Review: Much loved UK underground stalwart Truly Madly kicks off his new label with a trip to the outer edges of the dancefloor. It's a various artist affair drawing on some of the most interesting producers round right now. It's the much hyped Gene On Earth who kicks off with a cosmic tech workout for mind, body and soul, and Kepler keeps the uplifting vibes alive with his high speed and slick acid cracker. The flip side is taken care of firstly by Jhobei with his deeper, more spacious 'Grande Sultry' which erupts on fanatical sci-fi synths and Noiro cloys out with a gritty head-wrecker.
Dave Lee - "Power Of The Mind" (feat Billy Valentine - JN Redemption mix) (7:34)
Dave Lee - "Power Of The Mind" (feat Billy Valentine - JN Mind Meld dub) (7:03)
AC Soul Symphony - "Manhattan Skyline" (JN Spirit Of 77 mix) (11:08)
Review: ave Lee has collaborated, produced or remixed many vintage soul, jazz-funk and disco artists over the years, though 'Power of the Mind' marks the first time he's worked with Billy Valentine, lead vocalist from legendary soul/jazz-funk duo the Valentine Brothers. The opening 'Redemption Mix' is particularly potent, with Valentine singing his own anti fake news lyrics over a jaunty disco-house groove rich in boogie bass, piano stabs and mazy, life-affirming piano solos. It comes accompanied by a suitably cosmic, synth-laden 'Mind Meld Dub' rework, as well as a fresh string-laden, late '70s style disco track from Lee under his lesser-known AC Soul Symphony pseudonym ('Manhattan Skyline'). It's 11 minutes of pure disco pleasure and almost as essential as 'Power of the Mind'.
Review: Atalanta's Byron The Aquarius has established himself as one of electronic music's most interesting artists. The super skill musician is a virtuoso on the keys and dab hand with making beats. He's got a wide range of sounds in his arsenal and is a perfect fit for the raw, MPC loving Apron label run by Funkineven, which is where lands now. This fulsome EP takes you on a jazz tinged house trip to the edges of the galaxy with far-sighted chords and reflective moods one minute and noodling, funk laced beat pieces the next. It's as high in quality as it is timeless.
Review: The fantastic Parkway label bring a little - well, a lot of - joy into out collectively miserable lockdown-not-lockdown lives with a tenth release that dazzles on every level. The Whole Truth are a modern funk and boogie band with plenty of knowledge of the past as well as a vision of the future that leads them to create camp, analogue sounding gems like this one. The original has a nice heart swelling and gospel tinged vocal next to soaring chords and the club mix then dials back to the languid beats and sci-fi stabs. Last of all is a mix which goes heavy on the chords and amps up the effects to stellar effect.
Review: It's time for a serious slice of dance music history. Roberto Ferrante scored an international hit with 'Come On Closer', a bombastic slice of high energy Italo disco which became a staple on the nascent Chicago house scene before house music itself was defined and produced to a set of standards. Played by hand in lieu of access to a sequencer, there's a loose feel to the groove but the space age synths speak to the waves of electronic dance music that were to come. Now this holy grail of party fuel is given the reissue treatment it deserves, with both the extended mix and dub version given a plush remaster and a loud pressing to alight any dancefloor it has the chance to grace.
When Is Deep (Thor & Octal Industries remix) (7:15)
Review: Russian techno mastermind Anton Kubikov has enjoyed an incredibly productive run that has seen him grace Nervmusic, Mayak and his own Pro-tez label. Now one of his finest works, 'When Is Deep', lands on AE Recordings in four new versions from a cast of top-shelf remixers. Idealist is up first, rolling out a smooth and sublime dub house medication to keep dancers locked in and shuffling, while Ben Buitendijk simmers things down to a hypnotic pulse. Dot kicks off the B-side with an immersive, propulsive techno blend before Thor and Octal Industries complete the set with a quintessential dub techno meditation to take your mind to spell-binding new spheres of exploration.
