Review: While most people have already decided to write off 2020 as a depressingly bad year, Alex Breitling is probably not one of them. He's released some of his most impressive material yet this year - and loads of it. By our calculations, this EP on Monaberry is his 11th digital single of 2020...and we're still in June. Title track "Makassi" is a genuinely unassuming beauty: a rising chunk of Afro-tinged tech-house/deep house fusion smothered in chiming melodies, atmospheric chords, loose-limbed percussion hits and echoing vocal samples. Angelov gives the track a more raw, dark and mind-altering feel on his analogue-rich remix, while David Mayer adds evocative woodwind lines to his moody Afro-house-goes-tech-house revision (think Mr Raoul K, and you're close).
Review: Young Ukrainian producer Angelov made his debut on Solomun's Diynamic back in October, and here he comes to another German label, Monaberry, with three more tracks that sit on the deep/tech/progressive house cusp. Deep, rolling grooves topped with nagging, bleepy synth toplines seem to be Angelov's stock-in-trade, and that's what you get on both 'Invedi' and 'Scena'. The standout though is 'Qanica', which has a similar MO, but which has a synthetic Arabic/Middle Eastern flute in place of the analogue squelches and sounds all the more musical and engaging for it.
Review: Samuel Gmuer and Adrian Woellhaf (better known as Animal Trainer) run Hive Audio - the in-house imprint of Zurich's long running Hive Club. They are also staples on such esteemed labels like Stil Vor Talent and Katermukke, but now appear for the Monaberry stable out of Halle (Saale) eastern Germany. Following up a great one by Label bosses Super Flu, the pair present the emotive and melodic main room energy of "Rigpa" (Street Parade Hymn 2018) and "Dharma" which was greta in its original form but we must say that Mulya's rendition with its exotic polyrhythms and brooding vibes was pure energy and truly won us over - we'll sure it'll do the same to you!
Review: Berliner via Bremen Anika Bebetta is back with the Uppercut EP and it sure is a fitting title. The title track is a stomping and dusty tech house jam that's just made for drifting, dancefloor journeys that the Berlin crowd desire, complete with moody atmosphere and the mandatory wonky melody! Second original track "Shimmy" is more uplifting and restrained, featuring her angelic vocals and a hypnotising melody which all in all has more of a progressive house vibe: which works great. There's some awesome remixes of the tracks here too, but it's definitely the one by man of the moment German Brigante whose "Mucho Toms Remix" is the bees knees: bouncy, slinky and sexy but above all made to play!
Review: Anika Zeising aka Bebetta releases her third EP on Monaberry. Not to be confused with the 90s techno act of the same name, Megalon showcases her considerable production prowess. On the title track, this talent is articulated through steely, rolling drums and spiralling, tranced out melodies, as Zeising replicates the sound of a church organ trapped inside a day-glo techno arrangement. On "Hedorah", the German producer opts for a different approach; the drums are dense but understated and effective, while steely percussion helps to underpin mournful piano keys and reflective break downs. It makes for a more considered approach, and shows that Bebetta isn't just about tough club tracks.
Elephant On Ebay (Innellea remix) - (7:14) 122 BPM
Jello - (7:22) 122 BPM
Cow Kau - (7:48) 120 BPM
Review: Anika "Bebetta" Zeising returns to action for the first time in 2017, and this time she's got company. All three original tracks were co-produced by CIOZ, an Italian producer who, like Zeising, has regularly released music on Monaberry. The duo begins with "Elephant on eBay", a woozy and dream-like chunk of late night deep house blessed with a typically hypnotic, tech-tinged, European style groove. This instinctive fusion of European and classic American elements continues on the similarly smooth and groovy "Jello", before the pair go all Innervisions via EP standout "Cow Kau". As a bonus Innellea swings by to deliver an even deeper and dreamier rework of "Elephant on eBay" that sounds like a soft-touch late night anthem in waiting.
Review: Halle (Salle) based Monaberry - the label run by minimal techno veterans Super Flu - present a new release by Oslo-based Finnebassen, who has released on NM2, Selador and House Of Disco in recent times. The Wide Open EP features the melodic and trance-inducing bliss of "Sevkens" and the sublime title track which receives a magnificent rework by ascendant Israeli duo Jos & Eli (Noir Music / Diynamic / Einmusika) who go even deeper into the night, and full of evocative/ethereal elements.
Review: Franco-German producer Jean-Claude Ades has some serious history, with his jam-packed discography sporting regular releases since the early noughties. Even so, he's been rather quiet of late, with "Illusion" counting as his first solo EP for almost five years. Opener "Illusion" is particularly alluring, with the Ibiza-based artist peppering a shuffling, tightly-wound tech-house groove with fluttering electronic motifs, chiming melodies, trance-inducing flourishes and lashings of additional hand percussion. "Say Goodbye" is arguably deeper and more druggy in feel, with clanking metallic percussion hits, intoxicating Middle Eastern flourishes and hallucinatory electronics rising above a thrusting, mind-altering arpeggio style bassline.
