Review: We delve into the undergound sound of Leszno here, as Poland's Exotic Refreshment serve up Chapter 4 in their 'Time Traveler' compilation series - pretty impressive given that Chapter 1 only landed in May! With 13 cuts coming mostly from up-and-coming artists (Badin Brothers, Luca Bacchetii and Red Axes being better-known exceptions), it's quite a wide-ranging selection, but generally speaking we move inexorably from slow-moving, experimental deep house cuts like Ulises's 'Pewunguen' and Dandara's 'Y Bot', to more overtly floor-friendly jams, often - as in the case of Enoo Napa's 'The Eclipse', Shimza's 'All Alone' and Mozaik's 'Clerka' - with a proggy/melodic twist.
Review: Polish deep house imprint Exotic Refreshment continues on with their 10 year celebrations. After a great first volume featuring Haft, Malbetrieb and Palliate, we have the latter, again - presenting the indeed 'exotic' "The Wu" which features some hypnotic polyrhythms beneath woozy synths and other eerie elements. Married Israeli couple Dangur & Mintz team up on the moody dancefloor drama of "Refreshment" which is a tunneling progressive house styled groove that will appeal to fans of Bedrock as much as it would Life & Death. Speaking of the latter, there's some brooding dancefloor drama of that very style on offer with fellow countryman Itay Dailes' "Stand Up" sure to cause some suspense filled and strobe-lit moments on the dancefloor. Elsewhere, Hans Berg pitches a right curveball at us with the furious rave mutation of "Sparks", which is powered by some monstrous breaks and ravey sounds on this reinterpretation of mid '90s dance music.
Eluize - "Symmetry" (Constantijn Lange remix) - (8:00) 122 BPM
Review: To celebrate a decade in the game, Exotic Refreshment is releasing a sequence of EPs containing never before heard tracks from the vaults. Palliate steps up first with the quietly creepy and intoxicating "Aishe", where Arabic strings, psychedelic guitars and hazy Middle Eastern vocals wrap themselves around a hypnotic, tech-house groove. Haft makes great use of melancholic clarinet lines on the rolling and atmospheric "Otable", while Malbetrieb and Mintz successfully join forces for the low-slung late night delight that is "Osmosis", where fluttering synthesizer lines and far-sighted electronics rise above a chunky and occasionally sweaty groove. To draw a fine EP to a close, Constantijn Lange serves up a wonderfully evocative, piano-laden deep house rework of Eluize's "Symmetry".
Review: This expansive package appears to mark the debut of Severin Su, a producer with a knack for producing atmospheric blends of deep house and tech-house. He begins with "Elephant Cry", a suitably dreamy and emotion-rich number that wraps heavy sub-bass and languid broken house beats in dreamy chords, cascading electronics and yearning vocal samples. BAILLE ups the tempo on a sumptuous, progressive house style rework, while Nils Prenner somehow makes the track even deeper and dreamier thanks to some sweeping strings and twinkling pianos. Elsewhere, "Avalon" is a throbbing tech-house shuffler with deep trance influences, while "Livid" is a sparkling chunk of electronic dancefloor bliss.
Review: Since launching in the late 2000s, Poland's Exotic Refreshment imprint has done an excellent job introducing home grown house and techno to a worldwide audience. These days, they look further afield for inspiration, and here deliver a second EP from Swedish producers Fragile Signal. Opener "Out Of Reach" is a late night delight, with woozy chords, held note strings and sweaty, delay-laden female vocal snippets riding a sumptuous deep house groove. Dirtytwo give the same track a little classic US house shuffle, before Fragile Signal returns with "2Nite", an even deeper tribute to classic US garage with a 21st century twist. Finally, Oliver Gehrmann remixes that track, delivering an attractive blend of deep bass, dreamy chords, jaunty riffs and bleepy keys.
Review: Having previously plied his trade exclusively on Germany's Toy Tonics imprint, Ricardo Baez pops up on long-running Polish imprint Exotic Refreshment. While much of his previous material has been warm, rich and classic sounding in nature, EP opener "Butoh" is raw and rugged, with waves of electronic melodies and creepy, one-note chords riding a clandestine, tech-house groove. "I Need You" flips the script, offering a deeper, woozier alternative cut built around robust acid bass and whispered vocals. Baez's originals are complimented by a trio of quietly impressive remixes; a bustling, jollier take on "Butoh" from David Jach, and fine, surprisingly immersive deep house rubs of "I Need You" by Edgar Peng and Fragile Signal.