Review: Hotflush unveils a diverse, dance floor-focused compilation full of original productions and high-quality remixes. Kiimi's "Breaking My Mind" and the Baltra take on label owner Scuba's "Never Forget" are vocal, dusky house tracks. Meanwhile, Truncate's take on the Hotflush owner's "Speed This MF Up" and the string-soaked "Hyperdrive" by Locked Groove both offer fine perspectives on deep techno. On "Mescalito", Nightwave drops a rolling tribal track, while underlining the diversity on offer on this compilation, Alden Tyrell's remix of TML's "Cell ID" from the 2019 Tensor release also features. It's a gnarly electro workout that sounds like it crawled from a sewer in the Hague.
Review: It would be fair to say that this second selection of remixes of tracks from Locked Groove's brilliant "Sunset Service" album will not go unnoticed. For starters, both mixes are collaborative affairs, with the unifying factor being Hotflush label boss Scuba. He first teams up with fellow big name Skream to deliver a brilliantly punchy and weighty breakbeat version of "Do Not Freak" that makes great use of rumbling, low register bass and spacey synth stabs. He then joins forces with Lawrence Hart to take on "Out of Orbit", re-imagining it as a four-to-the-floor stomper rich in sparkling synthesizer lines and sweet female vocal snippets.
Review: A marked difference from his most recent Scuba originals, 'Expectations' signals a contrasting path for sonic exploration by the Hotflush chief - covering house, garage and rave sounds. He references classic Stateside house of the early '90s on the title track to stunning effect, before heading down an introspective route on the evocative acid epic "Voices" (including Rose's own vocals) and going deeper on the glassy-eyed and melancholic vibe of "Burn Out" - calling to mind his earlier output several years ago under the SCB alias. It also features recordings of live acoustic riffs by the artist. Cover art by Lando (Decadence Comics).
Review: Isaac Reuben's music has already graced Hotflush owner Scuba's Fabric mix and now he gets a full release on the label. The fast rising producer shows his diversity and smart programming skills across NRO; the title track is a solid tribal banger, underpinned by tough kicks and sharp percussion. Meanwhile on "Rouz", he opts for a more stripped back approach, with a lean rhythm, subtle, dubbed out effects and rickety hi-hats combining to create a deep dance floor track. Last but not least is "Pastel Trax", a sample-heavy looped banger that calls to mind 90s techno projects like User.
Review: Tim Van der Meutter has been in fine form this year, offering up a string of must-check releases including his Locked Groove debut album "Sunset Service". This EP, which boasts two fresh jams and a couple of previously unheard remixes of album tracks, is similarly essential. Opener "Eb & Flow" is superb: a shuffling, loose-limbed chunk of loved-up techno rich in glistening piano riffs, looped strings and rushing electronic positivity. "Green Pastures" is similar uplifting, though Van der Meutter's choice of sounds, riffs and electronic elements give the track a distinctive neo-trance feel. Elsewhere, Yves Deruyter re-imagines "Moon & Sun" as a creepy chunk of trance-influenced early morning techno, before TML re-imagines "Eden" as a ludicrously heavy breakbeat hardcore smasher.
Review: Following on from the recent 2.1 compilation, Hotflush again shows why it is such an essential dance floor label. It features established artists like Agoria, who drops the discordant tones and spiky minimalism of "Helice" and Recondit with the deep, dubbed out "Channel" , alongside emerging producers like Glaskin with the twisted acid of "You Are Simply A Machine". No Hotflush compilation would be complete without its owner Scuba's input; here it takes various forms, including a broken beat remix of "Ruptured" by Surgeon, and the SCB sub-project dropping the sub-bass led "Rope". If that wasn't reason enough to buy Floor 2.2, there is also a fine techno track from the late, great Trevino.
Review: The latest compilation from Scuba's label features some of dance music's most distinctive producers. Recondite delivers "Pour", a throbbing, spaced out groove that will leave listeners mesmerised. Locked Groove, another Hotflush regular, also focuses on the deeper end of techno with the hypnotic, flowing "From Beyond". The compilations also includes "If You Still Want Me", an evocative house cut from Yotam Anvi, where plaintive vocals unravel over a dubbed out groove, while Scuba himself impresses with the synth-heavy "Nineteen Eighty" and, working as SCB, drops the steely, stepping rhythm of "Five Degrees". Floor 2.1 is an essential release for anyone with even a passing interest in forward-facing techno and house.
