Review: It was over two years ago when Henrik Schwarz first revealed his remix of "Asembi Ara Amba", a 2015 cut by Ghanaian artist Yusuf Bayani and German funk stalwarts Poets of Rhythm under the alternative Polyversal Souls alias. Here the now legendary rework finally gets an official release. On the A-Side you'll find Schwarz's now-familiar "Version", where Bayani's superb vocals and sampled Afro-funk horns rise above classic-sounding (think Inner City circa 1989) electronic riffs, rolling house beats and a chunky, dub-wise bassline. You'll find an inspired, previously unheard bonus on the flip in the shape of Schwarz's 'Beatless' mix, which re-imagines the track as a spacey, other-worldly chunk of mesmerizing Afro-ambient.
Review: Paris-based Yakine was there at when minimal turned techy, and when techy was kept minimalistic. Ever since those late naughtiest years, the producer has been crafting his sound by searching for the perfect groove, and we think he's found it with this latest EP for the Disjoint label. These three tunes are more mechanical than his previous efforts; the opener "St Val 017" boasts a mean electro bass at its core, with "Each Day" also choosing to adopt a more brown loop beat a-la industriale, and "T Beat" pumping out more dread than dance grooves.
Review: If you're a minimal fan and don't know Yama Music, you've been sleeping. Their first three EPs flew off the shelves and into crates of heady DJs across Europe. Once again the eponymous Yama Music is or are behind the beats and it's forward thinking, no nonsense dancing music of the highest order. "Acisaronno" is proper tech house with delicate hi hats and steel plated drums making for a frictionless groove, while "Chinchilla Shuffle" is the sort of slightly wonky and oddball track that Craig Richard drops on the regular. Freaky, spaced out and atmospheric, tech house doesn't get much better.
Review: For his latest trick, London-based house producer Maik Yells has decided to tell tales of brave Ulises on Germany's fast-rising Taverna Tracks stable. He casts off into the unknown via the deep, woozy and gently spacey tech-house/deep house fusion of "Atopos", before foot-stepping into jazzier worlds via the swinging, crackling beats, warm bass and jammed out electric piano motifs of "Latika". Over on the back page (sorry, B-side), Ed Herbst delivers a sturdy but dreamy, ultra-deep dub of "Atopos", before "Yulises" sees Yells pepper a bustling, Robsoul style tech-house groove with weird noises and eccentric, Maurice Fulton style synth solos.
Review: Australian duo Yolanda Be Cool are back. The outfit behind the worldwide smash hit "We No Speak Americano" with DCUP in 2010 hail from Sydney, and are comprised of Sylvester Martinez and Johnson Peterson. They are back on local label Sweat It Out, an imprint that they have been stalwarts of for the last decade, in addition to releases for Dim Mak and Nurvous. "Musika" is a melodic and emotive deep house jam on an Afro and 'techy' tip - which will appeal to fans of the Innervisions sound. There are some great remixes too: Babert (Disco Revenge) delivers a very retro Italo house rendition, while Los Angeles based DJ Dateless goes for a classic '90s house perspective that dives deep.
Review: More evocative and thought provoking music for discerning dancefloors, courtesy of Japan's always reliable Mule Musiq. This time it's courtesy of German duo Daniel Stroeter and Martin Mueller aka youANDme. They are a surprising addition to the label, considering their recent appearances for labels as diverse as Poker Flat to Nervous and even Gruuv, but if the Belong 12" can prove anything - it's that the duo has a strong diversity within their sonic repertoire. From the soulful and slow burning title track which features Black Soda's sensual vocals above the duo's majestic arrangement, to "Unbound" which is a deep, dubbed-out and introspective cut for heads-down moments in the early hours.
Review: Yoyaku Distribution's matter-of-fact YYY series continues to impress, delivering a third "mystery" 12" of the year to date. The un-credited producer gets straight down to business on side A, wrapping darting melodies and liquid electronics around fizzing cymbals, undulating kick drums and warm bass in an outer-space tech-house style. There's a slightly darker and more energy-packed feel to the flipside track, whose staccato percussion hits, restless drum machine handclaps and back-alley stabs sound like they were created with sweaty basement dancefloors in mind (despite the presence of the series' usual fluid chords).