Review: Russian producer Kirill Sergeev has been setting light to the likes of Hell Yeah, Bordello A Parigi and Bahnsteig 23 in the past under his Kito Jempere alias, and now it's the turn of Pleasure Unit to get his unique treatment. "House Track" may seem like an innocuous title but don't be fooled, it's far from a conventional house jam. Loose, 80s tinted production vibes abound across the record, not least with the party heaters on the A side. "Never Been To Ibiza Beaches 1997" is a more laid back jam, but still sizzling with inventive energy, and "Jungle Mantra" explores tribal percussion with a fresh slant that will call out to the tropical spinners.
Review: Marcel Vogel's Intimate Friends label welcomes a newcomer to the fold, with Hypoleon displaying a warm and inviting take on outboard, leftfield, electronic soul with a wavey edge to it. The vocals on the original tracks have a haunting edge to them thanks to some hefty processing, but the power in the delivery is undeniable. The tracks meanwhile channel acid, electro and minimal wave in understated ways, played out with a live band dynamic that hooks you in from the start. Jon McMillion's remix of "Tresberry" turns the track into a simmering 4/4 jam for the warm up heads to get loose to, while Tevo Howard brings some of his signature boxy acid to bear down on the track.
Two Thou - "Group Technology" (with Alberto Collodel)
Autre - "Cosmic Roots"
Two Thou - "SOL"
Autre - "Futura"
Review: The Fields & Forest label has so far aligned itself with the stellar Russian label Udacha, featuring Dices, A5 and Cuisine Dub, but things are taking a turn into new territory with the inclusion of Autre and Two Thou with two tracks a piece on this new slab of wax. Two Thou's "Group Technology" is a snappily shaped, 80s influenced groover with some interesting timbres falling into a dynamic groove, while "SOL" shows another side to the artist with a snaking slice of jazz funk infused experimental techno. Autre's "Cosmic Roots" is a more esoteric, new age gilded slice of ambient house while "Futura" ramps up the saucy synths for a silk-tongued charmer of a warm-up jam.
Review: Nathan Melja drew some favourable attention with choice outings on Mister Saturday Night, Black Opal and Technicolour, but now he's steering his own label Dream Real as a vessel for his wayward but warm sonics. This second release keeps the psyched out tone of his previous work intact, offering up four jams of illustrious synth work and fractured beats for the adventurous souls out there. "Ignore" is a vaporous cut of stuttering drums and fuzzy chord shapes, while "Steam" sports a more clearly defined rhythmic pulse for the deepest house heads. "Raindrops" cools things down to a downtempo lilt, and then "That F Sound" nudges towards a leftfield techno domain that Melja ably makes his own.
Review: We're not sure who's behind the mysterious AC-EXP project, but the shadowy figure returns with more of that strange, submerged house music he's been tickling discerning DJs with over the past few years. After taking last year off, "1A" is a fine place to start things up again with a strutting jack track carrying acidic synth pulses that flirt with measured delay processing. It's a jam that sounds steamy and sinister all at once. "1B" maintains this restrained but seductive vibe with the slightly trancey throb of the lead synths pivoting around the snappy drums to great effect.
Review: After an excellent first release featuring Freerotation lynchpin Steevio, Russ Gabriel's Rivers Of Groove label returns with a pair of excursions into lush, bubbling techno from Gabriel on his own. As a first generation UK techno stalwart, it's little wonder that he can turn out productions as accomplished as these, but there's no sense that he's treading water. "Ambulate" bears the hallmarks of modular production, all twinkling, morphing synth tones chiming around a delicate beat, while "Dover Calling" favours a snappier electro palette, but both stand out from the crowd for the sheer quality in the production, the warmth in the composition and the needlepoint focus given to every shred of detail in this crucial cuts.
Review: After the excellent turns from Jay Ka, Vincent Inc, Danijel Kevic and Lola Allen, the latest artist to appear on the ever productive Spanish deep house machine Minuendo is Kevin Kendall. With little previous form, Kendall doesn't take long to impress on the Go Easy EP, with the title track seducing instantly with its woozy tones and deft drum programming. "Second Chance" is a punchier affair, while "Remembering You" seems to tap into that Fred P way of doing things. "I Hesitate" is a warbling beauty to round off a resoundingly strong first EP for Minuendo.
