Flying the flag for ‘quality independent electronic music’, born and bred on a national and global scale in their homebase of Australia and beyond, Balance Music have been at the very forefront of underground house sonics since their launch back in 2010, expertly guided by experienced director Tom Pandzic. Their revered Balance Mix Series has seen the likes of Max Cooper, James Zabiela, Kolsch, Danny Tenaglia, Deetron, Joris Voorn, Patrice Baumel and more step up to the plate for one of the most essential collections across the entirety of the electronica spectrum, whilst Balance Series, their showcase for expressive tech, progressive and wider variations of house music, is a focal point of the sound. The latter has drawn top-drawer releases from star names NuKreative, Sahar Z, Alex Niggemann, Brian Cid, Butane & Riko Forinson and D-Nox amongst countless others, encompassing a plethora of upcoming and established acts. As the brand continues to grow exponentially, their ever-expansive popularity shows no signs of letting up.
Review: A Canadian producer slowly starting to make his mark on the progressive scene is Micah Paul Lukasewich. With music so far released on labels like Global Underground, Ruhnsong and now Balance Music, he teams up with vocalist Kiki Cave to deliver two tracks of bona-fide progressive bliss. With super crisp production to boot, Micah Paul Lukasewich goes the whole-hog in "Evening Winds" that takes the track through a sidewinding session of effervescent synths, turned-out crescendos and subtle yet flying arpeggios. Kiki Cave gives it that extra sultry, God-like touch with her breathy vocals and melancholic charm in a single that's got HIT! written all over it.
Review: Austrian producer Philipp Straub has previously appeared on top labels such as Bedrock and Ovum, while Brazil's Morttagua heads up the Timeless Moments label and podcast. For their debut release on Australia's Balance, they serve up an atmospheric expression in dancefloor drama on the mesmerising epic "Bwell". With its foreboding bassline contrasted by a rich tapestry of lush melodies, it is just as worthy of a moment in the club as the fine remixes which come as part of the package. London-based Mexican Betoko gets onboard with a sublime rework which accentuates those plucked strings, while Staub himself hammers the message home with his sensual deep house perspective.
Review: US producer Brian Cid returns to Balance Music following his 2019 Meteorite Man LP! This Cease The Mind triple-packed sees three bassline focused numbers glow in a halo of atmospheric textures, endless grooves and highly electrofied synths. With sustained chords and evolving melodies adding to the luster of the title-track, Brian Cid converges on trance, techno and touch of deep house at large, harnessing the percussive effects of solid tom drums inside the spacey groove of "Open Centre" while the slightly menacing dub progressions of "Field Of Play" call upon themes that inspire both hope and melancholy. True trance.
Review: Australian label Balance Music welcome back the Georgian duo Michael & Levan Dunamalyan, once again in collaboration with Croatian artist Stiven Rivic - who altogether head up the imprints Mistique Music and Kunai Records. The Eye Candy EP features some wonderfully melodic progessive house action: from the glassy-eyed and bittersweet dancefloor drama of the title track which is reminiscent of German legends like Wighnomy Brothers or Extrawelt, while the slinky and hypnotic bounce of "Portal" is proper headrush inducing material that's perfect listening under the strobe lights.
Review: Sharing associations with labels like Mobilee, Get Physical and Bedrock, LA duo Dance Spirit arrive on Balance Music out of Australia. Delivering the pair's first release for 2020 it sees Dance Spirit reach deep into synth-laden, arpeggiotic, progressive electro territory. WIth the searing strings of "Close To The Sun'' combining with the percussive melodies of its bassline and skittering hi-hats, similar rhythms and deep tones match its aquatic counterpart in "Roses". For something a little harder and dubbed out there's "What A Soul Sounds Like", a minimal-esque power ballad of crackles, fizzles and pop given an ambient remix with its groove and drums totally removed for a science function blast of sound.
