Review: We were rather surprised to learn that "Eyes of My Mind" is Axel Boman's first solo single on Studio Barnhus, the label he co-founded, since 2013. It's also his first EP of any sort since 2017 (though 2019 did see the release of his fine "Le New Life" LP on Mule Musiq). The track is little less than a loved-up aural hug; a slow building, deliciously glassy-eyed affair in which dreamy chords, quirky vocal samples, droning bass tones and bubbly electronic motifs ride a bustling, loose-limbed drum track that sits somewhere between regular deep house, Max D's Dolo Percussion project and good old-fashioned breakbeat. Boman calms things down dramatically on "Echoes of My Mind", a swelling, wall-of-sound ambient revision of the A-side that's as comforting and meditative as they come.
Review: With releases on his own Studio Barnhus label and Pampa, Axel Boman is one of the most promising European house producers. He showcases this talent on his latest release for DJ Koze's label; the title track comprises tough, tribal beats and a rolling rhythm, but it also has a warm, fluid bass and expansive chords flows through it. In case there was any lingering doubt about Boman's abilities, he delivers "Nokturn (Grand Finale)". Much faster than the title track, its splintered but insistent percussion, jazzed out stabs and dub effects show that he is one of the most innovative young house artists.
Review: Swedish producer Axel Boman seems to have been around forever, delivering solid and occasionally sensational deep house. In fact, he first emerged in 2009, and somewhat surprisingly Family Vacation is his debut album. It's a rather impressive beast, if truth be told, offering a whirlwind trip through his inspirations, from the downtempo analogue wooziness of "Let's Get Nervous" and jaunty, jazz-wise, US-influenced deep house of "Son of a Plumber", to the dreamy electronics and off-kilter rhythms of "No! No! No! No!", and the Theo Parrish-goes-Calypso vibes of "Bottoms Up". Most impressive of all, though, is the dark, humid, tropical pagan flex of "Kings & Emperors". Its' African voodoo atmosphere offers a startling alternative to the quiet positivity found elsewhere.
Review: This is a rather tasty taster for Dave DK's recent "Retake One" mix, which featured all manner of unreleased and forgotten gems from the Moodmusic back catalogue. The three tracks here are in many ways typical of both the mix and the direction Moodmusic have been taking; think deep, tech-tinged tackle with serious dancefloor chops. It's Citycobra's "Fresh Simple" that most impresses, coming on like Paul Woolford's seminal tweak-out "Erotic Discourse" after a night on Valium in Detroit. Axel Boman's hypnotic "Cincuenta" sounds like a modern rework of Orbital's "Semi Detached", while Dave DK's own "Will Be Gone" is a finely sculpted block of late night Berlin deepness.
Review: With Forgotten, Moodmusic boss Sasse launches a new digital-only compilation series showcasing the deeper end of the label's output. It's a neat idea given Moodmusic's strong track record in this regard, and one that should prove popular with deep house heads. Certainly, there's little to fault in this unmixed, 11-track selection. Highlights come thick and fast, from the pumpin' jack of Tony Lionni to the melodic deepness of Sasse and hypnotic deep-tech grooves of Axel Boman. There's also room for a touch of sprightly deep house/nu-disco fusion (check the lovely remix of Nick Chacona and Kathy Diamond's "Fear") and an inspired analogue workout from Tokyo Black Star. Essential.
Jimmy Edgar - "Hush" (Kyle's Detroit Retro Metro remix) - (6:30) 124 BPM
Tom Demac - "Obstructing The Light" (feat Duncan Edward Jones - original mix) - (6:51) 110 BPM
Review: There's something quite insurmountable about the Hypercolour back catalogue, stretching as it does through vast swathes of quality house and techno material back to 2006. Thankfully the good folk at the label have consolidated some more of the finest gems off those releases and bundled them together for a one-hit fix of high quality gear that sits left of centre. Whether it's Space Dimension Controller remixing Luke Vibert or Rolando tackling A Sagittariun, the tones are rich and diverse on all fifteen tunes, without a single dip in the quality. Our pick would be the angular delights of JoeFarr's "Trapington" with its squashed soul in amongst rough and tumble drum science.
