Review: EYA Records presents a double 12" of plush techno and house spanning styles, giving four producers the chance to showcase the breadth of their sound with two tracks each. Innershades brings emotive 90s swoon and peppy acid to the A side, before Two Phase U slips in a little uptempo robo-disco sauce and a feisty jack track. Otis takes things in the direction of wiggy proto-trance and bleep techno, and then Zots finishes up with freaky synth work dripping with mischievous personality. This is a set of tracks that demands to be noticed - don't sleep.
Review: Steadily building up a prominent identity in the bustling minimal house and techno thoroughfare, The Untold Stories return with one of their signature various artist compilations to present some lesser known practitioners of the hypnotic groove. Jerome C gets a rugged angle on the swing to his beats on "An Intelligible Scrawl", while Volta Cab nods to a classic Tobias jam with "Street Knowledge". MD Wallholz's "Ein Bisschen Ruhe" is a shivering slice of experimental electro, and Jonas Sella brings an unhinged French flavour to proceedings, but truthfully every jam on this solidly packed release has its own distinct character that fits into the meandering tale the label is unfurling.
Review: Z Lovecraft (AKA Rhythm Section International family member Mali Baden-Powell) made his debut last year via an EP on No Bad Days that cheerfully joined the dots between acid, deep house, hip-hop and early hardcore style breakbeats. There's a far mellower feel to this three-track outing on Guru Meditation, even if breezy opener "Verge Dub" does underpin jammed-out electric piano chords and dreamy electronics with shuffling breakbeats and a bustling sub-bass motif. "Arklight Dub" joins the dots between dub techno and spacey deep house, while nine-minute B-side "Hannah's Theme (Bliss Version)" is the kind of fluid, exceptionally picturesque shuffler that could have come from the studio of one of Italy's leading dream house crews during the ambient house era.
Review: Over the last four years, Toulouse twosome Zendid have maintained a steady release schedule, dropping highly regarded EPs on such labels as Elephant Moon, Infuse, Timeframe and Discobar. Here they return to the latter label with a fresh four-track missive. As the title suggests, opener "Space" tends towards to intergalactic, with futurist electronic beeps and weightless chords clustering around a rolling, sub-bass-heavy tech-house groove. "Virgin Virgin" is a deeper, looser and slightly warmer mid set box jam, while "Berlin 6" is a stripped-back, funk-fuelled stomper rich in glitchy stabs and mind-altering bass. The EP also includes a tasty bonus in the shape of Maayan Nidam's smooth, deep and bass-heavy remix of "Space".
Review: Having previously impressed with two suitably atmospheric EPs on Propersound, Zug has decided to launch his own imprint. This label debut is naturally rather delicious, with the producer offering up a quartet of analogue-rich cuts that effortlessly combine the sci-fi sounding futurism of Detroit with the comforting melodiousness of Larry Heard. Such is the quality throughout that picking highlights is tough, though we're particularly enjoying the gentle grooves and alien melodies of "Constancia" and the suitably dubby, intergalactic pulse of EP opener "Alegria". Elsewhere, "Bienestar" combines bleeping melodies, dreamy chords and shuffling, tech-house style beats, while "Celebracion" sees him wrap far-sighted electronics around a bustling, two-step influenced rhythm track.
Review: Brawther's Negentropy label has already carried gold star material from Ron Obvious and the man himself, and now it's the turn of debutant producer Zweizig to show off his wares. This assured 12" leads in with the ambient intro "Gewissen" before the crisp minimal funk of "Rhythm Tension" kicks in with its shimmering and shuddering sound design pinging around the dexterous beat. "Zephyr" is a smoky affair with a snappy broken beat and lots of subtle organic matter writhing in the middle distance. "Rehash Repeat" takes things deep and dubby to complete the set, all mellow hiccupping rhythm accents and hazy melodic phrases.