Review: In Scuba's ever-deepening commitment to emotive tech house, Hotflush score a big coup in teaming up with Agoria for this EP of expansive big room beasts that know just as much about subtlety as brashness. The title track holds back in all the right places to create a palpable tension that simply builds throughout the track, without losing any of that all important presence, while "Make It Real" finds the French producer throwing down chunky chords for everyone to instantly latch on to. ESS delivers a remix of the latter that adds some crafty drum hooks into the mix and a little additional emotive synth work for an equally sizable dancefloor cut.
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: 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: Agoria has enjoyed a long working relationship with Luxembourg-raised classical pianist turned experimental composer Francesco Tristano, having released a number of the latter's works on his Infine label. Here, they join forces for "Kick The Peace (part 2)", the highlight of a smart two-track EP for Innervisions. Woozy, intricate, musically complex and spooky, it impressively fuses Tristano's compositional skills and love of intertwining melodies with Agoria's shuffling grooves and techno influences. While an impressive piece of instrumental music, it's also got enough chops to work a dancefloor. The EP's other track, Agoria's solo effort "Scala", has more immediate dancefloor charms, not least some hustling, classic house drums, typical Innervisions build and some delicious piano melodies.
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.