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: If you're reading this we've got to hand it to you; you really know your stuff! The Cab Drivers are Berlin's undisputed masters of quality techno and house that all the heads can count as some of their secret weapons in their records bag. The man himself Richie Hawtin even compiled a body of their work on his Plus 8 imprint in 2006, Cabinet Classics, which is testament to their illustrious discography. This release is another worthy addition to their catalogue. "Taxi Funk" is all that its infectious swirling synth stabs and syncopated rhythms. "Bon Bon" is more uplifting with its shimmering keys and mesmerising melody pushing you into a truly higher state!
Review: Daniel Paul and Jens Augustowsky have been steering Cabinet Records for twenty years now, establishing the label as one of Berlin's most reliable outlets for techy, housey fare and contributing their own weight in productions under various aliases. Cab Drivers is one of their longest-running collaborations with Playroom their 11th 12" release under the name in those two decades, and their studio understanding is quite evident in the productions. Both the ten minute title cut and "A Less Complex Situation" are understated but wholly effective DJ tools with the subtle acid modulations of the former just edging it.
Review: Guti is arguably one of dance music's most enthusiastic collaborators. To date, the Argentine producer has released joint productions with an impressive list of house and techno talent, including Martin Buttrich, Shlomi Aber, Benny Rodriguez, Morgan and Guy Gerber. On this 12", he's joined in the studio by Romanian rising star Cristi Cons. The like-minded pair hit the ground running with "Volver", a stomping tech-house floor-filler whose tough, acid-flecked groove and metronomic bassline come wrapped in ghostly chords and trippy electronics. Over on the B-side, "Nuevo" is a chunky but spacey deep house affair. That track is given the remix treatment by Enzo Siragusa, who brilliantly toughens it up and drags it further towards peak-time techno territory.
Review: The fifth instalment of the Hoxton Records story turns to Alan Castro, who has already had a busy year appearing on the likes of For Club, STAMP and Soundterasse. The vibe is stripped down and unhinged on this record, with lead track "El Avion De La Mentira" unfurling in a strange tapestry of samples, found sounds and off kilter synth rubs strapped to a crafty set of drums. Modebaku delivers a more streamlined version of the track that keeps things freaky, but much more linear than the wayward original. "Sequela" on the flip is no slouch in the adventurous department either, with swathes of modulating tones and wild sonic matter flinging around a funky shuffle, which Ted Amber then dutifully bolsters with a rubbery b-line on his more functional but still daring version.
Review: David Gtronic kicked off the Black Wood label with the Kryptoo 12", and now Javier Carballo swiftly follows up with the immersive tones of Morning Vibe. Carballo's sound is undoubtedly rooted in the minimal house he's turned out for One Records amongst others, but he's got a distinctive edge in his productions that makes them stand out. "Morning Vibe" in particular does so well because it matches airy pads and skittering drums with a measured lick of acid, making something truly trippy in the process. "Back For Good" pairs dubby chord pulses with shuffling hats, and "Chunchuneo" gets locked into an insistent rhythmic chug that it's tough to resist.
Review: The unknown CFW GRF steps up with Seeking Balance, a three-track 12" that forms the third release from Malin Genie's recently established Vigenere label. Like the previous two releases, expect stripped-back minimal cuts geared towards club play. "The Light" is a real B-side gem!
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: 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.
The PGA - "Deep In The Bunker" (Dogleg Detour mix) (6:31)
Chris Geschwindner - "Dale's Lullaby" (6:10)
Henry Hyde - "Hello Spcshp" (5:49)
Review: The fifth NorthSouth release plunges once again into the melting pot of producers seeking new variations on the house and techno format, leading in with London minimal champ Voigtmann. His "Separation Attitude" takes on the kind of wild, expressive machine funk you'd expect from Spacetravel, cosmic and pumping in equal measure. The "Dogleg Detour" mix of The PGA's "Deep In The Bunker" makes powerful use of a spacious mix to let the bassline strut its stuff, while Chris Geschwindner's crafty 2-step construction on "Dale's Lullaby" should appeal to all those digging garage beats matched with techno atmospherics. Henry Hyde's "Hello Spcshp" takes a distinctive approach to acid electro that should find favour with body popping freaks who like their jams playful and a little off kilter.
