Review: In what is surely an unexpected collaboration in the field of house and techno, Mosaic mastermind Steve O'Sullivan teams up with Ricardo Villalobos for a hypnotic trip through minimal landscapes that plays to both of their strengths. The rock-solid rhythm of "Sullric" surely belongs to O'Sullivan while the rich, subtle layers of samples, tones and other such sonic decorations come straight from the Villalobos school of production. The two mixes on this 12" only have minor differences - whichever side you drop things will get considerably deeper than they were previously. Of such ingredients are classy, immersive techno joints made.
Review: In a 2010 interview, Tornado Wallace explained the inspiration behind his distinctive title as "something between a deep south blues artist or a logger from Nebraska". In subsequent years the Australian has seemingly swapped the south blues artist for something southern Italo, keeping the Nebraskan edge with his logger's beard. This is demonstrated in wondrous fashion on the water-coloured artwork to Thinking Aloud, his debut EP for Lovefingers' ESP Institute. Heavy bass plods switch to a walking bassline in "Bit One", as motorised and starry arpeggios weave between breathy vocals that are as much human as they are synthesised. This is complemented by "Cloud Country" which lowers in BPM with more Italo inspired arpeggios, pulsating toms and sprinklings of Latin sounding synths. The title track "Thinking Allowed" hogs the flip, slowly revealing itself to be a Balearic burner of the highest calibre. It opens with an analogous kick-snare combo and a "higher-self" spoken word spiel that's reminiscent of Will Powers legendary "Adventures In Success". Peaks come; troughs go as the track builds sublimely before dovetailing back to its original form. Welcome back sir!
Review: ** Psychemagik classic repress alert ** Ah yes, "For Your Love", the 1978 Euro Disco classic from Chilly hasn't that been re/edited by at least 78% of Soundcloud's disco edit community? Correct - it's actually second only to the gazillion marketing tools presented as a remix that are helping to power forward the career of Lana Del Rey. Psychemagik are yet to remix Lana Del Lips so we can forgive them for adding to the slew of edits of Chilly's Yardbirds cover version already released. As it stands the Psychemagik version of "For Your Love" is a commendable revision which beefs up the low end and extends everything beyond the ten minute mark. Much better is the sub blessed take on Joyce's "Aldeia De Ogum" which should come with a Punta Del Esta Approved stamp.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: The unstoppable march of Dan Shake continues apace as he storms Lumberjacks HQ with some of that refined sample-a-delic house music that is fast making him a marquee booking for those who want their party started right. He sounds right at home on "Magic Marcel", throwing down an addictive bass hook and looping up the woozy romanticism of classic disco and filter house into a thoroughly potent brew. "The Bee Won" takes a more urgent approach, reaching towards a kind of jazz funk energy with some tumbling percussion shaken into the mix for good measure. Taking a cooler approach to round the record off, "Wake, Bake & Shake" lets the funk take centre stage and leaves the samples plain as day for that breezy Sunday afternoon feeling.
Review: Robin Ball has been on a roll of late, flaunting his wares on the Memory Box label amongst others. He makes a second outing on Groovepressure with four tracks of dynamic, inventive machine jams touching on synthwave influences and a healthy dose of electro. There's atmosphere loaded into each of these forthright, roughly hewn workouts, not least on the eerie, trancey synth strings on "Mr Mumble". The B side features the steadiest material in the shape of two versions of "Satin" that tap into the housier end of Ball's output.
Review: Burnski's debut album DNA dropped on Constant Sound last year, and now the label have called upon a strong cast of characters to do the remix duty on some of the LP's key tracks. Parisian trio Mandar bring a heart-melting tone to "Another Source" without losing their insistent shuffle, while Diego Krause strips things down with a functional broth of minimal minded business. The original mix of "Another Source" gets a fresh outing, and very fine it sounds too. That leaves it to Laura Jones to twist out a hypnotic electro version of "I Like You".
Review: Having co-founded the now mythical Eglo Records, Sam Shepherd aka Floating Points has, more recently, begun to release his music through his own Pluto label, an imprint with a clear vision from the music to the artwork. Moreover, the label also gives Shepherd room to explore outside of his more traditional housey framework, and the majority of the releases on Pluto have consisted of wild and diverse shreds of broken beat and nu jazz. "Kuiper" is his latest excursion and it's a psychedelic journey through high-powered percussion and airy synth experimentations all wrapped up in a suave jazz coating. "For Mamish (part 2)" is something altogether sparser and less concrete, but there is still plenty of movement amid Shepherd's crystal sounds and Balearic riffs in what sounds like the perfect new age sort of amalgamation. Excellent.
