Playful and cheeky minimal house that reminds you of Berlin clubs like Kater Blau or Kosmonaut on offer here from a label that's actually out of Madrid; Play Pal Music. And these guys, daWad & Mokic are actually from Marseille in France, funnily enough. The original mix of "Metrosexual" sounds almost as ten years ago as its namesake; and that's not all bad! Reminds us of mid noughties Marc Houle actually. The original mix of "Eat Me" is dark, electro-house tinged minimal, reminiscent of Konrad Black's earlier sound. Honourable mentions on the remix front go out to the Gemini Brothers for their driving remix of "Eat Me" and Squarewave for his cosmic nu-disco revision of "MetroSexual".
Dirtybird and Futureboogie signing Eats Everything lands on Method White alongside the great Tiga and Audion, for a collaborative one-tracker. "Dancing (Again!)" is a Saturday evening house bombshell with a poppy, above board edge, and its bouncy shells of bass jump to and fro between the "I wanna go dancing" vocals - instantly recognizable and surely a winner. There's also a radio edit for listening playback in there...bang!
Following a couple of impressive outings on Cosmo Vitelli's I'm A Cliche imprint, well-regarded Israeli producer Moscoman makes his ESP Institute debut. The Tel Aviv native is in fine form, too, delivering a pair of tracks that blend trippy, psychedelic electronics with clear cosmic disco and no wave influences. Opener "Akachi" is arguably the bigger of the two, with swirling effects, tribal chants and bongo-laden percussion peppering a long-slung disco-not-disco groove. "Nobody Else" has a more trippy and trancey feel, with looped, slowly building guitar and synthesizer parts - all drenched in special effects - rising above a hypnotic, drum machine-led groove.
Veteran house and techno DJ Justin Robertson is known for having promoted all kinds of music under different guises over the years. One of these guises is the Deadstock 33s and here he presents their second album, Everything Is Turbulence. Released in conjunction with an art exhibition of the same name, the album boasts 12 new tracks that deal with his favourite topics: 'death and monsters'. Highlights include the arpeggiated menace of "Bajo La Luna", the jackin' 303-fest "I Am Automatic" (a collaboration with Daniel Avery no less) and the bleepy, dubbed-out electroclash of "Spirit Of The Age".
Just Jay is a young Californian upstart at the tender age of 22. He apparently made these tracks in his college dorm! And like the single's namesake has actually just graduated, funnily enough! "Hit It" features droning chants and reverberated toms creating a mysterious atmosphere before the drop comes and its totally the Dirtybird sound, complete with a bumping, funky ass groove. Also on offer is "Raindance" on which he proclaims "I'm gonna make it rain" and doesn't he just! The sound of a a tropical shower gives way to the pelting down of pounding tribal drums and a mesmerising melody with yes; another big drop!
Toby Tobias' Rising EP, released in May 2015, signaled the forthcoming release of his belated second album, Rising Son. With that set now imminent, Delusions of Grandeur has decided to treat listeners to two more album highlights. Both "The Wonder" and "Only Getting Better" are undeniably spacey, with the emotive, melancholic vocals of Atwell adding extra intensity to the London producer's analogue-rich, Detroit and Chicago influenced, retro-futurist grooves. Of the two, it's arguably the bolder "The Wonder" - all squidgy synth bass, acid flashes and swirling Motor City chords - that's the pick. Franc Spangler provides a tasty dancefloor re-work of "Only Getting Better", focusing the action on a killer, low-slung acid house groove, select vocal snippets and rolling deep house chords.
n the six years since he made his debut on Cecille Numbers, Huxley has racked up an impressive number of releases, showcasing his bass-heavy blends of deep house, garage and tech-house on the likes of Hypercolour and Tsuba. It's arguably Aus Music that he's most associated with these days, though, and here he returns to Will Saul's label with another pleasingly varied four-tracker. Opener "Still Love" builds steadily from a dreamy start, eventually turning into a stomping blend of bumpin' drums, heady vocal samples and deft melodies, while "Weapon" is a typically booming UK garage/techno hybrid. Flip for the early '90s revivalism of "Vok (Decent Mix)" - think bleep and rave hardcore influences - and "SinkHOLE", another bass-heavy roller.
