Acclaimed DJ, producer and label boss Riva Starr is excited to announce the first release from his brand-new imprint, Brock Wild. The EP's title-named track kicks things off, serving up a free flowing, groove-laden cut that seamlessly blends elements of house, hip-hop and breakbeat. Encompassing an abundance of lo-fi Rasta-esque vocal samples, ferocious synth blasts and an excellent use of dub-style effects. Closing the EP is "Pull Up", featuring Amsterdam-based artist, Zanillya, one of the producers of Major Lazer and the Neptunes among others. The track begins with steady 4/4 groove and a deep sub bassline, gradually introducing several manipulated vocal snippets, a wealth of TR-909-laden percussion and other off-kilter effects throughout its six-minute duration.
Issued on his own Senso Sounds label, Rotlicht is a taster single for Oliver Huntemann's new album, Propaganda. It suggests that his fifth long player could be the German's best yet. Populated by shrieking sirens, morose, tone-shifting stabs and some of the most oppressive bass notes that electronic music can offer, the title track swaggers in a particularly menacing fashion. There is also a less intense interpretation from Raxon. Centring on a woozy, out there riff and a loose rhythm, it still contains a punch, albeit in a more tripped out manner. If you are looking for maximum impact though, stick with Huntemann's bruising original.
Canadian techno maestro Mathew Jonson burst onto the scene in a big way in the mid noughties. One of his breakout tunes was in the form of "Decompression" released on Richie Hawtin's esteemed m_nus imprint. Now the 2005 dancefloor bomb gets a series of modern revisions by an all star cast. Jonson's "Ambient Pressure remix" is even more brooding and atmospheric than the original. The cavernous sonar bleeps, gloomy pads and sharp rhythms of the original remain, except for its signature 'techstep' style sub-bass: which is replaced by a gnarly, glitched out arpeggio. Autonomic and all round UK drum and bass hero dBridge steps up next, with an 'edit' but it's actually the breakneck junglist steeper that the track has been begging to be transformed into for years: it's worth the wait! Elsewhere, fellow British Columbian and Wagon Repairman Konrad Black appears with more great music after a long hiatus: he too returning to his UK influenced roots (don't forget some of his first tunes were on the likes of Ed Rush & Optical's Virus Recordings), albeit taking his cues from the more modern post UK bass sounds on his remix of the timeless classic
Mobilee boss Anja Schneider moonlights for Hot Since 82's label. The title track sees Schneider at her most dance floor-focused, with jittery percussion and siren riffs leading a pacey groove. By contrast, "Free Fall" is a minimal track in the classic sense - centred on a pitch-bent vocal that insinuates itself gradually into the arrangement, it is accompanied by a niggling acid line at every step of the journey. Knee Deep have commissioned two fine remixes; William Djoko turns the title track into a noisy, workout, led by a jarring rhythm, while on the Alex Arnout version of "Free Fall", the spirit of Lil' Louis is channeled for a spine-tingling, swirling chord climax
Agent! is the alias for Andreas Schreck, who has previously released on Cocoon. While the German producer's style is loosely based on minimal house, Sultan also throws up a number of surprising twists and turns. The title track, a collaboration with Cologne's Pompe, uses insistent horn riffs and sweaty vocal snippets to create a lively, building groove. On "Alien Nation", Schreck flies solo, but retains an idiosyncratic edge. Hip-hop scratches, repetitive vocal snippets, crowd cheers and a buzzing bass ensure that the production is livelier than a betting office during Cheltenham. Andre Salata turns "Nation" into a deeper, more driving affair, but the quirky, original material impress most here.
From his recent Stories From Sa Talaia, Diynamic main man HOSH is busy releasing the tracks from it on separate EPs. They come on his own fryhide label, and here is part two with four more essential tracks. The first is a collaboration with fellow countryman Tim Englehardt and is a subtle track laden with emotive synth patterns. Then, "Ocean Data" is an eight-minute deep techno opus with watery pads, a spacious atmosphere and icy hi-hats driving things along as you get swept up in the groove. HOSH then links with Lehar and they come up with the brilliant "O Fratello Mio", a driving track with physical drums and warped synth sounds. It is filled with subtle effects that add dynamics to the moody groove and again features some magical melodic sequences. Last of all, "Fighting the Daemons" is a dark, late night track sprinkled with cow bells. It's for heads down dancing on intense floors and closes out a perfect second EP.
