Sakamoto: Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence (Francesco Tristano rework)
The Mentor (feat Derrick May)
Infinite Rise (feat Derrick May)
In Da Minor (feat Derrick May)
Esoteric Thing (feat Derrick May)
Review: Derrick May's Transmat, a legendary label that has been producing some of the best, most mind-altering electronic music since the late 80s, returns with a highly unexpected album by Luxembourg's Francesco Tristano, an artist who has always had one foot in electronic music and the other in neo-classical. Although this comes as a surprise, it's easy to understand why May would want to associate himself with such a talent; the producer's music is both so varied and well-consrtucted that it must be a dream come true for any artist to remix. In fact, aside from Tristano's own masterful productions on here, from the opening "Sakamoto: Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence" to "Rocco's Bounce" or "Xokolad", Derrick May himself appears across four tunes, all of them reminiscent of his Detroit golden days, and it's great to hear that he hasn't switched to an all-digital set-up. In fact, all the sounds on this superb album sound organic, full of life and, although the arrangements recall many of May's classic tunes, there's something new and compelling about them. Recommended!
Review: For his first release of 2018, Hiroshi Watanabe has reworked one of the unarguable highlights of his 2016 album Multiverse. In its original form, "The Leonids" was a soaring slice of futurist techno perfection rich in bubbly synthesizer melodies and sweeping strings. It's this orchestrated aspect of the track that's explored in greater detail on "The Lenoid Strings", a beat-less, neo-classical string quartet cover that heightens the original version's rush-inducing positivity. It's stunning and - as both Derrick May and Watanabe have proved in recent DJ sets - sounds great when dropped over the top of the album mix. On the flip, Watanabe dusts down the drum machines and synthesizers to deliver "In To The Memory", a poignant and melancholic chunk of sci-fi techno deepness.