Review: Constant Sound's electro arm, Infiltrate, calls upon the considerable talents and technical heft of London Modular Alliance for a bruising EP of body-popping exploration strapped to a tough n' funky beatdown. "Crack Fox" is as nervy and nimble as the title might suggest, while "Regular Customer" takes things in a hyper-detailed direction compatible with the kind of advanced machine funk you expect from Silicon Scally. "Blinky" follows suit with another artfully woven web of twitchy synth hooks and deftly sequenced drums, and then "Other Worlds" switches things up with some seriously hefty bass pressure pivoting around a dubstep attitude towards space and moodiness.
Review: Ben Sims's Hardgroove imprint hits its 30th release and 20th year of operations with the beginning of a new split EP series entitled 'Toe to Toe', with Vol.1 provided by Mella Dee and Subradeon.
The UK's Mella Dee has developed a strong rep for robust club sounds via his aptly titled Warehouse Music imprint in recent years while the Berlin-based Subradeon duo have been dropping slick Detroit influenced sounds for Motech, Rekids and their own eponymous imprint.
Review: After releasing a track via Ben Sims' Tribology compilation in 2018 VIL drops his 'Ritmica EP' on the British DJ's legendary Hardgroove imprint this October.
Previous output for Synewave, Analog Solutions and Planet Rhythm have won Lisbon's VIL support from across the techno community and the 'Ritmica EP's propellant cuts continue a strong discography.
Opener '97-1' is an urgent heads down affair that rarely takes a breath, instead relying on the ebb and flow of pads to provide contrast to the undulating bass and punchy rhythm track. 'Field', taken from last year's Tribology comp, is next up and unfolds a little more slowly with creeping breakbeats laying the grit atop a detailed hypnotic groove. On the flip, 'Breaker' and 'Hawav' go for the late-night dance floor assault from the off, the former employing breaks and phased, percussive lead sounds to substantial effect while the latter lets loose with distorted kicks and chewy, arpeggiated bass.
Review: Mark Broom's long-awaited solo EP debut for Hardgroove is upon us and, true to form, for the M-Plant and Beardman producer is a masterclass in groove led, funk-laced techno.
'Outta Sight' opens the EP with purposeful, undulating stabs mirrored by a powerful sub while the second cut, 'L4LV' heads down a dystopian yet crunching, drum-led path to hammer its point home. The title track is Broom at his stripped-back best, with just a handful of elements and deft arrangement doing all the work while track four, 'TR1', serves as a neat, dancefloor wrecking summation of the moods, sounds and production touches of the preceding three cuts.
Review: Steve O'Sullivan teams up once again with Frazer Campbell on MOSAICLTDX3.
Getting straight back into the stride they hit on 'Different Strokes', the duo land a double whammy of deeply swung grooves laced with airy Detroit influences.
Laying down the law with "Straight to the Source", the pair conjure up a cheeky homage to the garage influenced sounds of the late 90's. Featuring a full level of bass in your face, jacking beats and super catchy off kilter stabs - there's no mistaking a groove like this... they really do mean business.
On the flip they revisit 'Hypnotonic.' The "West Side Shuffle" version is similarly sparse in feel to the original, yet strikes a fresh balance as less pervasive percussion bounces around to tight rhythmic bass end pulses, dubbed up vocals and subtle effected tweaks. Continuing to capture a less frenzied moment, this new take will certainly please the heads down massive.
Review: Next in store for the prestigious Icelandic label AE Recordings is a collaboration between well-known Icelandic & Russian artists. The Moscow legend Anton Kubikov delivers a beautiful & haunting minimal techno track, bound to encapsulate the essence of Russian winter - while SCSI-9 offers a dubby and a hypnotic techno anthem. The Icelandic regulars of the label bring their goods to the table. The ever-intriguing collaboration of Ohm & Octal Industries never ceases to disappoint - and their contribution is an intriguing atmospheric deep house track, ideal for home-listening as well for the late-night rooms. The Thule Records label boss Thor offers a musical equivalent of a megafauna with his track - heavy hitting dub chords, mindbending delays & that little extra magic that we all love from the Icelandic god of thunder. Essential for the record bag!
