Review: The Blocster is on a roll right now! The next in his recent slew of concepts that's included homages to Biggie, Sade and Marked For Death is this bulldozer set of Stranger Things-inspired jungle translations. It's business from the off as "Contamination" and "Demigorgon" hit with Hardware-like brutality and don't hint at the more celestial 80s synth themes Stranger Things is more associated with. The darkness continues throughout whether it's the nail-biting tension of the electroid thumper "The Exit", the pranged-out pressure of the Dread-style "The Lab" or the barbed dream arpeggios of the title track itself. And this is just the first part!
Black Harmala Disco Club (Cornelius Doctor & Tushen Rai remix) - (6:33) 60 BPM
Kadikoy (Leonor remix) - (5:04) 112 BPM
Review: Sufi bangers and Turkish psychedelic delights from the Stockholm-based new power duo Acid Hamam & Nasiri on TOM TOM DISCO - earth bound label for spaced-out people. Features the moody dancefloor drama of "Blac Harmala Disco Club" drawing you deep into the exotic with its middle eastern aesthetic, not to mention Cornelius Doctor & Tushen Rai's fierce EBM styled rework. There's also the lo-slung punk-folk of "Kadikoy" which gets remixed by Leonor which is in true cosmo-psychedelic fashion. Frequencies from the heart. 100% party proof.
Review: Sub-liminal Recordings are a regular presence on these pages, their music is precise and damaging and they're back this week with a single from Agro. Timbuk 4 is a two-tracker that relies on its wavey concoctions of low-frequency movement to impress, with hard percussive knocks resting nicely underneath. 'Fair Trade' is the B-side and probably our favourite, with Chats MC doing some serious work over a very creative back end. Lovely stuff.
Review: It's an exciting sight to witness a new Al Wootton drop hit the JunoDownload shelves, with this releasing really living up the expectation as the man himself delivers four bad boy originals, courtesy of Trule. We kick off with pounding sub-lines and subtle breaksy influences of 'Body Healthy', before landing on the incredibly delicate popping percussive brilliance of 'Graver'. Next we dive deeper underground as the minimalist breaksy tones of 'Bad Sound' leap into play, before we round up the project with a peek at 'Prophecy', another super well designed garage-ready roller.
Review: Last seen fiddling with a "Dirty Rhodes" on Pogo House, Alfred Diaz returns to Hustler Trax for the first time in over three years. The experienced producer hits the ground running with "To All The People", a forthright chunk of sub-heavy, 4/4-garage influenced chunkiness rich in wobbly bass and cut-up spoken word samples, before sprinting towards classic Chez Damier territory on the old school U.S house flex of "We Need Some Raw". Diaz explores this attractive, club-ready vibe further on the bombastic bounce of "Call You" and "Get On Down", another hot-to-trot affair that boasts speaker-bothering bass. If that wasn't enough to set the pulse racing, closing cut "Little Lulu" is another retro-futurist slab of organ-sporting muscular garage revivalism.
Review: Sometimes the road gets too rough. Sometimes you just have to slap a senior member in your family due to the high levels of gully coming into your ears. Whatever you do when things get too stinky, however you deal with the body-blowing pressure of absolutely foul tracks, we know you're going to do it to this new EP from Perez who is on such a roll right now it's crazy. Following his dubstep EP "Last Rites" comes this awesome back-to-dnb-grit session. "Trinity" is just utter high voltage darkness, "Phantonym" takes things even deeper with some proper gruesome bass bubbles while "SWRV" takes us back to Alix's soulful side and "Vibrations" plays the perfect game of contrasts and shade. What an EP.
