Review: For their latest digital reissue, Mint Condition has dug deep into the archives of mid-90s techno and house fusionists Sound Virus, AKA Chris Haynes and Scott James. First released way back in 1995 as the pair's second EP, Inverted Frequencies is full to bursting with timeless, club-ready late-night fare. Our pick of a very strong bunch is the near 11-minute 'Xtrovert Mix', a hypnotic, dub-flecked chunk of after-hours techno full of looped piano riffs, bubbly acid lines and loose-limbed percussion. Elsewhere, the bleeping 'Inverted Mix' is a dreamy, pie-eyed drift through intergalactic early tech-house territory, while the EP opening 'Eerie Horn Mix' is a thickset and chunky affair built around breakbeat house drums, funky bass and nagging synth stabs.
Review: Mint Condition is focused on revisiting the outer fringes of classic house and techno from the last three decades, and their latest release is a true gem to those who know in the underground. DJ Scott James and Chris Hayne teamed up as Sound Virus to share their more esoteric dancefloor visions on the Swirl EP that was originally released in 1995, and was one of only two releases on their own imprint Lux Recordings. From the strobe-lit mental overdrive of "Follow Your Feet'' which is a true zeitgeist of mid '90s techno, to the tripped-out electro breaks of "Continuum" and the future balearic beats of "Bossa Blue Dub" which ends things in low slung fashion - Mint Condition have unearthed a true classic here.
Review: Following the release of Cease & Desist's bleep & bass retrospective, Join The Future, in the spring of 2020, there's been a notable increase in labels reissuing similar material from that period. The latest archival imprint to get in on the action is Mint Condition, who have prepared a fresh, expanded edition of Peter Duggal's 1990 EP as Doggy, 'Psyche'. The title track - a much sought-after fusion of squelchy acid bass, bleeps, TR-808 cowbells and post-electro UK house beats, comes accompanied on this release by sparse, Unique 3 influenced bleep number 'Haze', original B-side 'Dog Food' - a more layered and starry-eyed exploration - and two previously unheard early versions of the EP's headline attractions. In a word: essential.
Review: House reissue label Mint Condition landed with a bang late last year, delivering a EP that accompanied Pepe Bradock's peerless remix of Iz & Diz's 2002 classic "Mouth" with two previously unheard reworks from the eccentric French producer. Here they offer a re-mastered of Techno Soul's sought-after 1992 EP, Expectations. Originally released on obscure Detroit label A.I.F Records, the title track boasts stronger UK influences - dub style sub-bass, breakbeat style house rhythms, and so on - then many Motor City productions of the period. Flipside "Flow With Me" sits somewhere between pitched-down Detroit techno and the smooth deep house of New Jersey producers such as Ben Cenac, while closer "I Need U" is a jaunty chunk of spacey deep house funk.