Review: Earlier in the year, Chilean minimal maestro Ricardo Villalobos reached an agreement with Rawax for the long-established label to release a series of singles and, more remarkably, a digital-only, hour-long track called 'Matsu'. This brown, marbled vinyl 12" is the first in the sequence of singles to hit stores and contains two typically lengthy workouts. Lead cut 'Aslohop' leads the way, with Villalobos once again delivering entrancing action built around oddly programmed, distinctively swung South American drum hits, curious noises and a hypnotic, undulating bassline. Flipside 'Detrand' is an even more spaced-out and druggy affair, with various barely audible samples subtly rising and falling for 21 minutes atop another deliciously out-there rhythm track.
Review: We all taking up right about now and Yosh is the one to do it. Four crucial cuts flexing around the UKG/breaks axis, all heavily entrenched in the turn of the century breakbeat, dark garage melting pot. Classic vocal samples galore and really punchy drums, highlights include the classic "What I Need" and the pure kick drum militancy of on the title track "Take Me Up". Serious vibes for all ages and all floors.
Review: The Neroli label is now onto its 51st release and the quality levels remain as high as ever thanks to these four fantastic cuts from Deenamic. 'Out Of My Mind' is scuffed up deep house with dragging kick drums and astro pads pulling in different directions to great effect. 'Sambu' brings Latin drum skips to the fore, with more swirling and celestial pad work, and it is a stunning fusion. The voodooistic 'The Bitter Truth' channels Theo Parrish in its busy arrangement and fizzing synths while last of all, 'Dayride' is a slow paced, jazz tinged workout that encourage you to sit bat and stare at the heavens.
Momma's Groove (Jimpster Hip Replacement mix) (7:36)
Review: The latest must-check missive from deep house reissue specialists Groovin' takes us back to 2007 and one of the most infectious, insatiable cuts in Osunlade's sprawling back catalogue. First featured on his Strictly Rhythm-released album "Elements Beyond", "Momma's Groove" features Osunlade adding his own evocative spoken word vocals to a low-down deep house groover crafted from disco-funk style bass, flanged guitar licks, jazzy sax solos and typically tribal drums. Over on side B there's a chance to Jimpster's "Hip Replacement Mix", which transforms Osunlade's killer cut into a rolling slab of immersive deep house haziness perfectly suited to heads-down peak-time plays.
Review: The Dutch label Klakson is a real mark of electro quality. It has been doing its do since before the current hype and will continue long after, no doubt. Sepher takes the reins for this one and fires out of the blocks on serrated synths and chattery 808s. The basslines are so dynamic and restless on 'Artificiality' your mind will get tied in knots trying to keep up, while 'Duplicate' brings clipped Drexcyian funk that doesn't hang around. There is a deeper, more pensive vibe to 'Izadi' that completes a fine EP with a broad array of styles.
Review: East End Dubs' Eastenderz label keeps on turning out hugely functional but also charming dub tech that is stripped back to its bones and laced with funk. This new various artist EP packs a powerful punch from the off, with Floog laying down some vital kicks and whirring machine sounds to send any floor into overdrive. Cosmjn then takes us to another planet with his dreamy pads and Vlad Arapasu's 'Egoland' sounds like a classic Terry Francis cut from the mid-90s, so in other words, pure fire. There's no mucking around on 'Mello', a razor sharp closer with hi hats that would cut though steel.
Review: Having already surfaced as a digital release earlier this year, Dycide's impeccable deep techno excursion Fluctuation gets a vinyl pressing. Existing outside of space and time, this is immersive body and mind music of the highest order. 'Fluctuation' The title implies a sense of urgency in its kinetic rhythm patterns, but the beats are slender vessels for an expansive palette of atmospheric tones and impulses. 'Fluent Iteration' plumbs darker depths in a manner that calls to mind Consumed-era Plastikman. 'Inflation' adopts a broader set of sonic tools, using poised inflections of percussion and found sounds in a wide-open space that remains betrothed to the night. Claudio PRC comes on board for a remix of 'Fluctuation' that weaves subtle threads of warm melodic material around a straight and narrow groove, slotting neatly into the deep techno veteran's formidable canon.
