Review: On the A1 Chekov follows up their moves on Peach Discs and Timedance with a proper peak timer, they've been described by Ben UFO as 'king of the build up' and that's evident on this one. At the A2 London's Doppelate makes their Cong Burn debut with an elegant tech-house roller. Fresh from Russia's underground is Camin, on this, his debut 12" release he drops a useful tool which squeezes between electro and techno. Cong Burn founder Howes closes the B side with some warm hypnosis that could have landed in the golden era of Workshop.
Review: Cong Burn continues to exercise one of the most promising instincts for future-minded music on this, their third release. It's surprising they haven't done more previously, considering the maturity of their curation, but either way the quality remains at an all time high here, leading in with some light and liquefied 4/4 sonics from Chekov before pirouetting into one of Duckett's illustrious abstractions around the techno blueprint. Label regular Lack is back on side B with the stern and punchy "Track 3," and then Haddon finishes the record off with "Anabiosis," a densely textured, slow creeping trip of a track.
Obsolete Music Technology - "High Top Fade" (6:32)
Specter - "Butters Whipped" (6:02)
Isoke - "Soul Glo" (3:10)
Damon Lamar - "Bermuda Triangle" (7:02)
Chicago Skyway - "Edged Out" (6:04)
Review: Perpetual Rhythms is already well-regarded as a bastion of quality amongst contemporary Chicago house labels, and now they've downright sealed the deal with this mammoth compilation from a stellar cast of local cats. There's too many to all list in detail here, so focusing on the highlights, Dcee leads things in with the tumbling cosmic jazz leanings of "Suavecito," Hakim Murphy teases with a spacious and daring exploration in the liminal zone between ambient and house, and Obsolete Music Technology gets invigorating with the bouncy "High Top Fade." Those tracks alone are enough to deserve your hard earned, but there's reams of other excellent forward-facing Windy City jams to sink your teeth into.
Review: Super Tuff is a relatively new concern hailing from Brooklyn, committed to presenting a broad range of talent from the more curious corners of the house spectrum. On this third release we're introduced to the delightful sound of DJ Heure, who unfurls wonderful pattering percussion, jazzy notes and a mellow, ambient finish to pull at the heartstrings. There's a slightly more forthright thump to Hot Coffee's "On The Verge", but it's still a dusky twist on the typical deep house formula. Label boss M. Vaughan brings things a little more upfront on "Man 2 Man", and top-drawer German producer Tilman weaves a rich and invigorating tale with his swooning "A Day To Remember".
Review: If the smiley face clad centre label wasn't a sizeable enough clue, Happy Family is a new project from New York staples Eric Duncan and Justin Vandervolgen which sees the pair try their hand at acid house. Both are closely associated with disco edits of course, but if you've seen either DJ you'll know they are well up on all forms of dance music. This expertise is deployed perfectly on the two tracks here, with "Burnt" a relentless exercise in strobelit 303 madness that is a no brainer for the sweatiest part of a DJ set. They tone it down a bit on "Hard To Breathe" which despite the title is an altogether looser production with plenty of room between the tumbling drums and hypnotic lead synth lines.
Review: STRICTR Records is a brand new imprint from Aix-En-Provence in France. This is the label's debut outing, and contains four alluring tracks for discerning deep house DJs. Matthieu Fauborg's epic opener - the tactile, melodious, dreamy and life-affirming "Please Stay", which more than justifies its 10-minute duration - feels like a statement of intent, while Dub Striker's "Mood" recalls classic New York and New Jersey bumpers of old. On the flip, Harrison BDP gets busy with Syclops style synth bass, floatation tank chords and shuffling percussion on "Decompression", before Manooz goes ultra-deep on the dusty and woozy "Tinted Windows". A very fine debut, all told.
