Manuk & Oli Silva - "Nevermind The Crispies" (5:55)
Eliaz - "Verdico" (7:06)
Meta 4 - "Urnammu" (7:45)
Jorge Gamarra - "Dypac" (5:42)
Review: There's a certain air of buy-on-sight mystique around EYA Records, somewhere between the low-key presentation of the music and the cult artists they're calling on to realise their particular vision of deviant dancefloor business. This is unabashed freaky party tackle, from Manuk & Oli Silva's delirious B-movie jack track "Nevermind The Crispies" to the uneasy electro snarl of "Verdico". Meta 4 has equally nightmarish moods to share on the graveyard acid of "Urnammu" and Jorge Gamarra seals the deal with the schlocky braindance horror of "Dypac". It's the kind of record that you'll be reaching for come Halloween, trust.
Review: In what is surely an unexpected collaboration in the field of house and techno, Mosaic mastermind Steve O'Sullivan teams up with Ricardo Villalobos for a hypnotic trip through minimal landscapes that plays to both of their strengths. The rock-solid rhythm of "Sullric" surely belongs to O'Sullivan while the rich, subtle layers of samples, tones and other such sonic decorations come straight from the Villalobos school of production. The two mixes on this 12" only have minor differences - whichever side you drop things will get considerably deeper than they were previously. Of such ingredients are classy, immersive techno joints made.
Review: Stunningly beautiful double-pack from OCH for Autoreply Music's 20th release. Following on from output on renowned labels like PAL SL, Trelik, Bass Culture he returns to Autoreply with seven tracks of playable perfection. By focusing on stripped-back percussive grooves, sparse 909 drum-programming and ultra fine-tuned dynamics he certainly proves with tracks "Samarkand Sulci" and "Snarecrow" that the original jackin' house/techno sound will always have plenty of life and soul. "Don't Fight It" is an 8.5 minute acid builder featuring haunting vocals and crisp synths whilst the bass driven dub of "Enceladus" wouldn't be complete without live delays and distorted pianos. Check Out "Morning Glory" for a surprise contender for this years balearic soundtrack or "C Ring" for ultimate warmth. Tracks for every situation and not to be missed!
Review: FarFromNormal are happy to announce the first vinyl only release of 2016 will be from the legend himself OCH. Coming from the back of years of musical experience we are proud to share with you a stunning original 4 track EP. The Hypnotic Distribution Systems EP is a perfectly produced record with a mixture of feelings through the EP on each track. This whole record just speaks for itself.
Review: It's been a hot minute since we heard something new from Och, but he's back on Autoreply with a double 12" of high-grade, stripped back tech house shot through with oodles of imagination. "Panamax" is the consummate dubby house track, a true immersion chamber of a track, while "The Sadness" brings a shuffling groove and some peppy key stabs to the table. "The Healer" is a more overtly minimal affair that would sound at home on PAL SL, while "Linear Response Function" keeps things tight and focused with a sturdy rhythmic framework and some spartan piano notes. "Incompressible Flow" has a submerged jazzy undercurrent to it, and "Lovers Roll" gets into that freaky house bounce heard on "The Sadness". Overall, it's another sterling grip of refined tracks from a seasoned pro.
Review: Thomas Berg's Soundscape Versions has Berlin very much at its heart; we're not talking street creds or look here, but purely musical aesthetic. It's champion artist, Octaedre, makes gorgeous swirls of dub techno and is named after one of Basic Channel's infamous 12"s, a totally fitting chice once you hear the fine groove of "M Nature II". Following the shadowy producer is E110 and the majestic glide of "Empty", another dubbed-out slammer, and while Mirage Man retains a form of dubbiness to his sonic manipulation, "6AM" is significantly more stripped-down and beat-heavy; "Tascam Loops" by Kuf takes a grainy palate of beats and bleeps, washes them over a fading glow of a bassline and wraps it all up in a nice techno package for you - probably the best tune on an already stellar EP. TIP!
Review: AE Recordings turns its attention to Oculus, who they describe as a "titan of the Icelandic techno scene", famed for his live sets that have kept bodies moving for the past decade. He commits some of his sounds to wax here, maintaining the otherworldly emotional lilt that often comes from the scene orbiting AE and Thule Records, but with a bolder sound palette than some of the icy dubbed out artists he rubs shoulders with. "Nostalgia" deals in powerful, swooning chord progressions, while "Rydgad" pings a set of metallic percussion around a sturdy but crooked low end groove. "Morph" takes things deeper, while "Flod" offers up a classy take on the minimal techno aesthetic, with added sound design trysts for good measure.
Review: Following previous outings on Blind Box and Half Baked, OddMann strike out on their own with a self-titled label to carry their crafty twists on the minimal house and techno formula. There's quite a tough, old-skool finish to "Track 1" on this no-nonsense 12", tapping up the early UK techno vibe in all its swooning pads and errant bleeps. "Track 2" is more aligned with the clean lines and head-nodding grooves of European minimal, but there's still plenty of space for surreal sound design in between the drums. "Track 3" dials up the swing and gets seriously funky, keeping things stripped back to let the DJ do their thing.
