Reviewed this week
On their latest release, Catz N Dogz team up with a true house legend. Robert Owens has been the voice of many classics over the years and on "Fine Feeling", he lends his breathy tones to a deeper than usual approach from the Polish pair. Underpinned by rasping percussion and organ keys, Owens' velvety vocals imbue the track with a real soul. On "Factory Settings", the pair hook up with Joseph Ashworth for quite a different collaboration. Stripping back the rhythm and laying down an insistent, tracky arrangement that is full of reverberating percussion, it sees Catz N Dogz at their minimal best.
Berlin tech-house heroes Booka Shade are back on their beloved Blaufield Music, which offers the second remix package after the success of the critically acclaimed Cut The Strings LP - which dropped earlier this year. The duo have approached more fellow artists to provide their own interpretations of the album. The inimitable Claude Vonstroke of the legendary Dirtybird serves up a full length mix of "Easy Drifter" which is as bombastic as you'd expect from the man, but graceful at the same time - in the way that it retains all the evocative qualities of the original and it's a fine effort indeed. By comparison, underground stalwart Yousef 's Circus Rework of "Tyrell" is a sombre and paranoid excursion through minimal house, that's more suited to a Sunday morning afterhour. Finally, they save the best for last with the adrenalised peak time stomper "Black Crystal" remixed by rising Berliner Wes Wieland. This will appeal to fans of nefarious main room missives on labels like Suara or Senso Sounds.
If Mark Knight and Co. aren't busy enough celebrating Toolroom's big 15 year birthday at present (and its global parties in celebration of it), they've also found enough time for another mandatory volume in their esteemed Ibiza Underground series. With another collection of surefire hits and soon to be anthems that are sure to rock The White Isle this summer - this is all you need right here. A wide range of cuts (50 to be exact) that venture into darker territories come from the likes of New York duo Blondes on the fierce and broken "Quality Of Life" (Struction remix), the surprising addition of Scottish IDM wunderkind Lanark Artefax's "Touch Absence" (Intimidating Stillness mix), Dutch techno-bass merchant Martyn on the futuristic "Feel The Magnetism" and American retrovert Matrixxman on the tunnelling acid trip "Horizon". Rest assured that there's faire more typical of the label like Josh Butler, Franky Rizardo, Rick Wakley and birthday guests Booka Shade. For your convenience, the collection comes as two continuous mixes as well.
Made in Berlin but with an international focus, Einmusika celebrates 10 years of creative journeys and visions, They asked some friends and highly respected musicians to pick their favourite track from the past decade for a very particular remix - this is the first of two volumes. The legendary Gabriel Ananda delivers an evocative remix of Betoko's "Foreverness", Berlin couple Mira & Chris Schwarzwalder of Bar25 fame turn in a splendid rendition of rising star Budakid's "No Human Is Illegal" and Upon.You head honcho Marco Resmann's version of Piek's "Does Your Love Fade Away" is absolutely perfect for those heads down moments under the strobe light before peak time.
With releases on Hot Creations and Seth Troxler's Say It Play It to his credit, Richy Ahmed now makes his debut on Hot Since 82's label. The title track is an irresistible slice of tech-house, with the UK producer dropping an ominous bass over a tight, jacking groove. On "Technique", a more rudimentary approach applies, as Ahmed deploys a horn riff and pitch-bent vocals to create a moody sound. The label has tapped D'Julz to rework "Technique" and in the Bass Culture boss' hands it turns into a pumping, percussive affair, supported by menacing low end. Jesse Perez also provides a rework of the title track, turning it into a bubbling, percussive workout supported by an eerie synth build.
Melbournian producer Katie Campbell has turned a few heads since donning the Roza Terenzi alias last year. She's yet to put out a duff release and this latest excursion - her first for Aussie label Voyage - is every bit as alluring as its predecessors. Check, for example, the rubbery deep house funk of opener "Weakest Link", where far-sighted bleep melodies and alien synths dance gently above an elastic groove, or the far-out late night hustle of analogue-rich workout "Seminyak Dream", which sounds like the Mood Hut crew making 1990 bleep techno. The EP also boasts a luscious slab of dusty deepness (the wonderfully spacey "Lill's Dream") and a bustling, sub-bass heavy tweak of "Weakest Link" by regular Campbell collaborator D. Tiffany.
