Review: Kollektiv Turmstrasse specialise in making a uniquely German take on house music. Melodic and melancholic, featuring samples of live instruments, but also with that unmistakably German penchant for precision, their music is both functional and emotive. This collection is an excellent introduction to their music. There are reflective contributions like 'Videt', unashamed tranced out grooves ('Flaschenpost') and stripped back tracks that veer into hugely uplifting melodic segues. But the most rewarding moments feature live musical samples and there is no better example of this than 'Luechtoorn'. It starts off as a rolling groove that stealthily introduces plaintive keys and sensuous woodwind that loom enticingly in the arrangement before disappearing again.
Review: Hamburg-based duo Nico and Christian aka Kollektiv Turmstrasse make the most of what's left of Summer by releasing this EP featuring shimmering remixes of two tracks: "Lapache" and "Ordinary". Alex Q, Lake People, YouANDMe & Cosmic Cowboys rework the former in poolside electro-house forms respectively. Meanwhile "Ordinary" features three of the EPs stand-out remixes: an eccentric sleazy house-turns-hippy-trip-out from Alex Q, a harder jackin' mix by Mick Rubins and a haunting melancholic tech-house version by Lake People. Here comes the sun.
Review: Gewinnt Freunde all started from friendship and a love for music in 2006, and this philosophy still drives Nico and Christian's music. It's also why the long-awaited return of label heads Kollektiv Turmstrasse marks the perfect moment to get back to the unique sound the Hamburg-based label has become known for over the last 13 years. The Ribbon Reef EP is a proper journey: from the steely and austere dub techno pummeler of the title track which is loaded directly off the factory floor, to the dreamy and hypnotic journey of "New Star" which is by comparison euphoric and transcendental - complimenting the last track perfectly like yin and yang.
Review: Musik Gewinnt Freunde offer a sneak peak at the international future of the label with four tracks from new acts that span the continents. Australian based French producer Yokoo is first up with "Spirituality", where a monologue on the spirituality of house music is submerged beneath simple pads and woozy key melodies that rise through the ether to dramatic effect. Warm abstractisms abound on "Cubic" where Georgian producer Tornike floods the ever present piano in snapping jazz-tinged snares as snatches of harmonious vocals and revolving chord progressions fight for attention. Greek duo 9West snaps you out of your daydream with the jungle techno pound of "Hidden Energy" which sees intermittent flourishes of dubbed keys, tribal chants and unidentifiable animal noises shoot out from beneath a relentless groove and grumbling bass. Finally Ocar Barila teams up with Flavio Lodetta for the cosmic greatness of "Odyssey" where punchy beats are overwhelmed by layers of Motor City atmospherics before re-emerging from the darkness.