Review: Midnight Right's Afrobeat, Afro-funk and Afro-disco inspired "Riot In Lagos" compilation is arguably one of the label's standout releases of the last few years, so it's exciting to hear that volume two is on the way. To give us a taste of what's to come, the Yam Who-helmed imprint has offered up this rock solid sampler. Krewcial kicks things off via the jaunty, sax-heavy brilliance of "Mabina" - a kind of swinging, bass-heavy disco tribute to Fela Kuti - before Get To Know cheerily dance through mid-80s Nigerian boogie/synth-soul pastures on the wonderful "Fugar" re-edit. The EP also boasts two versions of Situation's Afro-centric cut "Wonky": a deep and jazzy Afro-house version by Frank Situation rich in glistening jazz guitar solos, and an even hazier and more hypnotic Mr Mulatto take.
Review: Cologne cronies ANDHIM add some bells and whistles to a vinyl only release they did last year on top of some new touches to their Buenos Aires EP. Pitched down monotonous rave tones spring to life in an acid tripping remix to "Duno" - getting all UK hardcore on your ass - with Polish duo Catz n Dogz building their drum machines, percussion layovers and white noise build ups to dramatic effect that extend themselves into tearing basslines and tropical crescendos. Benjamin Frohlich also chooses an exotic route in his remix to "Aires", with a spiralling arpeggiator and fluctuating keys pumping in sweet unison and melody.
Review: Format Music DnB have a sampler coming out for a forthcoming compilation LP, which looks set to be a testament to the strengths of the label, spread out across multiple artists and tracks. The sampler is three tracks long and the prevailing wind is expressed by Crisis & Ikon-B on 'Humanize', which rests upon a supremely punchy percussive line, the main action taking place in the streaming, pitched up and aggressive bassline. DJ Twiz's 'Danger Time' is more sub focused, with a spattered drum line and a wobbly underbelly of force. Excellent.
Review: To celebrate the fifth birthday of their essential Riverette label, Spanish twosome Dos Attack has put together a series of sizzling EPs featuring a wealth of previously unheard music. Volume two begins with Throwing Snow's "Reminisce", a bass-heavy broken beat number rich in tribal percussion sounds, dreamy chords and eyes-closed melodies, and continues with a spot of organ-heavy Afrobeat-deep house fusion by Marcel Vogel ("Blaze"). Pepe joins the dots between turn-of-the-90s Italian deep house and Balearic nu-disco on the life-affirming warmth of "Linda's Retreat", while Medlar wraps rising and falling synthesizer melodies around a lo-fi drum machine beat on the equally lovely "606".
Review: By his normally prolific standards, Marquis Hawkes has been surprisingly quiet in 2019. In fact, this three-tracker for regular home Aus Music is just his third outing of the year, following typically well-received releases on Honom and Unknown To The Unknown. Opener "Hashtag Life Goals" is a wonderfully dreamy and glassy-eyed affair, with female spoken word samples, drowsy chords and picturesque melodies rising above booming bass and beats so sweaty they might have a fever. Hawkes successfully breaks up the beats on "Don't Forget To Subscribe", where thrillingly positive synthesizer motifs and woozy chords envelop NYC Freestyle-influenced electro drums, while "CS Groove" is a locked-in deep house box jam full of crunchy machine percussion, headline-grabbing bass and enveloping chords.
Review: The term 'deep house' is applied so freely these days that at times it can seem meaningless, so be grateful that we still have the likes of Goddard around to remind us all what those words really mean! 'Fourth Dimension' is an instrumental jam centred around a squelchy bassline and fluttering, cascading synths, while 'Signals' channels vintage Chi-town deepness from the late 80s/early 90s. 'It's Not Cold In Tromso' is a more leftfield affair with pounding 4/4s and YMO-ish synths, while completing the package is the Jad & The Remix of the latter, a glacial, futuristic pass with acid house and electro influences.
