Review: Following his recent strong turn on Cocktail D'Amore, Jules Etienne makes a trip back to Apersonal Music with more of that island groove for the smoothest slack-wearers in town. "Free As A Man" is a beautifully laid back but funky offering that speaks to all kinds of good times. Jex Opolis turns in a remix of the track that has a little more bite to suit the later demands of the dancefloor. "Don't Wanna Talk About It" sees Etienne linking up with Disco D and winding all kinds of slick strutting business into his sound, and then "Rhythm For The Garden" heads off into wonderful tribal percussion that serves as a handy tool for DJs who want to get some rich drum sounds into their set.
Review: The Finale Sessions Select series finds Michael Zucker steering his label into new, techy pastures with a host of esteemed guests on board. For this fourth round, he's called upon Kai Alce and Reggie Dokes to stand alongside him in demonstrating exactly what's great about contemporary house and techno. Alce is up first with "Scene 2", bringing a bubbly, sleek confection of machine soul to the table. Zucker gets things rolling along steady with the heady trip of "Summer Time", and then Reggie Dokes sends the record drifting off on a wonderfully crooked tip with "Running".
Review: The high grade, leftfield approach to house music Lyssna have set out as their MO continues in fine style on this new Colours series, starting with the Yellow EP and a strong cast of characters from the outer reaches. Riciar Ghir opens up proceedings with the tumbling deep house of "Cargo", making the keys dance with distinction and injection a subby rumble where it counts. Minimal Afrika follow that up with a percussive tryst entitled "Drakma Queen" that blossoms into a sumptuous ambient excursion. Robotalco takes a very different approach with some classically pumping sample-powered house music to shake feel-good fists to, and then Klubbhuset finishes up with an impassioned romp through peak time disco licks for the peak of the night.
Review: Stephen Laubner never fails to deliver the goods, whether on his own label Something or elsewhere. Having recently popped up on The Untold Stories, this time around he's dropping his uniquely crusty compositions on Synthetic Gold. After a quietly disconcerting ambient opening, the leftfield grind of "The Taphead" pushes an uncompromising agenda of ragged bass and an unrelenting groove. "October Sunrise" by way of contrast is a more intimate, sweet natured affair. "Syntax Error" too taps into the softer side of Laubner's craft in a most mesmerizing of ways, but for the die hard fans fear not, there's also plenty of locked groove loops included to keep you tripping into infinity.
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.
Review: Dutch producer Larry De Kat has been spotted delivering an album to Lazare Hoche and sliding his wares onto SlapFunk and Dungeon Meat alike, but his Katnip label it the one to watch for some of his most personal wares. This new release finds him purring his way through downtempo, soul-inflected selections that open out a whole new dimension to this talented, versatile producer. Juno's vocals are the icing on a particularly funky cake on "Do For Love", while "So Damn Fine" is an instrumental beat worthy of D'Angelo (sadly not included). The jazzy licks pour out of this release like honey - Larry De Kat just upped his game yet again and we strongly advise you to take heed.
Review: Manni Dee might be best known for his upfront techno tackle on Perc Trax and the like, but he's also been quietly building up a separate identity as Nuances, and it's a world away from his dancefloor output. Following on from some choice album appearances on Bastakiya Tapes, it's up to Tabernacle to give the project its first outing on wax. While Tabernacle can have some range in their sound, this finds the label plunging wholeheartedly into ambient climes. Heavily processed textures and delicate chimes all feed into a truly evocative atmosphere loaded with significance. Ignore the familiar name behind the music - this is an album deserving attention all on its own.
Review: Long-serving Italian deep house producer Enrico Mantini has been in the game for a long time, first dropping bombs back in the early 90s, but his career has enjoyed a powerful second wind in the past few years with appearances on Half Baked, 4 Lux and more besides. Having released the Inner Heights EP on PURISM earlier in 2017, Mantini returns with an album of immersive, tripped out grooves supposedly recorded live at Tresor in Berlin. The vibe is consistently deep, refined and just a little bit trippy for the minimal house crowd to go head first into.
Review: Asad Rizvi's bountiful archive of names and tunes continues to yield more fruit, this time in the shape of his Asadinho alias on regular haunt RvS. The bleeps cut through the shuffling drums on the Silverlining Mix of "When We Come To It" in a flurry of late night tech house finery. The original mix of the track is a tougher, slower twist with a straight-ahead groove but plenty of funk drizzled in between the joints. "Koppaitch" spreads itself across the B-side with a sizzling disco groove and more of those mean-tempered synths that project a dark and seedy side to Rizvi's many-sided musical dice.
