Review: Now using his own name after working under an alias for over 10 years, well-established Hamburg techno producer Bastian Heerhorst returns to Spanish label Nulab Music with this two-track EP aimed at lovers of progressive/melodic sounds. The groovy 'Stairway' itself centres around a nagging, analogue-sounding synth riff that becomes more and more strident as the track progresses, while 'Brunswick' is a more epic, sweeping affair that's all about the big room drama. But both tracks are likely to appeal to progressive house buyers as much as they will to the techno faithful.
Review: The Senso Sounds series showcases emerging techno talent, and the sixth instalment casts its gaze across Europe for inspiration. Talent on the continent is not lacking: Amsterdam DJ Lilly Palmer kick starts the split EP with the pulverising bass and driving rhythm of "Listen To Me", while a similar style comes in the shape of Carbon's rave-soaked banger, "Softly Twisted". By contrast, Heerhorst's "Prisma" is a widescreen affair, the German producer's swirling synths underpinned by an ominous groove. Rounding off another volume of this series is Timid Boy from France, whose "Oniris" is an evocative slice of tranced out club techno.
Review: Not to be confused with a certain kids' movie, German producer Kristian Samujlo aka Teenage Mutants delivers a storming release for Stil Vor Talent. "Palais" is a deep, rolling affair, powered by a rich, acidic bass and dramatic strings that call to mind classic Fnac / F Comm techno, while a ponderous male vocal comes in midway through. "Couer" meanwhile, sees Samujlo dispense with melody in favour of a swaggering, cavernous techno groove and ear-piercing analogue riffs - it feels like being sucked into the middle of jet engine. Speaking of jets, the release also features "Concorde" a collaboration with newcomer Heerhorst. It revolves around a heavy, grinding bass, razor sharp percussion and a robotic vocal that screeches 'je t'adore' every few bars. It's a fitting finale to this brooding release.
Review: Congratulations to long-running Berlin label Still Vor Talent, which has now notched up no less than 200 releases. To celebrate this milestone, the label has put together this fine celebratory compilation featuring contributions from "old and new faces". Fittingly, it's arguably one of the imprint's strongest and most varied releases to date. Of course, there's plenty of typically Germanic fusions of deep house and tech-house present, but also the Arabic-influenced deep house exotica of Sam Shure, the rising, piano-laden dancefloor bliss of Oliver Koletzki's "Don't Take Yourself Too Seriously", the heavily electronic, club-ready psychedelia of Fideles ("Dark Stone") and the lilting melodies of Deorbiting's warm and picturesque "Warnsignal".
Review: The Last Trip was originally conceived as a series of events by Berlin-based institution Stil Vor Talent but has now sonically evolved into a new in-house series of compilations. By focusing on a handful of their current signings, they allow them to express themselves with not one, but two tracks each to really show off their style. Up first is Italy's Malandra Jr. with the brooding electro-tinged dystopia of "Utter", Frenchman Citizen Kain goes for that ethereal deep house sound that has become the trademark of the label recently on "Balance" fetauring Aves Volare's life-affirming monologue, while veteran Olivier Giacomotto knows house to rock the house as always on the epic "Moonshine" and they save the best for last with the ascendant Made In Paris taking the melodic tech house sound to further heights on the futuristic "Conjure".