“After over a decade in the music industry, Toolroom is going back to its roots. We’re reigniting our passion for House music. Over the past ten years, we’ve signed and even discovered some legendary artists; we’ve led the way in an ever-changing industry, developing artists and even evolving ourselves. Now it’s time for Toolroom to enter a new phase; it’s time for #RESET. #RESET is about refocusing; it’s about credible House music. We have a strong musical vision, tight artist roster, new album series and new events concept. It’s a new beginning, the start of a new journey, and we want to share it with you.”
Juno have hooked up with Juno to present Toolroom #Reset kicking off with the epic release “Toolroom Live 01”. “Adrian Hour” has recorded a very special and exclusive mix for you to download and we also managed to wrangle yet another free track for you guys. This one is a banger indeed - "Everywhere" by Adrian Hour available for free for a very limited time so get downloading!
Toolroom Live 01 is a behemoth. At 61 tracks large, inclusive of three continues DJ mixes, this new concept by Toolroom, as they say, is to highlight key artists, present new tracks, and give their fans a taste of the live experience. On here there's music from Harvey Mckay, Gary Beck and Maison Sky, to Bat For Lashes, Hot Since 82 and label owner Mark Knight, and if you're looking to grasp the Toolroom Live concept (and other oddities you might not expect), while getting some bang from your buck, this release is a well informed start.
This release is a sign of how much of a global phenomenon underground electronic music is, as all of the contributors come from Mexico. Thomass Jackson kick-starts the release with "Bad Chat", a malevolent, bass-heavy groove that is propelled over frenetic drum rolls. Eddie Mercury's "Rim Cow Shot" inhabits a similar space, albeit one that is powered by grainy kick drums and razor-sharp percussive volleys. An interest in the darker side of electronic music must be a common theme for Mexican producers because both Mijo's "Working Late" and Inigo Vontier's "Lunatico" are led by eerie, warbling synths and throbbing basslines and Theus Mago's "Ritmo Extraterrestre" is a wild acid extravaganza.
Is Seth Troxler a romantic at heart? It's hard to say, but he does go off on an unexpected rant about 'this thing called love' for his contribution to Love Song. The fact that his vocals are surrounded by a Deetron's cool, trance synths and throbbing, bassy groove, make his utterances sound all the more convincing. Steve Bug has been put in charge of the remixes and does a fine job. Working under his Traffic Signs guise - a project that Bug started some time ago for his Chicago-style experiments - both versions see the German DJ/producer push the track into the kind of grinding, jacking sound that exudes pure carnal appeal.
Mark Knight's label brings together some of the sounds that were showcased over the course of the ADE. Basement Jaxx kick start the compilation with the stomping disco house of "Never Say Never", while Harry Romero shows that he's not just a US house head. Working with Doorly, he drops "The Truth", a tough techno track, led by heavy claps. The techno influence lingers on Maceo Plex's "Conjure Superstar", which features an unusual combination of rave sirens and sublime, 808 State-style synths. As is the case in the wider electronic world, this reinvention of the past is in abundance on Amsterdam 2014 and apart from Plex's track, the most impressive contribution is Dosem's "Chase the Link", which sounds like a particularly dark version of vintage Lil Louis.
Redshape's last outing on Running Back, Bonuz Beatz Vol 1, was something of a stripped-back affair, offering a quartet of forthright DJ tools. Here, the masked techno producer returns to his usual full-throttle best. The original version of "Leaves" is decidedly robust, with clipped acid lines, electronic squeaks and a rumbling bassline riding a locked-in groove. The "Rotated Mix" offers a little more space for the groove to breathe, with Redshape getting busy with drum machine handclaps, hissing cymbals and classic rave-era stabs. The "Stripped 2 Clip & 303" version, meanwhile, pushes the nagging acid lines to the four, stretching them out over a tweaked, cowbell-laden groove.
