Daniel Stefanik - "Dots & Pearls 3" (continuous DJ mix) - (1:05:35) 125 BPM
Review: The legend from Leipzig Daniel Stefanik helms the third instalment of Dots & Pearls for Frankfurt institution Cocoon. The long time affiliate of the Leipzig's famed Distillery club has been on the scene for over a decade, with releases on the likes of Moon Harbour and Mobilee so you can trust the DJ on this one.. For this edition (said to be a retrospective of sorts for the label) it will come in a continuous DJ mix with some brand new and unreleased tracks. Stefanik will also include four of his own edits including Guido Schneider & Andre Galluzzi's "Mario" and Luca Ballerini's "Impressions Of A Dawn" and "Orizzonte".
Review: House DJs MYNC offer an exhaustive overview of the tracks that rocked the long-running White Island venue this summer. In the soulful corner, there's the Maxi Soundsystem take on Boris Dlugosch's "Look Around You". Featuring Roisin Murphy on vocals, it does a lot to sweep away the rainy autumn blues. Ten Walls deliver the trancey goods in the shape of "Gotham", which revolves around a belching bassline, but the most notable aspect of Ibiza 2013 is the way minimal producers have come into the house fold. Loco Dice borrows a prog house bassline for 'Detox' and Luciano's "Rise Of The Angel" - remixed here by Andrea Oliva - is a piano-led, wide eyed deep anthem.
Review: Having celebrated five years in the game at the tail end of last year, Kev Griffiths' Tsuba label seems to be enjoying a new lease of life. This four-tracker from Brit tech-house veteran Subb-An is one of the label's most impresses releases for some time. The original version of "Off The Walls" is a touch chunkier than many previous Subb-An excursions, and benefits greatly from a combination of retro bottom-end (think Abe Duque) and all manner of cut-up vocal samples. Melon runs with the retro-house theme on his two tough, acid-tinged versions, which sound like classic Rob Mello 'No Ears' dubs after a skip-load of steroids. The Piano Mix, in particular, is a doozy.
Review: He may only be in his mid-20s, but Ashique Subhan's latest release makes him sound like he has been involved with house music for decades. Featuring Beckford on vocals, "Lover's Night" is a deep, resonating track in the classic Knuckles/Red Zone vein, at the heart of which there is a narrative about seduction. While Beckford's resonating tones dominate the original version, the dub version will be of more interest to DJs. There, Subb-An dispenses with the vocalist's services and the driving, dubby beats, jacking, swinging rhythm and spine-tingling house chords prevail. In a scene that centres on disposable music, "Lover's Night" is destined to endure for years to come.
Review: Drafting in the vocal talents of Footprintz and Seth Troxler for a pair of catchy floor-friendly numbers, Subb An makes his first appearance on Visionquest in what seems like an inevitable move after years of graft for the likes of Crosstown Rebels, Spectral Sound and 20:20 Vision. "Rain" is an emotive, floaty variation on electro given a synth-pop twist by Footprintz's Anglophile singing. Alongside Tom Trago, Subb An works a typically whacky turn from Troxler into a simmering house jam full of dubby chord echoes and submerged strings for maximum tension with little release. It's a sturdy release custom built for the modern house music fraternity.
Review: Subb-An and Adam Shelton may be plenty busy with their own endeavours, but they still know how to bring it home to roost on their own One Records. This time around they've both turned to the same vocalist, Isis Salam, to deliver some insistent instruction atop their lean and mean productions. Subb-An's "Self Control" is a cool and deadly workout that places the emphasis on the bass and places Salam's classic speech at the front of the mix. Shelton gets into a more jacking frame of mind on "Only Now", whipping up a raw Chicago flavour to devastating effect.
Review: Kevin Griffiths' Tsuba label arguably had its strongest year to date in 2011, as this handy 12-track round up of highlights shows. Inhabiting the no-man's-land between deep and tech-house, Tsuba's 2011 output ranged from sturdy and acid-flecked (Subb-Ann) to intensely beautiful (Aybee's delicious, Nu Groove-ish rework of Ethyl & Huxley's "Reflexions") via straight-up late night floorfillers (Mic Newman, Spencer Parker & Ian Pooley, a notable remix from Sebo K). This collection also includes a terrific Larry Heard remix of Moodymanc's "Black Paint", which is as well crafted and undulating as you'd expect from the great man.