Review: As part of Pastamusik, Daniel Bortz has been doing his thing for a long while now. In recent years he has reached out to labels such as Permanent Vacation Souvenir and Innervisions, but he always ensures to keep a healthy amount of his output for his home label as well. In this instance, the third installment in the Bella Avgvsta series sees Bortz step up with some stripped down, refined tech house tracks ready for the deeper end of the night. "Lonely Soldier" especially stands out with its mournful string line hovering over the top of the minimal beats, while "Jump In The Water" takes to more submerged methods of injecting melody into his refined productions.
Review: Experienced German producers Daniel Bortz and Sascha Sibler go way back; they released their first collaborative 12" on Tiefschwarz's Souvenir imprint in 2011. They seem to enjoy working together, as their recent EP on Innervisions was one of the best things Dixon's label has put out for some time. "Tomorrow We Start A New Life Again" is another belter, with hissing, Latin-influenced percussion providing sturdy backdrop for a series of sparkling synthesizer motifs, melancholic chords and atmospheric electronic touches. It feels simultaneously hopeful and fearful, which is how most people feel when they start a new life. The flipside, "If Not Tomorrow Then Maybe Someday" is, understandably, a little deeper, with a noticeably bittersweet feel about the undulating electronics and fluid arrangement.
Review: Album #2 here from Ausberg, Germany-based slo-mo house/nu-disco producer Daniel Bortz. If you've checked for previous releases on Suol, Pastamusik and Permanent Vacation you'll have a good idea what to expect already - what's most notable is that the 11 tracks featured are a little pacier than much of his previous output, operating mostly in the 125-130bpm region (albeit three clock in at a mere 80). If you haven't, then laidback, heavily electronic grooves with a leftfield twist are the order of the day, with standouts including 'On A Boat', which sports a very familiar "sensemillia... marijuana" reggae vocal whose source escapes me right now, and 'Isolation', which fuses Italo-style synths with, surprisingly, fierce rave/jungle breakbeats.
Review: Bortz has mainly released on Pastamusik, but appeared once before on Permanent Vacation, together with Sascha Sibler. Now he makes his full debut on the German label with a diverse EP. As its title suggests, "Glide" is a euphoric, tranced out techno track that could have come from Dominik Eulberg's studio. By contrast, on "Irie", he visits the kind of murky, distorted bass-heavy dub techno sound that Peter Grummich excelled at. "Faces" sees yet another shift in approach, with Bortz focusing on dreamy, cinematic break beats. "Suffering" is the final track on the EP and revolves around detuned riffs and down tempo beats as Bortz reveals yet another facet to his considerable production skills.
Review: Berlin deep techno/house imprint Exit Strategy are back and we are always keen to hear what they're up to next, following up killer releases of late by the likes of Lor, Nuiton and Human Machine. This time around they maintain yet again a close relationship with some Innervisions related artists because it's a great collaboration between two current heroes of German house music: Augsburg's Daniel Bortz (Pastamusik/Suol) and Wuppertal's Marcus Worgull, who is fresh off a recent release as Vermont with Motor City Drum Ensemble. On "Skinner Box" is a dark journey track that really works the elements of suspense and tension over it's slow burning progression and complete with a wonky headrush inducing synth lead. It's a more straight ahead affir on "Dry Mouth" this dark and tunnelling tech house cut is aimed squarely at the warm up or late night alike, wrapped up in a series of hypnotic arpeggios atop of a tightly programmed groove.
Review: It would be fair to say that Studio K7 has pulled off something of a coup in getting Kenny Dixon Jr. to agree to compile and mix the latest installment in the long-running DJ Kicks series. It is, somewhat remarkably, the legendary Detroiter's first commercially available mix set. This triple-vinyl edition features a whopping 19 cuts - all in unmixed form - from the 30 track mix. Musically, it's a blazed, jazzy, soulful and groovy as you'd expect, and contains a mixture of downtempo beats, nu-jazz and hazy house cuts from the likes of Flying Lotus, Dopehead, Peter Digital Orchestra, Nightmares On Wax, Soulful Session and Lady Alma.
Review: Berlin clubbing institution Watergate proudly present the 25th edition of their Watergate compilation series, mixed and compiled by Hanseatic tech house heroes Adana Twins. It is the first Watergate mix that consists of 100% new and unreleased tracks from the likes of Lehar, Acid Pauli and Musumeci and two new works from the pair. They are releasing the exclusive material on separate EPs after the mix, with Part 2 here featuring such highlights as Adana Twins themselves on the moody dancefloor drama of "Ocelotes", Andre Hommen delving into hypnotic and evocative territory on "Nowadays", and Daniel Bortz/Sascha Sibler delivering some seriously sensual and slinky tech house on "Yuppie".
Review: Ibiza institution Cafe Mambo needs little introduction. Starting as a sunset hangout, it soon became a perfect venue for the island's pre-parties and has developed an iconic status worldwide. It has served up thousands of sunsets since it first opened it's doors in 1994 and here's Sunset to Afterdark: an expertly crafted collection compiled by the team behind the successful Future Disco series and Needwant label. This one takes you from those unforgettable sunsets to, like the name suggests, the nighttime where things really heat up. If there is one essential soundtrack required this summer, this is it. Highlights not limited to: Zero 7's sublime drifter "Last Light", Dutch trio Kraak & Smaak's emotive and bittersweet little ditty "Stumble" (Blue Hotel Mix) through to the gorgeous remix of Tempelhof & Gigi Masin's "Blue 13" by Declasse main man Steve Coby. There's even a bit of slinky and uptempo tech house from hot UK duo Dusky. Comes with two continuous mixes for your convenience: Sunset and Afterdark, naturally.