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While his live appearances are placing him on the radar of ever more enlightened house heads the world over, Kink is showing no signs of slacking on the production front either. The clue is in his name, and as ever there are plenty of subtly shimmying tricks in the Bulgarian mastermind's grooves to keep the stiffest of dancers shaking on the off-beat. "Valentine's Groove" is a masterclass in jazz-inflected deep house, all fuzzy chord stabs and badass bass for the funkiest shape flingers. "Strings" meanwhile reaches for a more emotive feeling, lashing on the Detroit romanticism to a wonderfully bombastic end.
Disco duo Yam Who? know a thing about re-edits, just take a listen to the endless back catalogue of their revered Midnight Riot label. Here they've recruited man about town Amp Fiddler, to rustle up an album's worth of scalpel jobs. There are 11 smooth gems here to groove to, some of our favourites including the meaty, meandering bassline and soulful vocals of "Superficial", the funky feminist clap-along "Steppin' (feat Dames Brown)" and the skippy garagey house anthem, "Funk Is Here To Stay". Sweet sounds.
Like its' predecessors, the fifth installment in Freerange's ongoing 20th anniversary EP series contains some killer new cuts. Fittingly, it's label boss Jimpster who leads the charge, encouraging us to sway in the afternoon sunshine on the deep, tactile and woozy "Ceilings" (which also features evocative vocals from Laura Barrick). The water-side, alfresco dancing vibe is accentuated by Shur-I-Kan on "Beach Life", a hazy, wide-eyed trip into symphonic deep house territory that ranks amongst his finest productions to date. Elsewhere, Brian Ring melds Mascara-clad '80s new wave and early Chicago house on the fine "Love Taken Over", while Clavis layers dreamy marimba melodies on top of huggable deep house grooves on the delightful "Cydalise".
Nachtbraker's latest expansive EP for Heist Recordings - his first release of 2016 - boasts a host of hot, floor-friendly excursions. The EP's first two missives offer two distinctly different takes on disco-house - the throbbing sub-bass, extra percussion hits and early Daft Punk riffs of "Gotta Act To React", versus the smooth, classic disco-sampling loop-jam "Pollo Con Pollo" - before the woozy, drawn out "Intermezzlow" allows the Dutch producer to showcase the groovy, downtempo side to his work. The accompanying "Intermezzo" is a jazzy, percussive deep house variation on the same sun-kissed theme, while "Gotta Act To React (Float Mix)" re-casts the EP's opening tune as a hazy deep house bumper.
Last year's Youth Stand Up! album, created through collaboration between leading lights of Glasgow's leftfield club scene and youth music projects in Ghana and Belize, was one of the most interesting and vibrant cultural fusions of our time. This follow-up release contains fresh reworks of tracks from that set. First, Optimo man JD Twitch delivers a bewitching, sub-heavy take on "Come With Me", before Auntie Flo turns "Beat The Drum" into a sweaty, stretched-out chunk of analogue/tropical fusion. Midland delivers a fantastically percussive, off-beat acid-meets-Afro-techno rendition of "Tsoma", whilst General Ludd turn in a sparse, Afro-acid re-make of "Tuteme Meets Tafo Antome At 58 Ft".
Even by Ilija Rudman's immaculate standards, "In Her Eyes" is something special. With the help of a spine-tingling vocal from soul man Andre Esput, Rudman has delivered a breathtakingly evocative chunk of stripped-back Chicago house. While it contains some of his usual aural trademarks - tactile synth bass, sparse production and simple, chiming melodies - it somehow feels extra special. Happily, remixer Charles Webster has stepped up to the challenge of reworking such a cracker, turning Rudman's sparse original into a dreamy, percussive, slowly-building chunk of eyes-closed deep house that brings back memories of his classic late '90s work as Presence.
The man Wolfgang Voight provided some inventive and pioneering techno under his Wassermann guise, one of many. "W.I.R." was released in 2000 and was a driving serving of pop-inflected techno. Frankfurt techno legend Sven Vath also stepped in, assisted by Roman Flugel, to deliver a grinding industrial techno remix that these days could easily be compared to the work of Ancient Methods. Kompakt Records alumni Tobias Thomas and Michael Mayer's remix however is by far the best and encapsulated the label's timeless aesthetic on this wonderful excursion through emotive and ethereal house sounds.
Following on from releases from cosmic disco legend Danielle Baldelli, the latest EP on Nein comes from its owner, Tronik Youth. The title track is an infectious electronic disco groove with hints of muffled new wave vocals and an industrial rigidity to it. "Never Said, I Never Said" is slower and more pared back, as a droning groove and soaring synths crackle with electric energy. Nein has commissioned two producers to remix its boss; the first sees Cabaret Nocturne re-imagine "Never Said, I Never Said" as a sinister, stepping disco groove, while Jonathan Kusuma turns the title track into a hypnotic, sleek techno pulse.
It's hard to believe that this is DJ Deep's debut on Rekids as the French spinner has been such an integral part of that grey area where house and techno coalesce for a number of decades. In any event, it sounds like he is making up for lost time; working together with Traumer, the owner of the Gettraum label, he delivers the monumental title track. In its La Deep version, the stepping rhythm supports a screeching diva vocal, while the La Slave version strips the arrangement back to focus in jittery drums and rolling percussion. Finally, there's straighter La Spicy take, which has a straight groove and the dense, tracts of percussion that one has come to expect from Rekids.
