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: Those who've met Maurice Fulton - or even just paid close attention to his career over the last couple of decades - will tell you that he seems to inhabit a totally different galaxy to anyone else. We're blessed, then, that he's once again touched down on 'Earth' and delivered a killer EP for Peggy Gou's Gudu label. He joins forces with the South Korean star on deliciously wayward opener "Jigoo", a retro-futurist, turn-of-the-90s style house number smothered in weird electronic noises, starry chords and liquid bass. "Not Sure How I Would" sees him dive into intergalactic jazz-funk territory - think trademark disco bass guitar, trippy noises, live sounding drums and effects for days - while "One Itself" is a skewed drum track laden with hand percussion hits and his trademark weirdo electronic noises.
Review: We can think of few DJs more suited to compile a retrospective of killer 1990s house and garage than Z Records boss Joey Negro and Fanatix member Neil Pierce. It's perhaps unsurprising then that this follow-up to Negro's admired 2015 compilation is packed to the rafters with must-have treats. There are naturally some suitably big cuts present - see Kerri Chandler's fine mix of N-Joi's "Anthem" and Todd Terry's rub of Martha Walsh's "Runaround" - but for the most part the selections will be new to all but a small collection of veteran US garage enthusiasts. Our highlights include the riff-powered goodness of Slam Mode's "100% Power", Marshall Jefferson's deep dub of Screamin' Rachael's "Rock Me" and the soulful rush of Donald O's "Everything's Gonna Be Alright".
Review: Audaz's re-edit series reaches its 20th installment, which is remarkable when you consider that they only kicked things off in October! This latest outing finds the mysterious Lolita digging deeper than ever, so much so that we can only identify the source material of three cuts here: '191' reworks Change's Jocelyn Brown-vocalled 'Angel In My Pocket' and '199' revisits Astrud Gilberto's 1972 Brazilian fave 'Take It Easy My Brother Charlie', while '200' is based on The Stranglers' 1986 hit 'Always The Sun'. Most of the rest of the EP appears to draw on African and Latin music for inspiration, but we venture back into disco territory on '194' and the excellent '198'.
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: Although he delivered two editions of his ongoing, vinyl only "Disco Dubs" re-edit series on Friends & Relations, 2019 was a relatively quiet year for Alistair Gibbs AKA Nebraska. Here he begins 2020 in fine style with his first EP for Heist Recordings in almost three years. Title track "Y'Miss Me Baby" delivers a suitably strong start and see Gibbbs wrap twinkling lead lines, rich electric piano chords, talkbox vocals and P-funk synths around a hazy jazz-funk bassline and unfussy dancefloor drums. Giovanni Damico riffs on the jazz-funk and P-funk influences further on his instrumental boogie style "Jam remix". Elsewhere, "Dip & Flip" is an all-action, filter-heavy disco-house loop jam, while "Xiao Long Bao" is a warm, deep, humid and undeniably jazzy sample-house roller tailor made for sunny afternoons.
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: No 19 in the series and Audaz's team of hard-working re-edit elves show no signs of slacking off just yet! This latest instalment is very much the proverbial game of two halves, with the first four tracks looking to 80s synth-pop and Italo sources for inspiration: Visage's 'Move Up' provides the basis for '181' and '183' is all Moroder throb and vocodered vocal, while '184' throws us a Dire Straits-shaped curveball that leads nicely into a second half drawing on some very eclectic source material, including Johnny Cash ('189'), Roisin Murphy ('190') and Cheri's 1982 disco/boogie hit 'Murphy's Law'.
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: It's common knowledge at this point that Bicep really is a generational talent when it comes to production. The impact of 'Glue' was off the scale and it's clear to see he has no intention of slowing down as we dive into another monumental single, this time taking the title of 'Atlas'. As ever, we witness pure melodic mastery as we are greeted by an array of spacey, emotional pad textures floating around the background, whilst popping arpeggios and shuffling drum beats breathe effortlessly across the front of the mix. When this is then coupled with pulsating sub lines and stunning vocal switches drenched in luscious big room reverb units, we sure are in for an absolute treat.
