Review: Yet again, it appears that Nipponeer Japan have pulled out a box of magic as they welcome The Darrow Chem Syndicate in for a super groovy four track selection under the EP title 'Ghosn Attaches'. They have selected four potent remixes for our enjoyment, kicking off with Kid Panel's spicy rethink of 'Men In Soggy Sorrow', overhauling the twanging western vocals with silky breakbeat action. Next, Kuplay unleashes a vibrant roller rework of 'Breakin' For You' alongside Rory Hoy's rave synth heavy emulation of 'Hymn Of The Moog'. Finally, Macho steps up for a drum heavy take on 'The Bully', rounding the project off in style.
Review: It's been seven years since Wehbba's last album, Square Two, and in the intervening period, he has forged a strong link with Drumcode through a series of killer dance floor EPs. Straight Lines builds on that work: collaborating with other respected artists like David Caretta and Thomas Gandey, it sees him consolidate his reputation as an underground producer of the highest calibre. The eerie ambience of "Prelude: Goya" shows that Wehbba is a diverse producer, the rolling tech-house of "Dove Rush" prove that he's not afraid to experiment, while dance floor bombs like "Hyper Real Decadence", "Deluge" and "Basic Pleasure" all show that when it comes to visceral big-room techno, he has few peers.
Review: US-born, Netherlands-based soulful D&B nomad Greg Submorphics takes away to sunnier, more wholesome climes on this immaculate debut album. Gilded synths, hazy feels, stacks of woozy warmth, just the right balance of nostalgia; every cut ripples and flexes with a timeless liquid feel. The dusty horns on "Memories Of You", the velvet boogie, silky synths and syrupy dulcets of Big Brooklyn Red on "Daydreaming", the dreamy bounce of "Faded Images", the list goes on. As you'd expect from The North Quarter and Submorphics, everything about this album hits the spot. Close your eyes and think of better times...
Review: It's been a very exciting start to the new decade for the Four40 crew, who were a truly unstoppable force last year, cheffing up over 25 incredible releases. Next up from them, they join forces with the wonderful Deadly Habitz, who supplies us with five potent UKG heaters. First up, 'Are You Dumb', sampling a classic Jammz vocal with smooth percussive slices, alongside the sweeping bass LFO's of 'Falling 4 U' and nostalgic chord expressions of 'So High'. Following that, 'Stay True' deploys some incredible vocal stutters and hard hitting horn stabs, before we round up on the sweeping subs and electronic vocal lines of 'Your Love'. Awesome work.
Review: The Instinct label continues to champion contemporary garage, this time welcoming Holloway to drop four sure shots guaranteed to go down a storm whether you're at a minimal night or a main stage festival rave up. Logan is spitting deft bars over "Turn Up", a crisp and cool stepper laced with smooth chords. "Evanition" juggles different energies from the mellow to the nasty with a classy touch, while "Echo Tone" gets a little more melodic flex into the mix. "Out Of Town Foes" maintains the soulful mood, while keeping the synth lines snappy and slick for those who prefer a little quirkiness in their club tunage.
Review: Glasgow Underground's contribution to the 2020 Miami sampler mountain may well induce feelings of deja vu: not only does it include multiple tracks from label boss Kevin McKay recent much-vaunted 'No Samples...' covers album, but much of the rest is in a similar vein, with McKay and a selection of musical buddies reworking a load more house classics to bring them in line with 21st Century production values. To our ears, though, it's the fresh cuts here that are the more interesting, and happily there are plenty of those on offer, too, coming from the likes of Vanilla Ace, Mirko & Maex, Reblok, Adapter, Sam Dexter and Elliot Fitch.
Review: Toolroom's compilations have soundtracked Miami's Winter Music Conference for more than a decade and this is no exception. Here they've drafted in three of their key artists to compile the album: Friend Within, Leftwing : Kody & Siege - who all take you on a journey through the various shades of house and techno. Highlights include: Siege's remix of legend Green Velvet's massive "Bigger Than Prince, boss man Mark Knight's electrifying rework of C.O.T.'s "Let It Go" into a uplifting house anthem, Dutchman Franky Rizardo cool as a cucumber on the smooth groove of "X Marks The Spot" through to veteran west coast producer Miguel Migs returning to the spotlight with the ultra deep "Moving Light" feat. Lisa Shaw and the comeback of Canadian legend Hatiras on the slinky and hypnotic remix of Sammy Deuce's "EZY". From certified main room essentials to sun-kissed poolside vibes, capture the magic of Miami Music Week with 'Toolroom Miami 2020'.
