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Kenton Slash Demon – Sun review

Danish producers Silas Moldenhawer and Jonas Kenton are getting name-dropped by all the right people at the moment. KSD is actually the more electro extension of successful Danish band When Saints Go Machine, who specialise in quirky, dynamic and very memorable indie pop. Their more floor-orientated alter ego however has been enjoying high praise for their previous EP, Khattabi, and has had DJ support from the VonStrokes, Lucianos and Brodinskis over the world, among others.

Their long overdue follow-up, “Sun”, is a proper discoid monster and one that’s bound to become a firm favourite over the next few months. Starting with distressed loops of vocals thrown together at various pitches, it quickly finds its feet and kicks in with some sublime nu-disco beats and synths, reminiscent of Joakim or Duke Dumont. The middle breakdown is what really makes this tune a standout though – cutting the beat and adding almost medieval strings and drones over some loud echo kicks, it sounds swampy, warped and hugely engrossing.

Upcoming South African producer Portable aka Bodycode gets to show his stuff on the remix front, delivering an epic 11 minute version that uses the moody, strung out vocals for a long intro before slyly introducing delicate synth textures and finally a chilled acid bassline. With “Sun” being only the first in a trilogy of Kenton Slash Demon singles (collectively named “The Schwarzchild Solution”), on the evidence of this they should definitely be pretty mighty indeed.

Oliver Keens


Featured DJ Chart: Dapayk Solo

Dapayk Solo is one of the many musical monikers of Niklas Worgt, who has been producing since the early 90s. Starting off as a D&B and breakbeat DJ, Worgt began making techno in the early 2000s. He’s one half of the minimal-meets-pop project Dapayk and Padberg (alongside Eva Padberg), and started the Marek Bois pseudonym in 2006, with releases following on Trapez and Rrygular. After amassing a decade’s worth of music as Dapayk Solo, Worgt has just released a couple of superb compilations of his original work and remixes of his material. We thought it was the right time to have a peek into the mind of this fascinating artist and see what 12″s he’s been feeling this month.

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Juno Podcast: Minimal 39

Kick off your week with some seriously deep techno from the likes of Echologist, Apoena and Âme, courtesy of the Juno minimal podcast.

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Apoena – Falando Serio review

Boutique London imprint Stuga Musik returns with this double dose of dancefloor moodiness from Brazilian producer Apoena. It’s a worthy follow up to Och’s epic “Stops Out” 12”, which was released to launch the fledgling Autoreply offshoot and drew plaudits from house music cognoscenti ala Âme and Gerd Janson. Hailing from Porto Alegre, capital of the Rio Grande Do Sul state in extreme south of Brazil, Apoena shows a knack for combining the deep sounds of house and techno with a Latin flair for rhythm and percussion.

“Nuvem” kicks things off with shuffling snares riding along tension filled chords. “Bosque Em Flor” comes as a digital exclusive and maintains the opening track’s Sunday BBQ vibe, with enough attention placed to the build ups and drops to maintain a rolling groove. But it’s the title track “Falando Serio” that takes the cake for us here, with warm chords and claps forming the backdrop to a killer drum pattern. It’s worth putting on repeat a few times to let it sink in: a hypnotising, subtle beast.

Review: Aaron Coultate


Wolf + Lamb – Love Someone review

When first hearing that Wolf + Lamb’s debut LP is more like a disparate collection of tracks as opposed to an album proper, you would be forgiven for feeling a little cheated. Yet when you take it all on board it starts to make wonderful sense. The fact that it is a collection of songs seems fitting considering that they were made last year whilst on the road, gigging off the back of the success that has turned Gadi Mizrahi and Zev Eisenberg into a truly worldwide act these past eighteen months. The tracks were recorded in Zurich, Matt Tolfrey’s London studio, Berlin and of course, The Marcy Hotel in Brooklyn. All this seems right for the album as Wolf + Lamb are now recognised as much – perhaps even more so – in these European hotspots as they are in the US. The fact that there was a brief hiatus at the start of the year when Zev travelled and Gadi DJ’d and released slew of impressive solo productions also seems to round off the most important part of Wolf + Lamb’s history so far rather nicely. As of course, does the very fact the record is called Love Someone.