Review: After appearances recently on Deeperfect and Resopal Schallware, French DJ/promoter/journalist/producer Damien Almira aka Timid Boy is back making his debut properf or Oliver Huntermann's ever reliable Senso Sounds. The Deviation EP features the tough rolling and moody funk of "Force 2020", plus the pounding peak time adrenaline of the title track and coming to a heady climax with "Never Enough" and its hands in the air party vibe. Groovier sounds than usually attributed to the label, and more quality tracks from the Time Has Changed boss.
Review: Those who've been paying close attention will know that Alex 'Omar' Smith has been mixing things up musically of late, veering away from the deep Detroit house he's famed for in order to explore a wider range of influences. New album "You Want" doesn't exactly reverse this trend, but it is far more rooted in his particular brand of seductive, off-kilter deepness and techno-tinged hypnotism than recent singles. That's undeniably a good thing, because nobody does crunchy, machine-driven club jams better than the Motor City producer. There are nods towards Italian style piano house, disco, broken beat, jazz-funk, Masters at Work and - more surprisingly - industrial techno (see the filthy closing cut) - but the resultant cuts don't sound like anything other than tried-and-tested Omar-S club jams.
Review: Roman Flugel is having a "Garden Party" and we're all invited. By the sounds of the deliciously cheery title track, said must-attend event is being held in a beachside glade somewhere along Croatia's Adriatic coast (hence the cut's wondrously melodious mix of Italo-disco riffs, low-slung disco bass, unfussy machine drums, grandiose nu-disco lead lines and kaleidoscopic acid motifs). Further proof of the party's "dancing all afternoon" credentials are provided by the similarly jaunty, tuneful, retro-futurist flex of "Parade D'Amour", while the bleeping and dreamy "Juke City" offers a hint of what's to come after dark if you keep supping the supplied "special punch". Just remember to stick around for "Wood & Neon", which sounds like the kind of skewed, colourful and mood-enhancing deep house eccentricity that Maurice Fulton does so well.
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: Denver-based Funk Hunk has never been the most prolific of re-editors, though his sporadic releases tend to be decent. There's plenty to set the pulse racing on "Hunk's Got The Answer", his first outing for Danny Worrall's Masterworks Music label. Check first the gnarled disco-rock camp of "Get Up", before admiring the elastic slap-bass motifs at the heart of loopy disco-house workout "Gotcha". "Hunk's Got The Answer" is a languid, tastefully tweaked rearrangement of an obscure, jazz guitar-laden deep disco treat, while "Take A Little More" is a cut-up, house style edit of a bona fide disco anthem. As if that lot wasn't enough to get your pulse racing, "Wot" sees our hunky hero successfully rework a Tom Tom Club style slice of low-slung NYC headiness.
Review: Does James Burnham ever find time to sleep? The Leeds-based tech house hero has been churning out his trademark grooves for the better part of 15 years as Burnski, where he was a staple of top labels like 20:20 Vision, Dessous and Real Tone before moving on to head up his successful Constant Sound - the current 'go to' label. He's no stranger to Jamie Jones either, having released on both Hot Creations and sister label Hottrax previously, but he's back under the lesser known alias of James Solace here for the 'Mind Music' EP. It features the deep, down and dirty Reese-driven action of "Keep On", the sunny peak time thriller "Catalyst" which we can imagine having the crowd going mental on The White Isle this summer, and the tunnelling after hours shenanigans of "Groove" - which works that TB-303 to perfection.
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: Fatboy and Eats joining forces - and on Southern Fried to boot - is surely a prime example of "nominative determinism" in action. But it makes sense, too, because both the Brighton veteran and the Bristol not-so-veteran are known for a knack with a crowdpleasing tune, so to misquote 'Hart To Hart': when they came together, it was always gonna be moidah! We'll all probably be sick of it by August, but only because 'All The Ladies' - with its filtered, rolling drums, looped-up hip-house vocal, cheeky jazz brass and Pavlovian snare rolls - has Feelgood Hit Of The Summer written all over it.
