The mysterious, canine-loving producer delivers three slabs of euphoric but tough techno for Mi-chael Mayer's label. The title track is full of the kind of spine-tingling hooks and melodies that this project has long been associated with, but on this occasion, it is delivered against the backdrop of a steely, spiky rhythm. On "Musik Hypnotises", all semblance of melody is absent, and in its place there is a rough, acid-soaked techno workout. Finally, "Wasp Factory" inhabits a similar space, with heavy, warped beats and nasty 303 riffs propelling this dog lover into a much more abrasive sound than before.
Israeli progressive house hero Guy J's career has gone from strength to strength in the last few years with most of his epic journey tracks being released on the legendary John Digweed's Bedrock imprint. Quite fitting then that he now releases his first full length for the label, with they describe as "a vast melting pot of sonic exploration." Starting out with the driving percussive techno of "Bungalow" and the heavenly "8 Minute Flight" it's then business as usual on tracks like "Fools Dont Last" or "Live Another Day" which nail that progressive journey sound that he's now synonymous with. Other highlights include the dark groove of "Nirvana" the eleven minute long epic "The Love & The Fear" and the atmospheric slow burner "Paradox". There's a lot to get through but it's all killer, no filler. Also comes as two continuous mixes as bonus tracks by Guy J himself.
Berlin's Hugo Massien makes his return to the mighty XL, and he's got four slabs of pseudo house music with him. "Kontrol" itself is a mass of rave sirens, stuttering drums and pulsating low-ends, while "All Night" is more of a classic dance anthem for the late night drives. "Better Let Her" takes broken vocal samples and sprinkles them over a pumping, Chicagoesque groove, whereas "Fahrenheit" takes another cruise down the chillier end of things, coming out with a mood burner for the end of the night.
Emerging star out of Leeds Denney is still hot from recent releases for Hot Creations and Poker Flat and now makes his debut on the legendary Steve Lawler's Viva Music with some slinky tech house grooves set to explode on the island or any or other beach party for that matter! "On & On" features a tight rhythm beneath a bouncy, razor sharp bassline and powerful diva vocals; ticks all the right boxes. The "Monday Club Mix" gets a bit more on the late night tech house tip; a bit darker and sleazier. The legendary Justin Robertson of Lionrock fame lends his hand on a deft remix; the "Deadstock 33s Remix" is a bleepy minimal groove with a resonating, hands in the air melody that sounds somewhere between Marc Houle and Will Clarke. Finally "This Is Music" is a grinding, squelchy 303 acid stormer that even still manages to squeeze in some diva vocals; mental! The Waifs & Strays remix takes the acid into deeper and darker territory with another rolling late night groove that'd appeal to fans of Gruuv or Saved.
Chicago legend Felix Stallings aka Felix Da Housecat is back under his revived Aphrohead moniker for the first time in 14 years since "Thee Underground Made Me Do It". Originally released in 2014, it now sees a digital release on Damien Lazarus' Crosstown Rebels. Like much of the other material under this alias, it's rather tracky house on the tougher tip and "Grown Man Cryy" is no exception. Stallings repeats the very phrase repeatedly over a skipping melody, hissing high hats and an absolutely furious beat. Planet E head honcho Carl Craig gets on the remix giving it his typical midas touch: all soaring synth leads, buzzing bassline and white noise.
Dark tech house journey tracks for lovers of Life & Death et al, and done damn well for Hamburg's Jeudi imprint. One of the Harbour City's own young guns steps up in the form of Monte Cito. The original version of "Radical" features one of 'those' awesome wonky basslines that modulate and resonate to a climax over a tough, sparse beat and dark atmospherics. The Man Power remix is a great version in the way that it doesn't deviate too much from the original, instead just creating a deeper, slow-mo version more suited to the after-hours. Second track "Simpler" ups the ante on this peak time monster which keeps 'that' bassline (of course!) beneath a mesmerising melody and furious beat. It's an epic expedition towards right dancefloor euphoria. The Washerman remix gives the track a funk injection with a sharper bassline, syncopated wooden percussion and generous smatterings of white noise.
