Shakmat, But Happy (Pauli Psychdelic Breakfast - take 9) (9:25)
Review: German deep house stalwart Martin Gretschmann aka Acid Pauli is back on Ouie, the Berlin-based label he runs with Nico Stojan. This self-deprecatingly titled EP showcases Gretschmann's dancefloor prowess yet again. From the slinky and hypnotic locomotion of "Dancing In The Trunk" which deservedly takes over the entire A side, while B side cut "Goran Utan" goes deep into the afterhours with its shimmering melodies, humming bass and clipped rhythm patterns and rounds off with even more minimal and reduced aesthetics on the disorienting "Shakmat, But Happy" (Pauli Psychdelic Breakfast - Take 9)".
Review: Adam Monti aka ADMNTi heads up 4Plae Records out of London and joins Casey Spillman (who just debuted on Infuse) for his label's fifth release. Monti opens with the hypnotic, bass-driven and swing-fuelled loops of "0207", a sublime groove reminiscent of iO (Mulen) or Jack Wickham, while Spillman's contribution comes in the form of the very UK influenced bounce of "Juice Appeal". This takes the best of 2-step and garage (and even the mandatory "rewind") to create a sexy serving of late night mood music. On the flip they flip the script, with both artists remixing each other's track and for what it's worth we reckon it's all about Spillman's remix of Monti's - tough rolling and functional tech house that's aimed squarely at the main room at peak time!
Review: Swiss producer Alci, also known as Shaolin Fantastic, landed with lauded releases on Robsoul before skipping to other labels like Apollonia and Meander. Following last year's excellent "Diversity" double pack, he lands on his own label Seeingsounds with this pitch perfect slice of dreamy minimal house. "Acid Drip" may be a misleading title - it's more of an unending groove draped in gorgeous, shimmering melodic finery. "Hiragana" takes things in a more twitchy direction, while "Apachi" brings another slant on reduced, oddball funk to get the up all night crowd loose and freaky in all the right ways.
Review: When Cristi Cons and Vlad Caia launched the Amphia label way back in 2011, they talked about creating "a world with no boundaries" and "an infinite ocean of musical shapes and ideas". It's the sort of wide-ranging, open-ended remit that seems tailor made for Amorf, an "experimental live techno" trio whose fluid and otherworldly tracks are deliciously hard to pigeonhole. For proof, check "Recall", the A-side to their second Amphia outing. Built on loose and languid tech-house drums and a similarly undulating bassline, the cut bobs and weaves through waves of restless piano motifs, deep space chords and out-there electronics. Further evidence of the threesome's hybrid style arrives via "Momentum", where poignant electric piano motifs and melancholic deep house chords envelop a crunchy, minimalist rhythm track.
Review: Arapu is very much one of the key Romanian artists of the moment. Of course, like his revered countrymen, that means techno that is elegant, minimal, and delicately detailed. His own take on the style is often littered with curious little motifs and trippy loops that also characterise this new one on heavyweight vinyl for Liniar. "Over" is a brilliant opener with languid Balearic guitar riffs echoing over supple drum work which will hook you in and encourage your mind to wander, whereas "A Gain" is a more direct, driving minimal techno cut with warped synths peeling off an urgent groove. "I" closes out with a funky undercarriage and dub house overtones that will get any basement popping off.
Review: By his usual prolific standards, Romanian producer Barac Nicolae has been rather quiet this year. "The Real You Is Not You", a double-pack of varied dancefloor cuts in his trademark minimal style, is only his second outing of the year. It's rather good, though, with sparse but groovy rhythm tracks providing the backing for all manner of ear-pleasing musical touches and mind-altering electronic effects. Our picks of the bunch are the funky, dreamy and sun-kissed hypnotism of "A Story Behind Everything" and the tipsy wonkiness of the title track, where trippy vocal samples and blissful synth riffs rise above an undulating, off-kilter groove.
Review: Emmy Award-winning composer Jordan Lieb has previously proved to be a masterful maker of crackly, atmospheric deep house. We shouldn't be that surprised, then, that his latest mini-album for Scissor And Thread - the rather depressingly titled "Nothing Makes Me Feel (Good Anymore)" - is full of the stuff. The undoubted highlight for us is the poignant and melancholic title track, though for club plays you seriously can't beat the sub-heavy, R&B-sampling shuffle of the cut that follows it, "Street Emotion". You'll find more chopped-and-screwed vocal samples on the deep and chunky "Get Something", while "The Right Way" is a near perfect fusion of loved-up deep house musicality and laid back electro grooves. The New Jersey garage influenced "Hustle" and Dream 2 Science-esque "Golden Chains" are also superb.
