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Running Back

Running Back

Founded in 2002 by Gerd Janson and Thorsten Scheu, but now primarily run by Gerd, Running Back is a German label that’s made a name for itself for its spaced out, melody-rich, modern house and disco flavours. Running Back has so far seen feel-good releases from the likes of: Roman Fluegel, KiNK, Dusky, Alan Dixon, Tensnake, Tiger & Woods, Lauer, Tornado Wallace and more. The label also boasts some incredible peak hour tracks, including Krystal Klear’s ‘Neutron Dance’, Todd Terje’s ‘Ragysh’ and Storken’s ‘Lille Vals’.
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How The Dogs Chill Vol 2
Seasonal - (5:40) 136 BPM
Linea Rossa - (4:30) 135 BPM
Winter - (5:28) 135 BPM
Marathon - (5:27) 91 BPM
Review: Drawing inspiration from hardcore punk, skateboarding, and high fashion, particularly Linea Rossa, the young Australian artist offers a collection of precise and captivating explorations in house and techno. His debut release for Running Back, "How The Dogs Chill Vol.2" consists of four high-energy tracks that blend deep house elements with atmospheric melodies. These tunes possess both a muscular intensity and an affinity for entrancing rhythms that will set dance floors on fire. Written amidst the lush flora and fauna of Australia in 2022, the tracks carry a botanical essence, evoking the sensory journey of a visit to a greenhouse.
RB 125D
22 Sep 23
Deep House
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There Is A Hole Here
There Is A Hole Here - (4:25) 131 BPM
15 Sep 23
from $1.89
Immer - (3:19) 63 BPM
Immer (extended mix) - (5:05) 63 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Immer (instrumental) - (3:19) 63 BPM
Immer (extended instrumental) - (5:05) 63 BPM
Review: Running Back's latest missive happily doffs a cap to synth-pop and "alternative dance" of the 1980s, with boss Gerd Janson suggesting that Ede/Deckert (AKA Eren Yazici and Christph Deckert) looked to British Electric Foundation (AKA Heaven 17) and dark wave outfit Eleven Foundation for inspiration. They're certainly good reference points, with 'Immer' boasting an attractive blend of Johnny Marr style guitar licks, Peter Hook-esque bass, metronomic machine drums and attractive electronic melodies, all topped off with an expressive lead vocal (in German) by mystery singer Sargland. Alongside the fine extended vocal version and vocal/instrumental radio edits, the package also contains a sublime 'Extended Instrumental' take that arguably sounds even more like New Order, which is no bad thing.
RB 1237D
08 Sep 23
from $1.89
Immer - (3:19) 126 BPM
Immer (extended mix) - (5:05) 126 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
RB 1237DS 1
18 Aug 23
Funky/Club House
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Lucky Charm
Lucky Charm (main mix) - (6:20) 120 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Lucky Charm (dub) - (6:34) 120 BPM
Lucky Charm (Perc mix) - (3:12) 120 BPM
Luv Armour - (4:37) 125 BPM
Whatever That Is - (6:00) 111 BPM
Film 4 - (5:50) 80 BPM
Review: Roman Flugel has made many terrific records over the last three decades, though we can't think of many that are quite as joyful and rushing as 'Lucky Charm', a surging piano house number full of pots-and-pans percussion, layered keyboard solos, hands-in-the-air riffs, classic house bass and unfussy drum machine beats. His accompanying dub mix successfully strips the track back while adding some restless, relentless cowbell lines (never a bad thing), while Perc's short-and-sweet revision re-imagines the track as a bouncy, tribal house number. Of the bonus cuts on offer, we're particularly enjoying the wayward house/techno fusion of 'Luv Amour' and the exotic downtempo shuffle of 'Film 4'.
RB 121D
14 Jul 23
Deep House
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Shooting Star (Six Times)
Shooting Star (Six Times) - (5:42) 124 BPM
Shooting Star (Six Times) (Gerd Janson extended mix) - (6:56) 124 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Shooting Star (Six Times) (instrumental) - (5:42) 124 BPM
Review: Italo nouveau specialist David Jackson, perhaps best known for 2020's 'Airport Disco', joins forces with like-minded ex-pat Northern Irishman Cormac, a veteran of the mid-00s Trash/Nag Nag Nag/Wet Yourself electroclash heyday who's busy these days with his Queerly Beloved podcast, his Polari label and his regular Rinse show. Together, they come to Running Back with a track that's pure 80s in feel and that owes a clear debt of inspiration to Depeche Mode. Label boss Gerd Janson's remix wonks things out a little more towards the end, while if you're not feeling the vocal there's also an instrumental included.
RBD 002-1
09 Jun 23
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Acid Leak
Acid Leak - (5:25) 130 BPM
Wing Wing - (5:25) 130 BPM
Acid Flow - (5:10) 130 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Frantic - (5:27) 130 BPM
Review: Following last year's Release Me, Redshape returns to Running Back with this rave-inspired EP. Drawing on euphoric sounds from the 90s, this four-tracker starts off with the title track. Led by dramatic string swoops and evocative chord builds, it contains an understated sense of menace. The same interplay between euphoria and moodiness is also audible on "Wing Wing", where an acid bass underpins colourful synth lines. "Acid Flow" is more pared back, with Redshape putting the focus on a warbling 303 and insistent percussion. Rounding off the release, the storied techno producer goes deeper with the sleek Detroit techno of "Redshape Frantic".
