Review: 21 years have passed since Silverlining (aka Asad Rizvi) and Nathan Coles first joined forces as Two Right Wrongans and released "The Not Quite Right EP", a brilliant three-track collection of pioneering tech-house treats. That 12" has long been tricky to find - unless, of course, you're willing to fork out rather a lot to purchase an original copy online - so it's great to see the EP's two standout tracks getting the reissue treatment. A-side "System Error" is particularly potent, with fizzing sci-fi electronics and gently pulsing chords rising above a techno-tempo, house style rhythm track. "Straight Ahead Then Take The Next Wrong" is more hypnotic in tone, sounding like a blueprint for today's glitchy, bass-heavy tech-house tracks.
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: 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: 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: Alex is a brand new alias from the artist regularly known as Baba Stiltz - a Swedish producer whose quirky, off-kilter house and techno releases are rarely less than brilliant. His first Trilogy Tapes outing is suitably impressive. The real killer is "Samba", an inspired nine minute workout in which he layers deep, woozy electric piano motifs, sun-kissed chords, child-like vocal samples and rich bass atop a swinging, samba fired techno beat. The deeper and more bass-heavy "Memo" is even more epic; a near 13-minute journey through sparse, crunchy, hypnotic and dubbed-out minimal house rhythms and exotic, snake charmer solos. In other words, it's another top-notch EP from a producer who genuinely can do no wrong.
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: French electronic legend Sebastien Devaud returns as Agoria, on his always impressive Sapiens imprint with new single "Remedy" taken from his latest album entitled "Drift". Here we are treated to two wonderful remixes, both blessed with the French touch. Emmanuel 'Manoo' Kossi takes the A side with an emotive and electrifying hi-tech soul rendition while on the flip, legends Cassius make a triumphant return to production by taking the track into deeper and sexier sonic territory.
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: Using the Turkish psychedelic project Insanlar as a jump off point, Honest Jon's have enlisted Ricardo Villalobos to turn out one of his grandiose remix projects that gels so naturally with more exotic sound sources. The original of "Kime Ne" is already an enchanting, Moog-infused groover rich with traditional vocals, and then Mr Villalobos locks the ingredients in for a typically cosmic ride into stripped and hypnotic house territory, letting the lutes intertwine with dusty reams of percussion using that alchemists touch that could only come the man himself. The remix spreads itself over two sides of wax, leaving one side of the double pack free for a fetching etching as well.
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: 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: Having launched with a various artists double pack last year, The Untold Series returns with a new release that retains this approach, as well the yellow and black vinyl colour scheme, "respectively representing the sun and the darkness". Entitled Chapter 1, this double vinyl release features eight new artists whose productions still fall under the banner of spirituality that seems integral to The Untold Series. Very much an international collection, South American Furz commences proceedings with the Latinised minimalist "420error" and from here Chapter 1 runs the gamut of minimal techno with particular highlights coming from Andrey Zots and exercise in broken techno abstraction, Pheek's playful "Interne", and the Villalobos-esque "Regarde Le Ciel" from Suburbs. Here's to further chapters please!
Review: Sleepers has been a little vague about the identity of the producer behind the Cool & Frank project, though it appears to be a newcomer from New York. Interestingly, the music on Golden Wall sounds vintage, as if it was recorded in the mid 1990s as a response to intelligent techno and "braindance" style releases. There's much to enjoy throughout, from the Ceephax Acid Crew style madness of "When 4 Ravers Come Crashing" and spacey, IDM-acid of "Golden Wall", to the intergalactic electro shuffle of "Bergone" and Polygon Window-era Richard D James loveliness of "Pipe Pope Grape". As debut 12" singles go, it's pretty darn good.
Review: The first volume in the mysterious EEE series simply flew off the shelves. It featured a tidy, on-point rework of one of the most celebrated jazz-house records of all time. This time round, the mystery remixer - who seems to prefer subtly beefing up tracks with new beats and one or two new musical elements - sets his or her sights on a classic chunk of moody British synth-pop from Basildon's finest. The new rhythm track sits somewhere between metallic electro and hypnotic tech-house (think clipped, fizzing electronics, and squeezable kick-drum sounds), while much is made of the original synthesizer strings and recognizable vocal. It's a tidy and undeniably floor-friendly version, all told, and will no doubt be very popular with DJs.
Review: French producer Alec Falconer presents his third release, following up some great EPs on EXT and Entity London. "Flicker Zone" comes courtesy of local imprint Rue De Plaisance and sees the Parisian deliver more retro influenced flavours. From the booming high intensity workout that is the title track that goes for an electro vibe to the very Dopplereffekt influenced "Les Volets" - this is material made for the dancefloor. On the flip it's all about the chill out room though: from the mellow breaks of "L3D 121D" to the acid ambient journey "View From The L2", this 12" successfully demonstrates Falconer's vast sonic repertoire.
Review: As Stereofuse, Martin Worner and Thorsten Diegel released a handful of well-regarded EPs during the early to mid 2000s before splitting to concentrate on solo work. Undoubtedly the most sought-after of these is 2003's Casino EP, a Teutonic tech-house classic that has recently been changing hands for large sums of money online. Here is gets a new lease of life via a Phonica reissue. Opener "Black Jack" remains a near perfect exercise in bouncy, hypnotic deep house/tech-house fusion - all trippy looped riffs, breakbeat-house beats (very popular back in '03), spacey flourishes and booming bass - while "Hot Slot" and "Royal Flash" sound like they may have inspired the recent Parisian tech-house movement. We could go on. Suffice to say, you need this in your life.