Review: This split release features left of centre house music. First up is Monkey Safari with "Revolver Sundays", a lazy, hazy groove full of wah-wah guitar bursts and sexy mannequin vocals. Andhim's "German Summer" is just as enticing. Close your eyes and you can almost taste the cool beer and bratwurst as a rolling groove and sassy cowbells lead the way in a bass-heavy party groove. Finally, it's Scheibe's "Achterwaarts". In contrast to the other tracks, this has a more definite dance floor focus, but its flirty vocal sample and sexy, filtered builds ensure that it doesn't sound like all the DJ fodder out there.
Review: Fresh from appearing on the Monaberry compilation Herbert's Best 7 earlier this year with "Handmade Desire" alongside label mates Super Flu and Douglas Greed, Sobek (MoBlack/Chapter 24) returns to the Halle (Salle) based label with his first full release. The Modest Is Hottest EP features the hypnotic and infectiously melodic title track, the tribal and esoteric raindance of "Emotional Chastity" and the loopy/entrancing bliss of "Stoned Romance".
Review: Named after the Egyptian crocodile god, Budapest-based Sobek has been crafting a unique sound within the realms of house and techno over the last few years. and also runs his own party series in his home city of Budapest. After releases on imprints such as Chapter 24, TAU and Moblack, he now presents his latest for Super Flu's Monaberry imprint. From the entrancing title track, to the slinky and hypnotic mood music of "Ruler Of The Line" and Tyu's darkly mysterious rework of "Legend From Outer Pace" - the Casio Samples EP has all you need to provide maximum dancefloor drama.
Review: East German duo Super Flu are still going since making it big in the mid noughties minimal boom and have been running their successful Monaberry imprint for some time now. This is the third prank from the duo, in the form of a new album entitled Musik 3. The result is a space trip that Feliks Thielemann and Mathias Schwarz have survived, but their colleagues (including reknown pianist Hauschka) have been transformed into an extraterrestrial form of life in the laboratory. Super Flu debuted in 2010 with Heimatmelodien and three years later followed their ode to their hometown: Halle Saale.
Review: Following the release of the arguably overlooked - but rather good - Musik 3 album last year, Teutonic twosome Super Flu returns with their first EP of 2018. They begin with the dense, percussion-rich throb of "Ark", where exotic Indian instrumentation, mind-altering tablas and ever-rising electronics make their presence felt over a foreboding, bass-heavy house groove. The track takes a little time to get going, but just gets bigger, bolder and more rush inducing as it progresses. With its jaunty Balkan string samples, shuffling rhythm and hybrid electronic/acoustic composition, "Dopot" reminded us a little of the work of Kellektiv Turmstrasse. That track is also given the remix treatment by Freerange Records regular Hyenah, who re-casts it as a spine-tingling chunk of heavily electronic late night deep house.
Review: Halle Salle's favourite sons return on their esteemed Monaberry imprint with some sleek tech house shenanigans on the Really Really EP. an afro house-inspired tone titled "Really Really". It's a gloriously paced and busy track that is driven by sharp synths, adolescent African chants and playful production tricks. This is supported by the emotive and spiritual Afro house jam "Panthra" closing out this fine EP.
Review: The finest exports from Halle (Saale) return on their beloved Monaberry imprint with some more quality minimal tech-house goodness. Feliks Thielemann & Mathias Schwarz first made a splash around 10 years ago with their inventive takes on house and techno. This will be the pair's fourth album for the imprint and features a dozen or so tracks: the best of them being the collaborations - and there is some pretty interesting ones we must say. With Cologne duo Andhim they create some lovely ambient house/IDM during one of the album's 'interludes' not to mention the absolutely splendid one with German neo-classical hero Hauschka later on. The dubby warehouse techno slow bruner "V13A", the evocative dancefloor drama of "Gausa" goes for that Stil Vor Talent or Jonas Saalbach kind of feel. The tunnelling progressive house journey "Skorr" provides something different again and closes out this fine LP in style.
Review: Last seen on Moon Harbour in the summer of 2019, Super Flu returns to Monaberry with a two-track missive that's well worthy of your attention. Check first opener "Jetendra", a deliciously throbbing and driving affair in which delay-laden South American percussion hits, drowsy chords and Innervisions style melodic patterns dance enthusiastically atop a druggy, arpeggio-driven deep-tech groove. The track's sweaty build-and-release structure is mirrored by the EP's other workout, a similarly percussive fusion of deep house and tech-house that boasts some nagging synth stabs, mangled tango accordion motifs and more cowbells than those drunken lunatics that line tight mountain roads during an Alpine stage of the Tour De France.