Review: Still in the game outta Montreal Canada is TVP's Multi Culti label with a second collaborative release from Berlin duo Sascha Funke & Niklas Wandt! It follows up the project's Wismut EP from last year with three new and supersonic, primed cuts pumped up with new wave, cosmic and psychedelica-deutsche power! Take the "Blue Monday" atmospheres and Klaus Schultz-like instrumentation in "Kreidekreis" with its over the top crescendos and high voltage synths that balance out next to the stripped-back, future disco and spacey tribal effects of "Kometenschweif". With a heavier, grungy bassline given prominence in "Weg Vom Leder" allowing Niklas Wandt's sly vocals to take up center-stage, a similar recipe is followed in Whodammy's remix to "Kometenschweif". Adding some extra lo-fi effects and instrumental dub flavours to the record is Alexander Arpeggio and his post punk-y take of "Kreidekreis". New German New Wave, yeah!
Review: Most labels and collectives are challenged to last a decade in electronic music's fleeting landscape, but so far Kompakt has endured for twice this lifespan. This is largely due to the fact that the Cologne operation boasts a tightly-knit group of artists who continue to release on its many labels. For the twentieth edition of the annual Total compilation series, many of those producers come correct; Robag Wruhme and founder Michael Mayer both deliver ponderous deep techno tracks, while Jurgen Paape goes even farther, veering into guitar-spangled melancholia on "Vox Acris". This introspective mood seeps through to more overt dance floor tracks, with Sascha Funke's eerie "Atze" and Voigt & Voigt's "Schopper Da Leu" delivering understated but impactful results.
Review: Funke follows up last year's first Genex release with a stellar second volume that draws on his minimal expertise and his intuitive knack for crafting hypnotic melodies. On the title track, those two characteristics effortlessly collide, with the veteran German producer delivering a hypnotic synth-led but stripped back techno groove. "Schalck" sees him drop the pace for a bass-heavy stepper that bristles with microscopic percussion and reverberating effects, while on "Valuta", he drops a sleek, acid-soaked jacker that also draws on his ability to conjure up melancholic melodies. Rounding off this fine release is the low-slung groove and evocative hooks of "Haudegen".
Review: After flexing his global fusion instincts via a decidedly psychedelic, percussion-rich hook-up with Niklas Wandt on Multi-Culti, Sascha Funke is back in mind-altering tech-house mode on "Genex 1". It's the sometime BPitch Control stalwart's first outing on Permanent Vacation and contains a trio of ear-catching cuts. "The Swarm" is foreboding and sleazy, with the Berlin-based producer focusing the album around jacking drum fills, weirdo riffs and psychedelic motifs. "Geisterfahrer" is a much cheerier if no less foreboding affair that seems to have been influenced by a combination of classic new beat and The KLF's 1988 version of "What Time Is Love", while "Peace Bell" is a buzzing and undeniably trippy voyage into late night tech-house territory full of off-kilter electronic motifs, high register synth stabs and creepy aural textures.
Review: Cologne powerhouse Kompakt have continually defined a unique aesthetic as label - deep, atmospheric and absolutely evocative. For the 19th edition of their revered Total series - The Voigt Brothers & Co. curate another splendid compilation featuring the very best in international electronic music from the last year, taking in a wide variety of styles, tempos moods and grooves - yet all with the label's distinct taste. Highlights (and there's many!) came courtesy of: local Gewolbe Club resident Jonathan Kaspar with the mesmerising dancefloor drama of "Renard", label co-founders Tobias Thomas & Michael mayer teaming up on the sexy lo-slung groove antics of "Total Anders", label staple and all round Berlin legend Sascha Funke delivers a typically quirky and oddball groove on "Aus Der Lamang". Elsewhere, you can get your tunnel vision on with the ever reliable Rex The Dog on "Vortex", the ascendant Anii from Poland takes you deep into the rainforest on the tribal trance of "Ride The Tiger" and ANNA from Brazil provides some dystopian narratives for the dancefloor on "Remembrance".
Review: More oddball exotica from the Berlin-based Multi Culti camp, this time courtesy of local veteran Sascha Funke (Endless Flight/Kompakt) who returns to the label to follow up 2016's In Relationen EP. Here on the Wismut EP he teams up with drummer/percussionist/singer/ Niklas Wandt, known for his involvement in projects with Wolf Mueller, Neuzeitliche Bodenbelaege and running the Smells party series at Sameheads. Featuring such folked-up and psyched-out journeys like "Die Saege" which is heavy on the dub aesthetics, the lo-slung kosmische disco of "Lobotomie" or the bouncy 8-bit Bollywood vibe of "Fur Die Paar Heller". Knowledge of the German language is helpful but not mandatory!
Review: Munich's Permanent Vacation are back with the fifth installment of their annual compilation which also marks the longest ongoing series of the imprint. 12 exclusive tracks from old heroes and new stars that strike the full musical spectrum of the label's sound. From blissful percussive balearica (Beesmunt Soundsystem - "Yayang") , hypnotic house (Julian Stetter - "Pearl"/Chloe's "Through The Bells) , fun loving disco (Perel - "Angelika") to dubby affairs (Sascha Funke - "Kaleidoskop") , emotional electronica (Personal Message - "Nightmare In The Daylight") and glistening cosmic magic like on "Theme For The Lost World".
