Reviews: 182

planetStellar Wind/ DSC
‘Lovers Fall’ EP
Planetary Notions

This is a killer release, hopefully by anyone’s standards. Two tracks plus two artists grace the pages with Search The Skies from Stellar Wind opening care of a succession of beautifully succinct beats alongside a series of percussive keyboard and drum flourishes on this excellent, no compromise composition. DSC’s Lovers Fall happens next with a more introspective collection of pulsating keys and haunting vocal lines dancing in-between all that rich, powerful atmosphere. This is only the label’s third release yet with music of this quality you get the sense that quality-control is much more than just a byword.

Release: October 6

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johnJohn Foxx
The Complete Cathedral Oceans
Edsel records

Celebrating:  Cathedral Oceans (1997), Cathedral Oceans II (2003) and Cathedral Oceans III (2005) this collection of all three albums now neatly converges into the one single definitive release. The inescapable word defining this shape-shifting landscape of sounds has to be ethereal. Or possibly heavenly – which on first glance seems all the more apt. I find music like this reaches into your soul altering your reactions as it probes and produces a never-ending shift of emotions. Ambient is the easy/ obvious word to describe the atmospheric rushes of sounds which come and go across the synthesized generations of both keyboards and holy voices here. Almost timeless, in the way that only electronic music of this nature along with, say, Classical is. However, in a sense it’s pointless my describing piece by piece the defining qualities of the track-list as each album breathes a fresh sense of occasion into the previous incarnation. It is an inescapably, wondrous journey through the sights and sounds of John Foxx’s imagination which ultimately transcends the timeline between then and now, and optimistically into the beyond. Play this at your exalted leisure.

Release: September 30



The Neck
taMe Music

Lifted from their new album, ‘EP1’ this simmering, brooding, sometimes dangerous feeling production tears at the fabric of your soul, while creating all sorts of new possibilities in the process. I love its meandering evolution of percussive and synthesized rhythms that leave you guessing as to what might occur next. That, plus the contrasting gentle ambience created by the background of voices appearing occasionally. The arrangement is a high-octane concoction primed for the dancefloor and indeed this must sound epic across the right sound-system. All sorts of influences going on in here too while creating their own definite sound means you’ve got to applaud this. Two versions available, with the aforementioned Tunnel mix plus the slightly deceptive Ambient Mood version which alters the grooves yet still packs a heavy-weight emotional punch.

Crosstown Rebels

Achieving a sixth artist album makes for quite an achievement in these days of impermanence. And producing an album’s worth of this quality is more than testament of any artists’ ability and consequentially worth. In abundance then Valor (which translates as courage in Spanish) begins with the emotionally drenched, Acid punctuated ‘Casa’ and ends up at the soulfully charged, Wakame. Love the fact that neither melody or musicality are ignored here while remaining resolutely fresh in terms of combining sounds with more traditional ideas and notions of arranging music to reach its fullest potential i.e. conveying a connection to you the listener. In-between the start and finish Dinky explores the technological edges in ‘Cut’ through to the more joyous revelations of, Milk. All in all Valor plays for an invigorating, life-affirming listen and long may that continue.

Release: September 30
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mb054packshotTheo Kottis
It Wasn’t Meant To Be / Running Home
Moda Black

The first thing that really strikes you about ‘It Wasn’t Meant To Be’ is just how much you miss Strings, as in those emotive, heart-wrenching lines which feel like nothing else. Theo Kottis then twists the emotional resonance up a notch with the additional of its commanding basslines, rousing vocals, and punctuating organ hits. And.Id deliver two equally first-rate versions with their Rave Nostalgia Remix again hitting those strings with reverence alongside commanding piano plus a rounder bass sound to exalt the tracks potential fully. An excellent stripped down Dub follows, with the second original composition ‘Running Nowhere’ combining fresh soundscapes in the shape of shimmering synthesizers and expansive pads accompanied by chiming keys for heightened tension.

