Review: Robin Ball has been on a roll of late, flaunting his wares on the Memory Box label amongst others. He makes a second outing on Groovepressure with four tracks of dynamic, inventive machine jams touching on synthwave influences and a healthy dose of electro. There's atmosphere loaded into each of these forthright, roughly hewn workouts, not least on the eerie, trancey synth strings on "Mr Mumble". The B side features the steadiest material in the shape of two versions of "Satin" that tap into the housier end of Ball's output.
Review: In what is surely an unexpected collaboration in the field of house and techno, Mosaic mastermind Steve O'Sullivan teams up with Ricardo Villalobos for a hypnotic trip through minimal landscapes that plays to both of their strengths. The rock-solid rhythm of "Sullric" surely belongs to O'Sullivan while the rich, subtle layers of samples, tones and other such sonic decorations come straight from the Villalobos school of production. The two mixes on this 12" only have minor differences - whichever side you drop things will get considerably deeper than they were previously. Of such ingredients are classy, immersive techno joints made.
Review: The mysterious Monsieur Blue returns for a third time to unfurl more of that supremely elegant, dusky deep house alchemy that has made his first two records so desirable. Capturing the woozy mood of the early evening or the late morning, "Track 1" billows out on a bed of mellow pads and an undulating, shuffling beat. "Track 2" does little to shake things up, instead maintaining that beautifully meditative atmosphere and coasting on gentle filter sweeps and sturdy, rolling percussion. "Track 3" injects a little more bite into the beat without sacrificing the gentle lilt of the melodic content, making this three impeccable slices of the deepest minimal house money can buy.
Review: To date we've not been treated to a solo outing from Lazare Hoche - he's most commonly spotted alongside fellow deep house operative Malin Genie, but now he's going it alone with two cuts of assured groovers suited to the hazier hours of a 4/4 throwdown. "Time Guard" is a swooning beauty of a track buoyed by gorgeous synth strings and a nagging groove. "Maths" is a more forthright, club-focused affair that places all the emphasis on sharp, funked up drum machine beats, but there's still a chill in the air that keeps the track firmly rooted in the deep end.
Review: The SlapFunk crew have been enjoying plenty of attention lately, and quite rightly. Their pumped up house sound is hard to refute, taking the heads down trippiness of minimal house and beefing it up with classic jacking sounds for an infectious party mixture. Samuel Deep gets the message, bringing just the right kind of swing to "MOOV!" to get bodies popping all over the joint, while "Keek Iz" rides the same beat but in a lower register. "42915 Beatz" is just as drum led, but there's a little more fidgety sonic interplay popping off around the drums. Ingi Visions pops up on the B2 for the distinctly more eerie "Tekniq", placing an icy string synth refrain at the heart of the track with chilling results.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: relik returns with a repackaged edition of one of the catalogue's most treasured releases. "Overcome" and "Lady Science (NYC Sunrise)" need little introduction, and now come sporting the new TR11:11 matrix number. Written and produced by Thomas Melchior and Baby Ford aka Soul Capsule, these tracks came from one of the many sessions recorded at the West London Ifach Studio in 1999. On the A Side "Overcome" is stripped back and energetic, driven by rolling and shuffling garage style beats, tight bubbling bass and atmospheric synth pads. The intermittent vocal samples and the release's signature organ set you up for the flip, "Lady Science (NYC Sunrise)". Possibly one of house music's most emotive pieces, the track builds slowly with the introduction of each part building a story of soulful optimism based around a sparse palette of deep synths, uplifting keys and warm analogue bass. The understated beauty of the main vocal riff never seems to grow old or tired with the track lending itself perfectly to either main room, peak-time play or after-hours sessions alike. Remastered by Rashad at D & M.
Review: Having served as a reliable source of heads down deep house, deep techno and other such electronic gems for a long time now, Michael Zucker finally steps up to Finale Sessions with his debut album, and it was worth the wait. He frames it as presenting his life story across eight tracks, leading in with the elegant, heads-down tech house roll of "40 Days" and the immersive ambience of downtempo jam "Choosing Sides." There are diversions into broken beat on "Tokyo Sunrise" and rawer drum sounds powering "Divine Power," but the vibe is consistent across the LP. Melodic, mellow machine soul positively pours out of this one.
