Review: The Beeyou label strikes ahead with its third release, continuing to champion warm, musical deep house from a range of emergent producers. XHZ makes a debut appearance here with the epic "Jazz 2 Jazz", which progresses through a woozy nocturnal mood to wind up in an effervescent, Rhodes-soaked finale. Jake Flory keeps things simmering on the tracky but engaging "14th Groove", before following up with the effortlessly cool chord drops of "Distress". With melodious invention at its heart and the needs of the dancefloor well catered for, the Beeyou crew have delivered another essential package for discerning spinners.
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.
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: The always on-point SlapFunk continues its sixth round of Raw Joints with another four razor sharp jams from a gifted contingent of contemporary producers. Lopaski actually delivers something with the delicacy of Jan Jelinek's finest early micro house productions, but strapped to a more pronounced rhythmic undercarriage. Pascal Benjamin gets into a quintessential minimal house groove that sounds right at home on SlapFunk, while JAMM brings a tougher set of beats to the table. SE62 rounds things off with the loose and limber shuffle of "Fear", which doffs a cap to garage while keeping things dark and deadly.
Review: The Raw Joints series is one of the best things about the ever-excellent SlapFunk Records, and now the Dutch label is back with a fresh bout of sounds from some of the most inventive artists operating in the minimal house sphere. Ferro's "Electric Sunshine" leads the charge with a militant groove and a rubbery bassline to die for. William Caycedo has a rugged, sample slicing thrust at work on "Mi Casa", while Malin Genie takes things far out on the wonderfully freaky "Superposition". The record wraps up with Ingi Visions, whose "RJG" wriggles into a skippy 2-step groove that will have bodies shaking uncontrollably when it gets deployed in the dance.
Review: New York techno mainstay Reade Truth has skirted around widespread recognition with a long-standing commitment to underground techno approaches recognised by those that know as some of the best in the business. This release sees him dust down the first release on his label Path, 20 years after it originally did the business. It's high time tracks like "The Path" that get a fresh airing - the dynamic, detailed approach to drum programming and warm acid undulations sound as relevant now as they did back then. "319" is a more reflective jam that heads into emotive, moody territory that highlights the breadth in Truth's sound, before "Give Me Insanity" round things up by taking it super-deep thanks to expansive pad sweeps and shimmering hats aplenty.
Review: Brawther returns to one of the stand out tracks from last year's "Transient States" LP and hands it over to a couple of more-than-capable remixers. "Jaxx Freaxx" becomes an irresistibly funky bumper in the hands of Fumiya Tanaka, whose "My Jaxx" version sounds like it would be right at home in the midst of a lengthy Panorama Bar session. Zweizig follows up on his recent "Rhythm Tension" 12" for Negentropy with a sublime, subtle twist on "Jaxx Freaxx" that matches swinging micro house with dubby FX ripples that sound like they were deployed with the after party in mind.
Review: Fernando Zapico may have released music on countless imprints over the last 14 years, but he's still keen on notching up more label debuts. The "Mayday EP" marks another, as the Uruguayan brings his distinctive brand of late night electronics to CABARET Recordings for the very first time. He hits the ground running with "Freq From D", a foreboding electro stepper blessed with rich Motor City electronics and turn of the '90s style bleeps. "Winter Nights" sees him built energy and urgency around a groove rich in jazzy analogue bass and rolling, loose-limbed house beats, while flipside "Mayday" wraps ghostly chiming melodies and fizzing electronic noises around a snappy techno groove.
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: 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: 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: Malin Genie's self-titled label carries another wedge of sublime deep house directly aiming at the after party crowd, this time in collaboration with the prolific Swedish producer Per Hammar, "Lijnbaan Dubb" kicks things off in an immersive swirl of heavy-lidded house for the mellow steppers to lock into. "Fosie" is a twitchier concern that reduces the groove down to a crystalline minimal framework peppered with quirky sound design. "Scania" has a more techy disposition, getting locked into some seriously heady loops and splashed with generous helpings of dub processing. SAM then reshapes the track into a moody strutter that brings things full circle with the A1 gem that opens this seriously classy EP.
Review: Last summer, long-serving techno/house fusionist Diego Krause made his first appearance on Rawax. Here he returns to the well-loved imprint with the first EP in a series he's calling "State Of Flow". Opener "Stumblers" is wonky and intoxicating, with Krause wrapping glitch-fired beats and rumbling sub-bass in metallic noises and trippy, outer-space motifs. Over on side B, "Human Spirit" offers a deeper but no less percussively punchy dancefloor workout, while "Operate" is an exercise in smooth sub-bass, bouncy drums, hypnotic tech-house electronics and mind-altering effects. All three tracks are rather tasty, suggesting that Krause's "State Of Flow" series will be one to watch over the months ahead.
Review: Thule are back on the Icelandic techno reissue trip, this time returning to a serious classic from Sanasol (Yagya & Thor) that originally came out in 1997. This particular, highly sought after, gem leads in with the majorly heady house throb of "Seveneleven (Original Mix)" which piles the dubby processing and lush melodics on heavy while still retaining a sense of airiness to uplift the soul. By contrast, the "Closedonsundays Mix" focuses on a tough but crooked beat and that undulating bassline for a completely different flavour. On the flip, the "Sanaramalonger Mix" returns to the mellower flow of the original but with a more submerged finish and some pronounced dub stabs. Then the "Ozzy Mix" finishes the package with a minimal take that prefigures the upsurge of dubby clicks n' cuts laptop beats that would explode in the years to come. Essential tackle for all deep techno explorers.
