Review: Up next on Slovenian legend Valentino Kanzyani's label is a fairly tight various artists EP showcasing some sleek minimal and tech house sounds. Beginning with the mysterious Bad Boys and their deep and dirty afterhours jam "Muse" while Cruise On The Valkan (again, whoever they are!) serve up the chugging early morning hypnotica of "Cruising No 3" and the tough rolling funk of "Cruising No 1" respectively - which will no doubt appeal to fans of similarly reduced sounds coming out of Romania at present. On the flip, the charmingly titled Vito Kalimari serves up a taste for the acid life of "Jupyfirsttry" which has the signature womp and wobble of the infamous silver Roland box all throughout it - this one was sick! Running since 2005, Jesus Loved You has presented some big names over the years, long before they got big too. Dan Andrei, SIT and Vinyl Speed Adjust are just a few we can mention.
Review: Berlin's Cab Drivers are the real deal. If their extensive collection of classic Roland machines wasn't enough, they even sequence them all on an old Atari ST you don't get more purist than that. Paul and Augustowsky's new track "Correspondence" has all the hallmarks of their signature sound: bumpin', melodic, rolling and emotive. You know; the Cab Drivers sound! On the flip, fellow Berlin minimal techno legend Audio Werner steps up to deliver a more darker and emotive remix that strays on the dubbier side of things and we loved it: Tip!
Review: Daniel Paul and Jens Augustowsky have been steering Cabinet Records for twenty years now, establishing the label as one of Berlin's most reliable outlets for techy, housey fare and contributing their own weight in productions under various aliases. Cab Drivers is one of their longest-running collaborations with Playroom their 11th 12" release under the name in those two decades, and their studio understanding is quite evident in the productions. Both the ten minute title cut and "A Less Complex Situation" are understated but wholly effective DJ tools with the subtle acid modulations of the former just edging it.
Review: Fun Records main man Alexis Cabrera follows up releases on top labels like Raum Musik, Salty Nuts and Little Helpers with an inaugural release for new label Studio 76. The Berlin based producer presents a great release here, from the minimal-retro influenced bounce of "Told You" or "So" which take their cues from the new sounds of Frankfurt as popularised by labels like Traffic, Hardworksoftdrink or Pager. On the flip, Croatia's Mariano Mateljan turns "So" into trippy and reductionist tackle, that's perfect for getting weird at the afterhours.
Review: Mulen's latest must-check release is a collaborative affair from experienced producer Alexis Cabrera (Raummusik, Salty Nuts, Yaji) and Jorge Saveretti (Esperanza, Visionquest, Cadenza). Given their collective history, you'll be unsurprised to learn that the "Some EP" is really rather good. They set their stall out via an impressive title track that wraps spacey but funky riffs, deep space pads and undulating acid lines around a memorable bassline and typically swinging tech-house beats). "KInda" tips a wink to the glitchy, bass-heavy sound of Romanian minimal techno and the swinging intergalactic tech-house funk of Paris's YYY label, while "Science" is a deep, woozy and wonky affair full of minor key bleeps, jazzy motifs and locked-in beats.
Review: Just the fact that the Shahr Farag imprint is from Iran is enough to grab our attention. This is both because it feels like a novelty to the scene, but also because that vast majority of arts that come out of the country are always so interesting. This time, label owners Lenta and Ahu are joined by Romanian minimal expert Vlad Caia, who serves an excellent, Eastern-minded quasi-dance rhythm in "Declination", and a purely abstract barrack of drones and low frequencies on "Neptune". Lenta himself drops a fuzzy wash of sounds and disparate beats through "Your Existence", while Ahu's "Blind By The Sun" has something in common with dub-techno, except that here the sounds that flutter up and down are grainy and imperceptible...and wholly wonderful. Tip!
Review: Open Recordings return with their 2nd release 'Flight' following the Departed Emotions EP released earlier this year. Frazer Campbell piloting the journey with 'Flight 82874' ... with 2 of the finest co pilots from hugely respected labels Slow Life and Wahlscheibe....S.Moreira and Allessandro Crimi re constructing the original into superb pieces of timeless music with a dubby outro for good measure!
Review: David Gtronic kicked off the Black Wood label with the Kryptoo 12", and now Javier Carballo swiftly follows up with the immersive tones of Morning Vibe. Carballo's sound is undoubtedly rooted in the minimal house he's turned out for One Records amongst others, but he's got a distinctive edge in his productions that makes them stand out. "Morning Vibe" in particular does so well because it matches airy pads and skittering drums with a measured lick of acid, making something truly trippy in the process. "Back For Good" pairs dubby chord pulses with shuffling hats, and "Chunchuneo" gets locked into an insistent rhythmic chug that it's tough to resist.
Review: As legends go, Don Carlos can be held pretty high up there. There are few producers which can instil as much admiration as the Italian deep house producer. Here he steps up to the stellar Imogen Recordings with a two tracker which proves he can still do what he does best. 'Alina' is eyes closed business right from the off. Waves of atmospheric synth strings and hazy chords roll in, as blissful pads sway with filtered drum loops. Part II is a variation on this masterpiece, progressing through the intro in a speedier fashion for those that need an express ticket to that peak time power. Alone on a Mediterranean beach or surround by a packed dancefloor, Alina is one to get lost in from start to finish and a solid statement that Don Carlos certainly still has 'it'.
Review: Carrot Green from Rio de Janeiro is a very nice guy. Actually you can hear that in his music - he's providing beautiful world styles combined with classic electronic elements in a very different way since years. The Kin Sharuba EP contains an Acid driven original tune and another one called Orientacao Espacial which is more relaxed. Remix delivery successfully made by Dengue Dengue Dengue from Lima and Comeme's Christian S.
Review: The fifth instalment of the Hoxton Records story turns to Alan Castro, who has already had a busy year appearing on the likes of For Club, STAMP and Soundterasse. The vibe is stripped down and unhinged on this record, with lead track "El Avion De La Mentira" unfurling in a strange tapestry of samples, found sounds and off kilter synth rubs strapped to a crafty set of drums. Modebaku delivers a more streamlined version of the track that keeps things freaky, but much more linear than the wayward original. "Sequela" on the flip is no slouch in the adventurous department either, with swathes of modulating tones and wild sonic matter flinging around a funky shuffle, which Ted Amber then dutifully bolsters with a rubbery b-line on his more functional but still daring version.
Review: Like many of Saverio Celestri's releases, this return to regular home Slow Life is a collaborative affair, with production duties shared by debutant Late Consequence (in reality an experienced Italian producer operating under a new alias). The duo kicks things off with the spacey bounce of "Consequence", where computer beeps and bleeps rise above heavy analogue bass, locked-in techno drums and flotation tank chords, before offering a subtle nod towards early UK bleep techno on sub-bass heavy workout "The Wheel". Turn to the flip for some deeper, purist tech-house vibes (the deep house influenced warmth of "This Is The Universe") and the sparkling, head-in-the-clouds tech-funk of "Celestial".
Review: Baby Ford's minimal minded label is back in action with some psyched-out goodness from Alex Celler. The long-serving Greek producer has many strings to his bow, but this release finds him tapping into his foundational sound as a steady ticking groove carries a richly produced bed of chimes and tones for the deepest moments in the dance. Where "Feudade" is a lilting, soothing trip, "Vis A Vis" heads into a more mysterious headspace peppered with nagging rhythmic trysts, crafty licks and fulsome bass to get the synapses popping. It's exactly how stripped down house music should be done, inventive to the last and yet utterly danceable.