Review: Alan Fitzpatrick has released on some of the world's greatest techno labels, including Figure, Unknown To The Unknown and Drumcode - and thanks to this EP his catalogue also boasts anb appearance on Rekids. Surprisingly for Fitzpatrick, the title track is a deeper affair, as the ghost of Detroit techno past haunts his steely drums with evocative synth melodies. In contrast, on "The Forgotten", he opts for a pared back approach, with insistent electronic riffs bubbling up over a lean, wiry rhythm. The label has commissioned Luke Slater to rework "Step Away". Working under his Planetary Assault Systems guise, he strips away the dreamy synths to make way for a pile-driving techno banger that brings the release to a grinding climax.
Review: The latest release on Rekids sees Letyago deliver two very different propositions: on one hand there's the title track, with its tough kicks, niggling metal-plated percussion and vocal snippets; coupled with whooshing filters, it makes for a compelling big-room track.In contrast, "Pump It" offers a radically different approach; underpinned by melodic chords and brittle break beats and laced with niggling acid, it's a deep,sensuous take on techno. The label has commissioned Mark Broom to deliver two remixes of the title track; the second take resounds to razor-sharp hats, thunderous claps and a spooky organ riff, while on the first take, Broom goes deeper, with a dubbed out version that draws on the heritage of Chain Reaction.
Review: Anthony Rother's music has always sounded futuristic, so it's not surprising that this release sounds like it came from another time. However, instead of the robust electro drums that Rother's music is usually based on, the title track is underpinned by a stripped back techno arrangement. Despite this slightly different approach than usual, it still gives him the opportunity to deliver his signature robo-vocals and austere, frosty synths. On "Super Future Metropolis", the storied German producer delivers a tantalisingly different approach, with a pile driving rhythm populated by abstract tones, while "The Message" is an epic synth workout, featuring those distinctive vocoder vocals.
Review: Young producer Armless Kid was one of the underground deep house success stories of 2017. While he's not yet quite as well known as some of his fellow new wave French deep house contemporaries, he already has releases on Classic, Hustler Trax and Fina White to his name. There's naturally plenty of fine fare to be found on this Rekids label debut, from the bumpin', jazz-wise stomp of opener "Troisieme Act" and the slick, ultra-deep warmth of glassy-eyed highlight "Jojo On The Moon", to the far-sighted Motor City techno/crunchy deep house fusion of "Air" and retro-futurist breeze that is lovable, stab-heavy closer "This Generation". If that lot's not enough to excite you (and, let's face it, it should be), then take a listen to the jazzy, 144BPM madness of the suitably bonkers "Abdos Fessier".
Review: B.A.D.S. or Berlin Amateur Dramatics Society to give it its full name, is a collaboration be-tween Spencer Parker and Homopatik organiser and resident DJ Mr Ties. 'Hous-O-Matik Hom-O-Patik' was created especially for use at the infamous Berlin party, and now this remix package sees the pair share it with the rest of the world. The F Montefiori version squalling sax fused with doubled up drum patterns for a rough take on New York house. Spencer Par-ker's versions are more functional and streamlined, with the Work Them boss dropping tracky, tough house rhythms - in particular, the 'dub' version, with its relentless kicks and crashing cymbals, is nothing short of devastating.
Review: UK tech-house pioneers Rekids have truly given us a lot over the last ten years. From Radio Slave's own music, to Mr G, Spencer Parker, and even Nina Kraviz, they've always kept up with the times and molded their sound to new and exciting shapes. This time it's newcomer BADS who comes through with the latest anthem, a driving house banger entitled "HOUSE-O-MATIK HOM-O-PATIK", and while it's furious kick drum steals the show for much of the duration of the track, things get freaky when the DJ Deeon-style vocals drop on us like a load of grenades. You also get a pure beat version, and an accappella if you're feeling adventurous with those vocals.
Review: "Good Luck" was originally released back in 2004 and was used that year as the theme tune for the BBC's Euro championships coverage. Now it gets the remix treatment from the prolific Butch. The first take sees the German producer focus on the infectious chant and Lisa Kekaula's vocals that are at the heart of the original and use as a back drop a solid, steely rhythm. On the dub version, deep chords and crisp percussion are brought to the fore, with the vocal reduced to a looped snippet, while the 'Drum Tool' version goes a few steps farther. Focusing on grainy kicks, Butch drops a filtered, rolling workout.