Review: So at this point it's difficult to find the words to describe Night Bass, who have pushed out one of the most relentless release schedules we have ever witnessed here at JunoDownload over the last 12 months. The 4x4 giants have here assembled what they believe to be their best releases of 2019 into one handy selection, featuring absolute stormers from the likes of legendary faces such as Taiki Nulight, Shift K3y, Bushbaby, Notion, Corrupt, Phlegmatic Dogs and more, including a feature from label founder and worldwide dance music legend: AC Slater. What a year it has been for Night Bass, and we can't see them slowing down.
Review: Showcasing a wide range of sounds has always been very important to Dirtybird head honcho Claude Vonstroke. After 15 years of releasing two track EPs with a crazy A side and a deeper/weirder B side, he's been on to a winning formula all this time - so why stop now! Bringing the sound of the west (best) coast once again in the form of the boompty main room blip, bleep 'n blurp of "All My People In The House" (a big hit at this year's annual Campout we're sure), he then goes even further into the afterhours with studio assistant, friend and modular expert Wyatt Marshall - who collaborates with him on the sensual and evocative B side track "Youngblood".
Review: Two years on from his last album-length outing under the Lane 8 alias, tech house/progressive house fusionist Daniel Goldstein returns with an action-packed set featuring a mixture of songs and instrumentals. "Brightest Lights" is melodious, imaginative and musically intricate, with Goldstein effortlessly jogging between sun-baked mid-tempo workouts, icy synth-pop influenced goodness, cheery dancefloor workouts and the kind of glistening electronic goodness that sounds as good on the radio as it does in the club. At a notably dull and depressing time of the year, this kind of celebratory musical positivity is more than welcome.
The Upbeats - "Aotea" (feat Shapeshifter) - (3:02) 173 BPM
Review: The Upbeats, after an initial two singles, are releasing the third full instalment in their No Sleep 'Til series: New Zealand. It's the pair's home and as such they've teamed up with New Zealand natives Tiki Taane and Shapeshifter, as well as the UK's Workforce, for a damn cool four-track EP. You can hear Workforce's contribution on CTK4000, a gritty roller that skips out over a punishing percussive section, and The Upbeat's cross-tempo talents are exposed on the crunchy halftime beats of Nautilus. Aotea is an atmospheric down-tempo number to finish and it rounds off a quality bit of work.
Review: Tis the season! Hospital get into the festival spirit with these three special gems from some of their nearest and dearest. Makoto follows up his album with another collabo stunner, this time with old friend Robert Manos; "Invisible" is a timeless piece of soul with big breezy pads, lilting chords, stand-up bass and beautiful vocals. It's backed by two long-awaited VIPs from two 2016 Hozzy bangers; Keeno's piano-charged heart-stopper "Futurism" gets a new barbed edge while Polaris's VIP of "The Light In Your Eyes" ensures the future sound of Canada remains very much in the future. See you on the other side.
Review: We're not quite sure how Jedi manages to put out so many releases, to be honest, because the man is just always on it. Always on a mix of labels, this time it's Brummy imprint Dubstomp 2 Bass. The title track is refreshingly heavy, creative bass work and stepping drum smacks forming archways of diving bass force, a joy to listen to and we'd imagine pretty devastating on the dancefloor. 'Sweet Gun' sees Jedi on familiar territory - naughty jump up that makes you want to hit your nan. 'Boner' is different again, a pummelling, fluid back end laid out beneath a rolling set of drums. Yes Jedi!
Review: Fill yer boots for the ravers out there that ain't no stranger to the club and kick drums, yer tech house fillings are here, a whole year's worth. Deep Dish's label out of Washington has been prolific as always on the release front this year with a stream on sunwashed Ibiza compilations coming out alongside EPs from CJ Jeff, Olivier Giacomotto and Sinisa Tamamovic to name a few, all of which feature here. Alongside other influential label member Sharam, Made By Pete delivers two cuts with the synth driven "Hawkins" and Enamours' deep tribal mix to "Aikido". Our pick though being Dubspeeka's remix to Sharam's "Secret Parkway" which sounds like a 2019 remake of Mike Huckaby's legendary track "Sandcastle".
