News on Lil Devious, Neotropic, Bran Van 3000, Ninja Tune

Ministry Secure Lil Devious From Miami

The fallout from this year's Winter Music Conference continues to loom large in Europe, as one of Miami's biggest tunes has been picked up by Ministry of Sound's Rulin imprint for a summer release.

Lil Devious' "Come On" takes a hook from "Flashback," a track by camp 1980s disco outfit Imagination, speeds it up and splices it with vocals from "Our Thought" (Mass Productions). The result is a Salsoul epic that effortlessly oozes the kind of kitsch additives currently surfacing in the work of fellow producers like the U.K.'s Mutiny and Agent Sumo (who, incidentally, donate a remix here). This track which, it is rumored, will eventually feature mixes from French house supremo Alan Braxe, is tearing up dancefloors on a regular basis and looks set to take Ibiza by storm this summer.

Lil Devious is production duo Mark Baker and Gary Little, who have been producing and DJing together for six years. Previous releases on their own Natural Selection label, on Liverpool-based Glow Records, and tracks licensed to DJ Sneaks' Defiant label, have won them the support of Junior Sanchez and others.

"We aim to be versatile and original in our production style," the duo points out, "which means no one can second guess what we'll do next." Rulin Records will release "Come On" in the U.K. in late July.

'Discosis' Marks The Return Of Bran Van 3000

Bran Van 3000Montreal creative collective Bran Van 3000 will release its second album, "Discosis," on Grand Royal/Virgin May 28 in the U.K.

The album follows hot on the heels of first single "Astounded" (released May 7 in the U.K.), which featured a vocal from the late, great Curtis Mayfield. Mayfield, who passed away just eight weeks after originally being approached by Bran Van frontman James Di Salvio, had been too ill to actually perform on the collaboration. He instead gave permission to search through his archive, where Di Salvio discovered the unused vocal from an 1980s session which was used to complete the track.

Bran Van's last release was the 1999 summer hit "Drinking in L.A" taken from its Parlophone album, "Glee." Since its release, the group joined Grand Royal, where Di Salvio has been working closely with the Grand Royal CEO, the Beastie Boys' Mike D.

Ninja Tune Continue Bid For World Domination

London label Ninja Tune continues its bid for world domination in May and June. In addition to the media furor surrounding the release of Coldcut and the Guilty Party's anti-election single "Re:Volution" (out June 4 in the U.K.), the label's European touring Xen Solid Steel club nights are going from strength to strength.

May will see events at Lux in Lisbon and La Lolita in Barcelona featuring Jonathan More (Coldcut), Strictly Kev (DJ Food), and Funki Porcini and Mixmaster Morris (the Irresistible Force). This plus Ninja Tune's regular and massive London show at Cargo on May 31, when sister label Big Dada, already established as a quality hip-hop generator, takes over the proceedings. Headlining on the night will be rapper and sublime lyricist Roots Manuva, who is currently preparing for the release of his second album on the label in late summer -- he will be previewing some of the fresh material at Cargo.

A welcome surprise addition to the line-up comes in the form of MC Doseone from U.S. avant hip-hop collective cLOUDDEAD, whose eponymously titled album (released in the U.K. May 5) generated a huge amount of media interest with its implausibly complex blend of prog-rock and hip-hop.

Ninja girl DJ/producer Riz Maslen (aka Neotropic), who has toured the U.S. and Europe extensively (including sets at both the Montreaux Jazz Festival and the first Coachella festival), will add the final Xen touch by supplying turntable skills.

NeotropicMaslen will on June 4 release "La Prochaine Fois" ("The Next Time"), her third album on Ninja's Ntone label in the U.K. Signed to Ntone in 1995, her first two albums -- "15 Levels of Magnification" and "Mr Brubaker's Strawberry Alarm Clock" -- were critically acclaimed for their challenging and nonconformist nature.

Her previous exploits including recording vocals for abstract producers Future Sound of London, and working as a keyboard player with Jon Marsh's hugely successful outfit the Beloved.