Review: When a sound or style has been around for over two decades, there are two things a young producer can do with it: they can add their own twist, taking the sound in new directions, or they can stick faithfully to the original blueprint, proving they have the chops to compete with their first-generation forebears. This collection from Strictly House And Garage features 13 brand new speed garage and two-step cuts from as many artists, pretty much all of whom have chosen the latter route - it's been 20 years since this writer held down a UK garage residency, but when I heard this album it felt like five minutes ago! Excellent work all round.
Review: Despite the setbacks brought forth by the pandemic, we're confident that Toolroom will still have a stellar year as always! With that in mind, the fifth edition in their 'House Party' series' looks to be the biggest yet, with a whopping 70 tracks to keep the party going for days on end. As a bonus, label signees such as Wankelmut, TCTS and Siege (who appear with contributions to the compilation personally) provide a continuous mix each - bringing the party to your house. Other highlights come from a wide variety of artists within the tech/house spectrum such as: legends Technasia and Green Velvet with the aforementioned Siege on the mighty "Suga" (Siege extended mix), the ascendant Luxembourger Amii Watson with the sensual mood music of "Higher" and the Fuse London affiliated Rich NxT teaming up with minimal techno vetran Christian Burkhardt on the slinky and hypnotic "Basics" - plus many more.
Review: Hands down the biggest compilation of trance music to hit 2021 so far is this epic rundown by Armada. Literally 100-tracks large, the compilation delivers extended versions of tracks by much loved trance royalty in Armin Van Buuren and Above & Beyond to intriguing collaborations between Paul van Dyke & Sue McLaren, Ferry Corsten & Trance Wax (tip!) or Tinlicker & Robert Miles (classic!). Dig deeper still and you'll find diamonds from Chicane, Elysian, Maarten De Jong and the undeniable Ilan Bluestone. Buy one, by them all!