Poker Flat boss Steve Bug and one half of Martini Bros. DJ Cle go way back. As friends, DJs, co-producers and label mates: the pair have enjoyed a close bond for nearly 20 years. Their debut on Joris Voorn's label sees them stepping back into the studio On "Together" they serve up some kickin' new school acid. This is the kind of afterhours tech house that just reeks of mischief. The "Alternative mix" up next works the suspense of that reverb drenched 303 and the druggy vocals to maximum effect and sure to create a headrush or two before that powerful drop arrives. It's a more classic Chicago acid affair on "All Right" with the trademark shuffle bump and hiss of another beloved classic: well the good ol' Roland Tr-808 of course, complete with some sweet diva vocal samples to boot.
Tim Engelhardt gets together with a new name, Leonard Bywa, for this emotive release on Cityfox. Given that Engelhardt has put out material for labels like Poker Flat and Joris Voorn's Green, it's no surprise to hear that the prevailing sound on this EP is musical and atmospheric. The title track revolves around a rumbling minimal groove, led by atmospheric synths and warbling acid lines. It's a subtle affair that sees the pair weave in low frequency tones and heavy bass stabs. On "Ida", Engelhardt flies solo and ups the tempo - this time the groove is more driving but the use of tripped out acidic squiggles, intertwined with woozy chords, means that the German producer doesn't lose his musical focus.
Vessel has reached considerable momentum so far with releases from Scan Mode, DJ Honesty and DJ W!ld, not to mention remixes from Daze Maxim, Laura Jones and Burnski to name a few. On its fifth release, the Leeds based label calls in Irishman Gavin Herlihy (Leftroom / Apparel Music) under their newly launched Trackers moniker. "Hexagon" paves the way forward with shuffling percussion, arpeggiated synths and mesmerising effects, before "Memory Game" delivers crunchy snares and dubby echoes.
Unison Wax and Beste Modus founder Diego Krause then takes his hand to "Hexagon" creating a rhythmic rendition built on intricate drums and hypnotising atmospherics. Finally French duo S.M.A.L.L & PACO arrive under their Politics Of Dancing pseudonym to convert "Memory Game" into a bass fuelled dancefloor workout.
Laurent Ci (Ewax, Blind Vision, Moral Fiber) is from San Benedetto del Tronto, Italy and serves up a great new EP here. "Alliance" is a rolling peak time groove where a razor sharp arpeggiated bass rolls above tight rhythm patterns. "Adante" is a much deeper and minimal offering which still rolls along nicely like the previous track, but this one is more for the afterhours and will appeal to fans of fellow Italians Re.Face or UK's Jack Wickham. Finally, UK producer Rowlanz (LDN) serves up a great remix of "Cassa Continua" which is a darkly paranoid trip: bumpy and funky and definitely for the late night.
Loco Dice's label has always had an adventurous A&R policy - and this time is no different. Desolat has tapped an upcoming producer, Alvaro AM from Madrid, for a minimal house release with a twist. "Dominator Bell" features hip-hop scratches, vocal samples and the well-known rave stab from Dominator. On "Cook it Up", the Spanish artist does exactly what the brash vocal in the track claims - "I'm gonna cook it up" - with disco stabs, rolling snares and a cacophony of strange vocals in the background. "So Close" sees more unusual influences brought into minimal house, with spacey filters and snare rolls coming together over a gristly bass, while "Rhythm Maker" resounds to rolling drums, hiccuping vocals and squelchy bass tones.
With further announcements forthcoming with Life and Death later this summer, Drug Dilling offers up the first new material from The/Das on the label since 2013's Outfashioned. Now as a duo, Fabian Fenk and Philipp Koller's latest EP is the result of playful and pure studio sessions, during which they aimed to capture the often-overlooked club-friendly side of their project. Top Vibes' breakbeats come as a welcomed surprise, while Holy Rollers pairs wobbling synth pads with a vocal cameo by DJ Tennis. The standout title-track recalls hazy afterparty moments. Detroit stalwart DJ Bone delivers a focused reinterpretation on the flip, backing expertly-sampled organ takes and flanged vocal lines in an enticing bed of afro-cuban rhythms
Cin Cin are pleased to present their eighth instalment and it's what they themselves best coined as 'a down under double header!' First up are Melbourne's Statue who give us a pair of percussive workouts engineered for maximum hip wiggling. "Base" nailing that classic house sound from the synths to the drum machines while "Face" goes for a more funky balearic vibe. Then fellow Melburnians Ara Koufax take us for a swim with two prime time cuts of pseudo-psychedelic acid nouveau. The noisy "Natural States" features some rich and spangling arpeggios over tough rhythm patterns while "Test Dream" is more fierce but inadvertently nails that Kompakt dreamy and evocative style of house.