Kerrier District - "Techno Disco" - (4:40) 112 BPM
Tom Demac - "Four Leaves Right" - (7:54) 120 BPM
Luke Vibert - "Stabs Of Regret" (FaltyDL remix) - (3:52) 95 BPM
Garnier - "Confused" - (10:38) 130 BPM
Lucretio - "Vampire Killer" - (6:22) 134 BPM
J. Wiltshire - "False Awakening" (Tuff City Kids remix) - (6:45) 128 BPM
Last Magpie - "Separation" - (9:09) 126 BPM
A Sagittariun - "Delta House" - (6:33) 107 BPM
Zoe Zoe & Enoah Ballard - "1234" - (5:41) 124 BPM
Losoul - "Time & Space" - (8:11) 122 BPM
Roberto Clementi - "Novism" - (5:56) 122 BPM
Review: London's Hypercolour crew have now become synonymous with quality house and techno, and although they are originally rooted in the UK strain of the genres, recent years have brought along a whole new heap of styles and talent on their catalogue. First up, we should give credit to Axel Boman and the ridiculously hummable tech-house groove that is "Depression 01", followed supremely by a hard-hitting house banger in the name of "Lynn" by the unstoppable Dense & Pika. Other choice cuts on here include Kevin McPhee's nasty "CC-XXX-YY-NNNNN", Jimmy Edgar's sexier-than-ever "Hush", Lucretio's smooth "Vampire Killer", and...of screw it, it's all pretty damn killer. HOT.
Review: The first compilation on Koze's Pampa label is a lovingly curated affair. It starts with the left field house of Herbert's take on Lianne La Havas and Ada's r&b-infused "You & Me", as well as DJ Koze's own hymnal take on Roman Flugel's "9 Years". Other Pampa regulars like Axel Boman are well represented and he provides the ultra-mellow "In The Dust of This Planet". Equally though, Koze also provides a platform for newcomers to the fold. There's the utterly bizarre, glitch-hop of Nasrawi and Funskstorung's contributions, and at the other end of the spectrum, wide-eyed deep house from Mount Kimbie and Jamie xx & Kosi Kos' pumping indie-dance "Come We Go".
Review: More dusty yet sun-drenched happy house from Stockholm's Studio Barnhus, presenting their first ever label compilation. Volym 1 is curated by label bosses Axel Boman, Kornel Kovacs and Petter Nordkvist - who serve up some deep and joyous cuts from some label staples and newcomers alike. Or, in the words of the label: a mix of "Stockholm newcomers and superstar friends." Highlights on this fine collection of pop-inflected hybrids not limited to: wunderkind Baba Stiltz's lo-slung weirdo-pop displayed on "L.O.V.E.", co-chief Kovacs' emotive journey into the deep "On Roofs", Hamburg veteran DJ Koze with his inimitable style displayed yet again on "Hawaiian Souldier" and Catalan hero John Talabot doing what he does oh so well on the balearic house epic "The Change".
Crimea X - "Yev" (Prins Thomas Diskomiks remix) - (6:01) 122 BPM
Crimea X - "Dream Is Gone" (Prins Thomas Diskomiks remix) - (6:26) 122 BPM
Jagwar Ma - "Four" - (6:33) 129 BPM
Sandrien - "Haters" - (9:37) 126 BPM
Review: By now, we should all know what to expect from both the Balance series and Danny Howells, namely slick, atmospheric, spine-tingling electronic music of both an uptempo and downbeat bent. This bumper digital version of his latest double CD mix features some exceptionally good tracks, from the exotic, psychedelic techno of Will Saul and October's rework of Michael Mayer's "Mantasy" and the evocative Balearic deep house of Joakim's "Another Light", to the dreamy fluidity of Matthias Voigt's remix of Ian Pooley's "I Got You", and the crystalline electronics and wide-eyed beauty of Maricopa's ambient delight "Neon Shoals". It is, then, a sizzling hot collection of evocative electronic music for dancers and dreamers. Don't sleep.
Review: The Munich based deep house and nu disco institution returns for their fourth safari and it is quite the trip if we do say so ourselves. The landscapes.. the wildlife.. be prepared for an epic journey! Highlights on here include the gutsy analogue punk of Drvg Cvulture's "Night Time Is The Right Time", prog house don Henry Saiz teaming up with sometime John Talabot cohort Pional on the dreamy "Uruboros" and Sweden's always reliable Axel Boman with the dreamily hypnotic "Die Die Die!" which despite its title is summery and lush: a potential anthem of Summer 2017. Hidden treasures, lost classics and exclusive tracks through the deepest house valleys and the highest disco mountains of the label's catalog.
Review: Munich's Permanent Vacation have always danced to the beat of their own Linndrum; consistently delivering killer off-kilter house music fused with Italo disco, electro, funk and occasional new beat. The "If This Is House..." series captures this unique sound perfectly and for Vol 3 they have asked "friends, Permanent Vacation regulars, and other good-looking producers famous for dancing around the edges of house" for an exclusive cut. The results are impressive, highlights including Drifter's crystalline synth house ("We See Us"), Willie Burns' muted electro ("Lost In The Clouds") and the depressed acid of "Tape 4 Fears".