RB 117D
02 Jun 23
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Beautiful Strangers
Beautiful Strangers (extended version) - (6:09) 130 BPM
RB 120DS1
24 May 23
Deep House
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Acid Leak
Acid Leak - (5:25) 130 BPM
RB 117DS
12 May 23
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Reuben - (6:17) 128 BPM
RB 115DS
10 Mar 23
Deep House
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Lower Wacker Drive
Lower Wacker Drive - (6:22) 133 BPM
03 Feb 23
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Neuclidea - (6:01) 136 BPM
Life Window (extended version) - (5:52) 131 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Sunset Operator - (7:03) 69 BPM
Neuclidea (Hodge remix) - (4:45) 136 BPM
Review: 14 years have passed since Jack Hamill broke through with a series of inspired releases that defined the Space Dimension Controller sound - club-ready but undeniably intergalactic, emotive, starry-eyed and like nothing else around - but he's still consistently delivering inspired, must-check EPs. 'Neuclidea', his first Running Back release, is another gem, with the title track - a sparse but typically spacey techno number blessed with plenty of his trademark synth sounds and subtle nods to '90s ambient - is arguably the standout, with Hodge's accompanying remix providing a more tooled-up, rave-ready revision for those seeking more straight-up peak-time thrills. Elsewhere, 'Life Window (Extended Version)' is 90s ambient techno re-imagined for chip-tune lovers, while 'Sunset Operator' is the EP's most emotive, dreamy and tactile club cut.
RB 114D
27 Jan 23
Deep House
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Life Window (Extended Version)
RB 114DS 2
12 Jan 23
Minimal/Tech House
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Day 1 - (3:00) 66 BPM
Day 2 - (2:53) 99 BPM
Day 3 - (2:52) 99 BPM
Day 4 - (4:50) 99 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Day 5 - (5:54) 99 BPM
Day 6 - (4:12) 77 BPM
Day 7 - (2:34) 66 BPM
Day 8 - (2:36) 99 BPM
Day 9 - (4:07) 129 BPM
Day 10 - (4:02) 66 BPM
Day 11 - (2:55) 66 BPM
Review: During the first COVID-19 lockdown in the spring of 2020, Matt 'Radio Slave' Edwards set himself a challenge: to produce a track a day. There was another caveat, too: each of these "lockdown tracks" would be at the same tempo, 99 BPM. Now released as a mini-album under his rarely used alternative alias, Rekid, the results of this creative experiment are predictably impressive. Drawing on raw electronic melodies, bleeping melodies, lo-fi synth chords and the kind of wonky aural textures more associated with his Quiet Village collaboration with Joel Martin, the set's 11 tracks frequently blur the boundaries between IDM, instrumental hip-hop, electro, ambient, weirdo dub and, on 'Day 4' and 'Day 5', pitched down and radically mutilated bleep techno.
22 Apr 22
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Connect EP (Edits)
Mega Chords (edit) - (3:32) 129 BPM
Telephone (edit) - (3:39) 127 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
RB 107D2
15 Apr 22
from $1.89
Connect EP
Mega Chords (long version) - (7:34) 129 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Our Signal - (6:23) 126 BPM
Telephone (long version) - (7:20) 127 BPM
Paris Metro - (5:22) 132 BPM
Played by: Mirror People
Review: As Krystal Klear, Dec Lennon has always prioritised colourful synth sounds and sparkling, life-affirming electronics. Once upon a time, that was via boogie-influenced beats and 21st century electrofunk; these days, it's usually by serving up unashamedly positive, spine-tingling house cuts that are as rush-inducing as they come. That's the mode he's in on his latest Running Back outing, giddily bouncing between the immersive, Italo-influenced house bliss of 'Mega Chords (Long Version)', the kaleidoscopic synth builds and saucer-eyed breakdowns of 'Our Signal', the all-action, Italo-disco surge of 'Telephone (Long Version)' and the darker, New Wave-influenced house hum of 'Paris Metro'.
RB 107D
15 Apr 22
from $1.89
Star (extended) - (6:48) 123 BPM
Star (extended instrumental) - (6:48) 123 BPM
Tour De Perel - (6:33) 131 BPM
Internal Monologue - (5:04) 123 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Star (extended German version) - (4:56) 123 BPM
Eis Am Stil - (1:27) 121 BPM
In The Box - (2:38) 124 BPM
Review: Ah, mid-80s Germany... stonewashed jeans, Cold War paranoia, Nina Hagen, rent boys at the Bahnhof Zoo, the Sony Walkman, Alphaville and some truly horrendous multi-coloured shellsuits. That's the musical and cultural backdrop against which this five-track, eight-mix EP from Annegret Fiedler AKA Perel operates, by and large - though the DFA and Running Back regular does find room, too, for hints of Gaga-esque pop on 'Internal Monologue', as well as an excursion into electro territory on the sparse, bodypopper-friendly 'In The Box'. If spiky indie-dance with a coldwave twist is your bag, step right on in.