21 year old Elliot Adamson is from near Newcastle and his star is rising. He has released previously on Edible, Weapons and Need You but this will be his second for Man Power's Me Me Me imprint. Both parts of "Froaja" are heady, deep and atmospheric exercises in tribal house that are perfect for those introspective dancefloor moments. "No Chill" gets on to things with more bounce and funk, but it's really all about that wicked rendition later by homeboy Ben Caldwell - that takes things it into tunnelling acid-like territory. We also have the jagged electro experiment "No Rest/For The Wicked" witch gets a terrific rework by Work Them Records head honcho Spencer Parker. His Workmix giving it a tunnelling and hypnotic techno edge.
Following up Viken Arnan's prior release, which came packed with some terrific remixes from the likes of dOP, Nicola Cruz and Acid Pauli, it is now over to Belgian group Stavroz of Kindisch, Get Physical and their own Moodfamily. The Ghent based quartet manage to create a wholesome, comforting soundtrack for a place, which no words can describe. From the bouncy and etheral tech house jam "Perron 11" , the brooding dancefloor drama of "Kasambila" and the bittersweet melancholia of "It Was All A Ruse" that is just perfect for watching a Berlin sunrise on a summer morning in Sunday.
London born, Ibiza dwelling DJ Ben Hoo takes up the reins for Get Physical's annual Ibiza compilation, featuring the rising stars/hit predictions for the tech house sound in summer 2018. Hoo has been a staple of the Berlin based institution in recent years, so they couldn't have found a better mascot for the label at present. His mix serves up 15 killer tracks, all available individually for your convenience. Highlights include his remix of System Of Survival 's "Kutting" (feat Vhelade) which delves deep into the exotic, the rhythmic grooviness of Spain's Clara Brea on "707Minor7" and NG Trax head honcho Nima Gorji - who appears twice with his trademark rolling/tribal tech-house of "Look Back" and "Delusion" respectively.
Ben Hoo has released mainly on Kindisch, including an album, Collection. Now he takes his sound to the mother label, Get Physical. Fans of dreamy deep house will find much to love here, as Hoo presides over a sprawling release. The title track kick starts the release with hushed sounds and abstract, mid tempo drums, while "Meet in the Middle" sees him up the ante somewhat. Revolving around a stripped back, subtle groove and glitchy percussion, it builds in a subtle, elegant fashion. Also on offer is a remix of the title track by US producer Pezzner. Centred on a rolling groove and organic drums, it's a subtle but fitting finale to this fine EP.
French trio comprised of Adrien and Marc Antoine of Villanova and Michel Saurin (aka TIME Musique) who have come together for the innovative L.K.F. Project. They debut here with the Urubu EP. The group have stated that there is a message at the centre of their creative process - one embellished with textures and rhythmic elements. For the more discerning ears, they experimented with quite unusual sound design and field recordings for more organic sounding effects. From the deeply ethereal tech house journey of "Bernard's Song 2018" (feat Outputmessage/Villanova/Time), the moody dancefloor drama of the title track featuring some breathtaking vocals by a certain 'Jim' - you could imagine Lee Burridge or Damian Lazarus playing this one at a sunny rooftop party.
Samuel Gmuer and Adrian Woellhaf (better known as Animal Trainer) run Hive Audio - the in-house imprint of Zurich's long running Hive Club. They are also staples on such esteemed labels like Stil Vor Talent and Katermukke, but now appear for the Monaberry stable out of Halle (Saale) eastern Germany. Following up a great one by Label bosses Super Flu, the pair present the emotive and melodic main room energy of "Rigpa" (Street Parade Hymn 2018) and "Dharma" which was greta in its original form but we must say that Mulya's rendition with its exotic polyrhythms and brooding vibes was pure energy and truly won us over - we'll sure it'll do the same to you!
Granha, who runs Aegyptia Recordings and has released on Noir, steps up for an EP on German label Katermukke. The title track is a classy slice of tech house, revolving around a pumping, insistent bass and a rave-led break down and build up. "Aphantasia" is less immediate and sees the Spanish producer diverge from a straight kick drum sequence in favour of stepping beats and a rumbling sub-bass that builds and drops. On a totally different tact is "13A", the concluding track. Moving into more mellow territories, Granha delivers a deep, laid back groove that sits in stark contrast to the chugging title track.
