Review: Dutch producer Makam has largely remained on the fringes of the acceptance his prolific output deserves. Based in The Hague, the producer cut an impressive swathe with his 2009 debut, the Sushitech released New York Hustler, and has been responsible for a steady stream of quality house in the subsequent period - mostly on the Berlin label. (Indeed we are still basking in the delights of Dreams Of Tommorow, a double 12" release on Sushitech that contained some of his finest work to date.) Having contributed to Dekmantel's Fifth Anniversary Series, Makam here graces the Amsterdam label with "What Ya Doin", which essentially picks up where he left off on the aforementioned Sushitech release, betraying his love for the heady times of house music's origins at The Music Box, playing a breathy vocal off against a procession of 909 rim shots. On the flip FunkinEven applies the deranged dynamics of his recent Apron endeavours to the track with typically explosive results.
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: The coming months will see no less than three full length albums from Ukrainian producer par excellence Mikhaylo Vityk, which would be ridiculous for anyone else other than such a prolific artist. The first one arrives with Vityk adopting his recently unveiled Vedomir alias in typically intoxicating style with a self-titled album for the Dekmantel imprint. Veering from meditative moments of beatless analogue ambience to propulsive jacking house and glistening beat down, everything is tied together with Vedomir's undeniable grasp of intricate textural detail. Highly recommended.
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: 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: Makam doesn't let up! The Dutch hero re-appears on homebase Dekmantel where he's surely become a stalwart of the label and their sound. On "Riding High" he gives us a melodic deep house journey full of emotion and equal parts mystery over its glorious five minutes that you'll wish never stopped. Ge serves up something much more atmospheric on the grainy ambience of "Them Sadet", a collage of trippy exotic samples over emotive elements makes this one definitely to remember also.
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: Randomer follows his 2016 debut release on this Dekmantel offshoot label with the musically diverse Slicing. Like the stage at the festival that it is named after, it moves through the musical spectrum. "Van Pelt" is a dense, stepping affair, its cavernous rhythm providing the back drop for hypnotic, gamelan percussion and half-heard ethnic samples. By contrast, "Shadow Harp" is a utilitarian slice of break beat techno, shot through with razor sharp riffs, while on "Dissolve", he pivots towards a tough but pulsating rhythm track, underpinned by tribal drums. Rounding off this across the board but dance floor friendly EP is the title track's droning, clattering arrangement, tingling like a live electricity wire.
Review: Territroy is a collaboration between Panagiotis Melidis, who produces as Larry Gus, and Stathis Kalatzis, who used to work as Mr. Statik. Issued on Dekmantel's UFO spin-off, it's a dubbed out masterpiece. "Delirium Vivens" is a rolling, vocal-sample heavy groove, while "Wax Smiles" sees the pair drop a more abstract piece, with dead-paced drums supporting the swirling voices. On "Sleeping Fury", there's a more dramatic approach with plucked strings prevailing while "Instar" is a deeper affair, pushing the project closer to what could be deemed to be conventional techno. It's only a temporary dalliance however, and "Upside Down Sinner" marks a return to the kind of swirling, psychedelic dub that makes this album so enthralling.
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: 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: Parrish Smith is a relatively new addition to the extended techno world, but the producer is undoubtedly one of our favourite recent additions, particularly for his sensibility to the core of EBM and industrial music. His previous EP, out through Ron Morelli's LIES, was one of the best 12"s to come in 2017 (in our humble opinion), so this new EP for Holland's Dekmantel crew is nothing but vibes for us! The title track, "Sex, Suicide & Speed Metal", blasts out heavy bass-kicks amid swarms of washed out guitars and doom metal references, leaving "Mute" to provide some comfort to the bone-heads, thanks to its noxious bass and drum-machine centricity. "Fall Into Sin" is yet more death and destruction, driven by a blasting wave of detuned electronics and metallic percussion, while "Skins" bangs out a dubwise slice of post-industrial nuttiness - large up, Parrish.
