Firmin - "But On Second Thoughts, Perhaps I Will" (9:43)
Karaba - "Vice Versa" (4:41)
Aiden Francis - "Cloud Generator" (8:22)
Les Ondes - "Phase One" (5:57)
Review: London-based party crew Tessellate are back with the first in a new series of various artist compilations called Teamwork, which aims to have a musical thread running through each release. On the A side, label staple Firmin delivers more of his signature style of mood music on the sensual 'But On Second Thoughts, Perhaps I Will' followed by French producer Karaba's swung and off-kilter tech house adventure 'Vice Versa'. On the flip, Manchester's Aiden Francis delivers the loved up rave energy of 'Cloud Generator' and closing it out is Les Ondes with what the label best described themselves as 'breaky electro' on 'Phase One'.
Kalle Magnus & Daniel - "Ny, Lang" (Prins Thomas edit) (6:33)
Review: Prins Thomas' Full Pupp imprint turns 15 years old and has marked the occasion by inviting old and new friends to contribute a track each. It's definitely a local affair on the A side, with Mats Frantzvaag (Fuck Reality) serving up the glassy-eyed and bittersweet bliss of ''Soft', followed by Geir Hermansen aka Velferd who takes you on a neon-lit night drive on "Returning". On the flip, we have some seductive mood music courtesy of Jarle Brathen who presents 'Vaguely Wavey' with its hands-in-the-air piano power, and closing it out is boss man Prins Thomas' edit of Kalle Magnus & Daniel's low slung slo-mo disco groove 'Ny, Lang'.
Review: House music's ability to make you feel good is part of its appeal, and artists like New Jersey majesty Josh Milan of Blaze fame, and London broken beat astro Kaidi Tatham sure know that. They link here with Patrick Gibin for an EP that brims with summer time soul, joyous keys and funky bass riffs that are impossibly sweet. Jazz funk, house and boogie all colour the tracks here with "Don't Be Rude" brining the cosmic vibes and "Groove On" making you want to move for days with its killer b-line and disco energy. Gorgeous stuff, for sure.
Review: It's destination Detroit for some uncaged sounds from the man like Kage. Two originals, two exceptional remixes deep, Kage takes us Interstellar once again with 'Werk It'. Stripped back to the bare Roland bones with little splashes of piano and vocal elements, it's a timeless piece of deep house that could only come from Detroit. 'Groove La Tape Machine' brings a little more technoid soul into the mix with swollen wavey synths and a persistent bassline that plunges deeper and deeper into the track. Complete with remixes from the legendary Patrice Scott and We Play House bossman Red-D. Keep it reel (to reel).
Review: Romania's penchant for minimal and long history of serving up expert producers knows no bounds. It is the Varme imprint that here continues that fine tradition with four busy and hypnotic cuts from Kashawar. It's all about molten and mind melting acid on "Transmission Sent", with its party breaks all primed to get you hooked. "Physical Tranceaction" is more peak time and direct, then "Circuits" will rewire your brain with its complete arrangement and unresolved drum loops. The trip completes in downbeat fashion with the slow bass movements and deft ambient beauty of "No Time To Explain".
Felipe Gordon - "Deep Like The Hole We Live In" (6:13)
Review: Soon London's SlothBoogie crew will release "Dancing With Friends", a celebratory compilation marking the blog-turned-label's 10th year in operation. This sampler 12" showcases a quartet of cuts from the forthcoming compilation, which is entirely made up of previously unheard productions. Our pick of the bunch is Kassian's fantastically driving and surprisingly low-slung disco-house stomper "Warehouse Discotheque", which more than lives up to its name, though the lo-fi piano-house loop-funk of Leatherette's "Your Love" pushes it close. Elsewhere, Joe Cleen's contribution is a deliciously daring fusion of jazz-funk flourishes and organic deep house jauntiness, while Felipe Gordon's "Deep Like The Hole We Live In" is a woozy skip through hybrid nu-disco/deep house territory.
Review: Berlin based Denis Kaznacheev is a Russian artist who makes slick minimal techno, but he is also embroiled in a legal battle. It is alleged that he has been involved in money laundering and dark web activities and has been arrested by German authorities who are trying to extradite him to the United States to face trial. He maintains his innocence, and this label has been set up to raise funds in order to try and help him. Musically, it's deft and detailed tech with hooky drum loops and wonky synth sounds designed to be heard on hi class sound systems. The A-side track is the first to use is own voice, and the flip was written just before his arrest.
Review: Keys of Lynx is a Swiss pair who are both skilled musicians. Here they serve up a suite of lush and musical cuts that fuse boogie, synth, jazz, funk and deep house into irresistible new dance floor forms. Depending on the context these could be early warm ups to get the floor going, or peak time workouts to send people into overdrive. "Galactic Love" echoes elements of Omar S's raw 80s production style as it rides on rickety drums and glows with synth brightness, while "Kissed By The Sun" rough rides on more ramshackle drums as sci-fi keys glisten and glow up top. Add in a bassline of which Dam Funk would be proud, and a more house leaning version of "Galactic Love" and you have a very assured 12".
Review: Ki Mi is one of Russia's most famous exports and this EP shows why: he has a nice futuristic techno sound that is well partnered with collaborator JNJS on first cut 'Invasion'. It sets the EP out on a nice far-sighted journey through space then Sebbe remixes 'St Terrace' into a nice slick house bumper with a compelling groove. Superlounge then offers up a version of STM that would fit well into a set by a tech house great like Craig Richards. 'Lastochka' (Ilya Schulz remix) cloys out with the most spacey vibe and heady pad work of the lot. It's an atmospheric masterpiece.