Review: Mark Reeve has fast established himself as one of Drumcode's most popular new artists, thanks to releases like Run Back and Far Away as well as stand-out performances at the label's nights and festivals. Distance looks set to consolidate his reputation for crafting effective club techno: the title track resounds to a pulsating, throbbing bass and tranced out synths, while on "Serum", he delivers a more understated groove that resounds to a growling low end and deadly effective snare rolls. "Fix Me" sees Reeve up the intensity levels through the use of bruising drums and coruscating percussion, while the release concludes with the punchy kicks and snaking groove of "Filmwave".
Review: Dusky's first outing for Running Back, "Life Signs", was arguably one of their most euphoric and uplifting releases to date, so it's little surprise to find that this much-anticipated sequel explores similar sonic territory. The future anthem is undoubtedly "Metropolis", a shimmering retro-futurist number that layers bleeping lead lines and spine-tingling pads atop a weighty analogue bassline and heavy beats. You get vocal and dub mixes, with the former making great use of a loved-up female vocal snippet that adds to the cut's old school credentials. Elsewhere, "Seed Tray" is a rushing, warehouse-ready stomper smothered in rave-era piano stabs, "Mushroom Samba" adds bleeps to a suitably psychedelic, all-action backing track, and "Fridge" is a nostalgic, retro-futurist romp that defies easy categorization.
Review: With the Lolita re-edit series reaching its 22nd installment, you should be familiar with the general vibe/ethos/MO by now, so we'll dive straight in. For '212', read Skatt Brothers' 'Walk The Night' from 1979, while '214' bites L'Ectrique's 'Struck By Boogie Lightning' from the same year. '215' reworks Space's classic 'Magic Fly', '217' revisits Bionic Boogie's 'Risky Changes' (1977) while Shakatak's 'Easier Said Than Done' (1981) is reinvented on '219'. The rest of the EP draws on unidentified Eurodisco/Italo/coldwave sources, with the obligatory curveball coming in the form of '220' - Bob Dylan's 'Lay Lady Lay' as you've never heard it before.
Review: Politics Of Dancing continues celebrating its fifth anniversary with a cast of crucial house warriors keeping the flame burning bright. First up is Chris Stussy, who whips up an especially funky concoction with the bubbling "Monday 8th", before DJOKO and T Jacques dub things out in style with the swirling but thumping "Directions". The ever-prolific Michael James appears with "Solstice", a mystically tinged deep house bumper laden with zippy sound FX and sprinkled with subtly swung groove. Jamahr completes the set with "Underwater", a deep immersion bath of sound that edges towards classic techno while keeping the groove on the straight and narrow.
Review: It's been three years since Session Victim's last album, the rather fine "Listen To Your Heart" on Delusions of Grandeur, so this fourth full-length excursion is definitely well overdue. As you'd expect, the music contained in it is as warm, musically rich and intricately detailed as ever, though there are fewer nods to disco, boogie and Balearica than we've come to expect. Instead, they've delivered a smoky, atmospheric and intoxicating collection of cuts that attractively shimmies between drowsy late night house, dreamy electronica, jazz-fired downtempo jams, dusty breakbeat shufflers and the kind of stoned, ultra-deep fare that used to get showcased on F Communications' ace "Mega Soft Office" compilations back in the 2000s.
Review: It's time to dive into some delicious new breakbeat creations as Samurai Breaks land on Hardcore Energy for a very exciting four track selection, showcasing their breaksy brilliance. We kick off with the sounds of 'Putting In Werk', a smart roller, dripping in finesse and original breakbeat energy, followed by the more futuristic tripletted pulses of 'Rush'. Next, we move into the nostalgic realms of 'Bad Boy Beats', a super choppy, party ready rinse out, followed by 'Power Hour' as Private Caller gets involved on the perfect sign out track, laced with high energy drum manoeuvres and booming bass tones.
AC Slater & Murkage Dave - "Every Pigeon Is A Dove" (Drinks On Me remix) - (2:51) 130 BPM
Review: As one of the leading forces in worldwide bass music, AC Slater returns to his home imprint of Night Bass to unveil a fabulous selection of remixes, working directly off his critically acclaimed 'Hi8' album project. The line up is spicy to say the least, with the likes of Flava D, Sammy Virji, DALCO, NuKid, CID and more all getting involved for one the biggest remix projects bass music has ever seen. The two real standouts for us come from two brits however, as Bushbaby's colourful relick of 'Attitude' from AC & Taiki Nulight immediately catches our ears, alongside Drinks On Me's smooth and well thought out overhaul of 'Every Pigeon Is a Dove', featuring the wonderful vocal layers of Murkage Dave.
