Review: Freaks & Beaks was Claude Von Stroke's last artist album, released in autumn 2020 at a time when the world was grappling with the impact of the pandemic. Now, two years later, with clubs and festivals re-opened, Dirtybird drops dance floor-primed remixes of tracks from the long player. The VNSSA remix of "These Notes In This Order" is a tough, pulsating slice of techno, while in contrast, for the reshape of "Youngblood", Rodriguez Jr. drops a stripped back, bleep-heavy workout. Nikki Nair has shot to prominence over the past few years, and this version of "Flubblebudd" shows why - based on a frequency shifting sub-bass, it's a distinctive electro track. Frankie also delivers a fine, off beat minimal take on "Frankie Goes To Bollywood".
Review: Tale Of Us curates the next volume of their epic compilation series Unity, featuring contributions from a cast of talent located all over the world. Part 3 maintains the same premise as the previous installments, gathering together a massive collection of 39 tracks designed to transport you into another realm. ANNA kicks off proceedings with the mesmerising dance floor drama of "Cosmovision" feat. Ravid, label staple Colyn takes you deep into the aether on the melodic bliss of "Unstable Gravity Alert" and esteemed German producer Recondite takes you on a descent further down the spiral on the brooding "Runner". Elsewhere, representing the new school, the ascendant Kevin de Vries nails that perfect main room techno sound on the epic "Biohazard", as does Innealea with the slinky and hypnotic "Targo", while scene veterans Argy and Dino Lenny represent their vintage with some equally impressive contributions in the form of "Mental Powers" and "Breathe" respectively.
Review: Following releases on Djebali, Blind Vision Dubs and Shelvd, Alex Ranerro returns to Bondage Music for the first time in two years. The Slovenian producer has predictably brought the goods, too, delivering tracks that blur the boundaries between tech-house, deep house and more trance-inducing sonic flavours. The undoubted highlight is title track 'Fragments', a shuffling, undulating and atmospheric chunk of peak-tine tech-house toughness marked out by an addictive bassline, echoing electronic motifs, chiming synth sounds and smooth beats. Lola Palmer remixes, delivering an algother deeper, dreamier and more tactile interpretation, before label chiefs Pornbugs rework previous single 'Radiation', delivering a darker, more hypnotic and pleasingly bass-heavy take. Bonus cut 'Encode', an East End Dubz style late-night workout, completes a solid package.
Review: Cologne-based producer Jonathan Kaspar is known for his awe-inspiring work on legendary local imprint Kompakt, being one of their key artists in recent times who really encapsulates the label's idiosyncratic style. The Gewoelbe Club resident now makes an appearance on the ever reliable Crosstown Rebels for his latest EP. "Overfree" is a typically life-affirming affair optimised for those saucer-eyed moments under the strobe light, followed by the subdued yet ultra deep minimalism of "Ten". Get on your tunnel vision while being truly hypnotised on next cut "Piece Of" and ending with one more utterly evocative affair - the downbeat dancefloor drama of "Unify" (feat Graham Baxter).
Adana Twins - "Feel The Acid" (feat Jasmine Azarian) - (8:26) 124 BPM
Maya Evers - "Don't Walk" - (7:28) 123 BPM
Upercent - "Picot" - (5:38) 120 BPM
Volar - "The Covenant" - (6:57) 121 BPM
Xinobi - "Too Early Too Late" - (6:31) 123 BPM
Hardt Antoine - "Protektor" - (6:03) 122 BPM
Review: TAU bosses Adana Twins have always used the label's annual Spektrum compilations to showcase the quality and variety of the imprint's output, with tracks coming from both established artists and new signings. They've stuck to the same principles on volume four in the series, resulting in another strong collection of guaranteed dancefloor hits and pleasant surprises. Highlights come thick and fast throughout, from the psychedelic, post-tech-house trip of AIKON's 'Magenta', the deep space electro shuffle of 'Forever Mornings' by Echnonomist, and the bouncy, acid house-goes-boompty sweatiness of SXF's 'Workshop 5', to the throbbing Itali-disco revivalism of GUMM's 'Heroes Call', the sleazy TB-303 insanity of Adana Twins' 'Feel The Acid', and the fuzzy, hypnotic Berlin house haziness of 'The Covenant' by Volar.
