Review: This prolific British producer has been known by a number of names: Marquis Hawkes or Juxta Position to name a couple, but here he steps out under his real name for the latest release on the esteemed Aus Music. Venn Diagram is Mark Hawkins' third long-player which features a wide selection of experimental moods. Highlights include the sublime IDM opener "Verblex Oscillos", the slo-mo Italo of "How Do I Know" and its stunning vocal, through to the neon-lit pop tones of L.O.V.E., while there's more straight-ahead dancefloor friendly numbers like "Isolated" and ending with the glassy-eyed and bittersweet electronica of "Alone In My Kitchen".
Review: Over a 30-year career, Steve Bug has released an incredible amount of club-focused music, much of it genuinely brilliant. Given that he's successfully turned his hand to deep house, tech-house, hip-house and techno, it's always a bad idea to and guess what he'll serve up next. So, what's on offer on 'Piano FM', his second EP for Aus Music? A real mixture of peak-time ready cuts, that's what. For proof, compare, and contrast the foreboding bass, glassy-eyed female vocal snippets, bouncy pianos and snappy beats of 'Piano FM', with the deeper but no less weighty 'The Moment', where raw analogue bass and jazzy stabs catch the ear. To complete a fine EP, the long-serving German producer opts for a classic US deep house vibe on the warming and loved-up 'Use Me'.
Review: Following releases on Central Processing Unit, Hypercolour, and his recent LP on Local Action, Evan Majumdar-Swift aka 96 Back returns with a new one this week - adding a release on Will Saul's Aus Music to his expanding discography. For his label debut, the Manchester by-way-of SheffieldDJ/producer presents four high quality productions on the Crass EP. From the off-kilter post-dubstep influence of the title track and the wonky UK flavour of "Syrup", to further futuristic bass explorations in the form of "Tab Play" and the evocative closer "Hoss I"t which ends on a more playful note - 96 Back embodies the renegade spirit of his native Steel City.
Review: The German house & techno DJ and music producer Damiano Von Erckert pretty much bucks every trend and trope you can imagine. He makes loose, dusty house music with heart-on-sleeve emotions even though he hails from Cologne, where sleek techno label Kompakt also hails from. He also dresses much more like a 60s French film star than a modern DJ and producer. Anyway, his new album on Aus is his best yet - it's got the loose-limbed and soulful house jams and the blissed out and deep rollers but also some more cosmic forays into smooth techno and spangled disco.
Review: Cinthie Christl has released some of her most potent, club-ready material on Aus Music, not least terrific debut album City Lights. Her latest EP for the imprint - her first for nearly two years - is another strong effort that harks back to the halcyon days of house music in the 1990s. Lead cut 'Light a Fire' is particularly nostalgic, with Christl peppering a classic-sounding bassline and shuffling deep house drums in spacey, stretched-out chords and echo-laden piano riffs. She reaches for bold, ear-catching riffs on the bumpin', stabbing bassline-sporting headiness of 'Keeping Strong', before opting for a deeper, more sub-heavy sound on the hypnotic, glassy-eyed excellence of 'Everything'.
Review: Life & Death chief Manfredi Romano aka DJ Tennis makes a surprising appearance on Aus Music this week with a wonderful three-tracker. "Repeater" is a slinky and hypnotic expression in dancefloor drama, this is melodic house just the way we like it. It's backed by second offering "Nobody" an evocative and saucer-eyed breakbeat number that makes a perfect soundtrack to the inevitable sunrise. On the remix is the ever reliable Swede DJ Seinfeld whose dark and steely techno rendition gives the track an undeniably aggressive edge.
Review: Following the release of his gloriously joyous, retro-futurist Sanctuary EP on Hot Haus Records, former Houndstooth regular Mark Hawkins returns to Aus Music with another quietly impressive four-track outing. He first joins the dots between loopy, DJ Sneak style deep house and sparkling, hands-aloft piano house on the festival friendly rush of 'I Can Feel It (Extended Mix)', before reaching for vintage style synthesiser chords and undulating acid bass on the gorgeous 'What a Beat'. 'Led Astray' sees him break up the beats impressively while soothing the senses with sci-fi synths and Motor City bass, while 'Lucid Dreaming' sees him add energetic piano riffs and glassy-eyed techno bleeps to a surging, peak-time ready rhythm.
