Review: Transatlantic twosome Billow Observatory (AKA Detroit-based Jason Kolb and Copenhagen resident Jonas Munk) tend to take their time over albums, but more often than not the results are worth the wait. "III: Chroma/Contour" definitely fits into this category. The result of two years of work, it bristles with effervescent soundscapes, delay-laden instrumentation, shape-shifting aural textures and gently unfurling compositions. Their particular brand of luxurious ambient music makes great use of Jonny Nash style glistening guitar sounds, the fluid chord progressions of Gigi Masin, the emotion-rich movements of Brian Eno collaborator Mark Shreeve and the synthesizer-fired dreaminess of 1980s new age composers. It's a stylistic blend that not only guarantees great results, but also some of the most beguiling and becalmed ambient music you'll hear all year.
Review: This steadfastly experimental three-tracker has its origins in a Hamburg instillation by F#X and Nika Son. That installation was created utilizing a battery of tape machines, broken synthesizers, cheap drum machines and their own manipulated vocals. The resultant tracks are dark, woozy, atmospheric, densely layered sonically, and devilishly hard to pin down. So while nine-minute A-side "Geroll" revolves around a manipulated, hip-hop style breakbeat, it's the ghostly electronics and curious effects that catch your ear. Flipside "Diptongues", seemingly created from densely layering up reversed vocal samples and creepy electronics, is even more impressive, even if it may inspire nightmares amongst the squeamish. Bizarre music concrete cut "Tenno" completes a fine package.
Review: Hidden Hawaii's Gilga offshoot - which was inaugurated with a fine EP by the great Legowelt - returns with their third release and this time it's by newcomer Parlament Der Fische, who delivers a fresh and provocative take on electronica. "Tape 1" is broken, jarring and barely held together by a swarm of metallic percussion and ultra-compressed kicks running in its underbelly. On the flipside, "Tape 2" unleashes a punishing low-end beneath aqueous synths and submerged melodies in what is surely the EP's finest moment. Dubby, abstract, dark and utterly recommended.
Sakamoto: Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence (Francesco Tristano rework)
The Mentor (feat Derrick May)
Infinite Rise (feat Derrick May)
In Da Minor (feat Derrick May)
Esoteric Thing (feat Derrick May)
Review: Derrick May's Transmat, a legendary label that has been producing some of the best, most mind-altering electronic music since the late 80s, returns with a highly unexpected album by Luxembourg's Francesco Tristano, an artist who has always had one foot in electronic music and the other in neo-classical. Although this comes as a surprise, it's easy to understand why May would want to associate himself with such a talent; the producer's music is both so varied and well-consrtucted that it must be a dream come true for any artist to remix. In fact, aside from Tristano's own masterful productions on here, from the opening "Sakamoto: Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence" to "Rocco's Bounce" or "Xokolad", Derrick May himself appears across four tunes, all of them reminiscent of his Detroit golden days, and it's great to hear that he hasn't switched to an all-digital set-up. In fact, all the sounds on this superb album sound organic, full of life and, although the arrangements recall many of May's classic tunes, there's something new and compelling about them. Recommended!
Review: The second release on the Teklife label sees the latest album-length journey through footwork from collective mainstay DJ Earl. Obey artist Shepard Fairey provides the retina-searing artwork for Open Your Eyes and the music within leaves as much, if not more, of a lasting impression on the senses. Alongside contributions from fellow Teklife artists MoonDoctor, DJ Manny, Taso and DJ Taye, perhaps the most surprising individual involved in Open Your Eyes is Oneohtrix Point Never, aka Daniel Lopatin, who features on three of the album's tracks as well as being credited on mixing duties. After the celebration of DJ Rashad's legacy that launched Teklife, this second release sees the collective's position at the forefront of the footwork movement further reaffirmed.
