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: 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: 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: 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: 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.
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.