Reviewed this week
As the matter-of-fact title makes clear, this tasty four-tracker delivers fresh re-rubs of tracks from KiNK's superb 2017 album Playground. First in to bat is Dusky, who re-casts "Perth" as a saucer-eyed chunk of rush-inducing, big room-friendly heaviness rich in darting synth stabs, held-note synth-strings, bustling beats, celebratory piano riffs and heady old school vocal samples. In typical fashion, Radio Slave man Matt Edwards turns "Teo Techno" into a dark, sleazy and mind-altering early morning thumper, while Josh Wink re-imagines "Five" as a restless, undeniably psychedelic throb-job. Arguably the best remix, though, comes from Matthew Herbert, whose "Funnel Dub" of "Yom Thorke" gleefully joins the dots between his glitchy, micro-house past, swinging Afro-tech and otherworldly alien funk.
1990s sitcom fan turned lo-fi deep house royalty DJ Seinfeld is the latest selector to contribute to K7's long-running DJ Kicks series. This digital download edition naturally contains his mix - a hugely entertaining musical voyage rich in dreamy chords, bustling breakbeats, groovy deep house workouts, skewed techno and post-IDM curiosities - as well as all 21 tracks in unmixed, full-length, DJ-friendly form. Highlights are plentiful and include the downtempo bliss of the producer's own "I See You", the bass-heavy breakbeat/deep house fusion of Rudolf C's "Deep C Survivor", the quirky electronics and low-slung grooves of Falty DL's "Freak Acid" and the loved-up wonder that is Project Pablo's "Who's It For?"
Dortmund based producer Mr. Fries returns to Wolf Music for his third outing for the London label, with yet more sample heavy/MPC saturated cuts that follows up a terrific EP on Philpot. WOLFEP 045 opens with the sexy late night mood lighting of "Nocturnal" with its creamy Rhodes melody and dusty drums, the funky "Work" and its bass driven/Moodymann influenced groove, and the sunny open-air deepness of "Getright" which you could imagine hearing at a outdoor party on a summer Sunday in Berlin. Speaking of which, the fine EP closes out in blissed-out style with the very Money $ex/Tartelet sounding urban blues of "Thesimplethings" nailing that deep sound of the German capital.
Since making his debut a couple of years back, Downunder Disco producer Steve Cooper has become one of Thunder Jam's most reliable artists. Here the Aussie nu-disco don transfers to Fingerman's Hot Digits label to release what could well be his strongest EP. Of the four original tracks on offer, we're rather enjoying the lolloping beats, dreamy Rhodes chords and fluttering Balearic flourishes of "Gettin' Loose", the off0kilter Latino piano house bustle of "Horn Bag" and the wavy acid-funk of "Last Night Changed". Saskin S handles remix duties, first serving up a languid, head-nodding take on "Gettin' Loose" (the sun-kiised "Smoothie and Soft" mix), before heading towards peak-time dancers via an analogue bass-propelled deep house Club Mix of the same track.
Southpoint's sizzling with frayed bass naughtiness once again with latest young member Freddie Martin. As proved by recent cuts such as "Carnage" (on Southpoint) and "What" (on Saucy), Martin bounces in the fault lines between bassline, breaks, garage with a low end mutant that never sits still. "Limbo" slams, "Feel" twists a gurgling gutter kicking jam into a vocal daydream while "The Truth" sees him teaming up with fellow Southpoint success Bushbaby for a balls-out breakbeat sandpaper bass jam. Trust us; you'll be feeling this.
Diynamic head honcho Solumun's new track "Customer Is King" is soon to be featured as part of a long rumoured collaboration with Rockstar Games - creators of Grand Theft Auto. It's a melodic tech house anthem that's sure to rock all the main room dancefloors at superclubs this summer. For something more evocative and journey like, try "Dre" which is perfect for those heads-down moments under the strobe light, and the fierce "Ich Muss Los" which is sure to cause some proper 'tunnel vision' on this slinky, progressive house styled groove - and will be great in sync with the lasers and the smoke machine.
Following a lauded appearance on Particle Zoo Recordings, Rich Hall (no, not the grizzled American comedian) and Megan Jones bring their Cuz Electric project back to Midnight Riot. As label boss Yam Who is a big fan of their work, it's little surprise to see him deliver a brilliant remix of "Wonda's Revenge" that sounds like a nine-minute tribute to Odyssey with added kaleidoscopic synth flourishes. The duo's original version of the same track - an electric guitar sporting, arpeggio-driven nu-disco throb-job - follows, before we're treated to two versions of "Holding On". While the duo's original version is a dreamy, rush-inducing Balearic disco treat full of spine-tingling '80s synth-pop chords and jaunty piano riffs, it's Bachgenaur's slap bass-boasting boogie revision that hits home hardest.