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: Since launching in 2018, Midnight Riot's gospel-fired "Take It To Church" compilation series has proved hugely popular, hence this third volume of re-edits, remixes and sample-heavy original productions. As usual, there's much to set the pulse racing from start to finish, with highlights including the jazz-funk fired soulful house bump of Opolopo's remix of "Follow Me" by Sense of Sound Singers, the gospel disco/disco-house fusion of Sarah Dash's "Something Inside (DJ Spen & Reelsoul Remix)", the rubbery goodness of Carlton Low's 1980s sounding "Peace, Love, Happiness", the gospel-boogie brilliance of Jack Tennis's filter-heavy "Won't You" and the gospel scalpel science that is Divine Situation's superb "Goin' On" re-edit.
Review: 2020 marks the 25th year of !K7's acclaimed DJ-Kicks series with Mr Scruff following contributions of late from Leon Vynehall, Laurel Halo, Peggy Gou and Kamaal Williams! Mr Scruff's adventures in sound brings to DJ-Kicks more than 30 tracks of wildly varying styles featuring highlighted music from Equiknoxx, Tiger, Errorsmith, Max Graef and Zongamin. Scruff brings to his edition an exclusive collaboration with CyberPunkJazz ("3001: A Space Disco Remix") and an unreleased track from Andy Ash to boot. Alexander Robotnik makes in there with the wild New York post-funk of "Love Supreme" alongside a heavy Tony Allen percussion session in "Gbedu B". DJ Nervoso for the win too!
Review: The latest in Audaz's prolific re-edit series is very much the proverbial game of two halves. The first four cuts all draw on early-mid 80s dancefloor sources, including P-Funk All Stars' 'Hydraulic Pump' ('162') and the Ronnie Laws version of 'Always There' ('164'), but the rest of the EP looks to classic rock and pop for inspiration, presenting us with Lolita'd up takes on The Byrds' 'Time Of The Season' ('165'), David Bowie's 'Starman' ('166'), Nik Kershaw's 'I Won't Let The Sun Go Down On Me' ('167'), The Cure's 'The Walk' ('168') and The Stranglers' 'Always The Sun' ('169'). If you play multi-genre DJ sets, there's some useful ammunition here!
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: After two years away in which they offered up a wealth of releases on other top-tier labels (Pets Recordings, Ton Tonics and Madhouse included), Italian twosome Black Loops returns to Freerange Recordings with another must-check EP. As usual, there's far more hits than misses. We're particularly enjoying the loose-limbed deep house funk of opener "Fresh 16", a canny combination of chunky, funky grooves, classic Italian house chords and synthesizer melodies so sunny they might burn your skin if you wallow in the track's majesty too long. Elsewhere, "Something Special" - named in honour of the Peech Boys track it sneakily samples - is a pitch-perfect chunk of swinging New Jersey deep house warmth, while "Blue Pill" adds a tech-house touch to a vintage Italian style chunk of glassy-eyed, loved-up deepness.
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.
AC Slater & Young Lyxx - "Ready To Pop Off" (NuKid remix) - (3:46) 128 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: 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: Rhode Island-based Katakana Edits bring us the 98th installment in this long-running series, and once more we're in the hands of Morlack, who's contributed no fewer than 14 previous volumes. The French DJ/producer has dug pretty deep for source material: 'Cali Style' bites Eddy Grant's 'California Style', the Jimmy Castor Bunch's 1975 novelty funker 'King Kong' gets a light-touch refix and 'L.Cats' gives The Cure an unexpected breakbeat makeover, but that's about as much as we can tell you! The rest of the EP draws on unidentified soul, funk and boogie nuggets, many of them with non-Anglophone vocals.
Review: If you've yet to check the Mauskovic Dance Band's debut mini-album on Soundway, do yourself a favour and do it today - it really is a mixed-up, post-punk disco treat. In the meantime, get your ears around this revision of our favourite track from the set, "Space Drum Machine". Whereas that was a heavily percussive, effects-laden chunk of riotous sweatiness, this extended revision from Heist bosses Detroit Swindle brilliantly re-imagines it as a retro-futurist chunk of Afro-house goodness rich in pots-and-pans percussion hits, spacey noises, fuzzy keys, fizzing synth riffs and an extended flute solo that reminded us of Mark Brydon and DJ Parrot's "Sunshine Dub Instrumental" of early Warp Records cut "Hey! Hey! Can U Relate?" by DJ Mink. Given that remix is a stone cold psychedelic house classic, it's a comparison we don't make lightly.
