Review: Truncate debuts on Pets Recordings with a fine jacking release. "Pressure" sees the US producer divert somewhat from his chosen script, dropping a raw, analogue track. Built on a skeletal rhythm and pile-driving percussive, these elements support a pitch-bent vocal. The title track marks a return to the type of sound that Truncate is more commonly known for. However, in part, the aesthetic of "Pressure" remains, thanks to the use of insistent percussion and intense siren riffs unravelling over one of Truncate's typical rolling groove. DJ Haus is tasked with reworking "Pressure" and turns in an excellent version that focuses on fusing the vocal sample with a grinding bass.
Review: Delivering his first piece of solo produced music for more than a decade, Hot Creations welcome the legendary Danny Tenaglia with "Don't Turn Your Back" - a sweltering and hypnotic tribal tech house workout that calls to mind the seminal sounds he was responsible for at the turn of the millennium. On remix duties are some equally legendary figures of electronic music: Harry "Choo Choo" Romero of Subliminal fame injects some latin flair into the track, while the larger than life Carl Cox delivers not one but two renditions - the tough and functional main remix with dub techno inflections, and a slinky rolling groove on his "ASW" remix.
Review: Each edition of the Four To The Floor series always presents four tracks that are some of the strongest secret weapons from the sets of label co-head Solomun. Now in its 16th installment, be captivated by Lone Romantic Maceo Plex on the epic dancefloor drama of "Mutant Magic" and its killer vocal, Canadian veteran Fairmont is in fine form and serves up the moody tunnel vision of "Plastic Head TV" while Nico Garreaud's "Louisville Lip" (Abaze edit) is aimed squarely at the main room at peak time and The Vinyl Depreciation Society provide more sonic narratives - best heard under the strobelight - on "Princept".
Review: Nick Curly and Gorge are certainly glad to have the legendary British player Danny Howells back on 8bit Records. Proper house music in all its styles and variations here, much in the vein of last year's celebrated appearance for the label - the amazing Whiterock EP. Features the low slung yet emotive percussive house thriller "Players", in addition to the sweltering disco inflected funk attack of "Retreat", right through to the slinky and hypnotic tech house journey of "Mayfeels" harking back to his glory days as a tastemaker on the progressive house scene at the turn of the millenium. That being said, this industry veteran is now displaying some of his most exhilarating output yet.
Review: First unleashed on vinyl this time last year, Flight Mode and Joel Brittain's first collaborative EP has finally made it to digital download. This is undoubtedly a good thing, because "Burn This" is superb. In its' original form, the track is a near perfect fusion of dub disco heaviness - chunky bass guitar, delay-laden horn snuppets, crunchy drums - and the kind of electronic instrumentation and mood-enhancing chords more often found in straight-up deep house cuts. There are two tidy accompanying remixes: a sparkling, synth-heavy Balearic house revision by Medlar and a suitably trippy, spaced out Flight Mode dub that's arguably even more driving and floor-friendly than the original mix.
Sigh (Sunset At Experimental Beach mix) - (6:10) 120 BPM
Review: The latest instalment of the Picture series comes from Sasha Carassi, who has previously released on labels such as Drumcode and Harthouse. Drawing on dreamy synths and airy melodies, both "The Crow's Battle" and "Elethnic" are reflective but also clubby, with the latter in particular resounding to a powerful bass and ponderous vocal samples. Elsewhere, Carassi combines disco house and Italo influences for the clubby "Spaceballad", while on "Neurotic Saturday", the Italian producer fuses warbling acid with insistent brass samples for an infectious house track. Clearly, Carassi is a talented, versatile producer and the spacious production and tripped out samples of "Vega" prove that he can turn his hand to a variety of styles.
