Review: It's been two years since Evan Baggs and Katsuya Sano opened up their Ek Box. Fittingly, their latest show-and-tell arrives on CABARET, a label that has supported the duo's activities since they first emerged. There's much to admire, not least the unfussy old school techno bounce of "Mitsuboshi", where darting, jammed-out synthesizer lines and sustained organ chords dance enthusiastically above a simple but powerful drum machine rhythm. The acid-fired techno-funk of "Maukacho" is wilder and more energetic, while "Takikomi" sees the duo tiptoe the fine line between ballsy breakbeat techno and sweeping, cinematic bliss. As for closer "Shoganai", it's punchy, bass-heavy and pleasingly intergalactic.
Review: Cabaret, the Tokyo based party and record label by Yuki Masda and So Inagawa are really on a roll right now with great releases by TC80 and Binh recently. This time it's the turn of Ekbox which is comprised of NYC expat in Berlin Evan Baggs with Katsuya Sano. "Tidally Locked" is the kind of rolling and liquid minimal deep house than fans of Ion Ludwig or iO (Mulen) will dig. This one's infectious and bound to rock any dancefloor: sure thing! The bouncy and bleepy "Seezumay" is your more standard tech house affair, backed by some wicked 808 bounce and snap. On the flip also is the hypnotic and sublime "Conversation", a functional and loopy DJ tool for the most part that should serve most DJs quite well.
Review: Japanese micro-house champ So Inagawa has long been serving up delectable singles for labels such as Minimood and Trimsound, and it seems high time that he delivered an album, ten years after his first single was released. This long player for Cabaret allows Inagawa to stretch out his styles without losing focus on what his distinctive sonic identity is. The grooves stay slight and serene throughout, with delicate threads of instrumentation woven in and amongst the needlepoint drums, and the overriding feeling is one of strung-out jazz. Closing track "I Will Do It The Same Way" perhaps says it all, this is an album of consistency that hits upon a refined style and maintains it throughout.
Review: Fernando Zapico may have released music on countless imprints over the last 14 years, but he's still keen on notching up more label debuts. The "Mayday EP" marks another, as the Uruguayan brings his distinctive brand of late night electronics to CABARET Recordings for the very first time. He hits the ground running with "Freq From D", a foreboding electro stepper blessed with rich Motor City electronics and turn of the '90s style bleeps. "Winter Nights" sees him built energy and urgency around a groove rich in jazzy analogue bass and rolling, loose-limbed house beats, while flipside "Mayday" wraps ghostly chiming melodies and fizzing electronic noises around a snappy techno groove.