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28 Feb 11
Played by: Justin Miller, DJ Vibe, Kisk, Flash Atkins, Dirt Crew, Mathew Bandy (Souldier), Matt Waites, J&m Brothers, Dionigi, Chili Davis (Forward Disco), Sccucci Manucci, G-Blaster (Rotarydisco76), DJ Assassin (Recode Recordings), Concrete Jungle, Djs: Most Charted, Tiga, Freddy The Groove Aka F★t★g
Review: There's been a growing sense of excitement surrounding the debut release from the Visionquest label set up by Messrs Troxler, Curtiss, Reeves and Crosson that was threatening to render it slightly underwhelming when it finally arrived. Thankfully that is certainly not the case as Benoit & Sergio demonstrate on the three tracks that make up Where The Freaks Have No Name a restrained yet totally sultry take on house music dynamics which is quite infectious. As you'd expect from half of the Ndf duo that brought us the delightfully charming "Since We Last Met" on DFA last year there's as much attention paid to song writing as there is to dance inducing aesthetics here with opening track "Walk & Talk" perhaps being the most striking example, sleepy almost vocodered vocals lamenting a partner's lack of hygiene to a backdrop of crisp handclaps and stifling subaqueous melodies. The title track is naturally a tad freakier, being vaguely reminiscent of Visionquest boss Troxler's vampiric turn on last year's Art Department release before a swift turn into some truly epic synth sweeps that come to characterise the track. "Day Residue" meanwhile is ten minutes of sprawling synth flutters that noodle with a glorious soaring unpredictability over the top of a stripped down house skip and bump aided by the repeated vocal refrain and elastic bassline.
26 Nov 12
Played by: Bruno From Ibiza
Review: Given his history of creating tough, Chicago-influenced boompty and jackin' tech-house, it's interesting to see Brett Johnson popping up on Visionquest. Typically, there's a lot more going on in the 'instant energy' stakes than you'd find in your average Visionquest release. "Move Power" does include some pleasant chords and melodies (not to mention a strange, woozy vocal), but they largely play second fiddle to a tough, loose analogue groove and fuzzy bass pulses. This gets more room to breathe on the excellent, stab-heavy Dub. Best of all, though, is bonus cut "Furtherer", which sounds much more like the balls-out Brett Johnson of old.
28 Jan 13
11 Mar 13
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10 Jun 13
Review: Last seen on Ostgut Ton back in 2011, the wonderfully monikered Dinky resurfaces on Visionquest with the Fallen Angel EP which precedes the release of Dimension D, her fifth studio album which has been mixed and co-produced by Matthew Styles. Visionquest press notes claim the forthcoming long player sees the Chilean DJ, producer and vocalist evolve into a fully fledged singer-songwriter and performer, which makes Dimension D a perfect fit for the label. As a taste of what's to come, "Fallen Angel" excels, with Iglesias's ethereal vocal the perfect foil for the dark, rippling techy groove. Kudos to Visionquest for the remixes too, with the aforementioned Styles further finessing the original's darker intricacies whilst Pepe Bradock completely rewires proceedings in his own inimitable style.
10 Oct 11
Played by: Kid Who, Alkalino, Juno Recommends Minimal/Tech House, Drumcomplex, Soul Mekanik, Adam Khan (Void Music), Andre Gardeja
Review: Visionquest and Dinky? We can't say it's a partnership we were expecting. "Teka" kicks of the Time To Lose It EP with bubbling vocal pockets, tight-tapping drums and a solid house/tech groove. "This Is Your Heart" on the flip is a playground of percussive rhythm and Dinky's expertise shines bright; smooth, punchy, warm yet spiky. "Time To Lose It" is the real killer, however, as it demonstrates something unexpected from both parties. Ethereal double tracked vocals, intricate, ambient electronic touches swaying in the background... it's pure headphone fodder and a surprising (but oh so welcome) addition from party kings Visionquest and Dinky herself, as a well known ambassador of dark, tumbling techno. Recommended.
27 Aug 12
Review: Canadian duo Footprintz have begun to establish themselves as one of Visionquest's more interesting acts. Their unflinchingly contemporary take on synth pop often has a greater emotional resonance than other material on Seth Troxler's imprint. "Utopia" is another blissful tearjerker, delivering the sort of E'd-up pop gorgeousness that sounds like a cross between New Order, Behaviour era Pet Shop Boys and, of course, contemporary deep house. The remix package is strong, too, offering contrasting versions from Jimmy Edgar and Tiga. The former slows the pace and adds a dash of analogue dirt to the original's synth-pop template, while the latter thrillingly flits between darkroom boogie and '90s piano house.
18 Mar 13
Review: Rumours have been circulating on the Internet that Montreal duo Footprintz have gone their separate ways. If these are to be believed (and they certainly seem to be true), this debut full-length for Visionquest could also be their swansong. If it is, then it's a fine way to go out. Assisted on production duties by the ever-reliable Ewan Pearson, the Canadian pair has delivered a tactile, touchy-feely collection of dream-pop (think Holy Ghost or Benoit & Sergio meets '89 shoegaze) that gleefully breaks free from the shackles of Visionquest's impersonal trademark sound. Woozy, warm and inviting, it should appeal to those who enjoy the work of fellow Canadian synth-poppers the Junior Boys.
