Review: Crisp Recordings is a record label and production company founded by legend DJ Ra-Soul and Chicago by way of Memphis' Don Crisp. Black in Time is the moniker used by the pair which has resulted in three previous collaborative releases on the label, and they're back with the fourth after a long hiatus. Now they present the politically charged "Democracy Is Hypocrisy" with its powerful narrative fuelled by a groovy minimal acid arrangement. Comes with a handy instrumental version on the flip, in addition to a rough and ready acid dub that's perfect for getting weird at the afterhours. Much crossover appeal anticipated on this little treasure -tip!
Review: Benjamin Brunn and Dave Wheels are old studio buddies, having worked together on and off since 2006. "2000", though, is their most ambitious joint project yet: a collaborative album for Sushitech that offers up breezy, melodious and cheery fusions of heady dub techno, gentle electronica, chugging sofa-friendly haziness and glitchy late night hypnotism. It's an interesting blend but one that certainly hits the spot. Highlights include the horizontal pulse of "Orainge", the wonderfully hypnotic after-hours throb of "Iratamoto (Version)", the bold and sun-kissed undulations of "In The Club" and the pie-eyed warmth of "Waldeck".
Review: On the A1 Chekov follows up their moves on Peach Discs and Timedance with a proper peak timer, they've been described by Ben UFO as 'king of the build up' and that's evident on this one. At the A2 London's Doppelate makes their Cong Burn debut with an elegant tech-house roller. Fresh from Russia's underground is Camin, on this, his debut 12" release he drops a useful tool which squeezes between electro and techno. Cong Burn founder Howes closes the B side with some warm hypnosis that could have landed in the golden era of Workshop.
Review: Cong Burn continues to exercise one of the most promising instincts for future-minded music on this, their third release. It's surprising they haven't done more previously, considering the maturity of their curation, but either way the quality remains at an all time high here, leading in with some light and liquefied 4/4 sonics from Chekov before pirouetting into one of Duckett's illustrious abstractions around the techno blueprint. Label regular Lack is back on side B with the stern and punchy "Track 3," and then Haddon finishes the record off with "Anabiosis," a densely textured, slow creeping trip of a track.
Review: **REPRESS**The last time a newcomer graced Theo Parrish's Sound Signature, it resulted in widespread praise for the Flowers EP from London based producer, DJ and singer Andrew Ashong, somehow we get the feeling this latest release on the label will prove to be as memorable. The Scorpio Rising EP sees Parrish look much closer to home and grant the DC-born, Detroit-bred producer Jay Daniel his debut release and the four track 12" more than lives up to his billing as one of Boiler Room's most exciting new discoveries at DEMF. Wild Oats obsessives will probably know Daniel from the Fundamentals residency shared with Kyle Hall and he's clearly spent some time honing his Detroit influenced craft, with cuts like "No Love Lost" expertly balanced between melody and rugged drum grit. "Brainz" is the kind of no-nonsense DJ tool you might have heard on a FXHE B Side circa 2008 whilst "I Have No Name" demonstrates Daniel is eminently capable of the sort of hope inducing Utopian house from the D that the much missed Aaron Carl was renowned for.
Obsolete Music Technology - "High Top Fade" (6:32)
Specter - "Butters Whipped" (6:02)
Isoke - "Soul Glo" (3:10)
Damon Lamar - "Bermuda Triangle" (7:02)
Chicago Skyway - "Edged Out" (6:04)
Review: Perpetual Rhythms is already well-regarded as a bastion of quality amongst contemporary Chicago house labels, and now they've downright sealed the deal with this mammoth compilation from a stellar cast of local cats. There's too many to all list in detail here, so focusing on the highlights, Dcee leads things in with the tumbling cosmic jazz leanings of "Suavecito," Hakim Murphy teases with a spacious and daring exploration in the liminal zone between ambient and house, and Obsolete Music Technology gets invigorating with the bouncy "High Top Fade." Those tracks alone are enough to deserve your hard earned, but there's reams of other excellent forward-facing Windy City jams to sink your teeth into.
