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23 Jul 12
Review: The innate joy in the Running Back catalogue is the sheer variety of the label's output, with Gerd Janson happy to release exuberant Theo Parrish remixes of Helium Robots one moment and some peculiar 'Vatican house' from BDI the next. The latest release curveball has Norway going toe to toe with their Scandinavian rivals Sweden as a certain (Todd) Terje Olsen sprinkles his magic on two sublime cuts that Samo Forsberg aka GAMM regular Samoo originally released in 2010. Slipping out on a debut ultra limited 7" from the Drifter STHLM imprint, both "To Be There With You" and "Viking Line" charmed both Janson and Terje to the core, with the latter electing to provide his own extended edits. It's hard not to fall for the charms of the title track, a breathy Italo flecked disco number that wouldn't sound out of place on Italians Do It Better and sounds even better in disco mix form. "Viking Line" is just as good, think Man Parrish born in Malmo and you've got it.
14 May 12
Review: The phrase "Gerd Janson does it again" seems to be uttered all too often here at Juno HQ, with his Running Back imprint somehow maintaining a standard of quality that's matched by the lack of fuss Janson makes about it. The latest EP reeks of Running Back brilliance courtesy of mysterious producer BDI who was last seen dropping the brilliant "City & Industry" on Rush Hour. Described with typical verve as "Vatican house", this three track release has the erstwhile BDI operating under the Compassion Crew name drawing out three variants on "Paper Tears" with the jangly insouciance of the Tribal Tears Dub perhaps the pick of the lot.
01 Oct 12
Played by: Pete Dafeet, Jimpster, Kid Who, Juno Recommends Deep House, DJS Pareja, Da Goblinn /Remuted, Mosaik
Review: Austin based producer Disco Nihilist makes a triumphant return to Running Back, having scored one of our favourite 12"s of last year with Running (Far Away). Two tracks shorter than his debut for Gerd Janson's reliably consistent label, but no less impressive, Moving Forward will captivate many from the moment the elasticated bass line of "House Rent Boogie" launches into action. From here, the track playfully swings from its jack hammering groove into moments of wondrously detuned synth solos. Alongside this, "Beatdown Drums" lays its rhythmic palette thick and hard, practically bruising your cochlea in the process, whilst flipside opener "Film Grain" is an equally intense exercise - though one that matches rasping hi hats with emotion laden keys. The tempo is eased to allow some respite on "Operator Please" a sprawling mass of thick 303 modulations and loose, tumbling drums.
06 Jun 11
Played by: Andy Ash, Redux Records, Gazeebo, Cottam, DJS Pareja, Joseph Terruel, Storm Queen/Morgan Geist
Review: When Mike Taylor's first 12" dropped on Love What You Feel in 2009, a lot was written about his distinctly DIY approach to music-making. Like the early pioneers of house and techno, the Austin, Texas-based bedroom producer known as the Disco Nihilist makes raw and uncompromising music using analogue sequencers and various other bits of hardware kit. Like his previous releases, Running (Far Away) is full of instrumental experiments that sound both authentically old and vacuum-packed fresh. The six tracks here offer a neat round up of Taylor's talents and inspirations. "Greasy Grind" opens proceedings with a swift punch to the kidneys, combining brain-melting acid tweakery with impressively fuzzy industrial beats; think Cabaret Voltaire jamming with Phuture, recorded on a battered old eight-track, and you're close. "Keep It Simple" continues the stripped-back acid theme, offering a floor-shaking concoction that is little more than heavyweight beats and bubbling 303-trickery. There's a clue in the title. Then there's "Sci-Fi On Tape", a surprisingly warm concoction that stumbles into Mr Fingers/Bobby Konders territory, like early Virgo Four after a fistful of little 'uns. "Coffee & A Warm Paperback" continues this theme, wrapping sugary electric piano chords around a brilliantly simple groove. Taylor clearly has talent, and his dedication to the original DIY ethos of house music is admirable. Of course, style is nothing without substance, but Running (Far Away) has that in spades.
20 Mar 09
25 Jan 10
09 Jan 12
Played by: Monty Luke, Justin Miller, Sean Gormally (Sean And Dev), Juno Recommends Techno, The Rhythm Odyssey
Review: Judging by this release, Helium Robots producer Ewan Wilmott should be one to watch this year. Having previously only released two wonky slabs of leftfield disco on Dissident way back in 2008, he's hardly prolific. Yet the two original tracks here suggest there's much more to come. Opener "Crepitation" cranks and bubbles its way through six minutes of IDM-goes-disco oddness, somehow managing to sound thrillingly cutting-edge and lovingly familiar. "Jarza", meanwhile, somehow distils the piano-laden beauty of Larry Heard style deep house and shimmering Balearic disco into something distinctly new. As if that wasn't enough, the mighty Theo Parrish pops up to turn "Jarza" into two sub-heavy chunks of late night freakiness. Highly recommended.
