Review: Having demonstrated the breadth of his artistic vision with the excellent One Against Time album last year, John Dimas returns to Half Baked with a focused 12" of dancefloor heaters that keep the vibe varied but the beats ever-present. "5putn1k" is a cheeky, boxy workout with plenty of swing and some wriggling bassline flex. "@L5d" takes a trippier route through spaced out synth lines and a subliminal rhythm section for maximum lock-in, and then "5p@c3 T@lk" heads skywards with a gorgeous tapestry of melodious expression strapped to a rock-solid groove. "@rkyn" completes the set with a snagging 2-step funk and plenty of the space in the mix for the meditative crew to get all eyes-closed to.
Review: Robin Ball's Memory Box dips once more into the acid-laced honey pot and comes up with the lysergic maestro Luke Vibert, who delivers a crucial gurgler in "X To C" that ranks amongst his most incisive 303 workouts in recent memory. A snappy 808 drum line and quintessential vocal chops make this an all-round masterful jam for heads down moments in the dance. Robin Ball himself steps up on the B side with two equally proficient cuts, from the big and bold peak time propulsion of "Gripper" to the punchy tech-noir of "The Edge".
Review: The Micronesia label has always impressed with its various artists releases, although they're never in a hurry to get another record together. Finally volume three is here, and it features another intriguing cast of characters. Rudolf C brings some crisp and crackling deep house bedded down with hazy pads and sprinkled on top with curious cosmic trills. LK is back on the label with a mellow roller, while Leonid gets things hot and sticky for the clamoring throb of "Cosmic Origin". Alpha Crucis pings off into super-deep backroom quarters with the gorgeous "About U", and DX2OV keeps things chilled but funky on the dust-caked "Cone".
Review: Having slipped out a few choice drops on tape and vinyl for No Bad Days and Fruit Merchant in the past year, Native Cruise charts a course for Paesaggi Records to deliver the label's second release. The music has a humid quality that it's oh so easy to get stuck into, from the laconic house roll of "Late Nights" to the moody sundowner "Desert Theory". Things get even dreamier on the flip as "Bermuda Clouds" unfurls a dazzling polyphonic cascade of digi-synth work before low-slung closer "Whispers" brings the ship into dock in oh-so smooth style.
Review: Petr Serkin has been delivering classy funky house variations to Freedom Sessions and elsewhere for some time now, and after a three year break his dependable touch does the business once again on this new missive. "City Worms" is a gorgeous house track that draws on classic instrumentation - slinky live bass, gossamer Rhodes chords, brushed drums and wah wah guitar chops - to create an immersive groove. "Remember That Summer" takes things deeper, using similar ingredients but spelling out a smokier mood. "Water Planet" takes on a light and breezy disco funk veneer as viewed through a misted out lens, and "Jazz Drummer" takes a mellow trip into some seriously swinging drum cuts.
Review: Man of many names and even more styles, Daniel Maunik follows up his "A Vicious Circle" EP with three more beguiling outernational adventures. Already a member of the Far Out family through the Far Out Disco Monster Orchestra, these singles represent a heavier, more intense mood as Daniel whips up dancefloor storms in the best unconventional ways. "Dirty Trix" sets the scene with a classic French filtered feel before the juiciest of basslines takes the lead, "Until The End" is pure jazz in its jittering key hook while the title track "Sombra Do Dragao" brings the EP to a fizzy percussive frenzy. Perfect summer business.
Review: The thinking behind this impressive, deliciously loved-up and glassy-eyed EP from Chicago producer Aguila seems devilishly simple. The New York-born artist clearly decided to fuse three key musical ingredients: the rush-inducing electronic bliss of the best vintage trance, chords and sounds from turn-of-the-90s Italian and New Jersey deep house, and the shuffling breakbeats more readily associated with rave-era UK house. We're loving the kaleidoscopic electronics, rushing synthesizer melodies and fireside-warm grooves of "Trance Atlantic", not to mention the sunrise-ready rush of "El Sol Rojo", which is as breathtaking in its colourful melodiousness and life-affirming potential as 808 State's peerless "Pacific State". The rest of the EP is just as revelatory and spine tingling, making this one of the most inspired label debuts we've heard for a while.
Magic Mountain High - "Tiny Fluffy Spacepods" (7:17)
Dusted Links (8:47)
One Small Step... (with Reagenz Meets Thomas Fehlmann) (7:00)
Move D - "Building Bridges" (with Fred P - Move D Inside Revolution mix) (10:46)
Perpetual State (feat The Poem Alles Ist Eins by Thorn Hoedh) (4:56)
Review: Given that he's a born collaborator, as his vast discography proves, it's perhaps fitting that David Moufang's latest album as Move D is packed to the rafters with killer collaborations. Check, for example, the ultra-deep, woozy and off-kilter "Innit", a superbly dubby and opaque studio hook-up with German rave pioneer D-Man, and the shuffling, intergalactic deep house warmth of Fred P collaboration "Building Bridges". Fittingly, his renowned collaborative projects also feature. There's a wonderfully elastic and out-there dub techno/minimalist track by Reagenz (Moufang and Jonah Sharp AKA Spacetime Continuum) with German veteran Thomas Fehlmann, and a Magic Mountain High (alongside Juju and Jordash) track that takes slow-burn, softly spoken deep house/dub techno fusion and runs with it. As you'd expect, the solo tracks are impeccable, too.
