Review: Swiss producer Alci, also known as Shaolin Fantastic, landed with lauded releases on Robsoul before skipping to other labels like Apollonia and Meander. Following last year's excellent "Diversity" double pack, he lands on his own label Seeingsounds with this pitch perfect slice of dreamy minimal house. "Acid Drip" may be a misleading title - it's more of an unending groove draped in gorgeous, shimmering melodic finery. "Hiragana" takes things in a more twitchy direction, while "Apachi" brings another slant on reduced, oddball funk to get the up all night crowd loose and freaky in all the right ways.
Review: Edanticonf has been a mainstay of Silent Season for many years now, first delivering an album and EP to the Canadian label back in 2012. Since then he's travelled to labels such as M_REC, Wolfskuil, Phorma and Linear Movement, but he's back home to roost with this gorgeous four-tracker that plays on his trademark sound. Rich with melancholic synth work and moving with a purposeful but thoughtful pace, this is exactly the kind of evocative techno that makes Silent Season a buy on sight label. Every track tells its own story, but the starry twinkle of "The Metamorphosis Of Plants" is especially captivating.
Review: Through a series of must-check releases on Nous'klaer Audio, Ruben Uvez AKA Konduku has proved to be one of the more thoughtful and inventive producers to emerge in recent times. While some of his previous releases have strayed away from the dancefloor, his first outing on Idle Hands is a wonderfully basement-bothering affair full of tracks tailor made for hazy, early morning sets. It boasts two suitably dark, dubby and clandestine cuts - the echoing dub techno pulse of "Lila" and the sub-heavy, Livity Sound style flex of "Bolu" - plus two more melodic outings. Of these, we're particularly enjoying "Caduata Di Massi", where deliciously dreamy chords ebb and flow around stabbing analogue bass and crunchy drums.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: relik returns with a repackaged edition of one of the catalogue's most treasured releases. "Overcome" and "Lady Science (NYC Sunrise)" need little introduction, and now come sporting the new TR11:11 matrix number. Written and produced by Thomas Melchior and Baby Ford aka Soul Capsule, these tracks came from one of the many sessions recorded at the West London Ifach Studio in 1999. On the A Side "Overcome" is stripped back and energetic, driven by rolling and shuffling garage style beats, tight bubbling bass and atmospheric synth pads. The intermittent vocal samples and the release's signature organ set you up for the flip, "Lady Science (NYC Sunrise)". Possibly one of house music's most emotive pieces, the track builds slowly with the introduction of each part building a story of soulful optimism based around a sparse palette of deep synths, uplifting keys and warm analogue bass. The understated beauty of the main vocal riff never seems to grow old or tired with the track lending itself perfectly to either main room, peak-time play or after-hours sessions alike. Remastered by Rashad at D & M.
Review: The latest drop on Mr KS & Friends comes from Sylan 101, an artist making a truly accomplished debut brimming with musicality and fresh beat constructions compatible with, but not beholden to a deep house vibe. "Nostalgia (Healing Of Time)" is a smoky broken beat groove with gentle piano chords and muted trumpet, while "Brief Encounters" draws on subtle guitar licks and harmonious pads for decoration over snaking drums. "Been There Once" heads in a more mysterious direction, throwing some spoken word refrains into the mix and keeping the instrumentation more subtle and atmospheric.
Review: Originally prolific in the late 90s and back with a renewed sense of vigour in the past few years, Dan Piu's classic, widescreen vision of hardware techno captures the verve of the original Detroit blueprint while bringing a fresh, welcome energy to the genre. This drop on Common Dreams brims with the same head-swirling magic, especially on vividly rendered lead track "Halo City". "Falling Framework" has a more mellow veneer, but there's still so much playful detail bringing the track to life. "Akira 2171" has an old-skool sci fi quality balanced out by its linear sense of progression, and "Ilipsyon" takes things deeper into a wistful jack reminiscent of the spookiest Trax output.
