Progressive house don Sasha on Kompakt you say? You'd better believe it! The man known to his Mam as Christopher Coe serves up a deep and slinky tech house cut for the early evening or afterhours alike on "Out Of Time" featuring Minneapolis' Polica on vocals; providing the track with that bit more ethereal edge. There's a handy instrumental and radio edit, but lets not forget Amsterdam's Patrice Baumel on the remix which is geared for just as many, if not more life affirming moments on the dancefloor with his powerful and evocative rendition.
Talamanca System are the unlikely trio of Gerd Janson, Phillip Lauer of Tuff City Kids and International Feel boss Mark Barrott. Their sole release in late 2014 became one of the best selling on the Iabel's imprint. My Past Is Your Future brings them back together for a trio of magical productions that harness the power of their production skills and winks at a forthcoming album coming on the imprint this summer. Its' deep balearica cum ambient house on the wonderfully ethereal "My Past Is Your Future" and in proper ambient style there's a truly wonderful "Beatless Stars In Space" mix which is perfect for drifting. Finally the "Chukka Chukka Dance Mix" has Tuff City Kids written all over this this neon-lit retro house mix which is just totally off the hook in its own right!
DJ duo Audiojack return to their Gruuv label with a killer house release. The title track is a classic deep affair; based on a wiry but driving rhythm and rasping percussion, it features sensuous melodies and a ponderous, seductive female vocal. "On The Road" is closer in sound to classic 20/20 Vision, with the pair deploying a detuned riff and an organ sequence over a tough, driving rhythm. Reset Robot turns "Senses" into a deep techno track, with chiming chords and a linear groove underpinning the original version's vocal sample, while on the Dubspeeka version of the same track, a more understated, stripped back approach prevails.
Dedicated to forging links between Hamburg and Berlin artists, it now seems that URSL is casting its gaze further afield. This split release seeks to explore outer space, a task that it commences in relatively low-key form with the mid-tempo acidic pulses of Ninze & Okaxy's "Apollo". The Innellea follow with a more foreboding contribution, "Ivy", which boasts a faster pace and and a bleak, ebm undercurrent. The space exploration mood changes again on Soukie & Windish's "Would You Swallow Your Thoughts?" as the URSL act probes the kind of spaced out deep techno groove that one would expect from Future Beat Alliance. Breky's "O Zi De Mai" is in a similar vein, albeit with a sax solo in the middle, while Jan Mir's "Love Face" is a slow-motion electronic disco workout.
The original version of "Phases" first appeared on Ninja Tune sub-label Counter, and now Innervisions are putting out new interpretations of it. This is hardly surprising as Howling comprises singer Ry Cuming and Frank Wiedemann, one half of Ame and Innervisions co-owner. The only version that re-appears here is the dub interpretation, where a throbbing low end underscores Cumings' quasi-operatic outpourings. Elsewhere, Alex.Do turns "Phases" into an epic, soaring affair, guided by dramatic organs and a pulsing groove. The other versions, from Toto Chiavetta, explore a less obvious direction. On the "Colour Zero" version, layered drums and an organic rhythm underpin the unraveling vocal, while on the "Colour Two" take, flutes and flowing piano lines make for the most suitable accompaniment to Cumings' vocals.
Of Norway have enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with Conaisseur and Loneliest Man is the pair's third album for the label. As usual, it combines the Norwegian pair's quirky humour with their wide ranging sound palette. Gentle ambient sound tracks like "The Soothing" and "Don't Break The Silence" sit next to the tight electro of "Separation Failure" and the acid-soaked disco of "Bootes Void". On the chilling synths of the John Carpenter meets Goblin "The Life & Death Of Italian Mantrance", Of Norway's ability to replicate distinct styles as well as their wry humour is most obvious, while the dreamy house of "Favourite Mistake", which features Linnea Dale on vocals, shows that they are not afraid of mainstream sounds. It's an accomplished, assured release.
Billy Kenny may reside in Berlin, but as the latest release on his label demonstrates, his sound is decidedly British. This is apparent from the get-go with Kenny's collaboration with Walker & Royce, "The Lonely Robot"; fusing techno bleeps and robot vocals with a grinding electro-house groove. On "Rave Cave", his track with Kry Wolf, a love of punishing low-end is audible again, but this time it plays out over a stomping techno track. "The Pharaoh", co-penned with GotSome, sees Kenny retreat to a house styles, but its shrieks and predatory bass ensure that it'll maintain control of the dance floor. Kenny also pays dues to UK dance music's past with the furious snares and rave stabs of "Clap Clap", which he co-wrote with Low Steppa.