Review: Commonly found rocking out on Unison Wax, Constant Sound and Pleasure Zone, Diego Krause is a certified mover and shaker in the minimal house scene, and he's on fire with this latest round of missives for Blind Box. "Malice" leads the charge with a plethora of eerie synth textures flexing organically round the sturdy beat, while "Monolith" slips into a slinkier groove while keeping the tripped out tone tweaking at the forefront of our minds. "Return" brings a tougher, fist-pumping rhythm section with a snaking syn-cussion tones trickling throughout, providing Blind Box with plenty of material to sink their gnashers into on the remix.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: This return of Ferox records sees an enthusiastic response from all. The label has forthcoming releases from many original Ferox artists and some new recruits and collaborations along the way. This, the first release in 5 years, sees label head-honcho Russ Gabriel in action under his Too Funk guise. From the first 'Return Of Too Funk EP' to the later 'Hotel Ibis' and Derrick Carter's remix of 'Venus Fly Trap', Russ's Too Funk grooves have been jacking dance floors on both sides of the Atlantic since 1995. This latest offering, 'Phase 3', is a 45 rpm two tracker of House goodness only available on vinyl. No clear favourite has emerged from the two sides, among the selective few that have heard it. Like much of the wealthy Ferox catalogue before it, this is proper House Music with an electric twinge.
Autarkic - "Screaming (To Be With You)" (feat The White Screen)
JD Twitch - "Dalbouka"
Sneaker - "I Looked For You"
Die Orangen - "Rattling Ghosts"
Review: After teaming up to release the scintillating works of C Cat Trance in their original 80s form on Screaming Ghosts, Emotional Rescue and Malka Tuti join forces once again to deliver a ludicrously talented roster of remixers who catapult John Rees Lewis' cult group into thrilling new spatial and temporal zones. Autarkic decides to go for the full-tilt cover version on "Screaming (To Be With You)", with ample help from The White Screen, while JD Twitch roughs up "Dalbouka" into a quintessential slab of ethno-motorik body music. Sneaker's take on "I Looked For You" emphasizes the atmospheric tension in the original, giving the track a cinematic scope, and Die Orangen's "Rattling Ghosts" finishes the record on an appropriately ominous, subtly industrial tone.
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: In the field of minimal house reissues, this is a big deal. Perlon main man Dimbiman doesn't appear on wax often, but when he does he makes it count. This early release on Baby Ford's seminal Pal SL was originally out in 1998, when minimal house was a vague concept at best on the most outer reaches of dance music. "Iso Grifo" itself remains a masterclass of spine-chilling space and perfectly strange sonic matter, while "Lava" pushes the notion of reduction dance music to its absolute limit. "Round" is an even more immersive affair that hides many subtle layers within its seemingly simple construct. Quite simply groundbreaking stuff, and highly sought after so don't sleep on it.
Review: The SlapFunk crew have been enjoying plenty of attention lately, and quite rightly. Their pumped up house sound is hard to refute, taking the heads down trippiness of minimal house and beefing it up with classic jacking sounds for an infectious party mixture. Samuel Deep gets the message, bringing just the right kind of swing to "MOOV!" to get bodies popping all over the joint, while "Keek Iz" rides the same beat but in a lower register. "42915 Beatz" is just as drum led, but there's a little more fidgety sonic interplay popping off around the drums. Ingi Visions pops up on the B2 for the distinctly more eerie "Tekniq", placing an icy string synth refrain at the heart of the track with chilling results.
Review: Dungeon Meat's self-titled label is not known for its subtlety, and so it goes on this rip-roaring various artists 12" featuring three rough and ready jams for the peak time house crowd. Blunt Instruments get things going straight away with the mean New Jersey swing of "Kum On", as tough and bumping a house cut as you're ever likely to find. Ron Obvious steps up with "Mindful Vision", bringing an utterly addictive stripped down garage-y shuffle to the table, while Per Hammar finishes the EP off with the breaks-embellished "BX Chamber", a freaked-out dub-soaked affair for the heads down crowd.
Review: Glasgow's Ooft! continues the FOTO-X series on his label with a sure shot 12" that presents two tracks sure to nestle their way into all manner of on-point record bags for many moons to come. First up is iLO who plays the long game with a yearning and burning slice of deep house that starts out stripped and subtle before blossoming into a fully-fledged vocal delight. Ooft! takes care of the B-side with a boogie-tasting get down entitled "Howard's Way" which will get heads nodding and bodies popping to a bassline that calls to mind Evelyn King's much loved "I'm In Love" low end destroyer.
