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: EYA Records presents a double 12" of plush techno and house spanning styles, giving four producers the chance to showcase the breadth of their sound with two tracks each. Innershades brings emotive 90s swoon and peppy acid to the A side, before Two Phase U slips in a little uptempo robo-disco sauce and a feisty jack track. Otis takes things in the direction of wiggy proto-trance and bleep techno, and then Zots finishes up with freaky synth work dripping with mischievous personality. This is a set of tracks that demands to be noticed - don't sleep.
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: 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.
Too Late For Nonesense (Omar live Out Of Box tool) (6:25)
Review: Indigenous Electronic's second release the "No Market for Emotion" EP pushes further into organic territory with a hardware driven release. The A side sees two tracks on the dubbier end of the spectrum recorded by Iranian producer Ramtin Niazi, a musician with a background in instrumental music, now with a greater focus on machine orientated electronic music. Niazi's contribution sees him delivering two low slung tracks: "Naked Dub" progressing with Lush emotional pads and "Cash Dub" a moodier counterpart. The B side sees the label's head Omar Jayyusi's debut release, with two entirely out the box jams recorded straight to two track. "Pyramid" has a deep and solid rumbling low end, acid basslines and percussive drums. "Too Late for nonsense", is a sub-bass focused micro house dj tool, punchy and reaching the lower end of the dynamic range.
Limited release of x 200 vinyl only without repress.
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: 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: 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...