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: Arapu is very much one of the key Romanian artists of the moment. Of course, like his revered countrymen, that means techno that is elegant, minimal, and delicately detailed. His own take on the style is often littered with curious little motifs and trippy loops that also characterise this new one on heavyweight vinyl for Liniar. "Over" is a brilliant opener with languid Balearic guitar riffs echoing over supple drum work which will hook you in and encourage your mind to wander, whereas "A Gain" is a more direct, driving minimal techno cut with warped synths peeling off an urgent groove. "I" closes out with a funky undercarriage and dub house overtones that will get any basement popping off.
Poisoned Words (Ricardo Villalobos remix 1) (6:35)
Poisoned Words (Ricardo Villalobos remix 2) (13:39)
Review: The Mandar dream team of Lazare Hoche, Malin Genie and S.A.M revisit "Poisoned Words" with a double dose of remixes from none other than Ricardo Villalobos. The minimal overlord lives up to expectations on both flips of the original track, needling into the tiniest sonic details and holding down an insistent groove that will sit beautifully in the mix. The A side features a simmering version that revels in wriggling sound design with ample space to flex and mutate, while the B side stretches out into a quintessential Villalobos wormhole of a remix. Unmissable sonics from one of the scene's true legends.
Albert Luxus - "In Den Arm Bitte!" (Julian Stetter mix)
Tom Demac - "Serenade"
Jurgen Paape - "Abstrusia"
Reinhard Voigt - "Der Amnn, Der Nie Nach Deutz Kam"
Rex The Dog - "Vortex"
Justus Kohncke - "Mindless Sex Track"
Voigt & Voigt - "Der Schwarm"
Anii - "Ride The Tiger"
Clarian - "Early Life"
Extrawelt - "Pink Panzer"
DJ Balduin - "EWBA"
Anna - "Remembrance" (main mix)
Fahrland - "Yesterday" (Night version)
Patrice Baumel - "Grace"
La Fleur - "Tears"
John Monkman & James Monro - "Pesto Punk"
Blackrachas - "Rotary"
Raxon - "Dark Light"
Yotam Avni - "Track For Agoria"
Jonathan Kaspar - "Renard"
Gui Boratto - "618" (Kolsch mix)
Review: Cologne powerhouse Kompakt may not be talked about as much as it once was, but the label continues to put out high quality electronic music with its own distinctive vibe. For proof, check the 19th annual edition of their now legendary compilation series, "Total". There's much to set the pulse racing amongst the 25 tracks scattered across two CDs, from the shoegaze-influenced haziness of Weval's "Are You Even Real" and the picturesque, piano-sporting dancefloor deepness of Tom Demac's "Serenade", to the neo-trance throb of Rex The Dog, the twisted techno intensity of Voigt & Voigt, and the intergalactic electro/rave fusion of Raxon's strobe lit "Raxon".
Cafe Del Mar (Tale Of Us Renaissance remix) (8:18)
Cafe Del Mar (Nalin & Kane remix) (9:46)
Review: Energy 52 aka Paul Schmitz-Moormann and Harald Bluechel inaugurated the semail Frankfurt trance label Eye Q with the anthem "Cafe Del Mar" in 1993, named after the long running Ibiza bar and institution. It was the soundtrack to the rave culture movie Human Traffic in 1999 and later went on to be voted #1 in Mixmag's 2001 '500 Best Tracks Ever' list. Here, Renaissance recruit Tale of Us for the second edition of their quarterly-century celebrations. The modern experts in dancefloor drama were sure to deliver a stunning remix, that works the truly evocative qualities of the original into a shape for modern dancefloors - and it further enhances the levels of tension and suspense. Next up on the flip, German legends Nalin & Kane's remix from 1998 appears, delivering a zeitgeist from trance music's heyday.
Review: De:tuned are in the midst of a 10 part anniversary series, and this latest missive - the seventh in all - brings together a hefty selection of talents old and new on heavyweight vinyl. Jonah Sharp opens things as Spacetime Continuum and continues to fuse ambient, techno, and IDM on the absorbing cosmic adventure that is "Only One Sky." Scanner's "Mothlit" slows things down with a hip hop instrumental from outer space, and then the beats disappear altogether on Ross 154's suspensory ambient cut "Earth To Our Friends." Lastly, Leo Anibaldi's "Crion" will make your skin tingle with its deft and delicate melodies which float about like fireflies and leave gorgeous, glowing trails in their wake.
