(01) (–) John Grant – Voodoo Doll (Bella Union)
“Voodoo Doll” gets a quintet of brilliant remixes putting their own distinctive slant on the track. Moshi Moshi recording artist Anna Meredith delivers the most idiosyncratic and individual take while Black Devil Disco ramp up the funk and keep the track firmly on the dancefloor. Wrangler bring a more techy, ‘Voodoo Ray’-style element to proceedings whilst Satellites groove things up with rhythmic guitars, and slap bass. Lastly, Welsh electro-pop Goddess Gwenno delivers a (predictably brilliant) spacey, synth-heavy remix alongside partner-in-crime Peski Kid.
(02) (–) Marcus Marr – Rocketship (DFA Records)
Marcus Marr is a London-based artist, producer and DJ. Marcus was introduced to dance music via all night parties under Brixton’s St Matthews Church. A regular at Berlin’s famed nightclub Berghain/Panorama Bar, the lifelong music obsessive augmented his already robust vinyl collection of rock and soul with acid house records. He then saw DJ Harvey play one of his legendary extended sets, and knew that dance music was his calling.
(03) (01) Marlow – In The Backroom (LP) (Sonar Kollektiv)
Hot on the heels of the musically moving Mius album, the carefully nurtured Sonar Kollektiv label is back with another masterful album of borderless house, hip hop and soul. It comes from long time operator Marlow and features 17 tracks that are deeply absorbing and adventurous. What’s more, plenty of top guests like Pete Josef, Ursula Rucker, Flowin Immo and others all lend their own vocal and instrumental textures to an album that is full of real musicianship and genuine depth. Starting with some weird and wonderful, scattered jazz sounds and great spoken word samples, the album progresses through swaggering bass with creepy oboes, low and slow deep house with vocal star Stee Downes and skewed tech that is full of off time sine waves and jangling synths. ‘Can’t Stop’ is super sweet neo-soul with broken beats and swooning keys, ‘Watch Your Step’ features gentle grooves and thought provoking rap vocals from Capitol A whilst ‘And His Mind Blown’ is a lurching sample heavy soundscape that has hip hop at its heart. The second half of the album lays down summery grooves and colourful melodies, darker trip hop cuts and spacious, eerie downbeat passages as well as cool electro funk and 80s sintered jams that are as emotive as they are interesting. This is a far roaming, compelling piece of work that marries great instrumentation and proper arrangements with subtle grooves. The result is a perfect album that gets way beyond the dance floor.
(04) (–) Das Komplex – All For Love (STEP Recordings)
Hailing from Koszalin in Poland, Das Komplex is undoubtedly an artist of many talents, his return marks the first foray into long-play format for STEP and allows Das Komplex to stretch his legs across 8 masterful Disco grooves. Dżem kicks things off to a sunny start with sizzling guitar licks and softly pattering bongos before the slick Italo-tinged ‘Obelisk’ and the richly atmospheric ‘Redukcja Dysonansu Poznawczego’ follow up. The project spreads out towards the jubilant and dreamy ‘All For Love’ which leads into ‘Brukiew’ – an introverted but ultimately feel-good conclusion that wraps up a beautifully balmy collection and another coup for STEP.
(05) (02) Golden Bug – Accroche a Moi (La Belle)
‘Accroché à moi,’ is four minutes of sexual deep disco with menacing bass and libidinous French vocals. Tinkling percussive sounds and whirring machines add detail to the groove and are sure to help send dancefloors wild, especially after the airy breakdown and trippy guitar licks at the mid point.
Then comes the equally exquisite ‘Un paradis artificiel,’ which is twice as long and half as slow. It is a languorous, curious number with odd sci-fi sounds, long legged drums and dubbed out vibes that get peppered with spoken French mutterings, acid twitches and oodles of echo and reverb. Dirty and dark, sleazy and subversive, it is a truly unique offering that is full of character.
(06) (–) Guts – Eternal (Heavenly Sweetness)
How did Guts, a go-it-alone producer who had only rarely called on other musicians for help since his time with Alliance Ethnik, become the frontman of a live band as he started work on his new album? Well, as his tour ate up the miles around France and Europe, spending many hours on stage, in vans, on planes and backstage, Guts came up with the idea of channelling the energy and unity forged by the tour into a recording, an album that would pool the creative talents of the different musicians, an album with a single voice – the band’s. The foundations were some fairly simple outlines that were then refined during intense studio sessions – refined, honed and pushed into territory they never imagined they would explore. The only rule was that there were no limits for anyone, starting with Guts himself, who decided to reverse the proportions of 20% live and 80% samples and machines that had defined his musical path up to that point. Funk, soul, rap, Cuban, African and Russian sounds – styles that had previously mixed only as five-second samples, infiltrated into the beats and rhythms, were now stirred and shaken by a band playing real instruments. Keyboards were allowed to wander from their acoustic comfort zone and become charged with electricity, and guitars produced precise, incisive rhythms.
