Monday, 31 March 2008

Garage Classics (Ministry Of Sound)


V/A - Garage Classics: Mixed by the Wideboys (Ministry Of Sound)

Web: http://www.ministryofsound.com

What, with the resurgence of a British style of garage in the shape of bassline and the acceptance of ‘funky house’ by the ‘urban market‘, it seems like a perfect time to revisit Garage Classics of yesteryear and celebrate a ‘new‘ style of music. Bassline is the spiritual heir to the garage and 2-step sounds of the late 90s and early 00s, due to its quick tempo, song type and MC vocals, 4:4 beats and big b-lines. It has much more in common with the 2-step and UKG sounds than that of the darker grime or mathematical dubstep. Wideboys, who’ve been around for a number of years as a production duo ad DJ team, get the opportunity to mix this 72 track compilation, which moves from track to track at a frightening speed. Thankfully, the tunes from the late 90s seem to have aged pretty well, but we’ll have to wait and see how many bassline tunes stand the test of time. Disc 1 features mainly R&B influenced vocal records, many of which became pop hits in the late 90s and early 00s. Highlights include the Bump & Flex mix of Indo’s questioning R U Sleeping, Tina Moore’s faithful Never Let You Go and Artful Dodger & Romina Johnson’s key touched Moving Too Fast. Disc 2 focuses on some of the unashamedly dancefloor material from the past, where the vibe was darker, the bass was king and the influence of pitched-up US house records was undeniable. Highs include Somore’s infectious I Refuse - What You Want, The Astrotrax Team’s brilliant The Energy and Double 99’s bass driven RIP Groove. Disc 3 brings proceedings up to date with a selection of bassline tunes, which shows the similarities between this genre and earlier garage incarnations. Winners include the Wideboy’s own punishing What You’re Thinking (Maximum Bass Remix), D’Explicit feat. Nana’s desireful Lose Control and Jamie Duggan’s storming 4:4 Remix of Rachel M’s Losing Me. This comp is a great popular garage retrospective, which also shows where bassline has come from and where it the sound is currently at.

JF

Mix The Vibe: Quetin Harris


V/A - Mix The Vibe: Quentin Harris. Timeless Re-Collection (King Street)

Web: http://www.kingstreetsounds.com

Treading the line perfectly between soulful and techy soundspaces, Quentin Harris has been an incredibly in-demand house producer over the last few years. Harris is also a talented record spinner and it is fitting that King Street called on a NY based artist that has contributed material to the label, to compile and mix the seventeenth volume of their celebrated Mix The Vibe series. Quentin’s Timeless Re-Collection goes deep into the label’s back catalogue, featuring a range of soul-kissed and tougher tunes. Highs include vocal stormers such as QH’s mix of Kerri Chandler feat. Treasa Fennie’s powerful Heal My Heart, the Timmy Regisford ’Shelter Anthem’ version of Kimara Lovelace’s lustful When Can Our Love Begin and QH’s mix of Dennis Ferrer feat. Mia Tuttavilla’s ecstatic Touched The Sky. An intense housebound journey, with master deck technician QH at the controls.

JF

Robert Owens - Night-Time Stories


Robert Owens - Night-Time Stories (Compost)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/robertjowens

There are few voices in the world of house more distinctive than that of Robert Owens. You can tell that he feels music on a deep level and revels in expressing himself on record. He blessed classics such as Tears and I’ll Be Your Friend with his rich emotional delivery back in the late 80s and early 90s, and Owens still maintains that intensity on record today. He has proved time and again in recent years that he is still a force to be reckoned with, through stunning collaborations production aces such as Coldcut and Photek. This album features work by a number of current movers and shakers in the electronic music world and Owens penned the mellow Press On himself. Highlights in terms of work penned by others include housey efforts such as Jimpster penned key kissed Inside My World, Simbad’s synth addled New World and a downbeat marimba laced opus from Charles Webster entitled Never Give Up. Most of the collaborators have done Robert Owens proud on Night-Time Stories, which marks another chapter in his impressive career.

