Review: Following on from last year's Heart of the Sun release, A4 returns to Ricardo Garduno's label with this tripped out release. Fans of Sleeparchive, Mike Parker and Jeff Mills' Something In The Sky series will find much to love here as the Spanish producer ventures through the outer limits of sci-fi techno. "1.7 Clicks To Station" is a somewhat grungy affair, but on "Adherence", cold bleeps and a linear rhythm prevail. "Bulldozer" sees A4 articulate his love of frequency shifting tones against metallic drums. Meanwhile on "Planet B", he goes deeper with layered textures and blip, bleeps and squelches making for an extra-terrestrial soundtrack.
Review: No Defeat... is Beyer's first solo EP in five years and was recorded during lockdown. For a producer who made his name with the drum-heavy Swedish sound, "Park People" may come as a surprise. Featuring slurred, repetitive vocals and the kind of synth hook that might not sound out of place on a Hacker record, it resounds to an uplifting, filtered groove. Meanwhile on the title track, Beyer picks up the pace with a pulsating bass and a steely rhythm that underpin dramatic vocal samples and rousing guitar riffs. It makes for a dramatic - and quite different - approach from one of techno's big names.
Review: The latest EP in Laut Und Luise's digital-only "Lost In Luise" series comes courtesy of ALICUDI, a debutant artist described by the Cologne-based label as "a mystery best unsolved". There's much to enjoy across the six-track set, from the rising and falling melodies, druggy arpeggio lines and wonky, acid-flecked electronics of "Scirocco", and the impeccable marimba melodies and swelling chords of dreamy deep house shuffler "Levante", to the chiming slow-house pulse of "Grecale" and the drowsy, picturesque and languid pitched-down bliss of "Vapore". "Foen", a kind of mixture of "Computer World"-era Kraftwerk bleeps, ambient chords and sparse beats, is also impressive.
Review: Audaz boss Alkalino serves up three quite different-sounding cuts on the label's latest EP. 'Anima' is up first, opening with a disco drum beat before bringing in a big ruff-edged bassline that's soon joined by a cascading, metallic synth hook and, eventually, a spoken vocal with a distinctly 80s feel. 'Sing The Blues' is up next, and features the unusual but surprisingly effective combination of house drums, a dub bassline and a nasal male country-blues vocal, while finally 'Watch Yourself' is a dark slab of vaguely disquieting electro-disco. Three cuts that are hard to pigeonhole, then, but thankfully nice n' easy to dance to!
Review: Shango Records invites you to an unheard world music psychedelic trip. Through a colorful kaleidoscope they will melt down international vibes into forbidden sounds of frenzied electronic dancefloor rituals. After a creative break, German duo Daniel & Joscha aka Jonajosu announce that two of their newest remixes made it to the 'Jendayi' EP in collaboration with the mysterious Anber. The title track is an arcane and ritualistic journey deep into the rainforest, while the exotic deep house of "Isos" is perfect mood music - melodic and bittersweet. Additional remixes by m.age.project, Balint Boldizsar and Jean Vayat.
Review: Sultry warm disco sessions for the open air this season with this swift four-pack from Paper Disco combi Anoraak & Luxxury. "Fire Inside" swoons a summer disco vibe with Lauren Turk's breathy lead vocals - reminiscent of a certain Linda Clifford circa-79 or pop starlet Kylie (circa-99) - while look to Anoraak original "Up To You" for a percussive, cosmic and instrumental burner. Staccato guitars and drum machine sequences collide with the odd space pong and warehouse sized vocal processing in The Emperor Machine's remix, supported by a straight up free and easy 'Fire Side" instrumental with subtle chorus line. Hot hot hot.
