On German producer and Aleph label founder Aera's latest release, the coalescing of influences from the past forty years of electronic music is audible. From the early electronic-style noises that warble over the bubbly acid pulse on the title track to the deeper than deep house of "Krystal Close" and the Mathew Jonson-sounding micro-trance melodies of "Keeping the Book", Running Hot is nothing if not adventurous and diverse. Innervisions also deserves praise for its choice of remixer; Steve Rachmad is not the most immediate name one would associate with the German label, but he does a fine job here, turning "Keeping the Book" into a deep, pulsing techno track, accentuating the original version's beautiful spacey-ness.
Wolf Music doesn't release many albums, but when they do, the resulting set is invariably superb. Familiar Circles, Casino Times' long awaited first full length, is certainly quietly confident, with the British house duo delivering a range of hazy, evocative cuts shot through with a hazy sense of loved-up positivity. While breezy, Balearic deep house is their go-to sound - and there's much of that evident throughout - the album also includes nods to "Belfast"-era Orbital (the shuffling electro/deep house hybrid "Oddity"), early Funkineven (the jumpy, modern boogie bliss of "What (Miracle Beat)"), drowsy ambience ("Transit"), and early '90s style intelligent techno (the psychedelic electronics, ambient house melodies and fleeting acid lines of closer "Foundations (End)").
Does exactly what it says on the tin really: No Killer No Filler comes in again for the third volume courtesy of Oliver Koletzki's long running Berlin tech house institution. Experience the soundtrack to a misspent youth in Berlin this summer, coming at you courtesy of label head honcho Koletzki himself with the moody and tunnelling journey of "This Heartless", the tripped out minimal madness of Asem Shama's "Magic's Gonna Happen" which reminds us of classic Audion or Marc Houle, Bjorn Storig delivers some smooth and slinky progressive house vibes on "Babylon Angels" while Ferdinand Dreyssig ventures further into the void on the moody industrial-edged stomper "Amnesia".
With a name like Jack Jenson he was sure to be in the spotlight somehow! The Salon zur Wilde Renate regular now appears for fellow Berlin institution Kater Mukke for the Full Of Acid EP in collaboration with the tech house hero Tigerskin and it's pretty good! The title track gets its 303 wobble on in good and sleazy fashion after the creepy sampled movie dialogue and white noise washed drop. "Stable Dance" goes for more of a restrained and hypnotic vive with its whirling arpeggio and tight rhythm supported by odd violin improvisation. Finally "Make It Work" rocks one of those Derrick May style synth-funk melodies over a rolling bass driven groove for some impressive dancefloor dynamic.
Spaniard German Brigante is on a roll right now. Let's do the label roll call again shall we: Saved, OFF, Defected and of course Get Physical: who released last year's brilliant full length Bipolar. He now appears for Claude Von Stroke's' revered west coast institution Dirtybird for something a bit different. "Noose" has an almost early noughties tribal house groove about it with some druggy synth melodies for added sass. He's by now aware of his own success with the imaginatively titled "The Brigante Chronicles", a dark journey track sure to cause some serious dancefloor drama with its wonky synth leads, mysterious pads and emotional vocals. Finally "Samoa" is definitely the most Dirtybird sounding track here with its emphasis on the bass, big, trippy headrush sounds and some druggy vocal dialogues for added mischief.
Liverpool institution Circus are back with another volume in their Moments series. Home to residents such as the legendary Yousef and not to mention the new breed: Lewis Boardman, Kydus and Scott Lewis amongst others. This compilation of surefire tech house artillery will bring the vibe of the revered club to your sound system right now. Highlights not limited to Green Velvet's "Bigger Than Prince" (given a sleek and slinky remix by Leeds hero Darius Syrossian), Material Series head honcho Mihalis Safras on "Santuro" (delivering the druggy main room adrenaline as always) and of course the return of Carl Cox with "Time For House Music", given a makeover by resident David Glass which has that boompty and looped up Latin vibe that's reminiscent of classic DJ Sneak or Derrick Carter: loved this one!
Verona legend Marco Dionigi is back on Quantistic Division. The Alter Ego club resident in the 90's has been known in more recent times for his collaborations with Balearic legend Daniele Baladelli but strikes out on his own on The Time Of Infinity LP. Highlights include the deep spiritual afrobeat of opener "Blue Safari", the Prescription Records style emotive deep house on the title track and the rusty and dusted down smack electro of "The Informers". Indeed there's quite a wide selection of moods and grooves on here but they're all great. We'd highly recommend it!
Berlin tech house favourite Alex Niggemann has managed to remain impressive since emerging on the scene eight years ago and now appears next for Sasha's well received new imprint Last Night On Earth which is really on fire at the moment. First up "Siyawa" is as dark and as tunnelling as it gets for some effective dancefloor mystery of the druggiest kind. But "Ace Kwela" is more uplifting; what with its epic layers of symphonic strings and lush melodics that will push any dancefloor to transcend beyond all this Summer.
Brazil's Wehbba is back following up a great collaboration with the legendary Christian Smith and releases on Systematic and My Favourite Freaks. On the Turning Point EP, the title track is a dark journey that will have you surrendering to the void in no time with its grinding bass and wonky melodics supported by the most dramatic elements. The Bridge" is much more uplifting and adrenalised with rich melodies and emotive pads being supported by a finely tuned rhythm department: this one will work the floor for sure. Some great remixes are on offer here, but for our money its UK star Huxley's slinky and sexy progressive house remix of "The Bridge" which really shines.
