Review: An outlet for both unreleased and exclusive music from the label's family members alongside rising talents, this is the fourth instalment of Toolroom's popular 'House Party' series. Featuring standout releases from Mark Knight's label plus the scene's biggest imprints, with highlights coming from: industry heavyweights Nic Fanciulli & Andrea Oliva on the slinky "Medium Rare", the inimitable Yousef with the pounding acid of "Save Me" (feat. Molly Green), legend Todd Terry with TCTS on the boompty bounce of "Get Freaky" and UK tech house hero Seb Zito delivering the peak time stomper "Don't Stop". As if that was not enough, there are also three continuous mixes by scene stalwarts such as Lefti, Piero Pirupa and label staple Maxinne.
Review: The enigmatic Hyenah is a renowned tastemaker, who is passionate about sounds from across the house spectrum. For his edition of the Watergate mix series, the RISE resident selects an inspiring range of artists, while highlighting emerging African and Afro-German talent such as: Berlin-based JAMIIE teaming up with the Stil Vor Talent affiliated Niko Schwind on "Suwedi", talented singer Nanghiti Aviankoi's amazing vocal range is accompanied perfectly by Emanuel Satie's production on "Forever More" and veteran of the Johannesburg house music scene Da Capo appears with the powerful dancefloor drama of "Dark Knight".
Review: To the Robert Johnson club, Andrew Weatherall was one of the Frankfurt institution's most beloved residents. 'Lifesaver 4' is a compilation dedicated to the memory of the veteran DJ, featuring young talents and seasoned companions that have paid their musical tribute in order to commemorate the club's 21 year anniversary. Highlights not limited to: Perel's psychedelic off-kilter opener "Feuer & Wasser", the low slung sunset sounds of Panorama Bar resident Massimiliano Pagliara on "Before I Let You Go", club mainstay Gerd Janson delivering a typically neon-lit rendition of Portable's "Unity", the surprising addition of nearby Offenbach-based talent Cedric Dekowski on the afterhours minimal funk of "Livius" and Fort Romeau delivering his idiosyncratic style of hypnotic house on "Another Dymention". "Fail we may, sail we must".
Review: Hearty congratulations to Michael Reinboth, whose Compost Records' imprint recently celebrated its 25th birthday. As a way of marking this momentous occasion, the label has conjured up this expansive compilation, which offers up a blend of fresh remixes of label classics, overlooked revisions, bonus cuts and the odd hard-to-find classic (see Move D's superb "Hurt Me", which first appeared on the imprint in the mid-90s). Highlights are plentiful from start to finish, with Roman Flugel's throbbing rework of Beanfield's "Human Patterns", I:Cube's LFO-influenced re-make of A Forest Mighty Black's "Fresh In My Mind", Joakim's funk-fuelled acid take on Marbert Rocel's "Dance Slow" and Die Orangen's wonderfully druggy interpretation of Marsmobil's "Sometimes I Don't Regret" all catching the ear.
Review: While dancefloors have largely stood still throughout 2020, it hasn't made much of a dent in Knee Deep In Sound's musical output this year. Label head Hot Since 82 - better known as Daley Padley - takes care of their latest sonic dispatch on his sophomore long player. While last year's '8-Track' was dedicated to the passing of a close friend, the recording of 'Recovery' was a similarly cathartic process, with Padley describing the process as a therapeutic experience that enabled a more positive headspace. From the deep and slinky mood music of "Eye Of The Storm" featuring the sensual vocals of Liz Cass, to some surprisingly wonderful collaborations: "Body Control" features fellow UK tech house royalty Jamie Jones and the legendary Boy George on the mic reminiscing on the scene's good ol' days, while acclaimed outfit Rudimental support Padley on the aci-washed deepness of "Be Strong".
Review: The ninth edition in Diynamic's Picture series comes from Munich-based producer Innellea, who follows up some impressive releases for Innervisions, TAU and Afterlife. Featuring some fine melodic house incorporating various cinematic and post-apocalyptic soundscapes (with his own voice) as heard on the breathtaking opener "Forced To Bend" and the particular moody "Electricity", to the glassy-eyed and bittersweet breaks of "Sorrow and a moment on the exotic fringes of dark disco as heard on low slung epic "Catanacean". Altogether this is what the label best described themselves as 'an intimate listening experience, that hovers somewhere between isolation and the longing for contact.'
