Review: You could hardly say that Joey Anderson's 2014 debut album, After Forever, was overlooked, but it certainly didn't get the coverage it deserved. The New Jersey native is a distinctive talent, and After Forever was full of tracks that took deep house and techno in unique directions. This speedy follow-up EP, also for Dekmantel, is similarly impressive. Opener "1974" is intensely bright, with restless synthesizer arpeggios and dreamy chords riding a heavy-but-subtle, off-kilter groove. "Under Water" is woozier and a little darker, with curious samples twisted into melodious metallic shapes, while "Back Draft" sees Anderson dropping sci-fi sounds over a throbbing, jacking rhythm.
Review: Finally the debut album from Joey Anderson arrives after what seems like forever (if you'll excuse the pun). After Forever demonstrates Anderson's dedication to beat his own path, with plenty of mind bending moments to contend with. Highlights come thick and fast, "Space Colors Ideas" is a wondrous cascade of scatty bass synth and celestial sweeps, whilst the suitably named "Sorcery" melds together palpitating, subliminal kicks, a light dusting of hats, some loping Rhodes and complimentary synth notes. After Forever is destined to remain in the playlists of the more considered selectors for years to come.
Review: Its been a landmark year for Joey Anderson with a succession of superb 12" releases and V/A appearances for labels such as Latency, Anunnaki Cartel, Syncrophone, Avenue 66 and his own Inimeg recordings all demonstrating the New Jersey-based producer's reputation is well deserved. This release provides as taste of his year to come, as he graces Dekmantel with this excellent 3 track EP ahead of a debut album for the Dutch label planned for some time in 2014. Deep beneath the frazzled, pixelated synth of lead track "Repulsive" there's a haunting quality that informs so much of Anderson's work, yet it still feels immediate enough to be the track that many selectors will gravitate towards. "Sky's Blessing" acts as an introspective wedge between the classic B-Side in the making that is the hypnotically charged "Heaven's Archer".
Review: New Yorker Anthony Parasole has been responsible for some of the most distinctive techno music of the past five years. Releasing mainly on The Corner, Dutch festival organisers Dekmantel have coaxed him to put out his debut album on their label. Infrared Vision builds gradually and incrementally, like one of Parasole's mesmerising DJ sets. It starst with the murky abstractions of
"Cold Steel" before moving into the deep house of "Murky Waters" and the skeletal drum tracks, "Explode" and "Momentum". The tempo and intensity levels ramp up on the dubby, bleep-heavy title track, while "Bizarre (Part 2)" rave influences are recycled. While "Spell On Me" sees him take a break with an ambient interlude, "The Chant", with its repetitive vocal sample and fat drums, shows that Parasole is most at home on the dance floor.
Review: Steven de Peven is Amsterdamer Awanto 3, a staple of local imprints Rush Hour and Dekmantel since 2010 (not to mention moonlighting as Red Nose District) who presents his new LP Gargamel, This is his second full length since 2014's Opel Mantra. Starting off this great EP is the single "Azrael" which features usual studio partner Darling on this deep nu-disco cut, as does the booming and lo-slung bass exercise "Hooli Goose". Our personal highlights were the spooky, rusty and dusted down jack of "This Is When We Met" (which will really remind you of that notorious villain from the Smurfs that the album is named after) or the deep and minimal electro groove of "Thick" which features another local legend in the form of Klakson's inimitable Dexter. Awanto 3 likes his samples vibrant, his drums wobbly and his synths sweaty as a Detroit summer breeze. The MPC wizard returns!
Review: Dekmantel commence their fifth anniversary series with a weighty three-track offering. Awanto3 serves up a roaming 12 minutes of understated groove for the slow blend, employing a moody key line and punchy disco beat to ride out in a haze of warm-up bliss. Makam is a little more in yer face, taking a classic funk sound base to create a masterclass in feeling good without trying too hard. Lone brings his own inimitable style to bear on "Risttowe", full of electronica synth warbles and jacking beats yet still ploughing the same delirious, dreamy furrow that so much Dekmantel output manages to wind up in.