Review: Earth Trax follows his recent Sensual World album on Shall Not Fade with this tripped out release on Aus. Steeped in the sound of electro and deep techno, it sees the prolific producer deliver a series of impressive tracks. Never staying in one place for too long, Earth Trax moves from the dark and moody rhythms of "Swamp" and "Disintegration" into the title track, whose emotive melodies and skipping drums sounds like Lone jamming with Nathan Fake. Earth Trax continues on this sun-kissed melodic trajectory for "Moving On", albeit in a more frenetic mode, while "Meadows" sees him give vent to a slower, dreamy side to his canon.
Review: On her first outing of 2022, Hermoine Frank brings her rRoxymore project to Aus Music for the very first time. The sometime Don't Be Afraid regular eases us gently with EP opener 'Drunken Clouds', an effortlessly picturesque affair in which chiming, chocolate box melodies and sustained organ chords dance atop a drunken, analogue-sounding bassline and skewed hip-hop beats. She strides confidently back onto the dancefloor on title track 'I Wanted More', adding sweet R&B vocal snippets, hazy chords and marimba melodies to a rumbling bassline and breakbeat-driven deep house beats, before often for a decidedly intergalactic, off-kilter sound on the excellent 'Midnight Shift'. To round off a fine EP, Frank goes ultra-deep, poignant and melancholic on the impressively emotive 'Last Day I Dance'.
Review: Aus Music is now one of the elder statesmen of the underground after so many years of turning out fresh beats from fresh names. Taking charge of Will Saul's latest label drop is Glaswegian artist Big Miz. His opener 'Fools Mate' is an upbeat and lively tune with slinky bass and drums that are in constant upward motion. 'Still Deciding' (feat Washington) flips the script with a low slung groove that has swagger to spare, not least thanks to the vocals of Washington. There is still time for a raw drum workout in 'Earthly Delights', the lush melodies of 'Joey' and a pumping throwback house remix from Sally C.
Review: Marco Passarani presents his sixth LP, this time on Aus Music titled The Wildlife Of The Quieter Ones, boasting 17 diverse tracks that are testament to the Roman's versatility as a producer. Whether it's the majestic acid of "Theme From FFOM", the contemplative IDM of "Dial 101" or the hi-tech soul of "Equation" - he has much more to offer. There's the alien funk of "Complex Beta" and the bittersweet bright-like-neon closer "Strawberry Strings" showing the diversity in his sonic repertoire, plus many intermittent ambient journeys to break up the mood. Passarani manages to respectfully join the dots between the fabled Detroit-Berlin connection, classic electro and Italo on this top shelf selection of tracks - all from a truly underrated veteran of the genre.
Review: Here's something we didn't expect: an EP of deep house and house-not-house excursions from Quantic, a multi-talented artist and producer best known for dazzling musicality, downtempo grooves, retro-futurist soul songs and distinctly tropical musical blends. Of course, he's talented enough to turn his hand to almost any style so this surprise Aus Music outing is as excellent as we'd hoped it would be. Highlights include the old school house-goes-broken house rush of 'Heaven or Hell', the deep and dreamy broken beat warmth of 'Night Jaguars', the wall-of-sound house warmth of 'Shake Your Demons' and the sub-heavy, steel pan-sporting, mid-tempo tropical house brilliance of 'Let The Sparks Fly'.
Review: Paul Rose aka Scuba returns to Will Saul's label for the first time in nearly 10 years to follow up his 2011 anthem 'Loss' under the SCB alias. The Hotflush boss now presents the Talaria EP featuring three emotive tracks for the late night. Be mesmerised by the rich tapestry of melodies that will captivate you on the title track's tech house groove, while "Rip" returns to the emotive post dubstep sounds as heard on his seminal Triangulations release from over a decade ago. Finally, the deep and contemplative mood music of "Arrows" offers up a more understated side of the esteemed producer.
Review: Millionhands founder Tee Mango (real name Tom Mangan) has developed a lot as a producer since he first appeared on Aus Music in 2017. That much is evident on his latest four-track excursion for Will Saul's imprint, which sees Mangan deliver a quartet of fuzzy, nostalgia-inducing workouts guaranteed to make you move. He sets his stall out with 'Last Dance', a chunk of colourful, piano-laden positivity built around crackly drums and rush-inducing riffs, before delivering instrumental and vocal takes on the mid-tempo, lo-fi, deep house delight that is the yearning 'Heartbeat'. To round things off, the former T-shirt designer opts for a baggier, sunnier and more huggable sound on delicious closing cut 'Can We Find'.
