Review: Berlin's Cab Drivers are the real deal. If their extensive collection of classic Roland machines wasn't enough, they even sequence them all on an old Atari ST you don't get more purist than that. Paul and Augustowsky's new track "Correspondence" has all the hallmarks of their signature sound: bumpin', melodic, rolling and emotive. You know; the Cab Drivers sound! On the flip, fellow Berlin minimal techno legend Audio Werner steps up to deliver a more darker and emotive remix that strays on the dubbier side of things and we loved it: Tip!
Review: Baby Ford's minimal minded label is back in action with some psyched-out goodness from Alex Celler. The long-serving Greek producer has many strings to his bow, but this release finds him tapping into his foundational sound as a steady ticking groove carries a richly produced bed of chimes and tones for the deepest moments in the dance. Where "Feudade" is a lilting, soothing trip, "Vis A Vis" heads into a more mysterious headspace peppered with nagging rhythmic trysts, crafty licks and fulsome bass to get the synapses popping. It's exactly how stripped down house music should be done, inventive to the last and yet utterly danceable.
Review: Known most for his TC Studio work alongside Matei Tulbure, Traian Chereches has latterly taken to working in a solo capacity and demonstrated an equal degree of aplomb for unique rhythms and joyful sensations. Fans of the Romanian's work will delight in this double pack on his and Tulbure's prospering TC Studio label with the six tracks on Lobster Club really showing Chereches' full production range. Proceedings begin on an abstract note with "Wald 1975" memorable for some bold vocal sampling, though tracks such as the tumbling "A New Beat" and "Orchestra Rehearsal" will provide more than enough dancefloor satisfaction.
Review: Leading minimal label The Untold Stories are at it again, and after their star turn from STL recently they've now invited down another legend in the shape of Franco Cinelli. The original is classic Cinelli, pivoting around crisp, clean percussive lines and the bare essential atmospherics. Nektar Agu steps up for a remix that continues the minimalist theme, but adds some looming bass tones into the mix that pushes the track into a dubbier headspace. It's another slab of refined, stripped down tackle for the reductionist dancefloor, as you would expect from The Untold Stories.
Review: While Pheek may have been in operation for as long as anyone can remember within minimal house and techno, Cleymoore has been most productive more recently thanks to his Pluie/Noir label. Following on from last year's Seikou single on Xquisite, here Cleymoore and Pheek link up to deliver some densely packed, production rich jams that keep the spirit of mid-00s clicks and cuts alive. The beats themselves may be slender slices that carry the energy of the tracks, but it's all in the infinitesimal details in between that the true magic of this music comes alive.
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: Itchy tech house label NCSS returns with a trio of new artists all weaving their way into the top charts, and if the material is sounding this good then we're pretty sure we'll be hearing a lot more from them soon! Newcomer Jhobei rolls through with "Do Milk", a creamy, synth-heavy house killer with a slap-up bass, followed by Casey Spillman's "Simply Focus", a freaky tech roller with all sorts of minimal nuances going off in its mix. On the flip, Jhobei returns with "Club Beige", an aqueous roller that sounds a little like the Cab Drivers, while Ben Balance's "Funk Tower" unleashes a dark, muddy bassline interlocked with subtle bursts of sc-fi goodness.
Review: Former Panorama Bar resident and local Berlin fixture Cassy Britton presents her first full length release since giving up her residency and leaving Europe's clubbing capital for the sunny shores of Los Angeles. The Donna LP features some dusty classic house sounds of the deeper spectrum, as heard previously on her eponymous imprint, Uzuri or Perlon sporadically over the last 10 years and her great vocals which veer from spoken word, haunting/monotone to high pitched diva moves are a constant throughout. Highlights for us were the uplifting deep disco of "All I Do", the soulful deep funk on her cover of Prince's "Strange Relationship" or the emotive yet tough techno of "Move".
Review: Since 2014, Spain's Park & Ride label have been offering a truly outstanding selection of collaborative releases from the finest talents of the deeper side of contemporary tech-house. This time, they return with the Paris compilation, driven by the sounds of some of Europe's finest. Among our favourites on here, we have the opener, Saverio Celestri's majestic "Interstellar", a hybrid trip between house and industrial electro that sounds as if it were cut straight from the machines through which it was conceived; "Rob In The Hood" by Seuil is another sublime slice of grainy, stripped-back dance music with a clear ode to the coldwave scene, and Alex Picone's "Sunday" provides a charming, graceful analogue house cut with a broken rhythm and some glorious background sonic manipulation. Yes.
Review: Issued last year, Maya Jane Coles second album Comfort further established the producer's burgeoning talent for crafting genuine songs as well as supple, late night house music. Strangely given her chosen vocation, Comfort was never released on vinyl so it's great to see Ms Coles label I/AM/ME come through with a deluxe double LP edition. Those who didn't check Comfort first time round will be rewarded with plenty of music that conform to her tech-tinged, atmospheric deep house blueprint as well as some woozy, shuffling, downtempo pop songs featuring guest spots from Catherine Pockson of Alpines, Miss Kittin, Tricky and Karin Park. Maya Jane Coles fans familiar to its charms now have the chance to experience Comfort on heavyweight vinyl!
Review: After Hamid kicked off the H+ label last year he returns with an intriguing double pack that draws on a wide variety of collaborators to turn out some truly innovative leftfield house music sounds. There's an overarching theme of micro house hovering around Methods For The Madness Vol 1, but it's far from run of the mill stuff. The opening cut featuring Josh Tweek is a sparkling, swinging affair that piles on the funk and the delirious effects, while Jesse Morrison's own turn on the closing track winds up in a haunting, abstract slice of refined reduction.
Review: Renowned producer, remixer, DJ and record label owner Carl Craig is one of the few artists who can truly claim to have shaped the sound of
modern electronic music. Making music since the tender age of 17, Craig has created everything from ambient soundscapes to jazz
during the past 20 years, but it's his work in dance music that is at his core. 'Sessions' is a long overdue album that brings together a personal
selection of Carl's incredible back catalogue, from his early work under the aliases Paperclip People and 69 to worldwide hits like 'Throw'
(recently covered live by LCD Soundsystem) and groundbreaking tracks like 'Bug in the Bassbin'. Alongside the classics, the two discs also showcase why Craig is still such a powerful force in music today with a diverse range of remixes for the likes of XPress 2, Theo Parrish and many others. For his rework for Junior Boys'. 'Like A Child' he was just nominated for a Grammy.
The selection also includes previously unreleased tracks, alternative versions of his own productions, as well as some exclusive unreleased
remixes. 'Sessions' reminds us of how exciting and unique Carl Craig's productions and remixes are and why he remains at the top of his game,
a retrospective of one of the world’s most influential and groundbreaking figures in electronic music.
Review: The lads behind Albion Records know a thing or two about where to look for fresh steps forwards in the minimal, house and techno scenes. After last year's Gab Jr release, they're finally back to hit number 10 with a double pack compilation that sets in stone what the label is all about. There's a lot to dig into here, but some of the standouts include the sharp and sneaky "Forgot Your Name" by Henry Hyde, the Boogizm-goes-electro freakery of Christian Jay's "Restive" and the swinging jazz surrealism of Phil Evans' "Hazard". With more than a little garage shuffle hovering over this release, it's set to be another huge one in all corners of the minimal tech house scene.