Review: Given that Ricardo Villalobos was one of a handful of guest producers who featured on Oren Ambarchi's recent Hubris album - a krautrock-influenced minimalist techno exploration that also boasted contributions from Jim O'Rourke and Mark Fell, amongst others - it seems fitting that he's been roped in to provide two new remixes. The Chilean's contribution to the album was largely rhythm-based, and his two lengthy Variations - each stretched across one side of wax - promote undulating, heads-down dancefloor hypnotism above all else. Naturally, his drum programming and use of subtle stylistic shifts is as on-point as ever, with Ambarchi's original textures being manipulated into mind-altering new shapes.
Raw District - "Another Way" (feat Alice Rose) (7:43)
Siopis - "Be Mine" (feat Ellbee Bad) (6:35)
Review: A four track vinyl sampler of the new compilation series from Crosstown Rebels, Label founder Damian Lazarus introduces us to Spirits. He has compiled what he describes as 'a fresh psychedelic journey into the mind', aiming to bring together a collection of new artists from both his imprints. Gruuv head honchos from Leeds Audiojack deliver the goods (as always!) on the rolling tribal tech house of "Reverie", while Bristolian rising star Dubspeeka serves up a slow-burning and hypnotic journey aimed at the mind (as much as it is for the feet!) on "Lyssa". On the flip, Belgian duo Raw District team up with the amazing Alice Rose on vocals for the Afro inspired rain dance that is "Another Way" while Berlin's Jannis Siopis delivers something a bit more powerful to lead into the peak time on the druggy and strobe-lit darkroom dub of "Be Mine" featuring Elbee Bad.
Review: Steve O'Sullivan's Mosaic train keeps on rolling, this time via the LTDX series which reaches its second station stop with two more dubbed out dancefloor delights for the deepest divers. O'Sullivan dons his Bluetrain guise to deliver the UK steppers-indebted "Armchair Analyst," which artfully folds subtle dubwise influences into its minimal techno construction. On the flip side, Roger Gerressen spaces things out good and proper with the slow-stalking groove of "Long Overdue," fusing the best elements of contemporary minimal and classic dub to create a fine extension of the Rhythm & Sound blueprint.
Review: No-nonsense German label EXT has gone back to basics here, delivering their first split-artist EP since 2016. DJ Gonzo and Dr Yes handle side A, unfurling a tactile but wonky techno jack-track ("Ring Center") full of jaunty, all action synth-bass, bleeping computer electronics, fluttering synth riffs and clanking drum machine beats that doff a cap to both Chicago jack and Motor City futurism. Rough Thought takes over on side B, charging through a bustling combination of rising and falling intergalactic synth lines, deep space chords, surging arpeggio bass and a drum track so sweaty that it could have been laid down by a drummer who has just downed four cans of the world's most repulsive energy drink.
Review: Politics Of Dancing celebrate five years of pristine deep and minimal house with this first installment in a series of various artist releases. Djebali and Stephan Bazbaz are in the mood for squelchy chords and undulating basslines on "J'Adore", while Boris Werner keeps things sleek and funky on the craftily executed "Omar Coming". Politics Of Dancing themselves kick off the B side with the gorgeous "Peace", and Rowlanz locks into a sharp and sassy minimal workout with lashings of jazzy goodness bedded into the groove. It's a package delivered with the high standards of dancefloor functionality and musical personality we've come to expect from the always-on-point Parisian label.
Review: The high grade, leftfield approach to house music Lyssna have set out as their MO continues in fine style on this new Colours series, starting with the Yellow EP and a strong cast of characters from the outer reaches. Riciar Ghir opens up proceedings with the tumbling deep house of "Cargo", making the keys dance with distinction and injection a subby rumble where it counts. Minimal Afrika follow that up with a percussive tryst entitled "Drakma Queen" that blossoms into a sumptuous ambient excursion. Robotalco takes a very different approach with some classically pumping sample-powered house music to shake feel-good fists to, and then Klubbhuset finishes up with an impassioned romp through peak time disco licks for the peak of the night.
Review: Argentinian label Savor returns with a nice various artists EP, showcasing some fine international talents. On the A side, we have Frenchman Le Loup deliver some bumped-out microhouse - engineered to perfection as always on "Lunar System" while Cape almost channels the same vibe as Mathew Jonson in the early noughties on the brilliant "Peek". On the flip, homeboy Franco Cinelli goes back to basics on the stripped-down "Blip Blup Noise" and even a bit of old-school Detroit style techno courtesy of legends Mike Carr & Robin Porter on "Fathernature" originally released on the latter's Immigrant Records back in 2002 - an oldie but a goodie!
Review: Gird yourselves; starting from this month and running through until December, Dutch institution Dekmantel are celebrating a decade in the game with a series of monthly 12"s featuring a seriously all-star cast from Tony Allen to Villalobos. It starts right here as legendary innovative composer Gigi Masin opens with the lilting, delicate "Maja", Vakula brings us down from the clouds and back to the future with the body-jacking ghetto bump of "Robot Fuck The System" while Flugel blows the finale horn with the swampy Amazonian harmonic trip-out "Mice On Stick". This is the start of something very special.
Review: Bucharest's vinyl-only imprint, Dilated Records, joins Romania's contemporary minimal scene, a particular variation of the genre that succeeds in merging the analogue and digital worlds together. Like a high-end DSLR, this music is warm and cold at the same time, carrying the weight of analogue beats together with a sharper, HD sort of aesthetic to the melodies. Their fourth VA comp is nothing but deep, dark minimal bass, featuring Nea Marin, Negru & Narcis, Livio & Roby, and Pirku, who all proceed to slam down some fat-ass grooves for one thing only - the dancefloor. Smash this out, son - it'll work every time...