Review: Promising new label Criminal Practice is based in Kiev, Ukraine and headed up by DJs and producers Ghetto Sunrise, Hopper Field and Roman Khropko. They're certainly aren't messing around on their inaugural release, getting straight down to business in bold fashion. Grec serves up the hypnotic blip, blurp and bleep of "Worm" on the A side, followed by the infectious retro techno bounce of Sasha Zlykh's "Coulda Play For Dynamo" which will appeal to fans of Art Of Dark or Time Passages. On the flip, bust out those robotic dance moves to the sci-fi electro breaks of Hopper Field's "Big Ben" and take a trip down memory lane courtesy of Ghetto Sunrise's early UK techno tribute that is "Mocujin".
Review: Here's something to excite all those who like their stripped-back techno to come with a heavy dose of soul. It features Chilean minimal maestro Ricardo Villalobos join forces with Chez Damier and Ben Vedren's H2H project. On the A-side, Villalobos delivers a superb remix of "No More", wrapping lusciously soulful vocals and languid piano motifs around a typically bouncy and left-of-centre minimal techno rhythm. On the flip, Villalobos joins Damier and Verden to deliver a three-part "Conspiracy". Each of the three interpretations has its own distinctive vibe, but all deliver a near perfect balance between soul-flecked deep house, trippy tech-house, Chicago acid and the South American wonkiness that Villalobos does so well. In other words, it's a musical marriage made in Heaven.
Review: Scott Fraser and Richard Sen launch a new project Hackney Vandal Patrol with this 12", tapping into their love of steamy US deep house from the early 90s. The mood is electric on "Bound By Faith", using a meandering vocal sample and organ keys over smoky jack beats and a throbbing bassline, while the "Bass Hit Mix" brings that pulsing low end to the front of the mix and strips everything but the beat back. The "Redemption Dub" strikes something of a balance between the two previous mixes, and then the "Instrumental" cuts the vocal but keeps the sweet and saucy organ line, so whichever bit of the track you like there's a mix for you.
Review: Cong Burn is a new label that features a range of producers plying a more interesting twist on the standard deep house formula. Take opening case in point Haddon, who uses oodles of processing to create a slippery, shifting tripper out of "Not Coming To The Club" and instantly stepping aside from the run of the mill milieu. Howes then pops up with the snaking, ultra-deep electro abstractions of "Untitled". L Pearson is in a particularly cheeky mood with the scratchy micro-sampling fun of "PSR1170", calling to mind the crafty chops of Paradroid et al, and then Perfume Advert book end the release with some beautifully horizontal deep house for the subliminally minded to revel in.
Review: Not An Animal Records was formed in 2015 out of the ashes of the London-based party Bad Passion, and has thus far welcomed the likes of Man Power, Ess O Ess and Eric Duncan to release on the label. Now they turn to James Hadfield, a relatively new producer previously spotted on To Rack & Ruin and Me Me Me. On this four-tracker he deals in brooding synthwave tones mixed with classic jack track rhythms. "Literate" is just the kind of taut, sinister club creeper we can't get enough of, while "Buried Answers" takes a skippier but no less moody approach. On the remix front, Jamie Blanco takes the prize, turning "Buried Answers" into a bombastic slice of driving synth pop.
Eternal Blue (Wata Igarashi Crossing remix) (7:36)
Review: REPRESS ALERT: In an age of over-information, it's refreshing to see Aurora Halal take her time with the Mutual Dreaming label, which notches up just its third release since launching in 2014. It's also the New York scene leader's first record in three years, and it's worth the wait. Some elements are familiar - Halal still has a keen instinct for heavy-hearted synth lines shaped out in bold curves, but the level of expression going into these tracks makes each one stand out like a striking painting. From the eerie mood of "Fattal 22" to the crunchy bleep workout "Nasty II", the character just oozes out of Halal's productions. With a remix from Wata Igarashi thrown into the mix as well, this is a record loaded with fresh and powerful takes on techno.
Pieces To Share (Kyle Hall & Steve Lehane mix) (3:14)
Nothing To Fear (4:00)
Review: Some ultra-limited business here from Kyle Hall, which remarkably marks his first release of 2019. The Detroiter is in fine form from the off, first peppering a hip-hop tempo "beatdown" groove with 8-bit sounds, jazz-funk synth doodles and rich Fender Rhodes motifs on "Rising" before breaking up the beats and channeling Kaidi Tatham/Dego on the warm and luscious "Full Play". Turn to the flip for the similarly inclined, loose and languid, analogue-heavy melodiousness of "Pieces To Share" and the delay-laden sunrise shimmer of "Nothing To Fear", a glistening and smile-inducing number that's almost overwhelmingly positive.
