Review: The lads behind Albion Records know a thing or two about where to look for fresh steps forwards in the minimal, house and techno scenes. After last year's Gab Jr release, they're finally back to hit number 10 with a double pack compilation that sets in stone what the label is all about. There's a lot to dig into here, but some of the standouts include the sharp and sneaky "Forgot Your Name" by Henry Hyde, the Boogizm-goes-electro freakery of Christian Jay's "Restive" and the swinging jazz surrealism of Phil Evans' "Hazard". With more than a little garage shuffle hovering over this release, it's set to be another huge one in all corners of the minimal tech house scene.
Review: Tomoki Tamura and Tuccillo are back together once again as Doublet, with both seasoned tech house champs having fun in the studio jamming out the kind of stripped back, heads down grooves you'd expect to hear them play out. "Tee's 8" is a cheeky A side jam with the kind of acid line that goes down easy and then works you from the inside out. "Three Thousand Men" has a slight dubby thread to it which sits comfortably amongst the sturdy groove of the drums, and then "Tentation" switches gears for a bright and melodic creation that skips around in funky syncopation without even needing to worry about a kick drum.
Review: Shahr Farang continues to blossom as a label, primarily as a vessel for the work of Sohrab Karimi and Rasul Gafarov, better known as Ahu and Lenta respectively. On this occasion, Ahu and Lenta have teamed up to present some intriguing clippings from two separate improvised studio jams. As is customary with the label, the primary mode of expression is minimal techno shrouded in hazy textures and atmospheric matter, but it veers more towards the kind of clicks and cuts you'd expect from a classic Scape record than anything geared towards the dancefloor. The steady tick of a 4/4 kick means this music isn't necessarily consigned to the headphones though - the right kind of warm up slot or backroom could be just the place to melt into these delicate productions.
Review: Adam Monti aka ADMNTi heads up 4Plae Records out of London and joins Casey Spillman (who just debuted on Infuse) for his label's fifth release. Monti opens with the hypnotic, bass-driven and swing-fuelled loops of "0207", a sublime groove reminiscent of iO (Mulen) or Jack Wickham, while Spillman's contribution comes in the form of the very UK influenced bounce of "Juice Appeal". This takes the best of 2-step and garage (and even the mandatory "rewind") to create a sexy serving of late night mood music. On the flip they flip the script, with both artists remixing each other's track and for what it's worth we reckon it's all about Spillman's remix of Monti's - tough rolling and functional tech house that's aimed squarely at the main room at peak time!
Review: Diego Krause is a key part of the effervescing Berlin underground thanks to his work as a DJ, producer and co-founder of Beste Modus. Here he steps out on Mulen's 20th EP with three slick tracks that perfectly straddle the divide between deep house, tech and minimal. Opener "Apogee" gets busy on supple drum programming with all sorts of astral pads spiralling round the groove and a burrowing bassline brings the funk. "Dive" hits harder but is still detailed with deft synths, alien motifs and warped pads that make it so much more than a purely functional track and the lithe and elastic closer "Dominion" is simply irresistible.
Review: Sahau is a quintet comprised of Bucharest scene hero Dan Andrei, with locals Paul Agripa (Ragrip) and Serban Goanta under their AK41 moniker - all highly respected DJs and producers within the Rominimal scene. The third collaborative effort on their Zimbru imprint and following up 2017's "As It Wasn't There EP", "Cielo EP" is awashed with mesmerising vibes from start to finish. The off-kilter broken beat hypnotism of opener "El Senor De Los Cielos" is as esoteric as you like over its meandering 15 minute duration, while B side "Fresno" is a deeper and groovier minimal funk effort which is perfect for getting weird at the afterhours. Closing cut "Cablung" is an introverted and bass-driven affair that takes a much darker and experimental turn but equally suited for one of those sleep deprived Sunday afternoon shenanigans.
