Reviewed this week
Since this EP dropped on vinyl earlier in the year, the sizeable title track has become one of the most ubiquitous peak-time anthems around. That's not meant as a criticism; few do rush-inducing musical moments quite like Dusky, and "Square Miso" is one of their most euphoric productions to date. It's something of a retro-futurist treat, with colossal piano riffs and dewy-eyed vocal samples riding thunderous drums and a booming, mind-altering bassline. For extra spine-tingling pleasure, check out the beat-free "Reprise" version, which wisely emphasizes the "Strings of Life" style pianos and synthesized strings, and the warehouse-friendly, Inner City style throb of "LF10".
Well consider us surprised to say the least: we'd have never of thought that the acid house anthem "Theme From S'Express" would get a re-release on Jamie Jones' Hot Creations powerhouse - not to mention some absolutely killer remixes. Originally released in 1989 and produced by the legendary Mark Moore (in collaboration with Pascal Gabriel) from their debut studio album, Original Soundtrack. It peaked at No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart in April 1988 for two weeks and is considered as one of the earliest electronic music songs to incorporate sampling. The remixes come courtesy of Greek tech house hero Detlef - whose version is respectful to the original, but gives it an adequately modern reshape and works that 303 acid darn well. Lauer and Gerd Janson's Tuff City Kids remix keeps it in the late '80s realm, like they always do so well. It incorporates some steel drum presets and a hot Juno bassline.
Propaganda is Oliver Huntemann's fifth studio album, and sees him expand his sound and range over the course of 12 tracks, without losing his signature style. "Taktik" and "Poltergeist" see the German producer flirt with slower tempos, but the bass is so menacing on the latter track that its intensity is unstoppable. The pace picks up on the insane filtered builds and rolling snares of "Egoist", while recent single "Rotlicht" is classic Huntemann, all spiralling foghorns, insistent percussion and the darkest sub-bass this side of late-90s tech-step. Propaganda does contain some real surprises - like the down tempo sound scapes of "Anonym" - and the eerie electro of "Momentum", but its unifying theme are bass lines that are uniquely malevolent and multi-layered.
German duo Extrawelt are back on the scene. Comprised of Arne Schaffhausen and Wayan Raabe, the Hamburg based duo have long been a fixture on the esteemed Cocoon Recordings since their debut over a decade ago. Their very first release was on Border Community, shortly after being discovered by boss James Holden. In addition, they have had regular releases on labels like Traum and Darkroom Dubs. Fear Of An Extra Planet is their third album and don't be put off by the dubious title; it's a great album that covers a wide variety of moods and grooves. From the deep and slinky tech house of opener "Superposition", they further explore the harbour city 'minimal-electro' sound that homeboys like Stephan Bodzin and Oliver Huntemann put on the map - like on "Gott Ist Schrott" or "Gentle Venom". There's nefarious and seething dancefloor drama of the strobe-lit kind to be found on "Punch The Dragon" or the evocative closer "2084".
Given that she first worked with the Classic Music Company 15 years ago, it seems fitting that the label is releasing the long serving Chicagoan's debut album. Described by its creator as a "very personal statement", the set contains a mixture of remastered gems from the vaults and fresh new material - including a swathe of collaborative cuts featuring headline-grabbing names such as Seven Davis Jr, Joi Cardwell, Sam Sparro and regular studio sparring partner Tim K. It's naturally rooted in deep house, but also rather varied, with the First Lady of Chicago House variously doffing a cap to classic jack-tracks, smooth soulful fare, synth-laden boogie-house, wide-eyed late '80s fare and Dancemania-inspired hip-house. The set also contains a rather wonderful cover version of Carly Simon's "Why".
Following on from releases on Relief and Crosstown Rebels, Samuel Walker and Gavin Royce have selected Dirtybird as the platform for their debut album. The US pair are sure to surprise with the gentle electronics of opening track "Sunday" and "Role Models", which sees them collaborate with OnCue to deliver a catchy electronic pop track, albeit one that is tethered in grimy bass. However "Best Track Ever" sees them revert to type and adopt the general approach of Claude Von Stroke's label with its cut-up vocals and bleeps bass tones. That said, their penchant for catchy hooks and pop influences is never too far away here and "My Own Thang", which features Sophiegrophy on vocals, is a bubbling, bouncy track, led by insistent, catchy vocals.



Ahead of the annual ADE, Hot Since 82's label has compiled an exclusive seven-track release. It starts with Romano Alfieri's "The Flagman", a rolling chord-heavy slice of filtered techno that breaks, drops and builds in all the right places. Vibe Killers' "Means of Escape" sees the tempo slowing down to focus on the house sound of New York as tribal drums underpin muffled vocal chants. The sampler swings back towards techno as Montel Citizenn drops the dense rhythm and trance-y synths of "I Feel So" - which, rather fittingly, has echoes of the classic Dutch techno record, Timeless Altitude by Secret Cinema - while Sydney Blu's "Mind Games" is more contemporary sounding thanks to its rolling snares, shrieking siren riffs and wild build-ups.
