Review: It's been a rapid rise for Jordan Peak, with just four years active service seeing him snapped up by the likes of Morris/Audio, Bass Culture, One, Material, Tsuba and many more besides. On this latest release for Balans he's in a taut techno frame of mind, letting the edgy chords fly out of "Black Paint" with its piston-pumping rhythm section behind it. "Crocodile Tears" gets into a more restrained groove but there's plenty of movement in the lead synths, and "Cipher" strips things back further with an unresolving synth refrain and some dubby undertones. "False Start" meanwhile gets positively primal with its simple bleep hook and gnarly sound effects.
Review: The ever on-point Jordan Peak has been continually delivering striking and versatile material over the past four years, releasing records via some leading labels in underground house and techno, such as Tsuba, Robsoul, Bass Culture and One Records. Here we see Jordan return to the Air London label, following an EP on the imprint last year. "Tones & Textures" is a rugged groove-led workout fuelled by a bumpy, penetrating rhythm, while "Sacred Ground" picks up the pace slightly with insistent sub tones, naturally swung organic percussion, ever evolving, tension building atmospherics and a trippy spoken-word vocal. "Divider" closes with a more minimalistic approach, stripping back the drums to a sparse yet punchy vibe, while rounded low-end tones drive things along.
Review: Kevin Griffiths' Tsuba label arguably had its strongest year to date in 2011, as this handy 12-track round up of highlights shows. Inhabiting the no-man's-land between deep and tech-house, Tsuba's 2011 output ranged from sturdy and acid-flecked (Subb-Ann) to intensely beautiful (Aybee's delicious, Nu Groove-ish rework of Ethyl & Huxley's "Reflexions") via straight-up late night floorfillers (Mic Newman, Spencer Parker & Ian Pooley, a notable remix from Sebo K). This collection also includes a terrific Larry Heard remix of Moodymanc's "Black Paint", which is as well crafted and undulating as you'd expect from the great man.
Review: Steve Lawler's label unleashes the second installment of its Warriors series. While the UK DJ is synonymous with his tribal house sound, there is enough variety on this compilation to keep the listener interested. Sante's "That Girl" revolves around heavy drums and a tripped out break down, while Davide Squillace & Guti's "The Other Side Of Hustler" pushes further in that direction, with spooky chants unfolding over a driving groove. Vocals also prevail on the compilation's other highlights: Philip Bader's "Crazy" sees pitched down vocals introduced over deep chords, while Bimas' excellent "Never Say Goodbye" fuses icy synths and a moody male vocal to create a sombre dance floor cut.