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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Oona Dahl is the New York-based producer, DJ and sound designer that has cultivated a curious and evocative sound going back almost 10 years, releasing quality cuts on Anjunadeep, Hallucienda, and of course All Day I Dream - where she has become a regular at Lee Burridge's iconic party series. Her new one comes courtesy of Berlin institution Watergate: "Godtripper" is a mesmerising excursion in minimal tech house with strong acid inflections that accentuate the track's euphoric qualities, remixed by Amsterdam veteran Patrice Baumel up next. The next original offerings are a collaboration with fellow New Yorker Dance Spirit: the ethereal mood music of "Manic Space" followed by the deep and sweltering tribal house workout "Universe Within You".
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: 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: 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: 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: 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: The star of Berlin-based Russian Yulia Niko continues to rise, with this new release on Watergate which follows up a terrific run of EPs on taste maker labels like Crosstown Rebels, Dee-P-erfect and Nervous. Dub techno, minimal and early '90s techno collide on her latest moody thriller titled 'Manifesto' which receives two reworks by globetrotting Frenchman YokoO on the flip. The All Day I Dream staple takes the track further into glacial and cavernous territory on his haunting Defragmentation mix, until things get more upbeat and optimistic on the deep and sensual Vegas mix - featuring a helping hand from London-based Italian Francesco Mami.
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: Roll out the red carpet as bouncing UK duo Camelphat arrive on Moon Harbour with vocals from Cari Golden. "Freak" sees the pair, still hot from collaborations with Riva Starr and other records on Circus Recordings, turn in an industrial tinged vocal single preaching all matter of seduction and sin to the self-isolating dancers out there. Bossman himself Matthias Tanzmann beefs up the original in a bassline driven, tribal house context with edited vocals for the best of fever dreams! To the club!
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.
Review: It's over to Deco boss Manuel De Lorenzi from Italy, who follows up up a great one recently on Deeperfect to inaugurate Politics Of Dancing's new digital sub label. The tough rolling minimal tech house of "Seguitemi" will hypnotise you into submission from the first beat (it also receives a groovy and hypnotic rework by the label boss himself at the end) while the afterhours is catered for on the sensual deep house vibe of "Looking At You" and on "Like The Stars" De Lorenzi channels the feelgood energy of late '90s funky house.
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: Bringing a progressive, melodic and breakbeat sound back out of the Australian hinterland is three-piece Broson, still reeling from their breakout self-titled album released this year on Ninja Tune. Blending R&B infused vocals sung in breathy Junior Boys-like textures, the group's housey flavours, trance and new age rave elements are brought out in a new set of colours by the likes of Skream's deep club mix to "Know Me" alongside the modular twinkles and UK sub bass of Blip Discs debutat, O'Flynn ("Vaults). Heavy and subbed-out kicks bring a dubbed out groove to Tunnelvisions' remix of "Dawn" (feat Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs) with Defected act Offaiah bringing a creamy smooth mix to "Heart Attack" (feat Lau.ra). Progressive trance heads: look to Cassian for his remix of the album's original hit number "Know Me".
Review: Hailing from the Dutch-Carribean island of Curacao, brother-and-sister duo Andy & Dorothy Sherman have become one of electronic music's most well loved pairings. With previous releases on Defected and Dirtybird, the ascendant duo now add the ever reliable Hot Creations to the list. From the swing-fuelled Afro house bounce on "Bon Bini", to the boompty and jazzy deep house of "OK Cool Aight" featuring ConQuer Jones, to the wonky and disorienting afterhours jam of "Breathe" featuring Agent Sasco - there's all you need right here!
Review: With Tel Aviv duo Red Axes' ode to the sun still running strong; one and a half years after its release: here comes the heavyweight remix package. German wunderkind Konstantin Sibold takes the original into afro rave territory with voodoo percussion and a haunting bassline that will be hard to escape from. Fango from the Italian label Degustibis continues his string of strong remixes as he turns the original into a rough beat version: just drop the melody in the break for maximum dancefloor mayhem. And last but not least the Axes themselves come up with a tropical house version that works any time any place. And thus the sun continues to shine.
Review: Running since 2016, London's Strictly Flava imprint describe their musical remit simply as "underground house and garage". That description sounds almost quaint as 2021 looms, but it's also a good clue as the trad-style vibes served up herein by the mysterious Blo. 'Clouds' is a late-night deep house groover par excellence, all warm bass and lingering pads with occasional cheeky, voicebox-like synth doodles on top, while the equally sumptuous 'Groovin' leans more towards classic deep New Jersey garage - in fact, we'd go so far as to say that if you'd spun this at +6 at the Frog & Nightgown, no-one would have batted an eyelid!
Review: Hailing from Leeds, the Night Giants are by their own admission a melting pot of The Chemical Brothers, Underworld, Bonobo and Caribou - and they bring all the aforementioned influences to their incredible live sets. They return to Manchester's Sprechen label with their new Selector EP featuring the chugging and hypnotic energy of the title track (which receives an awesome liquid drum 'n' bass remix by Eskimoh), the blissed-out sunset breaks of "Tremble" and the funky party starter "Twist & Drop" which also receives a low slung nu-disco remix by Paper Street Soul (Ever After / Redlight). More great stuff from Chris Massey's label.
Review: After making his name with suitably muscular EPs on Honey Soundsystem and The Bunker NYC, Justin Cudmore popped up on Phonica White in 2018 with two tracks of tech-house/acid house fusion. He's returned to his roots on this first outing for the London label since then, romping his way through sleazy and hypnotic big-room bounce (strangely addictive opener "Train Dance"), retro-futurist late night house sauciness (the foreboding, "Brown Album"-era Orbital electronics of "Club Fetish"), acid-fired, breakbeat-boasting sweatiness (the riotous peak-time fun of "Expectation Game"), and intoxicating late night disco-tech (the Dinosaur Junior beats, angular electronics and trippy samples of "Realize").