Review: As expected, Rekids has assembled a crack team of remixers to put their stamp on Jerome Sydenham, Fatima Njai and Mario Punchard's brilliant Afro-house-goes-electro cover of Kraftwerk's 'Trance Europe Express'. Gerd Jansen steps up first, delivering vocal and instrumental takes that brilliantly re-imagine the track as a Moroder-influenced, retro-futurist disco-house treat (think sequenced bass, Chic-style guitar licks, punchy drums and sweeping synth-strings). Naturally, Ricardo Villalobos takes a totally different approach, crafting a wonky-but-bouncy new rhythm out of Punchard's percussion and his own medical-grade kick-drums, before adding all manner of mind-mangling noises. It's one of his funkier reworks of recent times, but still formidably out-there and unusual. That's a great thing, by the way - it's a hugely impressive rework.
Review: On paper, Kraftwerk's 'Trans-Europe Express' is one of those foundational records that you really shouldn't miss with. Yet legendary NYC Afro-tech/Afro-house producer Jerome Sydenham, frequent collaborator Fatima Njai and percussionist Mario Punchard have decided to do just that, adding the famously spacey synthesizer melody and foreboding male vocal snippets atop a richly percussive Afro-house groove that's as infectious as the latest COVID variant and three times more potent. It comes in two relatively similar forms: the instrumental mix (track two), and the superior 'Vocal Dub Version'. Both takes are heavy, high quality and will sound dope in the mix.
Review: Hot on the heels of 2020's Time Collapse release, Ibadan boss Jerome Sydenham teams up again with Fatima Njai. "Pigeon from the Hood" is a dubbed-out house track, soaked in grimy acid and populated by ponderous vocals. It's a logical musical progression of Sydenham's tough NY club sound. The title track sees the pair go for a more techno-influenced approach; while swathed in swirling synths, it sees them combine tough kicks and insistent percussion which will find favour with fans of Ibadan's more techy output. "Morning Star" meanwhile occupies a sort of middle ground, with resonating vocal samples underpinned by a chugging groove and powerful hi-hats, while on "We Gotta Be Really Happy" the pair combine a vocal sample with a driving, steely rhythm.
Review: On this must-check EP, Madhouse offers up another selection of 21st century revisions of vintage productions by label head honcho (and all round US deep house legend) Kerri Chandler. Henrik Schwarz kicks things off in fine style with a warm, groovy and melody driven soft-touch deep house rework of Chandler and Jerome Sydenham's superb "Powder", before D'Julz gets dreamy and gently intoxicated on a hypnotic, locked-in version of "Peace of Mind". Kettama raises the dancefloor pressure version with a bumpin', late '90s U.S garage style take on Lafayette's "Better Late Than Never", while Marquis Hawkes also takes a trip to New Jersey via a skipping, life-affirming "Classic Club Mix" of Jiletta Riley's "The Way Things Were" (think late 90s David Morales and Frankie Knuckles remixes and you're close).
Christopher McCray - "Get It Right" (Mad mix - Kerri Chandler Remaster) - (6:43) 124 BPM
Kerri Chandler & Arnold Jarvis - "Music Is My Friend" (Kerri Chandler Remaster) - (5:14) 125 BPM
Review: Launched in 1992, Madhouse Records was a joint venture between NYC legend Kerri Chandler and Mel Medalie of Champion Records. It became predominantly an outlet for Chandler's music, alongside tracks he discovered from peers while DJing around the globe. Today marks a quarter of a century pioneering the true sound of house music and they are proud to finally reveal their celebratory compilation. Mixed by Chandler - one of the most respected DJs on the planet - 25 Years Of Madhouse is a reminder of the imprint's considerable contribution to the house music canon and of a legacy that continues to shape electronic music in 2018 and beyond. Highlights not limited to: the swingin' "Don't Stop" (25th Anniversary Re-Edit) by Sebb Junior, Californian veteran CPEN's deep and sexy "I'm Searching" feat. Bluey Robinson, French rising star DJ Steaw's emotive and hypnotic "Bel Air" and Freerange boss Jimpster's rendition of Chandler's "Powder".
