Rob Amboule & Manuel Schatz - "Manz Not Hot" (6:30)
Peter Raw - "Brotherhood" (5:52)
HDV - "Digital Delight" (5:44)
Kosh - "The Mess" (5:08)
Review: Sounds Benefit founder Tom Joyce cast his net far and wide when sniffing out cuts to include on the label's latest multi-artist EP. There's plenty of little-known talent on show across the four tracks that make-up the EP, which come from artists based in Frankfurt, Paris and - most surprisingly - Casablanca. We're particularly enjoying the hybrid electro/spacey tech-house bounce of Peter Raw's wonderfully swinging "Brotherhood", though the deep and melodious electro bounce of Kosh's "The Mess" is also really rather good. Elsewhere, Manuel Schatz and Rob Amboule offer up some bold and snappy Motor City techno/acid house fusion, while HDV's "Digital Delight" is raw, analogue, funky and decidedly alien in tone.
Review: Crew love is true love: Beste Freunde 05 is upon us and it's not likely to hang around. Once again it's a whole new collective of like-minded souls together for a fresh expedition. Anil Aras leads the mission with a rippling Detroitian understated number simply called "Track 1". He's flanked by Paolo Rocco and Moises. The former ups the temperature and gets us in a lather with the insistent pace of "Ill" while the latter sooths our souls and oils our joints with the slippery hypnosis session "Easy Beauty". Finally Esposito & Nadje run point with the heaviest tool of the trip - the bubbling technoid "HBP". Friends till the end!
Review: Moldova-based Resonanz are back with their third edition of minimal oddball house grooves. Considering its close proximity to Romania; we're definitely interested in hearing what this bunch is up to. Starting out with the hypnotic low-slung tribalism of Andrey Djackonda's "Calida Noche", we then get treated to Dimitri Monev's "Makaulu" a druggy broken beat experiment in maximalism reminiscent of Barac or Suciu; it's pretty wicked! On the flip the loopy and dusty deepness of Leparente's "Leflor" will definitely get good vibes happening at the after-hours while Maarka's "Reveranz" is exactly the kind of tunnelling trance inducing groove that we like, kind of like when Cristi Cons or Vid are on point, if you get what we mean?
Shintaro D - "Kohisikarubeki" (Mr KS remix) (13:07)
Review: The Jus Groove It label is, of course, all about deep house music, and who better to help them in their quest than Djebali? The French producer is on exceptional form with the reduced but utterly seductive remix of Rhythm&Soul's "Andromeda's Dream", making dubbed out melodics and a mean bassline do all the work to deadly effect. Shintaro D gets reworked by Mr KS on the flip, and things get a little freakier with some errant synth wobbles and a minimal groove making for a distinctive, ear-snagging end result. It's definitely a record of two halves, and fortunately both halves are excellent.
Review: Given that Music Man regular Petar Dundov and Systematic boss Marc Romboy are both hugely successful producers in their own right, you'd expect this first collaborative release to be rather good. It is, of course, with pleasingly melodic A-side "Garden of Cyrus" leading the way. While the track's muted (but heavy) drums and squeezable acidic bassline provide the energy, it's the duo's layered electronic melody lines that really catch the ear. If you're in the mood for something darker and more suitable for pitch-black Berlin basements, creepy and hypnotic flipside "Caper Tran" should more than fit the bill.
Review: The Raw Joints series is one of the best things about the ever-excellent SlapFunk Records, and now the Dutch label is back with a fresh bout of sounds from some of the most inventive artists operating in the minimal house sphere. Ferro's "Electric Sunshine" leads the charge with a militant groove and a rubbery bassline to die for. William Caycedo has a rugged, sample slicing thrust at work on "Mi Casa", while Malin Genie takes things far out on the wonderfully freaky "Superposition". The record wraps up with Ingi Visions, whose "RJG" wriggles into a skippy 2-step groove that will have bodies shaking uncontrollably when it gets deployed in the dance.
Review: The high grade, leftfield approach to house music Lyssna have set out as their MO continues in fine style on this new Colours series, starting with the Yellow EP and a strong cast of characters from the outer reaches. Riciar Ghir opens up proceedings with the tumbling deep house of "Cargo", making the keys dance with distinction and injection a subby rumble where it counts. Minimal Afrika follow that up with a percussive tryst entitled "Drakma Queen" that blossoms into a sumptuous ambient excursion. Robotalco takes a very different approach with some classically pumping sample-powered house music to shake feel-good fists to, and then Klubbhuset finishes up with an impassioned romp through peak time disco licks for the peak of the night.
Review: London-based, Greek minimal tech house aficionados Holdie Gawn & Micawber return to present the tenth edition on their beloved Sylphe imprint. It's a limited edition affair as per usual, so don't sleep on this one. On the A side, Gawn (aka Kreon) serves up the tripped-out early morning reductions of "Gleech Huis"- the sort of oddball groove you could imagine the likes of Rhadoo playing at an ungodly hour of the morning. On the flip, it's over to Micawber, who is otherwise known as Alex Celler - so you know you're in for a treat courtesy of this true master of the art. His boompty minimal funk jam "Parsec Telemetry" is much more upbeat and less abstract than his usual work, and channels the early vibe of classic Daniel Bell.
Review: The Drifted Flow label made an early move in 2015 with a release from Tommy Vicari Jnr, but now returns with an entirely different premise - an eight-track double pack of fresh, invigorating minimal house jams from lesser-known and adventurous producers. Henry Hyde gets the collection off to a strong start with the wobbly funk of "Perchin," all dirty bass wobble and loose swinging rhythms. Elsewhere Martinez flirts with the crooked thump of electro, Alicia Hush wriggles through an abstraction of garage and Bilal channels a little of the Boogizm magic you might expect from S-Max or Fym. Overall, it's a release loaded with personality and flair for minimal spinners wanting some spicier ingredients for their mix.