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: We're not sure who's behind the mysterious AC-EXP project, but the shadowy figure returns with more of that strange, submerged house music he's been tickling discerning DJs with over the past few years. After taking last year off, "1A" is a fine place to start things up again with a strutting jack track carrying acidic synth pulses that flirt with measured delay processing. It's a jam that sounds steamy and sinister all at once. "1B" maintains this restrained but seductive vibe with the slightly trancey throb of the lead synths pivoting around the snappy drums to great effect.
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: The unknown CFW GRF steps up with Seeking Balance, a three-track 12" that forms the third release from Malin Genie's recently established Vigenere label. Like the previous two releases, expect stripped-back minimal cuts geared towards club play. "The Light" is a real B-side gem!
Review: 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: After an excellent first release featuring Freerotation lynchpin Steevio, Russ Gabriel's Rivers Of Groove label returns with a pair of excursions into lush, bubbling techno from Gabriel on his own. As a first generation UK techno stalwart, it's little wonder that he can turn out productions as accomplished as these, but there's no sense that he's treading water. "Ambulate" bears the hallmarks of modular production, all twinkling, morphing synth tones chiming around a delicate beat, while "Dover Calling" favours a snappier electro palette, but both stand out from the crowd for the sheer quality in the production, the warmth in the composition and the needlepoint focus given to every shred of detail in this crucial cuts.
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: 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: 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: Robin Ball has been on a roll of late, flaunting his wares on the Memory Box label amongst others. He makes a second outing on Groovepressure with four tracks of dynamic, inventive machine jams touching on synthwave influences and a healthy dose of electro. There's atmosphere loaded into each of these forthright, roughly hewn workouts, not least on the eerie, trancey synth strings on "Mr Mumble". The B side features the steadiest material in the shape of two versions of "Satin" that tap into the housier end of Ball's output.
Review: Hot on the heels of his inaugural release in January, Braiden introduces Slewis, a new producer on his emerging Off Out label. After years of honing his craft in the studio and playing in experimental bands, London born Slewis makes his mark on his debut with two equally bold dancefloor cuts. Group V opens with an extended twisting cacophony of synthesizers before breaking down into metallic driving machine funk. On the flip, Despot delves deeper down the rabbit hole as EBM influenced sounds and syncopated claps dance around a bed of paranoia, leading to a tense breakdown populated by a flurry of spasmodic drums.
Review: In the field of minimal house reissues, this is a big deal. Perlon main man Dimbiman doesn't appear on wax often, but when he does he makes it count. This early release on Baby Ford's seminal Pal SL was originally out in 1998, when minimal house was a vague concept at best on the most outer reaches of dance music. "Iso Grifo" itself remains a masterclass of spine-chilling space and perfectly strange sonic matter, while "Lava" pushes the notion of reduction dance music to its absolute limit. "Round" is an even more immersive affair that hides many subtle layers within its seemingly simple construct. Quite simply groundbreaking stuff, and highly sought after so don't sleep on it.
Review: Sasaki Hiroaki has been immersed in electronic music in Japan for longer than most, but it's his more recent diversions into techno and minimal that have provided a solid foundation for his creative arc. He appears here on Open Recordings with some crisply produced, deep-as-you-like tech house joints with more than a little thread of dub about them. "Sprinkler" uses massive clanging chords to shape out the atmosphere of the track, while "Speak" ladles a measured amount of delay and reverb over the mix to make things move just the right amount. Frazer Campbell comes on board to remix "Sprinkler", and does so with an uplifting Detroit techno approach that is as infectious as it is refined. Pablo Tamo takes on "Speak" and injects some reduced 2-step craftiness into its bones.
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.
Review: It's been a little while since we heard from Laura Jones, but the Leeds-based producer is back in action on her own Sensoramic label with a strident EP of limber tech house excursions that highlight her continued progression as a producer. "Pathway" is a gently bouncy cut with bubbling synths coursing between the subtle swing of the beat, using vocal snippets to great effect to create a decidedly trippy atmosphere. "Tough Crowd' pushes the psychedelic approach even further with some truly wigged out tones swirling in a cut just made for eyes-closed-dancing moments. 100Hz takes on a remix of "Pathway" that uses crafty, militaristic drums and sparse treatment of the melodic and vocal elements to create a delicate, compelling alternative vision of Jones' original.
