Review: Oona Dahl is the New York-based producer, DJ and sound designer that has cultivated a curious and evocative sound going back almost 10 years, releasing quality cuts on Anjunadeep, Hallucienda, and of course All Day I Dream - where she has become a regular at Lee Burridge's iconic party series. Her new one comes courtesy of Berlin institution Watergate: "Godtripper" is a mesmerising excursion in minimal tech house with strong acid inflections that accentuate the track's euphoric qualities, remixed by Amsterdam veteran Patrice Baumel up next. The next original offerings are a collaboration with fellow New Yorker Dance Spirit: the ethereal mood music of "Manic Space" followed by the deep and sweltering tribal house workout "Universe Within You".
Review: Christopher Mohn and Reagan Denius are Dance Spirit, a Los Angeles-based duo. The combination of Reagan's formal music and computer programming training, with Chris' burning passion for dance music and DJing has created a unique coupling of true creative synergy that has been key to their success - with a new album nearing completion and the launch of their new Communion label and party brand. The mesmerising "Raver Etiquette" is a statement about the ever evolving scene and how they identify with the culture pertaining to their roots. Also on offer is the blissed-out minimal acid of "Candy Flip", the slinky and tripped-out early morning tech house journey of "Going Strong" (which again displays their elaborate use of melody and atmospherics) and the moody descent into the abyss that is "Speaker Freaker".
Review: Hot on the heels of the Watergate 26 mix, this split release showcases some of the best tracks that were included on WhoMadeWho's selection. The storied Danish trio hook up with Ruede Hagelstein to deliver a slinky, melancholic take on Bjork's "Violently Happy". Working together with Justin Evans, Hagelstein delves into a more moody take on house music with his percussive "Love Over Pyramids", which threatens but never quite manages to spiral out of control. Overall however, this is a melodic EP, as evidenced by WhoMadeWho's mesmerising rework of Alex Schaufel's "The Day Of Rebirth", a wide-eyed, dreamy affair that shimmers and soars effortlessly
Mono Electric Orchestra - "Neutral Density" - (8:37) 126 BPM
Fairmont - "Brothers Keeper" - (6:50) 123 BPM
Jimmy Van M & Juan Hansen - "Kobalt" - (6:55) 121 BPM
Edu Imbernon - "Indenait" - (9:37) 121 BPM
Quivver - "On & On" - (6:57) 124 BPM
Alan Fitzpatrick - "Vibes" - (8:03) 128 BPM
Reude Hagelstein - "Chromapark" - (6:55) 123 BPM
Review: John Digweed looks back on a terrific year that was 2018 - not to mention the 20th anniversary of his Bedrock label. This last year saw him serve up the Bedrock XX box set, team up with good mate Nick Muir on the terrific "Crazy Diamond" in addition to his awesome Live In Tokyo mix CD - so there's plenty to celebrate. Featured here are some of the year's highlights and exclusives alike by heroes of deep tech house such as: Booka Shade with their moody cruiser "Rosebud", Belgian veteran Jimmy Van M appears several times but is most on-form on "Cobalt", Systematic head honcho Marc Romboy with his impressive sci-fi epic "Cosmo" and the return of trance legend Oliver Lieb on the riveting "Epoxi".
Review: Berlin powerhouse Get Physical presents 12 exclusive tracks from mainly American artists, curated by m.O.N.R.O.E. aka Postrel: a DJ who has released on labels like Kindisch, Viva Music and Saved. He has a fresh take on tech house, that has seen him become a well established DJ in the USA and the perfect person to represent his homeland's underground sound. Featuring a mix of artists old and new, this is a great window into the ever more essential American underground: that proves fresh new talent is always up and coming on the label, hihglights some from Adisyn on the sexy late night groove of "Drifter", the high octane energy of veteran Robert Babicz's "We Dream" or Michael Gin's experiment in dancefloor drama on "Y=X".
