Review: Aleph music chief Ralf Schmidt aka Aera is back on the esteemed Innervisions imprint with the Prana EP, which is imbued with the instincts of a storyteller across six sonically different yet interconnected micro-worlds. From the dreamy and sublime vibes of "Way Out" where tech house and 8-bit elements collide, to moments of cleverly crafted and emotive futurism that we've come to know and love from the German producer - which can he heard on riveting journeys like "Turning Machine" and "Little Smasher". It wouldn't be an Innervisions record without a bit blissed-out and melodic deep house, would it? "Brackets" has you covered on that front.
Review: Ralf Schmidt aka Aera is back on Permanent Vacation, with three dance versions from his recent album The Sound Path that was released earlier this year. The new interpretations go straight to your feet and shove you onto the dancefloor. From the shimmering and hypnotic dance mix of "The Dance Will" that injects a whole new form of magic into it than the original. There is also "May Your Heartflame Continue" (Dance mix) which takes a moody, brooding turn optimised for proper dancefloor drama and "Birds At The Lighthouse" going for a deep electro vibe in the fashion of early Carl Finlow.
Review: Following up some fantastic releases on Innervisions, Hivern Discs and of course his own Aleph Music imprint, Berlin based Aera returns with his second full length album since 2013. The Sound Path appears for Munich based Permanent Vacation and is described as his most coherent and personal work to date, incorporating new age, kraut, and ambient influences. Indeed there is quite the variety of moods and grooves featured on this opus: from the deep and contemplative electro of "Flowers Under Water" and "All The Birds" , or the techy balearic house of "Logic & Kindness" through to the straight up, evocative dancefloor journeys the German is renowned for- such as on "The Sun Will" or "Stitch In Time".
Review: Ralf Schmidt aka Aera's last outing was on Innervisions and it's not hard to understand why he commands the support of Dixon as well as John Talabot's Hivern. Aera is a gloriously colourful smorgasbord of influences - including house, acid and trance. "Bibimbap" unfolds to metallic, futuristic drums accompanied by trippy acid lines and shiny trance synth. Meanwhile, "Thai Park" sounds like a logical but subtle conclusion to electro house, as Schmidt tweaks and teases a bass that modulates its tone against the backdrop of a rickety rhythm over the course of its eight-minute duration. By contrast, "Rotunde" is far lighter and dreamier: teeming with feather-weight, lullaby melodies and irresistible thumb-clicking percussion, it is nonetheless shot through with a bleeding bass. By the time he gets to the pulsing groove of "Lumen" - also remixed by La Gomera - the sound is tracky but still deliciously tripped out.
Review: On German producer and Aleph label founder Aera's latest release, the coalescing of influences from the past forty years of electronic music is audible. From the early electronic-style noises that warble over the bubbly acid pulse on the title track to the deeper than deep house of "Krystal Close" and the Mathew Jonson-sounding micro-trance melodies of "Keeping the Book", Running Hot is nothing if not adventurous and diverse. Innervisions also deserves praise for its choice of remixer; Steve Rachmad is not the most immediate name one would associate with the German label, but he does a fine job here, turning "Keeping the Book" into a deep, pulsing techno track, accentuating the original version's beautiful spacey-ness.
Review: Catz 'N' Dogz, one of the first Polish house acts to achieve international success, has decided the time is right for a two-part, "cultural statement of intent from their country's great thinkers, creators, collaborators and disruptors in electronic music". This first part of the all-Polish compilation series is naturally full of intoxicating but varied dancefloor treats. Compare and contrast the Orbital-goes-dream house lusciousness of Earth Trax's "Horyzont", Kuba Sojka's dubby and hypnotic, late night tech-house trip "Walkin Bass" and the lo-fi house fuzz served up by The Analog Roland Orchestra. Best of all, though, is Das Komplex's epic remix of Till von Sein and Aera's "Dynamite", which bubbles away on a Balearic dub disco tip for 10 mesmerizing minutes.