Review: UK dub techno maestro Steve O'Sullivan is back with another payload of deep immersion heaters under his Bluetrain guise, this time on the Future Primitive label. There's a deadly restraint at work on "Congo Shuffle", where the elements get reduced to needlepoint precision and the low end rhythm section stalks with purpose. "Invisible Guest" takes things in an explicitly dubwise direction, channelling serious Rhythm & Sound vibes for an immaculate head-nodder, before "Paralyzed Dub" slows down further into an end of the line skank for the weary to find solace in - masterful movements in the echo chamber from start to finish.
Review: German minimal/tech house veteran Christian Burkhardt makes a worthy addition to East End Dubs' ever reliable Eastenderz stable with this absolute thrasher of an EP. Although a native of Heidelberg, Burkhardt was associated with the "Mannheim Sound" over a decade ago, but has since carved out his own distinct style on tastemaker imprints like Oslo, raum...musik and Cocoon, in addition to his own Christian Burkhardt Sessions. He is in impressive form on ENDZ 030, which features the moody tough rolling main room banger "Vibration" on the A side, followed by the meditative tribal trance of afterhours cut "Foundation" as well as the bleepy minimal funk of closer "Nation" which harks back to his output in the late 00s.
Review: Mulen's latest must-check release is a collaborative affair from experienced producer Alexis Cabrera (Raummusik, Salty Nuts, Yaji) and Jorge Saveretti (Esperanza, Visionquest, Cadenza). Given their collective history, you'll be unsurprised to learn that the "Some EP" is really rather good. They set their stall out via an impressive title track that wraps spacey but funky riffs, deep space pads and undulating acid lines around a memorable bassline and typically swinging tech-house beats). "KInda" tips a wink to the glitchy, bass-heavy sound of Romanian minimal techno and the swinging intergalactic tech-house funk of Paris's YYY label, while "Science" is a deep, woozy and wonky affair full of minor key bleeps, jazzy motifs and locked-in beats.
Review: Carrot Green from Rio de Janeiro is a very nice guy. Actually you can hear that in his music - he's providing beautiful world styles combined with classic electronic elements in a very different way since years. The Kin Sharuba EP contains an Acid driven original tune and another one called Orientacao Espacial which is more relaxed. Remix delivery successfully made by Dengue Dengue Dengue from Lima and Comeme's Christian S.
Review: It's been a while since we heard from the Cobblestone Jazz boys and given their massive influence over contemporary house and techno, it's always a pleasure to listen to their truly singular take on dance music. The Matthew Jonson-led outfit return with an EP for the Itiswhatitis label, the original birthplace of Jonson's beats. "Northern Lights" is classic Cobblestone, where an ultra compressed kick meanders amidst calculated drips of sound pouring mathematically from every angle. "Drawn From The Side Of Crime" is a little more chirpy, its sounds bleeping away with greater intensity and freedom. It's a must have for fans of the group, recommended!
Bongneck - "The Robber's Daughter" (Ghiz Retouch) (6:06)
Makebo - "Unknown Beauty" (9:09)
Review: Moscow's Shanti Radio imprint has been on fine form of late, offering up must-check 12s from DSF, Lost Desert, Volen Sentir and many more. Here they offer up their first multi-artist EP of 2019, an undeniably attractive and ear-pleasing affair that effortlessly joins the dots between deep house, tech-house and more percussive tribal flavours. Highlights are plentiful throughout, with our picks including the string-drenched, bittersweet brilliance of Makebo's "Unknown Beauty", the sub-heavy throb of Ghiz's tasty rework of Bongbeck's "The Robber's Daughter" - all rolling hand percussion, insanely weighty bass and picturesque melodic flourishes - and the sunset-ready dancefloor bliss of Cornucopia's impeccable "Nature Boy".
Review: It's always a treat to spot Edward donning his Desert Sky guise for another trip into the hinterland of minimal techno, where expression reigns free and all kinds of sound sources tumble into a truly exotic mix. On this album for PAL SL, all bets are off as we get whisked down a mysterious and meandering path where organic and electronic matter merge in the shadows, all strapped to subliminal but pronounced grooves that make this some of the most potent, intriguing club material in circulation right now. Buy the ticket, take the ride and dance out under that Desert Sky.
Review: British artist Desert Sound Colony appears outside of his brilliant Holding Hands imprint here with a new one for Scenic Route - a new London-based label and party run by Bryce's Brother, Jon Phonics and Sean OD. Real name Liam Wachs, his productions have gained support from a wide variety of DJs such as Midland, Raresh, Andrew Weatherall and Lena Willikens, and you can count his new EP "Cartogropher" as another guaranteed dancefloor killer. The A side houses the title track - a fierce, rolling, bass-heavy backroom dub, followed by the trippy and off-kilter UK vibe of "Gypsy Moth (feat. Guava)" plus deep minimalist concentration of "Budapest" on the flip.
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".