Marc Romboy's esteemed tech house imprint has reached its 77th release? You bet! And it goes out all guns blazing this time around with a massive compilation with some great tracks, new and old, by the likes of Robert Babicz, Guy Mantzur, Wehbba and Stephan Bodzin. There are some pretty kick ass remixes on offer too by the likes of Adam Port, Adriatique, Nick Curly and Petar Dundov. Highlights? Head honcho Romboy's rendition of OCH's "Time Tourism", Ibadan boss Jerome Sydenham's ecstatic "Systematic Dub" and Technasia's druggy and tunnelling odyssey "Hold Me".
Moderat should need no introduction should they? Riding on the success of their third album, the lead single "Running" has had a succession of absolutely brilliant remixes by the likes of Ostgut Ton maverick Shed, Bulgarian hardware freak KiNK and now it's the turn of Innervisions head honchos Ame who give the track a makeover that is effective in all its subtlety and restraint but has all the euphoric and soulful hallmarks of their signature sound.
De Fantastiske To are Ravi and Marius from Oslo, Norway who make feel good deep house vibes for fans of Arto Mwambe or Kollektiv Turmstrasse - like on the dreamy and melodic groove of "God Fallelse". The track gets a couple of kick ass remixes, such as by the likes of Yam Who? whose nu-disco odyssey ticks all the right boxes. But they save the best for last on the emotive high tech soul of "Ut Av Det BlA" which is the perfect accompaniment for a midnight drive down a Detroit freeway.
Catz 'N Dogz Pets Recordings are really on a roll at the moment and for their next release they have Mathias Kaden, the tech house hero from Jena is back with more high-octane dancefloor energy with "Polyphonic" which rises and rises in suspense with its tightly programmed groove. "NoKick" does exactly what it says on the tin on this beatless, dark acid house jam which will make an effective DJ tool for the more adventurous DJs or be perfect as an opening track.
Church has certainly grown into one of London's most dependable house music outlets these past few years across their various interlinked label divisions. The emergence of Laurence Guy is testament to that - last year he debuted on Church with the well-received Kojak EP, and has gone on to prove his worth across a number of 12" releases and V/A contributions. Bamboo sees him back in the Church fold for their ninth White Label release and it's a confident four-track display of measured deep house. From the warbling melodies of the title track to the Smallville stylings of "Knotweed" and "Lotus", Guy is clearly improving with each release!
Alan Abrahams delivers more splendid and spacey deep house from the future on "Say It's Going To Change" featuring his now trademark haunting vocals. Swiss high tech soul merchant Deetron gets on board for the remix which keeps on with the deep house side of things but gives it an equally advanced and futuristic aesthetic, using a completely insane processing of space delay that twists up your mind before the drop!
Seven years since the last Smith & Mudd album kissed our ears... Gorthlek is a long-awaited treat that's landed (by no coincidence we suspect) right at the start of prime sandy season. Picking up where they left us (together and as part of the Bison collective), it's every bit as soul soothing, soft-focus and poised as you'd expect. It's the weight and richness that will grab most fans the hardest; amid the floral pastoral instrumentation on tracks such as "Alrick" and "Gorthlek Part 1", there's real swampy bluesy fusion such as "Mr Coats", there's fiddle-flipping cosmic folk on "Enos" and naked piano striking drama on the closure "Gorthlek Part 2". Instrumental Balearic bliss.
German house duo Hendrik Burkhard and Florian Kruse have become commonplace in Steve Bug's Poker Flat catalogue, and this seems to be firmly on-point given their deep and expansive brand of dance music. "Moments" sits somewhere between house and techno but it's more of a song with a beginning, middle and end, rather than a mere club jacker; "Black Moose", on the other hand, is darker and more punchy in its delivery and, by comparison, "Sirens" is the house pumper that can be mixed with pretty much anything you want. Effective and party-centric, as per usual.
"Lattice" is taken from Petar Dundov's fourth artist album, At The Turn Of Equilibrium, and it in some ways it is indicative of his sound. The Croatian's penchant for catchy, tranced out melodies are present, but the overall mood is subdued and even the synths have a less melancholic sound than usual, replaced by a somewhat frosty sensibility. It's left up to remixer Frank Wiedemann to raise the mood. The German producer, who is one half of Ame has considerable experience in this area - who can forget Rej? - and he combines powerful bass pulses with euphoric trance riffs to create a memorable, bubbling remix.
Portuguese expat turned Munich machine Alkalino is back with another bomb for his relentless Audaz imprint. "Gorgol" is a smooth and dreamy deep house excursion with samples from the B-52s classic "Love Shack". Next up is Link with "Da-me Uma Chance (Ze Mig L Chi - House remix)" and it's something a bit different from the Audaz camp on this gutsy EBM flavoured techno chugger for the peak time.
The latest release on Compost's offshoot imprint sees Dini make a return visit with two unusual house tracks. Produced in conjunction with Michael Reinboth and Beanfield, both compositions follow a distinct path. "Pouran" is more understated and less direct, as Dini teases out an off-beat rhythm punctuated by chimes and wooden percussion. In contrast, "Gohar" is sure to get all the DJ attention. Underpinned by a pulsing groove and powerful, purring bass, its veers unexpectedly into dramatic string sequences that makes the listener feel like they are being chased by a hit man down a dark alley. The fact that Dini doesn't miss a beat while all of this is happening makes it all the more impressive.
Exclusives
VARIOUS - Aus100 (Aus Music)
KINK - Valentine's Groove (Clone Royal Oak) - exclusive 22-07-2016
DETROIT SWINDLE/MANUEL TUR/SOUL OF HEX/LANCELOT - 20 Years Of Freerange Part Three (Freerange)
Exclusives
FRED EVERYTHING - Les Jours Paresseux: Part Un (Lazy Days US)
KAMERA - Consignia (Phantasy Sound) - exclusive 31-12-2016
VARIOUS - DJ-Kicks (K7)
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