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.
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: 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: 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: 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: Let's Play House have not said much about Eluize, the artist behind their latest EP, but we can confirm that the mysterious producer has hit the spot. Opener "She Only Counts To Eight" is addictive an intoxicating - an undulating, synthesizer-heavy affair that sits somewhere between druggy deep house and the kind of psychedelic, Middle Eastern-inspired chugging nu-disco more associated with the Disco Halal imprint. The more tech-tinged and melodious "Be Easy" is similarly inclined and "Apart" is a feverish, acid-fired affair. "Illuminated" comes in two different forms: an original mix that updates Italian dream house for a new era and a 39 second spoken word DJ tool. There are two takes on "Morning", too: a hybrid Italo-disco/piano-sporting deep house club cut and a beat free "Lonely Melody" mix.
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: 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: Long may be the days of seeing Sascha play to small rooms of Nottingham legend, the spirit and soul of such a perspective can perhaps be best felt in its very essence here. With trance ala mode right now more than some genres, its popularity goes in hand with Sascha and his work defining the genre as his own. It's here then that Sascha's music continues its course by venturing into a vocal decay of up tempo rhythms, melo-phoria and sunsetting synths and deemed special enough to close out fabric's 20th anniversary mix.
Review: Brazilian born, Sydney-based DJ and producer Hoten started his music career at the age of 16 years old, when he was first introduced to clubbing and started playing at venues around town. He now presents his debut two tracker "Mind Games" on the British imprint Knee Deep In Sound. Although it's his debut for the label, boss man Hot Since 82 has been playing his tracks all around the world, as well as many other heavyweights in the industry. The title track is hypnotic, slinky and downright sensual and sure to cause drama on whatever dancefloor it's played on - with its come hither vocal. Hoten picks up the energy levels on next offering "Maps Of The Future" which takes an energetic deep house direction, full of captivating melodies and powerful drum programming.
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: According to Gerd Janson, "Gordon" is one of those records you hear out loud in a party and fall in love with instantly. Made one day before Miami's infamous Rakastella party, it was a particular track he hoped to snap up for release on Running Back - as it was one of the highlights during a shared slot with the Life & Death head honcho. The much lauded Atmo version is the typical style of moody dancefloor drama you've come to know from the famed Italian and led by its seductive female vocal. The never edit featured here is fantastic rework with more of a bouncy uplifting feel optimized for proper main room dynamics. This is followed by the sunny and uplifting deep house vibe of "Strack".
Review: Since founding their 17 Steps label in 2014, Dusky has barely stepped away from the imprint. Kudos to Gerd Janson, then, for persuading the British duo to offer-up this EP on his lauded Running Back kabel. They start in typically sweaty and bombastic fashion with "Boris Borrison's Trip To Morrisons", a soaring and life-affirming chunk of warehouse-ready peak-time madness built around a dirty, Italo-disco style arpeggio bassline, glassy-eyed rave stabs and tactile electronics. "Static" is a bustling but dreamy affair whose combination of swirling vocal samples, weighty sub bass and crackling breakbeats recalls the early days of British dance music. "Lea Valley", another retro-futurist affair that combines deep musical touches with heavy bottom end pressure, is similarly sizable.
Review: Fresh off releases for Diynamic and Sasha's Last Night On Earth, German duo Gheist are back with a riveting outing on their local institution Watergate - and if this doesn't mean they've now hit the big time then we don't know what does! The Zukunft EP is a fitting name for its futurist house excursions, for example the euphoric and tough rolling tech house anthem by the name of "Disclose Yours" with its hands in the air piano melody which will really get in your head, followed by the title track with its moody electro breaks that is sure to get dome drama happening on the dancefloor.
Review: Parisian pair Politics of Dancing have decided to celebrate the 5th birthday of their namesake record label by release a string of EPs containing unheard tracks from friends and contemporaries. Naturally they feature on "Part 1" with "Peace", a deliciously deep early morning workout that wraps dreamy pads and dubbed-out synthesizer riffs around an especially huggable electronic groove. There are naturally plenty of highlights elsewhere across the EP though. Check first Boris Werner's "Omar Coming", a chugging and bass-heavy affair rich in mind-altering electronic effects, funky bass and layered percussion, before gaping in wonder at the New York, mid-1990s vibes of Djebali and Stephan Bazbaz's "J'Adore". The contribution by Rowlandz, a thickset number that matches a chunky groove with jaunty Clavinet stabs and electric piano flourishes, is also luscious.
