Review: Heavy rotation: Belgium badman Zygos returns to Foundation Audio with a full range of sounds. Three tracks, three vibes: opener "Rotation" is just as much of a techno jam as it is a dubstep track, all rolling motion and layers of percussion, "Sick As A Dog" brings the graveyard ghetto vibes, all spooky pads, groaning bass and rattlesnake snare rolls while "Tumble Dub" closes business on much more of a traditional halftime swagger vibe but with a mechanical hook that lives up to its name. Loopy business. Zygos always smashes it.
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: Brawther's Negentropy label has already carried gold star material from Ron Obvious and the man himself, and now it's the turn of debutant producer Zweizig to show off his wares. This assured 12" leads in with the ambient intro "Gewissen" before the crisp minimal funk of "Rhythm Tension" kicks in with its shimmering and shuddering sound design pinging around the dexterous beat. "Zephyr" is a smoky affair with a snappy broken beat and lots of subtle organic matter writhing in the middle distance. "Rehash Repeat" takes things deep and dubby to complete the set, all mellow hiccupping rhythm accents and hazy melodic phrases.
Review: Sleazy McQueen's always reliable Whiskey Disco is back with its 61st edition, featuring Ukrainian editor Alex Zuiev. The man from Mariupol first appeared on the label back in 2017 and he's become a staple of sorts - as this will be his fourth for the Florida based imprint, in addition to appearances on Editorial, FKR and Spare Change. The Flying Objects EP features the rowdy late night disco of "Trenitalia" which is sure to get the crowd dancing on the ceiling, while on the flip prepare to get deep down and dirty on the lo-slung oddity of "Soul Fire" - which is perfect for late hours.
Review: Having previously impressed with two suitably atmospheric EPs on Propersound, Zug has decided to launch his own imprint. This label debut is naturally rather delicious, with the producer offering up a quartet of analogue-rich cuts that effortlessly combine the sci-fi sounding futurism of Detroit with the comforting melodiousness of Larry Heard. Such is the quality throughout that picking highlights is tough, though we're particularly enjoying the gentle grooves and alien melodies of "Constancia" and the suitably dubby, intergalactic pulse of EP opener "Alegria". Elsewhere, "Bienestar" combines bleeping melodies, dreamy chords and shuffling, tech-house style beats, while "Celebracion" sees him wrap far-sighted electronics around a bustling, two-step influenced rhythm track.
Introspective - "When The Rain Comes Down" (feat Jenifa Mayanja - Michael Zucker Finale mix)
Review: Finale Sessions founder Michael Zucker steps into the limelight with his first full EP for the label in the five years it has been running. Zucker has of course featured on a handful of split releases from Finale but he doesn't waste any of the space afforded here with a quartet of superb and varied productions. Leading the way, techno track "His Spirit" bristles with life and percussive energy whilst "Inner City Peace" will likely raise some interested eyebrows in West London thanks to its killer broken beat programming. Face down, Zucker dips into his personal archives for an unreleased and rather crisp remix of Introspective and Jenifa Mayanja hookup "When The Rain Comes Down" whilst the wonderfully named "Spiritual Graffiti" ends the release on a high note.
Review: Noiztank co-founder Zosima has been surprisingly quiet of late, with his last release of note - the suitably intense and dystopian "Apropos Of The Wet Snow" - dropping back in 2017. As the title suggests "Live Cuts I" is made up of fuzzy, lo-fi workouts that were recorded to tape during live shows in Madrid, Berlin and Vienna. All four are suitably atmospheric and spontaneous in feel, in keeping with the producer's sweaty, hardware-driven performances. What you get is full-throttle industrial techno full of head-mangling distorted drums, rhythmic white noise and - on the clandestine "LC3" and paranoid "LC1" - a sliver of wild-eyed melodic intent. Not for the faint hearted, but well worth your attention if you like your grooves raw, ragged and full-throttle.
Review: It's may seem that deviant disco champs par excellence Bahnsteig 23 are already toasting to their 50th release, but in truth their catalogue started at 23 so don't be fooled. Instead, just feast on another salvo of seedy body music from Ziggy, which leads in with the synth-soaked pump and thrust of "Trance Gigolo" before switching to the sassy 80s funk of "Yo Let Her". Things are just as cool and deadly on the flip as the slap bass electro meanderings of "Amfobia" brew up a post-punk disco delight with a schlocky horror twist, and "Freaky Leaches" leaves things on an ominous note via a swampy trip through the mangroves with only a steady ticking rhythm section for company.
