Review: Harry Wills hail from Frankfurt and is making himself an increasingly vital voice in the tech house scene. His latest floor facing missives are as tight as ever on the new 2XYellow label. "Snap & Crackle" goes first and almost falls over itself it is in such a hurry with its tech funk drums and microcosm of pops, clicks and synth daubs. "Rubix" is built on hefty, hard hitting kicks that are perfectly well swung and come with more tripped out synth details that get right under your skin.
Review: Since 2013 Tijn (not to be confused with J. Tijn) has been issuing a steady stream of high grade minimal and tech house for labels like Decay, Memoria, Moss Co and more recently Vuew. Now he comes to Aesthetic for a varied EP that leads in with the dusky, blue-hued tones of "Waves" - a moment for true immersion and introspection. By way of contrast, "CC" captures the energy of classic mid 00s minimal a la labels like Cynosure - all bugging samples hopping around a swinging groove - and we can't get enough of it. "Sundayyzz" takes things in a spookier direction, keeping that stripped back shuffle but holding down a more mellow energy compared to "CC".
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: Malin Genie welcomes an extensive EP treat from Lava Lap, an emergent producer with an affinity for the kind of braindance that will have fans of Jodey Kendrick beating their drum machines with approval. The acid is slippery, the structures ever-shifting and a wealth of expression spills out of every bar. There are faster drum & bass paced bits, melancholy detuned electro and much more besides. Far from just being clever music though, it's also amazingly emotional and so impeccably produced. Any electronica head should be all over this.
Review: Since launching two years ago, Atipic's "LAB" series of EPs has played host to some of Romania's finest minimal and tech-house talents, including Cosmjn, Arapu and Floog. The latest to showcase his wares via an EP on the series is Direkt, a rising star on the Romanian underground with previous releases on Botanic Minds, Vivus and Abduction to his name. A-side "JJJ" is probably the pick of a pretty strong bunch. Hypnotic, groovy and blessed with an inherent sense of movement, the track includes some particularly punchy percussion, spacey motifs and the most subtle of background acid lines. Elsewhere, "Liquid" is a brighter and breezier chunk of ear-catching tech-house funk, while "End Credits" is deeper, woozier and clearly best appreciated in dark rooms at six in the morning.
Review: Here comes something fresh for your ears on Lazare Hoche. The Parisian minimal house bastion is experiementing on this release, as Alex Font collaborates with Nils Weimann for a record that explores the synergy between classical minimalism and contemporary dancefloor reductionism. "Ballets" is a striking track that gets creative with violin strikes falling in polyrhythmic patterns to create something truly bewildering for the dancefloor - after all, that experimental sphere is where the magic happens. "Kefta" takes a more traditional approach to minimal tech house, executed in a classy, understated fashion. On the flip, Lizz comes on board for a remix of "Ballets" that places the emphasis back on the beats.
Review: Those stylish minimalists at Meander are back with more of their superbly stripped down sounds. At the helm for this latest trip is Alci, who brings the clipped electronic funk to his opener "Can't Dance" which will surely have many people trying to prove they don't suffer from the same issue. "Sonsuz Seconds" is more airy and deft, with incidental chords floating above a rugged drum line that is nice and rickety. "Kelime Bir" gets into melon twisting late night territory with its bendy tones and freaky pads, then "Kelime Iki" almost falls over itself its drums areas quick and kinetic. Fantastic stuff once more from this label.
Review: Berlin scene stalwart Nico Stojan is back on his respected Ouie imprint that he co-runs with Acid Pauli, with their seventeenth edition here. On the 'Cardano' EP you can sure bet that it is jam packed with glassy-eyed and bittersweet dancefloor narratives, as evident on the sublime title A side title track. Soothing melodies, warm bass and subtle rhythms underpin this melodic deep house journey throughout. On the flip, we have two more numbers aimed squarely at the Sunday morning dancefloor in the form of "Together" and "Inhale", the latter in particular will take you into the exotic with its chilled-out summertime island vibes.