Review: Lee Burridge's elusive new label Tale + Tone has impressed us with its smooth grooves of late that came courtesy of equally mysterious producers such as Newman, Lost Desert and Cornucopia. However, Berlin legend Daso finally presented as someone a little bit more familiar - even if it had been a while since we last heard from him! Now they have called in Los Angeleno duo Dance Spirit, who combine Reagan's formal music and computer programming training with Chris's burning passion for dance music and DJing to create a duo of true synergy. They've had a strong run of releases recently, on tastemaker labels such as Superfreq, Supernature and Sol Selectas: so go figure! "Wash Me Clean" (original version) has all the hallmarks of parent label All Day I Dream: slow burning syncopated rhythms, ethereal pads, lush orchestral arrangements and in this case - some life affirming female vocals for good measure.
Oceanvs Orientalis - "Lycian Waltz" - (6:37) 114 BPM
Goldcap - "Ghapama" - (8:07) 115 BPM
Dance Spirit & LUM - "Calumet" - (7:14) 115 BPM
Baris K - "Satir" - (12:24) 120 BPM
Review: Zurich based label Ararat Masis are back after a great inaugural release from Nico Sun last year. For their second release, they have invited five great artists. They bring a new form of warm and cosy melodies from the region of the holy mountain of Ararat to the world. These five dynamic artists are creating a complete new way to experience oriental originated sounds, with their understanding of blending these tunes with energetic electronic elements. Oceanvs Orientalis is a collective formation founded by Safak Oz Kutle, which aims to challenge the aesthetic perception in electronic music. On "Lycian Waltz" we hear the Turkish producer delve deep into the exotic on this hazy and low slung affair. Dance Spirit & LUM deliver some deep and atmospheric tech house on the slinky "Calumet" where the American-Argentine duo really deliver the goods. Finally, Istanbul's Baris K never fails to impress - as anyone who has witnessed one of his mazing DJ sets will attest. His contribution takes you deep into the Middle Eastern after hours scene, on this smoky/dusty exploration in deepness.
Review: Crosstown Rebels boss Damian Lazarus has described Spirits, the label's new annual compilation series, as "a fresh psychedelic journey into the mind". While that might be over-egging the (Christmas) pudding a bit, there's definitely a deep, humid and occasionally hallucinatory feel to many of the showcased tracks, which mostly sit somewhere between lucid deep house and skewed tech-house wonkiness. Wisely, Lazarus has chosen tracks from new and rising stars of his various labels, with highlights coming from the likes of Magit Cacoon (the bass-heavy, Innervisions-esque "Nonsense"), Raw District (the foreboding last night hypnotism of "Another Way", featuring folksy vocalist Alice Rose) and Nico Stajan and David Mayer, whose brilliant "Killing Your Lover" layers an eyes-closed Jan Blomqvist vocal over dense but groovy tribal drums.
Review: Dance Spirit, aka Christopher Mohn and Reagan Denius, are the latest act to feature on a Kindisch compilation. The Get Physical sub-label has chosen to showcase the US duo's work and in so doing puts a spotlight on their range. "Piercing the Veil" is a gorgeous, reflective deep techno workout, while "Moving Shapes", a collaboration with Robbie Akbal, sees them veer towards a more foreboding, broken beat sound. In contrast again is "Anouement (Intro)", a spiky minimal workout, while on their reshape of Nick Galemore's "Redesigned", they deliver a piano-led, ghostly deep house track (albeit with a stepping undercurrent). Clearly, remixing is something that they excel at, with the pair's take on Powel's "Kalophain" conjuring up echoes of Herbert's complex minimalism. Available as separate tracks and in a continuous mix, Kindisch Stories is a great introduction to one of modern house music's most intriguing acts.
Review: Crosstown Rebels diffusion label Rebellion are back with Dance Spirit; two dudes from Los Angeles named Reagan and Chris who have previously flaunted their wares on the likes of Mr C's Superfreq, Supernature and Maison d'etre. On "One For The Heads" it's definitely a lo-slung affair as is typical of Damian Lazarus' 'other' label. Its slowed down tribal groove and Amazonian aesthetics making for some real drifting on the dancefloor style business. "Mind Of Man" goes for some deep acid style, with emotive pads and soothing male vocals atop making a really enticing track. Finally, "Numbers Don't Lie" is undoubtedly the most uptempo song on offer; this brooding and slinky tech house cut is very much suited to the late night.