Review: It's always a treat to explore a new drop from the Holding Hands team, a genuine staple of futuristic dance music that seems to always find a way to hit the creative nail on the head. This latest box of toys comes to us from not even noticed, delivering a marvellous collection of unique acidity. Take the title track 'Don't You Dare' for instance, from the jump it's a wash of gnarly moog squelches and gritty vocal samples, with 'Step Aside' following closely to supply us with a more euphoric feeling within its sunshine synthesiser action. From here, 'Sacrificed' again ups the pressure with sweltering LFO drives and arpeggiating backdrops, before the softened textures of 'Petulant' give us a tidy closer. Awesome!
Review: Once again the Holding Hands team is back in business, this time pulling together a very forward thinking collection from Qant, a talented producer whose full skillset has been placed on the display shelf with this awesome collection. We open up with the dub-inspired delays and dizzying bass action of the title track 'Moonsick', setting the standard extremely high right from the off with its crunchy drum work and smooth bassline action. Next up, more glittering breaksy goodness as the shimmering tones of 'Inanimate' are let loose, followed by 'C Thru' a clicky combo of metallic percussive pushes and dubwise delay action. Finally, the hard hitting snare slaps and droning bass notation of 'Cosmodrome' gives us a fruity landing, rounding off a high quality selection in style.
Review: Released midway through November 2022, Desert Sound Colony's 'Fresh One' is a deliciously difficult to pigeonhole affair that combines elements of electro, techno and tech-house. This fine suite of revisions takes the track in umpteen new directions too. The EP-opening CalMCee version is a druggy, low-slung tech-house tweak, the Shli remix a bustling breakbeat affair, and the Stolen Laptop remix a blend of ULG, electro and post-dubstep heaviness. Those seeking breathless techno intensity should check the SDS Max Hammer Drill remix, or embrace the two-step shuffle, warped bass and sparkling synth sounds of the Hunter Starkings remix. Elsewhere, Sosti's revision is a mind-mangling, echoing and acid-fired affair, while Laurdrup's revision is deep, rolling, sub-heavy ad subtly informed by 1990 bleep and breaks.
Review: It's hard to define Desert Sound Colony's sound, and that's what makes him such a fascinating artist. On Fresh One, he consolidates this reputation with music that traverses the spectrum. The title track is a bleak electro workout, with its forceful bass and grainy drums interspersed with the occasional vocal sample. "Leaping Lizards" builds on this approach, as warbling acid lines and mangled vocals are woven into a combination of dubby break beats and rough kicks. He changes course again on "Weighty Bassy Goodness", where a shuffling 2-step rhythm underpins menacing bass, while the release remixer, Sid Angel offers a further surprise. Tasked with reworking "Fresh One", he turns it into a dubby stepper.
Review: You can always guarantee a unique listening experience whenever the Holding Hands team is in town, and that's certainly what we have here as Liebus delivers a five track journey through the most unusual areas of techno. Opening up with the title track 'Where's The Cat', this one explores moody synthetic landscapes, littered with drizzling drones and tapping percussive pulses, giving us a very enjoyable journey to take in. From here, the pace quickens with the half time drums structures and intricate percussive influxes of 'Sticks N Stones', followed by the bubbling subs and clicking percussive taps of 'Push Up The Price, steadily progressing into a vibrant melodic journey as it wombles forward. Next up, 'Head Top' delivers an unpredictable display of drum-based intricacy, giving enough space for a augmentented moog pulse to provide some cool bass direction, before rounding off with the breaks infused intensity of 'Goes On', which with one final switch up, gives the EP a fabulous sign off. Excellent work!
