Review: After starting his career like a whirling dervish, Hot Since 82 man Daley Padley has slowed down considerably in recent times. In fact, this expansive, eight-track collection of cuts is his most significant release for over two years. Padley hits the ground running with deep and picturesque tech-house shuffler "Vapours", before reaching for the wonky synth bass, Balearic house pianos and ricocheting percussion hits on "Tilted". A trio of typically tidy vocal cuts (including Jem Cooke-voiced former singles "Buggin" and "You Are The Light) follows before Padley unleashes the celebratory, sample-heavy peak-time madness of "Bloodlines". Cooke returns to speak seductively over some late night grooves on "Street Lights", while closing cut "Remains of the Day" is a near symphonic deep house rush.
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: Permanent Vacation co-head Tom Bioly's musical output has hit a new high in recent times, with the Munich based artist having gone solo after previous collaborations with partner Benjamin Froelich. He released a series of wonderful remixes of last year's "Night Heat" single and of course 2017's electro-noir opus Heartbreak Hotel. Bioly returns with another fabulous full length here entitled A Call For Romance, where acid drops, string distortions, lushed melody bits, hushed robo vox and washed space guitars are layered and sprinkled over machine beats and disco drums.
Review: Parisian legend Cyril Etienne des Rosaies aka DJ Deep returns to his Deeply Rooted imprint, with some sturdy and functional tools on new series Raw Cuts, Vols 1 & 2. Originally released on vinyl earlier in 2019 and his first new material in two years, these tracks are a must have for any serious techno DJ and are a reflection of the French veteran's ear for what truly works on the dancefloor over the last 20 years. Prepare yourself for instinctive tracks that make a real mark and all delivered in his own unique style. Go deep into the rainforest on the evocative tribal trance of "Mindshift" or get strobed-out on the frantic tunnel vision of "Mandrum Main" on Vol. 1, while the second part's highlights are the entrancing late night acid of "Porte" and the greyscale dub techno stomper "Corridor Rodeo" loaded directly off the factory floor.
Review: Here is the first album on Berlin based Toy Tonics by label chief Kapote aka Mathias Modica: the Italo- German label owner, DJ and producer originally from Munich. His label stands for advanced funk-inspired dance music and that sure is evident on 'What Is It?', featuring plenty of live instruments, solos, clever uses of rare samples and a wide range of musical inspirations. Highlights not limited to: the slo-mo disco funk of "Jaas Func Haus", the sexy Italo disco edit "Delirio Italiano", deeply filtered disco house on "Fuck Music" (Short) right through to the block rockin' beats of "Salva Tion" proving there is a diverse repertoire in Modica's sonic acts here.
Review: Since the departure of Dominic Butler, Factory Floor's Gabriel Gurnsy and Nik Colk Void has consciously moved away from the Throbbing Gristle/Cabaret Voltaire inspired sound with which they made their name. On 25 25, their third full length, they continue this voyage. While there are occasional reminders of their industrial roots dotted throughout the album, the most obvious influences this time round are acid house and no-nonsense European techno. Their tracks have always been subtly shifting, full-throttle, groove-based affairs, of course, but this time round they seem more intent on sound-tracking breathless, 4am dancefloor moments, rather than showcasing their arty, experimental roots. That all of the eight tracks bang hard is a given.
Review: After presenting material on White, Batti Batti and ESP Institute, Brussels based producer/DJ Andrea Mancini aka Cleveland showcases an evolution of his sound into more minimalist and forward looking grounds - with another release on John Talabot's Hivern Discs. The seven tracks on NDSi are 'an exploration of futuristic soundscapes delineated with swirling tones, understated rhythms and ever-evolving patterns... often drawing inspiration from happy accidents with half broken synthesizers". Mancini presents some electronic music with a real soulfulness here: from the deep electro cut "Polar", the emotive tribal hose of "Dx6", the downbeat bleep IDM of "6lx" or on the hypnotic underwater techno of "Kobu".
Review: It's a surprise to see DMX Kru land on the Permanent Vacation imprint. After all, the legendary artist has pretty much focused on bold-faced acid antics for most of his illustrious career, but it is true that electro has also been a core component of his output. This style of electro, however, is much gentler and more dreamy that the usual industrial lashings that he churns out, making Nu Romantix a wonderful LP for lovers of both synth-pop and pure rave music. In fact, most of these tunes are hybrid in form and shape, rendering them effective in a multitude of situations, both on and off the rave-hall. The title is more than apt, too, with many of these tracks containing a clear 'nu-romantic' feel at their core, shaped by modern technology - hence the 'X' factor.