Review: St Louis' finest Andrew Rasse aka Butane is a veteran of the minimal techno scene, who should require no introduction. Having released on some top labels over the last decade not limited to Crosstown Rebels, DeePerfect and Hottrax in addition to running the alphahouse and Little Helpers imprints, he returns to ever reliable Aussie imprint Balance Music. This one is with Extrasketch alumnus Italian Riko Forinson again, on the La Natura EP. From the slinky and hypnotic mood music of "Status Quo", to the pumping euphoria of "Rain Dance" which shows off their penchant for well executed melodic techno, and the lean afterhours bounce of "Repair" - here's a surefire set of summertime grooves for any occasion.
Review: Vassiloudis, who is best known for his work on Bedrock, follows last year's Crossroads EP on Balance with this immersive affair. "Building Better Worlds" is an atmospheric but driving track that resounds to layered textures and chiming melodies. Meanwhile on "Supermodel", he drops the tempo to deliver dubbed out drums and a brooding bass that provides the basis for dreamy synth lines. "Tunnel Vision" sees Vassiloudis focus more on this downtempo approach, as slow-motion beats are fused with shiny melodies and robotic vocals. The Greek producer's journey into the home listening realm continues on "Manual", where cosmic keys and guitar licks are fused with a chugging groove.
Review: Giving hope to words which otherwise evoke the opposite, Mistique Music and Kunai Records founders Michael & Levan and Stiven Rivic return with Agony. Trance is the name of the game here, with the lead track's skipping groove weaving through a sonic field of synths, melodic progressions, soft, glass-like percussion and swathes of pads and breathy textures. "Neglected" delivers a more club-concentrated mix that's reduced in texture but big in dub and warehouse bounce. A little more tech house than trancey but all good!
Review: Jet setting German DJ and producer D-Nox matches up with his Brazilian associate K.A.L.I.L. for two different shades of epic. "Mahayl", on the one side, with it 90s, almost Robert Miles-tip, surfs a wave of mellow before breaking down in a massive section of murky bass, only to then return again to the surface. "Meteor", like a rock reentering the atmosphere, burns long and hard into its final synthy descent. Spectacular deep trance.
Review: Argentinians Zagitar (Mango Alley) and homeboy Who Else(Get Physical/Knee Deep In Sound) serve up some captivating grooves on this four-track EP for Aussie imprint Balance Music, where they combine for an exciting release which will satiate those looking to inject some excitement into their DJ sets. Delve deep into the exotic on "Circus" where a razor sharp bassline rides atop of majestic middle eastern folk arrangements. For something a bit different, they serve up some lo-slung indie dance shenanigans on "Map 76" in the same vein of of Israeli heroes such as Red Axes and Niv Ast, while crossing genre boundaries once more on the addictive tech house/nu-disco/minimal hybrid of "Hipster".
Review: Since its inception in 2015, Jeremy Olander's label and event series, Vivrant, has become a home to new and established artists such as Khen, Finnebassen, Henry Saiz and more - all presenting their unique take on melodic house and techno. Now it is releasing its first ever mix album for Melbourne's Balance Music - and also happens to be the first in Olander's career thus far. With this long overdue project, he is bringing two discs of exclusive music from himself (under his darker techno alias Dhillon), and friends such as La Fleur, Ejeca, Locked Groove, Marino Canal and Tim Engelhardt, in addition to newcomers like A Friend Of Marcus and Carl Dern. Olander stated that the mix 'encompasses what the label sounds like in 2019 and beyond.. a true manifestation of our style, and what it's grown to become in the four years since we started.'
Review: Melbournians GMJ and Matter AKA Gavin Martin & Matty Doyle have an established place in their legendary progressive house scene. It's fitting then that a release on local institution Balance is offered up here, with the duo forming powers with Queensland native Funkform for some excursions in slinky and entrancing night moves. From the deep tribal meditations of "Emerge" through to the Afro influenced dancefloor drama of "Solace" - we want to hear more from this mighty trio in 2020.