Review: The resurgence of Icelandic techno continues with the latest release on AE Recordings, seeing Bjarnar Jonsson returning to his long standing Ohm project alongside emergent talent Kvadrant. The pair were last seen on Kvadarant's Kontakt label, and their production partnership is clearly still yielding quality, dubbed out techno in the finest Scandinavian tradition. Even if all the tracks are built with a steely techno focus to them, the synth work and sound design scattered throughout the tracks elevates this to a higher level, not least on the bubbling geisers of signal processing that course through the middle of "Grip".
Review: OK EG appears from out of nowhere in a haze of the mellowest ambient techno and downtempo delights for your mind to melt into. "Creek" is a smooth but strident route in, the tidal lilt of the pads dissected by a finely paced beat loop that should find a comfortable home amongst deepest house heads. "Colours" does away with the drums and uses a plaintive sprinkling of keys and delays to create an evocative backdrop for fragile females vocals. "Reef I & II" is the clubbier cut, rolling out over the B side with a looming monosynth bassline and some dub techno inflections making it a smart choice for warm up scenarios especially.
Review: It's not often that you get to see Alan Oldham stepping out under his own name. The legendary Detroit artist is more commonly spotted as DJ T-1000 (or designing iconic artwork for techno labels) but this time around he's sharing some more house-minded delights for Finale Sessions. "Don't Take Me" is a haunting, mystical slice of deep house that fits into the Finale narrative perfectly, while "Wild" too offers up a distinctive approach that manages to be both refined and yet imbued with that Detroit roughness. "Breathe" may well be the best jam on the record, dealing in subtle threads of melody that conjure up the perfect dubby 4/4 confection.
Review: No one knows who One Day is. No one knows what the title of this EP is called. No one knows what the tracks are called. But we know that this is Office... And everything Baaz's Berlin-based label puts out has a great deal of detail invested in it and always requires attention. This is no exception as the mysterious vibe maestro takes us from warm, jazz-tinged chugging deep house to cascading aquatic ambience that bubbles and pops dreamily via fuzzy, springy downtempo. Who knows who's behind this masterpiece? Maybe One Day we'll find out...
Review: French producer Ortella is a staple of the Lyon based Mad Records and is also known for releasing on Rennes based imprint Rutilance. There's more dusty and reduced deep house here on the Believe EP. The A side features two sexy and swinging cuts such as "It's Good To Be Lost" (with its bouncy Juno bassline) and the rather Derrick Carter styled boompty business of "Attitude". On the flip, the funky disco loops of the title track are a bit of an afterthought when compared to the next track "Ass-ID" - undeniably the EP's highlight. This euphoric 303 acid journey jacks good and proper and will take you back to the days at The Warehouse circa '86 - when the likes of DJ Pierre and Adonis reigned supreme.
Review: It would be fair to say that Claque Musique, a freshly minted outlet for tactile tech-house, skewed deep house and otherworldly techno, has hit the ground running. Their debut release is something of an epic, featuring eight tried-and-tested cuts stretched across two slabs of wax. There's plenty of subtle variety on show throughout - compare, for example, the hissing percussion, jaunty synth bass and trippy spoken word vocals of Carola Pisaturo's "Ganzirri" and the jazzy, dub-flecked deep house shuffle of "Cenere" by Calma - plus a swathe of notable highlights. This include the spacey machine funk of Analog Inside's wonderful "Deep Time '88" and the psychedelic acid madness of Iuly B's "Alien Acid", whose delay-laden percussion hits are particularly wonky.
Review: Having largely operated on an autonomous self-release basis up to this point, Outstrip make a sturdy connection with the Dogmatik empire and serve up some of their crucial minimal house wares for all to behold. "A1" is a shimmering treat of a cut with just the right amount of colour bleeding in between the drums, while "NeproEP" strips things back to a raw, functional core. "Peremay" has an ultra-minimal, ever so slightly dubby vibe to it, while "Rastafara" keeps things as lean as possible as well. This is a record that does a sterling job of demonstrating how less can indeed be more.
Review: The FUSE London crew are back everyone, look out! Bringing the sound of their legendary daytime raves to us again and getting straight down to business on Enzo Siragusa's third edition of 5 are label mainstays Rich NxT (with the rolling and adrenalised "Badass") and the always impressive OdD aka Damian Daley & Danny Dixon joined by newcomer Rossko (making his production debut) on the rolling hypnotism of "Jabba The Hut". On the flip is Moscow Records boss Archie Hamilton (another mainstay of the label) with the woozy and tripped out after hours deepness of "Cirrus" and the Deep End Soundsystem affiliated Sam Bellis with the gutsy acid driven "Solstrole".