Review: Mannheim's favourite son Fabian Winkels returns with more bleepy and swing fuelled minimal tech house: exactly the way we like it. The man behind such imprints as Salty Nuts serves up his second release for the FUSE London sublabel here. "Shaped Like Kayla" demonstrating the same kind of hypnotic and slinky grooves that have landed him releases on top labels like Mulen and local institution La Pena. "Who Is The Drummer" gets that MPC style jitter on in fine form, assisted by bumpy bass and whirry synth textures for perfect afterhours mischief. Finally, "Navigate" fractures the beats for a different kind of groove altogether, but still trippy and funky as hell. Winkels is a regular on local imprints making big waves in the scene at present, such as Sukhumvit, Kusi and BE9. Likewise, Infuse have had a stellar year with great releases by Julian Alexander, East End Dubz and Jack Wickham.
Review: French producer Alec Falconer presents his third release, following up some great EPs on EXT and Entity London. "Flicker Zone" comes courtesy of local imprint Rue De Plaisance and sees the Parisian deliver more retro influenced flavours. From the booming high intensity workout that is the title track that goes for an electro vibe to the very Dopplereffekt influenced "Les Volets" - this is material made for the dancefloor. On the flip it's all about the chill out room though: from the mellow breaks of "L3D 121D" to the acid ambient journey "View From The L2", this 12" successfully demonstrates Falconer's vast sonic repertoire.
Review: It's early days for Jakob Panthel and his Faune alias, but he more than steps up to the plate as London label Ornate Music invite him to present his vision for immersive, techno tinged deep house. "5.34 AM" is aptly named, the undulating chord pulse at the heart of the track aiming for the woozy hour of the dance before dawn breaks through. "Reduit" is a more sprightly affair, using similar ingredients but pushing a brighter line in synths amidst the raw drums. "Grindewald" meanwhile heads out into more ambient techno territory with its plush pads and snaking arpeggios, soothing the feisty club-ready energy of the previous two tracks.
Review: Tolga Fidan is seemingly on a roll of late, but in truth he's always remained committed to his process as a refined minimal maestro. His move to Finale Sessions may seem to be a step outside his usual stomping grounds, and the sound on the EP reflects this. Whether the title Lost Tapes means this material is old or not is unclear, but there's certainly a rougher, hardware-sounding approach on this record compared to the stripped down clicks he built his name on. "SJ SX - Tape 01" is still reduced in all the right places, but it comes on like a live jam of deepest psych-out techno rather than anything overtly minimal. With warmth and personality pouring out of every bar, this is a wonderful insight into another side of a long serving and much loved producer.