Review: Fred P delivers his second release of 2020 on a label that is tailor made for his tough but soulful sound - Rekids offshoot Stranger in the Night. The title track is a linear, driving affair; powered by a powerful bass drum and featuring a droning riff at its heart, these elements make for a hypnotic fusion. "Construction" also makes effective use of just a few sounds, with a murky bass coming together with dissected vocal samples and brooding synths to create an eerie sound. On "Alphabet City", the US producer goes deeper, with looped chords and sensuous strings unravelling over a jacking rhythm, while "For The Dome" is a beautifully evocative slice of soulful techno.
Review: The prolific Lolita crew return with yet another 10-track remix EP. Where some volumes in the series have leaned heavily towards a particular sound (be it disco, African music or 80s rock/pop) in terms of source material, 'Vol 21' sees them casting their net far and wide, reworking cuts as diverse as CJ & Co's 1977 disco strutter 'We Got Our Own Thing' (now reinvented as '201'), Vanilla Ice's 1990 novelty rap hit 'Ice Ice Baby' ('206') and Jona Lewie's 1980 new wave/synth-pop nugget 'You'll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties' ('210'), as well as an assortment of unidentified Italo, Eurodisco and coldwave obscurities.
Review: Calypso are back with another clutch of exciting mavericks orbiting the weirder end of the contemporary club spectrum. There are minimal wave influences to be tacitly detected on Nicola Cruz's "Tu Recuerdo" as well as kind of stripped back acid freakiness, while in FE's "Tarde O Temprano" there's even more gritty, industrial tinged bite in the billowing surges of machine rhythms. Quixosis takes some wonderfully lilting traditional percussion and gives it a freaky treatment which makes for the kind of slow jam Weatherall would have wielded with aplomb. NTFL finishes this ear-snagging compilation off with the plaintive, Dembow-tinted "Vacio".
Review: Now this is a truly interesting project as we see the well respected production crew: Hexagon Dubs get to work on rebuilding some of most classic original dubstep tunes there has ever been with this brand new 'DMZ Rebuilt' EP. Firstly, Grey.scale unleashes his production wizardry for a moody recreation of 'Mud', before Sheik unleashes the breakbeat bullets for his tidy take on Loefah's 'Ruffage'. Aranha then switches the vibe up immensely, unleashing some silky pad textures for his 'Demilitarized Bootleg' of the anthem 'Anti War Dub', before Rafe & Umpah get busy with their potent overhaul of Mala's 'Lean Forward' classic. It's a dangerous job to remix cult classics, but we feel the Hexagon Dubs team have done the originals proud!
Review: All matter of Deadboy dubs here from Al Wooton, turning in four new echos for the everfresh Trule. Presenting the label's first 2020 release, housey chords wander in pastures of flowing dub in "Operator" with deeper minimalisms and pitfalls that flirt with the abyss in "Teresa". Straight up two-step madness in "Levi" with minimal as f*ck drums leading the way in "Franz".
Review: The sixth release on Fjaak's own self-titled label sees the techno collective do what they are best at, namely delivering no-nonsense techno shot through with their uniquely idiosyncratic streak. "Underdawg" is a tough, jacking affair that sees the trio inject the arrangement with some cartoon samples and break beat samples from 90s hardcore tracks. On "Breath", the trio replicate this freewheeling approach; over tough drums, they deliver a looped, one-note piano key and more robust break beats. After these typically unconventional techno tracks, what better way to unwind than with the swirling ambience of closing track "Light Up"?
Review: Having already featured both tracks on his recent Essential Mix, Skream now makes DUNNN available to fans and DJs. Drawing on the heritage of tough New York house, the title track centres on tough drums and a driving rhythm that underpins soulful vocal samples. By adding incessant percussion and repetitive riffs to the arrangement, Skream lends it a contemporary electronic edge. On "Tramadollied", he opts for a different approach. Laying down a pulsating groove and adding in outer space bleeps, he delivers a brooding, somewhat bleak techno track that's equally suited to big rooms and small basements. Long may his house and techno fixation last.
