Review: Nobody does tough rolling tackle for the peak time quite like the Audiojack boys. The Leeds-based duo head up the revered Gruuv imprint and have left their indelible mark on The White Isle with their legendary parties. Indeed, their sound is a worthy addition to the Mannheim-based 8bit imprint; Jorge and Nick Curly, like Rial & Birkenshaw themselves, churn out proper tech house that is aimed squarely at the main room. The track in question is "Are We Here", that sees them deliver something a bit more restrained than usual. This is a smooth and euphoric slow burner that's perfect to build up to the bangers in your set, harnessing all that 'energy'. Speaking of which, that's the operative word throughout the B side cut "Higher" with its deep and bass-driven pulsation that's sure to get the sweat dripping from the walls.
Review: Andalucian imprint Rationalism is back with its first EP for 2020, featuring straight-up club beats from two young and prominent electronic music producers. Homeboy Cajal (Madtech) takes care of the A side with the groovy and swingin' minimal funk of "Housy Beat" which reminds us of that classic Minibar vibe, while second offering "Morning" is classic deep house for the afterhours - just like the name suggests. On the flip, we have Argentinian Juzel (Frost Plates) who delivers the Todd Terry influenced tool that is "Esouh" followed by the lean and trippy boompty-boomp of "Tetris In The Club". Basically, more great tunes from Martin Bellomo's respected label.
Review: Following a sterling first drop from Nick Holder, Selections return in fine style with this EP from Tobi Danton. This is proper deep house in the modern mode - crisp beats and silky smooth synth lines shot through with a spaced-out attitude. Just tune in to "That's Right" and find yourself transported to the dancefloor of your dreams. "1988" is equally light and limber, with a classy vocal sample heralding the Chicago roots of the music, while "Last Dance" takes on a more anthemic tone with its strong melodic core and uplifting bump. Kevin Over comes on board for a remix of "Last Dance" that treats the original with care, edging some 90s motifs, dubby flourishes and a tougher jack into the mix without losing that hazy mood.
Review: Graded, Regraded and now Intergraded? Label chief Midland has stated that it is a new label intended to focus on releasing music by new artists; whether unknown, emerging or established but working under different aliases. For the sixth release, we have Em and Stav. Well established in the vanguard of Bristol and beyond's electronic music scene, both individually in their own right and as a duo, they are partners in real life and behind the decks. Great stuff on this one: from the hypnotic and bass-driven broken beat of "Afterglow", to the soulful futurist electro of "Inner Space" and the emotive off-kilter IDM of B-side cut "Atmospheric Love" - this is a terrific effort from the promising pair.
Review: Jackmate, the king of off-kilter house, makes a welcome addition to Matthew Herbert's Accidental catalogue - matter of fact his style is right at home! The 'Werk' EP is the Philpot co-chief's first release in six years and he's in fine form as always. From the dry and disjointed shuffle of the title track, to the smooth and sensual deepness of B-side cut "Skeletones" - a Moodymann-ish cut which is perfect mood music for the warm-up or afterhours alike. Closing out the EP is something much more offbeat for the Sunday afternoon slot - the boppy summertime groove of "The Clarinettes' which like its namesake has some irresistible wind instrument action to get you on your feet and shaking your behind.
Review: Canadian maestro Jay Tripwire is a long time underground stalwart with countless gold-dust releases to his name, and still the modest artist keeps pushing on with more stellar tech house immersion heaters. Here he's been invited to Euphoria for an EP that burrows into the most shadowy corners of his sound. "H3misphere" is a spooky jam driven by a shuffling groove and offset with some dubby flourishes - a perfectly balanced workout for the club with a seductive air of mystery lingering around the rhythm section. "Werqles" is a lighter affair, but it's no slouch in the freaky department as a plethora of disembodied machine wriggles ping around the crisp 4/4 throwdown. The whole B-side is given over to SIT's "Remux" of "H3misphere", which holds the groove down in a more linear manner but keeps that chilling atmosphere intact just behind the beats.
Review: Rhythm is the foundation for Berlin-based Chilean producer and DJ: Jorge C. In addition to releases on labels like DeepArtSounds, Dopeness Galore and Sean Deason's Matrix Recordings, he runs his own label Ojo de Apolo, which has been a platform to spread his own work with the participation of other producers around the globe. The Detroit connection still runs deep on his new offering, "Brother": emotive and spiritualised house music with elements of Latin percussion. We immediately thought of Alton Miller - then lo-and-behold, the Music Institute legend steps up next with a version as deep and soulful as you'd expect alongside Motor City royalty Terrence Parker whose idiosyncratic style is ever present on this uplifting house anthem to-be, packed full of euphoric chord progressions, massive stabs and swinging beats.
Review: Ukranian producer Kirik is the second fixture on J Room, bringing a plush and melodic sound for his fifth EP of the year (look out for other sterling turns on Colors Of Crocus and Bosom LTD amongst others). "No Boys Club" leads the way with expressive keys darting around a crisp minimal house groove, while "Be Easy" ups the shuffle while maintaining the plush melodic content. JALE are on hand to remix "No Boys Club", turning the original into an addictive, wriggling minimal cut that gets right under the skin, and then "Furtive Footsteps" closes the EP out with a more mechanical workout peppered with artful sound design.
Review: Colin McGraw's MDA Analog project continues to enjoy a renaissance after more than 20 years of silence, serving up the third instalment of vintage techno with a house-spirited warmth. "Lost But Not Broken" capitalises on some particularly soaring synths to create a uniquely uplifting flavour, while "A Theory Of Everything" takes things deeper with dubby pulses underneath an ear-snagging set of keys. "Mimico Creek" has a particularly playful arrangement marked out by nimble arps and bleeps, and "Scavenger Hunt" completes the set with a punchy rhythm section and yet more plush layers of harmonic interplay.