Cheekily, Todd Terje has decided to put out these remixes of forthcoming album track "Jungelknugen" before we've had a chance to hear the original version. While it's hard to know how revolutionary these remixes are - or otherwise - it's fair to say that both Four Tet and Prins Thomas have brought their A-game. Keiran Hebden steps up first, layering up looped, kosmiche style synthesizer refrains, wide-eyed piano motifs, low-slung analogue bass, and the kind of jazzy, off-kilter drum machine beats that simultaneously feel loose and sturdy. While undoubtedly impressive, it lacks the hustle and bustle of Prins Thomas's interpretation, which is drive forwards by heavy, bleep techno style sub bass and the producer's own groovy disco drums.
Following a recent dalliance with Brooklyn-based Razor 'N' Tape Reserve, COEO returns to the loving arms of Toy Tonics with another solid four-track excursion. Happily, they hit the ground running with the rushing positivity of "Mydonna", a bumpin' chunk of peak-time house goodness built around some superb disco samples and a bustling groove. The accompanying, "alternate cut" smartly emphasizes some of the original instrumentation, whilst adding some subtle swing to the disco-house drums. On the flip, you'll find the deep, smooth and sensual "Torrow", and the breezy, atmospheric, piano-laden shuffle of "Coast To Coast".
After years slaving away at house music's coalface, Red Rack'em is now big news. Given the runaway success of "Wonky Bassline Disco Banger", now seems an opportune moment for Danny Berman to release his second full-length under the alias. Predictably, Self Portrait is an assured, confident and hugely enjoyable set, effortlessly slipping between hazy house (check Rick Wade hook-up "The Music"), analogue-rich deep tech-house jams, loose, jazz-flecked workouts (the ace "Mad House"), disco-tinged fare ("Kos Mich"), and hard-to-describe weird-outs ("Sel", "You Used To Make Me Feel"). Naturally, it also includes fine versions of his 2016 anthem, and killer recent single "Tomato Pope".
DJs and dancers of a certain age should recognize "Love Is Not A Game". The breezy, summery drum & bass cut, featuring soulful house style vocals by Kathy Brown, became something of an anthem following its release on Defected back in 2001. This re-release boasts two fresh remixes for 2017. Full Intention kick things off with an evocative, occasionally spine-tingling big room house version that places Brown's version atop a chunky, late night groove. Fittingly, J Magik provides the second re-rub, a "Rollers Mix" that fixes rubbery synth-bass and snippets of Brown's headline-grabbing vocals to a punchy, hybrid D&B/house groove.
Michael Mayer's deeply majestic and romantic "For You" featuring Hot Chip's Joe Goddard on vocals was a hit in late 2016 and now gets a series of brilliant remixes by the one and only DJ Koze. The man from Hamburg delivers a bunch of equally dreamy and candlelit renditions; in particular the "Mbira Mix" which accentuates those ethereal and mesmerising bell tones from the original into something even more hypnotising and special. The "Club Mix" however is definitely a great upbeat rendition were the harbour city hero works his magic as always; creating an epic moment of life affirming bliss for late night dancefloors.
It is over to Sapporo's Jun Kimata aka BirdMan for the Forbidden Colours imprint out of Bilbao (Spain), who've previously delivered great work by the likes of label boss Aitor Etxebarria aka EL_TXEF_A, Eduardo de la Calle and Andres Aguirre. The Shape Of My Voice EP starts off with the driving and tunneling deep electro workout "Two Billion Light-Years Of Silence" that's dripping in futurist aesthetic, while "Track 2" is a more dystopian affair on this dark ambient/drone piece. Then we have "Train Music" which effectively bridges the gap between hypnotic techno and deep house (the label's preferred aesthetic of late) and rather inventively indeed. The "Spicy Paracousia remix" by the aforementioned Aguirre takes the track on wonderfully spaced out deep house journey over its glorious seven minutes. Nice one!
There were slim pickings in 2016 for fans of Steve Huerta. After a prolific few years, the Los Angeles-based producer seemed to take a step back, releasing just one 12" single in 12 months. Happily, LK Tapes - his first outing on Brooklyn's Let's Play House - was worth the wait. Rich, melodious, woozy and analogue-rich, its' four loved-up tracks are amongst the producer's best work to date. Highlights are plentiful, from the woozy, sunset-friendly chords, glistening melodies and Larry Heard bottom-end of "LK Tape Track" and hazy, toaster-warm shuffle of "Lindos", to the fuzzy analogue beats, tactile chords and dream house sensibilities of sublime opener "Umbanda".
