Review: REPRESS ALERT: relik returns with a repackaged edition of one of the catalogue's most treasured releases. "Overcome" and "Lady Science (NYC Sunrise)" need little introduction, and now come sporting the new TR11:11 matrix number. Written and produced by Thomas Melchior and Baby Ford aka Soul Capsule, these tracks came from one of the many sessions recorded at the West London Ifach Studio in 1999. On the A Side "Overcome" is stripped back and energetic, driven by rolling and shuffling garage style beats, tight bubbling bass and atmospheric synth pads. The intermittent vocal samples and the release's signature organ set you up for the flip, "Lady Science (NYC Sunrise)". Possibly one of house music's most emotive pieces, the track builds slowly with the introduction of each part building a story of soulful optimism based around a sparse palette of deep synths, uplifting keys and warm analogue bass. The understated beauty of the main vocal riff never seems to grow old or tired with the track lending itself perfectly to either main room, peak-time play or after-hours sessions alike. Remastered by Rashad at D & M.
Review: Australian techno royalty Carmelo Bianchetti has put out a lot of music under the Late Night Tuff Guy alias with his 2007 tweak of Roland Clark classic "I Get Deep" among his best work. Originally released through the short lived TBot's All Nite House Party label, the track is given a timely reissue through Bianchetti's own Tuff Cut label in newly remastered form. Clark's classic vocal would be arguably be a hit over anything with a 4/4 groove, but there is something satisfying about this grimy arrangement from LNTG. Complementing this is a fresh take on the track from Sydney's Cassian.
Review: Mystery label Digwah debuted in the summer, with a soul soaked trip into minimal techno territory that was supported by Ricardo Villalobos, amongst others. Like that 12", Something Else is a single-sided, hand-stamped affair, with no information given about the identity of the producer (or producers) involved. This cut retains the late night techno vibe of the original, but with percussion and whizzing electronic noises that recall classic tech-house from the likes of Swag, Rob Mello and David Duriez, rather than Berghain-friendly minimalism. The subtle, party-minded approach is confirmed by the use of cut-up vocal samples from Cuba Gooding Jr's "Happiness Is Just Around The Bend", which also featured on Nightmares On Wax's 1990 bleep techno anthem, "Aftermath".
Review: In what is surely an unexpected collaboration in the field of house and techno, Mosaic mastermind Steve O'Sullivan teams up with Ricardo Villalobos for a hypnotic trip through minimal landscapes that plays to both of their strengths. The rock-solid rhythm of "Sullric" surely belongs to O'Sullivan while the rich, subtle layers of samples, tones and other such sonic decorations come straight from the Villalobos school of production. The two mixes on this 12" only have minor differences - whichever side you drop things will get considerably deeper than they were previously. Of such ingredients are classy, immersive techno joints made.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Mandar are back on Oscillat Music following their stunning five-disc LP from last year, and the deep house super group are sounding as vital as ever. "String Theory" holds court over the A side and promises to be the soundtrack to many a heart-stirring moment under starry skies this summer. The titular strings are a powerful force in this track, bringing a classy brand of emotion to the slinky dancefloor tones Mandar are best known for. "Poisoned Worlds" is a deeper club cut that places the emphasis on crafty drum science for after hours crew, providing a neat balance to the show-stopping tones of the A side.
Review: ** Camera's ready. Prepare for the Repress ** Curtis Jones is never one to rest on his laurels, as his staggering back catalogues as Green Velvet and Cajmere can attest but such is the force of his personality that a new release still feels like an event. "Bigger Than Prince" capitalises on Jones' knack for a vocal that lambasts the less earnest quirks of the dance music industry, while creating the hook to make the track a bomb in the same instance. Production-wise, there's a measured strut to the track with some choice growling bass synths and an underlying disco flavour that suits Jones just fine. On the remix front, Circus turn to The Martinez Brothers to hammer out a rolling, percussion focused version perfect for big room mixing, while Hot Since 82 turn out a similar line in boompty peak time damage.
