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It's a house-grime marriage on Bristol's Black Acrel label, from newfound dup Wallwork and Nico Lindsay, the latter of the two bringing the vocal street swagger to the beats. The title track "Facts" is a big, bad, heavy slab of percussion and bass powered by Lindsay's curbside lyricism, and it's one of those tunes that's bound to get shit tarted in the dance. This is followed by the more kinetic flow of "Fyah", where Lindsay's vocals are more minimal than its predecessor, and its rough and rugged instrumental for maximum DJ damage. Another banging addition to the Black Acrew crew - yes!
!K7 Records launches a new compilation series entitled Kollections: Club which inaugurates the project. The tracklist features artists of the partner labels under the !K7 umbrella such as Turbo, AUS Music, Mobilee, Mister Saturday Night and Hypercolour. Each edition explores a different musical theme but this first installment, naturally, is all about the club! Highlights here include Midland's recent hit "Blush", Maya Jane Coles' funky afterhours tech house jam "Not Listening" (from a few years ago), KiNK's roaring remix of Kerrier District's (Luke Vibert) "Techno Disco" and Lauer's recent feelgood number "Killian" showing off his knack for classic retro vibes like no other.
Former Hercules & Love Affair frontwoman Kim Ann Foxman is back with "It's You That Drives Me Wild" an infectious, pop-inflected, '90s style progressive house epic that ticks all the right boxes. Her vocals are great and as catchy as always. There's a handy extended mix for serious DJ use and a killer remix by none other than Maya Jane Coles, working her dreamy deep house magic fabulously as always. Other featured original tracks are "Give It All You Got", which carries on with said progressive house tendencies with rich melodies, soothing pads and a bouncy groove while "Magic Window" brings the power of the breaks beneath some sick acid, reminiscent of Frontside or Uberzone. It all starts to sound a bit reminiscent of Sasha & Digweed's Northern Exposure series, which is fine for our nostalgia!
As sure as night follows day, every year Kompakt releases an installment of the Total series. Now at its sixteenth volume, the compilation still manages to bring together the best bits from the Cologne label's catalogue. From the dreamy textures and spiky off rhythms of Kaytlin Aurelia Smith's take on The Field's "Reflecting Lights" to the woozy vocals and pitter pattering break beats on Weval's "I Donat Need It" to the stripped back but evocative house of Patrice Baumel's take on Blond:ish's "Endless Games" and the throbbing techno reshape of Coma's "Lora", the full range of the Kompakt emotional spectrum is audible here.
Munich's Benjamin Frohlich is back on his own beloved Permanent Vacation imprint which he founded back in 2006 with Tom Bioly. On the Rude Movements EP he gives us four servings of wonderfully deep nu disco. On the A side is the soaring and cosmic sci fi odyssey of "Holloway" with its glorious arpeggio. Also "Spitting Image" gets that classic early 80's Chicago proto house sound happening with a pure booming 808 workout that makes a wicked DJ tool. On the flip "Amos" is a sick and gnarly acid house grinder which is perfect to up the ante at 3 AM and get the kids dancing.
Argentinean tech house hero Adrian Hour is fasting taking the international scene by storm with appearances for the likes of Yoshitoshi, Knee Deep In Sound and now Toolroom with "Like This" which is a bangin' and funky warehouse jam with catchy horns and one warehouse sized shuffle to boot. Second offering "What They Hear" is like "La La Land" for 2016, with its drug fuelled monologue and dark tunnelling groove drawing you into the void for one wild night indeed!
Originally released back in 2012 "Buya" remains one of the most successful crossover house tracks. This is due to Black Coffee's inspired fusion of Toshi's haunting vocals with an emotive atmospheric house groove that shimmers and swaggers with majestic poise. Now Get Physical has commissioned remixes of this sultry gem. Loco Dice's 'Kliptown Love' radio edit adds a techy bassline and some quirky percussion while the German DJ's 'remix' is a tighter affair one that is laced with bubbly acid. Da Capo takes the track into mellow house mode while label owners M.A.N.D.Y close the release with a chant-heavy track whose bass references early 90s progressive house.
