Paul Woolford has finally begun releasing music under his own name again, following years building up the hardcore and jungle flavoured Special Request project. "Heaven & Earth" follows a similar approach to his recent "Mother & Child" 12" on Hotflush, combining slick house rhythms with luscious, occasionally soaring orchestration. This time round, the bottom-end tech-house grooves are subtly darker and more intoxicating, while the string stabs and sweeps slowly build towards a spine-tingling breakdown, and notably wistful conclusion. The "symphonic house" flavour is stripped back a little on the epic flipside extension ("Part 2"), which offers three minutes of beat-less orchestration before introducing Woolford's elastic groove.
It's been a decade in the business for this Hamburg institution that's spawned many a summer anthem or outright hit during its existence. To celebrate the occasion, Diynamic have launched a killer compilation featuring all the usual suspects that have played a crucial role in the development of the label thus far and they're here to assure you they're more keen than ever. Highlights on 10 Years Diynamic are not limited to: Hanseatic homeboys Kollektiv Turmstrasse with their rather mid '90s electronica sounding "Jupiter Sunrise", label mainstay Stimming with the bittersweet symphony of "Hope & Ramati", label head honcho HOSH with some adrenalised peak time tech house on "The Drumpet Show" and Norwegians Ost & Kjex with their new track "Heatwave".
Renate Schallplatten returns with more surefire grooves that perfectly represent their legendary Berlin club. Russian expat in the German capital, Dimitri Veimar, presents the Lazy Trance EP. The title gives away much of its aesthetic. Starting out with the tripped out dark journey track "Rundio" which you could completely imagine yourself losing it to under a strobe light with its droning arpeggiations. There's more quality on the fittingly titled "Lauer Strobe Age remix" where the man from Frankfurt impresses as always. Elsewhere, the banging acid techno of "Lips" is reminiscent of a certain Josh Wink classic (this one's well crazy!) and digital exclusive "MM" is a sexy noir thriller with gloomy vintage machines getting that Comeme/Correspondant vibe happening nicely.
Well isn't this a marvellous meeting: progressive house legend turned techno's dark lord Dubfire collaborating the pioneer of dark journey tracks (long before the Life & Death crew): the man from Bremen and Senso boss Oliver Huntemann. The dynamic duo team up for "Humano" where some ping pong delayed tom drums drenched in reverb create tunnelling trance induction atop of a slinky tech house groove; druggy dancefloor drama indeed! There's also some killer remixes on offer. Brazil's Victor Ruiz serves up his absolutely bangning peak time rendition while American producer Shaded's "Summer Skin Remix" certainly honours the trademark sound of both producers on this seething and slow burning dancefloor journey guaranteed to cause a headrush or two!
They say if it 'ain't broke don't fix it, but with a rave classic such as Moby's 1990 hit "Go" still remaining as relevant as ever over 20 years on, any modern revision of the legendary track is welcome listening. In this case, it's German tech house hero and Desolat boss Loco Dice who delivers a typically storming and energetic rendition that's made to absolutely rock peak time festival crowds.The "Loco Dice Mo' Strings remix" is the version staying most true to the original though, complete with those epic Angelo Badalamenti strings from Twin Peaks backed by Dice's bleepy and drugged out synth stabs and adrenalised beats.
Kompakt's Michael Mayer and Magazine's Barnt (a couple of Cologne's finest) team up for some darkly sophisticated and contemplative house sounds on "Und Da Stehen Fremde Menschen", a woozy and sombre sonic excursion with layers of dark strings that hypnotise you into submission atop of epic, near tribal style drum beats. Amsterdam's Patrice Baumel delivers a very futuristic remix; this is how you make a dark journey track right here! While in a surprise twist, Bristol bass-techno stalwart Kowton gets on board to deliver a pretty an impressive rendition that shows more restraint than what we're used to by him; quite a highlight actually.