Review: The Bahnsteig 23 crew are flying towards the end of the year with a salvo of essential wares from their established crew and new faces alike. Sweden's Albion Venables has been doing the business on labels such as Ambassador's Reception and Macadam Mambo for the past seven years, and his first turn on Bahnsteig doesn't disappoint. In a flurry of eclecticism, the mood veers from the bubbling kosmische tones of "En Trance" through to the schlocky funk of "Schwarzen Mer", mixing live band dynamics with quirky electronics and keeping the groove delightfully authentic. The diversity maintains on the flip as "City People" taps up a moody New York flavour and "Die Marinette Der Zeit" strikes a more classic funk note.
Review: Finale Sessions welcomes Anaxander to join label main man Michael Zucker for another one of those impeccable trips through top shelf deep house. Anaxander gets busy with "Stabs Of Love", a truly ear nagging piece that cuts through the glut of soundalike productions to say something truly special. Meanwhile his "Heart 2 Heart" resides on the B2, presenting a lighter, more playful cut peppered with pattering bongos and sprightly keys. Zucker gets into a slightly off kilter funk on "Greater Is He" before dropping into a perfect bump on "Lost Without You", putting some swing into dub house and making it sound natural.
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: Emotional Response reach out to another fine selection of sonic voyagers to take Brain Machine's excellent Peaks LP to task, leading in with the warm discoid undulations of Rollmottle who refigures "To The Stars" as a gentle, groovy warm-up joint. Die Wilde Jagd takes on "Mercury Ripples" and fashion a bombastic breaks jam out of it, and Merrick Adams pushes "Alpha Moon" into a curious but ultimately cosmic space somewhere beyond the titular lunar body. Cass takes the prize with the bittersweet synth tones that course through the two-part remix of "Nexus Vox".
Review: Hong Kong based label Fragrant Harbour has thus far supported work from choice leftfield beat candidates such as General Ludd, Fulbert and Renart, and this time turns its attentions to international outfit LPZ. There's a modernist, UK-leaning style to their brand of mutant techno, focusing on crooked, moody rhythms that sup from the same font as Livity Sound et al. "Triangular" crashes and bangs its drums through blissful pads before "Heliopolis" pushes the kick to the foreground and dives into more meditative depths. "In Flames" rides some dreamy breakbeat tones and "Luminescence" rounds the EP off with another crafty pairing of off-centre beats and soundsystem-ready tones.
Review: Building on the momentum of the strong reissue programme undertaken at Thule Records HQ, Thor returns to the fray with some new productions that add a new chapter to the story of Icelandic techno. This limited run of Decay appropriately comes on marbled grey vinyl. Of course, the unique atmosphere the label carved out in the 90s has been left intact - the dubby processing and icy melodies abound throughout, creating utterly immersive techno and house variations in the process. "Insanity Dub" has a live feel to its drum set which injects a curious disco energy into the mix, while "Rusty Flashback" takes things in a subtle tech house direction. "Garden Of Corrosion" stands apart with its slender sound palette, placing the emphasis on groove and swing, while "Pepper Jones" ramps the dub techno exploration up to 11. If you love the sound of Thule, you're going to love this.
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: 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: Uber always knows the right kind of moody, heads down Balearic throb to get stone-cold chillers nodding their heads in approval, and so it goes on this latest transmission from Wawawiwas. "Sadness Of Being" is a perfect introduction to this duo, with the dub tropes turned up to full and the bassline grooves as slinky as they come. In between the heavy delay and reverb there's a real sense of stride about this track, which Max Essa capitalises on when dropping the more beat driven remix on the B side. The broad premise of the original remains intact, with just a little more emphasis on the synthy side of things.
Review: London's Sugarhouse crew have already made some waves with their first two releases, and now the gang are back with round three of their soul-drenched deep house adventures. This time it's Maurice Jnr and Seb Miguel teaming up for three crucial jams, each with something different to say. "Deebo's Quest" is rich with aqueous pad tones and a slick set of drums that shuffle just the way you want it, while "Science Of Life" takes a distinctly Detroit-influenced approach that wouldn't sound out of place on Mahogani Music. That leaves it to "Lovin' U" to round the EP out with a warm, upbeat roller for those who like their house loaded with passion.
