Review: This Avocado release by French producer Alexkid may well be the best thing he's released yet, which is quite the praise seeing as Alexis Mauri has been putting out records since 1997. Avacado also provides him with a debut on Josh Wink's Ovum, and what a debut it is. "The Dope" is deep, squiggly and atmospheric with pulses of bass tones bleeping in and out of sync like a modular system gone mad, while the future Chicago house of "For Josh" will indeed be a hit, if it isn't one already, for Wink's DJ sets, whether it be in Ibiza or the basement venues of NYC.
Review: Former F Comm stalwart Alexkid pops up on Freerange with an EP that offers distinctly rougher grooves than the label's usual slick deepness. While "Shesgottoleave" and "Class Of 95" have lush, occasionally gorgeous elements in spades - a husky vocal in the former, and some vintage Detroit techno synths in the latter - both are driven forward by fuzzy, distorted drums that simply swagger with dancefloor energy. It's a real step forward for Freerange. Remix-wise, Bassfort delivers a pleasingly old skool take on "Class Of 95", while Matt Edwards dons his Radioslave hat for a long, deep, druggy revision of "Shesgottoleave".
Review: Fuse London still carries a flame for classic, mid noughties minimal. Who doesn't fondly remember the reductionist grooves of m_nus or Tuning Spork? What about the original secretsundaze or mulletover shindigs? Oh well, it's those nostalgics that Enzo Siragusa caters to, and does a fine job at that. The man himself appears first, with the tripped out and paranoid afterhours shuffle of "Desire", complete with creepy pitch shifted vocals; most likely elaborating on the experience of being in a sweaty, loud, windowless basement for way too long.. way into the afternoon! Then "Wear Your Cape" by Frenchman Alexkid gets a groove on that's a bit more upfront and uptempo, complimented by a sinister sub bass and random zaps and whirs.. hey, it's minimal! What more can we say: less is more.
Review: It's hard to believe that Loco Dice's label has been around for so long - or more surprisingly that it covers so much ground. While much of the label's focus remains on toolish, tribal house, 5 Years also covers deep, chiming house, audible on Yaya's "Our Connection" and the driving, vocal-filled groove of Dice's own "Lolopopinho". Of the tribal-styled tracks, the ones that stand out most are the ponderous vocals of Basti Grub's "Drunk & High" and the intoxicating chants of Francisco Allendes' "Platonic Solid". Yet neither can compare to the acid-filled, rolling snares of Horatio's "How Much 909 Can You Take", which sounds like LFO vs FUSE's "Loop" on acid.
Review: The latest in what is becoming known as the "versus" series features a range of styles. It varies from the low slung bass and dark wave synths of the No Ears take on Worst Case Scenario's "Hot Beef" to the chugging, Basic Channel-style chords of Alexkid's "Mousseur Dub" as well as his stripped back, jacking take on Nina Kraviz' "Pain In The Ass". UK vs France also features label boss Matt Edwards' "Loose Joint", in its "Molly's One Day One Night" remix format, which involves skipping percussion and powerful subs. But best of all is I:Cube's take on Toby Tobias' "The Feeling", where sensuous melodies are combined with the most haunting vocals this side of Dead Can Dance.
Review: Following on from the recent UK and Germany EPs, this expansive collection further sheds light on Rekids' wide-ranging approach. There's Radio Slave's own 'Shaking The Tree' remix of Mr G's "Makes No Sense", which draws on the bongo-heavy house of US producers like Halo & Hipp-E, replete with birdsong and Rastafarian stream of consciousness toasting. In contrast, the raw, analogue stomp of Colin McBean's "Get on Down" sounds like Richie Hawtin's Circuit Breaker doing house, while Wink delivers an insane, acid-tweaked take on Radioslave's "Screaming Hands". The compilation also features lesser-known nuggets like Jjak Hogan's "Optifreeze", where tripped out synths combine with a low-slung rhythm, and the muffled vocals and dreamy synths of Amir Alexander's take on Liviu Groza & Kennedy Smith's "Could Be Anybody".