With just ten EPs to his credit in as many years, Joe is not the most prolific artist, but he clearly favours quality over quantity. Tail Lift is his fourth release on Hessle Audio - he debuted on the label during its early days back in 2009 - and it's as individualistic as ever. "Tail Lift" sees the UK producer combine a swinging rhythm with jazzy keys and some wild-sounding, out of tune segues. Throw in psychedelic riffs and rave whistles and you've got one of the most unusual dance floor tracks of 2017. "MPH" sees him go even weirder, with wobbly piano lines and lo-fi kazoos unravelling over mid-tempo drums. This will keep his fans content until Joe's next left of centre instalment.
Hamburg hero H.O.S.H. serves up the next edition of his new Fryhide label and it is by somebody other than himself this time: Cologne's Tim Engelhardt. The up and coming producer has had releases thus far on a who's who of labels such as Poker Flat, Innervisions, Green and Cityfox. His new single "Reality" is exactly the kind of evocative dancefloor drama you've come to expect from the man in recent times; with its warm atmosphere, inventive melodies and well executed energy. Second offering "Heart Resonance" goes down a darker route for this slinky, futurist, tech-house groove full of fuzzy hypnotic pads, sleek arpeggios and texturised rhythm patterns.
It's been 12 years since M.A.N.D.Y and Booka Shade broke through with "Body Language", a single that did much to define to Berlin tech-house sound of the period. Here, Madrid-based producer and Infamous Recordings label boss Danniel Selfmade gets a chance to re-build the much-loved Get Physical classic in his own image. There's much to admire about his Infamous version, which wraps the original's bouncy, tactile synthesizer motifs and undulating synth-bass around a proto-house era drum machine rhythm. In some ways, a feels a little like a long lost Metro Area track, which is no bad thing. The accompanying Dub is an altogether chunkier and more tech-tinged proposition, though it does still showcase the original synth parts in between blasts of heads-down groove theory.
Geneva (formerly Amsterdam) based Night Noise serve up a new one by Mark Cooper's Bedford Falls Players: a collective of DJ's heavily influenced and inspired by the early acid house and balearic experience including Terry Farley, Justin Drake, Alan MacKenzie and Rob Webb amongst others. On "Moon: Chapter 1" (Agent Cooper's "Peak" Time Warm Up mix) it's an interesting genre defying one, we must say. Gloomy dub chords soar over cavernous beats and a howling EBM style arpeggio. There's some dark and reductionist Italo business up next on "Chapter: 3" (Agent Cooper's Black Lodge Excursion) which will appeal to fans of the Correspondant sound. It gets remixed up next - they save the best for last with Duncan Gray of Tici Taci's deep and lo slung balearica rendition.
Lorenzo Esposito aka Lehar follows his 2016 debut for Diynamic with this distinctive but highly diverse EP. "Dream" sounds like it contains a variation of the lead guitar riff from Simple Minds' New Gold Dream before it veers into a pulsing, grainy groove. By contrast, "Declaration" is a deep, tranced out track anchored by rolling drums and rickety, organic percussion and featuring muffled vocals. Meanwhile, on "The R.E.M. Phase", the Italian producer has echoes of Efdemin, with layers of hypnotic chimes building over a stripped back rhythm. "Metrotango" sees Esposito deliver a prowling bass and chiming guitars, and there is a further variation on "Dance of the Last Man", where a stripped back rhythm provides the basis for spiralling trance melodies.
Hailing from the fertile community they have built up around them in Bucharest, Delusion Men and their label Future Nuggets represent a very different twist on the contemporary Romanian electronic music scene. This album is a prime case in point, dealing in off-kilter wavey synths, intriguing rhythmic approaches and spooked out atmospheres that speak as much to the folkloric mystery of the East as any electronic traditions from other parts of the world. If you're drawn to music that sends you to exotic new places on the fringes of your imagination, then Stuck On The Border is the album for you.
Jerome Hill's imprint welcomes DMX Krew back to Super Rhythm Trax with another EP crammed full of future classics. Following up some great releases of late on Hypercolour, Shipwrec and Abstract Forms, the UK electro legend delivers a few jams in his renowned style, plus goes old school techno here and there. "Grand Tour" modelling his style on 'Magic 'Juan Atkins' exploits as Model 500 in the late '80s, while the booming smack techno of "Death Blip" sounds like an old Djax Up Beats record on -8. "The Wiggly Worm" gives us a taste of the acid life, complete with wobbly arpeggios and jacking vocals until it all comes to a fine close with the classic, neon-lit, hi-tech soul/funk of "Old Groove".
