Review: Senida, Strobelight's second release, is a reprisal by the well seasoned and acclaimed producer Ruxpin under the alias Den Nard Husher and is his first ep under the alias since his 1999 2x12 "Nard's Groove" on Thule. The diverse selections of this ep are thunderous yet warm and emotive and illustrate the styles on the NY based label Strobelight Network.
Review: Having built his reputation via a regular series of self-released 12" singles, East End Dubs is now beginning to make guest appearances on selected labels. Here he pops up on the long established, vinyl-only INFUSE imprint with a trio of club-ready concoctions. On the A-side you'll find "Gradual Steps", a rolling and attractive fusion of bouncy deep house drums, spacey, Motor City chord, thickset bass and glitchy tech-house flourishes. As usual, there's a wonderful swing to his drums and the stretched-out chords are hazy and evocative. You'll find more of these sumptuous pads and chord progressions on similarly-minded flipside cut "Mind Traps", while closer "Enhance" is another deep house/tech-house hybrid blessed with a notably epic breakdown.
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: Earthen Sea adds to the Kimochi Sound with a soulful examination of indistinct margins, suffused with dusky haze. It's a heady atmosphere and has a palpable heaviness throughout. Starting the record are the concrete reverberations of You Don't Never Know, followed by the murky ebb and flow of Fly. 13 Beat(less) is diffused ambience.
Shielding fittingly closes the record, and weaves Earthen Sea's many textures with intricate syncopation.
Review: After releases on Saints & Sonnets and Stay Underground, It Pays, Berlin artist Quell aligns with the MIL label for the four track Tomahawk which further cements his reputation for no-nonsense, stripped back house and techno music. "Size 7" sets the tone, a dark, underground roller with a trilling bassline and acidy bleeps that sits nicely alongside the shimmering chords and deep dubby vibes of "Monolame". On the B-side, Harhead leads with fluid percussive rhythms and sequential kick drums to give an immediate groove-intrinsic melody. The energetic, groove-led tone continues into the last track, "Where Are They Now", a Dark, techno-fused stripped back rhythm track with an acid tinged-feel.
Review: Josefine Hellstrom Hansson's debut track "Water Cave" on HMWLA received ADJ support from AIlario Alicante, Robert Babicz, Piemont, Slam, Paco Osuna, Horse Meat Disco, Nick Warren, Gabriel Ananda and Ame. Now the Malmo-based producer and DJ readies a three track techno / house EP on HMWL's vinyl sublabel Heartbreak Records. On A-side alongside "Water Cave" Josefine offers a peak hour techno weapon called "Sensus". On B-side we find the smooth melodic "Volcanics" at 118 BPM while fellow swede Martinez deconstructs Sensus into a jazzy, mellow piece of minimal tech.
Review: Default Records has returned with its second release after compiling a roster of artists who are committed to establishing presence in the scene by pushing boundaries and pursuing excellence. Camelia starts us off on the A side with *Transferring*, which presents itself in a light and airy atmosphere. Its playful percussive notes are juxtaposed against its hypnotic groove making for a warm and easy listen. Macarie follows with *Flu*, a vibrant and dance-inducing sludge of gritty, piercing elements that seamlessly blooms into an emotional melody that is driven by its tantalizing rhythm. Label boss Exander shows the heavier side of his creative spectrum on the B side with *Odyssey*. The fullness of this cut accompanied by its intriguing and directive vocal is only enhanced by its delicate features and attention to detail. Closing out the compilation is Lulla's *Distort Time* which reveals all its insides with a symphony of glitchy bleeps and blops all reinforced by a cadence of drums and groove that stirs it into an electric soup.
Review: The annual Cocoon compilation is a perfect snapshot of what's going on in the more popular corners of the European techno scene. Curated by label head and Ibiza party king Sven Vath, this year's edition is a comparatively deep and melodic affair. A big shout goes to Talaboman for their excellently entitled "Big Room Anthemic Groovy Pounding Trance Dub Bomb Superb!" which is indeed a big room anthemic groovy pounding trance dub bomb, while Edward serves up a more twisted roller (the excellent "End Days"), Raxon goes deep with "The Turbulent" and Mark Broom hammers home with tripped out sci-fi banger "Jaded", amongst many other gems.
Review: Anders Trentemøller is one of the rising stars of the dance music scene, his remixes and productions have gained critical acclaim from a broad range of DJs and producers including Pete Tong, Sasha, John Digweed, Switch, MANDY, Mylo, Nathan Fake and Freeform Five. Released on the influential Poker Flat label this is set to be one of the definitive releases of 2006. Available as a limited edition double CD and double LP. Trentemøller is currently the most in-demand remixer (recently delivering critically acclaimed mixes for The Pet Shop Boys, The Knife, Royksöpp, Sharon Phillips and Moby) with releases on Naked Music, Get Physical, and of course Poker Flat/Audiomatique.
Review: Steve O'Sullivan's Mosaic train keeps on rolling, this time via the LTDX series which reaches its second station stop with two more dubbed out dancefloor delights for the deepest divers. O'Sullivan dons his Bluetrain guise to deliver the UK steppers-indebted "Armchair Analyst," which artfully folds subtle dubwise influences into its minimal techno construction. On the flip side, Roger Gerressen spaces things out good and proper with the slow-stalking groove of "Long Overdue," fusing the best elements of contemporary minimal and classic dub to create a fine extension of the Rhythm & Sound blueprint.
Review: The ever-essential deep house super group Mandar make the leap to an album in fine style after a few years of unbeatable EPs on their own Oscillat Music label and elsewhere. The self-titled LP is spread across a whopping five 12"s, but it gives latecomers a chance to catch up on some of their previous smashers such as "La Bocca" and "Delon" as well as presenting some fresh wares from the joint creative forces of Lazare Hoche, Malin Genie and Samuel Andre Madsen. The grooves bump just right, the moods unfurl like toffee-flavoured smoke and with these 12 jams Mandar prove once again why they're at the top of the deep house game.
