Review: Helena Hauff returns to her own Return To Disorder label after last year's joyously received "Qualm" album on Ninja Tune. It's the first fully solo record Hauff has released herself, and it more than lives up to expectation. "Catso" is a wonderfully expressive slice of noirish electro draped in vintage synth arps and twinkling leads as enchanting as they are spooky. "Why Look At Animals" has a more low down funk, but once again sports the richly harmonic synth hooks to make this appeal right across the board. "The Brush" ups the tempo, but keeps things sparse and moody, while "Slim Filter" gets a touch more nasty and sounds utterly fantastic with it. Compared to her rabid DJ sets, these productions represent the more measured side of Hauff, but they're no less deadly.
Review: The Andromeda Orchestra project was last seen on Faze Action last year, when "Get Up & Dance" got the remix treatment by Nick The Record. This time around the project gets a serious disco treatment from Ray Mang, who stretches "Don't Stop" out across the A side for a nine minute pleasure ride that's heavy on the funk. "Kano Line Dance" kicks off the B side in another loose and nasty party jam, before the original Philly string busting brilliance of "Don't Stop" completes the set in fabulous fashion.
Jon Da Silva & Jozef K - "Maresme" (Da Silva mix) (5:44)
Review: Sasha has done well to re-establish himself with the next generation, and its largely because of the work he puts into his Last Night On Earth label. A haven for producers who like emotionally stripping, melodic sounds, this latest VA package delves into the previously digital-only archives. The boss himself kicks things off with a collab with La Fleur built on a wavy baseline and crisp house rhythm. Fur Coat keep things more mysterious with "Babel" while Hunter/Game keep you in suspense throughout the many melodic and harmonica layers of "Canyons". Jon Da Silva & Jozef K close things down in more purposeful fashion.
I Want To Thank You (KON Shine Your Light remix) (7:54)
I Want To Thank You (KON dub) (7:49)
Review: Having previously breathed new life into classic cuts from L.T.D, George Duke and Sylvester, Kon has now turned his attention to another all-time favourite: Alicia Myers' 1981 stunner "I Want To Thank You", a disco-era gospel-soul favourite that remains one of the era's most timeless club records. Working from the multi-track tapes, Kon teases out Myers' killer vocal - drenched in just the right amount of reverb and delay - atop a slightly stripped-back groove before giving it the full kitchen sink treatment. Just as good is the flipside Dub, which flits between beat-free sections and the track's killer groove in the manner of disco dubs from the early 1980s. The song itself may not have needed tampering with, but Kon's versions are genuinely superb.
Lenny Fontana, Tension - "A Place Called Heaven" (Joey Negro dub Groove) (6:58)
Jay Denes, Ada Dyer - "You Make Me Whole" (Joey Negro Rhodes dub) (5:17)
Julian Sanza - "To Love" (5:16)
Frankie Knuckles, Satoshi Tomiie, Andrea Mendez - "Bring Me Love" (Eventual dub) (6:56)
Review: Some serious no-nonsense house grooves for all true-school DJs to cop, dug out from the annals of club music history. Things kick off good and proper with Joey Negro's insanely powerful "Dub Groove" mix of Lenny Fontana's "A Place Called Heaven". Negro's on the buttons once again with the classic, pumping "Rhodes Dub" of "You Make Me Whole" by Jay Denes and Ada Dyer. On the flip, Julian Sanza drops the squelchy boogie inflected "To Love" before the record ends on a serious bang with the dream team of Frankie Knuckles, Satoshi Tomiie and Andrea Mendez's "Bring Me Love (Eventual Dub)". This is as actual house as actual house can get - the real deal, crystalised in four evergreen gems pressed on one handy record.
Review: A big driver behind Mood Hut's success over the last few years has been their willingness to encourage collaboration between their extended crew of producers. Their latest co-produced affair comes from long-serving crewmember C.Z Wang (best known for his People Plus release earlier this year) and Aquarian Foundation's Chad Thiessen AKA Neo Image. "Just Off Wave" is warm, woozy and bass-heavy, with drowsy chords, fizzing electro noises and trippy vocals (courtesy, we think, of guests Seperated At Birth) riding a hybrid analogue house/electro groove. That beat is cut-up, beefed-up and heavily enhanced on flipside "Open Mic Beat", which is a sweaty drum track - with, it should be said, occasional chords - that should appeal to aging B-boys and girls.
