Review: Berlin-based Italian producer Audri has been scattering his smart, fine-tuned machine soul across a handful of labels over the past four years. Picking up the thread from the emotive and inventive end of the 90s techno spectrum, his latest drop on Albion should appeal to all those who can't get enough of that B12-flavoured sound. 'Inner Movement' sports plenty of classic Motor City influences, but given a crisp modern finish. 'Dizzy Freq' has a deeper demeanour that jacks and jives in equal measure, with a nod to the formative sound of bleep techno. Domenica Rosa delivers a fun and freaky twist on the original, before the legendary Titonton Duvante dubs things out nicely on his version of 'Inner Movement'.
Review: Although rarely spoken about in hushed tones, Peter Adshead AKA Baby Ford is one of British house and techno's true pioneers. As many readers will know, he spent the first decade of his career exploring acid house and rave, before switching to a deeper and more minimalistic techno and tech-house sound towards the end of the '90s. It's in that period that BFORD14, which is finally being reissued, first appeared in stores. Intoxicating, bass-heavy and entrancing, the EP's many highlights include the hissing hypnotism of 'Serpentine Tale', the deep bass, melancholic synthesiser chords and crunchy drums of 'Night D3 Died', and the spacey, deep techno warmth of deliciously hazy closing cut 'The Introducer'.
Review: The ever-prolific Burnski is back on Constant Sound with some upfront bumpers that once again demonstrate his standing as a leading light in the modern tech house movement. 'Process' manages to balance moody, melodic atmospherics with a rock solid rhythm section, while 'Systems' takes things in a decidedly more jacking, tracky direction. 'Long Train' keeps the pressure up with a mean low end and some whipcrack claps to made your head spin. 'Effect' finishes the set off with a sumptuous dub excursion that will appeal to all those who like Basic Channel headspace matched with a sturdy house groove.
Review: Following up that terrific remix for homeboys Disuasiv a few months back on Curtea Veche, London based Romanian caLLy returns with this brand new killer which inaugurates new Ibiza based record store More Than Music's new label arm. It's more of the same ethereal tech-house that you've come to know from the man - these are the kind of rolling and understated grooves that will put you in a trance at Sunwaves on Mamaia Beach this summer. From the hypnotic and subtle groove of "Yes No, Maybe So" or when he really brings the funk on the bouncy and trippy tool "Decisions" which also gets a terrific rework by Concealed Sounds main man Martinez. The Copenhagen based Swede delivers some serious swing on one of his renowned concealment dubs.
Review: After previous outings on this label as well as Joule, American Camelia take charge of the fifth EP from Fake Society and does so with a superb late night mood. His grooves are sleek, futuristic, and glow with soft neon hues as pads glide by like long-tailed headlights on a rainy motorway drive deep into the darkness. The drums are always supple carriages on which you ride in sheer comfort, with deft melodic motifs colouring in the spaces left behind. Cristi Cons serves up a typically classy remix of deep techno minimalism that is heady and hypnotic. This is a warm, comforting EP that oozes style and class throughout.
Review: Over the last three years Dragut Adrian AKA Dragutesku has firmly established himself as one of Romanian minimal techno's leading lights. It's for this reason that Dualism, his first full-length excursion, is so hotly anticipated. So, does it hit the spot? Undoubtedly. Dragut is particularly good at crafting wonky, off-kilter tech-house and minimalistic techno tunes that are sparse and unusual, but also boast tons of percussive funk and swing. These kinds of club-ready tunes form the DJ-friendly backbone of the album, with occasional deeper, darker or even stranger deviations (see the creepy 'Paranormal' and squelchy, electro-fired melodiousness of 'Apus') providing welcome variety. As a result, it's a set you can listen to from start to finish, despite the dancefloor-focused nature of its construction.
Review: The latest drop on the consistently brilliant Kimochi comes from Eho Kates, a new project from Todd Gys and Brendon Moeller. While the names involved may be familiar, the resulting sound is something wholly fresh. Certainly, Moeller's rightly heralded instinct for dubwise processes is no great shock, but there's a playful sense of experimentation powering every element of this release from the scuffed, fractured rhythms of 'Anxiety Sensitivity' to the submerged echo chamber surrealism of 'Emotional Distress Endurance'. Inquisitive processes and otherworldly sound design shape out the whole record, shot through with the alluring mystery that defines Kimochi output overall.