JF

Members Of The Trick (Sonar Kollektiv)


V/A - Members Of The Trick: Compiled By Trickski (Sonar Kollektiv)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/membersofthetrick

Yannick Labre and Daniel Becker aka Trickski round up their Members Of The Trick 12” series with a CD comp on Sonar Kollektiv that also features exclusives from their friends. In a similar way to Compost’s Black Label series, powerful electronics are the order of the day, with each producer creating uncompromising yet musical house, techno and slovenly electronic tunes. The instrumental efforts are more successful than the vocal offerings, with highlights including Schmutzig De Muntzig’s biting synth driven Thank You Daniel, Future Beat Investigators’ angular All I Want and the Pantha Du Prince Remix of Solomun’s dreamy Keep Control. A solid technified outing from Tricksi and the Members Of The Trick.

JF

Defected In The House: Miami 08 (Defected)



V/A - Defected In The House: Miami 08 (Defected)

Web: http://www.defected.com

House goliath Defected look into their silver ball in order to bring us Defected In The House: Miami 08, another WMC inspired compilation to surface slightly before the actual parties. As expected, it is the soul-kissed and ‘big room’ house styles that have been at the core of Defected’s repertoire that dominate this compilation. The imprint has been instrumental in building and maintaining the popularity of the soul-kissed house sound and get 1Xtra spinner Aaron Ross to head up their three disc spectacular with a set focussing on that sound. High point’s on Ross’s disc include Knee Deep’s stringtastic All About Love and the smooth US garage flavour of Fonda Rae’s Living In Ecstasy (Mood II Swing NY Mix). Defected label boss Simon Dunmore mixes soulful efforts and slightly tougher material on the second disc, where winners appear in the form of Mayhem’s grooving Blow and the Dance Ritual Remix of Louie Vega & Jay ’Sinister’ Sealee feat. Julie McKnight’s calming Diamond Life. ATFC are at the controls on the tougher ’big room’ orientated disc three, which is a little disappointing, but treats in the shape of DJ Gregory’s synthy overhaul of Osunlade feat Divine Essence’s My Reflection and the keytastic instrumental of Be from Steve Angello and Laidback Luke. Summing up Defected’s current take on house, this three disc set does feature some excellent material, with Aaron Ross’s soul-kissed mix being the pick of the three CDs.

JF

Oscar G - Innov8 (Nervous)


Oscar G - Innov8 (Nervous)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/djoscarg

One half of legendary Miami duo Murk and a Funky Green Dog, Oscar Gaeten tries to keep up with co-pilot Ralph Falcon by releasing his this album. The album draws heavily on the solid house sound that the duo used to carve out a niche for themselves in the 90s, but Gaeten has tweaked it for the mid 00s in his inimitable style. The ‘tribal’ sound that the duo investigated is incredibly important to this album, whilst proggy and pseudo trancey territories that the duo also dabbled in barely feature. Innov8 is an uncompromising dancefloor orientated album, which has been made in the style of a DJ set so that the tracks flow into each other. It certainly isn’t groundbreaking by any stretch of the imagination, but the raw energy of this long player impresses. Latin influences in the shape of flying percussion, keys and brass from Oscar’s ’hood can be felt on the striking Miami, whilst the trippily keyed Anxious and free flowing Pimp also impress. Oscar G should gain some solo success with the release of this sturdy LP.

JF

Sudup and Dance (Soapsud City)


V/A - Sudup and Dance (Soapsud City)

Web: http://www.soapsudcity.com

Sudup and Dance is a cool Technified compilation from the Soapsud crew, who hail from West London. The Soapsudders make late night dancefloor grooves that gently soak into your mind. Four production outfits represent on this eight-track compilation, with Dlay providing half of the material. Dlay brings us two of the highlights in the form of the intricate Minimize and the ethereal Memory, whilst Sketchy Beats serve up the goods with the weird key and bass driven Carry Toffee. Technified fun for all.