Review: Carl Craig's annus mirabilis for remixing continues in similar vein as his work on Theo Parrish and Delia Gonzales, the take here of Bobo Shanti's "Poor People Must Work" should be hugely popular at all this summer's parties. Rhythm & Sound construct, by their own admission, a hard-steppin-funk Basic reshape of Willi Williams' by-now epochal "See Mi Yah" a true dub anthem for the dancefloor.
Review: Since launching in 2006, the men or women of mystery behind the sneaky Digwah series have delivered a couple of sought-after, single-sided 12" singles that blend familiar samples with rock solid tech-house grooves. Predictably, this third volume in the series sticks closely to the blueprint, wrapping twinkling electric piano motifs and a restless, looped bassline around a rhythm track rich in jazzy hi-hats, snappy drum machine snares and tough, locked-in kick-drums. It's arguably closer to deep house than its predecessors, with the tactile and warming samples - lifted, it seems, from the late '60s West Coast rock record - helping to create a rolling, late night feel. The previous Digwah releases sold out quickly, so you'll have to act fast to secure a copy of this one.
Review: Anders Trentemøller is one of the rising stars of the dance music scene, his remixes and productions have gained critical acclaim from a broad range of DJs and producers including Pete Tong, Sasha, John Digweed, Switch, MANDY, Mylo, Nathan Fake and Freeform Five. Released on the influential Poker Flat label this is set to be one of the definitive releases of 2006. Available as a limited edition double CD and double LP. Trentemøller is currently the most in-demand remixer (recently delivering critically acclaimed mixes for The Pet Shop Boys, The Knife, Royksöpp, Sharon Phillips and Moby) with releases on Naked Music, Get Physical, and of course Poker Flat/Audiomatique.
Review: MOi? Who? Give it a listen and we'll give you one guess. His sound is unmistakeable isn't it. The new Ukrainian hero of rolling and funky minimal is back under yet another alias (and imprint) and he's already up to number four. "Track 1" on the A side is built for peak time headrushes on the dancefloors of Concrete and Hoppetosse. Expect this one to de destroying crowds of the underground this Summer! The B side offering is a bit more stripped; the fierce bass supported by some swirling and hypnotic pads on this surefire DJ tool that'll make even Ion Ludwig step up his game!
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: We never quite know what to expect from leftfield explorer Jon Hopkins, but we know it will be worth a listen. Immunity, his fourth solo album (he's recorded two others, one with Brian Eno and another with King Creosote), doesn't disappoint. Rooted in shuffling, forthright and occasionally off-kilter rhythms, it melds hazy, late night atmospherics and subtle melodies with intense, droning chords, woozy electronics and all manner of inventive noises. It's a blend that repeatedly pays dividends, from the mournful pianos and jumpy rhythms of "Breathe This Air', to the crystalline, soundscape ambience of "Abandon Window", and glitchy wonkiness of "Form By Firelight".
Review: The shadowy EEE series has already brought us tasty and much-played tech-house interpretations of a familiar jazz-house gem and a string-laden '80s synth-pop shuffler. Their third single-sided affair - as championed by Zip and Riccardo, no less - takes on a much-loved early noughties R&B classic, placing carefully selected and sequenced vocal snippets around a seriously snappy and sub-bass-heavy groove. Although tech-house in style - note the glitchy electronic noises and spacey effects fixed to the beats - the track's infectious rhythm track was clearly influenced by the current electro revival. This added swing and shoulder-swinging looseness, coupled with the familiarity of the vocal elements, makes EEE03 a guaranteed peak-time winner.
Review: This is a cheeky single-sided affair that contains a gently tooled-up, rolling and rearranged version of a Marlena Shaw-sampling jazz-house classic that is rightly considered something of a dancefloor classic. The edit itself is undoubtedly rather good, subtly adding a little more bottom-end grunt whilst making a little more of the original's snaking sax parts, much-loved vocal sample and groovy jazz percussion. You can decide or not whether the re-edit was needed; certainly, the mystery re-editor has done a rather tidy job on the rework.
