Review: Up next for Defected's In The House series is the UK's DJ Haus, 'a decidedly untraditional DJ, producer, originator and DIY label innovator.' The Unknown To The Unknown and Hot Haus Recs boss has received big props from the underground house community and in Defected's opinion: he's an ambassador for the future of house music. Quite a compliment there! Serving up a a wicked collection of raw and jacking sounds that encompass electro, Chicago house, disco, techno and UK garage: and all very much on the lo-fi tip. The supporting cast on DJ Haus In The Haus is quite a remarkable one and musical highlights are not limited to: NYC hero X-Coast (who is fresh off a killer release on Underthesea) with last year's sleeper hit "Mango Bay", Aussie larrikin and Steel City Dance Discs boss Mall Grab with the wicked "Pool Party" through to stateside jams by Justin Cudmore - who gives us a taste of the acid life on "Forget It" and so does the master Matrixxman on the epic "The Spell" (Original Mix).
Review: This is the first in a series of two mini-compilations on Hotflush and is dedicated to Trevino, who died earlier this year. First up are German pair Glaskin, who drop the techy, stepping "Cosmic Dance Interlude", followed by Or:la with the deep but jacking "B.W.U.W". Ambivalent makes his Hotflush debut under his LA-4A guise to drop the jacking "How I Feel", with Terr's "Find A Way" occupying a relatively similar space. Label boss Scuba unleashes the noisy, primal techno of " Boulahrouz" under his SCB alias and Israeli producer Yotam Avni rounds off the first volume with the stripped back, minimal groove of "Baduk". This first instalment is a fitting tribute to the UK producer.
Review: Kevin McHugh hails from the US of A but is very much part of the Berlin community right now, and his extensive appearances for the Delft label have resulted in this new EP for the Unknown To The Unknown crew, the place to be at the moment and one of the finest dance labels around. Accordingly, "I Feel Lit" is an instantly hummable-danceable banger with a heavy kick swing, blasting acid bleeps and a repetitive vocal sample - a true A-side bomb with a nasty edge. For the B-side, McHugh drops "Alarm (Chirp mix)", a drum-heavy DJ tool coated in a rough, analogue sound aesthetic, while Dutch master Alden Tyrell remixes "I Feel Lit" into a swarming wave of 303 techno with absolutely no care in the world but the dance floor. Heavy.
Review: Given that the 'phonautograph' referenced in the title is apparently the oldest sound recording device, it is no surprise that Kevin McHugh's debut album as L4-4A takes a lot of its influences from older times. That's not meant as a negative, and the opening tracks, "Frequenzvariabler" and "Transmitter" are eerie, ambient soundscapes. McHugh keeps the focus on classic-sounding electronic music with the acid-fuelled, bass-heavy electro of "Dialup" and "Semantron" and the deep Detroit tones meets quirky rhythms of 90s UK techno on "Blitzlicht". McHugh also delves into the world of acid with the sharp drums, gurgling 303s and MCing on "Resistor". L4-4A's debut album is a long way from McHugh's previous incarnation, Ambivalent.
Review: LA-4A is a trio that comprises Ambivalent, Amber, who has released on Mobilee, and DJ Kevin McHugh. It's no surprise then then Triad is such a roller coaster sonic ride. The title track could easily pass for an update on late 90s jungle, as its hyperactive, stepping rhythm is merged with jittery percussive slivers, screeching strings and a predatory bass that recalls classic No U-Turn. On "Network", the trio move on to jacking tracks, albeit a tough groove that centers on a merciless sub-bass, while "Understand" is an old school house number replete with a chopped up but evocative vocal sample.
Review: LA-4A is the latest project from Kevin McHugh, who was also responsible for the Ambivalent project. On "Invader", he explores a dark, drawn out take on Chicago house, with a booming bass unravelling over a primal rhythm. "Synthapella - America Kid" is a deep, swirling beatless affair, but the remixes will get more attention. Matrixxman's version of "America Kid" is a tracky affair, led by a prowling bass and best of all is Alden Tyrell's take on "Invader". More reminiscent of the abrasive, raw techno of mid-90s Joey Beltram and Luke Slater rather than his Italo or jack trademark sound, the remix is led by a searing bass and noisy kick drums.
Review: The second volume of the Endeavours compilation starts with the artist it is dedicated to - Trevino. "Plugged" shows why the UK producer, who sadly passed away earlier this year, was held in such high esteem - its rich, dubby chords and swaggering groove sounding effortless. By contrast, Ambivalent delivers a rough, rugged take on jacking techno with "Supertouch" under his LA-4A guise, while Lando inhabits similar territory on the grimy "Ritual Track". There are emotions of a different nature audible on TML's "Crying (Piano Mix)", where euphoric keys and haunting vocals unfold over a rolling groove. Oliver Deutschmann provides the toughest, most frenetic track in the shape of the loopy techno "Sequel", while Scuba himself works as SCB to deliver the rough, sample-heavy techno of "Rolling SN".