Munich imprint Audaz is back with an EP by the mysterious Laura Ingalls, actually a French duo, who appear to be residing in Shanghai. More details to follow! First track "Charade" is a rolling minimal/tech house number on the percussive tip and ideal for the warm up set. Second track "Sinji Linji" is completely different. Teaming up with Lindberg, it's more of a nu-disco/deep house crossover number with a funky guitar lick working alongside a pretty tight groove. Some real power in the bassline on this one, nice!
Nic Fanciulli's Saved imprint is absolutely synonymous with sweaty peak-time super clubs on the island and what better way to celebrate this season than a collection of killer tracks courtesy of their artist roster. It's all sure-fire and anthemic hands in the air business, that'll have just as many ladies as there are blokes on the dancefloor. Some notable highlights being Noir's booming "Bodyback", the pre-peak time percussive funk of Sergio Fernandez' "Kuery" or Chico Secci's "Sooper Seven" and the absolute peak time banger that is "Sup" by Carl Bee that will have no doubt destroyed many a soundsystem this summer. Usual suspects such as James Organ, Okain and Julien Sandre appear also, making this release a worthy addition to any serious tech house DJs arsenal.
Wade & Odyssey's London based label is on its twelfth release and serves up another hot one courtesy of Berlin based Belgian Kill Frenzy. "Answering Machine" is bouncy, warbling, bass driven minimal that's perfect for those afterhour sets. Reminiscent of old Marc Houle. "Freak" on the other hand is pounding peak time industrial techno, dark and steely in a similar style to Rotterdam's Mord imprint. Those nefarious pitch shifted vocals and doom laden synths over the top certainly adding to its overbearing drama! Following up previous releases on Dirtybird and Pets Recordings, this is promising stuff.
Bumping and shuffling tech house for the peak time by London's Leftwing & Cody. Known for their work on such labels as Hot Creations and Viva, they are stepping out on Hot Since '82's Knee Deep In Sound. Tracks "Carnival" and "Control" are rolling, druggy, peak time numbers that just reek of a main room dancefloor on the island and demand your attention, just as much as anything on Gruuv, put it that way! But it's third track "Crazy" which is the real highlight here and just like the name, it's all that. A latin infused percussive workout that you could imagine Steve Lawler or Paco Osuna hammering out. Interested yet?
This Norwegian duo has put out Eps on a number of respected underground labels like Conaisseur and Afro Art, but now they take a step into the dance music mainstream with the release of Running Lights on Skint. "Running Lights 2" is a wonderfully balmy deep house affair, its melodic hooks unfolding over a hypnotic, prowling bass. On "Running Lights IV", the pair opt for a tougher approach. While a similar, heads-down groove is at the heart of the arrangement, a squelchy, tripped out acid line gradually unravels, turning Of Norway's dreamy vision of deep house into a dystopian nightmare.
Listening to Colors, it seems likely that the passage of time has seen Ambivalent mellow out as a producer or the prospect of releasing on Sasha's label has prompted him to delve deep into the melodic side of his psyche. In stark contrast to mid to late-00s minimal gems like "R U OK?" "Ceruleo" is all shiny melodies and full-bodied, rolling rhythms. The same approach is audible on "Zafiro", where trance synths unfold over a more swinging rhythm, while "Azurito" sees Ambivalent return to a more recognisable techno sound, albeit with the path illuminated by chiming, fluorescent bells.
Already three releases strong on vinyl, Jonathan Burnip's One Day Wonder label enters the digital domain with an old-school flavoured release from its owner. Working under his usual Capracara guise, Burnip revisits the sound of Inner City and rave techno for the title track. Happy synth stabs collide with a bouncy groove and euphoric piano keys and some breathy vocal stabs for a good time techno track. "Blue Balloon" is more contemporary sounding and sees Burnip cleverly combining a stepping rhythm with tough kicks, but the wired vocal sample are reminiscent of Green Velvet at his laughing gas-deranged heights.