Cody Currie & Joel Holmes - "As Of Yet" - (5:08) 127 BPM
Pontchartrain - "Don't Change It Up" - (5:45) 119 BPM
GODDARD - "Almasti" - (6:25) 122 BPM
Review: With such a star-studded line-up of old and new talent involved, it's little surprise to find that De La Groove's latest multi-artist EP is seriously good. Check first the breezy and soulful US garage revivalism of Art of Tones' impeccable "So Sweet", before turning to the slightly more UK garage influenced "A Quiet Love" by Scott Diaz, a track that somehow manages to be both deliciously bouncy and seductively soulful. Elsewhere, Cody Currie's "As of Yet (featuring Joel Holmes)" is a vibraphone and Rhodes-heavy chunk of deep house dreaminess, Pontchartrain's "Don't Change Up" is a loopy slab of bespoke disco-house and Goddard's "Almasti" sounds like a nu-disco era riff on Pepe Bradock deep house classic "Deep Burnt".
Review: Black Winter have most certainly arranged a killer pairing for this one as they bring together the combined sounds of ARtroniks and Nixsin for an explosive four track steppers experience. We kick off with the haunting bells and gnarly droning bass tones of 'Two Faced' from ARtroniks, which is chased up by the acidic, moogy leads of Nixsin's 'Manic Mischief'. Nixsin then continues the storm with the more stripped back, chord driven atmospheric structures of 'The Other Side', which is then chased up in style by the slower tempo and stunning soundscaping of 'The Escape' from ARtroniks, putting the finishing touches on a very well thought out collaborative body of work.
Type II (feat Jensen Interceptor) - (6:41) 132 BPM
HAL's Machine Tool - (4:37) 132 BPM
Review: Here's a release for headstrong electro fans as Brendan Zacharias aka Assembler Code drops his debut EP for International Chrome. The Australian label has already made its names with records from Jensen Interceptor and DeFeKT - under his ESS guise - and Mental Escape follows in a similar style. There's the the title track's raw hardware jam, followed by the nightmarish synths and raw acid of "Simulation". Jensen Interceptor makes an appearance on "Type 2", which delivers discordant tones and eerie atmospherics in equal measures, while "Assembler Code" is a raw 808 workout that resounds to horror synths and the sound of a malfunctioning computer.
Review: Leeds legends Audiojack return to Josh Butler's ORIGINS RCRDS to deliver some riveting new material, after a slew of top releases for the likes of Crosstown Rebels, Hot Creations and Knee Deep In Sound over recent years - not to mention running their own well respected Gruuv label. They deliver two tracks, with "No More" kicking off proceedings with its soulful Detroit inspired vibe, not limited to an epic and emotive chord progression that has to be heard. This is followed up by the high-octane adrenaliser that is "On The Run". This proves that the duo are still true experts of rocking the main room at peak time - slinky and hypnotic UK tech-house at its best.
Review: Following releases on Beard Man and Hardgroove, Anthony Cardinale aka Avision drops this stunning EP for We Are The Brave. "Retro" is an impressive tribal workout, powered by staccato drums and blasts of icy filters. It's tough but funky, perfectly aligned with the label's approach. "This Way" is more inventive; it sees Cardinale loop piano keys over doubled up claps and a swirling, building filter as evocative vocals play out in the background. Maintaining this mood till the end is "Trip", where Avision deploys a tough, rolling rhythm populated with vocal snippets and acid-frazzled builds to devastating effect.
Kevin Di Serna - "Lucero Del Alma" - (6:50) 120 BPM
Review: Here is the third installment of Watergate Affairs, after a long break and as always focusing on emerging talent. Danish duo Baime contribute the hypnotic journey into the exotic that is "Majka", Tel Aviv's Kadosh returns to the label after featuring on the Adana Twins' 'Watergate 25' compilation last year. His track is the seductive "Better Days" - a dreamy and evocative composition that you could imagine Lee Burridge playing on a sunny rooftop, while Argentinian Kintar provides some moody dancefloor drama on the riveting "Paradisou". Another Argentinian producer appears in the form of Kevin Di Serna with "Lucero Del Alma" which continues on with those heartfelt and glassy-eyed narratives for the dancefloor.
