Review: Formerly one half of Footprintz, Seth Troxler's A&R guy at Soft Touch and all round transcendental house music producer, Clarian, delivers a fine release here for the Cologne institution. There's a killer bassline on "Space Noir" backed by dreamy and mysterious atmospherics and soaring, epic melodies. "Mission To Bars" is a bit more fierce, using some sick 303 acid with fierce rhythm programming on this serious peak time thriller; but just wait until those sinister sci-fi vocals come in! Finally, "Ver (11AM Mix)" perfectly nails that Kompakt vibe on this dreamy, melancholic and downright ethereal cruiser that elevate you and your dancefloor to pure, euphoric bliss.
Review: A songwriter and sound engineer from Montreal, Clarian first gained notable recognition through his former role in synth-pop duo Footprintz - one of the first act signed to Visionquest, releasing several singles as well as an album - co-produced with Ewan Pearson. Further releases came via Kompakt, Turbo, Rumors, Founders of Filth and his own eponymous imprint. He will release his highly anticipated debut LP, Television Days, via Australia's Balance Music and the blissed out, lo-slung cosmic disco of "Under The Gun" is the first single lifted from the album.
Review: Clarian North's arrival on Melbourne's Balance Music feels like the right thing at the right time. The producer has now made name for himself, thanks to several releases for the likes of Kompakt, while the imprint has racked up an impressive amount of long-plays from artists like Timo Maas, Nick Warren, and plenty of other house/tech greats. Clarian's output is pop-friendly dance music for the crossover specialists, often verging towards something altogether more 'indie'. Television Days is a balanced piece of work, offering a firmly wide-eyed view of house music, and one which does its best to steer away from the more loop-minded tracks that are pumped out weekly. Gentle and largely placid throughout, Clarian manages to blend subtle waves of acid, bleeps and the rest of what we would call 'industrial charm' into an LP that is fit for anyone and everyone. Non-specialist gear...for the trained ear.
Review: Formerly one half of acclaimed duo Footprintz, Clarian North has really come into his own since flying solo, with some terrific releases over the last few years on Turbo, Balance Music and of course Kompakt - Time Safari being his third release for the Cologne based institution in only a mere couple of years. The EP was said to be a two year long process, from recordings made in South Africa with collaborators Richard Marshall and Blane Venter along with many locals along the way. From the futuristic, electro-influenced groove of the title track, the hypnotic and enchanting tech house of "Ancient Cave" awashed in shimmering delightful melodies to epic closer "Early Life", it's a sublime journey from start to finish.
Review: Clarian North has an impressive back catalogue that boasts releases on labels like Visionquest, Kompakt and Turbo, so he fits in perfectly on Coyu's Suara imprint. Melodies starts with the neo-classical piano of "For Tatiana", before Clarian makes a subtle shift into melodic dance music on the pulsating bass and spaced out, atmospheric melodies of "Poem of Pysche". He ups the ante but maintains a similar mood on "Close 2 U", with the angelic hooks fused with a throbbing groove and indistinct vocal samples. Rounding off this impressive release is the title track, where Clarian revisits the same type of classical-infused, lush sounds as "Tatiana" - this time tied to an undulating dance floor rhythm.
Review: American producer Clarian is a busy guy. Fronting as A&R for Seth Troxler's indie label Soft Touch, he also mixed, arranged and produced Tiga's most recent album: No Fantasy Required on Counter Records. He worked for over a decade as the head studio engineer at North America's most notorious and sought after electronic music studio Lost Star Records and all the while he's released music on labels such as Visionquest, Turbo, Life And Death, Rumors and Kompakt: who present his new Ankh EP. The title track is a deep and tunnelling affair, wrapped up in ethereal pads, entrancing melodies and a tight groove throughout. Those jittery arpeggio melodies return on "Old Miami" a tribute no doubt to the notorious backyard shindig in Detroit while final track "Alienated" goes for a more gritty EBM/industrial-noir flavour and was the real dark horse on this fine release.
Review: Brazilian duo Digitaria follow-up their recent Night Falls Again full-length with a deserved single release of "Favourite Addiction", one of that set's strongest moments. The original version - produced alongside Turbo and Hot Creations regular Clarian - is typically atmospheric, with dreamy, touchy-feely vocals and spitting electronics riding a shuffling, saucer-eyed deep house groove. Fast-rising star Jey Kurmis offers up a tougher, darker and altogether more energetic remake, where the original vocals ride a wave of pumping percussion and off-key electronic noises. Finally, '90s survivors Groove Armada provide the standout version, a swinging, nine-minute epic that adds a little vintage late night hustle - via sparse pianos, chunky bass and delay-laden vocal samples - to the original's key-wielding powder house bounce.
Review: Never one to shy away from speaking his mind, Tiga is confident that this release is one of his best collaborations to date, up there with his work with Jori Hulkkonen. Certainly, the title track is an unusual affair, with the Turbo boss and Clarian working together to create a left of centre, tripped out acid track. Replete with out there vocals, it's one of the freshest takes on the eternal acid sound you'll hear this year. On "You're So Special", the pair veer further down the paths marked 'inspired off beat techno'; deploying a call and response vocal over a jacking, low-slung groove, it's unusual, entertaining and unforgettable
Review: The boss is back! The legendary UK pioneer and Bedrock head honcho gives us a live set from Canada's second city, complete with crowd noise. Digweed's knack for sniffing out the most cutting edge progressive and tech house grooves is second to none and you can bet that this set is chock block full of narrative, innovative grooves: one journey you'll never forget! Featuring contributions from Germany's Recondite ("Tame"/"Baro"), Glasgow's Sei A ("You Can Bring"), Berlin's Smash TV ("Cascadia"/"God Key") and Los Angeles' Eagles & Butterflies amongst a host of other big names. Also comes as six continuous mixes for your listening pleasure. Enjoy!
Review: The annual Toolroom statement of intent for Ibiza gets off to a raucous start with the good time house Camelphat remix of Fatboy Slim's "Right Here, Right Now". Despite this, the compilation isn't all about peak time pleasure. It features deeper nuggets like the sun-kissed deep techno remix of Bicep's "Opal" by Four Tet and the hypnotic break beat techno Kolsch remix of Nic Fanciulli's "Saying". However, Ibiza 2018 doesn't depart too far from the script, and label boss Mark Knight's "We Get High From the Music" is classic Toolroom - a tough tribal workout descending into filtered, vocal-heavy nirvana. That said, they deserve plaudits for keeping a close eye on new artists and the niggling acid and chimes of Peggy Gou's "It Makes You Forget" is testament to that.
Review: As sure as night follows day, every year Kompakt releases an installment of the Total series. Now at its sixteenth volume, the compilation still manages to bring together the best bits from the Cologne label's catalogue. From the dreamy textures and spiky off rhythms of Kaytlin Aurelia Smith's take on The Field's "Reflecting Lights" to the woozy vocals and pitter pattering break beats on Weval's "I Donat Need It" to the stripped back but evocative house of Patrice Baumel's take on Blond:ish's "Endless Games" and the throbbing techno reshape of Coma's "Lora", the full range of the Kompakt emotional spectrum is audible here.