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: 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: For its 15th year anniversary, Mule Musiq will release twelve 12" by close artists, with collectable artwork by Stefan Marx. The seventh edition presented here is by the label's 'hero' Roman Flugel, who presents his debut single for the label. Quite possibly named after the legendary producer's hometown, "Fun Fort" sees the man from Frankfurt deliver two emotive and hypnotic journeys on this two tracker: the title track on the A side transmits some seriously good vibes with its bouncy bassline and catchy blips and bleeps, plus an infectious shuffle throughout. On the flip, he goes further down the spiral on the moody dub techno excursion of "In Your Wardrobe (Part 2)" where long, drawn out dub chords lurk beneath some dusty late night jazz bar sounds.
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: Last spotted on Vakant, Detroit's man of mystery returns to D'Julz' Bass Culture after four years with three more rough, warm Motor City jams. "Castaway" takes off without so much as a compass. Heading towards the light with every added rhythmic element and cascading arpeggio, it drives into the horizon with equal measure of focus and looseness. "Doin It To Ya Baby" takes a subaquatic disco approach - the wide beats are wrapped in subtle slapbass twangs and dubby overlays while "Wara Coco" is a trippier twist into the shadows as raindrop textures trickle over a low and slow groove and incessant humanised loops. Remix-wise Orlando Voorn peppers the lead track with a little analogue funk and mild acid tweaking. After this castaway you'll never want to come home...
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: We have seen some pretty inventive remixes and mashups on the new EEE imprint, but this could well be the most exciting yet. Once again it's another hand stamped one-sided vinyl on offer, featuring a groovy minimal/tech-house arrangement with vocal samples of one certain pop princess - namely one of her very famous hits of yesteryear. The artist behind it, as always, is being kept under wraps but there's no hiding the fact that this is some seriously heavyweight club ready business.
Review: More deep and dreamy tech house from the Shanti Radio camp out of Moscow, courtesy of the enigmatic Lost Desert - a staple of Lee Burridge's All Day I Dream/ Tale + Tone imprints. The mystery man provides ample dancefloor fodder just in time for rooftop day parties this summer on the Incipient EP. Go deep into the exotic on the title track with its mix of electronic beats and ethnic instrumentation that provides perfect bliss, followed by the percussive tribal groove of "Ipanema" calling to mind the 'Mannheim sound' from a decade ago. On the flip, be mesmerised by the EP's most evocative cut "First Burn (Carousel Edit)" which is geared towards the glassy-eyed and heartfelt moments on the dancefloor.
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: 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: Steve O'Sullivan's Mosaic train keeps on rolling, this time via the LTDX series which reaches its second station stop with two more dubbed out dancefloor delights for the deepest divers. O'Sullivan dons his Bluetrain guise to deliver the UK steppers-indebted "Armchair Analyst," which artfully folds subtle dubwise influences into its minimal techno construction. On the flip side, Roger Gerressen spaces things out good and proper with the slow-stalking groove of "Long Overdue," fusing the best elements of contemporary minimal and classic dub to create a fine extension of the Rhythm & Sound blueprint.
Review: Fans of stripped-back, minimalist techno - particularly the Eastern European variant focused around Romania's thriving scene - will happily tell you that every release from Christi Cons and Vlad Caia's Sideways Invisibility Theory project (AKA SIT) is worth checking. This, a double-pack containing half of the tracks from their new album (a second part is also available) is certainly noteworthy. It features a quintet of trippy, low-slung late night workouts seemingly designed to operate in the cracks between tech-house and minimal techno. There are naturally subtle variations throughout - a nod to dub techno here, a psychedelic acid line or dreamy deep house texture there - but throughout, their focus remains firmly on wonky early morning workouts.
Review: Following the hot off the press drop "Time Guard", Lazare Hoche taps up a pair of remixers to provide fresh angles on his latest transmission. First up is Moscow Records' Archie Hamilton, who whips up a propulsive, bubbling techno roller laden with lush melodic content. On the flip, regular Hamilton collaborator Noha serves up a twinkling, mysterious strutter that should sink under the skin nice and easy in the late morning sessions Lazare Hoche records are so well suited to. Using spooky off key synth licks and a steady ticking beat, Noha provides a worthwhile new twist on the original's vintage techno sound.
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: 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: Under his longstanding DJ Honesty alias, veteran producer Hans Schaaf has delivered some fantastic music over the past two decades. Happily, he appears to be getting more productive as the years roll by, with this three-tracker on Bass Culture marking his third 12" of 2017. With its bustling bassline, relentless cymbals, Motor City motifs and carefully placed dub effects, lead cut "Moment" sits somewhere between hypnotic European techno and ocean-deep house. This hybrid vibe is even more noticeable on Losoul's epic flipside remix, which subtly toughens up the track and stretches it out to 11 mesmerizing minutes. Further thrills are provided via bonus cut "Gamma", a more bumpin' deep house roller with heavy New Jersey influences.