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: Mr Cloudy has a sizable back catalogue on labels like Entropy, Dubwax and Millions Of Moments, and now he's been snapped up by Local Traffic to impart his sumptuous dubby wares across four tracks. "Memoria I" and "Memoria II" let the A-side simmer in a bubbling broth of dub techno ambience, all shimmering chords undergoing heavyweight processing. "Sprayer I" is still immensely mellow, although a little rhythmic pulse creeps its way into earshot via the movement of the gravelly chords, and then "Sprayer II" rounds the EP off with something approaching a beat-oriented excursion through the same billowing clouds of dub techno finery.
Review: After launching into Memory Box with aplomb on the deadly Acid Stomp 12", Robin Ball steps up on the London-based imprint once again with the saucy tones of his latest four track EP. "Drop It Down Low" and its accompanying dub mix are classy twists on the tech house formula that lean towards old-skool methods while keeping the sleaze factor ramped up high. "Remember" takes a more tripped out tribal approach, with the "Vibes mix" providing a more subtle twist to the warm, melodic undulations of the full fat version. It's an EP loaded with personality and flair for sophisticated dancefloors.
Review: Proudly positioned as a label dedicated to showcasing emerging talent within the realms of dark and dubby minimal techno, FarFromNormal return with their second release of the year. This time they're providing a platform to Nice N Trick & Sacke, who make the most of the vinyl space with two long form tracks that demonstrate just how much talent they have to offer. "Senor Memories" is a tribally-inflected experience sprinkled with off-kilter samples atop a driving techy backbone, while "Viola Profonda" steers a more streamlined course through crisp drums and nerve-jangling violin on a one way trip into the heart of the night.
Review: Transmitting out of Birmingham and representing the cream of the sleek tech house crop, Adam Shelton's One Records continues to forge valuable connections with the global scene while staying true to the label's roots. Shaun Reeves and Tuccillo have been doing their thing for long enough to know how to throw down a surefooted deep groover, and that's just what you get with "Smile". Meanwhile The Mole does a sterling job of working some complex percussion into the bones of the track and creating a hypnotic, understated version that will appeal to the freakier end of the floor.
Review: London's Dark Sky trio have come a long way over the last three years, first appearing on the mighty 50 Weapons, then jumping on to Mister Saturday Night's catalogue, and now landing most vertically on Germany's Monkeytown - quite impressive if you ask us! The NTS Radio residents serve up "Voyages", a wonky techno side-stepper complete with tribal percussion and a distinct UK feel. Remix duties are taken care of by Francis Inferno Orchestra, who deliver a hypnotic and floor-ready version of the original, and techno God Reshape with his slithering, ultra-stripped back version. Another class act from Monkeytown camp.
Review: REPRESS: The second release from the Hlanganani label lives up to it's MO to provide a platform for talented producers from South Africa to shine, focusing here on Deep Sixty, aka young and fast-rising producer Johannesburg producer Thabiso Mamogwa. Back in 2010, the producer made it to London to take part in the Red Bull Music Academy, which is when the HLANG team first heard the tracks that make up the Mme Hayo EP whilst some studio time on the same trip with Todd 'Soundmurderer' Osborn resulted in the "Thursday Nights" track which Mamogwa previously self-released. In addition to Deep Sixty's own 'Deep Terror' mix of "Mme Hayo", the label have coaxed some fine remixes out of Esa and William Kouam Djoko.
Review: Following choice wares from tape_hiss and Pascal Viscardi, Love Notes stride into winter with a fulsome offering from lesser-known artist Subtenant, who packs just the right balance of classic acid and modernist techno into the three original tracks on this 12". "Evergreen Soul" looks set to turn heads in the club with its playful organ flex hopping around the punchy 303 notes, while "Artisanal Acid" brings some homespun hardware handiwork to the table. "Know How It Feels" drops in at a slower tempo, but it's D'Marc Cantu who steals the show with a dynamic remix of the title track loaded with detail and shot through with dub.