Italian producer Lehar caused something of a stir online recently, after giving away his remix of Kollektiv Turmstrasse classic "Tristesse". Here he makes his debut on German deep house label Connaisseur. The Venice-based DJ/producer kicks things off with "XY", a shuffling, foreboding trip into woozy, delay-laden tech-house territory complete with subtle builds and horror-influenced chords. "Sargas" is equally as spooky, with ghostly textures and fear-ridden electronics riding an undulating late night groove. Longtime pal Mario Basanov provides the obligatory remix, turning "Sargas" into an inspired chunk of gently uplifting, melody-rich European deep house. It's almost the polar opposite of Lehar's original - in tone and texture - making for a striking revision.
The term 'locked groove' may be primarily associated with tough, loopy techno, but Tim Van de Meutter's latest release under this name is radically different. The title track starts with stripped back, minimal house beats, before de Meutter introduces a dramatic, surging bassline and tranced out synth lines. It's to the producer's credit that he manages to keep the groove dance floor-based. "Meditations In An Emergency" pushes even farther in an esoteric direction; a chattering rhythm and acid warbles provide the backdrop for Locked Groove to provide the kind of dreamy synth scapes that Derrick May used to produce. Van de Meutter's stage name may not fit this music, but "Meditations" is still deep electronic music at its best.
For those who had assumed that Butch was a tool house producer and not much else, this release will come as surprise. Favouring a more experimental approach than usual, "LFO" is led by weird, freaky frequencies and a bleep bassline. "Delusion" sees him go down a deep, dubby route, the robust bass leading into a sweeping, dramatic climax. Butch keeps the focus on more reflective sounds with the weeping synths and tough claps of "Sphere", while he returns to the experimental path of "LFO" for the denouement. Both "Tone 2.0" and "Busy B" are reduced tracks, with the former based on subsonic blips and bleeps and the latter boasting a stuttering groove bolstered by a Hoover bass.
So good they named him twice, Ed Ed's "I Got" is a surefire summer house anthem. In its original format, it revolves around a rolling groove, walking bassline and vocal screeches. While it has crossover appeal, it's not overtly commercial, evidenced by its tough claps and churning chords. The dub take features tougher drums and a dark, churning filter, while the Oliver $ take continues in this vein. Focusing on tribal drums and powerful, surging bass, the remixer brings the soulful 'I got something' vocal snatch to the fore. Copyright's version adds some malevolent acid to the mix, while Ben Mono's take revisits swinging 90s garage.
Greek producer Alex Dimou follows his recent EP on Get Physical with this compilation of some of his tracks. "Turn Around" is a real 'lost it' moment, its glitchy percussion and slurred vocal recreating long, hazy nights on the dance floor. However, Dimou is clearly a producer of diverse tastes; "Efukt" is much more esoteric, featuring dreamy chords and lithe breakbeats, while "So True" featuring Lee Burton follows a similar, breakbeat path, albeit one that is lined with acidic segues and hypnotic bongos. Dimou's selection even makes nods to pop music with the psychedelic downtempo of "White Rabbit", before finishing with the contemplative piano house of "Oceanmoon".
Turbo's mission continues to release music by as many talented new techno producers as possible with the signing of Anna. Hailing from Brazil, as her debut for Tiga's label demonstrates, she makes pared back, reduced grooves with a twist. The title track is led by squelchy rhythms and has the same kind of slow-motion siren that featured on False's Fed On Youth enveloping a pitch-bent vocal. "Drum Machines Do Have Soul" is tougher and more frenetic, with more trippy vocals, unfolding this time over insane snare rolls and subsonic bleeps. Finally, "Swamp" sees a return to the title track's sound, only this time it is led by a slap bass and discordant riffing.
This split release is the first in a series of four records celebrating the German label's 15th birthday. First up is owner Steve Bug, whose "A Shot In The Dark" track gets remixed by Taylor. With a subtitle 'Trapped in 92', it is no surprise that Bug's deep chords and jacking house is infused with dark snare rolls and even some stray gun fire! The Organ Grinder's version of Boris Dlugosch's "Sweet Talk" is just as raw, with the insistent chords, sprawling acid lines and jagged percussion sounding like something from Ian Pooley's mid-90s catalogue. By contrast, youANDme's "Quince" is cleaner, crisper, more precise - but still likely to appeal to those who love the kind of tripped out house that Poker Flat specialises in.