Review: Since debuting on Black Butter Records back in 2014, Elderbrook (real name Alexander Kotz) has been on a fast train to the top. He's been building up to this debut album since signing for EMI sub-label Parlophone in 2018, but is it any good? Certainly, those who like their dance music woozy, emotion-rich and atmospheric will rather enjoy Why Do We Shake In The Cold? The artist's evocative, eyes-closed lead vocals are prevalent throughout, uniting a swathe of tactile, synthesizer-rich tracks that effortlessly join the dots between fragile synth-pop, hazy tech-house and radio-friendly electronica. There are naturally some suitably sizable moments strewn across the album, with Rudimental hook-up 'Something About You' and the especially musically cheery 'Back To My Bed' catching the ear.
Review: East End Dubs' Eastenderz label keeps on turning out hugely functional but also charming dub tech that is stripped back to its bones and laced with funk. This new various artist EP packs a powerful punch from the off, with Floog laying down some vital kicks and whirring machine sounds to send any floor into overdrive. Cosmjn then takes us to another planet with his dreamy pads and Vlad Arapasu's 'Egoland' sounds like a classic Terry Francis cut from the mid-90s, so in other words, pure fire. There's no mucking around on 'Mello', a razor sharp closer with hi hats that would cut though steel.
Review: Earlier in the year, Mint Condition started offering up gems from the bulging back catalogue of Housey Doingz, an all-star collective of early UK tech-house producers (Terry Francis and Nathan Coles included) whose numerous late 1990s releases did much to popularize the sound they helped pioneer. The label has already mined their fabulous debut album, Doing It, and has now decided to reissue their 2000 EP House Utensils. A-side 'Kitchen Spasm' is a bustling, loose-limbed treat that layers aggressive acid lines and jumpy bass over a hip-swinging breakbeat house beat. The original mix is complimented on the flipside by a more slamming, funk-fuelled tech-house style 'Dub' mix, while the track sandwiched in between, 'Lounge', is a lusciously positive chunk of chunky '90s tech-house puritanism.
Review: He may have focused on Dave Seaman's Selador as an outlet in recent times, but Mannheim's 8 bit have certainly been championing the work of Danny Howells too. After two electrifying releases in the form of 'Whiterock' and last year's terrific Players EP, the industry veteran follows through with another riveting new EP for Nick Curly and Gorge's ever reliable imprint. Get stoned into the groove on the low slung and bass-driven funk of 'Paradium', be utterly hypnotised by the sublime and dubby deep house of 'Spindles' until he takes you back into the ether on the moody after hours workout of 'Chordlock'.
Review: Alien Recordings has decided to launch a new sub-label, Alien Imprints, which it says has been created to, "showcase various artists from around the globe". Fittingly, the new offering's debut release - a collection of electro-breaks themed excursions from newcomers and rising stars - is called First Impressions. It seems right and proper then that Juno Laser Machine's EP opener is a starting, ear-catching slab of raw, angular and spacey, acid-powered electro/breaks fusion, while the cut that follows, Marocs Coya and Cosmonaut's 'Ultimatum', is a deeper and hazier, but no less impactful, peak-time electro workout. Elsewhere, Paddy Thorne's 'Coll' is a pleasingly bubbly, intergalactic affair rich in deep bass, enveloping chords and metallic percussion hits, while Peshka's 'Spacecraft' is a deep, rumbling, sample-laden treat.
When Is Deep (Thor & Octal Industries remix) (7:15)
Review: Russian techno mastermind Anton Kubikov has enjoyed an incredibly productive run that has seen him grace Nervmusic, Mayak and his own Pro-tez label. Now one of his finest works, 'When Is Deep', lands on AE Recordings in four new versions from a cast of top-shelf remixers. Idealist is up first, rolling out a smooth and sublime dub house medication to keep dancers locked in and shuffling, while Ben Buitendijk simmers things down to a hypnotic pulse. Dot kicks off the B-side with an immersive, propulsive techno blend before Thor and Octal Industries complete the set with a quintessential dub techno meditation to take your mind to spell-binding new spheres of exploration.
