Review: It feels like too long since we heard anything new from Joey Anderson, but it's wonderful to see him returning to the fray on a label we love as dearly as Uzuri. It's plain to hear none of the US techno maverick's wild edges have dulled in the interim - "Steady Stare" bristles with angular energy as ear-snagging as it is individual. "Let Us In" is another fluttering techno piece with East Coast toughness balanced out by pattering psychedelia. "Mystic Strings" amps up the trippy synth lines in stunning fashion, and "Someday" takes things in a more brooding direction without losing that distinctive spark that makes Anderson such a marvel to behold.
Review: End of Level Boss Records is a joint project from Tusk and Cyclonix celebrating the world of video game technostalgia through electronic music. End Of Level Boss 1 Ganondorf. Ganondorf is the humanoid form of Ganon, the ultimate embodiment of evil and hatred, the nemesis of Link, and the final boss in many of the Legend of Zelda games. Ganondorf is a formidable sorcerer and a shapeshifter. His hatred is so intense that he can survive even the total obliteration of his body and remain conscious. An ultimate bad ass.
Review: Having built up a considerable empire with his Lobster Theremin labels, Jimmy Asquith has been increasingly focusing on his own productions via a self-titled label and now this surefooted appearance on the mighty Hypercolour. "Take Anymore" is a rugged garage burner with nasty, dirty drums and a nagging chord line, cheeky false-ending edits and plenty more besides. "And Go" is a gutsy fist-shaker with brittle percussion geared towards the hard-jacking DJs, while "System (Power Mix)" interprets the deep house template with a particularly spicy take. "Time & Space" flips things up once more with some wild and wobbly jungle, confirming Asquith's skill at all forms of rowdy and raw dance music.
Review: After years of promoting events, Percolate has decided to embark on a new project - Percolate Records. They welcome longtime friend, British producer Austin Ato, to take them on the first steps of their new journey. Ato has appeared on a wide variety of imprints lately, from Me Me Me and Delusions Of Grandeur to Futureboogie and even Defected. "When Love Gets Cold" opens with the sweltering and finely filtered disco loops of the title track, paving the way for bouncy and euphoric house anthem "To Fall In Love" (which is equally as disco-fied!) and emotive Detroit house banger "All I Want". Speaking of the Motor City: he shows he is equally competent at hi-tech soul (with a UK rave influence too) on the breakbeat-driven and evocative "Blessed".
Jazz Carnival (Space Jazz mix - Global Communication remix) (11:15)
Review: We hear on the grapevine that there could be some seriously desirable Global Communication vinyl reissues on the way in 2020. To tide us over until then, Far Out has decided to reissue one of the legendary West Country duo's most celebrated and sought-after remixes: their 1996 "Space Jazz" remix of Azymuth classic "Jazz Carnival". Pritchard and Middleton's version is a spacey deep house epic of intergalactic proportions, with subtle elements of the Brazilian band's loose and languid '90s re-recording of the track (the B-side "LP Mix") weaving in and out of a warm, rich and hypnotic groove. It's one of the most dancefloor-friendly of all Global Communication remixes - many were straight ambient or downtempo rubs - but also one of Mark Pritchard and Tom Middleton's finest.
Review: Since announcing their debut album on UK institution Ninja Tune earlier this year, Irish duo Bicep present the first single from the album in the form of title track "Aura". Said to have been created via a series of accidents while experimenting with a new studio setup, the track finally came together through trial and error and here is the wonderful result. A dark and sexy serving of dancefloor drama featuring 'hands in the air' style vintage synth melodies, life affirming strings and immaculate drum programming. It is sure to be one of 'those' tracks you're going to be hearing a lot of in the latter part of 2017 and beyond.
Review: The brilliantly monikered Big Strick - familial elder to Omar S and responsible for the odd killer release on his younger cousin's FXHE imprint - belatedly sates the appetite of record collectors keen to indulge in his recent album Detroit Heat with a six track selection of the choicest cuts spread across this twelve inch. Seemingly drawing influence from a myriad of Motor City influences, Detroit Heat impressively flits between murky deep house, tracky techno and hypnotic jack-tracks. Like many of his contemporaries, Strick is a sucker for 'cement mixer' production - that distinctly Detroitian sound where every beat, groove or bassline sounds like the master tapes have been marinated in grit. That trademark sound, alongside a solid selection of floor-friendly grooves, makes Detroit Heat an excellent addition to the Motor City house canon. The rubbery spinal atmospherics of "Under Tone" and the Tony Coates vocally assisted jack of "Maybe 1 Day" are particular highlights!
Review: Liverpool's Scenery Records has been making a real splash over the last 18 months, delivering the kind of top notch, analogue-heavy deep house gear that invites comparisons with the best labels from Vancouver, Washington D.C and New York. There's plenty more to cheer on this label debut from Liverpudlian producer Binny, not least the immersive melodiousness, dancing synthesizers and rhythmic hustle of "Retrospective". Chicago Skyway delivers two impeccable rubs of that track, with the second - a new-age techno stomper built around beautiful synthesizer arpeggios and drum machine cowbells - standing out. Flip for the glassy-eyed intelligent techno-meets-deep house thrills of "A Moment In Time", which is also given a pulsating acid techno makeover from Scenery veteran Circular Rhythms.
