Review: Having taken time out to deliver a range of home listening releases under the Road Hog alias, Galcher Lustwerk is back to doing what he does best: lo-fi deep house workouts with plenty of added fuzz. Dark Bliss is, of course, his debut album, and happily it's a rather strong collection of cuts that's arguably more aurally attractive than many of his releases. Highlights include the lo-fi Balearic deep house warmth of "What U Want Me To Do" (which, intriguingly, features his own Mr V style half-spoken, half-sung vocals), the chunky-but-dreamy dub house positivity of "Yeeno", the spacey synths and bustling drum machine beats of alien-sounding workout "Lithuanian Water" and the subtle ghetto-house and Seven Davis Jr influences of glassy-eyed peak-time treat "Red Rose".
Review: Since it first appeared back in 1999, Gemini's fourth full-length, The Music Hall, has become something of a sought-after item. Happily, Chi Wax has decided to re-master and re-issue it. Predictably, it's stood the test of time rather well, with Gemini - real name Spencer Kincy - serving up a whirlwind tour of late '90s Chicago obsessions. So, there's the jazz-flecked, proto-boompty bounce of opener "The Entrance", the Larry Heard-on-valium warmth of "Kiva Song", the stripped-back, disco-influenced house funk of "Let's Go", and - more surprisingly - the UK garage influenced bounce of "Dreamer". He also doffs a cap to early Daft Punk style techno-funk on "Future Beat", and fuses dirty bass, jazzy keys and swinging breakbeats on standout closer "Raplh".
Sly & Lovechild - "The World According To Sly & Lovechild" (Andrew Weatherall Soul Of Europe mix) (8:25)
Deniro - "Epirus" (6:34)
Psyche - "Crackdown" (5:59)
Hiver - "Paert" (7:04)
Aphex Twin - "Vordhosbn" (4:46)
Review: South Korean star Peggy Gou continues her seemingly unstoppable rise by serving up her first ever DJ mix CD. It's a contribution to one of the longest running series in the business, DJ Kicks, and she's used the opportunity to showcase the depth and variety of the music in her crates. Beginning with the classic early '90s ambient of Spacetime Continuum, Gou flits between humid, mid-tempo Balearic house (her own "Hungboo"), acid-fired downtempo electronica, throbbing 1990 peak-time anthems (Weatherall's ace but largely forgotten remix of Sly & Lovechild), hypnotic techno minimalism, main room throb-jobs (Hiver), pulsating electro, classic breakbeat hardcore, post-dubstep, dark tribal drum jams and sunrise ready Motor City brilliance (Deniro).
Review: Riding high on the buzz he has generated in the last twelve months, Max Graef delivers this album to Tartelet as a man very much in demand. His style, fuelled on the foundations of sampling funk and soul to a brilliantly modern end, has more space to breathe on this LP, but still the fundamentals remain. "Itzehoe" struts on a lazy jazzed-out sizzle of drums and beautiful Rhodes notes while "Tamboule Fudgefunk" punches its way through woozy synth work and a righteous beat and "Drums Of Death" struts on a perfect disco groove replete with live instrumentation, but there's a wealth of other tempos and styles all shot through with the homespun jazz charm that Graef has made his own of late.
Review: Jan Jelinek has made many fine albums over the years, under both his given name and a handful of occasional aliases. One such pseudonym was Gramm, a handle he plucked out of thin air for the release of the now celebrated 1999 full-length "Personal Rock". Here that set is given a deserved 20th anniversary vinyl reissue, allowing a whole new generation to investigate the dusty nooks and crannies of one of the producer's most techno-centric releases. It is every bit as sample-heavy, glitchy and crackling as his other work, whereas other outings explored skewed hip-hop beats and downtempo grooves, "Personal Rock" was more informed by the steady pulse of dub techno, the deep space fluidity of ambient techno and the locked-in hypnotism of original era minimal techno. The results are out of this world.