RB 103D
18 Jun 21
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Boss Moves 2: Welcome Back
B1 - (5:13) 123 BPM
It's Alright - (6:17) 128 BPM
Nu Life - (6:31) 128 BPM
Is This Real - (6:10) 123 BPM
Why So Mad - (5:52) 123 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Identify - (6:26) 128 BPM
Cage Dance - (5:06) 123 BPM
Hot Source - (6:33) 116 BPM
Lean - (5:20) 130 BPM
Zusammen (ambient mix) - (4:24) 113 BPM
Review: Back in 2018, Klasse Wrecks main man Luca Lozano made his bow on Running Back with Boss Moves, an album-length excursion full of sweaty, revivalist rave workouts. This belated follow-up is a little more nuanced and eclectic musically, but it remains full of audible references to the music of the Sheffield-raised, Berlin-based producer's youth. Along the way, you'll find deep and immersive, ambient techno-influenced breakbeat, hip-house/mid-90s US garage fusion, acid-fired dancefloor psychedelia, vibrant synth sounds and tons of Lozano's beloved Yorkshire bleeps. There's plenty of club-ready fodder across the set, of course, but there's enough melody, variation and atmosphere to make it an album (whether they're calling it that or not) that also sounds great at home.
RB 102D
04 Jun 21
Deep House
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Piano Banana
Piano Banana (Long version) - (7:06) 127 BPM
Piano Banana (Bonus Bananas) - (4:02) 127 BPM
Piano Banana (1990's mix) - (6:49) 110 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Piano Banana (Beach Beats) - (4:21) 110 BPM
Piano Banana (Banambient mix) - (5:12) 140 BPM
Review: By the sounds of his latest single for Running Back - his fifth in total - Krystal Klear has spent much of the last 12 months dreaming about DJing at Adriatic beach parties and open-air outdoor raves. 'Piano Banana' is as positive and rushing as they come, with the EP-leading 'Long Version' delivering an ear-catching, mood-enhancing mix of vibrant, Italo-style synthesizer motifs, arpeggio-driven bass, tough-but-groovy drums and the kind of hands-in-the-air piano riffs that were once a common feature of Italian house records. The alternative mixes are really rather good too, with two drum-focused DJ tools (the edit-heavy, sweat-soaked 'Bonus Bananas' and the pitched-down, sunset-ready 'Beach Beats') being joined by a relaxed, loved-up, dream house-influenced '1990s Mix' and a chiming, immersive, new age-inspired 'Banambient Mix'. Ace!
RB 101D
21 May 21
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Eating Darkness
Magic Briefcase - (4:22) 128 BPM
Chemicals - (5:17) 118 BPM
Wow - (5:28) 122 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Jocks & Freaks - (4:09) 125 BPM
The Best Is Yet To Come - (4:25) 100 BPM
Cluttered Homes - (4:57) 115 BPM
Eternal - (3:41) 110 BPM
Locked - (4:59) 80 BPM
Charles - (2:23) 90 BPM
D.I.S.C.O. (extended version) - (6:19) 125 BPM
D.I.S.C.O. (dub) - (7:23) 125 BPM
Anima - (6:59) 130 BPM
Eating Darkness - (3:21) 128 BPM
Review: It's been a while since Roman Flugel last delivered an album, and that was the all-ambient Themes I-XIII in 2018. Eating Darkness, the German veteran's fifth solo full-length, is therefore well overdue. It's a quietly confident and undeniably entertaining affair, with the former Alter Ego man smartly sashaying between evocative IDM ('Magic Briefcase', 'The Best is Yet To Come', the Autechre-ish 'Eating Darkness'), druggy slo-mo fare ('Chemicals'), raw new wave throb-jobs ('Wow'), acid-flecked jack-tracks ('Jocks & Freaks'), hypnotic late night minimal techno ('Cluttered Homes'), drowsy downtempo cheeriness ('Locked'), beautiful ambient synth-scapes ('Charles') and revivalist Euro-disco pump ('D.I.S.C.O'). Throughout, Flugel reaches for vintage analogue and modular synthesizer sounds, giving the album a distinctively timeless feel.
07 May 21
Minimal/Tech House
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One Swallow Doesn't Make A Summer Part 3
CYRK - "Italo Blade" - (6:37) 127 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Snad - "The Most Euphoric Moment Of My Life" - (6:43) 127 BPM
Voon - "Brando" - (6:46) 121 BPM
Lukas Lehmann - "Juno Cuts A Caper" - (6:47) 116 BPM
Review: Running Back's occasional One Swallow Doesn't Make a Summer EPs are always worth a listen, not least because there's no filler or fluff - just a string of tried-and-tested club workouts from a variety of artists. Volume three in the series begins in muscular, pumped-up fashion via some sweat-soaked Italo-disco-meets-Hi-NRG revivalism from Berlin twosome Cryk, before Snad takes over via the rubbery synth-bass, sparkling synths and jaunty breakbeat house grooves of 'The Most Euphoric Moment of My Life'. Voon's 'Brando' is a cheeky fusion of bubbly Euro-disco bass, unfussy machine beats and surging synthesizer melodies, while Lukas Lehman's 'Juno Cuts a Caper' expertly joins the dots between dreamy deep house and shimmering, life-affirming synthesizer soundscapes.