French minimal house legend Ark is back on local institution Telegraph: who were considered pretty seminal for their releases during the mid noughties minimal boom. However, this is surprisingly the first release he's ever had on the Logistic affiliated label. Real name Guillaume Berroyer, he has released everywhere from Perlon and Circus Company to Karat, Versatile and of course his own Ark Rec. Starting with the emotive deep house of "Caleche" which features some nifty beat repeat action, we then get into some hypnotic minimal courtesy of "Way To Heaven". There's some after hours style jams like on "Gerard Juno" which you could imagine hearing at Concrete on Sunday morning, while the LFD remix of "Caleche" takes the track into bleepy hi-fidelity microhouse territory like homeboys Cabanne or Lowris.
After launching into Memory Box with aplomb on the deadly Acid Stomp EP, Robin Ball steps up on the London-based imprint once again with the saucy tones of his latest four track EP. "Drop It Down Low" and its accompanying dub mix are classy twists on the tech house formula that lean towards old-skool methods while keeping the sleaze factor ramped up high. "Remember" takes a more tripped out tribal approach, with the "Vibes mix" providing a more subtle twist to the warm, melodic undulations of the full fat version. It's an EP loaded with personality and flair for sophisticated dancefloors.
Those who enjoy the slick, tech-tinged deep house sounds of Blacky have not been short of material to gorge on this year. This outing for Gondwana is the producer's ninth EP of 2017 and arguably one of his best. After kicking off with the shuffling, slightly off-kilter beats and cyclical motifs of ultra-deep groover "After Twelve", we're treated to the sparse and bass-heavy "Midnight Feeling", which is as foreboding as it is impressively deep and drowsy. The producer's love of darting, skewed, early Floating Points style synthesizer motifs comes to the fore on the atmospheric "Sensational Groove", before Euggy serves up alternately melodious and heads-down remix of "After Twelve" that sits somewhere between delicate deep house and rolling tech-house.
Poker Flat boss Steve Bug teams up with Shaun Reeves look-alike Max Heesen aka Langenberg for this two track EP. The latter released his debut album (entitled Central Heated House) on sister label Dessous in 2016, which he's been a regular fixture on over the last several years. He is also one half of the project Ribn. There's definitely a Motor City sounding aesthetic on "Chord Cluster" the kind of hi-tech soul you could imagine the likes of Derrick May or Laurent Garnier smashing out. The emotive track features a euphoric acid melody backed by dramatic strings and an adrenalised groove: this one's pretty epic we must say! Second offering "The Teaze" is more restrained and reduced, featuring a hypnotic Kassem Mosse style melody over a bare and dusty rhythm: this one's classic Poker Flat and more suited to the afterhours.
Christopher Manik presents his first full length for Ovum entitled Undergroundknowledge. In his own words, it's a journey to his stomping ground of Queens NYC on the 7 train. It flips through his history/youth - the sights, smells, and sounds around him growing up and explores his background in house music, while also incorporating jazz and hip-hop influences. He goes on to further elaborate that in an age of DJ celebrity and instant gratification it is important to take a step back and listen to those new promos (properly) yet don't forget to dig deep and pay respect to the scene's origins. Highlights include the Jazzamatazz meets Jersey shuffle of "Phone Numbers" or "That Hustle" featuring an informative collage of dialogue samples telling the aforementioned story of the genre's inception. "Metropolitan Ave" is named after the iconic Brooklyn location and goes deep, while the fairly self-explanatory "Gentrification" explores the changing face of any major city from a hip-house sensibility. There's also a collaboration with No Regular Play's Greg Paulus who plays that sexy sax on "5 Pointz".
Project Pablo releases his new EP via Ninja Tune sublabel Technicolour. The Montreal based producer (via Vancouver) has had releases previously on Royal Oak, Spring Theory and Lone's Magicwire and comes at us with a mixture of big room sounds and different influences he has accumulated over the past few years. The Hope You're Well EP was written and recorded off the beaten track in his new Quebec home. He has stated that he has tried to move away from the usual hooks and went for more intuitive melodies, long forms and structures plus utilizing digital synthesis with clean hi-fidelity. Despite this, there still seems to be a sheen of dust coating the warm and emotive groove of "Is It Dry", the galloping swing fuelled rhythms of "You Know" retain a certain grit also. The hypnotic "Oh Fer Sure" is absolutely sublime and gives you a good fix of deepness.
Exclusives
DMX KREW - The Wiggly Worm (Super Rhythm Trax)
PROJECT PABLO - Hope You're Well (Technicolour)
ARK - Cinemark (Telegraph France)
Exclusives
S'EXPRESS - Theme From S'Express (Hot Creations)
ANDHIM - Huso (Superfriends)
EXTRAWELT - Fear Of An Extra Planet (Cocoon Germany)
Top Labels
Get Physical Germany
20:20 Vision
cocoon
kompakt
kling klong