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: As the current minimal sound further branches out into new, funkier shades of tech, labels like NCSS are surfacing left, right and centre, and what a pleasure it is to see the scene evolve so well. The crew launch their first EP with a collaboration across four tunes, each one of them offering its own shade of electronics. "Box Of Frogs", by Bowyer, opens the A-side with a nutty sequence of grainy beats and a funky-ass bassline with a dark twist, followed by Tjin's more stripped back burner, "Xoi2". "Mocki" from POM is deeper, more meditative, and offers something jazzier, whereas Will Do's "Inori" goes for the Balearic approach, entering a dreamy world of ice-cold pads and soulful atmospherics. Lush.
Review: Launched last summer, the 124Black series has been a fine addition to the more established 124Recordings label that promotes a darker, harder sound whilst remaining firmly rooted in the underground. A third release on the series retains the focus on new and upcoming producers with Demuja, The Knight Cats, Tijn, and Jekyll all present. Building on the raw and crisp style of house shown on numerous digi releases, Demuja sets the tone perfectly with the stripped back throbbing delight that is "Everytime", whilst Paris duo The Knight Cats add some '90s flavour with the excellent "We Know That". Tijn arrives on 124Black after impressing with a recent outing on Djebali and "Diss You" is a fine B side burner along with Jekyll's rattling 'Transition Dub'.
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: The In Haus Wax label releases its third record with four tracks from Adam Shelton and TJIN. Shelton is the more accomplished of the two, with previous releases on One Records and 20:20 Vision, both of which collaborations with Subb-an. Shelton canvasses the A-side with some hazy production of drum driven deep house in "Are You Still Dancing" and "Speak Up", the former a little funkier to the latter's swoon. TIJN debuts with two productions, the first, "00.1", unashamedly plucks the chimes of Hall & Oats "I Can't Go For That" and places them between a filtered bassline and phased percussion, while a Garageband-sounding drum loop with added hats makes up the backbone of "00.2", before TIJN adds heaving vocals samples and housey chords stabs.
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: 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".
Review: Tijn hasn't released a great deal of music since his debut on In Haus Wax in 2013, but what he has put out has been of the highest quality nonetheless. After appearances on his own self-named label, the Dutchman returns to action on Overall Music Limited Series, an offshoot of Overall Music. "Jam Six" launches the 12" with a dusty house swing and a minimalistic sonic pattern, whereas "Sputnik" is a little deeper and whole lot funkier. Over on the B-side, "Strasse" goes for a loungier approach thanks to its wavy pads, and there's even a DJ Es remix of "Jam Six", dropping in a twisted bassline and harsh snares.
Review: Tijn AKA Martyn Hodgson appears on his on Worx imprint with some sleek tech house shenanigans. Title track "9090" with its infectiously bouncy bassline and shuffling rhythm just ticks all the right boxes, check it out. "Peeping Tom" is as sleazy as its title suggests, in the after-hours kind of way reminiscent of Robert Dietz productions a few years ago; and that's a good thing. The House Of Warez remix of "9090" on the flip is sexy slinky tech house, executed to perfection by none other than Music For Freaks Justin Harris, under a new alias. Lastly "Shake Dat" is a druggier style of deep house with warped and trippy vocals for added effect.
Review: The shadowy Tijn, who outside of his own self-titled label has only appeared on a split EP with Adam Shelton for In Haus Wax, delivers a new four-tracker in his familiarly bouncy style. "Turn The Music" is a jittery tech-house wrecker, whereas "For The People" drops in some vocal chops and tribalesque drum patterns over the house bump. The flipside features another two floor-fillers: "RAW", a pounding, hi-hat-heavy builder with hypnotic background sonics, and the swingy, hip-shaking twists of "Swan Vista".
Review: Here's some fine cross-border collaboration from Dutchman TIJN and Spanish studio buff Bolumar. A quick glance at both producers' bulging discographies will fill you with confidence. This combined experience comes to the fore on A-side "Earth Funk", where helium hip-hop vocal cut-ups, undulating acid lines and fizzing electronics ride a rubbery, floor-friendly tech-house groove. It can be heard, too, within the blissful electric piano stabs, restless electronic bass and swinging beats of "Just In Time", and on "Roowax", which is a hazy chunk of loose-limbed deep house with subtle tech-house overtones. In other words, it's a rock solid EP from two hugely experienced producers.
Review: New tech alert! The Weather Rec crew launch their first missile of what will surely be a successful series if this collaborative four-tracker is anything to go by. Deep house deviant TIJN drops the hubby chords and bass bumps of "Atari", a shuffling beauty made for the floor, while Shiftr's "Untitled A" takes things to a much more off-kilter space thanks to cascading drums and wild-eyed vocal samples. Over on the flip, Katal hits us with the much moodier tech wave that is "Sintesi Sonora", while Octave and Variance's "Vaiven" goes for the all-out smoothness on this deep and jazzy little midnight number for the heads. Top gear!
Review: In Haus Wax has been going strong since 2008 thanks to both a succession of appearances from artists like Ekkohaus and Adam Shelton, but also their very own 'in haus' house sound. To please your tech house delights this time, we have Fuse's Seb Zito with the percussion-heavy roll of "Soft Cell", the minimalistic and finely stripped-back jam "Puru" by Javier Carballo and Carlos Sanchez, Tijn moodier and deeper house gem ""Zee", and Liam Geddes' funky and lo-fi "Monday Got Me Dazed". Tools for the beat thrashers.