Review: Strasbourg based Ordinaire run successful and cultured parties and are now branching our with their own label. It is a split EP between Kicks and El Kazed, who are party regulars and behind the scenes insiders so make perfect choices to launch the imprint. The vibes are super sweet here, with timeless groovers 'In The Shell' and 'Keep On' sinking you into a nice deep mood. El Kazed then steps up with the cuddly and romantic deep house soul of 'Soul Motion', featuring a very nice vocal sample. 'Natural Swing' ends in a more punchy party mode. It makes a great end to a great first EP.
Review: Get ready for a lost Japanese house classic from the rare Kino-Moderno album that was first put out in 1990. Of course, it comes from the ever on the ball Rush Hour team and features two tracks that were used on the Video Drug 2 video game back in the day. The whole collection brims with future soul, nicely defined kick drums and the sort of rich sound design details that characterise much Japanese house. Echoing greats like Dan Curtin, Soichi Terada or Harumi Hosono, these are classy and timeless cuts that cannot be sniffed at.
Review: Ukranian producer Kirik is the second fixture on J Room, bringing a plush and melodic sound for his fifth EP of the year (look out for other sterling turns on Colors Of Crocus and Bosom LTD amongst others). "No Boys Club" leads the way with expressive keys darting around a crisp minimal house groove, while "Be Easy" ups the shuffle while maintaining the plush melodic content. JALE are on hand to remix "No Boys Club", turning the original into an addictive, wriggling minimal cut that gets right under the skin, and then "Furtive Footsteps" closes the EP out with a more mechanical workout peppered with artful sound design.
Review: Alessio Viggiano & Akyra's Meslow label is back with another solid various artist EP that's perfectly built for the dancefloor. On MSLW003 we have four killer tunes: Ukranian KiRiK delivers some sublime bass driven tech house awash in hypnotic elements on 'Highway', and Russians Lost.Act follow up with the Cab Drivers influenced boompty business of 'Eludom'. On the flip, Israeli producer Stephan Bazbaz delivers the EP's standout moment with the mesmerizing afterhours minimal funk of "Datune' and the Italian duo Jonny'N'Travis close it out with the rolling drama of 'I Call U Back'.
Review: For its label's fifth edition, Swiss imprint Sanguine serves up an impressive various artist EP, featuring some of the minimal techno scene's rising talents. Sanguina 005 includes Ukranian wunderkind KiRiK who dives deep into the exotic on the mood music of 'Boat For Us', arcane Rominimal delights are surely catered for on the introspective drama of 'Angry Patterns' by Macarie, and coincidentally on the B side, label boss Michel Degen offers up his musical opinion on 'I'm Not Romanian But'. This is wrapped up by another leading light of the Transylvanian scene in the form of Bucirie (with Dot 13) who gets rather hypnotic on the rolling breaks of 'One Step Ahead'.
Review: Toolroom Knights label boss Mark Knight has become of house music's biggest and most global stars over the last decade. A globetrotting all night long tour helped establish him in the higher echelons and hugely accessible, funky and vocal house cuts like this one will only keep him there. Built on large rolling drums and run through with sweeping drum fills, 'If It's Love' has a timeless and feel good vocal that soars next to rich piano chords. From end of the night drops to festival main stages via mainstream radio play, this one is sure to crossover into all realms.
Review: Almost a decade ago, Frankie Knuckles and Eric Kupper launched the Director's Cut project with a re-make of Jamie Principle's early Chicago house classic 'Your Love' (or, to be more precise, Knuckles' 1987 version of the track). Here it gets the reissue treatment, with Knuckles and Kupper's 'Signature Mix' from 2011 - a glossy, loved-up and deliciously colourful affair - getting another airing on side B. On the A-side you'll find two fresh reworks. First, Darius Syrossian strips back and beefs up the cut while playing around with the famous synthesizer riff, before Alan Dixon delivers a chunkier and up-tempo take that makes great use of some of Knuckles and Kupper's wonderfully colourful instrumentation.
Review: To launch their new collaborative imprint Locus, Enzo Siragusa and FUSE have turned to Italian rising star (and INFUSE regular) Koko. The resultant four-tracker ix attractive and ear-catching, with Koko moving from hip-shaking summery deep house swing (the rather lovely chord progressions and drowsy female vocals of "Chantal", featuring Quelle Rox), to the UK garage-goes-deep house warmth of "Amor Ante Hominem Nascitur", via slick smoothness of "Your Ass, My Camel Blue" and the tough, bumpin' chunkiness of revivalist UK garage number "Love In Plexiglass". It's the latter, a pitch-perfect cap-doff to Grant Nelson rich in jazzy bass and dreamy vocal snippets, that hits home hardest.
Review: Remarkably, superior re-edit, remix and rework imprint G.A.M.M is approaching its 150th release. We'll hear more about what they have in store in the weeks and months ahead, but first the Swedish stable has decided to offer up something suitably special: a pair of previously unreleased edits from the king of the rusty scalpel rearrangement, Danny Krivit AKA Mr K. If it's percussion you're after, we'd heartily recommend insatiable A-side "Batutastica", a riotous revision of a drum-heavy Brazilian batacuda workout that's little more than densely layered waves of sweaty, carnival-ready percussion. It's an absolute dancefloor beast, as is the similarly hectic, intense and celebratory flipside drum workout, "Jungle". In a word: essential!