It is a short album but one that displays diversity and innovation, whilst keeping the deep house sound at its core. No tracks display their diversity more than the experimental art-jazz workout “Monster Love” which is as detached from dance music as they could conceivably go. The record comes with all the emotion that has littered the Wolf + Lamb label catalogue and parties also. Tracks like the slow, dubbed out “Sunshine Boogie,” “Want Your Money” and “Therapist” display a kind of melancholic attitude twisted around their sleek and minimal, deep underground tastes whilst title track “Love Someone” unashamedly jumps into a joyous celebration of funk, house and general good times. Label cohort Dyed Soundorom also makes an appearance with a lush remix and we see Wolf + lamb’s experimental approach to dance music bear some delicious results from “I Know You’re Leaving”, “I’m” and “Must Be Brooklyn”.

Review: Tom Jones


Juno Podcast: Minimal 38

James Ruskin, Nicolas Jaar and Baby Ford are among the techno (and house) luminaries who feature in the latest Juno minimal podcast.

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Nicolas Jaar – Marks & Angles review

The New York-based Chilean Nicolas Jaar releases his first EP for Circus Company after a string of releases on Brooklyn label Wolf + Lamb. Of course this is another sombre affair from the young producer but as indicated even from the abstract artwork, it’s not all as straightforward as that. It seems pointless to attempt to categorise it as any one genre, which is characteristic of Jaar’s complete disregard for boundaries combining anything from disjointed electronic sounds to sampling hip-hop beats or French opera.

Perhaps less dark than some of his past tracks, the lyrical vocals in “Marks” are a little more upbeat, paired with light pianos and jaunty percussion, whilst “Angles” is focused around layered vocals in subtly melancholic tones, cleverly arranged with plucked strings in minor keys. “Materials” however features inevitably off-kilter pianos and brass, juxtaposed with electronic beeps and percussive claps entering the din. The pace often changes unexpectedly, allowing time to reflect on the varying tones and ends up generating a haunting atmosphere.

Review: Flora Wong


Juno Podcast: Minimal 37

The Juno Minimal podcast eeks towards it’s 40th birthday with a selection that includes Martyn’ s contribution to Ben Klock’s Berghain mix, some Villalobos from the latest Cocoon compilation and Mount Kimbie’s ‘William’ being remixed by Prosumer and Tama Sumo on the always essential Hot Flush.

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Martinez – The Paradigm Shift review

Danish minimalist Martinez is already an integral part of Leipzig’s Moon Harbour imprint. Having already released three EPs for the label, including his 2008 debut, “Momomowha” and recent hit, “Cheesecake,” the talented producer has become an important label ambassador at live dates across the world. Added to that is his co-production with label boss, Matthias Tanzmann and the picture is very clear – Martinez has established himself as a vital artist on the Moon Harbour roster. Now, he delivers his first LP for the imprint, his third album overall.

The aptly titled Paradigm Shift sees Martinez assimilate an abundance of deep house references into his usual palette of minimal and techno. Adding to his passion for deep Chicago house, he mixes the record up with influences of techno, breakbeat and dubby downtempo as heavy percussive rhythms lay throughout. This diversity gives the record a more human feeling than either of his two previous albums. It deftly balances the disciples of home listening and club oriented rhythms whilst detracting from neither style. Combining strong elements of dance production with jazzy chords, swung percussion and re-arranged vocal snippets, the record has a vintage sheen but with all the thrilling trappings of a cutting-edge, modern day production. What is truly amazing about The Paradigm shift though is that he manages to amalgamate all these conflicting influences into an album that maintains such an organic feel throughout. Alongside lush moments of deepness such as the inimitable “Lavender Mist” and polished “Maresias,” Martinez treats us to the warm and contented sounds of “Gourmet.” Intertwining the record with bursts of funk laden electronics, such as “Solaris,” “Kamino” and “Mr Decocco,” Martinez is also explosive at all the right times. “Damaged Color” with its slinky, dirty, low bass and the driving beat of “Williamsburg” both point to a more club focused angle, giving the record yet more amiable balance.

