Review: Holden's 2006 debut album was an astonishing one that gets a timely reissue on double crystal-clear splatter vinyl. A high watermark for proudly synthetic and computer made music, it was the bold arrival of an artist who endures as an innovator to this day. "The Idiots Are Winning" is a masterclass in unhinged grooves, glitchy electronic sounds and mutant sounds that set a new benchmark in experimental textures, sound design and dance floor clout. "Idiot" is the standout banger, "Lump" is more trippy and heat workout, and "10101" is the twitchy and mesmeric workout you cannot escape. Music as idiosyncratic as this doesn't come along too often, and even 13 years left it still sounds fresh.
Review: By his usual prolific standards, Romanian producer Barac Nicolae has been rather quiet this year. "The Real You Is Not You", a double-pack of varied dancefloor cuts in his trademark minimal style, is only his second outing of the year. It's rather good, though, with sparse but groovy rhythm tracks providing the backing for all manner of ear-pleasing musical touches and mind-altering electronic effects. Our picks of the bunch are the funky, dreamy and sun-kissed hypnotism of "A Story Behind Everything" and the tipsy wonkiness of the title track, where trippy vocal samples and blissful synth riffs rise above an undulating, off-kilter groove.
Review: The new incarnation of the famous fabric mix series serves up a big one here with Ibiza kingpins and US house torchbearers The Martinez Brothers laying down a fulsome 23 track mix. It brims with the sort of energy that they always have themselves in the booth and takes you on a contemporary trip through the bendy minimal of Cabanne, Frak's percussive workout and some tropical curveballs from The Bayara Citizens. The Brothers also impress with two of their own tracks - "Jam Joint" and "Mistakes" - full of wonky synth work and shuffling drums, and it marks another highpoint in their longstanding career.
Review: These days, we're all familiar with Jan Jelinek's trademark brand of dusty, dubbed-out, jazz-sampling downtempo explorations. That wasn't the case when Loop Finding Jazz Records, his acclaimed debut album, first appeared back in 2001. It has since become an in-demand item, making this reissue more than handy. It remains a fine album; a blazed shuffle through a sonic world where dub techno, ambient, minimal house, jazz and downtempo grooves and seductive vinyl crackle merge into one intoxicating hybrid sound. It's not showy and over-the-top, but rather becalmed and subtly seductive. In other words, it's still a brilliant album and if you don't own already own a copy, you should add this to your cart sharpish.
Review: The ever-essential deep house super group Mandar make the leap to an album in fine style after a few years of unbeatable EPs on their own Oscillat Music label and elsewhere. The self-titled LP is spread across a whopping five 12"s, but it gives latecomers a chance to catch up on some of their previous smashers such as "La Bocca" and "Delon" as well as presenting some fresh wares from the joint creative forces of Lazare Hoche, Malin Genie and Samuel Andre Madsen. The grooves bump just right, the moods unfurl like toffee-flavoured smoke and with these 12 jams Mandar prove once again why they're at the top of the deep house game.
Review: While he's continued to offer up occasional singles, Bonn-based producer Dominik Eulberg has not released an album for eight years. It's for this reason that "Mannigfaltig", the former Traum Schallplatten regular's new set, is big news. Interestingly, it's nowhere near as club-focused as you'd perhaps expect, with Eulberg combining his usual glitchy, tech-house influenced beats and sounds with a range of intricate electronic motifs, sumptuous melodies and atmospheric aural textures. There are one or two club cuts, of course, but majority of the tracks bob along at a more sedate pace, with Eulberg offering up cuts that draw influence from IDM and hazy electronica. As a result, it may well be his most coherent and "listenable" album to date.
Review: After a two-year absence, Aline Brooklyn - New York's surprise home of Romanian style minimal techno adventures - has returned with a bang in 2019. They've launched the "Original Series", with March's debut release from Mihai Pol being followed by this eight-track album from Nico Laa and Juan Cristiani. The pair begins in confident mood via the melodious tech-house funk of "Drastic", before wrapping chiming lead lines and spacey electronics around a low-slung groove of "Mars". More warm, deep house style motifs can be heard on "Good Morning Brooklyn" and the bumpin' goodness of "New York", while "Loop People" is a hazy, minimalist jack-track. Elsewhere, "La Rose" is woozy, dreamy and quietly picturesque (despite locked-in tech-house beats) and "Senor Lopez" is snappy and funky in the best possible way.
