Review: Veteran Berlin outfit Modeselektor take their "selektion" very seriously indeed. Perhaps this is why each instalment of Modeselektion, their painstakingly curated compilation series, takes so long to arrive. Here we finally have another sampler from part three. Highlights of these four tracks include the blissful synth fest of Alex Banks' "Be The One", the quirky, live electro-pop of Heinrik Schwarz's "We Are Bankrupt" and the off-kilter, acidic soulful hip-hop of "Jungle Love". Looks like the full-length album will be worth the wait.
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: 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: Confusingly, this is actually the second full-length round up of exclusive tracks from the DJ Kicks mix series (the first, with the same title, was released in 2006). It gathers together notable exclusive tracks from some of the many DJs and producers who've contributed to the series in recent years. It makes for fascinating and enjoyable listening, flitting between sounds and styles at a breakneck pace. Highlights include jazz-flecked deep house from Motor City Drum Ensemble and Henrik Schwarz, dextrous dancefloor jazz from Four Tet, a Hall & Oates impersonation from Chromeo, booming bass music from Scuba and a dash of bleary-eyed New York disco from The Juan MacLean. Oh, and a decidedly bleep-heavy two-step rinse out from Photek & Kru. Check it.
Review: The unstoppable Strut label, usually associated to outstanding reissue anthologies, welcome a surprise package to their catalogue, and boy is this special. Ebo Taylor, one of Ghana's most prolific musicians over the last thirty years, is remixed by none other than Henrik Schwarz, German deep house king and electronic deviant. The track in question is "Ene Nyame Nam A Mensuro", which is transformed by Schwarz into a lively house number complete with Taylor's vocals and plenty of electronic tweaking and processing. The end result is just a straight-up summer jacker. Check!
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: 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.
Review: The first slab of tracks curated by Modeselektor for Modeselektion Vol. 3 may have been on a more introspective tip, but there's no such holding back to be found on Part 2 as bold colours and tough rhythms abound for the party-starting side to the German duos repertoire. L-Vis 1990 brings the heavyweight boogie influence while Illum Sphere marches forth with an electro urgency, Onra drops some cosmic '80s flourishes, and Brandt Brauer Frick link up with OmMas Keith and Vic Mensa for a mad intersection between broken beat, techno, R&B and plenty more besides. As ever eclecticism and a taste for the unusual define Modeselektor's choices, and they pull it off with style.
Review: Henrik Schwarz is one of electronic music's most revered artists for his ability to combine jazz, flamenco and classical music with house and techno. For this third MASSE package he provides one bespoke techno track, and a second floral arrangement of the aforementioned styles. The first, "Lockstep", provides a dubby beat while a dusty snare progression snaps away like Ectomorph on overdrive, highlighting how versatile Schwarz can be with the use of only a few elements - check out Sven Weisemann's "Trackz" for another great example of this. Schwarz's "Unknown Touch Two" sees the German back in familiar territory by providing a hot-blooded, Latin-laced and string plucking piece of cinematic music with a deft touch of house.
Review: Henrik Schwarz's surprise remix of "Ene Nyame Nam 'A' Mensuro' - a suitably obscure collaboration between Ghanian highlife legends Ebo Taylor and Pat Thomas, originally released somewhere round the turn of the '80s on a ridiculously rare LP - has arguably been one of the underground dancefloor hits of the summer. A ten-minute chunk of loose and languid, Highlife-deep house fusion, Schwarz has cleverly combined sections of the sweet-as-you-like original with his own atmospheric electronics and tech-house influenced beats. The veteran German producer also provides a dub, which strips out the vocal and allows his electronics, Taylor's delicious guitars and the original's punchy horns a little more room to breathe.
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: 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.