Review: Commonly found rocking out on Unison Wax, Constant Sound and Pleasure Zone, Diego Krause is a certified mover and shaker in the minimal house scene, and he's on fire with this latest round of missives for Blind Box. "Malice" leads the charge with a plethora of eerie synth textures flexing organically round the sturdy beat, while "Monolith" slips into a slinkier groove while keeping the tripped out tone tweaking at the forefront of our minds. "Return" brings a tougher, fist-pumping rhythm section with a snaking syn-cussion tones trickling throughout, providing Blind Box with plenty of material to sink their gnashers into on the remix.
Review: Doing things properly and building up a DIY phenomenon from their base in Zurich, the Les Points crew have brought a fresh, daring originality to the house and techno scene with their gritty outboard approach and a wide range of stylistic tendencies. Taking a break from releasing on their own label, Audino, Barbir, Louh and Nicola Kazimir have been invited to the evergreen Trelik to broach their music to a wider audience. From the blissful space techno groove of "Anubis" to the tightly wound beats of "Housepacer" and on to the cranky acid funk of "Ripstyle", this is yet another distinctive transmission from the plucky Swiss crew.
Review: Madonna, Depeche Mode and Kelis - what do East End Edits have in store for us next? This seventh instalment harks back to the charming deep jazzy house of their inaugural release - think of the legendary St. Germain and that should give you a fairly good idea. The track's smoky, late night jazz bar vibe is complemented by a rolling bass and swinging rhythms that should appeal to the likes of Rhadoo or Petre Inspirescu - legends of the Romanian scene who themselves have lent their deft hand to the French producer's work as remixers in the past, too.
Review: Having kicked off his Etheric label with the Origins EP earlier this year, Leonardo is back with more adventurous machine music for the spiritually inclined dancefloor. "The Offering" has a dark and moody tone thanks to the snaking synth line wriggling its way through the track, perfect for eyes-down submission as the strobe blinks slowly. "Symmetry" is a more open affair, all soft top chimes and vapour blasts pinging around an easy electro beat, while "The Afterlife" strikes somewhere in the middle with a tougher, club-minded sound that still favours a sunnier sound palette. "Droplets" is the consummate B2, shrugging off the dancefloor rules of the previous tracks to trip out in a dubwise atmosphere that further strengthens the quality of what Leonardo is up to.
Review: The unstoppable house machine Nail is back once more on his 89:Ghost label with a grip of killer drops previously only available online. His advice is to "spark up a zug and chew on these meaty badboys", and we'd be inclined to agree. There's a heady, trippy quality to "Happen Dub" that suits all heavy lidded situations, while "Ese Dub" channels a few rugged bleep traits that hark back Nail's roots in DIY Discs and the free party scene. "Feets Dub" channels some sublime funk sampling that would sound right at home amongst the Detroit house grandmasters, and "Be Dub 2" takes things interstellar with some swirling, churning dub techno chords of the highest calibre.
Review: Fresh from remixing Afrobeat legend Tony Allen for Dekmantel, Ricardo Villalobos presents his first solo outing of 2019 - an epic double-pack containing four lengthy workouts in his signature off-kilter, minimalist techno style. First up is title track "Mandela Move", where chanted South African vocals weave their way in and out of hypnotic, funk-fuelled, glitch-driven drums that rank amongst Villalobos' boldest beats for some time. "Fontec" is deeper and subtly more melodious, with plenty of weirdo noises and some seriously chunky bass, while "Ectroscop" sees our Chilean hero brilliantly blend the swinging funk of breakbeat with his mind-altering percussion and production. Finally, "Beetglass" is as crunchy, bass-heavy and percussive as anything Villalobos has done to date.