Review: White Peach daddy Zha returns to his own persy bakery for more dread bread bass. Every bit as tasty as previous Naan excursions, it's another eastern banquet; "Floating" is soft, spacious, spongey, singular and liable to sweep any wavey people right off their feet. "Shower" flips the vibe entirely for a bashy, reverse string splash-about while "Father" is a head-first drive down a shimmering sitar rabbit hole. "Jaan" sends us packing on a magic carpet of hang-drums, deep mystic pads and gentle strings. Life affirming.
Review: Hot on the heels of Phil:osophy's latest treasure trove comes another bounty of bliss from Artificial Intelligence's Integral. This time with old friends Zero T and longstanding vocalist Steo. "Can't Hide" is pure soul heaven; delicate layers of Steo's harmonies arranged softly over a spacious beat and lilting pianos, it's T and Steo at their most evocative and feel-heavy. "Make Time" kicks with more urgency as techno-like synths stab hypnotically, balanced by Steo's falsettos and gently rising instrumentation. Elsewhere the unstoppable Monty gives their evergreen 2016 soul-out "Too Close To See" a bittersweet twist. There's no hiding from this one.
Review: Last year, Zero 7 duo Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker returned after three years with an eponymous retrospective of career highlights. It now appears that they were tidying up a few loose ends before their real return, which begins with "Aurora", their first new single in four years. A little less drowsy and happily stoned than much of their previous work, the title track is a wonderful chunk of lilting ambient pop with subtle folk undertones, spacey electronics, distinctive vocals and a sprinkling of psychedelia style backwards instrumental parts. "Mono", meanwhile, is similarly impressive, sitting somewhere between slacker indie, Terry Callier and lo-fi Afro-pop.
Review: Sweden's Local Talk is a label that is not afraid to go beyond the classic 4/4 sound formula to explore different styles within house music. Following up some great releases by the likes of Soulphiction, S3A and Boddhi Satva, their next release is by genre pushing, London-based legend Dean 'Saint' Zepherin whose legacy goes way back to 1988 when he released "Give Me Back Your Love" under the pseudonym Boyz In Shock - which is credited as the UK's first soulful house record. The A side holds the nu-jazz flavoured soul explosion of the title track that's sure to get some great vibes happening on the dancefloor, followed by the sensual Latin flavour of "Flying High" on the flip - which is perfect for those long hot summer nights to come.
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: Having spent the last couple of years concentrating on his collaborative Zenker Brothers project with brother Dario, Marco Zenker has decided the time is right to deliver a new solo 12". Predictably, he hits the mark from the off, successfully blending starburst chords and loose, clattering drum machine rhythms on the tech-jazz influenced "Amb-01". Those looking for a more metronomic, 4/4 club techno roller should check the bounding kick drums and restless hi-hats of "Isolated". B1 cut "First Feeling" sounds like a Motor City techno take on The Orb's 1989 classic "A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain", while closer "Motion" is little less than a sparkling, sunburst tribute to classic, hardcore-era breakbeat techno.
Review: Over the last four years, Toulouse twosome Zendid have maintained a steady release schedule, dropping highly regarded EPs on such labels as Elephant Moon, Infuse, Timeframe and Discobar. Here they return to the latter label with a fresh four-track missive. As the title suggests, opener "Space" tends towards to intergalactic, with futurist electronic beeps and weightless chords clustering around a rolling, sub-bass-heavy tech-house groove. "Virgin Virgin" is a deeper, looser and slightly warmer mid set box jam, while "Berlin 6" is a stripped-back, funk-fuelled stomper rich in glitchy stabs and mind-altering bass. The EP also includes a tasty bonus in the shape of Maayan Nidam's smooth, deep and bass-heavy remix of "Space".
Review: Sex Tags Mania chief Sotofett has had an ongoing friendship with Sydneysider Carlos Zarate, since appearing on the latter's Thug imprint with their collaborative Planetary Involvement EP back in 2016. Much like their previous outing, Arjun is another brazen tribute to the classic sounds of Detroit techno. From the classic hi-tech soul aesthetic of the title track with its celestial pads backed by bombastic electro-bass beats, plus sleazy G-funk leads. Speaking of which, the intergalactic funk of "Afroz" likewise gets its bass-heavy boom on, with melancholic strings and a wonky synth bass that's reminiscent of the Motor City's first wave - in particular Derrick May's Rhythim Is Rhythim releases.