Review: Hoarder continues to impress here with another classy collection of serious club heat. It comes from Italian born, New York based artist Fr!sky Buziness and marks his best work to date. All four tracks deal in proper, original tech house with a superbly smooth and seductive sense of late night funk. "Grey Goo Romance" has a gooey groove with sci-fi motifs that race along, while "Bananafish" channels early Terry Francis with its clipped and slick drums and swirling cosmic pads. "Skyhook" is awash with alien lifeforms and brain cleansing synth tones that are shiny and reflective, then finally "Aurora" pumps the party with perfectly pressurised drum loops and a whole ecosystem of spaced out sound effects. This is high grade dance floor weaponry from start to finish.
Review: Having built his reputation via a regular series of self-released 12" singles, East End Dubs is now beginning to make guest appearances on selected labels. Here he pops up on the long established, vinyl-only INFUSE imprint with a trio of club-ready concoctions. On the A-side you'll find "Gradual Steps", a rolling and attractive fusion of bouncy deep house drums, spacey, Motor City chord, thickset bass and glitchy tech-house flourishes. As usual, there's a wonderful swing to his drums and the stretched-out chords are hazy and evocative. You'll find more of these sumptuous pads and chord progressions on similarly-minded flipside cut "Mind Traps", while closer "Enhance" is another deep house/tech-house hybrid blessed with a notably epic breakdown.
Review: Local Talk hits the rather significant catalogue number of 100 with a forward thinking EP that stays true to its MO over the last few years. It finds MLiR aka Modern Life Is Rubbish joined by Arnau Obiols to serve up a brace of brilliant tunes that blur the lines between a myriad different dance styles. "Lajbans" is a playful, fun tune with tooting arps and cosmic melodies all married to a chugging beat that Todd Terje would be proud of. The Bellaterra dub on the flip reworks it with plenty of space echo, knob twirling effects and sci-fi atmospheres. A tidy little package.
Jon Da Silva & Jozef K - "Maresme" (Da Silva mix) (5:44)
Review: Sasha has done well to re-establish himself with the next generation, and its largely because of the work he puts into his Last Night On Earth label. A haven for producers who like emotionally stripping, melodic sounds, this latest VA package delves into the previously digital-only archives. The boss himself kicks things off with a collab with La Fleur built on a wavy baseline and crisp house rhythm. Fur Coat keep things more mysterious with "Babel" while Hunter/Game keep you in suspense throughout the many melodic and harmonica layers of "Canyons". Jon Da Silva & Jozef K close things down in more purposeful fashion.
Review: Anders Trentemøller is one of the rising stars of the dance music scene, his remixes and productions have gained critical acclaim from a broad range of DJs and producers including Pete Tong, Sasha, John Digweed, Switch, MANDY, Mylo, Nathan Fake and Freeform Five. Released on the influential Poker Flat label this is set to be one of the definitive releases of 2006. Available as a limited edition double CD and double LP. Trentemøller is currently the most in-demand remixer (recently delivering critically acclaimed mixes for The Pet Shop Boys, The Knife, Royksöpp, Sharon Phillips and Moby) with releases on Naked Music, Get Physical, and of course Poker Flat/Audiomatique.
Review: The force is strong in this electrifying new EP from DAED, who last appeared on this label in 2017 on a VA release. There are shades of IDM to his complex synths and melodies, while kinetic broken beat drum programming powers the tracks along. The mood is melancholic on "Aria" which is so frantic it feels like it might eat itself, "Voidal" has fizzing, icy textures that will tie you in knots before "H2FSBF6" really pulls of some impressive synth acrobatics. "Ephemeris" is the warp speed closer that tarps you in a gorgeous digital world.
Review: More from single-sided specialists EEE, a shadowy crew that specializes in sneaky contemporary club reworks of well-known tracks (many of which are, in their original form, about as dancefloor focused as your average miserable indie band or veteran cabaret crooner). What's on offer this time round is a heavily electronic tech-house groove - all Romanian style beats and bubbling, mind-altering synth notes - onto which is laid cut-up snippets from a famous old blues cut that's previously been sampled on a club cut to great effect. While the vocal does sit slightly awkwardly at times, there's no denying the heaviness or effectiveness of EEE's track. In other words, it's another winner from tech-house's most shadowy crew.