Review: Zoo Look follow up on their welcome return (the Similar Steps EP on Lost Palms) with this choice drop for Lazare Hoche, the Parisian bastion of all things deep and housey. Zoo Look has lost none of their charm as you can hear on the sultry and seductive "Sight Unseen", while "The Reason" sees them exploring dubby realms to enchanting effect. "Tranmission7" brings an intriguing broken beat flavour to the rhythm section, capturing a mood somewhere between techno, electro and dubstep and dipping it in honey for a sweet finish. Then Malin Genie steps up with a masterful remix of "Sight Unseen" that works some Detroitian flavours into the mix to great effect.
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: Don't be fooled by the title here. While there's definitely a strong African influence to the six tracks featured on this EP from Greece's Timewarp, you don't need to be a lover of complex polyrhythms or breathy, chanted vox to appreciate them. Instead, ever-prolific Italian producer Lalinga looks to African funk and jazz of the 1970s for inspiration. 'Nasty Shit' comes at the sound from a hip-hop perspective and 'Rebellie' is the EP's most overtly house-leaning cut, while 'Afrikaanse Waansin' is the most traditional-sounding, but all six will work well on the floor and will have particular appeal for the breakers and jazz dancers.
Review: These re-edit EPs from Audaz usually feature a mix of the familiar and the obscure, with forgotten disco nuggets or hidden Afro treasures nestling alongside reworkings of massive pop and rock hits. There have been volumes that kept things more resolutely underground, though, and so it is here, on a 10-track EP that seems to draw largely on late 70s/early 80s Eurodisco for inspiration. The precise source material has our disco detectives beat this time around - though the familiar-sounding jaunty piano riff that backbones '222' has been driving us mad all week - but disco- and boogie-loving floors will find much to enjoy here.
Review: Clone sub-label Royal Oak bring us some uptempo disco/proto-house vibes par excellence courtesy of Masarima, which is a new project from Dario di Pace, the Italian producer formerly known as Rio Padice. In its original Club Mix form, 'Freak Like You' rides a sparse electro beat with gloriously 80s synths, squelchy talkbox-like guitar and a proper little earworm of a female "a freak like me needs a freak like you" vocal, while the Remix is chunkier and more overtly house-ified. Definitely one for the dancers, with a Radio Edit and a useful Freakapella completing the package.
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: 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: 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: Dennis Cruz's musical journey has seen him receive accolades for his output, with a number of awards and nominations including Best Producer in 2017's DJ Awards and releasing on influential imprints like Solid Grooves, Moon Harbour and Hot Creations. For his new one on Damian Lazarus' Crosstown Rebels imprint entitled "Uhuru", he teams up with fellow Spaniards Delmar and Alvaro aka aka Los Suruba for some deeply meditative and trance-inducing deepness - perfect for a shamanic ritual. He then flies solo on the hypnotic afterhours tech house of "Los Libros" which features some sweltering polyrhythms with truly scintillating Latin vocals. Closing it out is the dirty, tough rolling jacker "Loco" which proves this top producer can rock the main room too!
Review: Kevin Dennis Pierre aka Demuir out of Toronto is a legend of the scene with a discography that dates back 20 years. An OG house gangster, his music in recent times has hooked up with the likes of DJ Sneak and Cassy with other releases making their way to Yoruba, Robsoul, Desolat and most recently in 2019, Hot Creations. Now for Catz n Dogz' Pets Recordings in 2020 he drops the three-track Black Soul + Techno EP. Channelling a hardcore acid and Detroit styled techno edge comparable to the work of Blake Baxter, Demuir's "Something Inside Of Me" delivers a tunneling, bass heavy, grooving techno burner. With an extra dub version to boot, "Black Kids Love Techno" then looks towards trippy touches of bleeps and mind bending synths in a banging b-side alternative.
