Review: Although only a few months have passed since Constant Sound was first minted, the label run by Burnski and Jon Woodall is now ready to unleash its fourth EP. Entitled Raw Moments, it features a hot original by Paolo Rocco and is backed with accomplished remixes from the legendary Nail as well as boss man Burnski.
Canadian Rocco is well known on the Montreal circuit for his broad and energetic DJ sets, whilst he has also cracked the Beatport charts with his own tunes, namely 'Move Body, Move Forward' on Klasse, as well as with follow ups on Real Tone. He impresses once again here with 'Raw Moments', a track that does exactly what it says on the tin.
The whole track is built upon rock solid kick drums that bounce and bobble about as curious bird sounds and gloopy synths dart about next to cow bells and hi hats. It's expertly lively and robust.
First to re-imagine the track is Burnski, who injects some seriously fat bass, a subtle sense of shuffle and infectiously crafted grooves laden with dub motifs and rich reverb. It's perfectly designed for no frills and non stop dancing, frankly.
Last to remix is DIY Discs man, Classic Music Company associate and all round house tastemaker Nail. His Smoke Dub is a bulky house jam with buffed metal melodies, squelchy drums and sci-fi synth sounds that is deep, stays low and is perfect for back room basements.
This label might only be on its fourth release, but already it has announced itself as a go to outlet for fans of fresh intelligent sounding house, and this release only confirms that.
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!
Review: Robin Ball has been on a roll of late, flaunting his wares on the Memory Box label amongst others. He makes a second outing on Groovepressure with four tracks of dynamic, inventive machine jams touching on synthwave influences and a healthy dose of electro. There's atmosphere loaded into each of these forthright, roughly hewn workouts, not least on the eerie, trancey synth strings on "Mr Mumble". The B side features the steadiest material in the shape of two versions of "Satin" that tap into the housier end of Ball's output.
Review: As legends go, Don Carlos can be held pretty high up there. There are few producers which can instil as much admiration as the Italian deep house producer. Here he steps up to the stellar Imogen Recordings with a two tracker which proves he can still do what he does best. 'Alina' is eyes closed business right from the off. Waves of atmospheric synth strings and hazy chords roll in, as blissful pads sway with filtered drum loops. Part II is a variation on this masterpiece, progressing through the intro in a speedier fashion for those that need an express ticket to that peak time power. Alone on a Mediterranean beach or surround by a packed dancefloor, Alina is one to get lost in from start to finish and a solid statement that Don Carlos certainly still has 'it'.
Review: Usually one half of Dubsons, Vlad Arapasu has gone on to produce some of his best music since he started flying solo a couple of years ago. Following up last year's appearance on Priku's Atipic (one of the 2018's highlights) he's back with the fifth edition for the label's Lab series. Arapasu goes deeper into the night in more abstract fashion for these three moody backroom dubs. From the rolling hi-octane groove of "Basic Moves" which is aimed squarely at Tent 3 at this year's edition of Sunwaves, to the moody and glacial dub techno workout of "Vandab" and the moody yet sultry afterhours groove of "Pitch Mode".
Review: Illyus & Barrientos are the rising Scottish tech-house duo that are staples of top labels DFTD and Glasgow Underground, and who had a breakthrough year in 2018. They kick start this year with a future anthem on the label they now call home: Toolroom. There is a couple of worthy new bangers here: from the exhilarating funky house explosion of "The One" and its infectious disco loops, to the fierce tech-house stomp of "Shout" named after the pitched-up diva vocals throughout - that will no doubt whip the crowd into a frenzy. This in combination with a tough rolling, bass-driven groove that is aimed squarely at peak time dancefloors in the main room and it's a hit prediction right here! Expect to be hearing it a lot in 2019 for sure.
Review: After a two-year hiatus, the "Watergate Affairs" series returns with an EP of tracks from what the legendary Berlin label describes as "talent from outside the crew's immediate circle". Danish duo Baime step up first with the humid late night techno exotica of "Majka" - all Indonesian percussion, snake charmer synths and Teutonic grooves - before Kadosh offers up the melodious tech-house/deep-house fusion of "Better Days". Turn to the flip for a dash of quietly euphoric White Isle tech-house goodness from Ibiza-based Kintar ("Paradisou") and the extra-percussive throb of Kevin Di Serna's "Lucero Del Alma", where evocative electronic lead lines bubble above moody bass and pulsating synthesizer motifs.
