Review: The resurgence of Icelandic techno continues with the latest release on AE Recordings, seeing Bjarnar Jonsson returning to his long standing Ohm project alongside emergent talent Kvadrant. The pair were last seen on Kvadarant's Kontakt label, and their production partnership is clearly still yielding quality, dubbed out techno in the finest Scandinavian tradition. Even if all the tracks are built with a steely techno focus to them, the synth work and sound design scattered throughout the tracks elevates this to a higher level, not least on the bubbling geisers of signal processing that course through the middle of "Grip".
Review: Following the royal success that was Maximum Joy, Alfresco is back with another release.
2015 marks ten years of Alfresco Disco parties. The label is still only young, however - but the crew bring their party planning, djing and producing experience into the label.
The Maximum Joy pt. 2 presents 4 good friends of the Alfresco Crew, both old and new, who each bring something different to the e.p whilst still maintaining the free spirited Alfresco Vibe.
Thermal Bear brings in a straight up classic deep house beat with 'Round and Round'. Outrageously warm chunky production and one to keep the crowd moving in the wee hours.
Kemback's effort shuffles effortlessly into the mind, taking you on a dreamy trip to somewhere wonderful. A strong nod to Floating Points here with it's heavy swing, gritty drums, and Kemback makes subtle but powerful use of his fine musicianship.
James Fox brings the good time disco-house vibe with the sample-heavy 'Feeling Free'. The wonderful arrangement and vocal make this a pure summer record that's been getting great crowd reactions.
Our Cornish Connection and newcomer Kieran Holden slows it down and makes it nice and trippy with the magnificent 'Wild Palms'. We love this dark, acid tinged sound which adds a different dimension to the ep and shows why Kieran has already been getting props from the likes of Tici Taci and the LFOS crew.
Review: Over the last few years, Diego Herrera's releases as Suzanne Kraft have tended towards the ambient and experimental (see his numerous collaborations with Jonny Nash on Melody As Truth for starters), though every so often he'll release an EP that reminds us of his dancefloor roots. The producer's first 12" for Animals Dancing is a perfect example. "Slam" is rhythmically off-kilter and ambidextrous, with skittish, scattergun machine beats providing a distinctive platform for jazzy synthesizer flourishes and ambient chords of spine-tingling warmth and beauty. "Group Time Hate That" sees Herrera wrap restless, all-action bass notes around another leftfield house rhythm, while closing cut "More Desire" is an up-tempo trip into loved-up analogue deep house territory.
Do You Love Me Too (Barry Helafonte Love You Too mix) (5:09)
Review: Following his last hoorah on E-Beamz, Ray Kandinski makes his debut on the evergreen jam house Arcane with two hazy, loose-limbed slabs of house music. "Faking Love" places the slapping drums right in the centre and lets the soulful chords and yearning vocals flutter and fall around the edges. "Do You Love Me Too" tips more towards a Detroitian palette but once again with a sedated, dreamy sheen. Finally fellow E-Beamer Barry Helafonte jumps in on the rub for an even slower, lucid and sensual take on "Do You Love Me Too". Lovely.
Review: Back to 2006: Chris Clayton's mid-noughties lesson in deep house class still hits home with precision. Subtle, jazzy but heavy and insistent, it now comes complete with fresh updates from Atjazz and Yoruba Soul. The former adds more atmospheric layers and percussion that compounds the sense of hypnosis while the latter takes us right back to the NYC 1990 with a lavish 10+ min, subtly dubbed excursion. Tech no imitations.
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: Owen Jay's Batti Batti label has carried a great selection of various artists releases throughout its back catalogue, and the tradition continues with this latest missive. The Palette EP kicks off with the ever-rising talents of Jayson Wynters, who plies a seductive strain of deep house on "Sherella's Kiss" that melts perfectly into the blissful, twinkling keys and gossamer percussion of Duccio's "Absurdation". Kiddmisha leads in on the B side with the sprightly electro of "Healing" before Weakmassive rounds things off with the mellow acid of "Sjhue," which matches a nagging 303 with sumptuous keys for a spine-tingling conclusion to a fantastic 12".
