Review: This Avocado release by French producer Alexkid may well be the best thing he's released yet, which is quite the praise seeing as Alexis Mauri has been putting out records since 1997. Avacado also provides him with a debut on Josh Wink's Ovum, and what a debut it is. "The Dope" is deep, squiggly and atmospheric with pulses of bass tones bleeping in and out of sync like a modular system gone mad, while the future Chicago house of "For Josh" will indeed be a hit, if it isn't one already, for Wink's DJ sets, whether it be in Ibiza or the basement venues of NYC.
Review: Josh Wink's label takes it back to the old school on Elixir. "No Loss" is like an amalgamation of 90s deep house and early 00s San Francisco tribal, its rolling groove and bouncy, buzzing bassline providing the basis for a breathless vocal sample. By contrast, "BDRK" opts for a more purist sound, its tight claps and brittle, metallic groove and powerful bass undercurrents sounding like the output of labels like 20/20 Vision and Paper. On "Champion Sound", Alvarez opts again for an approach loosely based on the San Fran sound as plaintive reggae vocals are fused with contemplative keys. Finally, "Treat Me" opts for a stripped back rhythm, populated by heavy claps.
Review: Amberoom may be a new name, but members Manuel Tur, Adrian Hoffmann and Ramin Nouyan are all established producers. As you'd expect, this debut EP is expertly produced, with title track "Rhit" - all Osunlade style rhythms, stretched-out chords and rising electronic melodies - sounding not unlike some of the material on Ame and Dixon's Innervisions imprint. Elsewhere, they show their skills at fusing live instrumentation with electronic beats, first on the gentle and trippy tech-house wooziness of "Hover", and then via the spacey, Afro-electro beats and effects-laden guitars of "Machine". They round things off with a dash of Manuel Gottsching inspired ambient in the shape of the Guitar Beatless Remix of "Hover".
Review: Delft and Valence main man LA-4A aka Ambivalent is back, this time on Josh Wink's institution Ovum for some sure fire tech house in the form of "Substantia" featuring a full octane serving of hi-tech soul with a tough rhythm and hands in the air piano melody. "Reversion" is all about functional peak time techno with its adrenalised hypnotism, while "Closed" is a stripped back and funky acid groover that's perfect for those cool down moments between transitions. We really are loving this guy's stuff at the moment!
Review: Thorstenson follows up 2017's Svart on Ovum with this no-nonsense EP. Inspired by US techno, including presumably, label owner Josh Wink's own 303 classics, this is an irresistibly mean and moody release. He kick-starts it with "Right Behind You", where an acid line is tweaked and teased over a moody, menacing bass that could have come from Suburban Knight's studio. "Grains" is more upfront and forceful, with the young Swedish producer dropping dubbed out chords and surging 303s over a rolling, looped rhythm. Rounding off the release is the spaced out minimal groove of the title track, where Thorstenson takes inspiration from Detroit artists like Sean Deason.
Review: Irishman-in-Berlin Bren Gregoriy returns to Josh Wink's label after 2014's Tidal with two superb house tracks. The title track is redolent of Chymera's melodic techno roots, but sounds more polished and assured. A surging bass and chiming cowbells provide the basis for crystalline synths, hissing percussion and dramatic woodwind. "Canavan Calling" is even more impressive; apparently inspired by a session with a Mini Moog, it revolves around a huge, dense bass which underpins thumb clicking percussion, chopped up, half-heard vocals and a building, droning riff. Once all of these elements are combined, they sound like a particularly malevolent version of Redshape.
Review: On Dive, French producer D'Julz shows how to achieve less with more. The title track is a hypnotic, stripped back techno groove, its tweaked frequencies combined with crashing cymbals to make for a relentless groove that ebbs and flows hypnotically. By contrast, "Self Construction" resonates to the sound of rich Detroit chords and features a wide-eyed breakdown. However, D'Julz doesn't sacrifice the dance floor impetus and its firing percussion ensures it'll have a place in more discerning DJs' boxes. In any event, there is also a dub take on "Construction", which focuses on the original track's percussion and adds in tough claps and slick acid lines.
Review: Dirty Channels & Bugsy team up with French-Tunisian singer-songwriter and actress Amina Annabi, famous for finishing second in the tied 1991 Eurovision Song Contest. The supple bassline and dreamy, dubby house notes of "Alone" compliment the trippy stylings of Amina's tenor. Freerange regular Pezzner brings Amina's full bodied lyrics to the front of his mix, while Josh Wink's "re-think dub" of Pezzner's remix retracts the vocals entirely, leaving only touches of reverb. Wink supplies two extra nine-minute "re-thinks" of his own with a dub and vox versions. Both are emblematic of the Ovum sound, replete with African percussion and drooping basslines. Wink naturally utilises Amina's now breathy vocals in his vox mix, while putting more emphasis on the strong synth line in his dub.