Review: Shadow Child aka Simon Neale returns with a bang to Hot Creations. The title track is a wild techy banger, peppered with the type of high-pitched squelches that Timo Maas used to specialise in during the early 90s. Underpinned by a tough but bouncy bass, it makes for a superb piece of party techno. On "Get Busy", Neale delivers a stripped back but equally effective track; powered by rolling snares and featuring an insistent vocal sample at its heart, once again, the use of surging bass is sure to keep dance floors busy. Mark Broom also weighs in with a remix of "DBG", turning it into a rolling, filter-heavy techno track that is infused with incessant disco stabs.
Review: "Back & Forth" is the collaboration between Chi-town legend DJ Sneak and Miami booty-bass hero Jesse Perez. It is a dope hip-hop jam that features vocals from KE and reminiscent of the '90s with its broken drum beat and spoken word lyrics. Sneak himself says that he wanted to create 'a street smart dance floor track with powerful latino sounds and all the right ingredients for a club banger'. Young Brazilian talent DJ Lukke is first to remix it, co-produced alongside Blakkat aka Mark Bell goes for a bass-heavy reggaeton influenced bounce while the legendary Ricardo Villalobos goes deep into the afterhours with his hypnotic minimalist rendition that is as idiosyncratic as ever,
Review: It seems to strange, in 2019, to think that Robert Hood was once best known for dark, pounding techno, such has been the success of his more house- and gospel-inspired Floorplan project in recent years. This third long-player finds the father-and-daughter duo in fine fettle, serving up 10 cuts that marry house and disco's sense of groove and musicality to the dancefloor energy that Hood learned during his Underground Resistance years, with wailing church organs helping to provide the album's standout moments on tracks like 'Dance Floor' and 'His Eye Is On The Sparrow'. An uptempo, genre-defying triumph.
Review: Five years on from the first outing on Running Back, Genius of Time twosome Alexander Berg and Nils Krogh return to Gerd Janson's imprint with their first single in two years. Predictably, the Swedish duo is in fine form, delivering a trio of contrasting cuts that really deserve your attention. First up is the pots-and-pans drumming, scat vocals, booming bass and spacey chords of "Peace Bird", a driving deep house cut that's as atmospheric as they come. "Smiling Into Eternity" is even deeper and more intergalactic, with the pair peppering a chunky groove with swirling electronics and jazzy electric piano solos. Arguably best of all, though, is the rubbery synth-bass, electro-influenced drums and space disco flourishes of closing cut "Rymd01".
Review: Bostonian Steve Darko has fast become a staple of west coast bass house institution Dirtybird in recent times. From his his viral hit "Fried or Fertilized" to his latest collab with VNSSA on "Wavy". He's back again with a new EP, featuring the much anticipated "That's Hot" - a boompty, bass driven and quirked out party starter featuring Oonagi and Big J. This is followed by the druggy minimal tech house groove of "I Miss Your Face" which is perfect tackle for the warm-up or afterhours alike.
Review: It has been quite a year for the Toolroom institution. Celebrating their 15th birthday last year, they weren't ones to rest on their laurels, instead going full steam ahead with a bunch of genre defining compilations this year. But most importantly they have been instrumental in the comeback of funky house after a 20 year dormancy, with killer releases by the likes of Weiss, Cashio and boss man Mark Knight himself. Add to that one banging party at Chicago Social Club for Amsterdam Dance Event and it's evident that these guys are proper 24 hour party people. With a glorious year sadly coming to an end, celebrate a wonderful one that was on Best Of Toolroom 2019 with highlights not limited to: the rework of the Cevin Fisher classic "Freaks Come Out" by Jack Back, Hannah Wants & Kevin Knapp's deep down and dirty "Call Me" (extended mix), UK heroes Alan Fitzpatrick & Wheats delivering the certified banger "M27" and New York legend Todd Terry teaming up with Tuff London on "Psychodrama" featuring Jasmien Nanhekhan. If that was not enough, ascendant producer Maxinne delivers two mixes compiling all the tracks: one smooth House mix followed by a thumping Tech House mix.
