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: New Andrea material on Ilian Tape - incoming! The mysterious techno maverick returns to the German imprint with four new slices of sci-fi funk, packaged in the artist's usual blend of synth experimentation and 90s d&b flavours. "20th November" is a booming, piledriver of a tune suited to the world's biggest dancefloors, while "Layer" breaks the groove down with heavier injections of breaks and growling bass tones. Then comes "Radiant", a beat-heavy, dubwise joint that reminds us of Shed's Head High material, leaving "Remade" to stutter in space with its off-kilter beats and glitchy percussion swings. Masterful.
Review: Italy's Andrea is now a trusted member of the Ilian Tape collective, having only released for the German label thus far. But, why would he go elsewhere? These guys are on fire, and releasing some of the most interesting shades of industrial 4/4 these days. This is his fourth single for the throng, and "Floating" starts off with a beatless, wide-eyed landscape of soft pads to introduce the twisted, shifting, break-driven tech of "Timed". "Queue A" is a driving pile of rusty kick drums and oceanic pads that head into the deeper end of the techno sphere, while "22:22" goes all-out on the jungle patterns with its broken groove that recalls the likes of LTJ Bukem or Dego at their more pacy moods. A killer of an EP!
Review: Turin techno stalwart Andrea has been serving up slabs of goodness on Ilian Tape since way back in 2012, though "Ritorno" is remarkably his very first full-length excursion. The 12 track set is far more varied than his fine club-focused singles, with the Italian variously turning his hand to swelling, Global Communication style ambient techno ("Attimo"), ultra-deep breakbeat dreaminess ("SKLYN"), melodious, jungle-influenced IDM ("LS September"), bassbin rattlers ("TrackQY", the skittish brilliance of moody roller "Reinf"), dreamy soundscape techno ("LG_Amb"), angular fusions of bass music and dark Italo-techno ("Drumzzy") and picturesque ambient dub slow jams ("Twin Forests").