Review: The veteran of challenging, cross-genre experimentation and collaboration, Innervisions staple Henrik Schwarz returns to the Berlin-based imprint. The 'Together' EP heralds the third decade of the millennium and a collaboration with SelamX studio. Features the high tech soul epic "Come Together" with its life-affirming chord progression and stunning operatic vocals that are altogether geared for some glassy-eyed and bittersweet moments on the dancefloor, followed by the uplifting deep house of "Omnibus" that's awash in a stunning tapestry of lush melodies and glistening pads. Another terrific effort by a true master.
Review: Henrik Schwarz, the veteran of challenging cross-genre experimentation and collaboration, returns to the Innervisions imprint. With his first EP for 2020, he heralds the third decade of the millennium and their collaboration with SelamX studio across two powerfully emotive tracks. From the life-affirming epic "Together" and its dramatic choral refrain and elevating chord progressions which are all geared for some perfect dancefloor drama. Second offering "Omnibus" shows more restraint but it's equally as evocative, once again demonstrating the German producer's talent for soulful hi-tech sounds.
Review: Berlin institution Watergate Records celebrates its 10 year birthday, with this special 50 track anthology of their favourite records. Over the last decade, the imprint has set a standard for captivating electronic music from across the house and techno spectrum, successfully mirroring the club's booking policy. Now up to over 60 releases including a remix of the Josh Wink classic "Higher State Of Consciousness" by residents Adana Twins, and the 26th installment in their acclaimed mix series by Danish legends Whomadewho - this compilation presents some of its most memorable cuts since its inception in 2008. Highlights come from: label staple Mathias Meyer - the Hanseatic hero presenting several tracks including "Love Letters From Sicily" with Ryan Davis, local legends Tiefschwarz on "Fire It Out" feat. Ruede Hagelstein, resident La Fleur getting remixed by Detroit legend Kenny Larkin on "Nightflow" and rising duo Adriatique's 7am remix of "The Spirit" by the ever impressive Butch (featuring Hohberg) amony many others.
Review: Following on from last year's second Consciousness compilation, Afterlife returns with an even more ambitious project. Label owners Tale of Us deliver a suitably melodic track, "Nova", but there are also a series of contributions from high-profile artists. Sterac's "Universum" is an expertly weighted, stripped back techno affair, while on "Phase In", Edit Select takes it deeper with a throbbing, tranced out groove that is like a more refined take on early Plus 8 material. Completing the techno triumvirate is Scuba's SCB project. Now also a vehicle for the UK producer's socially conscious thoughts, "Tide Slide", which is possibly a reference to the effects of climate change, sees him deliver a frosty techno groove.
Review: Global Underground's Nubreed series has a huge amount of kudos, having brought respected DJs like Lee Burridge, Steve Lawler and Danny Howells to attention during the early 00s with a series of iconic mixes. Although it was on hold for much of the second decade of this millennium, it has been successfully resurrected and now gives the same platform to Theo Kottis. In keeping with its usual format, this instalment sees the Beautiful Strangers boss explore a range of styles and sound across two mixes. Accordingly, his selection ranges from Gigi Masin's melodic piano composition, "Maja", to the Mountain People's sensuous deep house "La Onda", taking in some underground classics like DJ Assassin's garage/house hybrid "Face in the Crowd" as well as left of centre oddities like The Horn's "Villager". It's a fitting testament to the Nubreed aesthetic.
Review: It seems as if 15 years have just flown by since Berlin institution Watergate first opened their doors at the base of the famous Oberbaumbrucke, overlooking the River Spree and where long queues run down the street every weekend to get into one of the best clubs in the world. To celebrate their journey over the last decade and a half, they have put together a special anniversary release of 25 new, exclusive and formerly unreleased tracks. Residents of the superclub all appear, such as Hamburg native Matthias Meyer who teams up with Ryan Davis on the evocative "Hope", famed local duo Tiefschwarz deliver the slow burning and moody tech house of "Control", Sweden's La Fleur (of Power Plant fame) delivers the acidic bump and shuffle of "Femton" and former Stattbad resident and Beste Modus boss Cinthie gets deep on the classic house sound of "Hatschi Hatschi" which has a whole heap of swing to it!
Review: Up next for Defected's In The House series is the UK's DJ Haus, 'a decidedly untraditional DJ, producer, originator and DIY label innovator.' The Unknown To The Unknown and Hot Haus Recs boss has received big props from the underground house community and in Defected's opinion: he's an ambassador for the future of house music. Quite a compliment there! Serving up a a wicked collection of raw and jacking sounds that encompass electro, Chicago house, disco, techno and UK garage: and all very much on the lo-fi tip. The supporting cast on DJ Haus In The Haus is quite a remarkable one and musical highlights are not limited to: NYC hero X-Coast (who is fresh off a killer release on Underthesea) with last year's sleeper hit "Mango Bay", Aussie larrikin and Steel City Dance Discs boss Mall Grab with the wicked "Pool Party" through to stateside jams by Justin Cudmore - who gives us a taste of the acid life on "Forget It" and so does the master Matrixxman on the epic "The Spell" (Original Mix).
Review: As Summer peaks, Berlin clubbing institution Watergate brings you the brand new series where standout tracks from their discography are remixed by some of their favourite artists. Kicking off the first instalment we have Matthias Meyer and Jimi Jules stepping up to deliver their twist on two big tunes from heavy-hitters Butch and Henrik Schwarz. First up is Meyer's remix of Butch's "Shahrzad", where he dishes out a truly timeless piece of dancefloor euphoria. With his trademark organic groove and swirling pads, Meyer guides you through a heavenly journey into the distant reaches of sonic elation. On the flip, Jimi Jules brings his A-game with a revision of Henrik Schwarz' classic "Words In Return" and in the process demonstrates an incredibly mature restraint, with precise and calculated efforts which results in an enchanting trip.
Review: Although Henrik Schwarz has kept himself busy in recent years, it's been a while since he released a full-throttle dancefloor workout. This debut appearance on Gerd Janson's Running Back label - the German producer's first solo single 2013 - is arguably his most forthright and floor-friendly missive since the turn of the decade. "Not Only You" is a thumping techno stomper, where ragged, mutant, repetitive lead lines are propelled forwards by some seriously good drum machine programming. Flipside "Not You Also" offers a slightly more eccentric riff on the same blueprint, with Schwarz adding some eccentric spoken word segments and a couple of bold synth fills.