Review: Despite the setbacks brought forth by the pandemic, we're confident that Toolroom will still have a stellar year as always! With that in mind, the fifth edition in their 'House Party' series' looks to be the biggest yet, with a whopping 70 tracks to keep the party going for days on end. As a bonus, label signees such as Wankelmut, TCTS and Siege (who appear with contributions to the compilation personally) provide a continuous mix each - bringing the party to your house. Other highlights come from a wide variety of artists within the tech/house spectrum such as: legends Technasia and Green Velvet with the aforementioned Siege on the mighty "Suga" (Siege extended mix), the ascendant Luxembourger Amii Watson with the sensual mood music of "Higher" and the Fuse London affiliated Rich NxT teaming up with minimal techno vetran Christian Burkhardt on the slinky and hypnotic "Basics" - plus many more.
Review: Toolroom deliver the 2021 instalment of their flagship 'This Is Toolroom' series, featuring a trio of collaborations from label chief Mark Knight, who with Siege delivers the funky house thriller "Give It Up", the peak time tribal tech house workout "Shift Phazed" (with Frederick & Kusse) and bridging the gap between the two styles on the riveting vocal-led closer "Only You" with Tuff London. Elsewhere, there's new music from label staples such as: Illyus & Barrientos & Danny Howard who throw down the main room energy of "Feel Ma Boogie" Rene Amesz who gets seriously deep on the low slung "Open Wide", plus the ever reliable Maxinne who teams up with Moya on the early noughties Statside house vibe of "In The Groove".
Review: Mark Knight & Co.round out the year with 'Best Of Toolroom 2020', a 50 track compilation delivering a collection of the label's biggest releases from the year that was into one package. Boss man Knight teams up with Rene Amesz on the year's most massive funky house tune "All 4 Love" (feat. Tasty Lopez) with other highlights coming from: Carl Cox on his stomping heads-down rework of Kevin Knapp & Hannah Wants "Call Me", the anthemic and utterly uplifting soul of legends Gene Farris & ATFC's "Spirit of House" plus the return of the legendary American vocalist Ann Nesby - whose unmistakable voice dominates LEFTI's "Rejuvenate". There's also the worthy addition of two continuous mixes by Mr Knight himself. 'Best Of Toolroom 2020' delivers the perfect annual sign off, as the label prepares for yet another landmark year in 2021.
Review: Following up the 'T1'experiment back in 2015, Toolroom reboots the concept to celebrate their artists' talents and challenge them creatively. With many in isolation across the world, 'T2' will act to raise money for Covid-19 relief funds, with a percentage of profits going to charity. Much like the last edition - which was an album of new and exciting collabs from their label roster - label boss Mark Knight picked the collaborations totally at random during a Facebook Live broadcast, resulting in some 'out-of-the-box experiments and sure-fire bangers.' Highlights include: KC Lights who teams up with Kitball's Juliet Sikora on the soulful sax-driven shuffle of "Tonight", the man himself Mark Knight teaming up with Tuff London and Cagney & Lacey to bring back funky house with a vengeance on "Don't Give Up", while Romanian label staples Sllash & Doppe likewise turn in some late '90s styled filtered disco funk on "Burnin'" and the ascendant Maxinne teams up with Mizbee, Amine Edge & DANCE on the tough rolling main room stomper "What U Say".
Review: Each year 'This Is Toolroom' sets the tone for the British powerhouse's musical plans. Presented by London veteran (and Soul Purpose main man) Martin Ikin, this is an essential compilation to kick off a new decade, where you will discover essential cuts from label staples and newcomers alike across these 20 tracks - that cover the musical spectrum that Toolroom dubs its own. Highlights are not limited to: label boss Mark Knight kicking things off with the sultry and tribal vocal house anthem "Mona Lisa", the man himself Ikin contributing the funky house bomb "I'll Be" featuring Malika, Windy city legend Gene Farris bangs the party with the absolutely electric "Back In The Day" as well as the hosts of the label's last compilation Sllash & Doppe and Mendo, who serve up some seriously good vibes on "Back To The House" and "Give It To Me" respectively. As always, it comes with a continuous mix that's blended to perfection by Ikin.
Review: It has been quite a year for the Toolroom institution. Celebrating their 15th birthday last year, they weren't ones to rest on their laurels, instead going full steam ahead with a bunch of genre defining compilations this year. But most importantly they have been instrumental in the comeback of funky house after a 20 year dormancy, with killer releases by the likes of Weiss, Cashio and boss man Mark Knight himself. Add to that one banging party at Chicago Social Club for Amsterdam Dance Event and it's evident that these guys are proper 24 hour party people. With a glorious year sadly coming to an end, celebrate a wonderful one that was on Best Of Toolroom 2019 with highlights not limited to: the rework of the Cevin Fisher classic "Freaks Come Out" by Jack Back, Hannah Wants & Kevin Knapp's deep down and dirty "Call Me" (extended mix), UK heroes Alan Fitzpatrick & Wheats delivering the certified banger "M27" and New York legend Todd Terry teaming up with Tuff London on "Psychodrama" featuring Jasmien Nanhekhan. If that was not enough, ascendant producer Maxinne delivers two mixes compiling all the tracks: one smooth House mix followed by a thumping Tech House mix.
Review: With too much good music to release in one collection, Toolroom present the second volume of its coveted Ibiza compilation. The list of artists included runs like a roll call of the most exciting producers in electronic music right now with highlights such as: ascendant Brit Weiss on the uplifting vocal house anthem "Let Me Love You", Bristolian bass house hero Will Clarke doing his thing on "Tricky", the ever impressive Eli Brown nailing that peak time vibe on "Always", Hannah Wants getting deep down and dirty on the Kevin Saunderson sampling "Love Somebody" and Toronto's finest DJ Sneak & Demuir doing their thing on "Good Ol' Days". Add to this three continued mixes that cover Poolside, Club and Afterclub, and you have a collection that encapsulates the electronic spirit of Ibiza like no other.
Review: With Ibiza's extended summer season almost upon us, Toolroom has served up a suitably epic collection of cuts that it expects to be big on the White Isle this summer. Label boss Mark Knight has provided a trio of DJ mixes ("Poolside", "Club" and "Afterclub") and the unmixed tracks included all fit into these loose categories. There's not enough room to list all of the highlights, but we've been enjoying the funk-fuelled disco-house rush of Illyus and Barrientos' "The One", the sleazy, bass-heavy bounce of Max Chapman's "Steppa", the acid-powered tech-house-jack of Del-30's "Gravity" and the weighty, mind-altering thump of "Low End Theory" by Eli Brown.
Illyus & Barrientos - "Best Of Toolroom 2018" (continuous House mix) - (1:19:12) 124 BPM
Illyus & Barrientos - "Best Of Toolroom 2018" (continuous Tech House mix) - (1:19:17) 126 BPM
Review: As you'd expect, given the label's runaway success over the past few years, there are plenty of very familiar cuts on this 52-track 'best of' from the all-conquering Toolroom, including GotSome's tribal smash 'Nomad Chat', label boss Mark Knight's infuriatingly catchy, flute-driven Shovell collab 'Selecao', Mendo's sample-heavy G-houser 'Mooving' and CamelPhat's remix of Fatboy Slim. But there are plenty of less heavily rinsed gems on offer too, and with tracks from the likes of D.Ramirez, Leftwing & Kody, Dosem, DJ S.K.T and Dale Howard plus reworks of Sterling Void and Todd Terry classics, it's a no-brainer for tech-house jocks on a budget.