We Were Talking About The Space Between Us All - (6:06) 79 BPM
Review: Two years ago, we waxed lyrical about Flabaire's last album-length excursion, a delightfully dusty and atmospheric blend of deep house and instrumental hip-hop cuts entitled 'Bandwidth'. Predictably, we're going to enthuse about this belated follow-up too, which sees the Frenchman add further layers of musical complexity - including some deliciously jazzy instrumentation - to his sample-heavy, MPC-driven production template. Dreamy, immersive and more comforting than a king-size duvet, the set's seven tracks include the French producer's takes on futurist ambient techno ('Mot Rose'), jazz-flecked Balearic soundscapes (the ultra-deep 'Layer 4', 'Layer 5' and glistening 'Layer 7'), drowsy downtempo sounds ('Layer 6'), dub techno ('Echo Park') and echo-drenched guitar textures ('We Were Talking About The Space Between Us All'). Inspired.
If We Were Children Again (Mak?z rework) - (9:28) 123 BPM
More Visions - (7:21) 116 BPM
Review: Back in February, Makez made the move from Heist Recordings to Let's Play House, bringing with him the Elevation EP, which we dubbed his "strongest EP to date". This timely follow-up for the Brooklyn-based imprint is equally strong. He begins by combining gently tropical drums, kaleidoscopic synths and languid melodic refrains on mid-tempo number 'Blue Island', before upping the tempo and reaching for rubbery disco bass on the equally picturesque 'Red Island'. Title track 'Levitation' is a glorious chunk of Afro-funk/deep house fusion, 'More Vision' is a dense and hallucinatory slab of feverish house hypnotism, and 'If We Were Children (Makez Rework)' is a bouncy disco-house number full of cut-glass strings and jammed-out electric piano riffs.
Review: With a 30-plus-year career, Rick Wade's name is spoken in reverent tones in deep house circles, thanks mostly to the output of his Harmonie Park label. For the past decade or so, he's found a regular home at Japanese label Unknown Season, and this 'best of' is really an omnibus that brings together the various EPs he's made for them, rather than a definitive, career-spanning anthology. There's still much to enjoy, though, from the fluttery, uplifting Latin-jazz-soul of 'Shinjuku Strut' to the eyes-wide-shut 4am dancefloor throb of 'Angry Orchestra', the soulful house shuffle of 'Gotta Have Jazz' and the lounge-y 70s funk nostalgia of 'After Dark'.
Tomorrow Comes Today (feat Quails) - (5:53) 109 BPM
Arrival - (6:27) 127 BPM
This Far - (6:14) 126 BPM
Review: Fittingly, Szilveszter Horvath's long-awaited debut album as Route 8 was directly inspired by the Hungarian highway after which his artistic alias is named. It's one he has travelled many times over the years, hence his desire to create an album of "cruising music" that would sound good on journeys down the motorway. In practice, that means a fine musical excursion that blends warming deep house and futuristic Motor City techno sounds with elements of blissful ambient techno (see inspired opener 'Departure' and 'Arrival'), deep acid electro ('Nowhere', snappy closing cut 'This Far'), Pete Namlook style weightless ambient ('Interlude'), two-step ('4th Journey') and near horizontal synth-pop ('Tomorrow Comes Today'). The results are certainly ear-pleasing and rarely less than superb.
Review: Still in the game outta Montreal Canada is TVP's Multi Culti label with a second collaborative release from Berlin duo Sascha Funke & Niklas Wandt! It follows up the project's Wismut EP from last year with three new and supersonic, primed cuts pumped up with new wave, cosmic and psychedelica-deutsche power! Take the "Blue Monday" atmospheres and Klaus Schultz-like instrumentation in "Kreidekreis" with its over the top crescendos and high voltage synths that balance out next to the stripped-back, future disco and spacey tribal effects of "Kometenschweif". With a heavier, grungy bassline given prominence in "Weg Vom Leder" allowing Niklas Wandt's sly vocals to take up center-stage, a similar recipe is followed in Whodammy's remix to "Kometenschweif". Adding some extra lo-fi effects and instrumental dub flavours to the record is Alexander Arpeggio and his post punk-y take of "Kreidekreis". New German New Wave, yeah!
Review: Matthew Adams' Sieren project delivers a full length studio album to Apollo following a string of EPs between 2016-18. It follows the Transients Of Light album Christian Loffler's Ki Records released some four years ago which expands on his bittersweet, emotive, and atmospheric production style; adding yet more nuance to his inner city UK approach to club music, abstract rhythms, epic sub bass and uplifting melodies of trance and ambient synth. Find ghetto tech tempos, techno drums and haunted wasteland atmospheres in "Night Bus" alongside the dubby, broken beat heaviness of numbers like "Oblivious". Beatless and melodic fields of bliss shine through in "Pacific High" softened by the cushions of white noise and crackle, sometimes punctuated by vanguard drum patterns as heard in the title track "Timelapse". Expect a roller coaster of synth dips and ascending synths next to pools of dubby drums and new school instrumental hip hop.
Review: A few years ago, Tito Velcro, Elena Hikari and Rare Wiri founder Rayko joined forces in the studio and produced a handful of decidedly Balearic tracks. Now, having sat on Rayko's hard drive for "a few years", they're finally getting a deserved release courtesy of Citizens of Vice. "You're Not Alone" is suitably special, with swirling and evocative vocals from Hikari rising above lazy, laidback guitar riffs, dreamy chords, bubbly beats and soft-touch synth sounds, while 'Unforgettable' is a chugging, slow-motion treat that wraps sparkling synth lines and echoing guitars around echoing beats and low-slung bass. Rayko provides a slightly more club-friendly nu-disco take on 'You're Not Alone', while Ilya Santana re-imagines the same track as a sparse, sunrise-ready chunk of Balearic electrofunk.