Review: There seems to be a pleasingly simple idea behind Richy Ahmed's "Sneaky Acid", the Hot Creations regular's first single of 2014. Put simply, the original is a clear attempt to blend the smooth swing of Hot Creations' wide eyed take on deep house with the roughneck feel of original acid house. It's a blend that works well, particularly on the alternative Dub version, which puts greater emphasis on Ahmed's twisted 303 lines and dense, dancefloor-friendly percussion. There's more tough retro-futurist fare with the two-part "The Bells". Both sound a little like a contemporary take on Brown Album-era Orbital, and feature looped synthesizer riffs reminiscent of the latter's "Remind".
Review: The return of Richy Ahmed to Hot Creations - for the first time since 2014, we should add - is enough to make even the most miserable powder house enthusiast go weak at the knees. "So Good" ticks all the right boxes, with Ahmed subtly working the filter effects throughout seven minutes of heavily compressed disco-house grooves, eyes-closed string samples, and dreamy vocal cuts. He flips the script slightly on accompanying workout "Ruff & Raw", utilizing cut-up hip-hop vocal samples, funky guitar licks and bolder percussion (snappy snares, tough kicks and fizzing ride cymbals) to keep energy high out on the dancefloor.
Review: Two very fine house jams here from Newcastle lad Richy Ahmed. With not a remix in sight. Objektivity clearly feel the two tracks are strong enough to stand up on their own - and they are! 'Work Me' is quite pacey by today's standards, and harks back to the mid-90s glory days of NYC house with its insistent bass riff, squelchy stabs and treated male "work me" vocal, while 'Gotta Have It' looks to the Windy City for inspiration, with stabby piano chords from the Marshall Jefferson school of thought and, by way of a vocal, a single line from Sound Wave's 1991 Strictly Rhythm cut 'Gotta Have You'. Outstanding.
Review: South Shields' finest returns with more punchy tech house on his Four Thirty Two imprint. After recent releases on Seth Troxler's Play It Say It and remixes for London Grammar, Richy Ahmed brings the goods back to home on this latest release. From the euphoric adrenaline of "Can't Stop Us" with its ravey piano breakdown backed by diva vocals, elevating rhythms and electrifying arpeggio bass line. He then gets deeper for something more geared for the late night on the moody "Dials Mavis" with its emotive Rhodes and humming sub bass with druggy vocal samples.
Review: With releases on Hot Creations and Seth Troxler's Say It Play It to his credit, Richy Ahmed now makes his debut on Hot Since 82's label. The title track is an irresistible slice of tech-house, with the UK producer dropping an ominous bass over a tight, jacking groove. On "Technique", a more rudimentary approach applies, as Ahmed deploys a horn riff and pitch-bent vocals to create a moody sound. The label has tapped D'Julz to rework "Technique" and in the Bass Culture boss' hands it turns into a pumping, percussive affair, supported by menacing low end. Jesse Perez also provides a rework of the title track, turning it into a bubbling, percussive workout supported by an eerie synth build.
Review: Listening to Miami 2014 it sounds like this year's WMC will be dominated by interpretations of classic US house. Prok & Fitch's "South Keys (original club mix)" is a storming tribal affair, while the key changes and heavy low end on My Digital Enemy's "Change" is reminiscent of New Jersey garage. Garage of a UK variety is audible on the rolling snares and rubbery bassline of Hot Since 82 's "Hot's Groove", but in the main, this compilation is US-dominated. Piemont's "Microsleep (original mix)" recalls the darkest excesses of Armand Van Helden house, replete with scary sirens, while the Kevin Knapp take on Richy Ahmed's "The Drums" is a clap-heavy Chicago jam.
Review: The annual Toolroom statement of intent for Ibiza gets off to a raucous start with the good time house Camelphat remix of Fatboy Slim's "Right Here, Right Now". Despite this, the compilation isn't all about peak time pleasure. It features deeper nuggets like the sun-kissed deep techno remix of Bicep's "Opal" by Four Tet and the hypnotic break beat techno Kolsch remix of Nic Fanciulli's "Saying". However, Ibiza 2018 doesn't depart too far from the script, and label boss Mark Knight's "We Get High From the Music" is classic Toolroom - a tough tribal workout descending into filtered, vocal-heavy nirvana. That said, they deserve plaudits for keeping a close eye on new artists and the niggling acid and chimes of Peggy Gou's "It Makes You Forget" is testament to that.
Review: Here it is, the definitive review of the year that was 2018 by Hot Since 82 & Co. Featuring all the surefire dancefloor weapons that soundtracked one terrific year and that will no doubt burn up dancefloors for many more years to come. Highlights include the epic "Buggin'" by the Knee Deep In Sound head honcho himself, fellow Leeds heroes Audiojack on the funked-up "First Flight", the Hot Creations affiliated Richy Ahmed on the tough rolling tech house of "Technique" (D'julz remix) and Spanish veterans Chus & Ceballos delivering a wickedly deep dub for the back room on "Ain't Nobody" - among many others.
Review: With Ibiza's extended summer season almost upon us, Toolroom has served up a suitably epic collection of cuts that it expects to be big on the White Isle this summer. Label boss Mark Knight has provided a trio of DJ mixes ("Poolside", "Club" and "Afterclub") and the unmixed tracks included all fit into these loose categories. There's not enough room to list all of the highlights, but we've been enjoying the funk-fuelled disco-house rush of Illyus and Barrientos' "The One", the sleazy, bass-heavy bounce of Max Chapman's "Steppa", the acid-powered tech-house-jack of Del-30's "Gravity" and the weighty, mind-altering thump of "Low End Theory" by Eli Brown.
Review: Liverpool institution Circus just recently served up another volume of Moments series which resulted in some killer tracks by resident David Glass among others. Now they look to the motherland entirely on the fourth volume of their Selector series, featuring some totally killer tech house selections. Resident Yousef gives us "Strange Girl"; this is tough and rolling funk energy that's got just the right of bounce and sleaze to work heaving crowds at his residency this Summer. Leeds legend Darius Syrossian appears too with the rough and grinding trance arpeggio of "My Favourite Riot". Finally Hot Creations mainstay Richy Ahmed appears also, with probably the most restrained track on offer with "Layer Cake"; a funky and jacking electro-house groove that's just wicked!