All I Do (Ryuhei The Man 45 edit instrumental) (4:05)
Review: Japanese live outfit, A Hundred Birds has a thing for creating classic covers. Over the course of their career, they've recorded countless covers, including organic, string-laden interpretations of techno scene staples such as "Blackwater" (originally recorded by Octave 8) and "Knights of the Jaguar" (The Aztec Mystic). Last year they offered up another warm and wonderous cover, this time of Stevie Wonder classic "All I Do". Here it gets a new lease of life courtesy of scalpel fiend Ryu The Man, who has delivered tightened-up, floor-friendly vocal and instrumental edits of the warm, rich, soulful and undeniably summery cover version. Both are rather good, though it's the vocal version that will win over dancers.
Akabu - "Ride The Storm" (feat Linda Clifford - Saison remix) (7:21)
The Love Symphony Orchestra - "Let Me Be Your Fantasy" (Dr Packer remix) (7:31)
Joey Negro Presents The Sunburst Band - "Everyday" (JN Disco Re-Bump remix) (7:28)
Art Of Tones - "Flower Child" (feat Anduze) (7:01)
Review: Like its numerous predecessors, 16th edition of Z Records' long running "Attack The Dancefloor" series is packed to the rafters with tried and tested dancefloor treats, most of which have never appeared on vinyl before. First up, Saison tackles Akabu's 2001 classic "Ride The Storm", turning it into a deep, bouncy and rubbery chunk of lilting, string-drenched house goodness, before Dr Packer delivers a subtly tooled-up take on The Love Symphony Orchestra's grandiose and sexually-charged 1978 disco classic "Let Me Be Your Fantasy". Label head honcho Joey Negro provides a superb deep disco rework of one of his own productions, the Sunburst Band's 2004 summer sing-along "Everyday", while Art of Tones' "Flower Child" is a flash-fried, disco-funk romp laden with superb lead vocals from Anduze.
Review: This slick package of high grade weaponry is the second and final part of the Gargoyle Classics reissues series. It turns attention to Baltimore in the mid 90s, a time when techno, IDM, electro, rave and breaks were all freely colliding with one another. The result is a four tracker that you would have a hard time placing given its timeless appeal. From the slick electro techno funk of "I Said" to the more bouncy techno remix via the turbo charged bass of "Ten After 3" and freaky sci-fi work out that is "Do You Believe" (Space Evader mix), this is perfectly red hot tackle.
Review: Shanti Radio's previous multi-artists EPs were all superb, so it's little surprise to see that the latest also consistently hits the spot. Amonita sets the tone via the soft-focus tech-house shuffle of "Lavender Bloom", where lilting strings, dreamy chords and eyes-closed female vocal samples flutter around a hypnotic groove, before RVNZ offers up the similarly breezy and spring-fresh bliss of "Big Red Machine". Over on side B, Hermazez explores the kind of ultra-melodious and atmospheric hybrid progressive house/tech-house sound that the All Day I Dream label does so well ("Flame Keeper"), while Fulltone unfurls warm and ear-catching melodies and sumptuous chords on sunrise-ready closing cut "Woodland Oracle".
Review: Strap in for a wild techno ride on the first ever offering from Psionic. The new label kicks off with an EP from Astral Travel. The aptly named artist reaches for beyond the event horizon on "Sky's The Limit", with its punchy kicks and relentlessly wobbly bass. "As One" gets into a nicely mechanical groove built on stomping kicks and rigid synth movements that make for perfectly robotic funk and the trip closes out with "Orbiting." With its urgent drums that are smooth and silky and serene synth work, it's one for peak time techno cruising.
Jared Wilson - "Lynnwood2 Northgate Transit Center" (6:39)
Sohrab - "Sinking" (6:42)
KCLF - "Reloaded 9615" (4:17)
Review: Undersound Recordings hit release number 15 with a various artist EP that packs four vital techno punches. Audio Quest's "The Mental Screen" kicks off with some old school techno that recalls the sound of legendary Dutch label Djax-Up. It's filled with metallic snare sounds and deep space bleeps. Jared Wilson of course brings the acid that has defined his output for years, and Sohrab get busy with a kicking number and some busy melody patterns. KCLF closes out with twisted bass and shiny chords that look back to go forwards with "Reloaded 9615".