Review: Mystery label Digwah debuted in the summer, with a soul soaked trip into minimal techno territory that was supported by Ricardo Villalobos, amongst others. Like that 12", Something Else is a single-sided, hand-stamped affair, with no information given about the identity of the producer (or producers) involved. This cut retains the late night techno vibe of the original, but with percussion and whizzing electronic noises that recall classic tech-house from the likes of Swag, Rob Mello and David Duriez, rather than Berghain-friendly minimalism. The subtle, party-minded approach is confirmed by the use of cut-up vocal samples from Cuba Gooding Jr's "Happiness Is Just Around The Bend", which also featured on Nightmares On Wax's 1990 bleep techno anthem, "Aftermath".
Review: Having regularly appeared on Junk Yard Connections and Banoffee Pies over the years, Adam Stromstedt has plenty going on, but he's also got the time and space for his own Lyssna label, and he returns with his first solo EP on the label. It's an accomplished record, mining the vibe of ambient techno and channeling it into contemporary production with soul-stirring results. "TST142" is a mellow groover with a trancey undercurrent, while "Reptile Boogie" swerves into blissed out electro for lazy days. "Green Room Therapy" places plaintive keys at the front of the mix and channels a little of Floating Points' magic, and then "Split Tongue" offers up the most overtly club-minded jam on the 12".
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: If you were around in 2006 and you hadn't heard Oxia's legendary anthem "Domino", you must have been sleeping under a rock! The track has certainly stood the test of time; so much so that the French producer has decided to celebrate its ten year anniversary with a series of remixes by some of the scene's current best. Some may say if it 'aint broke, why fix it? But rest assured that these renditions are equally worthy of your attention and come courtesy of Agoria's Sapiens imprint. m_nus alumnus Matador serves up a more hard hitting version than the original, where tough drums support adrenalised drones and Detroit style string stabs. Finally the master himself Robag Wruhme delivers the goods as always with his rather sublime "Lasika remix". The man's uncanny ability to recreate tracks that can compete with the original's quality is something to behold.
Review: On the A1 Chekov follows up their moves on Peach Discs and Timedance with a proper peak timer, they've been described by Ben UFO as 'king of the build up' and that's evident on this one. At the A2 London's Doppelate makes their Cong Burn debut with an elegant tech-house roller. Fresh from Russia's underground is Camin, on this, his debut 12" release he drops a useful tool which squeezes between electro and techno. Cong Burn founder Howes closes the B side with some warm hypnosis that could have landed in the golden era of Workshop.
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: 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: Adam Monti aka ADMNTi heads up 4Plae Records out of London and joins Casey Spillman (who just debuted on Infuse) for his label's fifth release. Monti opens with the hypnotic, bass-driven and swing-fuelled loops of "0207", a sublime groove reminiscent of iO (Mulen) or Jack Wickham, while Spillman's contribution comes in the form of the very UK influenced bounce of "Juice Appeal". This takes the best of 2-step and garage (and even the mandatory "rewind") to create a sexy serving of late night mood music. On the flip they flip the script, with both artists remixing each other's track and for what it's worth we reckon it's all about Spillman's remix of Monti's - tough rolling and functional tech house that's aimed squarely at the main room at peak time!
Review: Much like its name would suggest, Outofstock's releases are pressed in small amounts for the dedicated Rominimal fans out there - and indeed they believe in quality over quantity. Following up some great releases by local young guns like Audiotheque, Sublee and Timofti, they now present the debut of Deweekend. While information is scarce on this enigmatic producer, we can sure bet they're on to great things if this eponymous EP is anything to go by. The A side houses the rolling, dubby and cavernous tech house action of "Nose Trauma" which is perfect tackle for the main room, followed by the super trippy afterhours thumper "Rabeat". On the flip, they go for more of a minimal house vibe and deeper into the morning hours with the woozy microfunk of "Makes Sensi" and the ultra deep glitchiness of "Re Searching".
Review: Thomas Berg's Soundscape Versions presents the third instalment on sublabel Mystic Versions with four unknown cuts by different artists across the globe, produced and performed using all analogue hardware gear. Sublime dub techno experiments captured in all their glacial and cavernous intensity, from the deep minimalist groove of "A1", the thumping delay-drenched reduction of "A2" to the housey and uplifting feel good vibes of "A4" with its jazz-bar loops. It's about quality over quantity on Mystic Versions and the wait has most certainly been worth the while.
Review: We never quite know what to expect from leftfield explorer Jon Hopkins, but we know it will be worth a listen. Immunity, his fourth solo album (he's recorded two others, one with Brian Eno and another with King Creosote), doesn't disappoint. Rooted in shuffling, forthright and occasionally off-kilter rhythms, it melds hazy, late night atmospherics and subtle melodies with intense, droning chords, woozy electronics and all manner of inventive noises. It's a blend that repeatedly pays dividends, from the mournful pianos and jumpy rhythms of "Breathe This Air', to the crystalline, soundscape ambience of "Abandon Window", and glitchy wonkiness of "Form By Firelight".
Review: Ted Krisko and Eric Rickers hail from Detroit, and their distinctive brand of snappy, playful electro and techno has already landed them releases on KMS, Visionquest and others. Now they land on 20/20 Vision with the devilishly fun "One LFO," an unremitting acid jam shot through with crafty drum programming and enough robotic lubricant to get the rustiest joints greased up and moving. Fellow Detroit champs Luke Hess and Delano Smith shore up on the flip with classy remixes, Hess waving his dubby strains over the original in inimitable form and Smith taking things deep, smooth and just a little spooky.