Everyone pulls in the same direction to create an album where musical styles form criss-crossing hybrid blends or else strike sumptuous poses in their original guise. Wild jazz appears side by side with Japanese-sounding strings, spacy rock gazes down from the stratosphere at pure premium hip hop and its dominant beats, electro funk slugs it out with afro on the dancefloor, while urban Western brass throws down the gauntlet to post-apocalyptic synthesizers that would set John Carpenter’s moustache aquiver. Dense, rich and eclectic, ETERNAL is above all an ambitious record, an album with no restrictions on form or length, every track a door into a different universe from the one before.
(07) (–) Xaõ Seffcheque – KESS002 (Kess Kill)
Born 1956 in Graz, Austria, and residing in Germany since 1977, Xaõ Seffcheque is one of the most compelling and unusual artists to emerge from the Neue Deutsche Welle/post-punk movement of late ’70s – Germany. Compared with his extraordinary contemporaries Liaisons Dangereuses, D.A.F, or, Geile Tiere, Xaõ was considered a curiosity, someone who couldn’t be pinned down. The press labelled him “satirical avant-garde” — limiting his reach to only the most die-hard initiates, and consequentially, transforming his music into an untapped treasure for future generations to discover. Fast forward to 2016, and Kess Kill has signed Xaõ with the intent to present his remarkable, singular music to a world that had thirty years to mature.
(08) (–) Miajica – Der Schlosser EP (LGDZ)
Miajica aka Mario Robles is a very busy man these days, he is part of the group Alma Negra, whose Tabanka EP on Sofrito is one of the hottest releases these days. On this record he is entering Kraut-Techno-Territories. A 23 minute long trippy excursion into sound and groove. Borrowed Identity made a hypnotic Remix for the very very late hours of a party. MUSK did what they are always doing. Blending genres and creating their own little universe between 70s Disco 80s Acid and 90s House. Engyn’s remix focuses on a dubby afterhour vibe and enhances the trippyness with a randomized bassline and chords.
(09) (–) Recloose – Honey Rocks (Aus Music)
Honey Rocks’ brings together three deftly structured dancefloor tracks. All as jubilant and groovy as each other as Soul, Funk, Disco and classic House sounds are melded with ineffable flair and skill in a record that reaffirms Aus Music’s status as a label capable of not only maintaining consistency but also keeping listeners guessing.
(10) (–) Various Artists – The Reverb Chronicles #1 (RvS Music)
It is no secret that RvS is not truly a record label, but is in fact a downy creature of the forests! In keeping with this faunal existence, our whiskered beast has recently returned to the foot of a familiar shrubbery whence it emerged and has begun burrowing fiercely at its roots. In doing so, it has unearthed a vast and dusty tome of innumerable chapters, named the Reverb Chronicles, that details over 20 years of foraging habits. Hence, we present the first four-part volume of the said opus for your perusal and distraction.
(11) (03) Rim & Kasa – Love Me For Real (Nik Weston Edit) (BBE)
Having fallen in love with the recent reissues of ultra rare records by Ghanaian afro-disco pioneer Rim Kwaku Obeng, both versions are now extremely DJ friendly. “Love Me For Real” by Rim & Kasa is an instantly seductive disco killer with an ever-growing groove, cleverly looped up by Mr Weston for maximum impact. “Gas Line” has a real funk edge thanks to it’s tight horn section and call-response vocal. Nik’s edit takes it new heights, keeping that addictive groove going and going.
(12) (–) V / Ripperton – Cin Cin 003 (Cin Cin)
Two perfect Newwave/post/proto/dance tracks sure to rekindle the flames of a lost love or sooth even the most broken hearted of souls. On the flip is a man known to many as Ripperton who delivers two slices of his trademark deep and mysterious technohouse music that unfurl with a poise and elegance known only to those with a true mastery of the craft. Glorious Stuff.
(13) (04) Justin Jay featuring Josh Taylor – Make You Mine (Incl. Lee Curtiss & Alex Nazar Remix) (Repopulate Mars)
Sturdy kicks and echoing drones lead the way in ‘Make You Mine’ to generate a ominous aesthetic combined with Taylor’s poignant vocals. ‘Climbing Trees’ then raises the energy as a sultry low-end, mesmerizing atmospherics and infectious guitar licks do their work. Concluding matters, Visionquest’s Lee Curtiss and Alex Nazar’s remix of ‘Make You Mine’ boosts the tempo of the original, incorporating a heady bassline and trippy synths.