Review: Politics Of Dancing celebrate five years of pristine deep and minimal house with this first installment in a series of various artist releases. Djebali and Stephan Bazbaz are in the mood for squelchy chords and undulating basslines on "J'Adore", while Boris Werner keeps things sleek and funky on the craftily executed "Omar Coming". Politics Of Dancing themselves kick off the B side with the gorgeous "Peace", and Rowlanz locks into a sharp and sassy minimal workout with lashings of jazzy goodness bedded into the groove. It's a package delivered with the high standards of dancefloor functionality and musical personality we've come to expect from the always-on-point Parisian label.
Review: The OdD Music crew are back with more of that off-kilter, subtly freaked up house music shuffle to make your bones shake. This sixth release on the label has everything any minimal head craves, not least on opening jam "Forty Five" with its nervy piano licking away underneath a heavy filter while the groove rolls on incessantly. "Thirty Three & A Third" takes a different approach, dropping some deft broken beats into the mix and letting some spaced out synth wobbles ping the track into a curious new orbit. "Nine" finishes the EP off with some immersive percussive tones that call to mind ritualistic dancing and transcendental experience, just like all good party music should.
Domenic Cappello - "Not A Festival Track" (Basement mix) (6:57)
Stojche - "Decipher Language" (5:41)
Gauss - "Aperture"
XDB - "Satimak"
Leonid - "Woodwalk"
Life Recorder - "True Moments"
Review: The Verdant stamp of quality is well established by now, but it presses even deeper with the release of this high-grade compilation from a rich cast of subterranean seafarers. Steve O'Sullivan dons his Bluetrain cape for the slow-chugging, appropriately dubbed out meditation of "Sleeping With The Enemy", while Domenic Cappello creates a swooning string-drenched masterpiece out of "Not A Festival Track". Stojche's "Decipher Language" is a snappier affair, while XDB crafts one of his sublime, leftfield techno variations brimming with imagination to match its functionality. At every turn this is a compilation of top-drawer techno crafter with passion and originality - grip it while you can!
Review: 100Hz have consistently snuck out 12"s since the early 90s, but their productivity is at an all time high and their Modugroove label is the perfect vessel to get more of their smartly crafted tech house treats into the ears of discerning DJs and dancers everywhere. This second release on their label kicks off with the atmospheric twinges of "Klon 6 Step", a sizzling, simmering cut for transcendental moments on the floor. "Wild Fudge" is a snappier affair peppered with folky string plucks that sound fresh in the club track context. "Infrastructure" takes things on an emotive tip with a range of strong melodic leads, and "Tinky Tink" ramps up the unease with a creeping jam for the less salubrious end of the night.
Review: Turkish producer Mutlu San steps up to Lessizmore as yet another example of the Belgian label being incredibly on-point when it comes to signings. The emergent talent from Istanbul has a luxurious sound that taps into the minimal vein while offering a richer spread of textures and moods than your average micro roller. "Deep Sea Mosaics" is certainly a highlight, and it's left to Tolga Fidan to do the reducing on his remix of the track. "Phylum" sees San team up with his production partner in Bartaub for a more linear beat track, but with "Subglacial Funk" he nudges a little more of that unpredictable magic into the mix without losing the dancefloor essence of the track.
Review: After the success of the first experiment, Politics Of Dancing jumps on the collaboration mission for a second time and invites fellow Parisian dons D'Julz and Oleg Poliakov to get deep in the studio. Bass Culture boss D'Julz takes on the A side, and the results are a sleek, measured trip through minimal house with a dubby garnish. Oleg Poliakov's contribution takes on a woozier atmosphere thanks to a wobbly synth lolling through the track, but of course this is still crisp, functional dance music for the long haul dancefloor. Now we just have to wait to see who POD snap up next.
Review: Ion Ludwig is a leading light in contemporary minimal house, able to elicit fresh approaches from a well-worn club music template. He lands back on Baby Ford's Trelik label with a chunky double pack of beautifully crafted rollers for the stripped down dance, leading in with the subliminal murmurs of "Fall Answers" and following it up with the incredibly groovy, bass-led "Modern Missing Mood". "Le Imagen" gets into a more wriggling, crafty configuration, while "Felt Like Klariny Space" lets trippy daubs of melody take centre stage. "Sparse Hypnotimes" does what it says on the tin, simmering down to a mellow, dubby haze of blue-hued keys and a slither of a beat.
