Review: Italy's Alberto Sola skips to the beat with his hedonistic shade of minimal house by landing on the ever-reliable Nein label. "Success" is heavy on the kicks, hypnotic in its sonic approach and bursting with energy, which is emulated in the more industrial-sounding "Failure!" Robot 84 Funkin Acid remixes the former into a cleaner, less broken house bomb, while the latter is rebooted by Tunnel Signs into a percussion-heavy techno gunshot for the big room.
Review: Endless is the debut solo EP from Amevicious, a Marseille-based DJ/producer who describes his style as "dark disco". Certainly, the title track feels sweaty and clandestine, with clanging percussion, sampled whoops, spooky electronics and a fuzzy bassline. Tronik Youth opts for a similar mood on his remix, which makes greater use of authentic analogue sounds. Amevicious' second original track, "Disco Libertine", is a fair more positive affair, with throbbing Italo-style bass and glistening synthesizers aplenty. Mark E delivers the standout remix, which sounds like a Balearic take on mid-'80s EBM, while Theus Mago opts for a sparkling nu-disco vibe on his rework.
Review: Paris-based Andres Komatsu should be familiar to those who like their electronic music bold, chugging and intoxicating. He's previously released on Nukod and Truth Underground, amongst others, and here makes his debut on the Nein Records label operated by scene stalwart Tronik Youth. There are two original productions to enjoy: the strobe-friendly, analogue disco sharpness of "Carcosa", and "Alban", a deepier, prettier and altogether more saucer-eyed take on the saucer-eyed, Italo-influenced nu-disco sound. Both tracks are also given the remix treatment. Tronik Youth makes "Carcossa" even rougher and heavier, mixing the original's throbbing melody lines with chunkier drums, before Gladkazuka re-interprets "Alban" as a distorted, analogue techno stomper.
Review: Amsterdam's Aux Tha Masterfader last appeared on Nein in the summer of 2015, serving up the throbbing, Italo-disco psychedelia of "Dark Side Of Disco". Fresh from a well-regarded and similarly inclined EP for Bordello A Parigi, he returns to Nein with something a little different. While "Chicalo Italo" still mines the synthesizer-heavy world of Italian disco for inspiration (check the vocoder vocals and shiny synth melodies), its' bass, beats and construction also doff a cap to early Chicago house (which, after all, was often inspired by Italo records). There's a pitched-down, druggier, dark Italo flavoured rework in the shape of the fine Pin Up Club Remix, while Somerville & Watson do their best to channel the spirit of Patrick Cowley and Bobby Orlando on their throbbing, arpeggio-heavy rework.
Review: Sometimes, with disco, the twee factor can really go up to 11. Here though, psychedelic beat meister Auxiliary Tha Masterfader gives us the "Dark Side Of Disco". The original is a slice of doom-tingle arpeggiation reminiscent of early Black Strobe and also appears as a longer, more minimal dub. Remix-wise Tronik Youth delivers a charmingly shimmery "Paradise Dub", Dubka goes for the full Chemical Brothers-style acid and Horse Meat Disco legend Severino delivers the best of the lot - a searing, Patrick Cowley-style hiNRG pounder.
Review: Tronik Youth's Nein imprint never fails to impress and he's called up Bird Of Paradise (Multi Culti/Correspondant) again to deliver the goods on the Oathbreaker EP. The title track is a Balearic-tinged dark journey track that nails that sense of atmosphere like no other. "Burmatofts" utilises classic Chicago house 808 rhythms beneath a dark EBM arpeggio to great effect (Heretic's remix up later is wicked too) while "Witch Intellect" is reminiscent of an instrumental version of Q Lazzarus' classic "Goodbye Horses" now if that's not a good enough pitch then we don't know what is!
Review: Bizzeea! Is the alter ego of Moscow based Vadim Ruadinskiy and is next up on London/Berlin tech house hotbed Nein Records. The Un-Tape EP features four sharp cuts, starting out with the grinding, slow burning bounce of "L/L Lichnoe/Lirischnoe" (whatever that's referring to!), the minimal acid techno stomp of "ROOFF (Room Of Fuckin Fuckers)" and speaking of minimal; Flamingo Dance"sounds like early Robert Hood in all its vintage bleepy cyclicalism. Finally "Awake In Me" gets some adrenalised tech house happening that will appeal to fans of the Clouded Vision sound.