Review: Many congratulations to PIV, a well-regarded house label that has now been offering up a diverse blend of classy cuts - many inspired by, in their words, "the classic era of US house" - for five years. To celebrate this landmark, the label's Dutch and Indonesian founders have scoured the archives and put together a 15-track selection of highlights so far. There's much to enjoy throughout, with highlights including the rolling, tech-tinged deep house warmth of Prunk's 'Dreams', the squelchy bass and starry chords of Djoko's early morning favourite 'Planet Groove', the Swag style, loose-limbed tech-house-funk of Toman's 'Surfin', and the ultra-melodious, mid-90s New Jersey garage-influenced deep-tech loveliness of 'Bolt' by Ruze.
Review: On 'House Party Vol. 3' the party continues well into autumn with Toolroom's unmistakable blend of killer cuts, red hot exclusives and a host of essential tracks from the industry's leading imprints. Includes a whopping 80 tracks, plus three compiled mixes from current scene favourites such as Kittball co-owners Tube & Berger, Dutch house favourite Rene Amesz, and rising UK talent Iglesias. Highlights not limited to: boss man Mark Knight with the aforementioned Amesz on the funky house anthem "All 4 Love" (feat. Tasty Lopez), Hannah Wants & Eskuche serve up some slick and bouncy electro house on "The ISH", the dream team of Alex Mills, Danny Howard & Illyus & Barrientos delivering a properly soul-infused vocal epic on "Need" (Extended Mix) and the legend ATFC returns with the super sexy "Not Enough" feat. Mia Mendez.
Review: Enigmatic Berlin-based producer Hyenah has established himself as a passionate proponent of Afro house in his local scene. Spearheaded by the successful RISE monthly club night and associated music imprint, as well as being one of the most exciting newer acts associated with Watergate. His latest contribution to the label is 'The Message' EP, which keeps on with the same high standard of production. The deep and spiritual vibe of the title track features former Bonobo collaborator Bajka on vocals, followed by a remix from Innervisions staple Henrik Schwarz where he creates a life affirming rendition. Teaming up with Cape Town's Floyd Lavine next on the hi-tech soul of "Soul Rise" and closing it out with the self-reflection of "Not Enough" featuring Lazarusman's powerful and important message.
Review: Cologne institution Traum Schallplatten are excited to release the brand new 'Little We Know' EP from Hamburg's techno veterans Extrawelt. If you have ever seen one of the pair's live acts, this EP very much embodies the experience with the flow of energy it generates - and it's highly addictive. The bumping and rolling groove of opening track "Mr Wednesday" harks back to their output in the mid-noughties: a wicked mixture of minimal and electro house's best elements. The title track follows and flips the script a bit on this deep and highly emotive tech house journey, and finally the hypnotic "Sem" is perfect for those heads down moments under the strobe lights.
Review: Hot Creations continues to pioneer a contemporary house sound, with two of the scene's most established talents collaborating on their debut release together. Label chief Jamie Jones teams up with MOOD Records boss and techno mainstay Nicole Moudaber here for "Pepper Shake", a tough rolling tech house jam aimed squarely at the main room dancefloor with the peak time in mind. Second original offering "Bubble Ride" is a more straight ahead affair in the vein of classic UK tech house. Moody and bass-driven, this functional cut is equally worthy of being played in the early evening or the morning hours alike.
Review: Lopezhouse are a duo consisting of David Lopez and Carlos Cruz from La Mancha, Spain. They return to John Digweed's esteemed Bedrock label after some great releases recently on Hafendisko and Sincopat. Their new Sunburst EP features the strobed-out and entrancing title track, which will entice you onto the dancefloor with its slinky aesthetic, the tech house vibe continues on the infectious minimal bounce of "Midnight Sun", the slo-mo chill house of "Strumming Bridges" and closing out this wonderful outing is the evocative mood music of "Pinksauce" which is perfect to hear as the morning sun comes shining through the windows.
Review: More ominous and dreamy deep house by Fort Romeau. The Berlin-based Brit debuted for Permanent Vacation last year with the terrificHeaven & Earth EP and is fast becoming a staple of Munich-based imprint, going onto remixes for artists such as Lauer and Kauf. His new offering "The Mirror" is an evocative and sensual piece of mood music that's quite reflective of the strange time we are currently living in. "A Far Reaching Light'' takes on another style of dancefloor drama on this slinky and hypnotic journey, and lastly he takes you further down the spiral on the chugging, textured sonic tapestry of "The Wind As It Took Her". Like his Dada EP on Correspondant last year, this is 'paranoid music for paranoid times' yet again by Michael Greene.