Review: Here is the first single taken from German producer Namito's autobiographical album Leaving Everything Behind, on Aussie label Balance Music, "Covert Affection" (featuring Manaa) signals a coming of age, as the 13 year old adolescent learns he will soon be evacuated, in a bid to escape the raging war in his homeland of Iran - as well as dealing with themes of love and loss. Features the moody and atmospheric Club Mix which will surely hypnotise dancefloors into submission, followed by a blissed-out ambient mix incorporating neo-classical elements.
Review: This EP for Balance Music is another winner for the Australian producer Luka Sambe. With recent releases on labels like Lost & Found and Traum Schallplatten, this EP is filled with the sort of gems that should get repeated plays from progressive house heroes like Guy J, Sasha and more. "If Animals Could Talk" will allow you passage deep into the amazon on this breathtaking and deep tribal rain dance. Following this he is sounding rather majestic on the slinky and hypnotic dancefloor drama of "People Can Dance", in addition to ever reliable Israeli producer Eli Nissan's bouncy bass-driven tech house rework - which is aimed squarely at main room dancefloors.
Review: Progressive house supremo Hernan Cattaneo takes us on a journey to the deep side here, and it's very much the proverbial game of two halves. In the first half, the Argentinian skillfully weaves a path through dreamy midtempo numbers (see Kymatiks' Green Fields & Lemon Skies'), moody, broody synth chuggers (Cattaneo & Soundexile's 'Flair') and full-on ambience (Navar's 'Zion'). For the second half, the dancefloor ante is raised considerably by the likes of Cid Inc's driving Balearic prog jam 'Forgotten' and the chunky, atmospheric 'Mein Sohn' by Subandrio. The deep/prog hinterland has long been Cattaneo's home, and this engaging collection shows why he's one of the scene's most revered selectors.
Review: Aussie tech house hero Uone returns to hometown label Balance Music for more dreamy pop-inflected grooves, with a track taken from his most recent mix compilation. The Melbourne-based DJ/producer announced himself as one to watch with his incredible 2018 Balance Presents release, a sprawling 21 track epic mixed to perfection, and the next single from the 2CD release is a five-track remix package of the beguiling "Sands of Time" featuring Sleeping Genie on vocals.
Review: Quality progressive house action from long standing Aussie label Balance Music here. Three time winner of Israel's DJ of the Year award Sahar Z has worked with everyone from Bedrock to Lost & Found, while Stelios Vassiloudis might just be one of the most well-known exponents of emotive house to come from Greece. His impressive resume of releases takes in such esteemed labels like Poker Flat, Ovum, Audiomatique, and Moodmusic. This is the pair's second session of collaboration, and the Crossroads EP is destined to take you to distant places in your mind. Go deep into the exotic on the hypnotic bliss that is the mesmerising title track, the dark energy of 'heads down' number "Black Tears" will draw you deep into the aether while the heavenly and sublime "Front Row" is a perfectly euphoric cut that's ideal to play before they turn the lights on in the morning.
Review: With careers spanning over 20 years, the Australian duo now based in Los Angeles duo NuKreative are making waves in the underground dance scene with their sounds that have been presented on respected labels like Magician On Duty, Kindisch and Open Records. Their new one comes courtesy of their Melbourne hometown heroes Balance Music - The Entheogen EP features a selection of deep and earthy progressive house sounds, as heard on the glassy eyed and heartfelt groove of the title track. More earthy tones can be experienced on the dark and slinky tech-house groove of "Moody Meen" and the selected remixes next. Retza's sensual rework wouldn't have sounded out of place on Dessous or Hafenmusik, while the ambient mix is pure and simple bliss.
