Review: Ted Krisko and Eric Rickers hail from Detroit, and their distinctive brand of snappy, playful electro and techno has already landed them releases on KMS, Visionquest and others. Now they land on 20/20 Vision with the devilishly fun "One LFO," an unremitting acid jam shot through with crafty drum programming and enough robotic lubricant to get the rustiest joints greased up and moving. Fellow Detroit champs Luke Hess and Delano Smith shore up on the flip with classy remixes, Hess waving his dubby strains over the original in inimitable form and Smith taking things deep, smooth and just a little spooky.
Generation Next - "Like Father, Like Son" (feat Big Strick)
Review: Like Father, Like Son sees Big Strick and his prodigious son Generation Next team up for a split 12" showcasing this pair of criminally underappreciated Detroit producers. "Rain Dance" sees the elder of the two deliver a deep techno journey filled with abstracted textures and organic chimes that sound, while the young Generation Next shows a remarkable maturity beyond his years on "And You Too", where sparse, subtle chords and the simplest of melodies drift by on a light rhythm. On "Like Father, Like Son" the two pair up for the most gently uplifting of deep piano jams. Just like pretty much everything on 7 Days Entertainment, this is some nigh on essential material.
Review: The enduring UK tech house legend Danny Howells returns, surprisingly, on underground Mannheim imprint 8bit run by Nick Curly and Gorge. It must be quite the honour to host new material by the man long considered a 'DJ's DJ' by many over the years. These days Howell's keeps his releases to a minimum, aside from recent alliances with Rejected and Selador, for instance. It's all in all a fairly impressive EP we must say: from the euphoric, trance-induced energy of "Whiterock" to the deeply hypnotic tech house of "Seabirds" which is as slinky as you like it. On the flip, wait for the drop on the monster that is "Isolar" which will have you reeling in suspense - until that riser ends and that funky filtered house groove starts banging!
Review: Although Amsterdam's Daniel Sanchez has appeared regularly on classic tech-house labels like Area Remote or Bla Bla Records since the late 00s, he had yet to make an appearance on Mannheim's ever-impressive 8bit Records. Home to peeps like Nick Curly, Alex Niggemann, Audiofly, and even Steve Lawler, they are the masters of the modern Balearic dance. Sanchez's "Thang" obviously slides into the roster with utter ease, the groove smashing out intricate waves of glitch and heavy kicks, while "We Are Puppets" strays from the formula to drop a faster, more techno-minded rhythm for the peak time, and "Mapuche" slides its liquid-like drums along a cavernous string of voices and phased-out sonics. Effective.
Review: The unstoppable house machine Nail is back once more on his 89:Ghost label with a grip of killer drops previously only available online. His advice is to "spark up a zug and chew on these meaty badboys", and we'd be inclined to agree. There's a heady, trippy quality to "Happen Dub" that suits all heavy lidded situations, while "Ese Dub" channels a few rugged bleep traits that hark back Nail's roots in DIY Discs and the free party scene. "Feets Dub" channels some sublime funk sampling that would sound right at home amongst the Detroit house grandmasters, and "Be Dub 2" takes things interstellar with some swirling, churning dub techno chords of the highest calibre.
Review: Todd Sines has been on an incredibly productive roll of late, and now he's been invited to lay down some of his incendiary machine jams for Nail's 89:Ghost label. The Internal Dialogue EP kicks off with the creepy, metallic tones of "Pacifist", matching Sines' trademark jerking grooves with almost industrial textures. "Throat" takes things in an equally curious direction, pinging deep house dynamics into a weird zone where discord and sound processing subtly infect the blueprint with stunning results. "Plink" is remarkably upfront in comparison, not least thanks to the huge monosynth lead blurting out at the front of the mix. "Settle" finishes the record off with a brilliantly crooked deconstruction built around off-kilter drum hits and wonky key stabs that could only come from Sines' distinctive sound palette.
Review: Bambooman (real name Kirk Barley) is a London based producer who presents his fourth release on Matthew Herbert's Accidental imprint - which follows up last year's terrific long player, Whispers. His new offering is the trippy minimal techno kicker "Ricochet", with its sparse arrangement revolving around a stuttering bassline and nasty chord stabs awash in plate reverb. On the flip, the man himself Herbert steps up to deliver a wacky and glitched out remix in his own truly idiosyncratic style once again.
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".
Gus Gus - "Your Moves Are Mine" (Sanasol remix) (9:24)
Thor - "Black" (7:32)
Biogen - "Stream" (Sanasol Lost In Time remix) (6:39)
Review: Next up on the ever-excellent Oscillat is "Spellbound" by the supremely talented Matthew Dekay. This moving deep house jam uses a few key elements to make a soul-stirring confection for truly spine-tingling moments in the middle of the dance. From the slithers of vocal to the insistent key riff that bounces throughout, this is an outstanding slice of contemporary house music loaded with feeling. Mandar then take the original and inject it with a feisty peak time energy shot through with a little trancey magic and an acidic undertone. It's not a raging beast but rather an energizing workout for the brain and the body - just what you need in the midst of a marathon.