Marc Romboy vs Blake Baxter - "Freakin'" (original) - (6:54) 125 BPM
Van Bellen - "Let Me Take You On A Journey" (Guy Mantzur & Roy Rosenfeld remix) - (8:31) 124 BPM
Abysm - "Future Love" - (5:29) 124 BPM
Guy Mantzur & Roy RosenfelD - "Hidden Karisma" - (8:18) 124 BPM
Andre Hommen - "Macro" - (6:47) 123 BPM
Technasia - "Hold Me" - (9:40) 128 BPM
Olaf Pozsgay - "Glacck" - (8:12) 125 BPM
Nicolas Masseyeff - "Systematic 77 Megamix" (By Nicolas Masseyeff) - (1:59:52) 124 BPM
Roy RosenfelD - "Systematic 77 Megamix" (By Roy Rosenfeld) - (1:59:40) 122 BPM
Review: Marc Romboy's esteemed tech house imprint has reached its 77th release? You bet! And it goes out all guns blazing this time around with a massive compilation with some great tracks, new and old, by the likes of Robert Babicz, Guy Mantzur, Wehbba and Stephan Bodzin. There are some pretty kick ass remixes on offer too by the likes of Adam Port, Adriatique, Nick Curly and Petar Dundov. Highlights? Head honcho Romboy's rendition of OCH's "Time Tourism", Ibadan boss Jerome Sydenham's ecstatic "Systematic Dub" and Technasia's druggy and tunnelling odyssey "Hold Me".
Review: The sound of Jerome Sydenham's Ibadan imprint has noticeably changed since he relocated to Berlin. Where it once bristled with African rhythms and spiritual deep house jams, recent releases have focused more on hypnotic, occasionally dark, tech-tinged rhythms. While this EP does include one life-affirming blast of constantly rising spiritual house - see Sydenham's edit of Toto Chiavetta's "Become One" - for the most part it's suitably murky. There's a genuine looseness and swing to the Martinez Brothers' tracky Dub of The Angry Kids' "Lullaby", while Sydenham and Sally's "Lady MacBeth Strategy" is a twisted chunk of acid-flecked techno designed to tease and titillate dark, sweaty after-parties. Lo Hype's "Something Special" is tasty, too, with bouncy samples and weird noises riding a shuffling, cowbell-laden groove.
Review: The latest release on Ibadan sublabel Apotek finds label boss Jerome Sydenham teaming up with Sally, perhaps better known under his alias Moire Patterns. "My Normal Usual Far" leads the way with a leaden thump that stalks at an easy pace considering the weight of the kick, working some vocal and acid elements into the techno momentum to make for a powerful set builder. "Encouragement" meanwhile takes a lighter approach in some respects, letting solid rushes of chord charge upwards without sacrificing the fist-shaking techno M.O. of the rhythm section. For those needing stout and sturdy workhorses for bigger spaces, look no further.
Review: The latest release on Jerome Sydenham's ever-busy Ibadan imprint is a release that brings together a rag tag selection of tracks. First up is Sydenham's "Special Edit" of Carl Craig's "Angel", which moves with all the functional poise and warm synth work you would expect of two techno veterans, making all the right moves for a big room experience without any of the fluff. Sydenham's own "Sun Ark" appears in its original form, throwing down an unshakable blend of drums with that rugged techno-meets-house concoction that the man has been making his own for decades now. The flipside is given over to relative newcomer Lo Hype, also known as Japanese producer Katsuya Sano, whose "Route 303" represents a more patient approach compared to the chunky dynamics of the first two tracks. The steadily trickling acid of the original mix also comes in a more raw form in the shape of some "Bonus Beats" that ditch the atmospherics and focus on the rhythm.
Review: Greek deep house producer Quell has been around the scene for some time, impressing with releases on the likes of Tsuba, 2020 Vision and Ibadan. The latter label have been particularly supportive - head honcho Jerome Sydenham is a big fan - and here present his debut full length, Them Crowd Kids. It's a typically impressive set, variously touching on classic US deep house ("Some Time"), mid '90s Mood II Swing style late night beefiness ("All I Have", "Them Crowd Kids"), deep afro-tech ("Forgive Me (Club Mix)"), jaunty afro-house ("Root Effect", with Sydenham), and fluid, heavily electronic dancefloor anthems ("Regret").