Review: It's been a while since Alias G's last outing on Unknown To The Unknown, 2011's Delite Tonite EP. In keeping with the label's tradition of direct, no-fooling party starting fodder, "Attention" kicks things off in flamboyant style with a chunky, rolling groove accentuated by lavish string stabs. The bumpy mid-section break speaks of the roughness we've come to expect from UTTU before switching up into a double bass refrain and a tongue in cheek trance riff. "3XG Anthem" takes a more recognisably Chicagoan tone, all Larry Heard drums and bass, with extra synth squiggles and a self-assured vocal over the top. Both classicist and utterly irreverent in the same beat, Alias G has served up a thoroughly unusual blend with this release.
Review: Given his penchant for energetic, eccentric and off-kilter dancefloor fare, it's perhaps not all that surprising that DJ Haus is a fan of Studio Barnhaus associate Baba Stiltz. Here, the latter makes his first appearance on the latter's Unknown To The Unknown label. "Cherry" is perhaps more raw and kaleidoscopic than his previous output, with nagging, rave-era piano hooks and pitched-up vocal samples riding a snappy, party-starting machine groove. "Intr Seller" is perhaps closer to his previous output, utilizing a well-known melody line and turning it into a strutting, cymbal-heavy Balearic club jam. There's a great bonus, too, in the shape of Legowelt's wild, synth-heavy, cut-up revision of "Cherry", with the Dutch maestro making merry with some particularly sweet and evocative synthesizer lines.
Review: Prolific Australian producer Bell Towers is back, this time on DJ Haus' imprint with a bunch of solid cosmic house grooves. The Berlin (by way of Melbourne) based producer follows up some great stuff in recent times for Public Possession, Permanent Vacation and Hell Yeah with the neon-lit balearic house of "My Body Is A Temple" and likewise "My Body Is A Tempo" which is reworked by homeboy Andras (Dopeness Galore/House Of Dad) and ventures deeper into trippier territory.
Review: Better known by his birth name Chris Finke as a purveyor of serious techno on Mote Evolver et al, in his Bodyjack guise Finke is having a lot of fun whipping up UK-rave fuelled boompty bangers, which makes it something of an inevitability that a partnership with UTTU would be on the cards. The EP title issues the command, and who are we to argue when the bass comes as thick and slimy as it does on "Brock Out", replete with crafty sample drops and a rattling set of drums that will reform your bone marrow. "That's What She Said" is no less rude, maximizing on dirty drum machine beats and sleazy synth and vocal licks that conjure up a modern update of Dance Mania's deviant soul. DJ Haus remixes the latter jam into a garage-y belter with the wobbliest bass and a mean kink in the groove.
Review: Capracara's "House Of Dolls" was one of Unknown To The Unknown's finest tracks last year, and here it gets a reworking from library music and soundtrack specialist Jonny Trunk. The hookup, we can only assume, came through Burnip's appreciation of slasher movie soundtracks, and the result is as out there as you could imagine - stripping the radiophonic bleeps from the original, Trunk leaves only an echo of the original's melody and adds some acoustic samples to glue the remix together. Propelled by nothing other than a simple kick drum, it's what you might imagine a music concrete version of house music to sound like.
Review: Having already turned more than a few heads with a strong appearance opposite Tuff Sherm on a split disc for Plastic World, Australian producer Cassius Select makes a fully-fledged outing on Unknown To The Unknown with a very savvy blend of sharp-edged club wreckers in line with DJ Haus's own riotous vision of 21st century dance music. "Cross Strut" places the emphasis on clattering percussion locked into a hard funk, while "Crook" lets a few more atmospheric splatters of melody and reverb into the twitchy mix. The ideas come flying thick and fast without losing sight of the dancefloor, just like all good UTTU releases.
Review: Having boosted his credentials via a series of fine EPs for Jimmy Edgar's Ultramajic imprint, Andre "Chambray" Rost pitches up on Unknown To The Unknown. In keeping with the label's long-held retro-futurist ideology, both of Rost's original tracks take inspiration from the late '80s and early '90s. He begins with the bashed-out rave riffs, restless kick-drums, cut-up vocals and relentless drum machine handclaps of "Evenue", before fusing the sweaty jack of ghetto-house and the loved-up piano riffs of Italo-house on hands-in-the-air special "Makin' Me". AM Unit delivers a deliciously bouncy remix of the latter, emphasizing the track's saucer-eyed credentials while working the vocal sample hard.
