Coming up: Vanco: Circles ft. Brenden Praise (Connected)

A preview of the new EP by South Africa’s Vanco, on Connected.

This week sees yet another soul-stirring single release imminent on the essential Connected label. South African producer Vanco forges his organic house music through a collaborative partnership with the truly gifted South African R&B and soul singer Brenden Praise. The result is an absolutely gorgeous house track that is natural in mood and vocally emotive, and instrumentally adventurous, with a truly infectious groove.

Last Year, Praise had a platinum selling release with Black Motion, and in the past joined creative forces with artists such as Boddi Satva, Cuebur, Djeff and John Tejada. This evocative single has an entrancing quality and is incredibly inviting with a wavy, trip-the-light-fantastic suite of percussive beats. 

Falsetto vocals soar to the aether, giving rise to intense feeling. Subtle instrumentation produces a delicate foundation for the song, with chiming bass piano chords which add to the raw, emotionally-empowered atmosphere of the track.

This powerful combination of producer and vocalist represents a distinctive fusion of vocal and instrumental arrangement. Vanco has shaped a natural symbiotic dance track that moves and grooves, with plenty of inspirational flourishes that could provide rich territory for expansion in future remixes. 

 Vanco – Circles Ft. Brenden Praise is out 21 August on Connected.  

Buy via Beatport

Coming Up: Re.You – Maison – The Remixes (Connected)

A strong collection of remixes from Connected’s extended family.

Connected are getting set to jump-start the summer with an outstanding collection of remixes of Marius Maier, aka Re.You’s excellent ‘Maison’ album, released in May. 

Top contemporary artists who are all close personal DJ friends of Marius each add their own interpretive slant and production style, including his brother Santé, plus Rodriguez Jr., Anja Schneider, Floyd Lavine, Kadosh, David Mayer,  Andhim,  Topango and many more, in what amounts to a comprehensive reconstruction and reimagining of the original tracks.

The first stand out remix is by Cologne natives and underground mainstays AndHim,  propelling Re.You’s ‘Inyani’ ft. Oluhle & Aaaron into a vigorous beat-driven, tribal funk affair. AndHim delivers vast swathes of delightful synth progressions built on energetic, bubbling undercurrents of murky modulation. He commands the listener to get their wiggle on. A playful, groov- laden rendition, his re-rub accentuates through subtle textures, shading around the soul-stirring vocals.

Chief Mobilee artist Rodriguez Jr. Opts for an otherworldly rework of Relocate, featuring Connected bosses Stereo MCs. He transforms the original stripped back, vocally pure version into a propulsive, methodically entrancing dance cut that instrumentally envelops Rob Birch’s evocative vocals. The bona-fide poetic vocal that Rob delivers emanates wisdom and carries a spiritually moving message, as Rodriguez Jr. grips the dance floor with epic breakdowns and frazzled bass building the mood.

Topango then takes ‘Inyani’ and sensitively rebuilds it as a spine-tingling vocal cut with a spiritual atmosphere that is truly unique. This emotive rendition provides gorgeous vocal reverb, creating space in the track as it builds and evolves into a euphoric soul-stirring celebration. A breathtaking remix that massages mind, body and spirit.

Innervisions and Watergate’s deep and melodic house maestro Kadosh shows off his superb skills on a steamy and mysterious remix of Soft. Softening the original track from its original, more industrial arrangement, they add a more earthy, natural soundscape to the forefront, delivering fully rounded chiming synth that soothes and elevates.

David Mayer lays down some of his fancily heavy but funky drum grooves on a remix of ‘If You’ ft. Elli that will have your body flexing in no time. This ssexy remix is vocally tantalizing and instrumentally thrilling. Berlin’s tireless creative force Anja Schneider then stands out with her emotive take on ‘Strings Of Joy’ ft. Florian Busse & Ahmad, which has a meandering lead synth and chunky drums all overlaid with a big-hearted vocal.

Avidus is Marc Wolf and Fritz Wagner, a pair who have turned heads in just two short years thanks to tunes on Crosstown, each as compelling, sensitive and well-crafted as the synth dances that weave into their remix of ‘When I’m Lost’ ft. Elli.

Next up, new school Berlin tastemaker Santé remixes ‘Relocate’, once again featuring the Stereo MCs on a chunky, stripped-back house groove custom designed for cosy basement spaces. 

South African house hero Floyd Lavine returns to his home label with another vital remix that takes on an elegant and afro tinged trip into house territory, while German duo and MoBlack associates Cosmo & Kramer close out with a ragged, electro-tinged version of Strings Of Joy.

These are fantastic new reinterpretations of the excellent source material, and all add up to a high-class treasure trove for DJs and dancers alike.


Coming up: Re.You – Maison (Connected)

Following three excellent EPs on Connected, the exceptional label run by 90s indie-rap legends Stereo MCs, producer and DJ Marius Maier aka Re.You strides progressively forward with his deeply dynamic, resolute full-length debut album ‘Maison’ dropping later this May.

The French title is inspired by the city of Paris. Most of the new album was written in the French capital, where Marius resided for a period of six months. “It was a truly inspiring place and time, so I thought I would give the album a French name. ‘Maison‘ means home. That’s what I feel, now I’m back in my German hometown Ulm, after 10 years of Berlin and a short stay in Paris.” 

Maier’s career stretches back to the early 2010s, with notable early releases on Moon Harbour, Kompakt and his own Younion label. The well-travelled producer also feels settled at the label where he has built his growing reputation: “I feel now is a good time to release my debut album on Connected, a platform on which I always felt at home,” he says.  

It was a truly inspiring place and time…
– Marius Maier aka Re.You

The album builds on his three EPs, enlisting guests such as label bosses Stereo MCs, plus, long standing Connected contributors Florian Busse & Ahmad, singer song-writer, Elli, and Afro-house duo Oluhle & Aaaron.

‘Maison’ is a slick and professional full-length debut, where Re.You continues to demonstrate his boldly innovative house music confections through a nuanced instrumental approach, with a distinctive production style. 

digital front maison 2

This purposeful and determined set of tracks pulsate with energy. The flair in Re.You’s production originates in a diverse set of influences, from afro-tinged trance, deep tech-groove, and emotionally-stirring trap-style house. This heady blend stimulates and enriches the essence of the album, marking it out from the mainstream.

Tracks such as ‘If You’ featuring the vocal talents of Elli deliver a no-nonsense, methodical, ‘get to work’ house belter, that gradually elevates from dancefloor burner into bright, hooky synth textures that gush towards the velvety vocal tones. 

Elli’s vocal draws together those tech-groove elements, whereas ‘Inyani’ featuring Oluhle & Aaaron catches you in a trance with tribal patterns, vocal chants, and suspenseful, spiritual chords. Re.You and his guests cast an alluring spell. 

‘Maison’ is an adventurous culmination of many years of artistic endeavour that brings plenty of fresh and exciting new perspectives to house music.

Preview by Miff Morris. Images courtesy of Connected.