Review: Rising star Al Zanders (real name Alex Buchan) returns to action, with regular vocalist Sheyi getting a shared credit for the very first time. Her contribution to A-side "Get It Together" is particularly strong, with her distinctive vocals perfectly complimenting Zanders' ear-catching combo of jazzy broken beat grooves, Maurice Fulton style electronics and cosmic soul synths. The bruk-up synth-soul vibes continue on near Balearic B-side opener "Satisfy", before Zanders abandons all caution with the ten-ton sub-bass, crunchy drum machines and sweaty broken beat rhythms of late night delight "GIT (Dub)", a notably heavier instrumental revision of the A-side opener.
Review: Argentina's Andres Zacco has form with Ilian Tape, debuting on the Zenker Brothers-helmed label back in 2011. Zacco is back in the IT fold, but this time it's through the label's X Series, a chapter reserved to more spontaneous white label action. As such, "Thaw" is a sublime mass of percussion riding solo on a soundscape, before being punched into shape by a powerful kick drum, while "Quirt" is more of a stripped-back techno slitherer for DJ tool use. Flip the wax and you'll find the weighty kicks and morphing sonics of "Beighty", alongside Ilian Tape's Rupcy's distorted, big room reinterpretation of "Thaw". All killer, no filler.
Review: Exos' label X/OZ continues to grow as a distinct voice in the world of minimal techno, this time around inviting Russian producer Nikita Zabelin to explore his sound with a sizable EP of finely crafted techno and thought-provoking ambience. "Confusion" is a consummate slice of hypnotic techno crackling with heavily processed energy, while "Pluton" drifts into rich beatless territory. There's more experimental fare afoot with the fractured tumbles of "Curtains", but "Trans Siberian Express" is on hand to lock things back into a sturdy rhythmic framework. Exos also takes the time to remix "Brooklyn Train" into a noirish dub techno workout.
Review: Z Lovecraft (AKA Rhythm Section International family member Mali Baden-Powell) made his debut last year via an EP on No Bad Days that cheerfully joined the dots between acid, deep house, hip-hop and early hardcore style breakbeats. There's a far mellower feel to this three-track outing on Guru Meditation, even if breezy opener "Verge Dub" does underpin jammed-out electric piano chords and dreamy electronics with shuffling breakbeats and a bustling sub-bass motif. "Arklight Dub" joins the dots between dub techno and spacey deep house, while nine-minute B-side "Hannah's Theme (Bliss Version)" is the kind of fluid, exceptionally picturesque shuffler that could have come from the studio of one of Italy's leading dream house crews during the ambient house era.
Review: Yoyaku Distribution's matter-of-fact YYY series continues to impress, delivering a third "mystery" 12" of the year to date. The un-credited producer gets straight down to business on side A, wrapping darting melodies and liquid electronics around fizzing cymbals, undulating kick drums and warm bass in an outer-space tech-house style. There's a slightly darker and more energy-packed feel to the flipside track, whose staccato percussion hits, restless drum machine handclaps and back-alley stabs sound like they were created with sweaty basement dancefloors in mind (despite the presence of the series' usual fluid chords).
Review: French producer Yuksek has released rather a lot of music over the last 15 years, though this appears to be his first ever collection of re-edits. You'll want to check tasty opener "How I Love To Dance", a lolloping rendition of a quirky and obscure disco number rich in Patrick Adams style instrumentation and well-placed dub delays, while the drum-heavy "The Beat" features waves of wonky percussion, a pulsating bassline and plenty of sweaty FX. Elsewhere, "Think Of You" is a head-bobbing revision of an AOR disco/disco-rock cut that sounds like it could have been re-edited by Eric Duncan, and "Dance In Disco" is a seductive Gallic disco chugger rich in heavily accented English vocals and jazzy electric piano solos.
