Review: Last year, Bucharest producer Vlad Caia impressed plenty of people with "Division I", a collection of experimental-minded minimal techno cuts that was the closest he's come - so far, at least - to releasing a debut album proper. This speedy sequel continues in a similar vein, offering up five more atmospheric cuts across two slabs of wax. He begins in confident fashion via the swirling, deep space pads, bubbly electronics and off-kilter tech-house drums of "Renaissance", before reaching for the droning analogue bass, jammed-out bleep melodies and smooth drums of bolder floor-filler "Cluster". Elsewhere, "Alkuon" sees Caia blend heavy sub-bass and swinging machine drums with sparkling electronics and liquid synth lines, while "Parallax" is a darker, moodier chunk of late night dancefloor science rich in "LFO" bass and off-kilter keys.
Review: It was about time we heard some quality deep, progressive tech out of Argentina. Cape aka Fernando Cappelletti drops a double LP on his own Savor Music, rocking since 2011 and home to plenty of solid house tunes by big names such as Felipe Valenzuela and Martinez, among others. But, My Own Jungle is more than just a dancefloor album, as tunes like "The Real" and "Rainforest" are deep and playful enough to be enjoyed over a pair of headphones. There are, of course, fully-fledged big room cuts like "In Armour", or the more tech-minded "Flavor", but Cape's versatility makes this album more than it set out to be.
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: Since debuting on Visionquest back in 2013, Clarian North has served up music on a wide variety of labels - Multi-Culti, Turbo and Kompakt included - all the while mixing vintage new wave influences with more contemporary dancefloor styles. For this long-awaited debut album, he's decided to flip the script a little, serving up a set of drowsy, stylish and left-of-centre cuts that mostly his explore his love of skewed synth-pop and Mascara-clad 1980s new wave. Of course, there are plenty of subtle nods towards other sounds and styles - a dash of spacey ambient here, a tear-jerking shoegaze pop gem there - amongst the DIY post-punk pop workouts, as well as a handful of tracks that move closer to his more familiar dancefloor sound.
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: Four years have passed since Maya Jane Coles' last full-length excursion (2015's set as Nocturnal Sunshine not included), so it's perhaps unsurprising that Take Flight is something of a long and undulating epic. Featuring 24 tracks stretched across three LPs and a string of eager collaborators (Chelou, Rachel Butt of GAPS fame and We Fell To Earth singer Wendy Rae Fowler being arguably the best known), Take Flight is little less than an extended showcase for the DJ/producer's particular bland of shuffling, tactile tech-house, tweaked to suit the demands of radio and home listeners. One reviewer recently described it "love letter to dance music", and Coles' many fans will no doubt agree.
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: As The Cyclist, Derry-based musician Andrew Morrison first surfaced back in 2011 with a cassette on Crash Symbols but came to wider attention with last year's excellent Bones In Motion LP for Leaving Records. The fifteen tracks spilled with tape saturated magnificence from every angle, and since then Morrison has diverted some of his creative energies into the more dance floor-focused Buz Ludzha. That project debuted on All City earlier this year with a 12? of "distorted '80s house" called Love Repetitive Rhythmics, and it's the Dublin label that now issues his latest LP as The Cyclist. If anything Flourish is a more focused set than his debut, building on his established style but veering down exciting new sonic avenues and in "Tape Grunge Rave" possesses one of this year's best track titles.
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.