Review: With little fanfare or hype, new act Bvbylon drops a fine two-tracker for Matt Edwards' Rekids imprint. The title track revolves around a steely, rhythm track that is underpinned by tough kicks. It also features a modular riff that moves up and down the intensity scale throughout the arrangement. On "Verstek", this new act opts for a different approach; while the drums and rhythm are just as frenetic as "Arcadia", the analogue riffs are rougher and noisier; used in conjunction with powerful filters, the track serves as a reminder that sometimes, the simplest concepts in techno are the most effective ones.
Review: Recorded by DAP aka Daniel Poli, Andrea Mazzini and Philippos Nikiforakis back in 2004, Brush Your Lips has aged well. Featuring house head Lance De Sardi on vocals, it harks back to a time before minimal and fidget went their separate ways. It has a tracky, relentless feeling, imbued with the rawness of Chicago, the precision of digital production and best of all, De Sardi's risque vocals. "Little Deeper" follows a similar trajectory, albeit with a vocal snippet and a more rolling groove, while "Manipulation" is harder and more upfront, its powerful bottom end propelling snares to their inevitable, irresistible climaxes. The Jamaican vocal-sampling "If you Were Liquid" recalls the tripped out tech-house of Grant Dell and Terry Francis.
Review: It sounds like Jeffrey Hek and Jimmy van de Geijn aka Deep Dimension spent the second year of the 90s dancing till the early hours at outdoor raves. The title track here resounds to pounding drums that support wild rave riffs and even a high-paced hardcore MC rap. It's rough, raw and successfully captures the wide-eyed sound of that era. Rekids boss Radioslave teams up with P.Leone to deliver a remix of the Dutch duo. Laying down chugging, tribal beats and turning the rave riff into a spooky synth riff, it's a tough house track that has more in common with the clubs of New York than the fields outside Amsterdam.
Review: Deep Dimension follow last year's So 1992 debut release on Rekids with this similarly-influenced release that draws on sources from the early 90s. The title track revolves around hammering kicks and a wild rave sequence that references Riot-period UR. Similarly, "Audio Space" sees the pair chop up a vocal sample and loop it over a brutal, industrial rhythm. Meanwhile, "Stronger Than Steel" comes across as a modern take on Frankfurt Trax, replete with the seemingly solemn rapping that was the signature accompaniment for many of those iconic releases. Last but by no means least is "Planet E", where Deep Dimension deliver a discordant stomper.
Review: It's hard to believe that this is DJ Deep's debut on Rekids as the French spinner has been such an integral part of that grey area where house and techno coalesce for a number of decades. In any event, it sounds like he is making up for lost time; working together with Traumer, the owner of the Gettraum label, he delivers the monumental title track. In its La Deep version, the stepping rhythm supports a screeching diva vocal, while the La Slave version strips the arrangement back to focus in jittery drums and rolling percussion. Finally, there's straighter La Spicy take, which has a straight groove and the dense, tracts of percussion that one has come to expect from Rekids.
Review: DJ Spider has been an integral part of New York's techno scene for years, but only in recent times has he made an impression on this side of the Atlantic. Spider's association with labels this side of the Atlantic continues with Ninja Drive-By, his debut release on Rekids. Over four tracks, he manages to cover a range of moods. From the grubby, swinging broken beats of "Dirt Nap" to the atmospheric "TMC" and the jittery percussion and jazzy tones of "Montag", there is a lot to keep the listener engaged. Spider even succeeds in uniting dense, grubby drums and outer space melodies on "Planetary DisFunkshun", making for a heads down journey to the heart of left of centre techno.
Review: Dustin Zahn has been flying the flag for uncompromising techno for the past 20 years, so it is somewhat surprising to see him appear on Rekids. The title track is typical Zahn: cruising along at 130bpm, it sees him marry tough drums with a repetitive riff. "Decorum", which is of a similar tempo, resounds to churning chords and pile-driving percussion. Meanwhile on "Nameless Midnight", the US producer pushes the tempo up further, but adds some extra intrigue with an instinct vocal loop playing out over a wiry rhythm and mysterious bass tones. Rounding off what is an unusual but welcome release for Matt Edwards label is "Subtle Flex", a chord-heavy affair that features a more stepping rhythm than the preceding tracks.
