Reviewed this week
Archie Hamilton is having a pretty good year, all told. Remarkably, this EP is his sixth of the year to date, following quietly confident appearances on Fuse London, Tied and Parliamnt. Impressively, there's a fair bit of variety to be found across the three tracks. Contrast, for example, the rolling tech-house/deep house fusion of opener "Confusion" - all tactile, looped riffs, rising acid lines and chunky beats - with the bouncy "Dos Equis", where woozy vocal samples ride an elastic, funk-fuelled bassline and locked-in beats. Arguably best of all, though, is flipside "Wild Thing" - a punchy late night workout full of trippy riffs, bustling bass, razor-sharp acid lines and jazzy-but-driving deep house beats.
Knee Deep In Sound have tapped two of Germany's true veterans of tech house for a killer collaboration here. Poker Flat head honcho Steve Bug teams up with Berlin staple Cle of Martini Bros fame, for the moody dancefloor drama of "Voodoo" which is perfect late night mood lighting. With its pounding drums, hypnotic chime melody and druggy vocals: this one has the main room at pre-peak time in mind! On a deeper and more sensual tip, we have the lush progressive house atmospherics of "Rise & Shine" which is perfect to create some more spiritual and introspective moments on the dancefloor - earlier in the evening or before the lights come on in the morning. Finally we get some heavy artillery for when the tough gets going courtesy of Drumcode's Reset Robot, who turns in an absolutely roaring rendition of "Voodoo" complete with doom laden dub chords and steely rhythms galore: this will have you surrendering to the void via a long trail of reverb.

Trust Leeds lads Audiojack and their ever reliable Gruuv imprint for main room tech house for the peak time. This time they have tapped London's James Dexter: who has had a prolific run with releases on top labels such as Rebellion, Dessous/Poker Flat, in addition to running the Inermu imprint. The druggy afterhours minimal of "I Think So" proves that Dexter has his own sound - something that first caught our attention with his standout release in 2017 on Little Helpers. There's certainly more of that on offer here, but the remix up next by Romanian tech house expert Mihai Popoviciu adds more attitude to it- his rendition taking it down a more dubby and tribal route. The boompty business of "Mindstate" features a familiar vocal hook from a certain US classic while the bold and sexy mood lighting of "That's Life" likewise closes out proceedings in style.
Back in 2016, following up the success of their respected Supernature label, Anthony Middleton and Luca Saporito (AKA Audiofly) launched a fresh new music platform in the form of Flying Circus Recordings. Azimute, Francesca Lombardo and Raw District have all featured thus far amongst others and now they hand over the reins to Spanish rising star Squire who maintains the status quo wonderfully on The Seven Principles EP. Moody and atmospheric dancefloor drama is well in order from the get go - as heard on the slinky progressive house groove "Lost Again". The remix up next by Venetian producer Olderic takes things further down the left hand path - that seething Reese bassline is certainly a nice touch and just adds to the suspense. For variety, he has a deeper and more uplifting contribution on here in the form of "Red Dot", a slinky and sensual groove with hypnotic elements that is perfect for those cool down moments.
Liverpudlian institution Circus Recordings is back following up some great releases in 2017 by the likes of Catz 'N' Dogz, Ki Creighton and Leonardo Gonnelli. It's now the turn of Danny Serrano from Madrid: a rising star with hot hits on top labels recently such as Relief, Moon Harbour and Knee Deep In Sound. Kicking off with the tough roll and shuffle of "Never Alone" (feat Nukkah) which is just as suited to the label's club namesake itself as it is to Summer mischief on The White Isle. "Twisted" (original mix) is a tad deeper and well funkier - this one has a sense of swing that even original house gangster DJ Sneak could appreciate. Big time bassline in this one! Finally "Never Alone" (feat Nukkah - Secondcity Da Groove remix) differs from the original with its smooth tribal rhythms and sultry type of groove. We wouldn't be surprised to be hearing this one a lot on The Island still in a few months to come.
CLE/STEVE BUG - Voodoo (Knee Deep In Sound)
PIRATE COPY - Penina EP (Sola)
MANDY feat NONKU PHIRI - Hi End (Get Physical Germany)
DANNY SERRANO - Never Alone (Circus Recordings)
IAO - Redemption (DOC)
JAMES DEXTER - Mindstate (Gruuv)
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