Isolated (Peter Van Hoesen remix) - (6:35) 130 BPM
Review: Just This has a long history of cultivating underground artists, and for its latest EP hthe label as tapped Abstract Division for some material. The title track is not what fans of the Dutch act might expect, with tranced out synths playing out over subtle back beats. "Isolated" is straighter and more dance floor-focused, but again the mood is understated, as the pair drop subtle drums and melancholic melodies that swirl through the ether. The label has tapped VRIL and Peter Van Hoesen for remixes and neither disappoints: the former's take on "Isolated" is subtle but effective, adding lithe drums to the mix, while the Van Hoesen take on the same track dives into a faster, tribal approach.
Review: The third volume of the Broken Promises series sees some familiar names reunited. Italian duo Hunter/Game deliver the brooding ambience of "Distance", while on "Electric Soul", Spanish producer Juan 'Reeko' Rico dons his Architectural cloak to raise the tempo with a tight, metallic rhythm track, punctuated by relentless bleeps and dense claps. Just This regular Pisetzky opts for a looser techno sound on "Anterial", as layers of evocative synths warble over a rolling groove. Having appeared on previous Broken Promises split EPs, Altman ends this release on a trippy note with "No FX". Once again, a rolling drum track prevails, acting as a backdrop for a mysterious melodic segue that leads the listener into psychedelic realms.
Review: This is the latest spilt release on Just This and it seeks to represent different sounds from a variety of artists. First up is Italian duo Hunter & Game. Inspired by the drums of Poker Flat and the mysterious trance textures of Donato Dozzy they conjure up "Dead City". Label regular PIsetzky follows a similar trajectory on "Self Dimension", but on this occasion the deep atmospherics were likely inspired by Detroit techno and the surging bass from the late 90s work of UK producers like Mark Broom. Finally there's Altman's "Assault"; dense drums and snares flail as he conjures up the spectre of classic hardcore and brings a dramatic end to this high-quality release.
Review: With releases on Sasha's label as well as an album and Eps for Kompakt, Hunter/Game have a deep understanding of how to make melodic electronic music. This is apparent on the title track of their latest release, "Dead Soul". Over a stripped back, understated groove, the Italian pair conjure up a melancholic melody that sounds tailor made for Mediterranean sunsets. On "Isolation", the feeling is just as evocative, with Middle Eastern drones underpinning the Italian pair's subtle groove. Joey Anderson's version of "Dead Soul" doesn't depart much from Hunter/Game's approach, but does see the New York producer add in some dubbed out percussion and drums.
Review: Italian label Just This rounds off a stellar year with this split release. Digging deep into underground house and techno, it brings together some of the finest artists who often fly under the radar. "Aechmea" is typical of the crisp, broken beat techno that Ed Davenport's Inland project specialises in, while on "Zona", Ben Gibson drops a straighter rhythm track, albeit one that is still covered in mysterious synths. On "Kundal", the anonymous producer My Flower delivers a vivid, frazzled groove, while completing the release is Italian pair Hiver, whose gloriously melancholic "Stellar Parallax Landing" is the highlight of an esoteric release.
Review: Here's an intriguing prospect: a collaboration between ambient and dub inclined Icelandic band Kura and Italian house/techno types Hunter/Game, under the previously unseen Landside alias. Happily, the fusion of the two outfits' different styles is a successful one, resulting in two highly evocative and atmospheric compositions. They begin with "Silence Before The Storm", a spacious, bass-heavy fusion of post-dubstep beats, drawn-out chords, woozy electronics and tumbling vocals. They move further towards the dancefloor on the droning 4/4 pulse of "Still There", whilst retaining the vocal-led, texture-heavy feel of its' predecessor. Remixes come from Max Cooper and Benjamin Damage, whose techno rework of "Silence Before The Storm" is a raw, brutal and hugely atmospheric.
Review: Here's an unusual release; Italian house duo Hunter/Game have teamed up with Icelandic band Kura, and now their collaborations get remixed by some of techno's biggest names. Robert Hood conjures up a moody spectre with his version of "Signs of Change", with a tearing electronic riff cutting through an insistent metallic rhythm. In stark contrast is Etapp Kyle's remix; dissected vocals float over dreamy, floaty synths and a laid back, dub groove. The direction shifts again when Bambounou gets to reshape the same track; the French producer's first take is a sprawling, spaced out take, while his dub version descends into a complex, abstract workout, led by percussive hiss and tape noise.