Review: From the label: Melodie is Cristi Tudorache from Bucharest, an artist who has made quite a name for himself through the 2 highly acclaimed releases on Raresh's Metereze and French label Rora in 2015. This is his latest EP, Alderaan, named after an extinct planet in Star Wars. ALMA01 includes the much sought-after Acid Saturday, the track that has had threads dedicated to it all over the web after RPR Soundsystem played it at Weather festival in 2015. The EP debuts the Almanah label, a new Romanian label under the curatorship of the Origami Sound / Interval crew.
Review: Ninja Tune know how to come up with the goods for RSD, and they've truly hit the nail on head with this epic two-tracker from legendary French jazz bassist Henri Sexier, reimagined by the mind of Bonobo. The original cut of "Les La-Bas", which resides on the B-side, is a wonderfully loose blend of raw guitar strings and violin cello strings held together by a delicious beat jingle; the Bonobo remix manages to carry that musical power onto an effective house swing that ends up somewhere in the region of a Larry Levan classic. Don't miss it!
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Especial is delighted to welcome Baris to the roster. Known for his edit series of obscure Turkish Psychedelic, Rock and Disco, here he takes the producer's chair to present "200". Working with musicians and singers to create a completely original production. The song's message for equality (of the sexes) highlights the bigotry and backward political and religious boundaries his country faces and acts as a siren to the current troubles. Handed to Emotional Recordings over 5 years ago but with no label to release it at that time, now we are delighted to be able to release 200's message. The original is backed with remixed from new production duo Khidja, as well as East London's finest, The Asphodells. Teaming up with guitarist Balabas, Romania's Khidja turn in a deep and introspective interpretation mixing their own heavy eastern influences, while the B-side sees Weatherall and Fairplay don their Asphodells mantle for two renditions that firmly lay it before the ALFOS alter. With artwork (by Jamie Paton) highlighting the struggle for fairness and freedom in his homeland, we hope the release can be seen as a support for their tribulations and highlight the talent that lays East.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Etwas stirs in die Ostlich. Edits and verks of twist sounds. Synth pop, cold wave, neu wave, minimal wave, industrial, neu beat, soundtracks and a selbst Balearen. Freiheit! Als erstes is hero of old Cybernetic Broadcast (CBS) and (Intergalatic FM) radio. Jonny 5 and his verstorbenen Blindsign blog and mixes were a steigen'n'steigen to rescue us from boring neu disco. Schieben his search and discovery for harder, but musical soundscapes. 4 edits is a geschmack. Start brave on the floor feel with the Neu Beut Euro Pop thumper Kaka Kaka. Geschleift, verdreht thoughts. Black Hole is hours spent in Eastern Bloc basements graben in the search for drahts. Stoned indeed, immaculate synth electronic battle cruiser, hart percussion, cut gesang and break. Ready for the percussive finale in Horizon's Change. Was Auch Immer. Bahnsteig!
Review: There's been much debate over the years about whose version of this seminal track was in fact the best. Laurent Garnier's 1997 classic "Crispy Bacon" gets a vinyl re-issue and it still stands the test of time. You can just imagine how innovative and futuristic this adrenalised peak time weapon sounded like in the mid-nineties. On the flip, the equally legendary Jeff Mills delivers his take on the track, keeping in mind that this is one of only a handful he's ever done. There's relentless and punishing cyclicality on offer here; the sharply resonating loops, that brutally overdriven 808 kick.. it's one of those secret weapons that never leaves the bag of the best techno DJs. Choose your side, but either way it's a definitely a classic!
Review: Edward's graceful take on modern house and techno is a perfect fit for Trelik, and the German producer sounds comfortable as he unfurls swooning threads of otherworldly music for the tripped out dancefloor. The "Ogermania Mx" of "Mikko" is a hazy, string soaked affair pitched somewhere warm and dreamlike, but there's plenty of energy churning away in the lower register. "Lottery" is a more twitchy affair for darker times, all moody bass bounce and looming drones around a shuffling set of percussion. "Groaning Ghosts" is the techiest of the bunch, and there's a whole lot of freaked out sound design swirling around in the mix as well. This is simply stunning, highly advanced dance music from a modern day maestro.
Review: Artyom Ziobin's distinctive style of minimal house stands apart from the usual thoroughfare of moody, dubby shufflers. Instead the Russian producer reaches for a warm, disco-influenced sound palette which he then slices and dices into sleek, crafty party workouts with lashings of panache as well as studio ingenuity. Following appearances on Bump Foot and Grow Vinyl, the latest outing for Plantae comes via Elephant Moon, with lead track "Amber Light Of Ethereal Shadow" cutting a dashing figure across the soundscape with its busy but nimble mixture of synth splashes and stuttering drums.