Review: London-based, Italian-born duo Konstress may have first appeared with the Blind Box Series in 2015, but now they're really hitting their stride with their own self-titled label. This second installment sees the pair charging out into exciting territory on the experimental fringe of the minimal techno scene. The influence of the Boogizm label weighs heavy across all these tracks as intensely detailed sound design meets with chunky basslines and snappy, electro-informed grooves. This is not party music for the conformists out there, but any mutant dancers will find it hard to resist getting their freak on to these adventurous sounds.
David Borden - "The Continuing Story Of Counterpoint" (part 9)
STL - "Dark Energy"
Percussions - "Percussions One"
C++ - "Angie's Fucked"
Burial - "Street Halo"
KMA - "Cape Fear"
WK7 - "Higher Power"
Ricardo Villalobos - "Sieso"
Four Tet - "Pyramid"
Red Rack'Em - "How I Program"
Active Minds - "Hobson's Choice (Tune For Da Man Dem)"
Armando Gallop & Steve Poindexter - "Blackholes"
Four Tet - "Locked"
Review: The Fabriclive series maintains its fine run of form with Four Tet's eagerly anticipated inclusion into the canon. Stitching together field recordings of the club itself, ambient tracks from Michel Redolfi and David Borden, a selection of lost, dusty UK garage from the likes of Persian and Crazy Bald Heads and recent productions from Burial and Floating Points, it's not so much a DJ set as an impressionistic rendition of Hebden's own memories of clubbing itself. Considering the fact that Hebden's own productions are usually so saturated in melody, it's a relatively dark mix, dominated by murky bass tones and sharp, brittle beats, with a constantly shifting sense of urgency that encourages rapt attention throughout. The stellar mix is capped off with two brand new Four Tet tracks, "Pyramid" and "Locked", which only seek to highlight his growing ability to produce devastating club tracks.
Review: While he may have been operating in the underground for some time, Darren Allen's music is only just coming to light through his own Underlying Form label now. There's a range of styles on offer across this EP, kicking off with the subtle pulse of "Feel" before moving on to a distinctly French-flavoured micro house groove on "Inmost Cave" that wouldn't sound out of place on Telegraph Records. On the B side, "Routine Kills Inspiration" switches the mood up with a rougher sound palette, even if the arrangement is still a minimally-minded affair. Then it's left to Vid Vai to drop a complex reworking of "MD Habitat" loaded with intricate textures.
Review: The Ti-Rex crew widens the net for their third release with the introduction of hitherto unknown producer Henrocic. The release begins with the ranging shuffle of "Al Chiaro Di Luna", a stripped down affair peppered with haunting flecks of jazz and a strung out late morning atmosphere. Label boss Ti Es then steps up with a remix of "Don't Stop" throwing down some tougher drum tones and working the reverb before the original version plunges down into an intimate space populated by natural grooves and strange sounds alike. "Pace Of The Are" then delivers a finishing blow with snaking percussion and gnarly bass tones.
Review: Galcher Lustwerk and Alvin Aronson turned many a head with the elegant sophistication of their collaborative album Scenes (2012-2015), which landed on Lustwerk's own label last year. Now the duo are back with more goodies from their Studio OST project, and once again the fusion between gossamer threads of melody and delicately crafted machine rhythms is evident throughout this 12". "Eventide" comes as a full blown track and a sumptuous beatless version, while "Ascension" has a dubby original and useful drums-only cut, making this record both functional and an absolute delight to listen to.
Review: Argy's These Days label is an occasional treat in the world of stripped down tech house, and it makes its first appearance for 2016 with a selection of club-ready remixes from the label boss, tackling various productions from German techno mainstay Paul Brtschitsch. The "Floor Adaptation" of "Green" heads into subterranean pastures, albeit with a powerful beat propelling it, and "Eternal Aspects" maintains that underground mood with a warmer synth repertoire. On the more flamboyant B-side, "Squeezed" takes on a wild old-skool quality perfect for more fiery moments on the floor before "Subbass" continues the jacking theme in fine style.
