Sound familiar? You're not wrong; indeed it is the legendary Martini Bros aka Mike Vamp and DJ Cle of Poker Flat fame. The Berlin duo who threw down some amazing minimal and deep house records in the early noughties took a hiaitus for some time, but they're now back reinvigorated more than ever. Now that we've cleared up the new spelling of their name, let's get on to the music. The dreamy "Lovetrain" is for woozy Sunday afternoon shenanigans on a rooftop somewhere with its smooth vocals and heartwarming strings. "Exciting" delves deeper with more great vocal work, steel drums and Rhodes piano; all you need really. "Dancing Queen" takes a turn for funky nu-disco vibes which is properly suited to Summertime style grooves. The remix of is by Fadi Hachem Larry gets more underground, sleazy and a tad darker; pretty good actually!
"Flash" was originally released back in 2002, reissued in 2014 and now gets a new release for 2018. Despite the passage of time, the track has not lost its lustre and the combination of quirky vocals, hyperactive bass and eerie synths mean that it remains a distinctive track. Tiga's remixes, which featured on the original release, have also aged well; the Turbo boss 'Acid Flash Back' version is a highly effective, 303-led banger, while on his 'Unholy Trinity Vox' version, he deploys Italo synths to devastating effect. For this latest iteration, the label has included remixes from the 2014 re-release, with Mark Deutsche & Muso? dropping a reflective, melodic take and Italoboyz delivering a raucous minimal take.
This is a rather starry love-in featuring former Electribe 101 and S'Express singer (and obviously solo star) Billie Ray Martin and Stephen Mallinder, frontman and founder member of Cabaret Voltaire. Produced by the Maertini Bros, the Crackdown Project Volume 1 is essentially a sneak preview of a full album coming soon.
Perhaps the impetus for the deep tech-house production might be Billie Ray Martin's burgeoning DJ career, since she's currently spinning Deep Electro and Tech around the world. Either way, her huge soulful vocals are still on great form - just one listen to the slinky Electro of The Crackdown will confirm it. But it's the cover of Cabaret Voltaire's Just Fascination that is the real treasure here. Given a slow, Lil Louis-styled beat, the song oozes sleaze and soul in equal measure, and polishes over the jagged edges of the original.
The Copycat remix of Just Fascination gives it a more thumping, club-ready feel with a sped-up Dub version for DJ's, while the Celebrity Murder mix adds a Frankie Knuckles-sequence for a more Balearic feel. Mash-up kings Divide and Kreate leave the bootlegging for another day on their mix, instead layering the track with some shuffling Techno chords that work nicely with Billie Ray's vocals. And on a chilled tip, Flying White Dots slows things down and creates a beautiful and warm ambient mix that really tugs at the heartstrings - a perfect way to round off this varied but highly enjoyable EP.