Thursday, 30 July 2009

V/A - Pete Tong Presents Wonderland 09 (MOS)

As a Radio 1 DJ, Tong has one of the most distinctive voices in dance music, but musically he is a chameleon. Therefore, this compilation represents the sort of house and techno that is currently in vogue, featuring new stars and long-time producers. To be fair, it features its fair share of excellent tracks, alongside a few rather bland efforts. Disc one is the synthier of the two and features winners such as Steve Angello’s pointed Isabel and Pryda’s heartwarming Melo. Disc two is a little less melodious and slightly more jacking, where peaks include Michel Cleis feat. Toto La Momposina’s flute driven La Mezcla and House Of House’s anthemic Rushing To Paradise. This compilation show that Tong still has his finger on the pulse. Wonderland is the name of Pete Tong’s current weekly Ibizan soiree.

V/A - Robbie Rivera Presents Juicy Ibiza 2009 (Black Hole)

NY’s Robbie Rivera has been releasing house music for a good number of years. In recent times, he’s put out the sort of powerful grooves that have put much of his earlier material to shame. A number of his cuts feature on Juicy Ibiza 2009, an electro and synth kissed house compilation celebrating his weekly residency at the Privilege club on the Balearic island. The Rivera highlight on disc one is the questioning Escape, as remixed by Jochen Pash and Norm, whilst the choice non Rivera offering is Jonas Steur’s remix storming of Micah ’N’ Schmitz featuring Aubrey’s Rush. The Rivera winner on disc two is his fine collaboration with Dero entitled Batacuda, with another high coming in the shape of the John Dahlback Remix of Santiago Cortes featuring Samantha Fox’s sweet Touch Me. This is a no nonsense set of big room material from Rivera and friends.

Bizzy B - Retrospective (Planet Mu)

Planet Mu pay their dues here to Bizzy B, a jungle originator from back in the day who was a little early and his music a little dark for all the major label furore surrounding the genre. This collection features material from 92-94, when the amen rhythm, abrupt vocal samples and filthy basslines were king. The energy of the music is infectious and it’s hard not to start moving around to efforts like a fearsome number entitled The Power, the D.Lux assisted Take A Deep Breath and the scratchadelic Bad Boy. More than 15 years old, these cuts show where D&B lost its way and why dubstep often sounds ever so pedestrian.

V/A - Sisters (Sister Phunk)

Taking their cue from fellow countrymen Kitsuné, but following a slightly more ‘pure pop’ tract, Paris’s Phunk Promotions release a compilation of mostly sweet synth driven songs. Some acts on this disc have already gained commercial success, whilst others are on the cusp of ’greatness’ and others will never become teenage bedroom or household names. The artists span various continents and grooves patterns, many of them contributing the sort of cuts that make you feel warm inside. Highs include The Golden Filter’s flying Solid Gold, CFCF’s jolly Juno and Modernaire’s demented Bloodshed In The Woodshed. Not as all encompassing or quite as impressive as Kitsuné’s Maison series, Sisters still throws up some treats.

Abe Duque - Don’t Be So Mean (Process)

NY based Duque made a name for himself with uncompromising house and techno concoctions, released via his own label. He etched the details into record centres himself, thus negating the need for label art or covers. Some of his older material has appeared via an LP on Hell’s Gigolo imprint a few years back, whilst this is an album of fresh material for Process. It is a fine album, featuring uptempo winners such as the moody Life Is So Good To Me and the Blake Baxter assisted Wake Up alongside dreamy efforts like Salute The Dawn. Duque has triumphed once more with this technoid gem.

Mr. Scruff - Keep It Unreal 10th Anniversary Edition (Ninja Tune)

Keep It Unreal put the veteran record spinner and doodler on the map, so it’s fair that 10 years after its original detonation the album gets spruced up and re-released. Recent converts can revel in Scruff’s old style hoppy jazzy goodness for the first time, whilst old fans can gawp at the re-mastering job and enjoy the bonus cuts. His signature Get A Move On still sounds amazing, especially now it isn’t overplayed, whilst other efforts such as vibraphone tinkering So Long and sophisticated Travelogue have aged rather well. Scruff and Ninja Tune can be safe in the knowledge that this album has matured as well as good cheese or fine wine.