Review: In the new year things are only getting freakier for the Gravity Graffiti camp as label core member Riccardo Schiro takes the reins once again. "Sine Phase," as the title might well imply, is a focused trip into rhythmic synth modulation with a techno pulse and drippy effects processing guaranteed to soak into your cerebellum. "Islands" charges further into experimental terrain, ditching any semblance of a beat in favour of free-wheeling texture and tone that sounds as though it was wrenched from a particularly fruitful experimental session. As the plot thickens for this ever-intriguing label, our advice is to strap in for the long haul experience.
Review: Having crept out of the tape undergrowth and respected haunts like Clan Destine and Always Human to earn more civilized recognition on BANK Records NYC and Bliq, Strahinja Arbutina makes the move to Vivod for yet more of that edgy, leftfield techno business that keeps mothers awake at night from worry. The grit, noise and distortion has been faithfully carried through from the cassette-based roots of Arbutina's sound, but these tracks are more than ready to do the damage in the dance (where you're less likely to find a tape deck). Hold on tight as the likes of "Way Ahead" give the sound engineer a fright when they think the system has overloaded.
Review: After launching with a buttechno 12", Russia's leading exponent of leftfield techno fires up his RASSVET label under his own name with a trip into the strange middle ground between trance and coldwave. "Main Loop" is certainly obscure in its leaning, coming on like an 80s soundtrack refrain, but there's no mistaking the dazzling leads undergoing surgery in "Chording". This is deconstructed trance mangled for the post club generation, all the euphoria straining against aggressive digital processing to create a very unsettling listening experience indeed. Trance aficionados will be aghast, techno snobs will be up in arms, and the new wave of heads drawing on all genres great and small will be relishing in the post modern madness of it all.
Review: Sad City's debut album was an absolute delight to behold when it landed late last year, and this remix package on Emotional Response does a great service to the quality of the original by offering up some truly outstanding new versions from impeccable talent. DJ Nature is one of the greats of heads down, dusty house, and his smoky handling of "Steady Jam" draws you in across two blissful versions that adorn the A side. On the flip, "Pace, Movements I-IV" gets a beautifully bubbly acid treatment from HOLOVR, and Herron plunges "Rain" into a murky bath of leftfield techno.
Review: Chris Weeks has been building up the Kingbastard catalogue for a long time now, generally taking a self-reliant approach in the underground electronica scene where CD-r releases reign supreme. He's been a key figure on Ambidextrous since the label launched back in 2008, and now he's committed to wax with a range of crunched up leftfield sonics for the machine-loving crowd. "Anxiety" is a melodic cut with a house-minded structure, but there's a lot of production acrobatics and compositional swerves taking place within this framework. "Scatterbrain" is more overtly out there, tapping up the kind of heavily processed sounds that producers like Paradroid have championed in the past. "Data_Loss" strike a heavy blow somewhere between dubstep and electro, and "Data_Ctrl" ups the tempo for a rabble-rousing exercise in mind-bending machine music.
Review: The low-key but long-serving D2B steps up on a self-manned label to deliver two surefire club smashers for those who appreciate the grit and soul of proper Detroit techno. "My Love" on the A side is the friendlier cut, its taut machine rhythms embellished with dextrous synth work from pulsing chords to simmering strings, all shot through with a smoky after hours haze. On the flip side, D2B gets a little rawer with the component parts of the track, jacking up the drums and spacing out the arrangement for a more intense workout that should satisfy anyone who wants techno with personality that still smacks hard.
Review: Sainte Vie has been working away in the Mexican underground for some time, running Akumandra as a free, digital-only label to help promote all kinds of electronic music. Now it's time for Vie to step up with their first outright release, first time on wax, and hence a new era for the label. The tone is varied across the record, leading in with the worldly drum rattle and string strum of "Huracan", a whirlwind of drama and hand-played musicianship that stands out from the crowd. "Albatross" is a more introspective cut that brings Vie's vocals to the forefront, and then "Maria" chills things out further with a haunting vocal from Pascale and some delicate finger picking guitar delights over a dynamic set of drums.
