Review: Ahead of Maya Jane Coles' fifth album, Night Creature, comes the release of its first three singles! Inspired by the peaceful hours at home as much as the ecstatic moments of a club night, Maya Jane Coles opens up with three displays of streamlined techno cuts. Keeping with a bleepy, slightly metallic-tipped sound and deeper atmospheres, "Night Creature" is indeed the hit here with its vocals, danceable bassline, breaking grooves and breathy textures. "Need" throws down the toughest yet piano-tipped club jam, next to the savage bassline and garage grooves of "Survival Mode".
Review: Here's something to get the blood pumping and the drool flowing: a two-track collaboration between tech-house/techno heavyweight Maya Jane Coles and Italian twosome M.F.S Observatory. Opener 'Know About' is tough, chunky and funky, with fizzing synthesizer lead lines, trance-inspired arpeggio style motifs, cut-up male vocal snippets, dreamy chords and weighty, thickset bass. Impressively, 'Watch and Learn' is even heavier, with ghostly and bleeping electronics rising above a killer kick/snare-heavy rhythm track and deep, heavy sub-bass. The track sounds like it was inspired (in part at least) by turn-of-the-90s bleep techno, though it's a far funkier proposition than any of the classic cuts that emerged from that scene ('LFO', 'Testone', 'Track With No Name' etc).
Review: Last autumn, Maya-Jane Coles fired up her Cayam side project for the first time in six years in order to release a three-track EP of killer techno mutations on Kneaded Pains. This follow-up for Alan Fitzpatrick's We Are The Brave label is similarly-minded, with Coles focusing on hot and heavy beats, trippy electronic loops and savage dancefloor energy. She sets the tone on opener 'Universal Wisdom', where twisted and metallic-sounding electronics bubble away atop a stomping beat, before introducing some big melodic builds and undulating synth sounds on the similarly weighty 'Chaos in the Distance'. We'd also recommend checking warehouse-ready EP closer 'Sparkl', where razor-sharp stabs and glassy-eyed electronic loops ride another thunderous techno groove.
Review: Maya Jane Coles' Nocturnal Sunshine alias dates all the way back to 2010 with her debut EP on LMD SkunkWorks that soon paved the way for the much loved DJ and producer to set up her own I/AM/ME label some two years later. Following a string of EPs and a self-titled album in 2015, Nocturnal Sunshine returns in full force and comes 'full circle' backed with a huge cast of collaborators in Young M.A., Ry X, Three 6 Mafia rapper Gangsta Boo, Peaches, and UK singer-songwriter Chelou. With both title tracks from her Foundation and U&ME EPs featuring on Full Circle also, it's tracks like "Tied Up", "Lessons Of Life" and "To The Ground" that really exert a stepping yet housey vibe of vocal content that has made Maya Jane Coles' taste and DJ sets such a popular facet in the UK. For some low-riding Memphis vibes look to "Ridin' Solo" and "Pull Up" alongside some dank and dubby vocal cuts in "Possessed" next to a solo highlight of UKG house, jungle and drum and bass hybrids in "Heroes".
Review: CAYAM is perhaps not one of Maya Jane Coles' better-known artistic aliases. Crucially, though, it does allow more artistic freedom to go in different directions with her sound than she may be able to do under her given name. Hence this EP for Kneaded Pains, which sees her energetically charge towards techno dancefloors via a trio of fiery, firing tracks. The experienced producer first peppers a chunky, crunchy techno beat with short, mind-mangling melodic motifs and jumpy vocal samples on 'Pleasure', before channelling the spirit of Inner City on the loopy, warehouse-ready pump of 'Jmpng'. Best of all though is closing cut 'Seratonin', a Kuduro-influenced techno stomper full to bursting with trippy synthesizer lead lines that reminded us of DJ Mujave classic 'Township Funk'.