Norwegian hotshot Charlotte Bendiks delivers another killer release for Mental Overdrive's label. The title track is a tracky affair, its tough claps and robust rhythm providing the basis for a seductive female vocal. There's a similar approach on the other tracks, and overall Aurora sounds like a harder take on Prins Thomas' nu-disco. Veteran Norwegian spinner Strangefruit makes an appearance on the tribal drums of "Bananas", and both "Inside Joke" and "Crazy In The Coconut" resound to system-levelling basslines and woozy synths. The final piece in the Norwegian jigsaw is complete on Bjorn Torske's Torskefoten remix of "Lofoten", where a sulky robot proclaims 'I like to lose control' over a bleak mutant disco groove.
Taken from the recent and quite unexpected album collaboration between the prog house titans and bestselling sci-fi writer John Twelve Hawks, "3B3" catches the partnership at its expansive best. The central element is the bass, cavernous and spacious, that allows insidious acid lines, dark snare rolls and a vocal sample - "3B3 is a living thing" - seep through the heavy, rolling arrangement. The Robacid vs Babicz mix sees veteran German producer Babicz draw on his Rob Acid guise for inspiration. It results in a reshape that throbs with squelchy acid but at the same time is tethered by a buzzing, distorted bass.
The Dutch producer proves his versatility on this collection of original productions and remixes. "Rub Me", with its suggestive vocals, churning chords and dark techno pulses sits in stark contrast to the recoiling, garage-style bass and breakdown-heavy "Dextro". Meanwhile, the Amesz & Ruell re-work of "Work This" delivers an unusual combination of tribal techno drums and a ghetto-style 'work this pussy' vocal sample and "The Glimmering" explores the space that Technasia once occupied, with a jacking, stop-start rhythm underpinning insistent, filtered chords. However, probably the best measure of Amesz' prowess is the fact that he can turn Laurent Garnier's "Man With The Red Face" into a cowbell and break beat-led workout without sounding cliched.
As soundtracks to the end of this year's season in Ibiza go, Closing Party is a raucous affair. There is no shortage of big room tech house bangers, demonstrated ably by the filtered, tracky workout that is Wehbba's "Opalescence" and the swinging techy rhythms and vocal snatches of Jay Lumen's "Reverse World". However, instead of just following the same path, this compilation does dig a bit deeper. Patrick Topping's "Forget" sees rave riffs spliced up over a jacking house groove, while Booka Shade's remix of Hot Since 82's "Don't Touch The Alarm" cleverly fuses filtered house with the German duo's crystalline melodies for a euphoric, fist-pumping affair that is 100 per cent Ibiza.
After popping up on Opal Tapes amongst other cult labels over the past couple of years, DJ Ford Foster has made the move to Unknown To The Unknown and he's in the mood to get nasty. "Gold Cans" is a primal slice of gritty jack business that moves in the stiffest possible groove, while every single drum sound seems to grind its teeth to make the grizzly synth feel at home. "Let's Go" has a definite ghetto house flavour to it, while "Black Candles" gets more deranged with a whole lot of sample triggering and background droning behind the jackhammer beats. "Fake Shoes" is equally unhinged and upfront in its approach, making this a perfect release for the UTTU mission.
Fresh from launching their Second State Audio label, Mobilee regulars Pan-Pot (AKA Tassilo Ippenberger and Thomas Bendix) have mixed the latest instalment of the Watergate compilation series. They're no strangers to the infamous Berlin club, having been regulars behind the decks for the past few years. Given this relationship, it's perhaps unsurprising that Watergate 17 offers an impressive and thoroughly entertaining sprint through warehouse-friendly house, bleep-laden tech-house, wonkly acid and forthright techno, with a couple of shuffling electro jams thrown in for good measure. Pleasingly, they've also secured a wealth of previously unreleased tracks, including contributions from Marco Resman and Clint Stweart, and their own unheard hook-ups with Slam and Vincenzo.