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: 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: If the smiley face clad centre label wasn't a sizeable enough clue, Happy Family is a new project from New York staples Eric Duncan and Justin Vandervolgen which sees the pair try their hand at acid house. Both are closely associated with disco edits of course, but if you've seen either DJ you'll know they are well up on all forms of dance music. This expertise is deployed perfectly on the two tracks here, with "Burnt" a relentless exercise in strobelit 303 madness that is a no brainer for the sweatiest part of a DJ set. They tone it down a bit on "Hard To Breathe" which despite the title is an altogether looser production with plenty of room between the tumbling drums and hypnotic lead synth lines.
Review: Promising new label Criminal Practice is based in Kiev, Ukraine and headed up by DJs and producers Ghetto Sunrise, Hopper Field and Roman Khropko. They're certainly aren't messing around on their inaugural release, getting straight down to business in bold fashion. Grec serves up the hypnotic blip, blurp and bleep of "Worm" on the A side, followed by the infectious retro techno bounce of Sasha Zlykh's "Coulda Play For Dynamo" which will appeal to fans of Art Of Dark or Time Passages. On the flip, bust out those robotic dance moves to the sci-fi electro breaks of Hopper Field's "Big Ben" and take a trip down memory lane courtesy of Ghetto Sunrise's early UK techno tribute that is "Mocujin".
Review: Here's something to excite all those who like their stripped-back techno to come with a heavy dose of soul. It features Chilean minimal maestro Ricardo Villalobos join forces with Chez Damier and Ben Vedren's H2H project. On the A-side, Villalobos delivers a superb remix of "No More", wrapping lusciously soulful vocals and languid piano motifs around a typically bouncy and left-of-centre minimal techno rhythm. On the flip, Villalobos joins Damier and Verden to deliver a three-part "Conspiracy". Each of the three interpretations has its own distinctive vibe, but all deliver a near perfect balance between soul-flecked deep house, trippy tech-house, Chicago acid and the South American wonkiness that Villalobos does so well. In other words, it's a musical marriage made in Heaven.
Review: UK tech house hero Archie Hamilton takes up the reins next for his Moscow imprint, teaming up with Nabucco records boss Noha here on a couple of functional and groove oriented tracks. The funky "Lip Service" is the kind of energetic and percussive driven funk that Hamilton would throw down at his appearances at the legendary FUSE London parties, while "Bored Of Life" is a reduced and trippy afterhours cut - that would be perfect for those 'get weird' moments at the morning time. Finally on the flip, Romanian power duo Cristi Cons & Vlad Caia aka SIT deliver yet another one of their awesome reworks. Their perspective of "Lip Service" ventures into esoteric and trance inducing territory, in captivating fashion as always.
Review: Infuse is a vinyl only label for the heads, and Per Hammer is a dub techno don for those who know, so they make a fine pairing on this fresh new three tracker. Opener "Side Effects" has a muted synth sequence that is gorgeously dreamy above a slick dub techno groove. It's a simple but effective trance-inducer, while "Document Save" is a more visceral cut with prickly drums. The best might well be saved for last: "Remote Dubb" is a seductive, aqueous dub techno cut with shimmering pads and shuffling percussion that is high grade dancing dynamite.
Review: Number 7 in Music is Love's sister label MIL arrives and throws the spotlight on rising Irish producer Chris Hanna, last seen impressing for Ejeca's Exploris label. Opening proceedings on Muscle House is "Drone", a rough and distorted track that is narrated by the constant synth buzzing above the heavy groove laid down by Hanna. Complementing this, "The Colonel" maintains a peak time mood with some furiously paced drums cannoning around the mix atop a heavily sequenced bassline. Title track "Muscle House" opens the B-side, offering Hanna the chance to show off his prowess at acid lines, whilst closer "UM9" veers off into epic, emotive territory without losing any of the rugged, rhythmic physicality shown throughout the 12".
Review: Josefine Hellstrom Hansson's debut track "Water Cave" on HMWLA received ADJ support from AIlario Alicante, Robert Babicz, Piemont, Slam, Paco Osuna, Horse Meat Disco, Nick Warren, Gabriel Ananda and Ame. Now the Malmo-based producer and DJ readies a three track techno / house EP on HMWL's vinyl sublabel Heartbreak Records. On A-side alongside "Water Cave" Josefine offers a peak hour techno weapon called "Sensus". On B-side we find the smooth melodic "Volcanics" at 118 BPM while fellow swede Martinez deconstructs Sensus into a jazzy, mellow piece of minimal tech.
Review: The Ti-Rex crew widens the net for their third release with the introduction of hitherto unknown producer Henrocic. The release begins with the ranging shuffle of "Al Chiaro Di Luna", a stripped down affair peppered with haunting flecks of jazz and a strung out late morning atmosphere. Label boss Ti Es then steps up with a remix of "Don't Stop" throwing down some tougher drum tones and working the reverb before the original version plunges down into an intimate space populated by natural grooves and strange sounds alike. "Pace Of The Are" then delivers a finishing blow with snaking percussion and gnarly bass tones.
Review: For the fourth and final edition of Matthew Herbert's Parts series, we have four further reductions from the UK producer's back catalogue - all in his idiosyncratic style. Timeless minimal house that has truly stood the test of time and sounds as captivating as it did over 20 years ago. Part Four came out on Phono back in 1996 and is reissued here on Herbert's Accidental imprint. From the dubbed-out heroin house of "Pen", the crunchy robo-jack of "Pump", more blip, blurp and bleep on "Take Me Back" or his knack for simply straight-up and emotive deep house as heard on the utterly sublime "Resident". The tracks on here are still relevant in today's musical landscape and completely essential, in our humble opinion.