Little Birds, Moonbath (feat Michelle Helene Mackenzie) (6:06)
Tipu's Tiger (feat Pender Street Steppers) (10:11)
Of Yesterday (instrumental) (5:37)
The Ultimate Which Manages The World (4:40)
Words Without Sound (6:09)
Review: With a drowsy, loved-up trademark sound that sits somewhere between the beach, bedroom and the dancefloor, Canada's Yu Su is a great fit for Music From Memory offshoot Second Circle. The resultant EP is arguably her strongest to date. She begins by enlisting the help of Michelle Helene Mackenzie, who provides a drowsy spoken word vocal on the ultra-deep and starry brilliance of "Little Birds, Moonbath". Fellow Vancouver residents Pender Street Steppers lend a hand on the deep and picturesque shuffle of "Tipu's Tiger", while "Of Yesterday (Instrumental)" sees Yu Su wrap meandering synth solos atop hazy chords and gentle tribal drums. Elsewhere, "The Ultimate Which Manages The World" is dubbed-out and effortlessly Balearic, while "Words Without Sound" offers up more intricate hand percussion and some sparse electronic elements.
Review: If you enjoyed Yu Su's brilliant EP on Second Circle earlier in the year - and, let's face it, who didn't? - there's a rather high chance that you'll enjoy her first outing on Ninja Tune offshoot Technicolour. "Watermelon Woman" is a superb chunk of bass-heavy house music positive - an inventive and hugely enjoyable fusion of unfussy drum machine rhythms, sampled tribal drums, toasty bass, dubbed-out effects, stargazing electronics, fluttering flutes and jazzy motifs that have just the right amount of breezy Latin flavour. The original version comes backed with a hazy and laidback Dub rework and a boisterous, off-kilter remix by Francis Inferno Orchestra that layers rubbery sounds and heady vocal samples above a skewed tribal house beat.
Review: Matlock maestro Ant Plate (he of Rhythm Plate fame) has been turning out edits, reworks and original productions under the alternate YSE Saint Laur'Ant alias for the best part of a decade. His release rate has slowed of late, though, with this Whiskey Disco outing marking his first release for almost a year. The material on offer is very strong, particularly lolloping opener "Just As Bad As You", a head-nodding revision of a Hammond-sporting soul jam that combines samples from an obscure 1970s cut with subtle new instrumentation. Other EP highlights include the gospel/dub disco fusion of bongo-riffic flipside opener "I Know I've Been Changed" and the percussive, jazzy, slow motion bumper "New York Paris", a killer groove marked out by layered congas, ear-catching double bass and fuzzy, post-punk style horns.
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: Recently seen moonlighting under the Sexazoid name on Sling and Samo's excellent Born Free label, Arvid Wretman returns to his more familiar project, Your Planet Is Next, on a rather fine debut for Studio Barnhus. Some four tracks deep, the YPIN adopts a charmingly naive approach to the tropes of early Chicago house, from the title tracks ("Do You Want To Freak?") to the usage of vocals throughout. If you're not familiar with Wretman's previous work as Your Planet Is Next then this single should demonstrate there is a real humour discernible in his music. Crucially, it is also perfectly suited to the dancefloor and DJs will love the chance to throw some of these charmingly obscure vocals into the mix. Fans of Legowelt check this!
Review: The second 12" on Moscow-based mystery label Private Persons comes from Youngg P, a Ukraine-based DJ/producer whose debut release dropped on Kiev House a couple of years back. On the four tracks showcased here, he shows a good grasp of analogue house and techno dynamics. "Carpathian Rave" is a quirky, off-kilter jacker rich in buzzing electronics, liquid acid riffs and bustling house percussion, while "Ocean" fits the stargazing electronics of vintage Motor City techno to the saucer-eyed melodiousness of vintage Italian deep house. Meanwhile, creepy flipside "War" sounds like it was inspired by a mix of L.I.E.S style distorted techno and 1980s industrial funk. As for closer "Masher Track", it's a full-throated exploration of clanking, drum machine techno.
Review: It would be fair to say that Young Pulse has been one of GAMM's most reliable re-editors of recent years. It's now almost four years since he made his debut and in that time he's released a quartet of must-have EPs of disco-fied, soul-fired reworks. Volume five contains just two tracks, but both are - somewhat predictably - very good. A-side "Strong Survive" is a veritable peak-time disco stomper, where punchy horns, soaring orchestration and guttural soul vocals are underpinned by a rambunctious disco-house groove. "Dreaming" sees our Parisian hero stretching out a killer SAM Records cut, making more of the seductive chorus vocals and mazy, jammed-out synth solos.
