Review: Originally released in 2015, Young Marco's "The Best I Could Do" shows that he is as adept in the studio as he is behind the decks. The renowned crate digger draws on his knowledge of underground house and techno for this understated, melancholic affair. Sad synths swirl up over a raw, resonating bass and the end result has a decidedly wintry feeling. House veteran Tom Trago drops a similar sounding track, "Brutal Romance (TT's Love Fix)". However, on this occasion, the groove is upbeat and the riffs are more insistent, but the same frazzled approach to production prevails. Keeping it atmospheric, Fatima Yamaha delivers the slow tempo, synth-heavy "The Creature From Culture Creation", which also featured on the original 2015 release.
Review: If your finances couldn't quite stretch to buying all four releases in the unique Dekmantel x Patta series - in which limited edition vinyl EPs came packaged with exclusive items of clothing - this digital compilation is something of a lifesaver. For starters, the exclusive material - first included on the hard-to-get EPs, and now showcased here - is pretty darn tasty. The various Amsterdam-based producers involved generally hit the spot, from the melodious, analogue-rich Balearic techno of Young Marco's "The Best I Could Do (With What I Had)", and sparkling Detroit retro-futurism of Mark Du Mosch's "2nd 5ystem", to the cosmic deep house shimmer of Tom Trago's "Brutal Romance", and bizarre, off-kilter deep house-jazz of Makam's "The Struggles". Aardvark's quirky rumba-house workout, "Kubaa Rumbaa" is rather good, too.