Review: We've said it once and we'll say it again; Apollonia: what a powerhouse! Dan Ghenacia, Dyed Soundorom and Shonky have taken house music by storm since collaborating as a DJ collective, production team and label. Their 2014 full length (and Phillipe Zdar/Alexkid co-produced) effort Tour A Tour is still getting some mileage, this time via some remixes. The first, "Mouche Tse Tse" is re-rubbed by minimal techno legend Thomas Melchior and is the kind of stripped and hypnotic afterhours business you'd expect from him and still retains the funk and groove from the original. On the flip is "June" remixed by Nottingham deep house maestro Charles Webster and it's as gorgeous as always. With the term deep house used so flippantly these days, Webster reminds us all how it's done on this fine track.
Review: Eklo boss Seuil is clearly on one at the moment! This CFS EP is Hold Youther Alexis Benard's second 12" on Eklo in as many months, suggesting the Parisian has found yet another creative groove to channel. Impressive given how long Benard has been at the forefront of Parisian clubbing culture. We are not sure what "CFS" stands for, but there are three variants of it from Seuil on this 12" and the A Side cuts show Benard at his best, offering swinging 909 rhythms, fluid basslines, hypnotic chords and odd samples. Our favourite is probably "CFS 3" which sees Seuil successfully try his hand at a more explicitly electro style, whilst the remix from Berlin-based newcomer Etienne which brings a more strident and heads down vibe.
Review: The master of dark journey tracks known as Recondite returns, this time for Scuba's esteemed Hotflush imprint. The sombre and doomy vibes of the title track are a bit more restrained than Lorenz Brunner's usual tracks but just as foreboding with those now trademark 'wonky' melodies which truly work a treat. "Warg" on the flip has a bit more momentum and definitely more elements incorporated into its sound. It's funky, in a brooding way of course; with another epic melody for some seriously dramatic dancefloor moments that he's known for.
Review: Ukranian minimal wunderkind Mulen is back and we too are rubbing our hands in excitement every time he releases something new of late. Sometimes going under the name iO, sometimes iO (Mulen) and now Mulenv (just to confuse us!) but either way: it's always quality. "Blindness" is the rolling, funky, breaks driven and hypnotic groove as heard on his recent Jam EP on Propaganda. On the flip "The Cutter" follows in suit with its jagged rhythm and hip hop samples but is much deeper and suited more for the morning set where things get properly weird.
Review: The UK's Tim Green made it big in the late noughties minimal boom with big tracks on respected imprints like Four:Twenty, Dirtybird and of course Cocoon who present us with his new one titled Among Wolves. The tile track is the kind of emotive and melodic tech house that's bound to prick up ears and get feet moving in any situation; there's some real rich synth work on this one but just wait until that Frankie Knuckles style melody comes creeping in. Also of note is "Over The Water" which is darker and funkier. More suited to the earlier hours of the evening to set the mood but equally as emotive and with high production values.
Review: Dan Ghenacia, Dyed Soundorom and Shonky's revered imprint is testament to their plight for world clubland domination. After a great last one by Ukranian minimal house hero iO (Mulen), the trio serves us with Italian producer based in Berlin Ivan Iacobucci, who's had releases previously on Holic Trax and King Street in a career that has spanned 26 years. "Old In On" is a loopy and reduced, bass driven deep house jam that will appeal to minimal heads as much as it would to deep house DJs. On the flip "Mini Ass" is an oddball and trippy minimal house odyssey with bumpy bass, tightly programmed rhythm and some wacky sound design. Finally "Scris Frumos" is the kind of stripped back house that'd work perfectly for the sunrise set at Concrete or Get Perlonised respectively.
Review: Funky minimal tech house in the vein of the classic Freak 'N Chic sound. First track "People Around" is testament to this, a funky swing fuelled jam with a good dose of trippiness that despite its somewhat retro tendencies will still mix in quite well with current tech house. "Bayou" is much deeper with some real bounce in the bassline and those hypnotic vocals work well: better for the after-hours. On the flip we've got "In The Mood" which gets back to serious funkiness, great bassline and really nails the early Hot Creations sound. Finally there's "Melo Melo Garden" which is the real standout on here: some smooth minimal deep house in the vein of Minibar or Eklo.