Review: Nebraska's Friends & Relations series continues to serve up the finest disco-sprinkled house delights, following on from the previous installment of Disco Dubs with another on point reduction of dusty grooves through the mixing desk. These jams are stripped back and oh so heavy, with FX flaring in all the right places to give an eerie, trippy tint to the jams. It's like walking into the deep end of the session where Walter Gibbons jams with King Tubby uptown, and you'd be right in thinking that's a match made in far-out disco heaven.
Review: After debuting his Pakzad moniker on Infiltrate last year, Justin Pak makes the leap to Burnski's Constant Sound with this assured set of electro workouts built for the modern age. "Timeless" is a snappy, vibrant cut with a serious amount of techno propulsion to match the crooked funk of the beats. "Clutch" has a more trippy, melodic twist, while "Correlation" hunkers down into a more backroom vibe as detailed as it is freaky. This is seriously executed electro from a fast-rising talent - nab a copy, drop it into a set and watch the bodies writhe.
Review: Edward's graceful take on modern house and techno is a perfect fit for Trelik, and the German producer sounds comfortable as he unfurls swooning threads of otherworldly music for the tripped out dancefloor. The "Ogermania Mx" of "Mikko" is a hazy, string soaked affair pitched somewhere warm and dreamlike, but there's plenty of energy churning away in the lower register. "Lottery" is a more twitchy affair for darker times, all moody bass bounce and looming drones around a shuffling set of percussion. "Groaning Ghosts" is the techiest of the bunch, and there's a whole lot of freaked out sound design swirling around in the mix as well. This is simply stunning, highly advanced dance music from a modern day maestro.
Review: Icelandic label Lahar debuts with this highly impressive release from NonniMal, who was previously spotted dropping the classy "Freyja" 12" on AE Recordings back in 2016. Sound design is the order of the day on "Eitt" as a beautifully rendered set of percussive bell notes chime around a minimal rhythm section - a piece pointedly geared towards transcendence. "Tvo" has an intriguing slant to its groove, as the sharply oscillating synth wobble juts out against the grain of the drums. "Thrju" takes things in a bleak but captivating direction, while "Fjogur" cools the record down in a cloud of blissful, frostbitten ambience.
Review: Low-slung stuff from the Nabucco label bossman, with the original just as primed for afternoon party vibes as it is the earliest morning sets. Gradually building momentum from its pared back stepping opening, soaring synth lines and subtle vocal stabs invoke the glory days of West Coast house- as smooth as it is uplifting, warm and inviting. On the flip, Mandar's remix retains most of the same elements, placing a more emphasis on the keyboard stabs and, although running for less time, has a greater sense of journey. Its dubby mid section allowing plenty of room for jazz inflected pianos to usher in smoky, chilled-out vibes in direct contrast to the punchier moments. The result is arguably even more useful that the original, and certainly something capable of pulling dancers in and not letting go.
Review: Steadily building up a prominent identity in the bustling minimal house and techno thoroughfare, The Untold Stories return with one of their signature various artist compilations to present some lesser known practitioners of the hypnotic groove. Jerome C gets a rugged angle on the swing to his beats on "An Intelligible Scrawl", while Volta Cab nods to a classic Tobias jam with "Street Knowledge". MD Wallholz's "Ein Bisschen Ruhe" is a shivering slice of experimental electro, and Jonas Sella brings an unhinged French flavour to proceedings, but truthfully every jam on this solidly packed release has its own distinct character that fits into the meandering tale the label is unfurling.
Review: Next up on Acid Pauli and Nico Stojan's Ouie imprint are two veterans of the electronic music scene, but the label bosses are pretty tight lipped about their identity beyond that. Showing off some serious night moves on "Slow Down", the title track is perfect Berlin sunrise material: a lush serving of low-slung techno-pop that makes the perfect summer soundtrack. On remix duties is Lovestruckk, the duo comprising of Stojan and Holmar Filipsson (aka Thugfucker) inject more dancefloor dynamics before closer "Slow Down", a slinky and hypnotic tech house cut moves the EP into a moodier sonic territory.