Review: Long time minimal techno pusher Franklin De Costa steps up to Jersey City label Green Village to thrown down a ruckus with four serious cuts of advanced house and techno. "Derp Journal" may be flippant in name, but the bassline it packs is not to be trifled with, nor the edgy drums and lashings of reverb. "Bogart Space" is a more house-minded affair, but it's still reaching to a contemplative space using unfamiliar sounds. "Good Day Bad Day" gets into a cyclical, psychedelic mood thanks to a trippy synth circling overhead, but then the EP gets dealt a tough finishing blow by the cranked up hustle of "Flashmelo", coming on like a crunchy mid 00s minimal jam of the highest order.
Review: Spanish hi-tech soul maestro Eduardo De La Calle on the true home of it: Planet E - and it's about friggin' time if we do say so! Over the last several years, the Madrid native has respectfully borrowed from the traditions of first and second wave Motor City sounds, but he undeniably carved his own path via his respected Analog Solutions imprint. The Icosahedrite EP features three life affirming explorations in techno-soul. From the the galaxian Jupiter jazz of the A side, through to the classic funked up futurism that pays homage to greats like Transmat and Metroplex like on "Mr Dewey D". There is also the more powerful and straight ahead functionalism of "Rhythmic Soundscapes" which is just as heads down and DJ ergonomic as his aforementioned AS material. This follows up some great releases by him in 2017, on the likes of Anemone, Forbidden Colors and Monogram Systems.
Review: The quiet master breaks his silence! Deason's "LIFE" e.p. is an homage to the classic Detroit sound by one of its most respected artists. "LIFE" takes familiar Detroit Techno elements and delivers a fresh 4 track e.p. of dancefloor pounding peak-hour modern classics.
Review: REPRESS: The second release from the Hlanganani label lives up to it's MO to provide a platform for talented producers from South Africa to shine, focusing here on Deep Sixty, aka young and fast-rising producer Johannesburg producer Thabiso Mamogwa. Back in 2010, the producer made it to London to take part in the Red Bull Music Academy, which is when the HLANG team first heard the tracks that make up the Mme Hayo EP whilst some studio time on the same trip with Todd 'Soundmurderer' Osborn resulted in the "Thursday Nights" track which Mamogwa previously self-released. In addition to Deep Sixty's own 'Deep Terror' mix of "Mme Hayo", the label have coaxed some fine remixes out of Esa and William Kouam Djoko.
Review: Dedicated hardware hassler and devoted house head Alessandro Pasini has been working tirelessly to push his agenda of warm, classically-rooted house and techno played out live on an impressive spread of equipment. This second release on his Ascii Records label continues that mission in fine style, kicking off with the slinky acidities of "Commando" before diving into the tom-tastic immersion of "O-Ring". On the B-side "Calzer8" takes a more sprightly approach with its bouncy jacking drums and zippy synth lines, and then "Nightwish" takes things in a refined, deep direction without compromising on serious strut-ability. This is outboard house music how it should be done.
Review: Mike Dehnert's sublime output has been largely restricted to his own Fachwerk label over the last eight years, so it's surprisingly refreshing to see him branch out to other contemporary labels. His native Pampa imprint seems like the perfect place for his stripped-back shades of house music, and "How Close To Be", with its driving, fuzzed-out bassline makes for the perfect accompaniment to the tune's brooding vocal samples. On the B-side, "Me Too" is lo-fi in very sense of the word, once again dropping on a layer of eerie yet sentimental voices to take the track from odd to the utterly bizarre. In our eyes, that is a good thing...
Review: Senida, Strobelight's second release, is a reprisal by the well seasoned and acclaimed producer Ruxpin under the alias Den Nard Husher and is his first ep under the alias since his 1999 2x12 "Nard's Groove" on Thule. The diverse selections of this ep are thunderous yet warm and emotive and illustrate the styles on the NY based label Strobelight Network.
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: As Until My Heart Stops turns 10, we head back across the Atlantic , this time to Boston and a stunning ep from the still hugely under rated DeViere.DeViere is a music producer and radio disc jockey (Progressive Black, 90.3 FM WZBC Newton) based in Boston, Massachusetts. He first came to our attention with the Transcendental Numbers ep on Jamal Moss' Mathematics label in 2012 and we've waited on each release ever since, including last year's huge Future Shock Disco ep (a collaboration with Jamal himself). Here DeViere presents 3 beautiful examples of his deep, soulful craft and a fitting way for UMHS to hit double figures.
