Review: Pathway Traxx's diffusion label OFFPath returns with its fourth installment, featuring four heroes of the minimal house underground curated by label boss Niko Maxen. We have Londoner Adam Monti (4plae) up first with the sunny tech house of "Camberwell Blues", then Dudley Strangeways & Tijn close out the A side with some deep afterhours boompty business. On the flip, Rising star Josh Baker out of Leeds delivers more of his reliably hypnotic and slinky groove action on "Rewriting Old Methods" and Shacklo's "Bermuda" channels the very best of Todd Terry style classic house.
Michael James & Benjamin Joseph - "The Island" (7:53)
Nick Beringer - "Nyx" (5:52)
Pascal Benjamin - "Falkhill" (6:32)
Review: The next airdrop from the good ship Constant Black is a various artists affair with four tracks from four artists guaranteed to find a home in your extended micro sesh. Pascal Benjamin takes the lead with "Falkhill", locking into a Romanian-flavoured minimal breaks formation that rolls in resplendent fashion with a particularly choice vocal lick from an undisclosed RnB track. Michael James and Benjamin Joseph nudge the pitch fader up and dial in the swing for the decidedly funky wiggler "The Island", and TIJN keeps things bumping but works in some sharper drum sounds for the tough but bouncy "Maybe". Nick Beringer finishes the record off with the chunky funk of "Nyx", calling to mind Mike Shannon amongst others.
Locic & Dan Formless - "No Laughing Matter" (9:04)
Yama Music - "Back Where You Belong" (6:31)
TIJN - "Nikkee" (7:14)
Review: This EP marks something of a departure for self-proclaimed "tripped-out micro-house" imprint Yama Music, which previously acted solely as an outlet for the fast-rising production duo of the same name. They're present on this EP of course, opening side B with the pulsing pads, weighty sub-bass and glitchy beats of "Back Where You Belong", but the majority of the tracks come courtesy of like-minded producers from around the Globe. Birdsmakingmachine make a big impression with the mind-altering acid bass and crunchy machine drums of "Moorbet", while Locic and Dan Formless successfully join forces on the simultaneously chunky, weighty and hypnotic "No Laughing Matter". Our pick of a very strong bunch is TIJN's closing cut, "Nikkee", which wraps a jazzy bassline and smooth drums in gorgeously warm and woozy sci-fi chords.
Review: The latest transmission from Aesthetic is a various artists 12" that introduces some fresh names as well as welcoming some familiar ones. Dudley Strangeways is up first with "Mutual Core", a soothing balm of a deep house production with a hazy late morning mood. Loht Vostok ramps thing sup with "La Luz", a crisp and uptempo tech house trip with mellow synth parts to offset the urgency of the drums. TIJN takes things in a decidedly subtle direction with the gentle lull of "Amorpheus", and then Jean Bressan gets into a seriously immersive groove on the shimmering "Apartment 303".
Review: Since 2013 Tijn (not to be confused with J. Tijn) has been issuing a steady stream of high grade minimal and tech house for labels like Decay, Memoria, Moss Co and more recently Vuew. Now he comes to Aesthetic for a varied EP that leads in with the dusky, blue-hued tones of "Waves" - a moment for true immersion and introspection. By way of contrast, "CC" captures the energy of classic mid 00s minimal a la labels like Cynosure - all bugging samples hopping around a swinging groove - and we can't get enough of it. "Sundayyzz" takes things in a spookier direction, keeping that stripped back shuffle but holding down a more mellow energy compared to "CC".