Review: Although Amsterdam's Daniel Sanchez has appeared regularly on classic tech-house labels like Area Remote or Bla Bla Records since the late 00s, he had yet to make an appearance on Mannheim's ever-impressive 8bit Records. Home to peeps like Nick Curly, Alex Niggemann, Audiofly, and even Steve Lawler, they are the masters of the modern Balearic dance. Sanchez's "Thang" obviously slides into the roster with utter ease, the groove smashing out intricate waves of glitch and heavy kicks, while "We Are Puppets" strays from the formula to drop a faster, more techno-minded rhythm for the peak time, and "Mapuche" slides its liquid-like drums along a cavernous string of voices and phased-out sonics. Effective.
Review: Given that both Julien Sandre and Pierre Codarin have been pulling up trees on the underground for some time, you'd expect this collaborative EP on Berlin's EWax to be solidly on-point. It is, of course, with all four tracks striking the right balance between deep house dreaminess and the skewed grooves of Parisian tech-house. Our highlight is probably the hypnotic late night hum of "Down Shake", where drifting vocal samples and hushed electronics weave in an out of a bass-heavy tech groove, though the sub-heavy snap of early morning throb-job "Closer" isn't far behind. Elsewhere, you'll find more chunky tech-house thrills in the shape of "Mystere", while opener "Kalypso" is a deep and dreamy treat.
Review: Sasaki Hiroaki has been immersed in electronic music in Japan for longer than most, but it's his more recent diversions into techno and minimal that have provided a solid foundation for his creative arc. He appears here on Open Recordings with some crisply produced, deep-as-you-like tech house joints with more than a little thread of dub about them. "Sprinkler" uses massive clanging chords to shape out the atmosphere of the track, while "Speak" ladles a measured amount of delay and reverb over the mix to make things move just the right amount. Frazer Campbell comes on board to remix "Sprinkler", and does so with an uplifting Detroit techno approach that is as infectious as it is refined. Pablo Tamo takes on "Speak" and injects some reduced 2-step craftiness into its bones.
Review: We asked our favourite remixers of the moment to tackle the electronic disco vibe of the original Sasse production taken from his recent album "Made With The Upper Stairs Of Heaven". Peter Dildo, the man behind Trackdown Records, delivers his phat trademark sound of deep-house meets-post minimal in a slamming arrangement of fine tuned drums and hypnotic synth stabbing.
Review: Dub techno doesn't come deeper than DeepChord, and Mike Schommer is one of those responsible for launching the legendary project. Making his return after 15 long years, Steve O'Sullivan's re-energised Mosaic Records is the perfect place to get reacquainted with the chap. "Invitation To Love" is as romantic as the title would suggest, letting gorgeous chords and pad washes ooze out over a steady ticking beat. The rhythm gets chopped up a little on "Remember When", while "Into The Night" heads into head-nodding dubstep territory with mammoth bass replaced by elegant Motor City synth shimmers.
Review: Ilian Tape continues to be code for "absolutely killing it mate" with the Zenker brothers introducing us and you to the production talents of Sciahri with the Mysterious Love 12". Spend some time with the sound clips here and you'll be hard pushed to believe this is Sciahriar Tavakoli's debut 12" as Sciahri, such is the standard of productions. Tavakoli's stated interest in the loop techno pioneered in 90s era Birmingham is very much evident on a cut like "The Dream Is True" but there's some nice little touches slipped in that give it some true personality such as the spin back in the breakdown. The title cut is a stern faced dubby number that just tunnels and tunnels away, whilst there's a cheeky strut to the way Tavakoli implements the filters on "Mind". The final track "Emblema" is the kind of techno number you want to drop right when everyone has forgotten their names.