Review: When they clicked at a showcase organized by Richy Ahmed last year, Ben Rau and the Jansons decided to join forces in the studio and make music together. This two-tracker showcases the first fruits of their collaborative labour. Lead cut "The Player" is particularly potent, with the fast-rising producers wrapping razor-sharp, mind-altering acid lines and sweaty female vocal samples around a booming, bass-heavy big room house groove. They change tack on "Le Fonque", employing dreamy electronics, breathless vocal snippets and jaunty, funk-fuelled bass on a touch chunk of mid-set deep house with definite funky house flourishes. It's nowhere near as muscular and breathless as its predecessor, but every bit as alluring.
Review: London producer Jansons is the latest artist to appear on Hot Since 82's label - and this diverse release suggests that this is not the last we will hear of him. "Ensemble" blurs the boundaries between house and techno with its buzzing bass and insistent back beats, while on "Spinnin", he takes inspiration from the sound of late 90s West Coast house to create a hazy, dub-heavy tribal groove. Most impressive is the title track, where insistent piano keys and a ponderous spoken word vocal crash in over a jittery, jacking track. Phil Weeks turns it into a spiky percussive affair on his rework, while Doc Martin's take on "Spinnin" sees the veteran US producer add some tripped out disco flavour to the mix.
Review: Michael Jansons has released on labels like Knee Deep In Sound, and recently 8-bit. He's back in action but this time on Yousef's Circus Recordings out of Liverpool with the tough rolling main-room tech house of "Switch", featuring some infectious female rap vocals atop. The Funk Dub up next is more sunny and uplifting, with its sexy latin flair and finally "Octave" hammers the message home in Motor City inspired hi-tech soul fashion - mad chord progression on this one. Top!
Review: Given that the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) is happening on their doorstep, it's little surprise to see Armada Music's house offshoot Armada Subjekt releasing a celebratory compilation. Featuring no less than 30 cuts the label expects to do the business during the weeklong event, it's full to bursting with high quality club cuts. Highlights include Gerd Janson's chunky, acid-flecked revision of Joe Smooth classic "Promised Land", a muscular, mind-altering dark room take on Harry Romero's "Tania" by Honey Dijon, a sublime chunk of classic-sounding peak-time house from Low Steppa and Amy Douglas ("Burn Me Up"), a ludicrously sub-heavy slab of dark garage from Javi Nora and Piem, and some slick big room tech-house business by DJ Vivona.
Review: Amsterdam Dance Event holds a special place in the electronic music community's calendar, and it just wouldn't be the same without the Toolroom family putting on a very special showcase for the industry and punters alike. The Dutch capital's clubbing culture is one of the best in Europe and there's only one place to be this October. They join the fun once again this year and this are kicking off the week at Chicago Social Club for an opening to ADE like no other. In celebration, Mark Knight & Co. anticipate the event with this solid collection of sonic arsenal with highlights not limited to: label staple Weiss serving up classic vocal funky house on "Let Me Love You" (extended Club mix), legends Dirty Vegas getting remixed by CamelPhat on the extended remix of "Days Go By" (which reaches near acid moments), the ever impressive Alan Fitzpatrick providing austere peak time tackle on banger "The Approach" and rising stars like Jacky (with Example) on the wonky tech house of "Another 24" and label newcomer Maxinne dropping the riveting main room thriller "The Message" amongst many more. Comes with two continuous mixes: the first by Romanian upstarts Sllash & Doppe and the second by Swiss scene hero Mendo (Clarisse).
Review: Armada Deep offer up their contribution to this year's ADE compilation mountain, which comes packing 20 very solid house cuts. The emphasis this time out is on uplifting peaktime fodder built with bigger rooms in mind - while Armada Deep HAVE put out some seriously deep house grooves over the years, you'll find few such here. But this collection is well worth checking out all the same, with cuts ranging from Thomas Newson's big, strutty 'The Worker' to Olav Basoski's fiesta-tastic 'Duende', and from more commercial cuts like MistaJam's 'Trust You' to Phil Fuldner's Glitterbox-friendly 'Take Me' to the unabashed 90s podium nostalgia of Kokiri's 'Adolescence'.