Review: Crosstown Rebels follows up a killer album by drum & bass legend DJ Krust with this new one by Gruuv main men Audiojack, who team up with American expat in Berlin Kevin Knapp. The result is "Under Your Skin", an off-kilter and experimental cut that's quite unlike anything you've heard from the producers before, with its intoxicating and bass-driven vibe that's perfect for the chill-out or warm-up alike. With this in mind, it receives a remix from quite the suitable candidate in the form of Pearson Sound. The UK bass hero taking the track into the more hypnotic realms in pursuit of his typically low end theories.
Review: Mark Knight & Co.round out the year with 'Best Of Toolroom 2020', a 50 track compilation delivering a collection of the label's biggest releases from the year that was into one package. Boss man Knight teams up with Rene Amesz on the year's most massive funky house tune "All 4 Love" (feat. Tasty Lopez) with other highlights coming from: Carl Cox on his stomping heads-down rework of Kevin Knapp & Hannah Wants "Call Me", the anthemic and utterly uplifting soul of legends Gene Farris & ATFC's "Spirit of House" plus the return of the legendary American vocalist Ann Nesby - whose unmistakable voice dominates LEFTI's "Rejuvenate". There's also the worthy addition of two continuous mixes by Mr Knight himself. 'Best Of Toolroom 2020' delivers the perfect annual sign off, as the label prepares for yet another landmark year in 2021.
Review: London duo MANT are a couple of blokes named Andy & Sam who are up next on Repopulate Mars, following up some terrific collaborations with heavyweights such as Solardo, Eli Brown, Biscits and Sonny Fodera. Their next bout of networking is with San Francisco's Kevin Knapp on their new one "Kick It" - a bumping, slinky and sleazy groove for getting down before the peak time. Two more originals follow, in the form of the afterhours minimal bounce of "Move My Body" followed by the tough rolling UK tech house banger "Peaches" which will appeal to fans of fellow Londonders such as Archie Hamiliton, Seb Zito or East End Dubs.
Review: Toolroom is back with the second instalment of the 'House Party' series, with Chicago veteran Gene Farris, the enigmatic Wh0 and ascendant duo Raumakustik closing out the summer in style with their respective mixes. Featuring 80 tracks from leading international names including Carl Cox who goes for a minimal vibe on his remix of Hannah Wants & Kevin Knapp's "Call Me", Hot Since 82 serves up something different than usual on the summertime vibe of "Rise", Saved chief Nic Fanciulli gets some spiritual and life-affirming vibes in effect on "Virgo", Hamburg disco stu Tensnake gives Dombresky & Boston Bun's "Stronger" a neon-lit makeover and label boss Mark Knight impresses with the funky house anthem "Tonight" ft. Chenai and Mr. V.
Review: Released back in September, 'Call Me' was a big tune already but this remix from the mighty Carl Cox is likely to push it well and truly into the stratosphere. Bar stripping out the original's glitchy, piercing "phone too close to the speakers" synth line the big man hasn't actually changed too much in terms of the track's structure - it's just that everything now sounds about 70 per cent tougher, darker, techier and more intense! The result is a cut that, like 'Higher State Of Consciousness' or 'Flash' before it, could find itself destined for classic/anthem status on house and techno floors alike.
Review: With their sold out party at Space being cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Dirtybird's annual pilgrimage to Miami may not be back on, but their brand new 10-track compilation to accompany it certainly is! As usual, they've picked up a bunch of unique tracks from established artists and newcomers alike with a penchant for fat, bouncy and bass-driven tech house - a perfect way to soundtrack your lockdown party over the coming weeks. Highlights not limited to: Brazilian upstart Cour.T's NSFW party starter "Acid Pu$$y", the tunnelling 303 acid of Monki's "On Course", Kevin Knapp getting his boompty on as ever with "Dig This" and Jonathan Landossa giving you a microdose of mind altering madness on the thriller "Mind Control". Elsewhere, we're not sure what Morelia and Luke Andy were on when they threw down the the wonky and off-kilter "Wobblesocket" (but we're lovin' it!) and there's' a mastermix of all the aforementioned and more by the ever reliable Gettoblaster.
