Review: Confidence demonstrates that anyone who assumed that Daniel Stefanik is just about stripped back techno is mistaken. From the rolling disco house of "Rush" to the gloriously delicate melodies of "Keep On", this is a diverse, self-assured work. Stefanik's ability to create beautiful, catchy tracks is also evident on "Light On", where atmospheric, angelic hooks unfold over doubled up beats, and with "Dazed & Confused", where a soaring bass underpins his warm synth sounds. That's not suggest that Stefanik has forgone his love of clubby grooves and the German producer delivers the killer dum-heavy "Distillery" track and the atonal bleeps and hard funk of "Basement Vault".
Review: Of all the minimal producers who emerged from Germany during the middle of the last decade, Daniel Stefanik is the one most likely to break through to mainstream dance music. The reason for this lies in Stefanik's ability to translate his experimental touch to conventional structures. On "The Harlequin in Me", this is audible, as a dense percussive arrangement and spacey synths suddenly explode into a big room techno groove. "Silicon Garden" is more understated, its Middle Eastern samples contained by a dubby bass, but he shows his crossover appeal again on "Dirty Rhodes". Tougher and more driving, its combination of grainy bassline with thundering claps and intense Rhodes chords will rock any room it's dropped in.
Review: It's hard to believe that Cocoon is celebrating its 20th anniversary, but what's not difficult to grasp is that Sven Vath's imprint is marking the occasion in style. Rampa and Emanuel Satie kick-start this compilation with emotive, tranced out tracks - in particular Rampa's "2000" is particularly poignant - while Cocoon mainstays like Gregor Tresher and Ricardo Tobar up the pace with the musical but clubby techno of "Nostalgia (Is The Enemy)" and "El Eterna" respectively. As always, Cocoon strikes a flawless balance between showcasing local producers and international names; 20 Years is no exception and features frazzled acid from Josh Wink as well as steely percussive bangers courtesy of Planetary Assault Systems and Jacek Sienkiewicz.