Reviews: 146

Single of the Week

Nacho Marco/ Roberto Rodriguez
That Smile/ Giving It All
Lazy Days Recordings

Celebrating ten years of almost anything these days is, of course, cause for celebration and this two track release continues with the second of the cumulative 10 by Ten series. Beginning with the aptly titled That Smile and Nacho Marco’s soulfully charged Acid grooves, which prove to be almost too hot to handle, this emotive seven plus minutes juxtaposes intense 303 attitudes alongside cool piano notes and feels refreshingly excellent. Next, Giving It All delivers deliciously wonky basslines amid undulating funkiness in the shape of effected keys and percussion, which increase energy levels as the production unfolds with the later introduction of vocals only fuelling the fire.

Orbital Chords
Growin Music

growinI get the sense that this isn’t so much good as great. Partly because it thinks outside of the box as something imagined on its own terms, not for cynicism. Three equally challenging pieces of music co-exist to form this debut release from (the mysterious) Growin Music starting out with the unpredictably beautiful Holding The Four Winds. Underscored by rough edged Techno beats it’s the swirling, soaring synthesisers that captivate the attention and feel little short of epic. Digital Crush, continues the theme again scoring high on atmosphere this time punctuated by drum hits and meandering percussion, leaving the excellent Walks On The Boulevard to finish on classy Deep House tones and a more traditionally executed arrangement of sounds.

Release: April

Marsupials & Marcus Raute
Together EP
Large Music

largeNaples based collective Marsupials and London’s Marcus Raute join minds to deliver four addictive slices of House for your pleasure via the always impressive Large Music imprint. The tough-edged title track takes centre stage with gritty beats and organ lines feeling increasingly intense as the addition of punchy stabs and vocal touches furnish the arrangement with all the necessary soul required. The Dub version then proceeds to strip it all back to basics revealing its deeper essence. Unless You Play picks up the pace next with brighter keys and sizzling hi-hats, while the 90’s inspired I Don’t Want You ends with yet more soulful vocals and biting organ hits feeling frisky and funky.

Release: March 30


Reviews 96

Feeling This EP

aaaron‘Feeling this’ may have worked its way into common expression but this latest from Berlin’s Aaaron is anything but clichéd. The title track’s funky percussion and hard-hitting deep bass does the trick very nicely, accompanied of course by that ‘Feeling This’ vocal looping neatly into your subconscious. ‘Oh Snap’ explores a similar formula with voice edits spinning out over percussion heavy grooves, although this time with a friskier edge, leaving Hold It with its bluesy vocals over straight-up House beats and Organ to talk up yet another fine production and release from the label.

release: August 12


Stockings and Champagne

stockings-and-champagneStockings and Champagne has that same vibe that you used to get on Tribal America with fierce drums, vocals and techy stabs all competing for your undivided attention. This second release from Funkoloko does so big time by holding back the anticipation letting the vocal do all the talking over atmospheric synths and insistent rhythms. Play after dark. Matters get even more heavy handed with Casma’s Alternative remix placing its juicy Techno bassline alongside a spacey arrangement that echoes Dub all the way. Next, is Brisboys version which has funky, deep percussion over bouncy rhythms and undulating keys to complement the vocal lines, which actually aren’t quite as sleazy as the title may suggest.

release: September 16


Ivan Latyshev
Evening Avenue
What’s In The Box

Next on the atmospheric tracklist is from Highway Records sub-label What’s In The Box. Produced by St Petersburg resident Ivan Latyshev this pulsating sequence of fuzzy synths and cool, funky drums rapidly ignites the senses with dreamy vocals floating around the arrangement. However, not sure how well the de-tuned spoken vocal works these days, occurring during the breakdown but then proceeding to ease itself nicely into the rhythm. Excellent remix from Sharam Jey whose melodic bassline is irresistible while re-imaging the vocals potential amid intense electronics. Remaining versions are from Arsenii and Timo Camillo with the second’s brooding combination of snappy snares and haunting pads sounding good.


Evan Iff
Faith & Trust
Large Music

evanThe Chicago imprint plays host to Evan Iff for the third time with an inspiring title that should restore your belief via its rousing piano and exulted feelings. I like the ‘musical’ overtones to this production which, yes, references early 90’s American Garage but which also side steps the more obvious sounds – falling into the category of : if it was good then, it’s still good now! Full credit goes to Michelle Owen who adds an imaginative classic Break into the equation giving the chords a more laid back groove that also works particularly well. H&S then ends on a slo-mo tempo accompanied by shuffling organ to round off another notable release.

release: August 26



Elize - About This Girl EPElize
About This Girl EP
Defected Records

What better to start the eightieth edition of Magazine Sixty than with the lush production values of Elize. The French artist has created three gems in this release while also highlighting the labels versatility into the bargain. Just Wanna Dance, almost despite what the title claims, fills in the spaces between deep and gorgeous with hypnotic tones alongside dreamy voices combining with tough underlying rhythms perfectly. About This Girl feels that bit friskier with funkier bass and shuffling drums adding an enticing groove before Elize strikes the piano in full effect. All Theses Ices ends sitting somewhere in-between the previous two with moody organ and chunky syncopation giving the process a real kick.

release: March 25


LAR166Lars Vegas
The Game EP
Large Music

An excellent release from Large that sees the label returning to their 90’s roots with Detroit Swindle’s Lars Vegas delivering an essential production for just about anyone whose into that House sound. Of course, it’s also very telling that the style, and The Game in particular, feels so vibrant today -  coming full circle. The title track’s energy is inescapably persuasive with the exuberant vocals, insistent drums and pumping chords all feeling majorly peak time. Break Me Down follows with more strident rhythms and big time keys accompanied by deeper pads for added variation. Homework, supply the remix with their take on the sound being a notably potent one as heavy-duty bass and beats give you that bit more. Extra Large.

release: March 25


MFR_072-1417x1417Jori Hulkkonnen as Third Culture
Negative Time Remixes 2
My Favorite Robot Records

Having already released the labels first artist album electronic magician Jori Hulkonnen now has this second selection of remixes to further tempt you in that direction. Gonna Track You Down is remixed impressively by Knox who treat you to a diverse set of sounds; some reversed, some played straight but all highly impactful beside the cinematic landscape created. Jori Hulkkonen’s own remix of Liquid Hologram feels somewhat less experimental in comparison, although still features an invigorating sequence of electronic notes alongside captivating, haunting vocals. The excellent Maxxi Soundsytem then rework Do It giving it a temptingly deeper edge, while featuring Olga Kouklaki’s heavily treated voice against a creative progression of sounds. The Model remix of Bass is a Many Splendored Things finishes on a clubbier note with uptempo, pulsating rhythms all receiving that certain MFR twist.

release: March 25

Negative Time album clips


Knackered EP
Get Slow

While not necessarily the most promising of titles the Knackered EP does however reignite the word Balearic with four notably good tracks via Argentine label Get Slow. Christian Malloni’s imaginative production prowess is evident throughout beginning with I Got You and its bluesy vocals played over a fashionably taught, moody bass. Where Nobody Knows Your Name, then sees a breezier vocal spinoff against low-slung beats and tastefully atmospheric instrumentation. Next, the title track itself feeds the senses with vocal cut-ups coupled with an infectious, swirling soundscape that really gets under your skin. However, By My Side is the jewel in the crown referencing a summer beach sometime in the last decade as rolling, filtered grooves wash over you alongside acoustic guitar and emotive voices – picture perfect.

release: March 14