Review: French dame Bloody Mary is back with another simmering brew of TB-303 antics on The Melting Pot Ep Vol 2, featuring some legends and veterans alike. Witness the return of German acid kings Hardfloor, who serve up some euphoric tunnel vision on the terrific "Thisishowwedo", Ovum head honcho Josh Wink delivers a fitting tribute on the deeply evocative "Dame Deep" calling to mind the early '90s glory days of Peacefrog or Ferox. Do Not Resist The Beat's Milton Bradley dons the Alian Rain alias once again on the adrenalised rush of "Contact" while last but not least: Bloody Mary chips in for something a bit more uplifting and groove oriented with "Mono". All killer and no filler on this one.
HECTOR - "Sound Of BPM Festival" (continuous DJ mix) - (1:22:44) 124 BPM
Review: Mexican producer Hector has sure come a long way. From his humble beginnings in London's underground scene, working the counter of London's infamous Phonica record store and becoming a regular at popular London haunts of the time like fabric and T Bar (R.I.P.) he has gone on to international stardom, playing the word circuit and launching his Vatos Locos imprint: the very label which launches this compilation and credited to the highly popular Playa del Carmen festival that he has since become a regular guest at. Highlights on here (and there's many!) not limited to: the hi-tech soul sounds of Carl Craig with his classic "Sandstorms" or Martin Buttrich with his classic from 10 years ago "Full Clip". More recent classics such as Loco Dice's remix of Carl Cox's "Family Guy" and Nicole Moudaber & Skin (of Skunk Anansie) with their explosive "You Like This" getting a rolling rendition courtesy of Paco Osuna. The VL Recordings head honcho appears also, with a bunch of new exclusives: the best being his track "L.A. Kr3w" getting a makeover by Detroit boss man Stacey Pullen.
Review: Josh Wink takes inspiration from 90s techno for his latest release. In its original form, the title track resounds to grinding electronic riffs and spiralling acid lines that ride tough, grimy kicks. The presence of a pitch-bent vocal takes the listener back to the sound that Wink explored on his mid-90s banger "Are You There". The label has tasked DJ Seinfeld with remixing the track, and he does a fine job. Deploying a lean, muscular bass, he retains the original's vocal sample, but it sounds less ominous as it is woven in and out of shiny synth lines.
Review: For anyone whose gateway to techno came via Josh Wink's mid-90s classics such as Higher State of Consciousness or How's the Music, the 300th release on Ovum is sure to provide a wonderful flashback. The title track hurtles along at 130bpm, underpinned by Wink's trademark gurgling acid lines. But like those 90s classics, Mars also resounds to unpredictable elements, such as nifty break beats and pitch bent vocals. On the "Mars Beats" version, crashing snares and rolling drums provide all of the action, while the 'Vox' take presents a hypnotic a capella. For the most effective version, head straight for the original version.
Review: Ovum owner Josh Wink has long been associated with the 303 sound, and has successfully teased unexpected shapes and styles from the acid box (witness "I Am Ready", "Don't Laugh" and "Higher State of Consciousness"). On this occasion, he opts for a straighter but no less effective approach, as wired acid lines and the signature pitch-bent Wink vocal sample unfold over firing snares. The "Resist-Apella" version sees him opt for a more stripped back version, while on Truncate's remixes, the dominant acid line turns into a bleeding, gurgling life-form, supported by the kind of linear, lead weight rhythm that the US producer has become synonymous with.
Review: Released last year on Wink's own label, "Denial" now gets two reshapes from Luke Slater. The UK techno veteran's first version is as Planetary Assault Systems and sees him push Wink's tweaked acid down a cavernous tunneling groove, accompanied by waves of whooshing filters and spiky, percussive bursts. However, it's Slater's lesser-known alias, LB Dub Corporation, that provides the best interpretation. On this occasion, the beats are rough and less streamlined, the percussion rickety and skeletal and the pulsing bass underpins a vocal that urges the listener to 'live in the future'. Both Wink and Slater may be approaching middle age, but they have more energy than producers half their age.
Review: Balls is Wink's first single in many, many years, and it sounds like he is playing homage to his pure techno roots. The "Big Mix" is as its title suggests, a jacking, wiry rhythm festooned with analogue yelps, trancey - with a small 't' - riffs and a grinding, aggressive swing. The 'Groove' version is also inspired by older sounds, with a ravey siren riff and rolling percussion, reminiscent of Masa's "Basscharger", prevailing. The third version - "Groove mix - No Synth" - calls to mind the recent Function reshape of Planetary Assault Systems, with its crashing snares and epic riffs, while the confusingly titled "Big Mix - Radio Edit" revolves around a noisy, acid-soaked breakdown that would indeed require balls to be played on daytime radio.