Review: Belgians Anthony Spallino (Bonzai/Am Strand /Alveda/Naropa/Yuna Beats) and Aurelien Stireg aka Dj G-Traxx (Cosmic Love) team up once again for some proper deep tech house on the ever reliable Plastic City with the track "Night Shift". Get stoned into the groove on this infectious tribal workout, which receives a bunch of terrific reworks. From Jules Wells' soulful Motor City influenced perspective, Southsoniks main room dancefloor drama, Familie Electro boss Dan Corco's exhilarating version was a definite highlight, and for something a bit different we have Danny K7's fun loving remix - bridging the gap between nu-disco and electro house.
Review: London producer Ash Reynolds brings us vocal cut on his own Slightly Transformed that straddles the divide between deep house and garage - as so many records used to, but as so few, sadly, do today! The Extended Mix of 'Everytime' has a New Jersey-ish feel, while Siente sprinkles a little disco dust over a remix that's purpose-built for Iberican terraces. The Nine Lives Remix is a funkier pass and possibly the pick for deep house jocks, before Sons Of Satin throw us something of a curveball, in the form a breakbeat-led remix that harks back to the glory days of rave. Sterling work all round.
Review: Introducing Astronata, a fresh new act for Slime Recordings who arrive on the scene with two hybrid vignettes of piano-tipped, bass heavy and pop influenced cuts of future music. Expect '90s trip hop vocals in both numbers that find its thread through a cross section of club centric genres like drum and bass and two-step in "Survive" to dubstep, trap and something more progressive and trancey in "My Friend". Cosmic sound collisions!
Review: It's WTF's first release as a label and to demonstrate the contours of their mission, they're dropping a double-sided single that's incredibly diverse in its pallette and direction. The A-side is a trendy, 160bpm stepper from Syncope, who has taken a breaksy approach to making halftime that chimes superbly with the current popularity of the sound thanks to Sherelle and others. It's a sample driven, funky and vibrant track that aesthetically sits alongside the garish artwork. The flip is completely different, a neurofunk roller from Binary that takes no prisoners and is pedal-to-the-metal the entire way. Big stuff from a brand new label on the block.
Review: After releases on Visceral, Forward and Sound Avenue, German upstart Bookwood returns with this nifty three tracker, floating somewhere between deep house and electronica on Berlin's URSL.The 'Nowhere But Here' EP features the glassy-eyed and bittersweet feelings of "The (Un)happy Song" with its dreamy bells and hypnotic vocals captivating you, the hypnotic early morning dancefloor drama of "The Nightcrawler" and ending with the moody, pop-inflected vocal number that is the title track. The latter is a truly mesmerising one, that sounds like a cross between Fink and Julian Stetter - impressive!
Review: Next up from the ever-ready Burke we see him move back onto his solo imprint for an extremely haunted four track selection, headed up by a title track named 'Cross The Line'. The combination of dissonant harmonic layers and grizzly, gnawing low end textures on this one send shivers down the spine before the creepy-crawly sounding percussive layers and pulsating subs of 'Detail' send us in a completely different direction. From here, the drill-like bassline and plucked melodies of 'Harps & Home' send us again into completely new territory, before rounding off on the monumental basslines and scraped bass textures of 'Craic Fiend', putting the cap on a fiery selection.
Review: Following a contribution to last year's Locus Error compilation, Carlota delivers a full EP on Nina Kraviz' label. The Bow varies wildly in style: "(0(00N" is a lo-fi, teased out jazz soundscape and "Perceptual Models" is a swirling ambient composition. At the other end of the spectrum, "Isla De Los Recuerdos" sees the emerging producer drop a snappy techno stepper that resounds to mysterious synths. "Cool In The Pool" is a more menacing affair, with Carlota deftly juxtaposing brooding bass with chiming bells, while on "Entropy to Syntropy", a high-paced, rumbling percussive rhythm is shot through with lo-fi hooks.
Review: Some 17 months after their first collaborative edits EP first hit Juno Download's virtual shelves, buddies Chewy Rubs and North Laine return with a third (and possibly final) collection of joint reworks. They begin in confident mood via "Future Ready", a gently tooled-up, house style extended edit of the Winners' NYE-friendly disco gem "Get Ready For The Future", before turning a sweaty disco-funk workout into a beefy, peak-time-ready chunk of disco/deep house fusion ("Precious"). "Night Out" is a bouncy and cheery revision of a synth-laden 80s soul/electrofunk number, while "Who's Having All Your Love" is a killer flip of a glassy-eyed old school-house number that may well be the EP's standout moment.