JF

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Soma Coma Part 2


V/A - Soma Coma Part 2 (Soma)

Web: http://www.somarecords.com

Soma’s downbeat offerings, often stuck on the end of Eps, are at least as exciting as the technified material by which the label made its name. Soma Coma Part 2 shows that the most talented artists on their roster can create life-affirming music regardless of bpm. The breadth of the label’s back catalogue is also signified by this compilation. It’s easy to forget Soma’s primary focus when listening to tracks such as Vector Lovers’ powerful ivory tinkling Piano Dust, Chaser’s sleepy Blue Planet, as remixed by Abacus, and Silicone Soul’s stunning Dreaming Again. This is another magical downtempo offering from the Slam guided Soma imprint and considering the wealth of laidback material that hasn’t made the Soma Coma cut so far, there are likely to be a few more volumes in this series.

JF

The Big Freeze 2


V/A - The Big Freeze Vol 2: Mixed by Bliss (Platipus)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/theblissworldofficial

Platipus may be most famous for releasing tranceous monstrosities in the 90s, but the label has a softer side, characterised by the release of calming compilations. The second installment of the fledgling Big Freeze series has been put together by chilled great Danes Bliss, who have been responsible for a slew of beautifully instrumented downtempo compositions. As expected, The Big Freeze Vol 2 is in the same spirit as their own work and features a breadth of horizontal music. It is vaguely reminiscent of compilations put together by chill out demigod Jose Padilla. Winners on the first disc include a touching acoustic guitar driven beauty from Cantoma entitled Katja and the sharp percussion driven The Return from compilers Bliss. As far as CD 2 is concerned, highs appear in the form of the gorgeous New Jerusalem from A Reminiscent Drive and Trentemøller’s heart melting Miss You, but the tracks that weigh in at over ten minutes slightly overstay their welcome. Blissful is a good way to describe this cool double CD set.

JF

Beats, Bites & Öxle


V/A - Beats, Bites & Öxle (Sonar Kollektiv)

Web: http://www.sonarkollektiv.com

Never one to shy away from a good concept compilation, the imprint that previously brought us Homecooking amongst a raft of non culinary related efforts presents Beats, Bites & Öxle, a celebration of wine, food and Sonar Kollektiv sourced music. This time, extraordinary deck technician and wine aficionado Rainer Trüby has teamed up with Jazzanova to select fourteen musical delicacies to whet the palate for the drinks and dishes selected by six Baden based wineries. Unfortunately, the wine and food doesn’t come with the compilation, but listeners can take heart from choice tracks and the recipes presented by Trüby, Jazzanova and the vineyard bosses. The wines and dishes sound impressive and the varied musical selection includes The Rainer Trüby Trio rejig of Extended Spirit’s piano laced Solid Water, Clara Hill and Vikter Duplaix’s love ode entitled Paperchase and Soulphiction’s delicious Love Thang. The concept may be a little unconventional, but Sonar Kollektiv is not a run of the mill imprint and there’s plenty to satisfy your musical hunger.

JF

Cosmic Disco? Cosmic Rock


V/A - Cosmic Disco? Cosmic Rock (Eskimo)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/djdanielebaldelli

Influential Italian disco don Daniele Baldelli has been spinning records since the late sixties, mixing up an intriguing selection of tunes culled from various genres in order to create his own musical broth. As is the case with most DJs considered inspirational and spoken about in revered terms, Baldelli is associated with a club. His entry into the golden headphones hall of fame is related to his residency at a nighterie called Cosmic, which was situated on the shores of Lake Garda and open for business between 1979 and 1984. The cosmic prefix associated with certain new ‘disco’ records is a direct tribute to Baldelli’s sound, but this compilation looks back to original cosmic gems, many as heavily indebted to guitars as synthesizers, hence the title of this compilation. This CD has been put together by Daniele Baldelli and Verona based spinner Marco Dionigi and features weird and wonderful tracks such as Richard Bone’s trippy Mutant Wisdom, Positive Noise’s fuzzy Positive Negative and La Bionda’s fiery I Got Your Number. Cosmic Disco? Cosmic Rock is a fascinating musical ride and delves deeper than the title suggests, flicking as it does between disco, rock, pop and electronica.