Review: Since leaving Cabaret Voltaire in the early '90s, Stephen Mallinder has kept himself busy, first by starting a new career as an academic, and latterly by stints in bands including Wrangler, Hey! Rube and Creep Show. There was always one thing missing from his CV, though: a new solo album. With "Um Dada", he's finally ticked that box, delivering a set that smartly channels four decades of electronic music influences into nine vocal and instrumental mutant pop cuts. It's heavy, trippy, mind-altering and thoroughly absorbing, with Mallinder offering plenty of nods towards the Cabs' 1980s and '90s work, as well as more contemporary influences such as German techno/electro and the sub-heavy rush of fellow Sheffielder Crooked Man.
Review: When it comes to a reissue such as this it can't be understated just how arresting the work of Boards of Canada can be in the right situation. This EP, that came to light in between Music Has The Right To Children and Geogaddi, represents the enigmatic duo at their most powerful, channeling their energy into four long-form tracks that draw on all of their combined strengths. "Kid For Today" is haunting and dark but utterly heartbreaking, whilst "Amo Bishop Roden" heads into more mysterious territory. "In A Beautiful Place Out In The Country" is eerie in its titular invitation to join a cult, and "Zoetrope" tips its hat to Terry Riley et al in its looping phrases, but really there's no describing the magnificence of these gems, pleasingly reissued on vinyl to beat the Discogs chancers.
Review: Serial collaborator Romain "Traumer" Reynaud is at it again, this time joining forces with fellow Parisian producer Gregory "Point G" Dorsa for a three-track workout on INFUSE. The experienced duo predictably hits its stride from the word go, serving up some swinging rhythms, hypnotic sub-bass and Salt & Pepa samples on peak-time tech-house box jam "Push It". There's a more percussive and slightly glitchy feel to the bongo-laden "Modulation Tropique", while banging B-side "Locoliente" feels like the kind of bouncy tech-house floorfiller that Sheffield sorts Swag used to do so well in their early 2000s pomp.
Review: Thankfully, Richard D. James has decided to finally release at least some of the output that he's been banging on about since mid-2000s. In a number of interviews, the might Aphex Twin hinted that he has vast artilleries of tracks stacked up and unreleased, probably more on purpose than out of laziness...or maybe not. What we do know is that AFX is reborn after the string of acid 12"s released about 10 years ago on Rephlex, that saw the alias become one of the most popular of James' alter egos. Orphaned Deejay Selek is a collection of tunes that contain all of the Twin's magic and unpredictably, but that also cut straight to the point and head to the middle of the dance floor. This is banging brain dynamite coated in the man's iconic style and flair. Welcome back AFX, and many hats off to Warp for making it happen.
Review: Techno heads with an appreciation of forgotten and almost-lost gems will be happy with this one. Mark Ambrose's 'Dimensions' first saw the light of day on Steve O'Sullivan's Mosaic way, way back in 1997, and here is finally remastered for the modern world. And what a treat it is. A shining example of just how compelling, addictive and inescapable tracks can be without needing to be particularly hard, those looking for adjectives will find them in the likes of tough, solid and crisp. The four tracks all follow a similar trajectory, deep but purposeful dancefloor stuff where sub bass rules and alien noises become warbling hooks- not leat on 'Cable Talk'. Those looking to stomp in the dark may find 'Signs 'N' Lights' is the go-to, 'Photo Funk' is pure darkroom mechanical groove and 'Bassoon' a sharp tech builder.
Review: We're very happy to see a renewed interest in Underground Resistance sub-label Happy Records: which is sure known for its fair share of house classics. Quite fitting then that the chief retrovert Gerd Janson over at Running Back saw it fit to issue some remixes of the classic "Sunshine" by Unit 2 aka Raphael Merriweathers Jr. and Niko Marks. KiNK's remix on the A side is a nice modern revision of the track which retains those uplifting trademark pianos but adds some of his thunderous trademark 909 drum machine workouts beneath. On the flip, lo-slung disco pranksters Tiger & Woods do a remix which cuts up and stutters those said pianos (and the vocals) to interesting effect plus adding some nice boompty swagger into it.
Review: Apparat has been working closely with London's infamous Mute records for a few years, and it's borne some rich fruit. We finally have a new LP from the man which we've been waiting impatiently for and its as excellent as you'd expect. The opener "44" is actually something slightly unexpected from Apparat, where solemn cellos twine graciously to their own rhythm, but things are soon engulfed into a familiar electronic shade one the noise version. "LightOn" is a near perfect amalgamation of shuffling clicks, euphoric pads and one hell of a bassline; but there's other highlights here for sure, such as the irresistibly seductive whale chants on "Blank Page" or the modern classical piano keys and violins merging on "K & F Thema (Pizzicato)" and the closing track "A Violet Sky" - something which surpasses all expectation thanks to its almost synth pop vibes.