Review: FAR are excited to bring Chris Coco and DJ Rocca to the label for this release. Meeting at La Casella festival in Italy in the summer of 2019, the duo decided to team up in the studio resulting in the ''Discoteca'' EP, a shimmering slice of Balearic, Disco House containing all the right ingredients and forward motion required for maximum sunshine or nightime connection. Discoteca (The Heavy Fun Dub Mix), they manage to create a heady cocktail of synth riffs, ARhodes and Guitars all underpinned by a solid bass line, nodding to the Jazz funk of Atmosphere with the edge of Dinosaur L recording in Italy circa 1982. AAntonio prosper turns up on vocals, whispering, and chanting, evoking imagery of a night out in the mid-summer heat somewhere in southern Europe.
Review: It's always an exciting start to the day to see a new 81 drop hit the shelves, especially when they sound as potent as this one as Chunky returns for a vibrant four track experience. The title track 'Novella' is a perfect example of delicacy in dance music being used well as smooth chords play out over shuffling drum beats, before the broken-beat textures of 'Her' give us something very different to enjoy. From here 'Chava' then explores an alien soundscape made of extended shaker stretches and bubbly synthesizer plucks, before 'Baah' delivers a bouncy, sub heavy composition, driven by the catchy vocal singalong and the overall gloomy nature of the tune, giving this EP the perfect round up.
Review: CJ Bolland is one of techno's true pioneers and produced benchmark records like Ravesignal III and Camargue during the 90s. Over the past year, he has started to put out techno records again, and The Fire follows recent releases on Drumcode. Sound-wise, this three-tracker is a mixed affair. The title track pays homage to his late 90s style, with slower beats and a teased out groove underpinning a rambling vocal narrative. In contrast, "Destitute" is a hard-as-nails metallic banger that wouldn't sound out of place in a purist 90s techno set, while on "Down All The Way", insistent chord stabs and gurgling acid lines combine for a tough workout.
Review: There really does seem to be no way of stopping the Deep Dark & Dangerous onslaught once they hit their stride, as Coltcuts returns for yet another incredible four track selection, kicking off with the sweeping string lines and clunky drum smashes of the title track 'The Haunting'. The spooky vibes remain apparent as we move forward into the warbling LFO pulses of 'Concrete' which work in tandem with a layer of dissonant string swipes before 'Passage Of Arms' strips it back to a good old wobble, kick & snare combo. Finally, 'Skrrrt' unleashes the horns of Valhalla, strapped onto an epic soundscape, complete with blasting bass tones and glittering atmospheric inputs. What a drop this is!
Review: Conrad Subs has been teasing his next album over the last few weeks and finally it's here, courtesy of Nuusic, and boy what an LP it has turned out to be. Conrad Subs is very confident when it comes to constructing break beats and so it should come as no suprise that they make up a large part of Tides, to excellent effect. 'On a 90s Tip' is an especially potent track, with that classic rave piano sound driving an inch-perfect set of drums and a rolling reece bass. 'Obese' is yet more spectacular stepping sonics, whilst 'Little Vibey Thing' blends R&B vocal infuences with juddering drums and punchy, unforgetablly catchy bass stabs. It's a raw, gritty album and not one to be missed.
Review: A known producer for the Cuttin' It Fine label and Breakbeat Paradise, Crash Party sets a select sequence of straight-laced, funky and snare heavy drum lines to this EP. Sweet rhodes, keys, space pongs and bouncing disco turns to fire in "It's On Like That" with "Funk It Up" cutting up all matter of vocal snippets and hip hop samples to a James Brown groove. Heavier basslines and vocal progressions in Swim Incs remix, with Natty Speaks preaching good times in "What You Come To Do".
