Review: We're not sure who's behind the mysterious AC-EXP project, but the shadowy figure returns with more of that strange, submerged house music he's been tickling discerning DJs with over the past few years. After taking last year off, "1A" is a fine place to start things up again with a strutting jack track carrying acidic synth pulses that flirt with measured delay processing. It's a jam that sounds steamy and sinister all at once. "1B" maintains this restrained but seductive vibe with the slightly trancey throb of the lead synths pivoting around the snappy drums to great effect.
Review: Asad Rizvi's bountiful archive of names and tunes continues to yield more fruit, this time in the shape of his Asadinho alias on regular haunt RvS. The bleeps cut through the shuffling drums on the Silverlining Mix of "When We Come To It" in a flurry of late night tech house finery. The original mix of the track is a tougher, slower twist with a straight-ahead groove but plenty of funk drizzled in between the joints. "Koppaitch" spreads itself across the B-side with a sizzling disco groove and more of those mean-tempered synths that project a dark and seedy side to Rizvi's many-sided musical dice.
Review: The unknown CFW GRF steps up with Seeking Balance, a three-track 12" that forms the third release from Malin Genie's recently established Vigenere label. Like the previous two releases, expect stripped-back minimal cuts geared towards club play. "The Light" is a real B-side gem!
Review: Bang, boom, biff! New label alert from contemporary house maestros Soulphiction and Mike Dehnert, a collaboration which has caught us by surprise and left us trailing by the wayside. Masterful. Hands & Tief is the name of the home to this punchy two-tracker that sees both artists put on their techno mask and offer something a little moodier than their usual output, respectively. "Sky So High" is Soulphiction going for a distorted, industrial approach and it works like a charm; the tune's percussion is raw and mashable in any mix, the bassline ominous and intriguing, and the groove powerful and body-moving. Mike Dehnert's "Zumwald" is more in line with his usual bags of tricks, except that here the lower frequencies are more aligned to the electro dynasty than a classic 'Berlin' approach. Both sleek, effective dance floor bangers recommended for pretty much any DJ wanting to lay down some heat!
Review: iO Mulen's eponymous imprint is unstoppable at the moment after releases by himself, homeboy Silat Beksi and Frenchman Varhat setting the bar high. Now it's over to emerging Romanian talent Suolo with this brilliant new one. Starting off in trippy and hypnotic fashion with the rather Villalobos-ish "Kamadeva", he then gets down with the ultra deep "Domergue's Got A Secret" which, likewise, is perfect for a Sunday afternoon after-hours in Bucharest. Finally, he saves the best for last on the flip with "Merimna", a rolling, trance inducing cut where subtlety and tight programming of elements effectively showcase a less is more work ethic.
Review: The rise of the titans right here! (pardon the pun). Two of the biggest hi-tech soul merchants from the United Kingdom team up here on Spanish imprint Suara, for some epic and futurist dancefloor drama on "Rise". Strict rhythms accompany layer upon layer of warm emotive pads and soaring synth leads - as you'd expect from the duo. Their further homage to Detroit (via Glasgow and London) continues on second original offering "Variable Slope" which brings the funk with its bleepy bassline and killer groove for a life affirming dancefloor journey. There's a couple of killer remixes too. French sonic wizardry from the one and only Voiski: who delivers a scorching rendition, plus a lovely neon-lit classic house perspective from the controversial Marquis Hawkes. If that was not enough, a sombre, deep electro re-take on the aforementioned "Rise" by Leipzig's Lake People caters to a more downbeat moment.