Review: Lena Willikens is not only the first female DJ to curate a compilation for Dekmantel's Selectors series, but also the first to put the emphasis on previously unreleased music rather than dusty-fingered crate-digging gems. That's not to say there aren't excellent older cuts present - see the decidedly psychedelic brilliance of Sandoz's ambient dub earworm "Morning Star (Dubmix)" and the trippy 2001 industrial dub techno of Vromb's "Amalgame" - just that there are a few more previously unheard killers. These include, but aren't limited too, the drowsy broken techno of Jasss's "Little Lines", Parrish Smith's jacking industrial house shuffler "Minima" and the druggy, mind-altering synthesizer soundtrack throb of Borusiade's intoxicating "Night Drive (An Exercise in Indulgence)".
Review: When he was asked to put together the fourth volume in Dekmantel's brilliant Selectors series, Joy Orbison decided to use the opportunity to pay tribute to the rich history of UK dance music. Predictably, his on-point selections join the dots between the past and the present, moving from the London beat poetry of James Messiah and hard-to-find 1991 UK hardcore of R Solution's surprisingly deep and melodious "Skinny Long Git", to the crunchy, mad-as-a-box-of-frogs IDM of JP Buckle's 1998, Rephlex-released oddity "One For Da Laydeez". Along the way, he finds space for the sparkling early D&B of "Lush" by Oblivion (AKA Source Direct), the low-slung, bass-heavy deep house/acid house fusion of L.E Bass and the analogue techyno idealism of Beatrice Dillon.
Review: With the renewed attention surrounding industrial and EBM in the last few years (and its influence on techno, again), it's important that someone with credentials gives the new generation a decent history lesson. Fitting that Berghain resident and MDR boss Marcel Dettmann curates a compilation of classics from the sound's heyday: here's someone who actually lived through it. As part of Amsterdam imprint Dekmantel's Selectors Series, these gems from yesteryear should certainly set the record straight and provide solid reference points for new school retroverts. Highlights (and there's many) include: Belgian EBM legends Front 242 with "Don't Crash", Philadelphia industrial underdogs Executive Slacks' "So Mote It Be" and the mandatory Cabs track comes in the form of "Low Cool" (the Marcel Dettmann Edit, no less). It wouldn't be a proper industrial comp without a bit of Wax Trax! would it? Label staples Ministry appear with their 1982 song "Same Old Madness", a period in the band's history that some consider their finest.
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: Bay Area retrovert Matrixxman has become one of the most in demand producers of techno in the last couple years, due in so small part to some stellar releases on Delft, Spectral Sound and of course Dutch institution Dekmantel who now present the second installment of a triptych series. Following up the first volume Sector I: Rhythm, Sector II: Acid does exactly what it says on the tin: exploring the timeless capability of that little silver Roland box. He joins the dots between hypnotic techno and acid house on "Arrival" or "Rites" just as well as Scandinavian Varg can. Speaking of acid house: it's exactly that in all its vintage charm; it's like '88 all over again on "Bad Acid" or the absolutely explosive "I Am Matrix".
Review: While Matrixxman has produced releases for a wide range of labels, it seems that he has a soft spot for Amsterdam imprint-turned- party organisers Dekmantel. It was on this label that Charles McCloud Duff put out the excellent Nubian Metropolis in 2014, and Sector I/Rhythm is just as impressive. While Duff's approach is far more singular on this follow-up, it proves again that he is a skilful interpreter. In this instance, it's the 90s techno of Hawtin, DBX and 7th City. Percussion flies in like hail stones descending on the Hudson waterfront; drums kicks and stomp relentlessly, and each track has the nervous, twitchy analogue energy of mid-90s midwest techno.
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: The title track on Randomer's first release for Dekmantel is deceptive. Although the rhythm flails and rolls with the UK producer's usual sense of urgency, it is swathed in misty, hazy melodies. There is no such ambiguity on "My Ears Hurt"; earning its place on the label's UFO Series, the arrangement features a rhythm that weaves its way in and out of a myriad of tonal blips and bleeps. In contrast, "Rendell Pips" and "Music for Two Kalimbas" are powerful DJ cuts. In the absence of any unusual sideways turns, Randomer relies on tight drums, rolling rhythms and plunging breakdowns to lead the listener down the wormhole.
