Alex Niggemann - "Balance" (Mixed By Alex Niggemann/continuous mix) - (1:16:30) 124 BPM
Review: From his native Dusseldorf to his adopted home of Berlin, Alex Niggemann's name is synonymous with the German tech house sound and appearances on a who's who of labels in recent years. From Poker Flat, Last Night On Earth and Tsuba to his own respected Aeon and Soulfooled imprints, he has shown his knack for deep and sexy grooves and his last eight years of DJing and studio prowess is on display for the latest edition of Australia's Balance series of mix compilations. The programming on Balance runs the gamut from deep, dark journey tracks (Gui Boratto "Joker" (Dave DK mix)"/Baikal - "Pelican's Flight"), dreamy hypnotism (Aril Brikha/Sebastian Mullaert - "Illuminate"/Antigone "Blue Note") and some new exclusives from the man himself, such as the mighty slow burner "Divergent". As always, there's a bonus track featuring all the aforementioned on a continuous mix.
Review: What a collaboration this is! Two of the modern masters of hypnotic techno (and dynamic live acts alike) team up for some elaborate, melodic and truly entrancing auditory journeys for Hypercolour. Mathew Jonson should need no introduction: the Canadian producer bursting onto the scene in the mid noughties with releases on itiswhatitis and his own Wagon Repair imprint. Sebastian Mullaert also has a long history in electronic music; at one time part of duo Minilogue in addition to recording for Kontra Musik and m_nus more recently and running his great WaWuWe label. Strap yourself in for an epic journey across all its 12 minutes of glory on St "Pollen 4 Life (main mix)" where a medley of dreamy and gliding arpeggios dance away over subtle and minimal elements; a trademark of both respective producers. The dub version is much tougher and darker; aimed squarely at the dancefloor to get into some of those more tunnelling, vortex like moments.
Review: Given that he usually releases rambling but charming ambient with Marcus Henriksson under the Minilogue guise, it comes as no surprise that Mullaert's solo work doesn't favour brevity. Clocking in at over 16 minutes, the title track is a pulsing, acidic affair that moves form eerie chants to warbling jazzy keys and into a gloriously tripped out, acid-soaked climax. By contrast, "Recapturing The Radical Self" clocks in at a modest ten and a half minutes and favours a more direct approach. Thumb-clicking percussion and clattering claps prevail as grinding riffs and spiralling 303 lines lead the listener to another denouement - this time it's an atmospheric synth outro.
Review: This release follows last year's The Dance mix-CD on Kontra, which featured some of Sebastian Mullaert's own material - alongside tracks from Marcel Dettmann, Prince of Denmark and Tin Man. The Swedish producer's contributions have now been remixed by Joey Anderson and Markus Suckut. The latter delivers a linear but hugely effective club techno take on "Fusion", while the New York DJ diverts from the script and explores the outer limits of acid-soaked, drone-laden house groove for his take on "Movement". Of course, it wouldn't be a Kontra release without some eccentricity and it comes courtesy of Mullaert's abstract but engaging versions of "Fusion" and "Movement" under his Wa Wu We guise.
Review: Sweden's Sebastian Mullaert is now receiving his dues a after a long stint on the techno scene. From his days in minimal techno duo Minilogue (and let's not forget their previous forays into trance) to running the brilliant Wa Wu We imprint - it's fair to say he's a modern legend. Who'd have ever guessed that Mullaert would make an appearance on vibey London institution Hypercolour? "Windmaker" is typical Mullaert; moody and melodic, hypnotic and deep. Not many can record a live jam and capture results so epic. Ukrainian deep house hero Vakula is on the remix front, exploring another side of his recent pursuits in techno music; this one is seriously smoked out dub techno.
Sebastian Mullaert & Ulf Eriksson - "The Dance" (CD-Version live mix) - (1:19:38) 127 BPM
Review: Sebastian 'Minilogue' Mullaert and Kontra-Musik boss Ulf Eriksson have a "long-lasting musical love affair". It's one that's seen them frequently play club gigs together, where they blend the boundaries between DJing and live performance. The Dance was recorded at one such session at Inkonst in Malmo, Sweden, and sees them deliver the kind of atmospheric, undulating, slowly evolving, minimalist techno journey for which they've become renowned. Amongst the 17 tracks you'll find nine previously unreleased cuts, including three from Mullaert, and some impressive exclusives from Andreas Tilliander and Porn Sword Tobacco & SVN.
Gary Gritness - "Preachina Some Tight Game" (original mix) - (6:35) 120 BPM
Review: UK label Hypercolour has proven to be one of the most dependable outlets of house and techno for over a decade now. Matter of fact, they're so consistent that they can take take any particular segment within the label's history - in this case between 2015 & 2017 - and comfortably show off an extended collection of highlights from their discography. It was a great couple of years of music with Jamie Russell, Alex Jones & Ste Roberts proving their stable of artists were active throughout all of it. Highlights coming from: Space Dimension Controller with his remix of legend Luke Vibert's "Jack U Whole", Vibert again under his Kerrier District alias getting reworked by Bulgarian hardware maverick KiNK on the euphoric "Techno Disco", UK retrovert DMX Krew on the groovy electro-funk jam "Spiritual Encounter" and the inimitable Robag Wruhme working his minimalist magic as always on his rework of The Cyclist's "Pressing Matters".
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.