Review: 'M 6' consists of two heavy stomping dub house tracks that are dominated by a multiple modulated sequence that reaches from considerable depths to the heights of coloured noises. All is surrounded by a warm and organic sound sphere of the usual characteristics. A deep groove experience is guaranteed.
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: Using the Turkish psychedelic project Insanlar as a jump off point, Honest Jon's have enlisted Ricardo Villalobos to turn out one of his grandiose remix projects that gels so naturally with more exotic sound sources. The original of "Kime Ne" is already an enchanting, Moog-infused groover rich with traditional vocals, and then Mr Villalobos locks the ingredients in for a typically cosmic ride into stripped and hypnotic house territory, letting the lutes intertwine with dusty reams of percussion using that alchemists touch that could only come the man himself. The remix spreads itself over two sides of wax, leaving one side of the double pack free for a fetching etching as well.
Review: Doing things properly and building up a DIY phenomenon from their base in Zurich, the Les Points crew have brought a fresh, daring originality to the house and techno scene with their gritty outboard approach and a wide range of stylistic tendencies. Taking a break from releasing on their own label, Audino, Barbir, Louh and Nicola Kazimir have been invited to the evergreen Trelik to broach their music to a wider audience. From the blissful space techno groove of "Anubis" to the tightly wound beats of "Housepacer" and on to the cranky acid funk of "Ripstyle", this is yet another distinctive transmission from the plucky Swiss crew.
Review: Few producers are quite as skilled at creating atmospheric, tech-tinged big room house as Daley "Hot Since 82" Padley. Having steadily built his reputation via much-played releases on Noir, Moda Black, Get Physical and Knee Deep in Sound, Padley now finds himself a man in demand. Here, he makes his first appearance on Truesoul with a pair of Ibiza-friendly smashers. Flipside "Veins", a bold combination of bumpin' beats, woozy vocal samples, ghostly melodies and big percussive builds, is arguably the stronger of the two tracks, though many may prefer the stretched-out, slowly-building tech-house vibe of opener "Damage". Either way, expect to hear both tracks a lot over coming months.
Doodlebug - "Loose In Your Mind" (Silverlining remix) (7:03)
Review: Yet more gems from the Silverlining studio, this time turning to the much sought after "Breezin Thru" track originally released in 1998. This is a true classic from the golden era of tech house, rooted in the London scene defined by the likes of Terry Francis and the like, and yet it sounds like it could have been made yesterday. The strident, upfront beat and immersive atmospheric shimmers are pure dancefloor gold. On the flip, Andy Blake and Dave Coker's Doodlebug project gets the remix treatment, winding up as crafty electro breaks with a tilt towards the deep end of the dance.
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: 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: Having built his reputation via a regular series of self-released 12" singles, East End Dubs is now beginning to make guest appearances on selected labels. Here he pops up on the long established, vinyl-only INFUSE imprint with a trio of club-ready concoctions. On the A-side you'll find "Gradual Steps", a rolling and attractive fusion of bouncy deep house drums, spacey, Motor City chord, thickset bass and glitchy tech-house flourishes. As usual, there's a wonderful swing to his drums and the stretched-out chords are hazy and evocative. You'll find more of these sumptuous pads and chord progressions on similarly-minded flipside cut "Mind Traps", while closer "Enhance" is another deep house/tech-house hybrid blessed with a notably epic breakdown.
Review: Six brand new shakers from Omar S...This is the sh*t! Never confined to one particular genre, Omar is again blending house, techno and even minimal styles into one big pot of deep Detroit underground funk. There's even some Basic Channel / Deep Chord vibes going on there somewhere. Simply killer.