Review: Nobody does tough rolling tackle for the peak time quite like the Audiojack boys. The Leeds-based duo head up the revered Gruuv imprint and have left their indelible mark on The White Isle with their legendary parties. Indeed, their sound is a worthy addition to the Mannheim-based 8bit imprint; Jorge and Nick Curly, like Rial & Birkenshaw themselves, churn out proper tech house that is aimed squarely at the main room. The track in question is "Are We Here", that sees them deliver something a bit more restrained than usual. This is a smooth and euphoric slow burner that's perfect to build up to the bangers in your set, harnessing all that 'energy'. Speaking of which, that's the operative word throughout the B side cut "Higher" with its deep and bass-driven pulsation that's sure to get the sweat dripping from the walls.
Review: Much loved and always impassioned vocalist and producer Norma Jean Bell is a firm favourite with greats like Moodymann, and for good reason. here she lands on Pandamonium with a new EP that utilises the voice of soul herself, Miss Aretha Franklin. "Got Me A Mann" is a gossip tinged, chord laced house track that will make you shuffle on the spot as you rejoice your sins. "Libre Comme Un Oiseau (Free As A Bird)" is another roller, this time with more free flowing vocals that ring out above the chunky, organic drums and busted bass. Excellent stuff.
Review: Hoary Ukraine has kept up a busy rate of release since first appearing in the world, and as was the case with their eighth EP in April, this ninth offering is a various artists affair that calls on some slick tech house talents. Nick Beringer's "AI" is tight and crisp, with an old school feel thanks to the neon baseline, the Sota really pumps the party with his effervescing, fist pumping "Zerosandones". "UXB" on the flip is Nolga's clipped, bass driven tech-garage shuffler, then closing things out is Diego Krause with "Touchstone", a darker jam with some fresh sound designs.
Review: We were rather impressed by the first volume in the CCCP Edits series, a re-edit imprint seemingly dedicated to offering up reworks of obscure, largely unknown musical gems from Soviet-era Russia, so hopes are sky-high for this second instalment. We shouldn't have worried. Opener "Nochi" is a deep, woozy and off-kilter chunk of two-step garage/jazz-funk fusion, while "Ne Mojet Bit" is the most Balearic electro track we've heard in yonks. The fun continues on the flip, where the glassy-eyed deep pop-goes-two-step flex of "T=H2O" comes accompanied with the hip-house era breakbeat-house warmth (and jazzy keys) of standout track "Hare, Krishna".
Review: After some great EPs for tap labels such as Metereze, Half Baked and Tavera Tracks in recent times, Greek wunderkind John Dimas is back to inaugurate new imprint Synq with the 'Rave Wave' EP. As the name may suggest, there are retro-tinted party tunes that see Dimas make the journey into classic techno sounds like many others in the minimal house fraternity have tuned into in recent years - and he does a damn fine job if we do say so. On the A side, we have "Transmatik" and there's a clear enough reference found in the title, incorporating Rhythim is Rhythim style syncopated drums effectively for Motor City inspired number. While on the flip, the hi-tech soul themes continue on the acid-laced future funk of the title track.
Review: Barely two weeks have passed since Andrei Popa AKA Direkt delivered a strong contribution to the Atipic Lab series, but the Romanian producer is already back in action. "Language Point" is, of course, another rock-solid outing, this time on debutant label Thinc. Check first the deliciously spacey, sci-fi sounds of purist tech-house opener "Language Point", a slick, synth-heavy and far-sighted affair that's later given a glitchier, more contemporary tech-tinged makeover by remixer Vincentiulian. Direkt continues to dance his way through distant constellations on hypnotic EP highlight "Ephemeris", before combining chunkier tech-house beats, bubblier electronics and broken computer sounds on trippy, heads-down closing cut "Nova".