Jamie Jones & Darius Syrossian - "Rushing" (extended mix) (5:43)
Jamie Jones & Darius Syrossian - "Rushing" (Afterparty Basement mix) (5:36)
Darius Syrossian - "Come On Come On" (extended mix) (6:33)
Darius Syrossian - "Kouka" (Warehouse Basement mix) (6:17)
Review: Jamie Jones and Darius Syrossian are both house heavyweights, but with very different vibes. It's fascinating that they have come together on this EP then, with their collaborative "Rushing" opening the EP in steamy fashion. It features a well worn vocal repackaged on bulky, bass driven house drums that are designed to get the crowd pumping their fists. The "Afterparty Basement Mix" is even harder hitting with some chords layered in for extra fun, then Darius goes solo on the flip for "Come On Come On", which fits in with his rolling, well sampled house style and is a sure fire crowd pleaser. The more stripped back and hypotonic "Kouka" is perfect for big spaces and bringing crowds together to march to a beat.
Review: EYA Records presents a double 12" of plush techno and house spanning styles, giving four producers the chance to showcase the breadth of their sound with two tracks each. Innershades brings emotive 90s swoon and peppy acid to the A side, before Two Phase U slips in a little uptempo robo-disco sauce and a feisty jack track. Otis takes things in the direction of wiggy proto-trance and bleep techno, and then Zots finishes up with freaky synth work dripping with mischievous personality. This is a set of tracks that demands to be noticed - don't sleep.
Review: Mysticisms' is delighted to reissue Nail's timeless debut release, Cassiopeia. Appearing on the DiY Collective's 'Strictly 4 Groovers' compilation album for Warp Records in 1993, the original appears as a stand alone at last and is backed with a specially created 2019 Remix. Starting in 1989 and centered around Nottingham, the collective, also known as DiY Sound System, were a focal point for the burgeoning house scene in the midlands. Promoting an alternative take on post-acid house's creeping commercialisation, DiY kept to simple ethos of good music and a good party and were at the forefront of the new Free Party movement. Alongside parties, the collective set up a studio and label and young Neil Tolliday was introduced by in-house engineer Damian Stanley. 'Nail' was born and during studio downtime, the 18 year old wrote Cassiopeia around the S1000 sampler, Juno 106, Oberheim Matrix 1000 and Roland SH101. Cassiopeia became the stand out inclusion on the compilation and rightly, is still highly prized. Fitting in and outside the Deep House vibe DiY were known, it fuses elements of ambient and even trance, with a beautiful arpeggio and vocal sample atop simple, but killer bass line and claps. Tolliday's 2019 Remix is a fitting accompaniment, stretching towards dub techno before house kicks back perfectly for today's heads. Bounce the Mystery.
Review: Amadeo Savio is next up on Vigenere, the label that has thus far presented a whole host of unknown names in the field of minimal techno all bound together by a shared classiness in their production style. Savio's approach is deep and dubby on opening cut "Isolat", one primed for the after hours. "Trance Later" has a slightly more forthright approach, but there's still plenty of mellow delights to be found in the synth department to keep you chilling. "Encor" heads into more typically minimal pastures, while "Kassion" explores broken beat patterns and fragmented samples with scintillating results.
Review: After a sold-out release on Courtesy of Balance which gained huge support and plays from some key DJs, Nat Wendell returns to his own imprint with another dancefloor heavy, 3track EP. "Reality" kicks of the 3 track EP with some pulsating stabs, mixed with trippy underlays over a swingy stripped back Deep House rhythm. Flip the record and you're presented with a bouncy, yet dubby adventure "Can't Stop". The title track "Renditions" doesn't let up with any of the deep energetic tones set. Here Nat teases out a deeper yet up tempo way to end the release.
Review: Arapu is very much one of the key Romanian artists of the moment. Of course, like his revered countrymen, that means techno that is elegant, minimal, and delicately detailed. His own take on the style is often littered with curious little motifs and trippy loops that also characterise this new one on heavyweight vinyl for Liniar. "Over" is a brilliant opener with languid Balearic guitar riffs echoing over supple drum work which will hook you in and encourage your mind to wander, whereas "A Gain" is a more direct, driving minimal techno cut with warped synths peeling off an urgent groove. "I" closes out with a funky undercarriage and dub house overtones that will get any basement popping off.