18 Sep 09
30 Apr 12
Review: As one half of acclaimed German duo Arto Mwambe, and half of the Chicago-inspired Tuff City Kids alongside Gerd Janson, Philip Lauer arrives with his debut solo album for Janson's Running Back. Displaying a wide range of influences, it nevertheless offers a typically melodic German take on early Chicago house, electro and disco. Opening with the 80s TV theme styles of "70000 AC" the album moves through the deep electro flex of "Sheldor", the guitar led pop soundscape of "Frontex Slowfox", the slo-mo grooves of "Sandalscene", before finishing with the deep Chi town grooves of "Trainman". Essential stuff.
27 Jun 12
Review: While the recent news from Gerd Janson regarding a decision to slowly peel back on his duties as a music journalist is certainly a blow to the art of composing sentences, it will undoubtedly free up more time for him to focus on ensuring standards at Running Back HQ don't slip. This second 12" off cut from Lauer's recent LP is a clear example of these standards with Runaway and I:Cube employed to sprinkle their own production ideas on the punky chugger "Tentatious". Jacques and Marcos Runaway call shotgun with a heavily percussive and decidedly more energetic rendition than Phillip's original, while I:Cube flexes his synth playing muscles with a Turkish disco pumper of a remix. Heck Lauer even slips in two prime slabs of all new house on the flip - need anymore enticement?
02 Apr 12
Played by: Rotciv, Justin Miller, Juno Recommends Disco, Fredeverything, Trujillo, Bruno From Ibiza, The Legendary 1979 Orchestra
Review: Marco 'Tensnake' Niemerski is infuriatingly talented. Here, he shows off his capabilities with two vastly different remixes of Philip Lauer's "Trainman". First up is the "Franceman" mix, a sprightly, funk-fuelled disco-house take propelled by an insatiably infectious live bassline. It is, of course, tops. Next he attempts to reinvent trance (yes, trance) via the "Tranceman" mix - seven minutes of rush-inducing Balearic trance at a house tempo. It's actually excellent, coming on like a trance-inspired version of a classic Bobby Konders production (with, of course, Niemerski's cherished synth-xylophone riffs atop).
27 Sep 10
28 Feb 11
Review: Running Back continue to impress in 2011, following crucial releases like the Son Of Sam reissue and the truly odd Hammon Decks twelve with some more swooping cross city house pollination from Marco Passarani. There's a steady, constantly building vibe to "White Dwarf" that proves to be quite consuming; layers of mid tempo percussive bump drawing you in before Passarani introduces subtle acid bubbles and great big dramatic Detroit string flourishes. Watch out for the totally gorgeous drop into synthtastic white light towards the end. On the figurative flip Passarani introduces the darker, more percussive counterpart "Black Dwarf" with only jagged shards of dubbed synths to separate the relentless rhythmic rattle of percussion. This contrasts nicely with mutant house bomb that is "Colliding Stars (Part 2)", an increasingly psychedelic melange of subterranean Italo arpeggios, euphoric keys, searing discoid strings and rasping metallic rhythms.
20 Aug 10
Played by: Tony Anderson , Adam B (Homegrown Music/Palooza), Chris Lynch / Of Norway, Straightoffthefloors.com, Redsoul, Krl, Juno Download, Jazztronik (Ryota Nozaki), Kisk, Dirt Crew, Sound Black / Lady Blacktronika, Juno Recommends Deep House, Massimiliano Pagliara, Sleazy Beats Recordings, Space Ranger, Enzo Canale, Sascha Funke
29 Oct 12
Review: Hirsute producer Matthew Styles has been around for longer than anyone can remember, and always seems to pop up in all the right places. Having previously been cosy with Music For Freaks and Crosstown Rebels, he's now part of the extended Running Back family. Aji No Moto, his second release for the label, is chock full of impressive fusions. There's the E'd-up Balearic synths and classic hip-house drums of "Montana" (featuring what sound like the beats from "Dirty Cash"), the dirty analogue acid of "Hot!", and the ragged, vaguely cosmic "Sixty Ways". All are tailor made for sweaty, pitch-black basements.
