Review: Amphia co-founder Cristi Cons has been rather quiet of late, having previously impressed with a swathe of solo and collaborative EPs in early 2016. Here, the Romanian producer returns to action for the first time in 2017 via a rock solid collection of cuts, which come stretched across two weighty slabs of wax. As you might expect, all four tracks sit neatly into the now familiar Romanian tech-house style, which combines the crackling textures and production intricacy of minimal techno with the head-nodding shuffle of tech-house drum programming. Our highlight is probably super-odd closer "Mutual", which boasts some serious sub-bass and plenty of odd electronic noises, though the slightly more symphonic "Perceptual" is not far behind.
Review: Meander boss David Koch AKA DeWalta has been a busy boy of late. Hot on the heels of his well received "Lyra" album comes "Lyra Pi", an expansive EP that's apparently meant to be a "partner piece" (or, as some in the Juno office called it, "an encore to the album"). Intriguingly, it sees him dispense with beats altogether; instead, he offers up a quintet of spacey, otherworldly ambient and experimental electronic cuts of the highest order. Highlights include the unsettling, wayward synthesizer arpeggio lines of "Fugacity", the dub techno style deep space hypnotism of "Lyra Pi", the droning darkness and buzzing, end-of-days electronics of "Pulses", and the fluid bliss of mind-altering closing cut "Photons".
Review: Dewalta has been doing a fine job of curating his respected Meander imprint of late, with some stunning releases by the brightest stars in the minimal techno scene at present. Following up some quality EPs by newcomers like Sublee and Alci, we've got a stunning release by Italian virtuoso Christopher Ledger - who has carved his own distinct sonic path over the last few years with releases on Brouqade, Animae and Ada Kaleh. "Dark Moon EP" consolidates many of his sonic aesthetics on this 4-tracker: the moody and intoxicating title track with its UKG influence, to the straight up hypnotic tech house of "The Ninth Cloud" (which will mix in perfectly with most of the label's back catalogue), closing with the emotive breakbeat IDM of "Scarlet Heaven" which calls to mind a similar vibe as explored on his recent 'MPC Sketches' EP.
Review: As you'd expect given his impressive track record, there's much to enjoy on Stefan "Sublee" Nicu's first outing on Berlin label Meander. We're particularly enjoying A-side "Electica", a driving and hypnotic affair built around relentless percussion, a nagging and spacey synth hook and some seriously dreamy, otherworldly chords. Over on side B, opener "Continuum" sees the Romanian deliver a more typically atmospheric, glitchy and rolling tech-house shuffler, while EP closer "Irealis" subtly joins the dots between his techno-leaning house productions, the futurism of Detroit and the heartwarming, loved-up bliss of classic deep house. In other words, it's tech-house in the truest sense of the term.