Review: UK dub techno maestro Steve O'Sullivan is back with another payload of deep immersion heaters under his Bluetrain guise, this time on the Future Primitive label. There's a deadly restraint at work on "Congo Shuffle", where the elements get reduced to needlepoint precision and the low end rhythm section stalks with purpose. "Invisible Guest" takes things in an explicitly dubwise direction, channelling serious Rhythm & Sound vibes for an immaculate head-nodder, before "Paralyzed Dub" slows down further into an end of the line skank for the weary to find solace in - masterful movements in the echo chamber from start to finish.
Bongneck - "The Robber's Daughter" (Ghiz Retouch) (6:06)
Makebo - "Unknown Beauty" (9:09)
Review: Moscow's Shanti Radio imprint has been on fine form of late, offering up must-check 12s from DSF, Lost Desert, Volen Sentir and many more. Here they offer up their first multi-artist EP of 2019, an undeniably attractive and ear-pleasing affair that effortlessly joins the dots between deep house, tech-house and more percussive tribal flavours. Highlights are plentiful throughout, with our picks including the string-drenched, bittersweet brilliance of Makebo's "Unknown Beauty", the sub-heavy throb of Ghiz's tasty rework of Bongbeck's "The Robber's Daughter" - all rolling hand percussion, insanely weighty bass and picturesque melodic flourishes - and the sunset-ready dancefloor bliss of Cornucopia's impeccable "Nature Boy".
Review: Sushitech's sub label Pariter has already released timeless records from the likes of Delano Smith, Steve O'Sullivan, Baby Ford and Norm Talley to name a few and this new release of the Romanian group Lisiere Collectif is no exception!
Unknown Credentials is a project of 5 tracks released on 2 single records. A sides on both parts are absolutely massive, acid lines and hypnotic chords peak time tracks that will shake any proper sound system with some serious bass extension! B sides are deeper and have more modern, fresh electroish vibe that we love!
Fans of Ricardo Villalobos & Craig Richards b2b sets are going to find it gold! Don't sleep!!
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.
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.
Poisoned Words (Ricardo Villalobos remix 1) (6:35)
Poisoned Words (Ricardo Villalobos remix 2) (13:39)
Review: The Mandar dream team of Lazare Hoche, Malin Genie and S.A.M revisit "Poisoned Words" with a double dose of remixes from none other than Ricardo Villalobos. The minimal overlord lives up to expectations on both flips of the original track, needling into the tiniest sonic details and holding down an insistent groove that will sit beautifully in the mix. The A side features a simmering version that revels in wriggling sound design with ample space to flex and mutate, while the B side stretches out into a quintessential Villalobos wormhole of a remix. Unmissable sonics from one of the scene's true legends.
Catch Me If You Can (Jorge Savoretti Ethereal dub) (7:08)
Review: Michael James' "Winds Of Change" EP was a big look for Constant Black, and now the eminent minimal house label draws on a hit list of sharp shooters to deliver some deadly remixes. Huerta is up first with an angular but rolling dub twist on "Catch Me If You Can", before Nick Beringer pings things in a wonderfully hazy direction with his "7am Dub" of "Stormy Skies". Pascal Benjamin gets into a tight, focused funk on his version of "Reservoir", and then Jorge Savoretti flies in an "Ethereal Dub" of "Catch Me If You Can".
Review: The Aesthetic label is steadily growing as yet another strong side to the Constant Sound empire, and they're sounding fit as a fiddle with this latest drop from Niko Maxen. "Aesthetic 04" leads in with "Calibans Dance", a swirling, dubbed out affair with intriguing percussive tones to add an intriguing edge to the stripped back house groove. "Lessons" has a heads down, twitchy demeanour it's impossible to resist, and then "Twelvty" summons up some elegant synth strokes that hover in between the shuffling beats. The latter provides more than enough inspiration for Kepler to deliver an astounding remix that plays around with bouncy arps and pointed house rhythms in his inimitable style.