Review: Amsterdam festival DGTL's offshoot label has yet to deliver a duff release, with previous outings from the likes of Man Power, KiNK and Fort Romeau all passing muster. Predictably, their latest missive from sometime Disco Halal and Golf Channel artist Autarkic is also a winner. The Tel-Aviv born producer begins in confident style with "Strange Alliances", where dreamy, drifting vocals, wonky trumpet lines and inter-dimensional electronics rise above a heavy, metronomic, dub-influenced cosmic disco groove. It comes backed with two suitably stellar remixes: a spacey mid-tempo revision by Trikk Sekvica informed by the alien synthesizer sounds of early French electronica and hypnotic Middle Eastern music, and a rubbery, stargazing revision by Rebodello that sits somewhere between dark analogue house and intoxicating techno.
Review: More epic than an all-night Sasha set, Modular Arms bridges the gap between big room house, trance melodies and break beat. "Celebrate", with its filtered synth builds, rolling drums and prowling bass is a pure adrenaline rush, bringing the listener back to a time when DJs played a range of music and didn't worry about sub-genres. "Modular" is more introspective and sees DGTL deliver morse code bleeps and windswept melodies over an understated groove. However, the most impressive track is "Amplify". Like an update of late 90s breaks act Hybrid, it sees DGTL effortlessly fuse dramatic strings and searing acid lines with dubbed out, cavernous break beats.
Review: For their second release on their label arm, Amsterdam festival DGTL has tapped another one of its regulars for a release: Michael Greene aka Fort Romeau. The UK producer came into the spotlight with releases on Running Back, Live At Robert Johnson and Ghostly International amongst others. In 2015 he also set up his own label, Cin Cin, releasing split EPs from established names and newcomers alike, with a diverse musical policy that reflects his open minded and inquisitive approach. After playing at three editions of the festival, they 'wanted to propagate his sound with an EP on their imprint.' Starting off in fine fashion with the evocative mood lighting of "Untitled II" with its Larry Hard bassline and layers of neon-lit pads over a steady groove. Next up Greene offers up a taste of the acid life on "A Familiar Place" this is proper dancefloor drama - 303 style, that would make even Tin Man stand up and notice.
Review: DGTL Festival mainstay KiNK produced "Neutrino" at the event's Amsterdam festival last year. The Bulgarian hardware maverick delivers high tech soul as always with his signature techno sound that utilises hands in the air chord progressions, powerful and immaculate rhythms and razor sharp synth leads. "Dynamo" has adrenalised tension and sheer dancefloor drama with its furious and reverberated kick supporting some Jeff Mills style chime melodies and sonar bleeps supported by eerie strings. In its five years DGTL has carved its style and sound worldwide as one of Amsterdam's staple dance music institutions. This year the organisation is deepening its operations and their new label arm is a fine example thus far.
Review: Despite releasing a rake of EPs over the past two years for Correspondant, ESP Institute and Optimo Trax, Man Power aka Geoff Kirkwood shows no sign of slowing down. The talented artist's latest missive appears on the newly minted DGTL label, and is an essential release for anyone who follows his idiosyncratic sound. "The Duellist" is the big track here, focusing on slinky piano keys, a buzzing acid line and frosty synths over a sleek, pulsing groove. "El Mago Del Tiempo" has an epic feeling, with Kirkwood fusing sublime synths with an electronic disco rhythm. Meanwhile his weird side, which is never too far from the surface, bubbles up on the slow-motion "Put Your Hands On The Car (& Get Ready To Die)".
Review: Following releases by Man Power and Kink, Djordje Petrovic aka Satori is the latest artist to release on DGTL. Having put out records for Crosstown Rebels, he's ideally placed to blur the boundaries between house, techno and left of centre influences. Fittingly then, "Fauna" is an unusual but engaging mixture of throbbing acid lines, Middle Eastern chanting and pumping techy rhythms. On the title track, Satori opts for a similar approach and deploys tripped out, melodic riffs and a jerky, off beat rhythm as a back drop for mysterious chants. Rounding off this impressive release is Satori's own take on "Magharibi", where he picks up the tempo deliver a big room techy rhythm, replete with tribal howls.
Review: The label arm of the DGTL festival organisation comes good with a fine house compilation to soundtrack these uncertain times. The warbling bass and neat percussive undercurrents on Lovshai's "Solo" start the release in warm, ecstatic form, while FM Live recalls the glory days of 90s UK deep house with the sprawling "Tal Como Soy". The compilation takes a tranced out turn for Perdu's "The Light Within", where broken beats provide the basis for some atmospheric hooks, before Yotam Avni switches into techno-influenced mode for the rolling, drum-heavy workout that is "Jungle of the Mirror II". Peppered with dreamy synths and deep vocal samples, it shows that when it comes to modern house music, DGTL has few peers.