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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: It's been five years since the launch of Amsterdam's Dekmantel parties, and three since the label sprang into life. To celebrate, they're putting out three Anniversary Series singles featuring tracks from roster artists and likeminded friends. This second instalment in the series features a track apiece from Hundred20 and Hunee. The latter is in fine form, delivering an off-kilter analogue deep house jam that harks back to the glory days of Mr Fingers and Virgo Four. Hundred20's bizarrely titled "The Whale Mink Congregation" also has a touch of the Larry Heard about it, offering a heady mix of deep chords, clattering 808 percussion and languid melodies.
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: 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.
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!
Review: Stefano "Ksoul" Boati and Paolo "MuteOscillator" Giangrasso join the Dekmantel fray having previously issued their brand of dusty, degraded house - a severely neglected Marcellus Pittman perhaps - through Aroy Dee's MOS Recordings, Azuri and their own Kinda Soul Recordings. Their style remains very much in evidence on the three track Soul Hell EP, with the title track standing out thanks to its wonderfully insouciant blend of tough kick drums, molten synth lines and playful key patterns that demonstrate Boati and Giangrosso's musicality. "Stinger" meanwhile is a deeper excursion characterized by its bassline squelch and subdued Detroit chords, while "Detrance" sees them indulge their experimental side, with a combination of stumbling beats and loose electronic textures that recalls the similarly abstracted house of labelmates Juju & Jordash. More essential wares from Dekmantel...
Review: Dutch party crew/ label Dekmantel has achieved more in the past decade than most labels, and that they are able to call on such a heavyweight line-up for the third installment of their celebratory series is evidence of this fact. The release starts with the steely drums and mournful, rainy day pianos of Levon Vincent's "UK Spring Vibes" - which is a rare contribution from the US artist outside of his Novel Sound label - and continues with the fist-punching acidic sweeps of Legowelt's "Blue Austral Techno". Shifting the focus back to the other side of the Atlantic, Joey Anderson weighs in with the spooky, swirling synths and understated "Opened Gate", while Danish artist Central rounds off the EP with the jazzy abstractions of "Six Five Two".
Review: In terms of current US artists, no one seems to have made as much of an impact in recent times as the the superbly named Charles McCloud Duff has done under his Matrixxman name. Unknown To The Unknown, Spectral Sound and Soo Wavey Records are some of the labels that have put the call out for material from Matrixxman, whose club ready style of house and techno has always been complemented by a clear sense of humour. Matrixxman's superb debut for Dekmantel makes for a perfect start to 2015 for the increasingly influential Dutch label and is hopefully the start of a prosperous working relationship. Opener "Sermons" is loose and jacking, with a decidedly haywire acid line at its core, whilst "Cybernetic Implant" reins in the rhythmic madness in order to let those deep bleeps catch you off guard. If you like rolling vocals a la Hodge's "Amor Fati" do check closer "System Blackout", which is our pick!
Review: Matrixxman's third instalment in the Sector series for Dekmantel sees him deliver a fine, diverse techno release. On "Initiation", he drops a rolling, mysterious groove, led by a heavy bass and a ghostly synth line. "Access Granted" is in a radically different vein, with the US producer taking inspiration from Robert Hood to create a visceral minimal techno workout. In stark contrast again is "Desert Planet"; it sees Matrixxman dropping the tempo to conjure up a balmy deep house groove. Rounding off this release is "Horizon", where the US producer delves into Detroit techno to drop a warbling bass-led groove that has echoes of vintage Carl Craig and Stacey Pullen.
Review: Having previously collaborated under their given names, Massimo Di Lena and Rio Padice launched their MFO project earlier in the year with a single-track salvo on their own Early Sounds Recordings. Here, they deliver the first MFO 12" for Dekmantel, and it's something of a peach. All three tracks effortlessly join the dots between Detroit techno, machine soul and deep house. This manifests itself in the fizzing alien funk of opener "Anti-Social Pain", the melancholic pianos and rolling machine drums of "Slow Run In Our Dreams" and, most impressively, the robust, techno-tempo percussive assault of "Crisis Zone".
Review: Danny 'Legowelt' Wolfers describes the music he makes under the Occult Orientated Crime alias as "an accumulation of 20 years of musical research and training, and what affect it has on the brain". Read into that what you will; in practice, his OOC output allows Wolfers to explore the more deep and cosmic end of the ambient spectrum, with sly nods towards jazz and movie soundtracks amongst the Motor City synthesizers, buried spoken word vocals and intergalactic chord progressions. The fantastically titled Just A Clown On Crack is the first OOC release to make it to wax, and effortlessly recalls the early '90s glory days of ambient house and intelligent techno, whilst still retaining many of Wolfers' stylistic trademarks.
Review: Having initially impressed with two fine singles on Lobster Theremin, Jay "Palms Trax" Donaldson joined the growing Dekmantel with 2015's In Gold. Here, he delivers his second EP for the acclaimed Amsterdam imprint. Opener "High Point On Low Ground" is a cheery, life-affirming delight, with layers of glistening, analogue-sounding synthesizer lines riding a rubbery electronic bassline and breezy deep house beats. You'll find nods to Giorgio Moroder, grandiose Italian piano house and spine-tingling Balearica on the notably large "Cloud City", while "Pause" is a punchy electro-meets-acid track with a sunny, melodic twist. He rarely fails, and this is another ear catching three-tracker.
Review: It's been two years since we last heard from Jay Donaldson AKA Palms Trax, so it's little surprise to find that his trademark sound has evolved a little in that time. The three tracks on "To Paradise" have more in common with vintage, left-of-centre 1980s synth-pop than contemporary deep house. As a result, all three cuts ripple with glistening lead lines, colourful chords, lo-fi drum machine rhythms and thickset synth basslines. The pick of the bunch for us is opener "To Paradise", which sounds an instrumental take on the Pet Shop Boys most picturesque tracks mixed with Italo-disco circa 1986. Elsewhere, "Love In Space" is a little deeper and breezier in tone with plenty of chiming melodies, while "Heron" is gloriously poignant, melancholic and life affirming.
Review: Dekmantel scores a coup by signing US psychedelic pair Peaking Lights. Sea of Sand is a taster for an imminent album on the Dutch label, and it provides an intoxicating taste of what's to come. "Blind Corner" resounds to a throbbing groove, with Indra Dunis' vocals unravelling over the blissed out, textures, while on "Shift Your Mind", they trip the light fantastic with a percussive, bongo-heavy backing. "Hypnotized" sees the pair delver a slower, dubbed out arrangement. Keeping the listener guessing, "I Can Read Your Mind" is a wonderfully hypnotic, spaced out Italo Disco affair and "Noise of Life" sees Peaking Lights delve into dreamy electronic pop.
Review: For the fourth part of the Dekmantel anniversary series, Skudge and San Proper go head to head with two varying levels of dark techno business. Skudge are in fine form, delivering one of their subtly melodic tracks that work around one repeated and tweaked refrain. San Proper spices things up nicely on his "Rattle (Station 2 Station)", as a grinding, industrial beat mixes with dense vocals, synths, speech samples and plenty more. The end result is a perfect example of the kind of steamy, sweaty haze of late night damage that Mr Proper has made his own.