Review: Disordered Rhythm Metronomy may be a puzzling (and, let's face it, rather strange) artistic alias, but the two men behind the project, Ricardo Villalobos and Edward, have produced some of the most distinctive leftfield techno of the last decade. As a result, you'd expect their first joint EP to be a killer... and it is. A-side "Vormlock" is a rubbery, off-kilter treat, with the experienced duo peppering an elastic synth bassline and sparse, skittish drums with glitchy stabs, tipsy lead lines and all manner of wonky, out-of-this-world noises. Over on the flipside you'll find title track "Down", a deeper and dreamier chunk of spacey minimalism in which typical Villalobos style percussion and softly squelching bass comes cloaked in some suitably intergalactic synthesizer chords.
Descanse/ADMSDP/Juntos/Mmmm (feat LA Warman) (22:10)
Review: DJ Python's hypnotic take on dembow is second to none. The New York DJ and producer can send you wild with the slowest of tempos and does that again here on his second superb album on Incienso. His tactile drum programming weaves and wanders beneath the most bendy and gooey of synth lines. The tension between those percolating drums and the star gazing keys and pads up top is what makes his music so enthralling - life is slowed to a crawl and everything seems to take on more beauty and resonance as a result. Tracks here are variously coloured with eerie vocal samples, field recordings or deconstructed jungle percussion, and every single one snakes its way into your mind, body and soul. "Mas Amable" may just be one of the albums of the year.
Review: Consistently on form house master DJ Steaw is back with more of his essential nuggets. "Freee" (House mix) has something of a classicist feel, with its straight up drums and star gazing synth lines disappearing off into the cosmos. A sweet and tender vocal finishes it in style. "Freee" in original form is a perfect bit of late 80s jazz funk, disco and boogie fusion that rides low while making your temperature rise. "Walk In Broadway" closes out with more peak time grooves, pounding kicks and an old school bassline that nags down low throughout.
Review: Is East End Dubz the hardest working producer in the 21st century tech-house scene? He's certainly prolific, as his sprawling discography attests, but what's more impressive is the consistent quality of his releases. He's hit the mark yet again on this EP for his self-titled imprint. A-side "Wobble" is particularly potent, featuring as it does a fizzing fusion of insatiably funky bass, surging acid lines and shoulder-swinging beats. "Slammin" is closer in tone and style to the producer's trademark tech-house glitchiness - all mangled electronic motifs, straightened-out Villalobos drums and deep bass - while "Izit" is a tidy, acid-flecked box jam that increases in weight and intensity as the track progresses.
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: Graded, Regraded and now Intergraded? Label chief Midland has stated that it is a new label intended to focus on releasing music by new artists; whether unknown, emerging or established but working under different aliases. For the sixth release, we have Em and Stav. Well established in the vanguard of Bristol and beyond's electronic music scene, both individually in their own right and as a duo, they are partners in real life and behind the decks. Great stuff on this one: from the hypnotic and bass-driven broken beat of "Afterglow", to the soulful futurist electro of "Inner Space" and the emotive off-kilter IDM of B-side cut "Atmospheric Love" - this is a terrific effort from the promising pair.
Review: We may not be able to gather to dance outdoors under a blazing sun or a blanket of stars, but there's no harm in a little musical daydreaming. That's what the latest multi-artist Ravenelli Disco Club release is all about: summery escapism that comes with a big dollop of rush-inducing disco release. Ethyene sets the tone with the colourful boogie-house fusion of "Let Love" - all twinkling synth motifs, echoing percussion hits, thickset grooves and hazy vocal samples - before Carlo raises the temperature via some jazzy deep house heaviness in the vein of Derrick Carter's "boompty" era. Over on side B, Hotmood's "Magical Flight" is a surging, string-drenched disco-house roller, while Rees' "The Way You Mood" is a tooled-up take on what sounds like a classic Philadelphia International cut.
