Review: Kalbata is a delightfully unpredictable fellow, one minute turning out slick tech house with Guy Gerber and the next starting a dancehall riot with Warrior Queen. His long and varied career continues following a recent spot on Optimo Trax with this first 12" on Brush & Broom, a new label that is housing some particularly straight up 4/4 jams from the prolific producer. "Obskuur" has a clue in the name, plying a trade in the kind of furtive deep techno that ekes tension out of the most ambivalent of crowds with its oh-so-slow but powerful sense of progression. "Rumoured" has a broader palette, letting undulating threads of melodic synth work slither around the subby, minimal percussion.
Review: The low-key but long-serving D2B steps up on a self-manned label to deliver two surefire club smashers for those who appreciate the grit and soul of proper Detroit techno. "My Love" on the A side is the friendlier cut, its taut machine rhythms embellished with dextrous synth work from pulsing chords to simmering strings, all shot through with a smoky after hours haze. On the flip side, D2B gets a little rawer with the component parts of the track, jacking up the drums and spacing out the arrangement for a more intense workout that should satisfy anyone who wants techno with personality that still smacks hard.
Review: Having cut their teeth on crucial releases for Lux Rec, Pinkman, Broken Dreams and more, Savage Grounds come to Mosaique with more of their dark, spiky industrial and minimal wave deviations. The pair are more than qualified, with Daniele Cosmo being the Lux Rec boss and CCO being a veteran of the punky underground techno scene. This latest release matches up to what they've achieved so far, with "Schnell Ausser Kontrolle" especially standing out with its chunky, forward-thrusting synth hooks matching edginess with catchiness in a most artful of ways. There's plenty of lo-fi experimentation going on, not least on the dystopian gurgle of "Parasomnia", to keep all denizens of the night shocking out under the moon.
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: After three various artist releases, Brooklyn label Super Tuff presents its first fully-fledged artist release from label founder M Vaughan. As laid out in the label's manifesto about taking influence from Studio Barnhus, Smallville and Uncanny Valley, the mood on Tenderness EP is delicately melodic and charmingly off-centre, but it still grooves where it counts. "Moon River" is as meandering as its titular body of water, riding on shuffling, organic drums and vibing Rhodes chords. "Turn Around!" is a sample-loaded jam with a lilting, 1940s romanticism about it, and "Tenderness" too tugs at the heartstrings with a lilting, nostalgic approach to harmony. "When It All Happens" is no slouch in the emotional department either, rounding off an astoundingly bucolic record from the heart of NYC.
Review: Slow Town's 17th release from Melbournes Luis CL is an ode to analogue jams. The Cran town EP shows what Luis CL (one half of the Zanzibar Chanel duo and co-founder of Ruff Records) is know for: Dirty but groovy drum arrangements, analogue synths and dreamy melodies and his kind of lo-fi and blurry mixdowns with definitely some Detroit influences. The three tracks were recorded in one take during his studio sessions.
Review: Tom Dicicco is best known for his stern techno output, so it's intriguing to seem him donning a new alias, Veyg, and exploring a new sound palette. As with the last Veyg 12", the tone here is somewhere around the slower tempo, discoid acid end of the spectrum, and he's made the sound his own. "My Sweet Soul" is a dusty affair with squashed drums and looped up bongos rubbing up against trippy globules of lysergic monosynth action. "When They Fall" is a downcast electro track for rainy Sundays, while "These Feelings" waits for the clouds to break and dances on the damp lawn with no shoes on. "West Of The Sun" is the most adventurous offering on the 12", escaping the 4/4 thud and twirling in an off-grid stylee with ample dub FX tugging the melodic parts around in a mellifluous haze of experimentation.
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: Norwegian producer Wasserfall makes his way to Chicago/Los Angeles based Hesperian Sound after several releases for Greta Cottage Workshop, offering a highly organic affair. The EP opens with "Stiv Heks" which evokes a lush natural landscape, both dreamlike and quirky. The remix from young Chicago newcomer, Daniel Chavez, strips down the original for a simplified yet feverish dancefloor edit. The B Side returns to Wasserfall's signature laid-back jazzy deep house sound with "Twilight" and "Gravlaks", which flex the producer's knack for working in samples into his grooves. A consistent warm psychedelia flavors these four functional tracks with looseness and reverie.