(14) (05) Munk – The Bolero Bunuel EP (Gomma)
The Bolero Bunuel: Based on a jazzfunk bassline and some live drumming. The melodies remind you some strange arabian sci-fi things. The Naked Baam: reminding the first Motorbass tracks, back from Paris 1995. Filterfunk! The Oboe Onyx: Boards of Canada could have been somewhere in the studio when this was made. The beat is weird… not quantized. This new Munk EP comes out with Remixes from LAUER and RED AXES.
(15) (–) Der Schlosser – EP (LGDZ)
Miajica aka Mario Robles is a very busy man these days, on this record he is entering Kraut-Techno-Territories. A 23 minute long trippy excursion into sound and groove. He nearly maxed out whats possible on a 12″. Borrowed Identity made a hypnotic Remix for the very very late hours of a party. MUSK did what they are always doing. Blending genres and creating their own little universe between 70s Disco 80s Acid and 90s House. Engyn’s remix focuses on a dubby afterhour vibe and enhances the trippyness with a randomized bassline and chords.
(16) (–) Ron & Neil – Pedre Son Éclat (Futureboogie)
In its Original Mix, ‘Pedre Son Éclat’ is a breezy yet sturdy slice of atmospheric synth dance, resplendent with swirling riffs and stammering bass. A thunderous Roland CR-78 drum pattern keeps everything in check, and its sultry vocals flitter between spoken word and harmonious refrains, lacing the track with a superb ‘new wave’ feel. A remix comes courtesy of Man Power, the musical enigma that traded on his anonymity for a couple of years before coming clean as the English DJ/producer Geoff Kirkwood. Having released on labels like Hivern, Throne Of Blood and Correspondant, Man Power takes ‘Pedre Son Éclat’ into even deeper territories, crafting a moody and spacious version that respectfully stays close to the original mix. ‘You Feel It’ ramps up the funk; the tribal rhythms, horn blasts and other micro samples keep the arrangement lively, all the while that bassline really gelling the track together. Rounding off the release is ‘Tears’; tension building strings and beats straight out of the school of Prelude/Salsoul lay the foundation for some grandiose analog arps, soulful vox and funky guitar licks, a super slick offering from the duo.
(17) (06) The Supermen Lovers – Absolute Disco EP (La Tebwa, Word Up Records)
Absolute Disco is the eighth EP in a series the artist started 15 years ago. It was written in his studio in Paris and is inspired by the “strange atmospheres” of the city in which disco is still very much alive. Made using a mix of analog and digital machines, the stunning opener ‘It’s OK!’ is what you’d call the very definition of a ‘floor filler with its slick and driven combo of kicks and samples all sounding impeccably produced. French Touch at its best, it’s hard not to stomp along as this one goes up through the gears. Then comes ‘Fair Enough,’ which screams its lungs out with the most hypnotic vocoder work and trippiest guitar you could dream of: this is the other side of The Supermen Lovers and is him sounding like a band from Mars playing Pink Floyd in 2016. Next up, the colourful ‘Baroud’ is the ultimate DJ tool thanks to its playful and rubbery tech house feel, whirring machines and pumping groove. This one flips the script again and offers a third and final bit of dancing dynamite that is charming and cheeky at the same time.
Soundcloud preview –
(18) (07) Quantic Presenta Flowering Inferno – A Life Worth Living feat. U-Roy & Alice Russell (TruThoughts)
(19) (–) Alphabets Heaven – Wander (WotNot)
Feeling constrained by the finely-crafted organic sound design of Siamese Burn EP and Everything Stays the Same EP, Alphabets decided that the methods were less important than the sense of play and exploring the possibilities of sound. This serves as inspiration for the EP title. Title track Wander, with its delicate melodies and arpeggios, delivers this especially well. The two opposing sides are well balanced through the EP’s overriding sound palette, and even come together on Party with its driving beat and deep gamelan-flavoured hook. Mogwai marries the Eastern obsession of mid-noughties R&B with grime sensibilities, while two tracks feature vocalists: the cavernous soundscape of Atomic hosts Segilola’s warm intimate tones, while Say What You Mean counters WotNot boss Charo’s smooth vocals with belly-busting bass arpeggios. With these influences in mind, who better to take the remix reins than Brainfeeder and Hit+Run producer Mono/Poly? Much like the rest of the release, the remix moves between the playful and dark, with searing synth leads and hints of trap and footwork.
(20) (08) Tim Green – Only Time Remains (Get Physical)
Ahead of the release of his highly anticipated Body Language mix for the famed Get Physical series, top drawer producer and selector Tim Green offers up two exclusive tracks from it – one original, and one remix. Up first is Green’s own fantastic original, ‘Only Time Remains.’ It finds the artist is melodic mood, with his seductive, rolling beats all overlaid with churchy chords and grand atmospheres that really are epic and absorbing. The bass, too, is big and bold and angelic vocals lend a hypnotic feel to the irresistible groove. The remix of Junge Junge’s ‘Beautiful Girl’ featuring Kyle Pearce shows Green adding his own unique flavours to the track. The result is a tantalising nine minute affair that slowly unfolds and sucks you deep into Green’s spacious and grand world of smeared pads, tender melodies and subtly rising vocals that are emotive, dreamy and spaced out.