Review: Kreon & Lemos continue their exploration of dubby motifs and crafty beat programming on this latest missive for Equivalence, and at this point it's safe to say anything could be possible from the adventurous Greek duo. Each of the artists has a side across which to express their own vision of "Avatone", starting off with Kreon. The urgency of the funky breakbeat rhythms powering both versions is hard to resist, with Kreon's version ramping up the nagging synth lines in between the drums while Lemos opts for a more meditative refrain around the intricate percussion.
Review: After a quiet 2016 thus far Och's Autoreply label is finally back in action with a frankly fantastic selection of workouts from Mark Broom. In keeping with the style Broom has been exercising in new Perbec jams with Baby Ford, this is more restrained than the muscular techno Broom can also be known for. Instead, you get expressive, satisfying house tracks such as "18.2" and the neatly pumping "10" with its killer array of synths to satisfy the dancefloor and the mind in equal measure. Avoiding unnecessary fireworks in favour of perfectly chosen and shaped elements, this is a glittering demonstration of Broom's cool-headed approach in the studio.
Review: OK EG appears from out of nowhere in a haze of the mellowest ambient techno and downtempo delights for your mind to melt into. "Creek" is a smooth but strident route in, the tidal lilt of the pads dissected by a finely paced beat loop that should find a comfortable home amongst deepest house heads. "Colours" does away with the drums and uses a plaintive sprinkling of keys and delays to create an evocative backdrop for fragile females vocals. "Reef I & II" is the clubbier cut, rolling out over the B side with a looming monosynth bassline and some dub techno inflections making it a smart choice for warm up scenarios especially.
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: Following a strong cast including Myles Serge, John Barera, DJ Skull and Hakim Murphy, Mentha continues its strong run of form with a various artists 12" that broadens the horizons of the high-grade deep house label. Michael Lovatt keeps things groovy and understated on "Tides", while Kareen Ali gets into a slow and trippy mood on "Arnaldo Tamayo Mendez". Anaxander's "Unspoken" brings some neo-soul synth lines to the table, and Michael Zucker turns out a brooding, introspective workout. Each track may have its own traits, but the whole record hangs together as a fine next step for a promising label.
Review: The SlapFunk crew have been enjoying plenty of attention lately, and quite rightly. Their pumped up house sound is hard to refute, taking the heads down trippiness of minimal house and beefing it up with classic jacking sounds for an infectious party mixture. Samuel Deep gets the message, bringing just the right kind of swing to "MOOV!" to get bodies popping all over the joint, while "Keek Iz" rides the same beat but in a lower register. "42915 Beatz" is just as drum led, but there's a little more fidgety sonic interplay popping off around the drums. Ingi Visions pops up on the B2 for the distinctly more eerie "Tekniq", placing an icy string synth refrain at the heart of the track with chilling results.
Review: Long time minimal techno pusher Franklin De Costa steps up to Jersey City label Green Village to thrown down a ruckus with four serious cuts of advanced house and techno. "Derp Journal" may be flippant in name, but the bassline it packs is not to be trifled with, nor the edgy drums and lashings of reverb. "Bogart Space" is a more house-minded affair, but it's still reaching to a contemplative space using unfamiliar sounds. "Good Day Bad Day" gets into a cyclical, psychedelic mood thanks to a trippy synth circling overhead, but then the EP gets dealt a tough finishing blow by the cranked up hustle of "Flashmelo", coming on like a crunchy mid 00s minimal jam of the highest order.
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: SH2000, a mystery artist whose been busy keeping himself under the radar, returns to Volking Music with another EP (check the guy's Ethereal Sound release for a true lesson in deepness!) and it's two tracks of utter symphonic beauty. "Track 1" releases a steady, driving kick beneath airy, delayed sonics and dreamy melodies, while on the flip, "Track 2" heads into total abstraction thanks to a starry landscape of atmospherics gliding left, right and centre without the help of any beat or bassline. Breathtaking excursions into the ether.