Review: Sensoramic first started up in 2016 with releases from Laura Jones and Karousel, and now the label makes a comeback with some crafty techno excursions from Kamran Sadeghi. You can hear the errant behaviour of a plentiful hardware set up powering the glitchy tone on "Undone", but that intrigue doesn't come at the expense of the kinetic energy of the track. "Sentient" takes a slightly deeper approach, but there's still an abundance of sonic activity darting around in the mix. "Not Here" is the most immersive of the lot, using some powerful metallic tones to create a cavernous space and threading a nimble groove for the centre of it.
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: 89:Ghost is on fire at present, having thrown down killer releases from Todd Sines, Logic System and Tomoki Tamura over the past year. Tommy Vicari Jr is a great addition to the roster, bringing a freaky, wobbly and distinctly hi tech approach on "All That Matters" that will have party people freaking out in a whole new way. "Things At Night" takes a completely different approach with its focus on delicately chopped up piano hooks. "Tlk 2 Me Wt Yr Bdy" flips the script yet again with a roughneck, 'ardcore sound palette and some filtered house elements riding atop a booming low end. "Likely Story" finishes this varied EP off with a cheeky garage house strut that will have just as many fans as the other killer jams on this well rounded record.
Review: Neil 'Nail' Tolliday's 89:Ghost label continues to deliver the goods, this time reaching out to Scandinavia and the considerable talents of Vesa-Matti Kivioja. The Finnish producer has been producing high-end electronic music for many years, not least in the ambient field, but here he's mining a particularly inventive style of dub techno that draws parallels with the mighty Porter Ricks in terms of sound design. Across all four tracks the drums act as a subtle counterpoint to dense thickets of texture and tone writhing with organic intent around the groove. As dancefloor friendly as it is brain-teasing, this is a seriously classy slice of dub techno immersion.
Review: Dan Piu's long-running Moto Music welcomes a new project into the mix in the shape of Parallaks, which is formed by Maltese producers Owen Jay and Ed Blank. It's a new direction, certainly for Jay, who shirks his sleeker tech house fare for some rugged experimentation on the outer limits of hardware techno, reportedly fuelled by a modular-focused approach. The results are fantastic, placing the emphasis on intriguing synth shapes and machine-led progression that veers from the gritty beatdown "Palo Verde" to the beautiful, expressive experimentation of "Browns Ferry." It's a consistently interesting and brilliantly executed experiment from two gifted producers.
Review: Melbourne's Short Black label has been relatively sporadic with its releases up until now, having started back in 2013 with Matt Kennedy's Together At 2am EP and dropping the third release on the label back in 2016, Rustal's Privilege. Hopefully this excellent new transmission from newcomer Tristan Kino will be the start of more productivity from the crew. The EP starts off in fine style with the nervy, reduced acid twitch of "Yggdrassil", while at the other end of the record "Niddhog" presents a tougher, darker throwdown crafted for seedy techno dancefloors. Johannes Volk has been snapped up for remix duties, and does a sterling service with the metallic clang of his version of "Niddhog".
Review: Bobby Pleasure's Needs label continues to gather steam behind a message of togetherness, raising money for worth causes and trying to help those less fortunate in society. On this third instalment Lord Of The Isles leads the way with a typically romantic swoon of analogue bass and gorgeous 80s synth strings, while Mehmet Aslan lays down an earthly prowler powered by organic instrumentation. "Trust The Mountain" introduces Petwo Evans with a daring strain of broken electronica heavy on the crackling signal processing. Bartellow's "1001 (Skrillex Theme)" is a craft machine disco workout, and then N-Gynn takes things tropical with the exotic tones and bold drum machine hits of "Jumanji".
Review: The latest dusted down archival dig from Emotional Rescue is by Politrio, a short-lived new wave / post punk band from Italy who released one album in the mid 80s. The focus of this release is their cover of Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer," which originally appeared on the Amnesty International P.E.A.C.E Benefit Compilation in 1987. It's a wild take full of rampant guitar wailing and limber slap bass that teeters towards the 80s funk rock of Faith No More et al, and that's no bad thing at all. On the B side of this 7" Double Wave gets busy in the edit, offering up a stripped back version for the spinners.
