Alex Niggemann - "Balance" (Mixed By Alex Niggemann/continuous mix) - (1:16:30) 124 BPM
Review: From his native Dusseldorf to his adopted home of Berlin, Alex Niggemann's name is synonymous with the German tech house sound and appearances on a who's who of labels in recent years. From Poker Flat, Last Night On Earth and Tsuba to his own respected Aeon and Soulfooled imprints, he has shown his knack for deep and sexy grooves and his last eight years of DJing and studio prowess is on display for the latest edition of Australia's Balance series of mix compilations. The programming on Balance runs the gamut from deep, dark journey tracks (Gui Boratto "Joker" (Dave DK mix)"/Baikal - "Pelican's Flight"), dreamy hypnotism (Aril Brikha/Sebastian Mullaert - "Illuminate"/Antigone "Blue Note") and some new exclusives from the man himself, such as the mighty slow burner "Divergent". As always, there's a bonus track featuring all the aforementioned on a continuous mix.
Review: Andrea Oliva is one of Europe's rising tech-house stars - and with good reason. Following releases on labels like Cadenza, Saved and Be As One, he drops Trust for Hot Creations. The title track is a hypnotic tribal house affair that rolls to the sound of a hypnotic female vocal, features a mushed acid break down and a soaring bass that sounds like it was recycled from an old hardcore record."Soho Nights" is a tighter, jacking affair; it revolves around a steely rhythm a surging bass and the kind of siren-led riffs that will ensure it causes mayhem wherever it is dropped.
Review: Swiss house producer Andrea Oliva has been a stable and important part of the tech-house wave post the minimal era of the mid 2000's. His music has been released all over the shop; with EPs on imprints like Saved, Cadenza, and Moonharbour, you get the picture. "Scream" is his new single, it comes courtesy of Knee Deep In Sound, and it's a natural big-room tech weapon backed by a powerful, wooly bassline to drag the dancers out of their seats. "Voices" is more beat-centric, carrying a dusty percussion muscle and one hell of a groove. Addictive and unstoppable.
Review: Swiss DJ Andrea Oliva is back after some seriously hot releases on Ojektivity, Moon Harbour and Memoria with another hit on the always reliable Saved with the Time To Get EP. The title track has all the hallmarks of the label's main room sound, complete with white noise washes, rising head rush melody and massive drops! Oh and did we mention it's absolutely funky? Second offering "We All Love Chords" states the obvious, but music wise this track is one ferociously soulful and emotive journey that you could imagine Carl Craig or Christian Smith smashing out to lead in to the peak time shift.
Review: 'Click', 'glitch' and 'minimal' have become dirty words, but there is a refreshing lack of navel gazing on this release. Instead, Olivia delivers a sexy underground groove on "Piano Piano", which is characterised by sensuous piano keys and a swinging rhythm. The title track and "Jungle Dub" both see Olivia opt for rhythmic tracks, but in latter's case, the drums are loose enough to avoid sounding like a typical DJ tool track. On a different tact altogether is "Ronda", a jacking house groove in the style of classic Derrick Carter and Luke Solomon, albeit one that features a jarring electronic riff. Irrespective of labels or titles, this release shows that good music will always rise to the top.
Review: Brummie dance music legend Steve Lawler continues on with the 10 year celebrations of his respected VIVa Music; aptly titled Decadedance and this is part three following up two superb volumes previously. There's more great grooves on this month's edition, with the UK's finest Eats Everything serving up the bumpy main room electro house jam "Prog-Le-Matic", Spaniard Andrea Oliva's "Rider" too; which is dirty, rolling tech house aimed squarely at Ibiza peak time dancefloors and finally American producer MANIK provides some jacking and retro flavoured acid house dirt on the sexy late night shenanigans of "The Right Moves".
