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: Rising Greek producer G.U.S. steps up on Equivalence with some pumped up vintage techno sounds that take more than a few cues from the UK. "Shelf Cloud" strikes a fine balance between tough and dreamy, using a twitchy set of drums moving at a decent pace and flooding them with atmospheric pads and a slice of vocal that forms a central hook to the track. "Halo" goes even deeper into British territory with its chopped up breakbeat funk calling to mind the dexterous sample magic of Stasis, and then "Haze Phenomenon" heads into deep tech house territory riding a pumped up shuffle beat and swooping pads.
Review: After an excellent first release featuring Freerotation lynchpin Steevio, Russ Gabriel's Rivers Of Groove label returns with a pair of excursions into lush, bubbling techno from Gabriel on his own. As a first generation UK techno stalwart, it's little wonder that he can turn out productions as accomplished as these, but there's no sense that he's treading water. "Ambulate" bears the hallmarks of modular production, all twinkling, morphing synth tones chiming around a delicate beat, while "Dover Calling" favours a snappier electro palette, but both stand out from the crowd for the sheer quality in the production, the warmth in the composition and the needlepoint focus given to every shred of detail in this crucial cuts.
Review: You have to admire Laurent Garnier's continued desire to push boundaries and confound critics. His plan to devote 2014 to releasing five EPs on five different labels, whilst mixing up the styles, is undoubtedly bold. This three-tracker for the ever-intriguing 50Weapons imprint is particularly impressive. "MILF" bristles with stuttering analogue rhythms, foreboding chords and attractive bleep melodies, coming on like an unlikely jam session between Sweet Exorcist and Orbital. "DSK" sees the French veteran moving further towards his techno roots, while "He" sounds like an homage to darkwave with techno overtones and more than a hint of stripped-back early Chicago acid. Bravo Monsieur Garnier, bravo!
Review: For their latest vinyl release, the TINK! Music label looks to Lisbon and the enigmatic duo Gatupreto, whose Modo Di Trabadja 12" betrays all manner of influences that seep beyond the realm of house music. In their own words, "the art Gatupreto generates is simple, unpretentious and sincere, it owes to the classic rave vibe as much as to the rawness of hip hop as much to the sunset of Cape Verde as to the sunrise of the Lisbon riverside." This manifests itself in two understandably diverse productions from Gatupreto with the heavily percussive workout of Vahagn's closing remix of "Grandi Loba" of particular note.
Review: Having previously appeared on TINK! Music back in 2015, Portugese producer Gatupreto returns to the label for their second release with the powerful, vocal led "I Became Me". There's a loose, tribal lilt to the percussion on this lead track, while the wobbly bass gives everything a gnarly swagger that offsets the impassioned vocal in style. Philou Louzolo takes to remix duties with a perfect compliment to the original, edging the wild elements into a focused yet natural kind of Afro house. On the flip, "Afrowerk" brings a distinctive vintage soundtrack approach to the table, and "Gatu Di Noti" features heavily syncopated drums tumbling over even more darkside monosynth action.
Review: Tom 'Dam Mantle' Marshallsay and Rich McMaster from Golden Teacher were first granted an outlet as General Ludd through Eamon Harkin and Justin Carter's Mister Saturday Night last year with the breathless pair of house burners that made up the Woo Ha 12". Since then the General has brought the Luddite house sound to Clan Destine, 10 Thousand Yen and Autonomous Africa among others and now lands back on the Mister for the keenly anticipated Are You Losing My Hearing? Another two-track exercise in 12" dynamism, the title cut finds GL in sprightly house mood with a rubbery feel not too dissimilar to Gerd's Geeeman output. Flip it over and "Moneychangers" veers off into more dystopian, heads down territory with some killer modular squiggles throughout.
Review: Apollonia co-head and all-round Parisian legend Dan Ghenacia steps up for his label's latest release. On The Egg EP, you can really hear the various shades of French house presented by a true expert who lived and played throughout the city's best times for over two decades. From the sexy and slinky late night bounce of "A La Coque" which could have been easily played at his Batofar residency at the turn of the millennium, and the tripped-out and slammin' shuffle of "Mykonos Huevos" (taking the best of early '90s Chicago) to the emotive dancefloor drama of "Sunny Side Up" taking on the very best of Detroit influences such as Terence Parker or Blake Baxter.
