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: 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: 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.
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: 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.
Review: Alex is a brand new alias from the artist regularly known as Baba Stiltz - a Swedish producer whose quirky, off-kilter house and techno releases are rarely less than brilliant. His first Trilogy Tapes outing is suitably impressive. The real killer is "Samba", an inspired nine minute workout in which he layers deep, woozy electric piano motifs, sun-kissed chords, child-like vocal samples and rich bass atop a swinging, samba fired techno beat. The deeper and more bass-heavy "Memo" is even more epic; a near 13-minute journey through sparse, crunchy, hypnotic and dubbed-out minimal house rhythms and exotic, snake charmer solos. In other words, it's another top-notch EP from a producer who genuinely can do no wrong.
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.