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: 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: 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: 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: Since making his debut a decade ago, Belgian-in-Berlin Peter Van Hoesen has earned a reputation as one of techno's most reliable producers. Perhaps it was that reliability that persuaded Dekmantel to sign him up as the debutant of their new UFO vinyl-only series. There's naturally plenty to get excited about on Quadra, with each of the four tracks hitting the spot. "Cartesian Taiko" sounds like Derrick May reworking Vangelis' Blade Runner soundtrack after a few love pills, while "Duet Dub" is a crustier, more urgent affair, full of pinging electronics and post-industrial sleaze. "P2ME" laces oddball electronic bleeps and stabs over a relentless techno groove, before he breaks up the beats on the trippy-but-dense electro shuffle of "Quadra.
Review: Turin-based duo Stump Valley are no strangers to Dekmantel, having played at their renowned yearly festival in Amsterdam, in addition to the Selectors and Lente Kabinet events. Releasing across a whole spectrum of lauded Dutch labels, their material has been heard on Dopeness Galore and Off Minor Recordings. "Natural Race" features Berlin's Wayne Snow on vocals and is a smooth and sensual expression in late night deepness reminiscent of legends Virgo Four, the neon-lit imaginary score of "Marimbamba Isle De Joie" is something you could imagine Axel Foley cruising around L.A. to, while on the darker side of the spectrum there's the moody and slow burning grit of "Proletarians In Space" or the trippy and hypnotic power of "Ritmo Atomico".
Review: Dekmantel rounds off a hugely successful year with a compilation that reflects the organisation's multi-faceted approach. At one end of the spectrum there's the dubbed out groove and spacey vocals of Peaking Light's "Blind Corner" and tropical act Bruxas' left of centre beats, while at the other end Robert Hood delivers the blistering techno of "Red Machine". In between these extremes, there are Dekmantel-supported artists such as Betonkust & Palmbomen II - impressing here with the Legowelt-esque "Renaat Egypte" - and zeitgeist-defining names like Lena Willikens and Matrixxman. Add in some Dutch scene veterans such as Tom Trago, on fine form with the epic but understated "Working Machines", and it's not hard to see why 2018 was a great year for the Dutch collective.
Review: Ten years and still going strong, Amsterdam's Dekmantel are celebrating with their 10 EP series throughout 2017. Having kicked off in in March, with one EP being released every month, the series will touch upon every musical fragment that has come to define their events and festivals over the decade. On this edition, we have local hero Young Marco up first with the bouncy and summery house shenanigans of "Palace Green Beans", them American in Amsterdam Diego herrera aka Suzanne Kraft with his emotive effort "Moving". It wouldn't be an Amsterdam joint without a bit of Tom Trago right? The Voyage Direct head honcho steps in with the retro futuristic deepness of "Digital Love" until Awanto 3 brings it on home classic house style with "Pepe Mujica".
Review: Originally released in 2015, Young Marco's "The Best I Could Do" shows that he is as adept in the studio as he is behind the decks. The renowned crate digger draws on his knowledge of underground house and techno for this understated, melancholic affair. Sad synths swirl up over a raw, resonating bass and the end result has a decidedly wintry feeling. House veteran Tom Trago drops a similar sounding track, "Brutal Romance (TT's Love Fix)". However, on this occasion, the groove is upbeat and the riffs are more insistent, but the same frazzled approach to production prevails. Keeping it atmospheric, Fatima Yamaha delivers the slow tempo, synth-heavy "The Creature From Culture Creation", which also featured on the original 2015 release.