Review: The second volume of Bushwick Is Melting features original unreleased material by Brooklyn-based producers Black Meteoric Star, Lorna Dune, and J. Slusher. Gavin Russom apparently has a new Black Meteoric Start LP on the way and we can't wait based on the epic, sweeping grandness that is the 18 minute A-side hogger "Unearthed Arcana" which is quite hypnotic when in full flight. The B-side finds Lorna Dune putting her experiments with the piano to one side to focus on some celestial house moves with "Reflux" which will appeal to fans of Legowelt's more star gazing moments whilst the wonderfully named J. Slusher closes out the record with the face melting techno cut "Night Train".
Review: The EYA Records crew continues their trip into a new musical direction with the Lonewolf series, this time offering up a split 12" between two distinctive techno producers. Bladymore Galaxy, otherwise known as Riccardo Buccirossi, brings some effervescent synthscapes to bear on his side of the record. There's an old-skool sensibility to the production - all uptempo drums and layer upon layer of sparkling sci-fi melodics - but there's equally a welcome fresh energy and emotional honesty embedded in Buccirossi's style that makes it so joyous to listen to. Belgian producer Innershades brings a punchier style informed by electro and trance - the perfect sound to lose yourself to as the dry ice creeps around and the sun starts rising over the dancefloor.
Review: Collaborations are often the fortune of timing. With Andy having moved on since closing the Dissident label to launching his Cave Paintings project to Tim's departure from Battant and striking out as Andrew Weatherall's engineer and soon to be co-member of The Asphodells, an alliance was born between the two to undertake a series of live jam sessions at each's respective studios. A love of new wave, new beat, UK Bleep and Detroit techno all feature in B-Ultras and the aptly titled, Neu Beat. Both cuts are heavily soaked in the pitch black, smoke machine funk and strob-laden fug of Andy's (and co-hort Joe Hart) infamous World Unknown dancefloor. Running at around 10 minutes the tracks are essentially an examination of acid house's ideals. Clattering hats, throbbing basslines, stabbing keys and doses of 303. Keeping it pretty simple but all about a pure groove on and on. Backing these up is a remix of B-Ultras from Jamie Paton that accentuates the groove and drags the acid deeper down to some B-boy Dub throwdown - with more to follow from all protagonists in 2014.
Dreaming Of Paradise (Oracy Leaving Eden dub) (9:26)
Review: Fresh from Utrecht, Blue Closet makes his debut on Mojuba with two startling originals; "To The Ocean Floor" lives up to its name with big pad washes and beats that shuffle like an old Rolando joint. Immersive and captivating, it's the perfect set opener that allows you to take any direction you wish. Flip for "Dreaming Of Paradise", a yearning, barbed soul cut that's reminiscent of Lee Burridge 15 years ago but at around half the tempo. Powerful and dreamy, it's complemented by a bubbling version from Oracy that blows Closet's doors off. More please, Bluey.
Review: The Splendor & Squalour boys aka Brame & Hamo are back, to deliver more of the trademark blend of house and disco on their eponymous imprint's fourth release. The Celebrity Impersonator EP features four dynamic cuts by the pairing of Conor Hamilton & Tiarnan McMorrow, such as the shimmering boogie-down antics of ''Midnight Express'', the raved-up tunnel vision of the tile track, and saving the best for last with the melodic power bliss of "Request Rhythm".
Review: Scott Fraser and Timothy J Fairplay's Crimes Of The Future label has had quite the banner year, ushering in various projects from the pair as well as seeking out like-minded contemporaries such as Perseus Traxx. The latest Crimes of the Future release introduces Bulb, another project bearing the label founder's finger prints along with a high profile third colluder in one William Burnett. Apparently laid down at WT Records HQ in the spring of 2014 whilst Fairplay and Fraser were committing Crimes in NYC, Bulb is a bold offering from the trio with two extended dancefloor workouts taking a side each. "Light It Up" pairs ghetto techno breaks with something from wayward Kosmiche studio experiments in deepest Germany, whilst "Dimmer Switch" plunges into a world of psychedelia and cavernous cave dwellings thanks to some dark ambient synthesis and stabbing drums.
Review: 7 Days Entertainment chief Big Strick has always encouraged his kids to make music; here, his youngest son makes his debut on the imprint with a raw, analogue-heavy collection of Motor City deep house cuts. There's plenty of variety across the four tracks, with Strick junior (who goes under the alias Butterbandz) skipping between sparse, melodious warmth (the tuneful and spaced out "Monkey See"), snappy, synth-heavy haziness (the rather groovy "If You Don't Dance", featuring the spoken word vocals of pal Marc), locked-in late night dreaminess ("Free Roaming", where bleeping synth sounds and ear catching chords rise above snappy beats and a chunky bassline) and stab-happy, trance-influenced tech-house ("Hellraiser (BDB)").