10 Dec 12
Played by: Xpress 2
13 May 13
Review: More from Visionquest regulars and rising stars Footprintz, whose decidedly touchy-feely approach epitomises the label's vision. "Uncertain Change" actually sounds like a Benoit & Sergio track, all woozy vocals, atmospheric pads, new wave-influenced grooves and casual synth-pop charm. Maceo Plex provides the first remix, upping the energy levels thanks to some bolder beats, big builds and lovingly played chords. The real standout, though, is the Audio rework - Matthew Dear's first under the guise for sometime. Wonky, strange, atmospheric and eerie, it turns the shuffling original into a stunning chunk of afterparty oddness.
23 Apr 12
Review: On one hand, it's quite a surprise to see one-time prog houser Guy Gerber throw his lot in with Seth Troxler's achingly hip Visionquest label. On the other, it makes perfect sense. Visionquest has long been obsessed with soft focus melodies and dreamy compositions, and "The Mirror Game" - a loose deep houser blessed with cascading melodies and progressive atmospherics - ticks all those boxes. "One Day In May" opts for a more old skool house approach, mixing shuffling, West Coast deep house percussion with woozy chords and heady vocal samples. Gerber rounds off the EP by dropping that most prog house of selections - a beatless ambient version of the comfy title track.
11 Jul 11
Played by: Alkalino
30 Jul 12
Played by: Resident Advisor
01 Oct 12
Review: One of the key Visionquest members delivers an EP full of differing moods and emotions. Is "Haters" the producer's response to internet trolls? It certainly sounds so, with paranoid, shuffling drums and heavy bass licks leading into eerie synth passages. "Freaks" sounds like Curtiss is documenting his experiences of playing in clubs, with sweat-soaked vocals going on about 'I get down like a freak' to a dank, acid-fuelled groove. However, it's "Body Twitch" that impresses most: its building bassline and swinging, shuffling drums play host to one of the rudest lyrics in tehcno: "I'll be working like we're making kids/let me make your pussy twitch." Naughty!
06 Feb 12
Played by: Mark Johnson (Back In The Dark), Alkalino, Juno Recommends Deep House, Deepgroove, Rodriguez Jr, Paolo Madzone Zampetti, Don Crisp, Resident Advisor, Filthy Rich (Toolroom/Great Stuff)
Review: It's a mark of the quality and consistency of Visionquest's releases that you can tell them a mile off. This debut EP from four-piece Life & Death is a great example of that. Without checking the label details, you would instantly identify Step Aside as a Visionquest release. It features the label's usual sonic palette - snappy, 808-influenced percussion, woozy synths, sub-bass heavinesss, atmospherics akin to 1980s goth records- and a moody, spoken vocal straight out of the Benoit & Sergio school of thought. Second track "Morgana" flips the script slightly, but it still sounds like a Seth Troxler record. If you, like us, enjoy the Visionquest sound, then, you'll love Step Aside.
07 Jan 13
Played by: Henri Kohn, Juno Recommends Minimal/Tech House, Nic Fanciulli, Layo & Bushwacka, Anja Schneider, Dennis Ferrer, Pig & Dan
Review: House producers Tale Of Us and Thugfucker's side project gets the remix treatment from some of the most popular underground names. Jamie Jones gets to grips with "Step Aside Lightweight", which features Scott McCloud on vocals. In Jones's world, the vocals sound bugged out as they accompany a stripped back groove into a parallel dimension of after parties and lost mornings. The Rework version is more toolish, but has a reference to the old days of house music thanks to its "we're all united" vocal. But neither can match Carl Craig's take on "Morgana". Its clipped drums and menacing bass will bring anyone who had hitched a ride on the escapist train crashing back down to earth.
01 Aug 11
19 Nov 12
Review: The Visionquest crew go beyond the confines of house music to deliver this wonderful album. It sounds like Merveille and Crosson have been listening to a lot of ambience, Balearic and wold music in their preparation for this release. "Escale" is a sprawling warren of gamelan-style rhythms, while the piano-led ambience of "At The Seams", which features Banana Azuli and Arthur Simonini, would rival the Cafe del Mar series at its most chilled. There are some references to house music, mainly on the walking bass and funky drum shuffle of "Again & Again" featuring Greg Paulus, but in the main, this is wide screen electronic music at its most sublime.
19 Dec 11
Review: Given that this loose, chiming and impressively organic three-tracker was co-produced by Visionquest co-founder Ryan Crosson, it seems strange to suggest that it's not a very Visionquest type record. Yet on the face of it, it isn't. Neither the distant, icy and snaking "DRM" - a 13-minute vibraphone-laden tech-house epic - or the more upbeat "Orca" easily fit into the Visionquest catalogue, but both are magical. The latter, in particular, sounds like contemporary take on the Steve Reich minimalist classical sound, but with serious dancefloor oomph. With the acoustic guitars and downbeat house pulse of "The Day You Left" adding another texture, DRM Part 1 is an excellent EP.
01 Apr 13
Played by: Anja Schneider, Resident Advisor, Roger Sanchez, Christian Smith, David Morales, Fur Coat
Review: Drafting in the vocal talents of Footprintz and Seth Troxler for a pair of catchy floor-friendly numbers, Subb An makes his first appearance on Visionquest in what seems like an inevitable move after years of graft for the likes of Crosstown Rebels, Spectral Sound and 20:20 Vision. "Rain" is an emotive, floaty variation on electro given a synth-pop twist by Footprintz's Anglophile singing. Alongside Tom Trago, Subb An works a typically whacky turn from Troxler into a simmering house jam full of dubby chord echoes and submerged strings for maximum tension with little release. It's a sturdy release custom built for the modern house music fraternity.