Monday, 26 January
'Ghetto Madness' is another invaluable collection of classic Dance Mania bangers. Picking up where Strut's 'Hardcore Traxx: Dance Mania Records 1986-1995' left off, it focusses on the label's unrivalled early-mid '90s output, a sound defined by hyper BPMs and the rawest, butt-naked machine rhythms. This CD/digital edition creams 15 of the filthiest Chicago bangers you ever heard, setting the levels with Jammin Gerald's bare-bones 'Pump That Shit Up'; cycling thru a coupla Deeon killers, 'The Freaks' and '1112'; taking it back to roots with Steve Poindexter's 'Computer Madness… Read more
Rabid, mongrel deconstructions of '90s dance classics by Roger West aka Somaticae. With nods to V/Vm and Actress, and analogs in the mutant creations of Basic House or The Automatics Group's 'Summer Mix', West's 'Wasted House' is an exercise in collapsing the putative timeline of dance music and re-imagining it as a "twisted uchronia" - a sort of impressionistic, alternate history open to more ambiguous interpretation. To be honest we can't pick out the original material, which is a great thing, leaving us grasping at and dancing to an array of refracted '90-s disco shrapnel and lurching… Read more
Sabla's debut set of buckled, technoid texturhythms are arguably the best yet from Turin, Italy's Gang Of Ducks label. Backed up by smart reworks from Ital and the G.O.D. bosses, the four original tracks feel out freeform, roiling rhythms and rusted timbres in transtion somewhere between Andy Stott's knackerd crack, the whirring mechanics of Lukid, and Phork's staggered drum patterns. In the best sense, each piece sounds like two tracks in a battle to resolve their rhythmic differences, from the ragged techno lurch of 'Di Lei' to the crushed, Bellows-style dub of 'Spirits' and the thrumming undert… Read more
Roland Tings graduates from charming early singles for 100% Silk and Club Mod to this lush debut LP for Internasjonal. An impressionistic take on the golden era of late '80s/early '90s house filtered thru a pastel-toned Aussie heat haze, it swaggers across tempo zones from the buoyant, chirpy jack of 'Coming Up For Air' and the woozy piano house bumper, 'Who U Love', to the slow-building centrepiece 'Floating On A Salt Lake' before taking a downtempo turn with the chugging slow-house of 'Devotion' and the squashed strutter, 'Cultural Canal', and back deckside with the glorious 'Venus'.
Sleek and supple late night house from Virginia for Berlin's Ostgut Ton, with additional production by Steffi Doms. Firm kicks and floating chords drive 'Fictional' for the 5am swingers; 'My Fantasy' heats up a vintage late '80s Chicago/Detroit sound with her pleading vocals'; 'Never Enough' lends a dash of lissom electro funk to proceedings with elastic bassline and skidding synth stabs.
Pumping, heavyweight house inna vintage KMS/Belgian style from Innershades. 'CVS' rides the dub chords and clap hard over a massive kick; 'Momentum' gets looser with kosmic Detroit bleeps and strings underlined by shifty square bass; 'Dark Society' is the epic highlight nodding to classic Suburban Knight; 'Oase' returns the party with phasing chords and pendulous groove. Tip!
Alternately melodic and dry jakbeat aces from Ann Arbor's D'Marc Cantu on Richard Fearless' Drone label. 'Rival' is the sweeter of the two, approximating Depeche Mode lost in the Muzic Box, with Dave Gahan presumably doing something naughty in the WC leaving the others to an instrumental jam conducted by Armando. B-side is better yet, parsing the twin helix of Chicago house and Detroit techno to reveal a visceral, snakelike warehouse killer with chattering Volca drum accents - apparently recorded the same day he bought the machine, no edits, one take.
Dope 12" of deep, percolating and tracky house shifters from the up 'n coming San Franciscan producer. His analogue production values and moody verve place him in good stead next to the likes of Joey Anderson and Juju & Jordash on Amsterdam's Dekmantel label, proven in the taut, electroid funk and brooding pads of 'Sermons' and a spaced-out jak bomb called 'Siamese Twins', while 'System Blackout' runs down some tribalist voodoo business.