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: 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: 'The Man-Machine' is closer to the sound and style that would define early new wave electro-pop. Less minimalistic in its arrangements and more complex and danceable in its underlying rhythms. Like its predecessor, 'Trans-Europe Express', there is the feel of a divided concept album, with some songs devoted to science fiction-esque links between humans and technology, often with electronically processed vocals ("The Robots," "Spacelab," and the title track); others take the glamour of urbanization as their subject ("Neon Lights" and "Metropolis"). Plus, there's "The Model," a character sketch that falls under the latter category but takes a more cynical view of the title character's glamorous lifestyle. More pop-oriented than any of their previous work, the sound of 'The Man-Machine' in particular among Kraftwerk's oeuvre had a tremendous impact on the cold, robotic synth pop of artists like Gary Numan, as well as Britain's later new-romantic movement.
Review: From the label: Melodie is Cristi Tudorache from Bucharest, an artist who has made quite a name for himself through the 2 highly acclaimed releases on Raresh's Metereze and French label Rora in 2015. This is his latest EP, Alderaan, named after an extinct planet in Star Wars. ALMA01 includes the much sought-after Acid Saturday, the track that has had threads dedicated to it all over the web after RPR Soundsystem played it at Weather festival in 2015. The EP debuts the Almanah label, a new Romanian label under the curatorship of the Origami Sound / Interval crew.
Jeremy Castillo - "Beat Dat" (feat Vin Sol) (4:24)
Review: Unknown To The Unknown spreads its wings with a new sublabel dedicated specifically to jacking house jams for proper white-knuckle party times. Steven BC turns the acid intensity up to 11 with the devastatingly on-point "Flanger Zone", while Mall Grab reaches for a classic bit of disco funk to sample and filter mercilessly. Lawrence Lee meanwhile opts for a playful, budget take on Eastern electro on "Pyongyang Rhythm" before Jeremy Castillo and Vin Sol return to primal Trax Records territory for "Beat Dat". It's a release that marks House Crimes out as a natural descendant from UTTU's irreverent approach to dance music, without compromising on the quality.
Review: Having given keen listeners a healthy preview in his Fabric live mix last year, the artist formerly known as Stopmakingme delivers his full-length album for Erol Alkan's Phantasy Sound. It's a limber brew that channels a strong dose of analogue trickery through smart and snappy beat constructions, all bubbling, aquatic synths and troubled delays propelled by unfussy drum patterns so that the melodies can do the talking. Primarily this is a dancefloor album, moving from peppy breakbeat driven numbers to gently bumping house, but always the playful, ineffably warm synth work sets the tone, from "Naive Response"s robotic charm to "Drone Logic"s soaring grind. It's an album brimming in confidence and nailed with precision, and it's packed full of incredibly usable floor rockers to boot.
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: Donato Dozzy has surely booked his place at the top of the techno game by now, thanks to an impressive catalogue spanning over ten years and an exquisite selection of labels. Although he has been focusing on his collaborative projects over the last few years - check Voices From The Lake in case you've been living under a rock - his solo productions are always an absolute pleasure. For his latest outing he lands on compatriot Carola Pisaturo's Claque Musique, a label that floats between house and techno at its own pace. The A-side, "Cassandra", is more laid-back compared to Dozzy's recent performances, its mid-tempo swagger gives the percussion and floating melodies enough space to mould into a skin-tight groove. "II" on the B-side is totally different, where Dozzy eliminates beats, basslines and sonics in favour of Asia-sounding didgeridoo's, all electronically treated and tripped out, of course. Recommended, particularly for those wishing to hear something new from the man.
Review: Madonna, Depeche Mode and Kelis - what do East End Edits have in store for us next? This seventh instalment harks back to the charming deep jazzy house of their inaugural release - think of the legendary St. Germain and that should give you a fairly good idea. The track's smoky, late night jazz bar vibe is complemented by a rolling bass and swinging rhythms that should appeal to the likes of Rhadoo or Petre Inspirescu - legends of the Romanian scene who themselves have lent their deft hand to the French producer's work as remixers in the past, too.
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".