Review: A decade on from her breakthrough release, "What They Say", Maya Jane Coles is preparing to release what she says will be her most "club-focused" album to date. Here she offers up a taste of what's to come via a three-track teaser EP. Opener "Would You Kill (4 Me)" is one of her most bass-heavy musical moments to date, with Todd Edwards influenced cut-up vocal samples and undulating electronic melodies riding smooth tech-house drums and deep sub-bass. "Sweet Love" also includes plenty of vocal cut ups, though the sounds surrounding it are deeper, warmer and altogether hazier, as if it was made for weary late night/early morning moments. Rounding off the EP is "Piano Magic", a cheery chunk of ear-pleasing peak-time goodness which also boasts some suitably big, bold bass.
Review: This is not the first compilation to drop whose sole aim is to raise funds for NHS Chartities Together - R&S Records and Bass Agenda both delivered similarly epic sets - but "Care4Life" may well be the strongest and most diverse. As you'd expect, each one of the 45 tracks is previously unreleased, and the cast list reads like a who's who of dance music culture. Notable highlights include an ultra-deep, saucer-eyed number from Daniel Avery, an unheard rework of the Chemical Brothers' "Catch Me I'm Falling", a superb revision of Harvey's Locussolus project by Kiwi, Matthew Herbert in jazzy broken beat mode, a rare solo outing from Optimo's JD Twitch, a rip-roaring rave workout from Jas Shaw, and thumping peak-time bangers from Dusky, Eats Everything and Patrick Topping.
Special Request - "Codename Turbo Nutter" - (5:41) 85 BPM
Source Direct - "Vigilante" - (7:25) 113 BPM
J Majik - "The Lost Tribe" - (5:16) 162 BPM
Shackleton - "Drawn And Quartered" - (8:11) 136 BPM
Pinch & Trim - "That Wasn't It" - (2:45) 128 BPM
Daniel Avery - "Whilst We've Got Metal In Our Blood" - (4:02) 145 BPM
Mantra - "Embers" - (5:24) 127 BPM
B.Traits - "Mameya" - (6:08) 126 BPM
Groove Armada - "Wesley Nightshade" - (6:11) 118 BPM
Unkle - "Catch Me When I Fall" (Fabric Club mix) - (10:49) 115 BPM
Review: This second 20 Years Of Fabric compilation presents a new arranged selection of the defining network of artists that have come to call fabric home. Taking in deep and atmospheric loops from Groove Armada to the light and sprinkled chords of Call Super, the sound of the Farringdon trips through the live and acoustic percussions of Margaret Dygas, the devastating hardcore cuts of Special Request and pure strads of drum and bass by Source Direct and J Magick. More recent tracks include the epic classicalisms of B.Traits acid-flecked "Mameya" to the industrial and dubbed out techno from Marcel Dettmann and Imogen. And not to be overlooked of course are bonafide classics from Unkle, Shackleton, Cassy and Sascha with "Comet Chaser".
Review: Steven 'Sugar' Harding and Michael 'Milk' Kronenberger set out their soundtrack for this year's WMC - and this selection has all the makings of an unforgettable party. The pair's own "That Body" is a wonderfully soulful house cut, laced with lush vocals and uplifting pianos. On "Walls", Purple Disco Machine pushes that style into an epic, indie vocal-led direction while at the other end of the spectrum, Monolink's "Black Day" veers into a slower, smoked out take on modern house. The pair have dug deep to include tracks from DJ Hal - his "Don't Give It Up" is given the unmistakable disco touch by remixers Full Intention - while Glasgow Underground founder Kevin McKay also features with the big room "Love Rights".
Review: Four years have passed since Maya Jane Coles' last full-length excursion (2015's set as Nocturnal Sunshine not included), so it's perhaps unsurprising that Take Flight is something of a long and undulating epic. Featuring 24 tracks stretched across three LPs and a string of eager collaborators (Chelou, Rachel Butt of GAPS fame and We Fell To Earth singer Wendy Rae Fowler being arguably the best known), Take Flight is little less than an extended showcase for the DJ/producer's particular bland of shuffling, tactile tech-house, tweaked to suit the demands of radio and home listeners. One reviewer recently described it "love letter to dance music", and Coles' many fans will no doubt agree.