Review: The decision to launch his own Cold Tonic imprint seems to have reinvigorated Krystal Klear, judging on the two records issued to date. This third in the series is arguably the best yet, with vocalist Flex Washington providing some speeded-up R&B swagger (think singing with the inflections and speed of rapping) to help propel things forward. Musically, "Cash Champagne" is impressive too, with Krystal Klear's deft touch ensuring the blend of huggable chords and loose deep house rhythms hits the spot. There are also a couple of handy DJ tools; the sparse, beats-and-vocal "Cash-a-pella", and Washington's brilliant acapella version.
Review: Since first pitching up on Running Back a year or two back, Dec Lennon AKA Krystal Klear has delivered some of his strongest music to date, including a string of peak-time anthems ("Neutron Dance, "Euphoric Dreams" etc). His latest EP for Gerd Janson's label is similarly strong. Check first the trance-influenced, synth-laden throb of "Entre Nous", where big room piano riffs help raise the track to hands-in-the-air anthem status, before admiring the new beat and EBM influenced neo-trance workout "Autobahn". "I'll Be There When You Need Me" is one of Lennon's most saucer-eyed and loved-up tunes to date - all warm waves of synthesizer bliss and decidedly Balearic melodies - while "Gambino" is a cheery skip through 1980s NYC freestyle territory with added Mylo style riffs.
Review: Here, a quartet of producers step up to offer their interpretations of "Neutron Dance", the throbbing, Italo-disco-fired lead cut from Krystal Klear's "Division EP". Paul Woolford pays tribute to early Eddie Richards project Jolly Roger on his jaunty, early UK house style rework - all squidgy TB-303 bass, drum machine cowbells and fluid house pianos - before Fango re-imagines the track as a sprightly chunk of New York freestyle/breakbeat house fusion. Fellow Irishman Mano Le Tough takes to the mic on his hybrid Italo-disco/throbbing house take, before Running Back chief Gerd Jansen straps on his "Birkies" and re-imagines the Dublin producer's original as a breezy blast of dub-wise, retro-futurist house.
Review: In recent times, Krystal Klear's EPs have wholeheartedly paid tribute to a variety of (mostly New York-based) historic clubs, artists and dance music sub-genres. While he's officially broken the spell with The Division EP - his first outing on Running Back - for the most part it's still a heart-warming, retro-futurist treat. He kicks things off with the cheery, Italo-disco revivalism of "Neutron Dance", where throbbing synthesizer arpeggio lines and mid-80s melodies are underpinned by a bustling mid-tempo house groove, before slowing things down via the Balearic synth-pop shuffle of "Division Ave". Then you'll find more muscular, freestyle-meets-acid house fun (wild and mind-altering peak-time highlight "Shockzoid") as well as the baggy, glassy-eyed Balearic house rush of closer "Moonshake Mike".
Review: Krystal Klear's last outing on Running Back, "Neutron Dance", became one of the house success stories of 2018, so hopes are naturally high for this follow-up. "Euphoric Dreams" certainly lives up to its title, with the Manchester-based Irishman peppering a heavy, delay-laden drum machine groove with elastic synth lines, grandiose melodies and sparkling, Italo-disco style syntheszizer stabs. Like much of his work in the last few years, it subtly references a variety of old dance styles and tracks whilst still sounding pleasingly fresh. The producer's love of snappy, delay-laden drum machine beats and throbbing NYC freestyle electronics returns to the fore on virtual flipside "Miyoki", a cut that's every bit as joyous and glassy eyed as its predecessor.
DJ Normal 4 - "UFO Spotted At Ruhr" - (4:46) 140 BPM
DJ Stingray - "Cryptic" - (4:42) 70 BPM
Robert Dietz - "Junk Mail Gem" - (6:52) 127 BPM
Textasy - "Chillin' At The Beach" - (5:32) 120 BPM
Mystik Menn - "Fantastic Jam" - (5:12) 126 BPM
Bell Towers - "My Body Is A Tempo" (Andras remix) - (6:41) 127 BPM
Florian Kupfer - "Post Present" - (8:53) 120 BPM
DJ Boneyard - "Original" - (6:16) 123 BPM
DJ Steaw - "Get Down" (dub mix) - (7:14) 124 BPM
SE62 - "Night People" - (6:17) 122 BPM
ZZZ - "UZKZOWZ" (DJ Haus Body Heat mix) - (4:52) 125 BPM
Stratton - "Out There" - (7:13) 129 BPM
Cliff Lothar - "Tool Tyme" - (6:03) 120 BPM
Legowelt - "Amateur Astronomy" - (5:25) 124 BPM
DJ Seinfeld - "Tell Me What U Want" - (4:23) 131 BPM
Hugo Massien & DJ Haus - "Network Processor" - (5:29) 123 BPM
Justin Cudmore - "Straight No Chaser" - (6:45) 123 BPM
FRAK - "Protes" - (7:52) 126 BPM
Cosmic Garden - "Nature Spirits" - (5:49) 122 BPM
Louie From The Club - "Emoshuns" - (6:44) 121 BPM
Gropina - "Cristallo Di Bismuto" - (4:34) 113 BPM
SkatebArrd - "Maskindans" - (2:33) 103 BPM
Neil Landstrumm - "DX Madness" - (5:51) 85 BPM
Lauren Flax & Jimmy Edgar - "It's Ours" (Jimmy Edgar remix) - (5:35) 126 BPM
DJ Plant Texture - "Lloyd Goes To Mars" (Simoncino remix) - (5:50) 126 BPM
TRP - "Stellar" - (8:45) 127 BPM
DJ Shark - "Outro" (Fantastic Man remix) - (6:26) 130 BPM
Review: The second volume in DJ Haus's "Enters The Unknown" series is even more epic than its' predecessor. This digital edition is particularly potent, as it not only features two action-packed, CD length mixes from the Unknown To The Unknown chief, but also all 46 tracks he used in unmixed, DJ-friendly form. Given the quality of the retro-futurist gems contained in the UTTU archives (modern cuts variously inspired by ghetto-house, early trance, slamming techno, bleep, proto-jungle, hardcore and early New Jersey garage), it's unsurprising that the showcased material is so damn hot. The set also boasts a handful of previously unheard cuts, too, including DJ Haus's collaborations with DJ Boring, DJ Deeon and Marquis Hawkes.