Review: Next up from the Livity Sound Recordings team we have a very tasty little number here from Bakongo, who brings forward three extremely well thought out UK Funky heaters, perfect for the closure of the Summer season. Firstly, we dip into the incredibly vibrant percussive power and compositional freedom of 'Momoweb', a stunning piece of original rhythmic mastery, chased up by more incredible drumwork with 'Disposition'. The overall feel of quality that the release boasts is then certified as 'Goulbap' continues with the fantastic work to tie this one up in serious style.
Back To Front (feat Xolisiwe - dub) - (7:48) 122 BPM
Izingane (feat Korus) - (3:41) 90 BPM
Zappa (feat Korus) - (6:46) 118 BPM
Review: Deep Afro-house vibes are the order of the day on this latest from Lee Burridge's All Day I Dream label - or at least, they are on half of it. The 72-second 'Intro', the Interlude version of the title track and 'Izingane' are really just straight-up African music, leaving two rubs of 'Back To Front' and 'Zappa' for househeads' delectation. The former features Xolisiwe on vocals, has the stuttering Afro drums you'd expect and is served in your choice of vocal and dub passes, while the latter edges closer to a straight-up (melodic) house sound, only the chanted vox adding a little African flava.
Review: On his debut solo LP for Ostgut Ton, Leisure System co-founder Sam Barker turns his focus toward the psychology behind the musical decision making process, with solutions for 'quantifying pleasure, abolishing suffering, and the ethical use of drugs and nanotechnology' - being just some of the themes over its nine tracks, with a strong aesthetic of dub techno throughout. From thought provoking IDM cuts like "Posmean" or the particularly cavernous "Gradients Of Bliss", right through to moments of emotive techno-soul as heard on the title track and the transcendental ambience of "Wireheading" - 'Utility' is a non-ironic musical approach to a whole spectrum of utilitarian and transhumanist ideas.
Review: Beat Merchants the name; soothing's the game... Conrad, Juiceman and Jubbz' project returns with another bounty of soulful bliss. Two originals, two remixes: the agenda is set by the simple understate soul of "Lockdown" with stripped back pianos, horns and some beautiful vocal pairing throughout while "Believe" takes us to the furthest of far-sides with a blissful (and well-loved) guitar lick, an elasticated double bassline and sharp bars. Elsewhere Command Strange flips "Hurricane" into more of a barbed beast while L Side turbo charges the title track with consummate soul. Keep this on lockdown...
Memory FM (Panthera Krause remix) - (6:33) 122 BPM
Secret Alphabet (Cornelius Doctor remix) - (5:58) 108 BPM
Review: As you'd expect from the co-founder of the on-point Permanent Vacation label, Benjamin Froehlich has assembled a stellar cast of producers to remix tracks from his recent debut album "Amiata". Massimiliano Pagliara's "Telephone Call" mix of "The Big Sun" is a wonderfully cheery chunk of thrusting Italo-disco/nu-disco fusion, while Rhode & Brown's take on "Tivoli" pushes the track further towards hypnotic tech-house/nu-disco-fusion. Pantera Krause channels the spirit of the Pet Shop Boys circa 1987 album "Actually" on a triumphant version of "Memory FM" and Cornelius Doctor fuses Italo, acid and freestyle on a killer revision of "Secret Alphabet". Best of the bunch though is Jex Opolis's remix of the same track, which cannily joins the dots between acid-funk, proto-house and mid 80s New York disco dubs.
Review: Pizzico co-founder Billy Bogus (real name Niccolo Bruni) is clearly a fan of Milanese "selector and music producer" Tagliabue, because he's asked the rising star to remix some tracks from his 2018 album "VHS Memories". Tagliabue first tackles "The Precinct", re-imagining it as a throbbing, pulsating voyage into chugging psychedelic disco rich in razor-sharp electronic motifs, druggy arpeggio style bass and mind-altering acid lines. He next turns his attention to "Libyan Bikers", offering a similarly wonky and brain-melting revision that also boasts a touch more muscular funk, before gobbling handfuls of hallucinogens in order to wrap trippy lead lines and skewed electronic motifs around a curious rhythm track on a fine rework of "Spiaggia Cannibale".
