Review: Over the course of the last decade, Swiss stalwart Deetron has been responsible for a string of impressive remixes. Happily, these - and many others you may have missed - have now been collected together on the decidedly epic Re-Creation: Remixes Compiled. As you'd expect, the 25-track set flits between full-throttle, peak-time friendly techno futurism, bustling deep house goodness and more downbeat explorations that defy his reputation as a maker of killer club cuts. Highlights include the loved-up synth breakdowns and jacking, Chicago-style groove of his Juan MacLean remix, a wonderfully retro-futurist take on George Fitzgerald's "Every Inch", a thrusting, stab-happy revision of Quarion and a lusciously jazzy take on Todd Terje's "Alfonso Muskedender". That said, on another day we could have listed another five or six highlights: it really is that good.
Review: Reactions to the news that Marcel Fengler was going to mix Berghain 05 focused on the fact that he is the club's most overlooked resident. This is to do Fengler a disservice and to understand the club in the narrowest context possible. If anything, the trajectory Fengler follows here defines the broad brush strokes played out in the Berlin club. There's the eerie intro which moves from Dettmann's vocal version of Emika's "Count Backwards" into Peter Van Hoesen's spacey, bleeping "Axis Mundi". Classic sounds always form an integral part of Fengler's approach and this is evident on Octogen's widescreen yet menacing electro reshape of Terrence Dixon, the wiry 90s minimalism of Ratio and in the alternate version of Secret Cinema's chord-heavy early 90s classic "Timeless Altitude". In between these sounds, Fengler proves his technical prowess, moving effortlessly from the drones and broken beats of Dr Walker's take on Byteone and the Regis version of Tommy Four Seven's "G" into straighter, albeit bass-heavy techno and house from Duplex - remixing Gerd- and LB Dub Corp, who delivers a new, multi-layered take on Fengler's own "Thwack". Put simply, Fengler has that rare talent that most DJs lack - he can put together seemingly disparate tracks without losing the flow. The club he resides at provides Fengler with a blank canvas and this mix is his masterpiece.
Review: Following up that great first volume, Amsterdam legend Gerd fired up the legendary Yamaha DX100 synth again and delivers a bunch of timeless perspectives of classic techno sounds on Planet F.M.D.X. The synth was a staple of the first wave Detroit sound, and this is a respectful tribute to that if we've ever heard it. From emotive hi-tech soul of "Black Moon Voyage" and its unashamed nod to the sounds of Transmat, the intergalactic funk of "Lost Android" complete with reversed beats for nostalgic effect, and the hi-tech jazz of "Chord Orbit" which will have all fans of early Underground Resistance and Strobe rejoicing.
Review: Dutch Veteran Gerd's career stretches back an impressive 22 years. Planet F.D.M.X Pt 1 sees him return to Clone's retro-futurist Royal Oak offshoot for the first time in five years. Interestingly, opener "Planet F.D.M.X (909)" doffs a cap to early Warp "bleep and bass" releases, while also paying tribute to the spacey techno sounds of Detroit. There's a slightly more Larry Heard feel to the accompanying "707" mix of the same track, with deliciously deep chords and bright stabs accompanying a "Can You Feel It" style groove. On the flip, he's in full on space mode on the wonderfully attractive and rubbery "Visitors", while "The Cube" bounces along on a wave of vintage acid style refrains, jackin' beats and dreamy, drawn-out chords.
Review: Second time around for Gerd's "House", a track originally recorded many years back with Nu Groove legend Lamont "Elbee Bad" Booker (a compilation of whose classic moments is imminent on Rush Hour). This is in many ways an accompaniment to last year's release, and features instrumental versions of the excellent reworks by Attu and Jacob Korn. The latter's woozy deep house take arguably works better without Booker's rambling vocal, sounding like a future underground house classic. Best of all, though, is Gerd's own New Vox Mix, which is so raw, analogue and uncompromising that the mix actually distorts on several occasions. Proper house music, and no mistake.
Review: With Larry Heard and Deetron on the remix, you'd be hard pressed to find fault with this superb remix package. Heard is typically at his melodic, soulful best, offering up two epic reworks that wrap heart-aching piano figures, jazz organs, acid tweaks and darting synths around a faultlessly deep groove. While his instrumental version is good, it's the full vocal version that really hits the spot. Deetron, meanwhile, ups the tempo and the percussive pressure on a pair of chiming, stargazing versions that just ooze Detroit techno flavour. This is perhaps most successful on the Dub, which gets just the right balance between build, melody and straightforward dancefloor oomph.