Review: Kerri Chandler's first album of original productions since 2008 is an epic in every sense of the word: a vast, 24-track excursion recorded on location in a multitude of clubs around the world, with each track inspired by, and specifically designed to sound best inside, each of the selected venues. It's basically a love letter to some of his favourite clubs, created with guest vocalists and musicians, and is little less than a deep house masterpiece. There are far too many highlights to mention, but our current favourites include the bassbin-rattling bump of 'Subbie (Jackpot Mix) [Sub Club]', the heart-aching soulful house brilliance of 'Back To Earth [Knockdown Center]', the sax-sporting funkiness of 'The Morning Heat [La Grange]', the sunrise-ready beauty of 'Who Knows [Barbarellas]' and the Berlin-friendly deep house hypnotism of 'Sunrise [Watergate]'.
Review: In the words of Fatboy Slim 'everybody needs a 303', but few people can meet this need better than Thee Mike B. On the title track, the LA DJ/producer drops a searing, gurgling 303 as the backdrop for a hazy, frazzled tale about real-life acid indulgence. Lubelski's version is more linear and dancefloor-focused, with the 303 lines woven into a chord-heavy, niggling techno rhythm. Meanwhile, Salva veers in an electro direction for the second remix, with crisp break beats and shuffling 808s providing the basis for a combination of dazed vocals and raw acid lines. If you emerge with your sanity intact, there's also a tripped out acapella to contend with.
Review: The Nu Breed series was conceived back in the early 00s as a means of showcasing upcoming DJs of that era, such as Danny Howells and Lee Burridge. Now that the series has re-launched, the same concept applies and the latest DJ to feature is German spinner Oliver Schories. With a focus on deep, emotional house music, he weaves an intoxicating path that moves from the slurred vocals of Rico Puestel's "Volute" and the melancholic piano keys of Black Light Smoke's "Fire in My Head" into driving, techy tracks like Jamie Trench's "It Never Stops" and Oliver Deutschmann's hypnotic minimalism, "Control", before climaxing with Chateau Flight's sprawling remake of AtJazz's "It's Complete". Here's to the next generation of new breed DJs.
Review: It's Dirtybird's favourite time of year when their annual flagship event returns for another weekend long campout. As always, they have a brand new soundtrack for the 2022 edition featuring 10 new jams from a wide range of artists on the label. Berlin-based Kevin Knapp kicks things off with the druggy afterhours bounce of "Dope Kid Central", label staple Justin Jay teams up with Lindsay Lohand on the lo-slung and bass-driven groove of "Want", while legend Mark Farina teams up with Homero Espinosa on the emotive 303 acid of "Falling Forward" and 2phargon serves up the wonky dancefloor drama of "Petrol" among many more.
Review: To celebrate Toolroom's return to the electronic music hub that is Amsterdam Dance Event, the label has compiled a selection of essential music, featuring some of the best underground cuts of the moment. Included are two continuous house and tech house mixes exploring the plethora of tunes presented - 50 to be exact - not to mention six exclusive tracks from talents. There's Kideko's trumpet led uplifting house workout "Free", Carly Wilford with the sweltering tribal tech house of "Burning Night" and Carly Carmen getting deep with some late night mood music - plus many more.
Review: Paris - Barcelona joint venture La Belle present the second edition of One Night Stands, which is a compilation they describe as danceable but freaked-out electronics that push the boundaries of what the underground is in the year 2020, featuring 'slo-mo synth-pop, lo-fi fusion, space dubs, tribal grooves and spiralling nu-disco electronics'. Highlights not limited to: Get A Room!'s deep dive into the dreamy exotic titled "Jungle Night Walk", Ellis Island Afro / folk / punk-funk collide on the wonderful "Ahah", Front De Cadeaux take you on a deeply meditative trip into the rainforest on "De Puta Madre Terra" and AKKAN's glassy-eyed and bittersweet deep house journey "La Tramuntana" closes out this terrific collection.
Review: As you might expect, Honey Dijon's collaboration with Channel Tres, 'Show Me Some Love', is fantastic: a bumpin', retro-futurist chunk of low-slung, timeless-sounding Chicago house rich in jaunty piano motifs, vaguely foreboding organ riffs, sleazy bass, jazz-flecked post-'boompty' beats and classic male and female vocals. As well as edited and extended mixes of that, the EP also boasts a quintet of Honey Dijon solo cuts, all of which are of a similar standard. We're particularly enjoying the Inner City-esque bounce of 'Love Is A State of State of Mind', the jazz-house-goes-Derrick Carter flex of 'Work', the electrofunk/R&B/acid house fusion of 'Not About You' and the sweaty, off-kilter 'Le Femme Fantastique', which features a star turn from Paranoid London collaborator Josh Caffe.