Gruuv's back everyone; look out! Just when you thought they'd be taking a breather after their five year anniversary celebrations... Nope! They're straight back in and truth be told; we're lovin' it. Fronting for the team this time is Paul C and Paolo Martini with "Striptease" and yes; it's sleazy alright! Rolling, trippy tech house that you've come to know from the label of late, made for sweaty nights on the island. The vibe continues on "Moonbootz" which is a bit deeper, funkier and working that exotic percussion just superbly. Finally "Deluxe" goes full throttle on this peak time stomper which zaps, delays and shuffles all about the shop, complete with wacky pitch shifted vocals.
Tokyo label Blindetonation drops a killer split release that encapsulates all that's great about modern disco. It opens with Gabriel Ferreira's "Slow Sugar", which, as its title suggests, is laid back but expansive, chugging along at 90 bpm or thereabouts. The tempo increases on Club Bizarre's "Supernova", with heavy claps and warbling acid creating a sense of spaciousness and a similar approach is audible on the lazy, dub-tinged groove of Bird Of Paradise's "92 Responder". The release takes an electronic turn on Steve Ekman's "Obscuria", a pulsing bass coming together with spiky beats, but soon enough, it veers back to its dubbed out environment courtesy of the languid groove of "The Back Door" by
Budapest's Mike Newman is the country's new rising star who's fast making a new for himself with some killer tech house on labels like Hed Kandi, Deeperfect and Nervous. He's now tapped by Toolroom for the great honour of presenting their renown Selector Series so look out! Starting out with the dark rolling funk of Prok & Fitch's "Jack To Jack" and the main room deep house of his own "You've Got Me" and "Now's The Time" (featuring Jazzy Rossco and Phil & Dannsmore respectively), it also features some killer grooves by legends Harry Romero ("Tania"), ATFC ("Work") and D. Ramirez ("Everydoby Has The Right/"What You Need"). Fellow Toolroom Selector Marco Lys also appears with the peak time adrenaline trip that is "Bebop" as does Dave Spoon, with the funky and sunny anthem "Front Lounge" with 'that' crazy piano sound! Also comes as a continuous mix on a bonus track.
Despite his first name and affiliation to the Get Physical label, Brigante comes from southern Spain and specialises in hip-shaking, percussive tech-house. Indeed, as the title track's rolling groove, trancey riffs and growling bass show, Brigante is a master of this sound. As the track progresses, it moves from a relatively benign sound into a throbbing denouement. The remix comes courtesy of German duo D Nox & Beckers, who deliver a fine alternate version. Bringing the buzzing bass to the fore, the combination of deep, chiming chords and a seductive vocal intoning the phrase 'so, so good' will be enough to entice those listeners who haven't yet fallen prey to Brigante's own charms.
Liverpool institution and Circus resident Yousef is back with "Are You Ready", a peak time tech house thriller with enough funk and high tech finesse to heat up dancefloors this winter. Things get even more intense and darker on the banging "Touch Me" complete with diva vocals, a rhythm that shuffles like a steam train and all round sinister atmosphere. Finally "Wannabee" focus on the funky, intricate rhythm and rolling bass on this tripped out and adrenalised cut. Sure-fire artillery for serious DJs only.
UK tech-house pioneers Rekids have truly given us a lot over the last ten years. From Radio Slave's own music, to Mr G, Spencer Parker, and even Nina Kraviz, they've always kept up with the times and molded their sound to new and exciting shapes. This time it's newcomer BADS who comes through with the latest anthem, a driving house banger entitled "HOUSE-O-MATIK HOM-O-PATIK", and while it's furious kick drum steals the show for much of the duration of the track, things get freaky when the DJ Deeon-style vocals drop on us like a load of grenades. You also get a pure beat version, and an accappella if you're feeling adventurous with those vocals.
St. Petersburg's Tripmastaz has come a long way. Releasing on the who's who of labels, from m_nus and Cecille to DJ Sneak's I'm A House Gangster. If that wasn't enough, he runs his own imprints Plant 74 and the new Tripmastaz vinyl series. But this time it's some surefire grooves for Loco Dice and Martin Buttrich's Desolat. Starting with the dusty and steady bleep grooves of "Wax Mania" and "Taped Chrome", he proves he's a got a knack for creating some superb hypnotic house. Love those claps on the kick too! He ups the ante on "Till Melted", a rolling main room techno cut that you could imagine Richie Hawtin thrashing out at .ENTER, while "Ride Heights" closes the EP out with the sound more typical of Desolat; minimal and funky tech house with the right amount of dancefloor dynamics.