Review: Burnski's debut album DNA dropped on Constant Sound last year, and now the label have called upon a strong cast of characters to do the remix duty on some of the LP's key tracks. Parisian trio Mandar bring a heart-melting tone to "Another Source" without losing their insistent shuffle, while Diego Krause strips things down with a functional broth of minimal minded business. The original mix of "Another Source" gets a fresh outing, and very fine it sounds too. That leaves it to Laura Jones to twist out a hypnotic electro version of "I Like You".
Review: Romanian producer Iuly.B has been turning out his wares on all the right labels, from Visionquest and Claque Musique to Memoria and Fuse London, and now he's been tapped up by Burnski's Constant Sound label to unfurl a vision of minimal house in 2018. At this stage the influence of early deep techno is as powerful as any kind of modern stripped down house sound, and that comes through in abundance on the shimmering, ambient-tinged "Spaceport". "Dynamics" maintains the celestial trajectory of the record, but with a more looped up, bleep-led approach, while "Meditate" draws upon some of the more familiar tropes of minimal house. "Spherical" finishes the EP off with another set of ethereal pad tones and a crisp, snaking beat for adventurous dancefloor trippers.
Review: Martinez on the 7th release, no need to introduce the Danish producer. Now head of the Concealed Sounds imprint. "Unsaid" is a dubby organic journey that covers the A side for a 12 min trip into deepness, while on the B side "Untold" offers us a bumpy floor shaking track tailored for club.
On B2 we found Lowris for the remix of "Unsaid", co-owner and founder of aeternum Music, resident dj & artist of CONCRETE Paris, here first appearance on his imprint, bringing a minimal action to the original track and closing this complete EP which offers 3 differents moods.
Martinez on the 7th release, no need to introduce the Danish producer. Now head of the Concealed Sounds imprint. "Unsaid" is a dubby organic journey that covers the A side for a 12 min trip into deepness, while on the B side "Untold" offers us a bumpy floor shaking track tailored for club.
On B2 we found Lowris for the remix of "Unsaid", co-owner and founder of aeternum Music, resident dj & artist of CONCRETE Paris, here first appearance on his imprint, bringing a minimal action to the original track and closing this complete EP which offers 3 differents moods.
Review: Alex Font has many strings to his bow, not least running the excellent Acme label, and here he is on one of his other ventures, Third Stream. With improvisation placed at the forefront of the creative process, Font turns out functional club tracks with curious kinks and moments of intrigue worked into the structure. "Onda Tropical" is definitely DJ friendly with its insistent percussive framework, but there are interesting diversions, fills and edits peppered throughout. "Musica Moderna (CDS Tribute)" meanwhile rolls on a more consistent groove, with a more organic set of drums pitched right at the heart of a long and winding DJ set.
Review: Following the release of their debut LP, 'Keep Up Appearances' on their new label Modelmaker, Dan Berkson and James What draft in Frank & Tony, Dana Ruh, Dorisburg and Alan Doe for remixes.
Berkson & What have chalked up many releases on Poker Flat and Crosstown Rebels over the years whilst most recently turning heads outside of their own Modelmaker imprint via singles for Dogmatik and Seth Troxler's Play it Say It. The duo's LP, released in January, marked a new chapter in their production history and has seen support from Josh Wink, Mr G and Skream over the past few months.
'Keep Up Appearances - Remixes' opens with Anthony Collins and Francis Harris' superb Frank & Tony alias taking on 'Seraphim' which results in a tense but understated piece of layered, classic sounding house music while Dana Ruh, fresh from her excellent debut LP on Underground Quality last year, drops an eerie recreation of 'Worship' that draws on spacey synths and unsettling ambience.
Dorisburg, known for outstanding material on Sweden's Aniara amongst others, continues a sterling run of form with a rendition of 'Feel Free' which employs soaring chords to fashion a luscious and elevating take on the original. Rounding off the package is Berlin producer Alan Doe, an artist who debuted on Rue De Plaisance in 2014. Doe's 'Worship' remix is squarely dancefloor-aimed with punchy kicks, smokey effects and teasing keys.
Review: The Drifted Flow label made an early move in 2015 with a release from Tommy Vicari Jnr, but now returns with an entirely different premise - an eight-track double pack of fresh, invigorating minimal house jams from lesser-known and adventurous producers. Henry Hyde gets the collection off to a strong start with the wobbly funk of "Perchin," all dirty bass wobble and loose swinging rhythms. Elsewhere Martinez flirts with the crooked thump of electro, Alicia Hush wriggles through an abstraction of garage and Bilal channels a little of the Boogizm magic you might expect from S-Max or Fym. Overall, it's a release loaded with personality and flair for minimal spinners wanting some spicier ingredients for their mix.