RB 0853D
16 Apr 21
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Anima EP
D.I.S.C.O. (extended version) - (6:19) 125 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
D.I.S.C.O. (dub) - (7:23) 125 BPM
Anima - (6:59) 130 BPM
Eating Darkness - (3:21) 128 BPM
Review: Having previously joined forces with Running Back to launch his own label, Sister Midnight, it's no surprise to find Roman Flugel pitching up on Gerd Janson's popular imprint with a brand-new imprint. The Anima EP is a teaser for the veteran producer's forthcoming album, Eating Darkness, though all of the tracks are exclusive to this release. The headline attraction is undoubtedly 'D.I.S.C.O', a jaunty, life-affirming fusion of throbbing, sequenced synth bass, sparkling lead lines and progressive trance motifs that comes accompanied by a deeper and more trippy-sounding Dub mix. Elsewhere, 'Anima' is a wonky and minimalistic chunk of off-kilter micro-house, while 'Eating Darkness' is a fine slab of revivalist '90s IDM complete with dark and mind-bending modular sounds.
RB 097D
19 Mar 21
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Let's Go Out
Yellow Theme (Song) - (3:18) 128 BPM
Rain On Me - (4:56) 130 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
In Love - (3:25) 75 BPM
Together We'll Be Fine - (6:57) 134 BPM
Free - (3:36) 72 BPM
Time To Go - (5:07) 126 BPM
Don't Stop - (4:41) 130 BPM
NT4 (outro) - (1:30) 131 BPM
Review: Bella Boo's debut album, 2019's Studio Barnhus-released Once Upon a Passion, was a gloriously off-kilter affair that neatly distilled her numerous dancefloor influences into one inspired package. Happily, we can confirm that this follow-up on Running Back is every bit as interesting and expansive, with the Stockholm-based producer darting between melodious electronica, hazy, sample-rich deep house, tantalising snippets of experimental deep D&B (see 'In Love'), melodious broken beat ('Together We Will Be Fine'), 8-bit dream-scapes (the hard-to-pigeonhole 'Free'), chunky two-step ('Don't Stop') and immersive, glassy-eyed ambient ('NT4 (Outro)'). In other words, it delivers further confirmation that Boo is one of the most exciting artists around right now.
RB 096D
04 Dec 20
Deep House
from $1.89
Ego Rave
Ego Rave A - (7:53) 130 BPM
Ego Rave B - (6:42) 120 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Ego Rave C - (5:06) 126 BPM
Ego Rave D - (5:19) 128 BPM
Ego Rave D1 - (3:31) 128 BPM
Review: Deetron follows last year's Body Electric release on Running Back with a fine dance floor-based EP inspired by his formidable DJing. "Ego Rave B" is a seductive, bubbling electronic groove that supports woozy, cosmic synths, while on "Ego Rave D" and its "D1" variant, he goes down a tracky route, with dense drums and snappy percussion providing the basis for old school techno bleeps. There are also remnants of the Swiss DJ's more peak time selections: "Ego Rave A", sees Deetron fuse tranced out hooks with gentle piano keys, while "Ego Rave C" is a wide-eyed, good time electro-techno track.
RB 095D
20 Nov 20
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Music For The NAACP
KiNK - "Machine Funk" - (4:50) 128 BPM
Iron Curtis & Session Victim - "Abalone" (Gerd Janson edit) - (6:52) 114 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Genius Of Time - "Network Labyrinth" (dub) - (4:39) 125 BPM
Katerina - "Sincerly, G" - (6:17) 120 BPM
Robert Dietz - "Isn't It Nice?" - (3:58) 130 BPM
Roman Flegel - "Feel The Heat" (String mix) - (5:00) 128 BPM
Dinky - "This Ain't No" - (4:53) 124 BPM
Bella Boo - "LA Magic" - (4:57) 130 BPM
Tiger & Woods - "Lonely Toad" - (7:11) 117 BPM
Todd Osborn - "Friendly" - (6:00) 121 BPM
Played by: Bertrand Contador
Review: As the title suggests, this surprise compilation of exclusive material from Gerd Janson's Running Back label was put together in response to the killing of George Floyd, and in order to raise funds for the National Association for the NAACP's Legal Defence Fund. Given his connections, it's perhaps unsurprising that Janson has managed to tease out terrific tracks from the likes of KiNK (the sparkling, synth-laden goodness of 'Machine Funk'), Genius of Time (a fine dub of the dusty, ultra-deep late night hypnotism of 'Network Labyrinth'), Roman Flugel (the snappy analogue heaviness of 'Feel The Heat (String Mix)' and Tiger & Woods (rainbow-coloured deep Italo-disco jam 'Lonely Toad').
02 Oct 20
Deep House
from $1.89
Reality 2
Reality 2 - (6:46) 123 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Trans Global Ltd - (6:07) 123 BPM
Flash Forward - (4:52) 125 BPM
Promises - (4:36) 118 BPM
Visuals - (5:29) 123 BPM
Review: Riding a wave of Zdarlight since 2005, legendary contemporary electro act Digitalism make their way from the annals of French label Kitsune to Gerd Janson's equally influential Running Back! With Gerd himself remixing the duo's "Destination Breakdown" back in 2016, he invites Digitalism to his label for five of the freshest tracks we've heard from the project in years. Still harking back to the wonder years of that French electro sound, Digitalism returns with a new selection of melodic, inspired and colourful electro numbers: you pick the hit. Tracks like "Promises" bring back memories of Kavinsky's golden days (now commonly associated with the movie Drive) while there's dubby, colourful and techno beats in "Flash Forward". "Visuals" sees the pair dial up a vocal, piano-laced electro ballad, with good times to be had in "Reality 2". And for some refined EDM flavours without the overhaul look to "Trans Global Ltd".