Review: Black Light Smoke (or Jordan Lieb, if you wanna get all formal) hails from Nashville, Tennessee, but specialises in deep, soul-drenched electronica rather than honky-tonk country & western. On this forward-thinking EP he blends influences from deep house, UK garage, indie dance and more, to come up with six pleasingly understated headnodders, with the emphasis on chopped, steppy beats, cavernous sub-bass and, most frequently, chipmunk'd fem vox - though lead cut 'Nothing Makes Me Feel' itself features a mournful, downtuned male vocal instead. Think Burial making a future bass record for Warp or Ninja Tune and you're somewhere in the ballpark!
Review: A few years ago, International Feel Recordings treated us to a handful of inspired 12" singles by Black Spuma, a collaborative project helmed by Fabrizio Mammarella and Phillip Lauer. Here the duo returns - this time on Bristol's Futureboogie Recordings - with a first new single in two years. Title track "Crunch Level" is nowhere near as "retro-Balearic" as their previous work, instead offering a mind-altering blend of ghostly vintage synthesizer chords, robotic machine guns and foreboding, arpeggio style sequenced bass. It's the kind of thing we'd expect to hear if Alexander Robotnik and John Carpenter got together in the studio. Elsewhere on the EP, "Agguato" is a funk-fuelled chunk of early '80s new wave/Italo-disco fusion, while "Adamantine" is like a "Behaviour"-era instrumental Pet Shop Boys B-side.
Review: Liondub's 10 year anniversary celebrations continue with this savage slab of ragga jungle. This time the captain Liondub takes to the controls himself alongside fellow US jungle veteran Jah Boogs while vocal guidance comes from one of the most distinctive MCs in the game: Bristol's Blackout Ja. Here we find him in fiery form as "Touch Up The Key" (and its complimentary VIP version) brocks out in all directions over a precision-tuned subby bass wobble. "Dread" flips for a sunnier side of the stack as Blackout pays homage to his roots with more of a melodic flow to his signature gravel-toned bars. Loaded with instrumentals too, this is the full package.
Review: Oh gosh! Bladerunner touches down with an epic six-track collection on his own Hi Resolution. Running his gully gamut from emotional to electrical to energetical, everything you could possibly need from a Bladerunner EP is right here... The subtle euphoria and piano-touched emotion of "All My Love", the total skin melting sizzles and bassline burns of "Intensity" and the techno-like insistency and dynamism of "Breathe" are just three of many highlights here.
Review: It appears that Eat The Bomb have supplied us with a lethal dose of hardcore fusion here, as they invite Bleep Bloop in for a six track extravogana, showcasing the truly weird and wonderful edges to his production talents. We kick off with the glittering soundscaping of 'Gain The Axe', which weaves between distorted delights and randomized LFO manoeuvres at will, before we embrace the breaksy overtones of 'Take Me' and twisted madness of 'Characters who Smoke'. Next up 'Eye Patch Of Powers' provides us with some choppy synthetic explosions, followed by the gritty bass designs and demonic overtones of 'Lady Of War', finishing off with the electronic overload of 'Straight Through The Wall'. A truly innovative exploration into sound.
Review: A meeting of two great minds from Greece for the latest release on Visionquest. Hailing from Athens, Bodj is an essential character in the ever burgeoning Greek house music scene, holding down a residency at the illustrious Six Dogs club in Athens and a co-founder/owner of the Audiorama record label and club night. Then there's Roksi: having been classically trained since he was a young man, he has since then mastered his craft studying audio engineering in Athens, London and Amsterdam - where he had access to some of the most renowned music studios. Features the dubby and liquid tech house groove of "Weird Science" which is as slinky as you like, this is followed by the funky and emotive Detroit influence of "Otis" while Tomadachi" goes deep into the afterhours on this minimal and hypnotic bass driven groove.
