Monday, 20 October
Rugged, hypnotic house from the virulent Redshape on Running Back. 'Leaves' is a real builder, escalating from locked-in voices and low-pass filtered jack to peak-time party vibes with crafty subtlety, whilst further parts break down to component elements for the DJs.
*Upfront Exclusive* Erol Alkan's Phantasy Sound plays host to a smart deviation from ManMakeMusic's U. From the top he rolls in between Andy Stott and Fishermen with the molasses drag motion of 'The Kids Will Take Care Of Themselves'; 'Monogamy' stifles a spry garage groove with crushing concrète dynamics; 'Shame' collapses between Sunn 0))) and Samuel Kerridge zones; 'Pilgrimage' fades out with dilapidated, elegiax guitar and piano chords like Basinski or Leyland Kirby piece. Don't sleep on this, it's great.
Perc & Truss, AnD, and The Exaltics remix Drax's 'Phosphene' banger. A-side, Perc & Truss trample the life out of it with hoofing industrial kicks and blood-drawing synthlines; B-side, AnD lock into airless white bread loops laced with EBM bassline progression, and The Exaltics pump it hard with pneumatic electro bass and scrabbling acid synthlines balanced by moody pads.
DJ Ford Foster breaks the back on it with the bucking chunks of his 'Gold Cans' EP. Only slightly refining the styles found on his two Opal Tapes releases, the Leeds-based box banger drives from salty jaxx in 'Gold Cans' to the killer sub-low bounce of 'Fake Shoes' and fidgeting Dance Mania styles in 'Gone Ham' and 'Black Candles'.
**Hand-stamped white label** Driven but slinky tech-house on Ben Westbeech's Naked Naked label. The work of Leeds-based producer Jordan Saxton aka Viers, both tracks sit comfortably on the label roster with Dusky, Breach, Dark Sky etc, offering pumping techno-house funk of the DVS1 variety up top in 'Ryomi', and a more low-key, proggy vibe with the B-side's Usagi'.
Grade A big room techno tackle from a canny new trio on 50 Weapons. Well-poised and driven, three tracks reduce techno to the barest, most effective elements primed for haughty 'floor shows between the woodblock snare pivots and achingly well-timed developments of 'Attack' thru filtered disco-tech in 'The Wind', and the surging pleasuredome monster, 'Curious'.
Madrid's Svreca gives dry, dusty and spaced-out techno remixes of TM404's purist hardware grooves. Fives tracks range from bleak minimal bleeps techno to fizzing dub techno rolige and Raster-Noton-style pulses.
Prime Numbers collect the entire series of remixes for Trus'me's 'Treat Me Right' album. Highlights include Alan Fitzpatrick's booming rework of 'I Want You', the kinky Truncate remixes of 'It's Slow', and the powerful Skudge rework of 'Moonlight Kiss'.
Bumpty Chi-house/disco splice job from some cat called Laurent on the Delroy Edwards-affiliated Gene's Liquor label. It's a while since we've heard this sound done so well, so gritty, with nuff verve and swerve in all the right places. The first cut's the best, full of reverse/forward edits, crispy claps and tricksy filtering to cream the crowd, whilst the other two come with mucky funk a la Shake, Sneak or Van Helden.
Big-boned dancefloor take-down from London's Rushmore, back on Trax Couture after a wicked one for Hot Haus Recs. A profligate approach to stripped down dance styles results in five unique fusions of Chicago house, grime, Jersey Club and ballroom beats, switching outifts from the pumped-up c*nty funk of 'Paladium' to grimier string slashes and bouncing Jersey beats in 'Highroad' and the honky jump of 'NPG'. 'Silent Melody' is possibly the most striking, mixing the kind of choral pads favoured by the Her Records crew and Visionist with a more rugged palette of kicks and industrial ice-pick snares… Read more
Fresh from making his name on DVS1's Mistress Recordings. Doubt drops a rugged haul of heavy house on Don't Be Afraid. In possession of an infectiously raw sound palette, the Midwestern producer is set to garner a whole heap of new followers to his muscular, gritted style, from the grungy alley drive and moody progressions of 'Poor Dog' to the murky industrial pounder, When I Was Young', and the clogged filter funk of 'Frosx', which already counts Alexander Nut and 2562 amongst its fans. One to watch.
"On ‘Industry’ Stefan Goldmann tests how far you can get by using presets only. All sounds are factory presets of 3 obsolete 1990s Japanese workstation synths, all effects are presets, all notes are quantized and most panning is purely accidental (laid out in the preset sounds). These recordings don't rely on successful presets, but on failed sounds of now obsolete synthesizers – industrial assumptions of where culture will go, but where it chose not to. The result is a surprisingly pleasant listening experience with effortless grooves and rich textures – and mildly demonic connotations… Read more
Massimo Di Lena and Padice team up on a deep house/disco session for Dekmental. Four tracks cover bases between slinky acid disco in 'Motor'; bumpty Chicago juice in 'Oman Jazz'; wiggly Border Community-style tech-house in 'Design The Future'; grumbling cosmic styles in 'Arctic Lodge'.
