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: 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: Making his first appearance on Constant Sound, Subb-An comes correct with the deadly breaks flow of "Access" that pivots neatly between bass music and the minimal house blueprint. "Rewire" is a much lighter affair thanks to a classy chord sound that modulates at the core of the track, bringing a melodic hook into the mix to wonderful effect. Burnski and Michael James then team up as Relic to deliver a remix of "Rewire" that's heavy on the funk, doing a great job of tweaking that chord line and pouring some serious heft into the lower regions of the frequency range.
Review: There's no stopping Damian Lazarus's Crosstown Rebels. Having just noisily celebrated their first decade, the label has moved seamlessly into their next ten years. Here, label regular Subb-Ann unleashes a surprisingly soulful slice of deep tech-house. "Say No More", featuring the distinctive vocals of SYF, bubbles along impressively, offering just the right balance between undulating electronic groovery, low-end bounce and glassy-eyed tech-soul. There's a chunkier, bassier interpretation in the form of the "Terrace Dub", while Matthew Jonson's epic interpretation strips the track back to a skeleton, synth-heavy groove. In the process, the Canadian does a superb job in bringing out the track's soulful side.
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: More than any other dance label, Damian Lazarus's Crosstown Rebels has a knack of signing timeless house music. It's evident on this, the second Rebel Rave instalment, with Guti & Dubshape's "Every Cow Has a Bird" offering a classic sound, as a disco groove unfolds to reveal rolling bongos and jazzy piano keys, or on Subb-an's "Misleading", a glorious deep house arrangement with a garage groove. However, there are also some excellent reinventions of the house style; Jamie Jones's "Summertime" reveals a darker side to deep house as a menacing bass surges to the fore; Quenum's "Woman Talk About Woman" features a crazy vocal freestyle over a jazzy groove and best of all, Art Department's "Without You" sounds like a dislocated, paranoid update on Nu Groove's bassy tracks.
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.