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.
Review: One of the deepest reaching projects from the multifaceted Vibraphone stable resurfaces for an extended trip through ambient sonics that marks possibly the most daring departure on the esteemed Italian label to date. The harmonious tones undulating throughout Sketches From Space are instant soothers, taking the odd cue from techno but defiantly beatless and meditative. It's a surprising addition to the long and winding Vibraphone story, but also feels like one of the strongest steps forward the resurgent label has taken since returning to the fray. Just try sinking into "Lagrangian Point L4" and you'll see exactly what we mean.
Review: The FUSE London crew are back everyone, look out! Bringing the sound of their legendary daytime raves to us again and getting straight down to business on Enzo Siragusa's third edition of 5 are label mainstays Rich NxT (with the rolling and adrenalised "Badass") and the always impressive OdD aka Damian Daley & Danny Dixon joined by newcomer Rossko (making his production debut) on the rolling hypnotism of "Jabba The Hut". On the flip is Moscow Records boss Archie Hamilton (another mainstay of the label) with the woozy and tripped out after hours deepness of "Cirrus" and the Deep End Soundsystem affiliated Sam Bellis with the gutsy acid driven "Solstrole".
Review: Alex is a brand new alias from the artist regularly known as Baba Stiltz - a Swedish producer whose quirky, off-kilter house and techno releases are rarely less than brilliant. His first Trilogy Tapes outing is suitably impressive. The real killer is "Samba", an inspired nine minute workout in which he layers deep, woozy electric piano motifs, sun-kissed chords, child-like vocal samples and rich bass atop a swinging, samba fired techno beat. The deeper and more bass-heavy "Memo" is even more epic; a near 13-minute journey through sparse, crunchy, hypnotic and dubbed-out minimal house rhythms and exotic, snake charmer solos. In other words, it's another top-notch EP from a producer who genuinely can do no wrong.
Review: Baby Ford's minimal minded label is back in action with some psyched-out goodness from Alex Celler. The long-serving Greek producer has many strings to his bow, but this release finds him tapping into his foundational sound as a steady ticking groove carries a richly produced bed of chimes and tones for the deepest moments in the dance. Where "Feudade" is a lilting, soothing trip, "Vis A Vis" heads into a more mysterious headspace peppered with nagging rhythmic trysts, crafty licks and fulsome bass to get the synapses popping. It's exactly how stripped down house music should be done, inventive to the last and yet utterly danceable.
Jeremy Castillo - "Beat Dat" (feat Vin Sol) (4:24)
Review: Unknown To The Unknown spreads its wings with a new sublabel dedicated specifically to jacking house jams for proper white-knuckle party times. Steven BC turns the acid intensity up to 11 with the devastatingly on-point "Flanger Zone", while Mall Grab reaches for a classic bit of disco funk to sample and filter mercilessly. Lawrence Lee meanwhile opts for a playful, budget take on Eastern electro on "Pyongyang Rhythm" before Jeremy Castillo and Vin Sol return to primal Trax Records territory for "Beat Dat". It's a release that marks House Crimes out as a natural descendant from UTTU's irreverent approach to dance music, without compromising on the quality.
Review: Brawther's Negentropy label has already carried gold star material from Ron Obvious and the man himself, and now it's the turn of debutant producer Zweizig to show off his wares. This assured 12" leads in with the ambient intro "Gewissen" before the crisp minimal funk of "Rhythm Tension" kicks in with its shimmering and shuddering sound design pinging around the dexterous beat. "Zephyr" is a smoky affair with a snappy broken beat and lots of subtle organic matter writhing in the middle distance. "Rehash Repeat" takes things deep and dubby to complete the set, all mellow hiccupping rhythm accents and hazy melodic phrases.
Review: After Hamid kicked off the H+ label last year he returns with an intriguing double pack that draws on a wide variety of collaborators to turn out some truly innovative leftfield house music sounds. There's an overarching theme of micro house hovering around Methods For The Madness Vol 1, but it's far from run of the mill stuff. The opening cut featuring Josh Tweek is a sparkling, swinging affair that piles on the funk and the delirious effects, while Jesse Morrison's own turn on the closing track winds up in a haunting, abstract slice of refined reduction.