Review: Oh yes, we love it when Theo represses some of his most sought after tracks and this one is particularly well-timed. Leron Carson is still an unknown figure, a kid who used to make viciously raw and futuristic techno tracks in the late 1980's! "China Trax", alongside the rest of his tracks on a different Sound Signature double 12", is totally ahead of its time and if it was truly made in 1987 then it is nothing short of amazing. Of course, it's not just the year it was made in that's interesting but also the fact that it's music without an age, able to be appreciated by any generation of techno freaks. Theo's own "Insane Asylum" on the flipside is also pretty monumental; rigged beats, off-kilter grooves and that familiar spontaneity so heavily associated to the label. RECOMMENDED.
Review: HOUSEWAX presents Alex Cortex. After his great debut on RAWAX with the "Knorke EP", Alex gave us his groundbreaking release from 2008 called "N". He felt it's too good to be forgotten. We felt the same and now this beauty is ready to make people happy again - not only those on Discogs!
Review: Uruguay isn't the first place you'd think of when hearing a new deep house EP, but that is exactly where this release by debutant Marcos Coya emanates from. However, although the label itself might originate from South America, the music itself is very much rooted in European dance hedonism, and the opener "Walter Gas" is a subtle yet delightful little banger with a deep groove and masterful percussion work. "Viaje Al Cabo", on the flipside, is equally mesmeric and ethereal thanks to glitchy beats and the odd burst of lo-fi acid; Psynote remixes "Walter Gas" into a tidy head-banger with a fine 303 edge for the heads. Little tip for ya!
Adam Collins & Mark Ambrose - "Modern Moule" (6:45)
D'Funk - "Break For Jungle" (6:01)
Mark Ambrose - "Machine Man" (5:58)
Review: Crayon take another trip into the realm of deep house with this split 12" from a range of talented individuals. D'Funk takes a little lick from Roy Ayers on "Follow Me" and frames the sample in spooky keys carried along by a sturdy four-to-the-floor thump. Adam Collins and Mark Ambrose get a bit freakier on "Modern Moule", using all kinds of oddball sounds to whip up a decidedly off-kilter mood. D'Funk's "Break For Jungle" takes a few cues from the hardcore continuum, and places them in the context of an uptempo house workout, and then Mark Ambrose completes the set with the amped up old-skool techno energy of "Machine Man".
Review: REPRESS: The second release from the Hlanganani label lives up to it's MO to provide a platform for talented producers from South Africa to shine, focusing here on Deep Sixty, aka young and fast-rising producer Johannesburg producer Thabiso Mamogwa. Back in 2010, the producer made it to London to take part in the Red Bull Music Academy, which is when the HLANG team first heard the tracks that make up the Mme Hayo EP whilst some studio time on the same trip with Todd 'Soundmurderer' Osborn resulted in the "Thursday Nights" track which Mamogwa previously self-released. In addition to Deep Sixty's own 'Deep Terror' mix of "Mme Hayo", the label have coaxed some fine remixes out of Esa and William Kouam Djoko.
Review: It's always a treat to spot Edward donning his Desert Sky guise for another trip into the hinterland of minimal techno, where expression reigns free and all kinds of sound sources tumble into a truly exotic mix. On this album for PAL SL, all bets are off as we get whisked down a mysterious and meandering path where organic and electronic matter merge in the shadows, all strapped to subliminal but pronounced grooves that make this some of the most potent, intriguing club material in circulation right now. Buy the ticket, take the ride and dance out under that Desert Sky.
Review: As Until My Heart Stops turns 10, we head back across the Atlantic , this time to Boston and a stunning ep from the still hugely under rated DeViere.DeViere is a music producer and radio disc jockey (Progressive Black, 90.3 FM WZBC Newton) based in Boston, Massachusetts. He first came to our attention with the Transcendental Numbers ep on Jamal Moss' Mathematics label in 2012 and we've waited on each release ever since, including last year's huge Future Shock Disco ep (a collaboration with Jamal himself). Here DeViere presents 3 beautiful examples of his deep, soulful craft and a fitting way for UMHS to hit double figures.
Review: Resurgent Welsh techno wizard DJ Guy launches his own label with a fresh batch of deep diving jams that put the soul back in the machine. From the twinkling, starry-eyed delights of "Music Is Life" to the horizontal meditation of "Interplanetary," this is immaculately executed electronica in the fine tradition of UK trailblazers like B12 that sounds as fresh as it did in the 90s. "Warmth In Rhythm" sports a nagging house groove to suck you in with ease, while "Propulsion State" fires off a dazzling arpeggio that heads skywards with a twitchy electro backbone for company. Top shelf tackle from a seriously talented cat.