Review: Nic Fanciulli's label documents the dark, deranged side of tool house on Matters & Ashes. Tougher and denser than the standard DJ fare, the impenetrable groove of "Matters" provides the backdrop for a chemically refreshed male vocal, rambling on in a way that makes Marshall Jefferson's performance on "Mushrooms" seem positively normal. However, it's "Ashes" that really impresses: once again, &Me deploys a rolling, drummy backing track and intersperses the arrangement with subtle breakdowns. But it's the combination of another tripped out male vocal - where do they find them? - and a purring Resse bass that makes "Ashes" so irresistible.
Review: Swiss DJ Andrea Oliva is back after some seriously hot releases on Ojektivity, Moon Harbour and Memoria with another hit on the always reliable Saved with the Time To Get EP. The title track has all the hallmarks of the label's main room sound, complete with white noise washes, rising head rush melody and massive drops! Oh and did we mention it's absolutely funky? Second offering "We All Love Chords" states the obvious, but music wise this track is one ferociously soulful and emotive journey that you could imagine Carl Craig or Christian Smith smashing out to lead in to the peak time shift.
Review: Prolific German producer Philip Bader delivers his own take on classic house music for Nic Fanciulli's label. "Circus" is a contemporary take on '90s disco house, its looped vocal sample and rolling groove bolstered by steely drums. "Terrazzaas House" is also inspired by classic sources, with the well-known 'house music all night long' sample married to acidic licks, orgasmic moans and a snaking, tracky rhythm. Best of all though is the title track. Centred on a swooping, menacing bassline and a repetitive vocal loop, its tough beats and slightly off-beat rhythm are reminiscent of Mr G - which can be no bad thing.
Review: Nic Fanciulli's Saved Records has become an institution for all things tech-house, where the finest new talents such as Canada's Nathan Barato find their home. Barato has already released an impressive line of E's on labels like Rekids and Defected, and as with his previous releases, "Under Dirt" is a deep and meditative, dance-floor clusterbomb, where shimmering chords meet seductive vocals and gritty percussion. "Old Evolution" is a little bit wilder and more bumpy, bringing in a housier flex to the equation, whereas "Black Beach" is comparatively more stripped and minimalistic, reminding us of Dubfire's finest moments. Another Saved missile!
Review: Two of Germany's best-known house and techno producers are the latest artists to come together for a release on Nic Fanciulli's Saved label. "Blizzard" is an amalgamation of both artists' best traits and combines Burkhardt's rumbling, tribal drums and the vicious percussive lines and untamed bass licks that characterise Lorber's releases for his Nummer label. On "Solar", the duo takes the tempo and intensity levels down a few notches. The rhythm is less dense and unfolds tantalizingly amid chiming bells and melodies. It provides a deeper, alternative voice for two artists who are used to banging the dance floor box.
Review: Burnski (aka the distinctly less exotically monikered James Burnham) is actually approaching a whole decade in this game called dance music. This could make one feel old, but who cares, it's all good! There may be only one original track on here, but with "Lost In The Zoo" clocking in at just over nine minutes, we don't need another tune: it's all about long, linear good time house, based around a Professional Widow-style bassline and lots of filtered cheering. The Martinez Brothers go for clippitty-clop beats with deep, dark tech-house business on top.