(21) (09) Kalyma – LayDown (inc. Aaaron, Florian Busse & Stereo MC’s remixes) (Connected)
In original form, ‘LayDown’ which was “made to enable smooth transitions in the dynamic range of a diverse house DJ set, without losing energy and create a special intimate, percussive vibe”—is the sort of emotionally impactful house track that really makes clubs take note: with its poignant and careful bass notes, tender vocals and shuffling drum it is warm and inviting, pained and moving and makes you sway without realising it. The first remix comes from one of Kalyma’s producer friends, Aaaron, and as a remix is deep and bubbly, with subtle little melodic hooks and dainty synths all making it feel like a late night adult lullaby stitched to a house groove. Germany’s Florian Busse goes for a darker, more troubled vibe with prying bass and glitchy claps making for a menacing groove. The acclaimed Stereo MCs then lend the cut their own touch with another masterful remix. It is slow burning and atmospheric, with spaced out synths and gentle melodies raining down above soft but sumptuous drums.
(22) (10) Jona Sul – Milkboy (Southern Fried Records)
New regular Southern Fried Records artist Jona Sul is back with his third EP on the label. ‘Milkboy’ is another expressive electronic affair featuring four tracks that go way beyond the dance floor. The excellent ‘Jerzey’ goes first and is a pleasantly heartbroken mix of spritely synths, broken beats and dehumanised vocals. Reflective and shiny, it’s an uplifting tune with a lazy but infectious groove at its core. Equally easy to love, ‘Elmer’ is another summery cut with elastic drums, shimmering chords and a real outdoor festival feel. On the flip, the goodness continues with ‘Bayside Casio,’ a perfectly ramshackle groove with tumbling percussive patterns, deep looping bass and pained synths that come together in the same magical ways of a classic Caribou track. Lastly, the top title track ‘Milkboy’ is loose and skittish, freeform and full of suggestion as it drops into a slick minimal groove, with shuffling drums, subtle working in of vocal mutters and rich layers of sun kissed synths.
(23) (–) dOP – Email From A Beelte (Circus Company)
The sound on Email From A Beetle is a full-fat, club ready confection that distills the live energy of dOP into four varied but equally ear-snagging tracks that simply demand your attention. The title track in some ways harks back to the introspection of their earlier material, keeping the rhythmic elements sparse and simmering to lend ample space to JAW’s captivating vocal line, but there’s still plenty of space for Damien’s expressive keys to cut through as the song peaks. “Melancholia” is, as the name suggests, a more reflective piece with a gentle swing and emotive melodic lines, but there’s plenty more fun times to be had as well as the infectious house bump of “Foreplay” takes hold with a hard-skipping beat and rock solid bass line. If there was any doubt that warm, rounded analogue sounds power dOP these days, “Summer Rain” is on hand with its shocking stabs of dazzling synth capturing a feverish mood that calls out to the impending sunny months of the year.
(24) (–) Ashworth – Lost (Anjunadeep)
‘Lost’ is the follow up to last years Anjunadeep fan favourite ‘Rebound / Whatever Weather’, a double-sided melodic gem featuring an epic original mix as well as a stripped-back rework from rising UK talent Matt Karmil. The original mix combines subtle textures and bouncing grooves with a show-stopping melodic breakdown, swirling through cinematic soundscapes and sparkling arpeggios. A big dancefloor moment. Matt Karmil has stormed the underground in recent times, with two acclaimed artist albums under his belt in the past 12 months, championed by the likes of Boiler Room, XLR8R and Resident Advisor. Combined with his memorable remixes for Kompakt, Freerange and Studio Barnhaus, it’s no wonder he’s been supported by the likes of DJ Koze and Michael Mayer. Karmil’s remix of ‘Lost’ expertly highlights the fluidity and maturity of his production, blending sparse atmospherics with the bright and emotive sentiments of the original.