Review: The 1990s Afro-Cosmic scene, highlighting on Munich's The New Morning project, is the focus of an in depth reissue, collected across 3 six-track EPs.
As the influence and cult of Baldelli's Cosmic sound spread out across Italy from the late 1970s, the music expanded, mixing new wave, African, funk, electro, space rock, Brazilian, jazz and dub, all delivered in a freestyle playing that became Afro.
Adding percussion, samples and effects, the music spread north to Austria and Southern Germany, where DJs, producers, labels and parties flourished. In 1994, DJ Otti and Jay Pee started Global Rhythm Records and with friends DJ Thilo and DJ Fred released 1O EPs and 1 LP over 4 years.
The 3 EPs select the best of this output, including unreleased tracks, mixing a love of funk, disco, hip hop and house with syncopated analogue beats and live percussion. The 90-110 bpm sample heavy tracks, often running for only 3 to 4 minutes, showcase their eclectic sound collage.
More than DJ tools, the EPs were warmly received by aficionados and clubbers alike, becoming mainstays at the afro-tribal gatherings taking place throughout the scene. Secret plays for taste-making DJs since, their scarcity and value have increased considerably, bringing a new appreciation of their Afro-Funky sound.
Review: Second time around for South Sudanese musician and political activist Emmanual Jal's "Kuar" single, which first landed on Innervisions a decade ago. That time, there was a lot of heat around Henrik Schwarz's headline-grabbing remix, which re-imagined Jal's traditional Sudanese track as a tech-tinged chunk of Afro-house brilliance rich in bold bass, trippy electronics, layered percussion and rave-ready late night riffs. That fine rework is given another airing here alongside a previously unheard Schwarz mix subtitled "Don't Let Your Vote Be Fake Newsed". This revision strips out much of Jal's vocal, instead offering a pumped up, riff-heavy variation on Schwarz's original remix.
Review: Someone give Sam Binga some shampoo - his EP cap fits so well he's been wearing it since April! Thing is, it fits so well... No matter how you dress it. Previous iterations of tracks from the EP landed late summer, now comes a new chapter as Halogenix dons his Lordel guise for an iced-out halftime take of the Paul Wall-fronted title track that creeps with real shadowy wave feels. Speaking of shadows, and indeed Halogenix, "Flexha" is a brand new fix up of Bing and Halogenix's "I'm An Adult" now loaded with full fire bars from the one and only Trigga. Thiccer vibes, still the same badboy cap. Strictly 18+
Don't Stop No Sleep (Tale Of Us remix) - (7:30) 128 BPM
Don't Stop No Sleep (Roman Poncet & DJ Deep remix) - (6:51) 130 BPM
Review: Radio Slave's 2014 release gets the remix treatment from some of the biggest names in house and techno. First up is Robert Hood's version, where the Detroit veteran takes the original track's vocal loop and sets it against firing percussion and a barrelling techno rhythm. It builds up to a heady climax courtesy of some churning chords. Meanwhile, the Tale of Us interpretation focuses on letting the vocal unravel over a juddering kick, wiry percussion and dramatic chords - while the formidable pairing of Roman Poncet and DJ Deep head down a similar route, albeit one inhabited by garbled synth hooks and crisp claps.
Review: Conspire has been popping up on labels both liquid and otherwise for quite some time now, and if you haven't checked out his back-catalogue we definitely recommend you take a dive one quiet evening. He's next up in the Soul Deep Artist Spotlight series and damn, what an instalment number five is as the man himself rolls out some soul across varying drum patterns and vibes. 'Jazz Fusion' takes the funkiness of Peshay or someone similar and chops it into bits, gullying things out whilst keeping the overall feeling upbeat and energetic. 'Alone With Nature' is also a highlight, another jungle number, this one packs melancholic piano chords and a stuttering drum break which flutters in tandem. Lovely.