Review: AE Recordings turns its attention to Oculus, who they describe as a "titan of the Icelandic techno scene", famed for his live sets that have kept bodies moving for the past decade. He commits some of his sounds to wax here, maintaining the otherworldly emotional lilt that often comes from the scene orbiting AE and Thule Records, but with a bolder sound palette than some of the icy dubbed out artists he rubs shoulders with. "Nostalgia" deals in powerful, swooning chord progressions, while "Rydgad" pings a set of metallic percussion around a sturdy but crooked low end groove. "Morph" takes things deeper, while "Flod" offers up a classy take on the minimal techno aesthetic, with added sound design trysts for good measure.
Review: The Aesthetic label is steadily growing as yet another strong side to the Constant Sound empire, and they're sounding fit as a fiddle with this latest drop from Niko Maxen. "Aesthetic 04" leads in with "Calibans Dance", a swirling, dubbed out affair with intriguing percussive tones to add an intriguing edge to the stripped back house groove. "Lessons" has a heads down, twitchy demeanour it's impossible to resist, and then "Twelvty" summons up some elegant synth strokes that hover in between the shuffling beats. The latter provides more than enough inspiration for Kepler to deliver an astounding remix that plays around with bouncy arps and pointed house rhythms in his inimitable style.
Review: Aesthetic got off to a strong start with a various artist release from rising talents Nick Beringer, Niko Maxen, Stevn.aint.levn and Sy. Now they return with a solo release from LOY, who's previously been spotted on labels like Minim and Laate. You can expect sleek and refined minimal house grooves of the highest order, warm and dubby but equally honed for the more energetic hours of the party. "Dubdiver" is especially immersive with its shimmering ripples of brain-massaging melodic content, while "Blind Trip" takes things in a more brooding, emotive direction for duskier moments in the midst of the endless house shuffle.
Review: Russian producer Swoy has been spotted alongside Djebali in the past, so you know this cat means business when it comes to minimal house. Recent releases on EWax and OGE have set the scene perfectly for this latest trip into the undergrowth on Aesthetic. "Sunrise" is a heads down groover with subtle threads of melody scattered throughout, while "Imagine" ups the wriggling sound design and threads a lighter mood through the middle distance of the track. "Voltage" drops things back to a loopy, techy sound, and then "Time" drifts into dreamier headspace without sacrificing the crafty little production flairs that make Swoy a standout artist.
Review: Parisian minimal house hero and Aeternum Records boss Lowris is back with more reductionist mini-funk grooves on this neat three tracker; his second release since for 2017 after his impressive appearance on Russia's Nervmusic. On the A side, "Bestyolle" sees him still carrying the flame for classic microhouse sounds, channelling the heyday of seminal imprints such as Force Inc. and Background. With rhythms comprised of found sounds with assorted trippy synthesis: it's heady stuff right here! Next "Setup" is definitely more dancefloor friendly with its dubby groove; albeit particularly lean, but allowing the subtle tape delayed drums and random bass pulses to create lovely trance induction. The backdrop of yet more field recordings add to the mystery. On the flip, Berlin hero Edward (White/Giegling) delivers an upbeat remix of "Bestyolle" using his signature style of dusty broken beat, to carry the odd sample collage of the original into new and adventurous territory.
Review: Brazilian label Allnite Music is back with another sure shot from label boss Apoena that locks into an immersive, head-nodding groove from the get go. "Retoside" is a perfect deep house burner, understated and yet utterly grooving where it counts. "Attachment" has a more sprightly, uplifting quality tailored to sunny situations, while "Hemp Restriction" takes things in an airy direction while rocking a solid 90s backbone. "The Sutilties" completes the set with a dreamy roller splash, with sweet leads and some chopped up vocal hooks that accent the innate funk of the track in fine style.
Review: The moody and avant garde side of minimal techno further explored on new imprint Amurg, which will appeal to fans of the scene's outer limits similarly explored by the likes of Ben Vedren, Suciu or Vincentiulian. For their label's second release, Barcaceanu Ginel & Bodescu Iulian aka Suburbs present two versions here of "Moldavi". The first version is a hypnotic and reductionist epic, featuring alien blips and bloops over a rolling bass driven groove that's perfect Sunday morning weirdness. On the flip, the second version is a downtempo affair that's more suited to freaking out in the corner of your bedroom - with its chilling sound design and neoclassical elements.
Review: Berlin deep house stalwart Hans Schaaf aka DJ Honesty is most known for being part of the local Cabinet Records crew, regularly collaborating with ZKY & Daniel Paul over the years. Outside of that, this will be the second time he's appeared on Losoul's Another Picture, following up 2017's "Janeiro" EP with yet more subtle groove magic here. On the A side we have the sublime minimal dub of "Santo Antonio" awash in hypnotic dub effects perfect for setting the vibe at the afterhours. On the flip, we have some jams which are more typical of Schaaf's usual work: the deep boompty swing of "Mais Populares" and the bleepy minimal funk of "Green Door".
Review: Over the last two decades, few minimal house producers have amassed quite as impressive a body of work as Losoul, AKA German veteran Peter Kremeier. His vast discography contains all manner of hypnotic, locked-in classics, not least the trippy and funk-fuelled "Open Door". It was the producer's debut single way back in 1996 (the first of many on legendary imprint Playhouse) and still sounds suitably current all these years on. This reissue replicates the original track list, pairing the tough, loop-propelled disco-house/techno fusion of "Open Door" with the wonkier "00000000", a typically hypnotic and spaced-out affair in which Kremeier contrasts Clavinet and flute style loops with dubbed-out synth hits and a deliciously sparse-but-heavy groove.