Review: Seoul-based Frenchman Timothee Victorri has been in fine form of late, offering up a string of unusual - but undeniably brilliant - breakbeat techno cuts that recall the psychedelic, mind-altering brilliance of the early '90s ambient techno movement. Here he dons a new alternative alias, SYO, in order to explore a more trance-influenced sound. A-side "Tears" sounds a little like a long lost early '90s psychedelic trance workout: all undulating acid lines, rising and falling, arpeggio style bass, dramatic builds and drops and plenty of hallucinatory electronic flourishes. "Dune" sees him strip out the beats while leaving plenty of rhythm, recalling some of the more trippy, ambient techno cuts popular in the same period; certainly, we could imagine a spacesuit-clad Mixmaster Morris dropping it at the Fridge in Brixton around 1992.
Review: Originally prolific in the late 90s and back with a renewed sense of vigour in the past few years, Dan Piu's classic, widescreen vision of hardware techno captures the verve of the original Detroit blueprint while bringing a fresh, welcome energy to the genre. This drop on Common Dreams brims with the same head-swirling magic, especially on vividly rendered lead track "Halo City". "Falling Framework" has a more mellow veneer, but there's still so much playful detail bringing the track to life. "Akira 2171" has an old-skool sci fi quality balanced out by its linear sense of progression, and "Ilipsyon" takes things deeper into a wistful jack reminiscent of the spookiest Trax output.
Review: Three years after the "Illahertz EP" on Shipwrec Records, Jason McCracken makes this great come back on his own Advanced Robotiks imprint with heavy rotation from DJStingray, Helena Hauf, and the underground global Electro scene.
Review: After debuting his Pakzad moniker on Infiltrate last year, Justin Pak makes the leap to Burnski's Constant Sound with this assured set of electro workouts built for the modern age. "Timeless" is a snappy, vibrant cut with a serious amount of techno propulsion to match the crooked funk of the beats. "Clutch" has a more trippy, melodic twist, while "Correlation" hunkers down into a more backroom vibe as detailed as it is freaky. This is seriously executed electro from a fast-rising talent - nab a copy, drop it into a set and watch the bodies writhe.
The Funk District - "An Evening With El Diablo" (6:31)
Matt Hughes - "Get Down" (5:50)
Cody Currie - "Aquarian Girl" (5:17)
The Owl - "Funky Feelin" (4:12)
ED Wizard & Disco Double Dee - "Slippin" (4:22)
Review: More good value goodness from the Editorial label, one of the few re-edit focused outfits that manage to retain a high level of consistency. The Funk District kicks things off with a fine re-arrangement of an organ and electric piano-focused chunk of sweaty dancefloor soul ("An Evening With El Diablo"), before Matt Hughes gets busy with some elastic slap bass on flash-fried disco-funk revision "Get Down". Elsewhere, Label regulars Ed Wizard & Disco Double Dee dip the tempo on the slow and seductive "Slippin", the Owl stomps his way through the P-funk style heaviness of "Funky Feelin" and Cody Currie offers up a hazy sample-house cut rich in jazzy flourishes and warm electric piano chords.
Review: Block rocking beats! Italian editor stallion Diego Lego Edit returns with another vinyl-only special. Following his star-gazing UFO edit series last month, here come two spicy jams on Samosa. "Funky Zulu" takes the lead with its vibrant sweeping Afrofunk horns and total wig-out guitar solo. Think "Tropical Paradise" but just a few milky ways deeper into the void and you're on the right street, then take it even deeper into the celestial hood for De-Gama's even livelier remix. Elsewhere "Black Jungle" will tease and please with a lolloping bassline that you'll recognise almost instantly. Premium party pleasure.
Lou Rawls - "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine" (Kenny Summit, Frankie Knuckles & Eric Kupper unreleased remix) (7:43)
Kenny Summit, Frankie Knuckles & Eric Kupper - "Loving You" (feat Yasmeen) (6:50)
Review: Apparently made in tribute to the legendary Paradise Garage club some years ago, these two previously unreleased workouts are the work of Kenny Summit, Eric Kupper and the late, great Frankie Knuckles. Side A boasts the trio's near legendary (and previously unavailable) remix of Lou Rawls classic "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine". It's a wonderfully positive and life-affirming affair, with the three legendary producers wrapping echoing guitars, warming disco orchestration and Rawls' sublime lead vocal around a deliciously percussive Afro-house groove. The flip features another unseen and unheard gem from the vaults: a loose, groovy and positive soulful house wiggler featuring the seductive vocals of Yasmeen. Terrific stuff.
