Review: For the first release on their freshly minted Euphoric State sub-label, London label OPIA has turned to '90s survivors A2 & Stopouts, a trio of producers who first made their name as British tech-house pioneers in the late 1990s. The four tracks showcased on "Go With The Flo" apparently date from this period, though this is the first time they've seen the light of day. There's much to admire throughout, from the rolling, funk-fuelled house grooves and intergalactic pads of opener "You Gotta", to the jacking tech-funk of closing cut "Suits You", via the glassy-eyed rush of "Techfest", where sci-fi motifs and dream house electronics rise above bumping beats and a deliciously squelchy bassline.
Review: Pathway Traxx's diffusion label OFFPath returns with its fourth installment, featuring four heroes of the minimal house underground curated by label boss Niko Maxen. We have Londoner Adam Monti (4plae) up first with the sunny tech house of "Camberwell Blues", then Dudley Strangeways & Tijn close out the A side with some deep afterhours boompty business. On the flip, Rising star Josh Baker out of Leeds delivers more of his reliably hypnotic and slinky groove action on "Rewriting Old Methods" and Shacklo's "Bermuda" channels the very best of Todd Terry style classic house.
Review: Bristol house imprint Banoffee Pies return with more subtle and hypnotic grooves. On the A side is the mysterious Jay Anderson with "Didn't Care Too Much". While not much is known of him yet, we are sure that will change once people listen to this track: deep minimal house that crosses over into electro much in the vein of Frenchman TC80 or what his peers on Japan's Cabaret imprint are doing right now. Next up, Greek up and comer Simonas Paplauskas serves up the rolling and entrancing afterhours cut "Untitled" which takes its cues from the current sounds of Romania: an immaculate production. On the flip, the entire side is handed over to Ukrainian producer Peshka, who delivers another jagged yet downright wacky and unique take on reduced grooves with "Basic Instinct".
Jared Wilson - "Lynnwood2 Northgate Transit Center" (6:39)
Sohrab - "Sinking" (6:42)
KCLF - "Reloaded 9615" (4:17)
Review: Undersound Recordings hit release number 15 with a various artist EP that packs four vital techno punches. Audio Quest's "The Mental Screen" kicks off with some old school techno that recalls the sound of legendary Dutch label Djax-Up. It's filled with metallic snare sounds and deep space bleeps. Jared Wilson of course brings the acid that has defined his output for years, and Sohrab get busy with a kicking number and some busy melody patterns. KCLF closes out with twisted bass and shiny chords that look back to go forwards with "Reloaded 9615".
Review: Hoary Ukraine has kept up a busy rate of release since first appearing in the world, and as was the case with their eighth EP in April, this ninth offering is a various artists affair that calls on some slick tech house talents. Nick Beringer's "AI" is tight and crisp, with an old school feel thanks to the neon baseline, the Sota really pumps the party with his effervescing, fist pumping "Zerosandones". "UXB" on the flip is Nolga's clipped, bass driven tech-garage shuffler, then closing things out is Diego Krause with "Touchstone", a darker jam with some fresh sound designs.
Review: For the sophomore release on Ukraine's Kultura Zvuka, we have a right bunch of heavy hitters representing the global minimal tech house scene on the A side, with Traffic head honchos Bodin & Jacob bringing the sound of Frankfurt on "Sloushnash" while Brit Alec Falconer teams up with Kizoku for some bleepy retro electro bass on "Ricard Refreshmen". On the flip, it's an entirely local affair going back to Ukraine with Bejenec harking back to the golden rave days on "I Don't Do Festivals But" and Sasha Zlykh's trippy afterhours techno jam "Thugged Out Pissed Off" being a sure shot to bang the party.
Review: Since launching last year, Mexcian label Honne Music has so far offered up two multi-artist EPs packed with tidy tech-house and atmospheric minimal techno. The imprint's third outing explores similar sonic territory, showcasing tracks from a mixture of local and international artists. Old hand Lee Burton kicks things off via the intoxicating shuffle of "MAO" - all swirling sci-fi chords, minor key melodies and bubbly bass - before Niko Maxen delivers a fuzzier, slightly weirder take on intergalactic tech-house ("Homecoming"). Over on side B, Sarko emphasizes mind-mangling bass on the trippy tech-funk of "How Did I Get Here", while Moett C and Migueleto invite us to drift through deep space on the weightless, early morning warmth of EP highlight "Derriere".
