Review: Silicone Soul's Darkroom Dubs build on the foundations laid 30 years ago during that Second Summer Of Love - and they rewind back to that zeitgeist in '88/'89 by way of current artists and some legends alike: the heady haze of two culture-accelerating summers. The veteran UK DJ Justin Robertson fires up his Deadstock 33 alias once again on this blissed-out electro groove of "Infinite Interchange", Scandinavian tech-house heroes Of Norway (Connaisseur/My Favorite Robot) deliver the dubby and evocative mood lighting of "She Never Lost A Passenger" and label mainstays Skinnerbox get properly moody on the atmospheric "Nyeusi" (Original Mix).
Review: Straight out of the heart of London's techno scene, Justin Robertson arrives alongside Edinburgh's 'Paradise Palms' imprint with a fantastic double side single. The A side 'Numerical Discord Swap' is a hardware fan's ultimate creation, with synthesizers running wild up, down and across the mix with crunchy drums providing the gusto in between. On the flip we hear 'Cyborg holiday' which takes a more lo-fi approach, incorporating digital woodwind instrumentation and a collection of unpredictable bass LFO's. This one is a great purchase for any techno fan!
Review: Andrew Weatherall and Timothy J Fairplay's project of dubbed out disco and house spread itself comfortably across the Ruled By Passion, Destroyed By Lust LP on Rotters Golf Club mere months before, and now a rag tag collection of remixers has been drawn together to reinterpret most of the album. They've reached for like-minded souls, such as Group Rhoda's seductive minimal wave patter, or the nervy industrial undertones of Justin Robertson's Deadstock 33s. Black Merlin do an especially captivating job of soundtracking "Skwatch" into a lurid 80s gore fest for the ears, while Scott Fraser whips up a hypnotic Italo inflected stomper, but really every one of these esteemed producers adds to the overall tone of vintage, motor-powered dance music for ghoulish souls.
Review: According to those behind the label, Toy Tonics' Mushroom House compilation was inspired by "the new wave of weirdo house" that's inspired by "ethno, Afro and psychedelic music". The collection's 15 tracks include a swathe of new or previously unheard cuts from the likes of Auntie Flo, Daniel Avery & Justin Robertson, Daniel Haaksman, Hyenah and Drrrtyhaze. With such a strong line-up, it's no surprise that the music is uniformly excellent. Highlights include, but are not limited to, DJ Koze's superb Hudson River Dub of WhoMadeWho's eccentric "Keep Me In My Plane", the epic build-ups and trippy, dubbed-out riffs of Munk and Rebolledo's "Surf Smurf", and the psychedelic acid attack of Massimiliano Pagliara's remix of Barotti's "She Once Knew".
Review: Tom Tom Disco founder Richard Rossa has been part of the European electronic music scene for the past four years, releasing fluid, synth-heavy blends of Italo, nu-disco and deep house on a variety of labels. Here he returns to his own label with a three-track blast of undulating goodness. "Ramvong" sets the tone, offering an attractive fusion of raw analogue synths, live-sounding drums and vivid electronic melodies. "Draco" flips the script a little, focusing the action around a thunderous, rave-influenced synth bassline and wonky riffs. Best of all, though, is Justin Robertson's rework of "Ramvong", which morphs the Stockholm native's breezy original into a head-pounding chunk of acid-tinged Italo-disco.
Review: There's something decidedly trippy, bordering on psychedelic, about the slo-mo and mid-tempo house workouts of Spanish trio Cannibal Ink. "Le Petit Prince" is a perfect example of their trademark style, and featuring raw, rough electronics and acid flashes riding a chugging, saucer-eyed, no-wave influenced house groove. It's a little more tech-tinged than some of the material on, say, World Unknown and Emotional [Especial], but it shares a similar aesthetic. There's a myriad of remixes to choose from, with Justin Robertson's Chicken Lips-go-industrial take, Moscoman's weird-wave interpretation, and Alvaro Cabana's punk-funk influenced drug-chug standing out.
Review: Emerging star out of Leeds Denney is still hot from recent releases for Hot Creations and Poker Flat and now makes his debut on the legendary Steve Lawler's Viva Music with some slinky tech house grooves set to explode on the island or any or other beach party for that matter! "On & On" features a tight rhythm beneath a bouncy, razor sharp bassline and powerful diva vocals; ticks all the right boxes. The "Monday Club Mix" gets a bit more on the late night tech house tip; a bit darker and sleazier. The legendary Justin Robertson of Lionrock fame lends his hand on a deft remix; the "Deadstock 33s Remix" is a bleepy minimal groove with a resonating, hands in the air melody that sounds somewhere between Marc Houle and Will Clarke. Finally "This Is Music" is a grinding, squelchy 303 acid stormer that even still manages to squeeze in some diva vocals; mental! The Waifs & Strays remix takes the acid into deeper and darker territory with another rolling late night groove that'd appeal to fans of Gruuv or Saved.