Belgium's Hermanez is back on Lapsus (out of Florence Italy) with some warm and emotive tech house that packs a punch at the same time. The funky and hypnotic "Most Likely" rolls along nicely supported by tribal drums and a killer drop towards the end! "Pocket Groove" gets even tougher on you with its dark and trippy sound design drowned in the right amount of reverb on this finely tuned groove. Finally "9 O'clock" features Davy Dee on this deep and atmospheric tribal house cut with booming toms and throbbing bass which is perfect to get things weird at the afterhours.
After some great releases on Jeudi and Madhouse, Hamburg's Monte is back with an epic dark journey track made for some serious travelling without moving on "Backyard": Life & Death eat your heart out! Expect to be hearing this brilliant slice of dancefloor drama at a club near you soon. The dub version exists for those of you less keen on the vocals and letting that razor sharp bassline do all the talking instead. Plus they were kind enough to throw in a convenient radio edit too; thank you once again Method White!
Berlin's Nayan Soukie takes a break from producing with usual partner in crime Fritz Windish before they embark on their usual Summer shenanigans: not limited to events at Fusion Festival, Kater Blau and Wilde Renate. Their URSL showcases a variety of sounds from Berlin and in their own words "have established their own sound signature of driving deepness, which carries you like a flying carpet under your feet". Well said! "Absurd Move" is an emotive and mysterious journey with its mesmerising melody and sombre pads carrying you away somewhere else on the dancefloor: has that Crosstown Rebels kind of hazy vibe which we noticed. "Hang On' is a bit more upfront in a minimal kind of way, letting that tight rhythm and bass do most of the work until that massive rise comes creeping in.
Consumed Music is a record label based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Belonging to "one of the most played producers in the modern techno house scene, Consumed Music has become a home to many globally glorious artists in the field" and who are we to argue. This time they present local lad Richard Cleber with a bit of help from L&S Project on "Ormes" a dark tech house journey with moody atmosphere, tight rhythms and a razor sharp bass. The remix of it up next by David Wincent goes for the fiercely druggy main room vibe of a Drumcode track: this one's totally sick! There's two more original tracks: "Nicotina" then "Overtake", in particular, which will certainly cause a headrush or two with its massive drop and and moody industrial stomp thereafter.
Brussels duo Raw District are back, this time on Matthias Tanzmann's esteemed Leipzig institution Moon Harbour. "Underrated" is driving and melodic tech house of the deeper variety featuring Forrest's soaring and epic vocals. Neapolitan legend Davide Squillace also steps in to give the track a booming and rolling tech house remix for druggy main rooms on The White Isle this Summer. Second original track "Their Eyes" is also worth a mention too: this is another fierce and dark roller much like Squillace remix and will appeal to fans of Material Series or Saved kind of grooves: seriously wicked!
French producer DJ Luna Semara is back on Stefan Bodzin's esteemed Herzblut imprint with the impressive Enuma EP following up her last great Pink Room EP for the label previously. The title track is so indicative of the label's sound: dark, moody, driving and hi-tech. With its swirling and hypnotic melody doing most of the great work, this is how you craft dark journey tracks people! Second track "Mustafa" gets a bit more fierce and adrenalised. It too features so captivating melodies and high production values but sure to get the people move more energetically on the dancefloor.
Hamburg Dj/Producer/Remixer/Radio Host Oliver Petkovski serves up the moody journey track "Return Of The Jedi" which has the hazy and slightly esoteric vibe reminiscent of Crosstown Rebels or Ritter Butzke studio. There are two pretty sweet remixes too: one by Tone Deep who gives the track a much cleaner a high fidelity rendition (which still retains the moody vibe well) and then one by Milos Ilic from Serbia who goes for more of the late noughties minimal vibe: funky and deep and well suited to the afterhours shift.
Earl Grey and PJU are both prolific produces on their ones and twos, but together they've formed a particularly effective duo on the mixing board, and this latest collaboration on the ever-fresh Muzik Box is literally music to our ears. The lead track "Drum Boxx" is a funky, old-school bassline banger that could fit in either a Chicago house set or any other Dj set for that matter, and "Computer Wars" is similarly crusty around the edges and accompanied by a magnificent Roland bassline that keeps on giving. "Muzik" is more stripped-down and focused on the percussion cowbells, but Earl Grey's own remix of the tune brings it back down to earth with a gorgeous, deep house swagger.
Josh Harvey aka Herve will present his second studio album, Hallucinated Surf in June via Brighton institution Skint Records. The album is said to comprise of two parts; the first is his signature bass house sound, which was recorded entirely at his studio in London. The second said to be in more downbeat/experimental style which he recorded in the countryside: a progression of his previous album, 'The Art of Disappearing'. First single "Bang The Drum" is an infectious and of course 'bass driven' tech house assault engineered for maximum dancefloor impact. Expect to be hearing this one a lot this Summer.
Given Chris Farrell's passion for supporting local talent, it was probably only a matter of time before he teased an EP out of fellow Bristol resident Bruce. The Hessle Audio affiliate is on fine form on The Trouble With Wilderness, utilizing both sides of the 12" to touch on a variety of moods and styles. The title track sits somewhere between throbbing Bristol techno, sparse electronica and drowsy deep house, with Bruce working wonders with only a handful of key elements. On the flip, you'll find the melancholic, heart-aching ambient chords and field recordings of "Waves (For Yasmin)", and "Summer's Got To End Sometime", a melancholic chunk of melodious deepness that counts among the producer's most evocative efforts to date.
The mysterious Brian SNR from 012, South Africa; all we know is that he's naughty but nice! Let's Dance" is some of the sleaziest deep disco funk you'll hear this year: think of a year 2016 re-incarnation of Right Said Fred and you'll get the right idea. And yes; there is one absolutely hot saxophone solo in this one, supported by some retro cliches of the best kind.