Review: Outsider house specialist Sei A has delivered some of Aus Music's most potent releases of the last half-decade, including two fine albums. Universal Love, his first release of 2021, is also impressive. It sees the Glasgow-based artist shuffle between bleary-eyed, early morning house hypnotism ('Open Spaces', where Tangerine Dream style synthesizer lines and stirring chords bubble away atop a locked-in beat), heavily electronic dancefloor melancholia ('Balance'), ultra-wonky, sub-heavy minimalism (the crackling fuzziness of 'The Other Side Of'), spaced-out sunrise deep house ('Warm'), and rolling, warehouse-ready fare ('Universal Love', where spoken word vocals and tactile synth riffs catch the ear).
Review: Last year, Damiano Von Erckert graduated from the Ava label he's been associated with since 2011 and joined the extended family of artists at Will Saul's Aus Music imprint. Here he returns to that label with a second EP full to bursting with playable, peak-time ready treats. Particularly impressive is opener 'Mars', a deep house-tempo slab of sci-fi fired dancefloor futurist full of star fall electronics, lilting lead lines and intergalactic synthesizer motifs. Title track 'Pete' is more of a retro-futurist affair, with glassy-eyed female vocal samples, immersive ambient house chords and rising string sounds stretching out atop loose-limbed machine drums and a throbbing bassline, while 'F&D' joins the dots between jacking acid house, ambient techno and Motor City futurism.
Review: 'City Lights' was one of the standout cuts from Cinthie Christl's 2020 debut album Skylines - City Lights, so it's no surprise to see it appear as a single with a swathe of brand-new mixes. The original version, which kicks off the EP, is little less than a synthesizer symphony, with rising synth-strings dancing atop a mid-80s, arpeggio-style synth-pop bassline and Please-era Pet Shop Boys beats. Gerd Janson utilises many of these elements on his Tuff City Kids style Italo-disco rework, before Damino von Eckert re-frames it as a melodious chunk of synth-heavy techno warmth. Perhaps best of all though is the Wanderist remix, which brilliantly re-imagines the track as a bustling slab of deep space electro with a Kraftwerkian twist.
Review: When it comes to delivering deliciously intergalactic house and techno, few can match the sci-fi sounds, lilting lead lines, darting synth sounds and hypnotic beats of Jack Hamill AKA Space Dimension Controller. His trademark sound is naturally evident throughout his first EP for Aus Music. He begins with the deep, cosmic techno of 'Dispatch477', where bubbly acid bass, bustling drums and deep chords combine on an energetic-but-weightless sci-fi treat. 'Upper/Lower' is similarly deep and woozy but arguably more musically expansive, while closing cut 'Polymer Pyramid' sees him wrap drowsy, ambient techno style sustained chords and yearning synthesizer lead lines around a fizzing analogue bassline and snappy machine drums.
Review: Maarten Smeets, one half of Detroit Swindle, introduces his Wanderist project through Aus Music, and vice-versa. It presents a second record for Smeets on Aus (see the Rhythm Girl Swing EP) with the Wanderist project setting itself up as a place for electro breaks, acid and new age synths ("Translucid Dreams") to funky, stripped-back and pacey vocal house numbers ("Machines Have Feelings Too"). A minimal yet harder techno groove arrives in the pumping drum track "U Got Love" (tip) next to the sundrenched trance-ala-house music of "Astral Highways"!
Review: Late last year, Dutch duo Lars Dale and Maarten Smeets decided the time was right to ditch their Detroit Swindle moniker - chosen originally in tribute to Motor City dance music, but one that left them open to accusations of cultural appropriation - in favour of Dam Swindle. This three-tracker for Aus marks their first outing under the new alias and begins with one of their warmest and most ear-catching cuts to date: the Nikki O-voiced vocal deep house number 'Breathe', which boasts some brilliant live bass, twinkling Rhodes flourishes and atmospheric synth-strings. Title track 'Spice Run' is arguably even better thanks to bouncy, Afro-house style percussion, carnival-ready electric piano riffs and synthesized steel pan, while 'Get Together' is a drowsy and deep disco-house number laden with live instrumentation.
Review: Berlin-based Haider Masroor made his Aus Music debut with the '10961' EP in 2019. Now he returns to Will Saul and Fink's label with another three-tracker that defies easy genre categorisation. 'Levitate', for instance, starts out epic and proggy but then breaks out into a kind of EBM/Italo/industrial fusion interlude in the middle, while 'Too Close' has echoes of Orb-style ambient house, hardcore, two-step and the kitchen ruddy sink! The standout, though, is 'Why So Blue?', a moody, broody but irresistible order to dance in which delicate, haunting keys and cut-up female vocal snips surf a surging, pulsating bassline to devastating effect.
