Review: Munich-based Permanent Vacation perform their usual yearly ritual by serving up a bunch of essentials, with their seventh edition here including a whopping 25 tracks. Kicking things off in style is Madrilian producer Pional's uplifting anthem "Tempest", label chief Benjamin Froehlich appears with "Drawn From Memory" which receives an evocative rework by French legend I:Cube, while German nu-disco heroine Perel is on point as always with the neon-lit "Angelika". Elsewhere, Irish duo New Jackson present the glassy-eyed and bittersweet "Romancecar", label co-head Tom Bioly gives us the deep Italo vibe of "Night Heat", label staple Fort Romeau shows off his usual knack for emotive dancefloor drama on "Heaven & Earth", plus the worthy addition of Terr's dark disco delight "Have You Ever" (Dub Version).
Review: This is not the first compilation to drop whose sole aim is to raise funds for NHS Chartities Together - R&S Records and Bass Agenda both delivered similarly epic sets - but "Care4Life" may well be the strongest and most diverse. As you'd expect, each one of the 45 tracks is previously unreleased, and the cast list reads like a who's who of dance music culture. Notable highlights include an ultra-deep, saucer-eyed number from Daniel Avery, an unheard rework of the Chemical Brothers' "Catch Me I'm Falling", a superb revision of Harvey's Locussolus project by Kiwi, Matthew Herbert in jazzy broken beat mode, a rare solo outing from Optimo's JD Twitch, a rip-roaring rave workout from Jas Shaw, and thumping peak-time bangers from Dusky, Eats Everything and Patrick Topping.
Review: It can be a tricky task keeping up with Pets Recordings jam-packed release schedule. That's why the imprint's "My Favourite Pets" compilation series, which gathers together brilliant bits from the catalogue you may have missed, is essential listening. Volume six is naturally full to bursting with tried-and-tested treats from Catz 'N' Dogz excellent imprint. Highlights are plentiful throughout, of course, but our favourites include Kassian's exclusive rework of recent Catz 'N' Dogs single "Wave" (a bumpin' chunk of peak-time brilliance), the exotic dancefloor hypnotism of Sei A's fine remix of "This Time" by Adam Port and Jennifer Touch, the low-slung sleaze of Jonathan Kaspar's "Cicatrice", the classic West Coast deep house bump of Beesmunt Soundsystem's "Searchin (Borrowed Identity Remix)" and the mid-tempo Balearic house beauty of Kamp's "Azure".
Review: Hot Chip founder and one-half of The 2 Bears Goddard teams up with London-based producer Alex Warren on a four-track EP that demonstrates the pair's shared love of vintage Chicago house and Detroit techno sounds. Goddard's 'Jack Come Back' centres around a 303 bassline, 909 drum hits and a spoken/chanted vocal intoning the title, while the Detroit-y 'Moebius Trip' is pacier BPM-wise, yet somehow still more reflective in feel. As for Warren's contributions, 'LakE' tops a dark, 303-tinged backdrop with stuttering cut-up vox that sound almost tribal, while 'KatE', the most contemporary-sounding cut here, is all insistent, live-sounding bass, synth swirls and disembodied vocal fragments.
Review: Chief wranglers at PETS Recordings Wojciech and Grzegorz can certainly give each other a well deserved pat on the back for a seriously prolific 2018 - and this compilation is testament to the fact. Best Of 2018 features last year's greatest hits and near misses, with highlights not limited to: the pair themselves getting a moody and woozy rework of their track "Don't" by Live At Robert Johnson's Roman Flugel, the fabulous collaboration of heavyweights Matthew Dear, Joe Goddard & Eats Everything on "Love Games", through to Jesse Perez' edit of Mathias Kaden's "NoKick" which gets the Miami booty bass treatment, and the always reliable man from Madrid named Bawrut - who gets those classic house vibes in effect on "Your Job Is My Job".