Review: Chris Weeks has been building up the Kingbastard catalogue for a long time now, generally taking a self-reliant approach in the underground electronica scene where CD-r releases reign supreme. He's been a key figure on Ambidextrous since the label launched back in 2008, and now he's committed to wax with a range of crunched up leftfield sonics for the machine-loving crowd. "Anxiety" is a melodic cut with a house-minded structure, but there's a lot of production acrobatics and compositional swerves taking place within this framework. "Scatterbrain" is more overtly out there, tapping up the kind of heavily processed sounds that producers like Paradroid have championed in the past. "Data_Loss" strike a heavy blow somewhere between dubstep and electro, and "Data_Ctrl" ups the tempo for a rabble-rousing exercise in mind-bending machine music.
Review: Having made a strong impression with the first two releases on BROMUR, Bogdan steps over to Not An Animal to flex his discoid pecs once again. He leads in with the understated Italo thrum of "Parovoznikov," riding a stuttering arpeggio and leaving plenty of room for the punchy drums and fluttering synth touches. Justin Van Der Volgen does a sensitive job of the remix, embellishing the core of the track with delicate chime refrains that add a tenderness to this muscular club jam. "Listopad" is a more mellow affair, but there's no shortage of fuzzy, vintage lead lines to bathe your ears in. Kito Jempere does a more drastic reinterpretation with his version of "Listopad," injecting a little acid and proto house bite into the track.
Review: Ricardo Medina has popped up intermittently through the years as a wielder of hefty deep house, and so it goes on this new 12" for Wonder Stories. Take snappily titled "Mcoolaid", where the synths ping out bright and bold while the acidic bass and slamming drums keep the pressure at a constant peak, or the dark and nasty throb of "Fuego". Medina means business, and he's unabashed in his aim towards the big room peak time tech house crowd. "Techmoreno" keeps up the intensity, which gives Alejandro Paz the necessary ingredients for an equally smoking remix for the crafty jackers out there on the floor.
Review: After Gunnar Haslam inaugurated Kalvanic Languages with his deep-minded techno styles, now it's up to supposed newcomer Bill Westerby to follow up with another round of elevated machine learning. "K-Stream" was a smart choice for the lead track, bubbling along on a warm acid line and shuffling a wealth of dubby processing around in the middle distance. "Down A Back Alley In Cholon" is a slightly more wound up affair with a bleepy lead and a firmer jack powering the drums, but the end results are actually more meditative than that description might have you believe. "Caye De Crabe" is a more overtly tripped out affair with polyrhythmic phrases weaving in and out of each other while Westerby lets rip on the parameter tweaks in a fine display of machine wielding prowess.
Review: US label Wonder Stories follow up strong turns from Macaulay, Joe Morris and Jac The Disco with this hemisphere-spanning collaboration between Aussie producer Dawn Again and UK stalwart Rothmans. The mood on the record is squarely aimed at psychedelic strains of house music for adventurous, smooth grooving souls, whether it's the originals or the remixes you came for. "Timeless Odyssey" matches fuzzy bass with swirling pads and peppy rhythms, which Timothy J Fairplay dutifully jacks up with a wavey sensibility and plenty of dancefloor heft. "Rainbow Perch" is a synth-rich party ballad loaded with heart to match its infectious grooves. Emile Strunz delivers a remix that builds on the original's yearning qualities with a journeying spirit that would make for some great outdoors listening / partying.
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: Kaspar has been busy slinging out high grade house jams with a hefty side serving of funk for many years now, landing in all the right places like 4 Lux, Clone, Housewax and Midnight Shift. Further cementing the Portugese producer's credentials, this release on Finale Sessions brings a spread of styles to the table, showing off his diversity in the studio. "Everybody Jump" is impossible to ignore with its heavy bass lick and fresh take on tough, looped up disco house, while "Coastal Soaring" takes a more ethereal approach seasoned with clattering percussion, jazz funk bass and wistful pads. "Higher Fire" strikes an uplifting peak time house tip, and "Cid's Thump" gets slow and nasty with some particularly psyched-out FX swells.
