VA: Deep Love 15
Dirt Crew Recordings

Dirt Crew Recordings, which has been dishing out deep house and funky techno since 2004 from its Berlin home base, follows up 2014's Deep Love 10 compilation with another round of exclusives by label mainstays and new recruits. Deep Love 15's CD component (see the note at review's end) serves up seventy-two minutes of fresh cuts sure to satisfy fans of the label's earlier output.

Things start on a high with Laurence Guy and Harry Wolfman's “The Shrew,” an endearing marriage of funk, disco, and house whose seductive swoon establishes a warm and sensual vibe from the get-go. It ain't easy following up the UK producers' sultry jam, though Mexico-based Soul of Hex makes a good run at it when “Mirror Makers” smothers a slinky swing with film-styled dialogue (from one heavy to another: “It seems to me you've been doing time instead of using time...”).

It's hard not to be dazzled by the radiant, neon-lit panorama that is Ponty Mython's “Let Me Show You The City” or swept up by the old-school bump'n'grind of Rhythm Operator's “Truth,” especially when the latter's liberally sprinkled with the soulful musings of a female singer. As classic in approach are LA-based Edit Murphy's steamy, acid-house throwdown “Maybe One Day We Can Be Friends” and Boston producer John Barera's frothy Detroit techno dynamo “True to Yourself.”

Some producers inject healthy smatterings of jazz flavour into their productions, among them Loz Goddard, whose “That Same Thing” veers into jazz territory in its mid-song keyboard soloing and smooth swing. The most explicit nod to the genre is clearly Kito Jempere's “Dizzy Talks” in the way it threads voice samples of be-bop originator Dizzy Gillespie into its hi-hat- and organ-driven strut. Note that the compilation in its fullest form is actually a 102-minute set featuring sixteen tracks, with the eleven CD tracks supplemented by five more on vinyl (the two sold as one product), with the deep house-flavoured cuts on the EP by Brame & Hamo, Nachtbraker, Homework, Voyeur, and Kyodai.

September 2015