Bongneck - "The Robber's Daughter" (Ghiz Retouch) (6:06)
Makebo - "Unknown Beauty" (9:09)
Review: Moscow's Shanti Radio imprint has been on fine form of late, offering up must-check 12s from DSF, Lost Desert, Volen Sentir and many more. Here they offer up their first multi-artist EP of 2019, an undeniably attractive and ear-pleasing affair that effortlessly joins the dots between deep house, tech-house and more percussive tribal flavours. Highlights are plentiful throughout, with our picks including the string-drenched, bittersweet brilliance of Makebo's "Unknown Beauty", the sub-heavy throb of Ghiz's tasty rework of Bongbeck's "The Robber's Daughter" - all rolling hand percussion, insanely weighty bass and picturesque melodic flourishes - and the sunset-ready dancefloor bliss of Cornucopia's impeccable "Nature Boy".
Review: Donnacha's closing salvo in this three part mini-series of six tracks - six tracks of six minutes duration across six sides, written recorded and edited in six days, locked in his Dublin studio. The mordant swells of 6.5 seem to indicate Donnacha's self imposed studio discipline could have had serious effects - like the distant sound of a Sahko party held in a bunker many metres beneath the earth's surface - there's tremors and beeps, but nary the semblance of a groove. On the upside 6.6 adopts a rakish jacking mode, a vocal opines "well that’s enough, **** it" and seems to sum up Donnacha, climbing up the ceiling of his Irish studio space in the advanced stages of cabin fever - delirious and cranking out deadly house music. As the closing refrain of 6.6 has it "Everything continuous" - indeed!
Review: Amphia co-founder Cristi Cons has been rather quiet of late, having previously impressed with a swathe of solo and collaborative EPs in early 2016. Here, the Romanian producer returns to action for the first time in 2017 via a rock solid collection of cuts, which come stretched across two weighty slabs of wax. As you might expect, all four tracks sit neatly into the now familiar Romanian tech-house style, which combines the crackling textures and production intricacy of minimal techno with the head-nodding shuffle of tech-house drum programming. Our highlight is probably super-odd closer "Mutual", which boasts some serious sub-bass and plenty of odd electronic noises, though the slightly more symphonic "Perceptual" is not far behind.
Review: Varme continues its musical exploration, with the purpose of releasing and promoting under the radar artists, carefully selected by its founder Paul Popa. Second release is by Crump, a rising producer from UK, who provided 3 tracks with a minimalistic touch + a breaksy remix by long-time friend Christian Jay.
Review: The latest Hands Off joint features three artists making waves in intriguing corners of the deep house firmament. Desos opens up the A side with the dreamy groove of "Dubs", before Space Age lays down the classic, Mr Fingers-flavoured haze of "Sunday Rain". Desos returns on the flip with another subtle yet punchy cut, keeping the melodies submerged and sublime on "Jaaa" before Common Mode takes things in a distinctly dubby direction with "Beauty Queens".
Review: To date the Electronic Leatherette releases have featured a whole spread of noirish synth brandishing producers on two split 12"s, including Heinrich Dressel and Plant43. This third trip out into the grubby climes of the wave-inspired scene comes courtesy of Exhausted Modern and CCO, both of whom know a thing or two about channeling sinister monosynths and brittle drum machine rhythms that bridge the gap between the DIY 80s and these hardware abundant times. Exhausted Modern's "Loss Of Self-Identity" is especially strong, while CCO's "Serendipity " struts with a satisfyingly deep and nagging acid twist.