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.
Image Pour Image - "Where Is The Love In This World" (3:20)
Attrition - "Beast Of Burden" (3:05)
Zazou, Nodland, Lema - "Stranger In The New Light" (4:02)
Kastrieste Philosophen - "Playin The Fool" (3:05)
Instead Of - "Bad Angels" (4:43)
Review: Emotional Rescue continue to mine hidden corners of esoteric music to bring your rarified delights in a freshly mastered form. This time the label has turned to cult Spanish label Auxilio De Ciento, who have been quietly picked up by more tuned in heads for their excellent new wave, synth pop and industrial wares. La Caida De La Casa Usher present the most abrasive material on here, but largely it's a relaxed affair. You can lose yourself in the bubbling synthesizer goodness of Bene Gesserit and Danny Alias, or trip out to the pattering drums of Zazou, Nodland, Lema.
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: Arvid Whetman has plenty going for him at the moment. As Sexazoid he's dropping all kinds of off-kilter machine beats on excellent labels like Born Free, while as Your Planet Is Next he builds on appearances on Junk Yard Connections, Waving Hands, Opal Tapes, Studio Barnhus and Klasse to deliver this chirpy four-tracker to Acid Waxa. From the twee vocals to the playful synths and straight up drums, this is club music crafted for an immediate hit. Whetman makes this approach work magnificently though, liberally applying his musical personality to lo-fi deep house and roughshod acid, with "Heartbreaker" being a firm favourite thanks to its fulsome 303 bassline and hooky vocal mantras.
Review: As Galcher Lustwerk's label continues to expand at an easy pace, so this intriguing prospect arises from the lesser known Double Pelican Man. As The Nassau Sessions title might imply, this is a departure from sleek house and techno into an abstraction of the island boogie sound, taking some cues from digi-dub and 80s dancehall but offsetting it with a final mix that is all its own. "Jet Ski" is a perfect slice of canned dub for mellow heads, and "Sweet Genius" is the pick for a more audacious application of delay and reverb, but the bass on "Shit To Buy" makes it the standout track on this collection of dubwise jams.
Review: In the third (and last) part of "So Many Ways Remixed" series we have yet another special set of heavyweights, delivering their own reinterpretations of Lay-Far original album tracks. Please welcome Kaytronik, D-Malice, Phil Asher and Red Rack'Em!
Kaytronik aka Karizma opens the EP with his Rub of "Yes You Can". Frankly speaking, from the very beginning of the project we were expecting something special from the Baltimore-based house guru, but the final result surpassed it all for us - what you're about to hear is a very soulful and deep dance number but with power and grit to shake large festival dance floors! Get ready!
On A2 the pro-active afro-house aficionado D-Malice (Defected, Soul Candi, DM.Recordings) delivers a percussion-heavy banger that will make you swing in no time. You know where it all began, don't you?!
The UK house legend Phil Asher kicks off the Side B with a remix of "Can't Deny", featuring Yannah Valdevit and Souled. Strong dance grooves is what Phlash has always been notorious for - this remix is another vivid example of the principle! Ain't no need to question the authority.
Last but not least we have the old pirate Red Rack'Em, delivering his trademark deep & dirty house sound with hints of Detroit and dub techno influences. A perfect soundtrack for a midnight voyage on a ghost ship or a basement party, maybe. Aye!
Review: De Grey launched last year with a 12" from Webstarr, and now it follows up with the raw, rough and ready sound of Jack Angle. "Week-End" is a lithe, percussive beast of a track that matches bloated kicks with glassy hits for a tracky but distinctive end result. "6PNHHPE" is a looped up, off-kilter affair that sports an industrial techno thread but heads into stranger territory with ease. "Stablilizer" is a more balanced, melodic affair but again those distinctive metallic tones pervade the mix and inject some real character into Angle's music. "Selta" takes this approach and whips it up into the most lively, peak-time minded belter on the whole record, sneakily tucked away on the B2.
