Review: The latest missive on Riotvan is a special collaboration with legendary Frankfurt club-turned-label Live at Robert Johnson. The EP features five rather good tracks, each of which is a studio hook-up between artists representing the two labels. Rebedello and Roman Flugel set the ball running via top-notch trippy throb-job 'Star Stuff', before Jennifer Crouch and Chimaski join the dots between Mascara-clad new wave and sleazy Italo-disco on 'Dime'. New Hook and Perel's 'The Lambs Suffer' is a stylish, cowbell-laden chunk of electrofunk/leftfield synth-pop fusion, while Fort Romeau and Panthera Krause's 'Omnicron 8' sits somewhere between sweaty jack-tracks, EBM and dark electro-disco. Finally, Horkheimer, Peger Invasion and Gegor Habicht offer-up 'Summe Drei', a wayward new wave-meets-electro gem.
Review: It's been a while since Roman Flugel last delivered an album, and that was the all-ambient Themes I-XIII in 2018. Eating Darkness, the German veteran's fifth solo full-length, is therefore well overdue. It's a quietly confident and undeniably entertaining affair, with the former Alter Ego man smartly sashaying between evocative IDM ('Magic Briefcase', 'The Best is Yet To Come', the Autechre-ish 'Eating Darkness'), druggy slo-mo fare ('Chemicals'), raw new wave throb-jobs ('Wow'), acid-flecked jack-tracks ('Jocks & Freaks'), hypnotic late night minimal techno ('Cluttered Homes'), drowsy downtempo cheeriness ('Locked'), beautiful ambient synth-scapes ('Charles') and revivalist Euro-disco pump ('D.I.S.C.O'). Throughout, Flugel reaches for vintage analogue and modular synthesizer sounds, giving the album a distinctively timeless feel.
Review: A confirmed presence within the landscape of UK dance music for the best part of 15 years, Hypercolour has cultivated its own constellation of artists while becoming a port of call for those hitting their peak within pseudo-mainstream house music. It's Patterns compilation series has always offered rare cuts and remixes from its roster of artists and from the get go here a lesser known Zodiac impresses out of the blocks with a banging dub techno joint "GhostNet". Sebastian Mullaert & Boelja go hardcore Swedish bleeptronic in "Who Are You Really?" with FRAK also included with an old school and lo-fi 909 workout "Berga Magic". Roman Flugel hits a sweetspot as usual next to some lowly jackin tracks by London Modular Alliance, a vocal breakbeat number of classical drum and bass refrain by Mathew Herbert to some tongue cheek rave by Luke Vibert and much much more! Approved.
Review: Having previously joined forces with Running Back to launch his own label, Sister Midnight, it's no surprise to find Roman Flugel pitching up on Gerd Janson's popular imprint with a brand-new imprint. The Anima EP is a teaser for the veteran producer's forthcoming album, Eating Darkness, though all of the tracks are exclusive to this release. The headline attraction is undoubtedly 'D.I.S.C.O', a jaunty, life-affirming fusion of throbbing, sequenced synth bass, sparkling lead lines and progressive trance motifs that comes accompanied by a deeper and more trippy-sounding Dub mix. Elsewhere, 'Anima' is a wonky and minimalistic chunk of off-kilter micro-house, while 'Eating Darkness' is a fine slab of revivalist '90s IDM complete with dark and mind-bending modular sounds.
Review: It's hard to believe that Cocoon is celebrating its 20th anniversary, but what's not difficult to grasp is that Sven Vath's imprint is marking the occasion in style. Rampa and Emanuel Satie kick-start this compilation with emotive, tranced out tracks - in particular Rampa's "2000" is particularly poignant - while Cocoon mainstays like Gregor Tresher and Ricardo Tobar up the pace with the musical but clubby techno of "Nostalgia (Is The Enemy)" and "El Eterna" respectively. As always, Cocoon strikes a flawless balance between showcasing local producers and international names; 20 Years is no exception and features frazzled acid from Josh Wink as well as steely percussive bangers courtesy of Planetary Assault Systems and Jacek Sienkiewicz.