Don’t Take This Shit So Serious (feat Brothers' Vibe - original mix) (9:52)
Don’t Take This Shit So Serious (feat Brothers' Vibe - Brothers' Vibe remix) (7:44)
Don’t Take This Shit So Serious (feat Brothers' Vibe - acapella) (2:52)
Review: Finale Sessions is proud to bring you a fantastic release from Berlin's youANDme Feat New Jerseys Brothers'Vibe and we are excited because of the combination of this release and we start with the "Original "with its classic house appeal and the perfect vocals of Brothers' Vibe it is one for the peak time dance floors and then we have the Brothers'Vibe Remix and it is an amazing piece with its tribal drums and its super deep vibe this one is stellar part of the record
Review: More evocative and thought provoking music for discerning dancefloors, courtesy of Japan's always reliable Mule Musiq. This time it's courtesy of German duo Daniel Stroeter and Martin Mueller aka youANDme. They are a surprising addition to the label, considering their recent appearances for labels as diverse as Poker Flat to Nervous and even Gruuv, but if the Belong 12" can prove anything - it's that the duo has a strong diversity within their sonic repertoire. From the soulful and slow burning title track which features Black Soda's sensual vocals above the duo's majestic arrangement, to "Unbound" which is a deep, dubbed-out and introspective cut for heads-down moments in the early hours.
Review: Australian duo Yolanda Be Cool are back. The outfit behind the worldwide smash hit "We No Speak Americano" with DCUP in 2010 hail from Sydney, and are comprised of Sylvester Martinez and Johnson Peterson. They are back on local label Sweat It Out, an imprint that they have been stalwarts of for the last decade, in addition to releases for Dim Mak and Nurvous. "Musika" is a melodic and emotive deep house jam on an Afro and 'techy' tip - which will appeal to fans of the Innervisions sound. There are some great remixes too: Babert (Disco Revenge) delivers a very retro Italo house rendition, while Los Angeles based DJ Dateless goes for a classic '90s house perspective that dives deep.
Review: For his latest trick, London-based house producer Maik Yells has decided to tell tales of brave Ulises on Germany's fast-rising Taverna Tracks stable. He casts off into the unknown via the deep, woozy and gently spacey tech-house/deep house fusion of "Atopos", before foot-stepping into jazzier worlds via the swinging, crackling beats, warm bass and jammed out electric piano motifs of "Latika". Over on the back page (sorry, B-side), Ed Herbst delivers a sturdy but dreamy, ultra-deep dub of "Atopos", before "Yulises" sees Yells pepper a bustling, Robsoul style tech-house groove with weird noises and eccentric, Maurice Fulton style synth solos.
Review: KUMP's second multi-artist extravaganza - the Lyon-based label's first such exercise for two years -brings together tracks from a quintet of eccentric experimentalists. Clanking, horror-inspired creepiness is provided from the start via Jon The Baptist's lolloping "Hear No Evil", while those looking for some chugging, mid-tempo dancefloor sleaze should make a beeline for Maahrt's "Davardage". Elsewhere, Stove's "Chief of Nine Sisters" is an industrialist's take on tropical music with a suitably pagan twist, and Yssue and Yaws' contributions both sound like contemporary re-inventions of Nitzer Ebb style electronic body music (albeit with a touch more inherent looseness).
Review: The eagle-eyed amongst you may notice that the four cuts showcased here made up the first 12" of Indigo Aera's recent Lost Archives Special box-set. Like most of the rest of that expansive package, these tracks are exclusive and previously unreleased. The quality threshold is undeniably high: check, for example, the glistening, beat-less ambient positivity of Yamaoka's "Dragon Robe", and the glacial melodiousness of Skudge's rolling techno shuffler, "November". Those looking for a darker, slightly more intense take on techno should head for Museum's throbbing "RA", while label co-founder Jasper Wolff's "Float" is a study in classic, dub-influenced techno hypnotism.
