Review: With their Superfriends label stronger than ever German duo andhim were first spotted coming through the ranks via releases on Terminal M and a hatrick of releases for Get Physical in the mid-2010s. Much like when their track "Hausch" was spliced up by a cast of Kompakt, Strictly Rhythm and Pampa Records elite, this time for their own label andhim seek remixes from the fresh talents of Innervisions' Toto Chiavetta's, some gnarly techno from genre everlong Niel Landstrumm in addition to Frank Music's Johannes Albert with the huge house keys in "Aires". Exotic percussion and rhythms keep the EP cosmic with newcomer Kalupke's take on "Buenos" as does the exotic chiptune and Italo cof Chiavetta's Retro Mono remix to "Windows 85". An EP highlight. Save Landstrumm for the Tiga-toting rave remix of "Duno".
Review: With his strong penchant for emotive and euphoric dancefloor narratives as heard on Exit Strategy, Afterlife and Aeon - it was only a matter of time until Denis Horvat's sound became appreciated by Berlin imprint Innervisions. Since appearing on the label's Secret Weapons compilations a couple of times in the past, the rising Dane now makes his debut proper for the label - for the third and final installment of this trio of EPs. From the reflective mood music of opener "Tajna", to the soulful and evocative dancefloor drama of "Fragmental" or the moody futurist groove of "Pure Distance" - hammering the message home with that bit of power.
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: Melbournians GMJ and Matter AKA Gavin Martin & Matty Doyle have an established place in their legendary progressive house scene. It's fitting then that a release on local institution Balance is offered up here, with the duo forming powers with Queensland native Funkform for some excursions in slinky and entrancing night moves. From the deep tribal meditations of "Emerge" through to the Afro influenced dancefloor drama of "Solace" - we want to hear more from this mighty trio in 2020.
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: 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: Next up on Prins Thomas' ever reliable imprint is Bulgarian-born, Oslo-based DJ/producer Ivaylo - the man behind Bogota Records. He presents his second EP for Full Pupp here entitled Rumba Bulgara. As the name suggests, these are a bunch sweltering latin percussion workouts delivered with a distinct Balkan style - and they're pretty fresh. From the bass-driven shuffle of the title track, the hypnotic drums make a welcome return on the more minimalist and deeper "Delicate Tom" while final track "Percusial Acident" is a disjointed and off-kilter groove attack that's sure to get the dancefloor off the grid.
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: French DJ Klement Bonelli is the owner of Krome Records, in addition to appearances on Kaoz Theory, Rebirth and Nulu Electronic in recent times. For his new one on Dave Seaman's respected Selador imprint, the Lyon-based producer goes deep on the evocative dancefloor narrative of "Power 2 Persist" which receives a muscular remix by fellow Frenchman Citizen Kain, as well as an injection of captivating dancefloor drama by acclaimed Berlin duo Smash TV. If that was not enough, there is the added bonus of Umlilo Feat. Nontu's "X" which receives Bonelli's Tinnit Remix - this absolutely euphoric progressive house cut is sure to get the energy levels up - and captivate any club it's played at.
Review: London by way of Mt. Vesuvius duo M.F.S. Observatory return to Food Music for more quality house music on the De Bob EP, which follows up some great ones on Relief Records, Distortion and Daylight Robbery Records. From the intoxicating, afterhours minimal tech-house of "Neutra", to the boompty and funked-up banger that is the title track and "Acid Sprint" taking things down a much darker and sinister route in an early 2000s manner (similar to the first track) - it's clear that this hot Italian duo are on a roll at the moment and we're looking forward to what they have in store for 2020!
Review: Following a succession of acclaimed releases on Dext, Otik turns to Boogie Box for his latest release. Joining a label that includes STL and Appleblim in its catalogue may be daunting for some artists, but clearly Otik has no such concerns. The tile track is led by dubbed out drums and a subtle, stepping rhythm, while on "Unshut", he veers into deeper waters thanks to the use of blurry textures and ticking bleeps. On "Four Feet", Otik changes tact again, with a focus on atmospheric synths and organic drums, while Metrist rounds off the release with a busy, rhythm-heavy rework of "Feet..."
