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Reviewed this week
Yorkshire's Ewan Ewan (drum roll!) has relocated to Europe's new capital of electronic music; Berlin, like most ambitious young producers do these days. Despite being on a roll previous to his relocation, there's no doubt that the vibes and sounds of the German capital have rubbed off on him, as clearly heard on his new LP entitled There Is No Right Time. The dusty and lo-fi sounds of hip-hop inspired/disco-fied Berlin deep house are aplenty on this fine EP which covers a wide variety of moods and grooves. Highlights not limited to: the emotive deepness of "10405", the rusty and vintage lo-tech soul of "Waiting For L" or "Left On Lucy" (featuring fellow expat Steve Huerta) and the wonderful "Earnest Kelly" which you could imagine playing during a car chase in an '80s action film.
Henning "Telephones" Severud has repeatedly pointed out that Vibe Telemetry, his debut album, was an attempt to capture a very particular, hard-to-define feeling. Whether or not he succeeded is hard to know, but it's certainly a hugely atmospheric album. It's easy to pick out influences - the jangling, wide-eyed bliss of vintage Italian deep house, the comforting warmth of Balearic disco, the masculine throb of Italo, the blissful melodiousness of new age, and the loved-up colours of early '90s ambient house, for starters - but the resultant tracks don't specifically sound like any of these things. They're warm, colourful, spacey, tactile and hugely atmospheric, with dancefloor ready-cuts - "Sierra", "See Hex & Moon", the hectic "Mezcal Eclipse" - being joined by more hazy, horizontal fare.
Sao Paulo deep house producer Xique-Xique's Xaxoeira EP was originally released in 2014 but now sees a deserved vinyl release. Starting out with the very All Day I Dream-ish "1542" which is complete with lush xylophone melodies, woozy synths and smooth beats, he's then into the slow burning title track, which comes complete with cosmic atmosphere and sultry French vocals; just perfect for drifting. Ecuador's Nicola Cruz delivers a fine remix, staying on the same Lee Burridge style vibe of the first track and is perfect for an open air rooftop party near you next Summer.

Italy's Psycho Radio and LC Anderson are two house collectives that have stuck close to another over the last fifteen years. They both deal in straight-up electro house but, not that tacky gear, just the good shit. It's no wonder they land on the mythical Rebirth with a new EP, but the real surprise comes from the remixers at the helm of "Bad Reputation". The legendary Daniele Baldelli, one of the pillars of the Italian cosmic wave teams up with Marco Dionigi with a reinterpretation of the original tune; the result is a percussion-heavy, tribal house chugger with that same sleaziness that made the former artist so renowned. There's a Funkadiba version, too, which brings in a tighter bassline to the picture, along with an added layer of vocal swagger. BIG.
Having released on imprints like Telrae and Trapez, Reimut Van Bonn set up his own label a few years ago. He has chosen Van Bonn to issue his album Control on, whose title suggests that he wants to do it his own way.Unsurprisingly, the music also has a free-spirited, unpredictable approach. "Into" is a deep, dubby groove, while straight afterwards the German producer channels the sound of early Perlon and even Thomas Brinkmann for the vocal snippet heavy, reduced minimal house of "Papillon". "Undertow" sees Van Bonn pushing towards peak time, as it features a surging, overwhelming bass, while the title track also keeps the audience guessing with its hypnotic, mesmerising dubby chords.
While some associate Sasha's work to the late 90s and mid-00s, the veteran UK producer has never left. He's always been right here, at the centre of Europe's house scene. His recent LP for Late Night Tales, the glorious Scene Delete, is now under a process of remixing, and this comes as no surprise; why not reshape those dance floor tracks into something different, even more visceral. "Vapour Trails" is versioned by Kiasmos, and the result is a deep, harmonic house tune with a vast landscape of sounds at its core; Rival Consoles reshapes "Cassette Session E" by stretching the arrangement out to its very limits, and what we're faced with is a long and subtly-developing progressive house monster with a minimal edge. Excellent.
You'll know Belgium's Eskimo label better than you think. The imprint rose to fame thanks to the many productions of Italian nu-disco sensation Aeroplane, back in the late 00s, and they've never ceased to release quality electronic music from all corners of the spectrum. Newcomers Atella X Froder land this time, with the two collaborating on the slow, peaceful waves of "Closer To Life", a tune that sits somewhere on the halfway line between house and downtempo. Atella, alone, delivers another mix of the same tune, and this one is perhaps even deeper, a little smoother and probably more on the sort of balearic tip that you've been digging in those dusty L1 bins for. Just go digital with it.