Review: It's been almost a year since Swiss duo Adriatique presented their much lauded full length effort 'Nude', and this fresh collection of reworks ensure they still get to live on in the (mind the pun!) - Afterlife. While household names such as label bosses Tale of Us (with Mathame), Keinemusik's Rampa and Solumun appear, it's definitely worth mentioning the more underground artists that they reeled in. Berghain resident Kobosil's barrelling and austere rework of "Tachykardia" keeps the sensual vocals of the original, but is absolutely geared for the peak time period of his acclaimed DJ sets at the Berlin institution. Italian trio Agents Of Time (Obscura) deliver a typically epic and entrancing journey into the deeper realms of dancefloor dynamics, and probably most surprising of all is the addition of Frankfurt minimal house legend Isolee who injects "Mystery" with his idiosyncratic style of emotive and glitching minimal funk.
Review: Israeli producer Yariv Etzion aka Stereo Underground has been very active within Tel Aviv's electronic music scene over the last decade. His musical output began 2009, and in his debut year he received high praise for his hypnotic, progressive sounds. Fast forward to the present day, he now presents his full-length debut album The Art Of Silence via esteemed Australian label Balance Music. It is the natural culmination of his efforts over the last decade, taking him 10 months of recording in a studio set up in the countryside. The project has always shown a great sense of musicality and ambition and it is sure evident on tracks like the title track with its slinky melody, subtle rhythms and soothing tones, the euphoric high octane dancefloor drama of "Above The Sea Of Fog" with its powerful trance inflections, or get lost in the moody and atmospheric progressive house epic "Echoes"
Review: Having built up his self-titled label alongside his sterling work as part of Oscillat, Lazare Hoche and Will & Ink, the one and only Malin Genie delivers his debut solo album. Moving beyond the pure club focus of his singles and EPs, the Genie has seized this opportunity to present a widescreen panorama of his sound, leading in with the subliminal ambience of "You" as a springboard to explore breaks, electro, techno, and especially IDM. There are so many ideas swirling round Anthropomorphic Sympathy, it's hard to know where to begin describing it. A true headphone commute for the deep listener to burrow into.
Review: It's been ten years since Pig & Dan first set their stall out as purveyors of vaguely progressive tech-house. Since then, they've released just one album - Imagine on Cocoon back in 2007 - but impressed tech-house DJs and critics with a series of well-received singles. Here they celebrate 10 years in the game with a second album of original material, this time for Glaswegian techno and house stalwarts Soma. It's perhaps not an ideal match - Pig & Dan's shuffling, soft focus take on techno seems at odds with the label's fun time remit - but Decade is at least an impressive collection of club tracks. There are few surprises, but plenty of atmospheric, bubbling cuts to tickle the fancy of tech-minded DJs (see the excellent "Doing It For Yourself" and percussive "Natives").
Review: It would be fair to say that Eli Escobar's second album, Shout, is not a carefree affair. Inspired by his growing anger at American politics, it's a much more poignant and melancholic affair than his party-hearty debut album. As such, the 15-track set is arguably his strongest collection to date, with cuts such as "Nightmare Rag", the gospel influenced disco deep house cry for freedom "The People", twisted and intense "ANGR", blissfully slick and tactile "City Song" and superb "Going On?" - a kind of sorrowful deep house update of Marvin Gaye's most heartfelt work - proving that Escobar is a far more thoughtful and musically savvy producer than many incorrectly believed. There are plenty of groovy and quietly positive moments, too, fuelled by Escobar's belief that love may be the answer to America's mounting problems.
Review: Permanent Vacation label head honcho Benjamin Froehlich serves up 22 adventurous dance tracks from the past, present and future here on the Rude Collection. Includes 10 original tracks by Froehlich himself that were released on the Rude Movements EPs in 2016/17 respectively, as well as 12 remixes - four of them being brand new. The tracks featured are a splendid variety of nu-disco ("Holloway"), classic house ("Drawn City") and acid house ("Amos"). The remixes are equally terrific with highlights coming from the Live At Robert Johnson affiliated retrovert Chinaski reworking "Drawn From Memory" in an Italo fashion, Hamburg's Yannick Labbe (ORS/Sonar Kollektiv) remixing "Computer Riot" in slo-mo neon-lit style and Jack Pattern reinterpreting "Spitting Image" into a sludgy EBM slow burner.
Review: Luke Slater is a survivor. Not in the physical sense, even though he has lived enough for three people, but because two decades after the UK producer started putting out music, his latest album features moments where the listener is forced to admit that it follows a path that few others have dared to venture down. The main reason for Slater's ongoing artistic relevance is down to him opting for a new approach. Whereas during the golden age of UK techno he was writing his own rules as he went, gifting the world "Booster", "In From The Night" and My Wise Yellow Rug", in his modern-day incarnation he has learnt invaluable insights from the output of those he influenced, absorbing their nuances as a starting point. However, he then applies his own wonderfully skewed thinking, which explains the panning, whiplash rhythm of "Bell Blocker", a track that sounds both familiar and utterly alien, or "Wriss", which - unusually for Slater's techno productions - features a vocal snippet. Invariably, comparisons will be made to other Ostgut artists, but it's hard to imagine any of them daring to even imagine a track like "Rip The Cut". In true PAS form, the beats sound like they're exploding from the speakers as the bass patterns build and build to the point of distortion, tempered only by reverberating claps.