Review: Fans of stripped-back, minimalist techno - particularly the Eastern European variant focused around Romania's thriving scene - will happily tell you that every release from Christi Cons and Vlad Caia's Sideways Invisibility Theory project (AKA SIT) is worth checking. This, a double-pack containing half of the tracks from their new album (a second part is also available) is certainly noteworthy. It features a quintet of trippy, low-slung late night workouts seemingly designed to operate in the cracks between tech-house and minimal techno. There are naturally subtle variations throughout - a nod to dub techno here, a psychedelic acid line or dreamy deep house texture there - but throughout, their focus remains firmly on wonky early morning workouts.
Review: Fresh from remixing Afrobeat legend Tony Allen for Dekmantel, Ricardo Villalobos presents his first solo outing of 2019 - an epic double-pack containing four lengthy workouts in his signature off-kilter, minimalist techno style. First up is title track "Mandela Move", where chanted South African vocals weave their way in and out of hypnotic, funk-fuelled, glitch-driven drums that rank amongst Villalobos' boldest beats for some time. "Fontec" is deeper and subtly more melodious, with plenty of weirdo noises and some seriously chunky bass, while "Ectroscop" sees our Chilean hero brilliantly blend the swinging funk of breakbeat with his mind-altering percussion and production. Finally, "Beetglass" is as crunchy, bass-heavy and percussive as anything Villalobos has done to date.
Review: While he's barely paused for breath in the last decade, it's still been eight years since Fumiya Tanaka delivered his last album, Unknown 3. The epitome of long overdue, You Find The Key is his fourth album. Interestingly, it sees the 44 year-old, Japanese producer tweaking his now familiar bass-heavy minimal techno blueprint. Thrillingly, the bass lines are bolder and jauntier, and the beats jazzier, resulting in an altogether funkier take on the minimal techno style. Of course, there are still moments that recall his previous work - see the deep and dubby "Swallowed Memory" - but it's those that take a sideways step towards funk-fuelled pastures ("Munich Uncertain", "The Only Your Researching") that stand out.
Review: Jan Jelinek has made many fine albums over the years, under both his given name and a handful of occasional aliases. One such pseudonym was Gramm, a handle he plucked out of thin air for the release of the now celebrated 1999 full-length "Personal Rock". Here that set is given a deserved 20th anniversary vinyl reissue, allowing a whole new generation to investigate the dusty nooks and crannies of one of the producer's most techno-centric releases. It is every bit as sample-heavy, glitchy and crackling as his other work, whereas other outings explored skewed hip-hop beats and downtempo grooves, "Personal Rock" was more informed by the steady pulse of dub techno, the deep space fluidity of ambient techno and the locked-in hypnotism of original era minimal techno. The results are out of this world.
Review: Artists who made club-focused music tend to debut with singles or EPs, so it's something of a surprise to find that Arno's first release is a triple-vinyl album of tasty dancefloor tracks that sit somewhere between hypnotic tech-house, warm deep house and mind-altering electro missives. As debuts go, it's very impressive, with highlights dotted across all three slabs of wax. Our current favourites include the skittishly funky electro skip of "Sacre Bleu", the sparse, bass-heavy minimal techno throb of "Start Making Sense", the ghostly deep space shuffle of "Set Me Free" and the out-there wonder of "Cleopatra Jones", where oddball electronic noises rise above a deep and drowsy bed of hazy ambient chords and densely layered drums.
Review: Astonishingly, 23 years have passed since Glenn Underground and Boo Williams established the Strictly Jaz Unit project, a fluid collective of underground Chicago deep house producers. These days, SJU mainly operates as a duo, and it was this stripped-back line-up that produced "The Tempest", a rare album-length outing bristling with quality cuts. As a whole, the album is far more intergalactic, electronic and sci-fi sounding than either man's solo productions, with just a few hints of the luscious instrumentation and swinging grooves associated with their previous work. There's no dip in quality, though, with the dubbed-out deep house hypnotism of "Heard Syndrome", the Patrick Cowley/Giorgio Moroder influenced "The Struggle", the Chicago-goes-Yorkshire bleep flex of "Time of Speed, Not Day" and acid-fired gorgeousness of "The Flat (London Projects)" standing out.