Review: Following his release on DJ Koze's Pampa label earlier this year, Robag Wruhme delivers a hypnotic dance floor EP for Kompakt. The title track revolves around a resonating bass, ticking steely percussion and a rolling groove. It's more ominous-sounding than Wruhme's usual style and has echoes of early 90s UK techno. While "Blymon" is also an effective, driving affair, its is more in keeping with Wruhme's stripped back minimal releases and this approach is audible in the pitch-bent drops and skeletal percussive loops. "Cassave" is the most abstract of all cuts, with a cacophony of tonal blips and murky stabs driving the arrangement.
Review: The ever reliable Frank Beckers and Sandrino Tittel (better known as Frankey & Sandrino to their Mums) return to Innervisions with with yet more of their epic dancefloor narratives - and taking up where they left off on 2017's Wega EP. From the emotive and melodic techno soul of "Mercury" to the deep sonar transmissions of "Gamma Ray" that will hypnotise the listener into submission with its complex arpeggiations this is some of the pair's finest work. Finally making way for "Zeta" to complete the package: a slow motion expression in minimalism that features classical musical motifs with linear synth sequences that were reminiscent of Robert Hood's earlier work.
Review: West coast bass house heroes Dirtybird are back, and showing ya'll exactly hows it's done - with none other than label head honcho Claude Vonstroke doin' the biz. After a year filled with lots of collaborations and remixes, he drops his new boompty thriller "Slink". The track is a typically funky, bass-driven minimal tech house jam highlighted by a catchy original vocal that sounds like it could have come from an '80s female rapper. While "Please Oh Please Oh Please" goes deep into the morning hours on this druggy and hypnotic serving of tunnel vision, powered by its weirdo monologue reminiscent of classics such as "Deep Throat".
Review: With Johannes Brecht's home labels clearly cut out for him, it's pretty safe to assume what does arrive from now on will be a slice of life. This fresh two-track for Pokerflat follows up previous drops for Steve Bug between 2013-15, and a fresh four years later he delivers two grand piano numbers whittled down in dub and decadence thanks to the framework of minimal techno and approaches to contemporary classic music. "Endangered Audio Research" takes the high road with resonating house atmospheres, deeper rhythms and and progressive builds of melodrama, while "State Of Consciousness" pitches the live playing of chords and pianos riffs with the synthesized percussion and analogue basslines of machines. Bonafide.
Review: Australia's Balance Music is known for its quality mixes by the very finest in the underground music circuit. With previous compilations by the likes of New York's Danny Tenaglia, Deetron and Funk D'Void, among others, this is as close to a Fabric mix as you can get without those shiny tin cases. Ex-minimal legend turned all-out techno queen Magda steps up for number 27 in the series, and it's nothing but vibes on this one. Amalgamating shreds of stripped back techno - Marcel Dettmann, DVS1, Samuli Kemppi - together with newer, more underground sounds from some of the most cutting-edge labels around - Marco Bernardi's Sandman project, TTT's Minor Science, XDB and Shackleton - the Minus legend shows why she's still one of the best in the game and a true expert at evolving her aesthetic. A great mix, dig in.
Review: You can always count on British producer Mike Green aka Fort Romeau to provide epic and majestic and dancefloor drama, material that's been been heard on Permanent Vacation, Running back and Correspondant in recent times. He returns to Live At Robert Johnson to follow up 2016's Secrets & Lies with two brand new tracks here. Featuring the mesmerising dancefloor drama of "Dweller On The Threshold" awash in a dazzling array of rich melodic synth tapestries, while the moody and heads-down hypnotism of "Kontra Punkte" will entrance you deep into submission with its intoxicating bell textures - reaching near moments of sonar transmission.
Review: Newcastle-based Patrick Topping recently launched his Trick label ( and an equally successful event series of the same name) and he's back with its next instalment, featuring the electrifying retro jacker "Turbo Time". This is followed by the tunnelling peak time banger "Let Wa Gan" and getting back to the program in neon-lit fashion on the glittering synthpop thriller "Galaxy" featuring Liset Alea on vocals. After recent appearances on Unknown To The Unknown and Hot Creations, Topping continues with his rather impressive musical output of late.