Review: There's been an office sweepstake regarding who Perlon would call on to provide the music for the historic PERL100, and given the low key approach the label has retained since Zip and Markus Nikolai founded it back in 1997 it's little surprise they've turned to a label regular in Margaret Dygas. It's a welcome return for Dygas too, with the Berlin-based artist's last appearance on Perlon her well received self titled long player back in 2011! Stylistically both "In Wood" and "That" are what we've come to expect from Dygas, offering a loose, warm brand of minimal house that is full of hypnotic intent, with the latter track particularly potent.
Review: Its fairly safe to say that Jay Bliss is on fire at the moment. Now he takes time out from his recently launched "Stomping Grounds" imprint to follow up on his 2013 appearance with OCH on "The Remix EP". Here the warm, punchy 9 minute A-side creates a highly seductive floor-tension. Flip the disc over for two modern take's on minimalism, possibly paying homage to Studio One or Basic Channel with persistent rhythms, undertones of original dub, shaken and stirred with plenty off Bliss magic.
New Energy (Beyond The Wizard Sleeve re-animation) (7:00)
Review: Daniel Avery remains as busy as ever, with both a debut album and a Fabric Live mix leaving him a fully fledged member of the international DJ network. Another release on Phantasy Sound sees another two tracks from Avery's aforementioned LP Drone Logic get the remix treatment from Bulgarian beat specialist Kink and the (vaguely) mysterious Beyond The Wizard Sleeve. Kink, as usual, conjures LP closer "Knowing We'll Be Here" into tightly packed groove with plenty of melodics and a seductive bassline, as he does. The flip is weirder than one would expect and it's probably the better of the two remixes for it. Morphed beats, wacky FX tricks and snappy vocal chops. Top!
Review: Apollonia continue to welcome some legendary names into their prospering discography, but whilst Kerri Chandler's recent contribution took the form of a much needed reissue of Sunday Sunlight this appearance from Jovonn offers the NY house icon the chance to demonstrate how his production renaissance is faring with some all new material. Apparently an inspirational figure to the Apollonia trio of Shonky, Dan Ghenacia and Dyed Sondorom, Jovonn really needs no introduction for anyone who has a keen awareness of house music history and The EP demonstrates he still knows how to put together a dancefloor bomb. Specifically "Trippin Body 'N' Deep Vox (mix)" which in original and dub version offer a masterclass in rolling house music, whilst sandwiched in-between is "The March" which is Jovonn in a deeper mood.
Review: Forever returning to Pleasure Zone and now on release number three for the label, Ali Nasser represents the top end of what the minimal label is capable of, not least because he knows how to inject colour and wonder into the slender rhythms to keep things fluid and interesting. "Microwait" is a shining, shimmering example of this as a lean and limber house groove goes striding off into vast soundscapes of soul-enriching pads. Elsewhere "Halucinatia" sports a dubby exterior even as it mutters out a snaking techno rhythm, and the lead track "Drift Into Clouds" pares things down further for the true meditators.
Review: It's a first time out in the spotlight for Binh, who steps up to Cabaret with some devoutly weird minimal abstractions that keep the groove rolling even as everything else about the track seems to splinter and fragment into infinitesimal pieces. "Downtown" wouldn't sound out of place in a Villalobos DJ set with its gurgling rhythms and displaced samples, while "Dubix" has a more pronounced structure that rubs and wiggles itself into a trusty house groove. "Bud Light" has a little tenderness rubbed into its bones with some delicately humming melodic parts in between all the thin slithers of percussion.
Review: Darren Brandon's story in house music stretches back to the early days of Dance Mania, and since then he has popped up intermittently under various guises on labels including Black Market and Alleviated, assuring the venerable roots of Chicago house run through his musical veins. On this second EP for More About Music there is no shortage of quality outboard soul music to be enjoyed, with a distinctive flair to each track that makes this an essential release. Whether it's the lush Heard-isms of "Dark Minor" or the sassy ghetto acid of "Test Pressing", there's no shortage of quality to be found on this particular 12".
Almost (Ions Sicko SpiralSpirit Science remix Take O)
Review: Having laid the groundwork with a wealth of releases on minimal staples such as Freak n' Chic, Mindshake and Contexterrior, Andrea Ferlin's career has aligned itself with Berlin devotees of the sound, Sleep Is Commercial. On his fifth release for the label Ferlin is in exemplary form, throwing down a haunting and evocative burner for the A side. The canny use of flutes and other organic instrumentation make for an infectious, subversive track that still kicks where it counts. The B side is given over to an even more stripped back remix from Ion who drops into a crisp, cyclical groove with subtle atmospheric touches.
Review: Berlin-based label and collective Lize Records present their second release, and it's a distinctive looking one with their in-house artist Aljoscha Hohborn responsible for a screen printed bison that won't fail to catch your eye. The music proves to be just as memorable however and that's little surprise as its Cologne-based producer David Joseph is behind the buttons under his established St Joseph moniker. Some four tracks deep, you can't help but feel Joseph's personality and production expertise in each production with a sense of intoxicating hypnosis perhaps the unifying factor. A Side tracks "Nasty Boy" and "Miasanmia" are loose and jacking, whilst "Desktest" is St Joseph in rugged form and "Letyougo" a sweet and constantly surprising finale filled with summery warmth.
