Reviewed this week
With Tel Aviv duo Red Axes' ode to the sun still running strong; one and a half years after its release: here comes the heavyweight remix package. German wunderkind Konstantin Sibold takes the original into afro rave territory with voodoo percussion and a haunting bassline that will be hard to escape from. Fango from the Italian label Degustibis continues his string of strong remixes as he turns the original into a rough beat version: just drop the melody in the break for maximum dancefloor mayhem. And last but not least the Axes themselves come up with a tropical house version that works any time any place. And thus the sun continues to shine.
British DJ Kiwi has been steadily refining his skills as a producer since the mid noughties, releasing on labels such as Optimo, Disco Halal and Futureboogie. His style encompasses a wide array of influences, with elements of disco, techno and electronica always present. Moreover, the likes of Erol Alkan, Andrew Weatherall and DJ Harvey can be counted as fans. Now, making his debut on Moda Black, Kiwi delivers a banging track in the form of "Rabbit Hole" (feat Cactus Sauna), a sleazy indie dance gem that will appeal to fans of the Correspondant or I'm A Cliche sound. It is perfectly backed up by remixes from cult favourites Lord of the Isles (who delivers an absolutely 'kosmische' rendition) and NYC's Willie Burns: who delivers a pitched down EBM mutation which was right up our alley!
Sometimes, two-minute sound clips don't do a track justice. That's certainly the case for Liquid Phonk's original version of "In The End There Is A Smile", a slow-burning delight that builds magnificently over 11 mesmerizing minutes. Beginning as a breezy chunk of rolling Afro-jazz deepness, it slowly morphs into a piano-heavy chunk of blissful deep house positivity midway through, before breaking down to a minute of dexterous drums at the end. Honestly, it's breathlessly brilliant. Lovebirds provides the headline remixes, turning in both a deep Afro-house shuffler and a brilliant, nine-minute drum dub for those who like to play around with percussion. The final rework comes from old pals Rainer Truby and Corrado Bucci, whose glistening, Balearic house interpretation may be the EP's most rush-inducing moment.
Some 19 years on front the release of their debut single - on, of course, Drop Music - Inland Knights are still going strong. First up on the prolific duo's second single of 2017 is "Say Watt", a formidable peak-time workout built around rubbery disco bass, jazzy keys and their usual no-nonsense, East Midlands deep house beats. Interestingly, "Walk On" sees them depart from their trademark style, instead delivering a shuffling electro/deep house/acid hybrid featuring the kind of wayward vocal that was once all the rage in quirky Japanese pop songs. Crucially, when they allow the beats and acid lines room to breathe, it's something of a heavyweight jam.



France's deep house scene seems to be in rude health right now. Bordeaux-based Leon Revol may not be the highiest profile of Gallic producers, but his track record is nonetheless impressive. Here he returns to the home comforts of Monologues following a recent outing on Future Disco. He begins with the sun-kissed, bossa-tinged jazz-house loveliness of "Pink Coffee" - all Pat Metheny guitar flourishes, gentle Afro chants and Nicola Conte-goes-house drums - before wrapping spine-tingling piano motifs around a rolling groove on the delicious "Embers". "Sun is the Place" sees him saunter into the sunlight in the company of woozy synths and yearning deep house drums, while "Birds" effortlessly joins the dots between contemporary French deepness and the '90s Italian dream house movement.
Colin McBean was way ahead of the curve when he was releasing EPs on his Phoenix G imprint back in the late 90s. Now some of those seminal tech-house records get a re-release and unsurprisingly, they still sound fresh. "Gladesmen" is a tough affair, led by niggling acid lines, but McBean really impresses on "Pepsi!" The distinctive, layered drums rumble in, there is a woozy synth line and the arrangement sounds even tripper thanks to a slurred vocal loop intoning the title. "The Day After B" is also impressive, with McBean dropping a filtered loop and those unmistakable, steely drums.
Something tells us that this compilation isn't about smoking mere tobacco. Perhaps it's the green-eyed bad boy on the cover brandishing a suspiciously plump 'roll up'. Or maybe it's simply because of the hazy, lazy and groovy 70s vibes contained within. Robsoul Essential has managed to overcome the munchies, get off the couch and actually find nine expert reworks of old disco joints. Highlights include the bleary eyed, organic hip-hop beats of "This Is What It Is" by Homequest, the deep, heady loops of "Six Flags" by Chris Carrier and the bonged-out neo-soul of "Mondae".