Review: Carl Craig's annus mirabilis for remixing continues in similar vein as his work on Theo Parrish and Delia Gonzales, the take here of Bobo Shanti's "Poor People Must Work" should be hugely popular at all this summer's parties. Rhythm & Sound construct, by their own admission, a hard-steppin-funk Basic reshape of Willi Williams' by-now epochal "See Mi Yah" a true dub anthem for the dancefloor.
Review: We're very happy to see a renewed interest in Underground Resistance sub-label Happy Records: which is sure known for its fair share of house classics. Quite fitting then that the chief retrovert Gerd Janson over at Running Back saw it fit to issue some remixes of the classic "Sunshine" by Unit 2 aka Raphael Merriweathers Jr. and Niko Marks. KiNK's remix on the A side is a nice modern revision of the track which retains those uplifting trademark pianos but adds some of his thunderous trademark 909 drum machine workouts beneath. On the flip, lo-slung disco pranksters Tiger & Woods do a remix which cuts up and stutters those said pianos (and the vocals) to interesting effect plus adding some nice boompty swagger into it.
Review: Ilian Tape continues to be code for "absolutely killing it mate" with the Zenker brothers introducing us and you to the production talents of Sciahri with the Mysterious Love 12". Spend some time with the sound clips here and you'll be hard pushed to believe this is Sciahriar Tavakoli's debut 12" as Sciahri, such is the standard of productions. Tavakoli's stated interest in the loop techno pioneered in 90s era Birmingham is very much evident on a cut like "The Dream Is True" but there's some nice little touches slipped in that give it some true personality such as the spin back in the breakdown. The title cut is a stern faced dubby number that just tunnels and tunnels away, whilst there's a cheeky strut to the way Tavakoli implements the filters on "Mind". The final track "Emblema" is the kind of techno number you want to drop right when everyone has forgotten their names.
Review: Back in October, Fabian Winkels donned the Ho Do Ri guise for the first time, delivering a fine minimal funk two-tracker. For this swift follow-up, he's returned to the INFUSE label he previously graced under the Fabe alias. Like its predecessor, Lost In Betty's Ford boasts swinging, funk-fuelled tech-house cuts driven forwards by rubbery rhythm tracks, jammed-out basslines, and glitchy, cut-up samples. While the two deep house-informed flipside cuts are rather good, the real heat is on the A-side. Choose between the subtle, garage-influenced shuffle of "Elotrans", and the elastic tech-funk of "High Level Booster". Both, though, are well worth heavy rotation.
Review: As the recent label compilation proved, Will Saul's Aus Music are dealing in strictly heavy hitters these days and they don't come much bigger than Paul Woolford do they? Heaven & Earth looks to be Woolford's latest concept-laden 12", arriving a few months after the Spesh Request man laid down the Mother & Child single for Hotflush. Split into two parts, "Heaven & Earth" finds Woolford channelling a rich brand of tech-laden house music and one that is adorned with swooping orchestral flourishes amidst the thick swathes of bass. The more pared-back part II just nudges it for us.
Review: In his funk-informed, edit-rich guise for Daphni/Caribou's Jiaolong imprint, Chaz 'Toro Y Moi' Bundick drops another sublime two-tracker of impeccably informed groove for sharp dancers and fearless romancers. "Grind" wastes no time in getting down with a sublime roll of drums, sleek bass and perfect touches of boogie synth, leaving space for some spaced out vocoder vocal over the top. "Prelims" heads off into more experimental territory with a low riding beat and droning, detuned melodies aimed squarely at creating a future-soul hybrid for the open-minded heads to tap into. There are serious legs to Bundick's project and this record serves to build on those pins with plenty of grace and oodles of style.
Review: Last spotted on Vakant, Detroit's man of mystery returns to D'Julz' Bass Culture after four years with three more rough, warm Motor City jams. "Castaway" takes off without so much as a compass. Heading towards the light with every added rhythmic element and cascading arpeggio, it drives into the horizon with equal measure of focus and looseness. "Doin It To Ya Baby" takes a subaquatic disco approach - the wide beats are wrapped in subtle slapbass twangs and dubby overlays while "Wara Coco" is a trippier twist into the shadows as raindrop textures trickle over a low and slow groove and incessant humanised loops. Remix-wise Orlando Voorn peppers the lead track with a little analogue funk and mild acid tweaking. After this castaway you'll never want to come home...
