Review: Having lent a couple of the label's finest moments previously such as the Sipoor and Sound Test EPs, not to mention a killer self-titled full length last year, esteemed Israeli duo Red Axes return to Phantasy with another bunch of leftfield club tracks on the Some Lights EP. Features the tunnelling, acid house-inspired stomp of the title track, which leads into the transcendental and psychedelic dark disco journey of "Skulls" and proving there's plenty in the duo's sonic repertoire, they close it out on a low slung tip with the deep down and dirty "Professor Grasstov".
Review: CircoLoco Records is a new record label forged in partnership with the iconic video game creators Rockstar Games. After four editions of colour coded releases, we now have the entire collection of 20 tracks compiled here in one package. From the Black edition there's the tunneling techno of Adam Beyer's powerful "Break It Up", from the Violet edition you have Margaret Dygas' majestic broken beat journey "Wishing Well", TINI with the neon-lit disco of "What If, Then What?" featuring Amiture (Green) and Sama Abdulhadi with the steely and hypnotic techno of "Reverie" taken from the Blue series - plus many more.
Review: A four-tracker here that will suit those whose dancefloor tastes lean towards the exotic and eclectic side. Red Axes' 'Maztomeret' tops a Moog-y cosmic disco groove with a nursery-like "la la la la la" chorus, Zillas On Acid comes on like 70s Indian sitar funk given a Solomun remix, Tyu flirts with African and Arabic flavours on 'Kongaloka' and then finally there's the oddity that is Manfredas's 'Meshugas', a quirky slice of Balearica with a hint of The Clangers about it. Peaktime tackle for big, glitzy clubs this most definitely is not, but leftfield spinners would do well to check it out.
Review: As minimal house continues to hit the mainstream, there's no denying the likes of Rockstar Games and Ibiza hot house CircoLoco have something to do with it. Combining to create CircoLoco Records, it continues ist summer run of releases with a new various artist EP in Dreamin' Violet - featuring future classics from Luciano, Red Axes, Carl Craig, Butch and Margaret Dygas! With Luciano going deep, stripped back and minimal in "Mantra For Lizzie", Red Axes sends in a frenetic number of drum machine and synth laden mayhem. Carl Craig delivers a bass heavy, beat free and epic synth number "Forever Free", with Butch throwing down a stuttered rave vibe in the broken beat, drum and bass centric "Raindrops". With a slight Detroit mode surfacing too in Margaret Dygas percussive "Wishing Well", she keeps it slightly abstract to complete a package that presses all the right buttons - peak time or after hours.
Review: Celebrating ten years of his Life And Death label, DJ Tennis delivers a diverse compilation. Schwarzmann's "Octave Two" is a groovy, stripped back track that resounds to a bubbling groove and dayglo bleeps, while on "Agua", Prins Thomas delivers a searing, 303-led disco track. In stark contrast are Byetone and Gera Akate's electro breakers, while Red Axes veers into punk-funk territory with the wiry guitars and dubbed out FX of "Rasss". There really is something for every tate here, and the slamming techno of Fango's "Trattore", followed by the cosmic Italo of Vivian Koch's"Find Your Way Out" shows that Life And Death is a truly eclectic label.
Review: To the Robert Johnson club, Andrew Weatherall was one of the Frankfurt institution's most beloved residents. 'Lifesaver 4' is a compilation dedicated to the memory of the veteran DJ, featuring young talents and seasoned companions that have paid their musical tribute in order to commemorate the club's 21 year anniversary. Highlights not limited to: Perel's psychedelic off-kilter opener "Feuer & Wasser", the low slung sunset sounds of Panorama Bar resident Massimiliano Pagliara on "Before I Let You Go", club mainstay Gerd Janson delivering a typically neon-lit rendition of Portable's "Unity", the surprising addition of nearby Offenbach-based talent Cedric Dekowski on the afterhours minimal funk of "Livius" and Fort Romeau delivering his idiosyncratic style of hypnotic house on "Another Dymention". "Fail we may, sail we must".