More tough rolling tech-house aimed squarely at the main room (at peak-time!) by the ever-reliable Material staple. They have on board the New York city legend Joeski here, who served up his dancefloor weapon "Brrr" earlier this year and it now gets treated to a series of equally worthy renditions - which will keep this killer persisting well into the latter part of 2018. We particularly enjoyed Spaniard Lexlay's wonky bass-driven monster, while British rising star Sizeup injects some swing-fuelled boompty action into it on his retake. Qubiko from Italy delivers the most powerful rework, further example of his talent that has earned him releases on Toolroom, Defected and Suara recently.
The Hot Creations affiliated Jey Kurmis returns with more tough rolling tech-house shenanigans on London's CR2 - which was set up in 2004 by former Credence Records Boss Mark Brown. The Leeds based producer delivers some deep down and dirty sounds, that jack hard and are perfect for getting nasty at the after hours. From the sleazy "Snoop" with its bumpy bassline, straight-ahead rhythms and subtle diva vocals, to the tuff sway of "Jas" and the sunny "Ready-Ho" which is aimed squarely at dancefloors on The White Isle this summer - Kurmis delivers the goods as always.
Jimi Jules is one of the main DJs at Berlin club Watergate and it's true to say that he leaves his mark on this mix: 13 of the 21 tracks are edits, remixes or original productions from the Swiss selector. That said, he also leaves space for other artists: Porn Sword Tobacco's dreamt "B1" segues nearly into Jules' own "Gare de Lion", while the live funk of "Caldo", one of the tracks from Keope's 2016 album, also makes a seamless transition into Jules & Domenico Ferrari's stripped back vocal track, "Parkuhr". There are multiple such moments on Watergate 24, and its eclectic feel is typified by tracks from Aphex Twin and DJ Koze, electronic music's most eccentric acts.
Showcasing an evolution in the label's history, the second volume of Comeme's Solidarity Forever introduces a visual makeover for the imprint and music by new artists. The title refers to their motivation as a label and the reason behind their everyday actions - acting as a reminder of why they do what they do. The second volume here features Mexico's Lizett Montiel aka Rizu X with the tunelling and haunting mood lighting of "Dark Jungle", Argentina's Ana Helder with her distinct brand of house on the energetic "Pizza Delivery" and Chilean producer Vaskular with the Miami bass influenced bounce of "Ah! Ah! Ah!".
Popof is Alexandre Paounov, a DJ and producer from France who has become a staple of Jamie Jones Hot Creations imprint, in addition to running his long running Heretik project and eponymous imprint. There is also of course Form-Music, where he takes up the reins and leads things in the right direction on the Bowo EP. From the druggy afterhours bounce of the title track, the super tight minimal tech-house groove of "Striker" (calling to mind the sound of the mid noughties) and some sleek acid house shenanigans on "W.T.A". You can bet on more surefire grooves by a guy who's on his way to scene veteran status by now!
Italian legend Dino Lenny follows up a terrific reissue of his early noughties hit "I Feel Stereo" on Yoshitoshi, in addition to a bunch of great releases on Ellum Audio, Play It Say It and Sapiens with the powerful tunnel vision of "Techno Is Dead". It's a seething groove coming right at you from the factory floor, with its po-faced lyrics preaching the current state of things. It's a much hi-tech and hypnotic affair on "Trip Down to Mexico" with a superb use of melody and mesmerising polyrhythms throughout - its quite reminiscent of his recent effort on Berlin powerhouse Innervisions actually. More great work from a true master of house and techno, who after nearly 30 years on the scene is still right at the top his game!
Live electronic music by Allen Hulsey and Erdem Tunali on "Bad Time Stories" - the inaugural release from new label Ladino Romance. Delve deep into the exotic on the lush and drifting vibe of the original, accompanied by remixes from talented German producer Timboletti (Sol Selectas) who takes the track down a more melodic and futuristic route. This is then followed by Turkish act Mindshifter who deliver the most vibrant rendition, theirs explores some irresistible synthwave aesthetics to die for - the '80s are back!
Exclusives
ELLIOT ADAMSON - Self (Entitled) (Me Me Me)
JIMI JULES/VARIOUS - Watergate 24 (Watergate)
VARIOUS - Selected Label Works 6 (Permanent Vacation Germany)
Exclusives
METABOMAN - Hello Regina (Milnor Modern Germany)
M.A.N.D.Y. - DF: The Club Versions (Get Physical Germany)
PIRUPA - West Avenue (Stereo Productions Spain)
Top Labels
kling klong
Soma
Get Physical Germany
cocoon
Noir Music Denmark