Review: Sister Midnight is a new label form Roman Flugel and for its opening salvo, it sees the veteran producer compile music from the Tracks on Delivery series of Eps that he released at the start of the millennium. It's hard to understand that this is the same producer who would also put out the crowd pleasing "Geht's Noch" only a few years later; "Patterns 1" and "Patterns 3" are wiry minimal grooves, while the fourth instalment sees him drop a tripped out electro track. Flugel ups the tempo on "Pattern 6" for a high-paced minimal groove that has echoes of both classic DBX and Baby Ford. The release also boasts two extra "Patterns" tracks, including the wonderfully dubbed out "Pattern 17".
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: "Borderline" is the debut single from Jamaican-Canadian artist SeeMeNot, on her own imprint called Brainstream. An impressive debut that sees her powerful and emotive vocals accompanied by a hypnotic deep house arrangement with Afro house influences. It is accompanied by a series of remixes from Frankfurt legend Roman Fluegel, which take the track down a diverse range of mood and grooves A 21st century house anthem, "Borderline" is a stunning debut that shows the power of both SeeMeNot's voice and her lyrics,
Review: Originally released on Playhouse back in 1998, the passage of 22 years has done little to diminish the lustre of Acid Test. Re-released on running back, both tracks also serve as a reminder that Flugel has been a creative force to be reckoned with for over three decades. "Test 1" revolves around swaggering, steely drums and insistent percussion that provide the basis for bleak acid lines that gnaw at the synapses. On "Test 2", Flugel goes down a more abstract path; tweaked 303s splurge their way over a slowed down, low-slung groove and when the snares kick in, a wave of pent-up energy is released.
Review: Daniel Avery and Roman Flugel are Noun! Initially recorded some years ago at Flugel's former Frankfurt studio, the pair's collaboration descends deep into dubby, minimal and warehouse techno territory. Taking the best of Flugel's musical prowess with Avery's drum machine signatures, "Team Silent" embraces elements of '90s blueprint dub techno while "Meeting Of The Minds" leans more towards a sound you could expect to hear in Berghain; deep, cosmic, booming and sci-fi. An exciting new project on the books Live At Robert Johnson!
Review: Roman Flugel is having a "Garden Party" and we're all invited. By the sounds of the deliciously cheery title track, said must-attend event is being held in a beachside glade somewhere along Croatia's Adriatic coast (hence the cut's wondrously melodious mix of Italo-disco riffs, low-slung disco bass, unfussy machine drums, grandiose nu-disco lead lines and kaleidoscopic acid motifs). Further proof of the party's "dancing all afternoon" credentials are provided by the similarly jaunty, tuneful, retro-futurist flex of "Parade D'Amour", while the bleeping and dreamy "Juke City" offers a hint of what's to come after dark if you keep supping the supplied "special punch". Just remember to stick around for "Wood & Neon", which sounds like the kind of skewed, colourful and mood-enhancing deep house eccentricity that Maurice Fulton does so well.
Review: A true staple of the Amsterdam scene, the Rush Hour affiliated Yuri Boselie aka Cinnaman takes up the reins for local institution Dekmantel's extended tenth birthday celebrations with this mastermix. It takes in the entirety of the 10 volume edition - what an effort. What may seem as an outrageous challenge - what with the compilation's genre diversity and wide rage of tempos - it's a success, for they've certainly found the right candidate. Cinnaman plays a wide range of styles anyway, and is never afraid to mix the known with the unknown - he has a reputation for his remarkable combinations and transitions. From moments of sublime ambience (Italian ambient legend Gigi Masin with the utterly evocative "Maja") to bass heavy electro bounce (courtesy of Egyptian Lover or Syracuse & Epsilove), right through to techno bangers of the cerebral variety (by Donato Dozzy & Peter Van Hoesen or local hero Talismann) and stuff by Bufiman or Tony Allen - it's a solid effort here by one of Holland's finest selectors.
