Top 20 Deep House Artists of 2015 so far...
Fast forward a quarter of a century and the phrase ‘Deep House’ has become to mean something completely different from it’s first incarnation during the halcyonic days of house. It’s hard to move in the overpopulated market of all things ‘deep’ these days, but in amongst the monotony of the same old R&B samples and generic preset bass lines were a number of artists that really tickled our fancy. Here are the REAL deep house producers that we believe have been keeping it deep, down and dirty so far in 2015.
Steve Mill’s productions have been proving ever more popular with discerning DJs in 2015. His remixes are pretty tasty too, as demonstrated earlier this year on his interpretation of Joey Negro’s classic ‘Do What You Feel’. ‘Born to Do This’, his third release for the ever reliable Large Music, features a simple driving hook over tight percussion and is a master class in taut, precision moulded grooves.
More quality dance floor fillers from Sebb Aston, this time under his Sebb Junior alias. In 2015, Sebb released on Madhouse, Large Music and Salted, as well as his own Frigo Vide label. Adding to an already impressive discography, ‘Don’t be Afraid of the Underground’ by G Spice and Nick Bumbaris is a great deep track with a moody male vocal and Sebb’s old school hardware remix is a real stand out for 2015.
Manchester duo Studioheist serve up a peach of a track in the shape of ‘Greene St’; 6 minutes and 43 seconds of house chords and percussion that could be from Detroit, Chicago, Manchester or Macclesfield! It’s the follow up to their super funky ‘Let Me Show You The Way’ EP, their third release for i! Records and features the same unique Mancunian take on the classic US house sound.
German cool housers Florian Vietz and Andreas Höpfl, better known as Coeo, came up with the storming ‘Native Riddim’ for Toytonics at the end of 2014. Since then, they’ve had an impressive year so far with releases on Gomma, Puro and Exotic Refreshment. DJ support has come from the likes of Todd Edwards, Jimpster and Laurent Garner, whilst ‘Native Riddim’ was on high rotation for Kevin Saunderson, DJ Spen and Giom.
The seemingly unstoppable Detroit Swindle have already released music this year on some of the most well-respected labels including Strictly Rhythm, Defected, Freerange and Soul Heaven. ‘Figure of Speech’ was supported by the deep house crew, both old and new. with plays from Danny Krivit, Shur-I-Kan, Fred Everything and Jimpster . Whilst the 3 track ‘Punch Drunk’ EP got plays from Purple Disco Machine, Jimpster and DJ Sneak.
Picking up plays from Atjazz, Fish Go Deep and Osunlade, the sophisticated Balearica of ‘Eminescence’ comes from the multi talented Vince Watson, whose background includes running well respected techno imprint Bio Music. Releasing tracks by the likes of Funk D’Void and Paul Woolford, Vince has also been producing his own music for Bedrock and Pokerflat and had releases this year on Glasgow Underground, Defected and Osunlade’s Yoruba.
This year, Steve Bug, Fred Everything and Fish Go Deep all played ‘I Can Be’ from Nils Penner (Compost Black Label, Wazi Wazi, Plastic City). The latest in a line of impressive releases and remixes from Nils that have ranged from tech and deep house to nu-disco. The ‘I Can Be’ 3 track EP was released on Jimpter’s Freerange label at the start of the year and also featured a superb Pittsburgh Track Authority Remix.
Ludovic Llorca / Art of Tones has never failed to surprise and delight in his 10-year production career and his latest release, ‘The Rainbow Song’, is no different. Quality house music from the ever reliable Local Talk, one of those super dope tunes you heard coming out of festival tents all summer long and also now comes with a bumper S3A (Max Fader) remix to finish off the package nicely.
Another great soulful release from hard-to-pronounce-easy-to-dance-to HNNY (Swedish producer Johan Cederberg), ‘Caypio’ follows on from a string of successful tracks and remixes for labels like Soul Heaven, Lets Play House, Local Talk, Ajuandeep and his faithful homage to 90s house, ‘HNNY Edits’, really made him stand out from the crowd in 2015.
Their first release as Fouk, on their new label Outplay was met with critical acclaim with brilliant reactions to ‘Stuff Your Dad Liked’ and ‘Cat Lady’. Following swiftly on, they produced a formidable remix for Lay-Far on the Swedish Local Talk Records.
German producer André Hommen has been having a great 2015 with a steady stream of releases on Systematic, Poker Flat and Noir Music. His track ‘Introspectral’ was a real stand out musical moment this year for a DJ who has picked up gigs as far afield as London, Singapore and Colombia in 2015.
German Wunder-label Toy Tonics serves up the deep dance floor goods again with the tough, no nonsense stomper ‘No Questions’ from Black Loops. Part techno, part deepness, part skippy beats; all good! Black Loops are a pair of Italian producers/musicians with previous releases on Exposure Music and Gruuv, who have nailed their own very personal take on deep house music in 2015.
