Review: For the 20th release of the Valencian label Oblack, it is over to Los Pastores aka Snna and Nacho Arauz/Juliche Hernandez from the Canary Islands (DownHill Music). They gather up all their talents to come up with one of the most clubby, dance floor oriented tracks from the label thus far. "Bigger Easy" is classic late noughties style minimal that's big on druggy elements plus those pitch shifted vocals (a la Marc Houle) are a worthy addition. On the flip, "Get Back" is a funky electro house jam with a buzzy synth lead and bumpy bassline over its tight groove, plus those subtle disco influences thrown in for good measure work a treat. The remix by Japanese guy in Berlin, Tomoki Tamura, is the real winner on there though. Here he takes the track into reductionist afterhours territory, with all its dusty and sparsely hypnotic elements working in harmony.
Review: DJ Spider, DJ Qu and Joey Anderson collaborator Dakini9 is back on New York's Plan B Recordings with a hot solo EP, and the girl means business. Four tracks of raw, gritty house music from the street: "Find Myself" features Danny Watts on the vocals and a wavey, dubbed-out collection of sounds; "Wali" is similarly contorted and grey-scaled albeit for the lonesome piano keys travelling across the arrangement. Over on the B-side there's the head-nodder that is "Potentiation", a punchy and direct dub-house chugger, and the stumbling groove of "Strawman", the oddest and most daring of the four cuts.
Review: Having previously appeared on TINK! Music back in 2015, Portugese producer Gatupreto returns to the label for their second release with the powerful, vocal led "I Became Me". There's a loose, tribal lilt to the percussion on this lead track, while the wobbly bass gives everything a gnarly swagger that offsets the impassioned vocal in style. Philou Louzolo takes to remix duties with a perfect compliment to the original, edging the wild elements into a focused yet natural kind of Afro house. On the flip, "Afrowerk" brings a distinctive vintage soundtrack approach to the table, and "Gatu Di Noti" features heavily syncopated drums tumbling over even more darkside monosynth action.
Review: Romanian rising star Dragosh Halangescu has had a consistent career spanning the last decade, appearing everywhere from powerhouse imprints like VIVa Music, Desolat and Circus and these days going further underground with appearances on Curtea Veche, Memoria and Otaku. This gives you an indication of where he's at these days. His new offering entitled Paradox Action Vivid comes courtesy of promising new Spanish imprint No Time For Love, that has previously issued works by Egal 3 aka Vid, Gabriele Mancino and Iuly.B. Rolling and hypnotic afterhours faire here on the minimalist tip - as you'd have probably expected. In particular the trance inducing esoterica of "Obliu" or the reductionist mini-funk of B side cut "Trigtime" which will appeal to fans of DBX or Pantytec.
Review: Dahlback again in effect on his new second home, K2 out of Cologne. "Hearki" envelops you in a rotund bass drum, splashed with effects, nagging groove and delicately spotted with small percussive effects, deadly in the details. Watch out for the obliterated middle section as well, like a shoot out in an arcade, real horror show man. "Raido" flies a little too close to the big sun called preset for our tastes, but the choogling "Sailjo" rounds up and offers a necessary dry aftertaste to the aural palette, very new-Balearic, very good. Usual big stuff from Dahlback.
Review: If the smiley face clad centre label wasn't a sizeable enough clue, Happy Family is a new project from New York staples Eric Duncan and Justin Vandervolgen which sees the pair try their hand at acid house. Both are closely associated with disco edits of course, but if you've seen either DJ you'll know they are well up on all forms of dance music. This expertise is deployed perfectly on the two tracks here, with "Burnt" a relentless exercise in strobelit 303 madness that is a no brainer for the sweatiest part of a DJ set. They tone it down a bit on "Hard To Breathe" which despite the title is an altogether looser production with plenty of room between the tumbling drums and hypnotic lead synth lines.
Review: Known most for his TC Studio work alongside Matei Tulbure, Traian Chereches has latterly taken to working in a solo capacity and demonstrated an equal degree of aplomb for unique rhythms and joyful sensations. Fans of the Romanian's work will delight in this double pack on his and Tulbure's prospering TC Studio label with the six tracks on Lobster Club really showing Chereches' full production range. Proceedings begin on an abstract note with "Wald 1975" memorable for some bold vocal sampling, though tracks such as the tumbling "A New Beat" and "Orchestra Rehearsal" will provide more than enough dancefloor satisfaction.
Arsy vs The Ferrari Orgy Death Crashs - "Sheep" (5:48)
Review: There is little about this second release from schaukel sublabel Laubenpiepers Finest that doesn't immediately capture your attention. The humorous artist name (Arsy), the odd EP title (I Deleted The Mach Kernel File Completely) and the King Kong riffing art work (if you indulged in LAUF 001 you may be noticing a theme) will separately or collectively draw the inquisitive minds out there to investigate further. If you are one of those, you will be rewarded with some wonderfully warm machine music that changes in tone from calm and relaxed to bouncy and insouciant from track to track. Final track "Sheep", a collaboration between Arsy and The Ferrari Orgy Death Crashs (a superb name) will delight those of a dubbier persuasion.
Review: Antony Difrancesco is only a new name to electronic music, and an enigmatic one at that. He last surfaced on a label called Coquette Records in 2012 which was their and his only release. Some two year's later he reappears on Othertones, a London label, and provides them with their second release. The title cut, "Jam", is a 909 weighted club cut sprinkled with crackly effects and a light draping of industrial ambience. On the B-side there's Vera's thrumming sine wave mix of "Dimplex", which in its original form is cold, haunting and alien sounding. Deep stuff.