Review: In case you didn't know, Hedzup does it all - it is a vinyl and digital label based in the French capital, which is also where the founders Wlad and Mancini host their own parties. They deal in well regarded minimal sounds and pair up once more for the fifth EP on their own imprint. There's plenty to get excited about, too, with punchy acid house opening up before an IO (Mulen) remix sinks the track into more smooth and supple deep tech realms. House rarely gets as slippery and funky as 'Furbished' on the flip, while long time French house icon Djebali adds his usual jazzy depths to the remix.
Review: Lee Burridge's All Day I Dream label keeps on taking us away from this weird situation in which we find ourselves with perfectly dreamy and escapist house beats that roll on for days. His A&R skills constantly turn up new names for the label and this time out Pippi Ciez and Idd Aziz link for a worldly new single, 'Riziki.' The drums roll deep and the percussion flutters up top to soothing effect. Key to it all is an impassioned vocal chant that brings afro flavours. A Lost Desert remix is much deeper on the flip, with plaintive pianos added into the most cathartic mix. t.
Review: Deep house might not be getting the headlines it did a few years ago, but that actually means those who jumped on the hype train have all alighted once again and now only those truly devoted to the form remain. That means we get high quality EPs like this one from Visions Inc. Aleqs Notal takes us on a spiritual trip littered with toms and jazz-chords to kick things off before Meftah gets more experimental with a broken beat, tripped out keys and rubbery bass all sinking you into a state of trance. For those who like it more straight up, Taelue obliges, and as with all Afrikan Sciences tunes, the closer is a masterfully deep concoction.
Notturno Italiano (Daniel Maunick & Alex Malheiros vocal) (5:55)
Notturno Italiano (Daniel Maunick & Alex Malheiros instrumental) (5:55)
Notturno Italiano (Ron Trent dub remix) (7:28)
Review: Mario Acquaviva's 1983 jam 'Notturno Italiano' is a hugely sought after Italian boogie gem. Mother Tongue have dug it out the archives and enlisted some key names to offer up reworks and reconstructions, with Azymuth's Alex Malheiros and Daniel Maunick going first. They offer vocal and instrumental versions with life-affirming jazz Rhodes and cool, seductive rhythm sections that take you into the cosmos. Eternal deep house hero Ron Trent then does his escapist and spiritual thing on a lush and star-gazing dub that transcends genre. All three of these are irresistible.
Review: Gerd Janson's Running Back has rarely made a missteps in its many years of business. Whether serving up camp disco, rugged techno or the sweetest of deep house, you can always be assured of quality music from quality artists. This time out the boss looks to reissue the 1990 Love Club single 'Das Rote Jaar.' It's a mournful piece with a closely mined, whispering male vocal that makes for an intimate vibe, with the deep and dusty drums are for sensuous late night dancing. The dub is a subtle one that removes the vocal and lets the drums roll, and the instrumental is that bit more upbeat, though the mood remains pensive and alluring.
Review: The latest drop on the consistently brilliant Kimochi comes from Eho Kates, a new project from Todd Gys and Brendon Moeller. While the names involved may be familiar, the resulting sound is something wholly fresh. Certainly, Moeller's rightly heralded instinct for dubwise processes is no great shock, but there's a playful sense of experimentation powering every element of this release from the scuffed, fractured rhythms of 'Anxiety Sensitivity' to the submerged echo chamber surrealism of 'Emotional Distress Endurance'. Inquisitive processes and otherworldly sound design shape out the whole record, shot through with the alluring mystery that defines Kimochi output overall.
Felipe Gordon & Will Buck - "Back Into Time" (5:49)
Will Buck - "I Think It's Too Late" (6:31)
Will Buck - "I'll B Right There" (6:11)
Review: Off Track's second EP is a masterclass in tough and ready house that is jam packed with musicality. The kicks of Felipe Gordon's 'We All Got The Time' are scuffed up and heart felt, and the noodling keys are pure joy. 'Back Into Time' then brings even more jazz-funk vibes to a languid beat perfect for sundown and Will Buck then goes solo after that collab with a soul drenched tune Moodymann would be proud of. The vibe is totally switched up for 'I'll B Right There,' which pairs the classic sample with sustained pads and hardcore house drums designed purely to make you sweat.