Review: From Kon's forthcoming compilation on BBE entitled Kon & The Gang, this 12? sampler features two cuts taken from the LP and an exclusive remix from Boston producer and mix engineer Caserta, namely "Timeless" (Caserta mix)" a tasty serving of super deep and low slung disco goodness. A more functional edit for DJ use follows on "Timeless" (remix - Caserta mix)". On the flip Truccy (better known as Compost's Rainer Truby and Corrado Bucci) present "Closer", a gorgeous slo-mo house jam with a rolling groove fetauring all the good stuff: swirling Rhodes keys, groovy congas and hypnotic vox.
Review: For the latest volume in their Foundations series on BBE, Kai Alce and DJ Spinna have decided to reissue one of the finest records from the earliest days of Chicago house, Chip-E's spellbinding 1985 anthem "Like This". This seven-inch edition features a fresh edit of Chip-E's original cub mix on the A-side. This version is essential largely because of the quality of K-Joy's impeccable vocal, though the re-mastered sound also makes Chip-E's crunchy Roland drum machine hits, bold synth-bass and spacey lead lines sound better than ever. Turn to the flip for the heavy and stripped-back "DDD Dub" version, which makes more use of the short "Like This" vocal, which was originally provided by the Godfather of House himself, Frankie Knuckles.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Hailing from Ibiza, Beeyou makes its first outing as a label with a strong selection of up and coming talent. Laidlaw is first on the scene with a crafty little minimal number that certainly sounds tailored to the up all night crew with its heady atmosphere, playful swing and micro samples. Ben Ulrich's "Bedun" is equally seductive, playing a trade in stripped down electro that shuns obvious dancefloor moves in favour of pure hypnotism. Kesh holds down the B side with two more maximal offerings that still align with the inventive, sleek aesthetics of the A side tracks. "Enebodiom" is a feel good jam without ever resorting to cheesy melodies or vocal touches - it's a jazzed out variation on positivity in house music. "We Love You Michael" completes the record with a quintessential skittering, swinging house cut that keeps the freakiness in abundance and the drums as funky as possible.
One More Round (86 House mix By Frankie Knuckles) (8:10)
Walkman (86 House mix By Brett Wilcots) (7:17)
Review: Best turn their attention to that sweet mid 80s spot when the petri dish of party music was shaken up between disco, boogie, Italo and the emergent house sound from Chicago. Claudio Simonetti was a titan of the Italian groove, but his monster jam as Kasso, "One More Round", reached the stratosphere when Windy City godfather Frankie Knuckles gave the track his Midas touch. No more justification is needed for this pressing, but don't overlook the flip which finds 80s remix supremo Brett Wilcots taking on "Walkman" and whipping up a boogie frenzy of the highest order.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: After launching Brush & Broom with two solo releases, maverick German producer Kalbata keeps his followers guessing yet again with this collaborative release with the equally unpredictable Maayan Nidam. "The Town" is a surefire party starter made up of catchy bleep lines, quivering rhythmic flashes and lots of shimmering FX sends that suggest this was a live jam from two talented producers locked in the groove. "Chrome Moon" takes a deeper, more meditative approach without losing those heavy echo chamber washes, where the spring reverb and buckwild delay feedback rein supreme. Wonderful, free-tripping results from an unexpected meeting of minds.
Review: It's been four years since Leonidas and Kay Suzuki first joined forces on Synqlock Volume One, so this follow-up is long overdue. After setting their stall out via the wonderfully hazy cosmic ambience of "Interstellar Meditation", the duo charges towards the dancefloor via the early Chicago acid revivalism of "Asteroid (Jackin Acid Dub)", before laying down an emotion-rich chunk of loved-up space disco fit for glowing orange sunsets and elongated sunrises (the original version of "Asteroid"). The EP also includes a terrifically warm and spacey remix of wonderful ambient cut "Undercurrent" by rising star Al Kassin. The latter utilizes some sounds more often found in nu-disco workouts, but remains a shimmering deep house treat.