Review: Yusuke Yamamoto is having a "Lovely Day", and so will you be if you pick up this 12". His first release of 2018, Yusuke Yamamoto lands on bubbling new French label Planet Gwer with four charming soulful house workouts. Each one tickling a different corner of the dancefloor's underbelly; the title track is a timeless Fingers-level walk through the park, laden with a sensual vocal hook and 20 summer's worth of feelgood and "Routine" is a slightly darker garage-inspired jam that sits somewhere between Kerri Chandler and Silicone Soul. Elsewhere "Take A Walk" struts with a little mid 90s Euro charm, all synth flares and positivity, while "Patching" jacks with a chunky, smoky twang that wouldn't go amiss on Robsoul. Lovely.
Review: If you're a minimal fan and don't know Yama Music, you've been sleeping. Their first three EPs flew off the shelves and into crates of heady DJs across Europe. Once again the eponymous Yama Music is or are behind the beats and it's forward thinking, no nonsense dancing music of the highest order. "Acisaronno" is proper tech house with delicate hi hats and steel plated drums making for a frictionless groove, while "Chinchilla Shuffle" is the sort of slightly wonky and oddball track that Craig Richard drops on the regular. Freaky, spaced out and atmospheric, tech house doesn't get much better.
Review: Paris-based Yakine was there at when minimal turned techy, and when techy was kept minimalistic. Ever since those late naughtiest years, the producer has been crafting his sound by searching for the perfect groove, and we think he's found it with this latest EP for the Disjoint label. These three tunes are more mechanical than his previous efforts; the opener "St Val 017" boasts a mean electro bass at its core, with "Each Day" also choosing to adopt a more brown loop beat a-la industriale, and "T Beat" pumping out more dread than dance grooves.
Review: Under the Yak alias, Steel City producer John Randall has previously plied his wares on Version, 3024 and R&S, offering up distinctively percussive tracks that sit somewhere between techno and bass music. His latest outing - this time for Phonica Records - delivers more hard-to-pigeonhole goodness for discerning dancefloors. Opener "Zip" peppers African style tribal drums and raw Motor City techno bass with the kind of ear-catching bleeps that were once a Steel City staple, before the jumpy and upbeat "Guevenne Groove" wraps positive, glassy-eyed synthesizer motifs around sweaty, loose-limbed live drumming. "Fret" is a spaced out, bass-heavy two-step number laden with intergalactic electronics and undulating bass, while closing cut "Gerudo" brilliantly joins the dots between tribal rhythms and shimmering deep house.
Review: Yadava made a sterling debut appearance last year with the fully realised "It Rains Here" album on Church, and now he's following up that strong start with this equally excellent four tracker for Ad Hoc. The Manchester-based artist leads in with the natural bump and flex of "Grapefruits" and his jazzy chops are plain to hear throughout. "Heart Strings" lets spiritual strings and plenty of reverb shape out a misty mood that it's impossible to resist, while "Camomile Samba" brings a more uptempo feel to his honey-coated production. "Go Slow" finishes the record off on a supremely mellow beat down for those oh-so-sweet chill moments after the party.
Review: Manchester-based DJ/producer Yadava hasn't been releasing music all that long, but what he has put out has been superb. Here he makes his first appearance on Omena with a mini-album every bit as inspired as his 2018 debut album on Church, "It Rains Here". As with previous outings, the showcased tracks are imaginative and evocative, with Yadava blending dreamy electronics and jazzy instrumentation with grooves that variously doff a cap to dusty deep house, West African and South American rhythms, jazz-funk and broken beat. Highlights are plentiful throughout, with the richly percussive "Earth Tones", bustling "Message From Poets", jazzy "Ixelles '42" and super-sweet "Good Mourning" standing out.
Hwe Hwe Mu Na Yi Wompena (Ben Gomori Message Of Love edit) (7:15)
Hwe Hwe Mu Na Yi Wompena (Ben Gomori Message Of Love live dub) (5:56)
Review: Afrobeat revivalists Yaaba Funk are getting a welcome new lease of life here, as the Sterns Edits crew turns in a trio of fresh reworks from their largely overlooked 2010 album "Afrobeast". Contemporary broken beat hero Danvers handles side A, turning in a swinging, hot-stepping revision of sun-kissed juju number "Oman Foa" that adds just the right amount of modern dancefloor clout to an otherwise perfect Afro-soul workout. Over on side B, Ben Gomori offers up two versions of "Hwe Hwe Mu Na Yi Wompena": a spacey Afrobeat/Afro-disco style peak-time "Message of Love Edit" and the arguably superior - and certainly impressively bass-heavy - "Message of Love Live Dub".