Cómeme pull in some big guns to rework Philipp Gorbachev's 'Silver Album'. Danny Daze moves further from the Hot Creations sound with a moody drug chug version of 'What Do You Need' and Ana Helder reduces 'New Sound & Silver Symphony' to a slower, stately momentum. Predictably, JD Twitch sounds like he has a tonne of fun with a fierce edit of 'Arrest Me' full of recursive delays and proper, pent EBM funk, leaving Matias Aguayo to jam down on 'Distance' and Barnt to get clinical with strobing synths and mid-tempo jack beats with an Addit of 'Silver Symphony'. Your 'floor needs this.
Alternate shades of Teutonic tech-house from perennial producer Losoul. The 'Immanent' EP gives the Another Picture label a fine debut with the canny use of a processed sample of The Last Poets threaded thru the head-spinning synthlines and pneumatic jack of 'BZA' for the 5am crew, and the dusted deep house waltz of 'Sediments' taking you to the after hours.
Techno legend Adam X at his industrial-strength best on his fifth album in this guise. With minimal airs or graces, 'Irreformable' is a seductive, straight-faced invitation to the dancefloor's dark side, exploring 10 tightly bound strains of techno informed by industrial EBM and noirish sci-fi atmospheres. Whilst this stuff may be in vogue within certain sectors, Adam proves his instinctive commitment to the sound with physically attuned rhythmic prompts - no funkless stidgy loops here - and heavy atmospheric pressure at best in the skulking, electroid opener 'Interchanges (Enter & Exit)', t… Read more
Shed kicks Lone onto the 'floor with a class remix of 'Restless City' from the 'Reality Testing' album. The Shake-style jazz chord chops and dusty clapping rhythms of the original are subtly rekeyed to a rolling bass ballast by Head High, recalibrating from jazz-dancing swing to skipping garage-techno with really sweet AI-style breakdown pads for peak time play. Expect to hear this out a lot.
Huxley deals in rudest, deepest UK dance functions on debut album, 'Blurred' for Aus Music. Hovering around the idea of a deeper UK dance sound, he proves equally effective in a spectrum of styles under the original house umbrella, from D&B, garage and dubstep, to vocal house and rolling electro. Fresh production, smart songs, choice grooves.
Illicit darkroom gear from Jay Ahern's Cheap and Deep Productions, backed with an exceptional Ectomorph remix. Riding back downtown on Modular Cowboy, Cheap and Deep's latest offerings get intimate with the splashing electronics and over-the-shoulder vocals in 'EVP', and darkest dark room sex techno in 'Freqmusique', both built with the kind of production values that matter in the right place. The roiling Ectomorph remix of 'Time Stops' is really something else though, locking into a slippery vortex of overstepped bassline spillage and horny gynoid vocals gilded with filigree acid flecks.
Another ace from fresh new American label, Aught; five cuts of filtered No Wave disco mania. Curiously detached but yearning to be danced to, ACI_EDITS' music operates in that same dazed headspace as Actress, Bookworms or NWAQ with toiling, hypnotic house and disco loops fed through a barrage of glancing filters until they resemble music for a haunted dancefloor hall of mirrors. It's a deliciously disorienting yet driving style, with some real goodies for adventurous DJs in the beyond-Ron Hardy vibes of '01', the Patten-esque tumble of '02' & '05', or the tracky Afro-centric blur of '04'. Recommended!
Eminent Dutch DJ/producer Benny Rodrigues (aka Rod) turns out two slinky burners for Tom Trago's Voyage Direct series. 'Master French' is a classy, simmering tribute to the Lil' Louis classic, 'French Kiss', only sans vocal and with reshuffled, filtered drums. 'Z' steps up the pace but keeps the mood low key and seductive with feathered chords and shakers for that 6am dreamstate effect.
"Raresh is the final Romanian of the Ricardo Villalobos-endorsed [a:rpia:r] triumvirate to join the fabric series. Fabric78 features an array of textural atmospheres, intricate percussion lines and penetrating low end tones, all instilled with mind- bending complexities to perfectly capture the essence of his sound."
Nearly three hours of well tanned, shades-on house from Guillaume Duchastel De Montrouge aka DJ W!ld.
Tuff City Kids' Phillip Lauer does it for Beats In Space with two EBM-infected house sure-shots. 'Hands & Feet' balances piano house chords with sharp and sticky electronic drums in a poised Frankfurt fashion. 'Stigma' scrolls back to mid-late '80s styles with uplifting disco/house keys and cantering wave groove softened by lush arpeggios and breathy synth voices.