Review: A new Carsten Jost album on Dial. Wow, this is a rather special treat, and we would call this a Juno weekly special. Apart from the fact that this dude makes awesome music, the producer has been purely busy running the mighty Dial label over the last 20-odd years, and this is his first solo LP since 2000's "You Don't Need a Weatherman". He's obviously though about this piece for a while because it is masterfully executed throughout, and there is little that Mr.Jost could have done to make it any better. That's because it is deep house made by someone who understands people, not merely dancefloors. In other words, these eleven tracks work in unison and, rather than making up a list of single, danceable tunes, he's decided to go for the journey approach, one which we've always got time and respect for. From moments of pure house magic, to downtempo chillers, and even subtle nuances of techno, this is the real deal. Another Dial masterpiece.
Review: Christian Naujoks fits right in with the whole Dial aesthetic. The visual artist, composer, singer and DJ is obviously a multi-talented force who has no boundaries in terms of artistic engagement, and this new album on the imprint is perfect testament to his style. It is ambient music, yes, but all of the tunes on Wave follow a very similar path, and from the opening cascading guitar riffs of "Little Dume", through to the endlessly spacey "Wave", and the improvisational strings of "Pacific Street", Naujoks paints a very detailed and precise portrait, one that is effortlessly enjoyable and deeply pensive. Beautiful.
Review: Dial Records are really on a roll these days. After recently releasing a beautiful album by Pawel and their remarkable 10 year anniversary compilation, they come back at us with the long awaited second album from Efdemin, Chicago. Berlin-based Efdemin (aka Phillip Sollmann) has been associated with the Hamburg-founded label since its inception a decade ago. His self-titled debut in 2007 was a stunning affair that resonated deeply with both the house and techno communities. After three years and several singles in between, Efdemin has finally graced us once again with nine new soul-striking tracks that combine the beauty and deepness we have come to associate with his productions. "Cowbell" starts things off with a vocal snippet, warbled organs and slow drum rolls as a prelude to "Shoeshine" which kicks things into higher gear with its tough drums and precise high-hats. All tracks seamlessly flow into each other, a concept many artists tend to overlook when making a full length album. This overall sense of flow makes it pleasure to listen to uninterrupted. Instead of finely balancing the line between house and techno, Chicago has more of a jazz-induced feeling to it- which is not to say that it's light or too refined, but rather more intriguing and textured than your standard fare of straight up deep house or deep techno. Oh, and there's even a Homer Simpson sample hidden in there.
Review: Roman Fluegel is one of the most versatile dancefloor producers, but on this release he shows his softer, more melodic side. The common theme on Fatty Folders is a sense of melancholy, be it through the use of delicate cowbells on the dubby house of "How To Spread Lies" and the blue mood and delicate hooks of the DJ friendly "Lush Life Libido" or on the graceful, piano-led arrangements of "Song with Blue". It sounds like Fluegel is maturing as an artist and tellingly, even darker, more pared back tracks like "The Improviser" even have a reflective undercurrent. If this is Fluegel's focus from now on, we've a lot to look forward to.
Review: Surprisingly, some five years have passed since Peter Kersten AKA Lawrence last appeared on Dial, a label he co-founded with Carsten Jost. His return to the imprint is, naturally, an impressive one, with "Illusion" - his eighth studio album - offering up nine absorbing, ultra-atmospheric deep house cuts wrapped in homemade field recordings and ear-catching acoustic instrumentation. There are naturally dancefloor moments dotted throughout the album - see the glistening, intergalactic shuffle of "Treasure Box", the "recorded in an underwater cave" tech-house hypnotism of "Illusion" and deep Motor City flex of "Dark Swirl" - but it's often the more circumspect, sofa-friendly outings that linger longest in the memory. Check, for example, the impeccable deep electro shuffle of "Transitions", the horizontal pulse of "Flaunting High" and the sinewy ambient/IDM fusion of "Crystal".
Review: Last year, Peter Kersten aka Lawrence released his first material on Dial in five years in the form of his Illusion long player. Combing field recordings with Lawrence's trademark frazzled deep house sound, it was a real homecoming. Now the label has commissioned remixes of key tracks from the album. Shinedoe delivers a droning, pulsating take on "Crystal" that drags the listener down a dark tunnel, while the Tracey take on "Dark Swirl" is a woozy break beat affair. In contrast, the Trux version of "Montreux" sketches out a dense, downtempo soundtrack, while long-time Lawrence affiliate Carsten Jost drops a bleary, deep house version of "Transitions".
Review: Still sailing high from a sensational debut record for the giegling label out of Weimar late last year, cosmic house genial Lawrence sees his 2003 album for Dial make it to the download ranks for the first time, reintroducing to a new audience his melancholic, acoustic and simple yet intelligent deep house style! The album harks back to an era where Dial was the label on everyone's lips during a time when it was trailblazing a new and interpretive style of what house music can be. A timeless release that must be revisited and appreciated for the ground it covered. Our pick" If You Can Understand". Don't be absent!
Review: The latest release on Hamburg label Dial is the debut album from Misanthrope CA, a new project initiated by co-founder David 'Carsten Jost' Lieske in conjunction with artist and photographer Robert Kulisek. The pair graduate to Dial after first introducing the black metal-influenced endeavour on a limited tape last year, and Deathbridge makes for a compelling addition to the label's recent catalogue. Imagine the sonic crawlspace between The Caretaker, Tryptych-era Demdike Stare and Tropic Of Cancer and you are in the right frame of mind for this crepuscular ten track collection from Misanthrope CA.
Review: The pairing of Efdemin and RNDM has already borne some fruitful results for a scattered selection of EPs, and now the pair return with more of their austere minimal techno. The most surprising entry is opening track "Dirty Float" which staggers to life in a tangle of warm synth gurgles and micro-crackles with not a kick in sight. "Painting The Tape" is more conventional fare, plumbing the depths of looped hypnotism full of hushed synths and whispering beats, but "Sunrise Industry" lifts out of the murk with a greater presence and an engaging chime pitched perfectly for those early morning moments. Excellent release.
Review: Fences is the long awaited new album from Dial poster boy John Roberts, arriving three years after the Ohio born producer's hugely accomplished and widely lauded debut LP, Glass Eights. In the period between albums Roberts has busied himself with a smattering of remixes and the odd 12", though his primary concern outside of touring has been co-editing The Travel Almanac, a high end magazine exploring "travelling and temporary habitation for an increasingly sophisticated and mobilized generation of travellers". Not your typical techno producer then. The ten tracks that form Fences were conceived and recorded during Roberts' worldwide travels, and later sequenced and mixed in NYC and offer a further refinement on the combination of sound design, sample research and contemporary club music that characterised last year's Paper Frames 12".
Review: Frankfurt favourite Roman Flugel returns to Hamburg institution Dial, presenting his third album to date for the label. According to a press release, the All The Right Noises LP explores further the themes of hotel rooms while on tour: "a place where no beats are banging and euphoric party energy is absent. A place where only heartbeats call the tune." Take for instance woozy and sombre drifters such as "The Mighty Suns" or "Nameless Lake" (which are full of dusty and vintage machine flair) or tough and disjointed house jams like "Warm & Dewy". Or our favorite "Dead Idols" which borders on near techno moments. Rest assured that there are more uplifting and bouncy tracks on offer, such as the deep disco flavour of "Dust" or the emotive bittersweet title track, where its soaring drones will wash over you.