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LUMBERJACKS IN HELL

Marcel Vogel Feat Khalil Anthony

Brown Curls - Inc. Nebraska Remix

Marcel Vogel and Khalil Anthony team up on Vogel's own label, Lumberjacks In Hell and joined by long running house darling, Nebraska on remix duties. "Brown Curls" is a funky, laid back groove rich with pop sensibilities. It's like Amp Fiddlr, Andrew Ashong and Cody Chesnutt all jamming together in Theo Parrish's basement. Nebraska keeps it in the cellar as he languishes in the slower tempo, emphasizing the bass and adding rich percussion; transforming this into a basement / backroom burner of the highest quality. "You Are A Star" sees the idea expanded on across another funky, bumpety instrumental, Anthony's vocals again rising to the surface of the bustling rhythm section. "Those Moments" concludes proceedings, drawing in Rhodes and clavinet lines into its orbit before deploying a proper low-slung cosmic groove. A slight diversion from the EPs main theme, this little beauty'll satisfy the mid-tempo disco crowd with its vamping pianos and swaying, feel-good groove. Top stuff here from all parties, lots to get stuck into - get involved!

Andy Compton & Shamrock team up with singer Asali for some sunlight drenched boogie sounds recorded in South Africa. We're having a brilliant week already here in Picc as the warmth of the bank holiday sun has ushered in a shift of gears and moods across the inner city area. This, combined with a plethora of sweat-soaked heaters and tantalizing new vibrations has offered us new inspiration just as the deep mid winter was beginning to really wilt our souls.

"Bunny Chow" is one such jam heralding the change of season. Optimistic and relaxed, flamenco-ish guitar licks and exotic scat vox meet a sloppy and slow 4/4 groove for a Balearic daytime cruise rich in spirit and vigor. "Everything Is Gravy" features Asli's delicate vocals and sees gentile trumpet lines ride a kinda boss nova typa beat pattern for a thoroughly enjoyable saunter through sun dappled foliage and the scent of flowers in blossom. "Nifanyeje" is an obvious choice for anyone warming up the beach bars and outdoor stages around the Adriatic coast over the next few months while "Roga Mziki" concludes with a hooky picked bassline intertwining with lead guitar and a thoroughly stimulating SA vocal part. Ace stuff!


Koenig Saatgut

The Spirit EP

Koenig Saatgut appears for the first time in 15 years with this high spirited double header which screams of vintage nostalgia and 90s hedonism. "The Spirit" is an unabashedly big track, matching a catchy dry piano lick and sticking an almost retroist big beat boom bap beat underneath it. "Your Houze" flips the mood into summat tighter and dare-I-say-it more sophisticated, bringing a modernist approach to vintage, sample heavy house music. There's a whiff of French touch and KDJ about this one, mixed with an incendiary and couldn't-care attitude that'll ensure it sets plenty of dancefloors alight this year. Big tune.

Marcel Vogel's mighty Lumberjacks In Hell imprint takes a break from their trademark edit offerings with this original Afrobeat banger from Philou Louzolo and Villy. The release is dedicated to the Amsterdam based Alkebulan Project, an organization aiming to bring artists from Africa & the African Diaspora together to change the perception of the continent and its citizens. A-side cut "Africa Rising" finds Philou expressing his Congolese, Nigerian and Sierra Leonean heritage in collaboration with Nigeria's political funk outfit Villy & The Xtreme Volumes. Recalling Fela Kuti at his most hypnotic, The Xtreme Volumes drive through warm organ riffs, hot horns, restless percussion and groovesome bass, while Villy calls out for revolution across the continent. With Philou working spiritual magic behind the desk, the cut sounds warm, full and big enough to bring it to any soundsystem. There's a shorter instrumental version for anyone who doesn't dig on the lyrical fire, but unless you intend to get creative with two copies, I reckon you're missing the point. The deep, dancefloor vibes continue on the flip with the horn heavy assault of "Kinshasa Anthem", a floor filler if ever I've heard one. The rhythmic guitar riffing weaves a hypnotic spell through the midrange, the booming drums and beefy bass pack a serious body moving punch at the bottom end and mysterious, melodic flute poses the perfect reposte to Villy's half-spoken, half sung vocals. Melody comes to the fore on the EP closing "Queens Of Zomba", a guitar led journey through the afro-disco cosmos alive with spectral synth fx and drifting melodies - proper Body & Soul tackle.


Italian wonderkid Giovanni Damico returns to Lumberjacks In Hell for some more fresh and funky takes on the traditional house / disco formula. "Essential" rides a Juggy Jones-esque groove but plumps it out with a weaving piano solo running throughout its course. Feelin' high and lofty throughout with its bright-eyed passages and well placed vocal snatches. "Look At You (Sugar Bomb)" is a more loopy, scuffed-bottom affair, with nods to Long Beach's best jazz-funkers - War. "Drums & Keys" aptly does what it says on the can in true Ronsil fashion while "Rhythm & Drums" conversely, does more than advertised and wraps some African (??) vox around basic tribal perc, frog sounds a steady kick, sounding like a long lost Cottam number if you ask me!

Lumberjacks in Hell boss Marcel Vogel and Berlin based singer Khalil Anthony team up the second EP in the series, exploring together their version of soul, disco and house. "Dance The Blues Away" get's remixes by BB Boogie and Julien Dyne from New Zealand but it's the OG that kicks things off in funky, grooving form. Timpani, fat-ass bass and sloppy beatdown drums characterize the piece, while Funkadelic-esque whopps and chants emanate from the recesses of the mix - very good! BB Boogie slaps up the bass section, adding electric guitar and some phaze to the vox, basically just getting the whole thing pumpin that bit harder, for later in the session. Meanwhile on the B-side, Julien Dyne contribute both remix and dub, smothering the track in a celestial haze whilst making use of the infectious percussion littered throughout the track. It's a smooth ride on both versions but it's the dubbed out one that clinches it for me... Ace stuff all around, nice work team.

Past Mahogany affiliate, Dan Shake, reasserts his bond with the Lumberjack family following his contribution to the "From Hell With Love" comp. Three original tracks grace this EP, fresh with his loopy, feel-good party vibe. "Magic Marcel" takes a sugary disco loop and galvanizes it with extra house beats and some EQ tweaks. Guaranteed to whip the floor into a salivating frenzy, "The Bee Won" sees disco and perc loops spiral into a crazy house banger as Shake toys with the hi-pass filter throughout. Finally, "Wake, Bake & Shake" takes elements from some bumpety funk business and skillfully integrates it into some backroom burning, basement house jive. Excellent! 

STAFF COMMENTS

Sil says: The usual tackle by Dan Shake. Serious house beats, catchy disco samples and the ever present French filtering. The formula works so why not? Guaranteed results.

Chris Knight aka Cervo is an up and coming producer hailing from Manchester. Here he debuts on Lumberjacks In Hell - a well timed release which coincides with the debut release on his own record label - Banana Hill - named after the acclaimed national clubnight. Quickly setting out his stall as discoverer, adventurer, unearther then finally editor of new, exotic world musics, Cervo seems to adopt a lot of content from strange African records before adding his own thoroughly electric rub-downs, placing a pin stylistically between Auntie Flo, Brazilian Shakedown and Daphne - keeping the whole 'world edits' scene on their toes in the process. We applaud him! Three tracks here that reinforce the blueprint - forcing a plethora of wicky-wick guitar licks, bustling percussion and funky live bass through some tasty outboard, with added VST embellishments. Top stuff.


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