the K-Town EP drops.

The ‘K-Town EP is out on Friday 5th October. Pre-order your copy here.

Check out our other reviews here.

Ronnie Spiteri

Ronnie Spiteri Set To Release Debut Album ‘True Music’

Ronnie is now preparing to release his debut album ‘True Music’ – this September.

Having found his place on the scene through years of graft and a residency that saw him hone his inimitable house and techno-leaning sound and style to perfection, Ronnie Spiteri is a name on everyone’s lips for all the right reasons.

Fresh off the back of a summer residency for Do Not Sleep at the iconic Amnesia nightclub in Ibiza, Ronnie is now preparing to release his debut album True Music, this September.ronnie spiteri squareDropping in two parts, the release is a true ‘tried and tested’ statement of intent that will cement Spiteri as one of the scene’s most exciting producers. Explaining his intentions behind the album, Ronnie says:

“I spent a log time touring South America at the start of 2018 – a place where dance music still feels true to its roots, and where the flashy side of the industry hasn’t quite taken over yet. It’s inspiring playing to club after club full of people who are there purely for the music, and as such – I came home and locked myself in the studio throughout winter, eager to turn this experience into something tangible.”

The result is True Music. A ten-track release in its entirety, Part 1 drops five tracks which sum up the sound of Ronnie Spiteri.

Opening, True Colours’ is an atmospheric slice of straight-up house, complete with keys and vocal stabs that bring together the old school vibe which runs throughout the release. Meanwhile, ‘Eloise’, takes a tougher approach from the off with uplifting house flavours successfully fused with a distinct warehouse feel.

‘Universal Plum’ takes things darker still and is a tour de force in how to do techno properly. A growling bassline carries the track with intricate effects and percussion layered to keep the momentum throughout its almost seven-minute runtime. Next up, ‘Once In a Lifetime’ delivers a blistering lesson in progressive house that is pure peak-time weaponry. And finally, closing Part 1, ‘Throat Muscle’ is built around the perfect vocal to carry another dark, techno cut which will leave you eager for Part 2 (Listen to Part 1 here).ronnie spiteri true music parts 1Following on from where Part 1 left off, Part 2 drops another five tracks which complete the release. ‘Changes’ eases you back into things with ethereal flavours that are turned on their heads as the track becomes a full-on synth workout overflowing with energy. On the flip-side, ‘Psychopath’ takes us back to the warehouse vibes that we were introduced to in Part 1 with a real tribal approach towards the percussion and a stripped-back delivery.

The growling bassline of ‘Rising Sun’ is supported by an in-your-face, industrial beat which compliments the softer, melodic breakdown – a juxtaposition which works perfectly. Ronnie then returns with a different take on ‘Once In a Lifetime’ and delivers a techno mix which is almost certainly a track to pull out in the early hours. Retaining the original’s progressive vibe, the harder approach means this is a cut that you’ll save for the special occasions. And finally, closing the album is ‘Shadow In The Mirror’ – a sparse, stripped-back techno offering that is laced with subtle effects and an energy that steadily grows throughout its seven minute runtime. (Listen to Part 2 here).ronnie spiteri true music parts 2Individually, the tracks brought together under the True Music banner represent a producer who has mastered his craft, but together, they tell the story of an artist who knows how to bring together the different vibes found on any dance floor and manifest them in a release which will take you back to that perfect night out, no matter where you listen to it.

“I wanted to release something that sums up who I am as an artist. I began my Ibiza residency with an arsenal of original productions which you won’t hear being played anywhere else; I’ve managed to whittle it down to ten of the best tracks which go off every time, and the result is what I’d consider to be my strongest body of work to date”.

True Music (Part 1) is out Friday 7th September 2018 exclusively via Beatport. (Pre-order your copy here).

  • 01. Ronnie Spiteri – True Colours
  • 02. Ronnie Spiteri – Eloise
  • 03. Ronnie Spiteri – Universal Plum
  • 04. Ronnie Spiteri – Once In A Life Time
  • 05. Ronnie Spiteri – Throat Muscle

True Music (Part 2) is out Monday 24th September 2018 exclusively via Beatport. (Pre-order your copy here).

  • 06. Ronnie Spiteri – Changes
  • 07. Ronnie Spiteri – Psychopath
  • 08. Ronnie Spiteri – Rising Sun
  • 09. Ronnie Spiteri – Once In A Life Time (Techno Mix)
  • 10. Ronnie Spiteri – Shadow In The Mirror