Review: Israeli producer Yariv Etzion aka Stereo Underground has been very active within Tel Aviv's electronic music scene over the last decade. His musical output began 2009, and in his debut year he received high praise for his hypnotic, progressive sounds. Fast forward to the present day, he now presents his full-length debut album The Art Of Silence via esteemed Australian label Balance Music. It is the natural culmination of his efforts over the last decade, taking him 10 months of recording in a studio set up in the countryside. The project has always shown a great sense of musicality and ambition and it is sure evident on tracks like the title track with its slinky melody, subtle rhythms and soothing tones, the euphoric high octane dancefloor drama of "Above The Sea Of Fog" with its powerful trance inflections, or get lost in the moody and atmospheric progressive house epic "Echoes"
Review: Israel born artist Yariv Etzion aka Stereo Underground (FSOE UV/Lost & Found) presents the first single from his upcoming debut album, The Art of Silence. The rather evocative electronica of "Little Red Head" carries a lot of emotional weight, as it was written in memory of the artist's pet cat who passed away recently, and features the ethereal vocals of Tel Aviv's Daniel Sealine. This is followed by the powerful club mix which goes for that Life & Death style of dancefloor drama, followed by a more straight ahead dub mix for those of you not so keen on the vocals.
Review: Melbourne based label Balance Music look to their own backyard for their latest release, calling upon homegrown talent Uone to serve up this new effort. After presenting the last edition of their acclaimed mix series last year, where a cross two CDs he showcased his unique ear for melody and dancefloor dynamics with over 20 tracks, the Aussie larrikin finally serves up stand out track "Karnival Dreams" with its dubby, old-school tech house flavour. Also included in the package is a remix from fellow Australian Retza (All Day I Dream) and and minimal techno veteran Butane (Alphahouse/Little Helpers).
Review: New York City based Brian Cid appears next for Australian label Balance Music. An acclaimed studio engineer on pop projects in his recent past, he is now driven by a love of club culture and brings a lush and melodic style to the scene - as heard on labels like fabric, Knee Deep In Sound and Get Physical. The Endangered Records head honcho delivers some seriously deep and hypnotic perspectives in tech-house for his full length entitled Meteorite Man: brilliantly exemplified on the slinky mentalist groove of "Quest" or the hypnotic journey down the vortex that is "Limits" awash in a rich tapestry of melody and texture - among many others on this fine release.
Uone & Mihai Popoviciu - "Escaping The Winter" - (7:03) 119 BPM
The Hawtin Experiment - (8:32) 120 BPM
Jam & Spoon - "Odyssey To Anyoona" (Uone & Jamie Stevens mix) - (8:29) 120 BPM
Monolink - "Sirens" (Uone mix) - (7:23) 120 BPM
Balance Presents Uone (continuous DJ mix) - (2:24:19)
Review: Melbourne-based Balance Music, home to the long-running compilation series of the same name, bring us a debut long-player from local talent Uone that's part studio album, part mix comp, and if you're a fan of the label generally you'll find plenty to enjoy. 'Space Between Love', featuring a Stevie Nicks-esque vocal from Briony Taylor-Brooks, is simply stunning - think Ennie Morricone remixed by Solomun and you're somewhere in the ballpark. But there's plenty more goodness where that came from! Operating in the nebulous zone where deep and progressive house overlap, and borrowing rhythms and sounds from around the globe, this album is an engaging, involving listen that's best appreciated when served whole.
Review: Clarian North's arrival on Melbourne's Balance Music feels like the right thing at the right time. The producer has now made name for himself, thanks to several releases for the likes of Kompakt, while the imprint has racked up an impressive amount of long-plays from artists like Timo Maas, Nick Warren, and plenty of other house/tech greats. Clarian's output is pop-friendly dance music for the crossover specialists, often verging towards something altogether more 'indie'. Television Days is a balanced piece of work, offering a firmly wide-eyed view of house music, and one which does its best to steer away from the more loop-minded tracks that are pumped out weekly. Gentle and largely placid throughout, Clarian manages to blend subtle waves of acid, bleeps and the rest of what we would call 'industrial charm' into an LP that is fit for anyone and everyone. Non-specialist gear...for the trained ear.
Review: A songwriter and sound engineer from Montreal, Clarian first gained notable recognition through his former role in synth-pop duo Footprintz - one of the first act signed to Visionquest, releasing several singles as well as an album - co-produced with Ewan Pearson. Further releases came via Kompakt, Turbo, Rumors, Founders of Filth and his own eponymous imprint. He will release his highly anticipated debut LP, Television Days, via Australia's Balance Music and the blissed out, lo-slung cosmic disco of "Under The Gun" is the first single lifted from the album.
