Review: Harlem NYC based 13th Hour return with more music for the witching hour on their third release, after having previously shown off great grooves by Belgian Ricky Razu, Tbilisi's Hamatsuki and local lad M. Vaughan. This time round they have decided to focus on two select talents, with the A side being taken care of by Colombia's Felipe Gordon. He takes a break from the three-piece Mercury to deliver the Jazzmatazz inspired cut "I'll Become Blue" and the dusty, emotive deepness of "The Last Time I Saw You". On the flip, things start to heat up with Australian Loure (Apparel/Slothboogie Jamz) who serves up some sexy late mood lighting on "So Dive" and vocal-led cut "Club Shade".
Review: You have to admire Laurent Garnier's continued desire to push boundaries and confound critics. His plan to devote 2014 to releasing five EPs on five different labels, whilst mixing up the styles, is undoubtedly bold. This three-tracker for the ever-intriguing 50Weapons imprint is particularly impressive. "MILF" bristles with stuttering analogue rhythms, foreboding chords and attractive bleep melodies, coming on like an unlikely jam session between Sweet Exorcist and Orbital. "DSK" sees the French veteran moving further towards his techno roots, while "He" sounds like an homage to darkwave with techno overtones and more than a hint of stripped-back early Chicago acid. Bravo Monsieur Garnier, bravo!
Review: Leonard "Big Strick" Strickland is perhaps best known for his family ties with Omar-S (they're cousins), though his productions are well worthy of praise in their own right. Here, he offers up a sampler 12" featuring cuts from his recent (and excellent) Reservoir Dogs LP. Perhaps the most noteworthy cut is "Family Affair", a lovingly constructed chunk of hypnotic, melodic deepness written with Omar-S. That said, Strick's solo effort "Armed & Dangerous" - a winding chunk of voodoo techno - is arguably better. The mazy techno-funk of Reckless Ron Cook's "Night Moves" is also outstanding.
Generation Next - "Like Father, Like Son" (feat Big Strick)
Review: Like Father, Like Son sees Big Strick and his prodigious son Generation Next team up for a split 12" showcasing this pair of criminally underappreciated Detroit producers. "Rain Dance" sees the elder of the two deliver a deep techno journey filled with abstracted textures and organic chimes that sound, while the young Generation Next shows a remarkable maturity beyond his years on "And You Too", where sparse, subtle chords and the simplest of melodies drift by on a light rhythm. On "Like Father, Like Son" the two pair up for the most gently uplifting of deep piano jams. Just like pretty much everything on 7 Days Entertainment, this is some nigh on essential material.
Review: FXHE fam Big Strick's 7 Days Entertainment introduced us to the 16 year old talents of Generation Next last year, and here he returns with his first full EP in Lamborghini Dreams. The title track comes across like OB Ignitt's recent classic "Oh Jabba" with smooth Rhodes chords and almost cosmic melody drifting across staccato drum machine beats, but the rest show a producer clearly inspired by the simple structures of Omar S' productions. "110" is a devastating piece of trippy, fluttering techno, "Hood Anthem" pairs bright staccato synth textures with curt percussion and "October Oasis" utilises bubbling analogue tones and shrill arpeggio drifts to great effect. The name Generation Next may come with a lot of expectation for someone so young, but on the strength of this release he's already poised to give his established peers a run for their money.
Review: FXHE bloodline member Big Strick continues to excel on his own 7 Days Ent. label, dropping his first 12" of 2012 which has a nice community feel to proceedings. Alpha & Omega introduces us to Generation Next, a rising 16 year old talent from the streets of Detroit who contributes alongside Mr Strickland to all three tracks here. Stylistically, the three tracks here seem equally indebted to Juan Atkins pure techno endeavours as Infiniti and the sub aqueous grooves of Drexciya, not least the restrained title track which shimmers from the murky depths into a finely crafted liquid groove imbued with bubbling elatory Utopian textures. On the flip "Origin" ripples with pressure, its rhythmic elements grappling for your attention as the space between them decreases with Strick and Gen Next expertly layering texture upon texture. A masterful 12" shaped exercise in modern day Detroit sounds is completed with the devious electrofied snap of "Bloodline".