Following the success of tracks on Heist Recordings, Secret Wheels and What People Play, Frits Wentink released his genre leaping box of delights debut album ‘Rarely Pure, Never Simple’ on WOLF Music. Stand out track ‘Everybody Knows’ has been picking up compliments from the classier end of the deep house DJ spectrum and there’s a release lined up from Frits on 20/20 coming very soon too.
Wolf + Lamb have been killing it in 2015. The American DJ duo have had releases on Soul Clap, Hommage and Modern Revival, though their stand out moment for us is going to be their new track which comes out on 7th Sept; ‘After We’re Gone’ on Strictly Rhythm. Check out the ‘Higher Power Dub’; a beautifully crafted slice of deep house goodness that can rub shoulders with any other release in the genre for 2015.
House music’s very own can do guy, Fred Everything has been keeping up his impressive release schedule this year with more tracks and remixes for all your favourite labels. His Shur-I-Kan collaboration ‘Common Ground’ (check the dub, its deep!) from May 2015 has been tearing up the dancefloors worldwide. He’s been keeping up the pressure in 2015 with releases on his own Lazy Days imprint, including the subtle tones of ‘Gentle as the Sun’ and his latest release ‘Searching’.
German producer Till Von Sein has released his second LP ‘Precious’; the follow up to 2011’s successful ‘#LTD’ (Suol). The album features 10 tracks of intriguing house-based music whilst taking in some hip-hop, disco and techno influences along the way. The album builds on a strong back catalogue, including releases on Dirt Crew, Moulton Music and Classic. We recommend ‘Booty Angel’ for some serious hip-house action.
Adam Port’s latest 2 track EP ‘I Never Wear Black’ on Keinemusik, has been caned all summer by DJs worldwide, with both the title track and ‘E Sound Edit’ receiving worldwide acclaim. With a back catalogue that includes releases on Cocoon, Defected and more, Adam’s unique sound of disco-infused, techno-informed house is blended with irresistible flair and has really made him stand out from the crowd in 2015.
This year, Dario D’attis put his own particular sophisticated and restrained stamp on Mr V’s original of ‘Jus Dance’, giving the moody spoken word vocal space to breath in his brilliant re-rub. The Swiss producer has released several strong tracks this year, one of the best is definitely the ‘Diss in Minor EP’ on Hive Audio. A track to perfectly compliment 2015’s dark basements and beyond.
Brame and Hamo are the rising stars of house music. Straight out Berlin via Sligo, Ireland, they dropped 2 big EPs this summer. First up, ‘Lamaj’s Secret’ EP; four tracks of deepness with a smooth Andy Hart (Freerange, Heist) remix. Second, their ‘Parish Rumors’ EP on Heist Recordings has been doing serious damage in 2015 and has been getting support from Fred Everything, Detroit Swindle and Josh Moog amongst others – don’t sleep!
Jimpster is deservedly one of the most respected figures in contemporary dance music. Together with label partner Tom Roberts, he has built the Freerange label into a ‘buy-on-sight’ label via releases from artists and remixers like Shur-I-Kan, Bassfort, Manual Tur, Detroit Swindle and Charles Webster. Freerange can now proudly call itself one of the UK’s finest house labels and is always a guarantee of high quality, uncompromising music. As a DJ, Jimpster is well respected and his peers simply love to play his productions because they consistently work on the dance floor; it’s that simple.
It is as a producer that Jamie Odell really shines. Others wish that their records sounded like his. Check Jimpster’s remix of Till Von Sein, currently getting charted by Lay-Far, Mr V and Fred Everything; all tension, beats and space. He makes other house producers scurry back to the studio with their tails between their legs to re-assess their technique and skills. As he puts it:
“House music has been my first love and passion since hearing ‘Strings Of Life’ for the first time at The Essex Barn in 1988 and I’m still inspired by the memories I have of that period when the whole electronic music scene was so fresh and exciting as well as being really broad and eclectic. One minute we were listening to Lil Louis’ ‘The Story Continues’ and the next, freaking out to ‘Radio Babylon’ by Meat Beat Manifesto. Every track seemed to have its own strong identity and unique sound and I guess that ethos is something I try and carry through to my A&R for the labels. Certainly as a producer I am still striving to produce that perfect house track which will stand the test of time in the same way that those early classics have. The blueprint is simple: to inject life, depth, soul, sincerity and attitude. This is what sets the players apart from the pretenders. That challenge is what keeps me focused and inspired 25 years on and I’m sure it will keep me on my toes for the years to come.”
Jimpster’s latest EP for Freerange, the ‘English Rose’ EP, is another clear example of how a good producer can endlessly modify a simple template in ever more creative ways. Set around a modulating bass line and a pad sound straight out of ‘Blue Monday’, the title track is a tour-de-force of perfectly programmed percussion and sound effects. Moody and sophisticated, but never taking its eye off the dancefloor, it is records like this that make Jimpster our number 1 deep house producer for 2015 so far.