Review: Mike 'Agent X' Clark is a true hero of the Detroit scene, but he rarely gets the props he deserves, making any outing of his a cause for celebration. El Prevost's No Speakers label knows what's up, and they've drafted in Clark for his killer jam "The Heat." The name is no foil, this track will set any party ablaze with its distinctive speech sample and saucy rhythm section. Alongside the original, there is a strong cast of remixers on hand to serve up deadly variations, from the label boss' skipping, psyched-out groover to Ben Sims' appropriately thumping techno workout. Peter Rocket especially impresses with a crafty breaks version that should slot in nicely with the resurgent electro scene.
Review: The latest transmission on Aesthetic comes from Nolga, previously spotted alongside Michael James on the Hoarder label. The sound on this record is pure, classy minimal house executed with a fine ear for detail, leading in with the deep tracking "34100" before locking into the equally immersive "XYZ". The shuffle is strong on this 12", keeping up on the flip with the subtly dubby, utterly funky "Line Of Questioning" before launching into the crafty, bouncy tones of "Shelter". Immaculately produced with maximum body response in mind, this is another strong outing for Aesthetic and a promising next step for a highly promising producer.
Review: For the 20th release on P.O.D Records, the duo Politics Of Dancing dug out an underground french house classic from Dj Freddy, Emergency Delivery. This long awaited repress is issued with a remix from England's very own Archie Hamilton and label boys themselves Politics Of Dancing.
Already a favorite.
Review: The re-launched Secretsundaze label continues to spread it's wings with the signing of Lisbon born, London based Silvestre.The push and pull of influences from his own and adopted countries have combined to find him a unique sound that embraces rap, R&B, reggaeton as well as breaks and woozy pads from UK hardcore and house. Mixing samples, his own voice and continuing the fusion of reggaeton and breakbeat/techno from previous releases, the Silvestre Is Boss EP aims for a hazy vibe.AAAs Silvestre explains: The pad and synth choices on this EP are picked specifically to sound dreamy, a dream where you arrive at the club but the party is already finished, which sucks." Silvestre began making his name in 2015 with his first release on the Diskotopia label from Tokyo and followed that up with appearances on Creme Organization and Paraiso. He then dropped the killer 'All The Things' EP of mid-tempo party bangers on his own Padre Himalaya label which reached the top 30 of Phonica's illustrious Singles of the Year list. The Silvestre Is Boss EP is his strongest work to date with 5 tracks of quality floor and headphone directed material that perfectly balances the need for playful melody and harmony with tough grooves and synthetic ambience. Drafted in on remix duty is Secretsundaze fave D.K. (Antinote records) who takes EP heater 'Fuego', dialling down the breakbeats for a smoother trip.
Review: The first pressing of Andrea La Pietra's fourth annual EP sold out in record time, so Melliflow has moved quickly to provide us with a repress. Listening back six weeks after it first appeared in stores, it's easy to see why it has become a must-have EP. Throughout, La Pietra cannily sidesteps conventions, mixing and matching elements of deep house, tech-house, two-step, broken beat, jazz-funk and electro, opting for colourful synthesizer motifs, off-kilter funk-fuelled beats, weighty analogue bass and electronic sounds capable of both soothing the senses and putting smiles on weary faces. Such is the high quality threshold that picking out highlights is hard, though we're particularly enjoying the bouncy, early Orbital influenced "In Full Effect", the warm and sunny "She Glanced Up" and the bustling "Deflection".
