You can hear the sound of history being rewired throughout Reggie Dokes outstanding Dance Your life Away as if it depended on it. This is about the resolute power generated by electricity as sizzling notes get intertwined, reimagined and then retold. The word future springs readily to mind. Then, Mind follows exploring the spaces in-between accompanied by jazzy stabs and smoky, questioning voices. The positively joyous Feelings is next with an alternative spring in its step driven by uplifting chords plus the cool pulse of drum machines while clearly feeling in a celebratory mood. Finally the title track ends on a more introspective note signifying a journey touching upon the highs and lows of existence, never feeling tired or played out, to complete this standout set of compositions.
Excellent double header from & ME who surpasses any notions of decency while heading straight for the jugular with this uncompromising, mesmerising release. The title tracks’ sublime, tribal infused drums pitch themselves at you trance-like with weird synths and captivating voices letting your mind run riot. More off the wall behaviour follows with the equally tantalising, â€˜Locust’ and its staccato guitar backed up by pulsating Toms and further twisted treatments combining to make this hard to surpass. If you are looking for music that exists outside of the box….
release: June 20
What’s not to like about Do You Feel with its tense bassline and cutting, shuffling drums capped off with the title as its vocal. Simple formula but one which they do expertly well, especially with the nagging synth setting it all off against the sharp rhythms. Next, London has a more tech flavour combining stripped down electronics with bubbling Acid lines, which are then offset by rich pads. Whatever takes your fancy?
release: June 16
Launching their debut EP the London based duo create music that has you reaching for label’s yet thankfully leaves you tastefully confused. 90’s Depp opens the sequence of events with a sheer fusion of fuzzy electronics, soulful yet mournful vocals and edgy synthesizers. Its emotion stripped bare and I like it. Avec then follows with more emotive vocals draped across expansive keys and drum machine pulses. Remixes come the uneasy rhythms of Plage 84 and the pure electro sassiness of Robert James. With remaining tracks, The Heat and thirteen2thirteen exploring more of those very possibilities. You get the impressive this machine based music would sound all the more impressive live.
release: June 18
Kill Yourself Dancing
If you haven’t already tuned into “Kill Yourself Dancing! The Story Of Sunset Records Inc. 1985-89”, then Still Music is set to release three of the most requested tracks from the compilation. First off, and my favourite, is this killer gem from Razz aka Matt Warren & Ralphi Rosario. Originally released all the way back in 1985 this still packs an energetic punch with its raw-edged production still feeling every bit as vibrant via all those classic electronic sounds from the era. The title track is soon followed by an array of fiery Chicago House workouts with the emphasis firmly placed upon the drums and bass. Essential stuff.
release: June 15
The very moment the Acid House bassline hits you you’re hooked. Plain and simple. But then The Trigger is so much more than merely retrospective as MÃ¶ggli’s playful, sassy vocals ignite something altogether more tantalising into the bargin. The bass is backed up by seductive hi-hats and abrasive, undulating stabs giving this an inviting yet nasty punch that begs to be played out extremely loud. Although, with the introduction of warmer pads adding subtlety to the production this is simply referred to as First Rate. The Tool version strips back the vocal and lets the music breathe with the addition of bubbling synths and yet more more cutting edge.
release: September 4
Excellent release from Culprit but then aren’t they almost all. Newcomer Justin Jay tears it up with The Jaguar’s infectious bass and crunchy drums combining in such an effortlessly funky way alongside the emotive guitar which lends it an uplifting Balearic twist. Coldwater, adds vocals to a similar formula to again sound and feel captivating, yet heavy-duty with enough scope to be played poolside or club. Final track, You & Me aims squarely for the latter with yet another big bassline over inventive drum programming, this time offset by unsettling vocals and hints of ambience floating around the arrangement. Class.
release: September 4
You’ve got to hand it to Gomma as they set themselves apart by releasing records such as this from Swedish duo Tiedye. It’s so instantly distinctive that you could be forgiven for thinking it was made decades back, ending up as some dusty Balearic classic pre Ecstasy. Road Less Travelled is the kind of excitable Rock n Soul music that you can’t fail to love – full of passion, electric piano and fired-up vocals. DJ Kaos & Sonns provide the first remix that instantly transforms it all into something completely different with punchy drum machines and electronic melodies supplying excellent feelings. The Still Going version opt for a more rave based option with fuzzy synths and pounding beats sounding just the ticket behind the vocal.
release: September 6
Created in Chicago in 1985 Sunset Records was another component in the birth of what became labelled, House Music. Indeed in the opening title track from co founders Razz Feat. Matt Warren & Ralphi Rosario â€˜Kill Yourself Dancing’ you can hear it all really: from those classic drum sounds to the basement heavy grooves that reference American Disco just as much as they do European New Wave/ Italian Disco. Released as a double LP and CD this again puts the history into perspective but not only that it contains so many energetic pieces of music that stand the test of time. Perhaps overshadowed by the cities Trax and DJ International Records as far as Europe was concerned, although perhaps now the balance will be readdressed. Listen below.