Review: The fifth instalment of the Hoxton Records story turns to Alan Castro, who has already had a busy year appearing on the likes of For Club, STAMP and Soundterasse. The vibe is stripped down and unhinged on this record, with lead track "El Avion De La Mentira" unfurling in a strange tapestry of samples, found sounds and off kilter synth rubs strapped to a crafty set of drums. Modebaku delivers a more streamlined version of the track that keeps things freaky, but much more linear than the wayward original. "Sequela" on the flip is no slouch in the adventurous department either, with swathes of modulating tones and wild sonic matter flinging around a funky shuffle, which Ted Amber then dutifully bolsters with a rubbery b-line on his more functional but still daring version.
Review: You may well have come across Miltiades doing sterling work on such excellent labels as Nous and Echovolt, pushing a grubby, blown out kind of hardware house music for freaky warm ups and wayward souls in red lit basements. Stepping out as Outermost, the methodology seems to be the same but with an gutsy electro mission that suits Modal Analysis perfectly. There's a seductive quality to "Surface#1" that makes it the consummate opener to this record, but it's something of a foil for the extreme sonic degradation at work on some of the tones in "Surface#2". There's a more bleak, industrial tone to "Surface #3" while "Surface#4" heads into a slower braindance conundrum before the sludgy slow-mo acid of "Surface#5".
Review: The latest dusted down archival dig from Emotional Rescue is by Politrio, a short-lived new wave / post punk band from Italy who released one album in the mid 80s. The focus of this release is their cover of Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer," which originally appeared on the Amnesty International P.E.A.C.E Benefit Compilation in 1987. It's a wild take full of rampant guitar wailing and limber slap bass that teeters towards the 80s funk rock of Faith No More et al, and that's no bad thing at all. On the B side of this 7" Double Wave gets busy in the edit, offering up a stripped back version for the spinners.
Review: The OdD Music crew are back with more of that off-kilter, subtly freaked up house music shuffle to make your bones shake. This sixth release on the label has everything any minimal head craves, not least on opening jam "Forty Five" with its nervy piano licking away underneath a heavy filter while the groove rolls on incessantly. "Thirty Three & A Third" takes a different approach, dropping some deft broken beats into the mix and letting some spaced out synth wobbles ping the track into a curious new orbit. "Nine" finishes the EP off with some immersive percussive tones that call to mind ritualistic dancing and transcendental experience, just like all good party music should.
Review: Bonnie & Klein can often be found cruising round labels like Music For Dreams and Leng, imparting tender touches of Balearic finery for those who like to cruise on the slinkiest of 80s flavoured jams. They're on cracking form for this return to Uber, kicking off with the sultry "Tones Of Ballad", which gets a subtle beefing up from Drifts Projects on the remix. "Pretty Lake" is the cut for those who want to achieve pure transcendental bliss by way of canned slap bass and sustained chords, and then "Snowdrifts" finishes the EP off with a thoughtful piece shaped out by sweet piano and stirring strings.
Review: AntiDEEPressant is here to bring some positivity to your life by way of subliminal house music from the outer reaches. Vincent Inc is just the ticket to help deliver the good news, and his Abstract Life EP is loaded with soul-enriching vibes to get you through times of hardship. "Panic In Cosmos" is a fluttering, meditative melter that will coat your ears in honey on the way down, while "Rayskoye Mesto" takes an equally submerged approach that drifts further away from conventional beats into a beautifully executed, heavy-lidded excursion. "Mechta" sports a few more conventional house tropes, but keeps things varied and interesting just the same, and then "Jazz Night" rounds the EP off with some cracked piano lilt and soul infusions to cradle you on the way to the run out groove.
Review: New York-based Evan Michael has been spotted on some respectable labels in the past, from Drumpoet Community to AirDrop, most recently appearing alongside Marco Passarani on a split 12" for Cin Cin. He makes his first appearance on the ever-prolific Hudd Trax with this diverse grip of deep house jams, leading in with the emotive tones of "Duende". "PCH Passing" is a fluttering affair laden with sweet natured synths, but it also knows when to rain the cascading melodies in to let the groove take the lead. "Machine Pepper" builds up around an on-point bassline and powerful brass stabs, and then "Rainmaker" finishes the EP off with some tricksy delay use and a crooked beat.