Review: 'Ploy' is the imitating release by Basic Channel even before they had found their name under which they would create a complete outstanding release sequence. The vibe here is very infected by the early 90s Detroit techno movement. The B-side features an extended playing atmospheric remix by Detroit's major force Underground Resistance (2005 re-mastered re-issue!).
Review: Something Records boss, elusive production room deviant, raw house outsider, and Perlon regular, STL, rises back up from the shadows and drops a new EP for Portugal's low-key Assemble Music. As per usual, he's cool, he's tight with his beats, and he means business; "Crank Notion" itself is a bubbly, playful house number complete with the man's signature percussive twist and deranged pseudo bells - all in all, an effective DJ tool with an edge. Over on the flip, "Neat Buzzl" gets all the love from us; a woozy, dark and cavernous techno bomb with a slow pace and a mean lean. It's exactly the sort of gear we want to be pulled out at 4am. Choice cuts, as always.
Review: After Hamid kicked off the H+ label last year he returns with an intriguing double pack that draws on a wide variety of collaborators to turn out some truly innovative leftfield house music sounds. There's an overarching theme of micro house hovering around Methods For The Madness Vol 1, but it's far from run of the mill stuff. The opening cut featuring Josh Tweek is a sparkling, swinging affair that piles on the funk and the delirious effects, while Jesse Morrison's own turn on the closing track winds up in a haunting, abstract slice of refined reduction.
Review: Having delivered a stand out pair of EPs to Untilmyheartstops last year and moonlighted on Greta Cottage Workshop, Freerotation alumni Duckett lands on the ever adventurous Galdoors with a spellbinding collection of compositions that seek to send delicate synthesiser sequences into romantic, cosmic pastures. "No Relation To Me" shimmers with intricate layers of melody while "My Other Life On Earth Begins This Morning" works around off-kilter rhythmic configurations to create a hypnotic workout. The subtlety carries through to the B-side, where "Everything Works Backwards" pulls at the heartstrings before "But My Mind" settles into a woozy, uneasy funk.
Review: German house abstractionist Isolee makes a welcome return, surfacing on Pampa with his first new material since dropping his album Well Spent Youth on Koze's label back in 2011. Creative batteries recharged, Isolee is in familiar form on the three track Allowance 12"; the title track adopts his trademark bare bone approach with soothing lines of melodic intoxicants gently pulsing with intent over the soft edged house groove. This hypnotic opener hogs the A Side, leaving the chiming minimalist rhythmics of "You Could Do Your Memories" to duel for your attentions with the far too playful "Wobble".
Review: Ex-resident Tresor DJ Dave DK and new name Ricoshei provide Pampa Recordings with their first release of the year. First up is the poppy "Perfect Like You", which would feel right at home on Kompakt thanks to its similarities to Superpitcher's "Joanna". On the B-side is the track "Woolloomooloo", which takes its name from a harbourside suburb in Sydney that's home to famous Australians like Russell Crowe and ex-Manchester United goal keeper Mark Bosnich. Nevertheless, the track itself is a moody and phosphorescent, almost ambient, excursion through synthy textures and uplifting vibes.
Review: Despite some ill advised comments from Vondelpark stating their apparent lack of interest in current dance music trends, it's clear that the R&S signed troupe focus on a sound that makes them eminently remixable. Robag Wruhme is the latest producer to remould Vondelpark on this pair of remixes for DJ Koze's Pampa label, drawing on the sounds of "California Analog Dream" for inspiration. Kudos to Koze as the Kompakt mainstay is on sublime form here; the lead 'Moppa Habax NB' version retains certain elements of Vondelpark's original but weaves a loving ultra-violet sheen around them whilst laying down the kind of sumptuous house beat that makes you ponder the validity of Vondelpark's aforementioned comments. The accompanying 'Habay Latoff NB' version pulls the track deeper into DJ tool territory and feels like the sort of track Michael Mayer would drop deep into a set.