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: 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: Chicago legend DJ Jes has been releasing steadily since 1995 on legendary imprints such as Siesta, Afterhours and NRK, through to Karlovak and even his own Fresca Recordings imprint that ran from 2000 - 2003. This release follows up 2014's Closer To Freedom EP on Tardis: a label run by Eli Verveine and Oscar Schubaq that pursues the dubbier end of minimal house. It starts off in fine fashion with the funky and slightly discofied loops of "No Fooling"on the A side. On the flip, the title track "Between The Lines" is tough deep house with delay drenched keys and gritty SP1200 style beats while the deep tribalist groove of "Lost" is trippy afterhours style business. More great work from an underrated hero of the Windy City underground on offer here.
Review: The East Coast's house don DJ Jus-Ed is, as always, on an unstoppable run of form. His latest bundle of club-friendly tunes comes on his own Underground Quality, of course, and it's four tracks from the man himself - preaching the gospel like only he knows how! Starting with "Acid Fro", the mood is darker and more hypnotic than his usual approach - this is a proper belter in every sense of the word - while "Ice 597 To Frankfurt" is more minimal, wavey and utterly pouncing. Flip the record and you got the melancholic melodica of "Katzback Gruv", another stomping club affair for the earlier set times, and "Train Ride To Berlin", a jittery, percussion-driven bit of neo-tribalism. Hot, as always. Don't miss this!
Your Eyes Were Telling Me That You Really Cared (5:34)
I've Got Dis (But I Can't Do It) (4:23)
I've Got Dis (But Seixlack Can Do It) (6:45)
Review: It's early days for DJ Loser, having just been snapped up for a split cassette release with Raw Ambassador in the recent past. Luckily, getting a spot on London's well-established Bliq label is a fine place to start, and the debutant producer turns out some confidently grubby house wares for their first spot on vinyl. "Your Eyes Were Telling Me That You Really Cared" is a woozy, infectious club track full of scuffed drum machines and low-rent synth flares, while "Untitled" has a much more abrasive palette on offer. "I've Got Dis (But I Can't Do It)" hits a similar vein of atmospheric jackery before Bliq regular Seixlack turns out a more densely packed remix.
Review: DJ Octopus begins 2015 as he finished 2014, with a typically forthright selection of late night jams that join the dots between vintage deep house, acid, European techno and the analogue style jack tracks of Willie Burns and the L.I.E.S crew. There's a particularly day-glow feel about deep house opener "Untitled", which features looped organ riffs and energy-packed drum machine rhythms. "The Player" switches things up nicely thanks to some brilliant, cut-up slap bass antics, while "Ghost Antics" sounds like the sort of early British acid track that was found lying around on a dusty DAT. Finally, "Purple Pills" invited you to drop illicit refreshments and lose yourself in a brightly coloured fusion of rave chords, bounding beats and clandestine textures.
Review: First volume of house tracks picked from the Velocet catalogue, Nail's previous label, which he ran very badly between 1995 and 1997. Most of the unsold, OG copies now lay in his ex-wife's cellar, covered in mushrooms.
300 on clear vinyl, no repress.
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.
Henry Hyde - "Every Day's A Good Day For A Swim" (6:18)
Review: The ever-charitable Needs project continues apace with another stunning cast of characters offering up their dancefloor creations to help a good cause - the environmentally-focused Cool Earth NGO. On this 12", Eris Drew delivers the uplifting breakbeat celebration of "See You In Snow", while Edward takes things deeper with the tripped out minimal house groove of "Mind Loop". D. Tiffany brings a particularly crafty approach to her own drum funk science on "Sun Trip" and Henry Hyde cools things down with the mellow, new age 2 step stylings of "Every Day's A Good Day For A Swim."
Review: If the smiley face clad centre label wasn't a sizeable enough clue, Happy Family is a new project from New York staples Eric Duncan and Justin Vandervolgen which sees the pair try their hand at acid house. Both are closely associated with disco edits of course, but if you've seen either DJ you'll know they are well up on all forms of dance music. This expertise is deployed perfectly on the two tracks here, with "Burnt" a relentless exercise in strobelit 303 madness that is a no brainer for the sweatiest part of a DJ set. They tone it down a bit on "Hard To Breathe" which despite the title is an altogether looser production with plenty of room between the tumbling drums and hypnotic lead synth lines.