Review: This rock solid tech-house four-tracker marks the return to Norse Projekt of the brilliantly named Bertalan Bagylas, better known as Giash. The well-regarded producer begins his first NP 12" for three years with "Lyskamm", a gently undulating late night roller rich in glitchy noises, ricocheting percussion hits, strange noises and subdued orchestration. Bagylas serves up some deeper, darker and dubbier fare in the shape of "Urban Landscape", before alternating between Romanian style minimal techno grooves and spooky breakdowns on bleary-eyed cut "Balfrin". To round off the EP, Vincentiulian gives that track a loose, dreamy and gently positive tech-house makeover.
Review: The Synthetic Gold story continues to unfold in the most curious nooks and crannies of the minimal techno scene, as this third volume welcomes in tracks selected by Anestie Gomez. Khan is in a looped up, insistent cycle loaded with alien synth tones and a focused rhythmic hiccup of a beat, truly aiming for the psych-out end of the night. Eloi Brunelle makes things a touch funkier on "Neneh", deploying choice splashes of dubbed out colour in between the sharp strut of the drums. Andres Garcia then spreads himself across the B-side with the loping funk of "Invisivel", working all manner of freaky sounds around the scuffed sway of the beats.
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: There is a colour TV program which airs nightly which is called: "The Most Beautiful Train Routes Of Germany"! During the show a locomotive travels over the tracks and the person on-screen is via the camera perspective at long last the conductor. It's a wonderful idea, where you seem to be somewhere between monotony and fascination. With this scenario in mind, you will be taken into the night and this is the soundtrack. The conductor must stay awake, and this music is the caffeine to get it done. The thoughts are freely suspended without the concentration having to suffer! The pillars of this music are melancholy: power and volition (will) which is thus paired with tenderness and passion. This is in connection with an irresistible swing of effortless movement out in the open revealing confidence in the darkness. Confused thoughts are with only a few ingredients steered to a specific determination of the sound cosmos helped by freely breathing. The concept all formed by a certain Douglas Greed who has a solid reference with two releases on the Combination Records. This one is actually well-known as a drum & bass activist in Thuringia. However, as it always is with the music "Schizo-Aficionado", the type must be stamped with a synonym for the crowds to put a face to, in this case powerful yet at the same time tender odes. It's for nothing for musical needs to be dimmed with psycho-pharmaceuticals, only because the ol'doc doesn't understand the split personality is an essential element. Mr Greed accompanied in the future by his familiar 'Live-Laptop-Action' handle spreads his musical seeds of dance fertilization over the speakers. When there 3 tracks don't comprise a proper bid there is only one alternative: migrate to an island and just play the bongos and didgeridoo! "Curie" from the darkness awakes the driving power of the gloom which within, brings light to the depths. Therein lies the guttural hovering of a bat of steel covered in soft golden feathers sauntering about. The further you descend, hope that all mourning has been defeated and the belief of positive in all is rekindled. "Fresh and Clean" the immaculate conception inside of an enormous machinery building! The devices are all dumfounded, only life matters - everyone experiences the resurrections of happiness. Through the milky glass streams the driving power of love. The intense ecstasy can be danced to! "Let's Roll" picture the docks at sunset. Everything moves along slowly, the will of the sea has been conquered on arrival just the effort needed. Everything is rhythm and melody, every finish and activity even the raising up the anchor and the drone of the propeller creates a sound of vastness. The dance on the water can now begin!
Review: ** Camera's ready. Prepare for the Repress ** Curtis Jones is never one to rest on his laurels, as his staggering back catalogues as Green Velvet and Cajmere can attest but such is the force of his personality that a new release still feels like an event. "Bigger Than Prince" capitalises on Jones' knack for a vocal that lambasts the less earnest quirks of the dance music industry, while creating the hook to make the track a bomb in the same instance. Production-wise, there's a measured strut to the track with some choice growling bass synths and an underlying disco flavour that suits Jones just fine. On the remix front, Circus turn to The Martinez Brothers to hammer out a rolling, percussion focused version perfect for big room mixing, while Hot Since 82 turn out a similar line in boompty peak time damage.