Review: Tom Jones


Taron Trekka – Blue Random review

Taron Trekka have built themselves a reputation for possessing an artistry and musicality of some stature. But what really marks them apart has been their ability to break down the usual structures of house music by producing tracks whose insatiable grooves are reconstructed amid abnormalities and imperfections. These imperfections, which are the result of the duo’s purposeful experimentation, fall under the Joy Of Painting’s Bob Ross’ category of ‘God’s happy little accidents’ that end up benefitting the end product. Unlike Ross’ rationale of spontaneity which puts God as the determining factor, Daniel Müller-Sachs and Andreas Krieste find their improvised nature in the way they work the machines that eek out their sound in the studio. This impulsive tendency gives their style of minimal dyed house and techno a deliciously raw and live feel which has consistently won them legions of fans since they first started to producer together back in 2006. With the “Blue Random” EP, Taron Trekka deliver their second EP for Freude Am Tanzen in as many years, following the success of 2009’s “Artys Iisii.”

“Blue Mountain” sees a deliciously deep yet simple groove layered over with a jazz influenced trumpet and some field recordings from inside the jazz cafe – a feature which once again adds to the live feel of their productions. “Colours” is smoother and more laid back, allowing a funk sentiment to infiltrate Trekka’s deepest of deep house. “Mr No (Where Is The Magic)” however, is where Trekka really gets things moving and break away into a wild and untamed, hypnotic monster. They magically manage to combine a lightness in the top end with the nastiness of their rumbling bass. “Kiyasu” is another gem, slowing it down and keeping it locked into the low end. The track finds an unusual groove for itself as the bass thumps below and guitar licks flick across the top.

Review: Tom Jones


Guy Gerber – Hate / Love review

Guy Gerber’s Berlin based Supplement Facts imprint has laid down a firm claim to be the label of 2010 with some impressive output so far this year. Since Gerber’s hugely successful Invisible Romance LP from the end of last year, the label has seen Ryan Crosson and Guti’s gleaming, groove-laden You Got Me EP, Jona’s Rise EP and Till Von Sein’s summer anthem, “Sundowna” all rapturously received by the record buying public. Now, the label boss himself returns with his new EP, Hate/Love, featuring three tracks of equal beauty and brooding menace.

The title track is a deep and mysterious jaunt into exotic atmospheres, experienced through a sense of nervous watchfulness. Tropical percussion joins laid back melodies as menacing synth stabs add yet more tenseness to the track. The laid back yet menacing vocals are provided by P. Diddy’s new Dirty Money Crew member, Dawn Richard. His graceful vocals add a relaxing sentiment that wonderfully plays off the track’s edgy, uneasy undertones. “Lost In You Like A Chinese Cookie” continues the theme, rolling along amid tribal beats and skipping, melodic synths. Still wrapped in the depth of wildness, the Israeli lifts things a little higher than the preceding number. That said, he plunges back into the depths and far beyond with the EP’s standout track, “Stockholm Syndrome”. Classic 909s mix with growling basslines and an equally snarling vocal to create this dancefloor bomb. Perfect for the small, sweat-filled, dark box rooms, this one will suck you right under before spitting you back out the other side of the speakers. Gerber teams up with Supplement Facts artistic director, Varoslav for the digital only “106 Dalmation” remix of “Hate/Love,” twisting the original to a much darker angle. Abrasive synths and stabbing basslines curate a frenzied and more energised version for the more club minded DJ.

Review: Tom Jones


Trentemoller – Into The Great Wide Yonder review

Crossover albums often sound like an artist struggling with their identity and striving to be or sound like someone else. Yet with Trentemøller’s latest album, Into The Great Wide Yonder, the Danish producer delivers an exemplary such LP that sounds wholly natural and familiar. After all, Trentemoller has been hinting at this kind of transition for several years now: 2006’s critically acclaimed debut, The Last Resort was a crisp dance record swiftly followed by his first mix compilation, Harbour Boat Trips, which came loaded with varying sentiments of indie, rock and pop. His remixes too have also hinted at a penchant for pop and indie formats. As well as reworks of Depeche Mode and The Knife, Trentemøller has also remixed Franz Ferdinand, an effort which earned him a Grammy nomination.