HECTOR - "Sound Of BPM Festival" (continuous DJ mix) - (1:22:44) 124 BPM
Review: Mexican producer Hector has sure come a long way. From his humble beginnings in London's underground scene, working the counter of London's infamous Phonica record store and becoming a regular at popular London haunts of the time like fabric and T Bar (R.I.P.) he has gone on to international stardom, playing the word circuit and launching his Vatos Locos imprint: the very label which launches this compilation and credited to the highly popular Playa del Carmen festival that he has since become a regular guest at. Highlights on here (and there's many!) not limited to: the hi-tech soul sounds of Carl Craig with his classic "Sandstorms" or Martin Buttrich with his classic from 10 years ago "Full Clip". More recent classics such as Loco Dice's remix of Carl Cox's "Family Guy" and Nicole Moudaber & Skin (of Skunk Anansie) with their explosive "You Like This" getting a rolling rendition courtesy of Paco Osuna. The VL Recordings head honcho appears also, with a bunch of new exclusives: the best being his track "L.A. Kr3w" getting a makeover by Detroit boss man Stacey Pullen.
Review: Romanian minimal heroes Livio & Roby return for a full length on Loco Dice's esteemed Desolat imprint and believe us when we tell you: it's all killer, no filler! But if their own renowned studio prowess was not enough, Phantom Circle sees them team up with the current who's who of global tech house on each track. Featured guests include Ryan Crosson, tINi, Martin Buttrich and Guti. It's hard to pick just a few highlights, as there were so many, but for our money we'd bet on: their collaboration with Fathers & Sons Productions' Julian Perez on "Reign", their bumpin' and funky joint with Fuse London head honcho Enzo Siragusa "Sn Model" or when they're facing off with themselves; in this case, their alter ego Premiesku as demonstrated on the rolling and hypnotic "Dezarhiva"
Review: Toolroom's compilations have soundtracked Miami's Winter Music Conference for more than a decade and this is no exception. Here they've drafted in three of their key artists to compile the album: Friend Within, Leftwing : Kody & Siege - who all take you on a journey through the various shades of house and techno. Highlights include: Siege's remix of legend Green Velvet's massive "Bigger Than Prince, boss man Mark Knight's electrifying rework of C.O.T.'s "Let It Go" into a uplifting house anthem, Dutchman Franky Rizardo cool as a cucumber on the smooth groove of "X Marks The Spot" through to veteran west coast producer Miguel Migs returning to the spotlight with the ultra deep "Moving Light" feat. Lisa Shaw and the comeback of Canadian legend Hatiras on the slinky and hypnotic remix of Sammy Deuce's "EZY". From certified main room essentials to sun-kissed poolside vibes, capture the magic of Miami Music Week with 'Toolroom Miami 2020'.
Review: Yassine Ben Achour and Martin Buttrich founded Desolat on the success of their now legendary Loco Dice project eight years ago in Brooklyn; just like it says on the tin. Based in Achour's home turf of Dusseldorf ever since, the label has gone on to launch the careers of tech house heroes such as Danny Ocean, Patrick Specke and Guti to name but a few. Their next volume of Desolat X will follow in suit, not only celebrating another successful year in the business but championing the new breed and the exception of a couple of legends, actually. Firstly, west coast tech house royalty Halo Varga teams up with the next generation of California's scene in the form of Harvard Bass on the rolling stomper "Swing City", as well as Germany's The Timewriter who offers up the deep and slinky vocal led groove of "Tenderness". Other highlights include Milan's Proudly People who get a bit of help from Alex Ground on the DJ Rush sounding "Lie To Kick It", Circus Liverpool resident Lewis Boardman with the druggy main room headrush that is "Goblin" and American Caleb Calloway's fine effort "Avion" offering up a bit of smooth tribal house.
Review: The super club of all super clubs on the whole island is here with its annual compilation of hits and anthems; it's everything you'd expect! And across its 61 tracks it's not too dissimilar from one of its open end parties, so be prepared for the long haul. Tommy Vercetti's belter "Overcharge" and Mark Fanciulli's Dinosaur L sampling "8 Track" are rolling, shuffling tech house for the main room. Paul Woolford's retro flavoured "MDMA" channels the Summer Of Love for a modern generation while Joris Voorn's remix of Audion's "Dem Howl" and Josh Wink's "Denial (Eyes Closed Mix)" get the progressive house side of things covered nicely. As we said there's a lot to get through and great value with all its hands in the air melodies, big drops and white noise build ups. What more do you want! Compiled as a continuous mix by DJ Mark Brown as a bonus track.