Review: It sounds like Ibiza 2013 will be remembered as the year that the piano returned. At least that's the sense one gets from listening to the latest Toolroom compilation. From C2's edit of new school house act Bicep's "Vision of Love" to the trance meets old school techno of Kaiserdisco's "Night & Day", the plaintive ivory keys loom large. Of course there are exceptions, like Breach's stripped back, abrasive remix of Jamie Jones' "Tonight In Tokyo", but when even the darker tracks, like Ejeca's "Witchdokta" sampling, break beat house monster "Rosario", drops into an evocative piano break down, you know that it's the dominant sound of the season.
Review: Judging by Toolroom's latest mammoth collection, the sound of the White Island in 2014 will be uplifting house music. Granted, there are some diversions on this compilation thanks to Eric Sneo's rattling minimalism and Doorly's jacking "Thunder Clap", but these are few and far between. Even Kelis gets in on the vocal house sound, with Breach chopping up the singer's vocals on his tracky version of "Rumble". Breach faces stiff competition from his peers though, with Tensnake turning London Grammar's "Hey Now" into an epic vocal anthem. However, the stand out contribution comes from a real veteran and MK's piano-led take on Lancelot's "Givin' It Up (feat Antony & Cleopatra)" recalling classic KMS.
Review: By now, we should all know what to expect from Toolroom's "Poolside Ibiza" compilation strand, namely groovy nu-disco, house and laidback Balearic beats inspired by afternoons spent lounging by the water in stonking White Isle heat. Naturally, there are plenty of gems to be found amongst the 40 unmixed tunes selected by chosen DJs Moullinex and Xinobi, from their own collaborative post-punk/dub number "X Marks The Spot", to the slick '80s synth-pop dreaminess of Tensnake's fine remix of Xinobi's "Far Away Place" and the drowsy, Morricone-influenced soundscape weirdness of Simple Symmetry's remix of Moscoman's "I Ran". Throw in some seriously good cuts from Felipe Gordon, Donald Dust, Pin Up Club and Meera (whose carnival-ready boogie jam "Fine Without You" stands out), and you have a fine collection of summery cuts.