Review: By now, we should all know what to expect from Belfast boys Bicep, namely formidable dancefloor fare variously influenced by bumpin' US garage and vintage Italian house. This two-tracker for Aus is, though, a little different. For starters, lead cut "Circles" bites classic Detroit techno, adding woozy, picturesque electronic melodies to a typically in-your-face techno groove (check the relentless scymbals for proof of the track's Motor City credentials). "Track 2" is a deeper proposition, but no less fluid. Like its predecessor, it's more musically rich and enveloping than many of their tough, stripped-back productions. It's an intriguing new direction, and proves once and for all they're no "one trick" ponies.
Review: Belfast pair Bicep are smart operators. Having previously doffed a cap to both Italian house and classic New Jersey garage, recent releases have seen them play around with a variety of rhythmic patterns and more advanced musical elements. They're at it again here on their latest outing for Aus. Opener "Just" is pleasingly cheery, with simple but addictive electronic melodies and sweeping chords nestling above a head-nodding, hip-hop influenced groove. "Celeste" is undeniably Balearic, with sun-kissed pianos, dreamy pads and drifting vocal samples stretching out over delay-laden, African-influenced percussion. Finally, they return to their rush-inducing best on "Back 2 U (Tranz Dub)", a loving fusion of vintage progressive house builds, winding melodies and mid '90s beats.
Review: Astonishingly, it's been 24 years since Gert-Jan Bijl released his first material as Gerd. It seems rather fitting, then, that much of the veteran producer's first outing on Aus draws influence from the producer's mid 1990s roots. Opener "The Prophetess", for example, combines classic IDM melodies and chords with bustling breakbeat-house drums, while the loved-up and glassy-eyed "Pleasure Groove" wraps bleeping electronics, futurist refrains and dreamy pads around a synth-bass propelled, hip-house style groove. Over on the flipside he dusts down his TB-303 and serves up two contrasting acid tracks: the futurist, Motor City influenced trip that is "Cybord Acid" and the no-nonsense, Chicago jack style intensity of "Cyklone".
Review: The controversial Marquis Hawkes returns with more convincing classic house perspectives on Aus Music. We must say that you are in good hands with Mark Hawkins: a prolific producer whose career has spanned nearly 20 years - releasing for the likes of Pro-Jex and Djax Up Beats, back in the day. But unlike the hard techno exploits he presented on the latter, he's better known these days for more uplifting faire - as heard on "Wanna" that ticks all the boxes with its diva vocals, Strictly Rhythm style organs and all round early '90s styled NYC bounce. On the flip, we have the euphoric "Sure Thing Baby" that calls to mind classic Steve 'Silk' Hurley with those Kenny Bobien style vocals atop - which really are the cherry on the cake.
Review: UK born, Berlin based producer Matt Karmill first appeared on our radar a few years ago, with his brilliant Fight EP on Mule Musiq sublabel Endless Flight. Testament to his diverse sound, he's since appeared on Bristol bass institution Idle Hands, Swedish oddball house heroes Studio Barnhus and Norway's Smalltown Supersound. It's the latter where he's explored his more disco leaning side - and that's on display here on the Sourced EP. From the slo-mo and sultry deepness of "I Love It", "KO" with its smoky late-night jazz bar vibe and the funky title track - where the drummer gets wicked beneath a bass driven and evocative groove.
Review: With the new Inside Out series, Aus Music is aiming to blur the boundaries between traditional artist albums and DJ mix compilations, primarily by asking chosen selectors to showcase their music and that of their close musical companions. To show how the series works, Aus Music chief Will Saul has handled this first edition, serving up a mix of previously unreleased music from his extended friendship circle that moves from woozy ambience and dewy-eyed downtempo electronica, to melodious techno and fizzing, electro-inspired broken beat jams, via a range of deep, atmospheric and rhythmically intriguing workouts. With the likes of Falty DL, Pearson Sound, Mr Beatnick, Lone and Move D contributing tracks, the quality threshold is impressively high throughout, with Saul's fluid mix sparkling from start to finish.
Review: On his previous two full-lengths, London-based Glaswegian Andy Graham promoted a hazy, evocative take on house and minimal techno. On this third studio set - his first for some six years - Graham is much more concerned with the atmospheric potential of electronic compositions that variously doff a cap to classic ambient, IDM, James Blake, the screwed R&B-tronica of Hudson Mohawke, and the loved-up synth-pop of Junior Boys. As a result, Space In Your Mind is a tactile, dreamy affair, with even the occasional forays into deep house territory - see "Kalstars" and "Ancestors" - recalling the loved-up feel of classic Visionquest material.
Review: Ewan Smith's first 12" of 2018 sees him return to the welcoming embrace of Aus Music, a label he last graced almost three years ago. This time round, there are three tracks to choose from. A-side "Ideal-Passage", a bouncy, techno tempo workout blessed with a restless, undulating bassline, dreamy chords and the kind of clipped guitar samples that were once the preserve of French Touch producers, undoubtedly steals the show, offering the perfect balance between funk-fuelled dancefloor antics and head-in-the-clouds beauty. This vibe continues on the arguably deeper and even more melodious "Thewizzwasfordillysmissus", while closer "Sicko" wraps a chunky, UK garage-influenced rhythm track in tech house style electronics glitches and yearning synth stabs.