Review: Long standing hero of the Berlin scene and Stil Vor Talent chief Oliver Koletzki steps up to present a fine collection of remixes for his label's next installment. He's been crafting for prolific friends and outstanding musicians for close to a decade, and for Remix Tales Koletzki has now compiled his personal favourites (with some previously unreleased ones too). Features his emotive take on German duo HVOB's "Dogs", Frank 'Ame' Wiedemann and Ry 'X' Cuming's Howling project on "Stole The Night", through to legends such as French Touch pioneers Cassius on "Toop Toop" and NYC electroclash icons Fischerspooner on "The Best Revenge". Keep your ears peeled for his upcoming full length which will be released very soon.
Review: Given his phenomenal track record and no-nonsense approach, the arrival of a new Robert Hood album - albeit under his alternative Floorplan alias - should send a tingle of excitement down the spine of any self-respecting techno connoisseur. Paradise, his first album as Floorplan, largely eschews the intergalactic flavours of 2012's Motor: Nighttime World 3 (we say largely, as the hypnotic "Change" is undeniably Detroitian in outlook), in favour of tracks that take his rolling, stripped-back aesthetic in a variety of different directions. So, we get the funk-sampling "Baby, Baby", the soulful shuffle of "Never Grow Old" (deep house techno, anyone?), and the rush-inducing, piano-laden blast of "Confess". Impeccable... as usual.
Review: The debut album by Dirtybird staple Ardalan Noghre-Kar consists of 11 tracks with an experimental twist, said to tell the story of the San Francisco-based producer's own coming of age tale He tells a story of self-acceptance and the goal towards becoming a perfect person, by way of learning to be yourself in a society where we're forced to hide our true traits and flaws. So yes, it's pretty deep, philosophically, but musically it's as obtuse, bass heavy and as much of a hot-damn party starter that you've come to expect from Claude Vonstroke & Co! Highlights include: the razor sharp bounce n' bass of opener "I Can't Wait", the sensual late night deep house of "Osci" with L.A. songstress Claire George, plus some throwback mid '00s electro house (of the dirtiest kind) on "Mr Good" (feat Party Patty) and the boomin' afterhours vibe of minimal thriller "Strength" (feat Erica Dee).
Review: The legendary Peter Kremier returns with another distinct take on deep house. The Frankfurt native constantly reinvents his sound and can never be pinned down to one particular style - but he's always impressive. Although closely affiliated with local institution Playhouse, his long awaited fourth album (his first in nearly a decade) comes courtesy of British label Hypercolour. Island Time features a bunch of understated house grooves for discerning dancefloors and the afterhours alike. From the glitching minimal funk of "Boppin Lower", the lo-fi jazz of "Gold Tooth", the sunny and hypnotic deepness of "There We Were" that's reminiscent of sounds on his tremendous Another Picture imprint. There's also the moody late night mysteriousness of "Square Down Smoother" that's classic Kremier all the way. All killer no filler from one of the modern masters - you all need this!
Review: A collection of the German duo's collaborations stretching back to the middle of the last decade, Luna shows that good ideas and original production never age. Although this release features a long list of high-profile remixers - our favourites include Moritz Van Oswald's dubby, understated take on "Phobos" and Roman Flugel's spiky house version of "The Phoenix" - the duo's own productions are the real highlights. Both "Luna" and "Atlas" are underpinned by mid-tempo, unfussy rhythms and pulsing basslines, with the latter unfolding to reveal a spine-tingling melody. "Callisto" is an evocative ambient piece reminiscent of classic Eye Q and the epic synths on "Hydra" relive that distinctive central European sense of melancholia that Kraftwerk pioneered.
Review: Having given keen listeners a healthy preview in his Fabriclive mix last year, the artist formerly known as Stopmakingme delivers his full-length album for Erol Alkan's Phantasy Sound. It's a limber brew that channels a strong dose of analogue trickery through smart and snappy beat constructions, all bubbling, aquatic synths and troubled delays propelled by unfussy drum patterns so that the melodies can do the talking. Primarily this is a dancefloor album, moving from peppy breakbeat driven numbers to gently bumping house, but always the playful, ineffably warm synth work sets the tone, from "Naive Response"s robotic charm to "Drone Logic"s soaring grind. It's an album brimming in confidence and nailed with precision, and it's packed full of incredibly usable floor rockers to boot.