12 Sep 11
Played by: Adam B (Homegrown Music/Palooza), Kid Who, Juno Recommends Minimal/Tech House, Matthias Tanzmann
Review: Amazingly, it's been some three years since the last single from former Crosstown Rebels and Music For Freaks mainstay Matthew Styles. As you'd perhaps expect given its release by Running Back, this comeback EP is pretty good, with the hirsute producer offering up a variety of flavours across the five tracks. The title track, for example, is little more than a freaky, beatless DJ tool, while "Polee" channels the spirit of space disco and Chicago jack. "Scale" is unfashionably deep and careful, whilst "Galaxy 21" is a heavy percussion work-out with a twist. All are overshadowed by impressive lead cut "Don't Call Me Again", which sounds like a swinging house take on the classic Carl Craig sound.
06 Dec 10
Review: Second time around for Pelon's long-forgotten dub techno classic, which first slipped out on Chain Reaction way back in 1996. The version chosen for this Running Back re-issue actually comes from a label compilation from 1998, but it varies very little from the original vinyl version. Now remastered, it comes on like a housier take on classic Basic Channel - it's simple, delay and reverb-laden elements (relentless, rolling synths, one-note dub bass and solid kick drums) sparring constantly with occasional 909 snares and hissing hi-hats. It's long, hypnotic and other-wordly - and very, very good. If you missed out first time around, don't sleep.
28 Jul 09
16 Jan 09
31 Jan 13
Played by: Owain Kimber (Owain K), Kid Who, Pete Tong, Juno Recommends Techno, Alonso Varela, DJ Hell
Review: Gerd Janson's Running Back open their 2013 account with a label debut from evergreen producer Oliver Ho under his Raudive alias. Ho's garnered something of a chameleonic reputation over his 15 year recording history, demonstrating little interest in focusing on one sound or genre. Most recently seen fronting the spiky three piece band The Eyes In The Heat, Ho returns to the Raudive name that scored a great History Clock 12" for the four track Traffic EP. Fitting in snugly on Running Back, expect muscular EBM and house workouts with the detuned pianos and manipulated vocals of the title track likely to garner considerable attention.
21 Nov 11
05 Nov 12
Review: Sebastian Kramer's debut Redshape album, The Dance Paradox, was an ambitious work, with the German producer making reference to Carl Craig, Moodymann and deep house producers like Chez Damier. Its follow up, Square, has a smaller range, but its tighter focus means that it sounds more like Redshape himself than those he takes inspiration from. All of the elements that have made the project so respected are present here: "It's In Rain" teems with crisp drums and the brooding, humming bass, grainy and crackling, that has become the project's staple - the inclusion of an astronaut sample adds some levity to a sound sometimes seen as ultra-serious. "Starsoup" sees Kramer strip away the layers and focus on the groove, with a bleepy bassline and noisy, broken beats prevailing, while "Departing" is a fantastically hypnotic, expansive deep techno workout. One of Redshape's other sides is audible on "Moods & Mice". Like some of the material on The Dance Paradox, "Moods" features lazy drums and warm synth lines. He explores this theme further on "Paper". Like Paradox, it sounds like Redshape has hired a live drummer and he she/he freeforms their way through textured sounds. So while Squares is a deft distillation of Redshape's nuances, it also features a left of centre take on hip-hop, with Space Ape chatting over the loose, mid-tempo drums of "Until We Burn".
08 Mar 10
Played by: The Revenge, Mathew Bandy (Souldier), Juno Recommends Deep House, Permanent Vacation, Downtown Party Network, Juno Download
Review: Gerd Janson is usually on the money and the latest release on his Running Back label is no exception. Relatively unknown South African producer Rezkar's superbly spacey single boasts synths that glimmer dreamily over a chunky yet minimal beat, with only the sparsest of bass notes to keep you on the ground. The Mystery Boy edit pads the drums out and rearranges the distinctive melody around them, while John Daly's mix returns to the cosmic vibe of the original by adding a two-note synth line that slowly worms its way into your head.