Review: A double dose later and we're welcomed into a Red Axes latest Trip, a multimedia project at large that's giving cross platform to music, film and travel documentations that seeks out far-flung collaborations from the countries they visit. Finding themselves in India for this EP (following excursions through Vietnam and Africa), the epicly charged, psychedelic-tinged and acid-dubbed burner "Pad Yoga Raga" delivers arguably the best track in the series (at 11-minutes long). Keeping it in the mangroves still is "Little Prince (Bangalore Rave version)" with its continued panpipe influences and vocal morphing techniques while the EP finds its clubbiest passages in the percussion-concussion of "Mumbai Syndrom". And for the real deal, Beatles and Ravi Shankar fans alike, all roads lead to "Delhi Little Prince". Please come again!
Review: It's been twenty years since Sven Vath's Cocoon operation set up in Ibiza; since then the label's annual alphabet-themed compilations have also come to define techno's stylistic twists and turns. According to S, 2019 clearly saw the re-emergence of trance in its various forms, from Love Over Entropy's wide-eyed abandon to Stimming's more musical approach - audible on "The Gift That Never Stops To Give". Musicality is also a common theme on the house and techno that features on Compilation S, with Emanuel Satie's "Planet XXX" resounding to melodic chord stabs and Giegling artist Edward's "End Days" favouring chattering samples and a soaring bass - inspired by E-Dancer with a modern, Teutonic twist.
Review: Israeli duo Red Axes has produced some of the most interesting left-of-centre dance music of recent years, delivering essential releases on Hivern Discs, ESP Institute, I'm A Cliche and Correspondant [sic]. Happily, this latest outing - their first for Permanent Vacation - is another must-have EP. With its' cowbell-heavy tribal percussion, drifting flutes, throbbing bassline and exotic marimba melodies, opener "Sun My Sweet Sun" is particularly potent. "Way To Neptune" pushes dreamy, sun-kissed organ melodies to the fore, with hazy vocal harmonies emphasizing the duo's effortlessly Balearic vibe, while "Cockroach" dreamily joins the dots between blazed dub-disco, experimental '80s pop and yearning Californian psychedelia.
Review: We delve into the undergound sound of Leszno here, as Poland's Exotic Refreshment serve up Chapter 4 in their 'Time Traveler' compilation series - pretty impressive given that Chapter 1 only landed in May! With 13 cuts coming mostly from up-and-coming artists (Badin Brothers, Luca Bacchetii and Red Axes being better-known exceptions), it's quite a wide-ranging selection, but generally speaking we move inexorably from slow-moving, experimental deep house cuts like Ulises's 'Pewunguen' and Dandara's 'Y Bot', to more overtly floor-friendly jams, often - as in the case of Enoo Napa's 'The Eclipse', Shimza's 'All Alone' and Mozaik's 'Clerka' - with a proggy/melodic twist.
Review: Red Axes continue to roam the world, stopping off in studios and colleges in far-flung locations to collaborate with local musicians and pass on advice to students. This time they're in Vietnam, offering a second volume in their "Trips" series packed full of exotic, cross-cultural treats. They begin with the spacey dub disco shuffle of "Ho Chi Min", where ear-catching Vietnamese vocals and South East Asian string instruments ride a chunky groove, before stripping things back on the bass-heavy late night exoticism of "Hanoi". "Phu Quok" sees them brilliantly chopping up, mangling and manipulating vocals and snaking solos over a druggy groove, while "Hue" is warm, deep, groovy and almost Balearic in its' deliciously loved-up way.
Review: Over the course of numerous albums and Eps, Laurel Halo has made a name with her experimental, uncompromising take on electronic music - can she do the same with her DJing? Listening to this, the 68th instalment of DJ-Kicks, the answer is a resounding 'yes'. It moves from the abstract chimes of her own "Public Art" to the bruising rhythms of Stallone the Reducer and Red Axes' low-slung electro into the next-wave Detroit techno of Fit Siegel and the bleary European sound of Dario Zenker, representing here with "Koraimer Bro". However, Halo is also aware that to understand where electronic music is going to, you must first understand its past - and the inclusion of tracks from Jeff Mills' Final Cut band and Blake Baxter's catalogue showcases her deep knowledge and passion.
