Reviewed this week
Matt Edwards marked the 100th release in Rekids earlier this year with a release that featured "Feel the Same", and now he is putting out the debut Radio Slave album using the same title. It's a real mixed bag; "2nd Home" starts with gentle ambience and the dreamy breaks of "Forana", before the UK producer changes pace and drops the album version of the title track in all its vocal-heavy, driving glory. If its insistent riffs get too much, then there is the low-slung bass-heavy groove of "Trans" and the dubbed out abstractions of "Draw" to keep his audience guessing. Rekids may now be a house music institution, but as "Feel the Same" shows, it doesn't slide into predictability.
KiNK's taster for his up and coming album on Running Back is here. We don't know if the title is inspired by the Scottish town that techno larrikins Clouds are from, or the sleepy mining town in Western Australia: it's anyone's guess! The Bulgarian hardware maverick brings us some funked up disco loops, reminiscent of DJ Sneak's Sneaky Trax imprint back in the day. "Perth" is a prime example of his unstoppable knack for good times. Taken from the new Playground LP, the three versions here are dripping with grease. Split between the original, a chord mix (which is brooding and epic) and a funky beat version full of sultry latin percussion: it's all you ever wanted from a single. Perfect house music for techno DJs and techno music for disco DJs.



Story has it that a bunch of Amsterdam's current scene heroes had studios in the basement of a hotel opposite the former iconic Trouw nightclub (RIP). One morning, local enfant terrible San Proper happened to cross paths with Nachtbraker (early on a Tuesday morning) and that's how this collaboration of sorts came about. More specifically, San Proper "casually grabbed a microphone.. Nachtbraker pressed record, Dr. Proper got his inner Mick Jagger on, and behold: Misses, madame, mademoiselle was born". Hear the cowboy of minimal house croon over Nachtbraker's funky disco loops on "M.m.m" (feat San Proper's Elegy), while Hamburg's finest Session Victim remix the track next: giving it more dancefloor dynamic. Second original offering "Hamdi" is a hammering disco house joint that will really rock the house, while the remix up next by Bli takes it down a couple of notches, plus a slight Afro touch into something deeper to mood light the early evening.
The choice of Tony Humphries to mix Running Back's first label compilation is a significant one. Getting his big break in the early '80s as an understudy for the legendary Shep Pettibone's Kiss FM show, Humphries went on to become one of the defining DJs of house music's formative years, with residencies at New Jersey's Club Zanzibar and London's Ministry of Sound. His previous mixes illustrate his continuing ability to bridge dance music's past and present and his new one for Gerd Janson's imprint will mark its fifteenth anniversary. It is a timely reminder of what has made the Frankfurt powerhouse remain on many favourite label lists for over a decade. It's a mix of golden oldies and recent classics alike: from Todd Terje's smash hit from several years ago "Ragysh" and the anthemic "The Voice From Planet Love" by Precious System, through to more recent bombs. Two by Running back alumnus Shan ("Bassline Party"/"Work It") and the legendary Mr G's Motor City ode "Ben & Gerd" (Killin It M Day).



Given that this is Ben Worrall's fourth Crackazat 12" for Local Talk in less than three years, it would be fair to say the project now has a regular home. As with many of his recent tracks, "Proton Blue" looks to classic US garage for inspiration, peppering a bouncy groove with rich organ stabs and jazzy synthesizer melodies. It's accompanied by the alternative "Deep Orbit" version, a more hypnotic and slightly more spacey interpretation that gives greater prominence to the producer's jazzy synthesizer riffs. "Called My Name", meanwhile, is a soulful, jazzy and fluid affair blessed with a hazy vocal and some luscious jazz guitar. The cut's loose and languid jazz-funk influences are explored further on the arguably superior "Meet the Band" remix.
Prins Thomas's pleasingly varied production career takes another twist here. Having variously helped to define the Scandolearic disco sound, paid tribute to wonky krautrock workouts and recorded some of the best ambient music of the last few years, the Oslo producer has decided to take a different path on "Edmond". An epic split into two parts, "Edmond" combines dense, Sotofett/Bjorj Torske style hand percussion work, electrofunk influenced synths and the producer's usual picturesque melodies to predictably brilliant effect. There's more percussive fun to be had on the wonky, bass-heavy and trippy flipside "Montague Grant", which smothers layered tribal percussion in trippy acid lines, delay-laden synth doodles and deep space chord sequences.



A chilled Brazilian-tinged boogie cut from the recent Joey Negro epic entitled Produced With Love gets transformed into a piano fuelled, peaktime banger by Swedish jazz musician/producer Crackazat. He retains the Latino flavour of the original but 'adds bags of dance floor energy.' Dave Lee has been one of the most prolific producers in dance music over the last three decades and we would highly recommend the album to anyone who considers themselves a fan of proper house, disco or soul music. It features collaborations with such legends as Diane Charlemagne, Linda Clifford and Alex Mills. In addition to remixes of recent heroes of the scene such as Horse Meat Disco and Peven Everett.