Review: Berlin-based Polish duo Catz 'n Dogz return to Watergate Records, this time collaborating with Mexico's Theus Mago of Duro Records fame. As expected, there's dark disco vibes abound; like on the tunnelling late-night chug of opening cut "Understand", or the hypnotising main room stomper "Fly" which is sure to have crossover appeal, and the elvating energy of "Intuicion" with its razor sharp and multi-layered arpeggios that are equally sure to set off the main room.
Review: Trelik returns with a reissued edition of one of the catalogue's most treasured releases. "Overcome" and "Lady Science (NYC Sunrise)" need little introduction, and now come sporting the new TR11:11 matrix number. Written and produced by Thomas Melchior and Baby Ford aka Soul Capsule, these tracks came from one of the many sessions recorded at the West London Ifach Studio in 1999. "Overcome" is stripped back and energetic, driven by rolling and shuffling garage style beats, tight bubbling bass and atmospheric synth pads. The intermittent vocal samples and the release's signature organ set you up for the accompanying "Lady Science (NYC Sunrise)". Possibly one of house music's most emotive pieces, the track builds slowly with the introduction of each part building a story of soulful optimism based around a sparse palette of deep synths, uplifting keys and warm analogue bass. The understated beauty of the main vocal riff never seems to grow old or tired with the track lending itself perfectly to either main room, peak-time play or after-hours sessions alike.
Review: Baby Ford and Zip need little introduction and debut on Trelik as "BFZ" featuring co-conspiritor Thomas Melchior. The trio originally appeared on the 1999 "Perlondon" 12" for Perlon with Ford and Zip re-uniting for the "Glidin' Along The Riverbed" release then 2010's "Clean Hands" on PAL SL. Thomas Melchior recently appearing on [a:rpia:r] and his own Aspect Music kicks off the 12" with a floor friendly up-beat 9 minute "Melchior Productions LTD" edit remix of "Uff". An "Uffapella" closes the A-side featuring abstract sound design and textured vocals. Side-B's "So They Say" creates a feeling of space and unhurried rhythmatics whilst the title track "Uff" combines deep instrumentals, chord and haunting vox with subtle bass and modulating kick. Recorded in London and Berlin. Mastered at D & M.
Review: Having spent four years establishing his reputation via releases on Afterlife, Still Vor Talent, Kompakt, MoBlack and, most recently, Innervisions, Daniel Tagliaferri is finally ready to deliver his debut album, 'Feelin'. It's an immersive and atmospheric affair all told, with the Milanese producer regularly reaching for warped, wobbling electronic riffs, heady chords, weighty basslines, sampled snippets of R&B vocals and rhythms that variously doff a cap to tech-house, deep house, broken beat and electronics. Our picks of the plentiful highlights include the enveloping brilliance of 'Do It My Way', the glassy-eyed brilliance of 'Feelin' (where old school vocal samples and sustained organ chords catch the ear), the acid-heavy minimalism of 'What I Do', the sub-heavy broken house sleaziness of 'Steps' and the soulful electro shuffle of 'I Know What You Want'.
Review: This is the first in a series of Five Eps from label co-owner Laurent Garnier, and this release gets off to a great start with "Sake Stars Fever". Redolent of classic material like "Sound of the Big Babou" and "Crispy Bacon", the track revolves around an epic, all-encompassing bass that seethes with tension. Garnier builds brittle percussion and a jittery rhythm around this core element to give it the necessary dance floor clout. In contrast, "Let The People Faire La Fete" is a deeper track that builds gradually, using doubled up claps and insistent stabs to reach a seductive crescendo. As always with Garnier, satisfaction is always guaranteed.
Review: Two heroes of the new breed kick off a new mix series for Jamie Jones' esteemed Hot Creations imprint. Jones began Paradise at DC10 (Ibiza) five years ago and it's gone on to be a huge success, inviting the biggest names in the business to come play alongside his crew of residents. The first mix is courtesy of Toronto's Nathan Barato, a frequent collaborator with local heroes such as Carlo Lio and The Junkies and whose career has been on the rise with releases on Cajual, Saved, Circus and Defected. Highlights include the Derrick Carter classic "Where Ya At?" (Mix Originale), Makam's brooding "Loleatta" and Jared Wilson's rusty acid odyssey "Girl, I'm Waitin". UK talent Patrick Topping this year completed his third summer as resident at DC10 in Ibiza for Paradise. Here Topping showcases the sound and style of his sets with high energy from the word go. His mix features several of his own productions guaranteed for maximum dancefloor impact, as well as Metaboman's lo-slung and exotic "Next Please" through to Dave Clarke's massive remix of Jark Prongo's "Movin Thru Your System".