Review: Following releases from Kessler and Gallegos, Holding Hands welcomes Suki & Sniper1 to the fold for a diverse four-tracker. The title track revolves around a frenetic, stepping rhythm, squelchy tones and cheeky vocal snatches - the combination of these elements makes for a tripped-out club tune that straddles techno and breaks. On "George's Discovery", the duo push in a garage-oriented direction, with snappy drums underpinning a lurching bass and hip-hop scratching, while "Purple Haze" is a frenetic techno track, featuring dreamy synths and a pulsating bass. Rounding off this fine release is "Elezon", where the Australian pair go deeper to the sound of tropical rain forest samples and a rolling groove.
Review: As always with Holding Hands, we have been given a slice of the divine as Brazen lands with a spicy four-track delivery, showcasing the very best of new school breaky flavour. We begin with the title track 'Aces & Eights', a jumpy roller, fusing organic percussive pulses with wonky bass synths and unusual melodies for a trip into the unknown, before the choppy break slices and potent 808 kick stabs of 'Twocking' gives us something a little more eerie in its arrangement. Next up, 'Muck' focuses in on alien-like LFO expansions and skippy, minimal drum designs, giving the whole track an otherworldly vibe, before we round off with 'Achey Breaky', potentially the highlight of the release with it's super-crispy drum sampling and creative use of industrial pulses for a cool melodic switch. Lovely stuff!
Review: Holding Hands takes flight on its 15th EP with Gallegos slinging together a wide range of influences across five reinforced club cuts. Gallegos - an artist associated with labels like Bristol's Banoffee pies and Feelings Worldwide (thanks to a collaboration with Baby Rollen) - returns to Holding Hands with Chronic Ensoniq. Hooking up with both peak time techno and deep acid house inspirations in the title track, "Ultimate Damage" introduces a subtle rave element to the record next to the hypnotisms of "Coming In Hot". With something steppier, acid and dub all the more is "Oi To The Oi" there's extra warehouse motifs and dub mentalities making it to the surface in "This Is A Brand New Day". Look mum, no hands!
Review: What a combo we have here as Holding Hands invite the ever-ready sounds of Yosh into the mix and blend for a four track showcase, exploring the more delicate side of modern UKG. The title track 'The Hype' is an excellent way to kick us off, as layer upon layer of glittering percussive brilliance provide this one with a spectacular sense of groove, followed by the syncopated chord delays and breaksy style sampling of 'Jah Said', swinging the EP down a completely different avenue. From here, 'Warp Speed' takes us down a bit of a nostalgic avenue as pleasing organ plucks and skippy rhythms give the track a real dancefloor energy, followed closely by the stunning soundscaping and general harmonic structuring of 'Pull Up', to put the finishing touches on this absolute gem of an EP.
Review: A most reliable producer out of Leeds, Adam Pits finds himself back in the mix with Desert Sound Colony, Bushwacka! and Breaka over at Holding Hands. A safe haven for contemporary breaks and electro to oldskool styles and new age throwbacks, Adam Pits sends in three acid-vibing, bleep generation UK techno cuts that stem way back into the rave era. Keeping it housey and 90s in "Variation 1", Pits carves out a skippy, jungle flecked remake in "Variation 2", uping the tempo and switching the motif. Throwing down some enigmatic new age tricks in "Variation 3" - the bassline here on this one is tight. And for that mega dub-garage number, look no further than the Tape Fear remix.
Review: When it's done right, breakbeat can be one of the best party-starting genres out there, which is why we were so excited to see we had a super interesting two-track design here from the one and only Indent land in the store. Kicking off with 'Falling'. this track explores the more experimental side of electronic music with stuttering, moogy basslines taking the starring role, alongside skippy drum variants and an overall lively vibe. This one also comes complete with a top-quality remix edition from Desert Sound Colony, who take those classic, warehouse-style melodies and add a little touch of bubbling fun to proceedings. Top work!