For his last appearance on Running Back, Fort Romeau unashamedly paid tribute to the legendary Fairlight CMI sampling computer. On this follow-up, he turns his attention to another legendary piece of kit from the early 1980s: the more affordable E-Mu series of sampling keyboards/digital workstations. Naturally, the assembled "Emulators" are rich in vibrant and colourful synthesizer motifs, crunchy drum machine hits, elastic basslines and nods towards the kind of club-ready instrumental synth-pop jams that many would consider "Balearic". Highlights-wise, we're particularly enjoying the full-throttle hustle of "Emu" (think Chicken Lips meets early Italian dream house), the glistening ambient rush of "Emu III" and the undulating, acid-flecked cheeriness of digital-only bonus cut "Emu IV". That said, the thrillingly percussive "Bonus Birdy Beats" version of "Emu III" is pretty smart, too.
Nuremberg's Markus Homm has released on a who's who of respected labels over the years such as Highgrade, 8 bit, Saved and Bondage but now makes his debut on Hamburg institution Poker Flat. Starting off with the rolling, driving and absolutely energetic title track: this one is perfect for the peak time. The energy level remains the same for the slinky and hypnotic "Dance With Me" featuring some smooth vocals that add to its overall euphoric qualities. Finally "Feel It" is a change of vibe altogether: this one is rather moody and more suited to the early evening or afterhours alike. With its dub techno influence all over the bassline, haunting chords and delay drenched textures: this is perfect mood lighting if we've ever heard it!
Originally started in Mexico, Fran Deeper now runs the Spa In Disco imprint out of Mallorca in Spain. Over the last few years has brought us some killer jams by the likes of Rayko, Super Agente 86, Jose Hdez and David Manso to name but a few. It is now over to Italian guy in Bristol Kiu D with the Small Steps EP. Beginning with the deeply percussive nu-disco joint that is the title track, "Smoke" gets all sexy and housey on us in a very late night fashion. "Wiper & True" gets some Kaidi Tatham style nu-jazz soul vibes into the mix: that Herbie Hancock style synth bass really doing the business. Finally, there's a remix by the formerly Dubai based Brit Andy Buchan with an irresistible nu-disco makeover of "Small Steps".
Summer may have been a washout but Murder He Wrote is keeping us warm with this release that's pure fire emoji times three, giving us an eclectic collection of modern UK garage. 'Club Soda' starts the EP with classic house synths, a soulful vocal and a tinge of latin influence. 'Seeds Riddim' brings vibes firmly back to UK soil with the type of dirty drawn out bassline, you'd here in our darker sub-genres of bass music, the open space and use of steel drums make this a great instrumental track for an MC. 'Never You' is a beautiful production, with tight shuffles a soft 4/4 beat, sweet pitched up vocals and an opposing pitched down vocal, the sub is low, powerful and completely unexpected, it contrasts with the genera tone of the track and we love the combination. 'Smoke & Lasers' is a trip down nostalgia lane with pianos and laser sample from early 90's rave, however the melodic bass sits firmly in 2017
After a busy eighteen months promoting his debut album 'Catch Me If You Can'; which received accolades from both Mixmag and DJ Mag, Essex's Max Chapman brings us his La Fiesta EP. Since his arrival on the scene six years ago, Chapman has released on a who's who of labels including VIVa, Toolroom and Elrow. With "La Fiesta", Chapman has encompassed the essence of The White Isle. He claims that his tracks come together organically only after a few hours of 'playing around' in the studio, but this track came from a very clear intention of how he wanted it to sound. After a night out at Ibiza institution Amnesia; where he became hypnotised by the sweltering latin rhythms, he went straight home and worked on the track immediately: and here's the result. The EP comes with some great remixes by the versatile Luca Cazal and house veteran Todd Terry.
Hot Digits enjoyed Kellini's last EP so much that they asked him to come back and this time he's brought fellow Norwegian Saskin S: who follows his The Game EP from last year. The two bring some serious heat with this bunch of energetic nu-disco cuts. Starting off with the neon-lit boogie of "Break A Leg" followed by the low slung groove of "In Doubt" which really takes things deep. It comes alongside remixes from rising Irish producer Stephen Richards, whose rendition of "In Doubt" gets some groovy summertime vibes happening (to get any decent Disco Stu in the mood) while Chewy Rubs' From The Deep dub of "Resaca" takes things down a darker and headier route: which would be perfect for late night mood lighting on the dancefloor.



