Review: DnA (Deluxe Edition) is Vince Watson's most ambitious project to date. Comprising close to 20 tracks, it sees him give full vent to his vision for electronic music. Moving between atmospheric ambient pieces such as "Influences" and "(Re)Evolution (A Vision)" at one end of the spectrum and steely, techy dance floor tracks like "Immersion" and "Third Wave" at the other, the album also shows definitively, that when ti comes to deep house an techno, he has few rivals. Shining examples of this craft are audible in the form of the jazzy piano keys on "Affinity" and the soaring, string-led "Universal" and "Second Wave", which make for spellbinding, sublime techno tracks.
Review: Vince Watson has dedicated over twenty years to making his own unique take on musical Detroit techno - and the DnA series are among the most articulate expressions of this passion. This second EP is a taster for a full double album to be released later in 2019 - and based on this EP, it sounds like it will be worth waiting for. "Holographic" sees Watson drop an atmospheric building groove, like his own version of Carl Craig's circa Landcruising. "Immersion" is lighter and uplifting, taking its cue from the more melodic end of the UR canon, while "Hart - Soul" represents a more house-based interpretation, with the storied Scottish producer riding dreamy filtered melodies to the cosmos and back.
Review: Vince Watson returns after last year's Via album with this fine release. This four-tracker underlines the development of his music, which now sits somewhere between its deep techno origins and a more clubby tech-house style. This is audible on "First Wave", where he merges sensuous synths with a pulsating, quivering bass, while on "Second Wave", the airy strings that have long been Watson's stock in trade are fused with a throbbing low end and rickety drums. However, "Affinity" sees him head back down a deeper, more purist route, and is redolent of his work around Moments in Time. There's also diversity on offer, with the sensuous ambience of "Let Dreamers Dream (Daydream)" rounding off this excellent EP.
Review: For the latest excursion on his label, Steve Bug teams up with Langenberg, aka Max Hessen. With releases on Poker Flat's sister imprint, Dessous, as well as Liebe Detail to his credit, it's fair to say that Lagenberg is adept at making deep, hypnotic house. These skills are very much to the fore on "NGC 6240". Working together with Bug, the German artist lays down an ominous bass and overlays it with spacey synths and spiralling acid motifs. It strikes a perfect balance between depth and menace. Poker Flat has also top-tier remixers to rework the collaboration. Tim Engelhardt, who has released frequently on the label in recent years, delivers an evocative but chilling take, while Scottish techno sensation Vince Watson adds his trademark dreamy Detroit take to the original.
Review: The rise of the titans right here! The two biggest hi-tech soul merchants from the United Kingdom team up here on Spanish imprint Suara, for some epic and futurist dancefloor drama on "Rise". Strict rhythms accompany layer upon layer of warm emotive pads and soaring synth leads - as you'd expect from the duo. Their further homage to Detroit (via Glasgow and London) continues on second original offering "Variable Slope" which brings the funk with its bleepy bassline and killer groove for a life affirming dancefloor journey. There's a couple of killer remixes too. French sonic wizardry from the one and only Voiski: who leivers a scorching rendition, plus a lovely neon-lit classic house perspective from the controversial Marquis Hawkes . If that was not enough, a sombre, deep electro re-take on the aforementioned "Rise" by Leipzig's Lake People caters to a more downbeat moment.
Review: Vince Watson is arguably one of a handful of European producers whose approach to techno matches the original ethos of the sound's Detroit pioneers. It's probably for this reason that Derrick May asked him to "remix and remodel" two timeless Rhythim Is Rhythim classics. Pleasingly, Watson's versions of 1991's "Icon" and "Kao-Tic Harmony" (the latter an early collaboration between May and Carl Craig) are both superb, getting just the right balance between respecting the original versions whilst bringing something new to the party. While the evocative, string-drenched version of "Icon" is superb, it is the fizzing, sci-fi fuelled melodiousness of Watson's "Kao-Tic Harmony" revision that really hits home hard. Naturally, both versions sound like breezy Motor City classics.
Review: Sven Vath's Frankfurt based powerhouse Cocoon returns with two legends serving up some surefire anthems to close out this year with a big bang. Scottish hi-tech soul merchant Vince Watson appears first with the emotive and elevating "Speaker Freaker", which sees this veteran producer serve up something much more accessible than what fans would be used to, but fantastic all the same. Next up Frankfurter Frank Lorber appears and although usually more known for his tech house stylings, here he takes a cue from fellow homeboys Lauer and Gerd Janson on the retro feelgood vibes of "L'obscure Objet Du Desir".
Review: The Sub Club has played such an important role in the development of UK electronic music that it is surprising it took it so long to have a label arm. Still, Nautilus Rising is testament to being better late than never, and this inaugural release, an all-Scottish affair, covers the kind of soulful house and techno that the 'Subbie' has been long associated with. Alex Smoke's "Straits" revolves around loose tribal drums and ponderous synths, before veering off into an acid-heavy segue. Lord of the Isle's contribution follows a similar trajectory, albeit with a tapestry of brooding bass and synths underscoring the arrangement. Stephen Lopkin represents the new breed of Scottish producer and his "Farewell G41" is all crashing snares and 606 drums. Vince Watson, one of the artists who has been active since the club's inception, rounds out this excellent release with "Subculture Story", a spacey, string-laden affair, atmospheric and melodic, but underpinned by a strong kick.