Review: Amsterdam Dance Event holds a special place in the electronic music community's calendar, and it just wouldn't be the same without the Toolroom family putting on a very special showcase for the industry and punters alike. The Dutch capital's clubbing culture is one of the best in Europe and there's only one place to be this October. They join the fun once again this year and this are kicking off the week at Chicago Social Club for an opening to ADE like no other. In celebration, Mark Knight & Co. anticipate the event with this solid collection of sonic arsenal with highlights not limited to: label staple Weiss serving up classic vocal funky house on "Let Me Love You" (extended Club mix), legends Dirty Vegas getting remixed by CamelPhat on the extended remix of "Days Go By" (which reaches near acid moments), the ever impressive Alan Fitzpatrick providing austere peak time tackle on banger "The Approach" and rising stars like Jacky (with Example) on the wonky tech house of "Another 24" and label newcomer Maxinne dropping the riveting main room thriller "The Message" amongst many more. Comes with two continuous mixes: the first by Romanian upstarts Sllash & Doppe and the second by Swiss scene hero Mendo (Clarisse).
Review: Following outings on Abode and Toolroom, Will Clarke returns to Truesoul with more adventures in bombastic big room house and techno. First up is "Mucaj", a rolling affair that sees him pair bold electronic riffs with similarly ear-catching synth strings and drows chords. Next up is the similarly big "Nothing Is Forever", a foreboding and forthright peak time beast full of buzzing riffs and spooky string stabs. Arguably the most potent cut of the lot is "Meta", an aggressive, mind altering anthem-in-waiting that should find favour amongst Drumcode's legion of EDM-techno fans. There's nothing subtle about these tracks, but they sure as hell do the business out on the dancefloor.
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.
Girl Put In Work (feat Sage Armstrong) - (6:43) 125 BPM
Tricky - (7:13) 124 BPM
Review: It's no surprise that Will Clarke has released on Claude Van Stroke's Dirtybird label or has shared a EP with DJ Funk. Both of these sources have had an effect on the artistic direction that he takes for Tricky; on "Girl Put In Work", Sage Armstrong's vocals come across like a murky, pitched down take on the feted ghetto producer's tones, playing out over a fuzzy, frazzled groove. The title track is just as primal; while devoid of vocals this time, it sees deliver a primal, tribal groove that drops and peaks to the sound of an insistent morse code bleep pattern.
Review: Mark Knight & Co. are straight up with their latest title - but considering their current 15th birthday celebrations, these guys can do whatever they want - they hardly do wrong anyway! House, Tech House, Techno Vol 2 does exactly what is says on the tin with a whopping 62 tracks and three continuous mixes - each dedicated to said subgenre. From that massive remix of Fatboy Slim's "Right Here, Right Now" by current scene favourites CamelPhat, Saved main man Nic Fanciulli's collaboration with Damon Albarn on "Saying" (Kolsch remix), label head honcho Knight himself steps up to deliver the pumping and white noise filled "We Get High From The Music" (feat Mr V) and the inimitable Danny Howells is always welcome - particularly with a track as electrifying as the recently released "Isolar".
Review: For an artist who was catapulted onto the international stage by asking "Who's Afraid Of Detroit?", things have come full circle. Claude Von Stroke's latest venture takes him back to the Motor City and features a recording of his DJ set from the recent Movement festival. Fittingly, it starts with the steely electro of Van Stroke's own "Maharaja" before heading into the stripped back techno of Tom Reed & Sonik's "Alert", veering into harder sounds courtesy of Will Clarke & Born Dirty's relentless "Boss Man" and peaking with the raw, percussive "Loud!" by Alex Rubia and Maiki. As homecomings go, it's an impressively raucous one.
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: After a relentless touring schedule during the first half of 2017, Dirtybird head honcho Claude Vonstroke hit the studio with a couple of ace producers in the form of Will Clarke and Sebastien V. They collaborated on two giant singles for the Works Well With Others EP. Claude Vonstroke & Will Clarke team up first on "Tiny Tambourine", a dark and filthy tech house groove on the deep and druggy tip. Just listen to that gnarly 'womp' build and build into utter dancefloor madness: this one is huge! Secondly we have Claude VonStroke & Sebastien V with "Daylight Dark Room" an epic dose of acid with a whole heap of bump in the bass and no shortage of jack in the rhythm department. Perfect for getting weird in the early hours, if you ask us!
Will Clarke - "Dirtybird BBQ: Secret Ingredients" (continuous DJ mix) - (48:27) 124 BPM
Review: Dirtybird is having a BBQ and we're all invited. Hirsute selector Will Clarke is the man tending to the grill, liberally spreading around his "secret ingredients" for other DJs to taste. There's plenty of juicy, char-grilled goodness to be found throughout, from the warehouse-friendly hip-house revivalism of DJ Glen's "Move Your Bone" and sub-heavy, Afro-tinged tech-house tribalism of Seamus Norv's "Wuuvulu", to the mind bending electronics, wonky vocals and TB-303 driven madness of Tekla's "Shake" and Sam Swindle's throbbing, bleep-laden closer "Disco Slut". If that's not enough to get you drooling like a dog at dinnertime, Dirtybird has also included a killer DJ mix from Clarke.