Review: Sharing the first fruits of a collaborative booze-up in the studio, Makers Part 1 features Mike Shannon and The Mole & Hreno's own takes on the audio love-in. There's trademark styles from all the component artists present, most notably in DeWalta's honey-coated saxophone tones. On Shannon's mix, there's no mistaking his trademark growling synth sound and stripped-back shuffle, but it blends beautifully with the more natural tones of sax and an organ hum to produce a deep cut with imagination at its core. The Mole and Hreno feature a more rolling kind of groove, still placing the emphasis on those warming tones at the centre of the track but applying them to a different end.
Review: Moving in the same circles in Berlin, it's not surprising to see Dewalta and Mike Shannon hook up for more of that bumping, jazz inflected freaky business that they cook up so well. The Haunt imprint's remit for a particular kind of leftfield house and tech-house is more than addressed with "Cruise Ship", a deadly cut buoyed by Dewalta's live saxophone as well as additional key jamming from Danuel Tate (of Cobblestone Jazz fame), ensuring that the vibe is loose and groovy throughout. "Double Booked' is a more atmospheric proposition, keeping things stripped down but still irrepressibly funky, subtle synth work from Shannon meeting with the sporadic but perfectly pitched sax stabs from Dewalta.
Review: After the top-notch jazz fusion acrobatics of his long-player, emergent producer Royal Dust gets the remix treatment from two top shelf practitioners, and the results are as essential as label, artist or listener could hope for. First up is Ricardo Villalobos, who takes a more full-bodied approach compared to his usual stripped down ways, twisting "Royal" into a psychedelic whirl of dubwise, krautrock-inflected instrumentation that meanders through 8 minutes of strung out perfection. Paul Frick meanwhile drops some rolling, broken beat science on "Truco", letting jazzed-out synths curl around a limber set of drums that belie his learned musicality. In addition to these fine versions, there's also a sequence of parts for each original track included for would-be remixers to lift from the wax.
Review: Tobi Neumann and Marco Unzip's ToCo project unveils itself with deft subtlety and relaxed restraint. Both respected in the techno realm, "Right Place" sees them switching to something a lot baggier, spacious and fun. "Right Place" is a slow palpitation session with cosmic overlays and dense bass plods ebbing and flowing, "Supafly" is U.F.Orb era synthetic funk while "Sweet Elisa" is a Map Of Africa-style soiree into cushioned cosmic disco. Some side projects shine with so much creativity they outweigh the sum of their parts, ToCo is definitely one of them.