Review: The Main Course imprint ain't messing about with this their instalment of the Big Plates series. The usual suspects are involved, starting with Big Makk and the militant bass gunshot that is "Tabasco Sawse", followed hastily by the UK-laden, pseudo techno of "Spooky Hallway" from Sven Lochenhoer. Lux Groove offers a percussive feeding frenzy with the hard-hitting house slicer named "Keep Rockin", GAWP's "Vanilla Gorilla" is a bubbly tech-house slinger, and "Music Is Drohgz Too" by Jai Biotic manages to create a total hybrid from the best parts of house and dubstep wobble. Pull up!
Review: Each year 'This Is Toolroom' sets the tone for the British powerhouse's musical plans. Presented by London veteran (and Soul Purpose main man) Martin Ikin, this is an essential compilation to kick off a new decade, where you will discover essential cuts from label staples and newcomers alike across these 20 tracks - that cover the musical spectrum that Toolroom dubs its own. Highlights are not limited to: label boss Mark Knight kicking things off with the sultry and tribal vocal house anthem "Mona Lisa", the man himself Ikin contributing the funky house bomb "I'll Be" featuring Malika, Windy city legend Gene Farris bangs the party with the absolutely electric "Back In The Day" as well as the hosts of the label's last compilation Sllash & Doppe and Mendo, who serve up some seriously good vibes on "Back To The House" and "Give It To Me" respectively. As always, it comes with a continuous mix that's blended to perfection by Ikin.
Review: Despite the setbacks brought forth by the pandemic, we're confident that Toolroom will still have a stellar year as always! With that in mind, the fifth edition in their 'House Party' series' looks to be the biggest yet, with a whopping 70 tracks to keep the party going for days on end. As a bonus, label signees such as Wankelmut, TCTS and Siege (who appear with contributions to the compilation personally) provide a continuous mix each - bringing the party to your house. Other highlights come from a wide variety of artists within the tech/house spectrum such as: legends Technasia and Green Velvet with the aforementioned Siege on the mighty "Suga" (Siege extended mix), the ascendant Luxembourger Amii Watson with the sensual mood music of "Higher" and the Fuse London affiliated Rich NxT teaming up with minimal techno vetran Christian Burkhardt on the slinky and hypnotic "Basics" - plus many more.
Review: Mark Knight & Co.round out the year with 'Best Of Toolroom 2020', a 50 track compilation delivering a collection of the label's biggest releases from the year that was into one package. Boss man Knight teams up with Rene Amesz on the year's most massive funky house tune "All 4 Love" (feat. Tasty Lopez) with other highlights coming from: Carl Cox on his stomping heads-down rework of Kevin Knapp & Hannah Wants "Call Me", the anthemic and utterly uplifting soul of legends Gene Farris & ATFC's "Spirit of House" plus the return of the legendary American vocalist Ann Nesby - whose unmistakable voice dominates LEFTI's "Rejuvenate". There's also the worthy addition of two continuous mixes by Mr Knight himself. 'Best Of Toolroom 2020' delivers the perfect annual sign off, as the label prepares for yet another landmark year in 2021.
Review: Next up from the impeccable roster arranged over at CR2 Digital, we take a welcome look into the third edition of their 'Basslines' series, a flagship compilation to rival the previous two, featuring an incredibly wide range of electronic musical stylings. From the 4x4 flavours of Low Steppa, Skapes, Jay Robinson and more, to the high energy D&B reworks of S.P.Y, DJ Marky, A Sides and more, there really isn't much ground this EP doesn't cover. Across the twenty two tracks we have been able to pick out some very specific highlights however, including the nostalgic chord progressions and shuffling drums of 'Seek & Find', a wicked collaboration between Paul Rayner & FevaSoul. We also see Don Diablo's 'Animale' given the once over by The Prototypes in explosive fashion, with our third highlight coming from My Cat Snoop, with a vibrant moody roller by the name of 'Yo Mama'. Awesome work!
Review: Following up the 'T1'experiment back in 2015, Toolroom reboots the concept to celebrate their artists' talents and challenge them creatively. With many in isolation across the world, 'T2' will act to raise money for Covid-19 relief funds, with a percentage of profits going to charity. Much like the last edition - which was an album of new and exciting collabs from their label roster - label boss Mark Knight picked the collaborations totally at random during a Facebook Live broadcast, resulting in some 'out-of-the-box experiments and sure-fire bangers.' Highlights include: KC Lights who teams up with Kitball's Juliet Sikora on the soulful sax-driven shuffle of "Tonight", the man himself Mark Knight teaming up with Tuff London and Cagney & Lacey to bring back funky house with a vengeance on "Don't Give Up", while Romanian label staples Sllash & Doppe likewise turn in some late '90s styled filtered disco funk on "Burnin'" and the ascendant Maxinne teams up with Mizbee, Amine Edge & DANCE on the tough rolling main room stomper "What U Say".
Review: This is your 2020 edition of Toolroom House Party! Included in this red hot package are 20 brand new and exclusive cuts from the likes of: KC Lights who serves up the funked-up tribal groove of "You & Me", boss man Mark Knight once again heralding the return of good ol' fashioned funky house on "If It's Love" featuring Laura Davie & The Melody Men, legend Sharam Jey with Andruss & Bob Musella on the tough rolling tech funk of "Rise On My Soul" and man of the moment Shiba San getting deep down and dirty on "Runnin' Roll". Elsewhere, Saved head honcho Nic Fanciulli teams up with Black Circle on the spiritual afro house epic "Leap Of Faith", rising Berliners Mat.Joe give us the neon-lit energy of "Off Ma Mind" and you can bet that the ever reliable D. Ramirez makes a contribution (alongside label chief Knight) on the euphoric "Colombian Soul" which is remixed by label staples Sllash & Doppe. Plus, three super-hot DJ mixes from Dombresky, the aforementioned KC Lights & Ben Remember.
Review: With Ibiza's extended summer season almost upon us, Toolroom has served up a suitably epic collection of cuts that it expects to be big on the White Isle this summer. Label boss Mark Knight has provided a trio of DJ mixes ("Poolside", "Club" and "Afterclub") and the unmixed tracks included all fit into these loose categories. There's not enough room to list all of the highlights, but we've been enjoying the funk-fuelled disco-house rush of Illyus and Barrientos' "The One", the sleazy, bass-heavy bounce of Max Chapman's "Steppa", the acid-powered tech-house-jack of Del-30's "Gravity" and the weighty, mind-altering thump of "Low End Theory" by Eli Brown.