29 Nov 10
Played by: Adam B (Homegrown Music/Palooza), Gummihz, Mike O'mara(Development Music), Manuel Tur, Cottam, Javier Logares
Review: Way before the world had fallen in love with the decidedly mind-altering riffs and rhythms of "Geht's Nocht", Roman Flugel was making a name for himself under the Roman IV pseudonym. It was way back in 1995 that he made his debut with "Altes Testament", a classic chunk of Detroit-influenced tech-house that was only the second release on Playhouse. A second 12" followed - featuring the brilliant "Green Tea" - but then little else from Flugel's Roman IV moniker. This new four-tracker for Running Back, then, promises to be something of a treat. In many ways, the German label is the perfect home for Flugel's Roman IV exploits. Famed for releasing long, loopy deep and tech-house epics - think Mark E, Move D and Radio Slave - Running Back will no doubt have been delighted to secure the services of their big-hitting countryman. "La Paloma", then, promises much - and delivers. The title track itself is a hypnotic delight - a ten-minute epic that works all-manner of barely-audible samples (distant bells, jazz samples, crackly pianos) into a weighty, late night tech-house groove. But there's plenty more to enjoy, too. The decidedly trippy "Lucy" wraps dubbed-out chords around a relentless subterranean bassline, while "Sa Celenta" takes a leaf out of Mark E's book by focusing the action around a lazy disco loop and bassline. The package is rounded off by digital bonus "123BPM", an African percussion work-out that will scare more than a few dancefloors this winter. It all adds up to a heady, late night delight that will confound, confuse and thrill in equal measure. Welcome back, Roman.
04 Mar 13
Review: Fresh from the success of their Salty Days LP, Julis Steinhoff and Just Von Ahlefeld sneak over to Running Back to deliver another master class in delicately poised but righteously pumping deep house. "Nofretete" chugs along at a steady pace, but the interlocked locomotion of the drums and the arpeggios keeps a healthy amount of energy in what is ostensibly a deep cut. "Ninja Restaurant" slips into a more prominent groove, keeping the beat sparse and funky, and the smatterings of synth touches freaky. "In The Jungle" heads into a more jacking refrain, rich and warm in equal measure whilst still tapping into that tripped out mindset that comes with the Smallville set.
24 Jan 11
Review: Ame's consistently high quality output, which has been lapped up by house music lovers for many a year now, can work against them. Each release is so consistently good that it becomes the norm, and as such they can sometimes pass you by. Thankfully such concerns are thrown out the window on this 12" on Gerd Janson's Running Back imprint - a remix of 80s art funk oddity "Nature Makes A Mistake" by Son Of Sam. A thumping acid line sets the tone, before a swirling Oni Ayhun-esque synth melody drops in towards the end, bringing things to a mind melting conclusion. The extra production assistance of Marcel Dettmann gives the track some extra thump, while the original 1984 version - only released on a Bain Total cassette sampler and now remastered by Ame - is an unearthed gem in itself. Caps duly doffed to all involved. Superb!
15 Aug 11
Played by: Mat Hoods, Rotciv, Cbas, Superbreak, DJ Steef, Maurice Aymard, Juno Recommends Disco, Juno Recommends Deep House, Cottam, M.ono, Sleazy Beats Recordings, Cyclist, Elly K, Joseph Terruel, Antek, Dplay, Matthew Kyle, Alexander Maier, Black Marlin
Review: It's fair to say Running Back have not put a foot wrong this year with headline releases from Tiger & Woods and Todd Terje complemented by some lesser celebrated but by no means less impressive twelve inches from Marco Passarani, Disco Nihilist and that stunning Son Of Sam reissue. Their latest release sees the focus shift to another under the radar producer in Suzanne Kraft, whose Green Flash EP makes for one of this year's most attractive releases. Kraft adopts a pleasantly midtempo poise on "Morning Come" with swathes of melodies infused with sunset gradually rising to the fore. This joyous feeling flushes through the rest of the EP with both "Turning" and the title track sounding like Tiger & Woods performing from the deep end of the pool. "Femme Cosmic" provides an excellent finish to proceedings, unfolding from a tinnily reverberant slowed down proto house drawl into some midnight cruise through dubbed out mutant 80s disco boogie.