Review: Hot Chip's Joe Goddard stated that before Tuff City Kids were due to play at London's XOYO one night, he suggested that they swing by his studio around the corner - and make tunes for a few hours. The track that resulted from this special evening is the neon-lit bounce of "Reach Out". Gerd Janson did the drums on an 808, Lauer played the lead part on an OBXa and Goddard nailed the bass on a trusty CS 80 - plus added the vocals a couple of weeks later. On the remix, Phantasy sound's Erol Alkan gives the track an early '00s electro styled makeover, while Detroit's Todd Osborn delivers an emotive and soulful rendition straight out of the Motor City.
Review: Here, happy collaborators Mixhell, Joe Goddard and Mutado Pintado return to action following the success of 2016 debut EP Crocodile Boots. As the title suggests, lead cut "Strong & Wrong" is ballsy and off-kilter, with spoken word vocals, lo-fi electronic melodies and hazy chords rising above a bustling groove dominated by a raw analogue style bassline that wouldn't sound out of place on a Syclops record. The poetic, Jack Kerouac style spoken vocals once again come to the fore on the sweeter, slower and dreamier bonus cut "Bella", which makes great use of Latin chorus vocals and a bouncy, pitched-down Afro-house rhythm. Mixhell goes solo on closer "In Our Sleep", a hugely atmospheric and percussive cut rich in loose-limbed, stereo panned drum solos, blissful synthesizer melodies and rumbling sub-bass.
Review: Lauer and Gerd Janson's Tuff City Kids project has been revered for their signature sound that has made them the current toast of the house music scene - neon-lit classic analogue sounds that are evocative enough to be featured on a John Hughes movie soundtrack - if they could go back in a time machine. On the face of it, you'd be surprised by their remix choices: for example Marcel Dettmann? Rest assured they're in good hands here with the Berghain resident - whose recent exploits have also been invested in the early industrial sounds of the '80s recently and that's really evident on his rendition of "Scared". Likewise, fellow Berghain regular and Hotflush boss Scuba dons his more nefarious SCB guise on a perspective of "Nordo", creating a seething and mental warehouse techno jam to lead in to the peak time. Elsewhere, Roman Fluegel impresses as always with his slinky and hypnotic rework of "R-Mancer" while Permanent Vacation boss Benjamin Froelich delivers not one but two remixes of "Tell Me" featuring Hot Chip's Joe Goddard.
Review: Lauer and Gerd Janson aka Tuff City kids emerged with "Tell Me" featuring Hot Chip's Joe Goddard on vocals back in late 2016 on Permanent Vacation, but now it's time for the remixes and they're pretty sweet on this EP; if we do say so ourselves. Hamburg's finest Tensnake is in fine form as always with his rendtion: a tropical nu-disco explosion! Joe Goddard himself chips in too with a makeover of the track; his one getting some emotive Kompakt vibes going on full of rich and life affirming synths leads happening. After all, he has recently collaboarated with Michael Mayer. Finally they save the best for last with the mighty Roman Fluegel delivering the "Happy Gerdy remix" which very uplifting indeed.
Review: Michael Mayer's deeply majestic and romantic "For You" featuring Hot Chip's Joe Goddard on vocals was a hit in late 2016 and now gets a series of brilliant remixes by the one and only DJ Koze. The man from Hamburg delivers a bunch of equally dreamy and candlelit renditions; in particular the "Mbira Mix" which accentuates those ethereal and mesmerising bell tones from the original into something even more hypnotising and special. The "Club Mix" however is definitely a great upbeat rendition were the harbour city hero works his magic as always; creating an epic moment of life affirming bliss for late night dancefloors.
Review: Here's something to write home about: a surprise debut album from on-point retro-futurists Tuff City Kids, AKA Running Back boss Gerd Janson and old pal Phillip Lauer. Given the opportunities for expression offered by the album format, it's perhaps unsurprising to find that they've decided against packing it entirely with hustling, warehouse-ready old skool house jams. Instead, their usual vintage synth stabs and drum machine rhythms are put to work on tracks that variously doff a cap to skewed synth-pop (Joe Goddard collaboration "Tell Me", Annie hook-up "Labyrinth"), cello-laden late night house (Kelley Polar hook-up "Aska"), acid-flecked electro ("Boilered"), early Human League tributes ("Scared"), and blissfully positive electronica ("Farewell House").