Review: With a title like this, it's no surprise to learn that the compilation Gerd Janson has pulled together for Rush Hour is somewhat indebted to the legacy of Kraftwerk. In a thoroughly refreshing focus of intent, the contributing artists have had to reach towards a preface of "ambient not ambient" to take part in this project, and the end results showcase artists reaching beyond the common fare they turn out in their day to day release schedules. With his roots in ambient, Move D is of course right at home here, as is Roman Flugel, but it's exciting to hear the Krautrock tones of Ame's "Erkki" or the claustrophobic beatdown of Maxxi & Zeus (better known as Quiet Village).
Review: Compilation mixer Mar-T, Ramon Tapia and a host of others deliver a fair share of toolish, tribal house on Amnesia Ibiza Electronica - but that's only part of the story. The compilation also features the deranged, woozy horn sound of Betook's "Rusty Trombone"; the aggro, abrasive house of Danny Daz's "Ghetto Fab" and the excellent, shuffling 808 drums and resonating bass of Audiofly's "No Props". Techno is also catered for, with Antonio del Prete dropping a spine-tingling big room groove and Kabale Und Liebe & Lauhaus dropping a stripped back take on Alexis Carbrera's "Wherever", while the rumbling bass and detached vocals of DJ T's edit of Tensnake's "Around The House" sounds like an alternative summer anthem.
Review: Given the bizarre and sometimes dubious choices of remixers for Pet Shop Boys releases, it's good to see Tensnake stepping up to rework their latest attempt at reconnecting with their dance music roots. Whereas the original (not included here) is a cheery celebration of weekend-long hedonism featuring raps from Example (clearly a better mic man than occasional rapper Chris Lowe), Tensnake's version is dark and hypnotic, all warped basslines, delay-laden vocals and bleary-eyed afterparty chic. If the original is all about excitement for weekends to come, Tensnake's remix is all about still being up on Monday morning, dancing in some dingy Berlin basement. That's no bad thing.
Review: Say what you like about Marco 'Tensnake' Niemerski, but the boy certainly knows how to craft hook-laden dancefloor bangers. Since striking gold with the ubiquitous "Coma Cat", the German producer has laid down all manner of hands-in-the-air remixes - most boasting a delightful blend of old skool house flava and electronic disco sassiness. "Something About You" continues this theme, mixing 80s Fairlight stabs, sparkling piano riffs and hooky vocal samples with a chunky retro-house groove to impressive effect. Simian Mobile Disco man Jas Shaw offers a similarly acid house/Inner City-themed remake, whilst bonus cut "Congolal" slows the pace in a Balearic house style. Big!
Review: Tensnake fires up the engine for a new offering on his True Romance imprint with some serious heat. "Hello?" is yet another serving of infectious nu-disco to set the dancefloor alight with its euphoric elements and catchy melodic arpeggio like only the man from Hamburg (who now dwells in Los Angeles) can do! Following up some great releases on the label by Phil Gerus, Freundchen and Janis: you can really count on True Romance in terms of the quality factor.
Review: Marco Niemerski's latest outing under the now familiar Tensnake alias is a typically varied affair, with the long-serving producer variously joining the dots between druggy Italo disco, kosmiche, disco, electrofunk and deep house. Title track "Machines" sits somewhere between pitched-down Italo-disco and deep space cosmic disco, with Niemerski expertly working a druggy arpeggio bassline throughout. Elsewhere, "All In All" sees him build a wavy chunk of peak-time disco around a bongo-laden rhythm track, spacey electronics and an elastic bassline, while the wonderfully Balearic "1975" sounds like Daft Punk after several kilos of Morocco's finest and a fist full of happy pills.
Review: As the title suggests, this EP boasts fresh reworks of the title track from Marco 'Tensnake' Niemerski's much played Freunchen EP. First to play around with Niemerski's parts (tee-hee) is man-of-the-moment Red Rack'em. The Berlin-based Brit employs some savage sample editing, layering filtered vocal and orchestral samples over a typically tactile, hybrid disco/house groove. Niemerski's old friend Phillip Lauer takes a different approach, re-imagining the track as a bouncy chunk of mood-enhancing Balearic house complete with Italian house piano riffs and bubbly arpeggio lines. Arguably best of all, though, is the killer version by Russian producer Phil Gerus, which sounds like a loved-up fusion of Italo-disco, synth-boogie, Belgian New Beat and sun-kissed Balearica.
Review: For fans of contemporary disco business, the mere concept of shadowy plus four wearers Tiger & Woods tackling a Tensnake production will cause prolonged heart palpitations. And we've been kept waiting a long time for the duo's take on "Need Your Loving" to finally surface with Niemerski having revealed its origins in December of last year - I guess that's why Permanent Vacation is called so! Tiger & Woods do as you'd expect they would, masterfully slicing the track and piling the layers atop each other before finally dropping into the infectious original towards the end. Original and dub mix also included!
Review: Supposedly recorded to mark Permanent Vacation's 10th anniversary party, Raketenmix is full of surprises. Certainly the tripped out electronic disco of DMX Krew's "Disco Theme" is not what one might expect from the German label, while a similar, albeit more glossy-sounding approach is audible on Tensnake's remix of Sally Shapiro's "I'll Be By Your Side". There are plenty of feel good house tracks here as well; for example, the mix revisits Holy Ghost's 2008 disco reshape of indie rockers Panthers' "Goblin City" and the 'Rave Dub' version of John Talabot's "Destiny" is an excellent low-slung groove. It all comes together to create the ultimate party mix for a Munich keller.
Review: "!Kollections" banner. Each focuses on a certain aspect of the long-running label's vast back catalogue. The fourth edition, for example, focused on disco. "Reflections", the latest volume, is not as tight stylistically and instead gathers together tracks that tend towards the deep, poignant, beautiful and melancholy. There are many treats amongst the 27 showcased selections, with highlights including an impeccable chunk of string-laden downtempo pop from DJ Tennis and Fink, a dreamy slice of loved-up house warmth from Lone, the bustling, dream house era Mediterranean holiday memories of Mugwump's "God is Gracious" and the thrusting, big room-friendly late night hypnotism of Dubfire's "Dust Devil".