RB 094D
02 Oct 20
Deep House
from $1.89
Das Rote Haar
Das Rote Haar (original) - (6:48) 118 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Das Rote Haar (instrumental) - (6:51) 118 BPM
Das Rote Haar (Cheveux Rouge dub) - (4:57) 118 BPM
18 Sep 20
Deep House
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Electric Baile/Pushin' Too Hard (Gerd Janson & Enzo Elia Edits)
Electric Baile (Enzo Elia vocal edit) - (5:22) 122 BPM
Electric Baile (Enzo Elia dub edit) - (4:48) 122 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Electric Baile (Enzo Elia Bonus Beats) - (3:15) 122 BPM
Pushin' Too Hard (Gerd Janson Mega mix) - (6:36) 120 BPM
Pushin' Too Hard (Gerd Janson Instrumix) - (6:10) 120 BPM
Review: Though barely a footnote in the documented history of Chicago house, Masterplan - a duo made up of vocalist Pepper Gomez and keyboardist Tom O'Callaghan - was responsible for a handful of killer early house cuts. Here two of their cult singles from 1986 are given the re-edit treatment for the very first time. Enzo Elia handles "Electric Baile", a killer combination of percussion-rich machine drums, Italo-disco style bass and addictive lead lines, first offering up a "Vocal Edit" before brilliantly cutting up and dubbing out the drums on his "Dub Edit" and "Bonus Beat" versions. Gerd Janson takes his scalpel to follow-up "Pushin' Too Hard", playing around with the synth-pop bass, sparkling synths and unfussy drums on "Megamix" and "Instrumix" versions. The latter contains some killer '80s dancefloor dub style effects and plenty of sweaty percussion fills.
18 Sep 20
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Extra Dimensions
Extra Dimensions - (5:25) 130 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Reload Love - (5:10) 132 BPM
An Old Robot On A Broken Piano - (4:20) 133 BPM
Hypno Hypno - (5:14) 129 BPM
Rainbow Rockets - (4:09) 126 BPM
8 Bit Horizons - (5:36) 127 BPM
Review: With a considerable back catalogue of EPs on techno labels like Cocoon, Token and his own Exploration imprint, Johannes Volk is not the most obvious name to feature on Running Back. However, Extra Dimensions contains a number of surprises: the title track is a hypnotic, pulsating slice of electronic disco, more Moroder than Mills, while on "Reload Love", Volk draws on the influence of Kevin Saunderson's E-Dancer project to deliver an ominous bass that unfolds over skippy break beats and lithe percussion. "An Old Android On A Broken Piano" remains in the Detroit area, thanks to its euphoric keys and rolling groove. Meanwhile, "Hypno Hypno" sees the German producer continue to deliver the unexpected with a vocodered vocal sequence realised against chiming bells and breaks, while on "Rainbow Rockets" there's a melodic electro sound
RB 093D
04 Sep 20
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Acid Test
Test 1 - (6:03) 123 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Test 2 - (5:25) 105 BPM
Review: Originally released on Playhouse back in 1998, the passage of 22 years has done little to diminish the lustre of Acid Test. Re-released on running back, both tracks also serve as a reminder that Flugel has been a creative force to be reckoned with for over three decades. "Test 1" revolves around swaggering, steely drums and insistent percussion that provide the basis for bleak acid lines that gnaw at the synapses. On "Test 2", Flugel goes down a more abstract path; tweaked 303s splurge their way over a slowed down, low-slung groove and when the snares kick in, a wave of pent-up energy is released.
07 Aug 20
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One Swallow Doesn't Make A Summer (Part 2)
Llewellyn - "Synergy Bar" - (7:08) 122 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Yogtze - "Please Hold The Line" (Fred Asquith remix) - (6:39) 135 BPM
John Noseda - "Spiral Galaxy" - (6:44) 120 BPM
Lipelis, AC - "Central Store" - (6:14) 120 BPM
Review: Running Back bring us four despatches from disco's more experimental fringes. The EP opens straightforwardly enough with Llewellyn's 'Synergy Bar', a lively, throbbing houser with hints of both disco and prog in equal measure, not to mention a distinctive fluttering topline. But Yogtze's pacy, EBM-ish 'Please Hold The Line' soon takes us into somewhat more leftfield territory, before John Noseda gives us 'Spiral Galaxy' - think John Carpenter trying his hand at Italo-disco. Lipelis X AC then close out the EP with 'Central Store', another Euro-inspired cut beamed straight in from around 1983 or so.
RB 0852D
31 Jul 20
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Things We Do
Breaking - (4:17) 76 BPM
Four Lonely Words - (4:11) 119 BPM
Work - (4:05) 102 BPM
Special Times & Places - (5:24) 102 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Strong Like Nature - (5:16) 126 BPM
Breaking (instrumental) - (4:17) 76 BPM
Four Lonely Words (CPUB dub) - (4:21) 119 BPM
Strong Like Nature (CPUB dub) - (5:16) 126 BPM
24 Jul 20
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Piano Drop
Acid Drop - (5:48) 124 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Acid Drop (Swimming mix) - (5:27) 124 BPM
Poye Loco - (7:26) 108 BPM
Rudy's Spector - (6:14) 122 BPM
Review: Alan Dixon, who's resident DJ at Savage in London, returns to Gerd Janson's Running Back with an EP that's unsurprisingly long on keys action. 'Acid Drop' gets the ball rolling, opening with a squelchy, early 80s-sounding synth bassline before unleashing a deluge of hands-in-the-air rave/Italo-house pianos from around the two-minute mark. The accompanying Swimming Mix tones down the 80s bass and adds a shimmering synth top line, giving the track something of a Balearic prog feel, while elsewhere 'Poye Loco' is a druggy, hazy nu-disco chugger and 'Rudy's Selector' is a midtempo, contemplative piece, both also heavily laced with piano.
