Review: UK tech house hero Archie Hamilton celebrates a decade in the business for his beloved Moscow imprint. To celebrate this milestone, he's releasing a compilation featuring some of his favourite tracks from the last decade, where he looks through the back catalogue to bring you this timeless mix. Hamilton's own work is obviously pervasive, with highlights including the Inxec remix of "Two Time" that just so happened to be one of the imprint's very first releases, in addition to his collaboration with label staple Noha on "Lip Service" which gets an infectious rework by Romanian power duo SIT, and the ever reliable Samuel Andre Madsen giving "Informer" a typically swing-fuelled Reshape. Elsewhere, scene legends like Argy ("Siesta''), Shaun Reeves & Tuccillo ("Fill Calings") and GummiHz appear - the latter with his stellar remix of Keinton's "Strip Poker".
Review: After releasing on labels like Poker Flat (who can forget "Love Dose"?) Bpitch Control and Cadenza, Greek techno sensation Argy is welcomed to the Bedrock stable. This two-tracker sounds like he was always destined to release on Jon Digweed's label and is his most musical release to date. On "Belen", gushing, expansive chords and insistent filtering unravel over a system-levelling bass pulse, while a similar approach is audible on "Alfredo". There, the bass purrs powerfully and dramatic chords shimmer and gradually climax in a dramatic crescendo. It's not hard to imagine either track causing serious damage on Ibizan dance floors.
Review: Devilishly powerful techno from Welsh producer DJ Argy on this single-track release, which sees a slew of abrasive and brittle synths getting looped and layered over thick kicks and claps on "Group Therapy". With a developing progression into some huge, techno-trance chords, the bass is kept minimal so you can feel the full force of those gnarled-up synths.
Review: The always-impressive Argy delivers his second full-length - the first under his familiar moniker - and it's arguably his most impressive body of work yet. The fact that it's on Ibadan gives a clue to its contents; from start to finish, Fundamentals is an album that reverberates to the grooves of 1990s New York (and specifically the trademark sounds of the Shelter and TWILO clubs). There are early Tenaglia-ish organ dubs, string-drenched piano jams, heady vocal excursions, a Kerri Chandler tribute (the wonderful "Dinner At Kerri's") and a very Ibadan-ish piano piece ("Absent Friends") - all accompanied by Argy's trademark high quality production.
Move Like A Panther (feat Elbee Bad) - (5:36) 127 BPM
Review: Argy has released on well-known labels like Bedrock, BPitch and Ibadan, and now makes his debut on Seth Troxler's label. Like the rest of his output, Kings is a distinctive affair; the title track revolves around an eerie bass, middle eastern motifs and strangely robotic percussion, but Argy brings these elements together to make a definite clubby sound. On "Los Animales", he opts for a less immediate approach, with mysterious vocals and recycled rave stabs unfolding over stepping beats. Meanwhile he teams up with US house legend Elbee Bad for "Move Like a Panther"; working with his collaborator's ponderous vocals, Argy lays down a moody, bass-heavy groove that has echoes of vintage Blake Baxter.
Review: Hot on the heels of EPs from Andrea Oliva, Luke Solomon and the Martinez Brothers, Argy is the latest artist to release on the New York label Cuttin' Headz. It's the Greek producer's first EP in some time, and for this record, takes influence from US house. The title track is a rumbling, jacking affair, led by a raw bass and a countdown vocal sample. "Tutti Frutti" meanwhile, takes its cues from ghetto, as a call and response vocal and orgasmic moans unravel over a slinky rhythm track. The label has also tapped some impressive remixers: DJ Skull turns "The Numbers" into a limber acid affair, while Christian Burkhardt's version of the same track is an insistent tribal interpretation that is reminiscent of Argy's usual approach.
Review: Given his track record and impressive credentials, we were rather surprised to discover that the "Worthless EP" marks Argy's Crosstown Rebels label debut. The title is, of course, tongue-in-cheek, because there's nothing worthless about the killer cuts on show. In fact, the title track is one of Argy's most instantly ear-catching workouts for a while, with the action focused on a crunchy, distorted drum track, rubbery bass guitar, whispered spoken word samples ("I feel worthless... I'm living on the edge") and just the right amount of dystopian noises. Elsewhere, "La Vida" is a crusty chunk of lo-fi jacking funk, while "Get Ready" is a low-slung early morning Warehouse roller.
Review: Argy originally rose to prominence during the mid-00s minimal boom, but as this release demonstrates, his focus has since shifted to deeper house. "Let's Play" features the soulful vocals of Blue Jay, coupled with a steely percussive rhythm and subtle acid builds. It's haunting and distinctive, an effective and impressive modern take on Chicago and New York house. The ever popular Butch has been tapped for a remix, and he turns the original into a churning chord-heavy reshape, bristling with insistent high hats. Rebirth has also asked Echonomist to provide an interpretation and the Greek producer obliges with a chugging, dub-heavy take, led by cavernous conga drums and woozy filters.
Review: Steve Bug's Poker Flat Recordings imprint hit the ripe old age of 15 this year - an eternity in house music terms - and has been celebrating with the superb Four Jacks series of EPs. This third instalment delivers more thrills in the shape of two previously unheard remixes of label classics, and two brand new jams. Audiofly's remix of Argy's 2005 debut "Love Dose" gets the right balance between locked-in tech-house grooves and gnarled acid jack, while Joeski's dub of Martin Landsky's "Reject" is a throbbing jacker peppered with woozy synths and urgent vocal samples. Berlin-based Brit Mark Henning impresses with the foreboding chords and classic Chicago drums of "Mad Half Hour", before Dario D'Attis steals the show with the hard-wired acid funk of "96000".
Christian Burkhardt - "Karambolage" - (7:14) 127 BPM
Argy - "How Late It Was, How Late" - (5:12) 125 BPM
Markus Fix - "Baroon" - (7:27) 128 BPM
Jimi Jules - "Euphrasia" - (8:30) 124 BPM
Review: This fine EP gathers together four previously unreleased exclusives from the latest edition of Cocoon's Dots & Pearls series, which was mixed by Markus Fix. His contribution to the EP, "Baroon" - a kind of contemporary re-imagining of the original 1988 version of The KLF's "What Time Is Love" with extra TB303 acid lines - is undoubtedly one of the highlights, alongside the ethereal melodies and early morning fuzz of Argy's intoxicating "How Late It Was, How Late". Elsewhere, Christian Burkhardt peppers a rolling house groove with boisterous but blissful stabs on "Karambolage", and Jimi Jules serves up a loose and languid take on the foreboding, stretched-out Innervisions tech-house sound ("Euphrasia").