Review: In September 2020, Crosstown Rebels main man Damian Lazarus will release his first solo album in almost a decade. To get us in the mood, he's decided to offer up this teaser single. In its original form, "Mountain" is a drowsy, bass-heavy breakbeat affair in which his own atmospheric spoken word vocals combine with gently pulsing, sunrise-ready chords and short vocal snippets from a much-loved Joanna Law classic ("The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", a Balearic-era classic whose acapella is much-loved by chill-out DJs). Tornado Wallace delivers a superb remix in which sparkling synth sounds and decidedly Balearic flourishes ride a dark analogue bassline and bongo-boosted breakbeats, while Tbi Dabo re-imagines "Mountain" as a bumpin', peak-time ready tech-house treat.
Review: Pumping out the bangers like Corona ain't no thing, Darius Syrossian returns to Hot Creations after making his debut back in 2018 with the Moxy EP. The lead track, defined by its crunchy warehouse boom and stuttering 909 percussion, sees a subtle bassline hold down a major groove while various vocal snippets and narratives of bravado fill in the gaps. "Boujee B" on the flip opts for an instrumental, tribal and tech house alternative, full of heavy offbeat percussion, keys, progressions and pumping club vibes.
Review: Infernal Sounds have most certainly been on a pretty killer run so far this year, seeing the likes of Taiko & Saule grace the imprint in recent times. Their latest drop sees the magnificent De-Tu deliver a three track bonanza, kicking off with the spacy, dub-infused chords and system rattling basslines of 'Fruitcake', a potent title track indeed. Next, 'Wicked Skank' delivers more syncopated chords with an incredibly hard hitting warbling lead, again delivering a tonne of weight to the low end. Finally, the crunchy percussion and eerie atmospheric patterns of 'Secrets' gives us a final tad of variation to round off another top quality body of work from the Infernal Sounds camp.
Review: Whenever we see a new one land from the Artikal Music team we know we are likely to be in for a good time, so when we saw that Deadcrow had landed for another explosive two tracker, we had to take a listen right that second! Both tracks on this one deliver something pretty special, with the spacey drum designs and warbling 808 pressures of 'Scrape' landing first of all. From here we move onto the flip side with 'Concrete', another gnarly masterpiece, slapping together a sub-busting reese line with highly energetic rhythmic manoeuvres and colourful background FX to really work a system to its limit.
Review: After some brilliant material by the likes of Re.You, Greece's DJ Angelo and DJ Qness & Lazarusman, the ever reliable Connected (run by legends Stereo MCs) returns with this impressive four tracker by Berlin's Christoph Deckert. With past appearances for the likes of MoBlack, Chapter 24 and Scatcity, Deckert is a perfect fit here and delivers the goods in style on the riveting "1-1", an arcane and tribalistic ritual for the rainforest. Particularly impressive on here is Frenchman Parsifal (Kinesen) and his contribution, whose majestically moody reinterpretation will take you deep into the aether in the vein of Life & Death/Afterlife material.
Review: Dance Concept have developed a reputation for releasing music that broadens the boundaries of drum & bass, and this single from Deploy is no different, featuring an interesting combination of vocal sounds and tougher, dancefloor tones that we haven't heard from many producers. It's a tough nut to crack without straying into cheese territory and Deploy has done a great job in ensuring this isn't the case. The vocals are smooth and soulful, but when the bassline comes in the illusion is shattered and you're brought right back to the club, a shudderingly cool combination of sounds that's jarringly effective. Both tracks pay homage to this method, but if you're not partial to a good vocal then there's an instrumental version of 'Live Your Truth' included as well. Big up.
Review: The ever reliable Midnight Riot returns with a piping hot nu-disco joint by the Thessaloniki-based DJ/producer Dim Zach, who follows up some impressive outings on Rayko's Rare Wiri and Golden Soul in recent times. "Lonely" is a low-slung and funky number; perfect for the warm-up or the late night alike, with a catchy and familiar hook that's sure to work the dancefloor. Dim Zach is one to keep an eye on in 2020!
