Review: In something of an arch nod to the revivalist times we live in currently, "Set Me Free" finds Marc Romboy embracing some old-skool sensibilites and having a bit of fun with his latest missive. There are plenty of classic signifiers in there, from romantic string swells to laconic breaks that suggest a love of early Metalheadz material, but they're all stitched to an impeccable murky tech-house framework. "Ghetto What?" gets equally saucy with its samples as some naughty chord stabs and vocal whoops slip smoothly into the peppy house groove for maximum party response. Phil Weeks and A1 Bassline deliver remixes of the two original tracks that neatly chop up the material into more contemporary frameworks without doing the rave heritage tributes a disservice.
Review: Wherein Kaiserdisco gets to grips with music from some of house music's biggest names and emerge smiling. The take on Steve Lawler's "Distrait" is classic Kaiserdisco, with heavy bongo drums leading into shaking percussion and later on a dramatic, string-led breakdown. Meanwhile, the take on Dualton's "Face Off" is slightly more understated, with stripped back, minimal rhythms underpinning insistent vocal sampling and an infectious disco filter. But the killer remix here is the re-rub of Booka Shade and label owner Marc Romboy's "Every Day In My Life". Over tribal beats and a huge filter, an unnamed woman sings the catchy refrain "I got something for your mind, your body and your soul /every day of my life". It's the kind of vocal refrain that will seduce even the most hardened purist.
Review: Mark Knights Toolroom label and the flagship Knights compilation series never fails to impress. For the latest installment they enlist the party fueled tech house sounds of Italy's leading light Stefano Noferini. Joining the ranks with the likes of; Umek, John Dalhback, and Fedde Le Grand, he digs deep for 20 of the biggest and best tech tunes around, including three exclusive productions of his own. It's a constant blast of energy at every turn, with just a few of the highlights coming from; Christian Smith, Pirupa, Marc Romby, and Bart Skils. An essential purchase!!
Review: Marc Romboy and Paris have a proven track record in brooding, vocal-led techno - check 2005's excellent "Computer Madness" in case you're in any doubt - and "Dark 'n' Lovely" sees them again focus on this evocative option. The original version features lean claps and ghoulishly nocturnal chords underpinning one of Paris's creepy/humorous narratives. While he talks about Detroit, what's most striking is the line 'I can't control the way I feel/ I touch myself'. We will probably never know if he's joking or not, but it makes for fascinating listening all the same. Kenny Larkin's rework roughens up the beats and repositions the arrangement into a series of killer builds and breakdowns.
Review: A collection of the German duo's collaborations stretching back to the middle of the last decade, Luna shows that good ideas and original production never age. Although this release features a long list of high-profile remixers - our favourites include Moritz Van Oswald's dubby, understated take on "Phobos" and Roman Flugel's spiky house version of "The Phoenix" - the duo's own productions are the real highlights. Both "Luna" and "Atlas" are underpinned by mid-tempo, unfussy rhythms and pulsing basslines, with the latter unfolding to reveal a spine-tingling melody. "Callisto" is an evocative ambient piece reminiscent of classic Eye Q and the epic synths on "Hydra" relive that distinctive central European sense of melancholia that Kraftwerk pioneered.