Review: After some great editions previously by the likes of Niko Maxen, Lorik and Red Meat Therapy, next up on Alejo Galvez's London-based label Blind Vision Dubs is rising Viennese DJ and producer Philipp Lichtblau. He makes a rare appearance outside of his own established Movin' imprint. There is groovy, floaty and tripped-out tech house that's perfect for the warm-up or the afterhours alike on the Deeze EP: From the swing-fuelled futurist bounce of the title track, to the ethereal mood music of 'First One' or the bumpin' minimal funk of "You'll Never Lose This" - Lichtblau's star indeed continues to rise. Tip!
Tronic Illusion (feat Stacy Pullen - Detroit Love mix) (8:46)
Bel Air Ltd - "The Loft" (5:07)
Sergie Reza - "Monte" (Carl Craig edit) (11:45)
Takuya Yamashita - "Aos Si" (Mirko Loko HOS remix) (8:12)
Phase Phorce - "Faces Of Life" (4:12)
Lady B - "Cruising Around Motor City" (7:43)
Fred P - "Vision In Osaka"
It's Like (feat Ursula Rucker - Detroit Love mix)
Feather - "Time Million" (feat Vilja Larjosto)
Sergie Reza - "Monte" (Carl Craig edit)
Still - "Haile Selassie Is The Micro Chip"
Takuya Yamashita - "Aos Si" (Mirko Loko HOS remix)
Eduardo De Al Calle - "My Own Transition"
Scott Ferguson - "Dump Days"
Wincent Kunth - "Relove"
Phase Phorce - "Faces Of Life"
Adryan - "The Jazzer" (Russ Gabriel remix)
Mentors Heritage (feat Derrick May - Detroit Love mix)
Gilb'R - "Pressure Laurent" (Garnier mix)
Bel-Air Ltd - "The Loft"
DJ Duke - "Music Cinema"
Tevo Howard - "Madness"
The Prince Of Dance Music & LB Bad - "The True Story Of House Music (I'm So Alone)"
Jared Wilson - "It's The Message"
The Godson - "City Bar "Reopen" Live Dancing"
Tronic Illusion (feat Stacey Pullen - Detroit Love mix)
Lady B - "Cruising Around Motor City"
Review: Carl Craig's iconic Planet E label is back without another instalment of its Detroit Love series. This one has been mixed by former Cadenza associate Mirko Loko, who offers a look at contemporary techno with a Motor City bent. Greats like Derrick May, Carl Craig himself and Stacey Pullen all appear and represent in style, while Spanish pioneer Eduardo de la Calle impresses with his high tension 'My Own Transition' and master of the Deep Fred P nails us to the floor with his late night and spiritual house groover 'Vision In Osaka.' This is another timeless entry in this fine series.
Review: 'M 6' consists of two heavy stomping dub house tracks that are dominated by a multiple modulated sequence that reaches from considerable depths to the heights of coloured noises. All is surrounded by a warm and organic sound sphere of the usual characteristics. A deep groove experience is guaranteed.
Review: While the label has been operative since 2014, it's only in the last couple of years than Russian imprint Shanti Radio Moscow has finally found its groove. By and large, the label's releases are wonderfully hard to pigeonhole, combining tech-house rhythms with inventive instrumentation and a wide range of stylistic influences. This EP from newcomer Minnado continues that trend, moving between the plucked gypsy guitars, sweet strings and hazy vocal samples of 'In Silence', the picturesque, soft-focus dancefloor shuffle of 'Just For Today', the Eastern European-acoustica-meets-German tech-house stylings of 'Sofia', and the piano-laden sweetness of 'Ori'.
Review: Having impressed with his drop on Aesthetic earlier this year, rising minimal house talent Nolga returns to the label with another batch of sprightly, springy bumpers to fire up your limbs and feed your brain. 'Motion To Delay' matches cascading melodic threads with a crisp, lightly swung rhythm section, while 'Conspiracy' follows a similar thread of wiggy lead lines and curvy bass. 'Fez' takes the template of the first two tracks and tips the balance towards a sumptuous palette of synth tones flitting around the sharp but snaking groove. If you need some smart but playful club tracks in your bag, look no further.
