Review: Dusky's first outing for Running Back, "Life Signs", was arguably one of their most euphoric and uplifting releases to date, so it's little surprise to find that this much-anticipated sequel explores similar sonic territory. The future anthem is undoubtedly "Metropolis", a shimmering retro-futurist number that layers bleeping lead lines and spine-tingling pads atop a weighty analogue bassline and heavy beats. You get vocal and dub mixes, with the former making great use of a loved-up female vocal snippet that adds to the cut's old school credentials. Elsewhere, "Seed Tray" is a rushing, warehouse-ready stomper smothered in rave-era piano stabs, "Mushroom Samba" adds bleeps to a suitably psychedelic, all-action backing track, and "Fridge" is a nostalgic, retro-futurist romp that defies easy categorization.
Review: Since founding their 17 Steps label in 2014, Dusky has barely stepped away from the imprint. Kudos to Gerd Janson, then, for persuading the British duo to offer-up this EP on his lauded Running Back kabel. They start in typically sweaty and bombastic fashion with "Boris Borrison's Trip To Morrisons", a soaring and life-affirming chunk of warehouse-ready peak-time madness built around a dirty, Italo-disco style arpeggio bassline, glassy-eyed rave stabs and tactile electronics. "Static" is a bustling but dreamy affair whose combination of swirling vocal samples, weighty sub bass and crackling breakbeats recalls the early days of British dance music. "Lea Valley", another retro-futurist affair that combines deep musical touches with heavy bottom end pressure, is similarly sizable.
Review: 2018 was a relatively quiet year for Dusky aka Alfie Granger-Howell and Nick Harriman, but the pair follow their recent Aset Forever record with these killer remixes. Issued on their own 17 Steps label, in its original format, "Amongst The Gods" featured raw break beats, euphoric synths and angelic vocals. For this remix package however, Brame & Hamo turn it into a more raw-sounding affair, full of splurging low end and menacing stabs. There's no room for subtlety either on Kettama's version of "Staunch"; pounding kicks support visceral riffs and the kind of swaggering, menacing roof that will leave the faint-hearted traumatised.
Review: Since this EP dropped on vinyl earlier in the year, the sizeable title track has become one of the most ubiquitous peak-time anthems around. That's not meant as a criticism; few do rush-inducing musical moments quite like Dusky, and "Square Miso" is one of their most euphoric productions to date. It's something of a retro-futurist treat, with colossal piano riffs and dewy-eyed vocal samples riding thunderous drums and a booming, mind-altering bassline. For extra spine-tingling pleasure, check out the beat-free "Reprise" version, which wisely emphasizes the "Strings of Life" style pianos and synthesized strings, and the warehouse-friendly, Inner City style throb of "LF10".
Review: Dusky has certainly made the most of running the 17 Steps label. Astonishingly, this is the duo's 16th release on the imprint since it launched back in 2014. As usual, there's plenty to admire across the four-track EP, starting with the poignant chord progressions, rubbery synth-bass, "Show Me Love" organ stabs and trippy late night atmospherics of "Cold Heart". Their penchant for hustling low-end and grandiose synthesizer flourishes is explored further on "Psychic Life Coach", while the superb "Bowed" sees them doffing a cap to both John Carpenter and Patrick Cowley. For those seeking fluttering riffs, heavy analogue bass and breezy, summery vibes, closer "Balfour Betty" should be essential listening.
Review: Having built an impressive reputation via releases on Aus Music and Naked Naked, British house duo Dusky have decided to launch their own label, 17 Steps. This first release - from the duo themselves, naturally - suggests the label could be a force to be reckoned with in coming years. There's a thrillingly saucer-eyed feel about "Love Taking Over", which peppers a robust, sub-heavy groove with drifting alien synths, wonky pads and choice vocal samples. "Inta" is more obviously accessible, with classic house pianos and spoken vocal stabs providing the track with bags of energy. "Expectations" sees the duo return to familiar influences, with acid bass and attractive hooks riding a bustling, US garage-influenced groove.
