Reviews/Previews

Music Review: VA w/ Piktor, Miroloja, Triptil [Bread & Butter 003]

Just a few months after his previous edition, London-based Bread and Butter Recordings strikes back with the third vinyl-only installment on the label. This time, the A-side is Romania's Piktor competence, whilst rising talents Miroloja and Triptil fill the flip with mesmerizing melodies and tight, energetic grooves. The label confirms to be in top form lately, providing yet again quality tracks after the latest VA compilation with Rowlanz, Direkt, Sublee, and Vern.

 

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Hailing from Romania but now Based in Vienna, Piktor continues his rise after recent releases on Subtil and Lokomotiv, making his debut on B&B Recordings with “Everythingship”. The entire track insists on a short, skipping synth that brings groove and energy even before the drums. Added to this is a colorful and evolving rhythmic pad that brings forward the whole groove that smells of a crispy, old-school flavor; a loose attitude that allows both clap and hat to lean on the beat. Some grainy effects populate the very sides of the mix, creating depth and atmosphere and alongside them, Piktor places fragments of voices and airy piano riffs which further contribute to the frisky mood of the piece.

 

 

 

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On the flip, the French brothers of Miroloja roll next with the entitled "Karezze". The Parisian waste no time and start off the track nice and deep with an engaging groove and electric bleeps and dark SCI+FI atmospheric layers. The track moves smoothly until the break when it opens up to a more harmonic scenario in which pads become prominent, and a sentimental turn is revealed. Dreamy arps start echoing the pad’s motion, working on higher notes and introducing an entirely new sonic palette, whilst the drums his sharp and the bass rolls clean and definite. 

 

 

 

Closing down the VA is Bucharest's Triptil with the bouncy "Mrwho!", within which playful synths freely evolve above rigid drum patterns that bounce tight on the swingy bassline. The tight groove perfectly stands out in the mix, without, however covering shimmery guitar-like strums and a warm female vocal shot that appears - far away - counting backward, laughing, bringing on interesting variations to the cyclic pace of the track.

 

 

 

Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi

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Music Review: Various Artists - Extended Family VA [Floorpiece Digital]

North Wales-based Floorpiece label has rapidly become a touchstone within the last couple of years, able to embrace both the house, minimal and deep-techy enthusiasts with delicious cuts released both on vinyl and digital among which appear artists such as Michael James, Herck, Lorenzo Chiabotti and Cosmjn to name a few. The imprint's 27th digital instalment sees Floorpiece gathering a conspicuous group of up&coming producers for Extended Family VA, including tracks from Lorik, Alex Dam & Zambiancki, Mike.D, Pinney and Pablo Hdez among others.

 

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The compilation starts with "Cold Shoulder" by Adam Nahalewicz (Recycle) who kicks things off with a compelling Michael James-ish funky roller. The fluttering drums transmit a sense of lightness and airiness, further enhanced by sparks of synths that resemble almost like the chirping of birds.

 

Italy's fellow Alex Dam & Zambiancki deliver the boldy hi-octane "Distances", a solid groover full of gliding pads surfing over a superb groove and sweet stabs. The overall harsh sound on the drums is powerful and upfront, making of this one a gritty bouncer with a sweet minimal flavour.

 

 

 

Up next, Brasilian Serialism associate Ian R teams up with Allan Blue for "Vostok 3". Spacey synths move shiny on top of an essential tight groove, within which the bassline's pattern is reduced to essentials, rolling flawless and shaking the track from underneath. Kick stomps gently and caresses the drums, in perfect balance.

 

Gwylim Owen's "Clean Off" comes after, catapulting the audience into a realm of twisted synths, warped sounds and a top-notch joint of pitch-delayed vocals. The darker mood is immediately noticeable and groove minimalistic goes swingy with sharp drums cut through reaching out face directly, slapping hard. The acid-esque bassline is the cherry on the cake and really brings the piece forward while the groove keeps hitting.

 

 

 

Thus, Swiss-based Lorik unleashes the rubbery "Her Thingwhich gets straight to your feet. On this one, The Swiss-based DJ and producer relies on skipping closed hats and the jerky snares to set the perfect scenario to a catchy female vocal to shine at is best, also adding an ever-changing synth-line that provides an extra dose of bounciness groove.

 

Yet after all of this tightness is good to find some fat dubby attitude just around the corner with the entitled "April Afternoon" by 'ManLike'BCoz. The bulbous bass rolls heavy and the drums sound fatter than ever, whilst a classic house stab gives to the piece and instant old school mood from which it is difficult to escape.