Review: After making his debut with the Slum EP on Bucharest-based Te Iubesc Records, Romanian producer Ionu? Arapu has spread his wings with a series of releases across a wedge of European labels such as Dusseldorf's Gua Camole and London crew Moss Co. This Mdmamazing 12" for Michael Peter & Siggi Schulz's Movida label is Arapu's most high profile to date and despite the slightly dubious title will probably land the Romanian some new fans too! The title cut is a powerful minimal dancefloor tool with a supple bassline driven groove and some nicely broken drums, whilst "Chivoice" finds Arapu in more abstract territory.
Review: After the "next level jazz shit" of Cosmogramma, you'd forgive Flying Lotus for a taking a time out and maybe hit some clubs in LA to find his next Brainfeeder signee. Instead he's spent the past few months scouring the inner workings of his clearly impressive musical brain to deliver Pattern & Grid World, seven tracks of expansive machine funk futurism. Commencing with the hazy mist of psychedelic soul synths flourishes and intricate beat patterns that is "Clay" Ellison demonstrates an ever increasing array of beat poetry. "Kill Your Co-Workers" marries tinny drum and bass programming with an ever expanding opulence of joyous melodies whilst "Pie Face" drops outer galactic grime syncopation over kaleidoscopic bass patterns. "Time Vampires" could soundtrack the astro travelling Lord Quas referred to on the classic Madlib album The Unseen whilst "Jurassic Notion/M Theory" splays wonked out afro percussion over belly level schizoid bass lines. The final rhythmic jolt of "Physics For Everyone" replete with head first plunges into industrial bass makes this a bewitching complement to Ellison's highly lauded album.
Review: As Warp gears up to celebrate its 30th birthday, it seems fitting that the label should be putting out a fresh album from one of its longest serving artists. As Plaid, Andy Turner and Ed Handley played a significant role in defining the label's approach to electronic music during the "Artificial Intelligence" era in the mid 1990s. All these years on, they're still capable of crafting fizzing, melodious, off-kilter electronic listening music that defies lazy categorization. "Polymer" is a hugely enjoyable and entertaining set, with highlights including the jumpy beats, post-electro melodies and mind-altering acid lines of "Los", the metallic bounce of "Maru" - a kind of twisted take on Afro-tech that's amongst their most club-ready cuts of recent times - and the disturbed, Autechre-style clang of "Recall".
Shanzhai (For Shanzhai Biennial) (feat Helen Feng)
Review: Multidisciplinary artist Fatima Al Qadiri aligns with Hyperdub to release Asiatisch, a keenly anticipated debut album that's described as a "simulated road trip through an imagined China". First coming to prominence on the UNO label in 2011, Al Qadiri has subsequently provoked critical acclaim for the 2012 Desert Strike EP for Fade To Mind that played on her time spent living in Kuwait as a child, while her work under the Ayshay moniker for Tri Angle explored vocals in a unique manner. Asiatisch expands on the political themes of Desert Strike in a new and unexpected way, and acts as a homage to the style of grime known as "sinogrime". Asian motifs and melodies are prominent throughout whilst conceptually Al Qadiri runs through "the fantasies of east Asia as refracted through pulpy Western pop culture". If that wasn't enough to sell you on the concept, opening track "Shanzhai" is a "nonsensical Mandarin" language cover of Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U".
Review: Given that Junior Boys' Jeremy Greenspan is the man at the controls, it's perhaps unsurprising that this surprise debut full-length from little known Canadian chanteuse Jessy Lanza drips with smooth, synthesized sweetness. Packed with Greenspan's trademark melancholic, Metro Area-ish synths, but built around Lanza's fragile, otherworldly vocals, Pull My Hair Back is a contender for the best leftfield pop album of the year. Variously touching on synthesized R&B, deep boogie, sparse torch songs (see the sublime title track) and starbust wonkiness (the beautifully off-kilter "As If"), Lanza and Greenspan have delivered an impeccable, unassuming delight. Recommended.
Review: Using the Turkish psychedelic project Insanlar as a jump off point, Honest Jon's have enlisted Ricardo Villalobos to turn out one of his grandiose remix projects that gels so naturally with more exotic sound sources. The original of "Kime Ne" is already an enchanting, Moog-infused groover rich with traditional vocals, and then Mr Villalobos locks the ingredients in for a typically cosmic ride into stripped and hypnotic house territory, letting the lutes intertwine with dusty reams of percussion using that alchemists touch that could only come the man himself. The remix spreads itself over two sides of wax, leaving one side of the double pack free for a fetching etching as well.