Review: After an excellent first release featuring Freerotation lynchpin Steevio, Russ Gabriel's Rivers Of Groove label returns with a pair of excursions into lush, bubbling techno from Gabriel on his own. As a first generation UK techno stalwart, it's little wonder that he can turn out productions as accomplished as these, but there's no sense that he's treading water. "Ambulate" bears the hallmarks of modular production, all twinkling, morphing synth tones chiming around a delicate beat, while "Dover Calling" favours a snappier electro palette, but both stand out from the crowd for the sheer quality in the production, the warmth in the composition and the needlepoint focus given to every shred of detail in this crucial cuts.
Review: Toki Fuko has quietly slipped out some high-grade ambient electronics over the past 10 years, but this double-vinyl drop on the ever excellent Silent Season represents some his most striking work to date. In line with the label's aesthetic, gauzy dub techno atmospheres prevail in the main, as thick billowing clouds of chord drift over submerged, stripped down rhythms. There is also space for other moods to infect the process though - there's a laconic 90s chill-out room groove to "Spring Ray (Outtake)", which then gets reshaped as a pattering percussive meditation on the EP's closing mix. Stunning, immersive approaches from start to finish.
Review: Sudd Records has been going for some time as a digital-only label, but now they make the leap to vinyl with the help of Detroit champ Gari Romalis. "Abstraxx (Linear Mix)" kicks off the record in a heady fog of undulating pads, the smoke positively drifting out of the speaker cones over a simple, deep-as-you-like drum pattern. "Dark Ryda (Sunset Mix)" gets a little more funk in its rhythm, but the same mellow mood prevails, almost reaching dub techno levels in its atmospheric chord swells. "Heat (Bout That Life Mix)" takes things out of the darkness and into a lighter frame of mind, but Romalis is still firmly in the deep end of the deep house pool with this final cut on the record.
Review: The fourth release from London-based label Eya continues to shape out an intriguing identity that nods to classic techno tropes while charging ahead with their own agenda. Label boss Jos' "Planet Eya" sets a lively pace with its forthright drum machine jack offset by warm synth licks. Evil Knebel matches the tempo and weaves in a cosmic set of tones, which Poten then cosigns with the equally trippy, propulsive "Intransigence". Jos is back at the helm for closing track "Purify", which strikes a darker tone without losing that raw, vintage techno flavour that makes this label one to watch.
Review: We're not sure who's behind the mysterious AC-EXP project, but the shadowy figure returns with more of that strange, submerged house music he's been tickling discerning DJs with over the past few years. After taking last year off, "1A" is a fine place to start things up again with a strutting jack track carrying acidic synth pulses that flirt with measured delay processing. It's a jam that sounds steamy and sinister all at once. "1B" maintains this restrained but seductive vibe with the slightly trancey throb of the lead synths pivoting around the snappy drums to great effect.
Review: Another single-sided sizzler from the Digwah camp, whose irregular tech-house reworks of well-loved old cuts are rarely less than excellent. This time round, they've turned their attention to a sprightly, memorable chunk of '80s soul - an American club cut of the period that has been re-edited numerous times by disco diggers. The Digwah version, though, is an almost complete overhaul; while snippets of the original version's vocals and guitars are present in the mix, they largely play second fiddle to chunky tech-house beats and a bold, huggable bassline that propels the revision forward towards peak-time dancefloors. It's decent and scintillating like most Digwah remixes.