Review: Pick The Lock continue their ongoing rise to the top of new age jump-up with this single from Diskrete, who has come out the blocks with something seriously special that looks certain to be on repeat for some time. It's 'Harmless' that really shows things off, a bassface-inducingly spacious roller that's infectiously bouncy in the drums and disturbingly potent in its bass constructions. It's rolls, flicks, stabs and knifes its way through and it makes absolutely sure that you know about it. The flip is equally big, a bit steppier in the drums and even more aggressive in its punchiness. Wicked stuff.
Review: Bristol's baddest drum & bass crew are back on the road and back releasing fiercely naughty music that's just packed to the rafters with urban-edged attitude. DJ Gaw has been honing his craft for some time and the work put in is evident in Hand Sign, five-tracker that starts off with a bang and doesn't let up for one second. 'Signal' is superb, as Gaw samples the great David Rodigan, creating a wicked ambience which is then cut through by sharp-edged breaks and bouncing, wobbly stabs. The jungle destruction continues on 'Hand Sign', Joe Burn lays down the bars on 'Hyper' and Disrupta finishes the job with a feature on the superly gruff 'Rasta'.
Review: DJ Octopus aka Marco Zanin recorded this album in one take during quarantine, but despite being produced during challenging circumstances, it still sounds remarkably well-rounded and complete. "Glass Sun" is a vivid techno groove that's lit up by dramatic synths and repetitive hooks. "Quieora" is in a similar vein with dense drums underpinning euphoric, filtered melodies. It's not all uplifting material however; faced with the restrictions imposed by lockdown, "Live Streaming" is a stripped back, analogue banger, while on "Atilla Patch", Zanin conjures up a paranoid soundscape that features a clock ticking ominously, eerie organ playing and grimy frequencies. As artistic sketches go, this album is hard to beat.
Review: Next up from the 3024 gang, we see them continue their fantastic run of high quality releases, welcoming in DJOSER into their ranks for a sizzling four track expanse. We begin with the metallic synth simmers and shaky drum exploits of 'Alumen' which really sets the tone for the project before 'Kidulum' combines swampy, organic percussive textures with melancholy chord lines to create a hypnotic masterpiece. The booming subs and eerie atmospheric pad textures of the title track 'Secret Greeting' then follow before rounding the project off with a dive into 'Goose', a shimmering yet unorthodox aquatic drift through computerized audio. What a selection!
Review: Following the slabs of drum and bass Dreadnaught has released in "Rig Killer" and tracks that made their way to compilations for labels like BYTHEPRODUCER, Virtuous and Within The Woods - Nasty Piece Of Work marks the producer's full debut. Issued by Sub-liminal Recordings out of the UK, Dreadnaught weighs in on the bass, inflicting numbers like "Villian" with murderous dubs vibes that hit the spot alongside subtle tips of UKG buried within the dub of "No Love" and bass of ""Syndicate". Crackly ambient and textural atmospheres float like a dream underneath the jungle rhythms of "Drugs" with stepping rhythms and razor distortion tearing at the tweeters in "Overtime". Straight up street poetry in Dreadnaught's "Blazing The Fire" remix too.
Where We Start (Mario Ochoa remix) - (6:53) 130 BPM
Review: This second set of remixes from Drunken Kong's recent artist album are designed for the dance floor. First up is techno veteran Ken Ishii with a firing take on "Step Back". It's reminiscent of the ferocious and timeless Luke Slater take on Joey Beltram's "Forklift" and sees the storied Japanese artist drop a driving, percussive take on the original, its screeching riffs causing a wild crescendo. Up next is Mario Ocha with an equally impactful version of the title track. Built on a booming bass and featuring frazzled synth stabs, it makes for a moody, rousing piece of modern club techno.
