Review: Connaisseur is celebrating a decade in the business and certainly doing it with style. This time around there's some great collaborations; check these out. Melodic, soulful and absolutely emotive vibes courtesy of Swedish legend Aril Brikha teaming up with Ireland's Chymera on "Nihari". Next, The Element teams up label head honcho Alex Flitsch on the deep, tunnelling and atmospheric progressive house of "Puma" which really has the label's classic sound in mind. Finally the mighty trio Of Norway, Linnea Dale & Preben Olram serve up the blissful deep house cover of Pornos For Pyros hit from 1993 "Pets" and what a fantastic tribute it is!
Review: This second raft of remixes that interpret Brendan Gregoriy's original material as Chymera prove to be just as inventive as the first. Connaisseur have commissioned Jacob Korn and Orlando Voorn to remake "An Island In Space" and deliver equally idiosyncratic takes. Korn's version is based on a surging, rippling bass and a snaking groove. When the track breaks down into a spacey, Moog solo, it seems almost at odds with the prevailing mood, but Korn is a master arranger and it all makes sense. The second version from Orlando Voorn is longer and more epic; over a rolling rhythm the juxtaposition of summery keys and booming bassline sounds strangely compatible.
Review: Irish producer Chymera has always excelled at fixing twinkling melodies to heavy, club friendly grooves, and this EP for Dirt Crew is no exception. Both "Disc" - with its proto-house synths and crystalline arpeggios - and "Isa" follow a similar path. It's the latter, though, that most impresses, working darting synths and beautifully crisp melodies around robotic drums and a bold bassline. While clearly inspired by techno and deep house, it should also appeal to those who enjoy the "scandolearic" sound of Oslo. Mark E remixes the latter, indulging his passion for vintage analogue house while retaining Chymera's tactile melodies.
Review: Brendan Gregoriy has an intuitive knack for melodies, and on "Threads" he brings this skill to the fore. Over brittle percussion and a techy, somewhat metallic rhythm, he unleashes a glorious, full-blooded melodic flourish, all minor keys and no bombast. It's testament to Gregoriy's abilities that he has managed to attract two highly-respected producers to remix his work. Philly veteran King Britt turns "Trapped in Amber" into a dubby groove, its booming bass underpinning an angelic vocal covered in swathes of acid textures. Meanwhile, Steve Moore drops a version of "Swim Away", which focuses on a spacey, spaced out synth line and a lumbering bass.
Review: Irishman-in-Berlin Bren Gregoriy returns to Josh Wink's label after 2014's Tidal with two superb house tracks. The title track is redolent of Chymera's melodic techno roots, but sounds more polished and assured. A surging bass and chiming cowbells provide the basis for crystalline synths, hissing percussion and dramatic woodwind. "Canavan Calling" is even more impressive; apparently inspired by a session with a Mini Moog, it revolves around a huge, dense bass which underpins thumb clicking percussion, chopped up, half-heard vocals and a building, droning riff. Once all of these elements are combined, they sound like a particularly malevolent version of Redshape.
Review: This is Chymera's second EP in 2016, and follows a relatively fallow period in the last few preceding years. That said, Episode shows that the Irish producer has not lost his melodic touch. The title track sees emotive melodies surge up over a rolling rhythm and robust kicks, while on "7 Hours", he reverts to a more earthy approach. Despite this, the arranging is superb, with resonating beats and nagging percussion supporting a surging bass and warm acid lines. Finally, there's "Rust"; with its breath-taking synth drops and powerful bass tones, it brings to a close another majestic, melodic release from this talented, idiosyncratic producer.
Review: Irish producer Brendan Gregoriy Karras aka Chymera is back after a two year hiatus from the studio, following up great releases on top imprints like Cocoon and Ovum. This new killer comes courtesy of Maeve, where his closeness to the label is poured into music. Story has it that Chymera actually brought fellow countrymen The Drifter and Mano Le Tough into contact with their future label co-head Baikal. His new offering "Noise Tool" is a brooding and hypnotic workout guaranteed to get dancer's into some serious tunnel vision under the strobe, while second offering "1990" is definitely a track with the Maeve sound - deep, melodic and evocative and with the right amount of impact for the dancefloor.
Review: Irish producer Bren Gregoriy aka Chymera has released a series of melodic techno records, but his latest album sees him enter a new realm. "The Drop", with its rich strings and sensuous woodwind, explores beatless ambient, while "Who Bends First" is like a halfway house between Ian O'Brien and alt rock, with live drums crashing and flailing to the backdrop of warm Rhodes keys. "Strange Things Are Afoot" makes reference to Chymera's deep techno sound, but the greatest achievement of Misadventure is that it gives vent to Gregoriy's pop leanings. It is audible on the dreamy, vocal-led "Drowning", but is expressed most articulately on "The Chase", where dead paced beats and playful, infectious vocals make for a real FM pop tune.
Review: Livingroom Techno is an interesting concept. As the title suggests, it's Connaisseur Recordings' choice of "techno" records (think tech-house, deep minimal and tech-tinged deep house) that they think are particularly suitable for home listening - not just lounging on the sofa, mind, but also shuffling round your living room like a modern-day house lover. This fourth instalment in the series is as sumptuous, sinewy and sensual as previous instalments, variously delivering breezy sunrise goodness (Chymera), bubbly tech-jazz (Koett), melody rich groovery (Lake People's delicious "Stepwise") and Latin-tinged deep carnival fare (Ian O'Donovan).