Review: It's been a hot minute since we heard something new from Och, but he's back on Autoreply with a double 12" of high-grade, stripped back tech house shot through with oodles of imagination. "Panamax" is the consummate dubby house track, a true immersion chamber of a track, while "The Sadness" brings a shuffling groove and some peppy key stabs to the table. "The Healer" is a more overtly minimal affair that would sound at home on PAL SL, while "Linear Response Function" keeps things tight and focused with a sturdy rhythmic framework and some spartan piano notes. "Incompressible Flow" has a submerged jazzy undercurrent to it, and "Lovers Roll" gets into that freaky house bounce heard on "The Sadness". Overall, it's another sterling grip of refined tracks from a seasoned pro.
Review: Tolga Fidan is seemingly on a roll of late, but in truth he's always remained committed to his process as a refined minimal maestro. His move to Finale Sessions may seem to be a step outside his usual stomping grounds, and the sound on the EP reflects this. Whether the title Lost Tapes means this material is old or not is unclear, but there's certainly a rougher, hardware-sounding approach on this record compared to the stripped down clicks he built his name on. "SJ SX - Tape 01" is still reduced in all the right places, but it comes on like a live jam of deepest psych-out techno rather than anything overtly minimal. With warmth and personality pouring out of every bar, this is a wonderful insight into another side of a long serving and much loved producer.
Review: The second Sound Signature repress of the week offers a chance to re-assess the moment that the wider world was introduced to the talents of one of Detroit's most loved selectors. Released back in 1999, the Essential Selections Vol. 1 EP saw Theo collaborate with a certain Marcellus Pittman across three cuts that still sound as vibrant today. A Side lead "Night Of The Sagitarius" has the loose drum arrangements and gritty low end that will appeal to contemporary ears, but it's also augmented by an almost chilling sense of melody. Face down "Selector's Theme" is the pair in introspective mood whilst "African Roots" belongs in the canon of all time Theo greats.
Review: More from single-sided specialists EEE, a shadowy crew that specializes in sneaky contemporary club reworks of well-known tracks (many of which are, in their original form, about as dancefloor focused as your average miserable indie band or veteran cabaret crooner). What's on offer this time round is a heavily electronic tech-house groove - all Romanian style beats and bubbling, mind-altering synth notes - onto which is laid cut-up snippets from a famous old blues cut that's previously been sampled on a club cut to great effect. While the vocal does sit slightly awkwardly at times, there's no denying the heaviness or effectiveness of EEE's track. In other words, it's another winner from tech-house's most shadowy crew.
Review: The Unblock label hits its seventh release with a split EP featuring rising talents Tato and Tijn. The sound on the 12" fits right in with the previous transmissions from Tuccillo, Tomoki Tamura and more besides, taking a quirky approach to stripped down house and techno dynamics to create intriguing party fodder for inquisitive dancers. Tato's "Estic" does a wondrous job of twisting up tribal percussion with a snaking minimal groove, while "Lusyourmaind" brings a cheeky housey shuffle to the proceedings while keeping things a little mysterious in the same breath. Tijn's "Stranger Things" is a light and airy minimal house jam that contrasts neatly with the hook running through the centre of "Piano Tool".
Review: With a history that stretches back to the turn-of-the-90s, Ivan Iacobucci is one of the Italian scene's most storied producers. He's released on all manner of acclaimed imprints over the years - UMM, Calypso Records, Holic Trax and Nite Grooves included - and here makes his bow on another, Berlin staple Perlon. There's plenty of subtle variety across the EP, with Iacobucci leisurely strolling between funk-fuelled lo-fi tech-house (the spacey "Logic Solution"), high-tempo, Autechre-inspired IDM-funk ("Platinum Booth"), wonky, Villalobos-style early morning insanity (the bonkers but brilliant "Magic Tribulation") and analogue-rich, off-kilter tech-house ("Android").
Review: London-based Italian duo Konstress are back with their third release on their self-titled imprint, and it once again shows the pair progressing with a dynamic, detailed and original approach to stripped down dance music. The first track pits a stuttering groove against blown out keys and a smorgasbord of errant synth noises, and those noises jump across to the second track to plot a course through a highly textured, ominous soundscape where the drums have been left behind. The B1 track sports a tough, crooked groove and warm, sci-fi synth tones while the B2 takes a more eerie direction into deep and dingy techno. A classy, highly developed record for adventurous souls.
