Review: 'Hello' is a cool, calm ambient track with melancholic piano chords which occasionally move into glimmers of hope, there's a stunning vocal from Else Born which makes this track unmissable. The 'NTEIBINT remix' has the twangs of Midwest country, almost bringing the vocal into the realms of ballad, before breaking down to a more familiar funky sound for the chorus, and for us is the standout of track of the EP. The 'Area dub mix' is instrumental and minimal; so serene it's almost meditative, absolutely beautiful. The EP also comes with the 'extended mix' and the 'instrumental' which do exactly what they say on the tin.
Review: We were rather impressed by Horixon's last collaboration with Else Born - September 2017's ambient pop workout "Hello" - so hopes are naturally high for this belated follow-up. This time round, the duo has opted to move closer to sun-kissed Balearic disco-pop territory, with Born's atmospheric vocal sitting atop bouncy pianos, colourful electronics and an unfussy nu-disco groove. It's naturally a little stronger in the Extended Mix form (which, to be fair, is still only four and a half minutes long). Also impressive is the Dubka Diskomix, which replaces Born's vocals with an un-credited male equivalent while peppering a chugging, Italo-disco style groove with eyes-closed guitar and keytar solos. It's an impressively different and dancefloor-friendly revision all told.
Review: There's something about house legend Robert Owens' voice that makes you want to hug random strangers, often while spontaneously bursting into tears of joy. It goes without saying that his vocals on "Brighter Day" - the second single from London duo Horixon - turn the track from a solid slice of warm, Balearic deep house into a touchy-feely masterpiece. They arguably sound even better layered over rolling military percussion and long, drawn out chords on Hotflush regular Locked Groove's excellent remix (for the record, the same producer's "Marching Trumpets Dub" is also pretty darn tasty). Another vocalist, the "enigmatic" Jacques Teal (whose voice sounds eerily similar to Alexis from Hot Chip), features on the deeper, bittersweet "Great Things", which is a near perfect chunk of Balearic synth-pop.
Review: Having previously released Orange, Blue, Green and Pink "collections", Eskimo Recordings continues its' colour-coordinated theme with a Yellow compilation. As usual, the collection draws on material from both established names and lesser-known talents, and does a bang-up job joining the dots between hazy Balearic pop, nu-disco, indie-dance and colourful, soft-focus house. While it's all of a high standard, we're particularly enjoying the sparkling dub disco-goes-Balearic flex of Satin Jackets' dub of Du Tonc's "We Can Hold On", the trippy analogue bump of Man Power's "Fisky", the splendid rush of Luxury's baggy disco groover "Breathe", and the camp, Italo-disco thrust of "El Wild" by the brilliantly named Zombies In Miami.
Review: Eskimo Recordings' colour-themed compilation series has thus far delivered enjoyable material in spades, with the first three albums providing a mix of sun-kissed nu-disco, woozy nu-Balearica, Italo-tinged chuggers, sumptuous syntyh-pop and atmospheric deep house. The Orange Collection, the fourth volume in the series, continues in this vein. Packed with colourful synths, tactile rhythms and vibrant vocals, highlights include the chiming nu-Balearic pop of This Soft Machine, the cheery Italo revivalism of Tarjei Nygard and Are Foss's "Flog", and the quirky Scandolearic deep house wooziness of Trulz & Robin's collaboration with fellow Norwegian Ost, "Find My Love".
The Purple Collection (continuous DJ mix) - (1:10:56) 119 BPM
Review: Eskimo Recordings' colour-coded compilation series has been running for a while now, serving up previously unheard cuts from the Belgian label's ever-growing family of artists. Typically, there's much to admire on The Purple Collection, the seventh annual instalment in the ongoing series. Highlights include the deliciously cosmic, slo-mo pulse of Atella's "Ascension", the horizontal Balearic disco shuffle of Antenna's "Sparks", the pitched-down, early Chicago house-meets-synth-pop flex of Dan Soloand Future Feelings' "What Else Can I Do" and the Aeroplane style nu-disco positivity of Cavego's "Var I Eyer". Elsewhere, you'll find more up-tempo, nu-disco-fired dancefloor excursions from Simple Symmetry, BOKA and Horixon, while a hugely enjoyable non-stop DJ mix of the selected tracks completes a fine package.