Review: UTTU have a cast-iron reputation for releasing cutting edge work by a wide variety of acts as disparate as Legowelt, Sinden and Capracara. Here we get a selection of their more bass/urban-oriented talent. Classified delivers vintage cut-up UKG on "Say To You". The latter is given a wobble heavy remix by DJ Q, who also provides the warm, Ayia Napa sounds of "All You Have To" and "You're Not Around". Zibba contributes the squelchy, string laden "Say To You (2006)" and Mooney goes all loopy funk on "Hey Hey".
Review: Cliff Lothar arrived in 2013 with the incredible White Savage on Viewlexx and since then, has put out material on labels as diverse as Skudge and Turbo. In another twist, he now debuts on DJ Haus' label. Having said that, the direction he explores on this release is in keeping with the overall UTTU approach. "E-String" is a proper old-school referencing track, replete with 90s house organs, 'baby, baby' samples and brittle breaks, while the DJ Boneyard remix serves to accentuate the original's euphoric sensibilities. Meanwhile, on "Tool Tyme", Lothar marries jacking Chicago house with 8-bit tones to create a lo-fi vision of the past.
Review: The inlay art on this release says it all. Featuring a female face peeking through clouds and a blissed out heavenly body floating above her, it mimics the early utopian states imagined on early 90s dance music covers. The accompanying music also wears its influences openly. Daze, an Australian producer, previously released a trio of records for Lobster Theremin, but for this outing ditches much of the gritty tape noise that he had shrouded his previous work in. The title track is all wide-eyed synths and hyper-speed jungle breaks while on "Centuries Later" he slows down the pace to emulate Nexus 21 and Detroit techno. However, the main narrative on this release is the pre-jungle period and as "Xx" shows, Daze manages to capture the mixture of musical depth and high-speed rhythms that defined that period.
Review: De Sluwe Vos in Dutch translates to The Sly Fox. He goes for some old Chicago hard house flavour reminiscent of Green Velvet's seminal Relief Records imprint on the deep down and dirty "Insert Track Title Here". "Basement Workout III" continues on with said aesthetic with its thunderous 808 drum machine workout, meticulously programmed to good fashion. Then, finally, Person Of Interest's '90s rave remix of the last track injects some smashing breakbeats, hoovers and mentasms to take you back to Heaven, London circa-'93 with Fabio and Grooverider on the decks.
Review: Unknown To The Unknown aren't exactly partial to dropping some utter belters, and this year has seen the label extending its reach by recruiting a truly splendid artillery of artists from the worlds of house, techno and electro. This time, however, it's time for a little bass action and Deadly is the man to do it; the London artist has been a favourite of ours ever since the post-dubstep rise of the 2010's. Here we have two smackers, the first "RU4Me" is a slithering house melter with an early-rise Ibiza kind of setting and a lo-fi percussion stutter, while "White Light Gemini" is a little more UK in nature, taking influences from garage bassline...what Deadly does best. Recommended.
Review: Throughout his career to date, Allen "Deadboy" Wootton has proved adept at delivering heavyweight, peak-time-friendly cuts that put bustling rhythms and big basslines front and centre. Where this EP for Unknown To The Unknown - his second in total - differs is in its unwavering commitment to mood and melody. Check, for example, "No More", where spacey, delay-laden female vocal samples and glassy-eyed, sunrise-friendly pads slowly stretch out over a snappy, hybrid UK garage/Chicago house groove. Elsewhere, Wootton's new commitment to ear-pleasing musicality is expressed in different ways. There's the lilting pedal steel notes and drifting vocals of 'So Cold", the bustling but deep and spacey thrills of "Silicon", the undulating, Marimba style melodic bliss of "Ryuichi" and the ultra-deep, early '90s ambient house inspired brilliance of closer "Venus and Mars".
Review: After popping up on Opal Tapes amongst other cult labels over the past couple of years, DJ Ford Foster has made the move to Unknown To The Unknown and he's in the mood to get nasty. "Gold Cans" is a primal slice of gritty jack business that moves in the stiffest possible groove, while every single drum sound seems to grind its teeth to make the grizzly synth feel at home. "Let's Go" has a definite ghetto house flavour to it, while "Black Candles" gets more deranged with a whole lot of sample triggering and background droning behind the jackhammer beats. "Fake Shoes" is equally unhinged and upfront in its approach, making this a perfect release for the UTTU mission.
Review: Label owner DJ Haus steps up for the latest UTTU release. In its original format, the title track is a rambunctious affair, that revolves around a rude, throbbing bass, chopped up vocals and steely drums. It's like a new take on techno and bass within the confines of one track. All ears will also be on the remixer. Most recently, Lone has impressed with his Ambivert Tools series, and he brings some of its dreaminess to this reshape. Coupled with a grungy bass and a looser rhythm, the storied UK producer also layers in some tropical soundscapes to create an unforgettable remix.