Review: Two years ago, Ogeid joined forces with Funk-E to deliver a quietly impressive collaborative EP on Adult Only Shape. Here the producer resurfaces on Pleasure Zone with a solo debut single that delivers more ear-pleasing blends of tech-house and deep house. The A-side is all about 'Trifasico', a lolloping fusion of analogue-rich, alien-sounding tech-house grooves and fluid deep house motifs. Ogeid's simultaneously crunchy and dreamy original is fittingly remixed by old pal Funk-E, whose bumpin' and trippy tweak pays tribute to the more glitch-fuelled end of the tech-house spectrum. We'd also recommend checking flipside 'Tensake', a terrific, 12-minute track that wraps swelling deep house chords and Motor City style sci-fi sounds around a deliciously jacking drum machine beat.
Review: Carpets & Snares returns to action with some jaunty, off-kilter club fodder from their friends in the Portuguese tech-house community. This time round, the producer at the controls is Pandilla Ltd, an artist best known for unleashing 12"s full of tactile glitch-funk on his self-titled imprint. The real killer here is opener 'Bleu', a gloriously jumpy, shoulder-swinging fusion of tightly snipped electric piano stabs, jazzy synth-bass, Akufen-esque drums, curious vocal samples and oddball percussion sounds. Dan Andrei provides the obligatory flipside remix, re-casting the track as a deep, low-slung chunk of analogue house haziness perfect for wonky late-night sessions and bleary-eyed after-party shuffling.
Review: Romanian producer George Gavanescu (Monochrome / Premiesku) aka Floog starts a new label running parallel to his eponymous imprint. This one is called Floog & Friends and the inaugural release is a collaboration with scene stalwart Priku - he one Atipic and Motif fame. FLF 001 features exactly the kind of lean and hypnotic subtlety that Rominimal fans are seeking: from the glitched-out and dubby reductionism of A1, to the cavernous and glacial '002' which is perfect for for building up to more energetic moments on the dancefloor, or the heady, boompty bounce of '003' that's is perfect tackle for getting weird at the afterhours.
Review: Burnski and Michael James ignited their Relic collaboration last year with a classy drop on oge, and they're back again on Constant Black with some devastatingly bumping minimal tech house. There's a hi-tech finish to this whole EP, from the moody lead cut "D" to the slippery, funkified "E". The mix is clean as a whistle and maximized for every little production wriggle and shapely bassline to cut through on any system, even in the hazier clouds of pad hovering over "F". Don't skip over the B2 though - as with all the best EPs there's gold to be savoured in the crafty machine shuffle and rubbery b-line of "G".
Review: Andrey Zenkov has already released rather a lot of good music under a variety of aliases - Basic7 being the most celebrated - so it's little surprise to see him resurface with a brand-new pseudonym, Unknow. Despite the new name, the producer's sharply dancefloor-focused instincts remain in-tact. Those familiar with his hypnotic, bass-heavy brand of tech-house box jams will enjoy gently mind-altering opener 'T18' and the tougher 'Mr Flat', where cloudy minor key chords ride locked-in drums and a bubbly analogue bassline. His love of broken computer style blips and bleeps comes to the fore on B-side opener 'Frogs', while Robin Ordell's EP-closing revision of 'T18' is a rolling, sub-heavy tech-house treat.
Santiago Uribe - "La Medida De Todas Las Cosas" (6:55)
Santiago Uribe - "Sietemilsetecientos" (7:03)
Cabanelas - "Vuelta" (7:47)
Cabanelas - "No Aprendieron Nada" (6:58)
Review: Santiago Uribe & Cabanelas hail from Montevideo, hardly a hot bed of electronic music activity as far as we know, but on this evidence we must be wrong. Uribe kicks off with a jam that reminds us of the computer game soundtracks of our youth with its retro-future synth energy, and then slows down a touch for the more elastic but just as electric workout that is 'Sietemilsetecientos.' Cabanelas takes care of a brace of punchy minimal house cuts on the flip that make us keen to head out this pair's local scene.
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