Henry Saiz - "Balance Presents Natura Sonoris" (continuous DJ mix) - (2:23:28)
Review: Henry Saiz hails from Spain; he's a music producer who's highly regarded, someone even called him a genius once (although there is a possibility that it was he himself who said it), and here he takes the reigns of the 19th volume in the Balance Presents series. He embarrasses a legion of sham DJs too by weaving a mix that utilises vinyl, cassette, reel-to-reel tapes and over 100 field recordings. All the material here is exclusive to this mix and the hypnotic, primal trance-electro-disco-house blend is once heard, never forgotten. A genuine artist at work.
Review: Berlin tech house hero Alex Niggemann stepped up for the latest edition of Australian mix series Balance, delivering an impressive selection that merged pop inflected electronica, harder edged techno sounds right through to his warm and percussive tech house that has earned him accolades in recent years. Two of his original tracks now appear as a single release, such as the soulful yet glitchy R&B stylings of "Hurricane" featuring the silky vocals of The Shadow Self (which gets a super deep and emotive makeover by Swiss hi-tech soul man Deetron) then the evocative and bittersweet electronica of "Silhouettes & Sparks" feat. Hendrik Burkhard gets the remix treatment by Danish rising star Denis Horvat, who is fresh off releases for labels like Innervisions ad Exit Strategy and that very aesthetic is channeled into this brooding journey track.
Alex Niggemann - "Balance" (Mixed By Alex Niggemann/continuous mix) - (1:16:30) 124 BPM
Review: From his native Dusseldorf to his adopted home of Berlin, Alex Niggemann's name is synonymous with the German tech house sound and appearances on a who's who of labels in recent years. From Poker Flat, Last Night On Earth and Tsuba to his own respected Aeon and Soulfooled imprints, he has shown his knack for deep and sexy grooves and his last eight years of DJing and studio prowess is on display for the latest edition of Australia's Balance series of mix compilations. The programming on Balance runs the gamut from deep, dark journey tracks (Gui Boratto "Joker" (Dave DK mix)"/Baikal - "Pelican's Flight"), dreamy hypnotism (Aril Brikha/Sebastian Mullaert - "Illuminate"/Antigone "Blue Note") and some new exclusives from the man himself, such as the mighty slow burner "Divergent". As always, there's a bonus track featuring all the aforementioned on a continuous mix.
Review: Australia's Balance Music is known for its quality mixes by the very finest in the underground music circuit. With previous compilations by the likes of New York's Danny Tenaglia, Deetron and Funk D'Void, among others, this is as close to a Fabric mix as you can get without those shiny tin cases. Ex-minimal legend turned all-out techno queen Magda steps up for number 27 in the series, and it's nothing but vibes on this one. Amalgamating shreds of stripped back techno - Marcel Dettmann, DVS1, Samuli Kemppi - together with newer, more underground sounds from some of the most cutting-edge labels around - Marco Bernardi's Sandman project, TTT's Minor Science, XDB and Shackleton - the Minus legend shows why she's still one of the best in the game and a true expert at evolving her aesthetic. A great mix, dig in.
Review: Danny Tenaglia is a stone cold legend, but his profile has waned significantly over recent years. Given that it's 25 years since the release of his first production, this first contribution to the Balance series - is well timed. Pleasingly, it seems Tengalia still "has it it". Throughout the collection, the veteran NYC DJ maintains a fearsome energy level, mixing things up via a track list that spans chunky tech-house, darkroom tribal, heavily percussive fare (see Michel Cleis' dub of Basement Jaxx's "Mermaid of Salinas") and intelligent techno revivalism (Dax J's brilliant "Dreamscape" and Ho's "Deletion 3"). It is, of course, an impeccable selection, as you'd expect from a man with Tengalia's undoubted pedigree.