Futureboogie's annual multi-artist EP has become as big a part of our summer as tedious festival queues, soggy outdoor parties and complaining about the British weather. Label stalwart Christophe kicks off this sixth edition via the clattering machine drums, glistening Balearic flourishes and thrillingly psychedelic acid lines of "West Side Critters", before Zombies in Miami go all Eastern on the sitar-sporting house exotica of "The Legends of the Hidden Temple". There's more of a sun-warmed Balearic feel to the shuffling beats, tumbling chords and jangling pianos of Forriner's tasty "Spero", while Yuki Tosaya steals the show with "Acid Dawn Breaks", which is the kind of saucer-eyed, sunrise thriller that was all the range back at the turn of the '90s.
Since diving headlong into the world of music production earlier in the decade, Sebb Junior has been unstoppable. Remarkably, his latest outing on Large Music (his sixth for the long-serving Chicagoan imprint) is his seventh EP of 2017 to date. As usual, there's much to enjoy, from the bouncy deep house/disco house fusion goodness of "We Bring The Party" - where choice guitar and vocal samples weave in and out of a boogie-tinged peak-time groove - to the tension-extending builds, booming bass and swirling strings of French Touch style closer "Make Love Every Night". The track sandwiched in between, piano-heavy old school deep house rub "Feel The Same", is also rather impressive.
Not to be confused with a certain kids' movie, German producer Kristian Samujlo aka Teenage Mutants delivers a storming release for Stil Vor Talent. "Palais" is a deep, rolling affair, powered by a rich, acidic bass and dramatic strings that call to mind classic Fnac / F Comm techno, while a ponderous male vocal comes in midway through. "Couer" meanwhile, sees Samujlo dispense with melody in favour of a swaggering, cavernous techno groove and ear-piercing analogue riffs - it feels like being sucked into the middle of jet engine. Speaking of jets, the release also features "Concorde" a collaboration with newcomer Heerhorst. It revolves around a heavy, grinding bass, razor sharp percussion and a robotic vocal that screeches 'je t'adore' every few bars. It's a fitting finale to this brooding release.
Aroop Roy returns to his "Brazil Breakdown" series for the first time in over two years. Not even taking a whole slew of singles on the likes of Basic Fingers, DOC, Kampana and House Of Disco into account, he's more than made up for lost time. "Flecha De Fogo" is a heavy sunset soul piece that works around a Nazare Pereira samba with woozy chords, layered percussion and an alluring vocal. "Todo Mundo Tem Amor" takes us deeper into Aroop's dancefloor psyche with a much more driving beat. Golden.

Fresh from a rock solid outing on Midnight Riot, Australia-based American James Curd returns to longtime home Classic. This time round, he has Shaun J Wright in tow, whose effortlessly soulful vocals - frequently chopped up and manipulated by boompty survivor Curd - rise above stretched-out pads, bubbly synthesizer melodies and energetic-but-unfussy drums on the duo's brilliant original version. Curd's loved-up synthesizer motifs and the bouncy groove are naturally given greater prominence on the accompanying Dubstramental version, which also includes even more cut-up snippets of Wright's brilliant vocal. While Curd rarely disappoints, "Now I Believe" is undoubtedly his strongest single for some time.
Ensuring they keep things pushing forwards while also celebrating their past, Vibraphone call upon rising talent Gemil to deliver an EP that is purely fresh material. "Forces & Gravity" is perfectly honed to get the maximum response from the dance with its muscular production and catchy vocal sample, but if you want an even more focused affair the remix strips things down to the bare necessities and works just as effectively. "Horizon" gets a touch more playful in its synth work with interplaying riffs creating a dazzling whole, and then "Solar Storm" brings the heads-down, hard-swinging heaviness into the mix in a devastating finishing blow.
As the matter-or-fact title suggests, this expansive set gathers together a swathe of previously unheard remixes of tracks by Phil Mison's Balearic-minded Cantoma project, plus a handful of never-before-released bonus cuts. There's naturally much to set the pulse racing from the word go, when Test Pressing sort Apiento blends Padilla-style flamenco guitars, jaunty Afro-funk flourishes and early '90s Balearic breakbeats on an inspired rework of "Talva Lumi". Elsewhere, Mison goes all dubby and lucid on "Echo (Instrumental)", joins forces with old pal Pete Herbert as Reverso 68 for a synth-heavy, Balearic nu-disco interpretation of "Just Landed" and encourages Whatever/Whatever to reach for the acid lines in a sublime, floor-friendly remix of "Tabarin" that's worth the admission price on its own.
