Review: Chiwax are back this week with a more than welcome reissue of Wax Fruit's one-and-only release Whispers from 1994. This was one of many aliases used by Toronto-based producer Ron Allen, who some of you may know for his seminal work as one half of Psyance (with Hayden Andre Brown) who released on Plus 8, as well as his work under the names Aztech, The Apache Project and The R.A.S.E. The late night mood music of the title track is a true zeitgeist from the period in which it was released, while the looped-up, disco sampling deep house of 'Just A Party' or 'Mindgames' were equally as trendsetting as anything fellow Torontonians like Nick Holder or DJ Sneak were making at the time.
Review: Clearly someone woke up on the uncompromising side of the bed this morning, as Chicago veteran Gene Hunt delivers five tracks that'll suit those who like their house music stripped-back and minimal (with a small 'm'). 'In The Night' has that air of vague menace found on a lot of early Chi-town house records ('I'm Scared' by Jungle Wonz springs to mind), 'Mr Shinn' is a sparse, jerky bass n' drums n' synth workout and 'Eletro Mass' channels more of those mid-80s Windy City vibes, while closer 'Bass Drone' takes us well and truly into the jacking zone.
Review: Three very find trad-style deep housers here from Italian trio Floska, who since 2008 have put out a long string of fairly low-key releases on labels including VIVa Music, Wasabi and Four Fingers Hand. 'Terrace' itself opens with crisp percussion and a nagging bass riff that's soon joined by haunting, atmospheric keys: it's deceptively pacey despite the laidback feel, and so would be equally at home in the warm-up or on very late floors. 'Akenathon' is a warmer, slinkier groove with vocal micro-snips, luxuriant pads and similar Chi-town drums to the title track, while the accompanying remix beefs things up a little for maximum dancefloor playability.
Review: If the title here has you expecting forward-thinking house grooves that are nonetheless firmly rooted in the Windy City tradition, then congratulations, because you're spot-on. 'Madness' is an eyes-down number with that chugs along in Moroder-esque fashion, 'Post Modern Chicago' itself is bleepy and vaguely dystopian in feel, 'Trying To Yesterday' is pacier and owes as much to Detroit as to Chi-town, and 'Human Minds' is one for the synth lovers and brings early Human League to mind. An EP that'll suit DJs who like to take a few chances, rather than those who just like to hammer it out.
Review: Since ditching his juke-focused "Murderbot" project a few years back, Chris "Chrissy" Shively has found success as a producer of giddy, good-time dance music shot through with references to all manner of classic UK and U.S styles and sub-genres. "Resilience", his first full-length as Chrissy, continues on this theme, delivering a whirlwind trip through three decades of sweaty, party-starting UK and U.S dance music. Shively begins with the smile-inducing rave revivalism of "Like A Fantasy" and the "Sweet Harmony"-esque "Do What You Feel", before in sequence turning his hand to 1980s piano house ("Your Ghost"), heavy London hardcore ("We Need Love"), acid-fired ghetto-house ("U Can't Stop"), Kariya (the "I Want You Tonight" style brilliance of "So I Go Dancing") and early jungle/drum and bass ("Call On Me").
Review: Iranian producer Amidi is a stalwart of the Dubai house and techno scene, as well as running vinyl-only label Volt Music. Here, he comes to Germany's Chiwax with four cuts from the more minimal, experimental end of the deep house spectrum. All four come packed with glitches and odd beeps n' bleeps, making them best suited to small-hours play: 'Craft 07' itself is a trippy affair full of sub-aquatic sounds and assorted otherwordly noises, 'Minute Grande' leans towards 'melodic' territory, 'Sloppy Gravity' owes a debt of inspiration to Detroit techno and 'Catnip' is a mellower, late night jam.
Review: DJ Haus returns to Chiwax after last year's "Freq Trax" record. Steadily gaining as much recognition as his Unknown to the Unknown label, Haus delivers more stripped back machine music here. It starts with the malfunctioning computer bleeps and repetitive vocal loops of "Alien Vox", while on "Exponential Acid", he ups the ante to drop firing, snappy percussion and wired acid lines. "Radioactive Dream" is a proper 90s techno jam that borrows from the primal jack of Dan Curtin's Purveyors of Fine Funk project and Juan Atkins wiry futurism in equal measures, while on "Let My Brain Go", Haus returns to the machine grind of "Alien Vox".
Review: Chiwax has built up a reputation for reissuing lost classics, but for Ghetto Traks, they have approached a contemporary producer. That said, the title track is a pounding ghetto affair, like Robert Armani at his meanest and Phuture out front on vocals. "Auto ML" is inspired by a similar period in Chicago dance music history, with Kaptain Cadillac delivering a primal ghetto techno workout that is held down by percussive bursts that have metallic strength. "Afia" is slightly less intense, but it still resounds to the screeching sirens that made Armani standards like Circus Bells such classics, while the self-explanatory "Work Dat" is an abrasive journey into Chicago jack trax, led by a snaking bass and rolling snares.