For this latest Mr Jones EP by Nina Kraviz, she withdraws any sentiments of ghetto house heard on last year's debut album and turns in something house and techno inspired for Rekids. Her sultry, accented vocals still play a large role in her music however, best heard in the dark house of "Desire", the first track of this double EP. "Mr Jones" begins much the same was as "Desire", but when the beat does drop, it's not as tough, but twice as haunting - complementing the EPs cover art. Kraviz teams up with Luke Hess for the Detroit techno drum track that is "Remember", while "Black White" offers the some respite from the previous productions gloominess with something more festive and tropical. From here Kraviz provides some classic, minimal, and percussive deep house in "So Wrong", which leads perfectly into the club drumming of "Sheer". A superb follow up by Kraviz.
Ame bring out the bells and horns for the duo's latest two track EP which begins with the twists and turns of "Tatischeff", a Balearic-tinged bassline-driven progressive house production tipped with euphoric touches of Italo disco. "Den Ratta" on the other hand opts for something percussive, and clocking in at almost nine minutes, allows Ame the time to confuse, love and tease the dancefloor into climax the Innervisions way.
It's a sign of the ludicrously prolific nature of Mad Mats and Tooli's Local Talk imprint that this is their third compilation of label highlights this year. That the quality threshold remains impressively high is credit to their A&R skills. Encompassing revivalist US garage, twinkle-eyed deep house and enveloping groovery, Talking House Volume 3 is packed full of distinctive dancefloor highlights. Check, for example, the fearsome acid tweakery of Anaxander's breathless "My Aniseed Lollipop", the wide-eyed, piano-laden rush of Deep Space Orchestra's brilliant remix of The True Rebels' "Bitter Love", and the baggy, organ-heavy samba-house warmth of Tommy Rawson's "Don't Lose It". And that's just for starters. In a word: essential.
In something of an arch nod to the revivalist times we live in currently, "Set Me Free" finds Marc Romboy embracing some old-skool sensibilites and having a bit of fun with his latest missive. There are plenty of classic signifiers in there, from romantic string swells to laconic breaks that suggest a love of early Metalheadz material, but they're all stitched to an impeccable murky tech-house framework. "Ghetto What?" gets equally saucy with its samples as some naughty chord stabs and vocal whoops slip smoothly into the peppy house groove for maximum party response. Phil Weeks and A1 Bassline deliver remixes of the two original tracks that neatly chop up the material into more contemporary frameworks without doing the rave heritage tributes a disservice.
Taken from Moderat's recent II album, "Bad Kingdom" gets turned inside out by Marcel Dettmann and Rene Pawlowitz. It's no surprise that the Berghain resident's version is the most frenetic and abrasive; over a high-tempo groove, Dettmann delivers screeching riffs, jarring percussion and high-pitched vocal yelps. Just when the listener couldn't imagine it getting more intense, he drops the madness volume down with a sensuous woodwind break down. By contrast, Pawlowitz's version as Head High is far less viceral. Based on a dubby house groove, it leads into tranced out chords and a soulful vocal - but it isn't a completely smooth ride, and a humming bass ensures this version also has dance floor clout.
Due to his work on the Hot Natured album, Jamie Jones's solo releases have taken a back seat of late, and this four-track EP on his own Hot Creations imprint is, amazingly, just his second release of the year. Predictably, there's plenty to enjoy, from the rolling, intergalactic funk of "Planets, Spaceships" - think rave-era stabs and spacey electronics riding a groove built around an MK style US garage bassline - and wonky, tech-tinged throb of "Cookie Monster", to the glistening, Italo-influenced wobbliness of "Starp Trek" (our pick), and deep, stripped-back late night shuffle of "Stick". All four tracks sound like ready-made peaktime bombs.
The last time a newcomer graced Theo Parrish's Sound Signature, it resulted in widespread praise for the Flowers EP from London based producer, DJ and singer Andrew Ashong, somehow we get the feeling this latest release on the label will prove to be as memorable. The Scorpio Rising EP sees Parrish look much closer to home and grant the DC-born, Detroit-bred producer Jay Daniel his debut release and the four track EP more than lives up to his billing as one of Boiler Room's most exciting new discoveries at DEMF. Wild Oats obsessives will probably know Daniel from the Fundamentals residency shared with Kyle Hall and he's clearly spent some time honing his Detroit influenced craft, with cuts like "No Love Lost" expertly balanced between melody and rugged drum grit. "Brainz" is the kind of no-nonsense DJ tool you might have heard on a FXHE B Side circa 2008 whilst "I Have No Name" demonstrates Daniel is eminently capable of the sort of hope inducing Utopian house from the D that the much missed Aaron Carl was renowned for.