Review: Moscow's Isaiah Tapes are also the guys behind the great Baptismo Alpinismo and Longlife Python sub labels, which are doing great things at the moment. Next up for the label is Charles Torris aka Le Matin, who after a bunch cassette only releases over the past few years releases his first full length. The LP album's six tracks and accompanying bonus CD traverse the galaxy of lowdown smack electro; reminiscent of Dopplereffekt like on "Ma Voisine La Pute" or "Yeah", wacky modular synth improvisation as heard on the charmingly titled "Cat Vomit" or deeply sublime minimal techno as heard on "M05 Michel Platini". Brilliant album from start to finish. Tip!
Review: Italian duo Rufus and Mass_prod are back once again as Nightdrivers, shoring up to Holic Trax with more of their infectious club-ready material. Beyond the functionality of their drums, where the Nightdrivers excel is in their choice of samples and textures to add a psychoactive twist to their craft. "A Funny Thang" is a delightfully unhinged workout, while "Stressedout" does a fine job of digging into a heads down, RnB inflected groove. "Rising" switches things up with a broken beat groove that loads up sunkissed soul samples to great effect, and then the record rounds out with a dub mix of "A Funny Thang".
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: 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: 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: "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: Last seen excelling on The Corner, NYC techno man Phil Moffa adds Hypercolour to his prospering profile with Rogue Music, a 12" hook up with the irrepressible Seth Troxler. Whilst this may not be the most immediate of collaborative endeavours you could think of, there is still plenty to enjoy here with "Blue Rawls" a perfect balance of stripped back, bone shaking rhythm and a growing sense of textural foreboding. It's the sort of track you can lay down after a frantic bout of drums to really hypnotise the dancefloor. Complementing this, "Meet The Butcha" heads off into seven odd minutes of bugged out house territory and leaves us clamouring more from the pair.
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: While Pheek may have been in operation for as long as anyone can remember within minimal house and techno, Cleymoore has been most productive more recently thanks to his Pluie/Noir label. Following on from last year's Seikou single on Xquisite, here Cleymoore and Pheek link up to deliver some densely packed, production rich jams that keep the spirit of mid-00s clicks and cuts alive. The beats themselves may be slender slices that carry the energy of the tracks, but it's all in the infinitesimal details in between that the true magic of this music comes alive.
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: This time the Mojuba sublabel brings us the second part of the 'Detroit' series by the label owner Don Williams himself. This one-sided
record features two fine examples of music inspired by the city of D. The first one is a pumping, peak-time cut to hit the dancefloors with
and might become an essential tool for the ambitious DJ. The second track convinces in its very own character, providing a feeling that
many will recognize from the early years of techno, when this music was connected to the listener in a more deep and emotional way.
Review: There is a colour TV program which airs nightly which is called: "The Most Beautiful Train Routes Of Germany"! During the show a locomotive travels over the tracks and the person on-screen is via the camera perspective at long last the conductor. It's a wonderful idea, where you seem to be somewhere between monotony and fascination. With this scenario in mind, you will be taken into the night and this is the soundtrack. The conductor must stay awake, and this music is the caffeine to get it done. The thoughts are freely suspended without the concentration having to suffer! The pillars of this music are melancholy: power and volition (will) which is thus paired with tenderness and passion. This is in connection with an irresistible swing of effortless movement out in the open revealing confidence in the darkness. Confused thoughts are with only a few ingredients steered to a specific determination of the sound cosmos helped by freely breathing. The concept all formed by a certain Douglas Greed who has a solid reference with two releases on the Combination Records. This one is actually well-known as a drum & bass activist in Thuringia. However, as it always is with the music "Schizo-Aficionado", the type must be stamped with a synonym for the crowds to put a face to, in this case powerful yet at the same time tender odes. It's for nothing for musical needs to be dimmed with psycho-pharmaceuticals, only because the ol'doc doesn't understand the split personality is an essential element. Mr Greed accompanied in the future by his familiar 'Live-Laptop-Action' handle spreads his musical seeds of dance fertilization over the speakers. When there 3 tracks don't comprise a proper bid there is only one alternative: migrate to an island and just play the bongos and didgeridoo! "Curie" from the darkness awakes the driving power of the gloom which within, brings light to the depths. Therein lies the guttural hovering of a bat of steel covered in soft golden feathers sauntering about. The further you descend, hope that all mourning has been defeated and the belief of positive in all is rekindled. "Fresh and Clean" the immaculate conception inside of an enormous machinery building! The devices are all dumfounded, only life matters - everyone experiences the resurrections of happiness. Through the milky glass streams the driving power of love. The intense ecstasy can be danced to! "Let's Roll" picture the docks at sunset. Everything moves along slowly, the will of the sea has been conquered on arrival just the effort needed. Everything is rhythm and melody, every finish and activity even the raising up the anchor and the drone of the propeller creates a sound of vastness. The dance on the water can now begin!