Review: Berlin-based Miami man David Gtronic has been busy these past few years, working closely with Randall M, Chad Andrew, Dudley Strangeways and many more besides. He's going it alone with this inaugural release for Black Wood, relishing the opportunity to explore his craft across three original productions. "Ardl Dub" is a dense, shuffling minimal house production primed for working into a long and flowing set, while "Lexiwedin" showcases a more reflective side to the producer with sweeping synth tones and a whisper of electro worked into the rhythms. "Sequence" takes the minimal vibe to the next level, folding dubby subtleties into the mix to great effect. Dan Farserelli then steps up with a remix that injects a little boompty bass into the track for a wholly different, dancefloor friendly kind of jam.
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.
Review: Guti is arguably one of dance music's most enthusiastic collaborators. To date, the Argentine producer has released joint productions with an impressive list of house and techno talent, including Martin Buttrich, Shlomi Aber, Benny Rodriguez, Morgan and Guy Gerber. On this 12", he's joined in the studio by Romanian rising star Cristi Cons. The like-minded pair hit the ground running with "Volver", a stomping tech-house floor-filler whose tough, acid-flecked groove and metronomic bassline come wrapped in ghostly chords and trippy electronics. Over on the B-side, "Nuevo" is a chunky but spacey deep house affair. That track is given the remix treatment by Enzo Siragusa, who brilliantly toughens it up and drags it further towards peak-time techno territory.
Review: It's perhaps unsurprising that Guy From Downstairs (or, as his parents know him, Victor Ernuteanu) has released on Robsoul: he makes the kind of elastic, glitch-fuelled tech-house funk that has long been associated with the likes of Phil Weeks, David Duriez, Rob Mello and Swag. He's at it again here on his own GFM imprint. Arguably the most impressive cut is epic flipside "Jon Stoc Ton", which gradually builds from a chugging, drum-heavy shuffler to a locked-in late night treat over ten hypnotic minutes. Those looking for a little more electronic funk should check opener "Quiche Toc", while "Save Some Pour Moi" is an altogether deeper and chunkier proposition.
Review: Inside Out is a brand new series from Aus Music label head Will Saul. It invites DJs and producers to blur the boundaries between traditional artist albums and mix compilations. The concept encourages them to showcase their own music, or the music of those in their own individual circles. Depending on who is curating, it will take different forms. The idea stems from Saul's own approach in the club, which often finds him seeking out brand new and unheard music to play for the first time. There's a strong Detroit techno aesthetic throughout his inaugural release for the series: from the emotive hi-tech soul of his own collaboration with Komon entitled "Positive", Amsterdam legend Gerd had no problem channeling similarly timeless retro vibes either, as heard on the funky techno-soul of "Echoes". They save the best for last on the flip, with the legendary Floorplan's riveting rendition of Primitive Trust's "Little Love" - perfect to get that 3AM style strobe-lit tunnel vision in effect.
Review: Hypnotic mini-funk deepness from the south of France, courtesy of Swap White Ltd - now onto their fifth release. Their aim is always to entrance people and make them feel lost throughout these musical processes. When listening to this various artists compilation, truer words have never been spoken! On the A side we have Sweely, who has had a great run of releases on the likes of Lobster Theremin, Distant Hawaii and Concrete - he gets into some trippy after hours shenanigans on the bleepy "Arguing Is Tiresome" that will appeal to all the Perlon and Minibar fans out there. Italian Ghini B delivers the old-school groove of "1001EA" calling to mind early Detroit techno and electro, in the same vein of what Berlin labels Libertine and Slow Life are pushing of late. On the flip, it's over to label boss Regis Thoubert with the subtle and rolling "Bass Ville" bringing those esoteric vibes - in the vein of the Romanians.
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.