Birmingham's Marc Spence is back. The Global Gathering resident follows up great releases on Simma Black, House Gangster and Roska Kicks & Snares with another one for This Aint Bristol. Which funnily enough is from Hannover, Germany. Getting stuck in straight away with the boompty electro house groove of "Nasty" featuring booming 909 and a buzzing bassline that's sure to pack a dancefloor like a Will Clarke record. "Stop Interrupting" however is more of a sinister and tripped out tech house monster. Ideal for getting pre peak time dancefloors in the mood to freak!
The success of Mark Knight's Toolroom label is not an accident. This guy understands how to make big rooms move to music that actually has some credibility. Here Camelphat make prove this to be true with two tracks of big dance music with underground cred. The title track is a laser-strewn, rave-stab-heavy pumping anthem, whilst moodiness abounds on the mean and trippy loopy acid jam "Luna".
Spain's David Grahna has released previously on Steyoyoke and Einmusika and presents three fashionable and dark journey tracks that will easily fit in with the current musical landscape. First there's "Small Rooms" with spangling melodies, haunting strings and vocals and a sick bassline to boot. "Flesh Pleasures" gets a bit more minimal, with haunting atmospherics and another monster bassline and one of those wonky melodies that Stephan Bodzin and Mind Against would stand up and notice. Finally "Second Rising" gets a bit more optimistic and uplifting with its sonar bleep and rising pad sound that unleashes a killer Manuel Gottsching style melody, perfect to play at 6AM.
When Federico Molinari and Nekes' Oslo Records imprint emerged out of nowhere seven years ago, maybe they themselves didn't even know just how much they were going to influence the musical landscape of house at the time; not just in Germany but internationally. With the sound of minimal on its way out, the Mannheim label (alongside other local imprint Cecille) ushered in a new sound that paid equal parts homage to the reductionist grooves so popular at the time and to the more traditional and classic deep house sound. These very tracks were the outcome and what better time to revisit such snapshots in time. They're all here; Jonny D's seminal "Orbitalife", the ultra deep mini-funk of Christian Burkhardt's "Phey Boom", the rolling main room groove of Ray Okpara's "Brothers" and Sascha Dive's super sleazy afterhour joint "Suburban Night", which was taken from their 2010 compilation: Don't Believe The Hype. Oh, did we mention Montreal prankster Guillaume Coutu Dumont appears too, twice in fact; with the exotic percussion of "Le Tigre" and "Chapel".
You just know something is made to play when you see a release on Nic Fanciulli's Saved imprint. This time he's tapped Paris' Timid Boy for a release, but there's nothing shy about this fellow, believe us! It's rolling and funky minimal for the warm up or after hours alike on "Test Test" ,which is sure to get some hands in the air moments with its cheeky Eminem samples. It's more peak time suited artillery on "I Can Do It": we've already told you he's funky right? He certainly brings it on this killer, track, complete with cut up vocals and tightly programmed rhythm. Finally "The Girl" uses tripped out pitch shifted vocal samples courtesy of Frenchman Arno Joey (alongside a bleepy melody) to mess with minds in the main room rather effectively.
Tim Green proves why he's one of the hottest names in tech-house on this two-tracker for My Fa-vourite Robot. The title track is an extremely cleverly engineered piece of music; beginning with tribal beats and maltreated synths, it shifts into percussive crackles and swirling techno chords be-fore Green adds in a nasty, abrasive bass. In design terms, it's right up there with the very best house producers. "Overstance" begins in relatively similar terms, but Green adds some breathy vocals and an irresistible, trancey synth builds that recall the golden days of 90s techno-trance. It's no wonder that Sven Vath is one of Green's biggest champions.
Halle, Germany's Hommage imprint is fast making a name for itself with its tech and deep house grooves. Home to Monkey Safari, Karl Friedrich and local legends Super flu, this time they've signed up Berlin based duo Kotelett and Zadak for a full length release. Starting things off with the slo-mo groove of "Arpeggio Dreams" which is reminiscent of Max Essa, they then launch into "La Lune" a sexy deep house track with a bouncy bassline and sultry French vocals by Gabriela Lindlova. There's some variety on here that's for sure. "And & And" is energised and percussive tech house, as is the dark and mysterious "Light". Lindlova's seductive vocals appear again on the bubbly pop inflected number "Milla" and things end in fun loving fashion with folk/country inspired "Take Me Back".