Review: Berlin-based producer Sofia Kourtesis joined Swedish imprint Studio Barnhus last year, offering up an assured debut EP that took a left of centre approach to deep house/tech-house fusion. If anything, this follow-up is even better, with the Peruvian expertly showcasing her impressive grasp of drum programming and inventive production techniques. Our pick of an impressive bunch is title track "Sarita Colonia", a throbbing affair that builds to a righteous, life-affirming conclusion (all cut-up string samples, booming bass and glassy-eyed vocal snippets) after a deep and drowsy start. There's much to set the pulse racing elsewhere across the EP, including the sub-heavy, melody-rich wonkiness of "Akariku" and the sunny deep house warmth of "Hollywood".
Review: More dusty yet sun-drenched happy house from Stockholm's Studio Barnhus, presenting their first ever label compilation. Volym 1 is curated by label bosses Axel Boman, Kornel Kovacs and Petter Nordkvist - who serve up some deep and joyous cuts from some label staples and newcomers alike. Or, in the words of the label: a mix of "Stockholm newcomers and superstar friends." Highlights on this fine collection of pop-inflected hybrids not limited to: wunderkind Baba Stiltz's lo-slung weirdo-pop displayed on "L.O.V.E.", co-chief Kovacs' emotive journey into the deep "On Roofs", Hamburg veteran DJ Koze with his inimitable style displayed yet again on "Hawaiian Souldier" and Catalan hero John Talabot doing what he does oh so well on the balearic house epic "The Change".