UK-based deep house don Jimpster has been a revered member of the dance underground since the halcyon days of the early '90s dance explosion. He's maintained his effervescent presence and enduring influence thanks to an awe-inspiring abundance of exceptional releases and consistently crowd-rocking international DJ performances.
He co-runs go-to labels Freerange and Delusions Of Grandeur with long-time friend and business partner, Tom Roberts, where his skilful curation has included sensational releases from artists including Detroit Swindle, Switch, Tornado Wallace, Demuja, Session Victim, Kirk Degiorgio, Milton Jackson, and Toby Tobias among many others. Each imprint represents a genuine benchmark for subterranean quality, ensuring their output routinely finds its way into the record boxes of the world's finest selectors. Freerange Records celebrates its 25th anniversary this year – no mean feat in the famously volatile business of electronic music – and to mark the milestone, the label will release Jimpster's 'Anthology' in two volumes this summer, both of which are full to the brim with deep house fire.
Jimpster has remained as industrious as ever throughout the pandemic-enforced lockdown. During the seemingly endless months while the clubs and bars have remained shut, he played his part keeping our battered and bruised scene alive via his weekly Sofa Sessions Twitch stream – providing a much-needed outlet for some of the fantastic music being released over the period. Here he shines a light on 10 underground gems that may have not quite got the recognition they would surely have garnered had we been able to enjoy them with friends in the setting they were designed to be heard – booming through a big club system. The tracks are all tried and tested on the show, with the audience reactions to each positively lighting up the chat (if not the dancefloor!).
1 Alister - Starlight
"This is one of those stand out tracks that gets right under your skin with its minimal groove, simple syncopated stabs and that old-school under-produced vocal which sends tingles down the spine. Elements of techno and house combine to form what will surely become a Detroit classic of the future."
2 Last Nubian - Share Your Path
"UK producer Last Nubian has only had a few releases to his name over the past few years but I think if he carries on with this quality he deserves to be a household name very soon. This is from an EP called Ghetto Child and every one of the four tracks is a total winner. 'Share Your Path' has an uptempo but still deep and musical Detroit sound to it with a bouncing bassline that will make your arms and legs throw weird shapes."
3 Brian Kage & Taho - D-Twah
"Back to Detroit once again for another winner which strikes that perfect balance between a minimal approach for the club and a deft, musical touch for the soul."
4 Soichi Terada & Masalo - Diving Into Minds (Club Mix)
"Two brilliant new tracks from my favourite Japanese producer Soichi Terada which will be part of his forthcoming LP on Rush Hour. Life-affirming piano stabs, pumping 909 drums and lush strings all come together to make a peacetime track with a vintage feel."
5 Red Baron - She Makes It Work
"Absolutely insane new track from Red Rackem and Jim Baron with more twists and turns than Boris Johnson. Everything bar the kitchen sink is chucked in the musical melting pot but without things ever feeling disjointed. Just an inspiring journey into the minds of two great producers."
6 Musclecars Feat. Brandon Markell Holmes - Don’t Go
"My love for the more soulful side of house music grew ever stronger during lockdown as I found myself digging for tracks which connected through lyrics and more developed song arrangements. New York's Musclecars can do this with their eyes closed and have proved themselves to be ones to watch despite only having had a couple of releases."
7 Patchouli Brothers - Project Soul
"If it’s quality edits we’re talking about, they don’t come much better than The Patchouli Brothers who have smashed out at least four releases since the start of 2020. This flip of Con Funk Shun’s Secrets (Of Your Mind), originally from 1977 can’t fail to lift your spirits, coming out on the recently re-started ever-brilliant Moton label."
8 Flaze - New Horizons
"Some solid heads-down club gear here from a four track EP on the Belgian vinyl-only label Entrepôt. Deep, punchy deep house with a raw energy which will be one of those tracks I find myself playing for years to come."
9 Leo Pol & Mad Rey - La Fin Du Printemps
"The new wave of French house music continues to blossom with amazing producers, labels and releases popping up at an incredible rate. Leo Pol & Mad Rey hit the spot square on with this uptempo, rolling house jam loaded with positive vibes, carrying the French Touch baton into 2021."
10 Los Hermanos - Another Day
"When a track as good as this comes along once in a blue moon it reaffirms my love for house music and reminds me why I fell in love with it in the first place. So good to hear Detroiters Los Hermanos aka Gerald Mitchell back releasing after a bit of a hiatus."
Huge thanks to Jimspter for this excellent list, we literally can't wait get down to these grooves when the clubs finally re-open.
Jimpster's 'Anthology' volumes one & two are due out on Freerange Records on June 25 and July 2 respectively. You can listen and buy them here