Review: Mystery surrounds the identity of Berlin-based production combo Claptone. Perhaps it doesn't matter, but it would be nice to know who's behind this four-track selection of sharply floor-focused tech-house, deep house and disco blends. There's a driving intensity to the heavyweight disco-tech of "Make Me Feel", a relentless bumper that loops up vocal snippets from a familiar Sylvester tune. "Maximum" offers a deeper, Chicago-influenced cut along similar lines, whilst lead track "She Loves You" rises magnificently thanks to some cute vocals and hooky riffs. "Wicked", meanwhile, offers a rolling contemporary take on ragga-house - all loose breakbeats, thumping bottom end and quirky dancehall vocals. Check it.
Review: Berlin's masked crusader returns! In an effort to resimulate his nightlife experiences with recent audiences as seen at his new event series The Masquerade, he's been led to create these delightful mixes featuring a collection of edits, exclusives and remixes which come as two parts: day and night. In the Berlin based producer's own words: "The night mix is one for your perfect club night. The day mix is the ice cubes in your cocktail". With that in mind, highlights on the former came in the form of some great remixes by the man himself, such as Ultra Nate vs Roland Clark with the rather bittersweet "The First Time Free", Simion vs MD X-Spress' "God Made Me Feel It" and Subb-An's slinky hit from a few years back "This Place (Nic Fanciulli Remix)". On the latter, chill or cruise to Canadian deep house godfather Nick Holder's remix of Daniel Steinberg's "No One Can Change Me" or Kapote's "Fuck Music" given one funky and lo-slung makeover by Berlin-Hamburg connection Session Victim.
Review: Enigmatic German producer Claptone released the album Fanstat in mid 2018 to much fanfare. A perfect accompaniment, music-wise, to his highly lauded Masquerade series of events, it featured an all star cast in guest roles such as Kele Okereke, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Zola Blood, Nathan Nicholson, Blaenavon, Jones, and Matt Simons. Featured on the third volume of remixes here is an absolutely massive rework by Amsterdam scene hero Patrice Baumel of "La Esperanza". Featuring the vocals of Austra's Katie Stelmanis, this adrenalised and glassy-eyed expression in dancefloor drama is going to be one you'll be hearing on dancefloors well into 2019. If that was not enough, there is also an extended mix of "Good Sense" featuring American singer/songwriter Joan As Policewoman - which also gets a funked-up and rolling groove makeover for the main room courtesy of Simion (Defected/Snatch!)
Review: Claptone's latest single, the infectious and hypnotic groove "The Drums" (Din Daa Daa) Ft. George Kranz has gone on to become something of a dancefloor sensation across the globe since first emerging as the ubiquitous anthem at this year's Miami Music Week. Now Spanish house titan Dennis Cruz, exploding UK talent Latmun and BBC R1 favourite Friend Within deliver three peak time remixes to continue the story deep into the summer. The original started life as a Claptone club tool, a voodoo spell road-tested and refined in clubs all over the world on his never-ending tour. Claptone took inspiration from the post-punk melting pot of early 80's NYC when he connected with the pioneering George Kranz who originally made the drums dance over 30 years ago. The result is a meeting of minds and rhythms, pure gold in the hands of headline DJs.
Review: Steven 'Sugar' Harding and Michael 'Milk' Kronenberger set out their soundtrack for this year's WMC - and this selection has all the makings of an unforgettable party. The pair's own "That Body" is a wonderfully soulful house cut, laced with lush vocals and uplifting pianos. On "Walls", Purple Disco Machine pushes that style into an epic, indie vocal-led direction while at the other end of the spectrum, Monolink's "Black Day" veers into a slower, smoked out take on modern house. The pair have dug deep to include tracks from DJ Hal - his "Don't Give It Up" is given the unmistakable disco touch by remixers Full Intention - while Glasgow Underground founder Kevin McKay also features with the big room "Love Rights".
Review: Label boss Shir Khan describes Secret Gold as a "mini compilation series", with each release showcasing previously unheard cuts from the extended Exploited family. This second EP expands on the three-track formula of the first, offering five solid saunters into the worlds of house and techno. There's a chunk of revivalist rave-era house fuzziness from Jesse Perez (the sturdy "Mama Me la"), a formidably bass-heavy tech-boompty take on Claptone's "Maximum" from Joyce Muniz and some delicious synth futurism-meets-deep house from Purple Velvet. Oh, and some siren-laden midtempo "Bounce" from the fast-rising Jack Fell Down.
Review: One of Ibiza's biggest tickets, Defected throw parties in the same spirit as they release music. With full force and serious knowhow. Here they've curated 40 perfected positioned tacks that don't just represent their vibe, or the spirit of their parties, but also a fitting snapshot of what's going on in house music right now. From Low Steppa to Damian Lazarus, Skream to Claude VonStroke, Josh Butler to The Shapeshifters, the entire tracklist reads (and sounds) like a who's who in house music 2015. Delivered with two mixes and whole host of exclusives, Defected aren't messing around right now.