Review: David Gtronic kicked off the Black Wood label with the Kryptoo 12", and now Javier Carballo swiftly follows up with the immersive tones of Morning Vibe. Carballo's sound is undoubtedly rooted in the minimal house he's turned out for One Records amongst others, but he's got a distinctive edge in his productions that makes them stand out. "Morning Vibe" in particular does so well because it matches airy pads and skittering drums with a measured lick of acid, making something truly trippy in the process. "Back For Good" pairs dubby chord pulses with shuffling hats, and "Chunchuneo" gets locked into an insistent rhythmic chug that it's tough to resist.
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: Andrea Porcu's ROHS! label has been a long time fixture in the ambient field, from net label origins to limited CDr and vinyl releases from a host of respected underground operators. This latest release, two years in the making, features two original tracks from PURL. These sublime ambient pieces, "Slow Poem" and "Cellar Door," move in slow, atmospheric ripples of submerged rhythm and glacial melodics, giving plenty of space for inventive remixes from Segue, Wanderwelle and many more. It's a perfect double pack of dreamy drifters for the chill-out room crowd to sink into.
The PGA - "Deep In The Bunker" (Dogleg Detour mix) (6:31)
Chris Geschwindner - "Dale's Lullaby" (6:10)
Henry Hyde - "Hello Spcshp" (5:49)
Review: The fifth NorthSouth release plunges once again into the melting pot of producers seeking new variations on the house and techno format, leading in with London minimal champ Voigtmann. His "Separation Attitude" takes on the kind of wild, expressive machine funk you'd expect from Spacetravel, cosmic and pumping in equal measure. The "Dogleg Detour" mix of The PGA's "Deep In The Bunker" makes powerful use of a spacious mix to let the bassline strut its stuff, while Chris Geschwindner's crafty 2-step construction on "Dale's Lullaby" should appeal to all those digging garage beats matched with techno atmospherics. Henry Hyde's "Hello Spcshp" takes a distinctive approach to acid electro that should find favour with body popping freaks who like their jams playful and a little off kilter.
Review: De Grey launched last year with a 12" from Webstarr, and now it follows up with the raw, rough and ready sound of Jack Angle. "Week-End" is a lithe, percussive beast of a track that matches bloated kicks with glassy hits for a tracky but distinctive end result. "6PNHHPE" is a looped up, off-kilter affair that sports an industrial techno thread but heads into stranger territory with ease. "Stablilizer" is a more balanced, melodic affair but again those distinctive metallic tones pervade the mix and inject some real character into Angle's music. "Selta" takes this approach and whips it up into the most lively, peak-time minded belter on the whole record, sneakily tucked away on the B2.
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: Euphoria Records has a legacy that reaches back to the mid-90s and releases from artists such as Omni A.M. and Mark Ambrose. Now the label is back in action with some killer minimal house fare from emergent Maltese talent Mato. This new single kicks off with the sophisticated swing of "Gozo Carnival", which capitalizes on an economical approach to the arrangement to devastating effect. "Euphoria Jamz" is a busier production with layers of wriggling synths bouncing around another shuffled beat. "Where's The Chutney?" keeps things rubbery and freaky, with the jack level up high and the tweaked out sounds plentiful in the mix, rounding out a distinctive and infectiously fun club 12".
Review: UK tech house hero Burnski has been serving up some serious heat of late under the Instinct alias, channelling that old school UK vibe of drum & bass, speed garage and 2-step. His exploration into these styles bring about this sixth instalment of his eponymous series with 3 cuts set to cause havoc on dancefloors this year. A side cut "Overthrow" rides on a slick tech house groove before moving into a swing-fuelled rhythm and razor-sharp sub-bass and it's business as usual. On the flip, shadowy stepper "Phased" fuses Artful Dodger's classic swagger with the dark sci-fi aesthetic of Ed Rush & Optical. Finally, put your lighters up for the furious junglist roller that is "Free Life".
