Berlin-based label and worldwide event series Afterlife is the brainchild of Italian DJ and producer duo, Tale Of Us. Founded in 2016, Afterlife promises to take listeners on ‘an odyssey through the realm of consciousness’ with its signature techno melodies, hypnotic basslines and energetic crescendos. The label has so far delivered otherworldly releases from artists including: Stephan Bodzin, Woo York, Recondite, KAS:ST, Adriatique, Agents Of Time, Colyn, Adana Twins, Mind Against and Tale Of Us themselves.
Review: Afterlife staple Colyn returns to the label this week for another journey in sublime dancefloor drama. He brings you four tracks here, including the highly anticipated "Oxygen Levels Low", an offering slightly more upbeat than usual, venturing out on a dark disco tip yet hypnotic as ever. The title refers to the Holter monitor sound heard before the drop - epic! Elsewhere, the euphotic trance inflections of "Wait For You" is something more familiar of the Dutchman's melodic style, and the stomping, minimalist closer "Lightyears" utilizes greyscale, dub techno rhythms.
Review: And you don't need any more proof than this: Italians do it better. Acclaimed Milanese label Afterlife, run by Tale Of Us, head south to let acclaimed duo Agents Of Time take you on another splendid journey with "Mirage", a sublime ethereal house cut featuring a captivating array of multi-layered meldogies and atmospheres which will entrance you throughout. Andrea Di Ceglie and Luigi Tutolo continue to take you on a further descent into the aether on the next journey entitled "Northern Lights", a slinky deep house expression that makes for perfect mood music for the warm-up or closing track alike.
Review: ANNA is up next on Afterlife with three upfront techno excursions on Journey To The Underworld. The Brazilian producer's style techno may at first seem a surprising choice for the label, but it is soon apparent that she has meticulously tailored her sound to fit their style with her blend of 'tough beats with transcendent atmospheres.' She goes full force from the beginning on the austere, peak-time energy of the title track, while "Surrender" is a more majestic cut, taking you deeper into the aether with its sublime tapestry of melodies, and ending with the blissed-out transcendence of "Dissolution" - an ambient offering.
Review: Greek DJ and producer Echonomist is renowned for his indie electronic explorations with soul, invoking a spiritual depth on each release. Here he teams up with Tel Aviv's Jenia Tarsol (Watergate/Blue Shadow) for their debut on Tale Of Us' Afterlife imprint. Prepare for your sonic descent into the aether on the mesmerising locomotion of the title track, then prepare to elevate back on the advanced and futuristic deep house of "Do You See It Yet?" and equally high tech is the soulful and glassy-eyed Dwetroit influence on "Purple Skyline".
Review: Fans of Tale of Us should be aware of the work of Mind Against, in part because the Berlin-based Italian brothers have previously collaborated with the Afterlife founders on a number of occasions. Here they pop up that label following years signed to Life & Death. What's on offer is predictably strong too, with title track 'Changes' seeing the productive brothers adding lilting, slowly shifting melodic textures, uplifting motifs and sparkling synth sounds to a tactile, tech-house groove. With a genuinely spine-tingling breakdown, it feels like a summer anthem in waiting. 'Closer' meanwhile is a little more musically intricate and undeniably emotive in tone, with twinkling pianos and eyes-closed vocalisations combining well with the duo's shuffling drums and sparkling electronics.
Review: Anyma is the new musical project of Matteo Milleri, one half of Tale Of Us and co-head of Afterlife. He presents his debut EP under the alias here titled Sentient. Descend into pure freefall on the evocative progressive house journey that is the title track, before losing yourself in the peaking lights to "Reminding" featuring the gorgeous vocals of Rosa Anschuetz - a neo trance thriller. Also featured is the evocative, introspective breaks of "Fragments" and ending with the epic dancefloor drama of "Omnia" - which really nails that Afterlife sound.
Review: German electronic wizard Lorenz Brunner aka Recondite is back, with a new offering for Italian label Afterlife, following up 2018's Rainmaker EP. There are two enticing offerings on The Bird EP, with the sublime title track taking you deep into the aether by way of its rich tapestry of haunting melodies, backed by ethereal chord progressions. Brunner then makes his transition into the peak time with the optimised dancefloor dynamics of "Secluded". Again his penchant for infectious melody is on display with this element taking centre stage, underpinned by a minimal yet mesmerising backdrop of euphoric aesthetics.