RB 092D
24 Jul 20
Funky/Club House
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Traens 1 - (3:22) 128 BPM
Traens 2 - (5:42) 129 BPM
Traens 3 - (4:50) 128 BPM
Traens 4 - (7:09) 127 BPM
Traens 5 - (5:22) 124 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Traens 6 - (5:28) 131 BPM
Traens 7 - (3:34) 130 BPM
Traens 8 - (5:51) 124 BPM
Traens 9 - (4:39) 129 BPM
Traens 10 - (7:43) 127 BPM
Traens 11 (Digital Bonus) - (8:45) 125 BPM
Review: Prins Thomas follows last year's Ambitions long player with a somewhat different proposition. Inspired by early 90s trance and wrapping this influence around a variety of tempos and grooves, Traens is an interesting departure. The foreboding bass of "Traens 2" and "Traens 3" are sure to appeal to those who want a big room take on sounds of a bygone era, while the pumping, acid-soaked "Traens 6" is a pure, old school track. This only tells half the story however, and on "Traens 4", Thomas draws on his love of sleek disco grooves to create a spaced out, cosmic affair. There are also traces of Balearic flair, and the deep, sensuous house of "Traens 5" shows that while Prins Thomas is caught in a trance moment, he remains rooted in disco.
10 Jul 20
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More Love!
More Love! - (7:32) 124 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Kickin' In (Patrick Cowley) - (8:14) 125 BPM
Warped Minds - (6:06) 122 BPM
Warped Minds (TJJ's More Cowbell Reprise) - (4:52) 122 BPM
Review: If you know your dance music history, you'll no doubt already have recognised this EP's artwork... for those that haven't, it's a pastiche of the cover of Donna Summer's 'I Feel Love', and never has the phrase "wears its musical influences on its sleeve" been more apt! Inside you'll find four slices of hi-octane electronic disco in the classic Moroder/Cowley mode, with 'More Love!' itself blurring the lines between homage, re-edit and cover, 'Kicking In (Patrick Cowley)' continuing the theme and the surging, euphoric 'Warped Minds' sporting a gloriously cheesy vocodered vocal and coming accompanied by a FIERCE dub/beats pass from Johanz himself.
RB 090D
03 Jul 20
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The Out Of Body Experience
1st Time - (4:48) 120 BPM
2nd Time - (4:31) 121 BPM
3rd Time - (4:36) 119 BPM
4th Time - (4:31) 115 BPM
5th Time - (4:34) 118 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
6th Time - (4:02) 119 BPM
7th Time - (4:18) 120 BPM
Review: These days, Rheji Burrell and his twin brother Ronald are very successful songwriters and producers working in the pop, rap and R&B fields, but back in the late 80s/early 90s they were helping to establish the deep house/deep garage blueprint with releases on Nu Groove and other labels under a bewildering array of aliases, of which NY House'N Authority was merely the best known. Now, Gerd Janson's Running Back serve up seven unreleased nuggets from the Burrell archives, and for lovers of deep electronic grooves it's pretty much an essential purchase - the bleeps n' bass vibes of '5th Time' would justify the price of admission on their own!
05 Jun 20
Deep House
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The V EP
Destiny - (4:16) 121 BPM
Epiphany - (4:17) 120 BPM
Euphoria - (4:22) 120 BPM
Gifted - (4:08) 80 BPM
Karma - (4:09) 120 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Review: A literal legend of the scene, Rheji Burrell, aka The Utopian Project, is a house music pioneer outta New York whose work for Nu Groove Records from back in the day has earned him most notoriety. The Utopian Project's last new music was released a staggering 30 years ago, with Gerd Janson's Running Back the one to coax five fresh hits/numbers/rhythm tracks from the storied artist today. "Destiny" and "Karma" go hand in hand to supply V with its sweet melodies and lighter piano motifs, with straight up '90s keys, chords and strings dominating "Euphoria". With "Destiny" and "Gifted" shimmering in a new age candescence of percussive notation, throbbing basslines and slamming drums too, The Utopian Project lives!
05 Jun 20
Deep House
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Stuck 4 - (6:35) 125 BPM
Schlagzeug - (4:29) 121 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Valentino - (6:44) 125 BPM
Holzboden - (6:11) 124 BPM
Video 83 - (6:32) 123 BPM
Review: Since 2014, Frankfurt producer Shan has offered up regular missives on Running Back, with each successive EP exploring different sonic territory to its predecessor whilst retaining a strong retro-futurist feel. His latest offering is undeniably eclectic in its dancefloor-focused approach, with Shan variously turning his hand to percussion-heavy jack tracks (the sweat-soaked heaviness of "Schlagzeug"), Italo-disco/80s Euro-house fusion (opener "Stuck 4"), Bobby Orlando-style Hi-NRG ("Valentino"), mix 1980s Shep Pettibone dubs of synth-pop cuts (the rather brilliant "Holzboden") and stylish, synth-laden cosmic disco wildness (EP closing throb-job "Video 83"). As you'd expect, there's a stripped-back authenticity to the sound and production that captures the raw energy and feel of the vintage music that inspired him (albeit with the kind of low-end weight associated with heavily compressed 21st century dance music).
