Striking the right chords for the closing in of the winter hours is just what Martin Landsky’s smouldering title track does in earnest. However, it’s almost as much about the striking cowbell as it is about the magical concoction of darkly, brooding pads, deft bassline and unnerving voices. A Dub version follows allowing the buzzy stabs space to roam, leaving the probing tones of Norway to finish on an equal high.
The label continues with their series of excellent, hard-hitting releases and this from label boss Steve Bug alongside Langenberg is also sure-fire brilliance. The aptly titled Cloud Cluster hits you in a hurry as layers of keys unfold with atmospheric, bassy strings resonating all over the bottom-end while punchy Acid lines fuel the energy towards completion. Resulting in a complex lesson in mood and richly rewarding emotive states. Next is the turn of, The Teaze which combines a wealth of fizzy synth riffs and notation over gritty, feverish stabs and repeating, insistent drums building its intensity carefully, intently.
Release: October 20
I remember the first time I heard the title track and couldn’t wait to hear it for a second. Don’t Let Go combines robust, deep bass and beats together with a flair of musicality that is so often missing and only goes to enhance the quality of experience here, fusing the future with the past succinctly. Dance With Me gets deeper in comparison with taught, brisk drums fuelling the rhythms as captivating vocals then inform the groove, leaving the edgy vibes of the addictive Feel It to complete this first-rate release.
Release: September 8
Killer production from Vincenzo who cleverly fuses timely Detroit styled basslines together with haunting synthesisers and an Acid attitude which is telling complimented by Cari Golden’s resonating vocal input. The tension gets resolved by a rush of emotive chords later on but the subtleties and creative nuances in this arrangement are excitedly rewarding throughout. Also coming with an Instrumental version, plus with an electro fuelled Smash TV feeling suitably charged and excellent, you can’t go wrong either way. Next, That’s The Way retraces more familiar territory with probing keys working their way into your consciousness over five minutes of compelling engagement.
Mihai Popoviciu delivers the kind of loose fitting, liquid fuelled funkiness that is unfortunately absent in so much music today. It probes at the corners of the stereo with chiming bass hits, shuffling drum patterns alongside questioning vocals, sometime spoken sometimes sung on the infectious standout, I Should. Twisted, follows with more robust rhythms aimed for the dancefloor boosting darker atmospheres, while Fiction feels more cosmopolitan in turn via its deft sprinkle of breezy synth lines. Interconnected completes this first rate release with a splash of smoky Chicago replayed just like the first time care off pulsating 80’s drums, the spoken word plus tinges of hot Acid colouring the grooves.
More wonderful music that celebrates life pushing forward yet acknowledging past creatives – a theme that seems to run through everything I review at Magazine Sixty. Put directly Joeski’s effortless blend of smoky rhythms, heavy-duty drums and Dub sensibilities are a thing of eternal beauty. The crash and burn sounds of Dub Music sizzle and excite as the voice of Jamaica resonates. What Is Dub Love? Poses the question next with rolling drum machines offset by a succession of tripped-out notation. The equally great Roots confirms all the aspiration to complete this wonderful EP and not surprisingly finally complements the spaced echoes with a pulsating reggae bassline and flurry of melody.
Release: February 17
Listen/ buy http://www.pokerflat-recordings.com/releases/joeski-lessons-dub-ep
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
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.
Lost In The Storm
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.
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.
Single of the Week
I just happened across this today, by possible accident, and so glad I did. For this is an outstanding production of ideas, sounds and sheer bravado. It’s uncompromising, includes some beautifully random classically-tuned piano along with not so delightfully twisted vocals, and simmers with ecstatic Acid tension painting a climatic, cinematic portrait that sits in a class all of its very own. Matt Jonson & Jesse Heartthrob provide the remix, with bouncy rhythms added to the equation, but for me its just relish in the Original version for now.
Release: March 30 on Vinyl, April 6 on Beatport Exclusive, April 20 Worldwide all stores
Erotic Sessions EP
Poker Flat Recordings
Joeski’s fabulous Acid infused XXX Part 1 kicks off this release with a deceptively uncomplicated arrangement, which in actual fact is brimming with creative tension amid a crisp clash of percussion accompanied by understated, brooding effects. Part 2, not surprisingly, continues to build the theme pushing the Acid lines, breathy vocals and caustic fx to the fore while in the process producing tantalising, hypnosis inducing Dance music. The excellent, Come On, finishes with more superb sound effects stretching out the stereo alongside more in the way of unrelenting drums.