Review: There's been a fair bit of hype surrounding this second album from Stuart Li under his now familiar Basic Soul Unit guise, and it's not hard to see why. Dropping on Dekmantel some three years on from his Still Music released debut album Motional Response, Under The Same Sky revels in its' instinctively atmospheric and floor-friendly blend of classic Detroit, Chicago and - more surprisingly - British techno influences. As usual, the chords are deep and spacey, the melodies bold and shimmering, and the beats rough and ready. The results are splendid from start to finish, with the early LFO-influenced smasher "Fate In Hand", thunderous "Temptress" and sci-fi brilliance of "We All Want To Believe" amongst the numerous highlights.
Review: The work of Dutch producers Betonkust and Palmbomen II, Center Parcs was recorded in an ageing holiday park, from whence its name is derived. Like the slowly decaying surroundings that became the pair's de facto studio, there is a degraded sensibility throughout Parcs. It starts with the dreamy, frazzled "24 x 33" and "Smerig Eiland" and continues on the easy listening "De rust die Je Zocht". There is also a slightly more sinister edge to the album, audible on the pair's exploration of raw techno on "Renaat Egypte" as well as the warped acid of "Skytronic Cola". But overall, a longing for better times and the faded glory of their surroundings win through, audible on the serene "Troostprijs" and the blissed out "Nintendo Pantera".
Review: Dutchmen Betonkust and Palmbomen II are back on local institution Dekmantel, following up last year's well received Center Parcs LP - which was recorded in the bunker of an abandoned theme park. The retro, grainy and lo-fi qualities that characterise each others work is evident again here on Parallel B EP. This time recorded in a bungalow somewhere in the Dutch countryside, it finds a distinct middle ground between Kal Hugo's lo-fi classic house aesthetics and Swiere Westveen's taste for gritty electro, acid and Italo sounds. It pays fictional homage to a now deceased famous TV star, who instead on working on the screen, took up a new direction in making music.
Review: Salon Des Amateurs' Bufiman makes his Dekmantel debut with two left-of-centre, broken beat mind-melters. "Peace Moves" is a lo-fi, almost sludgy dive into a synth swamp where flurries of cosmic synth licks swoon and tease above your heard. "Graffiti Moves" takes an even trippier twist over a similarly low-and-slow drum arrangement but with added sparkling percussion. Throw in two cutlass-sharp versions of and you've got yourself a watertight declaration of peace. Absurdly on-point as always from Dekmantel.
Review: Jan Schulte aka Bufiman drops his debut album on Dekmantel, and it's a thing of cosmic beauty. There's the odd ball groove of "Galaxy", on "Sara Sara", he tackles electronic boogie with great flair and "Hoolock Rock" is a superb slice of spaced out disco. However, Schulte's project is not just concerned with revisiting existing styles, and he seems to be just as content when teasing out weird and wonderful new hybrids. These are articulated most impressively on the frazzled acid and steely drums of "Blow Your Mind", the dreamy down tempo drums and tropical sounds of "News From The Treetops" and the sludgy electro funk on "Langsam Aber Slowly".
Review: A less is more approach from the post-mixdown mind of the venerable Jan Schulte, aka Wolf Muller, operating here under his Bufiman alias! Schulte first debuted the project via Versatile Records back in 2015 and with this three-track maxi he delivers a stripped back, bonus mixdown of the Albumsi LP Dekmantel released earlier this year. Described as a release for world peace and dance music for frogs, this follow up is largely inspired by a sleeping Dutch classic called Jive Rhythm Trax, with Bufiman turning in some downbeat, slo-mo rave vibes in "Under Control Now' - serious warehouse heat - to the solidly warped tropical tones and percussive drum machine mainframes of "Apo-Calypso". Find the EP's ultimate rhythm number in "Hoolock Rock". Bufiman goes Drumsi.
Review: Aside from hosting a pretty spectacular line-up each and every June in the Amsterdam area, Dekmantel also know how to lay down some hard dance tunes and, since their inception, they have been a pillar to the modern house and techno spectrum. This series of releases marks ten years of activity from the Dutch crew, and they certainly know how to celebrate in style - Bufiman's opening "Hymn To The Moonface" is a stunning slice of progressive sci-fi rolling, Betonkust and Palbomen II's number is sleek and tech-minded, while Scotland's Space Dimension Controller rolls through with some spectacularly cinematic electro-tech, and Lena Willikens' appearance is marked by raucous bass tones and sharp-edged beats. BIG.