Review: As per usual, the UK's Toolroom imprint has put together the definitive summer collection when it comes to tech-house and anything minimal. As you can see - and hear - there are 67 tracks on here, all from the very best and most coveted talent in the scene; Mark Knight features prominently, of course, alongside established house entities like Erick Morillo, Format: B, Sascha Funke, Nic Fanciulli, and many others. But, don't stop there, as there is plenty of new talent to discover in artists like SecondCity, GotSome, Marcellus Wallace, ANOTR, and many more. There are three continuous mixes available, also, one for each summer setting. This is BIG!
Review: Global Underground's Nubreed series has a huge amount of kudos, having brought respected DJs like Lee Burridge, Steve Lawler and Danny Howells to attention during the early 00s with a series of iconic mixes. Although it was on hold for much of the second decade of this millennium, it has been successfully resurrected and now gives the same platform to Theo Kottis. In keeping with its usual format, this instalment sees the Beautiful Strangers boss explore a range of styles and sound across two mixes. Accordingly, his selection ranges from Gigi Masin's melodic piano composition, "Maja", to the Mountain People's sensuous deep house "La Onda", taking in some underground classics like DJ Assassin's garage/house hybrid "Face in the Crowd" as well as left of centre oddities like The Horn's "Villager". It's a fitting testament to the Nubreed aesthetic.
Review: Since parting company with longtime home Bpitch Control back in 2010, Sascha Funke has popped up on a variety of labels, including Kompakt, Endless Flight and Multi-Culti. The Berlin stalwart has used the opportunity to explore a variety of influences and sounds, delivering hypnotic, intoxicating and left-of-centre dancefloor cuts that tend towards the trippy and otherworldly. He's at it again on this first Hippie Dance outing, layering a crunchy electronic groove with mind-altering psychedelic noises, foreboding bass and fluttering South American flute lines on EP standout "Acatenango". Chugging opener "Aggravate" subtly doffs a cap towards new wave, EBM and the kind of throbbing wonkiness currently championed by Andrew Weatherall, while closer "Surumu" is a snappy electro roller blessed with rising bleep melodies, rumbling bass and glacial Kraftwerkian motifs.
Review: Sascha Funke is one of those rare producers who does his own thing. With only a few releases to his credit in recent years - despite releasing three artist albums in the preceding decade - the elusive Berlin-based artist emerges from the shadows for this EP on Tiga's label. The title track is 'big' by Funke's usually understated standards, with woozy riffs cutting across a resonating bass and rickety percussion. It also benefits from Funke's smart production approach, with drops and builds in all the right places. "Robur" meanwhile sees him delve even farther underground as a frazzled bass builds against a backdrop of hollowed out drums and a stripped back rhythm. "MZ" sees Funke deliver a soaring electronic disco track, while keeping it diverse to the end, "Barkas" is a melodic, Kompakt-style affair.
Review: Thomas Von Party's always reliable Multi Culti label has brought us some killer releases of late by the likes of young guns Red Axes or Dreems, but calls upon Berlin legend Sascha Funke; he of BPitch Control and Saschienne fame who presents four servings of lo-slung balearic business on the On Relationen EP. Starting out with the woozy and drifting punk funk of the title track, which swims around hazily in trails of rich reverb, there's then the sinister heroin disco of "Back In The Corner" and is perfect for weirdo after-hours business. Ending proceedings in true style is the soaring and euphoric cosmic disco journey of "The Anchor" making this all in all a wonderful EP that's very much worthy of your attention.
We Love - "End Of The Night" (David K Holy Key remix) - (7:17) 123 BPM
Aerea Negrot - "Macuto" - (6:26) 124 BPM
Review: As its title suggests, the latest compilation on Bpitch gives vent to the label's deeper side. It begins with Chaim's "Rain", where jazzy textures bubble to the surface over dubby beats. The track has an ethereal, almost subdued feeling to it and is in stark contrast to the raucous minimalism that Bpitch is sometimes associated with. This understated approach isn't confined to Chaim's contribution however; even more dance floor tracks like the pumping bass of Cormac's "The Present" are teeming with emotive undercurrents and Kassem Mosse's version of Ellen Alien's "Our Utopie" sees a series of chiming bells prevail over a pumping groove.
Review: If two years ago you'd said to even the most open-minded BPitch Control fan that the diverse label would be putting out soulful torch songs in 2011, they would have questioned your sanity. However, that's exactly what's happened. On Werkschau, the latest compilation from Ellen Allien's Berlin imprint, the centrepiece is the smoky, seductive soul of Jahcoozi's "Day In, Day Out". It's not an aberration: the other highlights here are characterised by a focus on deeply personal contributions. Be it the muffled vocals on Chaim's dub techno, Sascha Funke's unforgettably melodic techno poem, "Hiddensee" or Kiki & Lenz and Zander VT's explorations of disco-fuelled, vocal-led house on "Morning Maniacs" and "Gotta Look Up To Get Down" respectively, every shared experience is worth its weight in gold.