Review: If you like huge, rambunctious drums then this release will almost certainly be up your street. The 'drums' in D&B come first for a reason and that's because they're the most essential element to any 170 track, with all the energy and momentum being carried in the percussion. Bomber Man knows this, clearly, because both sides to this single absolutely stomp in this area. Both 'Deuce Crew' and 'Chuck' pair these drums with gnarly stabs and gargled, twisted low frequencies and it works brilliantly. Proper stuff this.
Key Control (feat DJ Manny, DJ Tre & Poo) - (3:37) 80 BPM
Report To The Floor (feat DJ Hank) - (4:13) 80 BPM
Invention - (2:48) 107 BPM
Review: Footwork legend Boylan touches down for the first time on the Teklife imprint with some classic footwork goodness in a backpack full of original heaters, joined this time by a number of top quality collaborators. Firstly we witness the abstract vocal stretching and high pressure drum skips of 'Can't', before DJ Manny, DJ Tre & Poo join the ride on the super high energy drum switches and alarm like melodies of 'Key Control'. DJ Hank then gets involved with the big room synthesizer chimes and heavy 808 rolls of 'Report To The Floor' before we round up this very creative body of work the pinball melodies of 'Invention', putting the finishing touches on something very special indeed.
Review: Domenic Cappello's 2018 decision to hand a Seventh Sign label debut to young Scottish producer Bud Burroughs was undoubtedly a good one, with the resultant EP featuring some of the best Detroit-inspired techno, Ron Trent style deep house and club-ready electro around. Naturally this belated follow-up is equally as inspired, with Burroughs brilliantly flitting between spacey, electro-influenced proto-house ("Masks"), deep and melodic sci-fi house ("Alien Drum"), poignant and melancholic Motor City techno/ultra-deep house fusion (the mid-tempo shimmer of "161256") and languid deep space electro (killer closing cut "Oleano"). The most impressive thing about the EP isn't the high quality of all the tracks - that's a given - but the sheer depth and intricacy of Burroughs' electronic sounds.
Tell Me Why You Worry (feat Zongo Abongo) - (3:59) 140 BPM
Agbekor - (5:03) 135 BPM
Riffin' On The Bow - (4:00) 148 BPM
Me So Love Ya - (3:10) 123 BPM
Review: For this latest offering from Mawimbi, we welcome Burland who arrives on the scene ready for action with four super original creations, all rotating around a central funky theme. We kick off with a top notch collaboration with Zongo Abongo who layers his super authentic vocal flows over colourful percussive rhythms with some amazing results. Next up, 'Agbekor' lands with another bag of rhythmic power, driven by it's insistent grooves and sharp drum processing, before 'Riffin' On The Bow' picks up the pace with a quicker yet more minimal approach. Finally, Burland slows it right down with more fabulous vocal work and groovy, irresistible drum maneuvers on 'Me So Love Ya'.
Review: Top names in tech house assemble for the second installment of Hottrax's Paradise series. Following on from the first release, the label's second outing will feature three more quality cuts. Up first is Lowwax founder Carlos Sanchez, who serves up the bass-driven peak time adrenaliser "Rigmarole", Hot Creations and Material artist Sizeup is next with "Calypso" - this deep and druggy number with swing-fuelled rhythms goes deeper into the afterhours and finally Monoky & Luis Miranda team up again for "Leggo" - a funky and sun-kissed tech house number that is a perfect track to end the summer season on The White Isle.
Review: Dubstomp 2 Bass are the Birmingham based label that have one commitment and one commitment only: getting you out of your seat and onto the dancefloor. Chilly is their latest purveyor of pure heat and he's doing so over a two-tracker, the first of which is classic D2B: a gargling, subby bassline and unrelenting destruction in 170 form. 'Listen' is a tad more melodic but doesn't ease back on the weightiness, its big, soaring bass hits rising and falling all over the arrangement. Unreal.
