Review: 100Hz have consistently snuck out 12"s since the early 90s, but their productivity is at an all time high and their Modugroove label is the perfect vessel to get more of their smartly crafted tech house treats into the ears of discerning DJs and dancers everywhere. This second release on their label kicks off with the atmospheric twinges of "Klon 6 Step", a sizzling, simmering cut for transcendental moments on the floor. "Wild Fudge" is a snappier affair peppered with folky string plucks that sound fresh in the club track context. "Infrastructure" takes things on an emotive tip with a range of strong melodic leads, and "Tinky Tink" ramps up the unease with a creeping jam for the less salubrious end of the night.
Review: Florence based label Bosconi is back with 100 Hz aka UK legends Lee Renacre and James Chapman who have been around since the late eighties. This is their second release on the Italian imprint; their Mila EP was their first for the label back in 2009. On the A side we have a re-issue of their 1989 track "Shoot The Bar" a sturdy and cyclical house groove on the tougher side of things with a nice double bass holding the track above a tight rhythm and dreamy Rhodes piano. "Primary Colours" sounds more like minimal, but given more of an edge by all the dusty and lively analogue machines that power it along. Its bumpy bass and restrained synth stabs supporting some simplistic rhythms and works quite well. Finally "Oliva Funk" is more of a classic NYC house cut, those rapid fire cowbell strikes will help it bear even more resemblance to classic Kerri Chandler style vibes.
Review: More wicked grooves from the vaults of UK legends 100 Hz. Comprised of Lee Renacre, James Chapman and Doran Walker, the team behind the seminal Format imprint have had retrospective works reissued on the likes of Bosconi, Slow Life and Howl in recent times - so indeed you can recognise the trio's influence on a new generation of underground house producers. Here they inaugurate Doozy Cult from Lisbon, with some timeless snapshots of bleep techno as heard on the cyclical hypnotism of "Tomfoolery", the tunnelling minimal techno of "Lapiz Boof" and the ethereal shuffle of "Neptune" on the flip - that is just as suited to present day afterhours parties as it was way back when.
Review: While the name may be new, A New Line (Related) is supposedly the work of an already established musician, although Kimochi was never a label that cared about hype. The music stands just fine on its own, digging into the kind of dusty and dusky house and techno formations that the label has forged its hand-sprayed identity on. There's plenty of ambient techno twirls to be enjoyed on the likes of "Dancing On Soft Borders", while the beats melt away entirely on "After A Short Illness" and grandiose EP closer "RIYL Failures". Once again Kimochi comes up with the kind of meaningful variations on the 4/4 framework that keep our record bags full and our souls enriched.
Review: Los Angeles based acid freaks Absurd return with another chapter in their Acid Test series. For their 13th controlled drug trial they have tapped label staples Achterbahn D'Amour - the duo comprised of Edit Piafra and Iron Curtis. This is their seventh release for the label thus far. With this project they express their love for the raw side of Chicago house, techno and EBM but specifically the sounds of the infamous little silver box. There's some deeply aquatic trance induction on offer, with for instance the dynamic opener "Balustrade", while they channel some Donato Dozzy (who has also appeared for the label previously) styled hypnotic techno on the sinister "Dehaveland" which also gets a respectful and more powerful VC-118A remix by the always impressive Samuel Van Dijk. Finally things end on a sublime electro tip with the emotive robotic movements displayed on "Don't Talk To Me".
Review: Saktu is an alias of Sasha Kaktus, boss of the St. Petersburg-based Heisenberg label. He returns for a new EP with buddy Alex Adamov for the first time since 2016's Kacheli EP on Reshape Agency. On the A side we have a rolling and ethereal cut that is the title track - this one is certain to have major crossover appeal from fans of UK tech house to the Rominimal sound. On the flip, you are treated to the equally hypnotic futurist bounce of "Flicker" which will appeal to fans of Sublee or Piktor. It then gets a rework by Berlin-based deep house hero Maik Yells, who takes the track down a trippier and more arcane route.
Review: Well isn't this quite the star pairing. VincentAdrian are none other than Romanian scene heroes VincentIulian and Adrian Niculae aka Priku - who serve up some perfectly minimal and trippy antics (in rather typical Romanian style) on the always reliable Eastenderz. Unlike the experimental leanings usually associated with either producer's work, ENDZ 024 features four functional cuts that are dubby, bouncy and reduced - guaranteed to work on the dancefloor and perfectly suited to the early evening of the afterhours alike. You'll be sure to be hearing these ones on discerning dancefloors from Club Guesthouse to Hoppetosse and beyond. Tip!
Review: Since releasing his fine debut album Offseason Traveller in 2013, Aera releases have been sporadic at best. Although there have been odd singles here and there (including a brilliant 2017 out on Hivern Discs), fans have been made to wait for this long-promised sophomore set. Aera (AKA Aleph Music founder Ralf Schmidt) claims it's his most personal and coherent work yet, and we tend to agree. Largely unconcerned with making people dance, the album offers up a melodious, far-sighted and largely ear-pleasing blend of ambient, electronica and IDM cuts variously inspired by new age, kosmiche and krautrock. Of course, there are hints of the producer's usual left-of-centre take on house and techno throughout, but it's the uncluttered beauty of the album's more downtempo tracks that makes the biggest impression.
Review: Given that eight years have passed since French techno stalwart Agoria released an album, it's little surprise to find that "Drift" sees him taking what he describes as "a new musical approach". On the accompanying press release, the Gallic veteran has described the set's sound as being inspired by "sitting on your sofa between your guilty pleasure and your tasteful opinion". In other words, it's a more open-minded and eclectic affair that mixes accessible, laidback vocal numbers (see the sparse tech-house-pop of opener "Embrace (feat Phoebe Killdeer)" and cheery chugger "You're Not Alone (feat Blase)" with nods towards wonky, off-kilter electronic hip-hop (STS hook-up "Call Of The Wild") and a swathe of heavier, club-leaning cuts inspired by his love of techno and Italo-disco.
Review: French electronic legend Sebastien Devaud returns as Agoria, on his always impressive Sapiens imprint with new single "Remedy" taken from his latest album entitled "Drift". Here we are treated to two wonderful remixes, both blessed with the French touch. Emmanuel 'Manoo' Kossi takes the A side with an emotive and electrifying hi-tech soul rendition while on the flip, legends Cassius make a triumphant return to production by taking the track into deeper and sexier sonic territory.