Review: Hailing from Romania and Spain, Barac and Baltazar are two producers with a particular ear for dread-out percussion. Both of them have released different sorts of tunes, with the former being part of NoiDoi, but this new collaboration to launch Romanian imprint, Shamandrum, sees them push their skills even further. For starters, Barac's "Povestea Lui Teofan" is one of the deepest, darkest examples of tribalism that we've heard this year, with the tune's deranged vocal samples blending ever so well into the sparse collection of drums beneath. Baltazar's effort, "Viento En Popa", is much more straight-edged and teched-out, surely with the power to appeal to minimal heads across the globe, and more than a few fans of imprints like Slow Life. This is minimal drumming at its finest!
Review: Tech-house queen Cassy aka Catherine Britton launches her own label, Kwench, after a decade of non-stop hits for the likes of Perlon, Uzuri and Aus Music. She has already launched her own imprint, Cassy, but this feels like a much more all-encompassing affair, teaming up with new talents and working on new beats for the next decade. The artists collaborates with Demuir on this new EP, opening the festivities with the relentless loops of "Stand Up (Your Life)", a bass-heavy looper for the big room! "Please Me" is an utter beauty, charged and driven forwards by a fuzzy bass loop that keeps on giving, whereas "Love Me - Now" turns to the deeper end of the house spectrum, bouncing back and forth with a magnetic - and utterly funky - bassline.
Review: Since launching in 2006, the men or women of mystery behind the sneaky Digwah series have delivered a couple of sought-after, single-sided 12" singles that blend familiar samples with rock solid tech-house grooves. Predictably, this third volume in the series sticks closely to the blueprint, wrapping twinkling electric piano motifs and a restless, looped bassline around a rhythm track rich in jazzy hi-hats, snappy drum machine snares and tough, locked-in kick-drums. It's arguably closer to deep house than its predecessors, with the tactile and warming samples - lifted, it seems, from the late '60s West Coast rock record - helping to create a rolling, late night feel. The previous Digwah releases sold out quickly, so you'll have to act fast to secure a copy of this one.
Review: Since donning the Floog alias last year, experienced producer George Gavanescu has impressed with a couple of self-released singles, a fine debut on Hoarder and a hook-up with Mahony on The Other Side. His first appearance on Mulen is quietly impressive, too. A-side "O Roata" is impressively energetic, with Gavanescu wrapping attractive flashes of melody and spacey chords around a bustling, all-action groove rich in throbbing bass and chunky drums. Over on side B, "My Acid" is closer in tone to his usual tech-house fare, with subtle TB-303 touches and deep space electronics riding a suitably booming bassline and smooth percussion. Finally, "Lightbulb" is big and bouncy, with snappy snares, liquid electronics and heavy sub-bass catching the ear.
Review: The singles accompanying Mr C's celebrated return to the album format keep on coming, this time drafting in some noted names to deliver remixes of "Ripple Effect". First up is Marc Houle who employs some of his trademark creepy bass tones to underpin a purposeful, driving slice of darkside party music. Noel Jackson is equally on edge with his version, although it's a more stripped down and sped up affair that borders on electro in its sense of tightly wound urgency. Chloe gets the run of the B-side to lay down a more varied remix that uses some punchy disco elements to create a more light hearted outlook on Mr C's original jam.
Review: Given that his bulging discography boasts over a decade's worth of releases for the likes of Tsuba. BPitch Control, No Fit State and Dogmatik, it would be fair to describe Samuel "Okain" Thalman as as reliable source of rock solid tech-house treats. Certainly, there's plenty to set the pulse racing on the Berlin-based Frenchman's first INFUSE EP, from the deep and spacey, sub-heavy bounce of opener "Place Des Fetes", to the breezier, breakbeat-driven crunchiness of swirling bonus cut "Magic Box". Rich NxT lends a hand on the flipside, turning in a rolling, mind-altering remix of "Place Des Fetes" that smothers a rubbery, low-slung bassline and snare-heavy beats with bubbly electronics and drifting, dubbed-out synth riffs.
Review: Berlin tech house heavyweights team up here on 'You Are Safe' a collaboration between &ME, Adam Port and Rampa on their Keinemusik imprint. The city natives hand in a collection of deep and evocative cuts, that are brought to life by some exceptional studio engineering, sitting somewhere between the sleek late night grooves of local imprint Souvenir as much as it does Innervisions with its melodic and futurist edge. Highlights on here include the hi-tech soul of "Civilist" calling to mind the sonic grooves of Toto Chiavetta or Ame, the sultry r'n'b of "Up & Down" featuring London songstress Chiara Noriko or the slinky moodlighting of "Bumper" featuring frequent collaborator Nomi Ruiz of Hercules & Love Affair fame. Keinemusik came to life in 2009, naming an existing friendship linked by the interests of six members - five DJs and one graphic designer/painter. Five releases per year have been released ever since, solely laid down by members of the crew.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: After years of staggering second hand prices, London's Silverlining is addressing the demand for some of his early work by issuing a series of 12"s with some of the finest tracks from his mid '90s era. This time around the tracks come from releases on Wiggle and Wrong, and they sound like they haven't aged one bit. "Pleasures & Treasures" is an upfront burner steeped in 909 drums and hubby synth tones, while "Ni-Cd Deluxe" works up a nagging line in emotive electro. "Spannered In Dub" may well be the track that gets the most airings with its minimal disposition, strong rhythm section and utterly addictive groove.
Review: Earlier in the decade, Alexander Skancke released a swathe of admired singles on NeoStrictly, Eskimo Recordings and Shadow Hide You, before promptly vanishing from view. "Jungle Japes" sees the Norwegian return to action after three long years via a heavy and mind altering four-tracker that we believe to be his strongest work to date. For proof, check the mangled, bowel-bothering two-step garage/minimal house fusion of "Dig It", and the lolloping "bassline" swing of "Inaflow", where Eastern European tech-house electronics bubble away above a suitably rugged and sub-heavy groove. Elsewhere, "Acid Cave" is a bounding chunk of out-there tech-house retro-futurism, while "Jungle Japes (Monkey Mix)" is a bounce-along slab of high-grade dancefloor silliness.
Review: Given the amount of labels he's appeared on over the years, it's something of a surprise to find that this is Subb An's first outing on INFUSE. As usual, the experienced tech-house producer delivers the goods, beginning with the undulating, bass-heavy late night hustle of funk-fuelled A-side "Future-Wise". While it's little more than a killer, bassline-driven groove with a few tweaked acid lines and strange effects now and then, there's no denying the track's dancefloor chops. He continues on a similar theme on "111", wrapping watery riffs and spacey electronic motifs around a locked-in rhythm and booming bassline, while "Move (5Am Dub)" is a similarly trippy and hypnotic affair tailor-made for early morning sets.