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: Dokta has been seen lurking around 20:20 Vision with a curious take on that label's particular brand of house. That step to the left becomes more pronounced on this record, where Dokta gets to call on a wealth of live instrumentation to animate his sound. On "London Nights" he interweaves vocal, ambling keys and crooked basslines into a curious and utterly inspired cocktail of cool-headed pressure, which Jason Heath then simmers down to a purely instrumental refrain. Burnski goes to the other extreme and beefs the track up for a firm and functional ride, while Ralph Lawson dubs the track out and gives it a low slung swagger.
Review: After releases from the likes of Myles Serge and Hakim Murphy, Mentha now turns to STK (also known as Stekke) for some sinister minimalist tackle from the dark side. "Something Is Raw" creeps along on a bed of grumbling drone as pin-prick percussion punctuates the gloom, and then "What Is Back" drops the bed of noise for an eerily sparse groover sure to unsettle the nerves of any listener. After all those subtleties, Gary Romalis does a damn fine job of edging a little more meat onto the bones of "What Is Back" without losing the vibe of the EP. With punchy yet muted drums and lashings of atmosphere, his remix makes the perfect counterpoint to STK's uneasy reductions.
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: Stunningly beautiful double-pack from OCH for Autoreply Music's 20th release. Following on from output on renowned labels like PAL SL, Trelik, Bass Culture he returns to Autoreply with seven tracks of playable perfection. By focusing on stripped-back percussive grooves, sparse 909 drum-programming and ultra fine-tuned dynamics he certainly proves with tracks "Samarkand Sulci" and "Snarecrow" that the original jackin' house/techno sound will always have plenty of life and soul. "Don't Fight It" is an 8.5 minute acid builder featuring haunting vocals and crisp synths whilst the bass driven dub of "Enceladus" wouldn't be complete without live delays and distorted pianos. Check Out "Morning Glory" for a surprise contender for this years balearic soundtrack or "C Ring" for ultimate warmth. Tracks for every situation and not to be missed!
Review: Tolga Fidan is seemingly on a roll of late, but in truth he's always remained committed to his process as a refined minimal maestro. His move to Finale Sessions may seem to be a step outside his usual stomping grounds, and the sound on the EP reflects this. Whether the title Lost Tapes means this material is old or not is unclear, but there's certainly a rougher, hardware-sounding approach on this record compared to the stripped down clicks he built his name on. "SJ SX - Tape 01" is still reduced in all the right places, but it comes on like a live jam of deepest psych-out techno rather than anything overtly minimal. With warmth and personality pouring out of every bar, this is a wonderful insight into another side of a long serving and much loved producer.
Review: David Gtronic kicked off the Black Wood label with the Kryptoo 12", and now Javier Carballo swiftly follows up with the immersive tones of Morning Vibe. Carballo's sound is undoubtedly rooted in the minimal house he's turned out for One Records amongst others, but he's got a distinctive edge in his productions that makes them stand out. "Morning Vibe" in particular does so well because it matches airy pads and skittering drums with a measured lick of acid, making something truly trippy in the process. "Back For Good" pairs dubby chord pulses with shuffling hats, and "Chunchuneo" gets locked into an insistent rhythmic chug that it's tough to resist.
Review: Berlin-based Miami man David Gtronic has been busy these past few years, working closely with Randall M, Chad Andrew, Dudley Strangeways and many more besides. He's going it alone with this inaugural release for Black Wood, relishing the opportunity to explore his craft across three original productions. "Ardl Dub" is a dense, shuffling minimal house production primed for working into a long and flowing set, while "Lexiwedin" showcases a more reflective side to the producer with sweeping synth tones and a whisper of electro worked into the rhythms. "Sequence" takes the minimal vibe to the next level, folding dubby subtleties into the mix to great effect. Dan Farserelli then steps up with a remix that injects a little boompty bass into the track for a wholly different, dancefloor friendly kind of jam.
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: 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: Following previous outings on Blind Box and Half Baked, OddMann strike out on their own with a self-titled label to carry their crafty twists on the minimal house and techno formula. There's quite a tough, old-skool finish to "Track 1" on this no-nonsense 12", tapping up the early UK techno vibe in all its swooning pads and errant bleeps. "Track 2" is more aligned with the clean lines and head-nodding grooves of European minimal, but there's still plenty of space for surreal sound design in between the drums. "Track 3" dials up the swing and gets seriously funky, keeping things stripped back to let the DJ do their thing.