22 May 09
Played by: DJ Butcher (Chopshop Music), Ross Couch, Pete Dafeet, The Beat Broker, Hernan Cerbello, Maelstrom, Art Of Tones, Cloned In Vatican!, Shadow Dancer, Acos Coolkas, Lovebirds, Quarion, Juno Recommends Deep House, Baldino, Resident Advisor, Tim Sweeney Beats In Space, Xpress 2, Groove Armada, Kenny Douglas, Enzo Canale, Telesynth
27 Aug 12
Played by: Visti
Review: It's rare that a Theo Parrish release arrives on a label based outside the US, but when that happens it always tends to be a bit special, see the Peacefrog released LP First Floor or that humongous Carl Craig remix of Falling Up on Third Ear for evidence. Running Back seems like a perfect European outlet for Theo to grace; indeed the Sound Signature boss has already contributed two stunning revisions for Gerd Janson's label and this oh so aptly titled Hand Made EP is pretty special. Firstly it features a special extended take on "Black Mist", a track that originally formed part of Parrish's highly prized Sketches triple vinyl set from 2010 which is listed with some ambitious prices on Discogs. Cut gut punchingly loud by Dubplates and Mastering, this prime slab of Theo fonk is worth the admission alone, but you get spoilt with two new cuts from Mr Parrish in "Pop Off" and "Wild Out" that are indeed as wilded out as his recent "Any Other Styles" number. Running Back quite superbly describe the latter track as "a Theo Parrish demo for Dance Mania after he came back from listening to Lil Louis at the Bismark Pavilion".
25 May 11
Played by: Adam B (Homegrown Music/Palooza), Alphabet City, Shadow Dancer, Juno Recommends Disco, Frank Booker, Lou Teti, Rory Hoy, Picture House, Juan Soto, Raw Club Radio, Elly K, Audio Parallax Records, The Legendary 1979 Orchestra, Storm Queen/Morgan Geist
Review: In preparation for a much awaited debut album from Tiger & Woods, it seems pertinent for Running Back to revisit where the phenomenon began in the shape of "Gin Nation". The highlight of the duo's Caddy Shag EP, which has long since sold out, "Gin Nation" remains as potent a dancefloor weapon now as it was upon release. Those eager to hear what is on offer with Through The Green will delight in the inclusion of "Kissmetellme" which is a dizzying example of the duo's talent for reshaping source material. Check the additional "Kissmetellmemore" dub version for a beefier take!
13 Jun 11
Played by: Giom, Shadow Dancer, Mike O'mara(Development Music), Thomas Sonora, Juno Recommends Disco, Frank Booker, Ursula 1000, Sleazy Beats Recordings, The Littlemen, Sccucci Manucci, Campari_safari, Trujillo, Brioski, Navid Izadi, Spirit Catcher, Storm Queen/Morgan Geist, Things Happen
Review: In recent times, many have tried to copy the Tiger & Woods formula, but no one has yet come close to matching the sheer heaviness and timeless quality of their loopy, edit-heavy productions. For proof of their genius, just check this debut full-length. Featuring a mix of new cuts and tracks culled from their previously mysterious white label releases ("Gin Nation" etc), Through The Green offers a lesson to would-be copycats in how to turn a bagful of boogie and electrofunk samples into party-rocking disco/house gold. The beats and basslines are heavier than a skipload of sumo wrestlers after a night at an "all you can eat" buffet, the loops addictively hooky and the builds judged to absolute perfection.
04 Apr 11
Played by: Josh The Funky 1, Philippos N (Freshit Recordings), Rotciv, Fish Go Deep, Mmdrec, The Revenge, Rudy's Midnight Machine, Sean Gormally (Sean And Dev), Adam Bozzetto, Faze Action, Kid Who, Ben Pistor, Estroe, Dana Bergquist, Minimatic, Alexander Robotnick, Chris Coco, Mike O'mara(Development Music), Eddie Niguel Aka Edel, Hot Toddy, Dirt Crew, Roberto Rodriguez, Juno Recommends Disco, Downtown Party Network, Sean Danke, Marbeya Sound, Kruse & Nuernberg, Cosmonauts, Shota Tanaka (Beaten Space Probe), Tesla Boy, Space Ranger, Brioski, Doctormusic Project, Tornado Wallace, Neurotic Drum Band, Aliooft (Foto Rec.), Slow Hands, Smash Tv, Juno Electro House Podcast, Rone, Telesynth, Juno Best Sellers 2012, Ali Tillett (Warm Agency), Chicago Damn, Pete Gooding, Mixmaster Morris
Review: Terje Olsen doesn't release many records, but when he does they tend to be pretty special. This surprise EP for Running Back is his only his fifth original single in seven years, but it's arguably his best yet. "Ragysh" is devilishly simple, a naggingly hypnotic house/ electronic disco head-nodder that builds to a gasping climax of chic, intergalactic melodies. It's partnered by "Bonysh", a dubwise beats track that ekes maximum thrills from little more than ever-changing percussion. "Snooze For Love" - available in dancefloor and downtempo versions - continues the stargazing theme, offering up an uber-Balearic mix of bleep melodies, dozy chords and sleepwalking percussion.