Clandestino - "Crack In The Sky" (Beat Broker Dream dub)
Last Waltz - "Tribute" (Machete Savane remix)
DJ Rocca & Daniele Baldelli - "Sartana"
Daniel Wainwright - "Doing It"
The Saint Petersburg Disco Spin Club - "Neva Liv U"
Ilija Rudman - "Second Screen"
Felix Dickenson - "Ousana" (Coyote remix)
I-Boat Captain - "Poly Punk"
Coyote - "California Jam"
Craig Bratley - "Maverick Sound System Mix"
Max Essa - "Burning Palms"
Rompante - "How Low Can You Dance" (Ahiki remix)
Sorcerer - "Zulu Honda"
Coyote - "Sin Distracciones"
9DW - "Right On" (original mix)
Leo Mas & Fabrice - "Sunrise 87" (Balearic Militant mix)
Downtown Party Network - "The Returning" (Prins Thomas Diskomiks)
Max Essa - "Feel The Machine"
Baptiste & Pierre - "Virage" (Ruf Dug extension)
Joe Morris - "Mpondo Theme"
Review: 2016 sees Coyote arrive at a decade of posing the question Is It Balearic? Replicating the compilation shaped celebrations surrounding their fifth anniversary, the landmark is noted with this fine 2CD collection. The compiling skills of Balearic chieftain Max Essa are called on for the first disc selections, with Coyote taking care of business on the second for a fine horizontally-minded celebration of all things Balearic encompassing 22 tracks. Tempos nudge back and forth, different vibes coming to the fore along the way as a dash of steel drum is replaced by forthright synth glistens and upright basslines. Legends mingle alongside future heroes, Foolish Felix and Baldelli impressing as much as Last Waltz and Clandestino. As the end nears, up pops Prins Thomas's classic Diskomiks of Downtown Party Network. Here's to another ten years Is it Balearic?
Review: Leo Gunn is an artist that has been truly dedicated to the cause of Deep Explorer. To date all the artist's music has come to light on Dubbyman's bastion of Spanish deep house, and it's no wonder when you listen to the illustrious tones of his productions. Ahead of a new album, this 7" of mystery and wonder starts off in the utterly enchanting world of "Voodoo", a spaced out lullaby of expressive pads and the softest house tick buffeting along the aqueous sounds. There's a slight change of mood on the flip as "Moondub" lives up to its name with a spacious soundworld marked out by echoing piano notes and a rock solid bassline, but still that inimitable Deep Explorer mood prevails.
Review: Newcomer Tom Dicicco aka Veyg presents an ear snagging selection of leftfield beatdowns here for adventurous spinners on the fringes of the party. "Mutual Romance" is a quivering, shimmering trip through crooked house beats and crunchy yet dubby synth flourishes to delight the mind. "Virgo Love Affair" has a sweeter lilt, but it's no less wayward in its execution, but then "Filling Pieces" heads into more explicit deep house territory with some blissed out melodic content riding atop a deep diving US-flavoured rhythm section. "How We Live" ramps up the meandering dub processing, with tripped out filter sweeps and panning lending a psychedelic edge to this smoked out joint.
Review: Emotional Rescue turns its attention to Spanish artist Luis Delgado, who made a name for himself fusing traditional folk music from across the globe with experimental electronic practice. His first album Vathek stands as one of his masterworks, originally released in 1986 and featuring a range of different electro-acoustic approaches that draw you in with their strange, dynamic textures. There's a whiff of Jon Hassell's treated trumpet about "La Puerta De Ebano" while "El Sacrificio De Catoul" deals in a dense weave of chimes and percussion. Diverse, engrossing listening from the outer reaches.
Review: "Dj Sounds presents Captured, a 3 track EP for the house heads. Lazy is a ready-to-go exercice, easy to spin and fresh house track in its most classical yet very personal form, Captured is an intense Detroit oriented synth jam and Dj Beats is a short drum track reminding of the beat of track 1. That 001 is for the Djs who care about a fresh record of House. And those who like to dance."
Review: Hailing from Knoxville, Tennessee, Saint Thomas LeDoux makes his vinyl debut here with the ever-essential Finale Sessions. The label alone should give you an idea of the vibe on this record, where Detroit-inspired deep house with soul, flair and grit gets steered in intriguing new directions. So it goes on LeDoux's first outing, kicking off with the dazzling chord trickery of "Me Time" before "Feels Like" nestles down into a broken beat groove sprinkled with gorgeous arpeggios. "Raw Meat" takes a dramatic turn into a more global, percussive sound world with stunning results, and then "Grief" simmers things down with a home-listening cut loaded with craft FX processes and a jazzy demeanor to offset the artistic distortion.