Review: Will Saul and Fink's Aus Music label have always operated at or around house music's more leftfield fringes, and this three-tracker from Damiano Von Erckert - a Cologne native who's now based in France - is no exception. 'My Belief, Your Disaster' builds from a space-y, bass-y intro into a small-hours cocktail of twitchy drums and cascading keys, while 'Tears For You' is a pulsating, synthy cut that'd work on 'deep' and 'melodic' floors alike - as would 'Dramatic Romance', wherein a synth bassline throbs throughout, topped with constantly evolving leads. Adrenaline-rush podium stompers these are not, but if you need material for those 4am "journeys" then step right on in.
Review: In case you didn't get the memo, Wanderist is the new solo alias of Maarten Smeets, one half of popular Dutch deep house duo Detroit Swindle. This debut EP under the alias sets out his sonic agenda, offering a few reminders of what many enjoy about his better-known act's work - rich musicality, warm vibes, and positive melodies - while also exploring a different set of electronic music inspirations. The headline attraction is arguably '2r2t', a wonderfully tactile and melodious chunk of loved-up electro warmth that comes accompanied by a wavy ambient revision (lusciously saucer-eyed) and an acid-flecked Dawud remix that joins the dots between sci-fi techno and intergalactic deep house. Elsewhere, '9005' is a dark, muscular and hazy techno roller and 'Fog' is an analogue-rich take on spacey '80s electro.
Review: Sei A aka Andy Graham follows 2016's Space in your Mind long player with this expansive project. Once again, he has chosen Aus as the outlet for his work, with Will Saul's label providing him with the platform to deliver his distinctive take on dance music. Underpinned by dream-like textures, Kinetic Action unravels at an unhurried pace; there's the layered ambience of "Random Rules"; the muggy, seductive break-beat led "Halo" and "High", a dubbed out house groove. Graham's production throughout the album is flawless, which allows him to move effortlessly between languid pieces like "Foundation" and more urgent, break beat tracks like "Forget Now".
Review: Given that she has been releasing music since the dawn of the century, we were rather surprised to find that "Skylines-Citylights" is Cinthie Christl's debut album. It is of course something of a vibrant, action-packed treat, with the long-serving DJ, producer, label boss and record shop owner combining elements from a multitude of interconnected genres (think Chicago house, ambient house, UK garage, acid, electronic disco, piano house and rave-era old school flavours) to create a string of timeless, joyous cuts. Highlights are plentiful and include - but are no way limited to - the glassy-eyed bliss of "808 The Meme Queen", the sub0heavy sweatiness of "Concentrate", the warehouse-ready future anthems "Bassline" and "Calling", and the hard-to-pigeonhole brilliance of stunning opener "Skyline".
Review: New York's disco, noise and electro don The Juan Maclean is back and makes his debut on Aus Music. Pushing a perceivably harder edged or club focused sound for Will Saul's label, Juan Mac turns in three numbers that explore deeper techno, trance and Italo alongside progressive new age disco (and New York soul) that goes all the way in "Outriders Of Planet Shulgin". For the Italo, deeper techno head (with hints of indie sub-pop too) "Here In The Twilight" goes the distance alongside the electrified nu-disco of "Harmine". Wild card alert on this record also o with a remix coming from Whities upstart "Nathan Micay" with a tough, dubbed out and warehouse mix to an epic title track.
Review: Cinthie Christl's last outing for Aus Music, 2019's "Mesmerizing EP", was a surprisingly disco-fired affair, mixing sounds associated with the resurgent 1970s style with her usual house and techno trademarks. Christl's latest two-tracker for Will Saul's label looks to the sweat-soaked hedonism of the rave era for inspiration, with title track "Bassline" offering a rushing romp rich in glassy-eyed piano house stabs, ear-catching female vocal snippets and crunchy drum machine beats. Virtual flipside "803 The Meme Queen" is a deeper and more musically considered take on the same retro-futurist house vibe, where a bold acid bassline, echo-laden additional percussion hits and starry chords catch the ear.
Review: We've rather enjoyed watching the rise of Tom Mangan AKA Tee Mango over the last eight years. His tracks are now in-demand, meaning releases on such admired labels as Delusions of Grandeur, Local Talk and Aus Music. Here he returns to the latter with his first EOP for Will Saul's imprint in two years. Our pick of the bunch is flipside "Music Got Me High", where glassy-eyed piano stabs, sparkling synthesizer riffs and soulful vocal samples ride a classic house groove. That said, for sheer party-rocking thrills you can't beat opener "Time Ain't Nothing", a sample-heavy affair that adds squelchy synth bass and snare-heavy house drums to chunks of a groovy swamp-funk workout.