Battery Boys (Baltra's White Cherry Gelato mix) - (5:38) 75 BPM
Earth Tones (Felipe Gordon remix) - (7:37) 127 BPM
Amazon Prime (Interplanetary Criminal remix) - (5:00) 130 BPM
I Just Love It (Effy remix) - (5:23) 126 BPM
I Just Love It (LXURY remix) - (4:17) 128 BPM
Los Angeles (Soela remix) - (6:30) 120 BPM
On A Limb (J Albert remix) - (4:30) 133 BPM
I Just Love It (Stefan Ringer remix) - (3:30) 130 BPM
Battery Boys (Baltra's White Cherry Gelato mix - instrumental) - (5:38) 75 BPM
Review: Barely a month has passed since Earth Boys delivered the saucer-eyed delight that was the "Earth Tones" album, but already Shall Not Fade has offered up a fully remixed, feature length set of alternative versions. That's no criticism though, because there's plenty to set the pulse racing from start to finish. Our highlights include the '90s drum & bass goes Balearic sweetness of Baltra's "White Cherry Gelato" mix of "Battery Boys", Interplanetary Criminal's stunningly dreamy late night UKG rework of "Amazon Prime", Soela's deliciously deep, hazy and life-affirming house take on "Los Angeles" - which incidentally reminded us of '90s Scottish deep house producer Aqua Bassino), and J Albert's bonkers-but-brilliant re-fix of "On a Limb", which is frankly impossible to accurately describe.
Review: Following releases on labels like ARTS and Pushmaste, Domenico Petrosino aka Earwax debuts on the seminal Planet Rhythm imprint. The title track is a tough percussive workout underpinned by abrasive kicks and otherworldly chord stabs, while "Dry Sound" is harder and faster, with the Italian producer dropping hard as nails drums and screeching industrial riffs that are filtered deftly over rasping percussion. Clearly, Petrosino has taken inspiration from late 90s techno from Italy, and nowhere is this more apparent than on "This Tool", a scorching, rolling looped affair, its piledriving hi hats and noisy riffs sounding redolent of vintage Gaetek. Meanwhile, on "Heisenberg", he drops a searing acid line and nightmarish synths that will have maximum dance floor impact.
Review: The Encrypted team look to continue their highly rated recent run with this one as they invite the intriguing sounds of 'El inside for a three track dubstep experiment. We begin our journey through this one with a taster of 'Repetition', a blippy, stuttered original design combining bubbling synthesizer plucks with moody sublines to create something quite ear-opening. Next, 'Start A War' stitches together an array of organic percussive chimes with a spooky atmospheric overtone for more thought-provoking listening, before rounding this off with 'Wake Up Lisa' another crunchy creation that ties together an heavily reverberated drumset with spacey melodic drifts and off-key piano stabs for an eerie adventure.
Review: Disco takes a turn to the darkside on this EP from Mexican duo ENJANZEA2, coming on NYC label Wonder Stories. 'Smoke Now' is a prog-disco-techno fusion that's powered along by an ominous two-note bassline, topped with warbling synths and snatches of conversation and underpinned by rock-solid 4/4s, while the accompanying remix from Steve Cook gives the track a breakbeat twist. 'Vecuronium Bromide' itself has more of a classic 80s Italo/electro feel and what sound like horror movie samples, before Mufti supplies a stripped-back rerub for techno floors. An EP to reach for when you want to turn the dark up.
Sub Conscious (Manfredas Stream Of Consciousness) - (6:18) 135 BPM
Review: Originally conceived as part of Erol Alkan's Fabriclive mix back in 2014, "Sub Conscious" now gets its own separate release. It serves as a reminder that the iconic UK DJ is also an adept producer, and "Sub Conscious" features gurgling acid lines that are overlaid against crashing snares and swinging drums, making for an alluring slice of woozy techno. Respected underground DJ Manfredas has been tapped to rework the track and he delivers two remixes; the first version is a dubbed out groove that swings and twists seductively, while the "Stream of Consciousness" version is a balmy, beatsy affair that is shot through with languid guitar licks.