Review: "Stranger..." was originally released as a limited edition on Rekids sub-label REK'D ten years ago, and now it gets a wider release. Despite the passage of a decade, it still packs a considerable punch and is available here in two remixed versions from Len Faki. The first 'Podium' take is sure to send a club into oblivion with its wild synth stabs, rolling drums and ominous filters. Faki's "X-Break" version is not as direct, but is still just as effective; over hollowed out drum breaks, he adds layered chords to the siren-like synths, lending Zahn's original a more measured but distinctive version.
Review: FBK aka Kevin Kennedy put out an EP on Shake's Frictional EP back in the late 90s before reappearing nearly 15 years later. Happily, Kennedy has not lost his distinctive touch and this debut album marks him out as a master of raw house and techno. More streamlined than his colleague Shake, Stories contains bruising, visceral workouts like "Layers of Fear" and "I'll Sit Back, You'll Jack" and relentless looped workouts like "Headless". That said, this is not an entirely peak-time collection, and Kennedy also drops deeper Detroit techno like the subtle back beats and churning chords of "Hassling". It's the latest chapter in the resurgence of one of techno's unsung heroes.
Review: Released last year, FBK aka Kevin Kennedy's debut album, More Stories From The Future was the culmination of a few years working with Rekids. Now the label has commissioned Len Faki to remix two tracks from the album. On his 'Hardspace' take of "I'll Sit Back", the Berghain resident pitch-bends the vocal sample and sets it against a thundering percussive track that is sure to have maximum impact in big rooms. Faki's take on "Hassling" is even more idiosyncratic; underpinned by his trademark kicks, it sees him layer firing percussion and plaintive chords again this backdrop that ensures the end result is deep but impactful.
Review: Fred P delivers his second release of 2020 on a label that is tailor made for his tough but soulful sound - Rekids offshoot Stranger in the Night. The title track is a linear, driving affair; powered by a powerful bass drum and featuring a droning riff at its heart, these elements make for a hypnotic fusion. "Construction" also makes effective use of just a few sounds, with a murky bass coming together with dissected vocal samples and brooding synths to create an eerie sound. On "Alphabet City", the US producer goes deeper, with looped chords and sensuous strings unravelling over a jacking rhythm, while "For The Dome" is a beautifully evocative slice of soulful techno.
Review: Matt Edwards's label makes another smart signing with this release from Nikos Galatsopoulos. The same kind of driving throb that Edwards made his name with as Radioslave is audible here on "Dope Beat" - with beefy drums and a simple but effective filter keeping the arrangement dynamic and dancefloor friendly. A similarly utilitarian approach is evident on "Tunnel Vision", but in that instance the sounds are more techno-focused and the repetition centres on a deep chord build that breaks down and restarts. However, the most memorable moments here are "Hi Fly" and the title track. Underscored by infectiously catchy, summery disco filters, the former will garner all the radio play while the latter's Ian Pooley-like groove will rule in techno and house clubs alike.
Could Be Anybody (Amir Alexander Deep Dive remix) - (6:33) 123 BPM
Review: This newie from Berlin-based production combo Liviu Groza and Kennedy Smith was recently referred to online as "DJ tool house". It's an odd but kinda apt description. It's in many ways typical of the style that Rekids boss Matt "Radio Slave" Edwards has made his own - druggy, tracky, intoxicating and bristling with strange noises, dubbed-out pianos and razor-sharp snares. It sounds like it was tailor-made for after-parties and afternoon-after-parties. Amir Alexander remixes, delivering a deeper, drifting take full of bubbly bass, hissing cymbals and crunchy analogue percussion. It's a quality alternative to the out-there original.
Review: Hemka follows releases on Labrynth and Balans with this powerful three-tracker. "Doppelganger" is led by a spooky organ riff that is underpinned by rolling drums and powerful thunder claps. Meanwhile on "Countdown", the Paris-based artist delivers one-note bleeps and layered vocal samples over dense, driving drum patterns, in the process creating a peak time mixture of Ben Sims and Sandwell District. Changing direction once again, she drops the powerful title track, where insistent bleeps and waves of filtered percussion gradually reach a crescendo as they crash in over a driving rhythm. It rounds off a fine tough club techno EP.