Maya Danon has been a familiar face on Tel Aviv's alternative electronic scene for the last decade. Even so, this EP for Robbie Headman's Relish label is still her first. There's much to admire throughout, starting with the restless analogue synths, thudding drums and alien electronics of title track "Mad Hatter". Similarly impressive is the fuzzy "Nina", where fizzing electronic stabs and woozy melody lines ride a killer bassline, while the sparser "Waiting For Simon" is undoubtedly the EP's most out-there and experimental moment. Autarkic and Marc Pional remix "Mad Hatter", with the latter's skewed, spaced-out analogue deep house interpretation particularly impressing.
Resoe aka Denis Uprock's Baum Records are back with Leftover on the Mandelbaum EP and providing some sublime and immersive dub techno textures here. Starting out with the rolling and glacial wall of sound that is "Lust", he then provides something more energetic on the dubby yet ethereal groove of "Static Infinite". He delves deeper into the void on the lovely "Haint Blue", which echoes and resonates away gloriously while the hypnotic closer "Segment" gives a nod to fellow homeboys Echocord on this functional dub techno groove.
Teched-out house excursions delivered to you by the Shmlss duo here, courtesy of the Nein label from Germany. This material is more than capable of surpassing DJ tool use, and "Adriatic Swing", for instance, is full of enough wonder and sonic mystique to render it totally accessible to the listener as well as the dancer. The same goes for "4am At The Kebap Shop", a leftfield slice of subtle acid with a Balearic lift at its core, followed by the more progressive tones of "Trippy Forest". Remixes from Bawrut and William Earl twist these tracks onto new heights, the latter of which stands out in particular thanks to its rugged beat muscle and placid atmospherics. Lovely.
Next up on Offenbach institution Connaisseur is Perugia, Italy's Francesco Chiocci with "Black Sunrise" which gets a stellar bunch of remixes this time around. Olderic's remix really nails the label's sound perfectly on this deep and slinky progressive house rendition. Next up is Venice's Lehar whose makeover retains the wonderful vocals from the original and crafts this into one of those epic dark journey tracks that are all the rage at the moment. Musumeci also appears here; his version also walks the darker, left hand path but has more adrenalin and bounce to it; but just wait for that Life & Death style melody to come rushing in. Finally Cologne's Peter Pardeike provides the most uplifting version here with his slinky tech-infused groove creating something that you can really drift too.
Viennese producer Joyce Muniz serves up some dark and sultry pop inflected tech house made for the Kater Blau and Ritter Butzke crowd in mind on "Cover Me Up" featuring Kat Vinter's amazing vocals. There's some great remixes too; Waifs & Strays rendition is pretty good, stripping it down into a more functional version for the dancefloor and turning it into a right dark journey track! Brazil's ANNA also steps up to the challenge; her version is a much fiercer and adrenalised form of peak time techno and will appeal to fans of the Drumcode/Truesoul sound or more recent sounds coming from Diynamic.
Woah, it's that time again; peak season on The White Isle and Sven Vath's institution releases another compilation of this year's finest compiled by masters of the art. This time around it's Detroit icon Carl Craig up first who delivers a mix typically soulful and emotive journey through futurist groove. Highlights on his contribution include Ricrado Villalobos' rendition of DJ Pierre's "What Is House Muzik" (but not all 32 minutes of it, rest assured!), the sheer power of Robert Hood aka Floorplan's "Push On" and Oxia's massive tune from several years ago "Domino" which still sounds great! Next up is Swiss queen of minimal Sonja Moonear who'll subject you to a glorious hour or so of hypnotic bliss, with a bit of help from Brett Johnson & Cpen's druggy/funky "You Got Me Going Crazy (Berlin Dub)", Scandinavian legend The Persuader with the brooding "Vattungarna" and the always impressive John Tejada with the high tech soul of "Fourier Transform".
Long-running German tech-house imprint 8Bit comes through with a new EP by Florence's Luca Donzelli and Martin Ferrer Vega aka Mar-T, the latter of which has been an important pillar of the Ibizan house scene since the early 00's. "Modelchord" is just a rough ol' bumpy ride down the house labyrinth, bursting through the place with a hefty kick drum, a dusty percussion swing and an appropriately stripped-down set of vocal chops. "Refuture" is all about the booming, expansive bass dominating the lower end of the tune, and "True Religion" use the power of chords to get its point across to the dancer. All in all, this is some pretty dope club material, and one would be unwise to let it slip through the net.
