Review: Following on from the recent 2.1 compilation, Hotflush again shows why it is such an essential dance floor label. It features established artists like Agoria, who drops the discordant tones and spiky minimalism of "Helice" and Recondit with the deep, dubbed out "Channel" , alongside emerging producers like Glaskin with the twisted acid of "You Are Simply A Machine". No Hotflush compilation would be complete without its owner Scuba's input; here it takes various forms, including a broken beat remix of "Ruptured" by Surgeon, and the SCB sub-project dropping the sub-bass led "Rope". If that wasn't reason enough to buy Floor 2.2, there is also a fine techno track from the late, great Trevino.
Review: French techno veteran Agoria is back with new single "You're Not Alone" featuring the vocal talents of R&B singer Blase, who has previously worked with LeBron James and Jadakiss. His heart wrenching vocal delivery matches Sebastien Devaud's emotive deep house arrangement which ventures down a much more accessible/pop-inflected route than we are previous used to from the Sapiens boss. Featured here are two heavy hitting remixes, the first by Diynamic chief Solomun who takes the track into epic melodic dancefloor drama territory, while while ascendant British deep house star Aleksandir (Church/Tessellate) gives the track a sunny, swing-fuelled and absolutely uplifting rework.
Review: Global Underground's Nubreed series has a huge amount of kudos, having brought respected DJs like Lee Burridge, Steve Lawler and Danny Howells to attention during the early 00s with a series of iconic mixes. Although it was on hold for much of the second decade of this millennium, it has been successfully resurrected and now gives the same platform to Theo Kottis. In keeping with its usual format, this instalment sees the Beautiful Strangers boss explore a range of styles and sound across two mixes. Accordingly, his selection ranges from Gigi Masin's melodic piano composition, "Maja", to the Mountain People's sensuous deep house "La Onda", taking in some underground classics like DJ Assassin's garage/house hybrid "Face in the Crowd" as well as left of centre oddities like The Horn's "Villager". It's a fitting testament to the Nubreed aesthetic.
Review: French soulful techno expert Agoria returns to his Sapiens imprint with yet more surefire dancefloor drama. "Boomerang" is a fitting name for this woozy and hypnotic cut that features a trippy sub bass snarl that veers to and from you within its sonic spectrum. We are then presented with the trilogy that is "Directory". The first part being a brooding sonic landscape that reaches near psychedelic moments, likewise the second is also a modular based drone piece. The third and final part of the puzzle is without doubt the most avant -garde and passive aggressive - calling to mind the work of Thomas Ankersmit or Morton Subotnick. This fine release follows up a real winning streak for the label in recent times courtesy of scene favourites Eagles & Butterflies, Dino Lenny and fellow Frenchman Oxia to name but a few.
Review: What better way to celebrate a decade in business than by getting Chicago deep house legend Larry Heard to select and mix a double-disc compilation of label highlights? Hats off, then, to Rebirth, who managed to persuade Mr Fingers himself to deliver his first commercially available DJ mix. As you'd expect from both label and DJ, it's a wonderfully atmospheric and melodious affair, with Heard selecting and blending emotion-rich tracks and mixes from Chromatic Filters, Bocca Grande, NuFrequency, Tevo Howard, Motor City Drum Ensemble and James Teej. The first disc, in which Heard races through 28 tracks in just over 70 minutes, is particularly memorable.