Review: Rising Amsterdamer Colyn develops his unique sound with a second EP for Tale Of Us' Afterlife label. On the 'Patterns' EP, he incorporates the emotive vocals of his brother into a glassy-eyed and bittersweet composition as heard on the title track. There's no doubt that this one will charm listeners with its majestic qualities. This is followed by the adrenalised hypnotic techno epic "Merging Realities" awash in layers of sublime melodies, until final track "Exo" takes you deeper into the aether for one more serving of dancefloor drama.
Review: Innellea and Kevin De Vries have both separately built up followings in recent years, and now they come together for this split release on Tale of Us' label. "Das Licht" unravels against the backdrop of an unhurried groove, which provides a basis for an epic melody build. On "Mondfindsternis", they pick up the pace, with a rattling, skeletal rhythm providing the basis for layer upon layer of electronic melodies that soar effortlessly before disappearing suddenly again. In contrast, the title track is a downbeat track, with the production supergroup dropping dusty break beats that provide the basis for more measured but still melancholic melodies.
Review: It's been almost a year since Swiss duo Adriatique presented their much lauded full length effort 'Nude', and this fresh collection of reworks ensure they still get to live on in the (mind the pun!) - Afterlife. While household names such as label bosses Tale of Us (with Mathame), Keinemusik's Rampa and Solumun appear, it's definitely worth mentioning the more underground artists that they reeled in. Berghain resident Kobosil's barrelling and austere rework of "Tachykardia" keeps the sensual vocals of the original, but is absolutely geared for the peak time period of his acclaimed DJ sets at the Berlin institution. Italian trio Agents Of Time (Obscura) deliver a typically epic and entrancing journey into the deeper realms of dancefloor dynamics, and probably most surprising of all is the addition of Frankfurt minimal house legend Isolee who injects "Mystery" with his idiosyncratic style of emotive and glitching minimal funk.
Review: American producer Eric Estornel must barely find time to sleep: when not returning to his Detroit roots when curating his wonderful Lone Romantic imprint, making electro as Mariel Ito, tech-house as Maetrik or running his long standing Ellum Audio imprint - he's recorded some of the most infectious and pop-inflected techno under his most well known alias: Maceo Plex. He has also become a key artist for Afterlife Recordings in recent times, playing a great number of shows at their Ibiza residency alongside label heads Tale Of Us. Dramatic strings announce you to surrender to the void (right before the massive drop) of "Lonely Tribe" - tunnelling and hypnotic techno number featuring an infectious looped vocal refrain. There's also a remix by the ever impressive Italian Fango which takes the track ionto oddball exotica territory.
Review: Acclaimed Italian duo Tale Of Us present the third Realm Of Consciousness compilation on Afterlife Recordings. A collection of spellbinding and melodic epics packed full of narratives plus plenty of dancefloor drama awaits with some rather surprising additions too - artist wise. The German hero Recondite serves up the powerful opening track "Savaaq" with its tension and suspense and those soaring melodies, fellow Italians Mind Against team up with Blausch on the hypnotic bliss of "Trust My Eyes" and Ukranian deep techno experts Woo York give us the steely heads down techno of "Discovery". Elsewhere, southern Italians Agents Of Time appear with the adrenalised and entrancing cyclicality of "Superia", frequent Tale Of Us collaborator Vaal takes you deep into the aether on "Weakness Days" and ascendant German Kevin De Vries gets into freefall on the sublime "Phoenix"
Review: Benny Rodrigues aka ROD becomes the latest underground producer to join the ranks of the Afterlife imprint. Known for his dark and oftentimes uncompromising club techno sound, Bunny sees him showcase a deep-er side to his style. It's audible on the title track's pulsating groove, which supports epic builds that float and shimmer sublimely. "Welcome Back Mama" is somewhat darker, and resounds to a pumping electronic rhythm track, while on "Melodi", he opts for a bleaker style, thanks to its spooky central riff. Meanwhile, the Fjaak take on "Mama" brings his fans back to the locked on, loopy techno that the ROD project has become synonymous with.
Review: After his excellent contribution to Diynamic's Picture series, ascendant Danish DJ/producer Denis Horvat is back on Afterlife. He returns to Afterlife for a second EP of distinctive, dancefloor productions - a year after the wonderful "Modelo". On Miracle Of The Rose, bear witness to an evocative and authentic development of Horvat's sound. From the hypnotic melodicism of "Noise" (feat. Lelah) which again showcases the Dane's trademark sound, to the moody and minimalist atmosphere of the title track and ending with the ethereal sci-fi dancefloor drama of "Divin".