(25) (–) Sawa Trio & Lossy – Kalimat (Two Rivers – FLO)
“Kalimat” is a new collaboration between improvising Arabic-influenced trio Sawa and electronic artist Lossy. A double A-side single, the project began as an ad hoc trio recording in British- Iraqi singer Alya Al-Sultani’s living room – joining her on the session were German pianist Clemens Christian Poetzsch and London-based cellist Shirley Smart. Alya then passed the reins over to electronic composer and producer Lossy who warped and mangled the original stems and added in a his signature mix of beats, acoustic hacks, synths and electronics. The lyrics for title track “Kalimat” are taken from the poetry of Lebanese poet Nizar El-Qabbani and describe the vulnerability and powerlessness we can open ourselves to when we are in love. The original recording features a unique instrument called the Fluid Piano, a microtonal acoustic keyboard instrument of which there is only one in the world. This unusual starting point is chopped up and fed through tape delays by Lossy, who then adds an intriguing shimmer to vocals, and repurposes the cello as a high gated synth pad towards the end of the rework to produce a laid back track reminiscent of the output of Bonobo, Anchorsong, Massive Attack or PM Dawn.
Track 2 sees a traditional Arabic folk tune “Bint el Shalabiya” given new life on the original improvised session this time with a grand piano accompanying the cello and vocals. Piano chops are again the order of the day from Lossy, though this time the tempo is cranked up a little to what could be described as a gentle UK funky / bass groove, with 8 bit synths, analogue noise, drum machines and paraphonic pads creating a fusion of folk story telling and VHS- inspired layers of wonky electronica.
(26) (11) Jonas Rathsman featuring Josef Salvat (Complex)
This is a tech-blues odyysesy, an introverts primal scream, where complex emotions and urges are vented and perfectly complemented by Rathsman’s explorations into the dark corners of electronic music. Enjoy the journey. With the release only in the hands of a select few tastemaker DJs, ‘Complex’ has been making waves at the recent Miami Winter Music Conference, “receiving hands in the air welcomes and even a sit down ovation” according to label boss Damian Lazarus. ‘Complex’ is set to be the first underground anthem of 2016. The release comes with two carefully chosen remixes. First up is Swiss techno stalwart Deetron, who steers the song into percussive acid oblivion while Serge Devant offers up his deep house expertise for a dramatic and driving offbeat cut.
(27) (–) Lancelot – 7AM In The Afternoon (Toy Tonics)
This is a three track collection of dense, eccentric house music. Title track “7AM In The Afternoon” is a journey paying homage to the witching hour. “Again & Again” plays tug of war with bassline semitones while “Lorikeets” flutters with warm stereo delayed synths. Alongside his Toy Tonics release, this summer Lancelot will also be sharing new material and remixes on Freerange, Ninja Tune’s “Counter” imprint and W&O Street Tracks.
(28) (–) Pedestrian – Circadian Rhythms Remixed (Dama Dama)
The sophomore release from Maribou State & Pedestrian’s new imprint comes in the form of a digital only remix EP; brand new interpretations of the sonic cycle, ‘Circadian Rhythms’. Stepping up to the remix duties of co-founder Pedestrian’s debut release on Dama Dama, is three forward-thinking artists, handpicked by the Dama family. Musical prodigy Bastien Keb takes hold of ‘Torn Blue’, showing his talents as a multi-instrumentalist; he adds complex vocal layers, resonating trumpets, fluttering flutes and an overall psychedelic wonkiness that ties the whole busy palette into a concise and colourful soundscape. Newcomer Andrew Anderton A.K.A Olsen, moulds the haziness of ‘Deep In Daylight’ into a luscious shuffle that ebbs and flows, accompanied by the warming and textural vocals, perfect for the summer afternoons. The last track see’s South-London based, Ross From Friends take the already shadowy and dark ‘JNT’, cultivating it into a lo-fi thumper, perfectly tailored for the early hours.
(29) (–) Bézier – Cosmologist EP (Honey Soundsystem)
Cosmologist’ explores Robert’s personal universe with three tracks that connect his varied musical lineages. “Cosmos”, a celebration of the late 80s/early 90s KIIS FM universe, is built around an infectious freestyle hook that morphs into a seven minute tour of intersecting styles. “Ether” begins as gothic night-driving electro, but breaks into fantasy-scapes inspired by Italo and 1980s Japanese anime theme songs. The final track, “d. Quelle”, clocks in at over 11 minutes, incorporating bebop jazz solos drawn from his early exposure to improvisation techniques by Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderley, and Stan Getz. All songs have been mixed by Mark Pistel (Meat Beat Manifesto, Consolidated) at Room 5, San Francisco and EQed for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios.
(30) (12) Metronomy – Old Skool (Warner Music)
The Joe Mount fronted project Metronomy is back with a new single which takes the classic bullet points of what made Metronomy such a hit. A bouncing electro beat, a high vocal with distinct 80’s pop sounds and most importantly a groove that is undeniable. The song is full of fun and speaks of Mount’s return to his English Riviera days. Even managing to include Beastie Boy Mix Master Mike on the latest venture. If summer ’08 was the summer of love, perhaps summer 16 could be the re-kindling of the romance? ‘Old Skool’ and is taken from the forthcoming LP out on July 1st titled Summer 08.