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.
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: 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: 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: 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: Tom 'Dam Mantle' Marshallsay and Rich McMaster from Golden Teacher were first granted an outlet as General Ludd through Eamon Harkin and Justin Carter's Mister Saturday Night last year with the breathless pair of house burners that made up the Woo Ha 12". Since then the General has brought the Luddite house sound to Clan Destine, 10 Thousand Yen and Autonomous Africa among others and now lands back on the Mister for the keenly anticipated Are You Losing My Hearing? Another two-track exercise in 12" dynamism, the title cut finds GL in sprightly house mood with a rubbery feel not too dissimilar to Gerd's Geeeman output. Flip it over and "Moneychangers" veers off into more dystopian, heads down territory with some killer modular squiggles throughout.
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: A taster for the trio's forthcoming third album, Horizontal Structure, this single sees Von Oswald and collaborators Max Loderbauer and Sasu Ripatti (aka Vladislav Delay) further explore the notion of merging dub techno with other, previously unconnected styles. "Restructure 2" is a swirling, atmospheric piece, its languid, low-tempo groove accompanied by some tastefully spacey guitar playing and mellow jazzy vibes. It's understated, studied and about as far removed from Maurizio's "Ploy" as one can get, but yet it still retains much of the same cavernous production sound. The choice of remixer, Mala, is also surprising as it eschews Von Oswald's techno habitat in favour of dubstep. That said, the Digital Mystikz producer has a credible string of releases for DMZ, Tectonic and Soul Jazz, and like the Basic Channel producer, fully understands the power of the bass. There is also some subtle referencing to the time that Van Oswald first rose to prominence through the use of 'Intelligent Techno'-era melodies and the ambient outro, but Mala's remix is all about the tumbling drums and tribal, swinging rhythms.
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: Leading minimal label The Untold Stories are at it again, and after their star turn from STL recently they've now invited down another legend in the shape of Franco Cinelli. The original is classic Cinelli, pivoting around crisp, clean percussive lines and the bare essential atmospherics. Nektar Agu steps up for a remix that continues the minimalist theme, but adds some looming bass tones into the mix that pushes the track into a dubbier headspace. It's another slab of refined, stripped down tackle for the reductionist dancefloor, as you would expect from The Untold Stories.
Review: The Synthetic Gold story continues to unfold in the most curious nooks and crannies of the minimal techno scene, as this third volume welcomes in tracks selected by Anestie Gomez. Khan is in a looped up, insistent cycle loaded with alien synth tones and a focused rhythmic hiccup of a beat, truly aiming for the psych-out end of the night. Eloi Brunelle makes things a touch funkier on "Neneh", deploying choice splashes of dubbed out colour in between the sharp strut of the drums. Andres Garcia then spreads himself across the B-side with the loping funk of "Invisivel", working all manner of freaky sounds around the scuffed sway of the beats.
Review: Open Recordings continue their mission to champion quality chunky deep house wares from a range of artists on their third release. This time around Italian duo DNArt take the lead with two original jams, and they get things heating up nicely with "Short Story" before tripping things out on the swirling funk of "ZZYZX". On remix duties, Nick Beringer drops a tightly wound minimal house shuffle all over "Short Story" and then Frazer Campbell works up a deadly stripped down version of "ZZYZX", nudging the mellow tones of the original into prime late night material.
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.