Doodlebug - "Loose In Your Mind" (Silverlining remix) (7:03)
Review: Yet more gems from the Silverlining studio, this time turning to the much sought after "Breezin Thru" track originally released in 1998. This is a true classic from the golden era of tech house, rooted in the London scene defined by the likes of Terry Francis and the like, and yet it sounds like it could have been made yesterday. The strident, upfront beat and immersive atmospheric shimmers are pure dancefloor gold. On the flip, Andy Blake and Dave Coker's Doodlebug project gets the remix treatment, winding up as crafty electro breaks with a tilt towards the deep end of the dance.
Review: Following the excellent instalment from DJ Skull, Mentha continues to gather pace as a house and techno label of note with this sublime offering from Hakim Murphy. While the Chicago native may be known for some bruising hardware house and techno a lot of the time, he's showing his more sensitive side on this release with delicate tracks that head into deep techno waters. The title of the EP says it all, as nimble, expressive beats merge with soothing, aqueous pad tones for a most satisfying of listening experiences. Fans of early deep techno a la B12 and Stasis will find much to enjoy here.
Review: Techno heads with an appreciation of forgotten and almost-lost gems will be happy with this one. Mark Ambrose's 'Dimensions' first saw the light of day on Steve O'Sullivan's Mosaic way, way back in 1997, and here is finally remastered for the modern world. And what a treat it is. A shining example of just how compelling, addictive and inescapable tracks can be without needing to be particularly hard, those looking for adjectives will find them in the likes of tough, solid and crisp. The four tracks all follow a similar trajectory, deep but purposeful dancefloor stuff where sub bass rules and alien noises become warbling hooks- not leat on 'Cable Talk'. Those looking to stomp in the dark may find 'Signs 'N' Lights' is the go-to, 'Photo Funk' is pure darkroom mechanical groove and 'Bassoon' a sharp tech builder.
Review: London-based Italian duo Konstress are back with their third release on their self-titled imprint, and it once again shows the pair progressing with a dynamic, detailed and original approach to stripped down dance music. The first track pits a stuttering groove against blown out keys and a smorgasbord of errant synth noises, and those noises jump across to the second track to plot a course through a highly textured, ominous soundscape where the drums have been left behind. The B1 track sports a tough, crooked groove and warm, sci-fi synth tones while the B2 takes a more eerie direction into deep and dingy techno. A classy, highly developed record for adventurous souls.
Review: While he's continued to offer up occasional singles, Bonn-based producer Dominik Eulberg has not released an album for eight years. It's for this reason that "Mannigfaltig", the former Traum Schallplatten regular's new set, is big news. Interestingly, it's nowhere near as club-focused as you'd perhaps expect, with Eulberg combining his usual glitchy, tech-house influenced beats and sounds with a range of intricate electronic motifs, sumptuous melodies and atmospheric aural textures. There are one or two club cuts, of course, but majority of the tracks bob along at a more sedate pace, with Eulberg offering up cuts that draw influence from IDM and hazy electronica. As a result, it may well be his most coherent and "listenable" album to date.
Review: Matthias Tanzmann's Moon Harbour imprint presents a couple of hot remixes by duo Super Flu. Felix Thielemann and Mathias Schwarz originally released "Monaberry" back in 2007 - right around the time of the famed mid-noughties minimal boom. The track's name went on to become the title of their own imprint which they established a couple of years later before going on to produce for other esteemed labels such as Herzblut, Hommage and Mule Musiq. Featured here is an electrifying 2019 rework of the track, in addition to a tough rolling main-room tech house remix by boss man Tanzmann - and of course the original version.