Review: Apart from a very limited under the radar release in 2015, it took Vincent Halliburton 13 years to deliver a follow-up to his 2002 debut single on Ferrispark "RM1x Files" (both records go for silly money). The Detroiter hasn't left it quite so long this time, with this alluring three-tracker appearing just four years after its predecessor. Clearly Halliburton believes in quality over quantity, because "Vibe Under A Different Frequency" is superb. Check first the swirling deep space chords, delay-laden vocal snippets and layered, Ron Trent style deep house percussion of the fittingly titled "On A Deep Groove", before gaping in awestruck wonder at the dreamy, deep and hypnotic "Going Away", which boasts some suitably breathy, out-there vocals from none other than Sade. He rounds things off in style via the groovy warmth and sun-kissed dancefloor positivity of "Go Down".
Review: Hungarian imprint All Inn has done a terrific job with this reissue of US tech-house stalwart Halo's 2000 cut "Future", a rolling, percussive, late night classic that remains one of the producer's finest tracks. Alongside the original version, there's a gaggle of new remixes stretched out across the 10" and 12" package. Coldfish provides a languid, jazz-tinged, deep "broken house" interpretation, with French producer Janeret opting for a hypnotic and loopy take reminiscent of Circulation's best work. The Howl Ensemble bumps up the bass for a more dub-fuelled deep house feel, while Jaffa Surfa opts for a more metallic tech-house vibe. Also worth checking is the PolAmbient interpretation, which launches the track into deep space via heavy sub-bass and intergalactic effects.
Review: Georgian producer Hamatsuki appeared on GASP last year with the Uncertain Loops cassette release, but makes his vinyl debut on this damn fine 12" for the recently minted Sensu label. "Remember" is a rich, undulating swirl of deep house laden with melancholic pads, while "Rett" sports a sunnier tone for its own arsenal of soft, rounded synth tones. DJ Sports comes on board for a remix of "Rett" that plays with said synths and creates springy, computer jazz melodic threads out of them. "Inexplainable Inner Sadness" completes the set with another trip into warm, Chicago-indebted house tones for the introspective dancer.
Review: UK tech house hero Archie Hamilton takes up the reins next for his Moscow imprint, teaming up with Nabucco records boss Noha here on a couple of functional and groove oriented tracks. The funky "Lip Service" is the kind of energetic and percussive driven funk that Hamilton would throw down at his appearances at the legendary FUSE London parties, while "Bored Of Life" is a reduced and trippy afterhours cut - that would be perfect for those 'get weird' moments at the morning time. Finally on the flip, Romanian power duo Cristi Cons & Vlad Caia aka SIT deliver yet another one of their awesome reworks. Their perspective of "Lip Service" ventures into esoteric and trance inducing territory, in captivating fashion as always.
Review: Infuse is a vinyl only label for the heads, and Per Hammer is a dub techno don for those who know, so they make a fine pairing on this fresh new three tracker. Opener "Side Effects" has a muted synth sequence that is gorgeously dreamy above a slick dub techno groove. It's a simple but effective trance-inducer, while "Document Save" is a more visceral cut with prickly drums. The best might well be saved for last: "Remote Dubb" is a seductive, aqueous dub techno cut with shimmering pads and shuffling percussion that is high grade dancing dynamite.
Review: Rory "Hammer" Hamilton has released on numerous labels since making his debut in 2015 - Optimo Music and Sulta Selects Secret Service included - but it seems like he reserves his best work for the imprint he's most associated with, Feel My Bicep. His latest EP for the Northern Irish outlet is certainly strong, with A-side "Parabola" offering an attractive, ear catching mixture of undulating neo-trance riffs, sustained sub-bass notes, relaxed machine beats and suitably psychedelic electronic effects. The same balance of rush-inducing melodic bliss, tactile synth bass and crispy drums comes to the fore on B-side opener "Panoptic", while closing cut "Entropy" is a slightly more psychedelic but no less melodic jaunt through big synth riffs, emotive chords and bustling drums.
