Review: After debuting his Pakzad moniker on Infiltrate last year, Justin Pak makes the leap to Burnski's Constant Sound with this assured set of electro workouts built for the modern age. "Timeless" is a snappy, vibrant cut with a serious amount of techno propulsion to match the crooked funk of the beats. "Clutch" has a more trippy, melodic twist, while "Correlation" hunkers down into a more backroom vibe as detailed as it is freaky. This is seriously executed electro from a fast-rising talent - nab a copy, drop it into a set and watch the bodies writhe.
Review: Originally prolific in the late 90s and back with a renewed sense of vigour in the past few years, Dan Piu's classic, widescreen vision of hardware techno captures the verve of the original Detroit blueprint while bringing a fresh, welcome energy to the genre. This drop on Common Dreams brims with the same head-swirling magic, especially on vividly rendered lead track "Halo City". "Falling Framework" has a more mellow veneer, but there's still so much playful detail bringing the track to life. "Akira 2171" has an old-skool sci fi quality balanced out by its linear sense of progression, and "Ilipsyon" takes things deeper into a wistful jack reminiscent of the spookiest Trax output.
Review: Desert Sound Colony continues to dig deeper in the history of tech house on his Holding Hands imprint. Here he reissues a golden oldie courtesy of Mauricio Fernando Bischain aka DJ Mau Mau. Said to be one of the pioneers of electronic music in Brazil, he remains a respected figure to this day and his releases on the respected Tropic Records imprint are considered seminal. Originally released back in 1996, "Hell's Club EP" refers to the very institution where he was a resident. The title track is a bouncy and functional groove attack, with acid inflections that encapsulates the sound of the mid '90s. This is followed by the banging Detroit-influenced hi-tech funk of "JMRB" before Desert Sound Colony's rounds things up with his own contorted rework of "Breakers In Space".
Review: Swiss producer Alci, also known as Shaolin Fantastic, landed with lauded releases on Robsoul before skipping to other labels like Apollonia and Meander. Following last year's excellent "Diversity" double pack, he lands on his own label Seeingsounds with this pitch perfect slice of dreamy minimal house. "Acid Drip" may be a misleading title - it's more of an unending groove draped in gorgeous, shimmering melodic finery. "Hiragana" takes things in a more twitchy direction, while "Apachi" brings another slant on reduced, oddball funk to get the up all night crowd loose and freaky in all the right ways.
Review: Emmy Award-winning composer Jordan Lieb has previously proved to be a masterful maker of crackly, atmospheric deep house. We shouldn't be that surprised, then, that his latest mini-album for Scissor And Thread - the rather depressingly titled "Nothing Makes Me Feel (Good Anymore)" - is full of the stuff. The undoubted highlight for us is the poignant and melancholic title track, though for club plays you seriously can't beat the sub-heavy, R&B-sampling shuffle of the cut that follows it, "Street Emotion". You'll find more chopped-and-screwed vocal samples on the deep and chunky "Get Something", while "The Right Way" is a near perfect fusion of loved-up deep house musicality and laid back electro grooves. The New Jersey garage influenced "Hustle" and Dream 2 Science-esque "Golden Chains" are also superb.
Review: There's much to enjoy about the output of the Kimochi label, not least the bespoke, spray-painted sleeves and their habit of releasing only the deepest, most hypnotic electronic music. Their latest must-have release is another super-limited affair that drifts lazily between ultra-deep cuts shot through with dub-wise rhythms, atmospheric shoegaze motifs, echoing ambient chords and beats straight out of the early '90s ambient techno playbook. It's utterly gorgeous and deliciously hazy, with slow-burn melodies and undulating electronics slowly rising above reverb-laden chords, warm basslines and occasionally skittish rhythms. There's something particularly special about the locked-in drums and hypnotic bassline of "Elljus", but the ambient soundscapes "Heden" and "Inland" are also superb.
Review: It's been a long time between drinks for Chris Korda, a transgender artist and activist whose last releases of note came on famed electroclash label International Deejay Gigolo way back in 2004. New album "Akoko Ajeji" is very much a surprise return to action, though its melodious, ear-pleasing and accessible blend of house and techno drums, digital synthesizer sounds and cheery post synth-pop refrains is both striking and hugely addictive. Korda's compositions offer subtle nods towards various vintage house and techno styles - particularly turn-of-the-90s deep house and early Chicago jack - but never sound anything less than thrillingly DIY productions giddily made in back rooms and bedrooms over the last decade and a half.