By now, we should all know what to expect from both the Balance series and Danny Howells, namely slick, atmospheric, spine-tingling electronic music of both an uptempo and downbeat bent. This bumper digital version of his latest double CD mix features some exceptionally good tracks, from the exotic, psychedelic techno of Will Saul and October's rework of Michael Mayer's "Mantasy" and the evocative Balearic deep house of Joakim's "Another Light", to the dreamy fluidity of Matthias Voigt's remix of Ian Pooley's "I Got You", and the crystalline electronics and wide-eyed beauty of Maricopa's ambient delight "Neon Shoals". It is, then, a sizzling hot collection of evocative electronic music for dancers and dreamers. Don't sleep.
Josh Thompson is back after some sterling efforts for Losing Suki and its parent label Hypercolour. It's the latter that the young producer is swinging for with the Distorted Symmetry EP, and it certainly sports all the hallmarks of a release that fits into the label's broad aesthetic. Both steeped in experimental textures and processes while being decidedly accessible, Thompson manages a canny blend of poppy vocal and deep tech house on "Distorted Symmetry" that works a treat. "The Shape Of It" takes on a more melancholic tone but is no less adventurous and immediate in its delivery, while "I Was Born To A Woman From Outer Space" lets a touch of light in on the melodies and toughens the rhythm section up for an assured floor stomper.
German artist Lawrence makes spellbound deep house - can any of his contemporaries make his music sound more reflective? Dial seem to think so and have drafted in a group of producers who operate at the melancholic end of techno and house to try it out. XDB comes close on his version of "Angels At Night", where crystalline synths and brittle rhythms vie for the listener's attention. Steve Tang's version of the same track centres on dubby beats, but here too pads shimmer and tonal blips unfold seductively. Finally, Carsten Jost and White Material's DJ Richard are let loose on "Marlen", with tight percussion and skittish drums providing a basis for jazzy keys. Try as they might, it's hard for them to match Lawrence's dreamy originals.
His identity might be a mystery, but there's no confusion over his tunes. Only he could create his brand of epic house music, and with support from the likes of Shadow Child, Ninetoes, Pleasurekraft, Noir, Bontan and Groove Armada, there's a whole wave of producers out there hungry for his work. Good job he's released volume two of his EP series. Taking a smart look at old school house his effect is somewhere between deep and tech, meshing sub-genres effortlessly with cool collection. Perfect for late night dancefloors, there might be a chill in the air but those grooves definitely betray a party atmosphere. If you love intelligent sounds, you'll love this.
The latest addition to Hypercolur's expanding empire is Trikk aka Bruno Deodato, whose Midnight Sequence is out on the Ltd sublabel. In keeping with Hypercolour's approach, Sequence adopts a contemporary approach to house music. The title track is framed by dubby drums and a lumbering bass, and the listener only gets the sense of how dense the arrangement is when it unexpectedly leads into a cavernous break down. "Back to Back" is based on a similar framework, but the killer subs and air raid sirens make it sound like the Ragga Twins doing house. Finally, "Labour 91" returns to a more conventional sound, with a rolling groove, drum rolls and infectious chord stabs prevailing.
More commonly celebrated as a DJ rather than a producer, this latest release on Toolroom is only the third EP Doorly has turned his hand to but it comes forth with the assurance of a producer that knows what the crowd is craving. Indeed you can hear that very crowd all over "I Want You To Dance", which rides on a restrained disco loop while a baying audience cheer and a spread of soul brothers and sisters call out the message. It's a measured approach that speaks to heads-down grooving rather than peak-time showboating, while "Can't Stop The Feeling" with Rae and Davos heads for a more immediate kind of rush. The piano chords are crafted with Ibiza in mind while the punchy bassline and rolling beat keep things decidedly modern for appeal across a wide range of dancefloors.
The Graze collaboration between New Kanada label owner Adam Marshall and fellow Canadian producer Christian Andersen have been in rare form this year, delivering three completed works, and now a fourth before the year's end. The Edges album is one of the better LPs we've heard in 2013 that combines elements of deep techno and lo-fi house - with the slightest flecks of footwork and dubstep-influenced elements. For a lighter combination of all three, "Skip/Crush", the album's opener, is a perfect example of this, while "Cold Drop" is more bass inclined with warbles of grimey low end. For something decidedly techno, "Stack Away" delivers the goods, and for something leaning towards house music there's the euphoric "Airror" and urban sounding "Ripley".
Named after a famed Russian composer, Borodin is probably not planning to release a spring concerto anytime soon, but they are adept at combining unusual elements. The title track is a good example of this approach, with a stripped back rhythm and squelchy bass underpinning frequency-shifting tones and breezy piano lines. It's a similar situation on "Lake With Boots", where dubbed out effects are set to a pulsing rhythm, and "Save the Rhodes", a combination of dense drums and bleary-eyed, Rhodes playing. Maybe Borodin's name-sake has had an influence, albeit in an indirect manner, and "The Doll" teems with mysterious, melodic keys.