Review: Pow! The immense high voltage Italo slaps of "Robots", the euphoric arpeggios of "Imperator", the savage punk funk of "NY77" the clownish swoons of "Cocteau", the fantastical narrative and massive 80s chimes of "USSR" and the blossoming psychedelic bass slaps and tickles of "Camp & Cosmic"... Say no to six fresh edits from Norwegian cosmic disco originator Rune Lindbaek? Are you tripping? Of course you're not. That would be illegal. So is sleeping on this long-awaited third volume to Rune's "Norsk Tripping" series. Happy travels.
Review: The Verdant label continues to plumb depths others fail to reach in the search for the most immersive techno emanating from the underground. On this split disc, the A side is under the control of Sirko Muller, who unfurls a masterful take on dub techno and minimal house as subtle as it is sublime. RV800 then remixes "Affinity" and makes it into a bouncy, acid-flecked groover that remains true to Verdant's deep dynamics. Jonno & Tommo take on the flip with the sultry mood piece "Efficacy," a spooked-out trip of a track that gets flipped into a slippery electro number by Havantepe.
Universal Nation (The original 'Real anthem' mix) (10:18)
Review: It's been 21 years since the release of Push's "Universal Nation", a spacey and hypnotic trance classic that first featured on the top selling "The Real Anthem EP". Given that '90s trance classics - and, let's face it, "Universal Nation" is a stone cold classic - are now all the rage again, it seems a perfect time for Bonzai to reissue it. You'll find the Belgian's original mix on side B, with Dutch Drumcode dude Bart Skils delivering a contemporary A-side revision. He retains Push's original fluttering high-register refrain, replacing the backing track with a rambunctious, full-throttle groove that sits somewhere between big room techno and neo-trance.
Review: Desert Sound Colony continues to dig deeper in the history of tech house on his Holding Hands imprint. Here he reissues a golden oldie courtesy of Mauricio Fernando Bischain aka DJ Mau Mau. Said to be one of the pioneers of electronic music in Brazil, he remains a respected figure to this day and his releases on the respected Tropic Records imprint are considered seminal. Originally released back in 1996, "Hell's Club EP" refers to the very institution where he was a resident. The title track is a bouncy and functional groove attack, with acid inflections that encapsulates the sound of the mid '90s. This is followed by the banging Detroit-influenced hi-tech funk of "JMRB" before Desert Sound Colony's rounds things up with his own contorted rework of "Breakers In Space".
Review: More majestic electro workouts from Chris "214" Roman, a producer who has been serving up slabs of tightly wound machine funk since the dawn of the decade. He opens his first Frustrated Funk outing for three years with the bittersweet deep electro shuffle of "Growing Old Together" before breaking up the beats, ratcheting up the bleeps and cranking out the crackles on alien funk throb-job "Last Dance". Over on the flip, "Dislocated" is a high-tempo slab of end of days electro full of growling noises and creepy chords, while "Voice Check" is picturesque, dreamy and life affirming: a triumphantly positive and melodious conclusion to another stunning collection of cuts.
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: The fourth volume in Selva Discos superb "Brasingles" series of overlooked Brazilian obscurities is another must-check treat. "Tudo Faz Santido" was originally tucked away on former Gang 90 member Taciana Barros' sole solo album, 1995's "Janela Dos Sonhos". It's a wonderfully chunky slab of rolling, mid-90s breakbeat-pop rich in beefy bass, new wave style guitars and twinkling electronic flourishes. The track's inherent heaviness is even more evident on the flip, where there's what appears to be a never-before-released extended mix by original producer Mitar Subotic (better known in electronic music circles as Suba and Rex Illusivii). The sadly departed Serbian's DJ-friendly take wisely prioritizes the groove, adding even more acid-style sounds for enhanced dancefloor pleasure.