As the title makes clear, this expansive E.P features reworks of Ebb's recent Alive EP, a fine collection of Balearic pop and sun-kissed indie-rock cuts. Most of the versions here barely resemble the source material, though that's not meant as a criticism. The Carreno is LB version of "Silence" borders on exquisite, with the producer turning in an engaging but largely horizontal soundscape, while Panthera Krause's two contrasting versions of "Time" (one informed by experimental D&B, the other gentle techno) are both hugely impressive. For those looking for club-ready reworks, Julius Steinhoff's mixes should be your first point of call. His 'Dub', where EBB's glistening guitars are underpinned by a tactile deep house groove and dreamy chords, is particularly good.
Hailing from deepest Peckham, this cult leftfield soul artist has recently gained attention with a string of well received EPs and performances at the Jazz Cafe and Ronnie Scotts. Now he tops all that with an eponymous debut album that takes vintage, crackly 70s soul and funk as a starting point and incorporates every from freeform jazz to nu-soul and even the "slave island music of my father's heritage... Maloya, Sega, Nyabinghi". Highlights include the palm tree percussive breaks of "Drums Of The Positive", the semi-impromptu one take vocals of the low-slung funk jam "Hush" and the atonal distant grooves of "The Value". A unique talent.
Berlin's Katermukke has been producing consistent levels of new artists from around the globe and, with them, some striking new music, of course. There's little we know about Roderic at this stage, but these nine tunes are enough to tell a clear story of the man behind the beats. Forget what everybody else is doing; these tunes are all as interesting and playable as anything the comes out on hyped labels like Emotional Rescue or Berceuse Heroique. Moreover, forget genres here, because these tracks span from the deepest of deep house to electronica and balearic. Interestingly, every time that a tune does get close to a specific genre, Roderic swiftly makes sure to break it right down again. Check it!
NYC's FaltyDL has been constantly active over the last few years, with the majority of his music landing via his very own Blueberry imprint. He's prone to releasing EPs on the fly, so a new album by our beloved 'bass' producer is truly exciting. This is especially true as of late, because the artist has gradually moved away from the fidgety two-step-garage hybrids that he has been heavily associated to, and more towards a leftfield r&b kind of space. There are beat-driven, percussion-heavy grooves such as "River Phoenix" or "Frigid Air", but the majority of this album is drenched in a placid, soulful vibe that uses different styles of beat and arrangements to get its direction across. "Drugs" featuring Rosie Lowe, for example, will appeal to the soul enthusiasts as much as the dancers, while tunes like "Fleshy Compromise" might even get the coldwave jockeys to turn their heads. The point is, FaltyDL is in a state of constant flux, and this album is proof of the man's many talents.
Somewhat surprisingly, 33 marks the debut of both producer Nery, and the Lisbon-based Madluv Records. It's a pleasingly assured and sure-footed first outing, with the London-based studio buff utilizing the creative talents of a range of musicians and vocalists. The result is a pleasingly melodious and musically rich affair that draws inspiration from West London broken beat, nu-jazz, hip-hop, modern soul and Balearica. While these inspirations are obvious, the resultant tracks shift them around and meld them into intriguing new shapes. Sometimes psychedelic, and always atmospheric, 33 is a hugely entertaining concoction that deserves wider attention.
Warp, Hyperdub, Ninja Tune, and Planet Mu. Juno favourite Kuedo has done it all and seen it all. Being able to say that you've released on all those top labels must feel like a real accomplishment in his mind and, if not, we hope that our rallying cry at least tells our listeners what we think. He's back on Planet Mu with a new and highly anticipated LP, the masterfully named Slow Knife. His sound has matured a lot over the last five years, and the dude has gone from making interact post-dubstep beats to constructing veritable pop songs. Guided by his inimitable electronic twist, of course. To give you an idea, "In Your Sleep" is a deep, cerebral and utterly magnetic song that is a slave to no genres or styles, and one that could appeal across audiences; "Slow Knife" itself is also a beautiful crossover of many different sounds and ideas, all wrapped in Kuedo's singular haze. it's not similar to Burial in terms of sound, but Kuedo's clarity of thought and consistency of expression is certainly up there with the best in the game.
Londoner Douglas Dare likes to keep things lean, acoustic and firmly on the experimental side of things. He has, however, been out of action since 2014, when he released an LP-EP duet, both for the awesomely moody Erased Tapes imprint. His return comes in the form of a new LP, which is the format where Dare expresses himself best, and this new material sees the young artist get truly vocal around his sonic twists. The album instantly kicks off with his voice at the core of the tunes, surrounded by sparse, spectral electronic that only serve to surface his lyrics higher and louder. As the album moves forward, the tracks morph into jazzier, more beat-heavy concoctions, which works perfectly with Dare's singular vocal tones; the result is a striking sort of lament that blurs the lines between indie, modern classical and contemporary soul.
Top Labels
Music For Dreams US
Wax N Soul Germany
New State
Eighteenth Street Lounge Music US
K7 Germany