Review: Hotflush has commissioned some of techno's most talented producers to rework tracks from Locked Groove's debut album from earlier this year. "Out of Orbit" gets turned into a frenetic, rolling club track by Anastasia Kristensen, with the original's shiny synths incorporated into breezy filters. On his version of "From Beyond", Alan Fitzpatrick diverts from his usual big-room sound to drop a lazy, hazy break beat piece that is sure get dropped during Balearic sunsets. Striking a note of discord is Prequel Tapes, who turns "Eden" into a dark, droning banger led by pile-driving kicks and wave upon wave of percussive dissonance.
Review: Four years on from his last outing under the alias, sometime Sepalcure member Praveen Sharma has finally delivered a new Braille EP. Astonishingly, it marks his first appearance on Hotflush since 2011. Perhaps the most striking thing about EP opener "Stand Still" is how deep, dreamy and picturesque it is, with Sharma peppering a snappy rhythm track with drowsy vocal samples, woozy chords and a wonderfully warm bassline. "Igloo" is, if anything, even sunnier - a tactile sample patchwork that sounds like Sepalcure after an afternoon on the beers at a Croatian festival. Elsewhere, "Needs" is a sweet and piano-heavy chunk of glassy-eyed, leftfield house brilliance, while closing cut "IOU" alternates between skittish breaks, booming sub-bass, twinkling pianos and mangled vocal samples. Like the rest of the EP, it's brilliant.
Review: Label boss Scuba dons his SCB alias to deliver this split release with Wehbba, who has previously released on high-profile labels like Drumcode and Tronic. That hypnotic, big-room sound is audible on "Survival", where steely drums are fused with wild acid pirouettes. The title track is less intense, and sees the duo deliver a pulsating groove that's framed by steely percussion and ponderous vocal samples. "New Culture" is more stripped back, with this unlikely pairing focusing again on those steely drums, underpinned this time by an insistent filter. "Green Planet" is similarly focused, as rolling, Palstikman-style percussion and acid drones unravel over solid kicks.
Review: Acclaimed Italian duo Mind Against return with a four-track EP of spiralling, hypnotic techno on acclaimed label Hotflush - for the second time since "Elysium" / "Pulsar" (with Locked Groove) in 2015. From the tunnelling adrenaline rush of the title track which is sure work the floor under the strobelight, there's also the brooding heads-down factory floor stomp of "Forevermore" and a bit of material more familiar of the duo on the epic dance floor drama of "Mirage" - complete with its wonky bass line, intoxicating melodies and euphoric pad layers all geared for some moments of pure zen in the main room.
Review: Following two admired single-track salvos on Hotflush, George Fitzgerald collaborator Lawrence Hart (AKA Duncan Tottill) and Algebra Records boss Nic Neill AKA Casually Here join forces for their most expansive release to date. Predictably, they begin in confident mood, wrapping woozy vocal samples, simmering strings and hazy, sun-kissed electronics around a crunchy, off-kilter rhythm on the rushing bliss of "Innocent". The pair moves effortlessly towards techno territory on "Swimming Up (Extended)", where fluid ambient electronics smother a chunky dancefloor groove, before Model Man delivers a fuzzy, piano-sporting rework of previous single "Ochre" that benefits greatly from intergalactic electronics, jazzy samples and distorted bass.
Review: Dave Robertson aka Reset Robot returns to Hotflush after last year's Conflux release. The focus here is on tough club tracks with varying de-grees of abrasive sound. The title track is a chugging rhythm that is based on a potent update of the Hoover bass, which provides the basis for filtered riffs and a series of incessant bleeps. Despite this, its step-ping rhythm means that it maintains a sense of funk. "Idiolect" sees Robertson dive off into the noisy abyss with a grainy take on acid tech-no, while Wehbba keeps up the pressure with a stomping take on last year's Reset Robot / SCB collaboration, "Arp".