Review: As ever with Holding Hands, we knew we were in for a treat as soon as we opened this one up as Desert Sound Colony deliver a pulsating four track expanse, doused in top quality production techniques. We begin with the swampy yet precise bass designs of 'Two Rums Please', exploring the darker side of UKG in style. Next, the skippy drum designs and moody basslines of 'Lokus' add some mystery to proceedings before 'ODA' unleashes a wash of acidic sound design to steer us down a different avenue all together. Finally, we round this one off with a look at 'Synthetic Nixon', a super bubbly synth-heavy roller, combining euphoric melody with softened pad textures to give us one hell of a finale.
Review: Wow, it's safe to say that Holding Hands have stumbled upon some gold with this one as Desert Sound Colony fuse the old with the new across four bad boy breakbeat originals. We kick off 'The Darker The Room The Bigger The Tune', a homage to both hardcore roots and futuristic pitch slicing and progression, before the shuffling drums and electrifying melodies of the title track 'Pulled Through The Wormhole' whirl into play. Next, the combination of punchy percussion and dreamy padlines of 'Echo Shaper' give us something a little bit different before 'The Gobbler' rounds us out in style, linking up choppy synth plucks with a moogy UKG bassline for a truly unique final run out.
Review: Next up from the Holding Hands team we see them unveil the second edition of their critically acclaimed 'Slow Jams' season, showcasing the most experimental breakbeat on the market. We begin with the genius of 'Breaka', who combines metallic, bouncy subs with junglist rhythms to create a real party starting anthem, followed by Guava's 'Outerbody Innerspace', an acidic experiment in groove. Next up, Lrds arrives with a lesson in drum processing and arrangement on the incredibly lively 'Quanda', before Dawn Razor delivers parts one and two of 'Be As One', an uber fusion between breaks, garage and techno, putting the finishing touches on an excellent selection.
Review: 'Music that hits you in the gut and rattles your bones' says Holding Hands about what they release, "music that makes the end of your nose itch". The London label look to the streets of '90s Baltimore this time by reissuing some undercover house and breaks from Gargoyle Records' back catalogue, which from here on will be known as classics. Hand picked by the connoisseurs over at Holding Hands, all these tracks first landed in 1995 with the phasers and delay phresh as phuck alongside some class delay techniques to full effect in "Dig It Beats". Find your euphoric acid in "Filter Funkard" and for some more mellow, cosmic and east coast vibes check out the previously unreleased "Do You Believe" alongside the raw, boomy beats and house stabs of "Danceaholic". Alienage, get to know.
Review: The well respected Holding Hands imprint has been on a real roll of late, with this latest four track expanse from Desert Sound Colony keeping that pattern going. The EP is a fantastic exploration into rhythm and sound, kicking off with the computer blips and shuffling breakbeat drum work of the title track 'The Bruce', alongside the squelching bass inputs and moody sub textures of 'The Ventus'. Next, 'Mega Globule' unveils a seriously smooth array of garage flavours, before 'Pompey Cruiser' delivers another glitchy expanse of groovy percussion and inviting basslines. Lovely work!
Review: A reissue on Desert Sound Colony's Holding Hands imprint, with yet another one for those that know. Originally released on Dj.ungle Fever in 1994, Dr Walker was the alias of prolific German producer Ingmar Koch - who was one half of Air Liquide and Jammin' Unit with Cem Oral. Story has it that DSC heard this on loud speaker in a certain London record store, but the fellow working the counter told him that unfortunately it wasn't for sale. Discogs copies turned out to be overpriced and hard to find as per usual, so he took it upon himself to reissue it himself. The bouncy mid '90s tech house vibe of the first track bears similarities to recent UK reissues on the label, while the second down a more hypnotic and cerebral route - digging this one! Finally, there's a pumpin' acid techno party starter that's more commonly associated with Koch's usual work.