Review: 'Freaks and Beaks' is the fourth album from Dirtybird head honcho Claude VonStroke. Taking inspiration from the sense of humor shared between him and label partner Justin Martin, a love of experimentation with everything from hardware and modular synthesis to iPhone apps, and embracing genres as wide as ghetto tech, drum 'n' bass, hip-hop and breaks - together with his idiosyncratic style of minimal tech house. This is VonStroke's love letter to vibrancy and genre diversity. From the bass-driven acid jack of "Freaks Don't Fail Me Now", the trippy afterhours reductions of "Flubblebuddy" or "Youngblood (ft. Wyatt Marshall) to the influence of Bristol's similarly low-end driven sound as heard on "These Notes In Order" or for something different there's even a bit of blissed-out electronica - as heard on the evocative closer "Alpine Arpline".
Review: Well, it was only a matter of time before this one came together as Earthnut's recent run of form continues with a long awaited debut Southpoint EP. Having released some of the most popular UKG tracks of the past few years, the STPT team invite the creativity of this fantastic production duo to run wild across three scorchers, beginning with the glitchy arpeggios and hard hitting horn stabs of 'Sea Anomaly'. Next, we move into the alien-like chord shifts and digital atmospheric designs of 'Estrella Breath', before rounding up our journey through this one with the aquatic melodies and sweeping LFO textures of 'Maybe So Really'. Incredible stuff!
Review: Artefakt launched their own label, De Stijl, last year, but they now return to their spiritual home, Delsin, for this widescreen EP. "Ganzfeld Effect" is among their most expansive compositions to date, with dreamy synths and droning textures unravelling over subsonic bleeps. On "Vapour", they use rickety, staccato drums as a basis for their ghostly synths, while "Delphic" sees them travel down a broken techno route, accompanied by atmospheric textures. The title track is the most dance floor-friendly affair but even here, Artefakt don't break a sweat, instead focusing on dubbed out drums and a shuffling rhythm as a basis for the track's dreamy melodies.
Review: Like many of the artists that grew up and were nurtured by the Smallville label, Christopher Rau's music owes a debt to deep US house and techno. On The Keys, his first release on the label for a number of years, those influences loom large, but are intertwined with other sources. "Who Am I" sees Lone-style psychedelia fused with lithe break beats, while on the title track, Rau strips back his approach for a lean dance floor track. However, he returns to deeper territory with the woozy synths and pulsating bass of "Slu Terms", while "Beamer" ends the release with a swinging, summery groove and dreamy chimes.
Review: Although he's occasionally made guest appearances on other labels - most notably Rekids, Money $ex and Vertv - Quentin Leroy AKA Mad Rey has been a key member of the D.KO family since the label's launch six years ago. Here he returns to the French imprint for the first time in two years with a predictably solid collection of cuts. Four of the six cuts are designated as dub mixes, with the French producer variously offering up techno-tempo loopy deep house ("Never Know"), Mella Dee style techno-disco ("Bon Souvenir"), warehouse-ready ghetto-tech sleaze ("Go Fast") and lo-fi Chicago jack on steroids ("Balle Perdue"). Elsewhere, "Le Dermier Mot" is the kind of drowsy deepness found on Aphex Twin's "Selected Ambient Works Volume 1", while "Make It Right" is a breezy piano-house treat.
Review: To celebrate an incredible run of releases and festival stage takeovers, CruCast have collated some of their most popular releases over the last few years into one handy compilation, taking the name 'Cru100'. Now over the past few years we have seen CruCast lay down a pretty dominant release schedule, which shows in this tracklisting as we reminisce with classics from the likes of Skepsis, Darkzy, Distinkt and Tsuki, with more recent bangers such as Bru-C and Simula's 'You & I' making it onto the listing also. If you are looking for certified dancefloor ammo, look no further!
Review: Following on from last year's Transmission long player, Julian Jeweil returns to Drumcode for this dynamic club EP. It starts off with the title track's firing percussion, rolling snares and thunderous kicks, a combination that also sets the tone for the rest of the release. The drums on "Outline" are deeper and denser, as Jeweil drops razor-sharp high hats and warbling analogue yelps, while "Music" sees the French artist opt for a similar approach, albeit with a repetitive vocal sample interspersed with rolling snares. Like the Jeff Mills label of the same name, "Axis" brings the EP to a dramatic climax, thanks to its visceral 909s and pounding rhythm.
Review: Strictly Flava are back at it again, continuing their incredibly consistent run of releases which began around the end of 2018 and has continued until this very day. We see them here unveil three punchy chops from Xodos, kicking off with the lively chord progressions and demonic bass charges of 'Dranking'. This is then chased up rapidly with uplifting organs and constantly evolving rhythmic ideas of 'Forget' before we round the project off with a look at the title track 'The Mustang', a powerful yet minimal roller, perfect for the summer-time ravers.
