Review: Romanian minimal heroes Livio & Roby return for a full length on Loco Dice's esteemed Desolat imprint and believe us when we tell you: it's all killer, no filler! But if their own renowned studio prowess was not enough, Phantom Circle sees them team up with the current who's who of global tech house on each track. Featured guests include Ryan Crosson, tINi, Martin Buttrich and Guti. It's hard to pick just a few highlights, as there were so many, but for our money we'd bet on: their collaboration with Fathers & Sons Productions' Julian Perez on "Reign", their bumpin' and funky joint with Fuse London head honcho Enzo Siragusa "Sn Model" or when they're facing off with themselves; in this case, their alter ego Premiesku as demonstrated on the rolling and hypnotic "Dezarhiva"
Review: It seems like DJ Funk's influence has extended all the way to Romania. That's where Livio & Roby come from, but "Shake That Ass" is pure Chicago ghetto house. The title track's main elements - primitive drums, the singer's pre-orgasm moans, ravey stabs and the exhortations to "shake that ass and make some noise" - all sound like were lifted from DJ Funk's textbook. Andrea Oliva ventures even farther down this path for the remix. The groove is tougher and the percussion more driving, and the order to "shake that ass and bounce those hips girl if you want to party" sounds even more risque.
Review: Steve Lawler's respected VIVa Music celebrates a decade in the business and what better to celebrate than with a various artists' compilation; the second part in fact. Starting out with head honcho Lawler's funky disco house jam "Show The Way" this one is definitely super fly, if you catch our drift! Polish duo Catz N Dogz stay on the funky and filtered disco house tip with "Ali". What is this, a late nineties tribute? 'Cause we're loving it all the same! Canadian hardware maverick and all round genius Mathew Jonson breaks the mould, providing the typically minimal and hypnotic groove of "1234567" while speaking of minimal; nobody does it quite like the Romanians. Their nation's finest, Livio & Roby, turn in the rolling and downright stomping "9 De Ville".
Cesare vs Disorder - "Dinner With Bogdan" - (7:04) 127 BPM
Kenneth Scott - "Pranic Lift 777" - (6:33) 140 BPM
Tolga Fidan - "Lone" - (6:24) 130 BPM
Anonym - "Ghetto Jesus" - (4:37) 130 BPM
Avatism - "Self Control" - (5:26) 130 BPM
Premiesku - "Mai Sus" - (8:08) 125 BPM
Tolga Fidan - "Hord" - (6:24) 130 BPM
Avatism - "Too Patient To Wait" - (6:15) 120 BPM
Anonym - "Back To The Source" - (10:40) 124 BPM
Cesare vs Disorder - "Ararapira Jazz" - (7:12) 125 BPM
Review: Vakant has been around for almost 15 years, but as its latest compilation shows, the Berlin label shows no signs of getting stale. The Evigt Morker take on Kenneth Scott's "Pranic Lift" is a case in point: based on a skeletal rhythm, glacial synths and beguiling bleeps shine through to create a beautiful deep techno track. Elsewhere, label regular Alex Smoke delivers a teased out groove and spacey chords on "Smivvy" and another familiar face, Tolga Fodan, drops the raw, bleep-heavy techno of "Lone". Most impressive though is the contribution of Anonym, the Detroit producer who has had a long association with the label: "Ghetto Jesus" is a vocal sample-heavy house jacker that is the furthest thing possible from Vakant's minimal roots.