Review: That fun-loving renegade DJ Haus is at it again, whipping out an embarrassment of party-starters for all those that want to be smacked in the face by their house music. The lead chords of "Hey Now, Wait A Minute" tell you all you need to know, pitched towards the peak of summer that lies somewhere in the distance and ready to inspire all manner of grins in the dance. The drums are rowdy and the synths are brazen across the EP, from the Nightmares On Wax-aping bleep abandon of "Dexterous" to the scuffed breakbeat of "Tell Me", with every ounce of old-skool 'avin it attitude rendered in perfect early '90s style.
Review: UTTU boss man DJ Haus has enjoyed a productive year, dashing between the forthright ghetto-house vibes of his Thug Houz Anthems series and the kaleidoscopic rave revivalism and garage-flecked rush of his Space Jamz Vol. 1 12". Here, the hard-working, London-based producer delivers more retro-futurist thrills, with a two-track blast of floor-friendly fun. Predictably, there's something suitably anthem-like about "Comin' On", a rush-inducing blast of late night acid-funk replete with spine-tingling vocal samples and nagging 303 tweakery. "When You Look At" has a similarly robust feel, with an addictive bassline and boompty-era beats underpinning more sharp vocal samples and a deliciously simple bleep melody.
Review: Fresh from impressing via releases on L.I.E.S and Viewlexx, DJ Overdose heads over to Unknown To The Unknown for a spot of techno-jackin'. Thrillingly, "Housejam Freaker" combines fizzing, upbeat machine drum rhythms, deep space chords and wild, sped-up Motor City electronics to create something that sounds like the bastard offspring of Jeff Mills, Drexciya and Phuture. Willie Burns provides the obligatory remix, offering something that retains the original's energy whilst increasing the beauty factor tenfold. Elsewhere, he wanders into deep acid territory on the straight-up jacker "Dikzak", and delivers a surprisingly funky dose of intergalactic electro on the cheery "Vinca". A string of handy locked grooves complete a tasty package.
Lloyd Goes To Mars (Rave O Nine mix) - (5:55) 125 BPM
Lloyd Goes To Mars (Jungle mix) - (5:11) 150 BPM
Lloyd Goes To Mars (Slow O8 mix) - (5:36) 106 BPM
Lloyd Goes To Mars (Simoncino remix) - (5:50) 126 BPM
Lloyd Goes To Mars (Simoncino deep dub) - (4:13) 126 BPM
Lloyd Goes To Mars (Simoncino bonus beat) - (2:48) 129 BPM
Review: Dona's Plant Texture lays down more fresh produce in the form of the left-sided Italian beat selection. Dona starts with three versions; his RaveONine blend is a warped, woozy joint that tips a subversive nod towards to the trippier side of Detroit, his jungle mix lives up to its name with some classic breakwork while the Slow08 version takes us right into the middle of a gluey dancefloor, all slo-mo and sedative. Then three twists from fellow Italian Simoncinco; a wriggling acid groove, a thundering bleep-style dub and some rolling 909 drums for add creative mix pleasure. What a package. Ready for takeoff?
Review: Unknown To The Unknown's early '90s inspirations are well documented, with boss man DJ Haus frequently signing and releasing tracks that doff a cap to ghetto-house, acid, Belgian techno and early British hardcore. Despite this history, Gnork's "Space Beach" feels surprisingly fresh. Described, somewhat matter-or-factly, as "jungle techno", the title track does a brilliant job combining booming, skittish, energy-packed early jungle rhythms with the kind of spacey melodies and chords that you'd expect to find on vintage Detroit techno records. Flipside "Double Sunset" jettisons the Motor City inspirations in favour of a more straight up, bass-heavy early jungle flex, with rich dub bass enhancing the mood.
Review: Gnork returns to UTTU for his annual DJ Shark adventure. As broken, classically-trained and timeless as ever, this time round he's treating us to three poignant pieces: "Future Music" is a white knuckle ride down early jungle lane with all the breezes and rushes you could ever ask for; "Shroomz" is led by a beautifully filtered harmonic synth tone that is nicely reminiscent of the tunes trippy title while "Outro" brings the comedown fuzz, all lush and languid. Remix-wise Legowelt opens a whole can of crazy and sprays it all over "Future Music" while Fantastic Man "Outro" into a pensive piece of creepy 4/4 deepness.