Review: They may not have released many records, but samba/soul/jazz fusionists the Han Litz group have been mainstays of the Dutch scene for a decade. Here they return with a wonderfully breezy, samba-soaked collection of cuts that's remarkably their first ever outing on wax. The A-side begins with two warm, afternoon fresh tracks that sound like authentic Brazilian samba jams from the 1970s, before Litz and company indulge in a little flute-heavy jazz ("Preludia") and Afro-tinged broken beat/jazz fusion ("Yemaya Olodo"). Also impressive is closing cut "Epiphany", which has been transformed by Yoruba Soul man Osunlade into a sumptuous shuffle through deep house/samba fusion complete with Flamenco style Spanish guitar solos.
Review: Fast-rising house producer Mark Hand makes his bow on Serbian stable Soul Print Recordings. Surprisingly, it's the Belgrade label's first release of 2018. It's rather good, too, with opener "Midnight" - an impeccable fusion of yearning Motor City electronics, Larry Heard smoothness and impeccably soulful vocals by guest singer Greg Blackman - providing the undoubted highlight. There's plenty to tickle the fancy elsewhere across the EP, too, from the ultra-deep house/jazz-house fusion of the Sio-fronted "Under The Winter", to the rubbery synth-bass, jazzy electric piano solos and delay-laden horn solos of Alex Hand hook-up "Mountains". Stellar stuff all told.
Review: Warren Harris did a sterling job on his first outing for Perpetual Rhythms as Hanna, and he's back for round two. Things are just as deep as you would hope and expect, with Harris' unique take on the Detroit house formula present and correct on the cleverly executed "Lake Shore Dr." "Parallel" finds him exploring his penchant for snagged, off-kilter rhythms matched with deep house delicacy, and "Gold Coast" takes things into lounge territory without ever sounding insipid. Therein lies the magic of Hanna, and beautiful experiment "Khords 1" is on hand to finish the EP off as a statement of just how special and unique Harris' music is.
Review: Back in the early-to-mid 2000s, Warren Harris AKA Hanna was responsible for making and releasing some of the most sumptuous and seductive blends of future jazz, broken beat, soul and deep house around. This 12" from Melodies International offers a neat reminder by serving up two tracks previously featured on a CD-only album from 2004. A-side "I Needed" is the clear standout: a glassy-eyed and loved-up slab of jaunty dancefloor deep house that combines the swing of future garage and the snappiness of jacking Chicago house with the smoothness of soul and the kaleidoscopic synthesizer lines of jazz-funk. Flipside "Intercession, On Behalf" is similarly minded with more of an emphasis on vibrant jazz-funk and the soul motifs and the soul-powered swing of U.S garage.
Review: People of Earth proudly presents Warren Harris aka . Blessing us with a 4 track EP titled "From the Dark Sky". Delivering his signature bass licks and providing us with a vocal track on top of it all in "Last Forever". Hints of jazz, gospel and straight deep house throughout the record, all beautiful, uplifting and full of purpose.
Review: Number 7 in Music is Love's sister label MIL arrives and throws the spotlight on rising Irish producer Chris Hanna, last seen impressing for Ejeca's Exploris label. Opening proceedings on Muscle House is "Drone", a rough and distorted track that is narrated by the constant synth buzzing above the heavy groove laid down by Hanna. Complementing this, "The Colonel" maintains a peak time mood with some furiously paced drums cannoning around the mix atop a heavily sequenced bassline. Title track "Muscle House" opens the B-side, offering Hanna the chance to show off his prowess at acid lines, whilst closer "UM9" veers off into epic, emotive territory without losing any of the rugged, rhythmic physicality shown throughout the 12".
