Review: The latest volume in Running Back's celebratory Mastermix series pays tribute to Hamburg's legendary Front club, which did much to popularize American house music (amongst other things) in Germany the late '80s and early '90s. The expansive set contains an epic DJ mix in two parts from original resident DJs Klaus Stockhausen and Boris Dlugosch, plus no less than 37 vintage cuts that made Front's dancers move. It's pretty much all solid-gold fare, with killer proto-house and first wave house jams being joined by obscure early UK electro (Syncobeat), Balearic deep house (Fila Brazillia's often-overlooked "Mermaids"), sleazy Italo-disco (Answering Machine), New Wave-era Euro dance, Paradise Garage-era New York anthems (Temper, Hot Streak), punk-funk (Modern Romance) and breezy, loved-up synth-pop (the brilliant Dub of Blue Moderne's "Through The Night").
Review: Given his productivity over the last four years, it's rather a surprise to find that "When You Find A Stranger In The Alps" is Mautits Verwoerd AKA Nachtbraker's debut album. Predictably, the sometime Heist Rand Dirt Crew producer is in fine form throughout, serving up an expansive, 13-track set that effortlessly flits between sparkling, melodious deep house floor fillers ("Flambo", "Randy"), reggae-tinged club tracks ("NSFW"), bouncy techno ("You Can't Run"), soul and disco-inspired mid-tempo shufflers ("The Dream Sequence", "Just Doing My Thing"), funk rock smashers ("Aliens") and a surprisingly large number of ambient interludes and MPC-driven beat-scapes. In other words, it ticks a lot of boxes whilst remaining enjoyable and entertaining throughout.
Review: It's that time of year again! The scene's longest-standing platform Drum&BassArena step up with their annual flagship album and once again it's a fitting salute to all corners, all shades and all styles of the rich, wide scene. 60 tracks deep comprising absolute bangers and bliss-outs from the likes of Chase & Status, Noisia & Phace, K-Motionz, Rockwell, DJ Hybrid, GLXY and Seba, it's also home to exclusives from Kyrist, Brookes Brothers, Bou & Simula, Kanina, Kove and A.M.C & Turno. From jungle to jump-up, liquid to dancefloor and complete with three killer mixes for life when you're not practicing your double/triple/quadruple drops, Drum&BassArena continue to celebrate the widest possible scene.
Review: Gatto Fritto set the bar high with his selections for last year's first "The Sound of Love International" compilation, so it's a thrilling surprise to find that this follow-up - featuring cuts selected by Max D and Ari Goldmann AKA Beautiful Swimmers - boasts an even more inspired track list. The Washington DC-based duo evokes the spirit of the Croatian festival behind the series via the synth-heavy Afro-Balearic bliss of Plunky's "African Sunset", the new age dancefloor shuffle of Svend Unseth's "Aquilla Aquela", the vintage deep house dreaminess of Mark Goddard's "Tiny's First Journey", the pitched-up R&B vocals and hot-stepping B-more beats of KW Griff's "Be Ya Girl" and the sparkling piano riffs and smooth New Jersey house grooves of Spirit Garden's "Electra City".