Review: AntiDEEPressant is a new label that kicks off with a strong cast of contenders exploring interesting facets of the deep house tradition, starting off with the sultry wonder of Lola Allen's "Karma". There's mystery woven in between the African percussion that shapes out her track, and it's a pleasure to get lost in. Millie & Hirsch take a tender approach to Roland D Clark's classic "I Get Deep", while Mateo & Matos push the tempo back up with the jazz-tinged "Idris Rises." Vincent Inc is last on the list, and he cruises in with the slow and strange tones of "Tears Of God".
Review: Following initial appearances on Bahnsteig 23, Jonny 5 returns on the Pleasure Wave label with more of that well-travelled, groovesome voodoo for all manner of sonic wayfarers. "Apocalypse" in particular is a stunning piece of tom-powered menace, but it's quickly offset by the bubbling cosmic delights of "Electronix". "Firedance" on the B-side channels some righteous 80s industrial and synth pop tropes to create it's own kind of drama, and then "Stardriver" finishes the EP off with some pulsing, noirish wave synths and gaseous atmospherics. With the styles shifting from track to track, Jonny 5 has once again done a sterling job of keeping his options open and keeping us locked expectantly into his delirious sound.
Review: Chow Down serves up its second release with the adventurous grime exploits of Fallow and DJ Chalice, twisting out all kinds of audacious bass shapes that would set the dance alight at parties such as Boxed. Fallow takes the A side with confidence, fresh from a release on Blood Frenzy, and "Blitz" shows the emergent producer is taking no prisoners with a hail of bullets and haunting Indian classical samples. "Northern Don" is a more wobbly synth-rich beat, while "Operation Dark Fruit VIP" amps up the grime strings. DJ Chalice has a lighter touch, bringing in some sunnier melodics and embracing the RnB influences on "Artois Anthem".
Review: Following the excellent OHM compilation, Glasgow's Ambidextrous label continues its forays into vinyl editions with this sterling EP from label regular Solipsism, aka Craig Murphy. With an energised, dynamic sound that positively bursts out of the speakers, Murphy is flying the flag for leftfield electronica coming out of Scotland. "Error Hash Mirror Mountain" has the kind of overloaded yet melodic sound that you might expect from early Nathan Fake, although the wooziness is replaced by a rabid punch that shakes your cerebellum. "Sea Dweller" by way of stark contrast dives into a low-slung trip hop vibe, and the smoked out mood continues with "Hypnagogo" on the flip. "Fast Rubber Taxis" is equally slow, but it sports a sassy rhythmic strut that sets it apart from the other two downtempo tracks.
Review: Nyra's Canoe label continues to provide a vessel for the Irish producer to explore his sound without anything getting in the way. The 12" kicks off with "Sounds Of The Spectrum" coming on like a classic 90s house jam from the Detroit school, classic samples and stabs in tow. "Resist Dance" is a deeper, moodier affair but the old-school romanticism is still there in abundance. Then "Galaxxy Haze" rounds the EP off with a pumped up techno cut that still places dusty machine soul at the forefront of the mix, and full credit to Nyra, he makes it sound utterly legit in the process.
Review: LA-based producer Mor Elian has already scored big releases with her two previous transmissions, landing on Prime Numbers and Hypercolour, as her reputation rises in the field of dynamic deep house music. On this turn for Finale Sessions she lays down some of her strongest work to date, amping up the dubby tendencies on "Orionids" before heading into a propulsive techno dimension on the wonderfully airy "Light Pollution". EP closer "Echo Park" meanwhile fuses a disparate spread of electronic sounds into a mechanical yet strangely inviting construction for adventurous heads to get lost in.
Review: The last few years have seen Nathan Melja really hit his stride, landing on such esteemed labels as Mister Saturday Night, Black Opal and Technicolour with an addictively weird update of the classic boxjam format. Now he steps up to inaugurate Dream Real with three slices of upfront deviant business for all the sleazy dancers out there. There's no arguing with the rubbery bass tones and perfectly processed vocals on the original mix of "Jerky Teardrop", but there's also the more wave-minded delights of the "Blue Mix" version of the track to suit more reflective situations. By way of contrast, "Places We Belong To" smooths out the mood on the B-side with a low riding slice of boogie that sports just a whiff of indie thrown in for good measure.