Review: The high grade, leftfield approach to house music Lyssna have set out as their MO continues in fine style on this new Colours series, starting with the Yellow EP and a strong cast of characters from the outer reaches. Riciar Ghir opens up proceedings with the tumbling deep house of "Cargo", making the keys dance with distinction and injection a subby rumble where it counts. Minimal Afrika follow that up with a percussive tryst entitled "Drakma Queen" that blossoms into a sumptuous ambient excursion. Robotalco takes a very different approach with some classically pumping sample-powered house music to shake feel-good fists to, and then Klubbhuset finishes up with an impassioned romp through peak time disco licks for the peak of the night.
Review: Sasaki Hiroaki has been immersed in electronic music in Japan for longer than most, but it's his more recent diversions into techno and minimal that have provided a solid foundation for his creative arc. He appears here on Open Recordings with some crisply produced, deep-as-you-like tech house joints with more than a little thread of dub about them. "Sprinkler" uses massive clanging chords to shape out the atmosphere of the track, while "Speak" ladles a measured amount of delay and reverb over the mix to make things move just the right amount. Frazer Campbell comes on board to remix "Sprinkler", and does so with an uplifting Detroit techno approach that is as infectious as it is refined. Pablo Tamo takes on "Speak" and injects some reduced 2-step craftiness into its bones.
Review: Torino label We Play The Music We Love has already made a strong start with some immersive turns by Trevor Deep Jr and Rills, and now they provide a platform for Italian duo Luminer. "Indaco" is a charged up dub techno excursion with crisp percussion to propel the classic chord shimmer that course through the centre of the track. "Canadian" takes a deeper direction with a crafty tapestry of synth flares and a more understated rhythm section. Hiver's reconstruction of "Indaco" opts for a crooked electro foundation, nimble acid line and a shapeless swell of pad tones as the key ingredients, and then Icelandic techno champ Thor whips up a sharp-strutting dub techno variation of "Canadian" that sits comfortably with the Luminer tracks.
Review: There's something brilliantly unfussy and matter-or-fact about Matthew Farrow's latest outing as Kepler, which marks his first appearance on no nonsense Mulen sub-label Hoarder. The four collected cuts are subtly varied and all aimed squarely at the dancefloor, with Farrow striking a near perfect balance between rolling dancefloor hypnotism, funk-fuelled glitch-house and bottom-heavy peak-time intent. We're particularly enjoying the spacey and ultra-deep swing of "Self Hypnosis" and the weighty, stripped-back pump of opener "Few Days' - a track built around little more than fluid sub-bass, crunchy drums and metallic electronic riffs - but the organ-powered, U.S garage-influenced tech-house bump of "French Lessons" is not far behind.
Review: Asad Rizvi's Silverlining return to form (and archive purge) continues unabated with this latest instalment on his label. The tech house originator kicks off this ninth part in the Silverlining Dubs series with a fresh production, the stripped back and highly technical "Groundhog Rave". It's followed up by an older jam originally released on Eukahouse back in 1997. "Stolen Baggage" is a sweet, poignant club track with lingering keys that positively melt between the snaking beats. "Spinach, Mystery & Insult" brings things back to the here and now with a shimmering set of drums and sonar bleep synths aimed squarely at the deep end. Brief diversion "Sticky Snails" completes the package with a surprise foray into kosmische-inspired territory, pointing to the diversity tucked away in this seasoned producer's repertoire.
Review: Some five years after re-launching his Crayon label via a fine EP of vintage "Tracks From The Vault", original 1990s tech-house producer Mark Ambrose serves up more gems from his bulging archives. The quality threshold remains dizzyingly high throughout. Check first the moody, back room dub of "Nightshift (Deeper Mix)", where gentle, alien synth lines and deep space chords tumble down over a heavy analogue bassline and locked-in beats, before turning your attention to "Space Animals", a deliciously dubbed-out affair rich in sub bass and drifting, deep space chords. If that's not enough, flip over and trance out to B side "Seduction" and finally, the slamming techno beats, looped electronics and mind-mangling TB-303 motifs of closer "Dusty Acid".