Review: Australian producer Andrew Wilson (House of Dad / Wilson Tanner) dons the Andras Fox alias once again for his latest outing for Munich's Public Possession crew, who describe the Boom Boom EP as a 'reprogramming of world music influenced dance music .. subtle and unwired'. From the Afro house influenced bounce of "Jingo" or "Rubber", moving from said aesthetics in to classic house on the upbeat "Conch" or the quite euphoric trance reduction of "Ipx 7" - this record is bound to be a major festival hit this season and guaranteed to sound good on any listening device you choose!
Review: The ever-consistent Rutilance returns with old friend and fellow Frenchman Vincent G. Previously appearing on their last V/A collection with "Control Freak" here he takes control of our every sense with four sublime grooves. Each one coated in a dreamy haze the trip ignites with evocative, early DJ Gregory style "Lust" and comes to an end with the thunder-thigh kicks and warehouse dynamic of "Sub Experience". In between we have more deep dream escapades with "Nite Rider" and classic 93-style New York feels on "Aeterna". Ageless!
Review: Over the months and years ahead, Chicago's Still Music is going to reissue a wealth of material that first appeared on the Windy City's Hot Mix 5 records imprint. First up is a surprise CD edition of "Acid", the label's sole full-length release from 1988. As the title suggests, it was originally meant to showcase the (then) brand new sound of acid house - that raw, jacking style that combined the wild, "acid" style electronics of Roland's TB-303 bass synthesizer and heavy drum machine rhythms. It remains a peerless collection of killer acid cuts, with highlights including Photrune's wonderfully sleazy "Can You Feel The Bass?", Armando's driving, mind-altering "151", the clanking drums and alien electronics of Mr Fingers' "Ecstasy" and the driving peak-time thrust of Mickey Oliver's "Pump Up The Acid".
Review: Welcome to the world Cosmocities Records, a new French label whose first release is an incredible, triple-vinyl collection of what it calls "rare and beautiful instrumental tracks". It's a rather eclectic set, all told, but thanks to immaculate track selection and programming it hangs together exceptionally well. Flick through the clips and you'll find some next-level ambient bliss (Pepe), a crazy, flute-laden percussion workout (DJ Maboku), sunrise-ready dub techno (Segue), melodious ambient techno (Leif), Balearic space jazz (Jitwam), warm analogue deep house (Jaime Read) and a clutch of cuts that blur the boundaries between jazz-funk and broken beat. In other words, it's a stylistically diverse collection of brilliant electronic music that you'll want to listen to again and again.
Review: Apart from a very limited under the radar release in 2015, it took Vincent Halliburton 13 years to deliver a follow-up to his 2002 debut single on Ferrispark "RM1x Files" (both records go for silly money). The Detroiter hasn't left it quite so long this time, with this alluring three-tracker appearing just four years after its predecessor. Clearly Halliburton believes in quality over quantity, because "Vibe Under A Different Frequency" is superb. Check first the swirling deep space chords, delay-laden vocal snippets and layered, Ron Trent style deep house percussion of the fittingly titled "On A Deep Groove", before gaping in awestruck wonder at the dreamy, deep and hypnotic "Going Away", which boasts some suitably breathy, out-there vocals from none other than Sade. He rounds things off in style via the groovy warmth and sun-kissed dancefloor positivity of "Go Down".
Review: You should know by now that Plastik People is the go-to spot for the most upfront garage house done in a classic style, and they're spelling it out good and proper with The Sound Of Garage House. Marc Cotterell leads the way with the jazzy vibes and deliciously liquid chords of "Those Days" before Ed The Spread brings a nagging shuffle and sharp string stabs to hard-stepping bumper "The Bauhaus Movement". Grant Nelson keeps things tuff with the natty piano hooks and diva slices of "Move Close" while Rocket Dubz ups the funk to 11 for hands in the air party starter "Dirty Bath".
Review: Alberto De Santiago has already slipped out a few killer edit-rich hits, which drew favourable attention from Spanish label Night Shift. He launches the Discollection EP with the soul-soaked feel-good flavour of "Love Sauce," steeped in the finest disco ingredients to inspire impassioned expression on the floor. The heat stays right up for "Since I've Been Gone", which is packed full of Philly strings aplenty and enough dramatic drops and chops to melt even the hardest frown. "Most Expensive Diamond" and "All The Way" have that magic touch too - these are loud and proud vocal edits to get people dancing on the ceiling. You can't go wrong with classic source material like this - Never Dull indeed.
Review: Sam Shepherd may have spent the last few years offering up off-kilter, jazz-fired grooves and heady ambient soundscapes, but he still knows how to rock a dancefloor. That much is proved by his first Floating Points single for almost two years. "LesAlpx (Extended)" is his most forthright, club-focused cut in ages - a thrusting chunk of rumbling, peak-time techno built around heavy bass, sweaty drums, twinkling electro piano motifs and raging, foreboding electronics. Shepherd teases in the most melodic, rush-inducing elements, introducing spacey synthesizers and dreamy chords midway through. It's breathtakingly good. Flipside "Coorabell" is similarly potent, with acid style electronics, warm chords and sun-kissed electronics wrapped around swinging, two-step influenced house beats and a weighty, sub-heavy bassline. In a word: essential.
Review: Adeen Records is back with it's follow up to Alton Miller's "More Positive Things" with Chez Damier's parisian outfit French Connection. This Chinese only import five song Ep features remixes from Nicholas, Chez's Panarama Bar club banger remix, and Beijing, China's production team Camille. The B-side features "Queen Of The Elephants" remixed by Jef K, and a scorching edit of "It Ain't right" guaranteed to set the dancefloor ablaze.