Review: 20:20 Vision stalwart Dokta returns with hs fourth release for the imprint, where the London based producer serves up more deep and slinky tech house for the late night on "Straight Lines". In addition, the track receives a series of stellar remixes by an all-star cast - and they are diverse enough to suit any occasion on the dancefloor. Leeds hero Bobby O'Donnell delivers the most energetic of the lot (and perfect to rock the main room), while Manchester upstart Kerouac's deep and hypnotic mood lighting is just perfect for the warm up. Fachwerk chief Mike Dehnert's reductionist dub workout sounds like it's been scraped directly off the factory floor, then veering completely off the dancefloor is Classical Mechanic's gorgeous ambient/electronica perspective - which is ideal for drifting back at home in your armchair.
Review: Carl Finlow is one of the UK's greatest electronic music producers, as this compilation demonstrates. Issued on 20:20 Vision, the label he co-founded with Back 2 Basics' Ralph Lawson, it features some of his finest electro work. On the deeper tip, there's the wonderfully mournful synths of "Anomaly" and "Equilibrium", while he veers into synth pop with the irresistibly catchy hooks and nerdy vocals on "Broken Mirror". However, that's not to detract from the weight of Finlow's catalogue, and tracks like the menacing "Nanotech" or the dense electro funk of "Mr Machine"- the title track of the bench mark 2002 album he recorded under the Silicon Scally guise - put him right up there with electro's greats.
London Nights (Ralph Lawson dub remix) - (7:26) 122 BPM
London Nights (Jason Heath remix) - (2:56) 80 BPM
Review: Dokta has been seen lurking around 20:20 Vision with a curious take on that label's particular brand of house. That step to the left becomes more pronounced on this record, where Dokta gets to call on a wealth of live instrumentation to animate his sound. On "London Nights" he interweaves vocal, ambling keys and crooked basslines into a curious and utterly inspired cocktail of cool-headed pressure, which Jason Heath then simmers down to a purely instrumental refrain. Burnski goes to the other extreme and beefs the track up for a firm and functional ride, while Ralph Lawson dubs the track out and gives it a low slung swagger.
Review: Romanian duo NTFO up next on Leeds institution 20:20 Vision, following up some great releases in recent times for top labels such as Gruuv, Diynamic and Objektivity. The Timisoara based pair kicking off proceedings with the bass heavy sleaze of the fittingly titled "Fresh Cut" and it's perfect for after midnight mood lighting and transitioning into the next phase: peak time!. Next up is the slinky and atmospheric neo-acid of "Jomanfish" which is so hypnotic and equally suited to building the vibe earlier in the evening. Finally "Abrazive" was exactly what we were hoping for: a tough peak time cut with its infectious loops reaching near tribal moments. It's a sunny and uplifting affair reminiscent of Parisian legends D'Julz or Phil Weeks and has us counting down the days until the next summer season on the White Isle.
Review: Nature is Dokta's first ever release, but his lack of experience in putting out music doesn't show. In its original format, the title track is a stripped back, minimal house groove that grows and evolves to reveal stuttering vocals and a soaring, groaning bass line. Ralph Lawson's label has chosen the remixers well; Jay Clarke is another new artist who has just released a record on Ben Klock's Klockworks. For this remix, he ups the tempo, throws in some arcade game squiggles and a UR-style organ riff. The label has also tapped Seth Troxler to rework "Nature". Co-produced with Bas Ibellini, the muddy bass and eerie atmospherics of their version make for a moody counterpoint to Clarke's wide eyed sound.
Review: Next up on Ralph Lawson's esteemed imprint are London house duo Voyeur. Having been picked up by Kerri Chandler for his Kaoz Theory imprint, Leo & Benson quickly followed up with hyped releases on Dirt Crew, Madhouse and Watergate Recordings. Starting off with the slamming tribal tech house groove "Witchdoctor", while the slinky yet jacking acid house of "Music Box" equally impresses. On remix they have Fuse resident and Moscow Records founder Archie Hamilton, who shows just why there is so much attention on him at the moment. His version delivering as always with this rolling and minimal afterhours style jam
Review: 20/20 Vision welcome Canadian Nathan Jonson. Following a decade of producing and DJing as Hrdvsion, Nathan has stepped out under his birth name to mark a new stage in his career. "Cross Colours" is a perfect representation of this new stage, a hybrid of all the styles he has become renowned for. When they first heard Cross Colours they were all in agreement that Luke Vibert would be the perfect remixer. Luckily Luke agreed too and turned in a track, flirting with early rave and hardcore whilst keeping the originals electro aesthetic.
Review: Leeds label 20/20 Vision may have risen to prominence with a deep, US house sound, but over the years that has evolved into something more stripped back and European. Local lads Audiojack are part of this shift and on Mouth, they show exactly why they have become one of the label's key acts. "Fluent" is based on insistent rhythms, repetitive, breathy vocal samples and ticking percussion that will insinuate itself into the listener's cranium. "Stutter" is based on a similar premise, the only difference is that this time the vocals are reduced down to grunts and murmurs as the pair fire off a tracky rhythm. The last track, "Vowels", features a French vocalist intoning words over hypnotic organ riffs, but has lost none of the out there appeal that the other tracks have in spades.