Review: The latest Hands Off joint features three artists making waves in intriguing corners of the deep house firmament. Desos opens up the A side with the dreamy groove of "Dubs", before Space Age lays down the classic, Mr Fingers-flavoured haze of "Sunday Rain". Desos returns on the flip with another subtle yet punchy cut, keeping the melodies submerged and sublime on "Jaaa" before Common Mode takes things in a distinctly dubby direction with "Beauty Queens".
Review: Enzo Siragusa's Fuse London imprint is back with more top notch minimal grooves for the afterhours shift. Londoner Anthony DiFrancesco teams up with newcomer Samuel Bellis team up on the DB Productions project who serve us with some deep and rolling high fidelity grooves like "One Way To Pluto" which is paranoid and trance inducing; just perfect for the morning set for when things get weird. "Adderall" gives you a good kick just like its namesake; this one is more energetic and on the deep house tip but still loopy and hypnotic enough for perfect dancefloor dynamics. Finally "87-88" gets a remix by French deep house maestro Alexkid with label boss Siragusa himself and it's a good one: stripped, bass driven and functional.
Review: Lithuanian mainstay Donatello first appeared on Norman H's Stripped label back in 2012, and he's since returned for repeat trips into warm, polished progressive house. Now he appears alongside Shane Blackshaw for a rare outing on vinyl with the immersive groover "Catch 23". Undulating chords and dubby FX processing make for an intoxicating blend on both the vocal and instrumental mixes of the lead track, while label regular Kastis Torrau gets busy on the flip with a more brooding version of the original, using a similarly delicate sound palette but turning it to noirish chord progressions for the darker dancefloor.
Review: F&Z are back on our charts with their usual gust and panache, placing absolutely no care on who is doing what, or why they're doing it. Much like the original UK garage days, this crew is putting out firebomb after firebomb, focusing only on the beats and the swing, much like the artists who have inspired them. "Track 1" is a suave, laid-back garage joint with a misty haze enwrapping its slick beats and bass tones; "Track 2", much like its counterpart, is a magnificently balanced shell-shocker, bashing out the UK heat on the floor, mashing up swinging beats with a whole load of filtered percussion and ultra-sexy arrangements. Large up!
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: One Records' past decade in the business is celebrated with this second installment curated by label chief Subb-An. On 'Ten Years Of One Part 2', we have got cuts on the A side by the aforementioned Subb-An who teams up with veteran producer Mathew Jonson for a surprising collaboration titled "Red" - an infectious tech house thumper in the proper UK tradition, followed by French label staples Yamen & Eda who get deep down and dirty on the swinging and bass-driven "Mister Proper". On the flip, British up and comers Thomas Bulwer & Anna Wall deliver the infectious "Cap Clap" and the ever reliable Jack Wickham is as hypnotic as always on the handy groove tool "Yin".
Review: It's Carnival time all over the world and Great Stuff comes up with its first compilation, full of exclusive carnival goodies from their artists and friends.
Infected by the groove and spirit of Rio, Venice, Trinidad, Tobago, Colonge/Mainz, Mardi Gras...11 artists from all over the world (Webba from Brazil,
Fergi from Ireland, Florian Meindl from London, Koletzki and Namito from Berlin...)produce exclusive tracks for 'Great Carnival Stuff Ep Vol 1.
Review: The always on-point SlapFunk continues its sixth round of Raw Joints with another four razor sharp jams from a gifted contingent of contemporary producers. Lopaski actually delivers something with the delicacy of Jan Jelinek's finest early micro house productions, but strapped to a more pronounced rhythmic undercarriage. Pascal Benjamin gets into a quintessential minimal house groove that sounds right at home on SlapFunk, while JAMM brings a tougher set of beats to the table. SE62 rounds things off with the loose and limber shuffle of "Fear", which doffs a cap to garage while keeping things dark and deadly.