Roman Flugel - "Another Love Dance" - (5:54) 115 BPM
Oliver Achatz - "Pool" - (7:37) 105 BPM
TCB - "Continuum" - (8:01) 111 BPM
House Of Life - "Verbatschtes Blut" - (4:57) 156 BPM
Review: For part two of their ongoing Gemist series, House is OK has gathered together tracks from a mixture of rising stars, unheralded newcomers and - in the case of long-serving house and techno star Roman Flugel - a top-tier producer. The latter gives the EP the best possible start with "Another Love Dance", a thrillingly glassy-eyed and mood ehancing fusion of acid-fired electronica, deep synth-pop and mid-tempo house, before Oliver Achatz explores similar sonic territory on the more angular but no less dreamy "Pool". TCB's "Continuum" is a deliciously trippy chunk of alien deep house wooziness, while House of Life's "Verbatschtes Blut" is a bizarre, tongue-in-cheek, slo-mo synth-pop tribute to the dark Lord (that's satan to you and me) rich in EBM-era electronics and mutant new wave electronics.
Review: This an altogether epic offering from Deetron; a vast collection of un-mixed tracks from his brilliant DJ Kicks mix (naturally included as a bonus cut) that is little less than a lesson in the evolution of techno over the last three decades. Amongst the 38 tracks you'll find fine representatives of a myriad of sub-genres (intelligent techno, dub techno, IDM, ambient techno, gospel techno, and so on), as well as past, present and future classics (Damier and Trent's "Morning Factory", Spacetime Continuum's "Swing Factory", Mark Ernestus's recent Equinoxx remix, the Motor City bliss of Rhythim is Rhythim AKA Derrick May's "Ka-o-tic Harmony", a brilliant old Black Dog Productions workout). In other words, it's a breathlessly brilliant collection of both well-known and obscure gems. It comes heartily recommended.
Fabric 95: Roman Flugel (continuous DJ mix) - (1:18:21) 128 BPM
Review: Fabric 95 is Roman Flugel's first commercially available mix in seven years - the last being a selection for Live at Robert Johnson - and it's a suitably wild ride. It veers in style from Daniel Koehler's hazy break beat house and Lanark Artefax's darker, bass-heavy broken beats, into Red Rack Em's dark roller 'Mad House' and the deep, hypnotic techno Benjamin Frohlich remix of Tuff City Kids' "Tell Me". While some DJs become more conservative and predictable as they get older, it seems that the opposite is the case with Flugel, and he brings the mix to a close with the tripped out "Fascinating" by rave survivor DHS.
Review: The first release in the Dekmantel 10 Year Anniversary releases sees Venetian ambient don Gigi Masin make his debut for the label with the totally sublime and drifting jazz deconstruction heard on "Maja", while Ukrainian wunderkind Vakula keeps on with his recent deviations into techno and other forms of underground electronics on "Fuck The Robot System" which as the name may suggest is quite an electro tinged and futuristic groove full of snappy 808 beats, vocoded vocals and rusty vintage arpeggios. Finally, the man from Frankfurt Roman Flugel works his magic as always on the stripped and minimal deep house journey "Mice On A Stick" which is full of soothing bell textures, dusty drum patterns and dreamy melodies all working together great on this dramatic slow burner.
Review: Roman Flugel has been making electronic music for about a quarter of a century, but as Black Acid demonstrates, his productions show no sign of getting stale. "Too Hot To Sleep" is the big dance floor cut here; centring on a jittery, shaky minimal house groove and a sub-bass that's inspired by 2-step's darkest excesses, it's an unforgettable, individualistic track. "Troubled Mind" is slower and more abstract, but provides a neat segue into the title track. There, Flugel brings together many of his influences, including electro drums, minimal house and the melodies of IDM. "Work & TV" features one further surprise, with Flugel reverting to the minimal sounds of "Sleep", this time without the foreboding London bass.