Review: Nat Wendell launches the Depth Of My Soul label with a confident slab of deepness that should draw plenty of heat on the peaks and troughs of the house music landscape. "The Way" is a crisply produced pumper, revolving around a seductive little lead line and the haunting titular vocal hook - there's a whiff of tech in the make up of the track, but the groove is all house. "Theoretics" follows down a similar path, keeping things moody and mechanical without disposing of the funk, and then it's down to "Release Your Soul" to bring a little light into proceedings with some mellow keys and dubby flourishes.
Back Home (original Hip House instrumental mix) (7:17)
Back Home (alternative mix) (7:50)
Back Home (bonus beats) (4:28)
Review: A pioneer for the hip house scene in Chicago back in the 80s, Tyree is still at it thirty years later and sounding as vital as ever. This collaboration with Pure God is a thoroughly different concern to the jacking acid of the early days, bringing a live drum sound, funk bass and even a stirring string lilt into the mix on "Back Home". Whether you plump for the full vocal mix or the stripped back instrumental, it's an anthemic party starting beast of a jam for peak time maneuvers. The "Alternative Mix" of "Back Home" on the B-side is a more classic, throbbing slice of mechanical minimalism for the traditional Chicago jackers out there, and there's some "Bonus Beats" thrown in for good measure too!
Review: Michael Zucker continues to steer the good ship Finale Sessions with a steady hand on the deep house tiller, and this time he's enlisted Ornate regulars Jonno & Tommo as trusty deck hands. Their track "Dirty Nylons" opens the record up in a woozy haze of twinkling piano and dreamy chords slipping in and out of earshot. Zucker follows this up with the moody tones of "Just Believe", before leaping over to the B side to roll out the broken beats and heavy reverb of "Narrow Is The Gate". Jonno & Tommo then round the record off with the sensual rub down of "Shark City", pitting pattering percussion against snappy chords and a steamy vocal lick for saucier moments in the club.
Review: Having recently appeared on Bosconi Records and Altzmusica, Daisuke Kondo is a producer on the rise at present. This outing on Vibraphone adds fuel to that particular fire with four distinctive cuts that push to the outer edges of house music without losing sight of the groove. "Hold On To Love" is, on the surface, an upbeat, disco-infused house jam, but there's a certain trippy approach Kondo takes in the processing department that edges the music into a different head space. "Life" meanwhile gets gritty and bass heavy at one end of the frequency range, and airy and melodic at the other. "Feelin Blue" gets even dustier and scratchier with its sample treatment, and then "Fallen Star" lays down some unflinching machine beats with wonky, distant piano licks.
Review: After first teaming up with Uzuri back in 2016, Italian producer Giorgio Luceri finally makes a return with a second part of his Space Fire Truth series. There seems to be a concept lingering in the presentation of the music, but let's focus on the sounds themselves. "Collinder 69 Funk" is an effervescent burst of uplifting energy with a groove that feels housey underneath plush Detroit techno synths. "The Early Morning Ouroboros" switches things up with a pacey, chopped up broken beat trip peppered with soulful vocals and instrumentation. "Kepler 16b" is a moodier affair that lets the techno side of Luceri's sound bleed through, and then "Tu Sei Il Maestro Dell'Eterno Ritorno" finishes the record off on a stirring, romantic tip with swooning strings aplenty.
Review: Following an impressive, low-key cassette release on Kitty Play in 2016, Amsterdam-based artist Aan Zee makes the leap to vinyl with this appearance on Pleasure Wave, a label which has already made some waves with releases from g-Marie, Jonny 5 and Miskotom. The Aan Zee sound is a lot to digest, spanning all kinds of cosmic funk, sky-scraping electronics and outernational influences, often all fired off at the same time. Just sink your teeth into "Persona/Funny Berber" for a taste and you'll understand. "Vacation" is equally adventurous, with all kinds of melodic layering and instrument flexing in pursuit of an exotic new brew that doesn't shirk on the groove.
Das Ding - "Life Is A Tool In The Hands Of Strangers" (4:04)
DJ Overdose - "I See No Stars At Night" (4:16)
DJ Overdose - "Potje Freaken" (4:55)
Review: The Go Finger label has been digging into the undergrowth of synthwave sounds and deviant electro for a few years now, more recently graduating from the tape scene to put out EPs of leftfield electronic adventures on wax. This EP in particular is quite something, calling on the vintage talents of Das Ding in all their eerie, warped, pulsing, analogue refinement. "Conun Drum" is a curiously playful trip through noirish cityscapes by way of strobing lead lines and militaristic machine beats, while "Life Is A Tool In The Hands Of Strangers" takes a more uptempo approach without losing the bombast of their melodic arrangements. Dutch electro champ DJ Overdose steps up for the B side, dropping the overcast and creeping "I See No Stars At Night" and the dishevelled robot beatdown "Potje Freaken".