JF

The Cinematic Orchestra - Live At The Royal Albert Hall: 02/11/07


The Cinematic Orchestra - Live At The Royal Albert Hall: 02/11/07 (Ninja Tune)

Web: http://www.cinematicorchestra.com

The Cinematic Orchestra is really a misleading title, as the outfit is the work of Jason Swinscoe, a few musical cronies and banks of electronic equipment. For this concert, recorded for posterity and released by Ninja Tune, the title is more appropriate, as the musicians totaled over 40 and included members of The Heritage Orchestra. Studio recordings have found The Cinematic Orchestra lacking dynamism, but that is not an issue with this live recording. In the hallowed surroundings of The Royal Albert Hall, The Cinematic Orchestra really lived up to their potential, with vocalists singing with real conviction and the musicians capturing the emotion and jazzy leanings of Swinscoe’s compositions to great effect. All That You Give is alive with glorious strings and heartfelt vocals, whilst Familiar Ground treads just that with an amazing spirit and Prelude is an orchestral dream. It would be a logistical nightmare, but if the CO could record albums as an orchestra in the future, then the Swinscoe’s collective could truly realise their potential.

JF

Secret Love 4


V/A - Secret Love 4 (Sonar Kollektiv)

Web: http://www.sonarkollektiv.com

Secret Love is billed a folk compilation series, but in reality it charts downtempo waters that would probably have been labeled as chill out, before that term fell out of vogue. As with previous chapters, the fourth installment features a wealth of organic delicacies, where non-computer generated instrumentation and convention songwriting are the most important elements. A melancholic affair, as ever, it’s difficult not to be touched by efforts such as the Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve Remix of Midlake’s beautiful Roscoe, Breaks Co-Op’s weightless Duet and Little Dragon’s piano driven Twice. Regardless of the terminology used to describe the music on show, Secret Love 4 is another excellent horizontal episode from Jazzanova and Alex Dallas.

JF

Clara Hill's Folkwaves - Sideways


Clara Hill - Folkwaves: Sideways (Sonar Kollektiv)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/clarahill

Clara Hill’s Folkwaves: Sideways is not really a folk album in the true sense of the word, but instead a acoustic guitar and song driven project that is a world away from the house and broken beat power of her last longplaying collection, All I Can Provide. This is a brave move for an artist usually backed by rich electronic and acid jazz arrangements, but Hill has come a long way in terms of songwriting and musical arrangement. Clara Hill is also blessed with a melancholic voice that lends itself to this type of backing. Unexpectedly, Marc Mac of 4 Hero fame shows up to lend a hand on the string blessed Everything, whilst stripped back favourites appear in the form of the fragile If Only and the introspective Once I Know. Every song is not a classic, but there are some beautiful moments on this album and repeat plays reveals previously hidden depth.

JF

Ska Cubano - Ajiaco! The Remix Album


Ska Cubano - Ajiaco! The Remix Album (Casino Sounds)

Web: http://www.skacubano.com

Here, a bunch of remixologists get their chance to give Ska Cubano’s worldwise musical broth a gentle push in different directions. Latin, Mediterranean, Carribean and Eastern musical influences are brought to the table by the various reconstructors, who reshape the Cuban, Jamaican and Colombian sounds of Ska Cubano. A musical patchwork is probably the best way to describe this remix album, which features choice revisions in the shape of the drumming frenzy of DJ Floro and Alex Acosta’s mix of Changó, Frank De Lata’s energetic key overhaul of Bobine and Señorlobo and Pablo Sánchez’s dubby reshape of Coqueteando. Ajiaco! The Remix Album is a vibrant collection of music designed with dancefloor in mind.