Review: Surely one of the most fitting albums of the summer, Sabrina Malheiros's fifth LP Clareia undergoes some stately remix treatment as we move from open fields to sweaty clubs to party for the rest of the year. Three of broken beat's finest and most respected protagonists all play a role... Man of the moment Henry Wu gets woozy on the organs and widens the whole jam out into seven minutes of space funk, Dego and Kaidi Tatham's 2000 Black dig deep into the bossa dynamic with a Latin jazzy spiritual feel running throughout the momentum while CoOp founder IG Culture adds a little skip to the drums, dreamy plucks and bassline that won't stop bouncing. If it's bruk, don't try and fix it.
Review: It's been a while since Ikonika dropped a full-length excursion. In fact, Distractions is her first album since 2013. It largely sticks to the bass-heavy fusion script she's been perfecting since making her debut on Hyperdub back in 2008. That means attractive and weighty R&B and hip-hop beats, aural ticks lifted from techno, the surging low-end movements that mark out British-made dance music, and occasional blasts of boogue-flavoured synth riffs. Pleasingly, the guest list of vocalists and collaborators includes MC Jammz, Andrea Galaxy, Jessy Lanza and Night Slugs' Sweyn Jupiter, all of who make fine contributions to enhance Ikonika's "futurist and industrial" approach.
Review: Soma regular SLV is the epitome of techno cool; a producer who eschews press coverage and instead just serves up regular musical missives from his East Berlin studio. "Berlin: A Portrait In Music" is the shadowy producer's second full-length outing following last year's largely club-focused "Origin of Light" on Virgo. It has a very different feel to its predecessor, with SLV offering up a series of atmospheric ambient cuts built around evocative field recordings, gentle melodies, ghostly chords, crackling aural textures and occasional delay-laden percussion hits. While there is some contemplative positivity - see the impeccable sound design of "Forest Voices" and Jonny Nash style bliss of "Mirage" - the majority of the album is surprisingly poignant and melancholic, with SLV embracing the solitude and loneliness sometimes associated with living in a major European city.
Review: He may now be 72, but legendary highlife vocalist Pat Thomas still has the desire to make new music. In fact his previous set, 2015's "Pat Thomas & The Kwashibuu Area Band" - a collaboration with producer Ben Abarbanel-Wolff, storied Ghanian highlife bandleader Kwame Yeboah and musicians including fellow West African heavyweights Tony Allen and Ebo Taylor - is arguably one of the strongest albums of his lengthy career. This belayed follow-up is equally as inspired, with the golden-voiced Ghanaian vocalist providing the attention-grabbing focal point throughout. Yet while Thomas's vocals are as sublime as ever, it's the quality and detail of the accompanying music - a mix of laid back and dancefloor-ready highlife in the style he made famous in the 1970s - that really stands out.
Review: Par Avion collective member Agrippa returns with his first full release since last year's "Mygraine Urgraine". Once again getting playful with his titles, once again covering some vast and unforgiving terrains, each of the four cuts takes you to a different corner; "Squid Girls" is an aquatic bashy piece with its techno tendrils lashing wildly, "Dead Wait" is pure crushed stomps with a crunchy warehouse vibe while "Spice Raiders" takes us deep into techno territory; loopy, paranoid and laced with unnerving sound designs before "Scabs" brings us to a fractured close as the 'hot pick' of the EP (not sorry). Time to get Agrippa yourselves...
Review: A beautiful repress that celebrates Nigeria and America's contributions to funk music, "Move!" is taken from Eno's 1982 album Living In The USA. Taking the rudiments of his African schooling, the drummer/guitarist/singer turns his hand to early rap on "Move!" over a sleazy funk beat that shimmers with minute echoes of highlife deep in the background. "Hot Love" follows up this fine fusion with a more upbeat 80s pop boogie focus. Big bass and reverbed vocals, it's going to sound great on your next dancefloor.
Review: Of all the delightful curveballs FXHE pulled last year, coaxing 90s Swedish techno producer Patrik Sjeren out of hiding to contribute to a Omar S release was the least expected. Detroit obviously favours the producer as Aaron Siegel's FIT Sounds operation now presents a full eponymously titled EP of new Sjeren material. The Swede's dalliance with Omar S on that 998 12" last year feels like it's inspired him as the four tracks here sound as diverse as a FXHE release and are held together cohesively by Sjeren's veteran production touch. Lead track "Lowdown" throws around a fractured female vocal edit and playfully shining keys over a smooth yet bumping house groove whilst the driving "Trashed Funk" adopts a similar approach but feels a whole lot dirtier. Flip over and Patrik switches the emphasis to techno, heading down the analogue wormhole on "Code Black" and pulling us sideways with the hypnotic warblings of "Lumena".