Review: You could say Robag Wruhme has been around the block a few times, thanks to a storied career that's seen him release music with Sonar Kollektiv, Circus Company and the many extensions of the Kompakt family. This latest release for Pampa is his second appearance on DJ Koze's label and he delivers a varied EP of sounds, ranging from the sewer techno of "Cybekks" to the crackly, John Beltran-like ambience of "Anton I". "Volta Cobby" is a sizzling cut for the summer festival stage (good timing Pampa) while "Anton II" is another ambient session, this time a little more animated thanks to chimes similar to what's heard in Pantha Du Prince's music. A record for the festival or the chilled out lounge room.
Review: Bringing that tough-edged Dutch bounce like only he can, Anil Aras returns to Slap Funk with another shipment of forthright deep house righteousness that packs in heads-down techy elements alongside the addictive shuffle of the drums. "Utr" is an unabashed tribute to Aras' hometown of Utrecht that rides high on a killer chord stab, while "Anbush 46" wriggles its way into more minimal territory without losing that hard-grooving spirit. Fellow label regular Malin Genie equally twists up that percussion into a bugging beatdown that harks back to the funkiest threads of the minimal era on his remix before "My Side Of The Street" diverts into sparse 2-step territory.
Stabilize (Mark & Matt Thibideau Reconstruction) (7:21)
Review: The 'Reconstructed' series has featured reworks by legends such as Steve O'Sullivan, Thomas Melchior and Cobblestone Jazz, whose take on tracks from Paul St. Hilaire and Rhauder's debut LP Derdeoc was originally released in 2017. On the third and final edition in the series, the Berlin based duo's work gets remixed first by the Philpot affiliated Soulphiction who gives "Redeem" a truly fervent re-rub - this is utter dancefloor drama in the vein of Carl Craig. Argentinian veteran Leonel Castillo gets a slinky, bass-heavy groove on with his dub-laden rendition of "Stabilize" while the equally revered Thibideau brothers work their magic as always on their glacial re-rub of the track: where the Canadian twins take it into cavernous territory. They truly conjure those ghosts in the machines on this killer remix.
Review: Blind Box heads Julien Sandre and Konstress know a thing or two about deep, undulating house grooves, and their continued exploration of immersive cuts for hidden corners of the dance yields further delights on this sixth instalment in the Blind Box series. The first side of this 12" finds the two label bosses twisting out immaculate jams shot through with playful sound design. "Would" locks into a subtle swing and revels in lopsided synth stabs, while "Hedone" plunges into a stunning intricate techno landscape peppered with glitchy tones. On the flip, Julian Alexander follows suit with the crisp, funky "Baku Man" and the more experimental tones of "Casserole".
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: What a collaboration this is! Two of the modern masters of hypnotic techno (and dynamic live acts alike) team up for some elaborate, melodic and and truly entrancing auditory journeys for Hypercolour. Mathew Jonson should need no introduction: the Canadian producer bursting onto the scene in the mid noughties with releases on itiswhatitis and his own Wagon Repair imprint. Sebastian Mullaert also has a long history in electronic music; at one time part of duo Minilogue in addition to recording for Kontra Musik and m_nus more recently and running his great WaWuWe label. Strap yourself in for an epic journey across all its 12 minutes of glory on St "Pollen 4 Life (main mix)" where a medley of dreamy and gliding arpeggios dance away over subtle and minimal elements; a trademark of both respective producers. The dub version on the flip is much tougher and darker; aimed squarely at the dancefloor to get into some of those more tunnelling, vortex like moments.
Review: Artyom Ziobin's distinctive style of minimal house stands apart from the usual thoroughfare of moody, dubby shufflers. Instead the Russian producer reaches for a warm, disco-influenced sound palette which he then slices and dices into sleek, crafty party workouts with lashings of panache as well as studio ingenuity. Following appearances on Bump Foot and Grow Vinyl, the latest outing for Plantae comes via Elephant Moon, with lead track "Amber Light Of Ethereal Shadow" cutting a dashing figure across the soundscape with its busy but nimble mixture of synth splashes and stuttering drums.
