La Collectionneuse is David Lieske aka Carsten Jost's third artist album on his Dial imprint, and it sees him continue to map out an understated but distinctive vision. All ten tracks are numbered and named after the release, with "La Collectionneuse 1" and "4" both led by stripped back grooves, and "2" and "3" venturing into deeper, US style house thanks to their shuffling drums and reflective textures. Jost's long-documented affinity with techno's more esoteric side is also audible here - "7" is a slow-building affair punctuated by subtle claps and shimmering melodies - while showing his flexible production skills, on "9", the German producer brings atmospheric sounds to bear on a warbling electro rhythm.
"Buggin"" was the first single from Hot Since 82"s 8-track album project, released back in 2018. Featuring the fine vocal talents of Jem Cooke, the track was inspired by the distinct brand of early noughties house music that he"s said to love. Four years on, we"re treated to a bunch of fine new versions here: whether it"s Jorhav"s slinky and hypnotic remix, UR2wo"s rework is a throwback to the evocative progressive breaks sound of the late "90s, while Svan Code"s re-rub tackles the main room at peak time with its tough rolling tech house groove. Elsewhere, Emma Forster"s rendition will get the hands in the air with her uplifting house perspective.
Following releases from Matthew Dekay and Retza, upcoming label Satya delivers another fine underground EP, this time from Roni Amitai. The title track is a stripped back house groove that resounds to eerie synths and ticking percussion, while on "Faded", Amitai heads down a dubbed-out route, with the arrangement populated by acidic bleeps and spaced out tweaks. Satya has commissioned two fine remixes from Iskra; the 'Hold My Tears' version of the title track follows a similar, dubby path as Amitai's own "Faded", while the 'Sparks' take is an entirely different proposition, with Iskra layering ghostly vocals and organic percussion over the stripped back rhythm.
Mexican duo Soul of Hex has released some fine EPs over the last few years, with their sporadic outings on Delusion of Grandeur often boasting their most interesting and cosmic-minded cuts. There's plenty to admire on their latest outing for the Freerange Records offshoot, from the warming, peak-time ready haziness of opener 'Mystic'- a fine fusion of effortlessly Balearic guitar solos, warming disco bass, spacey synth motifs and dreamy chords - and the sparkling breeziness of revivalist piano-house/late '80s NYC garage number 'Love is In Control' (where vocalist Steve Lucas delivers a star turn), to the squelchy nu-disco/Italo-house flex of 'Heliocentrico' and the bumpin' electro vibes of 'Sphynx'.
After some great releases on Happiness Therapy, Pulse Msc and Inhale Exhale, Vancouverite Jesse Bru returns on SlothBoogie Record. Joining forces with Max Ulis (Sabota) for this collaborative EP titled Similar Nature, you will first find the hypnotic dub house stomper 'Banh Mi' followed by the rolling main room tech house of 'Moisture Cult' which is equally as icy and glacial. The pair starts to mix it up after with the inclusion of the emotive electro number 'TBH' and ending with the swingy minimal house of 'Big Chirp' in the vein of the classic Cabinet Records style.
Diynamic head honcho Solumun is back with some top tier remixes from his acclaimed long player of 2021 - Nobody Is Not Loved. This release features Pampa main man DJ Koze taking lead single "Ocean" (featuring vocals by the leading Hollywood actor Jamie Foxx) into deep, dark and dirty territory in his inimitable style as always, while British minimal house maestro Matthew Herbert serves up a real glassy-eyed and bittersweet rendition of "Prospect". Both remixes come with instrumental versions included.
About Minimal Tech House: Minimal has sure come along away since its beginnings in Detroit, where Daniel Bell commenced his pioneering experiments as DBX, former sidekick Richie Hawtin created some of his most profound works (in exile) as Concept 1, and of course over in Germany - where the sound further evolved ie: Thomas Brinkmann's further reductions into the avant-garde. Similarly, Berlin's Basic Channel incorporated dub elements with their greyscale explorations into the void, while over in Frankfurt an underground movement was gaining traction - with influential imprints such as Force Inc., Perlon, and Playhouse redefining the space between the beats. Its distinct aesthetic was characterised by it's clipped rhythms, glitched/muted elements plus gradual changes in texture and dynamics.
Despite its underground credibility, this niche sub-genre gradually became less experimental and emerged as one of the most popular forms of dance music in the mid '00s, spearheaded by the aforementioned Hawtin's change in DJing style (Italian veteran Marco Carola also adopting Final Scratch technology), alongside fellow tastemakers Ricardo Villalobos, Luciano, Jay Haze, Magda and Loco Dice to name but a few. While not as glitchy or fidgety as its previous sonic incarnation, the status quo of minimal at this time revolved around a new frontier of digital production techniques (Ableton/Max MSP, Reaktor) to create stripped down and hypnotic grooves at a steady 125 BPM - a reaction to the peak of early 2000's techno which were reaching near breakneck speeds. Meanwhile in Bucharest, the [a:rpia:r] collective were honing their own variant on the sound and creating a style which would soon be recognised, fittingly, as 'Rominimal' - a sound very much in vogue right now.