Review: Founder of song-writing, production and engineering team Soulbeat Productions, Reavis has been involved in the background, penning songs for some of the biggest names for many years. His own bespoke instrument The Beat Thang has also been used the likes of Jermaine Dupree, RocWilder and Dallas Austin. Here Reavis shows his skills across a sexy six pack of slow-burning instrumentals. While we teeter over the edge of R&B and soul, the main emphasis is on hip-hop. Highlights include the cute synth horn parps on "Sticky" and the lolloping Brownswood style jazz riddim on "4 Ari". Instrumental grooves don't get much sweeter or succinct.
Review: If the smiley face clad centre label wasn't a sizeable enough clue, Happy Family is a new project from New York staples Eric Duncan and Justin Vandervolgen which sees the pair try their hand at acid house. Both are closely associated with disco edits of course, but if you've seen either DJ you'll know they are well up on all forms of dance music. This expertise is deployed perfectly on the two tracks here, with "Burnt" a relentless exercise in strobelit 303 madness that is a no brainer for the sweatiest part of a DJ set. They tone it down a bit on "Hard To Breathe" which despite the title is an altogether looser production with plenty of room between the tumbling drums and hypnotic lead synth lines.
Review: The Opal Tapes off-shoot Black Opal has certainly delivered the goods thus far, having put out EP's by Cloudface, Xosar and J.Albert, among others. Life's Track, the Italian duo made up of Dukwa and the always on-point Herva, appear on one of three inaugural releases to introduce the Black Opal White Label. These are five rugged, gritty and ready-to-use floor tracks for the more versatile of DJs, and here are our top three: "Harmonizer" for its tripping, speedy bombardment of steely percussion, "The Drumjazz Leader" because it reminds us of late '90s Metalheadz gone utterly wrong, and "Consequence" for its nutty, distorted feel. Hotly tipped!!
Review: The Zenker Brothers and their Ilian Tape venture get stronger by the minute, and here Marco flies solo with this latest EP, sounding in utterly rude health with it. "Geezin" is a distinctive opener, ditching standard 4/4 propulsion in favour of an airy drum machine arrangement infected with the slightest flurries of hardcore breaks and offset by wistful synth patterns. It's a curious combination that works magnificently, but for those wanting something a little more direct "Splifer" is on hand to deliver a more classically Zenker techno mantra. "Darai" brings the swing back in fine style, throwing down a chunky stomp to match the sizzling hats, and then "Lubiana" wrecks the surroundings with its magnificent pummel of low end percussion and gritty production values.
Review: Teste are back, but not without reminding us why they are so revered. Their track "The Wipe, originally released in 1992, is often credited as a forbearer to a style of techno described as bassline driven, and a style long championed by Munich label Prologue. So before Teste release any new music, Edit Select has extended their famous cut so the wormhole experience of "The Wipe" can last all the more longer. The real treat though is "Ascender", a brand new production between Teste and Edit Select which is similar to "The Wipe" only it swaps foreboding sounds for something lighter and the results are transcendental.
Review: The Voodoo Funk label returns with a 12" maxi single of sublime spaced out disco funk from Nigerian group First Planet which concludes their excellent Lagos Disco Inferno series. Lead by the inimitable bass playing and vocals of Willy Nfor, First Planet released just the one self titled album together back in 1980 for the Zanidisco label and two of it's highlights have been licensed for this Voodoo Funk platter. If you known Nfor for his previous band the Mighty Flames, you'll notice the decidedly more disco edge to First Planet (whose whole aesthetic was a subtle nod to Parliament) and both "Top Of The World" and "I Want To Thank You Baby" are high grade slabs of harmony heavy afro funk with neat little p funk undertones.