Massimiliano Pagliara - "I Am Running All My Drum Machines At Once & Dancing"
Mike Dunn - "A Groove"
Playground Productionz - "Orgy"
Eli Escobar - "Tension" (vinyl mix)
Alcatraz Harry - "Ode To Frankfurt"
Lory D - "Deep Acoustic"
Tomahawk - "Forever Free"
Anno Stamm - "A Night Out With Therese"
Denis Sulta - "Dubelle Oh XX"
Konakov - "Clonki" (part II)
Mr G - "Transient"
Basic Channel - "Q11" (part I)
Fango - "Vena Cava"
Tessela - "Up"
Ricardo Villalobos - "Logohitz"
Dean & Deluca - "A2"
Robert Hood - "The Pace"
Overmow - "Convulsions"
POM POM - "POM POM 18 B2"
Review: Up next on DJ Kicks' acclaimed mix series is Numbers doyen and Glaswegian iconJackmaster. In his own words, the 24-track mix sees the charismatic Scot 'delivering an honest journey, unearthing a serious passion for the obscure boundaries of house and techno.' This double LP lifts out eight of the tracks most other DJs will want to get their mitts on, and joins the dots between his hometown of Glasgow with Denis Sulta's festival destroying bass driven epic "MSNJ", then NYC; with Eli Escobar's gutsy EBM-flavoured 'Tension (vinyl mix)". Berlin's status as a dance music mecca is referenced with Dutch transplant Anno Stamm's dark house stomper "A Night Out With Therese" and the legend himself Ricardo Villalobos, with his minimal techno classic from 1996 "Logohitz". DJ Kicks throw in a CD of the mix too!
Review: Fresh from the success of two top notch EPs on iile, Leo Pol unveils his most ambitious release to date. All I Got In Me is something of a beast, with seven tracks stretched across two slabs of wax. It's a rather pleasingly varied affair, all told, with the experienced producer flitting between Detroit style techno futurism ("BH2"), warm, chunky and occasionally tough deep house ("All I Got In Me", "Live Concrete"), spacey beatbox electro ("Live Love") and the kind of tech-house cuts that look to both the Motor City and Chicago for inspiration. As a bonus, he's also included a collaborative cut under the St Ouen Connection moniker, the deep and hazy, techno-tempo positivity of "Masile".
Review: As far as Rhadoo's release rate is concerned, it's about quality not quantity - but when they do eventuate they are certainly worth the wait. The [a:rpia:r] co-head's last release was over four years ago on Amphia (as Colorhadoo) and he returns for Moscow by way of Berlin's Nervmusic with this collection of afterhours weirdo techno on the Semantics EP. Anyone who has witnessed one of his much lauded closing sets recently knows he has no qualms mixing in experimental beats between lean house cuts - this style is explored personally on tracks like the off-kilter mini-funk of "Fierbinti" or the contorted/psychedelic groove of "Gerunziu". "Om Neon" on the other side is classic Rhadoo all the way: moody, hypnotic and totally tripped-out - best enjoyed after 9:00 on the dancefloor. Cutting edge stuff once again from one of Rominimal's most respected figures.
Review: Back in 2008, noted experimentalist Alva Noto began a sporadic series of albums that were far more focused on dancefloor-inspired rhythms than his usual eccentric and inspiring fare. Unieqav is the third and, we're told, final part of the series. The album is apparently meant to be a sonic representation of an underwater dive, a conceptual theme which manifests itself through the storied producer's use of deep and atmospheric chords, fluid and occasionally glistening electronics, and rhythms that evoke images of ever-deeper dives into the dark, cold depths. Rhytmically, there are nods to electro, IDM, dub techno and Autechre, though the mood remains laidback and intoxicated throughout.
Review: Anders Trentemoller was the noughties' greatest crossover star. From his humble beginnings releasing sleek tech house on imprints like Naked Music, Audiomatique and of course Berlin's Poker Flat - who released his modern classic The Last Resort in 2006. It gets a much deserved reissue here. Trentemoller went on to form his well received In My Room imprint, and go on to headline festivals and pack out stadiums with his acclaimed live show since. The Danish producer's debut album is actually appearing on vinyl for the first time here on a triple disc gatefold and featuring all 13 songs. The album received fantastic acclaim from both fans and journalists around the world and made it into the top-lists of the month, year and decade - alongside an array of awards for best production or best album.
