Review: A number of different influences come together on San Jose Del Mar. In the case of Alejandro Vivanco & Dorian Chavez's "Ghost in the Machine", it's the rolling rhythms of London tech-house, the metallic, whiplash percussion of new school techno and the stepping rhythms of UK bass. "Walfkfunk" takes its cues from a less diverse set of influences, but here too the stabbing keys and vocal snippets sound like they are derived from early noughties minimal house, set to a contemporary rolling groove. Meanwhile, Chavez' tracks with Mobius Strum focus on modern tool house rhythms, but with a difference; "MAE" is pepper with insistent vocal snippets and the muffled vocals and acidic tinges of "Rainforest" are more exciting than the standard DJ fare.
Review: Appearing here for Nick Curly's esteemed 8bit imprint is Hamburg house hero and Bob Sinclair lookalike Sidney Charles, who delivers a bunch of slinky tech house numbers on the Phoenix EP. It's certainly nu-school, but with a touch of the old school like on the funky and swinging title track with its dusty, shuffling drums, bouncy bass and siren like stabs. "Many Ways" has the pounding and stripped back garage rhythm arrangement, with looped vocals (that have become a trademark of his work) while the funky and soulful "Lucky" rounds out the EP just nicely. More great stuff from this rising producer.
Review: It's interesting to hear that some contemporary producers are drawing inspiration from UK garage from the 90s instead of deep house from the same period. "The Way" features those unmistakable shuffling drums and a soaring bassline, but the inclusion of rich strings and a filtered disco riff mean it's as musical as it is moody. In any event, Sante has conjured up a more resonating feeling on the title track, which features Gjaezon on vocals. The evocative narrative about "it's gonna affect my state of mind" is backed by dark claps and a rolling, acid-flecked groove. "Blended" is more driving, and its booming bassline lends it the same kind of eerie atmosphere as classic Suburban Knight.
Review: The talent demonstrated on a series of releases for the Freerange imprint by Pezzner is given further room to shine with the producer's debut drop for the 8bit imprint. The title track "Mesh" sets the tone for what to expect, with tough, tribal rhythms and a bumping bassline the core around which Pezzner draws in hypnotic vocal hooks and slick Rhodes flutters, building proceedings up to the inevitable and oh so very effective explosion of the main kick groove! "Introductions" provides a deeper accompaniment, serving up smudged textures of rhythm over a stripped back throb, whilst intermittent vocal yearns which are dipped in glitch add an emotive sheen. Up next, "Circles" splays playful vocal loops over a bouncing house rhythm embellished with more delightful touches of Rhodes whilst Zepp01 finishes off proceedings with a nice bubbling, colourful remix of "Mesh".
Review: The music of Olivier 'Oxia' Raymond has undergone more style changes than one of Liberace's Las Vegas shows, yet on this release for German label 8 Bit, he mines the sound of his early productions. "Unity (Up Mix)", with its rolling groove, booming bass and tough drums, could have easily fitted on a Good Life record. Elsewhere, he drops the tracky, tribal house of "Soulsa", which is more in keeping with 8 Bit's usual approach. The Down version of the title track is in a similar vein, but the release takes a sideways shift with Steffen Deux's disco-infused take on "Unity", its jazzy keys populated by a repetitive vocal stab.
Review: After last year's Maia EP, Oliver Schories returns to 8 Bit with this killer house release. What makes Molero really stand out is the fact that it contains two quite different, distinctive tunes. The title track centres on disco string samples and a repetitive vocal loop, with these elements underscored by a tough, rolling rhythm. On "Piu", the veteran German producer opts for a different approach; while vocals feature heavily again, this time they are blurred and indistinct. Supported by steely drums, rasping percussion and a menacing Nu Groove-style bass, the elements all combine to makes for a powerfully moody house track.
Review: In case you're still suffering from the January blues, then the first record of 2015 on 8 Bit will cheer you up. The German label is known for its rolling, tool house and in that respect, Nielsen's latest release is no different from the rest of its catalogue. However, it differs from the normal label sound on the title track, and the gloriously soulful vocals that urge the listener to 'check your head' adds "Something" an extra dimension. "Foxy Foxy" is more in keeping with 8 Bit's typical sound and its swinging groove is full of insistent vocal snatches, surging chords and the kind of niggling percussion that has become the label's staple.