Review: French electronic legend Sebastien Devaud returns as Agoria, on his always impressive Sapiens imprint with new single "Remedy" taken from his latest album entitled "Drift". Here we are treated to two wonderful remixes, both blessed with the French touch. Emmanuel 'Manoo' Kossi takes the A side with an emotive and electrifying hi-tech soul rendition while on the flip, legends Cassius make a triumphant return to production by taking the track into deeper and sexier sonic territory.
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: 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: One of the founders of Uaudio and Sperimentazioni Sonore, Battista has been bouncing his outsider house style around labels such as The Trilogy Tapes and Warm Sounds, sometimes solo and sometimes in tandem with likeminded souls EMG and John Swing. Now he parks up on Florida label SPORTS with some more crooked delights that ably demonstrate the creative potential still to be found in the house realm if you approach it with imagination. "Infinite Possibility" is a weird, jazzy cut that reaches into the cosmos, and it's utterly magnificent. Saverio Celestri does a marvelous job of remixing it too, turning out a smoky, Motor City indebted version. "Let Me See" may have a more forthright beat, but there's still enough individuality in the choice of chords and samples to make this a stand out house record.
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.