JF

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Andomat 3000: BDN2


Andomat 3000 - BND2 (Four Twenty)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/andreaswiegand

Andomat 3000 stakes his claim as one of the most exciting producers of our time with this weird but wonderful track entitled BND2. A live bassline writhes uncontrollably under vocal yelps, melancholic brass and a tight percussive section on the magical original version. Kiki’s mix is a crunchily percussed effort with added oddball noises and Luke Solomon supplies a screwy synthed version, but the remixes are surplus to requirements.

JF

Flyt: Free


Flyt - Free (Futuristca Music)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/futuristicamusic

It should come as no surprise that Flyt make gorgeous broken soul, when they have emerged from the same stable as Stark, a label owned by Simon S of Break Reform fame. The best version of Free is Simon S’s own remix, which wraps the bewitching vocals round a loving key groove and clasped percussion.

JF

Dyed Soundorom: Question EP


Dyed Soundorom - Question EP (Freak n’ Chic)

Web: http://www.freaknchic.com

Darker than dark techno and house is what Freak n’ Chic do best and here they present another moody yet brilliant release in the shape of this debut from Parisian spinner Dyed Soundorom. Ghostly keys, regimented vocal samples and a murky bassline work their magic on Question. Infection is not quite a carbon copy of Question, but is from the same musical school and features repeated vocals, cooler than cool keys and a melodious bassline.

JF

Kissey Asplund: Fuss-N-Fight


Kissey Asplund - Fuss-N-Fight EP (R2)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/kisseyasplund

Badu may have a new album out, but Kissey is ready to steal her crown and snatch the red carpet from beneath her feet, in her bid to become the neo soul queen. Admittedly, some of the production on this EP may be a little off-kilter for mainstream ears, but this girl is incredibly talented and gets better with each release. Check the gorgeous Hit Me With The Medication, where Kissey skips over jazzied grooves, or the stumbling Entrapped, an ode to being imprisoned by desire.

JF

Video of the title track online here...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWItoO2Zupo

Oscar Barila/Flair: La Musique/Solaris


Oscar Barila/Flair - La Musique/Solaris (Khazuma Future)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/khazumafuture

Khazuma Future follow up their fine debut outing with an even better release in the shape of this three tracker from Oscar Barila and Flair. Barila’s La Musique is a dynamic techy effort, with velvety keys, a soft bassline and spoken vocals. Deep & Suga’s remix toughens up the track courtesy of a fatter bassline, whilst Flair’s offering, Solaris, is a warm key led escapade.

JF

Caller & Ridge: Winer


Caller & Ridge - Winter (Stir 15)

Web: http://www.stir15.de

The end of Winter may be approaching in western Europe, but Caller & Ridge pay tribute to the season with a techy effort that should warm the heart, despite its name. Flashy synthetic chords dominate the original version, whilst the ‘Morning Edit’ gives epic keys free reign.

JF

Peverelist: Infinity Is Now



Peverelist - Infinity Is Now (Tectonic)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/punchdrunkrecords

Tectonic go dub-tech on this excellent release from Punch Drunk owner Peverelist. Infinity Is Now sees flashing keys and jerky percussion do the work over a subtle bassline. Odd percussive patterns, distracting keys and a floor destroying bassline hold court on Junktion.

JF

Marc Romby Vs Tyree Cooper: Lost



Marc Romboy Vs Tyree Cooper - Lost (Ovum)

Web: http://www.marcromboy.com

New school techno and house master Marc Romboy teams up with old school acid don Tyree Cooper for a dark druggy dancefloor outing that is modern, but invokes memories of classic Chicago tracks. On the vocal version of Lost, the lightly acidic bass rumbles under percussive layers and Tyree’s vocal, which charts an introspective journey. The beats are more pronounced and the acidic element seems stronger on the Dub, whilst Mazi & Duriez’s remix brings in searching key lines and plodding beats.