Air Castle (Laurent Garnier 2019 remix) - (9:19) 126 BPM
Review: Originally released on Christian Smith's 2014 artist album Input-Output, "Air Castle" now gets released in remixed form. The Tronic boss has tapped Laurent Garnier to provide the reshape and his version gives the track a brand new identity. Airy and melodic, it sees the veteran French producer conjure up evocative synth pads over a warbling, bubbling groove. While it does feature a build up, this is executed in a subtle manner, with brooding bass tones and complex layers of percussion guiding the way. It's somewhat different in tone to the majority of Tronic releases, but still as powerful - in its own musical way.
Review: West coast bass house heroes Dirtybird are back, and showing ya'll exactly hows it's done - with none other than label head honcho Claude Vonstroke doin' the biz. After a year filled with lots of collaborations and remixes, he drops his new boompty thriller "Slink". The track is a typically funky, bass-driven minimal tech house jam highlighted by a catchy original vocal that sounds like it could have come from an '80s female rapper. While "Please Oh Please Oh Please" goes deep into the morning hours on this druggy and hypnotic serving of tunnel vision, powered by its weirdo monologue reminiscent of classics such as "Deep Throat".
Review: Complex returns to clear up the debris from his explosive "Back It Up" release with Decoy at the start of the year. First comes a brand new jam; the deep menacing cyborg rolling funk of "Dark World" where a techier edge prevails along with some exceptional detuned synth cascades on the fills. Next up is a VIP of "Back It Up". The vocals are still pretty dubious but with a new twist on the bass and extra grotty funk, it's still a cracking VIP. Soundz as a pound mate.
Review: Following on from the ninth spilt release earlier this year, Ombra Intl 010 sees this Berlin label offer up more distinctive sounds. Cornelius Doctor's "Soft Rocket" revolves around a throbbing groove that's shot through with spiky percussion and post-punk shrieks. Meanwhile, Mufti's "Control" is somewhat more upbeat, but here too rough guitars and breathy vocals cut through the shiny rhythm. On Sebastian Voigt's "EX2", the mood turns bleak, with dubbed out drums supporting a murky bass and razor sharp percussion, while for its finale, the tenth volume in the series sees Colossio drop the hypnotic post-punk meets disco of "Eco".
Review: For the moment, Damian Lazarus has dispelled with his Ancient Moons collective. Instead, he's gone back into the studio alone and crafted some tracks tailor made for creating "moments in the dark". Lead cut "Moment" is a curious but undeniably quietly impressive affair, where fragile female vocals and gentle melodic elements weave in and out of relaxed tech-house drums and wobbly sub-bass. In contrast, "Diamond In The Dark" is largely beat-free: a tipsy chunk of psychedelic folk music laden with weird effects and trippy spoken word snippets. The package also contains a trio of tidy remixes, of which the standout is undoubtedly Satori's loose-limbed, broken-house revision of "Moment".
Review: Here we have a very exciting new label venture, which takes the name of Kaotik Hypnotic, a team that are seemingly ready to take the techno world by storm, as they here unveil their first official drop from David LaFhionntain. The title track 'Unholy Riot' is an absolute blitz of intense, pulsating drum smashes and high tempo 4x4 rhythms, soaking in distorted bass energies throughout. Next, the nostalgic hardcore themes of 'Survival Rate' race into earshot, chased up by the breaks shimmers and underground vibes of 'Bring Out The Dead'. Finally, the big room drums of 'Battling The Void' wrap this one up in timely fashion with a touch of tech finesse. Don't sleep on this one!