Review: The latest missive from the Pachanga Boys' consistently impressive Hippie Dance label is an expansive affair. It gathers together a quintet of tried-and-tested dancefloor workouts, beginning with the dark and woozy, post-punk house throb of Paulor's "La Race". The Pachanga Boys weigh I with a previously unheard edit of Roman Flugel's wonky, bass-heavy box-jam "Deo", before Julia Dessagne dons the Fantastic Twins alias on the creepy, organ-heavy pulse of "Holiday". Elsewhere, Kaspar Bjork delivers a slick but atmospheric chunk of synth-heavy house ("Choir of Young Ravers"), and Zombies In Miami get all trippy and hypnotic on the mystical house of "Flashback Mantra".
Review: London/Bristol based tech house institution celebrates a decade in the business. They've seen a few faces and phases, tech-wise or otherwise but at the end of the day remained consistent in their pursuit of quality grooves. Alex Jones and Jamie Russell present some great music here and there are many highlights. From electronica legends such as Warp's Luke Vibert, minimal house pioneer Matthew Herbert (with the deep and dusty microhouse of "Downgraded") as well as techno's one time enfant terrible Neil Landstrumm through to new favourites such as Swedish hypnotic techno hero Sebastian Mullaert (the tunnelling "Shadowed By I"), Italian hardware mavericks The Analogue Cops plus up and comers Yaleesa Hall x Malin Genie with the banging' "Buchan Trap". We applaud the label for their ability to keep on the pulse of the ever changing electronic music landscape and heres to another ten years.
Review: Frankfurt favourite Roman Flugel returns to Hamburg institution Dial, presenting his third album to date for the label. According to a press release, the All The Right Noises LP explores further the themes of hotel rooms while on tour: "a place where no beats are banging and euphoric party energy is absent. A place where only heartbeats call the tune." Take for instance woozy and sombre drifters such as "The Mighty Suns" or "Nameless Lake" (which are full of dusty and vintage machine flair) or tough and disjointed house jams like "Warm & Dewy". Or our favorite "Dead Idols" which borders on near techno moments. Rest assured that there are more uplifting and bouncy tracks on offer, such as the deep disco flavour of "Dust" or the emotive bittersweet title track, where its soaring drones will wash over you.
Review: !K7 Records launches a new compilation series entitled Kollections: Club which inaugurates the project. The tracklist features artists of the partner labels under the !K7 umbrella such as Turbo, AUS Music, Mobilee, Mister Saturday Night and Hypercolour. Each edition explores a different musical theme but this first installment, naturally, is all about the club! Highlights here include Midland's recent hit "Blush", Maya Jane Coles' funky afterhours tech house jam "Not Listening" (from a few years ago), KiNK's roaring remix of Kerrier District's (Luke Vibert) "Techno Disco" and Lauer's recent feelgood number "Killian" showing off his knack for classic retro vibes like no other.
Review: 2016 marks two decades since Roman Flugel made his debut. It says much about the productive, genre-straddling German that he retains the desire to do things differently after all these years. Verscheibung is his first EP of 2016, and arrives for the rather fine Die Orakel label overseen by LARJ's Oliver Hafenbauer. The four tracks are split between stripped-back techno and druggy, off-piste ambient (the bubbly, post-party weirdness of closer "Track 4"). The most obviously floor-friendly cut opens the EP, with Flugel layering wonky, minor key melody lines over a dense but minimalist groove. Elsewhere, check the Villalobos-ish strangeness of "Track 3", and the druggy, pitched-down experimental throb of "Track 2".
