Review: It's always a treat to spot Edward donning his Desert Sky guise for another trip into the hinterland of minimal techno, where expression reigns free and all kinds of sound sources tumble into a truly exotic mix. On this album for PAL SL, all bets are off as we get whisked down a mysterious and meandering path where organic and electronic matter merge in the shadows, all strapped to subliminal but pronounced grooves that make this some of the most potent, intriguing club material in circulation right now. Buy the ticket, take the ride and dance out under that Desert Sky.
Review: British artist Desert Sound Colony appears outside of his brilliant Holding Hands imprint here with a new one for Scenic Route - a new London-based label and party run by Bryce's Brother, Jon Phonics and Sean OD. Real name Liam Wachs, his productions have gained support from a wide variety of DJs such as Midland, Raresh, Andrew Weatherall and Lena Willikens, and you can count his new EP "Cartogropher" as another guaranteed dancefloor killer. The A side houses the title track - a fierce, rolling, bass-heavy backroom dub, followed by the trippy and off-kilter UK vibe of "Gypsy Moth (feat. Guava)" plus deep minimalist concentration of "Budapest" on the flip.
Review: The latest Hands Off joint features three artists making waves in intriguing corners of the deep house firmament. Desos opens up the A side with the dreamy groove of "Dubs", before Space Age lays down the classic, Mr Fingers-flavoured haze of "Sunday Rain". Desos returns on the flip with another subtle yet punchy cut, keeping the melodies submerged and sublime on "Jaaa" before Common Mode takes things in a distinctly dubby direction with "Beauty Queens".
Yes, No, Maybe (feat Tom Misch - Sterac Electronics remix) (6:26)
Call Of The Wild (feat Jungle By Night - Cinthie remix) (6:05)
High Life (feat Lorenz Rhode - Jura Soundsystem remix) (4:50)
Ketama Gold (Matt Karmil remix) (7:36)
Ex Machina (Gari Romalis Detroit On The Move remix) (6:03)
Review: In our opinion, the best remix EPs are those that don't plough a narrow dancefloor furrow, but instead offer up reworks that touch on different styles and sounds. That's what you get here as an invited cast re-interprets tracks from Detroit Swindle's "Highlife" LP. The star attractions are arguably twinfold: a killer electro-soul take on "Yes, No Maybe" by Dutch veteran Sterac Electronics and a bustling revision of "Call of the Wild" by Cinthie that sounds like a mid-90s NYC basement house jam. That said, we're also big fans of Jura Soundsystem's dubbed-out Balearic electro mix of "High Life" and the formidably floor-friendly tweaks by Matt Karmil and Gari Romalis on side B. In other words, it's a very strong EP.
Review: Much like its name would suggest, Outofstock's releases are pressed in small amounts for the dedicated Rominimal fans out there - and indeed they believe in quality over quantity. Following up some great releases by local young guns like Audiotheque, Sublee and Timofti, they now present the debut of Deweekend. While information is scarce on this enigmatic producer, we can sure bet they're on to great things if this eponymous EP is anything to go by. The A side houses the rolling, dubby and cavernous tech house action of "Nose Trauma" which is perfect tackle for the main room, followed by the super trippy afterhours thumper "Rabeat". On the flip, they go for more of a minimal house vibe and deeper into the morning hours with the woozy microfunk of "Makes Sensi" and the ultra deep glitchiness of "Re Searching".
Review: Originally active around the turn of the century, Difusion are back in action with a mission to champion real songwriting in the deep house scene. "Playin' With Fire" rides a funky disco groove and works around some seriously catchy vocals, while Daniel Maunick dubs the track out and rides the filter to deadly effect. "Shining" rounds the EP off with a sweet, sensitive jam that strikes the kind of melancholic tone that wistful dancefloor memories are made of. Once again the vocals lift to the track to another stratosphere of heartfelt expression - this is sure to go down a storm with the late summer crowd.
Review: Another single-sided sizzler from the Digwah camp, whose irregular tech-house reworks of well-loved old cuts are rarely less than excellent. This time round, they've turned their attention to a sprightly, memorable chunk of '80s soul - an American club cut of the period that has been re-edited numerous times by disco diggers. The Digwah version, though, is an almost complete overhaul; while snippets of the original version's vocals and guitars are present in the mix, they largely play second fiddle to chunky tech-house beats and a bold, huggable bassline that propels the revision forward towards peak-time dancefloors. It's decent and scintillating like most Digwah remixes.
Review: Next up on Acid Pauli and Nico Stojan's Ouie imprint are two veterans of the electronic music scene, but the label bosses are pretty tight lipped about their identity beyond that. Showing off some serious night moves on "Slow Down", the title track is perfect Berlin sunrise material: a lush serving of low-slung techno-pop that makes the perfect summer soundtrack. On remix duties is Lovestruckk, the duo comprising of Stojan and Holmar Filipsson (aka Thugfucker) inject more dancefloor dynamics before closer "Slow Down", a slinky and hypnotic tech house cut moves the EP into a moodier sonic territory.