Ball Trap (Andres Komatsu Another World remix) - (5:20) 106 BPM
Review: Laurent Audouin has spent much of the last 30 years as a bass player for hire, though earlier in the decade he launched a solo career of sorts by contributing tracks to a handful of compilations as Black Boiler. Here he delivers his debut single for disco drug-chug specialists Nein. "Ball Trap" is a heavily electronic throb-job, with the French producer successfully updating the Italo-disco template for the 21st century via razor-sharp high-end melodies, bustling synth-bass and some suitably spacey effects. Andres Komatsku provides the accompanying remix, dipping the tempo while adding a more foreboding feel and bleeping synthesizer motifs, while Audouin's bonus cut "Le Congre" is a trance-inducing affair that reminded us of late 80s Belgian new beat.
Review: Christmas has, indeed, come early - once again! Jordan Lieb is back with his inimitable Black Light Smoke project, laying new grounds on the debuting Nein imprint, out of Germany. As per usual, this is all about the atmospherics, a whole ocean of disparate pads and harmonies that never seems to reign in and draw back. Both "Perfecto" and "Take Me Out" travel effortlessly down the spiral path, riding and shrinking its airy synths without absolutely any concern. There's even a Cabaret Nocturne remix of "Take Me Out", a super fun coldwave chiller with a clear 80s sensibility, from its funked-out bass to the duet's lingering love vocals.
Review: Slightly mysterious newcomer BT Cop - all we know is that he hails from Glasgow - describes his music as "psychedelic dark disco, slow motion techno and chug". On this, his second EP for Nein Records, the title track is a synth-y nu-disco affair with a hint of acid in the bass department, before the Two Mamarrachos Remix adds funk drums and some early 80s Euro flava. 'It's Not Quite Right' is a tripped-out boogie jam, 'Dear Green' sounds like Hawkwind trying their hand at Belgian new beat and then finally there's 'In Mind', which you can file under 'uneasy listening'.
Review: Cabizbajo is a bedroom musician from Guadalajara, Mexico who serves up some seductively dark electro pop for the London/Berlin based joint venture Nein Records. The sinister late night groove that is "Eye See You" is the kind of track you could imagine a bunch of eyeliner adorned and fishnet clad goths getting down to in a smoky basement somewhere in Berlin. "The Race" is a stylish and techy indie dance excursion while "Time" (K-Effect Remix) is yet another mysterious electro-noir number that will appeal to fans of that Cologne sound being pushed by big DJs of the moment like Jennifer Cardini or Lena Willikens.
Review: There's always a collective whoop in Juno Towers when a new release from Tronik Youth's Nein Records arrives. The label's been on a decidedly EBM tip of late, and Cannibal Ink's "Acid U" seems purpose built for the job. The original version sees a slow 'n' sleazy (105bpm!) electro grind narrated by a chemically affected Euro-tranny in a gothy, smoke-filled basement club. Elsewhere Nein's go-to The Emperor Machine continues the Boccaccio club vibes with a spacier 10 minute Balearic groover. Furthermore Manchester's lad-about-town, Chris Massey, delivers a fine retro house mix complete with ravey synth stabs.
Review: There's something decidedly trippy, bordering on psychedelic, about the slo-mo and mid-tempo house workouts of Spanish trio Cannibal Ink. "Le Petit Prince" is a perfect example of their trademark style, and featuring raw, rough electronics and acid flashes riding a chugging, saucer-eyed, no-wave influenced house groove. It's a little more tech-tinged than some of the material on, say, World Unknown and Emotional [Especial], but it shares a similar aesthetic. There's a myriad of remixes to choose from, with Justin Robertson's Chicken Lips-go-industrial take, Moscoman's weird-wave interpretation, and Alvaro Cabana's punk-funk influenced drug-chug standing out.
Review: Manchester's Chris Massey of El Diablo's Social Club fame has graduated from his own To Rack & Ruin label to releases on Nein backed by Justin Robertson remixes in no time at all. Continuing his habit of naming African cities in the title, "Love From Lagos" is another gleaming slice of slo-mo electronic disco with extra jackin' bounce for good measure. Robertson brings his Deadstock 33s moniker to the table, delivering a cool arpeggiated bleeper in the process.
Review: Flu is Considine's debut single, but it contains a maturity that belies his youth. The drums are tough but funky and rolling, there are some subtle jazzy licks and garbled vocal samples and the whole thing is held together by a relentless slap bass. It's interesting that Considine cites proto-disco DJ Danielle Baldelli as his main influence because "Flu" does feel like the result of finding and reconstituting a wide range of parts. Apart from his own production, the youthful label owner also deserves praise for his A&R skills, commissioning remixes that veer from the rolling and loops (DJs Pareja and Craig Bartley) to the slow and tripped out (Cannibal Ink) and, best of all Drvg Cvltvre's grungy, throbbing bass take.