Review: DJ Stingray's second appearance on Unknown To The Unknown is finally made available digitally. "Cryptic" is a bad-ass Stingray cut, where his uncompromising synth arpeggios flutter away into space, taking us on a wild frenzy through inter-galactic territories. "Know Your Enemy" is a heavy, breakbeat-ridden mutant - containing some of the nastiest, most filthy vocal samples you'll hear this millenium, whilst "Solitude" picks up from where the man left off since his last LP and delivers a fine package of funky electro basslines and gnarly, contorted drum patterns. TIP!
Review: More commonly known for his vicious club constructions on Night Slugs as Helix, US producer Beau Thigpen added the DJ Vague alias to his collar earlier this year with Porsche Trax for Sydney's Templar Sound. That title was largely inspired by Thomas Bangalter's run of Roule 12"s from the late '90s. Thigpen's latest DJ Vague transmission for Unknown To The Unknown beefs up the house of before into something more associable with Shed and Head High than Daft Punk. Fast and loopy French house does make an appearance on "Hard Workin' Trax 2" however, while on "Hard Workin' Trax 3" intense drum rolls, deep synths, mechanical hi-hats and reverberant atmospheres create a blusterous techno production. Three safe DJ tools.
Review: Emerging as one of the most prolific producers currently operating on the fringes of techno, Lakker's Ian McDonnell adds the Unknown To The Unknown label to his prospering discography with this riotous slab under the rarely used EeOo alias. As Lakker, McDonnell and studio partner Dara Smith have been crafting various strands of music for the best part of a decade, but a more concerted focus on techno has seen the Dublin-based pair gain wider exposure thanks to releases on Killekill, Stroboscopic Artefacts, Blueprint and Candela Rising. McDonnell has separately been cultivating his own Eomac project over this period too, which has resulted in some excellent releases for Code Is Law, The Trilogy Tapes and Killekill. Ahead of a debut album for the latter label as Eomac, McDonnell's work as the amusingly framed EeOo seems perfectly suited to UTTU, taking influence from Zomby, Arovane, and Errorsmith. the EP runs the gauntlet between scrambled rave, wonky acid and seemingly eski-inspired melodies, and is possibly one of the wildest records UTTU have put out in their illustrious history.
Review: The follow up to the first Falcon Black Ops release from earlier this year is sure to appeal to fans of loopy techno and house. "Ten" resounds to dense, sluggish beats and a filtered chord sequence that keeps on building. On "Nine", the approach is different, but the outcome the same, as this mysterious producer delivers a rolling tribal groove, full of mysterious chants and reminiscent of Oliver Ho's earliest work. "Eleven" goes harder and heavier, with a Plastikman-style acid segue and razor-sharp hi hats guaranteeing that it will have the requisite effect, while on "Twelve", a distorted kick drum and scuzzy percussion bring this second volume to a close in style.
Piano 4_9_18 Feux Master Erie 25% - (3:27) 112 BPM
Review: Talk about a great meeting of minds. FaltyDL's rave influences are well-known, and now he hooks up with DJ Haus' UTTU label to give full vent to those leanings. The impenetrably titled "Untitled 111vgr" sets the scene with rickety, nervous break beats providing the backdrop for dissected vocal samples and horror stabs. "Beast" is slower and more spaced out, with the US producer doing a compelling take on mid-90s Orbital. The title track mines a similar path, although on this occasion, he adds in some speak and spell samples and ominous synths to a bittersweet hardcore track. By contrast, closing track "Piano 4 9 18 Feux Master Erie 25%" is the soundtrack to the morning after the night before, an airy, atmospheric ambient piece.
Review: DJ Haus' Unknown To The Uknown and Filter Dread's blazed-out bass experiments are a match made in heaven. Yes, we-re getting romantic with this shit, because this EP is something to get truly excited about. What we love about it is its ability to showcase to many different UK genres without sounding half-arsed. Tunes like "Expansion" or "Ice Click" manage to infuse the best elements of jungle together with, well, something completely different, and fresh to even the most cynical of ears. Stuttering beats, stoned percussion shots, and heartical waves of low frequencies make this something to treat with respect. Please, please do NOT sleep on this. In fact, don't come wining to us that there ain't no decent music out there before you've digested these killers.
Review: Sweden's legendary Frak duo must surely be some of the most productive producers of the last 25 years. The two steely tech-heads have released nothing but bangers since their first cassettes on the equally mythical Borft Records, and they haven't changed a drum machine beat since! Never stopping to believe in their vision of techno, they have had a resurgence of sorts over the last five years, a resurrection which has now landed them on DJ Haus' unstoppable Unknown To The Unknown stable. The four tax are classic Frak business, kicking off with the gently acid-laden tone of "Lane Escape", before dissolving into the more electro-minded swing of the similarly metallic "Protes". On the flip, "Long Fork" bangs away like a hammer, thrashing out its detuned bass like it's '93, whereas "Large Function" is all about the beat rattle, swinging and meandering with the typical Frak sway. Excellent party bumpers.
