Review: The Drifted Flow label made an early move in 2015 with a release from Tommy Vicari Jnr, but now returns with an entirely different premise - an eight-track double pack of fresh, invigorating minimal house jams from lesser-known and adventurous producers. Henry Hyde gets the collection off to a strong start with the wobbly funk of "Perchin," all dirty bass wobble and loose swinging rhythms. Elsewhere Martinez flirts with the crooked thump of electro, Alicia Hush wriggles through an abstraction of garage and Bilal channels a little of the Boogizm magic you might expect from S-Max or Fym. Overall, it's a release loaded with personality and flair for minimal spinners wanting some spicier ingredients for their mix.
Lebawski - "Clouds Of Thyme" (Kled Baken remix) (6:33)
Barbosa - "Quinoa" (Ray mono remix) (6:44)
Review: Ghent's Muzi Cartel crew step into the label game with this assured four tracker from promising emergent talents. Viktor Udvari is up first with "For Our Love", a fired up but delicately executed techno jam with plenty of harmonic balance to make for the most satisfying trip skywards. Mrsch takes things deeper and groovier on "Pas Cu Pas", leaning heavy on the bass and leaving a little more space in the mix for maximum meditation. Kled Baken's remix of Lebawski gets into a minimal house roll with spaced out licks of vocal and hazy pads, and Ray Mono nudges Barbosa's "Quinoa" into murky depths for a proper underground roller.
Review: This is a cheeky single-sided affair that contains a gently tooled-up, rolling and rearranged version of a Marlena Shaw-sampling jazz-house classic that is rightly considered something of a dancefloor classic. The edit itself is undoubtedly rather good, subtly adding a little more bottom-end grunt whilst making a little more of the original's snaking sax parts, much-loved vocal sample and groovy jazz percussion. You can decide or not whether the re-edit was needed; certainly, the mystery re-editor has done a rather tidy job on the rework.
Review: Trustworthy techno outpost Chronicle are the kind of label you can still get behind when they drop an unnamed artist. Whoever's behind Cycle De Motifs, the bar remains reassuringly high for those wanting fresh firepower in the serious techno game. "GPS" is a fist-shaking piledriver, but it's not without its cerebral nuances between the surging low end. Who needs a kick when you can have a relentless sub to carry you through the night? "C-Signature" darts out into equally intriguing territory with a creeping, insectoid array of sound design working around a minimal beat. "Gateway To Infinity" piles the eerie, looping figures on and continues spiraling outwards, and "Nepthys" plies an old-skool drum machine jack in the finest Plastikman tradition.
Review: For the fourth release on his nascent label, Frankfurt-based Baba Osman has turned to two producers still finding their feet: debutant collaborators Nicolas Etorena and Santiago Uribe. There's much to admire on their first EP, not least fine opener "24-25". A bouncy peak-time roller propelled by raging acid bass, ear-pleasing bleeps and chunky house drums, it perfectly sets the tone for a 12" rich in nods to vintage UK techno. This is particularly evident on X2, where early hardcore breakbeats and a gargantuan sub-bass line are peppered with metallic chords and early Warp style bleep melodies. You'll find more heavy, LFO-influenced sub-bass and the more straight up bleep techno snappiness of B-side "Zazzia".
Review: To date Ion Dumitrescu's Utopus project has only appeared on compilations, but now it scores the space in which to roam free across a whole EP that shines a light on this most promising of Romanian talents. P-Balans is the perfect place to house such wares, carrying the country's minimal love affair into intriguing new creative realms that deal in broken beat, electro and more outwardly experimental fare. "Southology" is a particularly fractured jam peppered with playful synths and tumbling drums, while "The Vision" takes on a shamanic techno stance. If you're craving propulsive tracks loaded with personality then hit up Utopus and you won't be disappointed.