Review: Lo-fi house merchant from Poland Bartosz Kruczynski returns as Earth Trax with another serving of retroactive VHS styled dreams. Also known as The Phantom, he has had previous releases on current 'it' labels such as Rhythm Section Intl, Dopeness Galore and Emotional Response. "Deprive Me of Air" is a sensual groove that bounces away deeply assisted by low-bit rate beats, granular pads and all beneath the mandatory layers of tape hiss. "Cafe Luna" is his way of channelling early Warp Records style ambient electronica: loved this one! On the flip, "I Gave You Everything" is a nice one too features all the tropical Amazonian aesthetics of 808 State style acid house from back in the day.
Review: Earth Trax is Bartosz Kruczynski who presented a fantastic debut release earlier in the year on Bradley Zero's Rhythm Section International with Newborn Jr. and now appears for Amsterdam's Dopeness Galore with the Los Conquistadores EP. Starting out with the deeply spiritual and emotive balearic vibes of "Flowers" with its rich tapestry of soaring and floaty pads, there's more quality on the title track; its romantic retro vibes reminiscent of Lauer or Tuff City kids alike. We really enjoyed the track "Electricity", a deep electro number with snappy vintage drum machine breaks and classic analogue synth presets working their magic. I will certainly appeal to all throwback romantics, we guarantee it!
Review: Since making his debut on Rhythm Section International in 2016, Polish producer Earth Trax has proved to be one of the major players in the revivalist dream house movement. He's at it again here, delivering another swathe of tactile, ear-pleasing and mood-enhancing cuts. "L'Aventura" is available in two tasty variations, both of which are underpinned by snappy drum hits and thickset synth bass. The "Main" mix makes great use of fluttering synthesizer flute lines and cascading pianos, while the "Dub" is a little more stripped back and percussive despite the presence of plenty of humid synth sounds. Elsewhere, "Nokturn" is a masterful exercise in eyes-closed sunrise nostalgia, while closer "HG" massages your ears with all the sensuality of a forgotten Morenas production.
Where There's A Will, There's A Way - (6:10) 123 BPM
Acid Burn - (4:51) 83 BPM
TechNoir - (3:50) 82 BPM
Diamond Edge - (4:38) 121 BPM
Review: Polish producers Earth Trax and Newborn Jr are regular collaborators, with their previous joint releases for Rhythm Section International, Les Yeux Orange and Echovolt offering dreamy, loved-up deep house thrills by the bucket-load. Interestingly, this first EP for Dopeness Galore sees them take a slightly different approach, combining ultra-deep and dubbed-out cuts (see the dub techno meets dream house flex of "Tech Noir" and rhythmic ambient rush of "Diamond Edge") with much more forthright and robust club workouts. Check, in particular, the bustling breakbeats, heavy sub-bass and spaced-out riffs of "Where There's a Will, There's a Way" and opener "Maze", where '80s Euro-disco stabs and trance-like electronics rise above a delay-laden deep house groove.
Review: Catz 'N' Dogz, one of the first Polish house acts to achieve international success, has decided the time is right for a two-part, "cultural statement of intent from their country's great thinkers, creators, collaborators and disruptors in electronic music". This first part of the all-Polish compilation series is naturally full of intoxicating but varied dancefloor treats. Compare and contrast the Orbital-goes-dream house lusciousness of Earth Trax's "Horyzont", Kuba Sojka's dubby and hypnotic, late night tech-house trip "Walkin Bass" and the lo-fi house fuzz served up by The Analog Roland Orchestra. Best of all, though, is Das Komplex's epic remix of Till von Sein and Aera's "Dynamite", which bubbles away on a Balearic dub disco tip for 10 mesmerizing minutes.
Review: The Polish label Ziemia is centred around a growing group of friends in Warsaw. Formed by seasoned producers Bartosz Kruczynski (Earth Trax), Adam Brocki and Jan Wojcicki (Private Press) that between them have had releases on top labels such as Growing Bin, Shall Not Fade, Indigo Aera, Phonica Records and Dopeness Galore. This first release captures a moment when all three label founders have started to utilise dub techniques in their club sound. Private Press summons the ghosts in the machine in the vein of classic Basic Channel, Earth Trax employs the most echo-laden and glacial aesthetics on his contributions, and his collaboration with Newborn Jr. displays the most cavernous explorations in deepeness.
Review: Fabric replace their long-running monthly Fabric/FABRICLIVE mix CD releases with the new quarterly 'Fabric presents' subscription series, so with this being the first volume expectations will be sky-high. Luckily, Brighton lad Simon Green proves himself well up to the job! DJ Seinfeld, ?me, Will Saul and John Beltran all feature but the emphasis is mostly on lesser-known names, as Green takes us on an involving, constantly evolving ride through near-ambience, jazzy house, broken beats, tropical grooves, blissed-out Balearica, melodic techno, trip-hop and more. Listening to it inside a flotation tank is of course entirely optional...
Review: 139 is the first release this year by Spectral, the house/techno offshoot of Ghostly International. It shows that despite the passage of nearly two decades, the US imprint is still relevant. Starting with the wild acid of Gunnar Haslam's "Versione Antica", the label takes the listener on a journey that includes the murky hardware techno of Minimal Violence's "Travel By Night" and Matrixxman teaming up with Riccardo Limiti to deliver the stomping "Inferno". Other highlights include the noisy, Chicago jack and eerie tones of Russell EL Butler's "Run Away With My Heart" and D'Marc Cantu's resonant "Regular People". It's testament to the label's approach that after nearly twenty years in business, it can still put together such an inspirational release.