Review: Re-edit king Fabiolous Barker turns his attention to a Gil Scott-Heron classic, though you'd probably guessed that already! A dancefloor cert thanks to that much-sampled intro ("Now the first thing I wanna say is, mandate my ass"), the Mandate My Mix is a very light-touch and respectful rework, and as such is mostly notable for how relevant the early 80s lyric is to America's current political climate. The Mandate My Dub, meanwhile, strips out most of that vocal and lets Robert Gordon's sleaze-tastic slap bassline shine through in all its glory. The original's still very playable, but these new rubs offer a viable alternative.
Review: Fokuz are one of the most consistent labels in the scene and have an illustrious history stretching back into the 1990s. They release a hell of a lot of music across the three labels under their umbrella and Farflow is the latest artist to appear on their schedule, his About Us EP showing off exactly what the label have made a name for themselves doing: combining soulfulness with an inner core of gritty low frequencies. 'Bliss Bliss' highlights this especially well, with an emergent melody of sultry piano chords and wispy pads that give way to a powerful, rolling tapestry of luscious drum & bass. 'Down Under' is down to earth and spacy in the pads, whilst 'About Us' is wonderfully deep, its introduction setting the tone for a breaks-led rendition of warped, vocal music. Bang on.
Review: Now over the years, Footsie has rightly become known as an outright legend with grime in the UK, both through his work alongside D Double E at Newham Generals and as a solo recording artist. Today however, we need to discuss just how undersung Footsie is as a producer, having delivered top quality 140 riddims left, right and centre over the past 15 years. This brand new project is the perfect way to celebrate his ability as we are gifted 12 storming original instrumentals, showcasing the full spectrum of his production ability, from the spectacular horn sampling of 'Black & White' to the trappy sub rolls of 'Lemz' and classic grimey melodic structures of 'Got Cheese'. The whole project is a masterpiece to say the least, with our standouts including the smooth Asian woodwind slicing of 'The Massage Riddim', alongside the constantly shifting soundscapes of 'Badman Orchestra' and dubstep inspired bass wonks of 'Fire Door'. Amazing stuff!
Review: Capital Heaven is an independent record label and studio specializing in melodic house and techno, chill-out and electronica. For the label's next release, bosses Alec Milliner and Darren James team up again as Framewerk for slinky progressive breaks on the track "Alright". This is followed by a chugging Detroit techno vibe on the soulful "Making That Move", some ethereal mood music for the warm-up or afterhours alike on "Distant Horizons" and ending the great EP with the sublime ambient journey of "Arrakis".
Review: We have heard a tonne of fantastic music from Gastah over the years, which is why when we saw he was in the process of building a brand new LP project we struggled to contain our excitement. 'Forlorn' is a fantastic look into the mind of one of 140's most slept on figures, from the icey synth leads of 'Obscurities' to the uplifting chord expressions and vocal genius of 'Resting In', the project delivers a fantastic range of sounds, all unmistakably Gastah. We would have to recommend taking this one in throughout a longplay format, however, if we were to point out a couple of highlights, the sweeping roller textures of 'Negativity' deliver a weighty gutpunch, alongside the nostalgic grimey synth lines of the title track 'Forlorn'. What a project!
Review: So it would appear that Cue Line have arranged a bit of a treat for us with this one as Gaze Ill lands for three tracks of experimental fire, kicking off with his brow-raising overhaul of 'Sudd' from Zygos. With this we see him rework the original into a boiling ball of bass and bounce, allowing a minimal drum set to push the whole track forward with some real style. Next, Gaze then reworks RDG's 'Shapeshift' into a piece of half-time percussive perfection, packed to the brim with shimmering bassy throws and high energy rhythmic ideas before VIP'ing his own 'Combo' original. This puts the cherry on the cake as a well thought out collection sub bass synths and reverberated congas deliver a very finale.