It would be fair to say that Release Sustain has put together a particularly hot line-up of production talent on this compilation style EP. Vakula kicks things off with "809", a thrillingly trippy chunk of heads-down house built around a relentless electronic riff and clattering drum machine percussion, before Italian producer Simoncino steals the show with "Laura B (Transimeno Dream Mix)", where haunting flute lines, Larry Heard chords and dusty vocal samples cluster around a heady, analogue-rich groove. On the flip, you'll find a deliciously positive and loved-up chunk of melodious deep house breeziness from veteran Vincent Floyd, and some fuzzy, jammed-out analogue deep house warmth from sometime Royal Oak and We Play House man Reggie Dokes.
It was only a matter of time before Me & Her's output would end up in the capable hands of Jamie Jones, so this new EP for the man's sublabel, Hottrax, feels like a natural achievement for the duo. But this is a special affair for various reasons; not only is the original cut to "Wild Rage" a breath of fresh air for both the imprint itself and the enlarged tech-house movement, but there's a rather special selection of remixers too. UK bass-house specialists Dense & Pika rework the original mix into a reverb-heavy techno nodder with a heavy selection of drums and dubby waves, followed by Detroit's DJ Bone and his tribalistic take on the tune...a hypnotic ride that perfectly encapsulates the man's skill and energy behind the decks. KILLAH
&Lez is an upcoming European producer, and if Mind Blow is anything to go on, we'll be hearing a lot more about him over the coming years. The release begins in dramatic fashion with "Colybri". A tough, hammering rhythm and frazzled acid provides the peak-time backdrop for a hypnotic, chant-like vocal that's not dissimilar to the vocals on vintage Technasia records. "Underware" sees &Lez change tact; while there are vocals present here as well, they have a stream of consciousness feel and rather oddly refer to Santa Claus. Unfolding over a rolling, dubby groove, the net effect is a tripped out, but clubby track. Mindshake owner Paco Osuna remixes "Colybri", and in the process reduces some of the original's ferocity, putting a pulsing bass and euphoria-inducing builds to the fore.
Ricardo Villalobos was never one for brevity, but even by his own standards, these contributions are epic. The release starts with the title track of Reboot aka Frank Heinrich's EP, where watery chords and underwater effects are underpinned by spiky, stripped back rhythms. It's an effective, direct dance floor track. It's no surprise then that on Villalobos' 'Hauswiedermischung' version, things take a turn for the weirder. Vocals weave in and out of a lopsided groove that goes on and on for one-third of an hour. The situation gets even odder on the 'Loosing My Miles' remix. There, drums swing loosely and seemingly out of time as the original version's vocals are sped and pitched up to chipmunks-on-acid levels. Certainly, you'll be questioning your sanity once you hear this.
First appearing on Dirtybird as part of a compilation late last year, UK producer Weiss now gets a full release on the label. From the outset, it's not hard to understand why Claude Von Stroke was attracted to Weiss' music; the title track is a rude, bouncy groove that has echoes of Chicago producers like Derrick Carter but also the cut-up, raw attitude of early Sinden and Jesse Rose. "Charlie Brown" uses a similar aesthetic, but is more focused on providing a heads-down appeal, as a system-leveling bass stab is combined with vocal snippets and a lo-fi Fisher Price bleep to create a rude and irreverent floor filler.
Sergio Mateo has long been one of Spain's leading underground DJs. Now he applies that expertise to production. The title track is a wonderfully evocative affair that features a dreamy vocal narrative unfolding over breathy synths. Meanwhile, percussion clicks and a bass rumbles away in the background. On "The Nothing Box", the approach is more conventional, with a stripped back rhythm complementing an electronic bass riff. Nightnoise regular Pina's remix of the title track sees it turned into an epic, atmospheric techno groove that doesn't lose sight of its original, haunting sensibilities. Meanwhile, on the Pino take of "The Nothing Box", the groove is straighter and more linear, as Hacker-esque bleak synths hover through the arrangement, but without any loss of the original version's powerful bass.