Review: When it comes to celebrating their tenth year in business, no one could accuse Dekmantel of doing it in half measures. For this, the fifth instalment of their 10 Years series, they have recruited well-known faces alongside some surprise appearances. German dub producer Burnt Friedman delivers "Monsun", a high-paced, heavily filtered workout that cruises along at break neck speed. By contrast, "Edge Of", from Detroit producer Ectomorph, is a model of restraint, following a dubby groove that ebbs and flows to the sound of spaced out textures and a lurching bass. Dekmantel regulars Juju & Jordash drop the uptempo, jazzed out house of "Neon Swing", while helping to blow out the birthday candles is Fatima Yamaha, with the sultry keys and synths of "Platforms (Empty Version)".
Review: Call Super first met the Dekmantel crew last year, one of many high profile DJs to play their summer festival in Amsterdam and it wasn't long before the esteemed Dutch imprint asked him to supply them with an EP. Impressively, Nervous Sex Traffic is one of his strongest 12" singles to date - no mean feat given his track record - with the title track, in particular, delivering thrills in spades. Stretching out over nine mesmerizing minutes, it overlays snappy, analogue-sounding beats and cowbell hits with alien bleep melodies, synthesized horn stabs, rich bass, and pads that recall Pet Shop Boys' "West End Girls". It's a melodious, eyes-closed treat, all told. "Mount Grace" sees a deeper, more metallic affair that draws inspiration from vintage Detroit techno, blissful electro, and the morning-after confusion of ambient house.
Review: This release is the second in a series of ten records that Dutch label and festival promoters extraordinaire Dekmantel has planned for 2017 to celebrate its first decade in business. Call Super's "Fluenka Spoke" is an understated affair; over a stripped back, clicky groove, the UK producer adds in whirrs and ticks, birdsong and tropical effects. It makes for a heady affair. On the flipside, Dekmantel have tapped Shanti Celeste and her contribution, "Hinoki", doesn't disappoint. Over a rolling, rickety rhythm, she adds in beautiful, billowing chords and breathy vocal samples - an intoxicating vision of Detroit techno, routed through Bristol and interpreted in great style.
Review: Renowned alias collector Natal Zaks has largely impressed since transferring to Dekmantel last year via the two-part Political Dance release. "Pillow Peace", his return to the esteemed Dutch imprint, is something of a fluttering, sun-kissed summer treat. While the beats are typically solid and the bassline warm and heavy, it's the melodious musical elements he layers on top - think sparkling synth lines, lilting new age motifs and tactile chords - that really catch the ear. Fittingly, those undulating, synthesizer heavy, new age influences are explored further on the flip, where Zaks joins forces with Young Marco as Andet to deliver a blissful, head-in-the-clouds interpretation.
Review: Man of many pseudonyms Natal Zaks brings his Central project to Dekmantel, with the first of a series of EPs entitled Political Dance. It's an expansive affair, with the Danish producer delivering a quintet of tracks that meld distinctive Detroit techno, early US deep house, broken beat and deep space ambient influences into attractive new shapes. Highlights abound, from the rolling, loved-up grooves of the starry "Keep Love On Me", and Motor City deep house shuffle of "Body Issue", to the horizontal bliss of "Longest Way Between Two Points", and tech-jazz swing of standout "This Is Hand". Impressive stuff, all told.
Review: Natal Zaks is a talented chap. To date, he's released a large amount of very good material, under numerous pseudonyms, for a wide variety of labels. Here he returns to Dekmantel with the second part of the Political Dance series, under the now familiar Central guise. Just like its' predecessor, it's a deliciously positive, melodious and atmospheric affair. The brilliant "Detour King" sounds like Space Dimension Controller, Vincent Floyd and Boyd Jarvis jamming on Mars, while "Political Dance" is a deliciously loved-up journey into early New Jersey deep house, with some distinctively spacey flourishes to boot. Zaks also doffs a cap to ambient house era intelligent techno on the luscious "Convenient Departures".