Review: It's time to take the acid-breaks fusion to a whole new level here as DAWL lands on Craigie Knowes for four tracks of electronic mastery, kicking off with the moogy arpeggios and crunchy breakbeat drumwork of 'Let's Go'. Following this we then move into the more nostalgic padwork and rolling percussive switchups of 'Drop It', before we head down a super old-school road on the bubbling bass tones of 'Heavyweight'. Finally we finish this one up with a dash of additional spice as 'Overdub' wades into view, slowing the tempo into a more timedancey episode, driven by it's unusual percussive expanses and acidic synth patterns.
Review: Knekelhuis, one of the go-to labels for new wave and left of centre electronics, has been providing a platform for De Ambassade aka Pascal Pinkert for the past few years. Unsurprisingly then, the imprint is the perfect place for the act's debut album. Featuring the throbbing electro pop of "Zo Hoog Als De Bogen" and "Geen Genade", Duistre Kamers shows that Pinkert possesses true songwriting craft. It also demonstrates his ability to conjure up mysterious post-punk, audible on the wistful "Malefica" and, most impressively, to veer into eerie, Tropic of Cancer-style pop dirges, as the wonderfully moody "Verloren" shows.
Review: Next up on Stroboscopic Artefacts' Totem series is Denise Rabe, who has so far mainly put out music on her own Rabe label. As Manifesto demonstrates, she manages to strike a balance between abstract industrial shapes and straight up dance floor tracks. On the title track, the approach falls into the latter category, with a pummelling, offbeat rhythm providing the basis for whirring bells and a touch of Millsian darkness. "Don't Leave" is more streamlined and linear, with Rabe dropping a pulsating, pounding groove that supports wild tonal twists and spooky synth lines. "Clouds" sees her opt for a more industrial approach, as slow motion beats and wild electronic textures unravel.
Review: Gilles Aiken is not short of space in which to express his distinctive ideas about fusing dancefloor minimalism with a global palette. While his more streamlined house and techno fare is generally released under his Edward alias, Desert Sky has carried some of his wilder ideas with stunning results. The first few releases came shrouded in mystery on a self-titled label, but since then Desert Sky has landed on Assemble Music and Baby Ford's iconic PAL SL. Aiken returns to the latter now with a hefty album project that gives Desert Sky the appropriate room to breathe, and Aiken sounds free spirited and expressive through every inch of tumbling percussion, deft handclaps, spooked out textures and more besides. It's a heady trip through dusty samples configured in fresh, invigorating ways, ranking among the strongest artistic statements Aiken has made to date thanks to its worldly inspiration and otherworldly end results.
Review: For those inspired by Diynamic Music's trademark brand of European tech-house/deep house fusion, the label's semi-regular "Four To The Floor" EPs are essential listening. Predictably, the latest volume - the 15th in total - is packed to the rafters with high-grade fare. Veteran producer Dino Lenny kicks things off with the arpeggio-driven dark room thrills of "I Lost Appetite" - all electronic bleeps, doom-laden chords and rolling drums - before Doctor Dru offers up the similarly pulsating, trance-inducing heaviness of "Kloeppel". The Organism's "Roast" is a fuzzy and forthright chunk of vaguely panicked electro-house, while Budakid's "1991" wraps moody chords and rushing lead lines around a snappy but tactile rhythm track.
Review: Nu-disco scene stalwart DJ EQ returned to action a couple of months back with one of his most robust and quietly impressive EPs to date. There's plenty to enjoy on this swift follow-up, which delivers a perfect balance between celebratory peak-time fare and warm-up ready slo-mo workouts. In the latter category you'll find the languid, sun-kissed synth-boogie goodness of "Oasis", the blissful, instrumental '80s soul seduction of "Chillin" and the "Nights Over Egypt" revisionism of "Siesta". For those looking for sweatier thrills, we'd suggest checking out the dizzying piano solos and thrusting boogie-house thrills of "Endless Summer" and the soothingly slick fusion of blue-eyed soul and disco-house that is "F.Y.L".
