Matt Edwards marked the 100th release in Rekids earlier this year with a release that featured "Feel the Same", and now he is putting out the debut Radio Slave album using the same title. It's a real mixed bag; "2nd Home" starts with gentle ambience and the dreamy breaks of "Forana", before the UK producer changes pace and drops the album version of the title track in all its vocal-heavy, driving glory. If its insistent riffs get too much, then there is the low-slung bass-heavy groove of "Trans" and the dubbed out abstractions of "Draw" to keep his audience guessing. Rekids may now be a house music institution, but as "Feel the Same" shows, it doesn't slide into predictability.
Tale Of Us have revolutionised their Afterlife label over the last few years. Once upon a time, their imprints were about their specific music, a minimalistic take on deep house and soul-ridden tech. This new EP, however, is a perfect example of their recent branching out, with the opening remix of "Monument" being carefully re-stylised by Magazine's head honcho, the ever-impressive Barnt (recently of Hinge Finger recruitment). European techno veteran Stephan Bodzin comes through with a comparatively deeper, dreamier wave of sleek techno, guided here by melancholic male vocals, whereas the moodier Adriatique hands in a much colder, more calculated techno reinterpretation. Solid.
Despite being just two years old, Nick Harris and Eats Everything's label has established itself as one of modern house music's most promising imprints. This collection, which features tracks from Edible's first ten releases, shows why. It begins with the jerky groove, prowling bass and vocal screeches of Lord Leopard's "Mark of Passion", while Lauren Lane's "Diary of a Madwoman" documents a darker, less party-focused take on Edible's rhythm-heavy, off-beat sound. Brett Johnson, whose work has undoubtedly inspired many of the artists on the label, makes an appearance with the driving, heads-down "Jack", while Rhythm Masters deliver a disco-heavy take on the sound with "Feel Your Love". All in all, this compilation is good enough to eat.
The crisp tech house machinations of Constant Sound continue apace with this excellent transmission from the ever rising Michael James. "The Story Unfolds" leads the way with a set of slick and slender rhythms locked into a quintessential minimal house swing, with plenty of subtle micro sampling bubbling away between the beats. "VSHL" has a chunkier disposition, using bolder percussive strokes that punch in unison with the wobbly synth lines. "Perseid" is a trippy affair loaded with zippy effects and dubby effects, and then "H15" rounds the EP out with a resolutely deep 4/4 meditation.
With a background crafting hazy ambient cuts and woozy, dark techno shufflers, it would be fair to say that Armen Miran's productions are rarely less than atmospheric. That's certainly the case here, as the American producer joins forces with fellow sonic explorer Hraach for a three-track missive on Earthly Delights. All three cuts are rich, melodious and evocative, with becalmed musical elements rising above Innervisions style tech-house grooves. There are, of course, subtle differences through; contrast, for example, the breathy female vocals samples and snaking synthesizer lines of "Traveller" and the extended breakdowns and sweeping chord sequences of standout opener "Nervous Layers".
After a long hiatus, the past few years have seen Reinhard Voigt enjoy a resurgence, with a string of releases on Kompakt. Listening to "Seven Lines", it sounds like the German producer has become more reflective - its stripped back drums, dissected percussion and occasional frequency shifts are the very epitome of understated. However, there remains a flip side to his character, and this is audible on the title track. Centred on a fat, warbling bass, Voigt unleashes a synth line so melancholic but beautiful that it sounds inspired by the godfathers of German electronics, Kraftwerk. The contrast between these two elements ensure that "Apokalypse" is memorable.
Originally released back in 1990, on their own, self-titled label, Holy Ghost Inc's second record has long been a collector's item. Faced with spiraling prices on the second hand market, Australian label Isle of Jura has done the sensible thing and reissued it. They deserve props for including the Sun & Moon Mix: with its ponderous bass and dubbed out effects, it has long been a crossover for house, ambient and even trance fans. At the other end of the spectrum, the Amphibious Carbine version is a classic 90s trance-y house groove. The label also deserves extra praise for including two previously unreleased dub mixes that alternate between ebbing and flowing effortlessly or tripping the light fantastic - on both occasions against a backdrop of subtle break beats.