JF

Pablo Bolivar: Gold Series Vol1


Pablo Bolívar - Gold Series Vol 1 (Dpress Industries)

Pablo Bolívar - Gold Series Vol 1 (Remixes) (Dpress Industries)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/pablobolivar

Pablo Bolívar begins his own mini serial on Dpress in fine style with a three tracker that has been immediately followed by a remixes EP. Gold Series Vol 1 features the probing and synth driven Into The Televerse, a technoid re-rub of this cut from Andy Stott and the mindblowing beatless opus that is In My Hand. The remixes EP features hypnotic key groove of an original track from Bolívar entitled Across The City (The Return), which is perhaps the journey away from the Televerse. Westpark’s remix of Across The City is a graceful yet edgy ride, where techy stabs and a smooth bass rule, whilst Blunt’s mix features tolling synths and marching percussion.

JF

Swat-Squad & Blunt: Two Faces


Swat-Squad & Blunt - Two Faces (Inout)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/inoutrecords

Two Spanish slim line techno heavyweights team up for this top quality double header on Inout. Swat-Squad’s Indian is all whining acid and barbed beats, whilst Blunt’s Landscape takes its strength from rushing synths and wide-eyed keys.

JF

Nick Holder: 2012


Nick Holder - 2012/A Strange Delight (NRK)

Web: http://www.nrkmusic.com

Canadian house king Nick Holder lets fly on NRK with one of his best offerings in a long while. 2012 is a tripped out techy effort, with shaking synths, jazzual keys and kicking beats. The first mix of A Strange Delight is an incredible fractured beat effort with barely stable percussion, regretful vocals and jerky keys, whilst the second version is a classic Holder dance floor driven jazz-house interpretation.

JF

Munk: Remixed


Munk - Remixed (Gomma)

Web: http://www.gomma.de

Munk Remixed may have originally hit the shops in 2004, but the power of the reworkings from three cooler than thou electronic heroes means that this re-release is justified. Digitalism get to grips with Disco Clown using an unstoppable guitar derived bassline, whilst Passarani brings odd shaped beats and warped synths to the table on his mix of Ce Kul. Arguably, the finest mix is last and comes courtesy of Zongamin, whose ’Bonus Beats’ version of Mein Schatzi is much more than a drum track and hits home courtesy of chopped vocals and a murderous bassline.

JF

GarcyNoise & Pablo Bolivar: Korper Und Seele


GarcyNoise feat. Pablo Bolívar - Körper Und Seele (Justified Cause)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/justifiedcause


GarcyNoise and Pablo Bolívar have entitled this project Körper Und Seele, which is German for Body and Soul. Unlikely to be related to the inspirational NY club night of the same name, this is nevertheless an emotive musical ride. From The Blackhole is a sweet synth’n’bass mission, as Not2 travels far into the ether, courtesy of a mindblowing string arrangement.

JF

Russ Gabriel: Three Of Us


Russ Gabriel - Three Of Us (Thump Elektroniks)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/russgabriel

Russ Gabriel of Ferox fame touches down on the appallingly named Thump Elektroniks label for an EP of beautifully dreamy techno. Three Of Us sees a turning bassline and polite keys do the work, whilst the excellent Congarilla lets measured percussion and frazzled keys take control. Zwo!’s ‘Tender Touch Mix’ of Congarilla is even more conservative than the original, but the calm keys and meditative electronics work wonders.

JF

Headman: Running Into Time


Headman - Running Into Time (Gomma)

Web: http://www.headman.org

Berlin’s Robi Insinna aka Headman is back on Gomma with an abrasive electroid vocal outing, but it’s New, the track tucked away on the B Side of his new single, which is the one to watch. Simple, but damn effective, a heavy bassline, guitar magic and live sounding percussion make New worth checking.

JF

Rhythm of Elements - Tribe #2:Northwind


Rhythm of Elements - Tribe #2:Northwind (R2)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/rhythmofelements

Rhythm of Elements are DJ Uchikawa, who owns The Loft Club in Nagoya, Japan, and jazz pianist Makoto Kuriya. The pair create musical yet dance floor friendly house floor music, typified by Tribe #2:Northwind, which combines flavoursome piano work and a rough bassline to great results.