Review: ** Re(condite)press ** Ever a reliable source of restrained and chilling excursions into experimental techno, Recondite steps up to the burgeoning Dystopian label and brings a selection of tracks that fit the labels implied ethos like a glove. "Liberia" in particular stalks on a broken beat that is just barely audible underneath the clangs and decays of delicate industrial noises, exorcising all manner of minimal demons to an uneasy end. "Cleric" is more forthcoming with a solid 4/4 rhythm and a heartfelt arpeggio but still the vibe is quite a bleak one. "EC10" gets no sunnier, instead pitting morbid synth notes against each other while the rhythmic elements tick into the mix progressively with a healthy amount of weight behind them. "Equilibrium" rounds proceedings off with another study of planting melancholic moods within sterile textures, while those quiet but perfectly pitched drums provide the necessary framework.
Review: The good doctor San Proper adds Russia to his ever prospering discography, providing the Moscow label Arma Records with its eighth release in the shape of the Pet Master EP. If you are familiar with the Dutch producer's work, you'll know what to expect on the three tracks here with San Proper coming across like a randy Villalobos at times. The Barca Jack Mix of "Pet Master" is taut and groovy, with drums that smack your senses underpinned by heavy sub bass crunches, whilst the Tettero collaboration "35" is spacious house music that has that trademark San Proper fonk. There's hints of classic electroclash in final cut "Feline X" thanks largely to the killer punk funk bassline that's wedged deep into the channels.
Review: Genius Of Time and Running Back seems like such a perfect fit you wonder why the Swedish duo haven't graced Gerd Janson's label before now. It might be because Alexander Berg and Nils Krough aren't exactly the most prolific of duos when it comes to original material with only three EPs to their name since they inaugurated the Aniara project in such sublime fashion back in 2010. Fans of Genius of Time and John Talabot's DJ Kicks mix have added reason to engage in some vociferous rejoicing as the former's sublime offbeat number "Juno Jam" contribution to the latter release is centre stage on this 12". In addition to the A Side bliss of that Berg and Krough slip in two more percussive numbers on the flip which Running Back quite rightly point out would make "Joe Claussell proud".
Review: Tramp Records has stayed close to home for this release, reissuing two killer cuts from the 1981 album "Mittwochs In Marl" album by Tyree Glenn Jr. While he is American - his father, Glenn senior, was famously Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong's trombonist - Glenn Jr had moved to Germany (where he still resides) around the time that the album was recorded. Lead cut "Superbad" is a genuinely heavy, full-throttle funk beast, with Glenn Jr doing his best James Brown impression over an insatiable groove and rousing sax solos. "Ma(r)l Sehen", on the other hand, is a much more breezy affair - an instrumental jazz-funk outing rich in dueling sax and electric piano solos.
Review: Rounding up another year of dark experiments, Nervous Horizon invite Second Storey to bring 2016 to the warped, wrangled close it deserves. Hot on the heels of his "Bismuth" EP and Appleblim collaborations come three more adventures in pastures unclaimed: "Spin Cycle" is a grainy, decaying hypnosis loop, "Critters" is the type of two-step the devil dances to while "Sludge 3D" is a pounding slab of lo-fi fuzzy techno that unravels into a brilliantly trippy drum arrangement. Three tracks, three tales, one Storey.
Review: Leon Revol is a producer from Bordeaux, France. Formerly known as Leonid. (with a full stop) some of you may know him from his releases on labels such as personal and Boutade Musique. Under his birth name this will mark his second release since last year. On the A side we've got the deep, jazzy and soulful jam "Far With A Van" which kinda reminds us of those summery jams from the early noughties by Ian Pooley and St Germain. Also on offer is the sublime and ethereal with its reversed guitars semi-showgaze style, dusty beats and all round emotive elements bound to get some smiley faces on the dancefloor. On the flip an honorable mention to the dubby and hypnotic bliss of "St James" which takes it down a notch or two in great style.