New label, Fino Y Gordo get off on the right foot with Aardvarck's olfactory funk play, 'Housenose'. Dusty drum loops, grumbling synth and vocal stabs feel out in the fuggy darkness before loosely coalescing a stoned Amsterdam disco house buzz.
One year on from the raw rump smack of 'Detroit Heat', Big Strick rounds up his boys - Omar-S, Generation Next, and Reckless Ron - for album #2, 'Resivoir Dogs'. Family ties run deep: Omar-S is Strick's cousin and 16 year old Generation Next is extended fam, lending these 13 tracks a sense of shared vision and grooving cohesion that works damn well. His yung cuz opens with the motor city astro fuel of 'Sequence 11' and also contributes the remarkably elegant minimalism of 'Windsor Nights' and 'Slow Ride', plus the gritty sci-fi jack of 'Metro' for balance. Big Strick is in large and in … Read more
Throwing Snow turns three cuts off 'Mosaic' into VIP beasts. Popping the cork with a blistered, stomping re-smack of 'Maera', he rubs a saltier, rugged version of 'Linguis' squared up for the club, and gives 'The Tempest' feat. Adda Keleh a crunchy techno overhaul.
Ben Westbeech aka Breach meets Dutch lynchpin, Cinnaman for two trance-etched and deeper house groovers. Both tracks find a fine blend of warm, piquant synth clarity and dusted bass heft drawing on the producer's shared background in hip hop, soul and bass styles - Cinnaman was a pioneer of the Beat Dimensions sound and resident at Amsterdam's Trouw (RIP), Breach steeped in soulful D&B. Their A-side mixes tight, rugged bass drive with the kind of slow-burning synth arrangements you'd expect from Carl Craig, rising to a peak that earns the title 'Liberty', while B-side bumps a funked-up flex with phasing disco loops and garage-tucked swing and D-troit string pads.
Nina Kraviz’ returns with the latest DJ Kicks, featuring tracks from Population One, Jay Denham, Steve Stoll, Bradley Strider, Armando, Baby Ford, Porn Sword Tobacco & SVN, Plaid, DJ Bone, Polygon Window, dBridge as well as exclusives from Nina herself.
New York's Anthony Parasole & Phil Moffa make good with two strong cuts on Parasole's The Corner label. 'Pressure' is a simmering piece of 4/4 making the most out of modulated, filtered synthlines, slinky hi-hat patterns and rumbling but light-footed 4/4. Flipside, 'Pitched Black' is a proper builder, playing it down with percolating toms and sturdy kicks before stealthily rising to a mind-bending, discordant breakdown that pushes all the right buttons.
Sunday, 25 January
Tuesday, 20 January
"You need people like me…" so says Tony Montana, and the sentiment rings true for yung Delroy Edwards. His 'Kickin Butts!!' EP opens with one of the most famous samples in cinematic history and pushes on thru four darker, trackier follow-ups to his addictive 'Can U Get With' 12". The raspin' rhythms and murky drones of the title track could have easily appeared on his 'Teenage Tapes' LP, while 'Die Motherfxxker' slips into Slowed Down Gangsta mode, and there's a pair of bucking raw house rhythms in 'Str8 Fuckd' and 'Insane In The Membrain' for the wall-bangers.
Monday, 19 January
Doublepack of fluid house from Vancouver's, BC's Mood Hut player, Hashman Deejay. Practically clipping the heels of his lush 12" for Berceuse Heroique, 'Sandopolis' marks his return to Future Times with six tracks tipping the tempo scale between slackened ambient hip hop and strident, heavily swung house with patented patterns of filigree, spiralling arpeggios and bouncing square basslines cuddled with a lovely analogue production. It's lip-smackingly sweet sh*t, channelling that sought-after Mood Hut vibe shared by Pender Street Steppers, Aquarian Foundation or Jack J into the deftly … Read more