Review: Since debuting in 2016, Sweely has delivered popular and highly regarded EPs for such storied labels as Lobster Theremin, Distant Hawaii, Bokari and Concrete Music. Here he makes his first appearance on Butter Side Up with an inventive and quietly impressive four-tracker. He kicks things up with "He's Mine", a rubbery, breakbeat-driven chunk of late night tech-house funk laden in quirky samples, before opting for a more metallic and glitchy take on tech-house on the YYY-esque "The Girls Are Watching". Title track "Private Navigation" adds ear catching organ lines and trippy spoken word samples to a garage-influenced tech-house groove, while "Hotel Corsica" is a wonderfully deep and spacey excursion tailor-made for sunrise sets and lazy afternoon workouts.
Review: Mysticisms' is delighted to reissue Nail's timeless debut release, Cassiopeia. Appearing on the DiY Collective's 'Strictly 4 Groovers' compilation album for Warp Records in 1993, the original appears as a stand alone at last and is backed with a specially created 2019 Remix. Starting in 1989 and centered around Nottingham, the collective, also known as DiY Sound System, were a focal point for the burgeoning house scene in the midlands. Promoting an alternative take on post-acid house's creeping commercialisation, DiY kept to simple ethos of good music and a good party and were at the forefront of the new Free Party movement. Alongside parties, the collective set up a studio and label and young Neil Tolliday was introduced by in-house engineer Damian Stanley. 'Nail' was born and during studio downtime, the 18 year old wrote Cassiopeia around the S1000 sampler, Juno 106, Oberheim Matrix 1000 and Roland SH101. Cassiopeia became the stand out inclusion on the compilation and rightly, is still highly prized. Fitting in and outside the Deep House vibe DiY were known, it fuses elements of ambient and even trance, with a beautiful arpeggio and vocal sample atop simple, but killer bass line and claps. Tolliday's 2019 Remix is a fitting accompaniment, stretching towards dub techno before house kicks back perfectly for today's heads. Bounce the Mystery.
Review: The lads behind Albion Records know a thing or two about where to look for fresh steps forwards in the minimal, house and techno scenes. After last year's Gab Jr release, they're finally back to hit number 10 with a double pack compilation that sets in stone what the label is all about. There's a lot to dig into here, but some of the standouts include the sharp and sneaky "Forgot Your Name" by Henry Hyde, the Boogizm-goes-electro freakery of Christian Jay's "Restive" and the swinging jazz surrealism of Phil Evans' "Hazard". With more than a little garage shuffle hovering over this release, it's set to be another huge one in all corners of the minimal tech house scene.
Review: Tomoki Tamura and Tuccillo are back together once again as Doublet, with both seasoned tech house champs having fun in the studio jamming out the kind of stripped back, heads down grooves you'd expect to hear them play out. "Tee's 8" is a cheeky A side jam with the kind of acid line that goes down easy and then works you from the inside out. "Three Thousand Men" has a slight dubby thread to it which sits comfortably amongst the sturdy groove of the drums, and then "Tentation" switches gears for a bright and melodic creation that skips around in funky syncopation without even needing to worry about a kick drum.
Review: Four years ago, Vincent Lemieux + Guillaume & The Coutu Dumont made their collaborative debut as Flabbergast via a fine EP on Circus Company. They've been silent since, meaning that this belated sequel on Yoyaku feels like a big release. "Enweye" operates towards the deeper end of the stripped-back tech-house spectrum, with the duo wrapping intergalactic synthesizer melodies around rock solid kick drums, crashing cymbals and fluid tribal percussion on impeccable opener "Nowel". "Jowanne" is arguably even deeper, with cascading ambient lead lines tumbling down over a shuffling rhythm track and more tropical drum hits. Over on side B, Varhat offers his interpretation of "Nowel", in the process delivering a loose-limbed tech-house percussion jam with hazy, sun-kissed melodies occasionally rising above the sweat-soaked beats.
Catch Me If You Can (Jorge Savoretti Ethereal dub) (7:08)
Review: Michael James' "Winds Of Change" EP was a big look for Constant Black, and now the eminent minimal house label draws on a hit list of sharp shooters to deliver some deadly remixes. Huerta is up first with an angular but rolling dub twist on "Catch Me If You Can", before Nick Beringer pings things in a wonderfully hazy direction with his "7am Dub" of "Stormy Skies". Pascal Benjamin gets into a tight, focused funk on his version of "Reservoir", and then Jorge Savoretti flies in an "Ethereal Dub" of "Catch Me If You Can".
