Review: Since 2018, Lee Mortimer has delivered a string of typically crunchy, ear-catching singles and EPs for Toolroom that fuse tactile tech-house and deep house sounds with classic house influences and big room-ready production. Hope, his debut album under the moniker, builds on this, offering up the odd previously released single (see the surging, acid bass-propelled late-night sleaze of 'For You') amongst a sea of fresh, mood-enhancing workouts that tend towards the celebratory. Highlights are plentiful, from the synth-powered colour of 'Metro', the 'Pacific' style vintage UK deep house bliss of 'Holding On' and bustling, DJ Sneak-influenced 'UR Everything', to the carnival house explosion of 'Colombia', the piano-heavy Latin house rush of 'Triceratops', and the post Daft Punk disco-house funkiness of 'Touch The Sky'.
Review: Despite the setbacks brought forth by the pandemic, we're confident that Toolroom will still have a stellar year as always! With that in mind, the fifth edition in their 'House Party' series' looks to be the biggest yet, with a whopping 70 tracks to keep the party going for days on end. As a bonus, label signees such as Wankelmut, TCTS and Siege (who appear with contributions to the compilation personally) provide a continuous mix each - bringing the party to your house. Other highlights come from a wide variety of artists within the tech/house spectrum such as: legends Technasia and Green Velvet with the aforementioned Siege on the mighty "Suga" (Siege extended mix), the ascendant Luxembourger Amii Watson with the sensual mood music of "Higher" and the Fuse London affiliated Rich NxT teaming up with minimal techno vetran Christian Burkhardt on the slinky and hypnotic "Basics" - plus many more.
Review: Toolroom deliver the 2021 instalment of their flagship 'This Is Toolroom' series, featuring a trio of collaborations from label chief Mark Knight, who with Siege delivers the funky house thriller "Give It Up", the peak time tribal tech house workout "Shift Phazed" (with Frederick & Kusse) and bridging the gap between the two styles on the riveting vocal-led closer "Only You" with Tuff London. Elsewhere, there's new music from label staples such as: Illyus & Barrientos & Danny Howard who throw down the main room energy of "Feel Ma Boogie" Rene Amesz who gets seriously deep on the low slung "Open Wide", plus the ever reliable Maxinne who teams up with Moya on the early noughties Statside house vibe of "In The Groove".
Review: A prominent name within electronic music, German DJ/producer Wankelmut follows up his highly successful single "My Head Is A Jungle" (and its remix by house music royalty MK) to debut on Toolroom alongside vocalist Anna Leyne on their latest single "Free At Last". The Berlin-based producer nails that perfect funky house sound that the label has strongly championed of late, and Leyne's gorgeous vocal compliments the vibe perfectly. It's accompanied by a remix from label regular Martin Ikin whose respectful rendition takes the track to even greater heights of euphoria. What's to say, it must be all about that bassline.
Review: Mark Knight & Co.round out the year with 'Best Of Toolroom 2020', a 50 track compilation delivering a collection of the label's biggest releases from the year that was into one package. Boss man Knight teams up with Rene Amesz on the year's most massive funky house tune "All 4 Love" (feat. Tasty Lopez) with other highlights coming from: Carl Cox on his stomping heads-down rework of Kevin Knapp & Hannah Wants "Call Me", the anthemic and utterly uplifting soul of legends Gene Farris & ATFC's "Spirit of House" plus the return of the legendary American vocalist Ann Nesby - whose unmistakable voice dominates LEFTI's "Rejuvenate". There's also the worthy addition of two continuous mixes by Mr Knight himself. 'Best Of Toolroom 2020' delivers the perfect annual sign off, as the label prepares for yet another landmark year in 2021.
Review: An outlet for both unreleased and exclusive music from the label's family members alongside rising talents, this is the fourth instalment of Toolroom's popular 'House Party' series. Featuring standout releases from Mark Knight's label plus the scene's biggest imprints, with highlights coming from: industry heavyweights Nic Fanciulli & Andrea Oliva on the slinky "Medium Rare", the inimitable Yousef with the pounding acid of "Save Me" (feat. Molly Green), legend Todd Terry with TCTS on the boompty bounce of "Get Freaky" and UK tech house hero Seb Zito delivering the peak time stomper "Don't Stop". As if that was not enough, there are also three continuous mixes by scene stalwarts such as Lefti, Piero Pirupa and label staple Maxinne.
Review: On 'House Party Vol. 3' the party continues well into autumn with Toolroom's unmistakable blend of killer cuts, red hot exclusives and a host of essential tracks from the industry's leading imprints. Includes a whopping 80 tracks, plus three compiled mixes from current scene favourites such as Kittball co-owners Tube & Berger, Dutch house favourite Rene Amesz, and rising UK talent Iglesias. Highlights not limited to: boss man Mark Knight with the aforementioned Amesz on the funky house anthem "All 4 Love" (feat. Tasty Lopez), Hannah Wants & Eskuche serve up some slick and bouncy electro house on "The ISH", the dream team of Alex Mills, Danny Howard & Illyus & Barrientos delivering a properly soul-infused vocal epic on "Need" (Extended Mix) and the legend ATFC returns with the super sexy "Not Enough" feat. Mia Mendez.
Review: Iason Chronis has released a ton over music under the Mason alias over the last two decades, though nothing quite as cheery, celebratory, colourful and mixed-up as this album on Toolroom. His third full-length in total, "Frisky Biscuits" was produced during lockdown and was intended to be a much-needed shot of musical positivity. We'd say he's hit the mark, delivering a set that cheerily struts between strobe-lit disco-house fun, revivalist boogie, his interpretation of South African kwaito/mid-'80s dance music, Italo-disco, skewed synth-pop, squelchy, synth-laden hip-hop, hands-in-the-air piano anthems and the odd quirky, smile-inducing interlude. It's the kind of album that will put a great big smile on your face, whatever your mood.
Review: Toolroom is back with the second instalment of the 'House Party' series, with Chicago veteran Gene Farris, the enigmatic Wh0 and ascendant duo Raumakustik closing out the summer in style with their respective mixes. Featuring 80 tracks from leading international names including Carl Cox who goes for a minimal vibe on his remix of Hannah Wants & Kevin Knapp's "Call Me", Hot Since 82 serves up something different than usual on the summertime vibe of "Rise", Saved chief Nic Fanciulli gets some spiritual and life-affirming vibes in effect on "Virgo", Hamburg disco stu Tensnake gives Dombresky & Boston Bun's "Stronger" a neon-lit makeover and label boss Mark Knight impresses with the funky house anthem "Tonight" ft. Chenai and Mr. V.