Sebastian Hoyos is a Colombian DJ and producer from Medellin who has been releasing on Comeme Records since 2012 when he first presented the Chupa EP. "Los Muchachos" is his new single and follows a darkly balearic path like much of his label mates at present with its '80s Italo horror film synths, grinding rock bass and harsh drum machine strikes all working to perfection. Second offering "La Grua" features a bit of help from DJH and gets all slo-mo and low-slung on you with its woozy deep-latin groove. There's also a killer remix of it by Salon des Amateurs resident Detlef Weinrich aka Tolouse Low Trax. His "Interview remix" injects some added oomph into the track in typically stylish fashion.
Bristol's master practitioner of boompty electro house returns for west coast institution Dirtybird with his rendition of DJ Godfather's 1999 classic "Booty Perculate" feat DJ Funk, but in the process sounds more like Cajmere's seminal "Percolator" with its stomping Chicago hard house groove and wobbly melody. Second offering "House Girl" sounds more like the Clarke we know with its massive bouncy baseline, tight rhythm and buzzing synth leads that fly all over the shop for perfect trippiness beneath druggy pitch shifted vocals. That's what we're talking about right here!
Superlounge twosome Alex Bach and Oliver Fritsche have been busy. This latest two-tracker follows hot on the heels of the fine Unfold EP, and once again sees them at the top of their game. "Rotwelch" is an undeniably attractive proposition, with chunky kick-drums and hustling shaker percussion providing plenty of momentum for the sweeping strings, tension-filled builds and chiming lead lines. "Leichtigkeit Des Seins" offers an even deeper and dreamier concoction, where gentle marimba lines and sustained chords stretch out over a sumptuously atmospheric house groove. Both tracks could be described as "grown up", but genuinely back up their melodic intent with some serious percussive punch.
Moderat's third album, simply tagged as III for the purpose of continuity with their previous two albums on the Monkeytown imprint, took us by the scruff or necks when it was released earlier this year, and we knew it was only a matter of time before see some remixes to spring up off the back of it. However, this particular number isn't quite a remix, but an edit of a remix. Yes, very much in line with the label's improvisational vibe. Tech house specialist Solomun remoulds Siriusmo's remix of the track, now a sleek and DJ-ready house anthem with a progressive tone at its core, and drenched in poppy vocals to make it an instant hit beyond the ones in control of the decks.
Berlin tech house hero Diego Krause returns for the Abyss EP on Constant Sound. The title track is a fitting title for this tunnelling and trance inducing dub house cut, which rolls along nicely. Things lighten up considerably on "Realms", this is more of a soulful and sunny tech house cut that you could have imagined Krause rinsing at open air parties this past Summer in the German capital. Finally 'Archetype" gets all tracky and subterranean again with the dubby aesthetic making a welcome return on this surefire DJ tool for the late night.
Sous Sol are Swiss duo Lukas Meyer and Teo Finonem from Luzern who present their next release on Copenhagen's What Happens imprint following up great releases by Tim Andresen and Anna Cavazos. Starting out with the slinky and sexy progressive house journey "Frisky" where a sultry voice gaps "I'm feelin' frisky tonight". ooh la la! Second offering is Pornbug's rendition of this ultra-sultry track, giving it a good injection of adrenaline and a bit more swing to help DJs transition into the peak time slot with style.
According to their social media profiles, newcomers Gheist aim to "connect the sound and vibe of an electronica band and the clarity of an energetic DJ set". That's certainly what's delivered on this debut two-tracker for Exploited. "First Day", for example, combines the rolling, melody-driven positivity of classic electronica - with some subtle indie-influenced guitars buried in the mix - with the swing, bump and energy of dancefloor-focused deep house. Virtual flipside "Viertanz" sees them move further towards tech-house territory, toning down the IDM influences and arty aesthetics in favour of a more straight up tech-house roller. As debuts go, it's certainly promising.
Get Physical stalwarts, Berlin's M.A.N.D.Y. are back with a new single "Friends Kiss" a melodic dark journey track that's just made for epic dancefloor transcendence. Slinky, hi-tech and emotive: this one ticks all the right boxes and expect to hear this on Berlin's dancefloors a lot during the latter half of the year. Second offering "Jupiter" carries on with the same vibe but definitely more uptempo and intense with that ghoulish, humming baseline delivering most of the power beneath gloomy strings and sharp beats; this one is sick!