Review: Sao Paulo-based duo Phillipi & Rodrigo dropped their debut album 'Paciencia' on 2 Many DJs' DEEWEE imprint earlier this year, which pulsated with a euphoric beach party vibe and earned many accolades. Phillipi's solo project explores much darker territory on the new Amadurecimento EP, as heard on the old school Chicago house jack of "Sao Paulo" which features the nice addition of sweltering steel drums for great effect, the druggy afterhours disorientation of "Vibe De Verao" through to moments of hypnotic techno, even, as heard on the minimal "Gelo Seco" featuring Brazilian vocals once again - and even an EBM bassline for good measure!
Review: Since Muna Musik's gradual introduction to the scene in 2014 their regular various artist releases have lassoed a wide ranging and respected group of minimal, house and tech house tailing artists. Huxely joins the likes of Sascha Dive, DJ Wild, Timo Maas and Cassy in hooking up with the labels big show of names, and does so with the locked club rhythm "Halo". UK story telling of detuned observations adds an extra spot of psychedelica to the vocal mix, with Shaf Huse also given space for an instrumental version of clubby Brooklyn bounce number "Jus the Tip". Arpeggiated Italo house also from Chris Di Perri & Domenic D'Agnelli sits nicely inside with some hightailing minimal and acid funk from Sante too.
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: 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: Call us old school (or show offs) but we can remember the edition of Sven Vath in the mix back in 2002, where the German techno icon went back to back with legend Richie Hawtin. for an epic mix that's still talked about. The man from Frankfurt is still going with the series and once again carefully curating the very best in contemporary techno flavors - and mixing it altogether with his distinct Midas touch as always. Highlights not limited to: Life & Death affiliate Joseph Ashworth on the epic dancefloor drama of "Trooper", the ever reliable Swede Dorisburg doing his idiosyncratic style of deep tribal trance on "Internet Tension" and the surprising addition of Salon des Amateurs resident Charlotte Bendiks who goes into sublime mesmerizing territory on "Pasco". On the harder end of the spectrum, there are top shelf bangers from the likes of ROD ("Cambodia"), Inigo Kennedy ("2c3d2") and Detroit legend Robert Hood with "Reflector".
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: Italian crew Unknown Collective come correct on this latest Purism joint as they drop some seriously bumping deep house heat to get bodies popping with approval. "Nodi" is the consummate lead jam, all exuberant energy and rock solid functionality, just like a DJ's best friend should be. "Virgo" is, on the surface, a slinkier affair but don't be fooled as there's some serious weight in that bassline which will absolutely rock on a proper soundsystem. "Arya" is the dreamier cut of the EP - the groove is still solid, but there's a dreamy tone to the pad hovering in the background and the track is sprinkled with all kinds of extra sonic delights to toy with your mind at the hazy end of the dance.
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: Since its inception in 2015, Jeremy Olander's label and event series, Vivrant, has become a home to new and established artists such as Khen, Finnebassen, Henry Saiz and more - all presenting their unique take on melodic house and techno. Now it is releasing its first ever mix album for Melbourne's Balance Music - and also happens to be the first in Olander's career thus far. With this long overdue project, he is bringing two discs of exclusive music from himself (under his darker techno alias Dhillon), and friends such as La Fleur, Ejeca, Locked Groove, Marino Canal and Tim Engelhardt, in addition to newcomers like A Friend Of Marcus and Carl Dern. Olander stated that the mix 'encompasses what the label sounds like in 2019 and beyond.. a true manifestation of our style, and what it's grown to become in the four years since we started.'
Review: Yousef has gained a reputation over the years as a purveyor of dark house music, and this release doesn't disappoint. The title track is a tripped out affair that revolves around a snaking groove and eerie synths, with a mysterious vocal planted in the middle. "We Don't Need Yo Love" is deeper and more tripped out, with the Liverpool DJ delivering a rolling groove that resounds to tranced out synths and dramatic builds, realised against the backdrop of dramatic filters. Closing out the release is "Vivienne", a more left of centre track from Yousef, thanks to its vocal samples and infectious disco groove.