Red Axes - "Waiting For A Surprise" (Kris Baha remix) - (7:19) 110 BPM
Bal5000 - "Kids" - (7:41) 114 BPM
Review: (Emotional) Especial heralds its 30th release with a killer package from an all-star cast that takes in label regulars and newcomers alike. The vibe starts heated and heavy with modern acid champ Roy Of The Ravers taking a blunt instrument or two to Junior Fairplay's "End Of Love," firing off the kind of bludgeoning b-line and fizzing drums that makes his direct approach to the dancefloor so potent. It's somewhat surprising to see Freeform Five pop up on this 12", but Jamie Paton's remix of "Throwing Stones" sounds utterly natural in the habitat - a brooding, simmering trip shot through with noirish synths. Kris Baha gets busy with Red Axes' "Waiting For A Surprise," twisting out an exotic bubbler perfect for the low tempo chugging crowd, and then Bal5000 wraps things up with the gorgeous electro-disco delights of "Kids".
Review: Tel Aviv's Red Axes duo have been snapped up by !K7 Records, and this is no surprise to us given the quantity - and quality - of material that they have released to date...names like ESP Institute, Dark Entries and Permanent Vacation coming to mind. This new EP focusses on tribal aesthetics from the first moments, with "Abidjan" rolling out a gorgeous groove of poly-rhythms and tropical sounds, with "Addis" heading further East thanks to mystical flutes interlocked with locked percussion groove, and "Musica Electronique" getting down with a much grittier bass attitude. Some ethereal business, right here...
Review: Comeme showcases an evolution in the label's history, on the soon to be released volumes of Solidarity Forever. Introducing new artwork, a new logotype and most importantly of all - new music by new artists. The title refers to their motivation as a label and the reason behind their everyday actions - acting as a reminder of why they do what they do. The first volume features label head honcho Matias Aguayo, with the jagged and angular tropicalism of "Selvagem", some deep down and dirty punk-funk from the magnificent pairing of Daniel Maloso X Red Axes on "En La Oscuridad" and Medellin based newcomer Gladkazuka with the sludgy lo-fi techno of "Futuro Caos" providing something a bit more hard hitting.
Review: There's naturally plenty of high-grade material to be found on Jolly Jams' latest round up of previously "promo only" material from their regular vinyl missives. It's a thrill-a-minute ride through illicit underground dancefloor pastures that touches on a variety of styles, from the "Buffalo Gals"-sampling early Chicago House flex of Promo Only's "Promo Only" (track 9) and the pitched-down jazz-funk/disco-funk re-edit brilliance of Conor's "Sure Thing", to the Ron Hardy style grooves and dub delays of new wave/proto-house rework "Sake of Nothing" by Slaves of Love, via DJ Kaos's sought-after dancefloor tweak of an infamous Italo disco-era cover of Eric Clapton's "After Midnight" (here re-titled "Midnight Patrol"). The latter, now near impossible to find on vinyl, is simply essential.
Review: There's much to admire on this latest 12" excursion from hard-working Israeli duo Red Axes. On the A-side you'll find two brand new collaborations, the most notable of which is "NYX Tape" - a clandestine, mind-altering chunk of minimal wave drug-chug featuring the distinctive spoken word vocals of original no wave star Gina X (she of "No GDM" fame). Chloe Raunet AKA C.A.R lends her similarly stylish spoken word vocals to the EP's other original production, the acid-fired electro filthiness that is "5 Min". On the flipside you'll find two tasty re-edits of tracks from the Dark Entries catalogue: a dub-tinged, dancefloor-friendly take on Solid Moon's spacey "Destination Moon" and a rolling, club-ready tweak of X-Ray Pop's quirky electronic bubbler "La Machine a Rever".