Following on from releases on 2000 and One's label and Truesoul, Italian pair Fideles debut on Poker Flat. "Detuned", with its dark riffs, soaring trance melodies and shuffling beats, is reminiscent of classic Get Physical releases from producers such as Booka Shade and M.A.N.D.Y. In contrast, "I'm Rude" sees the pair head down a classic techno route, with a jittery, textured organ fused with a prowling bass and relentless snares, while the title track comes across as a lithe, snappy take on New York house. Closing out the release is "Worthy", where the pair skillfully merge trance-fuelled abandon with tracky house.
Since the departure of Dominic Butler, Factory Floor's Gabriel Gurnsy and Nik Colk Void has consciously moved away from the Throbbing Gristle/Cabaret Voltaire inspired sound with which they made their name. On 25 25, their third full length, they continue this voyage. While there are occasional reminders of their industrial roots dotted throughout the album, the most obvious influences this time round are acid house and no-nonsense European techno. Their tracks have always been subtly shifting, full-throttle, groove-based affairs, of course, but this time round they seem more intent on sound-tracking breathless, 4am dancefloor moments, rather than showcasing their arty, experimental roots. That all of the eight tracks bang hard is a given.
Tronik Youth's Nein imprint never fails to impress and he's called up Bird Of Paradise (Multi Culti/Correspondant) again to deliver the goods on the Oathbreaker EP. The title track is a Balearic-tinged dark journey track that nails that sense of atmosphere like no other. "Burmatofts" utilises classic Chicago house 808 rhythms beneath a dark EBM arpeggio to great effect (Heretic's remix up later is wicked too) while "Witch Intellect" is reminiscent of an instrumental version of Q Lazzarus' classic "Goodbye Horses" now if that's not a good enough pitch then we don't know what is!
Theo Kottis continues to deliver his highly singular strain of deep house delight, except that this time he moves away from Moda Black to land on the excellent Last Night On Earth imprint. "If I Ever Feel Better" is inarguably in the 'deep' end of the house spectrum, but the artist's chords and progressive atmosphere land the tune onto more cinematic plains, something which can also be heard on the expansive voyage that is the tune "Her". "Sixth Degree" features Wayne Tennant on the vocals, the singer adding a deep and sensual wave of lyrics to to Kottis' moody yet radiant collections of sounds. House excursions for the DJ or the non-DJ.
Romanian minimal imprint Tzinah are back, this time with Italian producer Reclame who delivers the stunning Appunti Sonori LP. You can hear why they signed up this guy; his music has the undeniable influence of [a:rpi:ar], Dan Andrei and SIT all over it. Reductionist avant-garde grooves with distinct classical influences intertwined throughout. Highlights on the album include the dubby broken beat sound collage on "2", the rolling dancefloor ready hypnotism of "5" and the sombre afterhours deepness of "8" with its cut up and warped vocal monologue throughout only adding to the paranoid atmosphere.
Johnny Trika makes a return to Dubfire's label with this killer three-tracker. First up is the title track; it sees the Canadian producer lay down a powerful rolling bass that provides a backing for a building wall of bleeps and dark air-raid sirens. Already championed by Richie Hawtin - and presumably Dubfire himself - it's one of the label's biggest tracks in a long while. "Double Trouble" isn't as full on but also revolves around a surging bass and will also achieve roof-raising targets thanks to its wild filtered build. Finally there's "8Th Voice" where Trika unleashes noisy tweaks and tones over an insistent groove.
BIRD OF PARADISE - Oathbreaker (Nein)
VARIOUS - Kompakt/Total 16 (Kompakt Germany)
FIDELES - Ran Baran (Poker Flat Germany)
NIKO SCHWIND - Mr. Plastik (Stil Vor Talent Germany)
JUNIOR BOYS - Kiss Me All Night (City Slang)
KILL FRENZY - Silo (Dirtybird US)
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