Review: Fresh from her Med School missions, Moscow's A.Fruit maintains the leftfield beat heat with another savage session, this time on Om Unit's evergreen Cosmic Bridge. "Make Them Shake" is a loopy ghetto/technoid mutant barbed with all manner of strange squelchy textures while "Polykarp" flips the motion sensors with a surprise drop into iced soul chords and skippy breaks. Meanwhile on the B we're struck with more beguiling gold: with its jazzy chords and pneumatic kicks "Deep Insight" stalks like a cat but punches like a bear while "Before You Go" brings us home on more of a mystic, percussive spacious trip. Crucial through and through, neither A.Fruit or Cosmic Bridge are messing around here.
Review: Smile & Wave appears from out of nowhere with two unknown names heading up the first release. There's no indication of who is behind A Houseband or Russian Hackers, but both of them have done a damn fine job of bringing two sure fire killers to wax. The first is "Another Love Another Happiness", which as the title candidly suggests is yet another version of the oft-sampled "Love & Happiness", this time framed in a bubbling, dubby deep house context for the mellow heads to soak up. By way of contrast Russian Hackers get busy with "303", bringing some forthright jack to the table.
Review: While the name may be new, A New Line (Related) is supposedly the work of an already established musician, although Kimochi was never a label that cared about hype. The music stands just fine on its own, digging into the kind of dusty and dusky house and techno formations that the label has forged its hand-sprayed identity on. There's plenty of ambient techno twirls to be enjoyed on the likes of "Dancing On Soft Borders", while the beats melt away entirely on "After A Short Illness" and grandiose EP closer "RIYL Failures". Once again Kimochi comes up with the kind of meaningful variations on the 4/4 framework that keep our record bags full and our souls enriched.
Review: Nick Harris aka A Sagittariun lands on Bristol's Idle Hands with a smacking two-tracker for the techno puritans! Fair enough, the flow and structure of "Pseudo Science" might not be typically classed as traditional techno, but there is so much freedom in its half-step beats and circular percussion shots, making this a beautiful relic of the sort of dance music that was being made just before the rise of 'minimal'. On the B-side, "Heavy Manners" is slower to pick up pace, kicking off with a frosty, barren procession of hi-hats and mild beats, both giving way to the much more powerful swing of the pads and harmonies in the backdrop. Excellent.
Review: Since 2011, or what we could describe as the rebirth of vintage electronic music and the muddled, increasingly convoluted evolution of 'bass' music, Nick Harris aka A Sagittariun has been providing our charts, and the wider scene, with consistently high levels future-proof techno. Slightly Ajar is his third release of 2017 already, and it comes through on his own Elastic Dreams imprint with a squadron of deep and effortlessly mesmerizing electronic shapes. "Stingray" opens with an ocean of euphoric pads and industrial rhythms coming together as one, and is followed elegantly by the much deeper, more reflective broken patterns of "Burning Crystal". On the B-side, "An Infinite Number Of Possibilities" kicks the gears into motion with a much bouncier, club-centric techno groove filled with surreal melodies, and "720 Degrees" buries a load of bleeps into a hypnotic bundle of sci-fi sonics for total dancefloor domination. Effective and ultra-sleek - the lot of them!
Review: The Innate label made a sizable impact with its first release - a killer various artists 12" with Mark Hand, Lerosa and others. Now it returns with another balanced mix of established and emergent artists, leading in with a stunning A side cut from A Sagittariun delivering what might be his most beautiful production to date - a swooning, snaking slice of melodious techno that brims with emotion and canny programming. After turning heads on the first Innate release, Gilbert returns with "Polynoid," a punchy, Lately bass-powered workout with lashings of Motor City soul heaped on top. Sean Dixon completes the package with "Our Love For Music," a pointed machine mantra that maintains the classic techno tone Innate is shaping up as its MO.
Review: It's been a while since we last heard from the Mellophonia label and its star attraction, A Vision Of Panorama, but now the producer known as Mikhail Khvasko is back with a new record that expands on the soft and silky Balearic house sound he established himself with across some wonderful EPs and 2016's "Aquafusion" album. The sun is still very much shining down on this new record, which leads in with the fittingly titled "Delicious Saw". Khvasko's whole sound is geared towards celebration of gorgeous synth tones, and so it goes here thanks to that seriously tasty sawtooth wave. "Lum" cools down the boogie bump of its predecessor for something more reflective, while "Euphoria" gets into an oh-so-sweet house funk that would sound at home on Strictly Jaz Unit. "Fourth" finishes the EP off with a seriously sticky bassline squelch and some effervescent piano lines - another melodic marvel on a record full of them.
Review: Alden Tyrell dusts off his Italo guise for another synthetic sojourn into all things dramatic and cinematic. "Dance Of The Happy Shadows" sets the scene; a Vangelis-themed disco set 50 years in the future. "I Rarely Talk To Strangers" is a more introspective journey with a Moroderish arpeggio peppered with staccato cosmic chords. Both parts of "J Is For Jupiter" drive us towards the tunnel-end light. Overwhelmingly positive chords hit hard on the first part before a spiralling Terjeian hook drives the very final stretch.
Review: Following an impressive, low-key cassette release on Kitty Play in 2016, Amsterdam-based artist Aan Zee makes the leap to vinyl with this appearance on Pleasure Wave, a label which has already made some waves with releases from g-Marie, Jonny 5 and Miskotom. The Aan Zee sound is a lot to digest, spanning all kinds of cosmic funk, sky-scraping electronics and outernational influences, often all fired off at the same time. Just sink your teeth into "Persona/Funny Berber" for a taste and you'll understand. "Vacation" is equally adventurous, with all kinds of melodic layering and instrument flexing in pursuit of an exotic new brew that doesn't shirk on the groove.
Review: Yam Who?'s Midnight Riot is back with another volume of funky, party starting edits, so come and get your fix. Aashton's "Pride" samples the diva vocals of you know who on this smooth and soulful number. Peza's "Black Gold" is pure classic disco, reminiscent of Salsoul, possibly? Fabiolous Barker's "The Paradise" has that retro and Balearic vibe that fans of labels like Love On The Rocks and Efficient Space will certainly dig. "The Jam" by Rayko is a re-edit of you guessed it: Technotronic's "Pump Up The Jam".