Next up on Toronto's always reliable My Favorite Robot are Rodion from Rome who makes freaked out music that's ahead of its time, and emerging Berlin duo Local Suicide who run a Vice affiliated blog of the same name that reports on all things cool happening in their home town. They team up here for the deep and slinky tech house of "Abu Dhabi" no doubt inspired by everybody's favourite stopover. The remix up next by Los Mekanikos is more uptempo and features way more dancefloor dynamic to set the night alight. They join up with Alibey next on the slow burning and groovy nu-disco joint "True Love Floats" which gets an absolutely epic remix by the one and only Moscoman up next.
Italian-in-Shanghai Eugenio Altieri returns to the ever-juicy Slow Motion imprint with another body-blowing analogue jam. Bubbling with a rich acidic low-end, laced with otherworldly samples and enshrouded in just the right amount of cosmicity, it hits with a vibe that could easily be the offspring of Black Strobe and the Idjut Boys. For added dancefloor dizziness go for a mind-melting 10 min+ remix from Fabrizio Mammarella as he over-dubs the risers with a casual degree of chaos while ramping up the bass arpeggio with avid technoid momentum. Addictively immersive.
Danish DJ and producer Rune Reilly Kolsch started out around 2003 and first gained success with his track "Calabria". He went on to efforts in the groups Artificial Funk and Enur together (with his brother Johannes Torpe) and then creating some big tunes in the mid noughties minimal boom, under aliases like Ink & Needle and Tattoo. The first material as Kolsch surfaced around 2010 and he's been a staple of the Cologne based Kompakt family ever since. With 1989, he presents the final chapter in a trilogy that started with an exploration of early childhood memories and influences (on 1977) and continued on 1983: which soundtracked his childhood travels throughout Europe. With 1989, we have arrived at his early teens. Kolsch explains it was "a difficult time in my life, where I mostly just remember the greyness of it all." It isn't all a brooding affair though, for the most part. From the sombre symphonic acid of "Serij", the pop inflected tech-house of "In Bottles" (featuring Aurora) to the epically euphoric style of dancefloor drama you'd usually attribute to the man like on "Grau" or the anthemic lead single "Liath". It's quite a story he presents here.
Eleven years ago, at what seemed like the peak of his career during the mid-noughties minimal boom: we wouldn't have imagined French tech hero Lee Van Dowski re-surfacing on John Digweed's reputed Bedrock imprint. Van Dowski never stopped going though; take a look at his discography since and you'll see he's appeared on esteemed imprints such as Ilian Tape, Rekids and more recently Crosstown Rebels and its Rebellion diffusion label. Bedrock is a fitting home for the Nine Lives EP. The title track is a brooding and suspense filled serving of dancefloor drama in the vein of the Life & Death sound while "Ban This" sees him do trance with absolute precision: this features the most razor sharp and elevating arpeggio you'll hear this year! Finally, he ends on a deeper tip with "Miss One" which is similar in style to the last offering but is best described as early evening progressive house mood lighting.
Nthng has just released his debut album on Lobster Theremin, but that hasn't affected his productivity as he debuts on Delsin. Like his long player, Gaia shows that he is adept at covering a range of styles. "Oralage" is a lean, linear affair, led by ticking, steely percussion and tough drums. It's atypical for the Dutch label, but soon afterwards, the Amsterdam producer moves into more familiar dreamy ambience on the expansive "A Souls Search". The most impressive track is "Gaia" itself: revolving around a chugging groove, dense, metallic drums and cavernous sound effects, it feels like Nthng has effortlessly reinvented the Basic Channel dub techno blueprint.
For Midland, selecting and mixing the latest Fabric Live is a dream come true. By his own admission, the UK DJ was obsessed with the series, even going as far as designing his own posters to accompany the mixes back in the day. Now that he has been given the platform to finally mix an instalment himself, he doesn't disappoint; Fabric Live 94 sees him move skilfully from Even Tuell and Juju & Jordash's left of centre house - the pair are on fine form with the jazzed out "Monday Mellow" - into timeless 90s techno from Carl Craig (as Tres Demented); LFO and Santos Rodriguez, before heading into Convextion's signature deep sounds and Japanese producer Shinichi Atobe's wonderful abstractions. Many years in the making, Fabric Live 94 doesn't disappoint.
