Review: The sound of Jerome Sydenham's Ibadan imprint has noticeably changed since he relocated to Berlin. Where it once bristled with African rhythms and spiritual deep house jams, recent releases have focused more on hypnotic, occasionally dark, tech-tinged rhythms. While this EP does include one life-affirming blast of constantly rising spiritual house - see Sydenham's edit of Toto Chiavetta's "Become One" - for the most part it's suitably murky. There's a genuine looseness and swing to the Martinez Brothers' tracky Dub of The Angry Kids' "Lullaby", while Sydenham and Sally's "Lady MacBeth Strategy" is a twisted chunk of acid-flecked techno designed to tease and titillate dark, sweaty after-parties. Lo Hype's "Something Special" is tasty, too, with bouncy samples and weird noises riding a shuffling, cowbell-laden groove.
Review: The latest release on Ibadan sublabel Apotek finds label boss Jerome Sydenham teaming up with Sally, perhaps better known under his alias Moire Patterns. "My Normal Usual Far" leads the way with a leaden thump that stalks at an easy pace considering the weight of the kick, working some vocal and acid elements into the techno momentum to make for a powerful set builder. "Encouragement" meanwhile takes a lighter approach in some respects, letting solid rushes of chord charge upwards without sacrificing the fist-shaking techno M.O. of the rhythm section. For those needing stout and sturdy workhorses for bigger spaces, look no further.
Review: Munich label Permanent Vacation's annual Selected Label Works collections are rarely less than essential, and this third volume is no different. As usual, there's an enjoyable mix of dancefloor hits, leftfield disco curiosities, rabble-rousing remixes and atmospheric, occasionally Balearic moments. With such a vast tracklist and the quality threshold high throughout, it's hard picking highlights. Worth particular attention, though, are Todd Terje's quaint dub reggae rework of Europop hit "All That She Wants" (covered under his occasional Chuck Norris guise), the quirky Germanic pop of new signings Candyblasta and Argy's thrilling, Hacienda-style Balearic breaks mix of his own Zodiac Free Arts Club track "NAOE".