Review: Fresh from the success of two top notch EPs on iile, Leo Pol unveils his most ambitious release to date. All I Got In Me is something of a beast, with seven tracks stretched across two slabs of wax. It's a rather pleasingly varied affair, all told, with the experienced producer flitting between Detroit style techno futurism ("BH2"), warm, chunky and occasionally tough deep house ("All I Got In Me", "Live Concrete"), spacey beatbox electro ("Live Love") and the kind of tech-house cuts that look to both the Motor City and Chicago for inspiration. As a bonus, he's also included a collaborative cut under the St Ouen Connection moniker, the deep and hazy, techno-tempo positivity of "Masile".
Review: Toki Fuko has quietly slipped out some high-grade ambient electronics over the past 10 years, but this double-vinyl drop on the ever excellent Silent Season represents some his most striking work to date. In line with the label's aesthetic, gauzy dub techno atmospheres prevail in the main, as thick billowing clouds of chord drift over submerged, stripped down rhythms. There is also space for other moods to infect the process though - there's a laconic 90s chill-out room groove to "Spring Ray (Outtake)", which then gets reshaped as a pattering percussive meditation on the EP's closing mix. Stunning, immersive approaches from start to finish.
Review: Another single-sided sizzler from the Digwah camp, whose irregular tech-house reworks of well-loved old cuts are rarely less than excellent. This time round, they've turned their attention to a sprightly, memorable chunk of '80s soul - an American club cut of the period that has been re-edited numerous times by disco diggers. The Digwah version, though, is an almost complete overhaul; while snippets of the original version's vocals and guitars are present in the mix, they largely play second fiddle to chunky tech-house beats and a bold, huggable bassline that propels the revision forward towards peak-time dancefloors. It's decent and scintillating like most Digwah remixes.
Review: The fourth release from London-based label Eya continues to shape out an intriguing identity that nods to classic techno tropes while charging ahead with their own agenda. Label boss Jos' "Planet Eya" sets a lively pace with its forthright drum machine jack offset by warm synth licks. Evil Knebel matches the tempo and weaves in a cosmic set of tones, which Poten then cosigns with the equally trippy, propulsive "Intransigence". Jos is back at the helm for closing track "Purify", which strikes a darker tone without losing that raw, vintage techno flavour that makes this label one to watch.
Review: The Beeyou label strikes ahead with its third release, continuing to champion warm, musical deep house from a range of emergent producers. XHZ makes a debut appearance here with the epic "Jazz 2 Jazz", which progresses through a woozy nocturnal mood to wind up in an effervescent, Rhodes-soaked finale. Jake Flory keeps things simmering on the tracky but engaging "14th Groove", before following up with the effortlessly cool chord drops of "Distress". With melodious invention at its heart and the needs of the dancefloor well catered for, the Beeyou crew have delivered another essential package for discerning spinners.
Review: 21 years have passed since Silverlining (aka Asad Rizvi) and Nathan Coles first joined forces as Two Right Wrongans and released "The Not Quite Right EP", a brilliant three-track collection of pioneering tech-house treats. That 12" has long been tricky to find - unless, of course, you're willing to fork out rather a lot to purchase an original copy online - so it's great to see the EP's two standout tracks getting the reissue treatment. A-side "System Error" is particularly potent, with fizzing sci-fi electronics and gently pulsing chords rising above a techno-tempo, house style rhythm track. "Straight Ahead Then Take The Next Wrong" is more hypnotic in tone, sounding like a blueprint for today's glitchy, bass-heavy tech-house tracks.
Review: Politics Of Dancing celebrate five years of pristine deep and minimal house with this first installment in a series of various artist releases. Djebali and Stephan Bazbaz are in the mood for squelchy chords and undulating basslines on "J'Adore", while Boris Werner keeps things sleek and funky on the craftily executed "Omar Coming". Politics Of Dancing themselves kick off the B side with the gorgeous "Peace", and Rowlanz locks into a sharp and sassy minimal workout with lashings of jazzy goodness bedded into the groove. It's a package delivered with the high standards of dancefloor functionality and musical personality we've come to expect from the always-on-point Parisian label.