Review: Ahead of the release of his debut album, DJ Lion aka ?ivorad Milić drops this hard-hitting two-tracker on the resurgent Harthouse. The title track is based on solid kicks that underpin out there tonal shifts and a series of wild drops and builds. This combination serves to create a tripped out feeling that will still work on the dance floor. On "Orgulous", the Serbian DJ opts for a similar approach; while the bass rolls powerfully and with menacing intent, the arrangement is shot through with eerie synth lines. Functional and brutal, but still teeming with eerie undercurrents, Reticulation is his strongest release to date.
Review: Four quality deep housers from Germany's Djoko here. 'Extensions Of The Mind' itself is a tightly controlled lil' hip-wiggler with crisp beats and fluttering synths that lend it an air of urgency, despite the fact that it's actually fairly laidback, tempo-wise. Elsewhere, 'Orbit' is an eyes-down 3am groover of the kind that could have been made any time in the past 25 years or so, 'Stoccado' is pacier and struttier with bubblin' acidic sounds and an extended breakdown in the middle, and 'Atomic Pulse' is more uptempo again, a bass-led chugger topped with dreamy synths.
Review: R&S have a real history of bringing forward the weird and wonderful into the public eye, and it appears that this most recent link up with DJRUM is another perfect example of that brilliance as we sit tight for two stunning original creations. The high tempo drum shuffles and windy altitudes of the A-side 'Hard To Say' are something to behold, with pulsating chord clinks riding through the centre of the mix and crunchy transitions at every turn. On the flip side we take things down a bit more tropical road as we are greeted with rapid fire percussion and steel-drum like arpeggiator synths in 'Tournesol', providing a fantastic contrast across both the A & B sides.
Review: DLR is having an absolute tear this year, and Sofa Sound seems like it's certain to be one fo the genre-defining labels of the next several years. His own productions are the bedrock of its success and he's back on his own imprint with this delicious single, the A-side of which features Hybris. 'Terminal Madness' is glitchy, precise and futuristic with a stuttering drum pattern, whilst the flip is classic, rolling and murky DLR - a torn, ripping bassline and crispy drums. Unreal.
Review: Double Bubble here return for another fantastic offering, linking up with the legendary Breakbeat Paradise Recordings imprint, who continue to champion the future sounds of breaks on this incredible 2019 run. We kick off with the smooth horn riffs and vocal harmonies of the A-side 'Ridiculous', which is chased up in style by the more heavy hitting 4x4 drum marches and vocal call and response of 'Show Me'. We are also gifted a pair of absolutely top notch remixes for this one as we first hear Gramophone refix 'Ridiculous' with some funkadelic themes, before Rory Hoy brings out the breaksy power on his tasty overhaul of 'Show Me'.
Review: It's always a pleasure to see a new drop from the Dub Communication team, a label who continues to excel with top quality releases, this time bringing forward Drisan for some tasty dubwise delights. First of all we explore the colourful, pleasing compositional structures of 'Supplementary Dub', a groovy 4x4 roller packed with organic bassy energy and smooth rhythmic expansions. On the flip side we then dip into the super spacey 'Perception Dub', which plays out very much along the lines of a film soundtrack, swimming in incredibly lushious synth pads, making this one an absolute delight.
Review: Down 2 Earth Muzik are without a doubt one of the strongest jump up labels around at the moment and their output is so damn consistent, with almost a new release every week. This week it's the turn of Dryman and Matzet and, despite this release only being a single track, it makes up for it in its sheer veracity. With crisp drums and a tumbling percussive line, 'No Respect' rolls out in style, hitting punches and stealing packed lunches left right and centre. Proper tune this - no messing around.
Review: Last month came "Calm"... Now comes the storm. Dub Phizix lets the dogs out with two more tracks out of the blue. "Item" is a proper heads down roller that seems to sizzle with high voltage buzzes while peppered with mystic pipe blasts and strange barking see-saws on the swing. "Blossom" is no fading wall flower either. It's more like a venus fly trap that lures you in with a sweet scented intro before biting down on you with crucial bashy drums and more switches than Carrington Power Station. Crispy.