Release: October 7


Reviews: 181

Pursuit Of The Orange Butterfly EP

This record represents a kind of brutal, beautiful indication of what’s right with the planet. Feeling introspective for sure, but also there’s a sense of sharing within its thoughtful, thought-provoking rhythms which aren’t regulated, clean, pristine hi-fi but are most obviously soulful in the very real senses of that word – as if reaching out for heaven. ‘Pursuit Of The Orange Butterfly’ not only has an exquisite title but breathes life into all of those tired arrangements that qualify as Dance music today, indeed they surpass them. Slightly reminiscent of the Minimalist composers of the past century this produces an evolving, effortless landscape of sound that opens up your mind to the blue sky of possibilities.  Next is Mountains of the Moon which escapes into a series of rapid beats plus against the grain synthesized sounds, which along with final track Neverland prove to just as engaging, although the title remains in a league of its own.

Formats: 12” Vinyl / Digital
Release: September 23


Reviews: 180

pokeryouANDme & The Analog Roland Orchestra feat. Black Soda
Reflection EP
Poker Flat Recordings

This stunning release from the label engages you on many different levels flying the flag somewhere in-between haunting and spiritual. Black Soda’s unnerving voice only serves to heighten the tension created by youANDme’s dark fusion of terse electronics and while this may not always be a comfortable ride it most certainly is a captivating one. A Dub and Acid mix accompany the original again sitting you at the edge of imaginative forward-thinking atmospheres. The Hyenah remix then explores warmer elements of rhythm on a welcome relaxation of all that simmering tension, while the equally engaging ambience of the Morning Light version provides similar pleasure.

Release: September 30

Sascha Dive
After the Storm

You could use the adage: method in the madness here but that doesn’t quite get to where it needs to be. Sascha Dive’s forceful repetition drives into the heart of the night with an unsettling combination of whirring, synthesized sounds and undulating bass hits along with spoken echoes plus brisk drums. All of which induces a kind of hypnotic wonder that you will either plug into gaining the sonic rewards, or not. Ion Ludwig supplies the remix with a succession of deep, pulsating low-end notes and a warm rush of keys defining extra possibilities that surprisingly make you forget about which genre to attach to the music you’re listening to.

Ralph Lawson
Lost In The Storm
2020 Vision

Excellent production from the main-man Ralph Lawson who sets the controls to stun on this fiercely underground arrangement of sounds. Setting aside the five remixes which accompany the original this smouldering combination of dubbed chords and sizzling drums breathe fresh impetus into the electronic soundtrack, bravely defying your expectations with this percussion fueled gem while satisfying your thirst care of its brooding ‘Storm’ ignited sound effects.  The remixes then all play on, and around, the theme with the enviable list beginning with Hector Couto, Barem, Shaun Reeves, Fernandos and ending up with Rui-Z. Leaving you with the suitably abrupt Storm FX to finish.

Release: October 3

Gari Romalis
D-Alpha Experience
Future 1701

Gari Romalis begins his own label Future 1701, alongside Subwax Distribution, with the this typically pounding yet soulfully rewarding set of numbers. The Quarentine Mix of People Under The Stairs begins this set of four care off its warm, oversized kick-drum amid a gentle wash of atmospheric keys. Itz Krazy (Word) follows with a perkier tempo which again engages emotive keys alongside the thumping rhythm section. Next, God of Dawn supplies suitably expansive, filtered ambience across this captivating production, leaving the undulating electronics of Hard Limiter (Trading Spaces Mix) to end this notable debut from the imprint.


Reviews: 179

lowerJunior Gee
I’ll Show You EP
Lower East Music

Cozzy D’s Lower East imprint has been pumping out a series of sure-fire numbers this past while and this latest from Junior Gee doesn’t disappoint either. Far from it in fact as these three equally rewarding productions satisfy on many levels. Opening with the title track, ‘I’ll Show You’ which immediately wraps you up in warm bass, reassuring vocals contrasted by a fizzy sprinkle of infectious synth lines – what’s not to love. Next comes, ‘Pick Up’ which aptly applies sizzling hi-hats to the House equation reflecting the dancefloor, leaving the first-rate ‘Half Way Home’ to end on a rousing rush of creative electronics.