Underrated legend of the Detroit underground Rick Wade returns, with a surprising appearance for meme house hipsters Shall Not Fade - following up some great ones by Adriyano, DJ Boring and Mall Grab in recent times. The Harmonie Park boss man delivers some proper house like the big man upstairs intended - soulful/emotive but most off all: deep! From the emotive late night bounce of "Oh Yeah", the bittersweet mood lighting of "Inner Most" perfect for dancing by yourself and the smooth "Zero Ningen" proving for something a bit more uplifting and absolutely life affirming.
Last year Shan joined forces with Gerd Janson for the brilliant "Surrender" single on Regarded, so it's little surprise to find the Frankfurt producer returning to the latter's Running Back label, an imprint he last graced in 2016. It's also no surprise to find that the Run Tings EP is packed with playable material. Saucer-eyed, retro-futurist opener "Who Run Tings", for example, underpins jaunty, Inner City style stabs and piano riffs with corking, hip-house style breakbeats, while "Awakening" offers a slightly more muscular, big room-friendly take on the turn-of-the-'90s piano house blueprint. Shan deviates further from the script on the Nu Groove style vintage deep house musicality of "English Summer" and deep '80s synth-pop-meets-deep house flex of closer "Take Me To The Top".
On its release back in December, we heaped praise on the debut full-length from Berlin-based Welshman Dauwd. Here, some of the album's "evocative deep house" cuts get the remix treatment. Romain Azzaro dons the Rouge Mecainque guise to deliver contrasting versions of "Murmure": the wonderfully sleepy, slowly unfurling "Walking Remix", where picturesque synths and intoxicating noises rise above bongo-driven hand percussion, and the wonderfully hectic "Running Remix", which is built around a high octane Afro-jazz groove. Elsewhere, Vakula delivers a typically drowsy and atmospheric, ultra-deep house revision of "Macadam Therapy", while "Analogische Memories (Piano)" is a beautiful, beat-free excursion that sits somewhere between Nils Frahm and Nicolas Jaar.
Austin Ato is Colin Bailey of Oban, Scotland who has released previously on the likes of Fantasy Streetwear, Phonica and Futureboogie. He is back, this time on Man Power's always reliable Me Me Me imprint with The Sound Of : this is a belter of an EP which features the funky and lo-slung party vibe of "Dah Dah Dah" or "Ben's Vibe" doing the business in super soulful fashion - the latter in particular with its George Benson sample. Also of worthy note, check the neon-lit euphoria of "Maelstrom" nailing some throwback acid house vibes. Following up terrific releases on the label by Elliot Adamson, Artist Deleted and Vyvyan - the goods just keep on comin'!
Spanish producer Pional has an incredible track record to date, delivering must-have releases for the likes of Hivern Discs, Young Turks, Permanent Vacation and Ninja Tune offshoot Counter Records. Here he continues this rich vein of form with an EP for Phonica that simply sparkles from start to finish. Check, for example, the darting, chiming synthesizer melodies, toaster-warm chords and bubby beats of "XME", which is subsequently turned into a psychedelic disco chugger on the similarly wonderful "A Quiet Ceremony mix". Heavier dancefloor thrills arrive in the form of "One Night Stand", where spine-ingling, manipulated vocal samples and stretched out chords come underpinned by heavyweight drums. The latter can be admired on the brilliantly throbbing "Slow Drumapella Version".
Tiger Stripes started off with releases on deep house labels like Ibadan and Nite Grooves, but this outing on Hot Creations sees him pivot towards a tougher sound. Granted, the title track still features vocals, but the chords surge menacingly, the kicks are steely and heavy and there are surges of noisy bass throughout. "Haunted" is more understated and stripped back, focusing on the Swedish producer's ability to weave together hypnotic, minimal house. However, his melodic sensibility is still audible in the tripped out hooks that rise up through the arrangement. "Dunjacka" is more in keeping with the Hot Creations in-house sound, as a looped vocal sample emerges through the jacking arrangement, while Leftroom's Matt Tolfrey drops a linear, funky take on the title track.