Review: Tim Van de Meutter aka Locked Groove's debut album is a product of its surroundings. A Belgian native, the Hotflush artist draws on his home country's rich electronic music heritage to create a unique soundtrack. Rave is represented by the uplifting break beats and time-stretched vocals of Nate Brown on "Pudding", on "Out of Orbit", he draws on the tripped out, hypnotic sound of New Beat and "Oscillate" is a sublime slice of Belgian trance. On other occasions, Van de Meutter takes inspiration from classic house - witness the Lil' Louis-style "Do Not Freak" - or deep techno jams such as "From Beyond", but in the main, this is truly a Belgian affair.
Review: Following an acclaimed EP series that saw Locked Groove exploring Belgium's musical heritage such as EBM, new beat, trance, rave and techno (all through a contemporary lens), this edition marks the final step towards his debut album Sunset Service - on Scuba's Hotflush label. It is said to be an amalgamation of a diverse and carefully studied musical history, so keep your eyes peeled. Features the euphoric cut "Out Of Orbit" with its classic rave motifs and "Wally's Groove World" - a tribute to the beloved Antwerp record store which explores sounds of the '90s Belgian underground.
Review: Three fine tracks here from Recondite that will delight those in search of some atmospheric yet muscular techno grooves. 'Silk' itself opens with hard-hitting 4/4s, but before too long it's the dubwise bassline that's taking centre stage, as the track develops into a dubbed-out, heads-down number aimed at 3am dancefloors. 'Channel' is even harder-hitting, indeed almost industrial-sounding, in the kick drum department but is otherwise quite a sparse, otherworldly affair that comes locked and loaded with ominous synths and atmospheric FX galore, before the more sprightly and funk-fuelled 'Pour' rounds out an excellent package from Hotflush.
Review: Preceding the release of his highly anticipated debut album, Locked Groove presents Do Not Freak: a two-track EP applying his own interpretations to the classic sounds of the Belgian underground that continue to influence his sound - namely new beat and rave. These tracks come in advance of his new album Sunset Service. Written over a one year period with a combination of analogue and digital equipment at his Berlin studio, it documents the synthesis of a carefully studied musical background into one coherent body of work. With its elevating piano progressions and glistening organ arpeggios over strict machine rhythms - you would think it is the second summer of love all over again on the title track. Fast forward a few years later, he delves into the darker effects of ecstasy on the UK hardcore influence with its fierce breaks and rolling bass on "Attack".
Review: TML aka Peter Lansky returns to Hotflush with Tensor , his fourth release for the label. The grainy drums and gritty acid lines that dominate the title track would sound more at home on a label like Creme or one of the Clone platforms, so Scuba deserves credit for signing it. "Undo" is of a similarly raw disposition, but this time the US producer has upped the tempo and drops wild 303 spirals against a dark, stepping rhythm. "Export" sees Lansky return to the same approach as the title track, with rough acid unravelling over gut-busting subs. Retaining this deeply underground approach, the label has drafted in Alden Tyrell to deliver a rough electro-techno take on another TML track, "Cell ID".
Review: Reset Robot aka Dave Robertson is best known for his work on Adam Beyer's Truesoul imprint, and now makes his debut on Hotflush. "Slippery Jack" is a mesmerising tech house cut that revolves around a building electronic riff and a pumping groove, while on the title track, the UK producer opts for a different approach. Dramatic chords swirl in like storm clouds over a relentless, hammering rhythm, while the break down is bigger than a motorway tailback on Black Friday. By contrast, "Arp" is a deeper affair, led by layered chords and a buzzing groove. Meanwhile, Scuba's own take on the title track offers another perspective, with its steely drums cutting through Robertson's chords.
Review: Within UK dance music's expansive circles, there are few who have offered as much as Scuba over the years, who here returns to his beloved Hotflush household for a stunning new project by the name of 'In Retrograde'. This project sees him traverse a complete spectrum of electronic music, with a half time dubstep feel being the central yarn in its tapestry. From the distorted utterings of 'Buzzsaw' and funky inspired flavours of 'Gyroscope' to the more soundscape led compositions of 'Entrospect' and 'Ants', this project boasts a wealth of musical expertise, showcasing a depth of dubstep influences and offshoots.