Review: Originally released back in the late 90s, Josh Wink's "Sixth Sense" gets a new lease of life with a fresh set of remixes. First up is a rework from Louie Vega, one half of Masters At Work. The revered US producer delivers a driving, drum-heavy take on "Sense" on his 45 Rpm remix, with house poetess Ursula Rucker's vocals unfolding in an unhurried manner. On Vega's 'Jump Dub' take, the focus is, unsurprisingly, on those tough drums with Rucker's contribution reduced to a single 'jump' sample. Ovum has also recruited Shlomi Aber to contribute a mix, with the Be As One boss upping the tempo and turning the original into a driving techno workout.
Review: For those who've been buying house music since the '90s, "Sixth Sense" may be familiar. It was first released as a single way back in 1997 and saw Josh Wink joining forces with beat poet/spoken word artist Ursula Rucker on a typical deep and dark house workout. These are entirely fresh remixes, with Schlomi Aber and Louie Vega delivering decidedly 21st century revisions. Vega's vocal, dub and instrumental versions are surprisingly moody by his standards, wrapping Wink's acid-style stabs and mind-altering aural textures around a bouncy, cowbell-driven rhythm track rich in live percussion. Aber takes the track into ultra-deep, sub-heavy techno pastures on his clandestine and alluring "Remix", before stripping back the beats and pushing up the bass on the arguably even more intoxicating "Hidden In The Dark Mix".
Review: It's hard to believe that Cocoon is celebrating its 20th anniversary, but what's not difficult to grasp is that Sven Vath's imprint is marking the occasion in style. Rampa and Emanuel Satie kick-start this compilation with emotive, tranced out tracks - in particular Rampa's "2000" is particularly poignant - while Cocoon mainstays like Gregor Tresher and Ricardo Tobar up the pace with the musical but clubby techno of "Nostalgia (Is The Enemy)" and "El Eterna" respectively. As always, Cocoon strikes a flawless balance between showcasing local producers and international names; 20 Years is no exception and features frazzled acid from Josh Wink as well as steely percussive bangers courtesy of Planetary Assault Systems and Jacek Sienkiewicz.
Review: It's that time again: Sven Vath's powerhouse Cocoon Recordings presents the next volume in its alphabetically themed series and brings out all the big guns in typical fashion. There are many highlights, but for our money we'd bet on fellow Frankfurt homeboys Einzelkind, Robin Schulz & Rhythm Factory who team up for the bouncy, late night tech house of "N.2guts", masked Berlin techno impresario Redshape on the brooding dark journey track 'The Choice", Glaswegian legend Alex Smoke with the funky microhouse jam "Porridge" and of course Ovum Recordings man/Philly's finest Josh Wink with the droning peak time acid trip "Buoyantly Grounded". It will take you ecstatic heights like he has done previously.
Review: Josh Wink's institution is back and giving us a massive forecast for the musical climate on The White Isle this summer and it looks like it's gonna be pretty hot! Sure enough most of this heat is coming from Ovum's current label roster and it's all good on Ovum Over Ibiza 2016. We're pretty sure that New Yorker by way of Los Angeles' MANIK's "Recourse" will be remembered beyond this year due to its slinky deepness, as will Nottingham's Dudley Strangeways with his tunnelling piece"'Keep It Clean". Delft boss Ambivalent also appears with the epic and melodic journey track "Phase Doubt" as does New York City legend Harry Romero, surprisingly, with the peak time techno monster "What What" which really packs a punch!
Review: The super club of all super clubs on the whole island is here with its annual compilation of hits and anthems; it's everything you'd expect! And across its 61 tracks it's not too dissimilar from one of its open end parties, so be prepared for the long haul. Tommy Vercetti's belter "Overcharge" and Mark Fanciulli's Dinosaur L sampling "8 Track" are rolling, shuffling tech house for the main room. Paul Woolford's retro flavoured "MDMA" channels the Summer Of Love for a modern generation while Joris Voorn's remix of Audion's "Dem Howl" and Josh Wink's "Denial (Eyes Closed Mix)" get the progressive house side of things covered nicely. As we said there's a lot to get through and great value with all its hands in the air melodies, big drops and white noise build ups. What more do you want! Compiled as a continuous mix by DJ Mark Brown as a bonus track.