Simone Venanzi
In This Space
Sonora Records

Great release from Sonora via the impressive talent that is obviously Simone Venanzi. Kicking off with the deep atmosphere’s generated by, ‘In This Space’ which wastes no time in announcing itself fully as pounding beats and rolling basslines all feed your imagination with some well-placed vocal snippets and cutting sound effects doing the rest. Tanner Ross then delivers a hot remix care off bouncing synth lines and shuffling percussion transforming it all into an infectious alternative to the original. ‘Hosting Madness’ follows in a darker vein, again proving to be commanding, forward-thinking music, while ‘Delayed In Time’ completes with an excellent production combining striking sounds together with a soulful, enigmatic punch.

Farewell/ Renton
W&O Street Tracks

And this is precisely what I love about W&O. They throw caution to the wind from time to time and release amazing music just like this from Amtrac. ‘Farewell’ packs more emotional punch than most but also probes at the edges with a forceful groove that sets your heart racing. Not afraid of melody either as this killer combination of hook-line bass and rousing keys says all that needs saying as we reach towards the end of 2016. ‘Renton’ comes a pretty close second with another teasing arrangement of the senses combining perky electronics together with emotive ambience that feels just right any time of year.



Smash TV Q&A

smashTalk us through where the inspiration for ‘Break the Monotony’ came from and how you then took those ideas to translate them into the final production?

This track basically started with Craig’s vocal, which wasn’t supposed to be used in the way we did in the end. It’s a bit from the track ‚live for the weekend‘ – we played around with it a bit and all of a sudden it was there!
We more or less built the track around that vocal, emphasizing the raw sound with using analog drum-machines and raw recordings from the modular synth.


Which are your favourite pieces of software/ hardware that you currently like to use?

i just bought a modal 002. this synth in combination with a novation circuit used as a sequenzer for it is a bomb. also, we are currently preparing a liveset around the new pioneer toraiz sp 16. we planned to play live without laptop already for a while. now, slowly but surely all the pieces of the new setup come together.

The EP is released via Culprit on 26/08/2016. Tell us about how your relationship with the prestigious label came about?

We met Andrei from Culprit in Barcelona at OFF Sonar 2015, our friend Bambook introduced us. And as we talked it turned out that we were both fans of each others work – so we decided to work together!
The first tracks we sent over became the Cascadia EP which was released in late 2015, and with this diverse package we had here we thought culprit would be the right place to release them!

What’s the story behind your collaboration with Archive’s Craig Walker on: Live For The Weekend? And how do you rate the importance of vocals in today’s Dance culture?

Live fort he weekend was the first track oft hat EP that was finished, and with it’s light 80’s breaky synth feel it needed some vocals we felt. So we played it to our friend and studio neighbour Craig Walker and he was instantly up for it! He wrote some great autobiographical lyrics here, he says the track immediately transported him back to the days of early illegal raving in Brixton and South London.
The lyrics are about his days in London in the early 90s in a flat in Greenwich with a welsh poet who was a “raging alcoholic pisshead, making ecstasy and speed in the bathroom“ – it’s amazing to have such talent here on this EP.

It’s great to work with vocalists who bring in their own artistic persona and by that expand the horizon oft he music created – we think that this is great and important.
Vocals used in the right way are fantastic, all that sampling got a little boring lately to some people – so that’s why there might be a little less vocals at the moment, which doesn’t make them less important.

Who are your biggest influences outside of Dance music?

Kai: Apart from dance music I have been listening to The Jayhawks and Kishi Bashi a lot recently…

Can you tell us about your involvement with the Beirut Berlin Express?