Deft/Ambiq/Reggy Van Oers - "Blue Jasmine/Loka/Toxic Underground/Loctivity"
Plastikman/The Persuader/Van Bonn/Arnold Tempo/Donnacha Costello/Deepchord - "Consumed/Pinnharan/Abroad/Quarion Was Digging For Water/Grape A/DC14(A1)"
Sopis/Joris Voorn/Lau Frank/Audio Werner & Jichael Mackson/Roland Klinkenberg - "Listen To The Whispers/Where Have You Gone/7am/Schlaam/L'Esprit De L'Escalier" (feat Mr Brean/Jody Hannah remix/part 1/Dachshund remix)
Howling/Christian Fennesz/Julien Aubert/Martin Aquino/Chrsitian Fennesz/John Terjada/Glacial - "Signs/KAE/Feelmar/Red Pavement/Euclides/Two 0 One/Entropy" (Gaspard De La Montagne remix/Halo & Alex Fuente remix)
Joris Voorn/Giash - "Fall/Space Odyssey" (Nobody Home Dream Interpretation mix)
Cobblestone Jazz - "Drawn From The Side Of Crime"
Sounds Like Us/Donnacha Costello/Sagat/Roland Klinkenberg - "Little Helper 163-4/Backachie/Body/Departures"
Monobox/Tadeo/Robert Hood/Reggy Van Oers - "Realm/Deep Space/A.M. Track/Mavie"
Joris Voorn - "Looks Fake Obviously"
Nasty Habits/Anton Pieete/Tom Day & Monsoonsiren/Joris Voorn - "Shadow Boxing/Next Year/Love Is Rare/Dreams/Left" (Mosca's Skaep Niwt version/Roland Klinkenberg remix)
Wolfgang Voigt/Rekord 61 - "Empathie/Sverh" (Radio Slave FYM remix 2)
Sebastian Mullaert/Swann Decamme/Art Of Tones/Awanto 3/Joris Voorn - "Direct Experience/Go Away/Unstopped/Bubbles Made Me Cry/Mugged" (Dan Bexley & Chad Bostock remix/The Revenge remix/Anton Pieete remix)
Joseph S Joyce/nobody Home - "Vendata/Entheogen" (Sebastian Mulleart remix)
Application/Jake Chundnow/Stefan Vincent - "Front End/Prelude To Shona/The Void She Left" (Pye Corner Audio remix/original/original)
TCF - "D7 08 2A 8D 2A 37 FA FE 17 0E 62 39 06 81 C8 A1 49 30 6F ED 56 AD 5E 04"
Review: Nobody could accuse Joris Voorn of lazily knocking out a big standard DJ mix on his first contribution to Fabric's long-running series. The long-established Dutch producer has used the opportunity to showcase his studio skills, combining elements from no less than 65 different tracks to create a unique musical journey that brilliantly blurs the boundaries between a DJ mix, album, and remix set. Musically, it's pretty much what you'd expect - deeper, woozier cuts morphing into tougher, harder fare as the set progresses - but it flows wonderfully well. Due to the nature of its' construction, even familiar tracks from the likes of Robert Hood, Plastikman, Deepchord and Voorn himself become vibrant new pieces, as he brilliantly melds them with up to four other cuts at the same time. It works as a mix, but as a showcase for Ableton Live's potential it's out of this world.
Papa Sang Bass - "Barb Coating Sonnet" (Sonja Moonears Sony In The Sky remix)
Emi Nescu - "Sirius"
Amir Alexander - "Bittersweet Memories"
Dilated Pupils - "Lost Evidence"
Nu Zau - "Bioco 23"
Hakim Murphy - "Vatitio"
Vlad Caia - "Codex Voluspa"
Mandar - "Naughty Mandar"
SAM - "Third Track"
Cristi Cons - "Anatrack"
Oshana - "I See Through You"
Topper - "Abuelito"
Andy Kolwes - "Emozionn"
Vincentiulian - "Nemeta" (Adsum remix)
Daze Maxim - "Beginning An Ending" (Baby Ford remix)
Review: Given the current political climate in the UK, it seems fitting that Romanian minimal house DJ has chosen to open his contribution to Fabric's long-running mix series with Renato Figoli's "Super Lemon Vapor", a track that smartly satirises the attitude of some small-minded Brits to immigration. From here, Raresh runs through some 16 cuts of woozy, tripped out minimal house, peppering productions by his compatriots with the occasional nod across the Atlantic (both Amir Alexander and Hakim Murphy cuts are excellent). If you've seen Raresh play at the Farringdon disco on one of his bi-annual bookings, you know the man has mixing skills and they are most certainly on display here.