Review: Attention Vegetarian vinyl consumers - approach this excellent introduction to the I'm A Cliche canon proper from Hannulelauri with caution if the sight of bare meat causes your constitution consternation. Raw steak on the cover art aside, there's little other reason not to indulge in this brilliantly oddball take on house music from the Finnish duo. Opening track "Box To Box" splays a cheeky acid stab lead over rusted percussion steeped in off kilter rhythms, whilst deep in the machine what sounds like an elephant tries to play along in time - it's a wonderfully tongue in cheek riposte to po faced music everywhere. The accompanying remix from Throne Of Blood duo Populette does a sterling job of realigning the track to burning deep house bump that's a perfect fit for the midnight hour. On the flip the title track "Dysfunction" straddles a lysergic house pump that will prove potent in the right atmosphere, whilst Toby Tobias embellishes the track with some soulful excess via diva warbling and hand claps.
Review: Josefine Hellstrom Hansson's debut track "Water Cave" on HMWLA received ADJ support from AIlario Alicante, Robert Babicz, Piemont, Slam, Paco Osuna, Horse Meat Disco, Nick Warren, Gabriel Ananda and Ame. Now the Malmo-based producer and DJ readies a three track techno / house EP on HMWL's vinyl sublabel Heartbreak Records. On A-side alongside "Water Cave" Josefine offers a peak hour techno weapon called "Sensus". On B-side we find the smooth melodic "Volcanics" at 118 BPM while fellow swede Martinez deconstructs Sensus into a jazzy, mellow piece of minimal tech.
Chicago To Detroit (Byron The Aquarius remix) (5:31)
Chicago To Detroit (Brian Chicago Sur Seine mix) (5:10)
Chicago To Detroit (Patrice Scott remix) (7:04)
Review: From Moods & Grooves to Sistrum, Brian Harden has served up more than enough soulful, synth-led house and techno in his time. It's just the kind of style that suits the mood on D3, and so the label has picked up his essential "Chicago To Detroit" jam and called upon a fine selection of remixers to rework the track. First up is Byron The Aquarius, who drops some expressive broken beat drums into the mix to spar with the illustrious melodic tones to great effect. Meanwhile the label boss Brian gets busy with a classic, straight-up adaptation on his "Chicago Sur Seine Mix" before Patrice Scott opts for an energised variation with poignant new Rhodes-esque keys floating on top.
Review: Polyrhythm-loving dancefloor experimentalist Harmonious Thelonious is finally releasing a sequel to 2016's "International Dance Record", an album that remains amongst the prolific producer's most potent works. This is not an album, though, but rather an EP that boasts two previously unheard cuts and some fresh remixes of tracks featured on its' predecessor. Opener "Shark Dance" is exotic and Middle Eastern in outlook, with bleeping electronics and foreboding refrains riding a mixture of synthetic and acoustic percussive, while "Blinky" is a chugging, mind-altering affair that reminded us a little of the 1988 version of the KLF's "What Time Is Love?". Remix wise, Tolouse Low Trax goes bass-heavy and mind altering on his revision of "Rivera", before Jan Schulte's alter ego Wolf Muller turns "RFS" into a hallucinatory lo-fi drum jam.
Minor Forms (Valentino Mora Underwater rephase) (8:48)
Minor Forms (Valentino Mora Cosmic Trans rephase) (6:43)
Review: Astonishingly, Minor Forms is Francis Harris' first solo appearance on Scissor & Thread for four years - an astonishing fact when you consider that he was one of the label's founders. Opener "Move We Cannot Do" is almost astonishingly deep, with Harris's delicate melodies and undulating, cymbal-heavy rhythm track struggling to rise above enveloping chords and dub techno style aural textures. "Minor Forms" is a little chunkier and more bass-heavy, but still jaw dropping in its bluesy, late night deepness. Valentino Mora serves up two flipside interpretations of that track, first giving it a clanking, metallic techno makeover (the "Underwater Rephase") before diving headfirst into dreamy dub techno waters (the "Cosmic Trans Rephase").