Review: Timmy P has been releasing music since 2010, but releases on esteemed labels such as Local Talk and Dirt Crew have really made him catch the attention of the wider public and industry big hitters such as Steve Lawler, Darius Syrossian, Sidney Charles and Waze & Odyssey. Timmy now steps up to the plate for Belfast's Seven Music. The 'Strong Advice' EP is some of his finest work to date. From the disco infused title track, through the vibey Slug Life to the moodier Bla Bla and all rounded of by one of the UK's hottest new names on the scene, montel on the remix.
Review: Having previously popped up on ESP Institute, Juan Ramos teams up with Trent to form Greenvision, making their first appearance on the home of freshly squeezed discoid deviance, Cocktail D'Amore. "Surdinia" takes over the A side with a bombastic array of peak time devices in its utility belt, from bubbling acid tweaks to gluttonous monosynth leads and a chunky set of drums. "Meccanica" is no slouch either, laying down thick slabs of synthesized grease in pursuit of a different kind of party track. This is unusual, distinctive club music for those who want the crowd to stop and pay attention.
Review: Is It Balearic? started the Uber sublabel up a few years ago, but 2017 has undoubtedly been the strongest year so far for the imprint. Following excellent stints from Serene, Wawawiwas and Bonnie & Klein, Max Manetti makes a debut appearance with a self-titled EP loaded with just the kind of slick, instrument-led island grooves we've come to expect from the Uber stamp. From the dense tropical trip of "Jungle Prayer" to the laconic guitar licks of "Dub Macumba", the cyclical mysticism of "Changuinola" on to "Garrison" with its considered piano chops and stiff breaks, this is an EP of proficient musicianship and eclectic funk for all manner of situations.
Review: Following a strong cast including Myles Serge, John Barera, DJ Skull and Hakim Murphy, Mentha continues its strong run of form with a various artists 12" that broadens the horizons of the high-grade deep house label. Michael Lovatt keeps things groovy and understated on "Tides", while Kareen Ali gets into a slow and trippy mood on "Arnaldo Tamayo Mendez". Anaxander's "Unspoken" brings some neo-soul synth lines to the table, and Michael Zucker turns out a brooding, introspective workout. Each track may have its own traits, but the whole record hangs together as a fine next step for a promising label.
Vocoder So Sexy (Quad IBB's Funk-Trib original mix)
Vocoder So Sexy (instrumental)
Review: Donnie Tempo has only appeared once previously as Knu Je', and that was way back in 2001. Now the alias is revived on Sound Reflection in a shimmering, twirling expression of broken beat and boogie sensibilities for those who like their beats soul n' sun drenched. It's actually his Quad IBB alias that serves up the "original mix" of "Vocoder So Sexy", and it's nothing short of stunning. The rich layers of vocals cavort with the expressive key changes and sharply angled beats, making for a truly striking cut that sounds equally fresh in its instrumental form on the B side.
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.
Your Beautiful Look Is Looping Endlessly In My Head (4:48)
Review: Having done such wonderful work alongside Wolf Muller on The Sound Of Glades album, Cass makes a welcome return with an expansive album release on Emotional Response. The German producer's ambient tendencies blossom here, occasionally meeting with laconic drums as on "U" but primarily dealing in huge swathes of melody. DJs will want to hold out for the dramatic pulse of "Ann", where a more pronounced drum set makes for one of the album's most club-ready moments. There's a strong variety of tones and moods across Youth Sessions, from the strafing arpeggios of "Running" to the bliss-out shapeless swirl of "Prismatic Prolog", and this ensures that the album will not dull with repeated listens.
Review: Little is known about Medicis, other than he last appeared back in 2015 on Lazare Hoche alongside Voltery. On this, his second 12", he strikes out on his own for the Parisian deep house stable with some of that refined, head-tweaking groove fodder that has broadly defined the label since it started. "Vilaroel" features shimmering tones that call to mind Point G at his dubbiest, while "Dissfreq" takes a sweeter route into dreamy pads and lightly shuffling drums. "Carrier" is a darker, techier affair with plenty of hypnotic elements spinning in the mix, and then Mdecisi' old friend Voltery lands a hand on the downtempo delights of "Guda".
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.
Following the successful reception of klodio's debut EP, the Tokyo-based producer spent the year playing shows in Japan with various upcoming artists like Fulbert and label co-founder Alixkun, and taking part in disruptive events such as Pow Wow School of Music.