"Planetarium" is a taster for Oliver Koletzki's sixth artist album, The Arc of Tension, and it feels like he has gone back to his roots. Featuring the kind of big room, wobbly bass that has made the Berlin producer one of his home country's most popular names, it also references a more innocent time in German dance music. Intertwined with the relentless rhythm and powerful bass are the kind of spellbinding trance melodies that take influence from the now defunct Eye Q label and The Omen club during its prime. In short, "Planetarium" is a wonderfully euphoric serving of timeless trance-techno.
Dance Spirit, aka Christopher Mohn and Reagan Denius, are the latest act to feature on a Kindisch compilation. The Get Physical sub-label has chosen to showcase the US duo's work and in so doing puts a spotlight on their range. "Piercing the Veil" is a gorgeous, reflective deep techno workout, while "Moving Shapes", a collaboration with Robbie Akbal, sees them veer towards a more foreboding, broken beat sound. In contrast again is "Anouement (Intro)", a spiky minimal workout, while on their reshape of Nick Galemore's "Redesigned", they deliver a piano-led, ghostly deep house track (albeit with a stepping undercurrent). Clearly, remixing is something that they excel at, with the pair's take on Powel's "Kalophain" conjuring up echoes of Herbert's complex minimalism. Available as separate tracks and in a continuous mix, Kindisch Stories is a great introduction to one of modern house music's most intriguing acts.
Enchufada has been home to Buraka Som Sistema for the past decade, and its latest act to rise to prominence is Mina. Already tipped as one of Europe's emerging artists, this release was inspired by Mina's travels in Africa as well as her love of funky, dance hall and mamba. On "Boing", she draws on the talents of Nane, who lays down a flirtatious Spanish rap over rolling drums, a bouncy bass and air horns released in slow motion. The title track is in a similar vein, but this time the drums are more urgent, Bryte's vocals are insistent and breathy, and the lo-fi keyboard riffs make it even more catchy. "Ringtone Riddim", with its dramatic stabs and tinny beats, could be Enchufada's answer to US hip-hop's darker side, but overall, this is an infectious, celebratory release.
The latest from Get Weird comes in the shape of a three track collaboration between C.Vogt and Patrick Jeremic. Following the recent Purple Hills EP and its subsequent success; the duo's minds continue to work in loopy circles and endless grooves that take you off in to the wild blue. Here, 'Vila' captures that moment where the sun peaks over the horizon in some far off land. Reminiscent of the days when trance wasn't a dirty word. The track is the A side off their eponymous EP, which also features the trippy "Vice" and the self explanatory "Ekstasis".
The first release of AUTUM's secondhand series: vinyl reissues of iconic tracks from the past, brought back to life through contemporary remixes by the most influential artists of the current electronic music scene. This 1989 classic by DFX aka Italian legends Felix Imevbore and Claudio Donato features the vocals by Dr. FeelX. It has all the hallmarks of such a zeitgeist: hissing metallic reverberations of the Linn drum, squelchy and euphoric synth leads and sleazy adrenaline throughout. On this flip it is remixed by none other than Ricardo Villalobos; injecting the track with his trademark, reductionist mini-funk aesthetics and allowing you fully trip out over its nearly 20 minute duration.
Jay Newman is a producer from the UK who has already served up a few bombs on labels such as Kittball and Resonance. He is also one half of the infamous Boxer and Jay Newman duo and resident for Doorly & Friends as well as Ministry Of Sound. Now he makes his debut on Great Stuff with two fresh cuts. "Innovations" is the kind of rolling, main room, peak time tech house that you can imagine tearing up clubs on The White Isle this Summer: highly recommended for fans of the Gruuv/Saved/Material sound. Next track "Panama" is a funkier and straight head affair with its swing fuelled shuffle, womp synth lead and buzzy synths leading the way to clubland euphoria.
A taster for Schneider's artist album, due in October, Changes also marks out a new direction for the Mobilee boss. Gone are the stripped back, minimal rhythms, replaced on the title track by shimmering, building chords, hypnotic vocal samples and a groove that has more in common with mid-90s Chicago than mid-00s Berlin. Schneider's transformation continues on "Coast Ride". Here, the groove is looser and more rolling, but again it showcases a more musical approach than before, with warm melodies unfolding over the DJ-friendly groove. Changes is sure to provide the soundtrack for the label's summer parties - and sets the scene for Schneider's hotly anticipated new album.