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: Not content with co-founding the Steel City Dance Discs imprint, Mall Grab has decided to launch another label: Looking For Trouble. Naturally, the label's debut release comes from the man himself, who serves up another quartet of killer cuts. He first pushes his crunchy house percussion up to techno tempo and reaches for glassy synthesizer melodies on fine opener "Liverpool Street in the Rain", before peppering a warm and woozy deep house groove with punchy hip-hop vocal samples on "Bust". Those hankering after some up-tempo filthiness should check the doom-laden rave stabs and full-throttle ghetto-house rhythms of "Looking For Trouble" - one of the producer's dirtiest and most thrill-packed cuts to date - while "Get Impetuous" is a bustling chunk of late night hip-house revivalism.
Review: Jordan Alexander's been rinsing it under his Mall Grab moniker, and every release since his debut back in 2015 has been hotly tipped by us here at Juno towers. EP's for Church, 1080p and Collect-Call have now earned him a spot on Unknown To The Unknown, one of our favourite labels and surely one of the most diverse, too. "I've Always Like Grime", as the name implies, is a house track made by someone who listened to high doses of Crazy Titch and Plastician back in the day, but "Black Palms" does its best to distance itself from the UK thanks to some pretty nasty acid bumps, and "Menace II Society" heads to Chicago with its singular vocal sample and dusty house flex. Sick!
Review: The fourth release on Jordan Alexander ask Mall Grab's label starts in an ominous mood. "Sleepless" resounds to a cacophony of layered, moody synths that swirl over a thumping techno track, while on "Eucalyptus", he uses slinky, steely electro drums to articulate a similarly dark mood. The title track is also electro-themed, but on this occasion, Alexander opts for a more visceral approach, with a frazzled, searing low end and kettle drums to the fore. Rounding off the release is the aptly named "Temperature Rising", where an amalgamation of driving techno drums and grimy bass underpin epic rave stabs that soar majestically.
Review: Strangers is the first collaboration between Mall Grab and Skin On Skin, and it sees them deliver a fine, distinctive dance floor release. On the title track, searing bass is combined with driving percussion and melancholic piano lines for a pensive but effective techno track. In contrast, Mall Grab's solo effort, "?" is a pummelling hard techno banger, replete with spooky Halloween samples and a slightly daft ragga vocal sample. Skin On Skin's remix features rolling break beats and tripped out blips, while his own charmingly titled "Got Me Fucked Up" is a slinky electro workout replete with ghetto samples. Mall Grab repays the favour by turning "Fucked Up" into a grainy banger, powered by hollowed out drums.
Review: The third release on Looking For Trouble sees label owner Jordon Alexander aka Mall Grab team up with his long-time friend Alysha Fleiter aka Nite Fleit for a killer club EP. Fleiter opens proceedings with the heads-down pulses of "Hot Bot", while Mall Grab's "Reconnaissance" is a high-paced, ghetto-tinged banger that clocks in at close to 140bpm. However, the most impressive results happen when the two producers pair up; "Anatomy of the Senses" is a wild ride through snare roll-led, banging acid techno, and the title track sees them deliver a devastating-ly sharp electro workout.
Sam Weston - "Lamb's Euro Select" (Straight Cut Tool) - (6:03) 123 BPM
Jamie Blanco - "Claro" - (6:08) 120 BPM
Body Corp - "VOSA" - (5:04) 109 BPM
Review: The first in a series from Pelvis Records, DJ Tools Volume 1 features an all Australian lineup of artists across six tracks. Varying in tempo and moods, this first round comes courtesy of Sam Weston, Mall Grab (his contribution "GTFO" is a gnarly 303 acid jam with one seriously angry monologue atop), Chunyin, Body Corp (with the tribal trance induction of "Vosa" which will take you deep into the exotic), Jamie Blanco (UK expat) and Pelvis. From flat out percussion jams to four-to-the-floor acid, these are tracks to get you out of tight spots... or take you deeper into them.
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.