Review: Innervisions' Secret Weapons series is always worth a look, if only for the opportunity it gives to delve into Dixon's CD wallet and see what he's been hammering over the last six months. As usual, there's plenty of Grade A material to enjoy, from the undulating rhythms and drifting chords of Hunter Game's "Ice", to the forceful electronics, woozy pads and dreamy vocal snatches of Flowers & Sea Creatures' picturesque "Overworld". Elsewhere, Nu Tone delivers some intense afterparty fare in the shape of "Rumble", while Ripperton reaches for the lasers on the shuffling deep house gem "Unfold". Arguably best of all, though, is Aera's "Freak Wave", a midtempo shuffler that boasts a wonderfully warm, organic feel, with rich percussion and fuzzy analogue synth-work.
Fetsum - "Waitin' For You" (Till Von Sein & Tigerskin remix remastered) - (6:10) 126 BPM
Till Von Sein - "Sunday Madness" - (6:18) 117 BPM
Till Von Sein & Chopstick - "Bachkippe" - (7:15) 122 BPM
Till Von Sein - "Booty Angel" (feat Kid Enigma) - (4:20) 120 BPM
Till Von Sein - "The Manifest" (feat Mr V - Pablo Fierro remix) - (6:43) 123 BPM
Till Von Sein - "Crydale" - (5:56) 125 BPM
Till Von Sein - "U N U" - (5:46) 123 BPM
Till Von Sein & Tigerskin - "Good Times On The Reg" (Remastered) - (7:02) 123 BPM
Till Von Sein - "Non Existent Love" (feat Tigerskin, Lazarus & Meggy - Remastered) - (6:53) 118 BPM
Till Von Sein & Aera - "Dynamite" - (5:00) 113 BPM
Till Von Sein - "Blueprint" (feat Fritz Kalkbrenner & Thalstroem - Kollektiv Turmstrasse remix) - (6:35) 120 BPM
Till Von Sein - "Tilly's Jam" - (7:06) 123 BPM
Kiki & Sasse - "Belvedere" (Till Von Sein remix) - (9:06) 124 BPM
Till Von Sein - "Gestern" - (7:30) 124 BPM
Till Von Sein - "Ocean Love" - (6:26) 122 BPM
Till Von Sein - "Reviewed 02" (continuous DJ mix) - (1:27:06) 121 BPM
Review: The second volume in Suol's artist retrospective series, Reviewed, drills down into the 11-year career of Till Von Sein, gathering together highlights from the deep house producer's bulging back catalogue. Naturally, it provides a fine overview, serving up selections that will work in a variety of dancefloor situations (warm-up, peak-time, and so on). Highlights come thick and fast, from the deep tropical house grooves of "Sunday Madness" and the chunky, disco house-goes-to-the-warehouse vibes of Chopstick hook-up "Backhipe", to the rumbling sub-bass and incessant cowbells of "U N U", and the string-laden, soul-fired deep house brilliance of Kollektiv Turmstrasse's remix of Fritz Kalkbrenner and Thalestroem collaboration "Blueprint".
Review: It's that time again: Berlin institution Innervisions returns and rounds up this year's melodic techno futurists on Secret Weapons' tenth edition. Indeed it's a big one, but not with the usual suspects, would you believe. Take for instance Marc Romboy: the German tech house legend behind the respected Systematic imprint appears with the spacey and euphoric dancefloor drama of "Infrared", rising star of the Berlin scene Nitam (previously on Ostgut Ton sister label Unterton) appears also with the seething, late night adrenaline of "JS/42" which nails that Panorama Bar vibe so nicely. Elsewhere, the always impressive Southern Italian duo Underspreche make a welcome appearance with "From The Exotism To The Future" yet another example of their contorted take on Afro house, while minimal don Marc Houle reappears, with a nifty rework by German power duo Frankey & Sandrino on the epic journey of "Paligama"
Review: Hamburg is known for many things, but now German label Hafendiscko want it to be synonymous with it's cutting edge electronic musical output. So much so in fact, that it's released two compilations in order to get the point across. In the latest instalment, dubbed 'from House to House', we get a staggering 24 house-influenced electro tracks to chose from. Highlights include Suburb's deep and stabby "The Kid', the weird Afro-house of Viktor Marek's "My Favourite Thing", the electro-pop of RSS Disco & Sugarwater's "Lovebird", the spiky diva funk of "Don Harp" by Hish and the creepy grooves of "This Tune Is Unemployed" by Remute.