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: The Velvet Stripes are a contemporary duo who hail from Puebla in Mexico... which surprised us, because on first hearing this EP we were sure it just HAD to be a reissue of some obscure Japanese disco nugget from the late 70s. Which is, of course, another way of saying that if you're after some fresh but authentic-sounding disco grooves with the kinda off-kilter feel, Latin-y/lounge-y flourishes and hints of bubblegum that disco from non-Anglophone countries often tended to have, you'll struggle to find much better this month than the 'Sugar Disco Baby EP'.
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 Cody Currie and American jazz pianist Joel Holmes first joined forces on 2019's "New Chapter", a brilliant EP that effortlessly joined the dots between dusty deep house, jazz-funk and Kaidi Tatham style broken beat. This speedy follow-up is arguably even better. They begin with the organic deep house soulfulness of "Love We Feel", where Holmes' wonderful vocals and keys-work rides loose-limbed beats and a warm bassline, before inviting a cast-list of guest vocalists and musicians to lend a hand on the futuristic, spoken word-sporting deep house/jazz-funk fusion of EP highlight "Metropolis". Elsewhere, "Shitz Cool" is a glassy-eyed shuffle through spacey, ultra-deep house dreaminess, while closing cut "Direction" is a deliciously positive, rich and life-affirming dance through musically expansive soulful house goodness.
Review: Slowly surfacing from a pool of labels that includes Pets Recordings, Ajunadeep and Life & Death, Joseph Ashworth for Moscoman's Disco Halal label delivers a deeper subtle affair most defined by its lead track "Breathe" that fizzes with digital distortion, the crackle of electronics and the sibilance of enchanted whispers. The track builds into an emotional fuelled number of deeper progressions and even trance that's given a crowning remix by Tunnelvisions that tops the EP, while "Expectation" delivers the record a slightly more straight up, clubby tech house mix alongside the disco burning "Alternator".
Review: The Hooversound Recordings team have been making quite a bit of noise of late, so to see this latest project drop from both Hyroglifics and Sinistarr immediatly filled us with excitement. We firstly jump into 'Turbo Island' as Hyroglifics rolls out a high energy bleep-fest, before leaping into three weighty collaborations. The shuffling dub echoes and high energy drums of 'BS6' kick us off in good stead, alongside the glistening breaks of 'Turn It Up' and powerful sub pushes of Sinistarr's solo submission: 'Detroit'. Finally, we take in Scratcha DVA's fantastic rework of BS6, overhauling the track with an incredibly depthy soundscapy feel.
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: The legendary 3D DJs aka Darren Emerson, Dave Seaman & Danny Howells return to complete their trilogy of EPs for Seaman's Selador imprint. The third installment of their collaborative album project sees each of them contribute an individual track. It's Howells who kicks things off with the slinky and hypnotic groove of "Shortwave", followed by Emerson who contributes the balmy percussive tech house journey of "Sleeping Bag' featuring subtle balearic undertones. It's boss man Seaman hammering the message home with the powerful, peak time dancefloor drama of "Press 1 For Human". All for one and one for all, three is the magic number.
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: After taking some time out to be a Dad, Germany's Daniel Klein - a 30-year scene veteran who's played everywhere from Manumission to Tresor - returned last year as SIRS, in which guise he's been peddling some very classy contemporary funk and disco grooves. Taken from November's debut SIRS long-player 'Banana Hard & Disco Kisses', 'Night Wind' features a Lisa Shaw-esque female vocal from Hava Izmailova, and comes in four mixes: the album version and an instrumental, plus an Austin Ato Remix that sits somewhere between nu-disco and melodic house, and an altogether sleazier, squelchier Future Disco Dub.
Review: Shockingly, 19 years have passed since Renato Cohen lighted up dancefloors with his Brazilian techno classic "Pontape". Little he has released since has enjoyed the same level of success as that colossal cut, but he continues to serve up some seriously good music. Here he makes his bow on Pets Recordings with a four-tracker that looks to Giorgio Moroder, Italo-disco and 80s electro-funk for inspiration. He hits the ground running with the rolling, arpeggio-fired Italo-disco funkiness of "Lone Ranger", before wrapping fizzing electronic motifs, Hi-NRG style synth stabs and a squelchy electro bassline around nu-disco drums on "Bismuth". Elsewhere, "Deocleciana" is a delicious blend of crunchy beats, cowbells and warehouse-ready riffs, while Jennifer Cardini's remix of "Bismuth" turns the track into a muscular, Patrick Cowley style slammer.