Review: Given that Music Man regular Petar Dundov and Systematic boss Marc Romboy are both hugely successful producers in their own right, you'd expect this first collaborative release to be rather good. It is, of course, with pleasingly melodic A-side "Garden of Cyrus" leading the way. While the track's muted (but heavy) drums and squeezable acidic bassline provide the energy, it's the duo's layered electronic melody lines that really catch the ear. If you're in the mood for something darker and more suitable for pitch-black Berlin basements, creepy and hypnotic flipside "Caper Tran" should more than fit the bill.
Review: Nestled comfortably on his constant home of Erased Tapes, Rival Consoles imparts another collection of plush forays into warm, melodic synthesis for those who like their instrumental electronic music scuffed with a little earthly charm. With the same starry-eyed innocence that bursts out of Nathan Fake's music, tracks like "Helios" leap with great strokes of synth and upsurging drums, carefully running threads of live instrumentation into the fold through some canny processing. The progression of each track is a beautifully crafted story with pleasant surprises aplenty but always reaching a logical resolution, making for a thoroughly rounded and satisfying listening experience without losing that all important bite of intrigue.
Review: Kiasmos are a Reykjavik based duo comprised of BAFTA awarded composer Olafur Arnalds and Janus Rasmussen from the band Bloodgroup. The sounds of classical music and electro-pop collide fantastically on this release. First track "Drawn" is a sublime and emotional serving of trip-hop with Arnald's signature piano style floating on top of Rasmussen's immaculately programmed beats. And then that lush string section comes drifting in, its magnificent! "Gaunt" features some mutant pan pipes accompanied by a bleepy melody and sub-bass pulsations, but once again balanced out by Arnalds' lush piano and strings arrangements. On the flip "Swept" is a dreamy and melancholic deep house cut that could have come out on Kompakt, it's that good. There's even a remix of it by men of the moment Tale Of Us, who revise the track into one of their signature dark and adrenalised journey tracks, it's well done!
Review: Berlin's Cab Drivers are the real deal. If their extensive collection of classic Roland machines wasn't enough, they even sequence them all on an old Atari ST you don't get more purist than that. Paul and Augustowsky's new track "Correspondence" has all the hallmarks of their signature sound: bumpin', melodic, rolling and emotive. You know; the Cab Drivers sound! On the flip, fellow Berlin minimal techno legend Audio Werner steps up to deliver a more darker and emotive remix that strays on the dubbier side of things and we loved it: Tip!
Review: Since 2012, Frankey & Sandrino have exceeded all expectations and are now easily one of the most alluring house duos on the scene. With releases for imprints such as Drumpoet Community, Mule Musiq, Kompakt and Innervisions, among others, their name is instantly recognisable for their sound and artistic diversity. This new EP for Innervisions leads with "Wega", a tune that manages to blend a variety of musical elements under one roof; a minimal percussion groove is wrapped tightly around a myriad of Hispanic chanting, rhythmic distortions and a tubby undertone, equating to one gorgeous dance escapade. "Pollux" is similarly sparse and multi-faceted, except that the vocal swarms are now replaced by a sublime cascade of crystalline synths, aqueous electronics, and their inimitable use of outernational flavours.
Review: On his three previous solo albums as Blanck Mass, Fuck Buttons member Benjamin John Power offered up abstract but enjoyable blends of ambient, drone, IDM and electronics. On "Animated Violence Mild", his first full-length for two years, Power has decided to take a far more dystopian path, blending ear-catching, synth-pop influenced melodies with thrusting, doom-laden techno rhythms, growling aural textures, industrial strength noise and hybrid electronic power-pop. It's an ear-catching affair, with highlights including the boisterous, distorted techno-pop of "House Vs House", the post-apocalyptic power-trance rush of "Hush Money", the hypnotic, maximal ambient movements of "Creature/West Fuqua" and the pulsating intensity of "Wings Of Hate".