Review: The ongoing celebration this year of Dekmental's tenth anniversary has already yielded a series of interesting split EPs and the eight instalment is no exception. It starts with Peter Van Hoesen and Donato Dozzy's "Storta". Over a sliding, distended rhythm, the techno duo conjure up cinematic sound scapes. In stark contrast is Matrixxman's "Sexual Frustration", which draws on classic Midwest techno to deliver pneumatic kicks and wild acid tones. Deniro's "Serval" sees another shift in style, but remains in the same geographical space as Matrixxman; combing atmospheric synths with powerful bass tones, it sounds like the lost connection between Patrice Scott and Kenny Larkin. The droning, discordant techno of Talismann's "Aciano" completes the latest Dekmantel celebration.
Review: With a debut LP from Joey Anderson and more Juju & Jordash material on the horizon, 2014 looks like being another interesting year for the Dekmantel label, and they kick off in style with a label debut for Mark Du Mosch. For those who don't know, Du Mosch is a regular contributor to a like-minded enclave of labels, racking up excellent 12"s for Lunar Disko, Tabernacle, Cyber Dance and Dutch labels Field, SD and Moustache Records. Having added some heritage to the fledgling Amsterdam operation Tape last year, Du Mosch adds a more established capital-based outlet to his discography with the Bay 25 EP. Contained within are two snapshots of Du Mosch's production palette with the rough and rugged Rotterdam squat techno of the title track complemented by the deeper burn of "Living It Up". An added bonus comes in the form of Du Mosch's Moustache Techno pal Gesloten Cirkel who also makes his Dekmantel bow with a typically haywire modification of "Bay 25".
Review: Isabelle Maitre aka Epsilove follows her 2017 debut on Dekmantel with this weird and wonderful EP. "Time Is The Longest Distance" is a mid-tempo affair that warbles to the sound of cosmic synths, hushed vocals and slow, dubbed out drums. It makes for a wonderfully woozy piece. On "Sea Snakes", Maitre picks up the pace to deliver a rickety electro track that resounds to stop-start drums and deep acid lines. Dekmantel has also commissioned remixes of this singular artist; Ali Bobo & Shelter turn "Time..." into a teased out groove, while on their version of "Sea Snakes", HAJJ & Lastrack deliver a glitchy, stripped back techno stepper, replete with cosmic keys.
Review: Recently, Esa Williams has done a good job in stepping out of the shadow of regular Auntie Flo collaborator Brian D'Souza. Here he furthers his solo career via a fine EP on much-loved Dutch imprint Dekmantel. He begins with the deliciously angular and fuzzy "Blast", a joint production with Notch Beats that wraps Pendo Zawose's exotic, drifting vocals around razy sharp electronic motifs and shuffling, 108 BPM afro-house beats. Kenyan vocalist Abakisimba lends a hand on the warm and fluid East African deep house lusciousness of "Rift Valley", before Williams rounds things off via the house tempo Detroit techno positivity of "Rent-a-Disc".
Review: When Bas Bron agreed to re-release his track "What's A Girl To Do?' on Dekmantel in 2015, he could not have imagined the success and acclaim it would go on to enjoy. Then the Dutch producer faced a fresh dilemma - how to make a suitable follow-up. He seems to have overcome this hurdle with Arava. While the title track's soaring bass and sun-kissed melodies are tailored made for festivals and big rooms, the real Fatima Yamaha sound is audible on the laid-back electro funk of "Piayes Beach Bar And Grill", while another slow-burning classic is audible on the easy-listening electronics of "Romantic Bureaucracy".
Review: Dutch Dance dominators Dekmantel have collaborated with high street fashion brand Patta on the impressive Dkmntl X Patta series (featuring the likes of Tom Trago and Fatima Yamaha). The eighth instalment features work by Baltimore music legend GE-OLOGY. Known for his success in the 90s hip-hop world, this guy is also a seasoned house producer too. Here we get "Dance In Retrograde", a charming hybrid of light and fluffy 2nd wave Chicago house, Ron Trent style Detroit rhythms and retro boogie. We also have "Re-Fingered With Love" which is a warm and luxuriant deep jam that comes across like a Latin disco take on Good Life.