Review: French duo Tepat Huleux and Giac Di Falco aka You Man make their debut on legendary Belgian label Eskimo Recordings, with the stunning four track 'Altered States' EP. With releases on labels such as Tronik Youth's NEIN as well as Alpage, and their stunning live shows with hypnotic visuals, You Man have firmly established themselves on the underground disco scene. From the druggy afterhours nu-disco sleaze of the title track, to the exotic indie dance excursion "NonSense" reminiscent of Moscoman or Red Axes, and ending with the neon-lit thriller "Mind Ballad".
Review: Tronic unleashes its annual compilation, which as always contains the label's favourite tracks. "Luv Can Turn Around", a deep techy track from the late, great Pascal FEOS is a reminder of the many loved ones lost in the past year, while label owner Christian Smith's rolling rhythm and surging chords on "Hallucinate" signals a time in the near future when we'll be able to return to the dance floor. At the other end of the sonic spectrum Harry Romero delivers a bruising, jacking version of DJ Rush & Eric Sneo's "Take Me Back", while Sinisa Tamamovic's "Lost Memories" is a more intense iteration of that style, a steely, bleep-heavy techno track.
Review: Israeli artist Kino Todo is up next on DJ Tennis's Life And Death imprint. Todo's multicultural sounds on Blue Shadow, as well as on Moscoman's Disco Halal have made him one of the most promising new artists in the scene. These are complex and characterful tracks that draw on a wide range of cultural references and reimagine them as dancefloor dynamite. Much like the EP's namesake, "Goa Kids" takes trance music motifs to create a slinky and hypnotic journey through sound, while the acid washed "Boom Shaki Boom" features fellow countrymen Red Axes. Finally, the low slung psychedelia of "Vocus Pocus" is perfect for Sunday afternoon drifting on the dancefloor.
Review: Greek duo Lagasta are up next on James Fucking Friedman's ever reliable Throne Of Blood label, following up that terrific 'Late Summer Compilation Vol.10' (Part II) they self-released just last month. The hazy downbeat balearica of "Steve" is exactly the kind of glassy-eyed and bittersweet music that the late Jose Padilla could have played at Cafe del Mar. It receives some brilliant remixes as part of the package. Mexican duo Zombies In Miami deliver a typically neon-lit rendition, while the mighty Philip Lauer delivers not one but two reworks: the first 'Sanguisuga' version was well on the money, and another fine example of the prolific German producer's idiosyncratic sound.
Review: Boogeyman is a new sub label from The Martinez Brothers' legendary Cuttin' Headz, run by Miami's Jesse Calosso - who also takes the lead with A&R. It kicks off with a fantastic compilation showcasing the sound and talent the label will deal in. Features Bristol's Aaran D (Disorder) with the deep mood music of "Planet Mars", veterans Matt Tolfrey & Alex Arnout getting slinky and hypnotic on "The Walk", Fabric resident Jaden Thompson delivering the sexy roller that is "Closer" and Amsterdam's Joey Daniel nails that perfect minimal tech house sound on "Wireless High" in addition to material from Calosso and The Martinez Brothers themselves.
Review: One of contemporary house music's most established pairings, Prok & Fitch make their much anticipated debut on Hot Creations here with a two track EP. "Tease" continues a stunning 2020 that has seen them release on sister imprint Repopulate Mars as well as Solid Grooves. With its deep and sleazy afterhours themed bounce which sees them collaborate with London vocalist Kyozo, it is backed by second offering "Smack" - an equally druggy affair packed full of swing that'd go down a treat on Sunday morning as well. With this one, the Brighton-based duo continue to carve out an impressive standing in the electronic music sphere.
Review: Whomadewho return to Kompakt with a flurry of activity that includes a series of Eps and an album, all under the Synchronicity banner. The pair last released an artist album on the label back in 2012 and this time around their work features a wealth of collaborators. One of those like-minds is Kompakt boss Michael Mayer, who lends his expertise to the sleazy electronic disco of "Hamstrung" a highlight of this taster EP. On "Chaser", Whomadewho team up with Rebolledo to deliver sun-kissed 80s disco rock, while "Falling Out" sees them work with Terr to drop a chugging, cosmic groove. Rounding off this fine EP is the post-punk stylings of "The Aftermath" s split production with Adana Twins.