DJs Pareja have played in the most important clubs and festivals in Argentina and worldwide, taking their personal and eclectic style to dancefloors wherever they go. Core members of the Comeme label run by Matias Aguayo, the duo have been integral in defining the new school of Latin techno. "Alto" was released in late 2016 and reappears with a bunch of killer remixes now. London's Photonz goes back the sounds of west coast tribal tech house from the early noughties with his rework. Equally dark is the tunnelling and tripped out rendition by Argentinian label staple Ana Helder on "Mad Box". The real winners on here though are Salon des Amateurs resident Christian S' version of "Bwoo" which really nails that new wave of Cologne sound to a tee! Honey Soundsystem member Jackie House closes out this great EP with his stripped back acid attack on "Club De La Locura"
The latest release on Redlight's Lobster Boy label comes from Bristol's Sly One. While most acts from the city take influence from its smoky, dub-heavy musical roots, this trio appear to have cast their gaze back to 90s techno. The title track, with its heavy, gained drums, noisy analogue riffs and crashing percussion, sounds like a mixture of Neil Landstrumm's early work for Peacefrog and Relief-style jacking. There is a similar approach on "Air Punching"; on this occasion, shrill riffs underpin cheeky hardcore-style vocal samples that speed up and down over crashing break beats. It's a racuous, colorful release that reaffirms Sly One's status as purveyors of party techno.
Originally released on vinyl last year, this two-tracker on seminal label Cabinet now finds its way into the digital domain. Since its inception, the Berlin imprint has championed that grey area between house and techno - and this release is no exception. "Tocker" is based on rumbling drums, a shuffling rhythm and building chords. It's a solid, linear DJ tool designed to have across the board appeal. "Wildpark" is more uptempo; based on tight claps and tough kicks, these elements provide the basis for soaring, tripped out chords. Listening to these tracks, it's no surprise that Cabinet has remained at the forefront of tech-house for over twenty years.
Leftwing & Kody's debut on seminal UK label Solid Grooves is sure to cause a stir. The pair, who have worked for well-known labels like Truesoul and Relief, have delivered an EP that is influenced by the rude, raw sound of UK garage. The title track, already played by tens of thousands of fans online, is a rough roller, featuring tough drums and rude, time-stretched vocals. "Who Can Draw" goes even farther down that route; based on a bowel-shaking sub-bass, its snares roll and rhythm bounces as a backdrop to the 'who's the badman' vocal sample. It's sure to be a summer bomb.
Florido has previously released on Minus and now make his debut on another on Rukus, a label owned by another Hawtin affiliate, Matador. The title track is a flowing, good time affair, with chords surging and building over a rolling groove. On "Nagual", the London-based Italian DJ steers his sound in a darker direction - drums roll incessantly as a backdrop for murky, hazy synths. "Quantic" marks another change in approach. This time Florido veers into a pulsing hypnotic, acid-coated groove, the most trance-influenced track on the release. The pumping "Touch", an arrangement tailor-made for big room Ibiza clubs, rounds out this excellent EP.
Danny Howard has only put out a handful of EPs, but on Work That, he distills his energetic DJ sets into two killer cuts. The title track is an upbeat mixture of genres, with a driving techno rhythm supporting insistent vocal samples and rave stabs. Add in some cheeky electro house swagger and you've got an essential big room groove. "Holla" is cut from a similar cloth - while Howard slows down the tempo and makes the groove more swinging, the use of a lurching bass and dubbed out vocals reveals his garage/dubstep influences. This combination, aided along by rolling snares, proves to the irresistible.
Hailing from Baltimore, Life On Planets brings his latest offering via NYC's Wolf + Lamb Records. While the title track is not his first release for the Brooklyn based label, it surely stands out as an advanced extension of the young musician's distinctive, soulful sound. Now, he makes his long-awaited return and seeks to further harness his creative pursuit with lead single "The Maze" by encapsulating a matured musical landscape. The track quickly evolves into a tech house number filled with R&B-tinged sensibilities. A driving 4four to the floor rhythm supplies a platform for minimal percussion, lush chords and his longing narrative: all displaying an undeniable musical prowess that dives deep into the soul.