Review: Hanseatic heroes Diynamic present the next installment in their Picture series, with the local duo Adana Twins showcasing their rich palette of styles - on six productions ranging from laid-back house vibes to vibrant techno. From the emotive pop inflections of "My Computer" featuring Glowal's moving vocal performance, to the majestically hypnotic "Maoa", the epic dancefloor drama of "C3Po" and the moody neon-lit nu disco vibe of "Little Karlo" - this release sees the pair at their very best. Breaking through in 2012, with first-class releases on Exploited and Watergate - where they hold a residency and released their much lauded edition of the in-house mix CD-series, Benjamin Busse & Friso Traas have remixed for big names such as Fritz Kalkbrenner, WhoMadeWho, Kaiserdisco and Nic Fanciulli along the way.
Review: Deep, techy, tribal grooves with a multicultural flavour are the order of the day on this four-track EP, which sees Disco Halal boss Moscoman teaming up with Ukrainian producer The Organism. The Extended Mix of 'Rite' itself is the standout, burrowing its way into your consciousness with three minutes of simple, chugging beats and sleazy, throbbing bass before unleashing its distinctive breathy, chanted Afro vocal and twisting, flute-like lead. The accompanying Disco Halal remix has a slightly more Middle Eastern feel, while 'Chumbai' and 'Rubab' are more standard tech fare but hold their own alongside some tough competition.
Review: After a long hiatus, London talent Freddie Frampton is back! His history in dance music stretches back to the acid house heyday and by 1991 he was DJing alongside the likes Seb Fontaine, Luke Neville and Craig Richards. Becoming a resident at The Emporium and Leopard Lounge, he appeared regularly at Bagleys, Ministry Of Sound, The Cross, Limelight and Tunnel Club, as well as setting up his own ventures. Making a return to production in 2018, he's certainly making up for lost time with this new thriller for Knee Deep In Sound. The Blend EP features the sublime progressive house magic of "Shine", the slinky and hypnotic tech house of "When You're Alone" and the tension filled dancefloor drama of "Miss Mouse" - which is perfect to lead into the peak time with its evocative, blues-style vocals.
Review: Following up some terrific grooves for Robsoul, Kwench and Music For Freaks of late, Toronto's Kevin Dennis Pierre aka Demuir continues his fine recent run of form with a thrilling three tracker on Loco Dice's Desolat label. The Mindset EP is some of the most fiercely energetic music we have seen from the producer yet, as proven on the punchy high octane techno of "Mindset - Progress Waits For None", he throws down some groovy jackin' disco loops in the vein of hometown heroes like Nick Holder and DJ Sneak - the latter also used the same hook once upon a time on "Disco Ain't Jack" and there's more of the same on the smooth Rhodes action of "Yuh Chat Too Much".
Review: Pato Watson and James Rod think that nu-disco has had its day. Instead, they've decided to champion "Disco Nu". So how does it differ to the shiny, synth-laden sound of nu-disco? Well, for starters its' dark and driving, with echo-laden spoken word snippets and trippy guitar sounds rising above unfussy drums and a bassline that's powerful, heavy, druggy and thrusting. There are synth riffs, too, though they're sharper than your average nu-disco workout. Tony Disco delivers the first remix, a low-slung affair that wraps breezy house pianos round a no-nonsense disco-house groove. In contrast, the "Deep Rating Version" is a delay-laden dub disco excursion rich in sustained synthesizer chords, crashing cymbals and elastic bass. All three versions are top-notch, though we probably prefer the latter.
Review: The Lost Scripts project returns to follow up 2016's Hiverned #4 EP. Hivern Discs chief John Talabot and the ever reliable Pional now restart a series of releases featuring some of the jams they have been recording during these past years between Barcelona, Madrid and Giske (Norway). Speaking of the latter, the slow motion groove of "Giske" is an utterly hypnotic and mesmerising minimal techno journey deep underwater, while "Mozart" is more upbeat, featuring an abundance of dancefloor dynamics on this evocative and majestic deep house journey - equal parts tension and suspense throughout.
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: Tibi Dabo is the name of a mountain that overlooks Spanish producer Max Guardans' hometown in Barcelona. Following up a great debut on Sasha's Last Night On Earth a couple of years back, he returns under Damian Lazarus' guidance - following up last year's offering "La Dorada" which was picked up by his Rebellion imprint. This new EP showcases Guardans' ability to create evocative music, with a musical maturity beyond his years. Features the uplifting and sunkissed summertime groove of "Her Moon" and its riveting chord progression, the deep and darkly hypnotic "It's All Behind" geared for some real moments of tunnel vision on the dancefloor, and finally, the glacial and cavernous dub techno textures of "Nowhere Beach" taking you further down the spiral.