With a title like that, it is no surprise that Impressions has an epic sound and even grander aspirations. The work of Italian DJ Luca Ballerini, it is an ode to techno figure heads like Carl Craig and Cocoon boss Sven Vath (who is no stranger himself to grandiose techno concepts - witness Accident In Paradise). On "Impressions of a Dawn (Alba in 4/4)", Ballerini lives up to his ambitions; over rattling drums and a snaking bass, haunting voices and soaring woodwind are audible. For "Orizzonte", the listener is taken down a darker route that is more in line with Cocoon's usual sound - with detuned trance riffs and tough bass pulses prevailing - but Ballerini still comes close to realising his goals.
Chicago's DJ Jes rose to prominence during the mid to late-90s with releases on labels like Contaminated and Immigrant. After a break of what appears to be almost a decade, he is back releasing music. Jes' re-appearance is timely and this two-tracker for Karlovak operates on a higher level than all of the cookie-cutter deep house in circulation. "Check it Out" is a funk-driven roller, its clipped beats underscoring a sweet chord progression, while "Para Usted" is more stripped back. Focusing on a rolling, drum-heavy loop and peppered with vocal samples, there is a rough beauty to Jes' driving sound.
Pawas Gupta's journey, both geographically and musically has taken him from his home of India to his new hometown; Berlin. For his latest release he inaugurates new Amsterdam imprint Techfui with the Frozen Emotions EP" He provides some sublime and dreamy tech house on the progressive tip with the title track. The included tool version is quite handy and emphasises on the lush melody and all consuming, atmospheric sound design instead. "Yoghurt" is an equally epic and proggy affair but gets more of a groove happening; maybe it's all in that bassline. Finally "No Milk" ends things smoothly; it's cruise control here, letting those stunning strings engulf you before its minimal groove kicks in.
Presented in 5mm spine, LTD edition full-artwork colour sleeve which fits Parts 1-3. Having scored on Mosiac, Bodyparts and Project London, Kashawar returns to Autoreply to complete his critically acclaimed "Moments & Lost Memories" series. Here the young German star steps up with "Time Cures" a hook driven weapon possibly paying a slower respect to Mill's "Purpose Maker" releases. MPC style swing infects the groove on "Rise and Shine" adding soothing vocals and subtle acid lines to Side A. Flip the disc for deep, funking atmospherics on "Knotting" and "Spheres" adds some of Kashawar's early morning dub magic to the package. Look out for repressed Parts 1 & 2 to complete your collection!
Smooth pop inflected house with immaculate production courtesy of Freiburg's Chris Koelle on London's Needwant imprint. Featuring the gorgeous vocals of Elli and that absolutely epic bassline, the original verison of "All You Got" is bound to be a hit. "Place In Mind" and "Mountains Of Dewa" get on the darker and more progressive tip that fans of Life & Death will appreciate. There's also a couple of sweet remixes; the Richard Seaborne dub is a driving tech house remix with a razor sharp bassline, check it out. The Joshua James remix balances reliable pre peak time dynamics with the dreamy vibe of the original just perfectly.
Hot Natured; what more can we say! With Jamie Jones headling events worldwide and Lee Foss collaborating with MK as Pleasure State, fans will be glad that they're collaborating again and doing what they do best; punchy, pop inflected house. This time not on Hot Creations, rather their new imprint Emerald City. "Off World Lover" is another epic summertime anthem, once again featuring the vocal talents of Ali Love, whose singing bears an uncanny resemblance to the King Of Pop at times that its impressive. That dark bassline really does it too. Just when you thought it couldn't get better they get Bristolian rising star Will Clarke delivering a bouncy, bass driven remix in the same vein as his recent hit "Spandex".