Review: Having released on a number of underground labels, De Vries now joins household names like Stephan Bodzin and Recondite with his debut on Afterlife, the label run by Tale of Us. Certainly, the Berlin-based producer deserve the spotlight: on the title track, he delivers a pulsating, spaced out groove that ebbs and flows majestically to the sound of hypnotic bleeps and blasts of white noise. On "Sciamachy", De Vries opts for a more spacey, tranced out arrangement, albeit one that is powered by rasping percussion and shiny synths. Rounding off this impressive debut on Afterlife is Common Sense People party founder Konstantin Sibold, who delivers a frosty, icy take on "Sciamachy".
Review: Young Berlin based producer Kevin De Vries returns, with more of his trance inspired techno sounds that have previously made waves on top labels Afterlife and Drumcode. His latest offering surfaces on the massive Cocoon imprint - let's not forget the hit "Time Traveller" was one of the most played tracks by chief Sven Vath back in 2016 - which proved to be an extremely successful year for De Vries. Harsh yet hypnotic arpeggios make for proper tunnel vision on the dancefloor with "Meraki", while the uplifting "Sonorous" (in collaboration with Weska) allows perfectly for moments of euphoria with its rich tapestry of melodies. Finally "My Blurred Dream" is a fitting title for this late night chugger, experly geared for heads-down moments under the strobe light.
Review: Acclaimed Italian duo Tale Of Us present the third Realm Of Consciousness compilation on Afterlife Recordings. A collection of spellbinding and melodic epics packed full of narratives plus plenty of dancefloor drama awaits with some rather surprising additions too - artist wise. The German hero Recondite serves up the powerful opening track "Savaaq" with its tension and suspense and those soaring melodies, fellow Italians Mind Against team up with Blausch on the hypnotic bliss of "Trust My Eyes" and Ukranian deep techno experts Woo York give us the steely heads down techno of "Discovery". Elsewhere, southern Italians Agents Of Time appear with the adrenalised and entrancing cyclicality of "Superia", frequent Tale Of Us collaborator Vaal takes you deep into the aether on "Weakness Days" and ascendant German Kevin De Vries gets into freefall on the sublime "Phoenix"
Review: A big congratulations to Adam Beyer and his esteemed Drumcode imprint celebrating 20 years in the business. His techno powerhouse has continuously and effortlessly remained relevant, championing the work of fellow Swedish legends Cari Lekebusch, Joel Mull and Christian Smith, to late noughties heroes like Paul Ritch, Kyle Geiger and Pig & Dan to present day stars like Nicole Moudaber, Joseph Capriati and Luigi Madonna. There's a lot of serious peak time artillery on here, rest assured. But for us, the highlights weren't limited to Alan Fitzpatrick's uplifting and downright epic "Terra Firma" with its massive drop, head honcho Beyer and Mark Reeve's "Nine Of You" with its darkly fierce and tunnelling groove plus Truncate's killer remix of Dustin Zahn's "Miss You". Honourable mention to newcomer Boxia; he's surely one to watch if the banging "Revolution" is anything to go by!
Review: Last year's fourth volume of the From the Vault series was largely an in-house affair, but for the fifth edition, Dynamic Reflection opts for a wider approach, bringing newcomers into the fold. It means that there are deep techno contributions from Cocoon producer Kevin De Vries' "Samarev" sitting beside spaced out dub tracks from Italy's Tozzy. Despite this proliferation of newer artists, Part V also plays host to familiar names. These include Stefan Vincent in reflective mode on "Torch" and label founders Abstract Division, whose "Metropolis" is turned into a solemn but beautiful slice of underground techno by former Sandwell District founder Function.
Review: As Fabric's highly regarded mix series speeds towards its hundredth release, the iconic club's in-house label continues to serve up must-have volumes. Predictably, this volume from globetrotting Life & Death head honchos Tale of Us is pretty darn tasty. Atmospheric, fluid and hazy with a wonderfully undulating ebb and flow, it sees the acclaimed Italian tech-house twosome saunter between trippy, early morning workouts, quietly melodious shufflers, psychedelic techno jack-tracks and the kind of dark, mind-altering fare most often associated with pitch-black Berlin basements and bleary-eyed after-hours events. Typically, the mix contains a slew of exclusive tracks that have never before seen the light of day, including gems from Dennis Hovrat, Fur Coat (the throbbing "Squared Mind") and Efdemin.
Review: Following on from last year's second Consciousness compilation, Afterlife returns with an even more ambitious project. Label owners Tale of Us deliver a suitably melodic track, "Nova", but there are also a series of contributions from high-profile artists. Sterac's "Universum" is an expertly weighted, stripped back techno affair, while on "Phase In", Edit Select takes it deeper with a throbbing, tranced out groove that is like a more refined take on early Plus 8 material. Completing the techno triumvirate is Scuba's SCB project. Now also a vehicle for the UK producer's socially conscious thoughts, "Tide Slide", which is possibly a reference to the effects of climate change, sees him deliver a frosty techno groove.