Review: This one should come with a serious health warning - it is high octane, hugely textural techno to designed brutalist all who hear it. After slamming drums and lashing rave synths of 'Three O Nine', 'Adsorption' mangles some familiar samples over a hugely distorted kick drum that couldn't possibly be any crunchier. On the flip, 'Resonate' rather strips back to a more subdued and subliminal deep techno rhythm, but still pulses with white noise and barely-restrained synth energy, then 'Difraction' bashes you over the head and into submission for five fantastic minutes of perfect darkness.
Review: Romanian producer George Gavanescu (Monochrome / Premiesku) aka Floog starts a new label running parallel to his eponymous imprint. This one is called Floog & Friends and the inaugural release is a collaboration with scene stalwart Priku - he one Atipic and Motif fame. FLF 001 features exactly the kind of lean and hypnotic subtlety that Rominimal fans are seeking: from the glitched-out and dubby reductionism of A1, to the cavernous and glacial '002' which is perfect for for building up to more energetic moments on the dancefloor, or the heady, boompty bounce of '003' that's is perfect tackle for getting weird at the afterhours.
Review: Before the pandemic struck, Versatile Records veteran Nicolas Chaix was working on a new improvised I:Cube live show to be taken on the road this summer. Sadly, events put paid to the long-serving producer's plans, so instead he sat down with the same hardware set-up and recorded some improvised workouts. It's those - or at least some of them, a second volume may appear in future - that form the backbone of Cubo Live Sessions. In typical fashion, 14-minute A-side 'Session 1' is formidably psychedelic, with Chaix peppering a jacking hardware groove with echoing, alien-sounding riffs, brooding pads and hallucinatory TB-303 motifs. He gets extra aggressive on fiendishly trippy and growling B-side opener 'Session 2', while 'Session 3' is a creepy, slow motion acid delight.
Review: Oh! It's Chicago's Glenn Underground with a new Strictly Jazz Unit scorcher! The man is a legend, both in stature and musical abilities, and "Jaz Love" is as Underground as you can possibly get thanks to that sweet groove, playful harmonics and sun-kissed hook. "Leaving Today" is every bit as soulful and filled with joy, a true-school house beauty with an instantly hummable rhythm, whereas "Jisco Jazz" goes for the nu-disco approach thanks to its circling bassline and fall-in-love melodies - a sublime reinterpretation of a disco classic!
Review: The second split release from fast-rising Belgian label The Void Project boasts tracks from Traffic co-founder Bodin and sometime Ext and Entity London artist Alec Falconer. The latter begins by offering a nod towards his work with UKG revivalists Phone Traxx on the aptly titled - and really rather good - "Wobble Roller", before peppering a chunky bassline and crunchy house drums with low-register organ stabs and occasional breakbeat blasts on "Bounce". Over on side B Traffic Records co-founder Bodin takes over and offers up two tracks that make the most of the Roland TB-303 (or at least something that sounds like it). "Sluga" is a bona-fide jacker with deep organ riffs, while "Hopez" is a snappier affair powered forward by a seriously squelchy bassline.