BBX is a contest for music producers from Beirut done by the Grand Factory Beirut, Goathe Institute Lebanon, Riverside Studios and Jägermeister, in which the winner will come to Berlin to Riverside for a month an produce an EP there. And in that month we will work with the winner everyday and help/coach/advise and make sure there is a great release in the end.
This our second collaboration with Goethe Institute Lebanon and we are really happy about being part of this great project.
Apart from that we are a lot in the middle east, especially in Beirut so we are even more happy to support this great scene over there!


Reviews 178

jpJP Chronic feat. Gramma Funk
Funky Shit
Chronovision Ibiza

Lifted from his forthcoming album ‘Arrival 13:36 Gate 63’ is this hotwired Disco number that serves up its additively, undulating bassline in full effect. Aided only by occasional funky percussion, high-end strings hits and a couple of excitable breakdowns this is both simple/ uncomplicated yet straight to the point. Three remixes accompany the original plus an acapella featuring Gramma Funk’s particular brand of the spoken word. First up is Gruia who adds a bouncier groove, while cutting up the vocals to reset the Disco angle. As does Danny O whose excellent driving, percussion punctuated rhythms really get under your skin. Then Italian duo Jonny N Travis fuse a more haunting, atmospherically charged version that sounds like the perfect complement to the album mix.

Release: Sept 1

Listen/ buy

Hollis Parker
What You’ve Done
SoSure Music

Hollis Parker’s tempting ‘What You’ve Done’ points in the direction of a forthcoming album: The Last Raw Era of which I’ll be reviewing shortly. As the title suggests this evokes the past which will come as either a pleasant reminder or possibility even a relatively pointless exercise. Or, you could just simply enjoy what is essentially quality music. Its smoky, Saxophone punctuated rhythms certainly feel emotive in that classically soulful way neatly capturing the essence of the early 90’s. Punchy beats plus guitar flourishes all go to colour in the background most effectively while the yearning vocal lines add a certain extra bite. Next, is Parker’s Lament which also the retraces deeper, more ‘soulful’ moods of the period and again sounds like good music to me (still).

Release: September 5

Ashford & Simpson
Love Will Fix It: The Best of Ashford & Simpson
Groove Line Records

It’s in the region of 29 degrees outside (hot for the UK) and this compilation of beautiful moments from Ashford & Simpson is blazing away on the stereo. Spread across two circles of vinyl it’s always striking just how well produced the music still sounds decades later, and also the supremely gifted song writing abilities of the duo, plus of course those heaven sent voices. A bunch of personal favourites are on here, not least of all It Seems To Hang On. But feel blessed, enjoy the weather, love their timeless music.


Cozzy D Q&A

cozzy dYour label: Lower East reaches its 45th release with your production ‘At The Rave EP’. How has the journey been and what are the positives gained from running your own label, any negatives too?

It’s been one hell of a journey, and amazing looking back over the past 6 years seeing how far the label has come. I’ve had the honour of working with some of my peers and legends such as Larry Heard, Gerd + MK and also provided a platform to expose up & coming talent such as Alexis Raphael, MoodTrap, vs.Mode & others. Having my own label has given me my own identity and a hub for me to release my own music and help push others. I feel 2016 has been our strongest year to date and I am really excited about the musical direction we are going in and some of the amazing artists involved.

It’s fair to say that the EP’s excellent title track hints at the past, although that could also be a disservice as it feels very much set in 2016. How would you describe the current state of House Music: is it paying too much attention to its history, or is forward-thinking tearing the music away from its roots?

I have always liked referencing the past BUT to create the future. In recent times there have been a lot of 90’s references in House Music and many people jumping on bandwagons trying to replicate that sound. The 90s will always have a special place in my heart as they were my teen years and towards the late 90s was when I first got into raving, DJing and dance music in general, so I take much inspiration from that era, however, I like to be forward thinking with my music and not follow trends just to remain popular. It’s sad to see so much generic music about these days. So much of the same lazy formulated tracks seem to be knocking about. I guess that’s the problem with the digital generation, it has made music so much more dispensable.

Can you talk us through your production process and about your studio set-up with any particular favourite pieces of software/ hardware?