Review: Inaugurated by Dario Reimann back in January, Frankfurt's Sensual Records makes a triumphant return with Benjamin Stager at the helm ably assisted by remixes from Michael Melchner and Dan Andrei. Stager's two originals take centre stage and offer a deep, rolling take on the minimal sound with "Panty" the kind of mood setting tool many DJs will appreciate, whilst "Panty Slip" adopts a more experimental and slightly menacing tone. Each of these tracks are remixed by Melchner and Andrei respectively, with the Romanian successfully transferring the mood of "Panty Slip" into something that has a more noticeable degree of funk, thanks largely to the bassline.
The Man From Another Place (Timothy J Fairplay remix)
The Man From Another Place (Cottam remix)
Review: Hailing from sunny Los Angeles, Plastic Love Records kicks off our first release with an EP from label co-boss Jimmy Maheras. Maheras made his debut in 2011 with his Space Jam EP on the Crosstown Rebels edit sub-label, Rebellion. Since then he's released remixes and singles on Strainjjur, Riff Raff, Supernature, and Left'd.
Maheras's two original tracks showcase his depth with The Man From Another Place being squarely aimed at the big room dance floor and the second track, Arecibo, bringing a little Kraftwerkesque funk. We've commissioned Timothy J Fairplay (Crimes Of The Future) and Cottam (Aus Music / Ruff Draft) for two very unique remixes. Fairplay crunches down the original melody and throws it over the famed amen break to give TMFAP a hands in air late night feel while Cottam's remix brings the dreamy melody closer to acid with storming late night kick ready to knock down a wall.
Review: It's a record of beginnings for Kesper as the first release for the alias and the start of Slipstone Records. From the outset it looks as though deep house with a Fred P elegance is the order of the day, although "Afterglow" is equally shot through with a trancey, new age lilt in its melodic composition. "Transmission" meanwhile gets into a more minimal kind of groove although not at the expense of more soaring pads that drift in and out of earshot. "Re-entry" meanwhile has a deep techno pulse to it, not least in the twinkling arpeggios that shimmer across the top of the track.
Review: Spanish techno duo make their second appearance on Ellum Audio after a two year hiatus in releasing music, and it shows a return to their melodic, big room approach that feels right at home on Maceo Plex's label. "Teach The Wind" packs a mean line in grinding electro synths over a solid tech house beat with plenty of anthemic nous to get hands raised aloft in sunny climes. Meanwhile the label boss opts to remix "Learning To Fly" from the pair, making a pop-laced tech-house roller loaded with melodrama and autotune soul that should get plenty of radio play alongside the warm up slots in more mainstream dances.
Review: Hamburg's Martin Stimming resurfaces with his first 12" in some two years, aligning with Koze's well respected Pampa Records for a two track release that "magnify the opposing sides of his studio psyche". Given Stimming has graced the likes of liebe*detail, Terminal M and Diynamic with his considered grasp of dancefloor dynamics, this Pampa debut is a smart move and shows he's lost none of his production panache despite the aforementioned absence. Lead track "China Tree" betrays a spikiness that will suit the dancefloor perfectly, with the primal bassline and raw, unpredictable drums really getting a grip on your attention. Those seeking some melodic sweetness from Stimming will be all over the B Side "Southern Sun" where Piper Davis's subtly affected vocals are woven into the very fabric of a woozy, kaleidoscopic production.
Review: San Francisco DJ/producer Charles McCloud Duff has been making increasingly prominent strides under the Matrixxman guise over the course of the past year with the exposure from releases for Fifth Wall, Unknown To The Unknown and Vin Sol's Soo Wavey paving the way to getting scooped up by Spectral Sound, Amulet is his most high profile release to date, and suggests he's more than comfortable with life on the Ghostly Intl offshoot with all four track an effortless showcase in house music production. Executed with a rack of Roland gear, the A Side sees Duff pairing classicist Chicago signifiers with a modern production sheen with lead cut "Venetia Mask" equipped with the best finger snaps in some time. Hit the flip for two examples of Matrixxman's tougher techno side with final track "The Caravan" a real darkside roller.
Review: Whilst it's been some three years since an album from Gui Boratto, the Brazilian has continued to serve up a series of 12"s with the majority of them arriving via regular outlet Kompakt. It's little surprise then to see the storied Cologne institution issue Boratto's latest 12" Take Control with a sole production backed with remixes from artists of a calibre one expects from Kompakt. "Take Control" see Boratto team up with fellow Brazilian duo Come and Hell for a production that's blessed with poppy touches as well as the melodic aspect that's been a hallmark of his work since the Beautiful Life days. Remixes come from Comeme pair DJs Pareja, Danny Daze and Amsterdam newcomers with the effort from Daze the sort of hot wired techno track you could easily envisage his namesake Avery dropping at fabric.
Review: The latest transmission on the ever-adventurous Nervmusic features label boss (and one half of Easy Changes) Denis Kaznacheev delving into some interesting corners of the minimal market with a sizable legacy within the scene to draw upon. Leading the charge is "It Has Two Ends", which works a sample about smoking joints around a rich tapestry of wonky percussion and found sound, before Rhadoo steps up for a remix that piles some delicate melodies and a more pronounced groove into the track. Adsum takes things further out West with a version that revels in dislocated delay feedback and squirming rhythmic pulses, leaving EP closer "Run Forest, Run" sounding positively soothing by comparison with its sparse arrangement and humming background tones.