His second artist album to date, Into The Great Wide Yonder showcases a broad range of musical ideas, arrangements and instruments. Made with a delightful and whimsical mixture of instruments, the album boasts both electronic and acoustic guitars, strings, a bass mandolin, theremin and a music box amongst a host of others. It sees the Dane experimenting with more organic and analogue textures as he mixes complex melodies with disparate and far reaching sounds, rhythms and genres. Also placing more emphasis on vocals we see a number of collaborations including Solveig Sandnes, Marie Fisker, Josephine Philip and Fyfe Dangerfield from UK act Guillemots.

Into The Great Wide Yonder completes Trentemøller’s transition from his roots as a dancefloor producer into the more instrument-led domain of pop and rock tinged electronica. Still using a driving kick drum as the core to the album, the In My Room head honcho is still very much part of the dance scene, but just not in the club focused way that we’re used to.

Review: Tom Jones

Holden – Triangle Folds review

Border Community head honcho, James Holden has always maintained a kind of DJ free spirit which has enabled him to work outside the usual constraints of techno as we know it. This, alongside his dedication to new production talent has made him the perfect choice to compile the next instalment of !K7’s long serving DJ Kicks series. Out later this month, the compilation is, as usual, accompanied by a single from the UK producer. “Triangle Folds” is Holden’s first release in four years yet still feels like a logical progression from his last effort, 2006’s debut The Idiots Are Winning.

Using his extensive modular synth collection to mould tripping mid-tempo sequences which sway, bobble and bounce with Holden’s typical lushness and acute sense of melody, “Triangle Folds” has a delicate but unmistakably danceable feel to it. The track is a glittering combination of analogue synths arpeggios and buzzing drum pads that tick away in their own inimitable and curious rhythm patterns. These rhythms are loose and have a live feel, typical of Holden’s trademark sound, as are the quirky time signatures. His ultra detailed approach to techno once again manifests itself here, so much so that it’s 115 bpm pace would even refrain many from even calling it techno. B-side, the “Inside Out” version is even more unconventional, slowing things down yet more and turning proceedings into a folk tinged, psychedelic tambourine Schaffel rework. Focusing on the sounds and atmospheres that surround the slowly pulsating beats, we are left with an intoxicating mix of arpeggiated bass and trickling synth lines. Both tracks show James Holden at his individual, unconventional and wonderful best. It is his ability to avoid dance music’s most tired clichés, as once again proved here, that makes James Holden the singular producer that he is.

Review: Tom Jones


Juno Podcast: Minimal 36

The 36th edition of the now veteran Juno minimal podcast series features some killer new cuts from D’Julz, Reboot and Darko Esser.

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Glimpse – Runner review

Christopher Spero, aka Glimpse has developed his career with integrity and a focused patience. Despite a deeply-rooted underground sensibility and an uncompromising experimental approach, Glimpse has still managed to win the attention of the wider mainstream. With releases for labels such as Carl Craig’s Planet E, Buzzin Fly, Cadenza, Kindisch, Get Physical and Crosstown Rebels, the London born producer has been bubbling away on the underground scene for years now. But it is on his debut artist album Runner where Glimpse drops his true masterpiece, taking his innovative and fresh production techniques to new heights.

Runner is clearly the work of an open-minded artist who is informed by a rich variety of influences. Shifting through an array of different moods and genres, the record fuses house and techno with elements of jazz, soul and classical into one innovative body of work. From the African influenced opener, “Walk Tall” the album spans the classic deep house vibes of tracks like “Things to Do in Denver” and “I Know I Show It,” the up-tempo tech-house of “New Beginnings” and onto the more contemporary and trippy sound of “If I Was Your Girl.” “Feel Ok” morphs itself from moody jazz to afro-latin house; we see exotic flavours in “Alone Again” and get atmospheric dubby pleasures on the electronica cut, “Enjoyable Employable.” Although the various styles add intrigue, what truly sets the album apart from the rest is Glimpse’s fresh and experimental production techniques. Most of the tracks were recorded live on analogue equipment, edited only afterward. This gives his music a more improvised quality akin to his jazz interest, not to mention enhances its warmth and organic feel. The lo-fi aesthetic of the album draws on the rudimentary influences of original house music whilst Glimpse modernises it with field recordings of his everyday life, included to stamp his personality onto the record in addition to a sample of a live crowd, used to accentuate certain beats. A highly accomplished and created debut from Glimpse, Runner will definitely be a contender come the end of year polls.