Review: P-Balans continues to shed light on the more unusual underbelly of the Romanian scene, taking a few cues from the dominant minimal scene but adding plenty of analogue weirdness into the mix to provide a genuine alternative for those who like a little more spice in their sauce. On this release Khidja and Delusion Men team up for some off-kilter trips into subversive danceability, starting with the subtle, wavey acid of "Strayed" before cartwheeling into the spooky delights of "Recurrent Weakness". The ghoulish theme gets ramped up to 11 on "Ghost Caravan", where a deathly slow beat carries all kinds of undead synth work, and then Borusiade takes "Recurrent Weakness" to task with a pinging, plunging remix for the end of days.
Review: Three years in, Blackhall & Bookless' Jaunt label is becoming a serious force for forward thinking, fractured techno exploration. On this split EP with Chad, the duo take the A-side and present two different versions of "Links". The "Battle rework" is a tense and dramatic tumble through dub techno soundscapes, while the "Bleak remix" pares the elements down to a more focused, minimalist thrum. Chad presents a wholly different vibe on the flip, using rich, warm synthesiser tones to draw you in to "Afters", and then Scenery regular ASOK takes up remix duties on the track with an immersive version that borders on breakbeat.
Review: Hailing from Hong Kong and more commonly found recording as S.Y., this release is the first music the producer has put out as Dopamine Rider, and it's certainly a record that thrives on unpredictable rushes of chemicals to the brain, making it a perfect fit on Discos Capablanca. "$ LFO" sports a techno framework of sorts, but it's really a vessel for strange ripples of FX and one-shot tones, but then "Personal FX" ramps up the freakiness with some atonal machine whirring that sounds like it's been wrenched from an errant modular system. "John Cage Is My Homeboy" is positively delicate in comparison, but it's by no means straight laced, and "Sai Ying Pun" finishes this adventurous EP off with a strange drum track that adds a little spice to the DJ tool format.
Review: The Sugarhouse label hits its fifth outing with one of the core members of the collective, Roy Rozell. For the first time Rozell is at the helm on his own, and he sounds completely at ease twisting out refined deep house meanderings for the soulful crowd. "Last Time Around" has a resplendent amount of live key flexing going on, and all the while a loose and limber rhythm section rolls out underneath. "Easy Easy" maximises on plastic trumpet tones and lets them freestyle over the top of a sunkissed, smoked out groove. "100 Percent" takes over the B side with pan pipe moods and synthetic string swells aplenty, making for a truly atmospheric deep house jam.
Review: DJ Haus' ever-expanding deviant house music empire continues to impress with another installment of House Crime, this time committed by Szch. The 12" kicks off with the fast and freaky "Girl I Neva" which borders on juke levels of nagging sample chops, before the script gets crumpled up and tossed at the bin with the wonderfully scruffy rave deconstruction of "Peugeot 106 At Sunrise (Pingers Mix)". "Unconditional (Edit)" brings something a little smoother to the mix, although that underlying weirdness that comes with House Crime releases is still lurking in the wings. "UKLJUCEN TI JE BLUTUT" finishes the EP off in a rowdy yet reflective style - long may the strange tale of House Crime continue.
Review: Italian duo Concret are the latest signings to Wonder Stories, following up previous releases for Toy Tonics and others to make their debut appearance on vinyl. The crisply produced, modern originals sit somewhere in between disco-infused house music and bombastic electronica in the Moderat vein, while the remixes throw a few more stylistic twists into the mix. Rodion brings a bold, bleepy analogue vibe to his version of "Ritorno", while Timothy Heretic Clerkin gets a little acidic in his revision of "Andata", rounding out a strong EP of maximal dance music for the modern age.
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: Italian artist Paul Santangelo has been having fun messing with the sometimes po-faced traditions of the house music scene through a raft of home made productions on SoundCloud, but now with his Venetian Causeway label he's able to prove the clout to be found in his music. On this 10" the arch title "Generic House Traxx" actually does a disservice to the quality of the music contained within - Santangelo does a fine job of whipping up monosynth bass and ethereal pads astride an uptempo beat that, while familiar, has an atmosphere with considerable depth to it. "Please Him" on the B side goes further out on a mellow electro tip, plaintive leads and aqueous chords flirting with 808-style beats.
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.
Review: After a string of releases for Omena, Transatlantyk and Studio Barnhus, Wroclaw-based Naphta delivers his first EP for Maciek Sienkiewicz's FASRAT label. This is house music like you've never heard before - loose, freaky, hippie, voodoo machine funk, highly infectious grooves for any modern dancefloor. As always FASRAT delivers also a stunning artwork - this time by renowned graphic designer Ania Goszczynska.
