Review: Following well-regarded singles from Audio Werner and Onirik & Pablo Tarno, Finest Hour turns to Alan Mathias and Etienne Dauta - more commonly known as Arcarsenal - for 12" number three. The duo's off-kilter brand of ultra-deep house is a neat fit with the label, and happily Arcarsenal delivers a strong four-tracker. While the Detroit-influenced sci-fi shimmer of "Quoth" is probably the most ear catching of the quartet, it's the sub-heavy, dubwise broken house shuffle of opener "Perpetual Workout" that most impresses. While deep and alluring, the beats are formidably tough and the composition particularly intoxicating. Elsewhere, "Ancient Language" - an exercise in dub house with a wide-eyed techno feel - is also particularly potent.
Review: Onirik and Pablo Tarno's Finest Hour label surfaced late last year with a mission statement to release 24 records for 24 hours, and it was inaugurated in the finest (sorry) style possible by long term Berlin fixture Andreas 'Audio' Werner. FH:02 sees the label heads at the controls, collaborating on two productions that are complemented by a remix from Birdsmakingmachine. Despite this being Tarno and Onirik's debut release together, there's a palpable sense of studio chemistry on display that augers well for any future Finest Hour transmissions from the pair, with the deep, rolling opener "September Swing" perhaps the pick of the two. It's matched by the Birdsmakingmachine remix of "Hotel Samariter" which has certain rusty quality to the groove that makes it really memorable.
Review: For the eighth audio missive on their quietly impressive Finest Hour imprint, Onirik and Pablo Tarno have invited Voigtmann and Tolga Fidan along for the ride. The result is a multi-artist EP that boasts a wealth of quality material. Onirik steps up first, adding jazzy keys and spacey electronics to a cut that sits somewhere between vintage Detroit techno and bustling Chicago deep house. Voigtmann's amusingly titled "Side Boob Cooler" is a lo-fi, analogue-rich bubbler, while Tolga Fidan's "TER345" is a near perfect fusion of Detroit techno sonics and analogue deep house dynamics. Before the EP draws to a close, Pablo Tarno steals the show with the hazy warmth, dubby electronics and sweeping melodies of "Elle Tea Jay", a fine chunk of analogue deep house/electro fusion.
Review: Next up on Pablo Tarno and Onirik's Finest Hour is Berlin based, Half Baked main man Robin Ordell - with more trippy and quirked out minimal house. This follows up some great releases on top labels Discobar and Hello?Repeat. Ordell is no stranger to the afterhours, and this A.M. expert displays just what it takes to get weird during the morning set on the reduced boompty action of "Grey Blue Blue Grey Yeah" on the A side. The flipside features the spooky and glitchy mini-funk of "Purple Shaped/Where's Your Sister?" plus the hypnotic bump and shuffle of "Eggs In Moonshine" closing out this fine EP in style. This follows up Ordell's last appearance for the label back on FH:04, back in 2015. Tip!
Review: David "Spargel-Tazan" Joseph makes his first appearance on Finest Hour, showcasing a quartet of loose, jazzy, distorted and spaced-out deep house cuts. He begins with the Recloose-sampling, Theo Parrish style swing of "Track 1", where starlight keys and rich chords mingle with shuffling rhythms and occasional bongo patterns. "Track 2" is a trackier concoction with broken tape melodies and densely layered percussion, while "Track 3" is as attractively breezy as a seaside stroll on a sunny day. Finally, he does is best Pepe Bradock impression on the glitchy and humid "Track 4", which is undeniably the deepest of the four cuts.
Review: Finest Hour co-boss returns to the party with four more fat stacks of dope, warm house grooves. Kicking off with a big bump and gradually easing down the vibe scale, "Horizons" opens up with a slinky robo-soul arrangement that's scantily clad in jazzy piano lace while "Gunkan" maintains the android jack with a little more restraint on the pads. Flip for two deeper jams as "Bitchplease" kicks with a cool broken beat shuffle and smoky textured dubby pads while "Preemo" winds us right down with slouching trip hop steez. No stones left unturned.
Review: A Belgian in Berlin, Pablo Tarno has released previously on Onirik's Serialism imprint throwing down some fairly decent minimal grooves, but now goes for some sublime deep house flavour for the new imprint he runs with the aforementioned: who are now on to their fifth release. The emotive "Inner Peace" features just the right amount of dust and shuffle with melancholic flavour in its chords. The Rhodes driven dreaminess of "Holding Time" is worthy of mention too and rolls along nicely for those afterhours moments at small basement clubs. Finally "Lackin (Revisited)" has subtle dub techno aesthetics incorporated in its pursuit of deepness, bringing to mind classic Fresh 'N Low or Dean De Costa: not at all a bad thing.