JF

V/A: Freerange 100 Parts 1 & 2



V/A - Freerange 100 Part 1 & 2 (Freerange)

Web: http://www.freerangerecords.co.uk

In typical Freerange style, the imprint celebrates their century and effortless quest to release as many records as humanly possible with two separate 12’s. The winner on the first part is Square One’s Twilight, with its knife sharp techy key stabs and feisty bassline. The track to write home about on Part Two is Palm Skin Productions’ Lose It, which comes on a like a less demented Switch track, courtesy of groovy synth work and smart vocal cuts.

JF

Moldy feat Juakali: Glory


Moldy feat. Juakali - Glory (Earwax)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/earwaxrecordings

On paper this shouldn’t work, but somehow NYC’s Moldy manages to combine heavy dub(step) and brass straight out of a western with great results. Skip the annoying vocal version and head straight for the instrumental of Glory, where the heavily fxed brass is laid over mammoth beats and a never-ending bassline.

JF

Glimpse: 5 Easy Pieces


Glimpse - 5 Easy Pieces (Glimpse)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/glimpserecordings

Chris Spero creates dark yet strangely satisfying slim line techy compositions as Glimpse. This EP kicks off with the polite bleeping key and retro sax driven Misunderstood, created with Matt Tolfrey, before moving onto the vocal and key slicing Pushing Claude. Undo of Factor City fame gives 100% Shiraz the epic Spanish tech house treatment as only he can, whilst In My Soul ends proceedings with some weird vocoder work and serious keys.

JF

V/A: Colours Series: Orange 05 Sampler


V/A - Colours Series: Orange 05 Sampler (Freerange)

Web: http://www.freerangerecords.co.uk

As ever, the fifth volume of the Colour Series comes with a vinyl sampler featuring tracks that have previously never seen the light of day in this format. The highlight is Compuphonic aka Maxime Firket from Spirit Catcher’s Jaguar Running, a track that takes its strength from a magical synth arrangement and reliable percussion. A notable mention must also go to Homerun, who bring us the deep’n’techy goods with a crazy yet endearing effort entitled The Dreamers.

JF

Motorcitysoul: Mango


Motorcitysoul - Mango (Freerange)

Web: http://www.motorcitysoul.com

Matthias Vogt and C-Rock have firmly established themselves as a production outfit to watch, releasing genuinely exciting deeper house material under their Motorcitysoul guise. Mango continues the tradition, courtesy of its jerky chords, kaleidoscope keys and strict beats. Jimpster’s mix is a heads down synth mission, whilst Milton Jackson takes the track into techier territory, courtesy of striding synths and spacey keys.

JF

Hot Coins: Laissez Faire EP


Hot Coins - Laissez Faire EP (Society)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/redrackem

Notorious remixer Red Rack Em dons his Hot Coins hat for an appealing foray into the world of neo disco. Norway Man is all casual keys and comforting guitar spins, whilst Dance Valet lets funkified synths and refined strings do their dance. NG Style is a dubbed out guitar’n’sax trip and One Of Many rounds off the EP with a slovenly key ride.

JF

Subotika: Supernova EP


Subotika - Supernova EP (Motech)

Web: http://www.motechrecords.com

Mario Crnkovic and Nino Shebelic hail from Subotica, which is Serbia’s fifth city. The duo makes ear catching and atmospheric techno under the Subotika name, inspired by the music of Detroit and percussive influences from the area in which they live. First up on their Motech debut is Supernova, where warm synths do a dance over layered percussive patterns. The other track, Orthodox, takes its strength from an addictive melody, which is expressed through bass, keys and synths.

JF

Scary Grant: Strawberries


Scary Grant - Strawberries (Lofi Stereo)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/scarygrant

Italy’s Scary Grant is certainly a creepy character, here bringing us an ode to what may be his favourite fruit. In original form, Strawberries is all exploding beats and weird vox, whilst the house version features a large synth line. The ‘Alfa Romero’ version adds pointed percussive extras and thin synths, but the house mix is the pick of the three.

