Revenge Of The Whales (Monkey Safari remix) - (8:17) 124 BPM
Ruins (Marino Canal remix) - (8:13) 120 BPM
Review: Monkey Safari's label has done a fine job in putting a focus on Avidus, an upcoming act from Germany. On the title track, there are echoes of early Booka Shade as a building, euphoric bass and haunting, melancholic synths mark out a subtle direction for trance. "Ruins" is even more understated, with electronic keys and evocative tones unfolding over a slinky groove. The label has also done a fine job with its choice of remixers; Monkey Safari themselves turn the title track into a full-on acid assault, while on Marino Canal's take on "Ruins", low-key break beats and wispy, building chords prevail.
Review: Halle, Germany's Hommage imprint is fast making a name for itself with its tech and deep house grooves. Home to Monkey Safari, Karl Friedrich and local legends Super flu, this time they've signed up Berlin based duo Kotelett and Zadak for a full length release. Starting things off with the slo-mo groove of "Arpeggio Dreams" which is reminiscent of Max Essa, they then launch into "La Lune" a sexy deep house track with a bouncy bassline and sultry French vocals by Gabriela Lindlova. There's some variety on here that's for sure. "And & And" is energised and percussive tech house, as is the dark and mysterious "Light". Lindlova's seductive vocals appear again on the bubbly pop inflected number "Milla" and things end in fun loving fashion with folk/country inspired "Take Me Back".
Review: Appearing previously on the likes of Jackmode, Sweat It Out and Monaberry, the Halle based duo return on Hommage for some dark journey tracks on the On EP. The darkly emotive and soulful title track is the kind of peak time epic you could imagine a field full of ravers going mental to at a German festival; those Thom Yorke style vocals are a nice touch too. The remix by Barcelona's king of funky tech house Paco Osuna does exactly what it says on the tin: atmospheric with an infectious rhythmicity. "Matters" is a lot more restrained and stripped with that hypnotic arpeggio and humming bassline doing most of the work effectively.
Review: German tech house heroes Monkey Safari are back on Hommage with the third round of remixes of their Odyssey LP. "Smalltown" gets a re-rub by Argentinian prog legend Hernan Cattaneo (with a bit of help from Audio Junkies) which creates a more ethereal and atmospheric version than the original. Hamburg nu-disco hero Tensnake gives "Odyssey" a brooding Italo styled rework - indeed we've never heard the guy sound this morose before - but we're loving it! Equally surprising was the recruitment of two of techno's real heavy hitters: New York City's Phil Moffa steps up to deliver a typically muscular effort on his rendition of "Prologue" while Rotterdam veteran Benny Rodrigues delivers a functional and cyclical rework of "Sign" that calls to mind his efforts on Ben Klock's Klockworks imprint.
Review: Following up the first volume of renditions last month of their terrific Odyssey long player, German duo Monkey Safari return with another collection that you can bet features the creme de la creme in tech house on remix duties. Take for instance Israeli progressive house hero Guy J's absolutely mesmerising perspective of "Epilogue", which injects even more dancefloor dynamics into the track, rising Bristolian star Dubspeeka's brooding menace that's scraped directly off the factory floor - as heard on his remix of "From The Purple Sky" and Espai Music label owner Trivmph steps up to execute a totally adrenalised rework of "Kingdom" that totally has the peak time in mind.
Review: Hommage founders Monkey Safari aka Lars Ruhlemann and Sven Frohlich follow a busy 2016 with their first release of this year. It's been worth the wait; spread over 11 tracks, Odyssey is a brooding affair that spans a range of moods and emotions. It moves from the atmospheric "Prologue" into the bass-heavy title track, before the German pair increase the tempo and ramp up the intensity levels with the purring low end of "Ctrl X" and "Helios". "Sign" is an expansive minimal house groove. On "Smalltown", they elaborate on this approach, building a widescreen composition underpinned by steely percussion and a clanging bass. It's the highlight of an epic work.
Review: It is over to Hommage head honchos Lars Ruehlemann and Sven Froehlich aka Monkey Safari for the first installment of remixes from last year's Odyssey long player. It is quite the roll call here - the German duo have certainly got street cred if they were to rein in the one and only Carl Cox for a rare remix. On his rendition of "Energie" the techno legend delivers an adrenalised and strobe-lit journey into the late night, that features dancefloor dynamics like no other. German tech house veteran Reboot gets those trademarked funked-up polyrhythms in full effect on his version of "Helios", Benny Rodrigues delivers a factory floor rendition of "Prologue" (ROD remix) while famed studio wizard Hannes Bieger delivers a slinky and evocative prog house perspective on "Ctrl X" (Hannes Bieger remix)
Review: Halle based duo Monkey Safari return on Hommage following up that great track "Boris" which received a killer remix by Israeli progressive house don Guy Mantzur. On "Woo" they create a dark and nefarious journey track this side of Stephan Bodzin or Recondite; proper dancefloor drama right here! Then on "Verso" they go for the jugular with this tough tech house cut featuring a buzzing analogue bassline, fierce rhythm patterns and emotive pads all working in perfect harmony.
Review: It's emotive house time with the Monkey Safari contingent as they return to their own label following on from time spent connecting with imprints such as Sweat It Out! There is a great crossover potential in the Caribou-esque melodics and heart-stirring vocals of the original version of "Walls", justifying the increasing profile of the German duo, and then there are more functional remixes bundled in for those who want things a bit chunkier. Guy Gerber in particular brings a solid, heads-down heat to proceedings with throbbing bass and minimal house drums keeping on a straight and narrow path, while Josh Wink takes pleasure in rinsing a lengthy breakdown before nipping back into a light acid refrain. Moby then steps up to complete the all star cast with a sprinkling of piano and a prominent house beat that works even more bombast into the original version.
Review: 2020 marks a decade since the release of Monkey Safari's debut single. In that time they've kept up a steady stream of releases, flitting between their own imprint (Homage) and guest spots on such high profile labels as Get Physical, Bedrock and New State. So what can we expect from their first missive of the new decade? Title track "Gira" is a rushing, celebratory affair, with the German duo peppering a tactile, tech-tinged deep house groove with sparkling piano stabs, drowsy chords and unusual female vocal samples. If you're after something a bit deeper and more considered, virtual B-side "Chari Chari" offers a near perfect fusion of Innervisions-esque Afro-tech beats, bold analogue bass, sampled African chants and a wonderfully glassy-eyed melodic conclusion.