Review: The first compilation on Koze's Pampa label is a lovingly curated affair. It starts with the left field house of Herbert's take on Lianne La Havas and Ada's r&b-infused "You & Me", as well as DJ Koze's own hymnal take on Roman Flugel's "9 Years". Other Pampa regulars like Axel Boman are well represented and he provides the ultra-mellow "In The Dust of This Planet". Equally though, Koze also provides a platform for newcomers to the fold. There's the utterly bizarre, glitch-hop of Nasrawi and Funskstorung's contributions, and at the other end of the spectrum, wide-eyed deep house from Mount Kimbie and Jamie xx & Kosi Kos' pumping indie-dance "Come We Go".
Review: Roman Flugel has stayed at the top of his game for nearly 20 years because he possesses the uncanny knack of reinvention. On this release for Hypercolor, he manages to stretch that diversity out over the course of six tracks. From the glorious melodies of "Teenage Engineering" through the rolling 808s of "Church of Dork", the gushing acid tones of "Make it Happen" into the sublime deep techno of "Picnic for Players", this release covers more ground than an Argentinean scrum-half. Monday Brain is one of the most well-rounded and stylistically assured records that the veteran German DJ has released to date - and that's really saying something.
Review: Brightonian beat agitators Skint celebrate two decades of party science with a whopping 32 track compendium of highlights. Ranging from quintessential big beat (Midfield General, Indian Ropeman, Lo Fidelity Allstars) to quirky, lop-jawed techno (Roman Flugel, Tomas Andersson, Dave Clarke) via chunky, dirty-bottomed house music (Riva Starr, Foamo, X-Press 2) and perfectly formed left-minded pop music (Fatboy Slim, Tiga), Skint's successes can be found in almost every corner of the dance... Including the harder-to-categorise unique, forgotten classics such as FC Kahuna's evergreen "Hayling" and Justice's new wave pop strutting remix of Vicarious Bliss. Happy anniversary Skint!
Review: Live At Robert Johnson's first Lifesaver compilation, released in 2013, offered an essential snapshot of the infamous club-turned-label's expanding roster, delivering tracks from respected heads and relative newcomers alike. This second installment ploughs a similar furrow, on one hand showcasing woozy dancefloor gear from familiar favourites (see Roman Flugel's formidable, sci-fi tinged analogue jam, "Tender Hooligan", and the beatbox electro-meets-spiraling synth-scapes of Lauer's "Language"), and genuinely impressive music from lesser-known names. In the latter category you'll find some genuine highlights, including the deliciously Balearic electronics of Chinsaski ("Futuresex"), and the Uncanny Valley style, semi-organic deep house chug of Benedikt Frey.
Review: It's the onset of a brave new era for Ostgut Ton as Panorama Bar 06 signals the label's decision to halt the manufacturing of CDs for their much loved series of mixes. Due for free download via the Ostgut site on August 11, the Berlin operation have not forgone the vinyl format with all the exclusives gathered by mix curator Ryan Elliott pressed up across a pair of 12" samplers. And boy did Elliott call in the favours with this first sampler featuring new and unreleased music from Neworldaquarium, Roman Flugel, Terrence Dixon, Tuff City Kids and Borrowed Identity. It is an overall exquisite selection, running from the ambience of NWAQ's contribution to Flugel's big room stomper and the sweeter, more playful sounds of Tuff City Kids and Borrowed Identity.
Review: The latest course in the current banquet of Delicacies from Simian Mobile Disco may yet be the sweetest, no mean feat when previous editions have featured collaborations with Bicep and Cosmin TRG. Mainlining into Frankfurt's rich house and techno heritage, Jas and James have teamed up with the don Roman Flugel for the exquisite Hachinoko/Ikizukuri single. Yes the titular theme for strange food remains (Google them!) and yes the high standard of music quality remains. Lead cut "Hachinoko" keeps the rhythms minimal, allowing the ear bending glowing synths prominence until a final third where the pressure is ramped up. "Ikizukuri" begins a bit grubbier and weirder, but the trio gradually tease out some wonderfully colourful tones - you can imagine this one causing smiles on the dancefloor for sure.