Review: Up next on Holding Hands, we welcome the high energy combination of Baby Rollen & Gallegos, a partnership destined for greatness, who here unveil four tracks of pure rave power. First up, we take a look at the Gallegos solo contributions, with the acidic arpeggios and pumping drum designs of 'Blue Mountain' setting us off quickly, before the more melodic themes of 'Shouldacouldawoulda' provide us with some nice contrast. Next, Baby Rollen joins the party, firstly on the moogy drum bass tones and choppy drum rolls of 'Underwater Excursion' and then on the masterfully dispatched breakbeat themes of 'B45'. A very tidy EP indeed!
Review: Mau Mau is one of South America's most experienced DJs, having first started spinning records during the late 80s. This release is taken from music the Brazilian DJ put out on Eps and his Music Is My Life debut album during the earlier part of this millennium, but it is testament to his skills that none of these tracks have aged. "Breakers In Space (Dsc edit)" is a robust break beat affair, full of joyous vocal samples, while on the title track, Mau Mau delivers a rolling, tribal groove. Close in style to London tech-house of the early 00s - it's no surprise that he has released on Mark Ambrose's delightfully trippy Crayon imprint - "D+" and "Jmrb" resound to loose percussion, out-there vocal samples and deep, otherworldly melodies.
Review: Desert Sound Colony has created Holding Hands Again, which will bring to light some records from the past that he thinks should be made more widely available. With the renewed interest around late '90s UK tech-house at the moment, it's certainly the right time for this one. Originally released on Wiggle back in 2001 (run by Terry Francis, Nathan Coles and Eddie Richards), it is undoubtedly synonymous with a particular era, with Justin Bailey & Timmy Stuart's "A Long Weight" EP long being an underground classic for those that know. Featuring the minimal acid bounce of "I Got You" first up, followed by two mixes of "Hot Lumps" like were featured on the original vinyl release way back when we were most keen on the lo-slung back room dub of the original mix.
Review: It's time now to dive into some truly forward thinking compositions here as we take a first look at the first edition of 'Slam Jams' from various artists on the Holding Hands imprint. Yutaro Sugawara kicks us off with his super electronic imaginings in 'Warp', a subtle techno expanse which never stops evolving. Next comes Tape Fear with a fabulous fusion of spacey 808s, breaks and reesey tones, before Guava gets busy on a very atmospheric future garage creation. Finally, we finish this selection off with a more housey number from Breaka, combining euphoric chord structures and shattered vocal slices on 'Get Your Sweat On'.
Review: Following up a terrific inauguration of Nick Hoppner's new Touch From A Distance imprint, in addition to releases on Me Me Me and Scissor & Thread - Desert Sound Colony returns to his Holding Hands imprint for another collection of oddball grooves. This follows up a great one on the label not long ago by Adam Pits. The A side features the tripped-out minimal tech house of "Tickle Me Pink" calling to mind the emerging sounds of mid-noughties minimal - in a good way! On the flip, beeping and glitching reductionist funk continues with the quirky "Birds Fly Dry" followed by "Grabbing The Golden Goose" which is a tunneling and claustrophobic journey down the vortex which ends the EP in interesting fashion.
Review: Holding Hands boss Desert Sound Colony (DSC) has stated that he has known Adam Pits for a long time. First as a fellow student (a few years below him) at high school, and later at a University in Leeds that they both attended. He is from the same crew as Breaka (Beat Machine/Stretchy Dance) so there must be something in the water up there DSC declares - because 'these guys are producing the best shit in town right now'. UK bass and electro crossover in bold fashion on "Socket Power", which is followed by an eerie darkside perspective by Junq up next - perfect for the stoned ride home on the night bus.
Review: Leeds bass-boy Breaka comes through on the Holding Hands label with an irrefutably fiery blend of licked-up sonics and dubbed-out beats that perfectly encapsulate all the right things regarding UK bass. In detail, "Rory's Theme" is a slo-mo jungle experiment with a wonderful array of aqueous atmospherics, while "Puffer Jackets" breaks out more of a groove thanks to its quasi 4/4 beat, and the Desert Sound Colony remix ends on a gentle deep house tip that will carry you far out into space. Lovely stuff.