Review: The lads behind Albion Records know a thing or two about where to look for fresh steps forwards in the minimal, house and techno scenes. After last year's Gab Jr release, they're finally back to hit number 10 with a double pack compilation that sets in stone what the label is all about. There's a lot to dig into here, but some of the standouts include the sharp and sneaky "Forgot Your Name" by Henry Hyde, the Boogizm-goes-electro freakery of Christian Jay's "Restive" and the swinging jazz surrealism of Phil Evans' "Hazard". With more than a little garage shuffle hovering over this release, it's set to be another huge one in all corners of the minimal tech house scene.
Review: Tomoki Tamura and Tuccillo are back together once again as Doublet, with both seasoned tech house champs having fun in the studio jamming out the kind of stripped back, heads down grooves you'd expect to hear them play out. "Tee's 8" is a cheeky A side jam with the kind of acid line that goes down easy and then works you from the inside out. "Three Thousand Men" has a slight dubby thread to it which sits comfortably amongst the sturdy groove of the drums, and then "Tentation" switches gears for a bright and melodic creation that skips around in funky syncopation without even needing to worry about a kick drum.
Review: Diego Krause is a key part of the effervescing Berlin underground thanks to his work as a DJ, producer and co-founder of Beste Modus. Here he steps out on Mulen's 20th EP with three slick tracks that perfectly straddle the divide between deep house, tech and minimal. Opener "Apogee" gets busy on supple drum programming with all sorts of astral pads spiralling round the groove and a burrowing bassline brings the funk. "Dive" hits harder but is still detailed with deft synths, alien motifs and warped pads that make it so much more than a purely functional track and the lithe and elastic closer "Dominion" is simply irresistible.
Review: Sahau is a quintet comprised of Bucharest scene hero Dan Andrei, with locals Paul Agripa (Ragrip) and Serban Goanta under their AK41 moniker - all highly respected DJs and producers within the Rominimal scene. The third collaborative effort on their Zimbru imprint and following up 2017's "As It Wasn't There EP", "Cielo EP" is awashed with mesmerising vibes from start to finish. The off-kilter broken beat hypnotism of opener "El Senor De Los Cielos" is as esoteric as you like over its meandering 15 minute duration, while B side "Fresno" is a deeper and groovier minimal funk effort which is perfect for getting weird at the afterhours. Closing cut "Cablung" is an introverted and bass-driven affair that takes a much darker and experimental turn but equally suited for one of those sleep deprived Sunday afternoon shenanigans.
Review: Shahr Farang continues to blossom as a label, primarily as a vessel for the work of Sohrab Karimi and Rasul Gafarov, better known as Ahu and Lenta respectively. On this occasion, Ahu and Lenta have teamed up to present some intriguing clippings from two separate improvised studio jams. As is customary with the label, the primary mode of expression is minimal techno shrouded in hazy textures and atmospheric matter, but it veers more towards the kind of clicks and cuts you'd expect from a classic Scape record than anything geared towards the dancefloor. The steady tick of a 4/4 kick means this music isn't necessarily consigned to the headphones though - the right kind of warm up slot or backroom could be just the place to melt into these delicate productions.
Review: Adam Monti aka ADMNTi heads up 4Plae Records out of London and joins Casey Spillman (who just debuted on Infuse) for his label's fifth release. Monti opens with the hypnotic, bass-driven and swing-fuelled loops of "0207", a sublime groove reminiscent of iO (Mulen) or Jack Wickham, while Spillman's contribution comes in the form of the very UK influenced bounce of "Juice Appeal". This takes the best of 2-step and garage (and even the mandatory "rewind") to create a sexy serving of late night mood music. On the flip they flip the script, with both artists remixing each other's track and for what it's worth we reckon it's all about Spillman's remix of Monti's - tough rolling and functional tech house that's aimed squarely at the main room at peak time!