Review: Tom Jones


Guillaume & the Coutu Dumonts – Breaking the Fourth Wall review

Guillaume & the Coutu Dumonts has constantly challenged people’s perception of dance music throughout a career that has seen him develop one of the most distinctive styles in contemporary house music. His sound has encompassed a deep, powerful and original fusion of afro and Latin percussion, instrumental melodies, soulful vocals, and intricate rhythm programming. His second artist album, which is released into an even more fragmented scene than his first effort, sees the Montreal native moving even further beyond the conventional definitions of house and techno.

Breaking the Fourth Wall meanders effortlessly between deep house, minimal techno and acid jazz. Inspirited less by laptops and drum machines and more by traditional Afro and Latin percussion, the album consists of almost entirely live instrumentation. Aided by a host of players, the album features several collaborations which includes Circus Company chums dOP and Dave Aju, who injects a Chicago feel into the project. Forward progressing percussive cuts such as “Can’t Have Everything” and “Mindtrap” sit alongside Pink Floyd-esque reflective pieces like “Intermède” and “Discothèque” that play out with guitar solos and horns whilst house tracks such as “Walking the Pattern” and slow burning afro-grooves such as “Radio Novela” slot into the album where they please. Their disjointed arrangement makes the tracks much more suited to listening to the album as a whole rather than picking out single tracks, another testament to the musicality held within it.

Striking a perfect accord with the eclecticism of Circus Company, Breaking the Fourth Wall is not only a wholly satisfying experience from start to finish, but will also cement Guillaume & the Coutu Dumonts’ place in the worlds of house, jazz, minimal and everything in between.

Review: Tom Jones


Various/ Chris Woodward – Focus On: Buzzin’ Fly review

Buzzin’ Fly compilations always take on a retrospective feel, looking back at what the label has achieved with a proud (and wholly justified) sense of achievement. They are much like family Christmas cards that fondly round up the year’s activities for friends and relatives. As part of their 50th single celebrations this spring, they deliver a compilation of Buzzin’ Fly classics as the next instalment of the Focus On series. Penned by Chris Woodward, an integral part of the imprint’s close knit family, this release features the likes of Ben Watt, Spencer Parker, Justin Martin, Mlle Caro and Franck Garcia.

Like Buzzin Fly: 5 Years in the Wilderness, (and all four Volumes in the Buzzin’ Fly series) this compilation digs into the imprint’s revered back catalogue. The former was applauding reaching five years whilst the latter celebrates reaching their 50th release. Over seventy-five minutes, Chris Woodward picks out some of Buzzin’ Fly’s flagship tracks such as label boss Ben Watt’s “Guinea Pig,” Spencer Parker’s “The Beginning” and Justin Martin’s “The Fugitive”.

As Woodward hones into some deep, intricate, house action, he delves into Buzzin’ Fly’s trademark mix of deep house, melodic techno and electronic disco. We see cuts like Jay Shepheard’s remix of Glimpse and Martin Eyrir’s “Southern Soul” standing shoulder to shoulder with Darkmountaingroup’s “Lose Control”. Woodward also adheres to the Buzzin’ Fly tradition of house that is both sonically ornate and driving in all the right places by including moments like Mlle Caro & Franck Garcia’s beautiful “Dead Souls” and Âme’s club fuelled remix of “Insomnia”.

Buzzin’ Fly’s long standing resident has done an admirable job of paying homage to the label’s sound, and in the process has proved what a force they have become.

Review: Tom Jones

Sebo K – Roller Coaster From S2S review

You get the sense that Sebo K is a man currently enjoying his new found freedom. Having now completed his studies that enforced a double life as a student / DJ, the German is now hitting the studio and the road full time. That feeling of liberation is clearly rubbing off on his production, as displayed on his latest single, where we see him breaking away from the house sound of his Mobilee releases and opting instead for some of the dirty funk-infused breakbeat of his past.