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: Surfacing from somewhere in the Russian Federation, Gost Zvuk Records live up to their name's rough translation of Ghost Sounds on the basis of this debut release from newcomer Aleksei Nikitin. There's versatility to Nikitin's productions here that will serve him well, with the taut, subtle groove and programming on opening track "Tevi" giving the producer the space to lay down some impressively emotive melodic arrangements. The opening bars to "Tebe Nujno Vernutsya" hint that the production is heading for a weird place, yet there's a smart switch up that takes proceedings into bumping raw house with some smart vocal edits. Face down "Inache" finds Nikitin indulging in some gritty dub house whilst "Ostavim" comes from the Gerry Read school of thumping house tools.
Review: "The Einhorn EP" with Dario Zenker marks the come back of Bruno Pronsato on Telegraph. The release includes 2 marathon tracks between live and production. After living in Wasserburg, Dario Zenker comes back to Munich. He began his DJ career at the Ultraschall club alongside the likes of Acid Mario or Vitalic vs The Hacker & Hometrainer. 2006 is the year of his first productions on Balcon, Num and Telegraph. Bruno Pronsato (aka Steven Ford) has been subverting expectations within techno's upper echelons since 2003 but the Seattle producer took a circuitous path to reach his current lofty status. After his acclaimed releases on Orac, Musique Risquée, Milnormodern and Telegraph, 2006 would be the year of his consecration!
Review: From Body Parts and Sleep Is Commercial through to Suruba and Uzvar, Ludovic Vendi has proven himself to be a leading light in the experimental corners of the minimal techno scene. He steps up to London label Hoxton with a diverse three-tracker that takes in atmospheric downtempo sound design on "Horizons" before heading into more propulsive broken beat territory on "Lost In Sequences". On the B side "Chymere" strikes a more familiar shuffling 4/4 note as it winds through all manner of tripped out sound effects, providing the most dancefloor friendly jam on the record.
Review: There's deep, and then there's the work of Bastian "Baaz" Volker. The German producer's work is rarely less than ultra-deep, and this return to Slices of Life - a label he last blessed four years ago - is predictably hazy and hypnotic. Title track "The Reason" is typical of his style, with becalmed, head-in-the-clouds chords and chopped-up vocal samples reclining over a crispy tech-house groove. Flipside "Ancestors Groove" is a little livelier, both rhythmically and structurally, with chiming blasts of melody and suitably soulful vocal samples riding a backing track rich in bustling bass, bumping beats and drowsy pads.
Review: The last few years have seen Nathan Melja really hit his stride, landing on such esteemed labels as Mister Saturday Night, Black Opal and Technicolour with an addictively weird update of the classic boxjam format. Now he steps up to inaugurate Dream Real with three slices of upfront deviant business for all the sleazy dancers out there. There's no arguing with the rubbery bass tones and perfectly processed vocals on the original mix of "Jerky Teardrop", but there's also the more wave-minded delights of the "Blue Mix" version of the track to suit more reflective situations. By way of contrast, "Places We Belong To" smooths out the mood on the B-side with a low riding slice of boogie that sports just a whiff of indie thrown in for good measure.
Review: After Franco Cinelli's opener for the Psyfunk label, the imprint returns to action in 2017 with this magnetic little debut from Klepzek, a mysterious deep house artist with a penchant for the bizarre and mysterious. The A-side is all clicks and heavily stripped-back percussive flair; the tune called "P/01" sounds a bit like Barnt's recent material, and would go down a storm in any sort of house set - raw, tech, outsider, or even Chicago. The B-side, ""P/02" is not too dissimilar form its cousin, except that the beat flex is harsher here, the bass bumps more rounded and polished off with a muscly sort of drum roll for the darker corners of the dancefloor. Tidy and effective.
Gut Man Cometh (Matthew Herberts Feel Right Rub) (6:40)
Destroyer (FOLD Lean Tape version) (6:59)
Review: The master of wacky techno returns. Matthew Dear donned his notorious Audion moniker again for his first album in years under the guise. The Alpha LP featured about a dozen woozy and disorienting dancefloor destroyers and two selections are present here getting the remix treatment by two fellow innovators. The legendary Matthew Herbert remixes "Gut Man Cometh", scaling back the high-octane psychedelia of the original into a driving journey track with interestingly spiced up vocal samples. Aus Music regular FOLD turns "Destroyer" into a tough deep house stomper with emotive pads being supported by some gutsy stomp and shuffle.