Review: Spain's Giuseppe Tuccillo has been on the scene for 20 years, releasing on a who's who of labels that we don't have enough space to mention but let's just namedrop legends like Nite Grooves and King Street through to 20:20 Vision and 8 bit to name just a few. He now teams up with Frenchman Djebali on his eponymous imprint for the Red Tropic EP. On the A side "The Red Circle" is the kind of slinky and clean cut minimal tech house that calls to mind the sound of Dan Ghenacia's Freak N' Chic imprint, said to have been an influence on Djebali in the early noughties: this one's pretty funky. On the B side "Tropic Duo" is a more soulful Detroit inspired number reminiscent of Aril Brikha's finest work with those lush and entrancing Ensoniq EMS style stabs doing the business.
Review: London-based DJ and producer Alex Arnout has packed a fair bit of experience into the 20 odd years he's been making and spinning music. Right now, he's firmly ensconced in the capital's ever flourishing minimal scene and makes his debut on Fuse offshoot Infuse with the club ready four-track 12" Primal. Leading with the title cut, Arnout is on dreamy form, pairing an ethereal vocal sample discussing "finding the silver lining" with some woozy synth play - however a snapping beat makes it perfectly suited for some peaktime play. The heavily brukked up "Six Million Ways" hints at Arnout's previous history of working with Bugz man Daz I Kue, whilst there is a nice off kilter vibe to "This Beat" too. Fuse pair Enzo Siragusa & Seb Zito round out the 12" with a trademark refix of "Primal."
Review: "Completing a quick fire trio of new EPs, Constant Sound hits release number six with a pair of new tracks from VRSION that come with a dance floor friendly remix from Persuader. VRSION is a German producer who has already made a big impact with his release on Craig Richards' excellent The Nothing Special label. Following up that in fine style is the opener here, 'Torn', which is a hurried and urgent track that sits on the divide between house and techno. It is driven and slick, rubbery and hypnotic but has plenty of nuance and funk in its well programmed drums. Some occult sounds and wordless vocals embellished the whole thing and it really is the sort of track that blows dance floors apart and will stand out in any set. 'Capricorn Meet Leo' then toys with kinked drum patterns, rattling percussion and fathom deep bass that sucks you right into VRSION's world. It's a restless place where harmonies ride up and down the scale, cause claps come at you from odd angles and dark vocals add a sense of paranoia. Remixing this one is Persuader, who does so with a stripped back sense of restrain. he retains the original's weirdness, but layers in serene pads and tripped out atmospherics that really make it ripe for playing at 4am. This is the most adventurous release yet for Constant Sound, and is sure to prove one of its bets as a result."
Review: London's Sylphe return with more warped, after-hours shenanigans, this time courtesy of the affectionately titled Holdie Gawn following up a great one by regular studio partner Micawber. On the A side is 'Yborg" a deep, dark and dubby roller on the sinister side with layers of tripped out sound design that's perfect for after-hours hypnotism. On the flip we've got "T&T" which is a bit funkier; there's some real bounce in that broken beat and yet more glitchy and disturbed sound design going on all over the place. A r ecommend secret weapon for the after-hours.
Review: Untitled Records is the Sublabel of Fumiya Tanaka's Torema Records, started in July 1995. Mikio Kaminakamura makes his debut on the label with some deep, dubby and reduced trippiness for modern dancefloor minimalists. "Black Gate Town" is the kind of creepy and paranoid, low-slung house that Romanians like Rhadoo and Nu Zau would appreciate whereas "Room Samplythums" sounds more like Thomas Melchior in its esoteric edged hypnotism but those harsh steel drums that come in give it a distinct touch. On the flip "No Output" is probably the most uplifting and tongue in cheek offering here, with some hilarious soundbites over a merging of odd and dusty drum presets that all seem to work in perfect harmony on this stripped back minimal house journey.
Review: Not much is known about U-More other than he's a bloke named Ivan who lives and DJs in Berlin, runs his eponymous label and sure has a knack for some deep and tripped out minimalist grooves. "2 Miles" hypnotises eloquently with its harp melodies drenched in delay and dancing over a sturdy broken beat. "Lilliput" follows in suit, the broken beat works a treat again until regrouping itself as 4/4 on this dubby jam floating in layers of immersive pads. On the flip the Faster remix of "2 Miles" is a fierce peak time dance-floor bomb that rolls tight like a track by Ion Ludwig or Alex Jansen while "Harmey Peak" throws us a right curveball on this bleepy, mid noughties sounding minimal jam.