Sebo Kazey always had a close relationship with breakbeat. Although it was his housier tracks such as “Saxtrack,” “Far Out,” “Dvia” and “Rancho Relaxo” with Anja Schneider that become huge club tracks and established his name on the scene, it was with breakbeat that he entered the world of DJing. Starting off at Berlin’s Bass Terror night, just like fellow Berlin mainstay Dixon, Sebo experimented with his sound free from the constraints of straight up house music. Now on Sonar Kollektiv, we see him pushing this exploration once again. “From S2S” creeps along with snapping, broken beats and some stretched out, retro synths that bring a sense of drama to the track. A dirty bassline squeezes beneath as a female vocal and jazz-like keys wash the track in an almost haunting soulfulness. The title track follows, taking on more of a raw, breaks feel but wrapped up in elements of funk. Also infused with a strong sense of drama, “Roller Coaster” sounds like the soundtrack to an action movie, its rolling breaks and atmospheric FX complementing such a cinematic episode perfectly.

His last release on Mobilee, “Spirits,” perhaps saw Sebo playing it too safe by conforming to the standard blueprint of house music. Therefore, it is great to see him mixing it up and pushing new directions and in such an engaging style with “Roller Coaster, From S2S.” Slotting perfectly onto Sonar Kollektiv, this is Sebo K back to his best.

Review: Tom Jones


Ramadanman/ Midland – Your Words Matter More Than You Know review

A collaborative effort between long term friends Ramadanman (of Hessle Audio fame), and fellow producer Midland, this release sees the pair blend garage, dubstep and house into a fresh, free-thinking cut, with oodles of simmering soulfulness and deep contemplation. As with any release on Will Saul and Ninja Tune stalwart, Fink’s Aus Music imprint, the music tiptoes between genres, focusing on a cutting edge, leftfield vibe, where deep basslines predominate and new territories are explored with great aplomb.

“Your Words Matter”, the first track of the EP, begins with a soft-yet-punchy, purposeful drumbeat, sparse hissing SFX and a reverberating, screaming vocal snippet. A gently building textured soundscape is created, slowly evolving into a palette of crescendo-ing, slightly vintage sounding piano keys, deep bass and a vocal-led melody. It’s a track that is constantly moving on to new things, touching on deep house in the mid section and finishing with a minimal, garage-like bassline and dark, humming tones.

Likewise, with “More Than You Know”, on the flip, the sense of metamorphosis and progression is almost palpable. Contrasting hollow, dribbling, watery sounds with a knocking, thumping, tribal-sounding drum in the intro, the track weaves around sounds, samples and rhythmic patterns. The pair make great use of eerie, indistinguishable sampling, juxtaposing organic sounds with industrial machinations to create a sense of unease – reminiscent of Sabre’s “A Wandering Journal”. Yet this unsettling feeling translates itself into a profoundly felt piece of music. The shuffling rhythm drives things along fluidly and to experience it at it’s best you have to let yourself drift along with it. Twinkling, shimmering moments emerge as we approach the end, with the hissing beats contrasting with a dramatic, threatening noise in the background, which eventually takes over.

Review: Belinda Rowse

Raudive – Paper EP review

Oliver Ho has been making standout house and techno for over ten years now. As he continues to develop his sound under his Raudive moniker, he drops the experimental and unique yet wonderfully intriguing “Paper” EP on Macro.

Throughout those years, we have seen a variety of styles from Ho, from the deep tribal sound of his Universal album to the abstract sound of Veil, while his funkier house sound also seeped through under his Birdland project. But it is as Raudive that he blends all these style and ideas into one place. Last year’s “Cone” EP under the moniker was a huge success for Macro, who quickly established him as an important player within their family. Now he returns to the imprint to deliver one of their most club orientated, yet distinctively forward thinking EPs yet.

After the percussive, eerie intro of the title track, a subterranean rolling bassline opens up as he takes the tribal sound of his releases and morphs it into a slower, deeper minimal sound that fuses the funk of house and the electronics of techno. Haunting strings scratch over the top, building this strange atmosphere that is then intensified by the injection of power into the beat. It is a truly unique track that bends a sound of its own into a bona fide club tune. “Brittle” takes hypnotism to the next level. Its relentless, repetitious and manic vexation patterns blow you away amid pounding beats and short blasts of vocal loops. “Sienna” winds things down with an experimental vibe that is totally devoid of a beat. Melodic strings play out above the warmth of grainy crackles in this masterpiece.

Review: Tom Jones

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