Dutch duo Weval's eponymous debut album was arguably one of the most underrated records of 2016. Here, tracks from that hard-to-define set - think minimal wave-inspired synth-pop fused with ambient and elements of Detroit futurism - are given the remix treatment. Italian twosome Margot steps up first, delivering a version of "Ways To Go" that smothers a wonky, off-kilter drum pattern with woozy, stretched-out cathedral chords, tactile hand percussion, and atmospheric vocal snippets. Red Axes drag the same track towards the dancefloor via relentless bass, skittish drum machine percussion and delay-laden handclaps, before Kaspar Bjorke steals the show with a dewy-eyed, early morning Balearic house re-make of "You Are Mine".
Dutch techno powerhouse Chinedum Nwosu aka Shinedoe presents a reissue of her debut album on 2000 & One's 100% Pure imprint in 2006. It's a pretty straight ahead affair on here from the Intacto Records boss, with some powerful dancefloor oriented techno cuts and a few pleasant surprises, actually. After the deep acid opener "Afrotronic" we are treated to the emotive hi-tech soul on "Enjoy The Moments" (and later the kind of Sueno Latino sounding "Seek And You Will Find", there are the functional stripped back DJ tools like "The Peacemaker" and "Face Your Fear", too. The powerful Detroit influenced closer "Dilemma" ends this impressive album in style, awash in shimmering arpeggios and an adrenalised yet funky groove. Elsewhere, the track "Feel Your Space" is so obviously a zeitgeist of the mid noughties bleepy minimal boom, but the rest of the tracks can still hold their weight and sound contemporary enough for playing on modern dancefloors. Stood the test of time indeed!
"Global in ethos; South American in spirit." That's how Argentinian progressive house guru Hernan Cattaneo describes his acclaimed Sudbeat label, which was founded in 2009. This sublime new compilation is compiled entirely of unreleased and exclusive material from the label's roster in collaboration with Australian imprint Balance Music. Featured are two mixes which the man himself describes as "the perfect example of Sudbeat's identity that of course is also mine as a DJ." On the amazing journey that is the first mix, it's a mix of old school versus new school in the form of newcomers like London's Guy Shaw with his deep and slow burning "Above The Clouds", Israeli rising star Khen with the ethereal deepness of "Never Lose Your Innocence" and legend of the old school Nick Warren who's back in form on "Savannah" featuring Tripswitch. The second mix is more energetic and features new tracks by leaders of the new garde such as Guy J and Guy Mantzur plus an exclusive track by Cattaneo himself; the entrancing and adrenalised "Pressure Drop".
Moscow's Peter Serkin may sound like a 70s sci-fi actor, but fact he's a nu-disco producer who also answers to the name Bip Soup. Actually quite a few of the song titles here sound like 70s sci-fi films too, if the music sounds more from a saucier type of 70s flick. "Disco Space Booster" is a super smooth boogie in zero gravity, whereas the gentle wah-wah's and luscious bass funk of "Old Tales From The Future" evokes more beachside vibes. Meanwhile elsewhere, both "Flying Jam" and "Heavy Load" are more percussion-led cocktail house gems in the vein of Metro Area.
Machine funk melodies taking their cues from the the sci-fi stories of Philip K. Dick? That's what UK's Moire is said to have taken inspiration from, among other things (all quite dystopian), on an album described as feeling "both futuristic and strangely human." His new effort entitled No Future, it's about where we are as a society right now and living in a climate of fear, hypocrisy, inequality, and lies. The London based producer also takes aim at modern matters concerning his home turf; something that's been demonstrated by the rising cost of real estate and the steady closure of major clubs like Fabric and Plastic People. The dark and desolate future beats of "Lost You" featuring DRS' rhymes are a good example, also the dusty and deconstructed urban house of "Jupiter" (which is further mood lighting) and not to mention "Facade" a neon-lit deep house jam perfect for a late night drive through the city and featuring James Massiah's haunting insights. Be sure to check out the album's interactive mirror entitled Monolith for an even deeper vision into the album's themes.
Magic Edition, Taron-Trekka's second full-length excursion, draws together tracks originally released on a trio of EPs (Purple Magic, Yellow Magic and Black Magic), between 2014 and 2016. Given that those three 12" singles contained some of the experienced German duo's most inventive work, it's not surprising that the material sits well together. It's largely melodious and musically rich, with tracks giddily blending elements of deep house, tech-house, acid, electro, IDM, jazz, soul and techno in its' myriad forms. Much of it is hard to accurately describe stylistically - never a bad thing in our book - but it's all hugely entertaining.