Review: Following rock solid entries from Ben Sims, Markus Suckut and Alan Fitzpatrick, Mosaic's Red Series continues apace in 2017 with a firing three-tracker from German scene stalwart Andre Kronert. "A Track Called Jinx" is a slow and nervy slice of bleepy techno that says a lot with the barest of ingredients. "The Bottom Line" is a more feisty concern, raising the tempo and the intensity without losing that loopy quality that shoots straight into the dark heart of the night. "Pressure Dub" represents the more experimental side of Kronert's output, using sparse materials to create a minimalist megalith.
Review: When Peggy Lee slinked around in the 50s to the sultry strains of "Fever", could she ever have imagined that half a century later, people like Romare would be turning her tune into a weed smokin', love makin' slo-mo RnB jam? Unlikely to say the least, but "Your Love (You Give Me Fever") is on the money and respectful, if different to the original's mood. Elsewhere on Romare's latest Black Acre release, "Jimi & Faye" is a warped take on blues, "Taste Of Honey" recalls the days of daisy age hip-hop and "Hey Now" is a weary and haunting piano lament.
Review: This week's lesson in simple musical mathematics is demonstrated by Tensnake and Aloe Blacc. The former's inexorable rise in 2010 has perhaps been matched by the worldwide popularity of the latter's "I Need A Dollar", so getting Mr Niemerski on board to remix the track was a smart move. The end results are typically appealing, with Blacc's vocals looped brilliantly around a burning deep house arrangement that peaks in all the right places. The central energetic pulse of cavernous bass stabs and slick hi-hats are inundated by massive swathes of soaring chords as the track progresses, with the requisite breakdowns augmented by choral vocal refrains. Totally euphoric in its intentions and execution, this is bound to have devastating effects when implemented at the right time.
Richard Sen - "Night Navigator" (Scott Fraser remix)
Scott Fraser - "Ask Your Control" (Richard Sen remix)
Review: Friends for many years, Richard Sen and Scott Fraser come together with a dose of mutual admiration and back slapping by remixing each other on this 2 track EP. However, what makes this collaboration different is there are no original versions appearing, just these remixes. By completing an unfinished track of each the other, the pair have taken the respective unarranged music and gone back to their East London studios to, in essence, finish the other's songs in the form a "remix". Known for a myriad of deep electronic dubs in the last few years, Scott provides plenty of surprises with his remix of Richard's Night Navigator. A driving 10+ minutes 'piano-house' opus, the late 80s Italian / Balearic vibrations run straight through his interpretation of that classic Mediterranean sound. Not for long though, as firmly dragging things straight back to the dark and wet streets of Hackney, Richard takes Scott's Ask For Control and creates a tough, percussive, deep dub remix that would propel any basement dance floor through the early hours.
Review: The unstoppable Vogel machine is back on Lumberjacks with another serving of soul-soaked house goodness to warm the cockles as we step into Spring. This time around he's called on one of the great house vocalists of our times, Khalil Anthony, to lay down a vocal on "Brown Curls" that melts over Vogel's peppy, organic production. Nebraska bring a deeper, chunkier flavour to the track with their remix, and the results are just as captivating. Anthony's also on hand to croon over "You Are A Star", an equally simmering jam with more of that dusty house pressure from the deep end of the pool, while "Those Moments" finishes the record off on a funky, instrumental tip.
Review: Chris Romans has been rolling out crucial electro jams for a number of highly regarded labels since the early 00s. Amongst them are Touchin' Bass, Shipwrec, Frustrated Funk and Central Processing Unit, so that tells you everything you need to know about the level he's operating at as 214. Now he comes to 20/20 Vision with some body-poppin' jams of the highest order, broadening the tech house label's remit to embrace the thriving electro scene with one of its most vital practitioners. "Potential Events" is a brooding, atmospheric affair while "Windeye" draws on a more playful, Detroit indebted palette of sounds. Radioactive Man remixes "Windeye" with a steady, finely detailed approach, and then "Back To Sine" finishes the record off with another snappy salvo of funky drums and bubbling synths.
Review: Kalbata is a delightfully unpredictable fellow, one minute turning out slick tech house with Guy Gerber and the next starting a dancehall riot with Warrior Queen. His long and varied career continues following a recent spot on Optimo Trax with this first 12" on Brush & Broom, a new label that is housing some particularly straight up 4/4 jams from the prolific producer. "Obskuur" has a clue in the name, plying a trade in the kind of furtive deep techno that ekes tension out of the most ambivalent of crowds with its oh-so-slow but powerful sense of progression. "Rumoured" has a broader palette, letting undulating threads of melodic synth work slither around the subby, minimal percussion.