Autarkic - "Screaming (To Be With You)" (feat The White Screen)
JD Twitch - "Dalbouka"
Sneaker - "I Looked For You"
Die Orangen - "Rattling Ghosts"
Review: After teaming up to release the scintillating works of C Cat Trance in their original 80s form on Screaming Ghosts, Emotional Rescue and Malka Tuti join forces once again to deliver a ludicrously talented roster of remixers who catapult John Rees Lewis' cult group into thrilling new spatial and temporal zones. Autarkic decides to go for the full-tilt cover version on "Screaming (To Be With You)", with ample help from The White Screen, while JD Twitch roughs up "Dalbouka" into a quintessential slab of ethno-motorik body music. Sneaker's take on "I Looked For You" emphasizes the atmospheric tension in the original, giving the track a cinematic scope, and Die Orangen's "Rattling Ghosts" finishes the record on an appropriately ominous, subtly industrial tone.
Review: After equally wonderful turns from Junto Club, Deeds and Curses!, emergent deviant disco denizens Snap Crackle & Pop invite a band called Uncanny Valley to offer up their unique brand of deathly wave music shot through with on-point beyond the grave vocals. "Chain Store" is a nightmarish march through wobbly synths while "Nowhere To Nowhere" plots a strident course with its bouncing beat and fulsome, undulating bass. "Popcorn" flips the script with its uptempo thrust, but the vintage synth-pop threads are still the dominant force in the music. Manfredas drops a remix of "Chain Store" that maintains the freakiness with a slow but heavy house lurch, and then Mondowski strips the meat from "Nowhere To Nowhere" and leaves a potent, skeletal club treatment behind.
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: After launching last year with Who, Get Your Copy returns to the fray with a little help from Italian powerhouse Steve Murphy. The producer gets plenty of action on labels like Hot Haus, Chiwax, Lobster Theremin and more besides, so you know you're going to get a solid dose of tuff house business delivered with that gutsy Roman attitude. "Everything U Know" channels an abundance of 90s vibes, from the nagging chord stab to the understated speech sample, while "Infiltrator" takes a tribal direction without losing the old-skool flavour. Both cuts are perfectly shaped for the dance, whether you want to hit a peak time note or take the crowd deep into the groove.
Review: It's been a hot minute since Timothy J. Fairplay slipped on his Junior Fairplay guise, but he's done just that for this bleep-tastic new 12" on (Emotional) Especial. "End Of Love" is unabashed in its embrace of early Yorkshire techno tones, making a fine job of resurrecting the bleep spectre and letting it shake up the dance once more. Roy Of The Ravers is a smart choice of remixer, and he brings an off-kilter acid rub to the table in his idiosyncratic, braindance-inflected style. The B-side is equal laden with purposefully dusty dance grooves transplanted from the late 80s / early 90s, with "Faxes From The Future" hitting a particularly sharp point in its lazy breakbeat roll and the clanging harmonies of the stabs.
Review: Following on from a sterling bout by Luminer, Torino label We Play The Music We Love drop this bombshell from a hitherto unknown producer from their inner circle, Tomlin. The vibe is pumped up and acidic, with healthy notes of Italo and wave threaded into the mixture for good measure. "Rainy Dog" is bold and voluptuous while there's a nervy, brittle energy around "The Mugs Game" that should satisfy spinners looking for the freaky stuff. "Running With Foxes" is laden with playful arpeggios atop stripped back beats, while "Talk Fast" makes great use of some nifty vocoder work to create a reflective slice of braindance magic.
Notes: High quality MIDI cables for connecting music controllers and devices together. Strong and flexible cable with low loss conductors and global shielding ensure a clean data stream. Terminated at each end with a 180- 5-pin DIN plug.
Notes: A High quality MIDI cable for connecting music controllers and devices together. Strong and flexible cable with low loss conductors and global shielding ensure a clean data stream. Terminated at each end with a 180 degree 5 pin DIN plug.