Review: Deep and slinky tech house by Spanish favourite Hector Couto and it finds a fitting home on Ralph Lawson's esteemed Leeds institution that is still going strong. The title track as well as the very funky "Music Please" are the kind of rolling peak time grooves that have seen him have several releases on the likes of Mihalis Safras' Material Series; so no coincidence really! "Raw Fixation" or "House Bounce" dive deeper with their NYC style swing and shuffle and infectious basslines; no wonder he's released on Hot Creations too! There's an undeniable nod to Kerri Chandler on both tracks, which we loved.
Review: Leipzig's Sven Tasnadi has been a judicious purveyor of smoking' tech-house ever since the late noughties, and the man has landed on every label worth landing on. Poker Flat, Liebe Detail Smallville, you name it; this time he drops down four belters on the incorrigible 20:20 Vision, all of them ready to rock your heart out on the dance floor. "Backpack" is a classic tech slicer without a care in the world, and the same goes for the dusty-footed "All The Way". "What?!" is the quirky brother of the lot, a disjointed, drunken house banger with a wobbly but of bass in its circuitry, and "Different Times" goes for the murky makeover thanks to its swamped melodies and cavernous groove. Hot tickets!
Review: Following celebrated outings on Futureboogie Recordings, Throne of Blood and Hot Creations, Leeds lads PBR Streetgang return to 20:20 Vision. While the powder-coated, bass-heavy bounce of "Whiplash" will probably get the plaudits, "Return To Page One" is probably a more enticing proposition. It contains some of the same traits - sleazy late night samples, ludicrously powerful bass and a '5am over the Adriatic' feel - it also contains delay-laden drum machine rhythms and synthesizer lines heavily influenced by 1980s proto house and Latin freestyle. These latter elements are emphasized further on Tuff City Kids' excellent Electro Remix, which sounds like a vintage Fresh Records release. They also provide a delightfully cheery 'Disco Mix' full of '80s style Latin house piano solos and rolling 4/4 grooves.
Review: Following a quietly impressive 2014, in which he delivered pleasing material on Toy Tronics and Mr Carter, Maurice Uzzan brings his Whitesquare project to 20:20 Vision. There's an atmospheric, late night feel throughout, as Uzzan effortlessly blurs the boundaries between deep house and tech-house. That's most noticeable on the dark and murky opener, "Someone Else", but also a feature of "Abraxas", with its stretched-out organ chords, trippy electronics, shuffling grooves and military drum fills. There's a little more bass-heavy, chopped-up party flavour to "About The Past", while "Peaks" delivers a lesson in the spine-tingling powers of deep, melodious and dreamy deep house.
Review: It's extraordinary to think that Ralph Lawson's 20:20 Vision imprint, now some 20 years old, is homing in on 300 releases. This 273rd missive comes from Lakosa and Rick Grant, who previously joined forces for outings on 2nd Drop and Tender Hooks. There's a decidedly murky, late night feel to opener "Dusk", whose main attraction is undoubtedly a mind-altering combination of relentless, low-slung acid bass and some decidedly deep and spacey chords. "Cascade" is deeper and slightly more melodious, with tumbling pianos and bubbling electronics riding a roughneck tech-house groove. Remixes come from Ejeca and Whitesquare, with the latter's ear pleasing, intelligent techno-influenced re-interpretation of "Cascade" particularly impressing.
Review: Romanian duo Livio & Roby enjoy word play and, as such, came up with the moniker Premiesku - a pun on both 'premiere' and a similar Romanian name. Together with buddy George G, they make 90s-indebted house and here we get three fresh cuts from their analogue bunker. "Jojoman" is a repetitive seven minute proggy roller, "Voice Game" is perkier with crisp tribal beats thumping through weird and distorted vocals and "Life Game" being a deep and shuffley loop-a-thon. Elsewhere Djebali reworks the title track into a more subdued retro pop houser and Guti turns Voice Game into twisted, deep and mongy break-step.
Review: London producer Rob Burn has been making waves on the UK underground as IO Sounds these past few years with a bass heavy brand of house displayed through releases on Derelicht, Madtech, and 20:20 Vision. The latter long-running Northern label have, of course, been strong IO Sounds advocates and they facilitate his latest single Another Love, notable for a fine remix from Last Magpie. Of the original IO Sounds tracks, the deep techy title cut impresses thanks to its shuffling warehouse groove whilst "Broken Teeth" is a wonderfully odd production. Here IO Sounds lays down foreboding vocal grunts over a grubby electro bassline and recycled drum breaks.
Review: Although Citizenn has only released the "Be" single on 20:20 Vision, that track alone has been enough to cause quite the commotion...enough commotion to spur a whole remix EP dedicated to the tune! There's the sleek, late night 20:20 remix, a bumping Ralph Lawson dub for the head-nodders, a wildly progressive dub by Citizenn himself, and two Forrest 12:00 cuts - a remix and a dub for your oral pleasure. Big movements from this massively successful outlet for club music.