Review: A true staple of the Amsterdam scene, the Rush Hour affiliated Yuri Boselie aka Cinnaman takes up the reins for local institution Dekmantel's extended tenth birthday celebrations with this mastermix. It takes in the entirety of the 10 volume edition - what an effort. What may seem as an outrageous challenge - what with the compilation's genre diversity and wide rage of tempos - it's a success, for they've certainly found the right candidate. Cinnaman plays a wide range of styles anyway, and is never afraid to mix the known with the unknown - he has a reputation for his remarkable combinations and transitions. From moments of sublime ambience (Italian ambient legend Gigi Masin with the utterly evocative "Maja") to bass heavy electro bounce (courtesy of Egyptian Lover or Syracuse & Epsilove), right through to techno bangers of the cerebral variety (by Donato Dozzy & Peter Van Hoesen or local hero Talismann) and stuff by Bufiman or Tony Allen - it's a solid effort here by one of Holland's finest selectors.
Review: Juju & Jordash have a deeply experimental, abstract aesthetic - audible on their album releases - but Slack Trax Vol 1 is not such a moment. Instead, the pair focus on the dance floor with devastating effects."Bellboy Slack" resounds to muffled drums and loose percussion as dreamy synths swirl away in the background. "SpaceTG Slack" is more stripped back and lacks a musical element, but its wiry rhythm, spaced out pads and smart break downs more than compensate. Finally, "Cherry Slack" sees the duo head deeper underground with acid squiggles, haunting synths and rickety drums coming together to create an esoteric but accessible sound.
Review: The reach of not-for-profit label Needs continues to impress as they link up with Peggy Gou and Juju & Jordash in a collaboration with UN Women for an expertly curated EP of interstellar sonics strapped to a 4/4 beat. Gou is on typically strident form on "Shero," presenting her keen instinct for 90s house and more fluttering, psychotropic tones distilled into dancefloor manna as intriguing as it is easy on the ears. Juju & Jordash meanwhile channel their own learned approach to live jam improvisation into a true trance-out of strafing arpeggios and spongy FX for the trip-out crew to get lost in.
Deep Blue Meanies (Robert Hood Sci-Fi mix) - (8:40) 128 BPM
Deep Blue Meanies (Robert Hood Monobox remix) - (8:03) 126 BPM
Review: Dekmantel unleash Detroit legend Robert Hood on Juju and Jordash's "Deep Blue Meanies" from last year's self titled album. The virulent pulse that ran through the track marked "Deep Blue Meanies" as the most impressive moment, and Hood does the track justice with two differing but equally astounding treatments. The Sci Fi Mix is akin to a full on sensory assault, flipping the track into a relentless thumping future techno groove replete with throbbing bass that absorbs brain matter and multi layered percussion that demands to be bounced off cavernous warehouse walls. Then Hood's "Monobox Remix" tones down the percussion to focus on crafting hypnotic patterns of scratched melodies and singular drones atop a minimalist groove. The growing acid tension that characterises the closing stages of this remix make it hard to choose a favourite.
Review: There must be something in the water near Juju & Jordash's studio, because they have never made a bad or even average record. Sis-boom-bah! is their fourth studio album and serves to reinforce how consistent they are. Irrespective of whether they are laying down noodle jazz workouts like the wonderful "Herkie" or off centre house grooves - check the vocal sampling, funk bass of "Rah Rah" - the pair's jams are delivered with effortless brilliance. There are dance floor tracks of sorts included here as well, particularly the lean groove of "Back Tuck Basket Toss" and the dubbed out drums of "Deadman", but like all their best work, this album's strength lies in its sprawling, freeform approach to electronic music.
Review: When it comes to celebrating their tenth year in business, no one could accuse Dekmantel of doing it in half measures. For this, the fifth instalment of their 10 Years series, they have recruited well-known faces alongside some surprise appearances. German dub producer Burnt Friedman delivers "Monsun", a high-paced, heavily filtered workout that cruises along at break neck speed. By contrast, "Edge Of", from Detroit producer Ectomorph, is a model of restraint, following a dubby groove that ebbs and flows to the sound of spaced out textures and a lurching bass. Dekmantel regulars Juju & Jordash drop the uptempo, jazzed out house of "Neon Swing", while helping to blow out the birthday candles is Fatima Yamaha, with the sultry keys and synths of "Platforms (Empty Version)".
Grape - "Up The Dubs" (feat The Wino Boys) - (5:25) 84 BPM
Raica - "Makmba" - (3:54) 82 BPM
Beautiful Swimmers - "Primo" - (5:44) 99 BPM
Edy Alta - "First Sign Of Artifice" - (6:17) 136 BPM
Protect-U - "Krums" - (6:00) 132 BPM
Jeremy Hyman - "Machine Stops" - (5:37) 132 BPM
Shanti Celeste - "Strung Up" - (5:43) 129 BPM
Dawit & Dolo - "Knowledge Body" - (6:37) 133 BPM
Steve Summers - "Shimmer" - (1:56) 81 BPM
DSR.MR - "Crystal Jungle" - (6:19) 128 BPM
C'est Life - "New Years Day 2013" - (4:43) 120 BPM
Review: Originally released in 2015 on wax but now finally available on digital, Future Times expanded the sound and vision of the label with part three in their compilation series. It's an all star cast on here, with the compilation opening with the dynamic killer "Junk Funk" by DC newcomer OV then Israel's finest Juju & Jordash with "Soggy Bottom" next where they get their hypnotic piano throb on. Label boss Max D's "Octopus" follows with an improvised, kinetic bang. Elsewhere label stalwarts Beautiful Swimmers serve up "Primo", a thick chunk of industrial pop for the freaks and of course BRSTL boss Shanti Celeste and her monster cut "Strung Up", a savage tune for the deejays that mixes a bit of her home town with classic electro.
