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: 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: Carsten Jost, Lawrence and Bianca Heuser's Dial Records imprint recently celebrated 15 years in business with the CD-only All compilation of previously unreleased fare. Here, some of those tracks come to vinyl for the first time. Stefan Tcherepnin kicks things off with the delicate, Japanese-influenced downtempo pop of "I Want To Be Art", before DJ Richard reaches for the Detroit techno cymbals and jazzy chords of the wonderfully wonky "Zero". Flip for the atmospheric, beatless electronics of Christian Naujoks, the deep techno lusciousness of Pantha Du Prince's "Timeout On The Rocks", and the shimmering, spacey ambience of Queens' impeccable "Earth Angel".
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: 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: 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: Up next on Slovenian legend Valentino Kanzyani's label is a fairly tight various artists EP showcasing some sleek minimal and tech house sounds. Beginning with the mysterious Bad Boys and their deep and dirty afterhours jam "Muse" while Cruise On The Valkan (again, whoever they are!) serve up the chugging early morning hypnotica of "Cruising No 3" and the tough rolling funk of "Cruising No 1" respectively - which will no doubt appeal to fans of similarly reduced sounds coming out of Romania at present. On the flip, the charmingly titled Vito Kalimari serves up a taste for the acid life of "Jupyfirsttry" which has the signature womp and wobble of the infamous silver Roland box all throughout it - this one was sick! Running since 2005, Jesus Loved You has presented some big names over the years, long before they got big too. Dan Andrei, SIT and Vinyl Speed Adjust are just a few we can mention.
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: 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: 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.