When klodio decided it was time to start recording his second EP, he took a slightly different direction, going from Techno-influenced Detroit House to House-influenced Detroit Techno. "Shinagawa Sunrise" is a fast-paced retro-futuristic Jazz jam which climaxes on a fantastic sax solo by the young and talented Ilia Skibinsky. Daiba goes a step further in this Techno journey, flowing from glowing, light, syncopated chords to a dark and aggressive atmosphere, and back again to the relaxing chords.
More polished, singular, deep, and yet aggressive than "Toktroit", "Rainbow Bridge EP" brings another stone in the Asia-infused universe that the French producer is bringing to the world of electronic music.
Review: While Pheek may have been in operation for as long as anyone can remember within minimal house and techno, Cleymoore has been most productive more recently thanks to his Pluie/Noir label. Following on from last year's Seikou single on Xquisite, here Cleymoore and Pheek link up to deliver some densely packed, production rich jams that keep the spirit of mid-00s clicks and cuts alive. The beats themselves may be slender slices that carry the energy of the tracks, but it's all in the infinitesimal details in between that the true magic of this music comes alive.
Review: Emotional Rescue label boss Stuart Leath is particularly excited about this release, and it's not hard to see why. While Spanish singer/songwriter Javier Bergia is not widely known in the UK, his releases - either solo, or as part of the Finas Africae and Arium Musicae groups - are held in high regard by those of a Balearic persuasion. Eclipse is something of a treat, gathering together the best of Bergia's solo work from 1985 to the present day. Featuring Bergia's spoken and sung vocals atop a mix of gentle acoustics, atmospheric strings, delay-laden percussion and subtle global rhythms, Eclipse impresses from start to finish. It should be essential listening for anyone with even the tiniest interest in Balearica.
Coyote - "Minamoto" (Shocks Wa Pulpit Chillout remix)
I-boat Captain - "Slower" (The Backwoods remix)
Max Essa - "Uptown Vibrations" (Mark Seven Downtown remix)
Social Disco Club - "Peaceful Warrior" (Soft Rocks Jesus Convention remix)
Coyote - "Crazy World"
The Project Club - "El Mar Y La Luna" (Lovefingers remix)
Khidja Looki - "Original" (unreleased exclusive)
Review: Alongside like-minded imprints Claremont 56 and International Feel, Coyote's Is It Balearic? label - a fitting name, given the difficulty in pinpointing the Balearic sound - has been at the forefront of the nu-Balearic scene for the last five years. Here, they celebrate that fact by offering up a celebratory compilation with pal Moonboots and Coyote each selecting a disc of unmixed favourites. There's predictably plenty of sun-kissed downtempo warmth (Windsurf's sunrise-friendly remix of Coyote's "Laidback", Gavin Gordon's flamenco-influenced "El Sueno Oscuro"), alongside a smattering of deliciously baggy and wide-eyed dancefloor moments (see Max Essa's jaunty Balearic disco jam "Heartache" and a thrillingly griity Soft Rocks remix of Social Disco Club). If that wasn't enough to get the juices flowing, the collection also features some stunning unreleased material from Freshro and Khidja Looki.
Review: Mountain Ash is an alias of producer Lusty Zanzibar. When the track Portmanteau was sent to Uber they immediately picked up this slice of hynotic experimental loveliness. Layer upon layer of emotive synths and a pulsing arp help you drift towards a beautiful climax. Coyote slow the pace a little keeping the hypnotic pulsing arpeggio and add some lazy beachside drums, percussion, a few pianos and Kalimbas creating a beautiful beach bar shuffler..Brooklyn's finest Zoovox create a subtle analogue rework staying close to original but adding their own delicate vibrations. Drift away into the sunset.
Review: Having sprung into action with the Sol Explorer EP on Girasole, William Caycedo is back with a new selection of jams on the ever-developing SlapFunk. As the label's remit for minimal house and techno broadens, we're treated to low slung leftfield beats on "Booty Call" before the peppier broken beat groove of "Ain't No Joke". "Creepin'" and "G Groove" head into more familiar territory for SlapFunk fans, but there's still space for the crisp, laid back funk of "Tales From The West" and the off-kilter jazzy vibes of "Yes We Do" thrown in for good measure.