Fresh from the heat of "Buddy Now Buddy", Bosconi barons Minimono return to Robsoul with four freaky house jams. "Let'em Come" has a raw edge from the warped vocal manipulation but soothes with the woozy jazz pads. "Know Is Fonk" is much more visceral and direct with its shuffling beats and weaves of human rhythmic shots while "Estroverso" comes on strong like a really early Sneak record at -5 thanks to its stately jacks, spoken word samples and jazzy sprinkles. Looking for a more delicate disco touch? Jump straight on the wondrously loopy, flute-snapping viber "Junior". Heavens above.
Given how prolific they've been in the past, it's rather surprising to find that this is Dirtytwo's first single since 2015. It marks the Local Talk and Razor 'N' Tape Reserve regulars' first appearance on legendary deep house label Large Music. They begin with "Time & Space (Enter The Void Mix)", where bubbly synthesizer motifs and rock solid house beats vie for attention with chord progressions that are eerily reminiscent of Oliver Cheetham's boogie classic "Get Down Saturday Night". The looser, richer and more organic sounding original version of the same track follows, before the Swedish pair reaches for the heavyweight sub-bass and dubbed out horns on the superb "Ooo, aaa". The horizontal, dub-wise hip-hop of "Deep Sensation" completes a fine package.
Given his length of service and long relationship with Defected, it was probably only a matter of time before Junior Jack was given the House Masters treatment. As with previous installments in the series, the collection gathers together highlights from the Belgium-based producer's 25-year career, serving up both original productions - early Defected highlight "This Feeling", the massive "Thrill Me" and notable "E Samba", for starters - with key remixes (check his revisions of Thick Dick, DJD presents Hydraulic Dogs and ATFC), lesser-known productions under alternative aliases (1990s cuts as Mister Jack, in particular) and collaborations with pal Kid Creme. It's a fittingly comprehensive overview of the producer's career, and contains just as many forgotten gems as well-known classics.
Simone 'Simoncino' Vescovo has forged a successful career out of creating analogue-rich dancefloor workouts that pay tribute to the early days of Chicago house. This makes the Italian producer a perfect fit for DJ Haus's similarly retro-minded Unknown To The Unknown imprint. "Gherkin Tape", an undulating, alien-sounding and undeniably jacking workout, sounds like an authentic, long-lost Larry Heard jam under the Gherkin Jerks alias. Fittingly, it's remixed by early '90s Dance Mania survivor Houz'mon, who adds waves of mind-altering TB-303 electronics and a punchier, pitched-up beat pattern. Bonus track "Din Sync", a cymbal and kick-drum driven chunk of swirling Chicago jack after several tabs of acid, completes a tasty package.
K.O.D (King Of Delays) is the new collaborative project of Parisian microhouse heroes Cabanne (Minibar label head) and Aeternum Records boss man Lowris. First, we have "Workin' Out" which is a deep and hypnotic affair that is suited to the warm up or afterhours alike, with its rolling bass tones and intricately immaculate rhythm programming doing all the work perfectly over it's eight-minute duration. You'd wish it would never end! "Surput" is a much more tripped out and quirky affair that captures all the trademarks of the duo's respective sounds. A collage of glitchy samples and sound design is backed by a smooth deep house groove; chugging along steadily but not concerned with peaks yet setting the mood for effective trance induction of the most pleasant kind.
Marbert Rocel's most recent album, last year's In The Beginning, was something of an overlooked gem: a fine collection of hazy downtempo grooves and quirky Balearic offerings. This expansive remix set aims to drag Rocel's intricate, atmospheric album further towards the dancefloor. Deetrom impresses with a trio of woozy, mid-tempo interpretations of "Hold On", while Quarion turns the piano-laden "With Your Love" into a bubbly, early morning Balearic house shuffler. Also impressive is the baggy, Balearic disco version of "With Your Love" by Mama, Metaboman's odd, deliciously percussive "Hold On Remix", and INK's UK-garage influenced re-rub of "Dance Slow".
Originally operating in the 80s industrial scene, Plus Instruments have recently found a new lease of life. (Emotional) Especial are just the kind of label to jump on such deviant club fare, and on this package "Love Is Enough" gets a variety of remixes that all embrace the groups seedy ambience. Richard Sen brings a muscular thrust to the track, while Khidja takes a more delicate approach. Luke Solomon meanwhile casts his years of experience in oddball house on his steady grooving version, and then Jamie Paton taps into the industrial vein to finish the package off in fine style.