Review: Next up on Sasha's always impressive Last Night On Earth label comes the debut of Irishman DART (Dublin Area Rapid Tracks) who had an excellent debut on Brooklyn's Homage earlier this year. He keeps up with the same quality on his new offering entitled "Sweet Nectar", a glassy-eyed and bittersweet epic which gracefully packs a punch also. This is followed by the majestic dancefloor drama of "Theatre Of Dogs" and the evocative breaks of "Move Faster" which call to mind the late '90s sounds that Sasha himself was playing at the time. This is followed by a remix from DART's fellow countrymen heroes Brame & Hamo (Splendor & Squalour) who will have you fully trancing out with their rendition.
Review: The next drop on Constant Sound sees Josh Baker and Alfie Jack team up following their excellent joint outing on Aesthetic earlier this year. We open up with a seductive blend of minimal tech beats and plush, trance-licked synths on "Conquest Of Time", which is promptly followed up by the leaner, heads-down grooves of "5am Club" for the deeper dancefloor contingent. "Shake Effect" is a feisty offering with a bassy strut, snappy samples and lashings of atmospheric FX, and then "Devon Break" flips the script with a rolling breakbeat number peppered with acidic blips and bloops.
Review: Icelandic imprint Lagaffe Tales are back after another awesome instalment, following up a great one by label chief Jonbjorn. Their latest is the debut of one Kerr Wilson. A good friend from back in Reykjavik, he's been based out of Berlin for the past few years and is slowly building a name for himself with his ecstatic DJ performances around the city. On the 'Kids' EP he brings forth three dynamic cuts, starting out with the sensual and dusty deep house of the title track, a poignant tribute to his new home on the mesmerising electro beat of "Berlin Took My Breath Away" and closing it out with the evocative stepper "The Right Left".
Review: Having spent the last few years building up her reputation as a DJ (she was already well-regarded as a producer), it seems fitting that Avalon Emerson has been given a chance to showcase her style on K7's long-running DJ Kicks mix series. The mix itself is a club-ready doozy, slickly moving through house, techno, Italo-disco and rave. There are naturally many highlights on this DJ-friendly un-mixed version (her mix is included as a bonus track), including the loppy disco-house hedonism of Soundstream, the intergalactic, acid-fired goodness of Lady B, the bouncy Afro-techno of Oceanic, and the breakbeat-driven brilliance of Waveform's 1998 gem "Breakers In Space (D.A.T Remix)". Throw in a sprinkling of her own unreleased productions and remixes and you have an essential collection of club-ready cuts.
Review: The veteran of challenging, cross-genre experimentation and collaboration, Innervisions staple Henrik Schwarz returns to the Berlin-based imprint. The 'Together' EP heralds the third decade of the millennium and a collaboration with SelamX studio. Features the high tech soul epic "Come Together" with its life-affirming chord progression and stunning operatic vocals that are altogether geared for some glassy-eyed and bittersweet moments on the dancefloor, followed by the uplifting deep house of "Omnibus" that's awash in a stunning tapestry of lush melodies and glistening pads. Another terrific effort by a true master.
Review: It has been exactly a year since Iranian DJ/producer Ardalan Noghre-Kar dropped his massive 'Mr Good' LP on the always reliable Dirtybird label. Now Claude Vonstroke & Co. serve up a series of remixes from the San Francisco-based artist's debut album, with highlights coming from: Bostonians Soul Clap who get deep down and dirty on "I Can't Wait", Dirtybird alumnus Kyle Watson with a suitably wonky rendition of "Osci", Brazilian upstart Cour.T with a tough rolling and druggy perspective of "Zombie Village" and Seattle scene veteran Pezzner handing in a mesmerising version of "Orange Dreams". The album was widely admired by critics, DJs, fans and industry alike, and these remixes chase up its success perfectly.
Review: Working under his Polymod alias, Shadow Child recorded this release during lockdown. He collaborated with Sasha on the title track, and the label owner's influence is audible on the vocal snippets and synth stabs that accompany the tough, steely rhythm. Flying solo for the rest of the release, Shadow Child goes deeper with the woozy synth hooks of "Clouds", while on "A New Zero", he opts for a more restrained approach, as ominous bass underpins dreamy, floating melodies. "Rain" is on a more stripped back tip, with the storied producer dropping a ponderous bass that underpins tripped out but still melancholic melodies.