Review: Toolroom's compilations have soundtracked Miami's Winter Music Conference for more than a decade and this is no exception. Here they've drafted in three of their key artists to compile the album: Friend Within, Leftwing : Kody & Siege - who all take you on a journey through the various shades of house and techno. Highlights include: Siege's remix of legend Green Velvet's massive "Bigger Than Prince, boss man Mark Knight's electrifying rework of C.O.T.'s "Let It Go" into a uplifting house anthem, Dutchman Franky Rizardo cool as a cucumber on the smooth groove of "X Marks The Spot" through to veteran west coast producer Miguel Migs returning to the spotlight with the ultra deep "Moving Light" feat. Lisa Shaw and the comeback of Canadian legend Hatiras on the slinky and hypnotic remix of Sammy Deuce's "EZY". From certified main room essentials to sun-kissed poolside vibes, capture the magic of Miami Music Week with 'Toolroom Miami 2020'.
Review: It has been quite a year for the Toolroom institution. Celebrating their 15th birthday last year, they weren't ones to rest on their laurels, instead going full steam ahead with a bunch of genre defining compilations this year. But most importantly they have been instrumental in the comeback of funky house after a 20 year dormancy, with killer releases by the likes of Weiss, Cashio and boss man Mark Knight himself. Add to that one banging party at Chicago Social Club for Amsterdam Dance Event and it's evident that these guys are proper 24 hour party people. With a glorious year sadly coming to an end, celebrate a wonderful one that was on Best Of Toolroom 2019 with highlights not limited to: the rework of the Cevin Fisher classic "Freaks Come Out" by Jack Back, Hannah Wants & Kevin Knapp's deep down and dirty "Call Me" (extended mix), UK heroes Alan Fitzpatrick & Wheats delivering the certified banger "M27" and New York legend Todd Terry teaming up with Tuff London on "Psychodrama" featuring Jasmien Nanhekhan. If that was not enough, ascendant producer Maxinne delivers two mixes compiling all the tracks: one smooth House mix followed by a thumping Tech House mix.
Review: With Ibiza's extended summer season almost upon us, Toolroom has served up a suitably epic collection of cuts that it expects to be big on the White Isle this summer. Label boss Mark Knight has provided a trio of DJ mixes ("Poolside", "Club" and "Afterclub") and the unmixed tracks included all fit into these loose categories. There's not enough room to list all of the highlights, but we've been enjoying the funk-fuelled disco-house rush of Illyus and Barrientos' "The One", the sleazy, bass-heavy bounce of Max Chapman's "Steppa", the acid-powered tech-house-jack of Del-30's "Gravity" and the weighty, mind-altering thump of "Low End Theory" by Eli Brown.
Martin Books - "Flitzepulver" (original mix) - (6:35) 128 BPM
Various - "Ibiza 2018 Closing Party" (continuous DJ mix 1) - (1:18:53) 124 BPM
Various - "Ibiza 2018 Closing Party" (continuous DJ mix 2) - (1:19:01) 125 BPM
Review: With the same certainty that the leaves will turn brown and fall from the trees, autumn sees the release of Toolroom's closing party album. It's the label's annual state of the (house) nation address and 2018 is no exception. While this year's edition contains a healthy smattering of feel good house - the most impressive exempts being the vocal grooves of Weiss' "Feel My Needs" and Illyus & Barrientos' "MEA" - there are also more adventurous variants on offer. These include Peggy Gou's tweaked acid take on Shakedown's "At Night", the chord heavy Dusky take on KiNK's "Perth" and the cut-up, abstract "Pale Blue Dot" by rising lo-fi house artist Ross From Friends, which demonstrate that this year, Toolroom is thinking outside the box.
Review: As per usual, the UK's Toolroom imprint has put together the definitive summer collection when it comes to tech-house and anything minimal. As you can see - and hear - there are 67 tracks on here, all from the very best and most coveted talent in the scene; Mark Knight features prominently, of course, alongside established house entities like Erick Morillo, Format: B, Sascha Funke, Nic Fanciulli, and many others. But, don't stop there, as there is plenty of new talent to discover in artists like SecondCity, GotSome, Marcellus Wallace, ANOTR, and many more. There are three continuous mixes available, also, one for each summer setting. This is BIG!