Review: Returning to production with his first LP in 13 years, Will Saul's "Open Too Close EP 1" is said to be a journey through the influences that have helped shape the Aus Music boss' career and his forward-facing, unblinking passion for new music. It is a concept which reflects on Saul's extensive experience as a selector, with all tracks being dancefloor ready and exactly the sort of material he'd be proud to play in his own DJ sets. Split across two releases, the first volume features the deep and emotive swagger of "Openings" and "Visions", the evocative classic house vibe of "Pingalatu" calling to mind anthems of The Windy City from the late '80s and the hypnotic Todd Terry influenced rhythmicity of "Moorings".
Magic Mountain High - "Tiny Fluffy Spacepods" (7:17)
Dusted Links (8:47)
One Small Step... (with Reagenz Meets Thomas Fehlmann) (7:00)
Move D - "Building Bridges" (with Fred P - Move D Inside Revolution mix) (10:46)
Perpetual State (feat The Poem Alles Ist Eins by Thorn Hoedh) (4:56)
Review: Given that he's a born collaborator, as his vast discography proves, it's perhaps fitting that David Moufang's latest album as Move D is packed to the rafters with killer collaborations. Check, for example, the ultra-deep, woozy and off-kilter "Innit", a superbly dubby and opaque studio hook-up with German rave pioneer D-Man, and the shuffling, intergalactic deep house warmth of Fred P collaboration "Building Bridges". Fittingly, his renowned collaborative projects also feature. There's a wonderfully elastic and out-there dub techno/minimalist track by Reagenz (Moufang and Jonah Sharp AKA Spacetime Continuum) with German veteran Thomas Fehlmann, and a Magic Mountain High (alongside Juju and Jordash) track that takes slow-burn, softly spoken deep house/dub techno fusion and runs with it. As you'd expect, the solo tracks are impeccable, too.
Review: Belfast pair Bicep are smart operators. Having previously doffed a cap to both Italian house and classic New Jersey garage, recent releases have seen them play around with a variety of rhythmic patterns and more advanced musical elements. They're at it again here on their latest outing for Aus. Opener "Just" is pleasingly cheery, with simple but addictive electronic melodies and sweeping chords nestling above a head-nodding, hip-hop influenced groove. "Celeste" is undeniably Balearic, with sun-kissed pianos, dreamy pads and drifting vocal samples stretching out over delay-laden, African-influenced percussion. Finally, they return to their rush-inducing best on "Back 2 U (Tranz Dub)", a loving fusion of vintage progressive house builds, winding melodies and mid '90s beats.
Review: In recent years, Detroit Swindle's outings away from their own Heist Recordings imprint have been few and far between, so it's nice to see them popping up on Will Saul's Aus Music imprint. He's done a good job A&R-wise, with all three tracks hitting the expected highs. The Dutch duo are in fine form with "Wado Baya", a rubbery chunk of hot-stepping Afro-house where bleeping electronic melodies and glassy-eyed chords rise above a snappy-but-bouncy groove. "Rhythm Girl Swing" sounds like a slipped and slightly skewed take on hypnotic mid-90s house - all trippy riffs and slowly rising filtered motifs - while "Vibrations" sees them join the dots between warm and woozy early '90s deep house and organ-rich New Jersey flavours.
Review: Having spent the last seven years delivering impressive singles on a variety of labels - most notably Aus Music, Secretsundaze and Hype_Ltd - Ewan Smith has decided the time is right to unleash his debut album under the Youandewan alias. There Is No Right Time is a gently expansive affair, with the Scottish producer utilizing both electronic and acoustic instrumentation on tracks that perfectly showcase his diverse range of influences. Contrast, for example, the spacey jazz-house of "Be Good To Me, Poly", the dusty, pitched-down deep house warmth of "Time To Leave (Can't Mix)", and the sparkling, B12 style IDM/electro fusion of "Something Keeps Me Real Quiet"; all are immaculately produced and impressively melodious, but hugely different stylistically. He also joins forces with Huerta on album highlight "Left On Lucy", a glistening fusion of bubbly, synth-heavy deep house, Motor City futurism and sun-bright new age melodies.
Review: Inside Out is a brand new series from Aus Music label head Will Saul. It invites DJs and producers to blur the boundaries between traditional artist albums and mix compilations. The concept encourages them to showcase their own music, or the music of those in their own individual circles. Depending on who is curating, it will take different forms. The idea stems from Saul's own approach in the club, which often finds him seeking out brand new and unheard music to play for the first time. There's a strong Detroit techno aesthetic throughout his inaugural release for the series: from the emotive hi-tech soul of his own collaboration with Komon entitled "Positive", Amsterdam legend Gerd had no problem channeling similarly timeless retro vibes either, as heard on the funky techno-soul of "Echoes". They save the best for last on the flip, with the legendary Floorplan's riveting rendition of Primitive Trust's "Little Love" - perfect to get that 3AM style strobe-lit tunnel vision in effect.
Review: With the new Inside Out series, Aus Music is aiming to blur the boundaries between traditional artist albums and DJ mix compilations, primarily by asking chosen selectors to showcase their music and that of their close musical companions. To show how the series works, Aus Music chief Will Saul has handled this first edition, serving up a mix of previously unreleased music from his extended friendship circle that moves from woozy ambience and dewy-eyed downtempo electronica, to melodious techno and fizzing, electro-inspired broken beat jams, via a range of deep, atmospheric and rhythmically intriguing workouts. With the likes of Falty DL, Pearson Sound, Mr Beatnick, Lone and Move D contributing tracks, the quality threshold is impressively high throughout, with Saul's fluid mix sparkling from start to finish.
Review: On his previous two full-lengths, London-based Glaswegian Andy Graham promoted a hazy, evocative take on house and minimal techno. On this third studio set - his first for some six years - Graham is much more concerned with the atmospheric potential of electronic compositions that variously doff a cap to classic ambient, IDM, James Blake, the screwed R&B-tronica of Hudson Mohawke, and the loved-up synth-pop of Junior Boys. As a result, Space In Your Mind is a tactile, dreamy affair, with even the occasional forays into deep house territory - see "Kalstars" and "Ancestors" - recalling the loved-up feel of classic Visionquest material.