Review: By their usual standards, prolific Tel Aviv twosome Red Axes has enjoyed a relatively quiet year. In fact, this four-track EP on Life & Death contains their first original material of 2017. As usual, it's an eccentric collection of tracks. Compare, for example, the cowbell-rich, wonky house hustle of chiming opener "Calacol", which manages to be both funky and weird, and "Vego Gam", where surf guitars and alien synth lines surf an eccentric, post-punk house groove. The dancefloor eclecticism continues with the Italo-disco/dub disco fusion of "Round" makes way for the undulating tropical drums, pots-and-pans melodies and glassy-eyed vocal snippets of "Sami".
Review: This time last year Tel Aviv indie dance duo Red Axes made a huge splash with their killer track "Waiting For A Surprise" and now it is time for some equally fun loving remixes. First up Matthew Dear aka Audion steps up to deliver a typically massive rework for the techno crowd, while fellow Israeli homeboy Moscoman follows up and injects some woozy psychedelic rock vibes into it. The man from Vilnius, Manfredas, appears in addition; the Multi Culti tour poster boy going for something on the lo-slung tip and label head honcho Thomas Von Party lends a hand for the boys to remix themselves, for a rather explosive punky/funky conclusion.
Review: With this new compilation, 10 Track That Would Help You For Cooking But Would Clear The Dancefloor, French label I'm A Cliche break away from their more usual electro house flair, and step into the realm of the unknown, the surreal, and the deeply experimental. Ranging from post-rock to coldwave and post-punk, this compilation is all about texture and subtlety, something that can be heard in tunes like "Fathers & Sons" by Bot'Ox, or the sublimely percussive "Dead Dog Farm" by Runaway. Other stand-out moments include the fast-paced polyrhythms of "Sticky" by Dixlexsix, the slow and balearic remix of Cosmo Vitelli's "Delayer" by Quiet Village, the distorted pseudo noise journey that is "Dreams Like A Tale" by Red Axes. Excellent and fully tipped!
Review: Off! This Kill The DJ label just keeps on hitting new grounds, and this new collab between Car and Red Axes is further proof of just how exciting this collective really is. Car has already featured prominently for the label, but Red Axes has been churning out beast after beast for labels like ESP Institute, Hivern Discs and many others of the same calibre. Although we have labelled this as cold wave, because is does indeed transpire feelings of chilly melancholia, the EP is basically a collection of mindful techno tunes for the more explorative of DJ's. From "Incognito" through to "2040", there is a feeling of pensiveness and true romanticism, the sort you don't often hear anymore and one that we're always on the hunt for. A heavy artillery of remixes come demo Il Est Vilaine, and Tom Furse with two mighty versions. TIP!!!
Review: Thomas Von Party's always reliable Multi Culti imprint presents Moon Faze II featuring a selection of his label's current roster. Tel Aviv's favourite nu-disco/rock crossover act Red Axes are back and boy are we happy about that: they appear here with "Boosha Gdola" a sleazy and slow burning groove with a bleep bassline and soaring synths that create some serious dancefloor movement, guaranteed. Label favourite, Australia's Dreems also appears joining up with Peret Mako for a sleek acidified remix of Zsou's "Admiral Byrd". Label head honcho Von Party himself steps up to it on the exotic and esoteric slow-mo groove of "Cobra Kush" featuring Naduve. Finally DJ Ground offers up the dreamy and mesmerising "Dolmenzoo" with its hazy, African inspired journey that will appeal to Crosstown Rebels fans equally.
Review: Given the quality of their respective releases, you'd expect this first collaboration between Moscoman and Red Axes to be rather good. Predictably, it is, with both tracks offering the perfect balance between weary late night atmospherics and intoxicating dancefloor shuffle. Opener "Dikembe Manatu" builds the action around a foreboding bassline and dense African percussion, with metallic melodies and druggy electronics expertly layered atop. Virtual flipside "Rage In The Cage" takes a different approach, with sleazy, late night electronics and throbbing analogue refrains contrasting neatly with the trio's unfussy, cowbell-laden percussion. Both tracks sound primed for dimly lit basement spaces and intimate parties the World over.