Be With U – Fort Romeau

Fort Romeau has been releasing original, powerful house tracks for a while now. His new release Be With U is a lush, deep kind of track that can cope with a lot of listens. It will get less attention than his other work since it is more reflective than it is danceable, but I think it is a real gem.

The track itself has three phases. The synth pads and piano kick in around half-way, and then three quarters through you enter a beautiful brass section to see out the track as the drums fade out. The sparseness of it all and the lengthy, spacious builds make the pay-offs extra sweet.

Bonus tracks: here is my post on my all-time favourite Fort Romeau track, Secrets & Lies (featuring a sample from Dirty Dancing no less!)

And finally, here is another cracker, Dweller on the Threshold. Enjoy.

Nothing Left to Lose – Everything But The Girl

Well if you were wondering what an Everything But The Girl track from the 21st century sounds like then here is your answer. Nothing Left to Lose is Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt’s first new recording as Everything But The Girl since 2000, and the first release from their upcoming album Fuse. It is an intentionally modern sounding, punchy dance track. The final refrain – “Kiss me while the world decays. Kiss me while the music plays” – is more than enough to give you goosebumps.

The video is well worth a watch as well. Amazing choreography, incredible dance performances, and nifty camerawork – executed in a single take. Top marks.

Bonus track: yeah, obviously.


Just before the end of the year the sad news emerged that Maxi Jazz, lead singer of Faithless, had died. There are plenty of great obituaries and tributes out there that are worth a read. Here is one from the Guardian.

What stands out for me about him as a performer is how he brought soul and emotion into dance music. Lyrics which make you think, or move you through their poetry, are rarely found in tracks that are at home in the nightclub. His charisma and presence give Faithless’ music a sense of awe which is very, very hard to replicate. The lyrics are not necessarily complex, but they clearly come from the heart, and delivered by Maxi, have a real sense of power.

When I started my first real job at the age of 21 I was taken out to lunch by some colleagues to welcome me to the team. Putting me on the spot, one of them asked me which song in the world I knew all of the words to. They were pretty bemused by my answer of We Come 1. Equally I could have said Insomnia (which I listened to over and over again in bed on my iPod Classic). These tracks were a huge part of my dance music awakening.

Maxi Jazz left a permanent mark on music. His work will be long remembered. RIP.

Someones Lifetime – Peza

This one is pretty special. ALFOS / Sean Johnston has played it the last couple of times I’ve seen him and both times it has been one of the set highlights. After the second listen last weekend Sean very kindly ID’d it for me, and so here we are. Talking Heads and LCD Soundsystem brought together in beautiful harmony. Enjoy.

If you are a regular reader you’ll know of my love affair with A Love From Outer Space. If not, you’ve got some catching up to do.

Canto Della Liberta – 3rd Face

You don’t need me to tell you that a lot changed in the world between August 2018 and August 2022. That time period also marked the gap between the second and third edition of Houghton Festival. 2019 fell victim to ‘high winds’ and 2020 and 2021 were both casualties of COVID.

The 2018 festival was the first time I came across A Love From Outer Space, the project of Andrew Weatherall and Sean Johnston. They delivered a transfixing set, which felt both completely at home in, and completely distinct from, the house music surrounding it. Fast forward four years and we are now without Andrew Weatherall, who tragically died in February 2020.

Sean Johnston has been keeping the spirit of the duo alive by playing under the ALFOS moniker, and returned to play one of the closing sets at Houghton 2022. It was highly emotional, studded with tributes to his dead friend, and once again utterly transfixing. As well as some ALFOS favourites, Sean played Canto Della Liberta by 3rd Face. This was probably the most memorable tracks of the festival for me – bizarre, punchy and loads of fun.

Sean Johnston is playing as ALFOS at Phonox in December. Trust me, not one to miss if you can help it.

More Dusky

Long time no see listeners. I’m back with a triple-helping of Dusky goodness.

First up, one of my fave tracks from 2012, their remix of Cloud 9’s Don’t You Want Me Baby. This’ll be sure to get a smile on yer face.

But look, this is Dusky we are talking about, and it all really began (just over) a decade ago with Stick By This. Earlier this year they released a deluxe 10 year anniversary edition with some tasty little edits. Here. You. Go.

And finally, they released a new album just last week. Maybe you were at EartH this weekend for the launch party. Anyway, Pressure is a tribute to the sound of their youth, which is… garage. I have to be honest, most garage isn’t really for me – but for these guys I’ll make a small exception. Check it out here.