Ed Ed & Petja Virikko - "Sundroina" (feat Jinadu - Jimi Jules remix) (7:18)
Review: Zurich based DJ and producer Jimi Jules is one of the most promising upcoming artists within the international underground. With previous releases on top labels like Superfriends, Cocoon and local imprint Zukunft - he tops all that by being picked as selector for esteemed Berlin institution Watergate's 24th mix album. Here we get treated to a few exclusives from the mix on special vinyl format: on the first side we have Jules & Jesaya's +4 BPM Update of Ame's "119 BPM", there's also his collaboration with Domenico Ferrari on the sleazy lo-slung pop of "Parkuhr". On the flip, we soon discover its almost entirely a Jimi Jules affair (naturlich!) with his remix of Swiss/German duo Egopusher's "Flake" (venturing into truly sublime territory) and the dreamy and bittersweet tones of Ed Ed & Petja Virikko's "Sundroina" (feat Jinadu).
Review: Blind Box heads Julien Sandre and Konstress know a thing or two about deep, undulating house grooves, and their continued exploration of immersive cuts for hidden corners of the dance yields further delights on this sixth instalment in the Blind Box series. The first side of this 12" finds the two label bosses twisting out immaculate jams shot through with playful sound design. "Would" locks into a subtle swing and revels in lopsided synth stabs, while "Hedone" plunges into a stunning intricate techno landscape peppered with glitchy tones. On the flip, Julian Alexander follows suit with the crisp, funky "Baku Man" and the more experimental tones of "Casserole".
Review: Mulen's latest must-check release is a collaborative affair from experienced producer Alexis Cabrera (Raummusik, Salty Nuts, Yaji) and Jorge Saveretti (Esperanza, Visionquest, Cadenza). Given their collective history, you'll be unsurprised to learn that the "Some EP" is really rather good. They set their stall out via an impressive title track that wraps spacey but funky riffs, deep space pads and undulating acid lines around a memorable bassline and typically swinging tech-house beats). "KInda" tips a wink to the glitchy, bass-heavy sound of Romanian minimal techno and the swinging intergalactic tech-house funk of Paris's YYY label, while "Science" is a deep, woozy and wonky affair full of minor key bleeps, jazzy motifs and locked-in beats.
Review: If the smiley face clad centre label wasn't a sizeable enough clue, Happy Family is a new project from New York staples Eric Duncan and Justin Vandervolgen which sees the pair try their hand at acid house. Both are closely associated with disco edits of course, but if you've seen either DJ you'll know they are well up on all forms of dance music. This expertise is deployed perfectly on the two tracks here, with "Burnt" a relentless exercise in strobelit 303 madness that is a no brainer for the sweatiest part of a DJ set. They tone it down a bit on "Hard To Breathe" which despite the title is an altogether looser production with plenty of room between the tumbling drums and hypnotic lead synth lines.
Review: Dahlback again in effect on his new second home, K2 out of Cologne. "Hearki" envelops you in a rotund bass drum, splashed with effects, nagging groove and delicately spotted with small percussive effects, deadly in the details. Watch out for the obliterated middle section as well, like a shoot out in an arcade, real horror show man. "Raido" flies a little too close to the big sun called preset for our tastes, but the choogling "Sailjo" rounds up and offers a necessary dry aftertaste to the aural palette, very new-Balearic, very good. Usual big stuff from Dahlback.
Will Saul & Kommon - "Two For One" (original mix) (5:23)
Will Saul & Kommon - "Two For One" (Appleblim remix) (6:29)
Review: As a follow-up to Will Saul's exclusive-packed - and generally well received - DJ Kicks set, !K7 has decided to reissue two of the most celebrated tracks, with fresh new remixes. On the A-side you'll find Jabru and Joel Culpepper's "Church" - a decidedly organic, soulful chunk of deep house/UK garage fusion - with accompanying Zed Bias rub. The UKG veteran gives it a bouncy, bassy two-step makeover, wisely retaining Culpepper's brilliant vocals. Flip for Will Saul and Komon's spacey "Two For One", where dreamy flourishes rub shoulders with throbbing electronics and delicate house beats. The remix is provided by Appleblim, who adds a new layer of percussive toughness - in a bruk-meets-two-step style - whilst retaining the warmth of the original.
Review: J Room steps up with a contribution to the minimal tech house conversation that sees emergent artist Jale making a strong statement with three powerful original tracks and a remix from Cosmjn. Jale's style leans on Detroit string synths for a sense of melancholic grandeur, and densely packed rhythm sections that bump as much as they punch. "Orbital Dream" takes things in a dreamy after hours direction, and "Eclipse" works up some rugged synth trysts that snap around a subtly broken beat. Cosmjn's remix of "Orbital Dream" is not to be slept on either as it subtly adjusts the accent of the groove to make an immersive tech house roller par excellence.
Review: Having made his debut on Roots For Bloom back in 2013, Michael James was made to wait for another opportunity to impress. That came last year via a trio of highly regarded releases on Constant Sound and its Constant Black offshoot. Things are clearly going well, because he's now served up his most expansive collection of tracks to date: a seven-track double-pack featuring a variety of club-ready treats. Check, for example, the low-slung, bass-heavy tech house creepiness of "Catch Me If You Can" and "Winds of Change", the gently spacey bump of "Stormy Skies" and the fluttering late night dreaminess of "Dog Day Afternoon", where stretched-out chords recline over a chunky, dub-influenced bassline.
Review: Constant Black continues its superb string of releases with this latest outing for the imprints close affiliate Michael James. The label run by Burnski and Jon Woodall hands things back to James for an outing of deep minimal grooves. "Bosh!" starts things out just how you would expect with a title like that, strong punching swinging rhythms ready to sway any party. "Pol" and "Hallucinate" keep the momentum going with sleek minimal works, which are sure to be utilised across the globe this summer!
Catch Me If You Can (Jorge Savoretti Ethereal dub) (7:08)
Review: Michael James' "Winds Of Change" EP was a big look for Constant Black, and now the eminent minimal house label draws on a hit list of sharp shooters to deliver some deadly remixes. Huerta is up first with an angular but rolling dub twist on "Catch Me If You Can", before Nick Beringer pings things in a wonderfully hazy direction with his "7am Dub" of "Stormy Skies". Pascal Benjamin gets into a tight, focused funk on his version of "Reservoir", and then Jorge Savoretti flies in an "Ethereal Dub" of "Catch Me If You Can".
Review: Vox Populi's Field Works Vol.II sees the Berlin based label travelling to different parts of the world in order to collect sounds and archive some of the finest musical traditions. This record is the result of a trip to Japan led by Swiss anthropologist and label founder Fred Scharf. It was inspired by academic methods: particularly ethnomusicology and incorporates everything from field recordings, studio recordings, religious rituals, fighting championships and even wedding ceremonies. From the slo-mo acid of Japan Blues (Berceuse Heroique) seductive "Chapter V" to Frenchman Tim Karbon's exotic polythyrhms that hypnotise you on "Chapter VI" and Shizka (aka Inoue Shirabe) getting into some abstract groove theory on his splendid offering "Chapter VIII".
Review: Hut Vibez Records is a London based vinyl label, with a focus on house and techno.. HV002PT1 is designed for the club systems: the second instalment in the Hut Vibez Records series is a rhythmic release, sure to work the crowd. Jase is now delving deeper into the analogue world, creating music with a organic sound.Through this latest production he delivers two intuitive tracks, which capitalise on the sound vinyl can offer. Resonant and complex, these tracks demonstrate Jase's adept fascination with seeking out new ways to work, bringing a satisfying and exploratory sound to the techno realm.