V/A - 3 Snapshots: No.1: Tokyo: Mixed by Radio Slave (3Snapshots)

Basically a promotional tool for 3’s gadgetry, this free CD/DVD features a mix from Matt ’Radio Slave’ Edwards and footage from 3’s recent trip to Tokyo with said device. Edwards has put together a rather groovy Tokyo inspired technoid mix, which glides along wonderfully. It features gems such as Butch & Virginia’s tasty From Above, Daniel Stefanik’s firing remix of Brotherhood’s Memorial Smith and the Slave’s own awesome remix of Mlle Caro & Franck Garcia’s Dead Souls. This disc can be obtained from

V/A - I (Cocoon)

The Cocoon alphabet continues with the ninth addition to their letter based series. As usual, it is cool techno and sullen house that predominates, with big hitters and obscure names contributing excellent dancefloor driving numbers. Tobi ‘EMT’ Neumann’s Extra Lunch is a pleasurable synth ride, whilst Guillaume & The Coutu Dumonts enthral us with Night in Køge and Kabuto & Koji provide beautiful dreams on Drunken Slumber. This is a fine addition to Cocoon’s letter series, where many of the tracks stand up on their own two feet.

Luke Vibert - We Hear You (Planet Mu)

Electronic creator with an ear for melody Luke Vibert is back with an album that is a little odd in places, but makes perfect musical sense. Blending various bleeps, beats, basslines and conversational snatches, he has created an album of musical goo that is actually pleasurable on the ears. De-Pimp Act is a particularly warped slice of acid drenched jazz-step, with Square Footage mixing up synthetic grooves and House Stabs putting retro house tones through a blender. We Hear You is an extremely quirky and rather enjoyable musical journey.

V/A - Secret Love 5 (Sonar Kollektiv)

The jazzy ‘Nova dons continue their affair with folktronic and lofi-fi mistresses via the fifth instalment in their now infamous Secret Love series. Brimming with charming vocal explorations and sweet instrumental dities, this comp features a number of horizontal pleasures of varying shades. Notable mentions must go to Nikolaj Grandjean’s mournful The First Picture, Quiet Village’s dejected Broken Promises and Woolfy & The Projections’ hallucinogenic Absynth. Affection for music like this should be shouted from the rooftops as opposed to being kept private.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Clyde - Roll Of The Beast (Mantis)

Clive ‘Clyde’ Astin brings us an extremely infectious broken house effort in the shape of Roll Of The Beast. In original form, a cheeky trumpet and flying computerised drums line alongside Clyde’s angered vocals. Atjazz’s Astro Remix features rising synths, sweet keys and hit percussion.

Andy Compton feat. Diviniti - In Love Again (Pêng)

The Rurals main man teams up here with Detroit house Queen Diviniti for a moving exploration of affection. In Love Again features singing synths and sturdy beats alongside Diviniti’s touching vocals, with The Rurals version applying lively percussion to the proceedings. Andy’s Souljam Mix makes more of the keys and vocal combination, whilst the Andy’s Dub Mix is just about the keys and sweet bassline.

Abe Duque feat. Virginia - Follow My Heart (Process)

Taken from Duque’s latest LP, Follow My Heart is a technoid tribute to thinking with one’s heart as opposed to one’s head. The original is a brooding technoid effort, with ashen bass drops, trippy keys and ghosted vocals, whilst Hell’s remix calls on the support of more urgent beats.

Modernaire - Faites Vos Jeux (roXour)

Manchester based electro pop outfit Modernaire tick all the relevant boxes, but they do it with such a flourish and aplomb that suggests following fashion and trends can work out rather well. Faites Vos Jeux is a loveable effort with oddly poetic lyrics, firing beats and purring synths.

Tony Senghore - ANM017/ANM018/ANM019 (Anonym)

Swedish house don Tony Senghore has been busy of late, dropping three releases in quick succession on his own excellent Anonym imprint. ANM017 is entitled Teknosexual, which is in original form is a computerised vocal driven electroid banger, whilst the Dub slices the vocals and lets a nasty synth and fragmented beats do the work. ANM018 upstages the previous release courtesy of an epic synther entitled Anathema, whose Reprise offers a take where the percussion fades into the background. ANM019 is another fine offering, where Avouch lets a warbling bass do the talking, and Steam takes strength from a punishing synth line.

