It's been a fair old while since the last full-length from French techno pioneer Olivier "Oxia" Raymond; in fact, his only previous album was released eight years ago, way back in 2004. Tides Of Mind bears little resemblance to that set, which bristled with aggressive electronic intent. Instead, Raymond delivers at set that borrows as much from deep house and Germanic minimalism as traditional techno. Of course, there's the odd trip into skewed downtempo pop territory (see the dreamy Mesparrow collaboration "Travelling Fast") and some deviation from the 4/4 template - see "Sway" - but for the most part Raymond keeps the vibe deep, melodic and surprisingly soulful.
Starting out as a digital-only label before blossoming into the distinguished operation it is today, Audiojack's Gruuv label has been host to high-end work from names both familiar and unfamiliar over the years. In celebrating five years of sterling operation, the imprint hits volume three of its festivities with another killer selection of artists on offer. Oxia and Yannick Baudino team up for the plush, steady-rolling tech house funk of "Simple Life", while A1 Bassline brings a bouncy, tom-infused swinger to bear with the addictive "Hold". Tuff City Kids have their unabashed old skool hat on for the hooky chord stabs and breakbeat chops of "Taddler", and Kyodai mixes things up with a broken beat twist on euphoric deep house music.
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