Review: While some of us have spent the COVID-19 lockdown period watching dreadful daytime TV in our underpants, Marquis Hawkes has been busy producing new music - hence this EP of hot-to-trot "Lockdown House" tracks. He begins via the deep space daydreaming of "Jupiter Jam", where intergalactic synthesizer motifs ride a squelchy, sub-heavy bassline and bumpin' house beats, before doffing a cap to up-tempo 1990s US deep house on the tactile and energetic "Clockin' Out". "Let's Go Way Back" ratchets up the glassy-eyed good-time vibes towards rush-inducing territory - all chiming melodies, old school vocal snippets and chunky beats - while "Walking" successfully channels the spirit of turn-of-the-90s New Jersey garage.
Review: With Dutch producer Tracy's gradual rise into the ranks of well received dance music, Tom Ruijg, aka Tracey, sees himself become part of Aus Music's current vanguard alongside Floorplan, Move D and of course Aus label owner himself Will Saul. Microdancer presents the artist's second offering for Aus Music and is the first since his debut album, Biostar, for Dial in 2019. This record here presents a bass heavy, atmospheric take on melodic breaks, club tracks and cosmic techno. "Lanthana" will appeal to the b-side junkies out there for something a little more syncopated and undulating, while the title track throws down a heavier, enforced rhythm punctuated by solid bass stabs and a frenetic arpeggio melody. Lighter wares can be found in "Ubik" with the tunneling "Gretzoid" getting trippy with vocals from Gretz.
Review: Quartet Series main man Nachtbraker has released music on plenty of high profile imprints over the years - Heist, Dirt Crew and Hudd Traxx most frequently - but he's never released on Aus Music before. His label debut is a typically confident affair, with the Dutch producer dishing up a mixture of proto-house influenced deep house funk ("QT & The Lizards"), chunky house grooves and stunning, synth-pop influenced electronics ("De Zon") and deliciously dreamy, sun-kissed breakbeat house ("Nar Hon Inte Ar Dar (Sunrise Mix)"). Arguably best of all though is opener "Fatoe Morgana", a throbbing, all action mix of razor-sharp acid riffs, rising synthesizer motifs, drowsy chords and restless but sturdy grooves.
Review: By his normally prolific standards, Marquis Hawkes has been surprisingly quiet in 2019. In fact, this three-tracker for regular home Aus Music is just his third outing of the year, following typically well-received releases on Honom and Unknown To The Unknown. Opener "Hashtag Life Goals" is a wonderfully dreamy and glassy-eyed affair, with female spoken word samples, drowsy chords and picturesque melodies rising above booming bass and beats so sweaty they might have a fever. Hawkes successfully breaks up the beats on "Don't Forget To Subscribe", where thrillingly positive synthesizer motifs and woozy chords envelop NYC Freestyle-influenced electro drums, while "CS Groove" is a locked-in deep house box jam full of crunchy machine percussion, headline-grabbing bass and enveloping chords.
Review: It seems to strange, in 2019, to think that Robert Hood was once best known for dark, pounding techno, such has been the success of his more house- and gospel-inspired Floorplan project in recent years. This third long-player finds the father-and-daughter duo in fine fettle, serving up 10 cuts that marry house and disco's sense of groove and musicality to the dancefloor energy that Hood learned during his Underground Resistance years, with wailing church organs helping to provide the album's standout moments on tracks like 'Dance Floor' and 'His Eye Is On The Sparrow'. An uptempo, genre-defying triumph.
Review: Returning to production with his first LP in 13 years, Will Saul's 'Open Too Close' is said to be a journey through the influences that have helped shape the Aus Music boss's career and drive his forward-facing, unblinking passion for new music. It is a concept which reflects on Saul's extensive experience as a selector, with all tracks being dancefloor ready and exactly the sort of material he'd be proud to play in his own DJ sets. Moreover, he stated it's something "that sounds good at home, as well as in the club". Split across two releases, the first volume features the deep and emotive slo-mo swagger of "Openings", the evocative classic house vibe of "Pingalatu" (calling to mind the anthems of The Windy City from the late '80s) and equally on the retro tip is the hypnotising Todd Terry influenced rhythmicity of "Moorings".