Das Ding - "Life Is A Tool In The Hands Of Strangers" (4:04)
DJ Overdose - "I See No Stars At Night" (4:16)
DJ Overdose - "Potje Freaken" (4:55)
Review: The Go Finger label has been digging into the undergrowth of synthwave sounds and deviant electro for a few years now, more recently graduating from the tape scene to put out EPs of leftfield electronic adventures on wax. This EP in particular is quite something, calling on the vintage talents of Das Ding in all their eerie, warped, pulsing, analogue refinement. "Conun Drum" is a curiously playful trip through noirish cityscapes by way of strobing lead lines and militaristic machine beats, while "Life Is A Tool In The Hands Of Strangers" takes a more uptempo approach without losing the bombast of their melodic arrangements. Dutch electro champ DJ Overdose steps up for the B side, dropping the overcast and creeping "I See No Stars At Night" and the dishevelled robot beatdown "Potje Freaken".
Review: Vinyl Only reach their seventh release with a fresh grip of lesser known producers bringing high grade grooves to the table. Bubbadog opens the 12" up in a woozy fashion with the warbling piano chords of "Goin' Round", capturing a time-slip mood that carries through to the dusty jazz soaked beat down of Minus The Majors' "Strole On Through". On the B-side, Alex Zuiev gets into an exotic, chiming, 80s-inflected mood on "Down By The River", creating a slow-burning dancefloor heater out of classic ingredients. Ugly Frankie finishes the EP off with the stripped down funk of "Your Ears Look Great".
Review: On the latest Lumberjacks missive Marcel Vogel invites one of the strongest house vocalists of modern times, Khalil Anthony, to lend his distinctive croon to a loose-limbed slice of low-riding funk. "Dance The Blues Away" is a gutsy, full-bodied production that shows off Vogel's instrumental skills at their strongest, and Anthony's vocal rolls on in the many-layered mix perfectly. BB Boogie injects a little disco stomp to the track for the first remix on the 12", while Julien Dyne gets to turn out a remix and a dub. Both Dyne's efforts tap into a Detroit house feeling, all dusty sample loops and a laid back, smoky mood. It's a record made up of killer soul-soaked house music from start to finish.
Review: Edit king Rahaan makes a connection with the ever-prolific Lumberjacks In Hell, and he's sounding feisty on growling lead track "Move Out Of The Way". Dirty, distorted drums and simmering acid gurgles make for a perfect seedy dancefloor lube, setting the scene for the more forthright jack beat styles of "Super Transfer". Keeping the fuzzed out Chicago styles at the forefront, "Blue Line" swoops in at the end like some long lost Trax off-cut with all the grit and guts you would expect from the earliest days of pure, electronic house music.
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.
Brian ‘Keys’ Tharme - "Best Of Your Love" (feat Memzee) (6:57)
Review: Albuquerque's finest deep house bastion is at it once again, presenting a pure and proud brand of NJ-flavoured deep house for those who still want it soulful. Sean McCabe doesn't need telling twice, kicking off the People's Choice 12" with the uplifting funk of "Get Together". Soul2Black offers up an exquisite broken beat confection laden with deft piano work and stirring vocals from Kimberley Kennedy. Johnny Rampin' is aiming straight for the peak of the night with the peppy vibes of "Love Who Rocks You", and brian 'Keys' Thame turns the garage swing up to 11 with the utterly sassy "Best Of Your Love".
Review: Nat Wendell launches the Depth Of My Soul label with a confident slab of deepness that should draw plenty of heat on the peaks and troughs of the house music landscape. "The Way" is a crisply produced pumper, revolving around a seductive little lead line and the haunting titular vocal hook - there's a whiff of tech in the make up of the track, but the groove is all house. "Theoretics" follows down a similar path, keeping things moody and mechanical without disposing of the funk, and then it's down to "Release Your Soul" to bring a little light into proceedings with some mellow keys and dubby flourishes.
Review: Bobby Pleasure's Needs label continues to gather steam behind a message of togetherness, raising money for worth causes and trying to help those less fortunate in society. On this third instalment Lord Of The Isles leads the way with a typically romantic swoon of analogue bass and gorgeous 80s synth strings, while Mehmet Aslan lays down an earthly prowler powered by organic instrumentation. "Trust The Mountain" introduces Petwo Evans with a daring strain of broken electronica heavy on the crackling signal processing. Bartellow's "1001 (Skrillex Theme)" is a craft machine disco workout, and then N-Gynn takes things tropical with the exotic tones and bold drum machine hits of "Jumanji".