Undo & Vicknoise - Raveland (Factor City)

Undo & Vicknoise show that ‘epic’ dance music doesn’t have to mean soulless crap with this effort that will both satiate minds and rock floors. Raveland is a monster, where nasty broken synths ride a murky acid bassline and attention heightening strings. Flip for the broken keyed beauty of Cometa, which is beautiful counterweight to the brutal terror of the A Side.

Atjazz feat. Clyde - I Forgot You (Mantis)

I was convinced that Atjazz, Clyde and Mantis had forgotten us when the three of them went to ground for so long, but thank god it proved to only be a temporary hiatus and not another sad ending to musical endeavours. I Forgot You charts the delicious excitement and pain of romantic confusion, over a magical bassline and melodious keys. Casamena bangs it out for tougher floors on his storming remix, whilst Nomumbah drifts into the ether on his remix.

Zoe’s Raygun - Ballistic Photons & Pet Martians (Community Recordings)

Community Recordings appear with an effort from Zoe’s Raygun whose gorgeous title is only upstaged by the stunning musical ensemble. ZoZo’s Moody Spacedub is the version du jour, courtesy of its mind expanding percussion, throbbing bassline and keys to make you weep.

Parallel Dance Ensemble - Turtle Pizza Cadillac (ISM)

ISM is the new label from future soul maestros Yam Who?, who present a delectable first offering in the shape of Turtle Pizza Cadillac from the PDE. The title track is a disco hop dream in original form, whilst the YW’s remix boogies the grooves for swinging floors. Weight Watchers is a muddy bassed mid-tempo number with an appeareance obsession, with YW employing cowbell and intergalactic synths on their rejig.

FUKKK OFFF- Love Me Hate Me Kiss Me Kill Me (Coco Machete/Module)

I have no idea why Hamburg’s Bastian Heerhorst has decided to release music under a nearly abusive pseudonym, when he has an amazing birth name. No matter, Love Me Hate Me Kiss Me Kill is a salacious tribute to his hometown whores, which oozes sex appeal due to its raunchy bassline and super-cool vocals.

Manuel Tur - Golden Complexion (Pepe Bradock Remixes) (Freerange)

Here eccentric Parisian Pepe Bradock reminds him why we fell in love with his oddball take on house, serving up two takes on Tur’s latest effort. Bradock supplies two remixes of Tur’s Golden Complexion and it’s the ‘Minnie Mouth’ Mix that takes home the prize, courtesy of shining synths and roughened percussion work. This effort from Bradock should whet appetites for the double CD of his remixes that is set to drop on BBE soon.

The Bionics - I Care (We Are Woodville)

Out of the ashes of Paper came We Are Woodville, who do a nice line in house and post discoid grooves. This outing is from The Bionics, an impressively monikered outfit consisting of familiar faces in the shape of Danielle Moore, Tim Davies and Ben Davis. I Care is a dancefloor banger with a go-fast bassline and jumping beats for wheels, whilst Moore’s dulcet tones and fuzzy synths add shape to proceedings.

Crimea X - Phoros EP (Hell Yeah)

In an unexpected turn of events, Jukka Reverbini from the brilliant Italian avant rock outfit Giardini di Mirò turns up alongside fellow countryman and electronic producer, DJ Rocca, for a miraculous trip into the cosmic mist as Crimea X. 10PM is a writhing groover, whilst December dilates pupils with its far-out magic and October provides screamy keyed outpourings. As far as remixes are concerned, Florian Meindl plays the trump card with his remix of 10PM, where expansive keys, smart beats and cool synths meet.

Nils Noa - Uno Dos Rocks (Troll)

Oslo’s Nils Noa shows the springy side of slim line techno with this addictive effort on Troll. Rubbery beats are assisted by slippery keys and a rising bassline on the groovy Uno Dos Rocks.

Alton Miller - Everyday I Do (Lace)

Miller is not the most high profile of Detroit House figures, but the guy has been at it for a good number of years and here blesses the Perpignan based Lace imprint with a praising effort. Everyday I Do takes its strength from sweet synths, layered percussion and gratitude expressing vocals.