Review: Marcella Bella's 'Nell'Aria' is an evergreen slice of Italian disco, originally recorded and released in 1985. On this POPART release, the swooning romanticism and crisp production of the original version sounds better than ever as the high profile Italian diva Bella soars over a full-fat arrangement loaded with bombast. Keeping things interesting, we're also treated to a 2017 update 'Aria Latina' which injects some Latin energy into the classic. Meanwhile, the B-side is given over to an extended edit of the original by Francesco Cicchini, who takes the track to the stratosphere with a tasteful treatment
Review: Underground techno veteran Johannes Volk's impressive discography has seen him release on Jeff Mills' Axis and 6277 imprints, in addition to labels as diverse as Dolly, Token and Cocoon in addition to his own operation - Exploration. Volk can now add Running Back to his list of credible affiliations, where he incorporates all of his influences from the glory days of Frankfurt's legendary techno scene in the '90s on the Extra Dimensions LP. From the Giorgio Moroder-style homage of the electrifying title track, the Motor City also receives a respectful salute in the form of the Reese-driven dancefloor drama of 'Reload Love' and the funky techno workout of 'An Old Android On A Broken Piano', while the neon-lit "Rainbow Rockets" channels the spirit of Paisley Park.
Review: German veteran engineer and producer Gregor Tresher's new release on Frankfurt's Cocoon gives us time out from dreaming of summer sun and euphoria. There are three contrasting cuts on the Trident EP, each carrying his distinct sound signature. The uplifting and life-affirming energy of the title track may not have had the chance to capture the moment in clubs this year, but we are fairly sure that this will be a cross generational anthem for years to come. On the flip, the full throttle 'Pariah' is equal parts peak time energy and dancefloor drama, while the slinky and hypnotic slow burner 'Witchcraft' closes out the EP in fine style.
You're Leaving But I'll Still Love You (Saine remix) (6:05)
Review: Honey Butter is back with another slab of was as sweet and seductive as the name suggests. Cassettes For Kids takes care of this one with more than one eye on a golden period of mid nineties house and tech. The grooves on the opener are quick but deep, the train-track percussion locking you in while lush, heart melting chords are draped over the top. 'Growing Frustration' is a more peak time cut that never lets up and the first mix of 'You're Leaving But I'll Still Love You' is built on big break beats and a fat, tumbling bassline. Saine remixes with a more playful mood to send you home with a big old smile on your face.
Review: After previous outings on this label as well as Joule, American Camelia take charge of the fifth EP from Fake Society and does so with a superb late night mood. His grooves are sleek, futuristic, and glow with soft neon hues as pads glide by like long-tailed headlights on a rainy motorway drive deep into the darkness. The drums are always supple carriages on which you ride in sheer comfort, with deft melodic motifs colouring in the spaces left behind. Cristi Cons serves up a typically classy remix of deep techno minimalism that is heady and hypnotic. This is a warm, comforting EP that oozes style and class throughout.
Review: Running Back's Super Sound Singles hits fantastic number five with another steamy power dance offering that looks back to go forwards. Enzo Elia is an Italian edit maestro who offers three different take son a stomping disco cut with stark synth sounds and a vocal that brings the attitude. The vocal version is a real stomping gem, the dub is all about cutting your body loose and the bonus beats is pure filth. Label boss Gerd Janson serves up two of his own bristling, speaker busting mixes to round out a package of real dance floor dynamite.
Review: Fittingly, the first release from Barcelona party crew Maricas's offshoot record label was written and produced by one of their co-founders, resident DJ ISAbella. Rich in analogue electronic sounds that hark back to techno's dim and distant past, not to mention some suitably weighty basslines inspired by Warp Records bleep-era output, it's as vibrant, exciting and interesting a debut 12" as we've come across of late. Highlights include the sub-heavy, club-ready intoxication of "Track 90", the psychedelic, breakbeat-driven heat of closing cut "Contacta", and the alien-sounding, early LFO style intoxication of EP opener "Extrema".
Review: Warmduscher is a collective made up of Adam Harmer, Clams Baker, Lightnin' Jack Everett, Mr. Salt Fingers Lovecraft and The Witherer and since 2015 they have been offering up a unique indie sound, mostly on the Leaf label. Now they get some high profile remix treatment on this special Record Store Day 20020 release. Belgium brothers Soulwax take on 'Midnight Dipper' and turn out a stomping, fizzling track of synthetic sounds and gauzy guitar riffs, while Decius find a weird new take on disco that is tense and hypnotic. Savage Gary closes out in slow motion, twisted electronic fashion and quite possibly steals the show.