Review: While 2020 has not been plain sailing for much-loved Dutch label Dekmantel, the imprint has continued to release some superb music - as this sampler style round-up of their best moments of the last 12 months proves. It begins with a rare (and inspired) outing from Jan Schulte's more dancefloor-focused Bufiman project ('Sara Sara') and ends with the gently unfurling ambient brilliance of Laura Agnusdei's 'Fuga'; in between, you'll find such sumptuous treats as Upsammy's sparkling, warm and dizzyingly up-tempo 'Extra Warm', the toasty, quietly colourful brilliance of Space Dimension Controller's 'Planete contraire', the thrillingly-percussive heaviness of Mauskovich Dance Band's 'Extra Ventura' and the clandestine creepiness of Max Abysmal's 'Quod Libet'.
Review: A less is more approach from the post-mixdown mind of the venerable Jan Schulte, aka Wolf Muller, operating here under his Bufiman alias! Schulte first debuted the project via Versatile Records back in 2015 and with this three-track maxi he delivers a stripped back, bonus mixdown of the Albumsi LP Dekmantel released earlier this year. Described as a release for world peace and dance music for frogs, this follow up is largely inspired by a sleeping Dutch classic called Jive Rhythm Trax, with Bufiman turning in some downbeat, slo-mo rave vibes in "Under Control Now' - serious warehouse heat - to the solidly warped tropical tones and percussive drum machine mainframes of "Apo-Calypso". Find the EP's ultimate rhythm number in "Hoolock Rock". Bufiman goes Drumsi.
Review: Jan Schulte aka Bufiman drops his debut album on Dekmantel, and it's a thing of cosmic beauty. There's the odd ball groove of "Galaxy", on "Sara Sara", he tackles electronic boogie with great flair and "Hoolock Rock" is a superb slice of spaced out disco. However, Schulte's project is not just concerned with revisiting existing styles, and he seems to be just as content when teasing out weird and wonderful new hybrids. These are articulated most impressively on the frazzled acid and steely drums of "Blow Your Mind", the dreamy down tempo drums and tropical sounds of "News From The Treetops" and the sludgy electro funk on "Langsam Aber Slowly".
Review: Dekmantel rounds off a hugely successful year with a compilation that reflects the organisation's multi-faceted approach. At one end of the spectrum there's the dubbed out groove and spacey vocals of Peaking Light's "Blind Corner" and tropical act Bruxas' left of centre beats, while at the other end Robert Hood delivers the blistering techno of "Red Machine". In between these extremes, there are Dekmantel-supported artists such as Betonkust & Palmbomen II - impressing here with the Legowelt-esque "Renaat Egypte" - and zeitgeist-defining names like Lena Willikens and Matrixxman. Add in some Dutch scene veterans such as Tom Trago, on fine form with the epic but understated "Working Machines", and it's not hard to see why 2018 was a great year for the Dutch collective.
Review: A true staple of the Amsterdam scene, the Rush Hour affiliated Yuri Boselie aka Cinnaman takes up the reins for local institution Dekmantel's extended tenth birthday celebrations with this mastermix. It takes in the entirety of the 10 volume edition - what an effort. What may seem as an outrageous challenge - what with the compilation's genre diversity and wide rage of tempos - it's a success, for they've certainly found the right candidate. Cinnaman plays a wide range of styles anyway, and is never afraid to mix the known with the unknown - he has a reputation for his remarkable combinations and transitions. From moments of sublime ambience (Italian ambient legend Gigi Masin with the utterly evocative "Maja") to bass heavy electro bounce (courtesy of Egyptian Lover or Syracuse & Epsilove), right through to techno bangers of the cerebral variety (by Donato Dozzy & Peter Van Hoesen or local hero Talismann) and stuff by Bufiman or Tony Allen - it's a solid effort here by one of Holland's finest selectors.
Review: Aside from hosting a pretty spectacular line-up each and every June in the Amsterdam area, Dekmantel also know how to lay down some hard dance tunes and, since their inception, they have been a pillar to the modern house and techno spectrum. This series of releases marks ten years of activity from the Dutch crew, and they certainly know how to celebrate in style - Bufiman's opening "Hymn To The Moonface" is a stunning slice of progressive sci-fi rolling, Betonkust and Palbomen II's number is sleek and tech-minded, while Scotland's Space Dimension Controller rolls through with some spectacularly cinematic electro-tech, and Lena Willikens' appearance is marked by raucous bass tones and sharp-edged beats. BIG.
Review: Salon Des Amateurs' Bufiman makes his Dekmantel debut with two left-of-centre, broken beat mind-melters. "Peace Moves" is a lo-fi, almost sludgy dive into a synth swamp where flurries of cosmic synth licks swoon and tease above your heard. "Graffiti Moves" takes an even trippier twist over a similarly low-and-slow drum arrangement but with added sparkling percussion. Throw in two cutlass-sharp versions of and you've got yourself a watertight declaration of peace. Absurdly on-point as always from Dekmantel.