Ghostly International sub label Spectral Sound returns with the artist formerly known as Grahm Zilla and one time member of Thunderheist who is now known as Nautiluss since his breakthrough release on Hemlock a few years ago. The Reflections EP is a fine selection of moods and grooves, we think. For example, on "Odyssey" he shows that he's come a long way since his UK bass influenced days; this dreamy and dusty deep house jam is smooth and will get your head bobbing away in not time. "Kodama" is a driving and energetic hi-tech soul journey that wears its Detroit influence firmly on its sleeve, while "Lonely Planet" gets back on the deep house tip with some loopy Rhodes chords and rolling broken beats hypnotising you into submission.
Bremen, Germany's Die Vogelperspektive are back with some more tough and moody grooves on the Wall Smash EP. Wasting no time getting down to business on the fierce people mover that is the title track, featuring liberal white noise washes, a humming sub bass and gutsy rhythm: this ticks all the right boxes. "Marshmallow" is much dubbier and smooth with darkly emotive pads, sultry vocal loops and all round eerie atmosphere; nice one! Finally "White Cherry" is a slinky tech house journey that you can imagine trancing out to under a strobe light at Ritter Butzke next weekend at some ungodly hour of the morning.
Milan's Luca Dobbie is back with "The Pale King" a dark and moody tech house cut that's made for serious dance floor drama with its sonar pulse, haunting pads and tunnelling grove. It gets a couple of wicked remixes too. Firstly by Third Son who gives it a spacey and adrenalised acid makeover, with some 303 squelch and frantic 808 drums giving it a serious edge. Ashwin Khosa's remix, on the other hand, has something like Berghain in mind on this banging and brutalist peak time weapon. Second original track "Ex Tenebris Vita" is a nice serving of funky and slinky tech house that's perfect to build the vibe for the pre-peak time slot and the remix of it next by Ron S gets a grinding hardware house rendition which works well too.
You can always rely on London's Blank Mind imprint to deliver the freshest, most gloriously noxious bass twists around. After a short hiatus, the label returns with four slithering licks of beats and low frequencies from South Africa's AudioBoyz, Durban's collaborative project consisting of Fatonic, Motion, Mudpunk and Njeh. Now, this particular strain of tribal dance music has been coined 'Gqom', and it's the perfect balance between urban and rural, modern and ancient. "Danger" and "Gibbon5", although different in their choices of sounds and aesthetic, are both made up of the same sort of ritualistic outlook that has been missing from the bass world for a while. "Insomnia" slices its sharp percussion stabs over a thin layer of bass and an even more stripped-down sonic landscape, leaving "The Legendary" to deliver the most musical content on this single, a dark and alluring wormhole of sonics.
Berlin tech house hero Boris Werner delivers the goods once again on the bouncy, slinky and downright sexy "Daymare Dreamer" featuring a bit of help by Gretz & Rival Of Mars on the vocal front. Next up "Dance Of The Hump Back Whale" gets a really trance inducing tribal groove happening with some totally epic conga drums and chanting bringing some real heat. He then teams up with Cinema Royale on the deep down and dirty "King Hassan" which is perfect to set the mood in the early evening just before launching into the adrenalised stuff. Then the great closer "Frustration", reminiscent of early Detroit jams by Derrick May or K. Alexi.
Solomun's Diynamic label first rose to prominence a decade ago with a distinctive trance-influenced sound. While its owner has subsequently become part of the international DJ class, it feels like the latest Diynamic record sees the label go back to its roots. Undercatt, who have recently released on Sasha's Last Night on Earth label, mine this spacey house sound on the title track and "Crono", albeit with their own acid-heavy, slightly detuned nuances thrown in. However, they leave these characteristics on the studio floor for the most impressive track, "Juno", which centres on epic synth builds and powerful pulses.