Review: For the fourth and final edition of Matthew Herbert's Parts series, we have four further reductions from the UK producer's back catalogue - all in his idiosyncratic style. Timeless minimal house that has truly stood the test of time and sounds as captivating as it did over 20 years ago. Part Four came out on Phono back in 1996 and is reissued here on Herbert's Accidental imprint. From the dubbed-out heroin house of "Pen", the crunchy robo-jack of "Pump", more blip, blurp and bleep on "Take Me Back" or his knack for simply straight-up and emotive deep house as heard on the utterly sublime "Resident". The tracks on here are still relevant in today's musical landscape and completely essential, in our humble opinion.
Jamie Lidell - "When I Come Back Round" (live version - Matthew Herbert long Night dub) (7:42)
Matthew Herbert - "Megaphone" (7:20)
Review: The ACJ94 EP comes courtesy of Accidental Jnr, a new sub-label of Matthew Herbert's Accidental. Here he presents a remix of Jamie Lidell's "When I Come Back Round" from 2005's Multiply. Entitled "Live version - Matthew Herbert long Night dub" it's a much more raw and funky take on the track with tough drums and emotive elements where the source material is, like its name suggests, from an appearance on an L.A. radio station from some years ago. On the B side, we have the man himself Herbert with a new track entitled "Megaphone" a classic and proper deep house jam for the late night that's expertly crafted by the artist who has brought us such timeless classics like "See You On Monday" amongst many others.
Review: Berlin's Rampa is back, on none other than brilliant local imprint Keinemusik (which he co-founded) presenting the deep and sultry slow burner "The Touch" which is a perfect follow up to the equally sexy hits "Touch Me" and "Spoken For" from last year which featured Hercules & Love Affair's one time frontwoman Nomi Ruiz. Second offering "528 Hz" is a dark and moody journey track which is perfect for one of those euphoric cool down moments for DJs to facilitate a headrush or few before getting into the tougher stuff. Spoiler alert: incredibly wonky Life & Death style synth lead on this one! After great releases recently by Adam Port and &ME, the German label goes from strength to strength.
Review: Despite building his reputation as a creator of tough, left-of-centre club material, Objekt is smart enough to realize that the full-length format offers more room for experimentation and personal musical exploration. Like its predecessor, 2014's "Flatland", "Cocoon Crush" rarely goes in search of dancefloor thrills, instead offering up a refreshingly eclectic, fearlessly experimental take on off-kilter electronica that not only draws heavily on IDM, glitch-hop and ambient, but also regularly veers from glassy-eyed, melodious positivity, to intense, paranoid darkness. It's a blend that guarantees great results, and we're not surprised if he jettisons functional club music for good.
Review: Russia's Lapti has been away from the scene for a while, because his so called brand of 'vaporwave' is exactly the sort fo thing we're into when it comes to abstract moulds of ambient and drone. He returns to action after four years with blinding album on his native Ghost Zvuk label, bringing through a truly fresh and daring blend of electronic sounds. "Ushu", for instance, deserves no categorization thanks to its odd broken beats and swelling mutant bass, and the equally excellent "plague" is an experimental hip hop tune from the depths of the inferno. There's so much in this LP that it's almost beyond description; what we can say is that if you're looking for something that truly blurs the lines, then Lapti is the man for you. Very hotly recommended.
Review: Swiss master of all things deep, Bastian Volker is back for the eighth release on his always impressive Office imprint. Not just content with creating some lush music under the Baaz alias or redefining the dub techno sound as Eric Miller (like on his recent album Silhouettes for Sushitech this year), could he be delving into the world of hypnotic techno now also? Brilliant opener "Kraut House" starts the EP off in great form and is reminiscent of the tribal trance sounds of Refracted or Tozzy. On the flip, "Modual" is more like the Baaz we know; deep, dubby and emotive with a bumping baseline, smoky drum patterns and pitch shifted druggy vocals for added effect. Finally "Simple E" adds yet more variety to the release with this dusty and bittersweet slow burner that's perfect for drifting.
Review: Brothers From Different Mothers stalwart Basses Terres is a producer to whom easy categorization cannot be applied. For example, on his 2016 debut, he rushed between a quartet of experimental techno, leftfield and electronica excursions, while 2017's "Counting Pulsations" cassette was a druggy trip rich in ambient, dub and "dungeon synth" flavours. So what's on offer here? More intoxicating, otherworldly concoctions, that's what. Highlights include the dark tropical ambient of "665 Moths", the dubbed-out post-dancehall weightiness of "Wilfred Doricent", the slipped and spacey electronica of "Deliae" and the fluid dreaminess of gently percussive closing cut "Sentiment Oceanique".