Sheer (Too Much Going On Neurotic mix) - (6:27) 120 BPM
For this latest Mr Jones EP by Nina Kraviz, she withdraws any sentiments of ghetto house heard on last year's debut album and turns in something house and techno inspired for Rekids. Her sultry, accented vocals still play a large role in her music however, best heard in the dark house of "Desire", the first track of this double EP. "Mr Jones" begins much the same was as "Desire", but when the beat does drop, it's not as tough, but twice as haunting - complementing the EPs cover art. Kraviz teams up with Luke Hess for the Detroit techno drum track that is "Remember", while "Black White" offers the some respite from the previous productions gloominess with something more festive and tropical. From here Kraviz provides some classic, minimal, and percussive deep house in "So Wrong", which leads perfectly into the club drumming of "Sheer". A superb follow up by Kraviz.
Art Of Tones - "The Great Sgatmi" - (5:06) 120 BPM
Elef - "Holdin U" - (6:48) 120 BPM
Anaxander - "My Aniseed Lollipop" - (7:57) 114 BPM
The True Rebels - "Bitter Love" (Deep Space Orchestra remix) - (8:57) 120 BPM
Orazio Fantini - "To The Ball" - (6:26) 120 BPM
HNNY - "Tears" - (6:02) 119 BPM
Tommy Rawson - "Don't Lose It" - (8:30) 123 BPM
DJ Duke presents Freedom - "Closer" (Sean McCabe club mix) - (7:50) 124 BPM
S3A - "Sleepness 909" - (7:16) 122 BPM
Dale Howard - "Throwback" - (7:53) 122 BPM
It's a sign of the ludicrously prolific nature of Mad Mats and Tooli's Local Talk imprint that this is their third compilation of label highlights this year. That the quality threshold remains impressively high is credit to their A&R skills. Encompassing revivalist US garage, twinkle-eyed deep house and enveloping groovery, Talking House Volume 3 is packed full of distinctive dancefloor highlights. Check, for example, the fearsome acid tweakery of Anaxander's breathless "My Aniseed Lollipop", the wide-eyed, piano-laden rush of Deep Space Orchestra's brilliant remix of The True Rebels' "Bitter Love", and the baggy, organ-heavy samba-house warmth of Tommy Rawson's "Don't Lose It". And that's just for starters. In a word: essential.
Due to his work on the Hot Natured album, Jamie Jones's solo releases have taken a back seat of late, and this four-track EP on his own Hot Creations imprint is, amazingly, just his second release of the year. Predictably, there's plenty to enjoy, from the rolling, intergalactic funk of "Planets, Spaceships" - think rave-era stabs and spacey electronics riding a groove built around an MK style US garage bassline - and wonky, tech-tinged throb of "Cookie Monster", to the glistening, Italo-influenced wobbliness of "Starp Trek" (our pick), and deep, stripped-back late night shuffle of "Stick". All four tracks sound like ready-made peaktime bombs.
Josh Thompson is back after some sterling efforts for Losing Suki and its parent label Hypercolour. It's the latter that the young producer is swinging for with the Distorted Symmetry EP, and it certainly sports all the hallmarks of a release that fits into the label's broad aesthetic. Both steeped in experimental textures and processes while being decidedly accessible, Thompson manages a canny blend of poppy vocal and deep tech house on "Distorted Symmetry" that works a treat. "The Shape Of It" takes on a more melancholic tone but is no less adventurous and immediate in its delivery, while "I Was Born To A Woman From Outer Space" lets a touch of light in on the melodies and toughens the rhythm section up for an assured floor stomper.
German artist Lawrence makes spellbound deep house - can any of his contemporaries make his music sound more reflective? Dial seem to think so and have drafted in a group of producers who operate at the melancholic end of techno and house to try it out. XDB comes close on his version of "Angels At Night", where crystalline synths and brittle rhythms vie for the listener's attention. Steve Tang's version of the same track centres on dubby beats, but here too pads shimmer and tonal blips unfold seductively. Finally, Carsten Jost and White Material's DJ Richard are let loose on "Marlen", with tight percussion and skittish drums providing a basis for jazzy keys. Try as they might, it's hard for them to match Lawrence's dreamy originals.
His identity might be a mystery, but there's no confusion over his tunes. Only he could create his brand of epic house music, and with support from the likes of Shadow Child, Ninetoes, Pleasurekraft, Noir, Bontan and Groove Armada, there's a whole wave of producers out there hungry for his work. Good job he's released volume two of his EP series. Taking a smart look at old school house his effect is somewhere between deep and tech, meshing sub-genres effortlessly with cool collection. Perfect for late night dancefloors, there might be a chill in the air but those grooves definitely betray a party atmosphere. If you love intelligent sounds, you'll love this.
The Graze collaboration between New Kanada label owner Adam Marshall and fellow Canadian producer Christian Andersen have been in rare form this year, delivering three completed works, and now a fourth before the year's end. The Edges album is one of the better LPs we've heard in 2013 that combines elements of deep techno and lo-fi house - with the slightest flecks of footwork and dubstep-influenced elements. For a lighter combination of all three, "Skip/Crush", the album's opener, is a perfect example of this, while "Cold Drop" is more bass inclined with warbles of grimey low end. For something decidedly techno, "Stack Away" delivers the goods, and for something leaning towards house music there's the euphoric "Airror" and urban sounding "Ripley".