Francis Harris - "Archive Fever" (Adamo Golan remix) (5:00)
Hamatsuki - "Kandzaia" (8:42)
Hamatsuki - "Picnic Attack" (7:17)
Review: Tbilisi's infamous Bassiani spot already has its own label, but now the queer-centric Horoom space within the club is launching an imprint of its own. Opening up the A side of this split 12", Francis Harris is a great choice for the first drop on the label with his smoky take on deep house sinking under the skin and leaving a chill in the air. Adamo Golan takes this seductively spooky mood and injects it with uptempo but equally submerged broken beats via his remix of "Archive Fever". Hamatsuki presents two original tracks on the B side, and while very different "Kandzaia" and "Picnic Attack" both project a more mellow side-room ambience that's a joy to sink into.
Review: Melbourne's Andy Hart is known for heading up the Voyage imprint, which over the last few years has pursued the many shades of deep house with releases by the likes of Harvey Sutherland, Urulu and Youandewan. Here he inaugurates his new Voyager sublabel, which sees a noticeable change of tune. On "Neutron Capture" he delivers a slow burning deep space transmission aboard the acid express, while the functional B side cut "Lftrr" is a dubby and hypnotic techno jam suited to heads-down moments in dank warehouse spaces. If this is a sign of things to come for Hart's new outlet, expect a string of club ready and dancefloor orientated cuts.
Review: Marquis Hawkes lands on Bassiani sister label Horoom and duly nods to the label's cultural context by interpreting different Georgian myths. Opener "Zeskneli" spreads out over 10 minutes on the A side, holding down a tight and punchy groove, weaving understated surges of melody and displaced diva vocal over the top for a thoroughly moody end result. "Ukana Skneli" has a very different flavour that melds slices of boogie with loopy techno and a rugged old school house grind to create a surprisingly cohesive flow considering the diverse ingredients. "Qvesnkneli" has a pronounced funk to it, using swing in a low key way to create a head-soaking romper of the highest order.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Gravity Graffiti has been doing great things with its series of split 12"s already, but now the Italian label goes one better for its tenth release with this mighty double pack of heavy hitters. First up is the ever-untouchable Yoshinori Hayashi, who gets as straight up as he possibly could with the freaky house burner "Dissociative." Telephones is feeling particularly dubbed out and groovy on "Kalimbalimbo", while DB.Source and Riccardo Schiro take things strung out and textural on "Montevago". Dynamo Dreesen is in rave mode for the pepped up and delightfully weird "Reactivate", leaving the final side to Oyvind Morken & Kaman Leung's chugging "Tunnel Visjon" and the rubbery side swipes of Acidboychair's "The End (At Any Speed)".
Review: Like many producers, Martin Hayes has built his career on the twin pursuits of original, sample-heavy house production and floor-friendly re-edits. This 12" sees him reaching for the scalpel once more, delivering a quartet of killer cut-jobs for Brooklyn's mighty Razor 'N' Tape. He begins with the rubbery bass, punchy horns and sweaty disco percussion of "Get On Down", before offering a perfect balance between low-slung strut and epic, string-laden brilliance on the even better "Make Me Dance". Flip for the percussion-heavy disco-funk workout "Tight Spot", and the atmospheric funk breaks, glistening guitars and spacey delays of EP closer "Ol' Funky Music".
Review: For their latest trip into soul-soaked machine music, People Of Earth has turned to debutant Detroit producer Haz Mat, who has been plying his trade as a musician and DJ in the Motor City for at least the last 15 years. There's an assured feel to A-side "My Zania", a rock solid, occasionally driving deep house number smothered in fluttering chord progressions, techno style analogue bass, and rising, intergalactic motifs. You'll find more tech-tinged deep house soul on the flip, where the synthesizer-heavy "Bridge To The Universe" - a fitting title, all told - sounds particularly addictive. He draws an excellent debut to a close with "Groove of Life", where fluttering flute solos dance across a jazz-funk inspired, Andres style deep house number.