Review: Underground Soul launches din 2016 and has not been in a rush to make headlines. What they have done though is put out a steady, sumptuous and high quality selection of house tunes that continues with this fourth offering. Frank Spirit and Keys Of Lynx come together for it to serve up two fresh cuts that have bumping US house drums and classic London jazz stylings. The one ad only Glenn Underground step sup to remix "Virtue" with his famous sense of musicality then ALT chops up the drums to make for a funky broken beat jam aimed squarely at the floor.
Get Over U (Mr Director's 'Feels Good' dub) (9:04)
Get Over U (Director's cut mix - Sami Dee edit) (6:15)
Review: SoSure Music have re-released Director's Cut's 2012 funky house anthem "Can't Get Over U" with a couple of modern reshapes for modern dance floors. The duo was comprised of 'Godfather of house music' Frankie Knuckles with veteran producer Eric Kupper. Berlin's Chambray (REKIDS/&Friends/Dirtybird) injects a bouncy lo-fi shuffle into his rework, while industry legend Tedd Patterson keeps that classic vibe alive - like only he can - on his version. On the flip, we have Frankie's own 'Mr Director's 'Feels Good' Dub' (a vinyl exclusive) of which Frenchman Sami Dee serves up a brilliant edit as well.
Review: House music's ability to make you feel good is part of its appeal, and artists like New Jersey majesty Josh Milan of Blaze fame, and London broken beat astro Kaidi Tatham sure know that. They link here with Patrick Gibin for an EP that brims with summer time soul, joyous keys and funky bass riffs that are impossibly sweet. Jazz funk, house and boogie all colour the tracks here with "Don't Be Rude" brining the cosmic vibes and "Groove On" making you want to move for days with its killer b-line and disco energy. Gorgeous stuff, for sure.
Review: Berlin-based Korean Peggy Gou has been surprisingly quiet since first bursting onto the scene back in 2016. Here, she returns to action having graduated from Technicolour to parent label Ninja Tune. Many may already have heard EP standout "It Makes You Forget (Itgehane)", a percussively ambidextrous beast based around a bouncy, off-skilter, snare-heavy rhythm track. It has been much discussed online after Gou included it her recent Resident Advisor podcast. On the B-side you'll find tracks representative of her developing style, which draws together elements of European deep house, electro, early '90s U.S house, the rubbery disco eccentricity of Maurice Fulton and the instinctive polyrhythms more often found in traditional African music.
Review: It may have taken the best part of six months, but Glenn Underground has finally delivered his first new music of 2020. The Chicago house legend is in fine form on "Shake That Body", a warm and jazzy chunk of deep house/disco fusion rich in tasty instrumentation and topped off by a fine female lead vocal courtesy of newcomer T.H.I.C.K. It's accompanied on the A-side by the superb "Dubbl" version, which sees Glenn Underground strip the track back to a killer dub disco groove before bringing back the keys, acoustic guitars, spacey synths and snippets of T.H.I.C.K's vocal. Over on the flip you'll find a seductive "Remix" that subtly moves the track closer to deep, soulful house territory.
Now That I Got To Know You (instrumental dub) (8:22)
Review: The honeyed, effortlessly soulful vocals of Reggie Hall have been a feature of Chicago house since the late 1980s, when he appeared on a Dance Mania release by Victor Romeo. He's released plenty of music since then, though this hook-up with Glenn Underground - who produced the music - and fellow house veteran Byron Stingily (who provided backing vocals) is still his first outing for almost 12 years. The A-side full vocal version is simply superb, with Hall's superb, impassioned, gospel-inspired vocals riding a bouncy, Osunlade style groove, jazzy guitars, sustained church organ chords and all manner of intricate musical details. Glenn Underground dons the CVO alias to deliver a slightly tougher, more groove-driven B-side "Dub" that nevertheless includes plenty of sun-bright musical warmth.