Review: After conquering the scene with releases for Will Saul's reinvigorated Simple and Dogmatik, Dusky return to their spiritual home of Anjunadeep with the first in a series of remix EPs. First up, Jozif Voxatron transforms "It's Not Enough" with his own brand of Baltic swing, while Andre Crom transforms the high-octane "Lost In You" into something with a little more swagger, and Thomas Langner changes the laid back "Falling" into a groovesome roller. By far our pick however is Tevo Howard's Chicago house revision of "Lost Highway", stripping everything back to its bare rhythmic components, firming them up, and rebuilding the whole thing with a ton more soul.
Review: London based duo Alfie Granger-Howell and Nick Harriman present their stunning new project Dusky. Previously going under the name of Solarity with a more progressive house, sound their latest incarnation is a finer detailed musical showcase. Combining beautiful orchestral elements with captivating vocals, creating a unique collection of tracks with depth and originality. 'Lost In You' & 'It's Not Enough' (both featuring Janai), and 'Need You Back' really stand out and will no doubt get further remix treatment from the Anjuna usual suspects.
Review: Last week the new album from Anjunadeep's latest find; Dusky never left our speakers, and this week looks set to be no different as they hit straight back with fresh mixes of one of the LP's finest moments 'It's Not Enough' featuring the simply beautiful vocals of Janai. The Original is already a stunning piece of music, with Janai's tones captivating with every whisper and word. Pezzner strips it back and goes a little tripper for his remix, and then the Anjuna team surprise again with a dubsteppy cut from Rack N Ruin.. For trance fans this may be out of your comfort zone, but it's definitely worth a few listens.. and remixes aside, you always have the flawless Original to go back too.
Review: There's a distinctly old school flavour to this compilation as Thee Cool Cats take to the controls. Patrick Topping's "Forget" sees the fast-rising producer serve up insane rave stabs and diva vocal samples over insistent cowbells and slamming beats, while Catz'n'Dogz mine a different part of 90s music culture. The duo's "Booty Comes First" is inspired by the rude and raucous sound of ghetto house, as pre-orgasmic moans and a slamming rhythm reinforce the vocal that "yo booty comes first". At the other end of the emotional spectrum, Tough Love impress greatly with the acid-laced, soulful house of "Dreams", while the next generation of Detroit techno, fronted by Dantiez Saunderson and working with Altus Project returns to early 90s US house with the vocal-led "I Need You".
Review: This is not the first compilation to drop whose sole aim is to raise funds for NHS Chartities Together - R&S Records and Bass Agenda both delivered similarly epic sets - but "Care4Life" may well be the strongest and most diverse. As you'd expect, each one of the 45 tracks is previously unreleased, and the cast list reads like a who's who of dance music culture. Notable highlights include an ultra-deep, saucer-eyed number from Daniel Avery, an unheard rework of the Chemical Brothers' "Catch Me I'm Falling", a superb revision of Harvey's Locussolus project by Kiwi, Matthew Herbert in jazzy broken beat mode, a rare solo outing from Optimo's JD Twitch, a rip-roaring rave workout from Jas Shaw, and thumping peak-time bangers from Dusky, Eats Everything and Patrick Topping.
Review: Alongside the likes of yourself, you can bet that Mark Knight & Co. will be also be a known presence at Amsterdam Dance Event in 2018 and indeed they'll be well prepared with the appropriate tools - as this killer compilation proves. Highlights on this annual edition come from Maceo Plex - whose remix of "Nervous Tics" (feat Holly Walker) by hot British duo Maribou State takes you to the dark side, label chief Knight's massive rework of Sterling Void's eternal anthem "It's Alright" (feat Paris Brightledge) will surely get the hands in the air, as will Adesse Versions' edit of legend Kerri Chandler's "The Boom Can" and many others over the collection's five dozen tracks. To take you through every part of your trip, the album comes complete with three perfectly crafted and perfectly primed mixes.