Review: A mysterious white label from a mysterious source with no details or even track titles. All we know is that there are only 200 copies and that they absolutely bump. "Track 1" is a real heads down driver with a well-known female vocal ghosting through the groove while "Track 2" brings home a job lot of funk with a much looser, off-grid groove and a breakdown to melt into. Get lifted.
Review: Thanks to a string of fine disco and gospel-fired releases and remixes for the likes of Midnight Riot and Lumberjacks in Hell, Alan Dixon has become a must-check artist. Here he makes his bow on Running Back with arguably his most arresting and inspired EP to date. The real star of the show is co-producer Darren Morris (a regular Ashley Beedle collaborator), whose dazzling solos surge from the speakers on the driving, 1989 style piano house rush of "Moments" (reminiscent of his work on Beedle's peerless remix of Bent's "Always" in the early 2000s) and the Balearic house brilliance of "Star Dance" (think Phillip Lauer/Tuff City Kids). The fun continues on muscular, Italo-disco influenced opener "La Danza" and the colourful, sunrise-ready soundscape "Ambient Braindisk".
Review: "Der Say Ah" has long been a banger on dance floors tuned into international sounds. It's the sort of bouncy afrobeat and sax-laced classic that has been fetching huge amounts online. DJs like Gilles Peterson and Nightmare on Wax have been playing it for yonks and now, after many years of it being out of print, it is back courtesy of Push The Fader. The Akoya Re-Rub mix here was mixed by Ben Kane who worked on D'Angelo's Black Messiah, so this sounds beyond good. The 7" version comes from DJ Spinna with extra keys from Ticklah, psyched out bass and extra dub feelings.
Review: Clone is one of the oldest active labels in the game, and DJ Fett Burger has been the most singular soundsmiths in the scene for seemingly as long. This coming together of two giants is another successful one with the Sex Tags co-founder flipping Red Scorpions' "Enjoy This Limousine" into a dubbed out techno roller with jittery snares riding on bleeping electronics. Speckgurtel then tackles "Harpo" with an old school rave energy that is muted yet euphoric, before rounding off with his Drumapella version of "Sonnenambiente", which makes an effective early evening house tool.
Review: No-nonsense German label EXT has gone back to basics here, delivering their first split-artist EP since 2016. DJ Gonzo and Dr Yes handle side A, unfurling a tactile but wonky techno jack-track ("Ring Center") full of jaunty, all action synth-bass, bleeping computer electronics, fluttering synth riffs and clanking drum machine beats that doff a cap to both Chicago jack and Motor City futurism. Rough Thought takes over on side B, charging through a bustling combination of rising and falling intergalactic synth lines, deep space chords, surging arpeggio bass and a drum track so sweaty that it could have been laid down by a drummer who has just downed four cans of the world's most repulsive energy drink.
Review: Resurgent Welsh techno wizard DJ Guy launches his own label with a fresh batch of deep diving jams that put the soul back in the machine. From the twinkling, starry-eyed delights of "Music Is Life" to the horizontal meditation of "Interplanetary," this is immaculately executed electronica in the fine tradition of UK trailblazers like B12 that sounds as fresh as it did in the 90s. "Warmth In Rhythm" sports a nagging house groove to suck you in with ease, while "Propulsion State" fires off a dazzling arpeggio that heads skywards with a twitchy electro backbone for company. Top shelf tackle from a seriously talented cat.
Review: Berlin deep house stalwart Hans Schaaf aka DJ Honesty is most known for being part of the local Cabinet Records crew, regularly collaborating with ZKY & Daniel Paul over the years. Outside of that, this will be the second time he's appeared on Losoul's Another Picture, following up 2017's "Janeiro" EP with yet more subtle groove magic here. On the A side we have the sublime minimal dub of "Santo Antonio" awash in hypnotic dub effects perfect for setting the vibe at the afterhours. On the flip, we have some jams which are more typical of Schaaf's usual work: the deep boompty swing of "Mais Populares" and the bleepy minimal funk of "Green Door".
Review: The man himself would probably say "it's Ed - Jus Ed that is!". To directly quote the Underground Quality chief himself, the man says he is back as Bridgeport Connecticut's all time champion of house and techno, undefeated since 2001 - and still! The guy sure ain't modest, but we couldn't have said it better. From the smooth and meditative vibe of "Favignana Sunset", to the fierce acid banger "I AM" as well as the brooding and doom-laden dancefloor drama of closer "Impulsive Curves", this is unlike anything we have ever heard from the UQ boss before.
Review: Maltese deep house dude Melchior Sultana becomes the latest addition to Jus-Ed's bulging list of collaborators, which also includes Levon Vincent, Fred P, Nina Kraviz, DJ Qu, Move D, Mr G, Lawrence and Son of Sound. The resultant jams are sweet, sticky and undeniably Moorish. Check, for example, the shuffling Afro-house beats, sumptuous electric piano solos, leisurely jazz guitars and spoken word vocals of "Choices", the piano and synth-bass driven breeziness of "Outside" and the classic deep house warmth of closing cut "Press It". "Now Scat", an ultra-deep, acid-flecked treat, is also top notch.