Review: Leipzig's Bondage Music returns with a massive compilation featuring 20 tracks, all in the label's distinct style of deep and sensual tech house. If that was not enough, the label bosses Sven & Sven aka Pornbugs deliver a continous mix, working those selections to perfection on each of their journeys. Highlights are not limited to: Mihai Popoviciu and NTFO delivering some rolling and hypnotic 'Rominimal' vibes on "Gazoo" and "Key Part" respectively, London's James Dexter delivering a typically emotive afterhours minimal groove on "Come In" while Pornbugs themselves serve up the slinky "Precocious Life" before the return of Swiss scene stalwart Dachshund on "Instant".
Review: Burnski's Constant Sound imprint continues its fine run of form via a rock-solid EP from prolific Romanian duo NTFO. Continuing the vibe of the pair's original recent releases, opener 'Metodic' sits somewhere between driving European tech house and chunky, melody-rich deep house - all restless bass, spacey aural textures, reverb-laden lead lines and crispy drum sounds. 'Adjuvant Register' opts for a warmer but no less impactful or hypnotic blend of tech-house and deep house elements, while closing cut 'Candva Cumva' is a forthright and funky take on the more intergalactic end of the tech-house spectrum.
Review: Romanian duo NTFO up next on Leeds institution 20:20 Vision, following up some great releases in recent times for top labels such as Gruuv, Diynamic and Objektivity. The Timisoara based pair kicking off proceedings with the bass heavy sleaze of the fittingly titled "Fresh Cut" and it's perfect for after midnight mood lighting and transitioning into the next phase: peak time!. Next up is the slinky and atmospheric neo-acid of "Jomanfish" which is so hypnotic and equally suited to building the vibe earlier in the evening. Finally "Abrazive" was exactly what we were hoping for: a tough peak time cut with its infectious loops reaching near tribal moments. It's a sunny and uplifting affair reminiscent of Parisian legends D'Julz or Phil Weeks and has us counting down the days until the next summer season on the White Isle.
Review: It's been a decade in the business for this Hamburg institution that's spawned many a summer anthem or outright hit during its existence. To celebrate the occasion, Diynamic have launched a killer compilation featuring all the usual suspects that have played a crucial role in the development of the label thus far and they're here to assure you they're more keen than ever. Highlights on 10 Years Diynamic are not limited to: Hanseatic homeboys Kollektiv Turmstrasse with their rather mid '90s electronica sounding "Jupiter Sunrise", label mainstay Stimming with the bittersweet symphony of "Hope & Ramati", label head honcho HOSH with some adrenalised peak time tech house on "The Drumpet Show" and Norwegians Ost & Kjex with their new track "Heatwave".
Review: Romanian deep house duo and Diynamic regulars NTFO are a decent capture for new label Jargon. Here they help get the label off to a sterling start with three tracks of rubbery deepness. The title track, complete with vocals from Forrest, sets the tone, delivering a heady mix rubbery acid bass, endless chords and orange-tinted atmospheres. There's a dash of Local Talk-ish garage revivalism (both US and UK) in the shape of the booming but deftly produced "Professor", while the fuzzy "Munkey Style" sounds like a fusion of Hypercolour-ish house, 808 State's "Cubik" and early Nu Groove deepness. It's a great combination.
Review: Like Solomun's recent mix for Watergate, Wowshit captures the crossover taking place between house and pop / R&B. NFTO & Karmon's "Nobody Else" is based on a slinky house groove that filters and builds gently and which supports a soulful vocal. Meanwhile the title track - a solo effort by Karmon - is focused on the dance floor as trancey chords are filtered into a whooshing climax as a warm bassline purrs away in the background. However, the standout track is "Raining Again" by Betoko. Featuring a drawling male asking "how do you feel when you open up your window and it's raining again" its slinky bass and building organ lend it an epic, poppy feeling that's far superior to the Guetta's and Tiesto's of this world.
Review: Just in time for another messy season on the White Isle, Toolroom complement their Space residency with this mammoth house compendium. There's over 40 DJ-ready tracks plus three mixes available here. Not bad for a tenner, right? Most importantly, though, is the quality; ranging from the slippery downtempo boogie of Ilija Rudman's "Cinematic Behaviour" and the slow-mo disco of Ventura's "Hal Incandenza" to the hands-in-the-air euphoria of Tiesto and Mark Knight's "Beautiful World" and bouncy-assed house antics of Prok & Fitch's remix of Todd Terry's "Bounce To The Beat", Cr2 have ticked every house music box possible. From poolside to peaktime to those hazy post-club sessions in the villa, this will soundtrack many a summer.