Review: It's fair to say that melancholic house peddlers Art Department are on a roll right now. So much so in fact, that they have been invited to write the first official theme for the internationally acclaimed Robot Heart parties at Burning Man. Daunted by the task, the guys set about scoring a piece that would truly reflect the party's unique atmosphere. They've come up with an extraordinary eight-minute epic that pumps along under austere vocals by Damian Lazarus, before expanding into a fountain of sinister John Carpenter-esque synth work. If you fancy a sparser version, then BLUD's lean, mean houser is the one for you.
Review: Crosstown Rebels head honcho, Damien Lazarus, has taken it upon himself (and his crew) to mark the "cosmically significant" date of December 21 with a 24-hour megaparty in Mexico. For those of us unable to attend in person, this accompanying compilation is the next best thing. Beginning with Pier Bucci's fittingly titled, and deliciously trippy, "Mayans", we get the exotic and trancey "The Prophecy" by Quenum, Matthew Jonson's sinister tech-houser "In Search Of A New Planet With Oxygen", the sublime "Cosmic Dancer" by Francesca Lombardo, the urgent menace of "Greed Insanity" by Fur Coat and the haunting, end-of-the-world vibes of "2012" by Jay Haze.
Review: Quality dubwise sentiments abound by Shaun Reeves on this EP for Visionquest following collaborative EPs with DJ Wild and Giuseppe Tuccillo. For this last solo outing of the year Reeves throws down four quality warehouse techno numbers that go deep and atmospheric all the while pinned down by solid 909 drums and hats. Touches of '90s rave influences subtly weave their way into "Man & His Symbols" alongside a spoken word sample of 'splendid achievement'. It's the stabs, slashes and punches of dub chords across the record though that really set the scene in a EP that will appeal to lovers of a Berlin-Detroit techno connection. Groovy bassline dub centralises itself in "Phantasm" with lighter and more melodic elements weaving their way through "Late Night In The Cut", with Reeves going large on "Louden". Word.
Review: A true keeper of dub and groove Shaun Reeves hits the beat again with Giuseppe Tuccillo for a rare collaborative session outside of Visionquest. Three tracks deep, inclusive of a looped-out Floog version, the record defines itself with straight up analogue grooves strafed by vocoded synths, dubby techno resonances, melodic basslines and abstract percussions panned to effect! "Anak" takes the record down a straighter course through minimalistic blips, bleeps and indercerable vocal snippets. Deep, dubby and minimal calls!
Review: Seth Troxler follows his recent release on Play It Say It with this fine split release. Working as Young Seth, he drops the deep, dubbed out house of "Moment", while "Relationships" sees him working under his own name with an equally cavernous but acid-laced groove. Then it's back to dance floor business for the time stretched vocals and stripped back rhythm of "Satisfy" and "Still Hot", a tracky affair penned with Shaun Reeves from Visionquest. However, this release demonstrates that Troxler is a restless producer and "Jus Your" is a quirky electro-funk affair, while "Aphrika" is an off beat, vocal led house jam. The release also features an old school house take on Kiki's "Good Voodoo" and Troxler's pulsating take on Fever Ray's "Seven".