Review: 2020 marks the 25th year of !K7's acclaimed DJ-Kicks series with Mr Scruff following contributions of late from Leon Vynehall, Laurel Halo, Peggy Gou and Kamaal Williams! Mr Scruff's adventures in sound brings to DJ-Kicks more than 30 tracks of wildly varying styles featuring highlighted music from Equiknoxx, Tiger, Errorsmith, Max Graef and Zongamin. Scruff brings to his edition an exclusive collaboration with CyberPunkJazz ("3001: A Space Disco Remix") and an unreleased track from Andy Ash to boot. Alexander Robotnik makes in there with the wild New York post-funk of "Love Supreme" alongside a heavy Tony Allen percussion session in "Gbedu B". DJ Nervoso for the win too!
Review: Dekmantel rounds off a hugely successful year with a compilation that reflects the organisation's multi-faceted approach. At one end of the spectrum there's the dubbed out groove and spacey vocals of Peaking Light's "Blind Corner" and tropical act Bruxas' left of centre beats, while at the other end Robert Hood delivers the blistering techno of "Red Machine". In between these extremes, there are Dekmantel-supported artists such as Betonkust & Palmbomen II - impressing here with the Legowelt-esque "Renaat Egypte" - and zeitgeist-defining names like Lena Willikens and Matrixxman. Add in some Dutch scene veterans such as Tom Trago, on fine form with the epic but understated "Working Machines", and it's not hard to see why 2018 was a great year for the Dutch collective.
Review: A true staple of the Amsterdam scene, the Rush Hour affiliated Yuri Boselie aka Cinnaman takes up the reins for local institution Dekmantel's extended tenth birthday celebrations with this mastermix. It takes in the entirety of the 10 volume edition - what an effort. What may seem as an outrageous challenge - what with the compilation's genre diversity and wide rage of tempos - it's a success, for they've certainly found the right candidate. Cinnaman plays a wide range of styles anyway, and is never afraid to mix the known with the unknown - he has a reputation for his remarkable combinations and transitions. From moments of sublime ambience (Italian ambient legend Gigi Masin with the utterly evocative "Maja") to bass heavy electro bounce (courtesy of Egyptian Lover or Syracuse & Epsilove), right through to techno bangers of the cerebral variety (by Donato Dozzy & Peter Van Hoesen or local hero Talismann) and stuff by Bufiman or Tony Allen - it's a solid effort here by one of Holland's finest selectors.
Review: The legendary Tony Allen released the Black Voices LP almost two decades ago and it is timeless enough in its original format. But with these two stellar remixes keeping its spirit alive: it gets a fresh and more modern perspective. French deep house hero Folamour steps up first to give "Get Together" a funked-up, sunkissed and soulful rendition that is just perfect for this time of year. Next up NIT which is the alias of the French musician Corentin Kerdraon serves up a great remix. A keyboard player and producer, he has just recorded an EP for the American singer Cola Boy. "The Same Blood" gets his smooth nu-jazz broken beat perspective that's in the vein of greats like Atjazz or Mark De Clive Lowe.
Review: Just a year shy of 20 years old, "Asiko (In A Silent Mix)" from Tony Allen's perennial Black Voices album enjoys a timely revision as part of Dekmantel's 10 year anniversary celebrations. This one comes from Motor City Drum Ensemble who maintains the dubby washes and pure spaciousness of Allen's original while refocussing the drums for more of a deeper dancefloor drive. Not quite as extensive as Villalobos's half hour remix but sometimes is a sweet seven minutes is the perfect punch. Jump on this.
Review: The celebration of Dekmantel's tenth anniversary draws to a close with a memorable release. Originally released almost twenty years ago, Ricardo Villalobos' interpretations of Tony Allen's "Asiko (In A Silent Mix)" have not lost their lustre. Taking the Afrobeat pioneer's organic drums and uplifting horns down a hollowed out pathway, Villalobos throws in rickety percussion, reverberating effects and warm washes of guitar over a lopsided, lazy rhythm to give Allen's sound a magical, voodoo sensibility. It says a lot about Villalobos' abilities that he can make these free-flowing psychedelic grooves work in his DJ sets - for us mere mortals, hearing this release in its full 29-minute glory is a spiritual experience in itself.
Review: This an altogether epic offering from Deetron; a vast collection of un-mixed tracks from his brilliant DJ Kicks mix (naturally included as a bonus cut) that is little less than a lesson in the evolution of techno over the last three decades. Amongst the 38 tracks you'll find fine representatives of a myriad of sub-genres (intelligent techno, dub techno, IDM, ambient techno, gospel techno, and so on), as well as past, present and future classics (Damier and Trent's "Morning Factory", Spacetime Continuum's "Swing Factory", Mark Ernestus's recent Equinoxx remix, the Motor City bliss of Rhythim is Rhythim AKA Derrick May's "Ka-o-tic Harmony", a brilliant old Black Dog Productions workout). In other words, it's a breathlessly brilliant collection of both well-known and obscure gems. It comes heartily recommended.
Review: Theo Parrish and Tony Allen together on a record? What a combo! Fusing the souls of Detroit and Laos, the unlikely but neatly fitting duo has created two absolutely beautiful soul workouts here. "Day Like This" is a staccato soul roller with emphatic swooping drums, sultry washed-out vocals and big warm organs. "Feel Loved" is a jazzier, more upbeat affair. Again the drums sit at the very forefront of the mix while the rest of the rich, warm instrumentation fits in around them in a soft, dreamy state. The debut release on Theo's new Wildheart label, expect more goodies like this very very soon.