(Soul) Rebel 23 (Reginald Omas Mamode IV remix) (3:30)
Snake Eyes (Ishmael Ensemble remix) (8:11)
Review: If you've not yet got your ears around Roger 'Chip' Wickham's sensationally sunny, jazz-fired "Shamal Wind" mini-album, we suggest you check it out post-haste. In the meantime, Lovemonk has reminded us of its magnificence via a new set of reworks from some seriously hot producers. Max Graef handles side A, first serving up a chugging, mind altering and heavily percussive "Bongo Mix" of "Soho Strut", before reaching for the sub-bass and fizzing, juke-tempo jazz rhythms on the bonkers but brilliant "Bass Mix" of the very same song. Over on the flipside, Peckham beat-maker Reginald Omas Mamode IV serves up a dusty, Rhodes-laden take on "(Soul) Rebel 23" featuring his own soulful vocals, before Gilles Peterson favourites Ishmael Ensemble mix live jazz instrumentation with rolling house beats on a sublime revision of "Snake Eyes".
Groove Sequence (Ashley Beedle North Street remix) (6:46)
Bel Air (4:43)
Review: Licensed from French label Nymphony, F*CLR are proud to present Blazers Groove Sequence EP - four tracks of sublime French house. Real name Timothee Suillaud, he is a DJ/producer from Paris. Classic, Strictly Rhythm styled stateside grooves on the title track which gets a seriously discofied, funked-up and superfly remix by legend Ashley Beedle, some super sexy deep house for the late night on "Side2Side" and a lo-slung boogie-down vibe on the slo-mo antics of "Bel Air".
Review: Yoshi is a Viennese house and techno label run by rol:e and Moxx. After recent releases from Buffered Multiple, Dan Lodig and Digilog, the crew are back with an impressive various artists EP here. Kicking off Leiwandizer Vol. 1 is none other than German legend of the underground S-Max with "Ghetto Fabulous Itemz" where he serves up more of his renowned minimal funk, MAD (aka Digilog & Moxx) give us the trippy old school techno bounce of "Severus" and Nino Sebelic channels the classic Jeff Mills/Axis Records sound - in all its majestic and hypnotic glory on "Rose Dreams".
Review: American expat in Berlin Lando has been quite the success story. Since moving to the German capital several years ago, he's been a regular fixture on the local circuit, praised for his energetic DJ sets and great releases for the likes of Hotflush and his own Myth Music imprint. Fast forward to 2018, the California native releases his next killer on DVS1's always reliable Mistress with four functional cuts on the Hutch EP. They take their cues from house and techno and somewhere in between. From the emotive title track, the fierce rhythmic jack of "Ceremony" or the deepy hypnotic DJ tool "Tonight We Land" calling to mind the early sounds of Robert Hood's M-Plant.
Review: Entrepot Records is a Brussels based imprint, founded in 2014 by UC Beatz - who some of you may know from his Underluxxe digital label The idea here is simple: to release raw house beats on wax. For their eighth edition the label chez himself takes on duties, with some fine slo-mo house grooves - perfectly suited to late summer nights. The A side features the lo-slung boogie down vibes of "Rainbows", but the real dancefloor burners belong to the flipside. The looped-up disco inferno "Playground" is covered in just the right amount of dust and grit that would make Phil Weeks stand up and notice, while the sultry "Nocturne" is a crafty edit of a fine vintage track that's rather familiar indeed.
Review: Polish producer DJ Krime last appeared on wax almost four years ago, serving up a smorgasbord of hip-hop inspired beats cuts for U Know Records. Here he changes tack dramatically, impressively fusing elements of lo-fi house, Dance Mania style ghetto house and melodious deep house. He sets out his agenda on the ever-building, acid-fired heaviness of "Keep It Real", before tickling himself into a giggly frenzy on the saucer-eyed, smile-inducing goodness of "Chi-Town Music", where restless snare-drum fills ratchet up the energy level throughout. Turn to side B for the insanely weighty, sub-heavy booty-house business of "Dizzy Man (Original G-House Mix)" and the slamming, ghetto-house pump of "Rock Da Tekkno". In two words: rock solid.