Review: The king of moody dancefloor drama returns on Kompakt. Rune Reilly Kolsch is absolutely synonymous with the label's sound aesthetic by now and follows up last month's thriller "Shoulder Of Giants". This time around, he provides the subtle yet elevating trance arpeggios of "Time" which are supported by breathtaking female vocals and roaring string arrangements which are altogether sure to cause a stir on the dancefloor. This is followed by the more subdued and introspective arrangement of "Sleeper Must Awaken" featuring Kolsch's signature razor sharp synth leads against a backdrop of strong electro style beats - greyscale deep house at its finest.
Digital Koala - "Gimme The Brain" - (3:30) 128 BPM
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: A few weeks ago you may remember us asking if James Burnham ever finds time to sleep? Clearly not! The Middlesbourough native and Constant Sound main man takes time out from the Burnski alias and is on a roll as James Solace, following up a terrific efforts for Hot Creations and Knee Deep In Sound. His new hit prediction is "Ghost Town", a rolling funky house tool which is sure to cause a stir in the clubs, not to mention the energised and tranced-out euphoria of "Universal" and the utterly hypnotic prog house epic "Spectral" which will work a treat under the strobe lights. Finally, the Afro house influenced "Thoughts" provides emotive and spiritual vibes.
Review: Constant Sound's electro arm, Infiltrate, calls upon the considerable talents and technical heft of London Modular Alliance for a bruising EP of body-popping exploration strapped to a tough n' funky beatdown. "Crack Fox" is as nervy and nimble as the title might suggest, while "Regular Customer" takes things in a hyper-detailed direction compatible with the kind of advanced machine funk you expect from Silicon Scally. "Blinky" follows suit with another artfully woven web of twitchy synth hooks and deftly sequenced drums, and then "Other Worlds" switches things up with some seriously hefty bass pressure pivoting around a dubstep attitude towards space and moodiness.
Review: London producer Daniel Rose-Weir has chalked up nearly 20 releases since 2014: there've been outings on Delusions Of Grandeur and Sulta Selects, but most of his work comes out through his own Shake Music, who bring us this latest three-tracker. 'Mosquito' itself is an experimental cut that takes laidback, lounge-y shakers and keys, underpins them with tuff beats reminiscent of mid-00s Underwater, then adds a synth snarl to represent the titular blood-sucking beastie. 'The Deep End' is a hazy chugger replete with warping reversed synths, while those in search of more straight-up/trad-style deep house pleasures should head for 'Hide & Seek'.
Review: First released on vinyl in 2017 as "Bonus Blurps", this tidy EP offers up a range of Gnork tracks, plus the Hungarian producer's wonderfully warm and melodious retro-futurist deep house remix of Schmidt Trigger's "Bethesda Bison" and two spacey ambient revisions of his work by Luv Jam. Highlights are plentiful, from the bass-heavy bounce of hybrid electro/deep house number "Sexxx In Space" and the bleeping bliss of "Planet EE 1 4 (Gnork's Secret Unreleased Mix)", to the hazy, dubbed-out hypnotism of early morning treat "Wat (Gnork's Secret Unreleased 4 Mix)".
Review: Last summer, Gerd Janson and Philip Lauer brought their giddily retro-futurist Tuff City Kids project to Suol for the very first time via an acid-fired single-track salvo. Here they continue their relationship with the long-running German house imprint through "Beau Tan", a typically glassy-eyed, colourful and attractive chunk of Balearic house liss full of catchy analogue bass, sustained strings, dreamy chords and jumpy synth stabs. The Ruff Stuff remix brilliantly twists the track into wilder new shapes (check the punchy beats and psychedelic acid lines), while the Intr0beatz rework is a slick chunk of heartwarming deep house haziness.