Review: Keinemusik co-founder Gregor Sutterlin AKA Rampa is the latest addition to the Innervisions roster. His debut EP for the imprint is dancefloor-friendly and for the most part club ready, but also slightly more experimental and off-kilter in ethos than you'd perhaps expect from Ame and Dixon's long-running label. Check first the non-stop A-side suite of tracks, where the oddball electronics and effects-laden looped vocals of "79249 (Intro)" seamlessly segues into the ghostly lead lines, thrusting arpeggio bass, creepy effects and locked-in techno drums of "They Will". Radiohead-influenced vocal number "Tell Me Are We" is a glassy-eyed outsider tech-house collaboration with WhoMadeWho, while "Lavender Boogie" is a richly percussive affair rich in ice cream van chimes, dense African percussion and hushed tech-house tones.
Review: While their obscure disco and Balearic re-edits tend towards the warm and groovy, Psychemagik's original productions have been getting increasingly tough and druggy in tone. "Rattlesnake", a hypnotic chunk of club-ready psychedelic disco rich in wonky electronics, trippy riffs, mind-altering bass and locked-in drums, may well be their most intoxicating and hallucinatory track to date. The duo's out-there original mix is made even weirder - and arguably more alluring - by Magda on her "Blotter Traxion Remix", which sounds like a tripping hippie trying to simultaneously mix electro, tech-house and techno. Vyvyan provides the other rework, wrapping doom-laden electronics and fizzing acid lines around crispy disco drums.
Review: Some five years after re-launching his Crayon label via a fine EP of vintage "Tracks From The Vault", original 1990s tech-house producer Mark Ambrose serves up more gems from his bulging archives. The quality threshold remains dizzyingly high throughout. Check first the moody, back room dub of "Nightshift (Deeper Mix)", where gentle, alien synth lines and deep space chords tumble down over a heavy analogue bassline and locked-in beats, before turning your attention to "Space Animals", a deliciously dubbed-out affair rich in sub bass and drifting, deep space chords. If that's not enough, flip over and trance out to B side "Seduction" and finally, the slamming techno beats, looped electronics and mind-mangling TB-303 motifs of closer "Dusty Acid".
Review: UK tech house hero Burnski has been serving up some serious heat of late under the Instinct alias, channelling that old school UK vibe of drum & bass, speed garage and 2-step. His exploration into these styles bring about this sixth instalment of his eponymous series with 3 cuts set to cause havoc on dancefloors this year. A side cut "Overthrow" rides on a slick tech house groove before moving into a swing-fuelled rhythm and razor-sharp sub-bass and it's business as usual. On the flip, shadowy stepper "Phased" fuses Artful Dodger's classic swagger with the dark sci-fi aesthetic of Ed Rush & Optical. Finally, put your lighters up for the furious junglist roller that is "Free Life".
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: London's FUSE returns with more expertly curated tech house by two of the scene's major players: label staple Rich NxT and Eastenderz honcho East End Dubs. A side houses the tripped-out, tough rolling bounce of "E3" with its squelchy stabs, booming sub bass and swing-fuelled rhythms while on the flip, a fierce banger in the form of "Bubbles" which will no doubt get the crowd moving with its heady 303 acid, airy chords and locked-in drums. Note: drop at 7AM for maximum impact.
Review: One of the most singular artists in the Romanian minimal scene, Chiriches Vincentiu Iulian returns with more of his idiosyncratic grooves for new imprint Contemporan following up a great inaugural release by Sublee. "Contempo EP" delivers four diverse yet functional grooves that are aimed squarely at the dance floor, both at peak time and also those creepy dark after-hours moments. Highlights are plentiful throughout; check the smooth and dubby deepness of opener "Fixfue", trippy bass-driven funk of "Sonara" and reduced alien transmissions of "S-ude CV".