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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: The third and final series in Rob Hood's Paradygm Shift series for Dekmantel sees the Detroit producer in uncompromising form. "Red Machine" is a relentless peak-time number that resounds to frazzled, droning riffs, dramatic filters and tough tribal drums. Its approach is the opposite to Hood?s seminal minimal releases - the arrangement is "maximal" in the way that its spectrum seems densely populated - but there is no doubting its efficacy. On "Transform", Hood takes down the intensity levels a few notches, and lays down a rolling house groove, but its drums are tough-edged and the looped chords lend it a menace that is alien to his Floorplan releases.
Review: The recruitment of Robert Hood is a sign of Dekmantel's growing stature as a label. The Detroit legend has agreed to release a trio of EPs and an album under the Paradigm Shift banner, a project title designed to reflect the producer's desire to see great change within dance music. This first EP is classic Hood, with A-side "Form" - all effects-laden drums, looped-up textures, hissing cymbals and cacophonous kick-drums - sounding like no-one else. Flipside "Lockers" follows a similar script, though there's a little more house-influenced funk to the relentless beats, while Hood's use of starburst riffs and classic Motor City electronics adds a sense of far-sighted adventure..
Review: Hot on the heels of Detroit legend Robert Hood's first EP for Dekmantel, Paradygm Shift, comes this second volume of typically forthright techno cuts. Opener "Master Jack" is hypnotic and heavy, with spacey synth loops and starburst electronics riding a thumping bassline and relentless rhythm track (think fizzing cymbals, snappy drum machine handclaps, colossal kick drums etc). "Magnet" is altogether deeper affair, but no less devastating. Hood is a master at wringing maximum dancefloor effectiveness out of the least number of intertwined elements, and here works wonders with little more than stomping drums, metallic electronics, and some well-placed special effects.
Review: Detroit innovator Rob Hood is the latest name to release on Dekmantel. The Dutch label and party organisers have put out work by an impressive array of artists, but persuading the Minimal Nation author is a true masterstroke. Shift, which arrives in time for the festival season, starts with the eerie "Preface" before Hood launches into the abrasive, metallic rhythm of "Idea" and "I Am", a clap-heavy groove whose central riff just keeps on building and building. There are echoes of Hood's minimal past on the loopy "Solid Thought" and the wiry funk of "Nephesh", but Shift captures Hood in big room mode and is the spiritual heir to the locked-on, peak time techno of the Detroit producer's Omega long player.
Review: Dekmantel up in this bizz with a new release from the freshly emblazoned Neon Chambers, a collaboration between Sigha & Kangding Ray. Both artists come from different but adjacent backgrounds of techno and here they combine with snapping raster effects and IDM philosophies to create and sound and rhythm that's made to fit an industrial, colourful and contemporary club context. Strands of Roly Porter epicness can be felt in "Cascade" that are underpinned by the heavy weight clak of nail gun kicks, with "Helles" and "Apollo" crafting wild rhythms and melodies from vox. Some deconstructed UK vibes in "What It Takes" too that might even turn the head of Soundman Chronicles 'headhoncho' Parris.
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: 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: 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 return to last year's excellent self titled long player from Mikhaylo Vityk (aka Vakula) under his Vedomir alias for their first of this year, adding Berghain heavyweight Marcel Dettmann to their ever expanding list of high profile remixers. Marcel Dettmann has proved to be quite the versatile remixer over the past few years, reworking everyone from Luke Slater and Skudge, to artists further distanced from straight up techno like Morphosis, Commix, Fever Ray and most recently Trus'me. Here he remixes the rock 'n' roll bass and panning arpeggios of "Musical Suprematism" and the spacey minimalisms of "Dreams". The thick, viscous funk of the latter remix is a notable highlight.
Review: Fans of the likes of Yellow Magic Orchestra will find much to enjoy on this five-track downtempo/leftfield EP from Dutch duo Lamellen - there's something distinctly 'Forbidden Colours'-like about the delicate synths that lead the ambient-not-ambient 'Horse Massage', for starters. 'Spider' leans more towards angular, new wave-y Italo-disco, 'Oyster' is an experimental slo-mo/Balearic oddity with little fluttery sounds that seem to mimic birdsong or animal noises, 'Railrunner' comes on like early 80s synth-funk via Music From Ceefax, while closer 'Pippo Denemarken' has a quirky, circus-like feel and features a lovely nagging, lolloping Hammond riff.