Review: Minneapolis producer Peter Lansky has previously excelled on Hotflush Recordings, delivering a pair of EPs heavily influenced not by his native dance music culture but three decades of UK bass music. While these inspirations are still evident on "I Need An Exit", the EP's two most arresting dancefloor cuts - the rapid-fire machine percussion, slamming bass-weight and psychedelic, acid-fired electronics of "Raw Stack" and "Export" - are closer in feel and style to Miami bass, Chicago Juke and the most bombastic Detroit electro. In comparison, "Sandboxing" is deeper and far more druggy, with Lansky flitting between elongated analogue bass and skittish bouts of hardcore breakbeats, while closing cut "Clear Data" wraps hushed ambient chords and creepy electronics around a blazed and blunted post-dubstep rhythm.
Review: Remixing Scuba's SCB project must be a daunting task, but Hammer and Mor Elian both rise to the occasion. Hammer's version of "Test Tubes" is led by a pulsating bass and epic synth lines that are inspired by horror disco and joyous Italo in equal measures. Meanwhile, Mor Elian's take on "Fishbowl" goes down a different route; underpinned by rough, rolling 808s and menacing low end, it reinforces the fact that the Fever AM founder is one of the most talented electro artists to emerge in recent years. The original version of "Fishbowl", also included here, is a reflective slice of deep techno, while on "Turquoise Shade", Scuba surprises again, this time with a mellow, blissed out house groove.
Review: Fresh off some terrific remixes of label boss Scuba's Caibu LP, Hotflush presents some emotive tech-house from some London based multi-instrumentalists: the classically trained Lawrence Hart (aka Duncan Tootill) and Algebra Records boss Casually Here. The incredibly evocative "Wanderlust" carries similarities to Hart's work with long time collaborator George Fitzgerald with its rich tapestry of sparkly synth textures and skippy drums. "Chimes" on the other hand is a bit tougher and has more bounce to it - its title refers to its hypnotic and resonating melody between interludes of sublime and heady ambience.
Review: Following previous remixes of SCB's recent LP Caibu by the likes of Rebekah and ANNA, Hotflush are back with the third edition - which ups the ante considerably. The track "Test Tubes" appears in its original industrial edged form, but receives a rework by men of the moment Mind Against - the Italian duo take the track into deeply entrancing territory in the same vein as their acclaimed releases on Life & Death and Afterlife. Label staple Locked Groove from Belgium delivers a spiralling rendition of "The Cut" which is properly geared for some moments of tunnel vision under the strobe light. Finally, embrace the raw power of the functional "Hexagon" a steely techno number scraped straight off the factory floor.
Review: Scuba's socially conscious SCB side-project continues to impress with its latest missive. "Traffic on the Hyperway" is a pulsating, electronic groove that resounds to filtered percussion and tough kicks. Elsewhere on the release, the Hotflush owner's material gets the rework treatment. Rebekah turns "Intelligence Fetish" into a pummelling, broken beat workout, its lone bleeps and steely drums conjuring up a bleak atmosphere. Isaac Reuben's take on the same track resounds to a break neck tempo and is powered by insistent kicks as well as some atmospheric drops. Meanwhile, rounding off the release in a more reflective approach is a new version of "Caibu" from the SCB album of the same name, where spiralling acid lines suggest a slightly more optimistic vision of the future.
Review: Brothers in techno the Brockelmanns aka Glaskin return to Hotflush after last year's debut, Debris Disk. The pair kicks start Grey Lines with the militaristic swagger of "Objects", where spiky riffs and straight, marching drums give off an austere, cold sensibility. "Paralysis" sees the pair opt for a different approach, but it still retains a menacing undercurrent thanks to the severe, metallic percussion and brooding chord builds. The tempo and mood mellow somewhat on the title track, as robust break beats support chilling strings, but soon enough the German duo return to intense form with the pounding kicks of "Heliosphere" and the accompanying tranced out riffs.