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: As legends go, Don Carlos can be held pretty high up there. There are few producers which can instil as much admiration as the Italian deep house producer. Here he steps up to the stellar Imogen Recordings with a two tracker which proves he can still do what he does best. 'Alina' is eyes closed business right from the off. Waves of atmospheric synth strings and hazy chords roll in, as blissful pads sway with filtered drum loops. Part II is a variation on this masterpiece, progressing through the intro in a speedier fashion for those that need an express ticket to that peak time power. Alone on a Mediterranean beach or surround by a packed dancefloor, Alina is one to get lost in from start to finish and a solid statement that Don Carlos certainly still has 'it'.
Review: It's been a while since we heard from the Cobblestone Jazz boys and given their massive influence over contemporary house and techno, it's always a pleasure to listen to their truly singular take on dance music. The Matthew Jonson-led outfit return with an EP for the Itiswhatitis label, the original birthplace of Jonson's beats. "Northern Lights" is classic Cobblestone, where an ultra compressed kick meanders amidst calculated drips of sound pouring mathematically from every angle. "Drawn From The Side Of Crime" is a little more chirpy, its sounds bleeping away with greater intensity and freedom. It's a must have for fans of the group, recommended!
Review: Open Recordings return with their 2nd release 'Flight' following the Departed Emotions EP released earlier this year. Frazer Campbell piloting the journey with 'Flight 82874' ... with 2 of the finest co pilots from hugely respected labels Slow Life and Wahlscheibe....S.Moreira and Allessandro Crimi re constructing the original into superb pieces of timeless music with a dubby outro for good measure!
Review: Undisputed heroes of the Berlin underground Cab Drivers get their Comfort Inn EP from 1997 on Cabinet re-released, so get in there and grab your piece of history! iI's always a pleasure to hear their now signature sound, it's timeless. Starting out with "Elwico" a deep and bumping groover sitting somewhere in the grey area between deep house, minimal and techno. Yep: that's their sound alright! "Arcade" is fiercer: an 808 rhythm track and DJ tool that would suit a variety of purposes. Hell, it sounds good enough just on its own. Finally on the flip is "Sunday Best", a funky and emotive exploration in deepness that would sound great as the sun's coming out on Sunday morning at Hoppetosse.
Review: Berlin's finest and Cabinet Records head honchos Jens Augustowsky and Daniel Paul return for more perfect loops with their signature all hardware setup. The most infectious and hypnotic minimal house served up to perfection on their newest offering. It starts off with the plonky swing fuelled groove of "Alternative Acts": a signature sound of theirs which you can hear in the work of other artists they no doubt influenced such as Mike Shannon. On the flip, there's the deep and emotive "Drive One" supported by thunderous toms and bittersweet pad textures complete with perfectly filtered chords. Finally "Holiday Ahead" is the most positive and uplifting offering here and perfect to play just as the sunlight starts to peer through the blinds on Sunday morning: there's hell of a lot of soul on this boompty acid jam.
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: Kiwi brothers Chaos In The CBD return to Mule Musiq with their third EP for the long running Japanese label. They are in fine form throughout, offering up cuts that combine great ideas and intriguing musical motifs with just the right amount of serious dancefloor grunt. They're in full on saucer-eyed mode on A-side "Hydrate", a breakbeat-sporting deep house roller whose extended ambient intro, swirling chords, whispered vocal samples, gentle acid lines and early '90s U.S garage stabs combine to create a suitably loved-up vibe. Flipside "Searching For Signal" is similarly inclined but sounds a touch more psychedelic, with trance-inducing electronics and heady chord sequences catching the ear above another shuffling breakbeat-driven groove.
Review: Sushitech's sub label Pariter has already released timeless records from the likes of Delano Smith, Steve O'Sullivan, Baby Ford and Norm Talley to name a few and this new release of the Romanian group Lisiere Collectif is no exception!
Unknown Credentials is a project of 5 tracks released on 2 single records. A sides on both parts are absolutely massive, acid lines and hypnotic chords peak time tracks that will shake any proper sound system with some serious bass extension! B sides are deeper and have more modern, fresh electroish vibe that we love!
Fans of Ricardo Villalobos & Craig Richards b2b sets are going to find it gold! Don't sleep!!