Review: The Aesthetic label is steadily growing as yet another strong side to the Constant Sound empire, and they're sounding fit as a fiddle with this latest drop from Niko Maxen. "Aesthetic 04" leads in with "Calibans Dance", a swirling, dubbed out affair with intriguing percussive tones to add an intriguing edge to the stripped back house groove. "Lessons" has a heads down, twitchy demeanour it's impossible to resist, and then "Twelvty" summons up some elegant synth strokes that hover in between the shuffling beats. The latter provides more than enough inspiration for Kepler to deliver an astounding remix that plays around with bouncy arps and pointed house rhythms in his inimitable style.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Thule are back on the Icelandic techno reissue trip, this time returning to a serious classic from Sanasol (Yagya & Thor) that originally came out in 1997. This particular, highly sought after, gem leads in with the majorly heady house throb of "Seveneleven (Original Mix)" which piles the dubby processing and lush melodics on heavy while still retaining a sense of airiness to uplift the soul. By contrast, the "Closedonsundays Mix" focuses on a tough but crooked beat and that undulating bassline for a completely different flavour. On the flip, the "Sanaramalonger Mix" returns to the mellower flow of the original but with a more submerged finish and some pronounced dub stabs. Then the "Ozzy Mix" finishes the package with a minimal take that prefigures the upsurge of dubby clicks n' cuts laptop beats that would explode in the years to come. Essential tackle for all deep techno explorers.
Review: J Room steps up with a contribution to the minimal tech house conversation that sees emergent artist Jale making a strong statement with three powerful original tracks and a remix from Cosmjn. Jale's style leans on Detroit string synths for a sense of melancholic grandeur, and densely packed rhythm sections that bump as much as they punch. "Orbital Dream" takes things in a dreamy after hours direction, and "Eclipse" works up some rugged synth trysts that snap around a subtly broken beat. Cosmjn's remix of "Orbital Dream" is not to be slept on either as it subtly adjusts the accent of the groove to make an immersive tech house roller par excellence.
Review: The latest drop on Mr KS & Friends comes from Sylan 101, an artist making a truly accomplished debut brimming with musicality and fresh beat constructions compatible with, but not beholden to a deep house vibe. "Nostalgia (Healing Of Time)" is a smoky broken beat groove with gentle piano chords and muted trumpet, while "Brief Encounters" draws on subtle guitar licks and harmonious pads for decoration over snaking drums. "Been There Once" heads in a more mysterious direction, throwing some spoken word refrains into the mix and keeping the instrumentation more subtle and atmospheric.
Review: Priku's new diffusion series Atipic Lab has brought us some killer material of late, by some right heroes of the Rominimal scene such as Arapu, Vlad Arapasu and Cosmijn. The latest edition comes from the ever reliable Vincentiulian, who first appeared on the label back in 2016 with the brilliant Atipic 002 - which we consider a modern classic. Expectations are high, then, for ATIPICLAB 006 and he certainly didn't let us down. From the obtuse yet mesmerising bounce of A side cut "Agera", to the more straight ahead B side cuts such as "I Don't Wonder" which shows off Vincent's knack for crafty and infectious rhythm programming, and the funky afterhours groove of "Ultrak" with its smooth rolling bass.
Review: If you're a minimal fan and don't know Yama Music, you've been sleeping. Their first three EPs flew off the shelves and into crates of heady DJs across Europe. Once again the eponymous Yama Music is or are behind the beats and it's forward thinking, no nonsense dancing music of the highest order. "Acisaronno" is proper tech house with delicate hi hats and steel plated drums making for a frictionless groove, while "Chinchilla Shuffle" is the sort of slightly wonky and oddball track that Craig Richard drops on the regular. Freaky, spaced out and atmospheric, tech house doesn't get much better.