Review: HVOB's fourth full length, "Rocco", is undoubtedly the Viennese duo's most expansive and ambitious work to date. It's a conceptual work, with the two LP set's 13 tracks being linked by "connected narratives" that explore "letting go, farewells and new beginnings". While there's a weightiness to the concept, the resultant music is surprisingly diverse, with the duo offering up both all-out dancefloor moments and more reflective home-listening fare that's in turn cheerily positive, introspectively melancholic and wholeheartedly poignant. Highlights include the piano-laden downtempo bliss of "2nd World", a swirling vocal number that increases in intensity as the track progresses - the breakbeat-driven, wall-of-sound sparkle of "Bloom" and the drowsy, heart-aching tech-house-pop of recent single "Panama".
Here Comes The Warrior (Super short Version) (15:00)
Discotico Sinetico (8:25)
Life Is Strange, Life Is Hard, Life Is Great (5:39)
Spacer Rainbow Woman (8:11)
Fears Come True (5:44)
A Numb Gas To The Future (6:53)
Pow Pow (6:39)
Discotico Estatico (8:14)
Dance Warrior Dance (10:37)
Here Comes The Worrior (Super short album version)
Life Is Strange, Life Is Hard, Life Is Great
Spacer Rainbow Woman
Fears Come True
A Numb Gas To The Future
Dance Warrior Dance
Review: Mexico's Rebolledo has played an important part in Comeme's development over the years, and his nutty strain of electronic dance music fit perfectly in line with the label's tone of voice. Never straight enough to be categorised as house but always too structured to be labelled simply as ambient, Rebolledo is one of the few artist's truly making 'outsider' music these days. This latest album, Mondo Alterado, is perfect for anyone wanting something deep and mystical but that still carries enough weight and shape to be played to other human beings. In fact, a big part of the tunes on this LP verge onto the 'dance' side of things, but the producer has a distinct knack for making that sound constantly surprising, a sort of perennial sonic morphing that steers clear of any concrete genres. TIP!
Review: Very few labels within Romania's storied techno scene can match the wonderful curation of Vlad Caia & Cristi Cons' Amphia Records. The Bucharest-based imprint now presents a full length by NYC-based sonic sorcerer Kamran Sadeghi - considered by many to have one of the most singular takes on the minimal techno sound at present. His most bold and stylistic expressions await you on Ritual Signal and highlights are aplenty: from the ethereal alien transmissions of "More Than Tomorrow", exotic creatures of the deep ("Today"), afterhours reductionism ("Who New") to more leftfield groove expressions, best exemplified by the majestic micro-funk of "May Day" and the splintered/echo-laden hypnotism of EP closer "Decay".
Review: Berlin-based Organic-Music was established in late 2007. The project at the time was about creating daytime parties in outdoor locations and getting music lovers together in peaceful places - close to the nature. The imprint has over the years joined the dots between deep house, minimal, tech-house and dub techno, with that same style of curation all over "The Collected Visions Of Organic" - their 20th release. They are celebrating with a big bang if this whopping compilation effort is anything to go by, with highlights coming from mighty Frenchmen such as Joule boss Janeret (on the ethereal groove action of "Comet"), Parisian scene veteran Djebali (with Bazbaz) on the deep and dirty "Abraxas", through to Rominimal heroes such as NTFO on the rolling and hypnotic "Sureshot" and local label staples like Diego Krause and Nick Beringer - the latter doing his usual deep and sensual thing with the slinky "These Phases".
Review: It was about time we heard some quality deep, progressive tech out of Argentina. Cape aka Fernando Cappelletti drops a double LP on his own Savor Music, rocking since 2011 and home to plenty of solid house tunes by big names such as Felipe Valenzuela and Martinez, among others. But, My Own Jungle is more than just a dancefloor album, as tunes like "The Real" and "Rainforest" are deep and playful enough to be enjoyed over a pair of headphones. There are, of course, fully-fledged big room cuts like "In Armour", or the more tech-minded "Flavor", but Cape's versatility makes this album more than it set out to be.