Review: Amygdala, the forthcoming LP from DJ Koze holds the dual title of being one of this year's most keenly awaited long players as well as the album with the most bizarre cover art. Quite why the producer is riding a reindeer hasn't been made clear yet, but this two track 12" does clue us in to to the possibility the album will hold up to such high expectations. "La Duquesa" is one of the few tracks on Amygdala not to feature a collaborator and stripped bare of any outside distractions finds Koze on sublime form; equal parts tender, refined, casual, serious, deep and euphoric. When those strings hit is a joy to behold. In contrast "Burn With Me" is dark, druggy, delicious and decadent.
Review: Hamburger DJ Koze and his Pampa imprint never fails to impress. This time he recruits the legendary German producer Isolee to work his magic on this tremendous release. It's the quirkiest of minimal house that you'd expect on "Floripa" with its druggy and hypnotic style reminiscent of Perlon or Villalobos. On the flip is "Favouride" and undoubtedly one of the darkest tracks he's ever produced with its humming sub bass and creepy pygmy chants fading in and out of the mix over some seriously tight rhythm programming. It's just got to be heard. Tip!
Review: Steve Bug is back with a brilliant release to close 2007. In between A&Ring three labels, mixing and promoting two high profile club mix compilations, ('Fuse Presents Steve Bug' earlier this year and the 37th edition of Fabric's 'Prestigious Mix' series, released in November) we are glad he has found some studio time. 'A World Without' on the a-side is what we love Steve Bug for - his analogue warm sound and his simple understated fashion but unhurried ability to bring in slowly burning intensity, taking things to a different level and his talent in using minimal elements for maximum effects. The track kicks off with a subtle groovy beat plus Steve's vocal sample and shows him adding layer over layer of nifty sounds, building up to a hypnotic groove, after which the ever-increasing, stomach-punching synth kicks in - he then strips things back to the nude again in exactly the right moment. The track has something magical to it from the very first beats, a sure dancefloor winner that will captivate dancers and listeners at both peaktime and after hour sets. 'Cru Sauvage' on the b-side is based on a bubbly, bleepy melody, a collage of deep and twisted effects grooving around the beats, heavy offbeat snares and unexpected house chords. An impeccable production and the perfect flipside to Steve's last release in 2007.
Review: Argy takes on the challenge to compose this year's summer soundtrack. From South America, to Africa and Persia, the young artist presents us his global music influences through a modern-electronic sound. On the A-side, "La Pasion", clearly presents the artist's passion for house music. Argy achieved to produce a modern but old skool sounding Latin track, which is definitely going to create a unique atmosphere and set dance floors on fire. "Third Night In Lebanon" takes us on a mental trip of oriental overtones. A reduced percussive piece with an intelligent arrangement of organic sounds consists one of Argy's most interesting works to date. The final track treats us to a sweeter, mood changing experience. "The Waves" is structured around a steady groove of airy and wet percussion layered with intriguing, spacey effects. Once again the young Greek combines innovative production with a raw sound full of passion and soul. Something he simplifies as nothing more than "Honest music from the heart".
Review: Kolsch gets his freak on with this latest release on for the Kompakt Extra label which represents the Danish producer's fourth Speicher in total. We are not sure what Rune Reilly Kolsch was on when he was in the studio making "Papageno" but we sure would like some, as the production is bugged out to the extreme! Detuned synths and malfunctioning electronics collide magnificently with manipulated basslines and stripped back percussion before Kolsch introduces a most pleasant detour into a more melodic plane blessed by fluttering vocals from When Saints Go Machine's Waa Industry. On the flip, Kolsch teams up with pianist Gregor Schwellenbach for the sublime "Cassiopeia" which surely ranks as one of Kompakt's most affecting B Sides of recent memory.