Review: Few artists have taken us to heaven quite as much as Larry Heard. The blueprint setter who remains as relevant and resonant now as he did in 86 makes an appearance on Daily Session in dub and edit form. Mesmerising, simple but shining with soul "Heaven" has Heards' fingerprints all over it (sorry) Flip for treatment from fellow pioneer Jordan Fields (slick synths and jacking) and Daily Session's Monchan (New Jersey organs and a dreamy swing) Heaven sent.
Review: Eleven years after he introduced us to his Mr White alias with the acidic bliss of "The Sun Can't Compare", Heard returns with two more extensive, immersive and stylised slices of house. "Virtual Emotion" is a breath-taking progressive odyssey that resonates in that perfect sweet spot between house and techno. "Supernova" takes a much more structured route with full nagging vocals and a sense of proto house theatre running throughout. With promise of a new album (his first in over 12 years), it's an exciting time to be a Larry Heard fan.
Karl Hector & Nicolas Tounga - "Ngunga Yeti Fofa" (The Joaquin Joe Claussell Electric Afrika version) (11:36)
Vito & Druzzi - "Night Masquerade" (7:30)
Kapote - "Besamo Fly" (7:03)
Review: There's much to enjoy on the latest volume in Toy Tonics' ongoing hallucinatory house series, regardless of your psychedelic state of mind. The undoubted standout is Joe Clausell's epic version of Karl Hector and Nicolas Tounga's "Ngunga Yeti Fofa", a feverish, dub-flecked deep house interpretation of a track rich in both African and South American vocals and instrumentation. That said, we're also fans of Vito and Druzzi's "Night Masquerade", where Steve Reich style marimba melodies and fizzing synthesizer solos rise about a jaunty, tropical house groove, while Kapote's "Besamo Fly" is a lolloping, mid-tempo romp full of delay-laden African vocal snippets, jaunty Afro-funk horns and sludgy drumbeats.
Review: The Ti-Rex crew widens the net for their third release with the introduction of hitherto unknown producer Henrocic. The release begins with the ranging shuffle of "Al Chiaro Di Luna", a stripped down affair peppered with haunting flecks of jazz and a strung out late morning atmosphere. Label boss Ti Es then steps up with a remix of "Don't Stop" throwing down some tougher drum tones and working the reverb before the original version plunges down into an intimate space populated by natural grooves and strange sounds alike. "Pace Of The Are" then delivers a finishing blow with snaking percussion and gnarly bass tones.
Review: Back in the 1990s, Pauline Henry was the voice behind the Chimes and their stunningly soulful mid-tempo hit, "Heaven". This 12", which is dedicated to the late, great Paul "Trouble" Anderson, boasts fresh, club-ready remixes of the singer's solo cover of that loved-up club classic. Masters At Work man Louie Vega handles the A-side, placing Henry's fine vocal above a bed of swinging NYC house beats, fluid piano motifs and string-laden chords. Arguably even better is DJ Spen and Reelsoul's flipside revision, a more electronic affair with jauntier synth flourishes, elongated organ solos and a bumpin' rhythm track.
Review: For the fourth and final edition of Matthew Herbert's Parts series, we have four further reductions from the UK producer's back catalogue - all in his idiosyncratic style. Timeless minimal house that has truly stood the test of time and sounds as captivating as it did over 20 years ago. Part Four came out on Phono back in 1996 and is reissued here on Herbert's Accidental imprint. From the dubbed-out heroin house of "Pen", the crunchy robo-jack of "Pump", more blip, blurp and bleep on "Take Me Back" or his knack for simply straight-up and emotive deep house as heard on the utterly sublime "Resident". The tracks on here are still relevant in today's musical landscape and completely essential, in our humble opinion.
Review: 500, 12" 180g, hand stamped, individually numbered records, single press only. Tusk says "I wanted to go back to the way the label started for the 20th release, so I've put together a VA which captures the way the label has moved in the past couple of years and will continue to shift"
Condemned To A Platonic Love (Manuel De Lorenzi remix) (7:06)
De Ningun Lado (7:08)
De Ningun Lado (Basti Grub remix) (7:54)
Review: Argentina's Hernan Bass can now add local imprint Krad to his existing portfolio of impressive labels such as Little Helpers, Yoruba Grooves and Baile Musik. His new offering entitled the Condemned Love EP features "Condemned To A Platonic Love" which, despite its melancholic title, is a deep and sexy minimal house groove that's woozy and tripped-out enough to rock any decent after hours party. It receives a rolling a psychedelic rework by Italy's Manuel De Lorenzi up next. On the flip, "De Ningun Lado" gets onto a sleazy tribal house vibe of the more reductionist persuasion - it is perfect for Hoehenregler main man Basti Grub to add more dancefloor dynamic on his wicked remix.