Review: Following a brief hiatus, DVS1's Mistress Recordings label returns with its' first release of 2016. Something To Show You is an expansive, two-part E.P fron Nick Lapien, the Dutch producer who has previously impressed with solo 12" singles under his surname on Bliq and Finale Sessions, along with work as Metropolis and part of Artefakt. There's much to enjoy on this first part, which sees Lapien deliver trippy, late night workouts that sit somewhere between ultra-deep house and Detroit techno. It's an atmospheric formula that works wonderfully, particularly on "Something To Tell You" - where bluesy vocal samples weave their way around a deep, locked-in groove - and the up-tempo bump of tech-house hustler "No Good".
Review: It's been a great year for Belgian basssmith Zygos. Having kicked off the year on Chad Dubz Foundation with the "Future" EP and appearing on Encrypted, Rarefied and Subaltern throughout the year, he now ends 2017 with another precision sub-low serenade. "Erf" is the creeper of the set, all foggy and graveyard stomping, "Nostromo" is the emotional moment with a swooning slo-mo Q&A that's pregnant in hope while "Agite" plays the consummate cosmic piece with sci-fi flurries zipping back and forth over a loosely-hemmed drum arrangement. Finally "Dwaas" ends on a motely note as Zygos teams up with Tosti for a sense-rattling finale where the percussion is scattered over the bass in a funky cascading way. Time to fly.
Review: Romanian rising star Dragosh Halangescu has had a consistent career spanning the last decade, appearing everywhere from powerhouse imprints like VIVa Music, Desolat and Circus and these days going further underground with appearances on Curtea Veche, Memoria and Otaku. This gives you an indication of where he's at these days. His new offering entitled Paradox Action Vivid comes courtesy of promising new Spanish imprint No Time For Love, that has previously issued works by Egal 3 aka Vid, Gabriele Mancino and Iuly.B. Rolling and hypnotic afterhours faire here on the minimalist tip - as you'd have probably expected. In particular the trance inducing esoterica of "Obliu" or the reductionist mini-funk of B side cut "Trigtime" which will appeal to fans of DBX or Pantytec.
Rapha Pico & The Signal One Band - "Lead The Way" (4:58)
The Signal One Band - "Lead The Dub" (4:55)
Review: The Signal One Band formed in 2017 after a bunch of local regular session musicians linked up after meeting at Earth Works Studio in Amsterdam. Between them the gang has worked with big names from the worlds of ska, reggae and dubstep, and all this goes into a crucial melting pot that brews up the old and new, finished off with a warm vintage aesthetic. Their new label is minted with a rumbling, roots tune that has lush trumpets and billowing chords cushioning your daily grind. The dub on the flip is even fatter and perfectly easy to get lost in.
Review: Little is still known about Butterfred besides the fact that their melting pot can withstand a lot of ingredients and influences. From lo-fi hip hop to grime to dancehall to UKG to bass to Detroit to bare naked experimentalism, the flavours are tangible. They also seem to be pretty prolific as this is the second album in less than a year. And, just like LP 1, it's a beguiling, far-reaching experience that spans from the broken b-boy grunts of "Make It Work" and "Now You Know" to the glacial slo-mo techno of "Magnesium" and the oceanic bliss of "Shove It". Vast and stark; we can believe it's Butterfred.
Review: Arthur Miles from Adelaide in Australia is next up on Seb Wildblood's new imprint named All My Thoughts. After a couple of releases for homeboys Untzz Twelve Inch, these four cuts of deep electronica are awesome. You would be forgiven for thinking that the title track is an ambient journey: it's just a long intro that you'd wish went for longer (it's so sublime) but then that deep boogie vibe comes creeping in with some serious cowbell action, '80's synth presets and glimmering arpeggios: it's all quite wonderful in all its neon lit glory. On the flip though, it's certainly all about the ambient house epic "O.O.T. Jam" featuring some celestial pads over its fiercely restrained breakbeat action: prepare to delve deep into the esoteric here!