Review: Not restrained or bound by conventions, Innellea are the ascendant German duo on Tale Of Us' revered imprint. Their visions and impressions visibly transfer into their music, as heard on labels such as Underyourskin Records, Steyoyoke and TAU in recent times. Beginning with some rock crossover into melodic tech house on "Vigilans", followed by deep journeys into the aether as heard on "Rhytidome" or "Impurity" respectively which incorporate ethereal elements accompanied by seductive, slinky and hypnotic arrangements which are right in line with the Afterlife modus operandi.
Review: Tale Of Us' revered imprint now serves up another thriller courtesy of southern fellow countrymen Agents Of Time. The Obscura Music head honchos deliver some big room melodic tech-house, that is equally as big on the sonic narratives as it is the dancefloor drama. Having previously contributed to the Realm Of Consciousness compilation, they now present their Forest Of Lies EP. The thundering tension and suspense of "Floating Time" sets the scene well, right into the hypnotic journey of "Dream Vision" or when they venture over to the darkside superbly on the nefarious acid of "Vapor Floor".
Review: Having released on a number of underground labels, De Vries now joins household names like Stephan Bodzin and Recondite with his debut on Afterlife, the label run by Tale of Us. Certainly, the Berlin-based producer deserve the spotlight: on the title track, he delivers a pulsating, spaced out groove that ebbs and flows majestically to the sound of hypnotic bleeps and blasts of white noise. On "Sciamachy", De Vries opts for a more spacey, tranced out arrangement, albeit one that is powered by rasping percussion and shiny synths. Rounding off this impressive debut on Afterlife is Common Sense People party founder Konstantin Sibold, who delivers a frosty, icy take on "Sciamachy".
Review: Next up on Afterlife is the Italian duo Mathame, who featured on the label's second Realm Of Consciousness compilation. Their tracks have since been played regularly in the sets of label head honchos Tale Of Us and here they present more of their sought-after tracks. This latest offering is no doubt and diverse affair, beginning with the melancholic yet life-affirming "Nothing Around Us" (with Lyke) - another fine execution of dancefloor drama that you've come to expect from the label and features a dark pop element courtesy of Lyke's dramatic vocals. For something more straight-ahead (and with adequate groove dynamics) there's the brooding dub techno slow-burner "22" and the atmospheric mood lighting of "Fade Into You". The latter hypnotizing you with its slinky minimal tech house groove and angelic vocals atop.
Review: Aether is probably one of the most underground - not to mention mysterious - artists of the Italian label Afterlife. There was not even a picture of him to date until now. Originally from Rome but now in London, Matthias Cordsen aka Aether is an accomplished musician who feels good on the international stage. With his new EP Specter, the artist wanted to find and promote his own sound. After collaborating with label staples and fellow Italians Mind Against last year on the terrific Solaris EP, he strikes out on his own here with the deep and slinky progressive house of "Endeavour, the euphoric epic that is the title track is geared for some proper tunnel vision under the strobe light and the moody dancefloor drama of "Raven" which employs the label's love of evocative melodies so well.
Review: Following on from last year's second Consciousness compilation, Afterlife returns with an even more ambitious project. Label owners Tale of Us deliver a suitably melodic track, "Nova", but there are also a series of contributions from high-profile artists. Sterac's "Universum" is an expertly weighted, stripped back techno affair, while on "Phase In", Edit Select takes it deeper with a throbbing, tranced out groove that is like a more refined take on early Plus 8 material. Completing the techno triumvirate is Scuba's SCB project. Now also a vehicle for the UK producer's socially conscious thoughts, "Tide Slide", which is possibly a reference to the effects of climate change, sees him deliver a frosty techno groove.
Review: Do you believe in the Afterlife? If Tale Of Us remain boasting of its virtues in such fine fashion, then consider us believers. The next next chapter in levitation comes courtesy of one of the scene's true finest: Lorenz Brunner. The German studio wizard delivers a massive six tracks of dancefloor drama on the Rainmaker EP, which involves a compelling narrative throughout its six tracks and a variety of moods and textures too. From the deeply brooding mood lighting of opener "Valvate", to the hypnotic and strobe-lit title track and "Aracne" that's reminiscent of his work on Dystopian - perfect for those heads-down moments in the early hours. Brunner delivers material that's right in harmony with the label's most devoted fans with the atmospheric melancholia of "Saudade" with its squeaky melodic action and the brooding dancefloor drama of "Step Back".