Review: Just under 12 months ago, French imprint Arpege launched with a multi-artist EP rich in far-sighted and futuristic takes on tech-house. For the follow-up they've decided to flip the script, instead offering up a quartet of electro-focused cuts. The headline attraction comes from British electro titan Carl Finlow, whose "Fmseq" is a spacey and melodious mixture of body-popping beats, throbbing bass, lilting lead lines and sparkling chords. There's plenty to set the pulse racing elsewhere across the EP though, from the heady deep space bleeps and hybrid electro/tech-house grooves of Harry Wills' "Estren", to the drowsy electronic warmth, bubbly acid bass and skittish beats of A2's "Plonk".
Review: Helena Hauff returns to her own Return To Disorder label after last year's joyously received "Qualm" album on Ninja Tune. It's the first fully solo record Hauff has released herself, and it more than lives up to expectation. "Catso" is a wonderfully expressive slice of noirish electro draped in vintage synth arps and twinkling leads as enchanting as they are spooky. "Why Look At Animals" has a more low down funk, but once again sports the richly harmonic synth hooks to make this appeal right across the board. "The Brush" ups the tempo, but keeps things sparse and moody, while "Slim Filter" gets a touch more nasty and sounds utterly fantastic with it. Compared to her rabid DJ sets, these productions represent the more measured side of Hauff, but they're no less deadly.
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.