Review: Israeli duo in Amsterdam Juju & Jordash really are unstoppable at present. When not focusing on solo projects or collaborating with German deep house don Move D as Magic Mountain High, they're up to their usual shenanigans in tandem and this new one for hometown heroes Dekmantel is a fine example of how they excel in what they do. The deep hypnotic house of "Monday Mellow" floats gently above soaring, ethereal pads, a bouncy bassline and soothing bell tones while "Wednesday Something" is more uplifting and and positive; swirling in layers of rich vintage synth flair and rushy arpeggios. "Thursday Heavy" is much harder hitting, but rest assured: it is still deep, with its booming Juno bassline and reverberated drums creating some basic trance induction that works a treat.
Review: Given their frequent habit of charging off in different musical directions, predicting the contents of a new Juju & Jordash record is getting increasingly difficult. Down To The Roach, their latest release for regular home Dekmantel, is typically wide-ranging, variously exploring bouncy fusions of techno futurism and whimsical deep house (the title track and its' accompanying dub), new age-influenced dream house (the bizarrely titled "Bean Bag Motel"), and spiraling, synthesizer-heavy house/electronic disco hybrids (the stargazing goodness of "Lights at Night"). It goes without saying that all four tracks are imaginative, immaculately produced, and hugely enjoyable. Excellent work all round.
Review: Juju and Jordash are rather good at making albums. Their last full-length excursion, 2012's brilliant Techno Primitivism, was a gloriously maudlin and evocative affair, as influenced by drowsy ambient and experimental electronica as house and techno. While there are some similarly dark tracks lurking in the shadows of third album Clean Cut (see the creepy "Swamp Things"), for the most part it's a pleasingly dancefloor-centric concoction. That's not to say that they've packed it with jolly moments - the tipsy, melodious "Anywhere" and dub disco-meets-deep house wonk-out "SP Shakes" aside - but rather their leftfield blends of house and techno have a more club-friendly feel. The results are, for the most part, extremely good, with the rave-era revivalism of "Whippersnapper" (a kind of darkroom, Detroit-influenced take on T-Coy's "Carino") standing out.
Review: Here's something rather novel (and, arguably, timely): a tribute to Belgium's greatest contribution to electronic music, new beat, with contemporary artists delivering tracks inspired by the woozy, late night chug of the mid-to-late '80s sound. All involved step up to the mark, delivering druggy, twisted, wonky and on occasions near anthemic cuts. Picking out highlights is tough, but check the ragged electronic pulse of Red D's "I Only Wanna", JD Twitch's tough "Just Like That", Aril Brikha's chugging, melodic "Nineveh By Night" and, most impressively, the intoxicating percussion abuse of the Uncanny Valley crew's "Drum Abuse". Superb stuff.
Review: Arguably the most recognisable of Panorama Bar's resident DJs, Steffi follows Cassy, Tama Sumo, Prosumer and Nick Hoppner in cooking up the fifth batch of tracks to make the Panorama Bar mix series. Exclusive material comes from Big Strick, Fred P, Dexter, Juju & Jordash and Steffi herself, while other house cuts come from former drum and bass staples Endian (Commix) and Trevino (Marcus Intalex). Other veterans to feature in the mix include DJ Skull with his original '93 pressing "Don't Stop The Beat", while Steven Tang's Obsolete Music Technology chips in with "Latency". Newer sounds come from Fear Of Flying's BLM, US-based deep house producer Chris Mitchell, DJ Fett Burger and Will Martin collaboration with John Barera; one half of Boston outfit B-Tracks.
Review: Although Chicago features in the release's title, it's fair to say that each producer delivers an individualistic take on US house music for London label Uzuri. At the deeper end of the spectrum sit Dublin's Slowburn and Chicago Skyway aka Sean Hernandez. The duo's "Meteor" is a raw house jam that ticks a lot of boxes: heavy beats that sail close to discordance? Check. Eerie synhs? Present and correct. Shaking, niggling percussion? "Meteor" has it in spades. Hernandez's "Resolution M" also confirms that he is a producer to watch, as shimmering, utopian synths and heavy claps is the most ethereal contribution to the EP. Indeed, "Resoultion M" provides some welcome respite: K Soul & Muteoscillator's "Take 1" features one of the toughest kick drums in house music underpinning an evil acid jam. However, the plaudit for intensity goes to Amsterdam-based duo Juju & Jordash. "Killing Raul With Acid" marks a departure for the duo, as its out of time percussion, noisy, dense drums and wildly distorted acid bleeps descend at times into a wall of noise. It sounds like the sonic interpretation of a nasty LSD trip, but this is a journey that you have to experience at least once.