London bass night and label Church return with their first offering of 2014 and the first original material from resident Apes. Putting into practice the methods learnt on a bunch of remixes for Church, "Two Thousand Six" finds Apes ploughing the kind of weighty, heavily swung techno that is so popular right now, and is complemented well by the warmth and subtlety brought to the table on Chaos In The CDB's subsequent remix. If the main track is all about immediacy and power, then the other Apes original "Cold Love" shows a calmer side to his production palette, and is notable for some orgasmic male vocal sampling. Fellow Churchman Seb Wildblood ends proceedings with a doleful, melodically driven remix of "Cold Love".
Swisher (Simian Mobile Disco remix) - (9:23) 122 BPM
Wire (Claro Intelecto remix) - (7:05) 120 BPM
Wire (Huerco S remix) - (10:32) 116 BPM
Wire (Function remix) - (8:07) 160 BPM
Given the artists assembled to rework Blondes when their debut album was released two years ago, it's unsurprising that this EP of remixes is of a similarly high standard. Of particular interest is Huerco S's version of "Wire", which delivers a clanking, murky, industrial and frankly chilling ten-minute trip into fuzzy techno territory. Almost as impressive are the versions of the same track by Function (deep, spacey techno) and Claro Intelecto, who surprises by delivering an intricate, organic-sounding rub full of winding chords and melancholic intent. As if that lot wasn't enough, there's also a great deep house-meets-dub house revision of "Swisher" by Simian Mobile Disco.
Given the calibre of artists involved in the Monad series from Stroboscopic Artefacts (Perc, Lakker, Rrose, Kangding Ray, Donor) it's easy to forget that the label inaugurated the digital only endeavour with a release from the then-unknown Chevel. Four years on the Treviso-born producer returns to Lucy's label to helm a full release with his reputation on a constant upward spiral, thanks to his releases for Vae Victis, Non Series and his own Enklav label. With recent SA releases from Lakker, Rrose and a Dadub remix EP providing the label with a renewed juncture to the dancefloor, it seems now is a suitable time as any for Chevel to make his return with the One Month Off EP. Five tracks deep, this record is a fine display of Chevel's overtly lo-fi brand of Italian, strictly analogue club music and is apparently "built around the abstract themes of construction, starting with demolition and ending on perspective."
Chicago producer K Alexi Shelby's 1991 release gets the remix treatment for modern dance floors. Exos drops a stab-heavy pounder, its primal rhythm littered with vocal samples. Techno veteran Mark Broom pushes in a different direction, and his take is all about high-pitched acid lines set to a dense, drummy groove. Alex Bau's version is somewhat reminiscent of Robert Armani's timeless version of Hardfloor's Mahogani Roots, with alarm bells ringing over firing percussion and a jacking rhythm. Kid Mistik delivers the finale and the most intense version, with slamming concrete slab beats complementing a grungy acid line and raging percussion.