Review: Frankfurt producers and DJs Michael Melchner (Omega Men) and Patrick K (Traffic) formerly teamed up on the KMR project with Dario Reimann, but have returned with their sophomore release as a duo here for Berlin-based Blank Slate. "Critical Mass" sounds like pitched-down jungle until that pumping and hypnotic four-to-the-floor groove comes rushing in. This is followed by the tripped-out and funky retro techno of "DUSTWUN". On the flip, the pair take you deep into the afterhours on the woozy minimal techno affair that is "Nazare Swell" and going out all guns blazing on the acid rave frenzy of "Call Me Freddy" which is reminiscent of second wave Detroit techno classics.
Review: Nemo Vachez and GrooveGuy take care of one side each on this superb new EP for Record Store Demo. "Cyan" from Vachez is a track defined by busy melodies that hiccup and pop over a shimmering line of steely percussion and tech-funk kicks. Roomy breakdowns add to the sci-fi vibes and make for colourful listening. Grooveguy's "Andromeda" gets a little more squelchy thanks to a superbly wet bassline, while crispy snapping snares and tripped put pads lend a space breaks feel. These are two perfectly contemporary, floor ready cuts that pair style and function in equal measure.
Review: Debutant Drew is up next on Fabrizio Sala's Animae LTD. The mysterious producer, who we assume to be a fellow named Andrew, presents two bouncy minimal tech house grooves here that are guaranteed to work the dancefloor. A-side cut "God Seducing Me" is exactly the kind of mesmerising and bass-driven tackle that will mix well with Northern tech house sounds by Jack Wickham or Josh Walker, while on the flip "Devil Catch Me Tonight" will hypnotise you into submission with its ethereal charm and is perfect for the afterhours dancefloor.
Review: Mannheim's Fabian Winkels is somewhat of a hero within his local scene, having long been an active DJ and producer that headed up the now defunct local institution Parker Lewis, operating his own Salty Nuts label and having been involved with local names such as Sukhumvit, BE9, Valioso and of course Kusi. He once again blazes the analogue signal path in wonky and minimalist fashion on his new cut titled "Def Yours", a typically bass driven and tripped-out jam that's perfect for Sunday mornings aboard the Hoppetosse. On the flip, there's a remix by Rominimal godfather Rhadoo, who works his unmistakable magic as always.
Review: Following on from his Bedrock debut on John Digweeds latest Quattro album, Miles Atmospheric delivers this excellent 3 track EP titled 'Defining Circles' which has had a very limited vinyl pressing. All tracks have been thoroughly road tested by John Digweed amongst many others.
Review: Earlier this year, Bruno Schmidt and Robin Ordell rekindled their Asper Bothrop production partnership after two years away. Their comeback EP on Spinning Plates was well-received, and this speedy follow-up on Domesticated is likely to be greeted by a similar level of praise. There's certainly plenty to set the pulse racing throughout, from the swinging, bass-heavy shuffle of "Everybody Just", where glitchy electronics and ghostly chords ride a thickset tech-house groove, to the crunchy, stargazing electro bounce of closing cut "Body Movement". Sandwiched in between you'll find the warm, spaced-out haziness of "Jumpin' Jack Flash", and "Trenor", a slightly pitched-down tech-house box-jam for those who like to get busy in the mix.
Review: Disordered Rhythm Metronomy may be a puzzling (and, let's face it, rather strange) artistic alias, but the two men behind the project, Ricardo Villalobos and Edward, have produced some of the most distinctive leftfield techno of the last decade. As a result, you'd expect their first joint EP to be a killer... and it is. A-side "Vormlock" is a rubbery, off-kilter treat, with the experienced duo peppering an elastic synth bassline and sparse, skittish drums with glitchy stabs, tipsy lead lines and all manner of wonky, out-of-this-world noises. Over on the flipside you'll find title track "Down", a deeper and dreamier chunk of spacey minimalism in which typical Villalobos style percussion and softly squelching bass comes cloaked in some suitably intergalactic synthesizer chords.