Review: 'The Man-Machine' is closer to the sound and style that would define early new wave electro-pop. Less minimalistic in its arrangements and more complex and danceable in its underlying rhythms. Like its predecessor, 'Trans-Europe Express', there is the feel of a divided concept album, with some songs devoted to science fiction-esque links between humans and technology, often with electronically processed vocals ("The Robots," "Spacelab," and the title track); others take the glamour of urbanization as their subject ("Neon Lights" and "Metropolis"). Plus, there's "The Model," a character sketch that falls under the latter category but takes a more cynical view of the title character's glamorous lifestyle. More pop-oriented than any of their previous work, the sound of 'The Man-Machine' in particular among Kraftwerk's oeuvre had a tremendous impact on the cold, robotic synth pop of artists like Gary Numan, as well as Britain's later new-romantic movement.
Review: Jack's House is back with another wedge of crucial cuts from a spread of big hitters, kicking off with Alex Arnout and the tightly wound roller "Hypersomnia." Tuccillo is in a heads down mood on "Another Day," letting the drums and the bassline do the brunt of the work. Terry Francis favours a heavy, smoky sound palette that has a bassline that will do some serious damage on a decent system - "Jua" is easily the strongest track on the record. Killan Vega closes the record with a smart deep house jam peppered with crafty sound design elements that lift the track beyond the average chord-led workout.
Review: The Jack's House label lays out a manifesto on the brand of refined deep and minimal house that makes its switch flick with this choice various artists release. Two Diggers are up first with "Trick Me", a subtle but immersive slice of deep house that punches where it counts. James Dexter takes a trippier approach with "Cables", letting artful delays and modulation ping around the mix for a truly standout club jam. 2VILAS have a focused drive behind "Verve", but then Miffy & Miller come bowling in at the 11th hour with "Vertiver" and pump things up to a mid-00s Plus 8 style bounce, and who can blame them when they bring such peak-time heat?
Review: The second of the UNTLD Protagonist Series, by Furz, savours the spirit of Alfred Tailor, an influential figure in the development of the bright young artist, whose first EP is strong and smooth, with raw energy, sultry and primal. The title track is remixed by Laurine Frost, who inspired by the South American hypnosis of the artist, takes it further, developing the dialogue and deepening the percussive structure, whilst maintaining the mystique and spirit of Alfred Tailor. The second original work on the record, entitled 'Torino Soul' is an ode to the automobile of Alfred Tailor, it opens serenely as if racing through the valleys of Cordoba's horizon, scenery rushing by on a hot day. Amidst this, the mechanical metal of the engine revolves in it place, as we are rushed forward, and the voice heard a memory both of the machine and the man, Alfred Tailor.
Cafe Del Mar (Tale Of Us Renaissance remix) (8:18)
Cafe Del Mar (Nalin & Kane remix) (9:46)
Review: Energy 52 aka Paul Schmitz-Moormann and Harald Bluechel inaugurated the semail Frankfurt trance label Eye Q with the anthem "Cafe Del Mar" in 1993, named after the long running Ibiza bar and institution. It was the soundtrack to the rave culture movie Human Traffic in 1999 and later went on to be voted #1 in Mixmag's 2001 '500 Best Tracks Ever' list. Here, Renaissance recruit Tale of Us for the second edition of their quarterly-century celebrations. The modern experts in dancefloor drama were sure to deliver a stunning remix, that works the truly evocative qualities of the original into a shape for modern dancefloors - and it further enhances the levels of tension and suspense. Next up on the flip, German legends Nalin & Kane's remix from 1998 appears, delivering a zeitgeist from trance music's heyday.
Review: The unknown CFW GRF steps up with Seeking Balance, a three-track 12" that forms the third release from Malin Genie's recently established Vigenere label. Like the previous two releases, expect stripped-back minimal cuts geared towards club play. "The Light" is a real B-side gem!
Review: ** Camera's ready. Prepare for the Repress ** Curtis Jones is never one to rest on his laurels, as his staggering back catalogues as Green Velvet and Cajmere can attest but such is the force of his personality that a new release still feels like an event. "Bigger Than Prince" capitalises on Jones' knack for a vocal that lambasts the less earnest quirks of the dance music industry, while creating the hook to make the track a bomb in the same instance. Production-wise, there's a measured strut to the track with some choice growling bass synths and an underlying disco flavour that suits Jones just fine. On the remix front, Circus turn to The Martinez Brothers to hammer out a rolling, percussion focused version perfect for big room mixing, while Hot Since 82 turn out a similar line in boompty peak time damage.