Review: Through These Eyes come through our ears and into our brains with maximum pleasure results. This time with Italian-in-London Noh Vae who builds on his sterling work with labels such as Modern Ruin and Terra Null with four more unidentifiable beats. "Flow" kicks in with halftime ghetto grit, all mentasms and loopy vocal punches, "Shaka" glides through space with a touch of the Skeppies to its icy off-beat groove while "Double Standards" takes us up to around 170 with a real low-slung purring Vromm-style sense of predator menace. Remix-wise Belgian dub don Digid rips up "Shaka" and rebuilds it on a smouldering 160 halftime beat. Noh Vae... No worries.
Review: Fuzzy lo-fi electronics with a strict hardware/analogue focus courtesy of UK producer Polly Moneaux on local imprint Let's Go Swimming. The London label have been causing quite a stir as of late, not just for their respectful reference to the late/great Arthur Russell, but also for their interesting line ups at their parties at Stoke Newington's Waiting Room. The lush ambient opener "Out The Other" is the perfect introduction to the stomping and fuzzed out "Wet On The Wheel". There is quite a bit of variety on here; the noisy industrial/experimental cut "Send In The Drones" cleanses the audio palette to make way for the deep electro jam "Lunch With The Girls" until the lovely closer "This Into That" provides a nice contrast.
Review: Ms Cardini presents four more fabulous excursions in indie dance music, courtesy of her always reliable house of Correspondant. Following up the first volume which had some highly valued contributions courtesy of Khidja and Jonathan Kusuma, the second edition features hot Tel Aviv duo Red Axes with the dark disco odyssey of "Earth Core" and Fort Romeau's surprising appearance on the A side. The flip showcases the fresh sound of Colli Alban firstly. His track "Walking In The Night" is a real highlight, where he serves up some darkwave slo-mo trance. Finally label staple Javi Redondo impresses as always on the dreamy and hypnotising groove of "Heroin" channelling the majestic vibe of fellow Cologne label Kompakt.
Review: Previously spotted on Boomarm Nation, Turkish bass experimentalists make their debut on Innamind's Blacklist imprint with four of the nuttiest, most far-out tracks you'll hear this season. Sitting somewhere between Modeselektor and Squarepusher but with dubbier roots, highlights include the tripped out harmonic headiness of "Heavy Machyn Gun" and "Phix", the slo-mo white knuckle ride with fellow Turk Gantz. Off the planetary hook.
Review: YES! We'd been waiting on this collaboration from UK start vocalist Wiley and shadowy electronic pioneer Zomby for a long time now, and it's about time it's landed on our shelves. "Step 2001" is a straight-up grime piece, a clicking, twisted groove made up of darting hi-hats and pacman sounds; you know when they say "they don't make them like they used to!"? Well, this doesn't apply here, as it's a serious head-dive back into the early noughties scene. There's also an instrumental version for maximum damage.
Review: Hot Digits head honcho Fingerman now launches Wax Digits, bringing his killer re-edits to the vinyl format and inaugurates the series in great fashion by recruiting some homeboys and Aussie legends alike, such as DJ HMC under his Late Nite Tuff Guy guise; he edits the Malcolm McLaren classic on "My Buffalo Girl" for modern dancefloors. Perth drum and bass legend Greg Packer it seems has turned his deft hand to disco re-edits of late and "Another Night" is a great one of The Peech Boys classic on West End Records. Five Valleys collective Situation do pretty sweet remix of a certain Diano Ross classic on "Thru The Mirror.
Review: Omar S' Detroit proud FXHE now has a staunch reputation as one of those buy on sight labels for a reason. This new release by rising star John FM follows up the well-received Alone and Where My Roots Lie EPs. Starting with the soulful machine funk of "Jehks" truly capturing the sounds of the city of industry in its heyday. There's then the fine R&B jam of "Motion" somewhat reminiscent of Theo Parrish & Andrew Ashong, but it's his smooth vocal delivery which undoubtedly makes it his own! On the flip, the mysterious and melancholic Omar-S remix of "Alone" is absolutely sublime, but just wait for the tough acid fuelled groove of "Gump" which truly takes it home in right fashion.