01 May 20
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Cyclia Two
Future Fantasy - (6:31) 131 BPM
One Night In PBar - (6:22) 124 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Dutch Gold - (6:43) 129 BPM
Genesis - (6:03) 108 BPM
Review: Between 1965 and '68, future Muppets creator Jim Henson spent much time drawing and painting "the entertainment experience of the future - the theatre of the year 2020", which he called Cyclia. It's this psychedelic nightclub vision that inspired Krystal Klear's "Cyclia" series of EPs. There's much to enjoy on this suitably colourful and retro-futurist second EP, from the sleazy, synth-heavy Italo-disco/trance fusion of opener "Future Fantasy", to the bubbling electronic motifs, sequenced synth-bass and "Labyrinth" movie soundtrack vibes of slow-motion closing cut "Genesis". In between you'll find the dark, pulsating and muscular electronic disco/hypnotic house fusion of "One Night In Pbar" and the neo-trance grandiosity of "Dutch Gold".
RB 0862D
10 Apr 20
Deep House
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Future Fantasy
Future Fantasy (edit) - (3:49) 131 BPM
RB 0862D
27 Mar 20
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Garden Party
Garden Party - (7:25) 120 BPM
Parade D'Amour - (5:29) 123 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Juke City - (6:28) 123 BPM
Wood & Neon - (5:19) 128 BPM
Review: Roman Flugel is having a "Garden Party" and we're all invited. By the sounds of the deliciously cheery title track, said must-attend event is being held in a beachside glade somewhere along Croatia's Adriatic coast (hence the cut's wondrously melodious mix of Italo-disco riffs, low-slung disco bass, unfussy machine drums, grandiose nu-disco lead lines and kaleidoscopic acid motifs). Further proof of the party's "dancing all afternoon" credentials are provided by the similarly jaunty, tuneful, retro-futurist flex of "Parade D'Amour", while the bleeping and dreamy "Juke City" offers a hint of what's to come after dark if you keep supping the supplied "special punch". Just remember to stick around for "Wood & Neon", which sounds like the kind of skewed, colourful and mood-enhancing deep house eccentricity that Maurice Fulton does so well.
RB 088D
28 Feb 20
Deep House
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Life Signs Vol 2
Metropolis - (5:17) 121 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Metropolis (dub) - (5:17) 121 BPM
Fridge - (5:25) 130 BPM
Seed Tray - (5:56) 132 BPM
Mushroom Samba - (5:10) 127 BPM
Review: Dusky's first outing for Running Back, "Life Signs", was arguably one of their most euphoric and uplifting releases to date, so it's little surprise to find that this much-anticipated sequel explores similar sonic territory. The future anthem is undoubtedly "Metropolis", a shimmering retro-futurist number that layers bleeping lead lines and spine-tingling pads atop a weighty analogue bassline and heavy beats. You get vocal and dub mixes, with the former making great use of a loved-up female vocal snippet that adds to the cut's old school credentials. Elsewhere, "Seed Tray" is a rushing, warehouse-ready stomper smothered in rave-era piano stabs, "Mushroom Samba" adds bleeps to a suitably psychedelic, all-action backing track, and "Fridge" is a nostalgic, retro-futurist romp that defies easy categorization.
RB 089D
14 Feb 20
Deep House
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Controversy EP
Hemisphere - (7:32) 132 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Hemisphere (Blade mix) - (5:18) 134 BPM
Magic Phantasy - (6:27) 129 BPM
The Traveller - (5:42) 130 BPM
Review: For the fifth volume in the label's "Double Copy" reissue series, Running Back boss Gerd Janson has turned his attention to the blink-and-you'll-miss-it career of Subtle Houzze, a short-lived collaboration between Boris Dlugosch and the late Gary D, who were then resident DJs at competing Hamburg clubs. This edition of the pair's 1992 EP "Controversy" features two cuts from that four-tracker - the stomping techno-soul brilliance of "Hemisphere (Blade mix)" and the dreamy new age deep house hustle of "The Traveller" - plus two alternate versions from the vaults. There's the slightly smoother and more melodious deep house/tech-soul fusion of "Hemisphere" in its' original mix form, and the rich, glassy-eyed deepness of "Magic Traveller", which owes a great debt to New Jersey house and garage releases from the period.
24 Jan 20
Deep House
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So Many Times - (5:33) 128 BPM
Proxima - (5:39) 133 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Coocoo - (5:45) 99 BPM
Woodpecker - (5:02) 106 BPM
Please Hold The Line - (2:41) 75 BPM
Montana Sacra - (6:06) 79 BPM
Review: Italian producer Maurizio Cavaliere specialises in downtempo, Balearic and ambient music with a slightly darker edge - as is entirely befitting for a producer who takes his artist name from a very strange unsolved murder mystery from 1980s Germany (look it up). Here, he comes to Running Back with his debut artist album, featuring six moody, synthesizer-led cuts that conjure visions of a 'Bladerunner'-like cinematic dystopia, and that sit somewhere between Philip Glass, cosmic disco and Burial - however unlikely that may sound! Downtempo it may be, but easy listening coffee shop muzak this certainly is not...