Review: The first release in the Dekmantel 10 Year Anniversary releases sees Venetian ambient don Gigi Masin make his debut for the label with the totally sublime and drifting jazz deconstruction heard on "Maja", while Ukrainian wunderkind Vakula keeps on with his recent deviations into techno and other forms of underground electronics on "Fuck The Robot System" which as the name may suggest is quite an electro tinged and futuristic groove full of snappy 808 beats, vocoded vocals and rusty vintage arpeggios. Finally, the man from Frankfurt Roman Flugel works his magic as always on the stripped and minimal deep house journey "Mice On A Stick" which is full of soothing bell textures, dusty drum patterns and dreamy melodies all working together great on this dramatic slow burner.
Review: After a series of Eps on Pinkman and Brokntoys, Identified Patient aka Job Veerman makes his debut on Dekmantel. Drawing on industrial, ebm and electro influences, it's a tantalising affair that starts with the low-slung rhythm of "The Drip" featuring Sophie Du Palais' seductive tones. On "Let Me Do It", Veerman maintains a similar pace, but delivers a stripped back, menacing groove that resounds to an ominous bass, while "Chantals Chant" sees the Dutch producer draw on the acrid 303 sound of Bunker to decorate his industrial rhythm. On the final track, Veerman delivers the most dance floor arrangement, with "Lucy's Comeback" throbbing along to a bleak ebm drum track.
Review: An artist to rise up through the ranks of Rotterdam's Pinkman label (with a split sojourn on Brokntoys too) Identified Patient's returns to Dekmantel UFO with Nerve Deposit. Finding a new home on the Dekmanel sub-label that's pushing an experimental, futuristic and harder edged techno, electro and electronica sound, Nerve Depsoit finds it self steeped in something breakbeat, deeper and hardcore. Touching on chop & screwed drum & bass in tracks like "Secretary" alongside heavier industrial electro in "Territory Doubt" to the EBM and gothic sounds in "Visualize It", Identified Patient verges into dubstep with "Low Kust" while turning up the sleazy and rave aesthetics in "Lust Mountain".
Review: For a second time Dekmantel team up with The Netherlands Sound and Vision Institute RE:VIVE to bring together and commision a suite of artists to help showcase 30 years of Dutch experimental filmmaking. Sampling, splicing, manipulating and reinterpreting soundtracks from the Academy Award winning Nico Crama and amateur Dutch filmmaker, Otto Laan, soundscapes come in the form of retroactive experimental techno (Identified Patient) to the undulating cavern rhythms of Max Abysmal's "Quod Libet " There's Lamellan's bizarro cut ups and foley sound in "De Stuiter", leaving Laura Agnusdei to lead the EP with a journeysome drone, synth and whistle piece in excess of 10-minutes. New age cinema.
Review: Next up on Dekmantel is Jered Phillip aka Jex Opolis with this highly engaging EP. One of the brains behind the Good Timin' label, Phillip's music takes inspiration from 80s boogie, electro and Italo Disco. Those elements all come together seamlessly on the title track, where crashing drums and a pulsating bass provide the basis for irresistible synth melodies. It makes for a vivid, expansive track. Meanwhile, "Desolation" sees Phillip focus his efforts more closely on updating the sounds of late 70s Italy, fusing staccato snares with irresistible melodic flourishes. The vocal version, with its nasal drawl, sees Jex Opolis edge closer to Fred Ventura territory.
Review: Joey Anderson isn't a typical New York house producer. Aligned to the recent wave of artists to come from the city more through personal connections than a common sound, his work also has little relationship with the vocal house or disco legacy of the Big Apple. This disconnect is pronounced on Switch, his follow up to his 2014 debut album, also on Dekmantel. From the balmy ambience of the title track through the droning, visceral techno of "Nabta Playa" and "18 Arms" and the organ riffs and slinky minimalism of "Organ To Dust", Anderson's sophomore album takes a trip down some dark alleys to realise his singular vision.
Review: Given their frequent habit of charging off in different musical directions, predicting the contents of a new Juju & Jordash record is getting increasingly difficult. Down To The Roach, their latest release for regular home Dekmantel, is typically wide-ranging, variously exploring bouncy fusions of techno futurism and whimsical deep house (the title track and its' accompanying dub), new age-influenced dream house (the bizarrely titled "Bean Bag Motel"), and spiraling, synthesizer-heavy house/electronic disco hybrids (the stargazing goodness of "Lights at Night"). It goes without saying that all four tracks are imaginative, immaculately produced, and hugely enjoyable. Excellent work all round.