Review: The Raw Joints series is one of the best things about the ever-excellent SlapFunk Records, and now the Dutch label is back with a fresh bout of sounds from some of the most inventive artists operating in the minimal house sphere. Ferro's "Electric Sunshine" leads the charge with a militant groove and a rubbery bassline to die for. William Caycedo has a rugged, sample slicing thrust at work on "Mi Casa", while Malin Genie takes things far out on the wonderfully freaky "Superposition". The record wraps up with Ingi Visions, whose "RJG" wriggles into a skippy 2-step groove that will have bodies shaking uncontrollably when it gets deployed in the dance.
Review: Madonna, Depeche Mode and Kelis - what do East End Edits have in store for us next? This seventh instalment harks back to the charming deep jazzy house of their inaugural release - think of the legendary St. Germain and that should give you a fairly good idea. The track's smoky, late night jazz bar vibe is complemented by a rolling bass and swinging rhythms that should appeal to the likes of Rhadoo or Petre Inspirescu - legends of the Romanian scene who themselves have lent their deft hand to the French producer's work as remixers in the past, too.
Review: More from single-sided specialists EEE, a shadowy crew that specializes in sneaky contemporary club reworks of well-known tracks (many of which are, in their original form, about as dancefloor focused as your average miserable indie band or veteran cabaret crooner). What's on offer this time round is a heavily electronic tech-house groove - all Romanian style beats and bubbling, mind-altering synth notes - onto which is laid cut-up snippets from a famous old blues cut that's previously been sampled on a club cut to great effect. While the vocal does sit slightly awkwardly at times, there's no denying the heaviness or effectiveness of EEE's track. In other words, it's another winner from tech-house's most shadowy crew.
The PGA - "Deep In The Bunker" (Dogleg Detour mix) (6:31)
Chris Geschwindner - "Dale's Lullaby" (6:10)
Henry Hyde - "Hello Spcshp" (5:49)
Review: The fifth NorthSouth release plunges once again into the melting pot of producers seeking new variations on the house and techno format, leading in with London minimal champ Voigtmann. His "Separation Attitude" takes on the kind of wild, expressive machine funk you'd expect from Spacetravel, cosmic and pumping in equal measure. The "Dogleg Detour" mix of The PGA's "Deep In The Bunker" makes powerful use of a spacious mix to let the bassline strut its stuff, while Chris Geschwindner's crafty 2-step construction on "Dale's Lullaby" should appeal to all those digging garage beats matched with techno atmospherics. Henry Hyde's "Hello Spcshp" takes a distinctive approach to acid electro that should find favour with body popping freaks who like their jams playful and a little off kilter.
Henry Hyde - "Every Day's A Good Day For A Swim" (6:18)
Review: The ever-charitable Needs project continues apace with another stunning cast of characters offering up their dancefloor creations to help a good cause - the environmentally-focused Cool Earth NGO. On this 12", Eris Drew delivers the uplifting breakbeat celebration of "See You In Snow", while Edward takes things deeper with the tripped out minimal house groove of "Mind Loop". D. Tiffany brings a particularly crafty approach to her own drum funk science on "Sun Trip" and Henry Hyde cools things down with the mellow, new age 2 step stylings of "Every Day's A Good Day For A Swim."
Review: Fernando Zapico may have released music on countless imprints over the last 14 years, but he's still keen on notching up more label debuts. The "Mayday EP" marks another, as the Uruguayan brings his distinctive brand of late night electronics to CABARET Recordings for the very first time. He hits the ground running with "Freq From D", a foreboding electro stepper blessed with rich Motor City electronics and turn of the '90s style bleeps. "Winter Nights" sees him built energy and urgency around a groove rich in jazzy analogue bass and rolling, loose-limbed house beats, while flipside "Mayday" wraps ghostly chiming melodies and fizzing electronic noises around a snappy techno groove.
Review: Last spotted on Vakant, Detroit's man of mystery returns to D'Julz' Bass Culture after four years with three more rough, warm Motor City jams. "Castaway" takes off without so much as a compass. Heading towards the light with every added rhythmic element and cascading arpeggio, it drives into the horizon with equal measure of focus and looseness. "Doin It To Ya Baby" takes a subaquatic disco approach - the wide beats are wrapped in subtle slapbass twangs and dubby overlays while "Wara Coco" is a trippier twist into the shadows as raindrop textures trickle over a low and slow groove and incessant humanised loops. Remix-wise Orlando Voorn peppers the lead track with a little analogue funk and mild acid tweaking. After this castaway you'll never want to come home...