Review: Fire in the hole! Quite literally; "Nar" is Arabic for fire and it's been one of the hottest dubs in the Lipsky brothers' Simple Symmetry sets for quite some time. Jaunty, free-footed, laced with an intoxicating eastern riff and a springy 80s bassline, it has hips slinking from 0-60 in less than seconds. So do the remixes: Autarkik gives it an "Age Of Love" style trancey slither while Inigo Vontier reboosts the percussive element for a much heavier hypnotic experience. Feeling fired up yet?
Raw Silk - "Do It To The Music" (Dr Packer Multi track mix) (7:00)
Barbara Mason - "Another Man" (Dr Packer rework) (5:46)
Shirley Lites - "Heat You Up Melt You Down" (Dr Packer rework) (6:55)
Review: The latest contemporary mix-master to get his hands on the West End catalogue is Dr Packer, an Aussie re-editor-turned-producer whose recent outings on Glitterbox have made him an in-demand artist. He kicks things off by delivering a "multi-track" mix of Raw Silk boogie classic "Do It To The Music" that offers a superb mix of beefed-up synth-bass, echoing vocal snippets, stripped-down breakdowns and New York proto-house style production trickery. Over on side B he tightens up and funks up Barbara Mason's similarly synth-heavy electrofunk classic "Another Man" - a song about a woman losing her man to, you guessed it, another fella - before subtly tooling up and extending Shirley Lites' peerless "Heat You Up (Melt You Down)".
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: There's much to enjoy about the output of the Kimochi label, not least the bespoke, spray-painted sleeves and their habit of releasing only the deepest, most hypnotic electronic music. Their latest must-have release is another super-limited affair that drifts lazily between ultra-deep cuts shot through with dub-wise rhythms, atmospheric shoegaze motifs, echoing ambient chords and beats straight out of the early '90s ambient techno playbook. It's utterly gorgeous and deliciously hazy, with slow-burn melodies and undulating electronics slowly rising above reverb-laden chords, warm basslines and occasionally skittish rhythms. There's something particularly special about the locked-in drums and hypnotic bassline of "Elljus", but the ambient soundscapes "Heden" and "Inland" are also superb.
Review: Bandulu strike again! This time with fellow kindred system spirit Bengal Sound. Two more totally disarming, otherworldly experiments, if you've just returned from Outlook then you'll already know what damage these are causing. "Never Mind" warms up with graveyard stroll before opening up into a strange shimmering organ riff that doesn't quite sound as if it's made on this planet. "Short Stay" meanwhile twists up the percussion and drum arrangements, making them almost breathe with trippy toxicity and a wooziness you just can't find in any other style of music. One of a kind and already teased out a few months ago. This new batch won't last long.
Mark De Clive Lowe - "Wondering Who" (Nautz L8 Nite edit) (6:56)
Motomitsu - "La Musique" (6:23)
Brandon Williams - "Twenty-One" (feat Jon Dixon & De'Sean Jones) (5:17)
Loftsoul X Soul-T - "Sol Origin" (feat Andy Compton) (7:02)
Review: Detroit's MotorCity Wine has established itself as the go0to space for all of the soulful, broken beat, and deep sounds on the house music spectrum. For their 4th 12" they tap in a cast of locals and friends from across the globe for this 4 track EP. Mark de Clive0Lowe kicks things off with "Wondering Who", a bassline0driven broken0beat inspired electronic funk workout, before Motomitsu goes Marianas Trench deep with "La Musique". On the flip Brandon Williams, Jon Dixon, & De'Sean Jones deliver "Twenty0One", a sublime piece of hi0tech jazz for the soulful heads. Loftsoul & Soul0T round out the EP with "Sol Origin", a sub0heavy Shelter0esque track featuring Andy Compton on electric guitar.
Review: Four months on from the release of his debut album, "Blue Spring", Berlin-based Canadian Nathan Micay returns to LuckyMe with a formidably floor-focused EP. While there's one sublime ambient excursion - the "Blade Runner" synthesizer movements and bubbling acid lines of "Did U Know I Cannot Die" - the rest of the EP is rugged, raw and club-ready. "The Party We Could Have" is a house-tempo stomper with quietly jacking drums, echoing riffs and foreboding electronic arpeggio lines, while "This'll Tell The Tale" is a throbbing space disco/Italo-disco box jam. Arguably best of all, though, is the Jeff Mills/Robert Hood style thump of mind-altering opener "I'm Your Huckleberry".
