Bambounou again proves he is a reliable source for straight up dancefloor music devoid of pretence and full of quality. The producer's French house side shines through on this fourth release for 50Weapons, but he still holds on to the ghetto vibe he's shown on his ClekClekBoom releases, while keeping it deep. "Feel Like This" features a skipping house beat with a repetitive vocal and evolving background textures, while "Onto This" is a fuller alternative thanks to upfront chords and extra percussion.
Belgian in Berlin Kill Frenzy has been building up to the release of this long player with a succession of murderously good singles on some chief labels. However, it's Claude Von Stroke and his Dirtybird label that has the full length, recently teasing us with lead track "All Night Long". Not quite sure why he's referencing the eponymous country-gone pop star in the title, but we do have a further ten tracks to enjoy. Overall it's a real exercise in deep jackin' joints, with highlights being the space-age slam jam "No Panties", the totally filthy "XXX" and the buzzsaw house of "Bondi".
Having firmly established himself as a mainstay of the Hotflush family Locked Groove is back on the label once more with some of that ultra-modern 4/4 business. Interestingly "Enigma" points in some way back to the UK bass roots of Scuba's label with its grimey horn stabs, albeit in the context of a haunting house track. "Wandering In A Cage" is a more typically slick tech house jam with a dubby lilt to the synths and a brooding atmosphere for those who find the horns on "Enigma" too much. That said, it's the lead track that gets the remix treatment, first from Scuba who weaves a more wistful arrangement around those hooky stabs, before Locked Groove's own "Dub Mix" shuffles up the samples a touch for a different rhythmic flavour.
Melodic, love torn, inspiring, euphoric and heartfelt are all words to help explain the emotional drive of the music Matthew Dear makes as Audion. They are all certainly applicable to new Kompakt jam "Dem Howl" too, and this is thanks in part to the vocals of Troels Abrahamsen, lead singer of Danish indie rock group VETO, who turns a moody bassline dub into a meaningful house production not too dissimilar to classic Junior Boys material. And who else better to remix a track like this than Kompakt legend Michael Mayer who keeps Abrahamsen's voice up front, adding a slight choral and extra chiming percussion. Kompakt striking all the right notes here.
Steve Bug's Poker Flat Recordings imprint hit the ripe old age of 15 this year - an eternity in house music terms - and has been celebrating with the superb Four Jacks series of EPs. This third instalment delivers more thrills in the shape of two previously unheard remixes of label classics, and two brand new jams. Audiofly's remix of Argy's 2005 debut "Love Dose" gets the right balance between locked-in tech-house grooves and gnarled acid jack, while Joeski's dub of Martin Landsky's "Reject" is a throbbing jacker peppered with woozy synths and urgent vocal samples. Berlin-based Brit Mark Henning impresses with the foreboding chords and classic Chicago drums of "Mad Half Hour", before Dario D'Attis steals the show with the hard-wired acid funk of "96000".
Huntleys & Palmers commitment to showcasing new producers from around the World is admirable. Here, they give a debut "proper" to Family Affairs resident Mehmet Aslan, who previously impressed with a string of reworks on the imprint's Highlife Edits offshoot. Lead track "Mechanical Turk" - a rework of a little-known 2011 cut from Romanian artist Karpov Not Kasparov - is pretty impressive, with Aslan peppering an exotic, off-kilter house groove with spiralling Byzantine scales, heavy Arabic percussion and lashings of vintage synthesizers. "Hidden" flips the script, delivering a woozy, atmospheric, analogue-sounding house track, while "New Africanism" is a little more fragile and poignant than the title suggests, with bittersweet chords and mid-range synth melodies riding a delay-laden, extra-percussive groove.
Jennifer Cardini's label continues on its mission to provide a platform for the deeper, more reflective side of electronic music. Fellow French producer Demian's "Lucha Libre" starts off with the kind of frazzled, sonorous textures one would associate with shoegaze acts like My Bloody Valentine, but he fuses these elements with a tight and lean rhythm and subtle filtering that lends it the necessary dance floor clout. "Does Anybody Know Who They Are?" is slightly faster and its beats are heavier, but Demian still brings a lightness and deftness of touch to the arrangement through the use of billowing, tranced-out chords.
This Berlin-based label celebrates its twenty-fifth release with a collection of tracks from its regular artists. Rampa's "Mod" is a classic serving of minimal German house, its tinny drums and percussive shards riding a buzzing bass, while David Mayer's "Smoke" follows a similar trajectory. On this occasion however, the dense, drummy framework is populated by woozy chords, subtle ticks and twists and the kind of dazed stutter that used to characterize old Grant Dell records. &ME's "Birdland" is a jazzier affair, and the final track makes for a real surprise; Adam Port teams up with '90s UK hip hop act Stereo MCs for a deep house groove full of the rapper's sultry, smoky vocals.
It's nice to see Futureboogie Recordings expanding its repertoire. Here, it welcomes old pal Mark Evetts to the roster, with the Birmingham-born producer delivering a pleasingly intoxicating trio of tracks. "Activity" picks up where his recent Product of Industry LP left off, with waves of analogue style synthesizers, Balearic chords and sparse melodies riding a chugging, arpeggio-heavy groove. "Night Heart" recalls Evetts' work on the E-Versions series, adding moody synths to a groove created from samples of Wings' end-of-night dub disco classic "Goodnight Tonight". Finally, "Shapes" sits somewhere between deep house chug and Balearic disco charm, with Evetts' usual loops slowly building towards a spine-tingling climax.