Review: Big Stick's 7 Days Entertainment delivers more of the same quality house music from the Motor City that it has fast become renowned for. The Strickmaster's latest release comes from none other than his own offspring, the supremely talented Generation Next, whose Ender 12" will definitely appeal to anyone that checked last year's Like Father, Like Son. Lead cut "Ender" is uplifting and soulful with its tough beat, mesmerising pianos and that bassline! "Dream States" is all dreamy keys and cowbells; what more you want? (its equally as funky!). Closing out proceeding is "Joni" taking things deeper but that 808 beat is absolutely tight!
Review: Generation Next aka Tre Strickland - son of Omar-S associate Big Strick - has impressed since first joining forces with his dad on 2011's Like Father, Like Son LP. Here he proves his continued development as a producer with an excellent collection of warm, deep, soul-flecked house cuts for Strickland family imprint 7 Days Entertainment. As you'd expect, highlights are plentiful, from the skittering machine drums, dreamy chords and occasional organs of "Vanilla Sky", to the tech-tinged simplicity of the melodious-but-tough "Chilli Cheese Fries". Best of all, though, is the blazed beatdown feel of "The Tomorrow People", a hazy saunter through rich chords, shuffling percussion and snaking electronics.
Review: Tre Stickland is the man behind the Generation Next Project and, together with big bossman Big Strick, these two have become important new names from the 313. Stickland is on a solo mission this time, with three effective techno-house killers that'll appeal to fans of Omar S and Theo Parrish in his less soulful mood. "Cascade" is a simple yet full-bodied tune bolstered down by a dusty, mechanical beat flex, which is followed by the relatively more vibrant sounds and tones of the dubby house cut "Vultures". Over on the flipside, "Our Time" is the funk nugget, the track which manages to mix up the best elements of Generation Next's house, techno, and boogie sensibilities into a see minute monster. Recommended!
Gus Gus - "Your Moves Are Mine" (Sanasol remix) (9:24)
Thor - "Black" (7:32)
Biogen - "Stream" (Sanasol Lost In Time remix) (6:39)
Review: Next up on the ever-excellent Oscillat is "Spellbound" by the supremely talented Matthew Dekay. This moving deep house jam uses a few key elements to make a soul-stirring confection for truly spine-tingling moments in the middle of the dance. From the slithers of vocal to the insistent key riff that bounces throughout, this is an outstanding slice of contemporary house music loaded with feeling. Mandar then take the original and inject it with a feisty peak time energy shot through with a little trancey magic and an acidic undertone. It's not a raging beast but rather an energizing workout for the brain and the body - just what you need in the midst of a marathon.
Review: Altered Moods strides into its 11th year of active service with a delectable platter of sumptuous house music presented by Jesus Gonsev. The Spanish producer has previously been spotted on deepArtSounds, Music With Content and his own Troubled Kids label. "Fuerza" is a billowing, dreamy trip loaded with heavy pads and submerged acid, leading into the gritty but soulful crunch of "Old Times." "Gargantua" is a loose-knit creation that celebrates skittering drums pinging around the anchor of the kick while wistful keys smooth the whole jam out. Life Energy taps into this feeling and runs with it on a remix of "Gargantua" that creates a more pumping backbone while amping up the romantic wooze of the melodic content too.
Review: Spencer Kincy takes us back to 94 as part of his four EP series that documents the first run of Gemini EPs on Green Velvet's seminal Relief Records imprint. Still as ahead of their time as they were almost 25 years ago, "The Beginning" is wildly off grid, loose and insanely funky while the rest of the EP gradually morphs into breath taking technoid experiments "Floating" takes a high NRG feel with its looping insistency "Klonopin" and its edited sibling "Klonopinless" offer a full physical sensation with their brazen hypnotic loopiness. Watch out for the other remaining three...
Review: Geena is Frenchman Nicolas Molina, who appears for Parisian purveyors of obscure and exotic oddball grooves Antinote for his fifth album. The album will appeal to fans of retro flavoured balearic house made popular at the moment by the likes of Black Spuma, Tuff City Kids or stuff on Paramida's Love On The Rocks imprint. The '80s pan-pipe preset on the groovy "KG Voice" is a great example, or the funk, Amazonian acid house vibes of "Blue Transfer" more particularly; think 808 State. "Keep" goes for some thumping early' 90s UK techno vibes but lush ambient passages like "Natural High" and "La Isla" balance out the EP nicely.