Jeremy Sylvester continues to churn out the hits at a furious rate. "That Vibe", featuring the vocal talents of Kayeleigh Gibson, is the veteran UK garage and funk-fuelled house producer's sixth release of 2018. In its original form, the track is a deliciously summery roller, where looped and cut-up sections of Gibson's classic house vocal ride a skipping, bass-heavy UK garage groove, positive chords and glistening melodies. It comes accompanied by a dizzying array of remixes, most of which hit the spot. Highlights include DEM2's deep two-step garage re-rub, the thrill-a-minute excitement of Rude Jude's bouncy, piano-heavy interpretation, the deep UK-funky-meets-Afro-tech flex of the Concinity Remix and the raw, wobble bass-propelled swing of the Skyjoose Shadow Mix.
Clone Royal Oak's 43rd edition delivers fresh new cuts by a newcomer from the Dutch west coast, featuring warm and woolly vintage synth sounds that create futuristic vibes. Dark old school techno in the vein of Suburban Knight or Orlando Voorn. From the cracking, lo-fi groove of "Masterlight" with its classic sci-fi overtones, through to second offering "Modular Flute" which is the winner here. It is a groove oriented jam with lush FM synth tones and the boom and bounce of classic Roland drum machines.
Since muscling his way into the higher echelons of club culture back in 2012 - thanks in no small part to delivering a string of hot-to-trot dancefloor anthems - Ejeca has barely paused for breath. This, though, is his first single of 2018 following an action-packed 2017. "Find Me" is an unashamed blast from the past: a gloriously sweaty and glassy-eyed fusion of early '90s house tropes (think delay-laden diva vocal samples, relentless piano riffs and snappy percussion) and on-point 21st century retro-futurism. There's a similarly nostalgic feel to "Mesh", too, which sounds like a long lost David Morales Red Zone dub from 1990. To complete a rock solid package, Addison Groove delivers a tougher, sweatier and even more bass-heavy take on "Find Me" that's arguably even better than Ejeca's original mix.
Zurich based DJ and producer Jimi Jules is one of the most promising upcoming artists within the international underground. With previous releases on top labels like Superfriends, Cocoon and local imprint Zukunft - he tops all that by being picked as selector for esteemed Berlin institution Watergate's 24th mix album. Mysterious dancefloor drama is guaranteed on the deep and moody acid trip entitled "Abandoned Soul" (his contribution to the mix) which receives a brooding and epic rework by Plangent main man Recondite - taking the track deeper into the late night when the strobe light and smoke machine will accompany it just perfectly. Closing track "Othervision" is a soulful and slo-mo tech house cut, that's perfect to lead into the morning hours just before the lights come on.
After the recent longplay joint venture of all the Keinemusik crew and a hot bunch of remixes, here's a new two-tracker from label staple Adam Port. The Berliner throws down a truly emotive effort on the bittersweet "Do You Still Think Of Me" with its sombre piano melody, hypnotic arpeggios and restrained rhythms all working in perfect harmony. This is backed up by the polyrhythmic and very funky Afro influended DJ tool "Roots Edit".
Billy Bogus debuted his Caribbean House project on Bearfunk last autumn, serving up a sumptuous single ("Gong Bong") that brilliantly joined the dots between dub disco, string-laden Balearica and picturesque nu-disco. This follow-up debut album naturally contains that superb track, plus seven more hard-to-pigeonhole cuts that variously doff a cap to '80s new wave pop dubs ("Night Drive"), distorted, techno-tempo analogue wonkiness ("Lonely Man"), Scandolearic space disco headiness ("Love By Proxy"), flash-fried dub disco ("Jesus Freaks"), Chicago jack-tracks ("Nature Nature") and blissful, delay-laden pop oddities ("Streets Like Noodles"). There's a lot going on throughout, but that's no criticism; it's simply one of those albums where you'll hear something new on each successive listen.
Crosstown Rebels chief Damian Lazarus is back with The Ancient Moons on their sophomore effort, which follows up 2015's Message From The Other Side which was co-produced by James Ford (Simian Mobile Disco, Arctic Monkeys, Florence & The Machine). It features a wide assortment of vocalists and collaborators from around the world. Heart Of Sky combines his cosmic world influences with '80s soul and funk. With Lazarus' background very much in these vintage genres, he found a way to connect that heart and soul to a positive, trippy, psychedelic sound. From the the emotive and life-affirming power of "All I Need To Get High", drifting and esoteric pop-house indicative of his Crosstown sound on "All I Need To Get High" and even some sexy nu-disco deepness on "Help Me Find A Way"
MERVEILLE & CROSSON - Cerulean Remixes (Visionquest)
JOSH BUTLER - Dreamweaver (Poker Flat Germany)
PIONAL - XME/One Night Stand (Phonica)
THIRD SYSTEM - Third System EP (Clone Royal Oak)
TIGER STRIPES - Jack My Yum (Hot Creations)
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