Review: All that time conversing with the likes of Marcus Mixx and DJ Stingray must have rubbed off on Unknown To The Unknown's DJ Haus. Despite his Hot City project (alongside Ben Keen) being known for its bass-heavy 2-step productions, this EP, in collaboration with the LA/Montreal pair LOL Boys, consists of a pair of tweaking acid-house jackers. The title track opens with a flurry of swung 808 kicks and neon stabs, before giving way to a rough and ready 303 line, with the rhythm straightened out in the second half into a tough 4/4 house rhythm. "Whitney (Jus Some Shit)" is another winning piece of Chicago inspired house, with a gnarled bassline, driven by furious cowbells and detuned ghetto vocal samples, all with a grimy undercurrent that keeps its feet firmly entrenched in the underground of contemporary London club music. If you're worried that the new direction will cause some of Hot Ciy and LOL Boys energy to be lost in translation, don't be - this is some their best output to date.
Review: New name Igor Tipura is given a tasty two-track debut on DJ Haus' Unknown To The Unknown with this Dwams single. The lead cut is a pure slice of warm, soothing deep house that's, frankly, undeniable. Underpinned by a solid kick drum, metallic atmospherics that scuttle in and around constant cooling pads which Tuff City Kids producer Phillip Lauer does away with in his remix which touches leans toward more of a Hi NRG, bleepy and neon-lit disco work out from the future. Big ups Tipura!
Review: Swift in the slipstream of his DJ Haus remix on Hot Haus earlier this month comes Kornel Kovacs' debut Unknown To The Unknown release. As we've come to love from the Swedish jack-crafting, Barnhus co-founding groove conjurer, each cut struts with a fuzzy, grainy emotive warmth while remaining floor-toughened throughout. From the loopy vocal hypnosis and filtered charm of "Metropolis" to the decayed harmonic hug of "Babasonic" via the classic rising bubbles and garage feels of "Panda", these were built to last well beyond the summer.
Review: Kevin McHugh hails from the US of A but is very much part of the Berlin community right now, and his extensive appearances for the Delft label have resulted in this new EP for the Unknown To The Unknown crew, the place to be at the moment and one of the finest dance labels around. Accordingly, "I Feel Lit" is an instantly hummable-danceable banger with a heavy kick swing, blasting acid bleeps and a repetitive vocal sample - a true A-side bomb with a nasty edge. For the B-side, McHugh drops "Alarm (Chirp mix)", a drum-heavy DJ tool coated in a rough, analogue sound aesthetic, while Dutch master Alden Tyrell remixes "I Feel Lit" into a swarming wave of 303 techno with absolutely no care in the world but the dance floor. Heavy.
Review: Lisbon producer Lake Haze pops his UTTU cherry here with two classy forays into the world of his beloved UK garage. The boy's done good with these new additions to the label's revered catalogue - "Late Night Trip" is a stomping 4 x 4 wobble belter wrapped in typically trippy, bleepy melodies. However, with its laser blasts, epic synthlines and heavy tropical rhythms, "Need For Speed" ain't just Tom Cruise's favourite, it's ours too!
Review: Lisbon producer Lake Haze returning to the bastion that is the UTTU imprint with Force Of Nature, an excursion into pure UK styles, fusing classic grime, house, garage and dubstep into a fresh-sounding whole. The elemental names should tell you all you need to know about how fierce these tracks are, with "Tsunami Riddim" and "Lightning Riddim" primed for club play. There's another side though in "Brandy Riddim" and "Vapor Riddim" which takes things back to the '90s - another essential grip from DJ Haus' label!
Review: Lake Haze aka Goncalo Salgado has a small but impressive catalogue that includes records on Creme and One Eyed Jacks, but arguably his best material has been reserved for Unknown To The Unknown. Here, he delivers two contrasting but impressive sounds. The title track is a rich, symphonic house track, its evocative strings and slightly cheesy keys calling to mind Ibizan sunsets. By contrast, "Apollonia" sees Haze get busy with his drum machine and Roland to deliver a furious acid workout that has shades of Armando. Meanwhile, DJ Boring offers another perspective to bear with his remix of the title track. Stripping away the melodies, he delivers a firing, bleepy workout.