Review: Apollonia co-head and all-round Parisian legend Dan Ghenacia steps up for his label's latest release. On The Egg EP, you can really hear the various shades of French house presented by a true expert who lived and played throughout the city's best times for over two decades. From the sexy and slinky late night bounce of "A La Coque" which could have been easily played at his Batofar residency at the turn of the millennium, and the tripped-out and slammin' shuffle of "Mykonos Huevos" (taking the best of early '90s Chicago) to the emotive dancefloor drama of "Sunny Side Up" taking on the very best of Detroit influences such as Terence Parker or Blake Baxter.
Review: Inside Out is a brand new series from Aus Music label head Will Saul. It invites DJs and producers to blur the boundaries between traditional artist albums and mix compilations. The concept encourages them to showcase their own music, or the music of those in their own individual circles. Depending on who is curating, it will take different forms. The idea stems from Saul's own approach in the club, which often finds him seeking out brand new and unheard music to play for the first time. There's a strong Detroit techno aesthetic throughout his inaugural release for the series: from the emotive hi-tech soul of his own collaboration with Komon entitled "Positive", Amsterdam legend Gerd had no problem channeling similarly timeless retro vibes either, as heard on the funky techno-soul of "Echoes". They save the best for last on the flip, with the legendary Floorplan's riveting rendition of Primitive Trust's "Little Love" - perfect to get that 3AM style strobe-lit tunnel vision in effect.
Review: Paris based label Beat X Changers have been around since 2011 and the group is based on the common will of its followers: a spontaneous, synergic and eclectic approach to electronic music. They now present the debut by Guber - a release that stands at the intersection of ambient and UK bass. He merges all of his influences, past and present, on this release: from 70's rock and trash-metal through to UK electronic music. Since he is 'only focusing on spontaneous creativity and showing faithful perceptions of his thoughts', get ready for the emotive low end expressions of "Quantum Confinement", the slow motion tribal groove of "Work Hardening" (Tleh mix) and the sci-fi futurism of "Plasticity". Most of all, bear witness to a talented young producer that shows great promise in 2018 and beyond.
Review: Berlin-based Miami man David Gtronic has been busy these past few years, working closely with Randall M, Chad Andrew, Dudley Strangeways and many more besides. He's going it alone with this inaugural release for Black Wood, relishing the opportunity to explore his craft across three original productions. "Ardl Dub" is a dense, shuffling minimal house production primed for working into a long and flowing set, while "Lexiwedin" showcases a more reflective side to the producer with sweeping synth tones and a whisper of electro worked into the rhythms. "Sequence" takes the minimal vibe to the next level, folding dubby subtleties into the mix to great effect. Dan Farserelli then steps up with a remix that injects a little boompty bass into the track for a wholly different, dancefloor friendly kind of jam.
Review: Iranian born and now Ibiza-based scene stalwart Nima Gorji of NG Trax returns to Bondage-Music after nine years to present his first EP. "White Metal Rat EP" boasts a quartet of vinyl-only tech house weapons. We're particularly enjoying the entrancing polyrhythmic groove of "Love You Feel", slinky and seductive late night deepness of "In Da Dessert" and the groovy minimal funk of "Like This", which is perfect mood music for the warm-up or afterhours.
Review: Rhythm Plate's Goshawk project is the best thing to come out of Matlock Bath since the opening of child-friendly theme park Gulliver's Kingdom in 1978. Here the veteran East Midlands house duo pitches up on Bristol imprint Boogie Cafe, enlists the services of Erik Rico's honeyed tonsils and serves up "Piano" and "Percussion" variants of the rather fine "Home". It's the former versions that reside on the A, with the vocal and Dub variations both making great use of an elastic, rubbery rhythm, jaunty piano riffs and occasional organs. As the title suggests, the "Percussion" versions boast tons of additional drum hits, though it's the smart, old school U.S garage vibe that's really getting our blood pumping.
Review: Spanish label Bucketround kicks off a new series called Deep Encounters with this four-track various artists release from some lesser known talents with some seriously fresh ideas. Jesus Gonsev taps into the mood of labels like Pleasure Zone and the stripped down Romanian sound, but there's other forces at work in the meditative bliss of "Terminal 5". Tominori Hosoya takes things in the direction of Dubbymann style deep house, all pattering bongos and sweeping melodic content before Allstar Motomusic brings a tougher, old-skool New York approach to steamy house music. Manuel Costela finishes the EP off with the delicately balanced "Mind Purveyor", holding back on the drums and leading with the chords instead.