Having met at school, sharing a passion for music and skating, Florian Vietz and Andreas Hopfl met at high school, the Coeo duo's name supposedly comes from a health and safety warning adorning the side of a coffee cup, which read "Contents Hot". It's something shared in this simmering collection of raw house tracks, with "Do It" starting hard and staying hard, and "Will I" features beautifully crafted vocals and an almost percussive arpeggio lead which sits mellifluously on floating pads and raw piano chords. Remixes come courtesy of Steve Huerta and Vorres, who add their resective dubby and gospel-esque approaches to the source material.
Any act that derives its name from the Almighty could be setting themselves up for a fall, but not in this instance. The title track is a ponderous, dubby affair, its lumbering beats underpinning pensive melodies, and in a similarly contemplative vein is "Are We" (featuring Egle Sirvydyte). There, the rhythm is faster and pulsing, but the female vocal combined with the trancey synths makes for a spiritual techno groove. Finally, "Apnea" is more subtle, with pitter pattering beats and an infectious bassline insinuating itself into the arrangement. Ys offers conclusive proof that the devil does not have a monopoly on all the best tunes.
Livingroom Techno is an interesting concept. As the title suggests, it's Connaisseur Recordings' choice of "techno" records (think tech-house, deep minimal and tech-tinged deep house) that they think are particularly suitable for home listening - not just lounging on the sofa, mind, but also shuffling round your living room like a modern-day house lover. This fourth instalment in the series is as sumptuous, sinewy and sensual as previous instalments, variously delivering breezy sunrise goodness (Chymera), bubbly tech-jazz (Koett), melody rich groovery (Lake People's delicious "Stepwise") and Latin-tinged deep carnival fare (Ian O'Donovan).
Drawing on a vast range of influences, Bejewelled tries and largely succeeds in being all things to all men. The title track is a jacking affair that features the plink plonk of xylophone bells, while on a completely different tack, "Don't Look" is led by a stepping rhythm and a rude UK garage sub-bass. "I'm Tired" uses a similar approach, but on that occasion, the bassy licks are fused with an angelic vocal, ponderous techno chords and a series of rewinds. Rounding off this unusual release is "Resonant", a stripped back techno groove that features the sound of rattling percussion and killer subs.
It's encouraging to hear that And It Was Good, Klasse Recordings founder Luca Lozano's latest retro-futurist outing for Optimo Trax, was inspired by his time growing up in Sheffield, circa the turn of the '90s. You can certainly hear the influence of the Steel City - and early Warp Records material, in particular - in "Fantasy FM", which sounds like Sweet Exorcist style bleep techno fused with Tuff Little Unit's dreamy, bleep-era deep house gem "Join The Future". There's more clanking drum machines and attractive bleep melodies to be found on "Third Eye Open", while the intoxicating "Telekom" - all psychedelic electronic riffs and bubbling techno bottom-end - sounds like a long lost Xon cut. The superb, lunar-inspired title-track is pretty tasty, too.
Fabrice Lig on DJ Bone's Subject Detroit label backed with killer remixes from Aaron Carl and DJ Bone! Allegedly stored in the Subject archives for some time, "Hmong Dignity" is finally unleashed and the original will be familiar to anyone that's witnessed a DJ Bone set in recent years. Eminently raw, but filled with melody thanks to those chords and restless riffs, "Hmong Dignity" is a fine example of how Detroit influenced European techno. A remix from the late, great Aaron Carl features, lending the track a familiar dose of murkiness thanks to some stomach churning bass, whilst that instantly recognisable central melody is wisely retained. The accompanying remix from DJ Bone glides along on a tough techno meets electro vibe, superbly slicing up the melodic element to form an entirely different refrain.