(31) (–) Silvestre – Floresta EP (Diskotopia)
Silvestre pastes latin, techno, jazz and ambient loops on top of each other to create a coagulated fusion finally cut and formulated into a present-day club music framework. The Floresta EP provides a clear-cut model of the kind of work only achievable from a very engaging, enthralling and constantly evolving artist. Floresta delves into reductionist yet magnetizing club territory with dusty cross-rhythmic, cross-textural percussive phasing, sky-high shifting arpeggios and glass-cut pads cajoling together in full technicolor. The direction of the energy and fervor that the prismatic serpentine motifs generate is seemingly best suited for an ayahuasca spiritual awakening somewhere lost within the urban jungles of tomorrow’s yesteryear. Gosto de Ti heads deeper under the canopies with swelling synth work, driving tribal percussion and gyrating subs. As inebriating as it is steady, it’s easy to get lost in the litany, but the tape-rewind switch provides enough punch to keep your wits about you while in the thick of all that is known to be present and what is not yet decided to come. Ride sounds like a woozy decaying end-of-night theme and the pulsing beginnings of a bright new dawn placed together in a concurrent paradox. Crushed and stretched descending choral pad sequences form a heady and womb-like enclosure which is then rotated and alchemized into ebbing and flowing crescendos for the multi-spirited tour guides of a future-past millennia. Camisola dos Morcegos closes out the Floresta EP on a triumphant and equally introspective note. Silvestre serves a diamond-chipped nod to hazy Detroit club nights circa 1992 wIth a Nintendo-64 indebted lead tragically beautiful enough to soundtrack any number of dancehalls from now to eternity.
(32) (13) Rude Audio – Rudest EP (Zirkus Records)
The Rudest EP sees the band refining their trademark sound, and fusing their love of woozy dub with throbbing electronics. Crystal Pylon demonstrates Rude Audio’s ability to weave the kind of hypnotic, Balaeric spell that merges an early 90s sensibility with something shiny and new. Knockemdub takes their Radio 6 championed tune Knockemdead, which featured the dulcet tones and melodic sound of rising star Eucalypta LV and rams it through the dubby, smoke filled orgone accumulator that comprises the collective’s hidden studio basement in the backstreets of south east London, to produce a mutant dub monster with half an eye on the appalling political melee that is Britain in 2016. Half Moon Lane Glitter reflects the band’s love of short and sweet stompathons – pulsating electronics meet Lamis’ staccato piano, uptown. User taps into their oldest love, crunchy, chugging, dubby analogue sounds, to create something that operates in the hinterland between melodic and relentless.
(33) (–) Books – Do//Love (XVI Records)
Things We Do conjures up a ghostly midnight saxophone solo, throwing the listener into a whirlwind of dense atmosphere and dreamlike chords, driven forwards by solid 4 to the floor drums, resulting in a hazy piece of melodic joy. On the flip side, Stoned Love teleports you back in time to a sweaty NYC loft party. It’s shuffling drums, unrelenting bass line and uplifting strings perfectly compliment the iconic vocal, creating a golden, soul drenched dance floor moment.
(34) (14) Technophile, Rolbac – Pandoras Box EP (Fantome de Nuit)
Opening up the account is ‘Pandora’s Box’, a supple tech house tune that is filled with neon chords and sombre synths and driven by warm gusts of bass and slick drums. ‘Melqart’ is just as rooted in the edge of the galaxy with its cosmic feel, kinked drums and space ship like sounds. They are smooth and synthetic but full of electronic funk, while ‘Lunar Station’ keeps up the futuristic and sci-fi vibes with its freaky acid line and widescreen tech grooves. Showing a different side that is just as interesting, ‘Cosmic Frog’ is a slower jaunt through the cosmos with churning drums and technoid synth lines. Breathy female vocal sounds add an all important something that will ensure this one really stands out, and Superfreq and Rebellion duo Dance Spirit then round things out with a top version of ‘Melqart.’ The Americans layer in spine tingling melodies and perfectly reduced minimal beats, clicks and machine-made sounds, and in doing so conjure up a delightful late night cut for cosy back rooms or freaky after parties everywhere.
(35) (–) Beating Heart – Malawi (Beating Heart)
May 2016: An archive of original African music, International Library of African Music (ILAM), has been made available for the first time ever to be remixed and released by current music artists including chart-toppers Rudimental. Ethnomusicologist Hugh Tracey made 35,000 recordings across Africa between the 1920s & 70s, in an epic bid to preserve the music of Africa for future generations. Sixty-five years later, artists are being allowed to access the archives of ILAM for the first time, with contemporary producers putting a fresh perspective on the never-heard-before sounds to help bring them to a new generation as part of music initiative Beating Heart which seeks to use sounds of the past to address problems of the present. ‘Beating Heart – Malawi’ will be the first album in a series to be released by Beating Heart, and features Rudimental, Luke Vibert, Machinedrum, Kidnap Kid, Throwing Shade, My Nu Leng, Drew Moyo, Clap! Clap! and many more, who have all given their time for free to create this special album that will kick-start the roll out of a new development model that will provide nutrition and income now and in the future.