JF

DJ Vadim: Talk To Me (J Boogie Remix)



DJ Vadim feat. Sena - Talk To Me (J Boogie Remix) (BBE)

Web: http://www.bbemusic.com

J Boogie is on hand to realise the dance floor potential of Vadim and Sena’s Talk To Me. Smiling brass, languid keys and a fattened bass are on hand to assist on this cool remix.

JF

Mary Mary & Jo Jo: Feelin' Good

Mary Mary & Jo Jo - Feelin’ Good (Mary Mary)

Web: N/A

Despite their ‘name‘, Mary Mary & Jo Jo aren’t 90s R’n’B artists, but instead capable house producers forging illegitimate re-rubs. On this occasion, a much remixed Nina Simone classic is reshaped for house floors, courtesy of grooving synths, polite keys and understanding percussion.

JF

Spirit Catcher: Brain Candy


Spirit Catcher - Brain Candy EP (NRK)

Web: http://www.nrkmusic.com

Cosmic house and neo disco dons Spirit Catcher bring the housier end of their sound to the table on this release for Bristol’s trusty NRK imprint. Brain Candy is a fizzing synth ride, but the real winner is Loving System, where sugared cosmic keys do a merry dance.

JF

Slam: Staccato Rave


Slam - Staccato Rave (Silicone Soul Remixes) (Soma)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/4siliconesoul

Silicone Soul are a little hit and miss at times, but on this occasion they’ve really hit the nail on the proverbial head, with a couple of great re-rubs of Slam’s Staccato Rave. The ‘Darkroom Dub’ is all probing keys and smooth bass undulations, whilst the ’Hypno House Remix’ is a tougher prospect, with a rolling bassline and distinctive key patterns.

JF

DJ 3000 Dark Essence


DJ 3000 - Dark Essence / Defiant (Motech)

Web: http://www.motechrecords.com

Motech keep up their quest for fine techno releases, with another tidy two tracker from label head DJ 3000. Dark Essence takes strength from a satisfying bassline and multi-layered percussion, whilst Defiant is a harder edged effort, with angry synth drops and chewed up vocals.

JF

Virtualmismo: Mismoplastico

Virtualmismo - Mismoplastico (Remixes) (Arcobaleno)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/arcobalenolabel

Originally a big Sasha & Digweed record in the early 90s, Serge Santiago and friends update Mismoplastico for the today’s dance floors. Santiago’s own mix muddies the groove and brings biting synths to the fore, whilst Michal Ho’s ’Plastic Planet Remix’ is a driving version with a pushy bassline and synthetics combination. Shakedown’s take on the tune makes the most of the simple hook, with synths and keys taking turns to trot out the addictive melody.

JF

Shlomi Aber: Tokyo Shanghai


Shlomi Aber - Tokyo Shanghai EP (Ovum)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/shlomiaber

Shlomi Aber turns up on Josh Wink’s celebrated Ovum imprint with a pair of no nonsense Techy offerings. First up from Aber is Tokyo Shanghai, where bright key rain crashes down on a sturdy bass and beats. Quivery is an acid drenched effort, with projecting keys, an uncompromising bassline and popping synths.

JF

Peace Division: The Lab


Peace Division - The Lab (Tsuba)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/peacedivision

Old hands at constructing dark housefloor material, Clive Henry and Justin Drake drop a five track EP of such fair for the Tsuba imprint. Highlights appear in the form of a tight key led groover entitled Basik and the rather eerie In My Mind.

JF

Henry Saiz: Vancouver

Henry Saiz - Vancouver (Natura Sonoris)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/naturasonoris

Barcelona based Henry Saiz launches his Natura Sonoris imprint with a slimline technoid stormer. Vancouver in its original form is all go-fast percussion, cool keys and evolving synth lines. Marc Marzenit’s remix sees tranced out keys vie for attention with fuzzy synths and a wobbling bassline.