Review: 2020 marks a decade since the release of Monkey Safari's debut single. In that time they've kept up a steady stream of releases, flitting between their own imprint (Homage) and guest spots on such high profile labels as Get Physical, Bedrock and New State. So what can we expect from their first missive of the new decade? Title track "Gira" is a rushing, celebratory affair, with the German duo peppering a tactile, tech-tinged deep house groove with sparkling piano stabs, drowsy chords and unusual female vocal samples. If you're after something a bit deeper and more considered, virtual B-side "Chari Chari" offers a near perfect fusion of Innervisions-esque Afro-tech beats, bold analogue bass, sampled African chants and a wonderfully glassy-eyed melodic conclusion.
Mono Electric Orchestra - "Neutral Density" - (8:37) 126 BPM
Fairmont - "Brothers Keeper" - (6:50) 123 BPM
Jimmy Van M & Juan Hansen - "Kobalt" - (6:55) 121 BPM
Edu Imbernon - "Indenait" - (9:37) 121 BPM
Quivver - "On & On" - (6:57) 124 BPM
Alan Fitzpatrick - "Vibes" - (8:03) 128 BPM
Reude Hagelstein - "Chromapark" - (6:55) 123 BPM
Review: John Digweed looks back on a terrific year that was 2018 - not to mention the 20th anniversary of his Bedrock label. This last year saw him serve up the Bedrock XX box set, team up with good mate Nick Muir on the terrific "Crazy Diamond" in addition to his awesome Live In Tokyo mix CD - so there's plenty to celebrate. Featured here are some of the year's highlights and exclusives alike by heroes of deep tech house such as: Booka Shade with their moody cruiser "Rosebud", Belgian veteran Jimmy Van M appears several times but is most on-form on "Cobalt", Systematic head honcho Marc Romboy with his impressive sci-fi epic "Cosmo" and the return of trance legend Oliver Lieb on the riveting "Epoxi".
Review: German tech house heroes Monkey Safari are back on Hommage with the third round of remixes of their Odyssey LP. "Smalltown" gets a re-rub by Argentinian prog legend Hernan Cattaneo (with a bit of help from Audio Junkies) which creates a more ethereal and atmospheric version than the original. Hamburg nu-disco hero Tensnake gives "Odyssey" a brooding Italo styled rework - indeed we've never heard the guy sound this morose before - but we're loving it! Equally surprising was the recruitment of two of techno's real heavy hitters: New York City's Phil Moffa steps up to deliver a typically muscular effort on his rendition of "Prologue" while Rotterdam veteran Benny Rodrigues delivers a functional and cyclical rework of "Sign" that calls to mind his efforts on Ben Klock's Klockworks imprint.
Review: Following up the first volume of renditions last month of their terrific Odyssey long player, German duo Monkey Safari return with another collection that you can bet features the creme de la creme in tech house on remix duties. Take for instance Israeli progressive house hero Guy J's absolutely mesmerising perspective of "Epilogue", which injects even more dancefloor dynamics into the track, rising Bristolian star Dubspeeka's brooding menace that's scraped directly off the factory floor - as heard on his remix of "From The Purple Sky" and Espai Music label owner Trivmph steps up to execute a totally adrenalised rework of "Kingdom" that totally has the peak time in mind.
Review: It is over to Hommage head honchos Lars Ruehlemann and Sven Froehlich aka Monkey Safari for the first installment of remixes from last year's Odyssey long player. It is quite the roll call here - the German duo have certainly got street cred if they were to rein in the one and only Carl Cox for a rare remix. On his rendition of "Energie" the techno legend delivers an adrenalised and strobe-lit journey into the late night, that features dancefloor dynamics like no other. German tech house veteran Reboot gets those trademarked funked-up polyrhythms in full effect on his version of "Helios", Benny Rodrigues delivers a factory floor rendition of "Prologue" (ROD remix) while famed studio wizard Hannes Bieger delivers a slinky and evocative prog house perspective on "Ctrl X" (Hannes Bieger remix)
Review: Hommage founders Monkey Safari aka Lars Ruhlemann and Sven Frohlich follow a busy 2016 with their first release of this year. It's been worth the wait; spread over 11 tracks, Odyssey is a brooding affair that spans a range of moods and emotions. It moves from the atmospheric "Prologue" into the bass-heavy title track, before the German pair increase the tempo and ramp up the intensity levels with the purring low end of "Ctrl X" and "Helios". "Sign" is an expansive minimal house groove. On "Smalltown", they elaborate on this approach, building a widescreen composition underpinned by steely percussion and a clanging bass. It's the highlight of an epic work.