(36) (–) SOAME – Lush (Colour Series)
Colour Series 013 sees the return of SOAME and his “Lush” EP. Joining SOAME and making his Colour Series debut is man of the moment Sabb, who provides us with a killer dance floor remix of Lush.
(37) (15) Stereogamous Featuring Shaun J. Wright – Don’t Fight It (Twirl! Record)
he release opens with the original mix of ‘Don’t Fight It’, a sleek, modern- house cut with a solidly funky bassline groove. Stereogamous’s polished production shines throughout while Wright’s dulcet tones and rich harmonies perfectly compliment this sparkling banger. Music For Freaks label boss, Justin Harris, brightens the package with splashy percussive patterns, moody strings and a punchy bassline, Harris creates a peak hour version certain to work on any dancefloor. Rounding off the release is Twirl’s own Alinka with a dark, brooding remix. Using truncated and effected elements from the original to perfect effect while also adding a haunting, yet subtle, acid line and synth pads, Alinka crafts a titillating workout that’s sure to please.
(38) (–) Dos Attack – Flue Remixes (Riverette)
It only seems like yesterday when Legowelt’s Blue Tearz inaugurated our dear old Riverette (granted it was only a couple of years ago, but so much has happened since then that it seems longer) and now there are on our 10th release, and we have something pretty special cooked up for you guys! Two of our favorite producers remixing head honchos Dos Attack’s Flue, Kornel Kovacs and Minor Science.
(39) (16) SubRosa – Beyond The Clouds (Whyte Label Music)
‘Extraterrestrial’ is a smooth, futuristic Tech House stomper! Dipping in to the realms of Techno with its driving progression and eclectic choice of sounds. This bubbling skanker warms the floor nicely and the dark ‘Extraterrestrial’ Sample is unforgettable. ‘Anunnaki’ follows the Extraterrestrial theme but with a more mechanical and industrial feel. This stabbing, subbed out roller has an infectious groove. Dark, progressive and ‘Techy’ this one is sure to give your sound system and good work out! ‘Microbes’ is the icing on the cake! UK Underground at its finest! Hints of Techno and Garage but full on House and bundles of UK Bass. This one is a definate club rocker, starting mellow then coming in for the kill! Haunting pads and bubbling bassline’s wrap nicely into the driving beats!
(40) (–) Russell E. L. Butler – The First Step (Black Opal)
Following up from the highly regarded “God is Change” E.P on Opal Tapes in 2015, Russell returns in exemplary form to the label for this beautifully and brutally positioned EP of pulsating techno, acid flex and modern electro warp all conducted from his table of hardware. The A side’s tracks ‘Without Fear’ and ‘The Chill’ see the sun up and glowing with their bucolic charm and rolling bounce, the depth of modular processing forming a kaleidoscopic centre one can stare into. The B side is a much colder affair, the sun drops and mutated 101-esque squelch oozes out into the dark dance floor. Hard acidic burns carry the track out into closer ‘Privilege’, it’s formant synthesis swallowed and stomached sickly, the track is Butler at his best, marrying evolving percussive patterns and trademark Detroit-ish sulking pad’s with a joyous sense of release in the lead acid line. Walking a thin line between light and shade this track introduces us to an artist reaching forwards with their machines.
(41) (17) Wehbba – Turning Point EP (Incl. ANNA & Huxley Remixes) (Knee Deep In Sound)
Title track ‘Turning Point’ opens the EP with a selection of crisp, natural percussion licks, swirling synth leads and driving sub tones before the second original production ‘The Bridge’ reveals a skipping groove line, thumping kicks and an ever evolving lead throughout its 7 and a half minute journey. Next up, Anna’s powerful remix of ‘Turning Point’ takes things darker with its moody and cavernous 4×4 arrangement, sharp claps and deep crescendos unveiling a gritty and murky groove. Lastly, Huxley’s alternative to ‘The Bridge’ strips back the heavy sub bass of the original, replacing the darker elements with rhythm engaging melodies full of swing, shuffling hats and vibrant tones to round off the EP.
(42) (–) Lucky Charmz – U Still Coming Over EP (Lehult)
Our sixth release marks the closing of a circle: Lucky Charmz—the man of our first release, “Follow Me To Flottbeck Falls”-EP—returns to deliver his second full length effort. LHLT006 is the “U Still Coming Over?”-EP, a long overdue follow up to his first EP: More than anything else, it’s a fresh slice of summer groovers.