Review: Icelandic label Lahar debuts with this highly impressive release from NonniMal, who was previously spotted dropping the classy "Freyja" 12" on AE Recordings back in 2016. Sound design is the order of the day on "Eitt" as a beautifully rendered set of percussive bell notes chime around a minimal rhythm section - a piece pointedly geared towards transcendence. "Tvo" has an intriguing slant to its groove, as the sharply oscillating synth wobble juts out against the grain of the drums. "Thrju" takes things in a bleak but captivating direction, while "Fjogur" cools the record down in a cloud of blissful, frostbitten ambience.
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: Hodini is back on the ever reliable Wolf Music for his second EP. The Cologne-based DJ also moonlights as one of Germany's leading underground hip hop producers under the alias HulkHodn, therefore he brings elements from this background into this unique five tracker. In "WOLFEP 053", he dusts off long forgotten cuts, all sampled with that MPC chopped graininess and blending lo-fi vocal sound bites with deft jazz loops to give a distinct, textured edge to his work. From the dusty late night deepness of "Velved Groove", to the slo-mo Moodymann vibes of "Special Shout Out" and the lo-slung, jazzy kinda somethin' that is "Where's The Wine", Hodini delivers smokey deep house music with an undeniably urban flavour.
Review: The latest missive in the L.I.E.S. ongoing series of collaborative EPs brings together Cititrax regular An-I (AKA sometime leftfield disco maverick Doug Lee) and Berlin-based experimental electronics maverick Unhuman. The pair begins in forthright fashion, moving from the racing drum machine heartbeats, rhythmic noise and mangled yelps of "Five To Nine", to the doomy bass, triple-time beats and clanking metallic hits of post-punk number "Hate Thy Neighbour". Over on side B they mutilate electro beyond almost all recognition on the alien insanity of "Entschuldigung" before lolloping towards a conclusion with the fuzzy industrial funk thrust of "Cannibals".
Review: These days we're accustomed to producers serving up deep, dreamy and life-affirming fusions of breakbeat, deep house and ambient techno. This wasn't so much the case when Ex-Terrestrial released his debut EP, "Paraworld" in 2016. As this surprise reissue proves, it remains one of the best EPs of its kind. There's much to admire throughout, from title track's bongo-laden, new age deep house warmth, to the seductive ambient bliss of "Dreams of Jupiter", which still reminds us of 2015's Slow Riffs 12" on Mood Hut. Arguably best of all, though, is "Blue Smoke", a brilliant fusion of pitched-down rave breakbeats and comforting, Pete Namlook style ambient chords.
Review: Who can resist an exotic edit? Certainly not us, and certainly not when they're as good as this sixth such offering from Belpaese. The eight minute "Vieni Con Me" is an extraordinarily lavish fusion of disco, Italo-funk and Balearic vibes with drawn out synth lines, golden chords and percolating drum work that all serves as an undercurrent to the steamy and seductive vocal line. On the flip is the slower but equally libidinous "20 Secoli Di Favole", with its snaking drums and cosmic chords all working the dance effort into a lather. Frankly, this EP's so hot is should come with an age restriction warning.
Review: British techno legend Neil Landstrumm returns to Unknown To The Unknown with an EP that's described as a "super charged fusion of dance music styles". Prepare for a proper alien transmission via title track "Hell Is Other People", featuring long time collaborator Si Begg, and the vinyl-only exclusive electro funk cut "Shadow Man". On the flip, he goes for a classic acid house vibe (with vocoder!) on the Adonis sounding cut "Aviemore" while it's classic Landstrumm all the way on the raw hardware techno of closer "Jackshit".
Review: Trinidadian Deep is a master of long, winding, enchanting house grooves that are deep but also spiritual and laced with afro percussion. Shelter acquires his latest two efforts and the glorious "Native Culture" opens things in subtly uplifting fashion. Trilling organ chords rise through the mix to give life to the jumbled drums and sustained pads in the background which keep things deep and ensure maximum hypnosis. "Eggun" has a more bubbling sense of rhythm, with vocal coos and surging chords peppering the track and bringing motion. Powerful stuff.