Review: Introducing GEN-Y/GF, a new project for the Hague-based Bakk label that in its seven year existence has brought us a new wave of bunker rave from a select pool of artists like Aurora Halal, MGUN and Legowelt to Jerimiah R, SVF Acid and Oceanic! Packaged as a split release of three solo GEN-Y numbers and the chilled out, psychedelic, big beat and trip hop collaboration "Sugarbaby", GEN-Y's own material takes shape in the uptempo booty house of "Drunk On Ya Lips" to the fresh electro and new age sounds of "Earth #4" alongside the harder and acid tripping "Cosmic Desert". Bakk in the game.
Exit Through The Skylight (Jay Glass Dubs Reboot) - (5:30) 74 BPM
Weaver (Minotaur Shock remix) - (6:11) 94 BPM
Pulsing (Maps remix) - (6:29) 108 BPM
Kolokol (Franz Kirmann M25 dub) - (5:59) 103 BPM
Review: Emerging label Bytes established only last year sheds some more light on the alter-electro-ego of RIDE's Andy Bell. Amassing a squadron of remixers like Richard Sen, Maps and the late Andrew Weatherall (RIP), Dissident (Remixed) features Bytes own label entities Franz Kirmann and Minotaur Shock! Reimagining the ambient and techno landscape of GLOK's original 2019 Dissident LP, the harder trance drums, light piano keys and Eno-esque atmospheres reappear in an epic 15-minute bonus version of "Pulsing". Full of phase action and arpeggios, Weatherall's rework to "Cloud Cover" keeps it stripped back with flashes of tropical percussion and deep Detroit synth action, with some acoustic, blissed out and tumbling workshop rhythms in Jay Glass Dubs' Reboot to "Exit Through The Skylight". Chlo? Raunet's C.A.R project looks to synth wave in her cover of "Weaver" with Timothy Clerkin dialing up some Madchester rave inspirations with a slow remix to "Projected Sounds" that's full of squelchy acid lines, chanted vocals and trippy reverb effects.
Review: The consistency of dubstep labels such as Duploc in recent years really is something to behold and celebrate, with their latest drop continuing the themes we seem to bring up every time, as Hella drops two beautiful bangers. Firstly, 'Maple Trees In Spring' combines an emotive, Asian sounding string-lead harmonic structure with beefy, well thought out drum structures to create something somehow both introspective and outward facing. On the flip, the slightly quicker tempos and horn driven rhythms of 'Cascades' provide a fantastic level of differentiation, holding both tunes in a well designed balance of subtlety and beauty.
Review: A disruptor on the drum and bass scenes for a few years now Hexa makes his way to Pick N Mix, a label with a storied discography that's getting bigger by the month! Having released with other labels like Audio Addict and most recently with a contribution to Dilate Recordings, Hexa's swung minimal style surfaces in mini LP form. Drawing from woozy Wu-Tang-esque samples in between liquid rhythms, heavier bass and steppy percussions sections, you'' find that in tracks like "Vicious Cycle", "The Manchu", "The Box" and "Train" - all tips! "On Guard" introduces a heavy rave element with UKG vocal stabs alongside the bassline driven "Absence of Light". Top pick.
Review: Sex sells but Hex smells... And that's just the way we like it. A proper stinker merchant, straight out of Newcastle, he's been killing things on all the right labels in the last 12 months and this Subway Soundz release is no exception. Two tracks of pure grit, "Alive" asks all the questions while "Black Hole" gives all the answers. Subway Soundz smash it once again.
Review: Manchester's Hobbs (UK) - AKA Matt Hobin, FKA Kleen Kutz - joins forces with Data Transmission podcast supremo Ron Mexico for a disco-house three-tracker on Doorly's Reptile Dysfunction. 'Good Times' is a soul-infused affair whose male vocal nods to Aquarian Dream/Danny Tenaglia classic 'Look Ahead', while 'Don't Stop' is a slightly tuffer, more energetic cut with micro-snips of the vocal from Common's 'I Used To Love H.E.R', as previously sampled on Da Mongoloids' vintage Strictly bullet 'Spark Da Meth'. Completing the package is 'My Baby', a driving cut with a near-chipmunk'd vocal and an incessant, loopy kinda feel.