Review: It was over two years ago when Henrik Schwarz first revealed his remix of "Asembi Ara Amba", a 2015 cut by Ghanaian artist Yusuf Bayani and German funk stalwarts Poets of Rhythm under the alternative Polyversal Souls alias. Here the now legendary rework finally gets an official release. On the A-Side you'll find Schwarz's now-familiar "Version", where Bayani's superb vocals and sampled Afro-funk horns rise above classic-sounding (think Inner City circa 1989) electronic riffs, rolling house beats and a chunky, dub-wise bassline. You'll find an inspired, previously unheard bonus on the flip in the shape of Schwarz's 'Beatless' mix, which re-imagines the track as a spacey, other-worldly chunk of mesmerizing Afro-ambient.
Review: The original pressing of Subsequent Pleasures, the self-financed and ludicrously limited debut EP from Dutch darkwave pioneers Xymox (later to rename themselves Clan of Xymox), is notoriously hard to get hold of. Props, then, to reissue specialists Dark Entries for making it available again on vinyl for the first time since 1983. While this version doesn't include all of the tracks featured on the original, it does contain all the killers, including the electro-goth wooziness of "Going Around", the Joy Division-ish "Strange 9 To 9" and the superb synth workout "Call It Weird". It's one of those releases that should be an essential purchase for anyone with even the remotest interest in darkwave.
Review: Lecce-based Marco Erroi (Common Series) returns with more of his hot edits on the second edition of the XXXV series. There's a strong, lo-slung Blaxploitation vibe going on in this volume, opening with "B Movie" followed by some trippy acapella action on the reduced, spacey and almost cosmic "Not Just A Groove". Flip over for a respectful edit of a well-known classic ("Dancing" - no guesses there!) and closer "Karon" which goes well deep and spiritual with its sweltering Afro vibe, thanks to Erroi's on-point splicing techniques. Tip!
Review: The Poverty Is Violence stable are firmly established now as an essential conductor for rabid, rowdy and downright rasping mechanics from subterranean operators of all shapes and sizes. Anonymous but reportedly veteran Dutch producer XXX previously appeared on the label in 2016 with the wild Noorder Scannen 12", and now returns with a bludgeoning new release. There's a consistent metal grind to the percussion on Westzaan Doelen, while the synth tones in between tend towards the jagged and abrasive, there's space and poise in the arrangement to lift this out of knuckleheaded noise. "Don't Go After Her" reverberates with clamouring intensity while the beefy chassis of "Just The Two Of You" shimmers under an acidic glaze - this is full-tilt deviant music executed with finesse to match the grime.
Review: There's a certain mysticism that hovers around Piramide Registrazioni, with its occult symbolism, mysterious artists and fuzzy, vintage sound. Label protagonist Xinner has been previously spotted alongside S. Moreira on Phonica Records, but here is sharing valuable wax space on Piramide 2 with Autre and Hawaiian Chips. Autre's version of old-skool deep house has an interesting urgency about it, and Hawaiian Chips turns out shimmering electro of the highest order. It's Xinner's tracks that stand out the most though, with synths straining under the weight of their own wobblyness and beats that punch out in clouds of reverb fog.
Review: Gifted Culture Collective member and occasional S. Moreira collaborator Xinner has decided to inaugurate a new alias, Robotron, via a first EP for ESP Institute. The man-machine's first missive, "Dream Resonator", is rather delightful, and sees him warp chiming, crystalline synthesizer melodies and glassy-eyed IDM style chords around an inventive and entertaining rhythm track that sits somewhere between Drexciya style electro and jazz-fired broken beat. The same rhythmical dexterity is also at the heart of similarly rush-inducing flipside "Ice", where bolder melodies and chunkier bass catch the ear alongside some suitably futurist electronics.
Review: The Beeyou label strikes ahead with its third release, continuing to champion warm, musical deep house from a range of emergent producers. XHZ makes a debut appearance here with the epic "Jazz 2 Jazz", which progresses through a woozy nocturnal mood to wind up in an effervescent, Rhodes-soaked finale. Jake Flory keeps things simmering on the tracky but engaging "14th Groove", before following up with the effortlessly cool chord drops of "Distress". With melodious invention at its heart and the needs of the dancefloor well catered for, the Beeyou crew have delivered another essential package for discerning spinners.