Review: Gerd continues to dig into his archive of previously unfinished material for the esteemed Clone imprint, returning to their fun house Royal Oak offshoot with the quite superb "Palm Leaves". What begins with a nice dusty house groove bursts into life when the superb vocal talents of Mr Oliver Day Soul rise to the surface on top of some driving chords and glistening textures. These elements combine adroitly and then Gerd throws in this thick gloopy square analogue bassline which lends the track a really winning je ne sais quoi. A stripped down mix from Clone boss Serge in cahoots with Mr Alden Tyrell occupies the flip, bringing the analogue throb to the fore whilst subjecting the rest to some cavernous filtration.
Review: Dutch producer Gert-Jan Bijl aka Gerd's Time & Space is one of those 90s techno tracks that manages to evoke feelings of euphoria and foreboding. Unearthed by Gerd on a DAT tape during a spring clean, its mixture of turbo-powered hoover bass and the lost innocence of the vocal samples casts it in the same mould as Suburban Knight's classic "The Art Of Stalking". The 2011 remix is more jacking and makes a play of eerie, nightmarish chords instead of the purring bass, while Dutch colleague Duplex opts for a different approach. Remaining true to the original version, both his Southside and Northside remixes are powered by the kind of pre-hardcore nocturnal bass that will give you nightmares. The latter just about shades it in the spooky stakes with Duplex messing with the original vocal sample.
Review: The latest Glitterbox compilation is something of an epic, featuring two all action DJ mixes from bossman Simon Dunmore, and 40-odd unmixed, DJ-friendly tracks. Naturally, the emphasis is on celebratory, feel-good workouts, with Dunmore's superb selections taking in classic disco and boogie (Change, Shirley Lites, the Originals), contemporary disco-fired workouts (Purple Disco Machine, BB Boogie's soul-fired "Sweating and Shaking"), cheery disco-house anthems (95 North, Reverendos of Soul) and all-out peak-time house gems (see the contributions from Eli Escobar, KiNK and Dj Chus and the Groove Foundation). Highlights are plentiful throughout, though it's hard to beat Louie Vega's 12-minute rework of Sylvester disco classic "Dance".
Review: Inside Out is a brand new series from Aus Music label head Will Saul. It invites DJs and producers to blur the boundaries between traditional artist albums and mix compilations. The concept encourages them to showcase their own music, or the music of those in their own individual circles. Depending on who is curating, it will take different forms. The idea stems from Saul's own approach in the club, which often finds him seeking out brand new and unheard music to play for the first time. There's a strong Detroit techno aesthetic throughout his inaugural release for the series: from the emotive hi-tech soul of his own collaboration with Komon entitled "Positive", Amsterdam legend Gerd had no problem channeling similarly timeless retro vibes either, as heard on the funky techno-soul of "Echoes". They save the best for last on the flip, with the legendary Floorplan's riveting rendition of Primitive Trust's "Little Love" - perfect to get that 3AM style strobe-lit tunnel vision in effect.
The Revenge - "Incredible Shellsuit" - (5:40) 125 BPM
Ole Biege & Ronte Monte Mo - "Marinade" - (7:35) 123 BPM
Kasper Bjorke - "Apart" (feat Sosa Ey - Michael Mayer remix) - (8:36) 124 BPM
HVOB - "Lion" (Stimming remix) - (5:54) 124 BPM
Various - "Songs For Clubs 3" (continuous DJ mix by Zoo Brazil) - (1:01:38) 124 BPM
Review: It's been 16 months since the release of the second installment of John 'Zoo Brazil' Anderson's Songs For Clubs series. This third volume is, then, long overdue. As with its' predecessors, Songs For Clubs 3 lives up to its name, with Anderson picking out (and mixing, on the included bonus DJ mix) an atmospheric blend of tracks from across the deep house, tech-house and minimal-influenced techno spectrum. The tracklist is certainly strong, with contributions from Tiefschwarz, Michael Mayer, The Revenge (the brilliant "Incredible Shellsuit"), Romanthony and Matthew Styles, whose thrilling "Dominion" is probably the collection's standout moment. That said, Copyright's big room deep house banger "Submarine" certainly pushes it close.