Review: Moscow's Shanti Radio crew have really honed in on their own little music niche: deep, laced with trance tones, and emotive house. Tunes from this hotly anticipated EP by Volen Sentir has been doing the rounds in certain DJs sets for as much as six months. Highlights are plentiful throughout but the title track is arguably the standout. Languid piano chords dropped over soft, succulent, dubbed out drum rolls while tribal vocal chat bleeds in and out of focus to add to the hypnotic effect, and some sensitive xylophone sounds supporting an all-important melody line.
Review: Icelandic label Lahar debuts with this highly impressive release from NonniMal, who was previously spotted dropping the classy "Freyja" 12" on AE Recordings back in 2016. Sound design is the order of the day on "Eitt" as a beautifully rendered set of percussive bell notes chime around a minimal rhythm section - a piece pointedly geared towards transcendence. "Tvo" has an intriguing slant to its groove, as the sharply oscillating synth wobble juts out against the grain of the drums. "Thrju" takes things in a bleak but captivating direction, while "Fjogur" cools the record down in a cloud of blissful, frostbitten ambience.
Review: While he's continued to offer up occasional singles, Bonn-based producer Dominik Eulberg has not released an album for eight years. It's for this reason that "Mannigfaltig", the former Traum Schallplatten regular's new set, is big news. Interestingly, it's nowhere near as club-focused as you'd perhaps expect, with Eulberg combining his usual glitchy, tech-house influenced beats and sounds with a range of intricate electronic motifs, sumptuous melodies and atmospheric aural textures. There are one or two club cuts, of course, but majority of the tracks bob along at a more sedate pace, with Eulberg offering up cuts that draw influence from IDM and hazy electronica. As a result, it may well be his most coherent and "listenable" album to date.
Review: German minimal/tech house veteran Christian Burkhardt makes a worthy addition to East End Dubs' ever reliable Eastenderz stable with this absolute thrasher of an EP. Although a native of Heidelberg, Burkhardt was associated with the "Mannheim Sound" over a decade ago, but has since carved out his own distinct style on tastemaker imprints like Oslo, raum...musik and Cocoon, in addition to his own Christian Burkhardt Sessions. He is in impressive form on ENDZ 030, which features the moody tough rolling main room banger "Vibration" on the A side, followed by the meditative tribal trance of afterhours cut "Foundation" as well as the bleepy minimal funk of closer "Nation" which harks back to his output in the late 00s.
Review: Nick Beringer's Rubisco has served up some wicked grooves lately by the likes of Maik Yells, Ed Herbst and Diego Krause among others. The next one on the Berlin-based imprint comes courtesy of David Gab, label owner of Talaman out of Amsterdam. He is in great form on "Timeframe EP" with the tripped-out afterhours groove of "Take Me To My Planet" which combines the very best of UK and Romanian tech house sounds. On the B side we have the rolling and hypnotic backroom dub that is the title track, followed by the deep and boompty late night cut "Watkins".
Review: Infuse is a vinyl only label for the heads, and Per Hammer is a dub techno don for those who know, so they make a fine pairing on this fresh new three tracker. Opener "Side Effects" has a muted synth sequence that is gorgeously dreamy above a slick dub techno groove. It's a simple but effective trance-inducer, while "Document Save" is a more visceral cut with prickly drums. The best might well be saved for last: "Remote Dubb" is a seductive, aqueous dub techno cut with shimmering pads and shuffling percussion that is high grade dancing dynamite.
Review: Mint Condition's ear for essential reissues has struck gold time and time again. Next up in their spotlight is a 1996 EP from Two Full Minds that was first released by Bushwacka! & DJ Vorn. Whether the agelessness of this record is a testament to the producers' original vision or a sign that dance music doesn't evolve as much as it thinks is unclear, but what's certain is that these tracks bang. There's the impish cosmic synths and clacking breakbeats of the title track, the brilliantly named "I Hate Anthea Turner", which is a spaced out garage-tech kicker, and ecstasy rush of closer "Space Port" all ready to do damage on the floor.
Review: Much like its name would suggest, Outofstock's releases are pressed in small amounts for the dedicated Rominimal fans out there - and indeed they believe in quality over quantity. Following up some great releases by local young guns like Audiotheque, Sublee and Timofti, they now present the debut of Deweekend. While information is scarce on this enigmatic producer, we can sure bet they're on to great things if this eponymous EP is anything to go by. The A side houses the rolling, dubby and cavernous tech house action of "Nose Trauma" which is perfect tackle for the main room, followed by the super trippy afterhours thumper "Rabeat". On the flip, they go for more of a minimal house vibe and deeper into the morning hours with the woozy microfunk of "Makes Sensi" and the ultra deep glitchiness of "Re Searching".