Review: London-based Italian duo Konstress are back with their third release on their self-titled imprint, and it once again shows the pair progressing with a dynamic, detailed and original approach to stripped down dance music. The first track pits a stuttering groove against blown out keys and a smorgasbord of errant synth noises, and those noises jump across to the second track to plot a course through a highly textured, ominous soundscape where the drums have been left behind. The B1 track sports a tough, crooked groove and warm, sci-fi synth tones while the B2 takes a more eerie direction into deep and dingy techno. A classy, highly developed record for adventurous souls.
Review: Minuendo calls upon Vincent Inc and Danijel Kevic to kick off their latest single, and they do so in fine style with the luxurious sweeping chords of "Space". Twinkling pianos, speech samples and a carefully measured set of deep house drums make this the consummate slice of pool-side dance music for those who can still find some sun at this time of year. Lola Allen steps up to the B side with something a little more sassy in the shape of "Afrofusion Jazz". As the title might suggest, there's a mixture of influences tumbling into this track, most notably with some wildly filtered jazz organ and funk licks stewing in the pot, and just when you think it's going to break it swerves off into submerged Moodymann territory. This is unpredictable house music at its finest.
Review: Dating from tape recordings made between 1996 - 2012, Cosmic Vibrations follows the Tropical Psychedelics (ERS003) album for the label, this time digging deeper in to the mind of Secret Circuit than the more dance flor inspired sounds heard on last years album Tactile Galactics album for Beats In Space. Again we glimpse a melting pot of pyschedelia, techno, balearic and ambient to create an electronic gem, but all done with a wry smile and jesters wink rather than today's penchant of moody seriousness. Life on the US West Coast shines from the album, from opener Out West to She Got Love, sunshine music that couldn't be made anywhere else. It's not all hippy-happy vibes though with Minimal Vibrations and the dub of Straightline taking things in to deeper and instropective territory. However, all things resonate in Eddie's analogue meets kitchen sink synthesis. Layer after layer flats across the album to create a smile-inducing whole. Journeying from the folk guitar of Somnambulation to the minimilism of Glass Skeletons, before bidding a fond farewell in the apt, Bells. This second and fial collection of early cassette works is not an end, but a blessing.
Review: Ikeaboy is the intermittent project from Damian Tubbritt, who first debuted the moniker more than ten years ago. It's been a long while since any fresh material from this deep cover curio of oddball techno hit wax, but now Wicked Bass have done the honourable thing and gathered up this excellent trio of tracks. "Shape Memory" plies a funky line in squelchy bass and jangling delay trills, while "Living In The Future" opts for a more mysterious, pad soaked trip into spooked out electro. On the B-side "Dayna" sports some forthright drum machine beats and epic sweeps of synths that only serve to confound any expectations you might have about the sound of Ikeaboy.
Review: The Cyclist fires up his Tape Throb label for a sixth instalment of grubby, wayward sonics that pivot around a danceable axis while reaching to a higher plain of musical expression. There are plenty of psyched-out overtones bursting out of "Requite", and there's a rugged groove cutting its way through the dense thicket of ferric noise. "Chime" has a more tender approach in some regards, sporting a tropical lilt and sparser arrangement, but there's still plenty of space for artful distortion. "Brave New Wave" is a brilliant mish mash of peppy electro, early synth pop weirdness and that overall Cyclist sound that only he can conjure up. "Mackabee" goes in on that particular quality to finish the EP off in an evocative ambient lick sending out an SOS across a shoreline of grubby, tidal dub washes.
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.
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: 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: 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: Brothers Simon and Robin Lee have long excelled at the album format, delivering occasional sets that ripple with impressive musicality, sinewy strings, cozy downtempo moods and upbeat dancefloor moments. Body of One, their fourth full length (their first dropped on Nuphonic back in 1997), continues this trend, offering a compelling trip through the pair's myriad influences. After opening with a sweaty post-punk thumper ("Prisoner of Your Love"), we're variously treated to Italo-influenced vintage house ("Magic Touch"), rubbery disco-funk ("Freak For Your Love"), Arthur Russell-influenced tropical downtempo pop ("Caruso's Monkey House"), dreamy Balearica ("Floating World") and string-laden gorgeousness. As for the title track, it sounds like So-era Peter Gabriel.
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: 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: 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.