(43) (–) Brassica – Get Down (Civil Music)
On ‘Get Down’ Michael Wright shows he hasn’t lost any of that Brassica magic with a heady 6 minute workout. As the track sprawls and unfurls, various elements come in and out of play – hinting at the foundations of the Brassica sound with Wright guiding the listener along for a joyous ride. The single is backed by a remix of album track ‘Tears I Can Afford’ courtesy of Belfast duo Bicep who embrace the occasion fully by extending the original to 8 minutes and playing with its acid elements in fine fashion.
(44) (21) Michel de Hey – Basic Eggs EP (Label: Hey!)
‘Basic Eggs’ is a real stomper, with big and irresistible drums and cutting synth stabs. It’s a physical booty shaker with crisp production that jumps right out of the speakers and straddles the line between house and techno with ease.
Tightly coiled tech house is the order of the day on ‘Tracklights’, with its knotted bass and whirring machine funk making you jiggle your whole body. Skipping hits and real percussive looseness classify this as a sure-fire ‘floor filler.
Last but not least, ‘Feverish’ drops into a more silky, low slung groove. It is romantic and heartfelt with warm pads and gentle beats caressing you with its coy sense of funk. Tight drums and clean chords add to the lushness and will mean you are truly carried away. All three cuts here are functional yet fun, and suggest that Michel de Hey is in a fine run of form ahead of lots more to come.
(45) (18) Various Artists – We Are Opilec! Vol. III (Sampler) (Opilec Music)
The much loved We Are Opilec! compilation series hits volume number three in summer 2016. Featuring fantastic tracks compiled by label boss I-Robots, this edition is mostly dedicated to new talents from different countries around the world. Ahead of the full release comes this excellent six track sampler that more than whets the whistle for the rest of the album. Opilec takes its title from a book by writer and cubist painter, Josef Čapek, who is also said to have invented the term robot. As such it is a project deeply influenced by thinking about how technology is not an enemy of humans but a helpful extension of our mind. Italo disco, Chicago house and Detroit techno, early 80’s synth, electro and Krautrock sounds all make their way onto the label and they proudly claim “no sound is too taboo” as this diverse and worldly new release proves. The six tracks are fascinating indeed and with artwork coming from Tamami Saito of Little Yorke Japan this is once again a fantastic project carefully conceived and compiled by the tireless I-Robots and his Opilec label.
(46) (–) LMYE – Lend Me Your Ears (Apron)
L.M.Y.E. (Lend Me Your Ears) are two Bristol based friends who met via the Idle Hands record shop which is central to the city’s burgeoning house scene. The pair combine their love for digging with a taste for the sound of classic 70’s and 80’s studio hardware.
(47) (–) El Nino Andres – We Did Tapes For Years (Jackie Brown)
The third Jackie Brown issue is El Nino Andres’ tribute to MPC 60 & ASR 10; chopping bits and pieces of soul records – tracks done a few years back, straight to DAT tapes. Jackie Brown releases aim to deliver dusty house music for the soul and the feet, and this one is no different.
(48) (20) MONKEY SAFARI – ‘Bernstein’ EP (JOHN DIGWEED & NICK MUIR Mix) (Hommmage)
This release demonstrates Sven and Lars’ move into the limitless domain of the “experimental” since the launch of their new label ‘Hommage’. As their career grows and transforms, it becomes more and more clear that they have found a medium in which to display their differing genre preferences and production styles. Monkey Safari is demanding the attention of industry heavyweights as evident by their 2015 collaborations with artists like GUY GERBER, KÖLSCH, MARC HOULE, WOLF + LAMB, JOSH WINK, as well as one of dance music’s most iconic producers, MOBY. In 2016, the evidence of Monkey Safari’s growing allure is made clear by the two otherworldly remixes released on the ‘Bernstein’ EP. JOHN DIGWEED & NICK MUIR’s remix of ‘Plexus’, brings in a more soulful, synthy take on the original. In UNER’s remix of ‘Bernstein’, the Spanish producer’s musical training radiates through, making it a sure-fire hit this summer.
(49) (–) Jimmy Maheras – This Is The Girl (Into The Woods)
This is the first cut from Brooklyn-born, Los Angeles based DJ/producer Jimmy Maheras on his new label.Co-founder of Plastic Love, Maheras reveals its shadowy counterpart with Into The Woods. Detroit-based Jared Wilson handles remix duties on the B-side with a touch of acid. Keep your eyes and ears open for future releases.
(50) (22) FAROE – A Lot Better Now (Iam faroe music)
Words EP is a hypnotic full body of work, full of slick percussion and electronica that will please fans of of Grizzly Bear, James Blake and Sohn. Faroe brings emotions with restraint, balancing a cold electronic production with the honest clarity of his voice.