Review: Israeli duo in Amsterdam Juju & Jordash really are unstoppable at present. When not focusing on solo projects or collaborating with German deep house don Move D as Magic Mountain High, they're up to their usual shenanigans in tandem and this new one for hometown heroes Dekmantel is a fine example of how they excel in what they do. The deep hypnotic house of "Monday Mellow" floats gently above soaring, ethereal pads, a bouncy bassline and soothing bell tones while "Wednesday Something" is more uplifting and and positive; swirling in layers of rich vintage synth flair and rushy arpeggios. "Thursday Heavy" is much harder hitting, but rest assured: it is still deep, with its booming Juno bassline and reverberated drums creating some basic trance induction that works a treat.
Review: Juju and Jordash are rather good at making albums. Their last full-length excursion, 2012's brilliant Techno Primitivism, was a gloriously maudlin and evocative affair, as influenced by drowsy ambient and experimental electronica as house and techno. While there are some similarly dark tracks lurking in the shadows of third album Clean Cut (see the creepy "Swamp Things"), for the most part it's a pleasingly dancefloor-centric concoction. That's not to say that they've packed it with jolly moments - the tipsy, melodious "Anywhere" and dub disco-meets-deep house wonk-out "SP Shakes" aside - but rather their leftfield blends of house and techno have a more club-friendly feel. The results are, for the most part, extremely good, with the rave-era revivalism of "Whippersnapper" (a kind of darkroom, Detroit-influenced take on T-Coy's "Carino") standing out.
Deep Blue Meanies (Robert Hood Sci-Fi mix) - (8:40) 128 BPM
Deep Blue Meanies (Robert Hood Monobox remix) - (8:03) 126 BPM
Review: Dekmantel unleash Detroit legend Robert Hood on Juju and Jordash's "Deep Blue Meanies" from last year's self titled album. The virulent pulse that ran through the track marked "Deep Blue Meanies" as the most impressive moment, and Hood does the track justice with two differing but equally astounding treatments. The Sci Fi Mix is akin to a full on sensory assault, flipping the track into a relentless thumping future techno groove replete with throbbing bass that absorbs brain matter and multi layered percussion that demands to be bounced off cavernous warehouse walls. Then Hood's "Monobox Remix" tones down the percussion to focus on crafting hypnotic patterns of scratched melodies and singular drones atop a minimalist groove. The growing acid tension that characterises the closing stages of this remix make it hard to choose a favourite.
Review: There must be something in the water near Juju & Jordash's studio, because they have never made a bad or even average record. Sis-boom-bah! is their fourth studio album and serves to reinforce how consistent they are. Irrespective of whether they are laying down noodle jazz workouts like the wonderful "Herkie" or off centre house grooves - check the vocal sampling, funk bass of "Rah Rah" - the pair's jams are delivered with effortless brilliance. There are dance floor tracks of sorts included here as well, particularly the lean groove of "Back Tuck Basket Toss" and the dubbed out drums of "Deadman", but like all their best work, this album's strength lies in its sprawling, freeform approach to electronic music.
Review: It's rare these days that you have a spare 90 minutes to focus on an album, but Techno Primitivism is one of those albums that makes you want to change your lifestyle accordingly. Everything about this new album from Juju & Jordash breathes class, showcasing a blend of music that's fully representative of the Amsterdam based duo's styles and influences. At 15 tracks deep, the full beauty of Techno Primitivism will undoubtedly reveal itself slowly, the cheeky misnomer of the title hinting at Gal & Jordan's often revealed humour. Opening in grand style with the triple suite of "Stoplight Loosejaw", "Diatoms" and "Backwash", the duo set a hazy, atmospheric tone that remains throughout, with brief machine funk interludes such as "Slow Boat To Haifa" and "Rogue Wave" in between longer improvised explorations. Favourites on this album change with every listen, but you can't deny the potency of tracks such as "Powwow" or the Magic Mountain High referencing "Track David Would Play" or the superbly titled "Dr Strangepork". One of the albums of this year, without doubt!