Vinyl house labels have been spawning around like crazy in recent years, even more in the past few months, so much that I haven't had a single week this year without discovering at least one new ear-catching imprint. You might blame it on the vinyl revival, you might blame it on the digital downfall or you might even blame it on the economy's steady rejuvenation, but one thing's for sure: vinyl is back and here to stay! Of all the newcomers though, few get the final spot in our collections and the brand new powerful Axe On Wax imprint passes the test with top marks. The brainchild of this fresh new label is none other than Semper & Solum community and podcast owner, the italian Federico Lange who moved from Milan to London 2 years ago and has been making and playing music under his Fede Lng alias while also attending to music college courses.
Fede's passion for music and love for the house sound materialises this month with the first Axe On Wax pressing for which he secured an entire EP's worth of the hottest modern house cuts delivered straight from Berlin by the busy DJ and producer Alex Agore. 'The Prayer' is a calm and relaxing ode to the pure Chicago deep house sound, a keys-driven happy groover that floats on mild pads and gets warmed up by powerful vocal cuts from the past. 'Testify Dubb' jacks it up a notch and introduces colourful garage elements to the short but fast crowd mover. In keeping up to his trademark house sound, Alex adds layers of subtle, yet powerful synth lines and stabs to the mix and maintains the warm human connection with another set of his catchy vocal samples.
Turn the record over and the flipside will 'Make You Feel' like dancing your mind off in a crowded joyful disco where swinged beats roll firmly under a deep bassline while the brightest piano line shines a colourful light on the friendly dancefloor. Concluding this release in full force is Alex Agore's long time collaborator, friend and co-owner of No Matter What, the London-based club house wizard James Johnston. James says his own version of 'Prayer' and begins by stripping the original track apart and beefing it up with proper pumping kicks, slapping percussions, mad synths and tripped out horn stabs. What were once smooth moody vocal cuts have now been transmuted into uplifting crowd maddening chants and to top it all up, a maddening ensemble of demented strings, alien pads, and hypnotic feedbacks swirl and twirl as the story unfolds.
One last thing needs mentioning and it's the special physical format of Axe On Wax's debut release: the record will be pressed on translucent yellow vinyl (as hinted by the label artwork) and thus fresh images of the sun, lemons, and the tropics vividly unfold before your eyes :)