Review: British-born producer/DJ Christian 'Jay' Newman who now resides in techno mecca Berlin inaugurates his new Meld imprint (which he runs with some friends) with a four tracker that rides on the new wave of ex-minimal, retro-influenced techno/house. With a decent portfolio of releases for Idle Hands, Butter Side Up and NorthSouth, Newman is in great form here on the "Preservation EP". Whether it's the hyperware bleepy bounce of the title track, lo-slung UK breaks on "Greasy Spoon" or hypnotic afterhours tackle by closer "OJT", we foresee big things from this fledgling label. Fans of Time Passages, Pager or Limousine Dream will love this.
Review: Brawther returns to one of the stand out tracks from last year's "Transient States" LP and hands it over to a couple of more-than-capable remixers. "Jaxx Freaxx" becomes an irresistibly funky bumper in the hands of Fumiya Tanaka, whose "My Jaxx" version sounds like it would be right at home in the midst of a lengthy Panorama Bar session. Zweizig follows up on his recent "Rhythm Tension" 12" for Negentropy with a sublime, subtle twist on "Jaxx Freaxx" that matches swinging micro house with dubby FX ripples that sound like they were deployed with the after party in mind.
Review: Benjamin Brunn and Dave Wheels are old studio buddies, having worked together on and off since 2006. "2000", though, is their most ambitious joint project yet: a collaborative album for Sushitech that offers up breezy, melodious and cheery fusions of heady dub techno, gentle electronica, chugging sofa-friendly haziness and glitchy late night hypnotism. It's an interesting blend but one that certainly hits the spot. Highlights include the horizontal pulse of "Orainge", the wonderfully hypnotic after-hours throb of "Iratamoto (Version)", the bold and sun-kissed undulations of "In The Club" and the pie-eyed warmth of "Waldeck".
Review: AE Recordings turns its attention to Oculus, who they describe as a "titan of the Icelandic techno scene", famed for his live sets that have kept bodies moving for the past decade. He commits some of his sounds to wax here, maintaining the otherworldly emotional lilt that often comes from the scene orbiting AE and Thule Records, but with a bolder sound palette than some of the icy dubbed out artists he rubs shoulders with. "Nostalgia" deals in powerful, swooning chord progressions, while "Rydgad" pings a set of metallic percussion around a sturdy but crooked low end groove. "Morph" takes things deeper, while "Flod" offers up a classy take on the minimal techno aesthetic, with added sound design trysts for good measure.
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: The always on-point SlapFunk continues its sixth round of Raw Joints with another four razor sharp jams from a gifted contingent of contemporary producers. Lopaski actually delivers something with the delicacy of Jan Jelinek's finest early micro house productions, but strapped to a more pronounced rhythmic undercarriage. Pascal Benjamin gets into a quintessential minimal house groove that sounds right at home on SlapFunk, while JAMM brings a tougher set of beats to the table. SE62 rounds things off with the loose and limber shuffle of "Fear", which doffs a cap to garage while keeping things dark and deadly.
Review: Rominimal veteran Barac Nicolae returns, and this time on Felipe Venegas' esteemed imprint Drumma with a pair of tight, infectious minimal tech house productions. The rolling and hypnotic main room grooves that he's built his reputation on can be heard loud and clear on the powerful "The Mirror Of Spirit", while the flipside houses a deeper, after-hours vibe via "909". Despite its name, the beats produced by the trusty Roland drum machine aren't the main attraction. We think "303" might be more well suited for this acid entrancer!
Review: Lauren Lo Sung's star continues to rise as the talented minimal house producer and DJ partners up with the mighty Lazare Hoche. This four track EP is packed with bombs, from the shimmering, metallic deep house finery of "Running" to the cheeky acid wriggle of "Dusty Pink". Things take a darker, deeper turn on the fierce "Fixate," and then lift into fluttering after hours tones for the sublime and ever so slightly trippy "Lara's Dub". Now firmly entrenched in the cut and thrust of the European minimal house scene, Lo Sung's talents spill out in abundance on this assured pack of highly workable and versatile floor filling 4/4 burners.