I have been collecting vinyl for over 18 years now so quite like digging through my crates to find samples. I usually take loops, hits and vocals etc then start working an idea around those. Am a big fan of hardware and quite often use the 808 and 909 and also Juno 101 and also recently been using the xoxbox for a bit of aciiiiiiid 😉

coz djYour new custom made DJ deck stand looks pretty amazing. Please tell us all about it?

I’m very lucky to have an interior designer as a Fiancee. She designed it for me and found a carpenter who specialises in making wood with scaffolding furniture to make it for me. One of the best things I have ever bought. Love it!

How did you get involved with and why do you feel radio is important in today’s digital world?

My agent at mn2s Joanna Miles had me down as a special guest one day and from there the bloop lads asked if I would host my own monthly show. It’s a great little studio set up run by a good bunch of lads. I’ve always been comfortable presenting radio shows as used to have my own many years ago on House FM. I find it’s a great platform to showcase new upcoming music from myself and Lower East. It’s also been great having special guests down to come in for a chat and guest mix.

Outside of Dance Music what are you most important influences?

bloopGrowing up I was a massive Michael Jackson fan. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who wasn’t in some way inspired by him. I’m very lucky to have got the pleasure of seeing him Live before he died, at Wembley Stadium in 1997. A musical genius and one of, or maybe THE greatest performer ever. I loved his musical diversity and have taken that on with my own music. I get bored easily so don’t like to always make tracks in the same style. Depending on my mood I can go from making jacking Chicago style house, to tribal party vibes or even more raw techno or rave influenced tracks.


Can you share with us your forthcoming plans for 2016 and beyond?

2016 started off nicely with a 5 track EP on VIVa feat. Roland Clark on vocals. I’ve just dropped a new single ‘At The Rave’ on Lower East which has been getting amazing feedback and support. Following on from this I’ve got a track forthcoming on Material’s ADE Sampler in October, a remix for SEFF on Twisted Fusion, an EP on one of my favourite labels, Waze & Odyssey’s Street Tracks, and a remix for Joeski also on Material. Few other bits in the pipeline too which I can’t say too much about right now.


Reviews: 177 (c)

MFFDan Ghenacia & Chris Carrier
Vaporized EP
Music For Freaks

Music For Freaks continue their succession of killer releases with this latest from Dan Ghenacia & Chris Carrier which sounds suitably twisted, yet so obviously fine and funky. And not only does the sleeve boast the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia sat in a bath on the cover but the EP’s title track oozes the sort of shuffling, hypnotic rhythms to leave you spellbound. The music feels like it’s pointing to the future too. The Green Bell contrasts with darker moods across sparky drum machines, as Wind and Fire ends on a slightly oddball combination of brooding chords, Jazzy meanderings and strange voices.

Release: 22/08/16 (v) – 14/10/16 (d)
listen/ buy


Reviews: 177 (b)

moLeftwing & Kody
Squaring Circles

The duo finally arrive on Mobilee to deliver three equally fiery new tracks. But even if the release was just the title track alone then that would be more than enough to satisfy. The only word to do Squaring Circles some sort of justice is, explosive. A tough, heavy-duty arrangement of probing notes, pounding drums and infectious vocal edits all combine with a powerful emphasis to cause chaos. Future, occurs next on a deeper tip with dark voices accompanied by atmospheric, whirring synth lines alongside splashes of Detroit for added crunch. Leaving, Torus to end on a groovier note informed by funkier percussion plus punchy keys resulting in yet more hot, sure-fire rhythms.

Release: August 19


Reviews: 177 (a)

dirtybirdKill Frenzy

Love this. It’s the sheer confidence and belief that these four bars of intense organ hits are enough to command the track, as indeed they do, that is so charming here. Although, Silo is anything but polite as it stabs the keys out and over crisp drum machines, cold voices and an imposing range of effects giving the arrangement a haunting, devilish reference which, let’s face it, sounds totally s**t hot!

Release: August 26