Review: Cong Burn continues to exercise one of the most promising instincts for future-minded music on this, their third release. It's surprising they haven't done more previously, considering the maturity of their curation, but either way the quality remains at an all time high here, leading in with some light and liquefied 4/4 sonics from Chekov before pirouetting into one of Duckett's illustrious abstractions around the techno blueprint. Label regular Lack is back on side B with the stern and punchy "Track 3," and then Haddon finishes the record off with "Anabiosis," a densely textured, slow creeping trip of a track.
Review: Like many of Saverio Celestri's releases, this return to regular home Slow Life is a collaborative affair, with production duties shared by debutant Late Consequence (in reality an experienced Italian producer operating under a new alias). The duo kicks things off with the spacey bounce of "Consequence", where computer beeps and bleeps rise above heavy analogue bass, locked-in techno drums and flotation tank chords, before offering a subtle nod towards early UK bleep techno on sub-bass heavy workout "The Wheel". Turn to the flip for some deeper, purist tech-house vibes (the deep house influenced warmth of "This Is The Universe") and the sparkling, head-in-the-clouds tech-funk of "Celestial".
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: 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.
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: The likes of Steve O'Sullivan, Baby Ford and Norm Talley have appeared on the somewhat overlooked Sushitech sub-label Pariter since 2006. Its latest release comes from Romanian trio Lisiere Collectif, who bring the techno sound of Bucharest to you on the first installment of Unknown Credentials. Member Andu Simion is well known for his rolling and glacial grooves, and in conjunction with Bogdan Ardeleanu and Dan Gheorghe they serve up two emotive and soulful excursions. The untitled A side offering is a driving, hypnotic and overall evocative journey with an undeniable nod to the Motor City sound that you could imagine Delano Smith pumping out in the AM hours. On the B side it is a more parochial affair, yet well worthy - a bumping and funky groove that's right in line with their hometown's renowned sound.
Review: On the A1 Chekov follows up their moves on Peach Discs and Timedance with a proper peak timer, they've been described by Ben UFO as 'king of the build up' and that's evident on this one. At the A2 London's Doppelate makes their Cong Burn debut with an elegant tech-house roller. Fresh from Russia's underground is Camin, on this, his debut 12" release he drops a useful tool which squeezes between electro and techno. Cong Burn founder Howes closes the B side with some warm hypnosis that could have landed in the golden era of Workshop.
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.
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: Just the fact that the Shahr Farag imprint is from Iran is enough to grab our attention. This is both because it feels like a novelty to the scene, but also because that vast majority of arts that come out of the country are always so interesting. This time, label owners Lenta and Ahu are joined by Romanian minimal expert Vlad Caia, who serves an excellent, Eastern-minded quasi-dance rhythm in "Declination", and a purely abstract barrack of drones and low frequencies on "Neptune". Lenta himself drops a fuzzy wash of sounds and disparate beats through "Your Existence", while Ahu's "Blind By The Sun" has something in common with dub-techno, except that here the sounds that flutter up and down are grainy and imperceptible...and wholly wonderful. Tip!
Review: Mulen's latest must-check release is a collaborative affair from experienced producer Alexis Cabrera (Raummusik, Salty Nuts, Yaji) and Jorge Saveretti (Esperanza, Visionquest, Cadenza). Given their collective history, you'll be unsurprised to learn that the "Some EP" is really rather good. They set their stall out via an impressive title track that wraps spacey but funky riffs, deep space pads and undulating acid lines around a memorable bassline and typically swinging tech-house beats). "KInda" tips a wink to the glitchy, bass-heavy sound of Romanian minimal techno and the swinging intergalactic tech-house funk of Paris's YYY label, while "Science" is a deep, woozy and wonky affair full of minor key bleeps, jazzy motifs and locked-in beats.
Review: Formerly one half of acclaimed duo Footprintz, Clarian North has really come into his own since flying solo, with some terrific releases over the last few years on Turbo, Balance Music and of course Kompakt - Time Safari being his third release for the Cologne based institution in only a mere couple of years. The EP was said to be a two year long process, from recordings made in South Africa with collaborators Richard Marshall and Blane Venter along with many locals along the way. From the futuristic, electro-influenced groove of the title track, the hypnotic and enchanting tech house of "Ancient Cave" awashed in shimmering delightful melodies to epic closer "Early Life", it's a sublime journey from start to finish.