Review: Halle's Monaberry imprint receives nowhere near the amount of praise that it should. In all honesty, this has been one of the most consistent imprints to grace the tech-house sphere, with artists like Super Flu bringing some innovation and cutting-edge to that particular dance formula. Here, we have the label's seventh edition of the Herberts Best series, with a whole selection of new artists being given the chance to shine - including the ever-present Super Flu, of course. Stand-out tracks include "Gattara" by Bebetta, a tribalesque deep house joint with mounds of hypnotics; Jobe's "Maasai" makes for a supremely dubbed-out ocean of sonics; Sobek's "Handmade Desire" adds some industrial waves to what is a relatively 'housey' EP; "Arpo33" by Douglas Greed ends with a painfully on-point tech groove that dancers will find impossible not to shake to.
Review: After Hamid kicked off the H+ label last year he returns with an intriguing double pack that draws on a wide variety of collaborators to turn out some truly innovative leftfield house music sounds. There's an overarching theme of micro house hovering around Methods For The Madness Vol 1, but it's far from run of the mill stuff. The opening cut featuring Josh Tweek is a sparkling, swinging affair that piles on the funk and the delirious effects, while Jesse Morrison's own turn on the closing track winds up in a haunting, abstract slice of refined reduction.
Massimiliano Pagliara - "I Am Running All My Drum Machines At Once & Dancing"
Mike Dunn - "A Groove"
Playground Productionz - "Orgy"
Eli Escobar - "Tension" (vinyl mix)
Alcatraz Harry - "Ode To Frankfurt"
Lory D - "Deep Acoustic"
Tomahawk - "Forever Free"
Anno Stamm - "A Night Out With Therese"
Denis Sulta - "Dubelle Oh XX"
Konakov - "Clonki" (part II)
Mr G - "Transient"
Basic Channel - "Q11" (part I)
Fango - "Vena Cava"
Tessela - "Up"
Ricardo Villalobos - "Logohitz"
Dean & Deluca - "A2"
Robert Hood - "The Pace"
Overmow - "Convulsions"
POM POM - "POM POM 18 B2"
Review: Up next on DJ Kicks' acclaimed mix series is Numbers doyen and Glaswegian iconJackmaster. In his own words, the 24-track mix sees the charismatic Scot 'delivering an honest journey, unearthing a serious passion for the obscure boundaries of house and techno.' This double LP lifts out eight of the tracks most other DJs will want to get their mitts on, and joins the dots between his hometown of Glasgow with Denis Sulta's festival destroying bass driven epic "MSNJ", then NYC; with Eli Escobar's gutsy EBM-flavoured 'Tension (vinyl mix)". Berlin's status as a dance music mecca is referenced with Dutch transplant Anno Stamm's dark house stomper "A Night Out With Therese" and the legend himself Ricardo Villalobos, with his minimal techno classic from 1996 "Logohitz". DJ Kicks throw in a CD of the mix too!
Review: "In music, phrygian mode is dissonant, dark, depressive and gloomy. Its use was even forbidden in classical Greece for centuries because it was considered pagan. The sound of phrygian mode is rather exotic..."
Following the excellent Lost Series (Part 1) and (Part 2), Frigio label founder Juanpablo is back, this time with a full five track mini-LP: Darkness gathers above the needle's edge as the Colombian artist delivers the shadow strewn The Hideout. Abstraction is balanced against dancefloor clout across this quintet of underworld electronics. Rhythms curve and bend, scattering into the blackened chasms of "Chrome Light" and "Shadow's Color," before resurfacing into the light of "Indumorg." The title piece burns with a slow intensity. Sinister coils of Acid drip, skies bruise and ash rains before "They Watching You" closes. Juanpablo's builds on his past releasing, melting the lines of Techno, House and Electro and remoulding genres and blurring styles. Eclipsed sounds from the centre of Spain.