Throughout his nearly 30-year career, Japanese house legend Satoshi Tomiie has worked with Frankie Knuckles (who can forget their timeless anthem "Tears"), in addition to being a touring keyboardist for Yellow Magic Orchestra and remixing everyone from U2 to David Bowie. He released his 'New Day' LP in 2015 and here (courtesy of his new Abstract Nature imprint) Tomiie rounds up a number of respected names for remixes from said album. There's Maayan Nidam, Dj Sneak, Pablo Mateo and more featured across this dozen or so collection. Our favourite remixes (however many there are!) were NYC deepness purveyor Fred P's lush and emotive reshape of "Landscape", Chicago don Ron Trent with the most dubby we have ever heard him on his energetic and soulful take of "Thursday 2 AM" plus Berlin's favourite sons Cab Drivers with their unmistakeable sound brought to the absolutely bumpin' version of "814".
Next up on Ralph Lawson's esteemed imprint are London house duo Voyeur. Having been picked up by Kerri Chandler for his Kaoz Theory imprint, Leo & Benson quickly followed up with hyped releases on Dirt Crew, Madhouse and Watergate Recordings. Starting off with the slamming tribal tech house groove "Witchdoctor", while the slinky yet jacking acid house of "Music Box" equally impresses. On remix they have Fuse resident and Moscow Records founder Archie Hamilton, who shows just why there is so much attention on him at the moment. His version delivering as always with this rolling and minimal afterhours style jam
As Summer peaks, Berlin clubbing institution Watergate brings you the brand new series where standout tracks from their discography are remixed by some of their favourite artists. Kicking off the first instalment we have Matthias Meyer and Jimi Jules stepping up to deliver their twist on two big tunes from heavy-hitters Butch and Henrik Schwarz. First up is Meyer's remix of Butch's "Shahrzad", where he dishes out a truly timeless piece of dancefloor euphoria. With his trademark organic groove and swirling pads, Meyer guides you through a heavenly journey into the distant reaches of sonic elation. On the flip, Jimi Jules brings his A-game with a revision of Henrik Schwarz' classic "Words In Return" and in the process demonstrates an incredibly mature restraint, with precise and calculated efforts which results in an enchanting trip.
Oliver Huntemann's label continues to build its reputation with this split four track EP. Alex Luhr kick starts the release in mysterious mode on "Atlante", where sound track horror synths unfold over the label's trademark bass-heavy sound. Shaded's "Sip Trip" is just as moody, with pitch-bent vocals intoning its title, while Maksim Dark also makes use of ominous vocals to accompany his menacing, sub-bass heavy arrangement, "Addendum". The only real deviation from the Senso signature style comes from label regular Andre Winter. Featuring detuned riffs and a pumping minimal techno backing, it's the most upfront arrangement in this high-quality release.
Originally released on MANDY's debut album last year, this EP now sheds new light on "Rabbit Moon". For those who first encountered the German duo via mid-00s anthems like "Body Language", this music will come as a surprise. The reworked version from MANDY themselves is laden down with lush strings, rasping percussion and a lithe backing track, while their second "8am" take sees the track's authors turn it into a chiming, hypnotic workout, bolstered by blissed out bells and a wiry Detroit rhythm. Gerd Janson's remix is led by splurging acid lines and makes for the third and last expectation-defying twist in this tale.
As a rule of thumb, if Theo Parrish chooses to promote a producer, you can bet your bottom dollar that they're doing something right. That's certainly the case with Julion De'Angelo and Thomas Xu, who each contribute two fine tracks to this inspired Sound Signature EP. De'Angelo gets things going with the hazy, spaced-out goodness of "Chase The Summer" - all locked-in synth bass, rising and falling melody lines and skewed, jazz-tinged deep house percussion - before returning later with the gently distorted, two-step garage-goes-deep house wooziness of "Pocketfull". As for Xu, he somehow joins the dots between krautrock, wonky analogue house chug and distorted jazz on "Alottochewon", before mellowing things out on "Acceptance", a jazz-funk driven slice of fireside positivity that may be the EP's standout moment.
Exclusives
RED AXES - Sun My Sweet Sun Remix (Permanent Vacation Germany)
LEE WALKER/WEISS/LORD LEOPARD/BUMP UGLY - Summer Funk EP (Dirtybird US)
TAPE_HISS - Cognitive Dissonance (Love Notes From Brooklyn) - exclusive 28-08-2017
Exclusives
JAMES CURD feat SHAUN J WRIGHT - Now I Believe (Classic)
LES POINTS - Open Space Is The Place EP (Trelik) - exclusive 04-09-2017
ANTHONY FADE - What I Need (Lost Palms)
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