Review: This is Boston 168's third outing on Odd Even, and it sees them building on the "psychedelic acid" style that previous EPs hinted at. "Contactor" is an atmospheric, spaced out affair, with nimble 303s building and building over a skeletal rhythm. By contrast, "Vacuum" is a heavier track; the drums and percussion reverberate with great force, the acid line builds in tandem with eerie synths, and there is an underlying, menacing sensibility. "Cybernetics" sees them go a few steps farther down the rabbit hole, as lead-weight kicks combine with gurgling 303s, while the Italian pair continue on their journey into the depths of tripped out techno with the pumping, pulsing "Futuretro".
Review: For their eleventh release, Spain's Involve Records has once again turned to Boston 168, who first appeared on the imprint in 2015. The Italian duo is renowned for their atmospheric, psychedelically inclined take on techno, and there's much of that on show across the EP. The title track makes appropriate use of aggressive acid lines and spooky, slowly rising chords, while "Lies" places cascading melody lines and subtle acid flashes on top of a dense, tribal-influenced techno groove. Then you'll find the hard-as-nails Roman techno stomp of "707 Sing" (think classic Lory D, and you're close), and the swelling strings and bouncy Detroit rhythms of "Saber".
Review: This duo is not from Massachusetts, rather Turin, Italy and focus on psychedelic / acid / techno vibes according to their Soundcloud profile; quite an apt description. They have appeared on labels like Involve and Enemy previously and now Germany's Odd Even for the Oblivion EP. "Nightcall" has a taste for the acid life that pushes that 303 to it's full limit like an Acid Test record over a tough beat, but it's the title track which really nails it: this is droning and hypnotic techno further fuelled by a well-executed acid snarl and a ferocious and shuffling rhythm. On the flip "Split String" sounds like a fierce Jeff Mills 909 live drum solo but then that chiming synth melody comes through with those claps on the kick, sounding more like a Rodhad cut. Great stuff!
Jacques - "Dans La Radio" (Mixed) - (3:19) 138 BPM
Review: Back in 2016, Ed Banger main man and nu-rave scene stalwart Pedro Winter AKA Busy P delivered a particularly excitable DJ mix that was affixed to the front of copies of Mixmag. Now the long-running magazine has decided to make it available as a paid-for download, with a big chunk of sales revenue going to the producers and remixers who feature. It remains a hugely entertaining excursion, with Winter quickly charging between glassy-eyed synth-pop (Breakbot, as remixed by Fatima Yamaha), mangled electro-pop cheeriness (Justice), contemporary French house (Mr Oizo, Cassius and Pharrell Williams), cowbell-sporting acid house revivalism (Playgroup, Kiddy Smile), Middle Eastern headiness (Acid Arab), and the raw Sheffield sleaze of Crooked Man.
Review: Despite the setbacks brought forth by the pandemic, we're confident that Toolroom will still have a stellar year as always! With that in mind, the fifth edition in their 'House Party' series' looks to be the biggest yet, with a whopping 70 tracks to keep the party going for days on end. As a bonus, label signees such as Wankelmut, TCTS and Siege (who appear with contributions to the compilation personally) provide a continuous mix each - bringing the party to your house. Other highlights come from a wide variety of artists within the tech/house spectrum such as: legends Technasia and Green Velvet with the aforementioned Siege on the mighty "Suga" (Siege extended mix), the ascendant Luxembourger Amii Watson with the sensual mood music of "Higher" and the Fuse London affiliated Rich NxT teaming up with minimal techno vetran Christian Burkhardt on the slinky and hypnotic "Basics" - plus many more.
Review: Mark Knight & Co.round out the year with 'Best Of Toolroom 2020', a 50 track compilation delivering a collection of the label's biggest releases from the year that was into one package. Boss man Knight teams up with Rene Amesz on the year's most massive funky house tune "All 4 Love" (feat. Tasty Lopez) with other highlights coming from: Carl Cox on his stomping heads-down rework of Kevin Knapp & Hannah Wants "Call Me", the anthemic and utterly uplifting soul of legends Gene Farris & ATFC's "Spirit of House" plus the return of the legendary American vocalist Ann Nesby - whose unmistakable voice dominates LEFTI's "Rejuvenate". There's also the worthy addition of two continuous mixes by Mr Knight himself. 'Best Of Toolroom 2020' delivers the perfect annual sign off, as the label prepares for yet another landmark year in 2021.