Review: This year, Huntleys & Palmers plan to release a number of split 7" singles, which will also be released digitally. This is the first, featuring tracks from Luna and Alejandro Paz, and Comeme types Carisma. As usual, the standard is high, with Luna and Paz, in particular, impressing with with the wonky, up-tempo synth-pop hustle of "Breathe". It's beats fizz and rattle, the electronics ebb and flow, and the vocals - which, interestingly, first appear halfway through the track - add a distinctively European sense of style. Carisma's "A Las Quince La Manana" is almost as good, with dreamy chords, twinkling melodies and weirdo samples (pitched down vocals, a random cockerel etc) riding a chugging, slo-mo synth groove.
Review: Alejandro Paz shows his quirky side on the diverse Free. The title track is a pulsing groove populated by percussive ticks and dramatic chord sweeps as well as soulful male claiming 'I wanna be free'. "New Guy In Town" is completely different, its slamming drums and tight bassline underpinning a boy meets girl call and response vocal duet in Spanish and English. On "Duro", Paz offers a more camp approach, with a daft vocal set to a slamming electro bass, while "Texit" sees him show his sensitive side. Over heavy claps, kettle drums and bleeding acid, an unnamed singer delivers an effortlessly breathy vocal performance.
Review: If you're looking for something to give a jaded dancefloor a gargantuan kick up the backside, you could do worse than reach for this five-tracker from Alejandro Paz. The Madrid-based producer seems to specialize in the sort of robust, forthright house that comes laden with more energy than a skip full of Red Bull. "Lavapies" and "Different But The Same" lace sharp, rave-influenced synths and atmospheric spoken word vocals over heavy low-end grooves. More impressive is "The Bubble", a hissing, swinging exercise in contemporary acid jack. "Inside Job" sounds like 808 State's "Cubik" on steroids, while closer "El Raver" delivers a relentless trip through '90s "braindance" territory.
Review: The wilfully eccentric pushes in a new direction with this compilation. It starts off with Carisma's "Muerte Instrumental", a stomping house affair with a heavy, acidic bass and noisy filtering, sounding like an acid rocker has decided to engineer himself some Chicago jack. Gladkazuka's "El Untitled" is an adventure in Terrence Fixmer-style techno, with grinding EBM basslines and a doomy sensibility prevailing, while Matias Aguayo's "El Transatlantio" is based on a humming bassline and insidious bleeps. Alejandro Paz restores some semblance of normality with "El House", a clap-heavy acid groove with typically nonsensical Spanish lyrics.
Review: Matias Aguayo's Comeme imprint is one of the most refreshing dance labels of recent years precisely because it doesn't follow a pre-determined path. As this compilation shows, Comeme's approach is refreshingly chaotic, even when the same artist is concerned. For example, Ana Helder's contributions range from heavy, grainy jack tracks such as Aguayo's take on "El Groove De Tu Corazon" to low-slung, cowbell-infested disco like "Eat Me (Carisma version)" and the Rhodesy work-out of "Beating PC". The rest of the release follows this charmingly off the wall direction, with Gladkazuka delivering a dark synth groove and Aguayo himself dipping into relentless ghetto techno on "De Oporto A Paras".
COMEMECOMPILATIONVOL 3 26 Aug 13 Minimal/Tech House
Review: Having recently dabbled in the artist album format, Comeme turn to matters of a compiled nature with this fine collection of tracks presented under the banner Gasoline. Fans of the label will be pleased to see that Ana Helder contributes the title track, whilst Argentinean selectors Djs Pareja appear twice with one track a collaboration with fellow Comeme mainstay Alejandro Paz. It's also great to see the label introduce a few new names, with the self-styled GlasGoan Auntie Flo a perfect fit for Comeme given his previous output for Huntleys & Palmers, Permanent Vacation, Mule and Kompakt Extra. The presence of Mexican duo Zombies In Miami, Portuguese 'Bachelor House' advocates Voxels and Chileans Vaskular and Valesuchi suggests Comeme's A&R skills for uncovering new talent remains as keen as ever.
Review: No one does contemporary disco like Dimitri From Paris. And no one has the compilation licensing clout like Defected. Naturally this is a match made in glitterball heaven as DFP spans 40 years of grooves with a spotless collection of his own edits and upfront jams. Ranging from his own twists on standard disco gems such as "Le Freak" and "Lost In Music" to the likes of Disclosure's "F For You" and Todd Terje's "Delorean Dynamite" this is, without question, one of Defected's most extensive, expansive and exciting collections to date - which really is saying something. A natural fit for all house, disco and funk fans young and old.