Review: Prolific producer Arno Volker AKA Einzelkind returns with his first outing of 2019, this time in cahoots with regular studio buddy and Point of View label founder Giuliano Lomonte. Between them, the experienced pair has conjured up a couple of exceptionally strong peak-time workouts. We're particularly enjoying A side "Civil Stretch", a bounding and melodically attractive affair where bubbly electronic motifs, alien chords and jaunty stabs rise above a rubbery, hip-swinging house groove. Flipside "This N That" continues in a similar hybrid tech-house/deep house vein, with the duo bolting woozy chords and eccentric vocal samples onto bustling drums and a thickset electronic bassline.
Review: There's much to enjoy about the output of the Kimochi label, not least the bespoke, spray-painted sleeves and their habit of releasing only the deepest, most hypnotic electronic music. Their latest must-have release is another super-limited affair that drifts lazily between ultra-deep cuts shot through with dub-wise rhythms, atmospheric shoegaze motifs, echoing ambient chords and beats straight out of the early '90s ambient techno playbook. It's utterly gorgeous and deliciously hazy, with slow-burn melodies and undulating electronics slowly rising above reverb-laden chords, warm basslines and occasionally skittish rhythms. There's something particularly special about the locked-in drums and hypnotic bassline of "Elljus", but the ambient soundscapes "Heden" and "Inland" are also superb.
Review: Promising new label Criminal Practice is based in Kiev, Ukraine and headed up by DJs and producers Ghetto Sunrise, Hopper Field and Roman Khropko. They're certainly aren't messing around on their inaugural release, getting straight down to business in bold fashion. Grec serves up the hypnotic blip, blurp and bleep of "Worm" on the A side, followed by the infectious retro techno bounce of Sasha Zlykh's "Coulda Play For Dynamo" which will appeal to fans of Art Of Dark or Time Passages. On the flip, bust out those robotic dance moves to the sci-fi electro breaks of Hopper Field's "Big Ben" and take a trip down memory lane courtesy of Ghetto Sunrise's early UK techno tribute that is "Mocujin".
Review: Courtesy Of Balance is back right in time for kick your summer off in style by welcoming fellow French producer Gunnter, owner of Normandy Records. All three tracks have got that classic quality to them that'll please those deep and tech house afficionados. Naturally influenced by the golden age of the late 90's uk sound, Gunnter has digested it down to three to-the-point weapons, all endowed with the 3 sacred elements of proper tech house : jacking beats, wonky basslines and deep chords. The proof's in the pudding... drop the needle on the rekkid !
Gus Gus - "Your Moves Are Mine" (Sanasol remix) (9:24)
Thor - "Black" (7:32)
Biogen - "Stream" (Sanasol Lost In Time remix) (6:39)
Review: Next up on the ever-excellent Oscillat is "Spellbound" by the supremely talented Matthew Dekay. This moving deep house jam uses a few key elements to make a soul-stirring confection for truly spine-tingling moments in the middle of the dance. From the slithers of vocal to the insistent key riff that bounces throughout, this is an outstanding slice of contemporary house music loaded with feeling. Mandar then take the original and inject it with a feisty peak time energy shot through with a little trancey magic and an acidic undertone. It's not a raging beast but rather an energizing workout for the brain and the body - just what you need in the midst of a marathon.
Sam Shure - "Nandoo" (Oliver Koletzki remix 2018) (7:23)
Oliver Koletzki & Niko Schwind - "Camps Bay" (Oliver Koletzki remix 2019) (7:24)
Review: Since releasing his debut single way back on 2005, Stil vor Talent founder Oliver Koletzki has become a prolific remixer. Here he gathers together some of his favourite revisions on one handy, DJ-friendly 12". Intriguingly, some of the standout moments are a little breezier, deeper or more melodious than you'd perhaps expect - see the bongo-driven bliss of the Koletzki & Schwind "Camps Bay" fix-up - but even this picturesque excursion is still 100% dancefloor-ready. We are also loving the moody, big-room ready mix of Howling's "Stole The Night", a jaunty dub-house take on Channel X's "Snug Descent" and the exotic and tribal remix of Sam Shure's "Nandoo".
Review: Russian tech house hero Tripmastaz is back with more adventures in swing, making a surprising appearance for PETS Recordings with his new jam "R U Happy". This rolling and hypnotic groove with its infectious vocal refrain and tunnelling melody ticks all the right boxes - expect to hear this everywhere from Hoppetosse to Club Guesthouse this year. On the flip, there's a tougher, funkier and breaks driven rework by Bass Culture main man and all round Parisian legend D'Julz which is equally worthy of playtime. The Plant 74 main man continues to impress us after some great releases this year on No. 19 Music, Tartouffe and Berg Audio.
Claude VonStroke & ZDS - "Comments" (feat KE) (6:11)
Claude VonStroke Vs Eddy M - "Getting Hot" (6:06)
Claude VonStroke & Green Velvet - "Jolean" (6:49)
Review: West Coast party starter Claude VonStroke is back with more of his rump-wiggling, unhinged and bass driven house bangers. This time round the Dirtybird boss serves up a trio of collaborative tracks that bring the fun: "Comments" with ZDS is riddled with chattery claps and ghoulish bass stabs, "Getting Hot" (vs Eddy M) is a pumping house cut with bulbous bass and rapped vocals, while "Jolean" with Chicago pioneer Green Velvet is a sleazy and low slung groover with bright, manic synths and withering chords all making for a frenzied future disco house vibe.
Review: Jan Jelinek has made many fine albums over the years, under both his given name and a handful of occasional aliases. One such pseudonym was Gramm, a handle he plucked out of thin air for the release of the now celebrated 1999 full-length "Personal Rock". Here that set is given a deserved 20th anniversary vinyl reissue, allowing a whole new generation to investigate the dusty nooks and crannies of one of the producer's most techno-centric releases. It is every bit as sample-heavy, glitchy and crackling as his other work, whereas other outings explored skewed hip-hop beats and downtempo grooves, "Personal Rock" was more informed by the steady pulse of dub techno, the deep space fluidity of ambient techno and the locked-in hypnotism of original era minimal techno. The results are out of this world.