Review: MDA Analog's scant discography points to just a few essential items from the mid 90s and one 12" in 2004, but those records made enough impact to now be highly sought after. Having returned earlier this year with the welcome reissue of "Shine", now they're turning their attention to "Pride", another 1996 jam that originally appeared on Nova Zembla. "Pride 2019" does a fine job of updating the original into a slower, funkier house framework, while the original "Pride 1996" has a pleasing rowdiness to offset the melodious harmony of the synth work. "Choose To Live" is a new production that applies a full-fat frequency range, from powerful basslines to swirling chords up top, while "Running Away From Home" creates a heady brew of hi-tech soul for astral travelers.
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: Leeds veteran Paul Raymono continues with his winning streak of releases with this new thriller on Darius Syrossian's Moxy Muzik. It's all tough rolling tech house for the main room on this four track banger focused on the tripped-out hypnotic bounce of "Initiated" and rolling afterhours groove business of "Esperanza" with its rather familiar vocal house refrain. The latter receives a killer rework by the FUSE London affiliated Seb Zito on the flip, followed by the "Brandub 'Space' Remix" which gets down to business in minimal and bumping fashion.
Review: Ted Krisko and Eric Rickers hail from Detroit, and their distinctive brand of snappy, playful electro and techno has already landed them releases on KMS, Visionquest and others. Now they land on 20/20 Vision with the devilishly fun "One LFO," an unremitting acid jam shot through with crafty drum programming and enough robotic lubricant to get the rustiest joints greased up and moving. Fellow Detroit champs Luke Hess and Delano Smith shore up on the flip with classy remixes, Hess waving his dubby strains over the original in inimitable form and Smith taking things deep, smooth and just a little spooky.
Review: New York techno mainstay Reade Truth has skirted around widespread recognition with a long-standing commitment to underground techno approaches recognised by those that know as some of the best in the business. This release sees him dust down the first release on his label Path, 20 years after it originally did the business. It's high time tracks like "The Path" that get a fresh airing - the dynamic, detailed approach to drum programming and warm acid undulations sound as relevant now as they did back then. "319" is a more reflective jam that heads into emotive, moody territory that highlights the breadth in Truth's sound, before "Give Me Insanity" round things up by taking it super-deep thanks to expansive pad sweeps and shimmering hats aplenty.
Review: The Default project graduates from event series to record label with a strong first installment that features a host of talented producers operating in the field of minimal and tech house. Exander leads the charge with the intricate, bubbling mechanics of "Confuso" before Rojid steps up with the wriggling percussive programming and processed vocal treatments of "Susano". Imbue stretches out over the B-side with the more melodic, subtly psychedelic sounds of "Twotwentyeight", which takes on an organic quality as it simmers away over a steady beat. The sharp focus on proper minimal techno here should appeal to all those craving fresh sounds from rising talents within the scene.
Review: In recent times, demand has soared for a trilogy of 12" singles that Matthew "Bushwacka!" Benjamin released on Sound As A Pound Recordings in 1996. This must-have 12" gathers together some of the series' most in-demand moments. Opener "8" is warm, positive and hypnotic, with marimba style memories and sun-kissed synth chords riding layered drums and a rich bassline, while "11" is a game-changing fusion of off-kilter breakbeats, heavy sub-bass and some seriously dreamy chords and lead lines. Flipside opener "5" adds sunrise-ready deep house chords and melodies to a funk-fuelled techno groove and is therefore the purest representation here of the early UK tech-house sound. As a bonus, Desert Sound Colony offers a tough and chunky peak-time revision of "8" that's altogether denser and heavier than Benjamin's original mix.
Review: Dewalta has been doing a fine job of curating his respected Meander imprint of late, with some stunning releases by the brightest stars in the minimal techno scene at present. Following up some quality EPs by newcomers like Sublee and Alci, we've got a stunning release by Italian virtuoso Christopher Ledger - who has carved his own distinct sonic path over the last few years with releases on Brouqade, Animae and Ada Kaleh. "Dark Moon EP" consolidates many of his sonic aesthetics on this 4-tracker: the moody and intoxicating title track with its UKG influence, to the straight up hypnotic tech house of "The Ninth Cloud" (which will mix in perfectly with most of the label's back catalogue), closing with the emotive breakbeat IDM of "Scarlet Heaven" which calls to mind a similar vibe as explored on his recent 'MPC Sketches' EP.