Tale Of Us have revolutionised their Afterlife label over the last few years. Once upon a time, their imprints were about their specific music, a minimalistic take on deep house and soul-ridden tech. This new EP, however, is a perfect example of their recent branching out, with the opening remix of "Monument" being carefully re-stylised by Magazine's head honcho, the ever-impressive Barnt (recently of Hinge Finger recruitment). European techno veteran Stephan Bodzin comes through with a comparatively deeper, dreamier wave of sleek techno, guided here by melancholic male vocals, whereas the moodier Adriatique hands in a much colder, more calculated techno reinterpretation. Solid.
Following an extended hiatus, Daco returns to Paper Recordings with an EP stuffed full of high-grade dancefloor moments. Opener "The Uprise" is particularly potent, featuring as it does a killer combination of "I Feel Love" style arpeggio bass, Kraftwerkian computer vocals, driving beats, spacey chords and some superbly manipulated spoken word samples ("the money, the drugs, the oil, the guns, the war, the uprising!"). It's followed by a proto-house and Italo-disco influenced alternative version that is arguably even closer in tone to vintage Giorgio Moroder, while bonus cut "Faith" is a deep, woozy and dreamy chunk of Balearic house laden with melancholic strings and a superb vocal by Mikey Raphael.
The singles accompanying Mr C's celebrated return to the album format keep on coming, this time drafting in some noted names to deliver remixes of "Ripple Effect". First up is Marc Houle who employs some of his trademark creepy bass tones to underpin a purposeful, driving slice of darkside party music. Noel Jackson is equally on edge with his version, although it's a more stripped down and sped up affair that borders on electro in its sense of tightly wound urgency. Chloe gets to lay down a more varied remix that uses some punchy disco elements to create a more light hearted outlook on Mr C's original jam.
Another gold asset from the ever-developing Moonrise Hill collective, Saint Paul emerges from the shadows with his first full EP for the label. Every track is a stone cold soulful house gem. Jacking, rough around the edges but soaked in serious sentiment and human realness, every cut touches the heart. Highlights include the O'Neal style vocal touches on "Heat Is A Melody", the Balearic waves and sandy-toed surges of "Frenetic Dance Under The Moonlight" and the stripped back sample fire of "Boogie Or Not Boogie".
Following up the Cold Heart EP by label bosses Dusky, 17 Steps present a new one by Kiwi: the London producer's debut on the label. Having recently released on labels such as Futureboogie, Correspondant and Optimo Music, his distinctive sound is a mix of Italo, techno and electro. The uplifting epic "Marmora's Theme" is powered by a razor sharp arpeggio and balanced out by those hands in the air style piano loops. We were about to draw comparisons to scene heroes Tuff City Kids, but whaddya know: they're up next on the remix! They work their magic as always with a retro flavoured piece of dancefloor drama: they found it fitting to throw in a gnarly Reese bassline too. Epic!
Bedouin are the Brooklyn based nomads Rami Abousabe and Tamer Malki. Bringing their unique spell of melodies and rhythms to Damian Lazarus' imprint, they deliver a cover version of the famous Pink Floyd classic "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun". With diverse influences owing to their Middle Eastern heritage, Western upbringing and world travels; here Bedouin deliver some of their best productions to date. They even had the chance to play the track to Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason in person, and he's said to have really appreciated it. Second offering fittingly titled "Guacamole" is an original track conceived in Mexico and made for the dancefloor. Israeli tech house hero Guy Gerber also steps in; the Rumors boss delivering a deeply mystical dance floor remix.
Hraach is an Armenian born producer currently living in Spain. He began producing in 2011 and it is apparent that he has found his true calling. Having released under labels such as Sol Selectas, Akumandra (Andante), The Purr-Soleid and now Germany's Underyourskin: who present his fabulous Hidden Dimension EP. Starting out with the deep and mesmerising title track, which also gets remixed by Montreal's Kora (Kindisch/Earthly Delights) who takes it deeper into slinky tech house territory. Second original track "Nemesis" delves into the exotic with its lovely harpsichord melody but balanced by that razor sharp bassline. The remix up next by Tara Brooks from Los Angeles is even spacier and would be perfect to play at sunrise.
Exclusives
YOUANDEWAN - Luna Via (Voyage Recordings)
NACHTBRAKER - Misses Madame Mademoiselle EP (Heist Recordings)
SOUL OF HEX - Helipop EP (Quintessentials Germany)
Exclusives
RODION/LOCAL SUICIDE - Abu Dhabi/True Love Floats EP (My Favorite Robot Canada)
HOLY GHOST INC - Walk On Air (Isle Of Jura)
WALKER & ROYCE feat GREEN VELVET - Rub Anotha Dub (Dirtybird US)
Top Labels
desolat
z records
Hed Kandi
Defected