Review: London producer Itonic is a regular newcomer to the garage game, with just a string of self-released digital EPs to his name. Here he appears on Strictly Flava for the very first time with a two-track missive that we think is quietly impressive. "Check Yourself" is classic two-step garage of the kind that first rose to prominence in the late 1990s - all weighty sub-bass, skipping beats, ear-pleasing organ sounds and the sort of cut-up female vocal snippets that have long been a feature of Todd Edwards' productions. Virtual B-side "Jive" is similarly warm, soulful and positive, with the producer peppering a beefy bassline and a more complex two-step rhythm with bouncy stabs, Grant Nelson-esque keyboard sounds and more glassy-eyed female vocal samples.
Review: Second To None Music regulars Vital Technique return to action with the follow-up to 2019 General Levy hook-up "Give It To Dem". This time round they've got MC Pean in tow, a mic man who last featured on their 2017 EP "Gunfingers". He's in fine form on "Bun Up The Ting", a verified UK funky wobbler laden with wobble-step style bass, siren sounds, laden percussion hits and an ear-catching steel pan style lead line. The duo's tight production, bowel-bothering bass, twisted electronic noises and cheery melodies naturally come to the fore in the accompanying "Instrumental Mix", while the bonus acapella version is perfect for those inventive producers who feel like making their own remix (or DJs who just want to get busy in the mix for that matter).
Review: Following on from last week's bumper release, CruCast continue their high intensity start to 2020 with another New Blood compilation, showcasing the freshest new talent within the ever expanding bass scene. They have amassed quite the collection as they welcome the likes of Sisko, Cooky, Event Horizon, Tension and Digital Koala just to name a few. For us, this project holds a couple of immediate stand out projects however, with Namena's 'Jack In The Box' providing us with a sack of rawcus dancefloor energy within its shimmering synthesizer slaps, alongside the chomping drum smacks and unpredictable synthesizer explosions of Wheeto's 'Skull Punch'. Excellent work!
Review: With releases on Phonica and Echovolt to his credit, Earth Trax aka Bartosz Kruczyński now delivers his debut album for Shall Not Fade, the sister imprint of Lost Palms. It's a mesmerising affair that features the warbling acid of "Pandora's Box" and "Full Throttle" at one end of the spectrum and the atmospheric break beat techno of "I'm Not Afraid" and "Adhocracy" at the other. In between these two extremes sit irresistibly evocative cuts such as the rickety rhythms of "Fade Away" and the uplifting bass tones of "Copies Of Copies", making for a well-rounded and effortlessly executed debut album.
Review: Released last year, FBK aka Kevin Kennedy's debut album, More Stories From The Future was the culmination of a few years working with Rekids. Now the label has commissioned Len Faki to remix two tracks from the album. On his 'Hardspace' take of "I'll Sit Back", the Berghain resident pitch-bends the vocal sample and sets it against a thundering percussive track that is sure to have maximum impact in big rooms. Faki's take on "Hassling" is even more idiosyncratic; underpinned by his trademark kicks, it sees him layer firing percussion and plaintive chords again this backdrop that ensures the end result is deep but impactful.
Review: Boom! The first BIG drum & bass album of the decade has landed... Ray Keith's long, long, long-awaited album. His first since 2012's I Am Renegade, he's making up for lost time with 31 tracks that cover his entire style and comprise collaborations with likes of DRS and Reprise. As always, Keith covers the board and showcases the true breadth and range of the genre. From the absolute slaughter jams such as "Darth Dred", "Master Assassin" and "I'm A Souljah" to classy sample-based ultrafunkular sweetness ("Don't Look Any Further") and proper songwriting and real heartfelt vibes and sentiments from the bottom of his pioneer's heart such "You're My Angel". The full range, the full flavour, the wait has been worth it.
Review: Synth-tastic nu-disco that draws on Italo, Belgian new beat and EBM for inspiration is the general order of the day on this various artists comp from Headman's Relish label. Daniel Avery is the best known name on a talent roster comprised mostly of more up-and-coming artists but the quality standard is high throughout, with tracks ranging from Avery's dark, technoid 'Input/Machine' to Hannelulauri's almost Sparks-ish 'Europa (Dub)', and from Andrea Esu's EBM percussion workout 'E.S.U. Track' to Chmmr's '16 Tonns', which comes on like Sylvester wandering the streets of early 80s LA in a red leather blouson with gigantic shoulderpads.