The Come Up (Prequel Tapes Going Up mix) - (5:05) 133 BPM
The Come Up (Prequel Tapes Going Down mix) - (6:57) 115 BPM
Review: With releases to his credit on Kompakt, Hotflush and Permanent Vacation to his credit, Locked Groove now debuts on Just This, a label out of Milan. The title track is a wild cacophony of jittery chords, flailing rhythms and eerie atmospherics, making for a truly weird and wonderful track. "The Come Up" is slightly more subdued, and sees the Belgian producer deliver evocative synths over a crisp, rolling break beat. The label has tapped the mysterious Prequel Tapes for two versions of "The Come Up". The 'Going Up' version features shimmering synths and frenetic break beats, leading into an epic climax, like a re-imagined version of 90s UK techno, while the 'Going Down' version is all dubbed out drums and shimmering sound scapes.
Review: For its latest release, Milan imprint Just This doesn't look too far and recruits the local My Flower duo. The release starts off in dreamy mode, with the title track offering up dreamy electronic melodies over a stepping rhythm. It sounds like an update on the neon-lit psychedelia of Border Community. The mood changes considerably on "Haumea", where the duo decides to layer a succession of dark riffs on top of one another as a menacing tribal backing plays out in the background. The label has tapped Vatican Shadow to remix "Rea" and the storied producer doesn't disappoint, looping the track's melancholic melody over a spiky backing.
Review: Octual is the latest in a long line of techno producers to emerge from the Netherlands and Untold Places is his most impressive release so far. A large part of the charm of this record lies in its ability to criss-cross genres. The title track is a tripped out minimal affair, replete with pitch-bent vocals, while "Jupiter's Moon" is a warm ride through Detroit techno - inspired by producers like Terrence Dixon and Stacey Pullen. This makes it ideal for Steve Rachmad, one of the country's first wave of techno artists, to remix it. The main mix sees Rachmad put a focus on melodic piano lines, while the dub version is a storming, driving affair.
Review: Following a few Eps for Milan label Just This, Fabiano Valli aka Pisetzky delivers his debut album. It's a beautifully constructed, expertly pieced together release. Boasting an atmospheric undercurrent throughout, it moves from the frosty ambience of tracks like "Vahana" and "State of Consciousness" -the latter contains the odd, Hawtin-esque acid gurgle - into low tempo affairs like "Streams of Ancient Wisdom" before building into hypnotic, dubbed out grooves of "Bakwas", "Wand" and "Odalesque". Mastered by the peerless Neel, Rough Machine sees Valli borrow from a range of classic techno influences - Mike Parker, Dozzy and even early Autechre are references - but distill each source in such an artful way that makes his debut long player sounds 100% original.
Review: The latest EP on Just This comes from Sinfol & Octual, who have released mainly on Anagram. In keeping with the Italian label's mission to push the boundaries of minimal dance music, the pair deliver the lean, linear title track as well as "Wire". Focused on hypnotic synths and powered by a jacking groove, it reveals that the pair can also deliver a deeper, more cerebral form of techno. The label has also tapped Gerd Janson from Running Back for two remixes of "Absolute Infinity". The first version is a tracky, insistent workout, with Janson adding some bubbling acid lines, while on the 'Acid Only' version, the esteemed German DJ puts a focus on warbling 303 frequencies.
Review: For their ninth release, Italian imprint Just Is has gathered together an all-star cast for a split EP that hits the mark throughout. Label regular Pisetzjky joins forces with Dutch producer Tom Trago on opener "Peru", a melancholic chunk of deep house/tech house fusion blessed with sorrowful strings and lashings of spacey synths. Long-established techno producer Eduardo De La Calle layers deep space melodies over a thunderous kick drum-driven rhythm on the sturdy "Mondo 8", while jazz drummer-turned-electronica hero Kelpe delivers the EP's finest moment. Titled "Dry Riser", it sees the London-based producer brilliantly fuse skittish live drum patterns, trippy synthesizer arpeggios, and ridiculously heavy bass.
Review: Moving from the mournful minimal house of Christian Loeffler's "Lost" into the high-priced brooding techno of Edit Select's "Inlands", it's fair to say that the latest compilation on Just This covers a lot of ground. However, there are commonalities; Abstract Division, best known for their tough, kicking techno, venture down a more brooding path with their contribution, "Aftermath". Meanwhile, Locked Groove of Hotflush fame opts for the same approach for the melancholic "The Come Up", while Eduardo De La Calle delivers the dubbed out "Mondo 8". As autumn draws in and the nights get longer, Broken Memories makes for the perfect soundtrack.
Review: Just This celebrate their tenth anniversary with X, a compilation that skirts at the edges of ambient, techno and even pop. Those more mainstream elements are audible on Mind Against's epic remix of Blausch's "Brood" while on "Good Old Days", Woo York's thumping electronic groove also features pop vocals. There's a darker side to Just This' canon, and this comes through on Yotam Avni's brooding "Name Dropping" and the low-slung,frazzled groove of Extrawelt's "Ort Und Impuls (Alternate Version)". However, what really shines through are the dreamy techno grooves from Hunter/Game and Sterac's "Hypnotized", a powerful club track that combines firing percussion with seductive, Detroit techno-style bass.