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: For Those That Knoe is proud to present some of the freshest and timeless sounds the UK has to offer from Numonika, sounding as good now as they would have done when recorded ten years ago. Three tracks from the original demo CD have been selected, compiled, re-mastered and pressed by For Those That Knoe onto a special 12" for collectors and club DJs alike.
In true Knoe fashion, release 4/1 is a compilation of tracks unearthed from a CD squirrelled away for a decade in a dusty loft. The CD in question was loaded with unreleased and untitled material from the owners of and producers for two of the UK's rarest and sought after tech house labels rinsed by DJs such as Craig Richards in the late 90s.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: This return of Ferox records sees an enthusiastic response from all. The label has forthcoming releases from many original Ferox artists and some new recruits and collaborations along the way. This, the first release in 5 years, sees label head-honcho Russ Gabriel in action under his Too Funk guise. From the first 'Return Of Too Funk EP' to the later 'Hotel Ibis' and Derrick Carter's remix of 'Venus Fly Trap', Russ's Too Funk grooves have been jacking dance floors on both sides of the Atlantic since 1995. This latest offering, 'Phase 3', is a 45 rpm two tracker of House goodness only available on vinyl. No clear favourite has emerged from the two sides, among the selective few that have heard it. Like much of the wealthy Ferox catalogue before it, this is proper House Music with an electric twinge.
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.
Shintaro D - "Kohisikarubeki" (Mr KS remix) (13:07)
Review: The Jus Groove It label is, of course, all about deep house music, and who better to help them in their quest than Djebali? The French producer is on exceptional form with the reduced but utterly seductive remix of Rhythm&Soul's "Andromeda's Dream", making dubbed out melodics and a mean bassline do all the work to deadly effect. Shintaro D gets reworked by Mr KS on the flip, and things get a little freakier with some errant synth wobbles and a minimal groove making for a distinctive, ear-snagging end result. It's definitely a record of two halves, and fortunately both halves are excellent.
Review: The Unblock label hits its seventh release with a split EP featuring rising talents Tato and Tijn. The sound on the 12" fits right in with the previous transmissions from Tuccillo, Tomoki Tamura and more besides, taking a quirky approach to stripped down house and techno dynamics to create intriguing party fodder for inquisitive dancers. Tato's "Estic" does a wondrous job of twisting up tribal percussion with a snaking minimal groove, while "Lusyourmaind" brings a cheeky housey shuffle to the proceedings while keeping things a little mysterious in the same breath. Tijn's "Stranger Things" is a light and airy minimal house jam that contrasts neatly with the hook running through the centre of "Piano Tool".
Review: REPRESS ALERT: After launching Brush & Broom with two solo releases, maverick German producer Kalbata keeps his followers guessing yet again with this collaborative release with the equally unpredictable Maayan Nidam. "The Town" is a surefire party starter made up of catchy bleep lines, quivering rhythmic flashes and lots of shimmering FX sends that suggest this was a live jam from two talented producers locked in the groove. "Chrome Moon" takes a deeper, more meditative approach without losing those heavy echo chamber washes, where the spring reverb and buckwild delay feedback rein supreme. Wonderful, free-tripping results from an unexpected meeting of minds.
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: Sudd Records has been going for some time as a digital-only label, but now they make the leap to vinyl with the help of Detroit champ Gari Romalis. "Abstraxx (Linear Mix)" kicks off the record in a heady fog of undulating pads, the smoke positively drifting out of the speaker cones over a simple, deep-as-you-like drum pattern. "Dark Ryda (Sunset Mix)" gets a little more funk in its rhythm, but the same mellow mood prevails, almost reaching dub techno levels in its atmospheric chord swells. "Heat (Bout That Life Mix)" takes things out of the darkness and into a lighter frame of mind, but Romalis is still firmly in the deep end of the deep house pool with this final cut on the record.
Review: We Play The Music We Love is an Italian and Uk based party that after 7 years of activity has decided to start with its own vinyl only label. The first release comes from one of the founders and resident DJ of the collective: RILLS. He clearly stamping his mark on the label with two solid tracks to launch things with some claut.
The two original tracks, one featuring Sinderesi, explore some dubby house territory with mesmerising chords that will be appreciated on any demanding dancefloor.
The additional remix is from the producer of the moment: Samuel Andre Madsen a.k.a. S.A.M. (Oscillat, Delaphine, Mandar, Fathers and Sons).