Review: Following on from releases for Off and his own, self-titled label, Hybrasil debuts on Rekids. The title track is a pumping tribal affair that resounds to dramatic stabs, heavy kicks and a rolling rhythm. It's a lean, linear affair that showcases this emerging producer's prowess. On "Source Vibration", Hybrasil delivers another locked-on arrangement, with looped percussive chimes and a rolling groove prevailing. "Pallas Athena & Aeoleusc" centres on tough, dense kicks and a rippling bass as well as dramatic break downs. Last but not least is "Bishop", where sweeping, dubbed out chords unveil over a somewhat slower but equally effective clubby pattern.
Review: Following on from his Afra release on Rekids, Berlin-based artist Hybrasil follows with his debut album. Like his previous material, it is tailored for the dance floor as the giddy tempo and building organs of the Radio Slave favourite "Hathor" and the urgent, Rob Hood-style synth loop and razor sharp percussion of "Ursa Minor" both demonstrate. However, this long player also shows that there are nuances to the Hybrasil style; "Ceres" is a deeper, more mysterious techno track that unravels to driving percussion, while "Orpehus" resounds to haunting vocals and chiming chords. Combined with his club-primed material, it means that Embers is a well-rounded release.
Review: Since breaking through in 2016 with his Interstellar Systems EP for Berlin label Dystopian, Jon hester has since gone on to release with the likes of DJ Deep, Radio Slave and Derrick May. In four years the likes of Deeply Rooted, Transmat and Rekids have all released the American's music and this Momentum EP continues Rekids' techno assault in 2019 (see EPs from P.Leone, Roberto and the always faithful Phillipe Petit). Industrial beats all round, "Zone" sends in spiraling rhythms, claps washed in reverb and a relentless forward motion, and "Part 4" is a touch syncopated in comparison, its held together by a hypnotising vocal snippet. Same goes for "Beatwave" only with deeper atmospheres and bleep inspired notation, while a fan's favourite can be in the happy hardcore and contemporary rave of "Accelerator".
Review: Veteran Philadelphia-based producer King Britt returns, following up the brilliant Believe EP for Radio Slave's new Stranger In The night label. He is back with another riveting effort for parent label REKIDS here: "Believe" is a serving of bittersweet melancholia featuring Sraddha's haunting pitch shifted vocals. It then moves on to a more optimistic note with the sun kissed swagger of nu-disco number "Memories" before going back to the bittersweet and heartfelt drama on the all consuming closer "You're All I Need".
Review: Russian producer Nina Kraviz gets remixed in three radically different ways. KiNK's take on "Love or Go" is a mellow affair, with dubby drums mixed with a resonating bass and a warm acid bleed leading into a sensuous breakdown. By contrast, Steve Rachmad puts the focus on the dance floor for his reshape. The Dutchman's 'Jack' version is powered by heavy drums and Kraviz' vocal contribution sounds like it has been taken over by a montone robot as an atmospheric filter pushes it into an epic breakdown. Rachmad's 'Scorp' version is far heavier and more stipped back, with tearing acid lines unravelling over metallic beats and the robot reduced to intoning what sounds like 'techno, techno, techno'.
Review: The run of remixes from Nina Kraviz' self-titled album continues unabated, and this time, following sterling efforts from Urban Tribe, Steve Rachmad, KiNK and Marcellus Pittman, it's the turn of DVS1 to step up. On the menu are two opposing reworks of "Best Friend", which expand on the original's whispering vocals with an original contribution by Naughty Wood; the "Forever mix", which fills out the spacious, improvisational original with rigid, dubby organ stabs, firming up the kick for a more dancefloor friendly effect, and the "Dub test" version, which brings the lead in slowly over a gaseous swirl of minimal percussion and billowing bass. The inclusion of Kraviz's seriously weird original rounds things out nicely.
Review: For this latest Mr Jones EP by Nina Kraviz, she withdraws any sentiments of ghetto house heard on last year's debut album and turns in something house and techno inspired for Rekids. Her sultry, accented vocals still play a large role in her music however, best heard in the dark house of "Desire", the first track of this double EP. "Mr Jones" begins much the same was as "Desire", but when the beat does drop, it's not as tough, but twice as haunting - complementing the EPs cover art. Kraviz teams up with Luke Hess for the Detroit techno drum track that is "Remember", while "Black White" offers the some respite from the previous productions gloominess with something more festive and tropical. From here Kraviz provides some classic, minimal, and percussive deep house in "So Wrong", which leads perfectly into the club drumming of "Sheer". A superb follow up by Kraviz.