Review: In addition to delivering the standout Balance compilation for EQ's long serving series and a host of big remixes for the likes of Slam and Robert Babicz, Dutchman Joris Voorn has also produced for Sino and his own Green imprint. A coming of age, the 33-year-old now makes his Cocoon debut with a single track of enchanting, future disco-tech with a driving bassline. Its building sense of drama makes it perfect for the peak time sets of any of the world's biggest rooms. As the 2010 Ibiza season edges ever nearer, get ready to hear this jam booming out across the White Isle.
Review: "Completing a quick fire trio of new EPs, Constant Sound hits release number six with a pair of new tracks from VRSION that come with a dance floor friendly remix from Persuader. VRSION is a German producer who has already made a big impact with his release on Craig Richards' excellent The Nothing Special label. Following up that in fine style is the opener here, 'Torn', which is a hurried and urgent track that sits on the divide between house and techno. It is driven and slick, rubbery and hypnotic but has plenty of nuance and funk in its well programmed drums. Some occult sounds and wordless vocals embellished the whole thing and it really is the sort of track that blows dance floors apart and will stand out in any set. 'Capricorn Meet Leo' then toys with kinked drum patterns, rattling percussion and fathom deep bass that sucks you right into VRSION's world. It's a restless place where harmonies ride up and down the scale, cause claps come at you from odd angles and dark vocals add a sense of paranoia. Remixing this one is Persuader, who does so with a stripped back sense of restrain. he retains the original's weirdness, but layers in serene pads and tripped out atmospherics that really make it ripe for playing at 4am. This is the most adventurous release yet for Constant Sound, and is sure to prove one of its bets as a result."
Review: Longstanding Detroit deep house veteran Big Daddy Rick returns with three timeless reminders of his relevancy and resonance. "Escapism" is one of those classic ebb and flow tracks that laps gently but powerfully with mournful chords and slight air of cinematica while "Stand Alone" carries all the hallmarks of Rick's hometown with its rippled detuned chords and robust stately drum arrangement. "Understand" plays the consummate finale with its shuffled broken beats and dreamy 50s movie flourishes. Understated.
Review: Longtime enigma Matthias Wagner is a bit of a maverick when it comes to the dance music scene. Not only is this his first EP under his birth name, but the quirky German has released music under a whole other slew of aliases. This EP marks the first catalogue number for the Jooice label, and "Cookie Monster" does a great job at launching the first drum machine attack of the series, a loopy, leftfield tech-house number that sounds like it was made by aliens. The flip kicks off with "Mango Maracuja", a deeper, more broken neat sort of ticket, while "Farbig" provides a bleepy, skeletal tune that has more in common with electronic music's experimenters than the dance junkies.
Review: There's something particularly addictive about "Black Gum", the title track from Tiago Walter's latest rock solid EP. It's something of a winner, all told, with Walter wrapping a heavy, darting analogue bassline and skipping beats in spacey, ricocheting synth riffs and far-sighted electronics. There's plenty to enjoy elsewhere, too, with the futurist deep house bounce of "Don't Steal My Liquor" and stomping "Cocos Karma" - all vintage Micro-house riffs, jaunty motifs and sturdy bottom end - both hitting the spot in Walter's hybrid, funk-fuelled tech-house style. Closer "Com Truise", which contains a few more nods towards '80s synth-funk amongst the swirling synthesizers and bouncy beats, is also rather good.
Review: Fresh from the success of their "Water, Sky, Sun, Wood" album on Mule Musiq - a fine "hour-long meditation" born out of a four-hour improvisation - Wareika return to the dancefloor via a suitably hypnotic double-pack on Sleep Is Commercial. In its original form, the epic "Shamania" offers a near perfect balance between trippy, Villalobos style slipped minimal techno grooves and fluid - if distant sounding - piano movements. Fittingly, Villalobos provides two epic reworks alongside occasional collaborator Melchior Spirit: the first is glitchy, rubbery and undeniably mind-altering, while the second wraps weirdo electronics and mangled voices around a bolder, arguably heavier groove. For those looking for a "bigger", more compressed sound, the rolling tech-house flex of the Dunkle Dummies No Stop Mix is the one to check.
Review: The rise of the titans right here! (pardon the pun). Two of the biggest hi-tech soul merchants from the United Kingdom team up here on Spanish imprint Suara, for some epic and futurist dancefloor drama on "Rise". Strict rhythms accompany layer upon layer of warm emotive pads and soaring synth leads - as you'd expect from the duo. Their further homage to Detroit (via Glasgow and London) continues on second original offering "Variable Slope" which brings the funk with its bleepy bassline and killer groove for a life affirming dancefloor journey. There's a couple of killer remixes too. French sonic wizardry from the one and only Voiski: who delivers a scorching rendition, plus a lovely neon-lit classic house perspective from the controversial Marquis Hawkes. If that was not enough, a sombre, deep electro re-take on the aforementioned "Rise" by Leipzig's Lake People caters to a more downbeat moment.
Review: Mattia Lapucci and Sukaz made their bow as Weightless last year, contributing a percussive but pleasantly melodious track to Minor Planet's second multi-artist EP. The folks at Burbi Records were clearly impressed, as they've snapped up the duo's debut EP. They begin with the early Chicago house-goes-tech-house flex of bass-heavy jack-track "Joint Me Bro", before breaking up the beats and reaching for the acid bass on tech-bleep shuffler "Losing Control". You'll find more attractive bleeps and shimmering Motor City electronics on attractive B-side opener "The Last One", which also gets a bass-heavy two-step makeover courtesy of Henry Hyde.
Review: Ever the smooth operator, Sven Weisemann conjures up an elegant two-track delight for his own Essays imprint that shows off both his classical leanings and his gift for house music in equal measure. "Casas Suenos" begins proceedings with its heart-wrenching piano tones, delicately played to complement the shimmering tambourine shake and careful chord pulses and overall testing just how deep house can go and still be considered house music. On the flip there's a surprising electro thread to the boom bap of the drums on "Eversion", while the dub techno chords and ethereal pads cool off those fiery beats to ensure the vibe remains austere and cultured.
Review: Having previously impressed via confident releases on Drumma, Tough Luck, INFUSE and In Haus Wax, Leeds lad Jack Wickham pitches up on Medeia. The main attraction is undoubtedly A-side "Sidewalk", a deep dive into off-kilter tech-house waters that boasts a canny combination of fluid machine percussion, bobbing chords and deep space electronics. While rolling and hypnotic, there's enough swing and looseness to the beats to appeal to dancers with flagging energy levels. HO DO RI provides the obligatory remix, delivering a slightly "straighter" trip into dub-influenced tech-house territory, while Wickham bonus cut "Medeia" sits somewhere between the two versions of the headline cut.
Review: The Eastenderz label drop their 20th outing to date, just in time for the Easter weekend! That means you'll be able to smash out some killer house on the floor, and these tools are just what you need to do be able to do that. Wickham's "Digsy" kicks off with a delightful injection of bass, pushing a fat groove over a vast 7 minutes of bounciness, while Viceversa's "Aden" tones the pace down and heads into the murkier end of the deep house scale. On the flip, Doubtingthomas comes thorugh with "Jegun", a space-age roller with vast synths extending the track's reach, leaving Cosmjn's "Butterfly Drop" to deliver one final shot of bass-driven house that can only be smashed out on a jam-packed dancefloor. Badness from the Eastenderz!