Review: On his latest long player - his first for three years, fact fans - Berlin-based tech-house producer Samuel Kindermann has attempted to fuse electronic music with the sweeping strings and considered compositions of classical music. To this end, he's spit the resulting tracks into two classical-style "movements". Disc one contains the club-focused material ("Movement 1"), a melodious an attractive selection of positive dancefloor tracks rich in joyously tuneful motifs, glistening electronics and soaring orchestration. He flips the script on disc two, showcasing the dowtempo side of his personality for the first time. Here, you'll hear deep space ambient, warm and woozy IDM and a clutch of inspired, neo-classical inspired soundscapes.
Review: Ema Remedi's story is, up to this point, quite a mystery to us here at HQ. Firstly, she's only released a handful of tunes up to this point - out through a collaborative comp which surfaced back in 2013 - and her debut label, Piros, also makes its first appearance on the dance scene. Both entities launch with "Remind Me", a compelling and almost meditative minimal sketch boosted by a lovely balearic swing; "The Last Tango" heads even further down the dub path thanks to a hazy procession of liquid-like atmospherics, and Ernesto Ferreyra's remix of it gives the track a whole new type of tech-swing.
Review: New label Pointillisme Music return after some great releases by Disuasiv (Andi Parlogea & Dragosh) and the always impressive Ukrainian KiRiK. It's now over to Esoteric Workshop, who has released previously on Sensual and 87 Records and rest assured that the Zern EP certainly follows in suit. Starting out with the deeply hypnotic subtlety of "Travers" featuring a gentle broken beat, emotive pads and tripped out atmospherics: this one ticks all the right boxes. The remix of said track up next by Anestie Gomez stays faithful to the original, but gets dubbier by injecting more tempo and shuffle into the rhythm complete with a rolling bassline which works even better. On the flip, the mysterious producer experiments further with broken beats, like on is the classic Chicago deep house sounds of "Loren" and then back to four/four with the tough, electro-infused analogue driven groove of "Sera".
Losoul - "Love Supreme" (Its All In There mix) (9:57)
The Moul - "Love Supreme" (Drum mix) (4:40)
Metaboman - "Love Supreme" (Metabomix) (5:57)
Dave Aju - "Love Supreme" (A Dub Supreme mix) (8:10)
Ark Pit Spector - "Love Supreme" (A Rush Supreme) (6:14)
Ark - "Love Supreme" (Free mix) (7:06)
Review: Parisian oddball house legend Ark teams up again with fellow local and Prospector head honcho Pit Spector to inaugurate Ark Records. A longtime in the making no doubt but worth the wait. Love Supreme LP as the title suggests is a tribute to the legendary John Coltrane and the pair have drafted a who's who of deep house and minimal to lend some hands and ears. Highlights include The Mole's "Molemix"; a sublime serving on reductionist bounce, Frankfurt genius Lo Soul who is as brilliant as ever on the sublime and hypnotic "It's All In There Mix" and Ark himself with his "Free Mix" which is as dusted down and as funked up as we all like it!
Review: Commencing proceedings on the Construct label comes a release from the newly formed partnership of Kitty Yo artist Richard Davis with perennial tech house champs Swayzak. Their resulting "Shut Me Down" is a distinctive beast laden with pained strings and sultry trumpet lines of a driving rhythmic undercarriage. The Mole and Hreno team up to deliver two remixes of the original that delve into separate characteristics of the music. The "Wet Hog Mix" creates an immersive bath of low-end melody and reverb washes with just enough of that bittersweet content from the original to see the link, while the "Dry Hog Mix" goes all out on the drums for a heads-down tool of a rigid nature.
Review: Moldova-based Resonanz are back with their third edition of minimal oddball house grooves. Considering its close proximity to Romania; we're definitely interested in hearing what this bunch is up to. Starting out with the hypnotic low-slung tribalism of Andrey Djackonda's "Calida Noche", we then get treated to Dimitri Monev's "Makaulu" a druggy broken beat experiment in maximalism reminiscent of Barac or Suciu; it's pretty wicked! On the flip the loopy and dusty deepness of Leparente's "Leflor" will definitely get good vibes happening at the after-hours while Maarka's "Reveranz" is exactly the kind of tunnelling trance inducing groove that we like, kind of like when Cristi Cons or Vid are on point, if you get what we mean?
Review: Brand new label hailing from Argentina by way of Germany, bringing you an amazing 4 track artist collaboration custom designed for fans of the stripped down Pheek-style phunk. Speaking of, Pheek contributes the awesome cut 'Previews' here alongside equally devastating jams from Dario Zenker 'New Kids On Weed', Seph's 'Phound' and Motio & E Contact with 'Do You See'.
Review: Donnacha's closing salvo in this three part mini-series of six tracks - six tracks of six minutes duration across six sides, written recorded and edited in six days, locked in his Dublin studio. The mordant swells of 6.5 seem to indicate Donnacha's self imposed studio discipline could have had serious effects - like the distant sound of a Sahko party held in a bunker many metres beneath the earth's surface - there's tremors and beeps, but nary the semblance of a groove. On the upside 6.6 adopts a rakish jacking mode, a vocal opines "well that’s enough, **** it" and seems to sum up Donnacha, climbing up the ceiling of his Irish studio space in the advanced stages of cabin fever - delirious and cranking out deadly house music. As the closing refrain of 6.6 has it "Everything continuous" - indeed!