Marlon Hoffstadt & Racquet
If this is anything to go by then watch out for Deep House Amsterdam’s brand new DHA Records. The Original version comprises of melancholy, smoky vocals accompanied by fine bluesy guitar and captivating drums sounding both intriguing and compelling. Andre Lodemann’s remix then adds more energy and gritty Techno textures while stripping back the song, as Poupon takes it a step deeper with the more of the Originals’ ambience played out across tougher Dance beats and bass.
Reimaging two of last year’s tracks from the Freak EP comes this latest release from the artists own Bpitch Control imprint. First up are AUX 88 who riff dark techno notation together with animalistic sound effects plus pulsating drum machines to sound heavy-duty yet infectious on Butterfly. Ejeca’s Acid version of Freak The Night does just that with trippy Acid sounds amid suitably electronic drums for your pleasure, as the Radio Slave remix transforms it all into something altogether more moody and atmospheric. The excellent LA Williams proceeds to turn it upside down again with pumping Chicago rhythms feeling energised and dangerous, with Radio Slave’s Acapella finishing off for good measure.
Our House is Your House
Ministry Of Sound
Launching another Mix series for Ministry comes this rough retrospective of Todd Terry’s musical output. I can’t remember who coined the Todd Is God phrase but thankfully that was back in the sad old days of 90’s dance journalism. To put it basically though, Todd falls loosely into the pre and post Missing phase: the former representing those glorious Acid years from 1988 through to the tough Hard-House of the early 90’s and for me it’s that number of classics that are hard to beat – period. Try any of the Todd Terry Project productions and listen for yourself (including a couple of disappointing omissions from the T.T canon on this compilation below). The second CD has a selection of some of his current tracks and remixes, including three new tracks from Terry two of which are exclusive to the compilation: ‘Give Me A Reason’ feat. Robin S, and ‘Go Away’ featuring Martyna Baker. The shuffling rhythms espoused on his infamous Everything But The Girl remix is perhaps what he’s currently most celebrated for, and it’s maybe curious to note that those sounds are still contemporary in today’s climate? For a producer who helped define the landscape of House through the late 80’s and early 90’s (and for some beyond) is a big accolade for anyone to achieve. This compilation gives you the chance to sample that justification for yourself.
Release: March 30
Single of the Week
Déjà vu EP
Poker Flat Recordings
In the course of celebrating a 20 plus years history the label releases this excellent number from Vince Watson. The title track ticks all the right buttons with emotive chords underpinning a relatively restrained Acid bassline and comes complete with a lush breakdown that sets the pulse racing. And to highlight just how effective it all is Déjà vu also features a Beatless and Ambient Mix which both accentuate the track’s sensual nature, with the radiant ambience of the later feeling particularity rewarding care of the well placed piano motif. Illusion, meanwhile provides a tougher affair for the dancefloor with hissing hi-hats accompanied by a more intense array of punchy keys, while label founder Josh Wink’s funky percussion led remix aims high with pounding musicality reaching an eventual deeper climax on what is undoubtedly a first rate version.
Little By Little
Bang The Box EP
Great title (of course) and reflects the banging nature of House Music with this irresistible workout from the Frenchman. Bang The Box, features taught, explosive bass lines plus the chopped-up vocals of the same name and then proceeds to twist them all together delivering highly flammable material. Second track, ‘Stress’ applies nastier bass to pumping drums along with wobbly synths and once again comes up smiling. Simple yet deadly.
Release: January 19
Inside Out Records
An explosive sonically charged barrage from Roland Appel has the title track feel every bit as great as that sounds with dark bass and beats, weird synths and Acid attitude all combining most conveniently into a sizzling collage of sounds. The funkier, Da Cat follows with heavier bass accompanied by sometimes warmer, sometimes harsher keys that are all high on impact and lend the track its distinctive, notably edgy flavour.
Release: January 26
Love this from Monoblok&PSLKTR who defiantly throw the rule book out of the window while delivering an icily cool production complete with addictive deadpan vocals and unsettling synthesizers. Relapse, even features a rocky guitar, live action bass and is most effective via the excellent original mix. Remixes come from a pulsating Rework version, and the sizzling electronics of My Favorite Robot. Next, Walking Disaster supplies another great original with further cool vocals alongside sassy keyboards and decadent 80’s attitude. Arnaud Rebotini’s remix of the same completes with a more robust version beefing it all up nicely.