17 Jan 20
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Cyclia One
Entre Nous - (6:46) 123 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Autobahn - (6:48) 127 BPM
I'll Be There When You Need Me - (7:23) 123 BPM
Gambino - (5:32) 112 BPM
Review: Since first pitching up on Running Back a year or two back, Dec Lennon AKA Krystal Klear has delivered some of his strongest music to date, including a string of peak-time anthems ("Neutron Dance, "Euphoric Dreams" etc). His latest EP for Gerd Janson's label is similarly strong. Check first the trance-influenced, synth-laden throb of "Entre Nous", where big room piano riffs help raise the track to hands-in-the-air anthem status, before admiring the new beat and EBM influenced neo-trance workout "Autobahn". "I'll Be There When You Need Me" is one of Lennon's most saucer-eyed and loved-up tunes to date - all warm waves of synthesizer bliss and decidedly Balearic melodies - while "Gambino" is a cheery skip through 1980s NYC freestyle territory with added Mylo style riffs.
15 Nov 19
Deep House
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One Swallow Doesn't Make A Summer Part 1
Storken - "Lille Vals" - (6:23) 124 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Alan Dixon - "Ambient Braindisk" (Drums mix) - (5:44) 126 BPM
Zombies In Miami - "Panoramica" - (6:35) 122 BPM
Hokaiido - "Talisman" - (6:32) 128 BPM
Review: Bizarrely, Running Back boss Gerd Janson describes this multi-artist EP as "a sampler for a hypothetical mixtape". Perhaps he should make that imaginary mix a reality, because all four cuts are quality. Check first the throbbing and pulsating brilliance of Storken's "Lille Vals", which sounds like an Italo-disco obsessive's take on Bobby Orlando's mid-1980s work (with a little NYC freestyle thrown in) before donning your extra-special dancing shoes to shuffle along to Alan Dixon's new dancefloor "Drums Mix" of his synthesizer soundscape "Ambient Braindisk". Zombies In Miami predictably deliver the goods on bleeping, synth-laden nu-disco throb-job "Panoramica", while Hokaiido's "Talisman" offers the perfect combination of delay-laden proto-house drums on steroids, bold freestyle bass and cheery synthesizer melodies.
RB0851 D
20 Sep 19
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Rise - (5:24) 126 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Rize (Bonus Beatz) - (4:40) 126 BPM
Rise (Acappella) - (2:00) 126 BPM
Shapes - (7:11) 127 BPM
Motor Mix - (6:14) 126 BPM
Review: Given his long association with Gerd Janson's Running Bback label, we were rather surprised to learn that "Rise" marks Sebastian Kramer's first appearance on the imprint for three years. "Rise" is naturally hugely impressive, with Kramer building tension via moody Detroit techno style bass and sweaty, off-kilter house drums before introducing more melodic elements (chords, sparkling piano riffs etc.) and trippy spoken word snippets. For those that like to get busy in the mix, Running Back has included a druggy and percussive "Bonus Beats" version as well as a wonky, delay-laden acapella. Elsewhere, "Shape" is a positive and melancholic chunk of broken techno/string-laden deep house fusion, while "Motor Mix" is deep, drowsy and thoroughly delicious.
RB 083D
23 Aug 19
Deep House
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Life Signs Vol 1
Boris Borrison's Trip To Morrisons - (6:51) 126 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Lea Valley - (5:51) 126 BPM
Static - (5:34) 127 BPM
Review: Since founding their 17 Steps label in 2014, Dusky has barely stepped away from the imprint. Kudos to Gerd Janson, then, for persuading the British duo to offer-up this EP on his lauded Running Back kabel. They start in typically sweaty and bombastic fashion with "Boris Borrison's Trip To Morrisons", a soaring and life-affirming chunk of warehouse-ready peak-time madness built around a dirty, Italo-disco style arpeggio bassline, glassy-eyed rave stabs and tactile electronics. "Static" is a bustling but dreamy affair whose combination of swirling vocal samples, weighty sub bass and crackling breakbeats recalls the early days of British dance music. "Lea Valley", another retro-futurist affair that combines deep musical touches with heavy bottom end pressure, is similarly sizable.
RB 082D
05 Jul 19
Deep House
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Euphoric Dreams
Euphoric Dreams (KiNK remix) - (5:55) 130 BPM
05 Jul 19
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Body Electric EP
Body Electric - (6:35) 127 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
T- Symmetry - (5:59) 128 BPM
Txt - (6:28) 128 BPM
Txt (Beatless) - (5:43) 85 BPM
Review: In the 22 years that have passed since he made his debut, Deetron has released music on an eye-watering number of high quality labels. It's somewhat surprising, then, to find that this is the Swiss producer's first outing on Running Back. It is, of course, very good, with snappy opener "Body Electric" - an ear-catching fusion of crunchy house drums, jazz guitar loops, toasty disco bass, sweet synth lines and rushing piano riffs - leading the way. "T-Symmetry" sees Deetron add bustling breakbeat blasts and more bold piano motifs to a surging future Balearic techno anthem, while "Txt" is a melodious chunk of spacey techno hypnotism rich in rising and falling synth lines and swirling chords. Those glassy-eyed synth lines and alien electronics can be admired further on the accompanying "Beatless Mix".
28 Jun 19
Deep House
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