Review: As Tuff City Kids, Lauer and Gerd Janson are masters at delivering raw-as-sandpaper jackin' house-pop (just the way we like it). Here though with the help of Norwegian popette Annie they indulge their hidden campy side on the monumentally fun "Labyrinth". With a classic mid-80s arpeggiated energy, the track perfectly straddles the fine line between Italo Disco and early Jamie Principle (think Bad Boy) with a hint of the Smalltown Boys. Their own TCK rework steers things more towards the Ron Hardy side of town, and there's also some tasty reworks by Morgan Geist and DJ Oyster too.
Review: Gerd Janson and Philip Lauer are equally respected artists in their own right, but then they teamed up as Tuff City Kids they really conjured up a distinct style of magic between them. From plundering the vaults of classic house and disco sounds, through to their current fascination with old school techno and '90s rave aesthetics - even more styles gets thrown into the mix here. All courtesy of some of their favorite artists, getting the chance to rework some of the pair's recent tracks from the Adolescent LP - on the third and final series of remixes. Bulgarian hardware maverick KiNK delivers a furiously epic rendition of "Tell Me" (featuring Joe Goddard), Berlin legend Sascha Funke presents a spookily lo-slung perspective of "Wake People" and Norwegian disco hero Prins Thomas works his magic as always on an electrifying balearic rendition of the same track.
Review: Lauer and Gerd Janson's Tuff City Kids project has been revered for their signature sound that has made them the current toast of the house music scene - neon-lit classic analogue sounds that are evocative enough to be featured on a John Hughes movie soundtrack - if they could go back in a time machine. On the face of it, you'd be surprised by their remix choices: for example Marcel Dettmann? Rest assured they're in good hands here with the Berghain resident - whose recent exploits have also been invested in the early industrial sounds of the '80s recently and that's really evident on his rendition of "Scared". Likewise, fellow Berghain regular and Hotflush boss Scuba dons his more nefarious SCB guise on a perspective of "Nordo", creating a seething and mental warehouse techno jam to lead in to the peak time. Elsewhere, Roman Fluegel impresses as always with his slinky and hypnotic rework of "R-Mancer" while Permanent Vacation boss Benjamin Froelich delivers not one but two remixes of "Tell Me" featuring Hot Chip's Joe Goddard.
Review: Here's something to write home about: a surprise debut album from on-point retro-futurists Tuff City Kids, AKA Running Back boss Gerd Janson and old pal Phillip Lauer. Given the opportunities for expression offered by the album format, it's perhaps unsurprising to find that they've decided against packing it entirely with hustling, warehouse-ready old skool house jams. Instead, their usual vintage synth stabs and drum machine rhythms are put to work on tracks that variously doff a cap to skewed synth-pop (Joe Goddard collaboration "Tell Me", Annie hook-up "Labyrinth"), cello-laden late night house (Kelley Polar hook-up "Aska"), acid-flecked electro ("Boilered"), early Human League tributes ("Scared"), and blissfully positive electronica ("Farewell House").
Review: Having started out as a remix-orientated project, the Tuff City Kids pairing of Gerd Janson and Phillip Lauer are increasingly being regarded as producers of original club ready material. Since debuting in high profile fashion with a EP for Ostgut sub-label Unterton last year, the hirsute pairing have grace both Live At Robert Johnson and Sven Vath's Cocoon with original material. A debut on Delsin's house focused series seems right in line with the Tuff City Kids trajectory and their talents for hard-edged yet melodic house productions are on full display with the Roby Tease EP. Lead track "HFS" sets the tone perfectly with blissful textural touches that feel like a Lauer trademark lent a sense of subtle brutishness by the rise and tide of the rhythmic elements, while "Wendy (Girlfriend 43 Piano Mix)" is a contrast of 90s piano house and more steely contemporary techno. Janson and Lauer's production versatility is further demonstrated with final cut "Reeze" that operates at a slower tempo that showcases the well-defined drums and snares, ramshackle percussive flourishes and juddery bass.
Review: Frankfurt institution Robert Johnson have truly succeeded in creating an in-house label that stands strong on its own without needing to lean on the club that birthed it. Phillip Lauer has been a part of that success story since the early days of the label, appearing as part of Art Mwambe, as himself, and many of his other collaborative ventures. As such it makes sense that this addendum to the recent Lifesaver Compilation 2 release features two such projects, with Tuff City Kids up first. As ever from Gerd Janson and Lauer the vibe is brightly coloured and immediately grabbing, dealing in thoughtful house constructions without compromising on impact, while elsewhere Hotel Lauer features Phillip's brother Jacob getting involved for a more dubby excursion with a pleasing old-skool finish.