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



Alex-Barck-REUNION1-Artwork-525x525Alex Barck

There is something delightfully melodic about the way Re-Set develops its loosely structured chords alongside vocalist Pete Josef’s emotive delivery which hints at melancholy and joy all at the same time. An intriguing recipe for sure and the more you listen to this the more impressive and involving it reveals itself to be. It is also the first in a run-up to the release of an album later in 2013 so hopefully there is much more like this in store. The drums sit neatly along classic Electro lines as evocative keyboards add a juicy funk to the rhythm which feels inspired and tastefully accessible, yet clearly forward reaching in scope. The remix comes care of Berliner Hannes Fischer who transforms the song along technological lines with reverberating vocal treatments adding extra, soulful warmth to the haunting synthesizer lines which colour the spaces in-between sublimely on this stunning reworking.

release:  January 28 (12″ vinyl only)



mobiusMobius Strum
A Midnight Tale (Part 1)
Smiley Fingers

Like kick-ass basslines? Then Costa Ricas’ Mobius Strum has just the ticket in White Disorder. Beginning with unsuspecting beats this then all too quickly announces itself via a succession irresistibly hard-hitting deeper tones.  Not a lot else goes on apart from some vocal snippets and the odd sprinkle of atmospheric synth, but then when the rhythm section sizzles with such intensity little else is required.  Next, Ocean View proceeds with funkier percussion played out over throbbing bass and occasional chords, again capturing the mood perfectly alongside your attention span. The direct thinking of Kick N’ Snare applies further hypnotic swirls of keyboard to cinematic voices that for some inexplicable reason sound particularly resonate throughout its eight minute timeframe. An excellent release that you would be doing a disservice too by filing anywhere near the reference: minimal.

release: January 21


Ser Mi Dama EP
Deep Edition Recordings

Yet another distinctive release this week, and quite possibly one the Deep Editions finest moments to date, sees the trio of Keiran Clare, Lloyd Lindo and Francis Seaver deliver a richly, deep production in Ser Mi Dama. It’s all about capturing the mood here which this does so effortlessly by combining atmospheric keys and vocal hints alongside cutting percussion to propel it all. Remixes come from Michelle Owen and Martijn with the former injecting extra energy into the rhythm with heavier bass and punchier chords, the later exploring a moodier Techno feel while also highlighting the expressive vocal aspects again.  Second track, Arcapelago is tougher relying on pulsating chords and an invigorating b line to round off this notable release.

release:  February 4 Beatport Exclusive / All stores 18th February


He Not In 1500 x 1500Chicken Lips
He Not In
Defected Records

Fair to say that this seminal record from Chicken Lips has stood the test of time since its original release some ten years ago. Listen to it and the answer as to why is pretty much self-explanatory.  The original version takes pride of place; although the excellent remixes all infuse that bassline with a fresh lease of life by each adding their own distinctive trademark to their reworking. It’s all good as they say, however it’s down to both Groove Armada and Eats Everything to really qualify the track for 2013 with contemporary perspectives. However, having said all that Noir’s Personal Edit of the original is just as hard to beat (with no pun intended).

release:  January 28


release: January 28