It's been two years since the last release from Turkish tech-house/techno producer Eren Erdol, a man whose musical career began by drumming in various bands. The power of "Transparent Beauty" lies in its relative simplicity; while there are musical elements - a pretty three-note riff and some reverb-heavy vocal snippets - it's the groove, driven by a post-acid bassline and rolling drums, that makes the track. There's a little more rave flavour to the Teenage Mutants remix on the virtual flip, with choice hip-hop vocal samples, excitable yelps and faintly foreboding melodies riding a chunky electro-tech groove.
Quenum and Cesare (of Cesare vs Disorder fame) team up for this outing as Azimute. The title track is a rolling, clubby rhythm, supported by a dark bass and led by hypnotic vocal chants. There is a similar approach on "Where Is The Magic", but on this occasion, the pair veer closer to the leaden percussion and steppy grooves of Martyn. While both of these tracks show that the pair is adept at making dance floor bombs, "Always" shows that they can go further. Over a shimmering dub groove they introduce an operatic vocal that will resonate with even the most cynical soul.
He may only have a few releases to his name, but Hamid has already developed a mature sound. On the evidence of Dolce Vita for French minimal house label Minibar, he wants to focus on deep, textured house music. The title track rides a dub-influenced bass, cavernous and spacious, against which he adds swirling, dreamy textures that swirl and ebb throughout the arrangement. On "Consultation", he ventures even farther down the tripped out path. Powered by a gently rolling rhythm, the combination of jazzy licks and swirling soundscapes create the kind of hypnotic feeling that characterizes the work of producers like Substance.
Hailing from Hungary, new producer Monolix describes himself as a minimal producer, but as this collection of his tracks shows, he is so much more than that. "Crack" has little to do with squirrel-chirping beats and instead focuses on dark, acid-fuelled pulses, dubbed out drums and a stepping, bass-heavy rhythm. "Depence" has more affinity to the minimal approach with its stripped back groove, but it's only a temporary distraction. Soon afterwards, Monolix switches his attention to big room techno and the results are impressive: the aptly named "Dope" is a driving affair whose white noise trajectory is only stalled by a series of insane breakdowns, while the rolling "Reaction" growls with bass-heavy ferocity.
They say that you should never meet your idols, but what about when you collaborate with them? That's the challenge new school whizz Doorly poses on this, the first in a series of collaborative releases. Hooking up with Todd Terry to use the revered US producer's drums for "On A Mission (Doorly Rechunk)", he adds some crowd cheers, air raid sirens and muffled vocals to create a groove that sounds contemporary but still has echoes of the early '90s. "Gotta Get", a co-authored track with acid innovator DJ Pierre, is just as impressive. Thunder claps and surging chords provide the basis for the squelchy 303 sound the Chicago producer pioneered.
Apparently, China-born, UK-raised El Chino was given his distinctive moniker by none other than DJ Sneak, during a five-year spell living in Ibiza. It's not surprising that Sneak has been supportive of the producer's work, as all four tracks here swing with the bass-heavy bump associated with the legendary Chicagoan. "I Won't Fall" is a bumpin', boompty-era take on hip-house, while "New Jack Hustler" sounds like El Chino's take on '89-style Chicago jack - all undulating bass, sharp stabs and James Brown samples. As for "That Shit You Do" and "Dabbers Dub", both sound like long lost Derrick Carter productions from his years running Classic.
Originally released in 2000, Octave One's Black Water has now received the remaster treatment, taking the highly sought after first pressing of this bona fide Detroit techno anthem and giving it a boost for modern spinners to get busy with. "Black Water" and "Black Waters" are tough-edged bangers with that irrepressible Octave One energy, keeping the beats big and brutal and the melodies stabbing on the former, and stripping down to a raw drum track for the latter. However it's the "Untold" version that will get the crowds flipping out with its perfect string hook, rousing drums and Motor City romanticism.
Mark Knight's label delivers another big room release courtesy of My Digital Enemy. Featuring Lizzie Massey on vocals, "To Dust" is powered by a powerful buzz saw bassline that has more bite than a starving group of great white sharks. However, it's really Massey's vocals, combined with a series of hardcore-rave riff drops, that make this track stand out. Conscious of the singer's considerable talents, Rektchordz's remix puts an increased focus on this element. Using swooshing filters, show-stopping, dramatic lines like "I recognise your voice and it's glorious" are given the attention that they so richly deserve.
Danish producer Anders Trentemoller has gained international recognition over the past decade, but this compilation shines a light on his early releases for Steve Bug's Poker Flat and Audiomatique labels. In places, Trentemoller's sound is sketchy and in need of improvement - witness the proggy minimal grooves of "Gush" and "Rykketid" - but elsewhere, this compilation shows why he rose so fast. From the deep, textured techno of "The Forest", through the stepping rhythm and pre-orgasmic wails on "Moan (dub remix)" through to the subsonic bleeps, murderous bass and clanging rhythms of "Physical Fraction" and "Sunstroke", Early Worx shows that even in the early days, Trentemoller was a star in the making.
The Toolroom juggernaut shows no sign of slowing and this latest edition of unmixed tracks taken from the label's most recent Selector Series is helmed this time by Pirupa. In the past the Italian artist has remixed artists like Pete Tong, NiCe7 and Riva Starr and he's a staple of the European DJ circuit. A highlight of his mix, and subsequently this compilation, is the inclusion of Kevin Saunderson's "The Sound" given a tech house remake by Jay Lumen. Mark Knight, Pig & Dan, Doorly and Harry Romero, plus many more, all feature here, with Pirupa including several of his own productions for Toolroom like "Black Form", "Sweat" and his remix of Tong & Rogers' "Shake The Dice".