Review: Gerd's archival Frame of Mind label continues to offer up reissues of sought-after European techno classics from the turn of the '90s. The latest 12" to get the repress treatment is Dave Campbell's second outing as Hi-Ryze, 1990 EP "Cyberia". Of the two versions of the Motor City-inspired "Cyberia" that are on offer, it's arguably the heavier, stripped-back "Lo-Pass Mix" that resonates most, though many will be attracted to the rave style stabs and crazy drum edits of the "Midi Edit". "After The Flood" is available in two variations, too: the filthy, bleep and bass-influenced sleaze of the "Harmo Bass Mix" and the rush-inducing chords and melodies of the "Optimistic Mix".
Review: Previously on Distant Hawaii, UK producer Tom Harris aka Hidden Spheres appears now on Lobster Theremin with four servings of his soothing, late night house. "It Ain't Easy" is a deep, jazzy and loungey joint, reminiscent of early Atjazz, as is the sexy and evocative "IshOnSax" featuring 'some of the most contagious saxophone ever laid to wax' courtesy of Ishmael. The B-side features the Moodymann-ish "The Feels", a raw house number full of heart warming pads, dusty rhythms and soulful vocals. Closing out the release is the melting pot of swirling sounds, field recordings and playful drum programming on "It's Gonna Last".
Review: Over the last 12 months, Tom Harris AKA Hidden Spheres has proved to be one of the most adaptable producers in the deep house scene. He not only delivered plenty of tropical and dreamy fare via his Fruit Merchant imprint, but also got rough, raw and ragged via an acid and electro-influenced EP on Lobster UNDR. "Words Can't Explain" is another deft change of direction, with honey-voiced guest Oscar Jerome offering a superb soul vocal over a warm and woozy backing track rich in broken house drums, toasty synth bass, drowsy Rhodes chords and effortlessly jazzy guitar solos. It's superb, and one of Harris' best tracks to date. Also worth checking is the club-ready revision by Yu Su, which not only utilizes heavy sub bass but also some crunchy drum machine percussion.
Review: Up next on Jennifer Cardini's ever surprising label are Italian expats in Berlin Hinode, who head up the Science Fiction imprint. It has presented tracks by the likes of NGLY, Jared Wilson and DJ Richard over the years - which gives you an idea of the gritty sound these guys are pushing. The Magnetic Field EP features three lo-fi and all analogue sounding cuts that you've come to expect from the pair: the A side features two grinding 303 led killers, but we particularly enjoyed the rusty and dusted down sleaze of "Render" featuring those seductive, delay drenched vocals. On the flip, "Toxic Hill" is the kind of techno that crosses over into EBM aesthetics, much like Phase Fatale or Blush Response are known to, while "Broken Shells" goes out all guns blazing on this trippy and hypnotic stomper.
Review: Last year K7's more experimental 7K offshoot released Hior Chronik's Out Of The Dust, an atmospheric album that joined the dots between ambient, drone and neo-classical. While great to listen to, there were few dancefloor moments - hence this remix 12". On side A Hungarian retro-futurist Gnork has his way with "Remember", wrapping Chronik's flotation tank chords, poignant strings and reverberating Clarinet lines around a bouncy rhythm track, rich sub-bass motifs and some particularly starry-eyed electronics. The results are spellbinding, sounding like a cross between 808 State's "Pacific" and Gnork's usually more robust fare. Lauren Ritter opts for a deeper take on "Cosmos", underpinning the inherent intergalactic vibes of Chronik's original elements with her own rolling deep house grooves.