Review: Popof – ‘Love Somebody’ (Hot Creations)



Known to denizens of the dance floor as Popof, French DJ/producer Alexandre Paounov has evolved in many ways since his days in the free-party scene. While his gallant remix of Marc Houle’s “Late For Work” released in the spring epitomizes the current blueprint of his elegant, effortless fusion of house and techno, Love Somebody, his full-length album for Jamie Jones and Lee Foss’ Hot Creations imprint, speaks to the totality of his musical evolution in 11 captivating chapters.

Only the fourth full-length to be released on the label, Paounov crafts his beats and housey grooves with aplomb and finesse. French singer/songwriter/actor Arno Joey is the featured vocalist on three cuts. A gifted singer, he’s the perfect voice to lyrically express the essence of Paounov’s artistry.

With its heady bass wobble, meandering melody and pitched down vocals, “Going Back” oozes with soul and humanity. It’s a song you’ll want to wrap your arms around and embrace. “It’s Been A While” is equally euphoric yet manages to steer clear of sounding like EDM fromage. “Always In My Mind” featuring Miss Kittin takes a rawer tone, eschewing clinical pop perfection for a rough-around-the-edges song designed to make you move your body.

Paounov closes the album with “Outro,” a slow jam clocking in at a scant 1:17. Is this truncated downtempo offering a hint of things to come? Only a master of reinvention like Paounov knows the answer.

Premiere: Riva Starr & Santos – “Fallin’ On You” (Davide Squillace Remix)


Prolific dance music journeyman Riva Starr has teamed up with pisan Santos for the Fallin’ on Acid EP released this week on Hot Creations. The duo wisely placed the title track of their pumping big-room gem into the hands of Davide Squillace, who in turn crafted a banger which we’re excited to world premiere.

Squillace’s interpretation goes deeper, darker and sounds a bit more ominous. When the wobbly sub bass rises from the din, well, don’t say we didn’t warn you about this monster of a track.

If that wasn’t enough, pick up the EP to hear “Acid Train,” the duo’s incredible collaboration with legendary acid maestro DJ Pierre.

Miguel Campbell Says Hello to America


Fresh from co-appearing on the funky Experience EP along with Patrick Alavi on his Outcross label, Leeds-based house DJ/producer Miguel Campbell (pictured) has ventured across the pond once again to play a handful of select DJ dates in America. Remixing high-profile artists like Basement Jaxx coupled with his alliance with Hot Creations not to mention issuing tracks by Wolf+Lamb and Future Classic on his bespoke label has no doubt upped Campbell’s global profile.

We checked in with Campbell via e-mail and found out how his stateside jaunt is shaping up.

Catch Miguel Campbell at The Mid in Chicago on March 6 and Bardot in Miami on March 7. Continue Reading

Album Review: Miguel Campbell / ‘Back in Flight School’ (Hot Creations)


Feel the French filter grooving, the disco glare and the sharp electro cuts of ’80s cloth, and the glamorous lifestyle of first class air travel. Miguel Campbell is a man making expensive dance floor taste affordable for all, like he’s treating everyone to duty free. The whiff of cheese you may detect is more a charm not taking itself too seriously, with a playboy’s wink and a straightening of the collar. When the UK producer steps onto the runway, best believe there’ll be a flock of autograph hunters waiting to greet him.

Tapping into the essence of the high life with rhythms both warm and brushing its shoulder (“Love Electric”), the need for a female touch to rein in the ego (“Not that Kind of Girl,” the synth crème deluxe “Boy”) is responded to by the outright of irresistibility of funk – stepping beats and basslines found hanging in the hepcats lounge. “Into Your High” and its wavy guitar loop will have you checking Campbell’s passport as to whether he’s part of a Gallic family tree.

As the cologne wears off, the tracklist could have been whittled down by one or two, with the rap inclusion “Life,” though maintaining the style, an obvious candidate for eviction, added to Campbell occasionally getting slightly lost with a handful of beats circling no man’s land. Tis but minor turbulence, and there’s no reason why this shouldn’t board a 2012 best-of list.

File under: MAM, Kris Menace, Junior Jack