Review: Some would argue that Aeroplane's productions have not been the same since Vito De Luca and Stephen Fasano went their separate ways. While Fasano is rebuilding his career as The Magician, De Luca has been left to carry on producing and DJing as Aeroplane alone. Here he brushes aside criticism of his debut album with a debut mix set. It's actually rather good, offering a typically accessible and synth-heavy mix of groovy contemporary disco (Cosmonauts, Drop out Orchestra, Poolside), unreleased exclusives (his own, auto-tune heavy "Save Me Now") and forgotten gems (Stars On 33) that touches on curious Balearica, Italo and punk-disco. This digi version is available in its intended mixed form, but you can also buy the tracks featured individually!
Review: To mark the twentieth anniversary of the foundation of his label, James Ruskin has put together this massive compilation. It includes long-term friends and associates of the label - like Oliver Ho, Regis and Luke Slater - as well as newer additions to the roster, including Lakker and Rommek. Apart from uniting artists from different generations, the compilation also showcases the label's various hues; from the broken beats and intricate rhythms of Ruskin and Regis' O/V/R project and the hypnotic soundscapes of Lakker's "Orange" to the trace stabs and 10 tonne kicks of Regis' "Party Spoiler Too" and the chaotic industrial rhythms on Truss' "Wanastow", this compilation offers to newcomers an invaluable introduction to Blueprint, or to long-standing fans an indispensable reminder of why the label is unique.
Review: It's that time again where Dixon, Kristian Beyer and Frank Wiedemann serve up another edition of their Secret Weapons series which always lives up to its name; just they aren't that secret anymore thankfully! As always the Innervisions camp present a real mix up of names from across the board of house and techno and there's some pleasant surprises once again. Starting off with Belgian tech house heroes Raw District with the brooding and suspense filled "From The Inside" which is the kind of track you could really imagine Dixon playing to a festival crowd. Berlin legend Oliver Deutschmann (Falkplatz/Vidab) with the dreamy and hypnotic "Control" was great too. Elsewhere there's Southern German merchant of dark journey tracks Tim Engelhardt representing the new garde (alongside Bog) with "No More Words" featuring some wonky synth leads and minimal techno legend Marc Houle with the cheeky retro EBM jack of "Tomboyz". Honourable mention to the Valence/Delft affiliated GoldFfinch with the tough reductionist techno jam "The Hidden"
Review: Graeme Clark is best known for his edits - his reworks of Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye (in The Revenge and 6th Borough Project mode respectively) linger long in the memory - and here serves up four tweaks here that will feature on his debut album due out soonish on Joey Negro's Z Records imprint. As expected, the reworks of Mid Air, Chapter Three, Letta Mbulu and Nel Oliver are all done with the immaculate poise of a man who knows his studio inside out. There's a nice sprinkling of styles here, from driving discoid pumpers ("Ease Out") to Al Kent style frenetic vocal-led workouts ("Kilikamjaro") and smoky funk ("Dream On"), but it's the slo-mo acid crunch of "Smurf Trek" that takes that Juno cake.
Review: Having first appeared on CD earlier in the year, Graeme Clark's first official album of Revenge reworks comes to digital download. If you missed out first time around, it's well worth a listen - not least because there are some killer re-edits and reconstructions present. Interestingly, Reekin'structions by The Revenge partly shies away from Clark's celebrated tracky and hypnotic house sound. While his deft house touch is still present - see the delightful slow-build version of Velvet Hammer's "Party Down", or the low-slung retro-house remix of "Smurf Trek" by original electro-funkers Chapter 3 - some of the best cuts here are little more than traditional re-edits, with Clark offering killer new arrangements of little-known disco, soul and boogie originals.
Review: It's hard to believe that Sven Vath's empire has been in existence for 11 years, but what's easier to comprehend is the label's unerring knack of releasing killer club techno. This compilation gives some of Vath's favourite artists - like Roman Flugel and Steve Rachmad - as well as newbies like Patrick Kunkel, who also provides a DJ mix, a chance to rework the catalogue. From Visionquest's murky but driving take on Dinky's "Acid in My Fridge" through the abrasive, jacking Flugel remix of Martin Buttrich's "Hunter", Carlo Lio's tribal take on Dubfire vs Huntemann's "Diablo" and the fist-pumping, big room techno of Paul Ritch's interpretation of 2000 & One's "Tropical Melons", there can be no doubt about this compilation's dance floor credentials.
Review: The Late Night Tales crew are certified specialists when it comes to compilations and the label have quite the catalogue behind them, featuring mixes by the likes of Bonobo, Belle & Sebastian and even Fatboy Slim. This time the compiling credits are anonymous, meaning that the label have taken it up to themselves to compile this After Dark Nocturne release. The tracks are unmixed, as is usually the case, so you can pick and mix as many as you like, or simply go for the whole lot! There's plenty of gold in here and the compilation spans quite a diverse set of music from the shady house of Tornado Wallace to the Italian pop of Adriano Celentano on "L'unica Chance". There's also some more minimal numbers by the likes of Alex Metric, gnarly electro beats by Hotel Motel and plenty more. Dive in, it's a guaranteed party bomb.
Review: It seems as if 15 years have just flown by since Berlin institution Watergate first opened their doors at the base of the famous Oberbaumbrucke, overlooking the River Spree and where long queues run down the street every weekend to get into one of the best clubs in the world. To celebrate their journey over the last decade and a half, they have put together a special anniversary release of 25 new, exclusive and formerly unreleased tracks. Residents of the superclub all appear, such as Hamburg native Matthias Meyer who teams up with Ryan Davis on the evocative "Hope", famed local duo Tiefschwarz deliver the slow burning and moody tech house of "Control", Sweden's La Fleur (of Power Plant fame) delivers the acidic bump and shuffle of "Femton" and former Stattbad resident and Beste Modus boss Cinthie gets deep on the classic house sound of "Hatschi Hatschi" which has a whole heap of swing to it!
Review: With most White Isle-flavoured compilations either falling into the "dreary chill out" or "main room bangers" categories, it's actually quite a pleasant surprise to come across one that instead focuses on shuffling tech-house and chunky deepness. Those familiar with Kling Klong's trusty take on European house will find plenty to enjoy within the 19 tracks on offer here, including worthwhile contributions from Oliver Klein, Martin Dawson (see the slinky "Indo Rhodes"), Juan Sanchez, Joachim Pastor (the soft-focus speed garage meets deep house of "Be Organic") and the brilliantly named Kaiserdisco. If most Ibiza comps leave you cold, this is a decent alternative.
Review: Anyone who's ever thought that disco's had it's day, well they clearly need to check out Le Spank, the latest bumper packed compilation from Yam Who?'s mighty Midnight Riot label for irrefutable evidence to the contrary. Yes the YM? duo have rustled up a whopping 20 summer jams to soundtrack out summer and boy are we grateful! Highlights include the hot-to-the-touch neon boogie of Qwestlife's "Streetlife" rework, HIfi Sean's campy hiNRG remake of "Shari Vari" and the deep, late 80s Brit house vibes of "Cant Get Enough" by Alan Dixon. Party all summer long!