Review: The annual Toolroom statement of intent for Ibiza gets off to a raucous start with the good time house Camelphat remix of Fatboy Slim's "Right Here, Right Now". Despite this, the compilation isn't all about peak time pleasure. It features deeper nuggets like the sun-kissed deep techno remix of Bicep's "Opal" by Four Tet and the hypnotic break beat techno Kolsch remix of Nic Fanciulli's "Saying". However, Ibiza 2018 doesn't depart too far from the script, and label boss Mark Knight's "We Get High From the Music" is classic Toolroom - a tough tribal workout descending into filtered, vocal-heavy nirvana. That said, they deserve plaudits for keeping a close eye on new artists and the niggling acid and chimes of Peggy Gou's "It Makes You Forget" is testament to that.
Review: The mysterious Vyvyan (whose true identity is a closely guarded secret) returns to Man Power's Me Me Me label with this four-track EP. Opener 'Voices In Time' comes on like a cross between minimal and mid-00s electro house, while a more percussive and in-your-face remix from Elliot Adamson closes out the EP on a driving, acid-flecked note. In-between you'll find loopy tech-houser 'What They Do' with its hip-house vocal and incessant, rough-edged bass throb, and 'Tableau', which treads similar ground to 'Voices In Time'. All told, the EP's four jagged, energetic cuts defy easy categorisation, and as such could work on quite a range of dancefloors.
Review: More mystery material from Man Power's Me Me Me label, which of late has delivered a number of fine EPs from publicity-shy producers under hush-hush aliases. Vyvyan (real identity withheld) is clearly a confident guy or gal, as the two original tracks showcased on the EP - the fuzzy, sub-bass-heavy, dub disco meets drunken acid house shuffle of "Source Rocks" and the dirty, late night analogue hum of "Wu Me Seh" - are pretty darn hot. Happily, the remixes are rather tasty, too. There's a druggy, dark, Italo-disco-inspired rework from Bristol-based Welshman Christophe (he of Futureboogie Recordings fame) and a fantastic rub of "Source Rocks" by Paul Woolford that sounds like a cross between his Special Request project (albeit pitched-down a bit) and Pet Shop Boys classic "West End Girls".
Review: Publicity-shy man or woman of mystery Vyvyan won plenty of plaudits for 2018 debut EP "Source Me", a suitably sleazy mish-mash of dancefloor-centric tropes that propelled the shadowy artist towards rising star status. The good news is that this follow-up for Me Me Me is just as good. "Coat Bra Pants" is a quirky affair, with the producer wrapping saucer-eyed rave style riffs and mind-mangling electronics around a bombastic, sub-heavy bassline and sweaty, loose-limbed drums. The accompanying remixes are suitably strong, too. The star of the show is Running Back boss Gerd Janson, who first serves up a bouncy, turn-of-the-90s style ravey house "Remix" before laying down a "Cosmic Dub" that re-imagines the track as a wayward dub disco epic.