release: September 17
Sixteen new productions from Guy Gerber go make up this latest compilation in the fabric series totalling 64. And as you have come to expect from the producer this is another selection of exquisite resonating music that reaches way beyond your imagination. Always spirited, yet incisive and experimental, this effortlessly deep compilation of sounds are as invigorating first thing in the morning as there are very late at night. Weaving between haunting vocals and cinematic instrumentals this once again highlights Guy Gerber as one of the world’s finest in this field of electronic music. Every track stands out in its own right and it would almost be pointless in suggesting particular highlights, but here goes anyway: the completely infectious One Day In May loops heavenly ambience into dancefloor nirvana, while the opening Store-House Consciousness and The Golden Sun And The Silver Moon sound as blissful as the title suggests. The music plays between dancefloor and horizontal listening with consummate ease, with number 64 proving yet another to be a winning formula.
release: June 25
Jamie Jones second album for Crosstown Rebels sees two of the world’s most significant players combine forces again successfully, after the DJ’s string of awards plus the labels succession of killer releases. The collection features unreleased tracks – although heaven knows why – alongside new productions, and if you’ve witnessed Jamie play live then Somewhere, Paradise and Frequencies may already be well known to you. But waiting eagerly to get out there too is the equally fresh future-funk of Mari 2D Underground and the uneasy edge belonging to Tonight In Tokyo feat. Luca C. Also make sure you listen out for the sinister bass experience that is Over Each Other with Livia Giammaria’s vocal sounding tastefully bitter in the process too. All the signature sounds are present, with those defining original House influences playing their part to reinforce what is undoubtedly another essential in the canon.
release: June 25
The fifth release from the label sees Remi Mazet deliver breezy summer sounds to quench your thirst for all things funky. Playing with a hint of Gwen Guthrie in the air, the punchy bassline buzzes over introspective Rhodes chords and technological synths on the Original version to great effect. Boris Horel then provides the remix of Le Kiff with bouncy European bass and perky percussion, leaving second track Are you There feat. Mr.Matlar completing the picture with more easily accessible grooves backed up by intriguing voices and frisky snares. Good release.
release: June 25
This three track EP marks the labels 58th and presents their trademark style perfectly. Opening with NTFO & Karmon â€˜Nobody Else’ and its punchy melodic bassline, which plays against snare rushes and atmospheric touches, this neatly infuses together a thoughtful production with dancefloor sensibilities. The title track is then provided by Karmon who works moody bass over sharp percussion and classic early-eighties keys, and this again proves to be easy to fall for. Betoko’s, Raining Again provides a potential anthem for the North of England with shuffling synthetic rhythms and detuned vocals intoning the wet stuff.
release: June 25
If you haven’t already checked Amirali’s beautifully crafted album for Crosstown Rebels then you’re missing out on an experience. In the meantime here is the chance to love the hauntingly atmospheric new single which also come s with some great remixes. Such as, Franck Roger who expertly builds the tension by adding fresh chords and drums to re imagine the vocal, while the MK version surpasses the remit with typically classy bass and beats feeling totally big-time. Appleblim’s aptly titled Black Mirrorball Mix then twists the elements over throbbing kicks into something altogether more space aged, making his statement loud and clear.
release: July 2
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Love this production from Ahmet Sisman whose Dance With The White Rabbit feels all at once like a party in your head. Impressive sound fx and dubbed vocal treatments give the track a very big feel indeed, but it’s also the combination of differing styles that give it all such a unique edge. Nico Lahs provides the remix with funkier bass and a deeper mood, while Audiofly cleverly break up the beats on their abstracted version. Meanwhile, Hello To Alice continues the Wonderland theme with more expressive voices and dark electronics to finish.
release: July 4
This is the second release on Artform’s sister imprint, Arthouse and comes from Erase Records’ Dimos Stamatelos. The Original version sets a punchy tempo against cool Rhodes chords, a taught tech bassline and with hard hitting vocal snippets this is set to induce frantic head nodding. The effective Frogs and Socks remix then teases extra tension from its undulating synth and smart dancefloor arrangement, while label head Jamie Anderson’s Latin Hustle version introduces the chords to warmer possibilities with the intensely funky percussion giving it all a precise edge.
release: June 18 as a Beatport exclusive for 4 weeks. July 16 general release.
If you like to think outside the box then this will most definitely tempt you. It’s distinctly impossible to categorise but then that is precisely its charm. Sometimes House-ish, sometimes Techno-esque, other times sounding like Pink Floyd through a Dance blender, this isn’t always a comfortable ride but is a rewarding one. One half of Zombi, Steve Moore supplies the remix in two parts with his â€˜remix’ making some sense of the madness by building layers of arpeggios over a steady kick drum, as the â€˜Off-World’ version provides more of an ethereal landscape by gently playing with voices and pulsating rhythms over an epic feeling eight minutes.
release: June 25
Jerome Derradji Presents: 122 BPM
The Birth Of House Music – Mitchbal Records & Chicago Connection Records
This three CD set from the early to late Eighties catalogues of Mitchbal Records and its subsidiary Chicago Connection Records is pretty much indispensible listening if you’re in any way interested in theÂ history of Chicago House Music. Mitchbal Records was founded byÂ Nemiah Mitchell Jr and released their first influential 12â€ singleÂ byÂ Z Factor aka Vince Lawrence (before starting the infamous Trax Records)Â I Like to Do It in Fast Cars in 1983 (hear below). The selection also includes music from Mr Lee and Libra Libra, and joins together the diverse set of influences that went to make up what became known as House Music: from UK New Wave/ Synthpop and European/Italian dance all the way through to the soulful end of American Disco. The CD comes with invaluable extras such as a 28 page booklet on the labels’ history plus mix from Still Music’s Jerome Derradji, and also features one of Frankie Knuckles rarest remixes: Unfinished Business.
release: June 2012