Following their debut last year on Bordello A Parigi, Younger Than Me aka Francesco Mingrino and Marcello Carozzi now set their sights on Relish. Unlike their first EP, "Warning Code" is more focused on drawing on wave, industrial and Chicago house influences. The title track centres on a throbbing groove, supported by kettle drums and rolling snares, while an indistinct vocal natters away in the background. As its title suggests, "Disco Rootz" is more groovy and sees the Italian pair drop a pulsing electronic disco workout led by a powerful bass and some clipped guitar riffs. Rounding off the release is a fine, acid-heavy version of "Code" by Fabrizio Mammarella.
London-based Brett Gould returns to Riva Starr's Snatch! label with two killer house cuts ready for the killing! "Believe" is a solid, bass-driven banger that pulsates its way through the groove with a ferocious swarm of bleeps that takes us back to the golden era of tech-house; that is, when people were actually making music instead of tiresome loops. Check Shyam P on the vocals, too. The artist teams up with Hilton Caswell for "No More Games", another deep and meandering burner or a track full of hypnotic zest, and what will surely make for a much welcomed rave anthem!
This is Mexican pair Zombies In Miami's second release on Correspondant, and it sees them get the balance just right between moody bass grooves and eerie melodies. The title track, with its powerful, prowling low end, rolling percussion and bleakly atmospheric synths underpinning robotic vocals, is exactly the kind of track that label owner Jennifer Cardini would play out. On "Last Gun", a more tripped out sound prevails, with a pulsating bass supporting a dubbed out guitar and synth combination. There is an alternate remix of the title track from Simple Symmetry, led by cowbells, a low-slung bass and mysterious guitar playing, but it's all about the original material on this dark, classy release.
The latest release on Alan Fitzpatrick's label comes from Darius Syrossian, a DJ who is inextricably linked to Manchester thanks to his work at Sankey's. Fittingly, "Made For.." starts off with a tight, rhythm-heavy groove, but then breaks into a wide-eyed, vocal-tinged break down. It's exactly the kind of interplay that works with the big room crowds that Syrossian plays to. The label owner himself is tasked with the rework, and rises admirably to the occasion. Upping the tempo and toughening up the kicks, the larger than life producer's take centres on snappy percussion, the occasional use of the vocal sample from the original and a clanging, brutal bass.
Nothing is Real is a new imprint, launched by Modular Project, in partnership with the long-established Rebirth label. Living up to the Italian pair's stage name, it sees them manage the feat of combining tranced out melodies with frazzled electronic beats. This is audible on the title track, where a growling bass line supports blissed out, melodic shapes that swirl seductively. On Nhar's take on the title track, the sound is more earthy, as the German producer grounds Modular Project's hypnotic leanings in a rolling, looped groove. Meanwhile, Tom Peters' take on "Andromeda" resounds to clicking, dubbed out drums and doubled up claps.
Still Hot is an upcoming German label that focuses on a small coterie of artists. As this split release shows, it has succeeded in its mission to keep a tight focus on its select pool of talent. Alex Flatner's "Without You" is a deep, tranced out house groove featuring euphoric vocals, while at the other end of the tech-house spectrum, Benny Grauer delivers a moody, chord-heavy roller on "Absolute Alert" and Martin Eyerer's "Accessor" revolves around urgent percussion, a grinding synth riff and a skipping rhythm. Veteran German producer Martin Landsky brings the tempo and mood back down on the clanging bass and tonal bleeps of "Alpha Funk", while Mihai Popoviciu & Markus Homm end the release with the stripped back "June Tune".
Jaydee, yes the same producer who produced Plastic Dreams, has been tempted to put out material on Reptile Dysfunction. Label owner Doorly deserves praise for this smart piece of A&R work, and the release features the old school, Beltram-sounding bass menace and growling acid of "Back Into Acid". On "Bring the Pressure", the house veteran goes deeper, with a balmy, melodic workout that ebbs and flows seductively to a warm bass. Doorly himself takes a turn at remixing, delivering a raggafied acapella of "Pressure" and reshaping "Acid" as a stepping, dubbed out groove, but really this release is all about Jaydee's re-appearance.