 

 

 

Hailing from the beautiful island of Tenerife, Pablo Hdez debuts on the label with the refreshing and soulful "Oval". With smooth pads and delicate plucks are carefully panned in a very atmospheric way, the Spanish talent is able to make room for straightforward drums to shine deep and dubby. A distant vocal makes its appearance on the break giving to the piece a pleasant human touch.

 

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Closing down the release is Wesz with "Technological Process", where classic 90s house organs hold all the piece up, while a rock-solid rhythm section stomps underneath. Drums are essential and thin, allowing the low frequencies to really make a statement. The retro-analogue mood gets more intense every second, clashing with SCI+FI textures and subtle whispers, and making of this one the great closing act of a mighty compilation.

 

 

 

 

Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi

 

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Music Review: Alessio Viggiano - Standing On Saturn's Ring EP (incl. Nick Beringer Remix) [discotech WAX]

UK based, record label and promoter discotech’s latest release comes by the skilful hand of Italian talent Alessio Viggiano, who delivers a perfect EP for the dancefloor. "Standing On Saturn’s Rings" EP is a four-tracker record that combines a mature yet clever and imaginative take on the label’s house ethos fused with Viggiano’s deep house and minimal sound, the result: a sophisticated, modern and vibrant voyage. Following on from the success of their previous release, Kepler's - Higher EP, discotech WAX second release marks another accomplished work for the young label. To top the release off, "Standing on Saturn’s Rings" EP features a remix from the prolific, German export, Nick Beringer.

 

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"Kalisvar" opens the EP in full style with a charming tech-house cut that combines smooth synths with minimalistic touches. The drumbeat rhythm and the popping bassline provide the foundations for a strong roller that brings high energy forward. Viggiano’s signature elegant and deep melodic synths drift in and out along ethereal vocals. The structure of the track recalls a strong house influence, making of "Kalisvar" a peak time track that will get the groove and energy going.

 

 

 

Concluding the A-side, "Marshmallow" embodies the stripped-down minimal house sound with a slight deep house feel. The birds in the background remind of better days, while a classic snare pattern. The bassline is warm and leads the way through the trippy sonic journey that is topped off with laidback distorted vocals. Perfect for an after hour session.

 

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The B-side starts off with the EP’s self-titled track, "Standing On Saturn’s Rings": a deep minimal house cut with a striking outer planet characteristic. The Viggiano’s track keeps the warmth of the A-side, while going into a more introspective journey. Elegant pads make celestial atmospheres against the robust and groovy bassline that reminds of house gems.

 

 

 

Finishing things off, Berlin's very own Nick Beringer treats the former track with a more melodic approach and dwells into deep and progressive territory. The subtle elegant arpeggiated lick drives the mind into a state of trance, whilst keeping your feet on the floor by relying on Nick's trademark fast-skipping groove.

 

 

 

Overall, discotech WAX 002 is a tip not to be missed as its already charting high up and selling quick. The young label proves that good music transcends in time and despite their freshness in the vinyl game, has aimed for quality and dancefloor-oriented material. This release blends the elegance of a classic and distinctive house style with the new minimal house wave in the form of a definite dancefloor weapon. 

 

 

Words by Daniel Ordoñez

 

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Cedric Dekowski & Felix Reifenberg / DJ Void - Don't Drink Chloroquine EP [BinarySound 004]

There are certain EP’s which manage to hit the sweet spot as soon as you play them. You know instantly whilst listening to a meer snippet of each track that this is going to be a record for the bag. Every track tick’s the box... This is exactly what you have with the new Binary Sound EP. The 4th instalment of supersonic delights from the imprint, this time headed up by Cedric Dekowsk & Felix Reifenberg and DJ VOID on the reverse.

 

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"Pilcher" kicks straight into the mix with cosmic pads, dubby kicks and crisp metallic snares to grab you straight in… dark and cryptic tones are found throughout the track as the groove begins to build. Tinsel like pads and synths come in and out before the bassline drops straight in. Say no more this track has you hooked. This is pure A grade party tackle that is perfect for the dancefloor. All the elements of the track give each other plenty of room to breath and develop as you're taken on an expedition of all things wild and wonderful.

 

 

 

Next up is Pilcher’s twisted sister "Neptuning". The perfect blend of electro meets techno taking you through the wormhole of cosmic exploration. Mysterious pads rise beautifully along with driven kicks and tense snares. The track really comes into its own with perfect use of electro like robotic synths. This is Daft Punk’s cooler brother with 80's-like rhythms perfectly adapted and sprinkled with minimal groove, to confirm the ability of the two Germans.

 

 

 

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We turn to DJ VOID on the flipside. Immediately, electric chords set the right mood right before retro-sounding delayed synths and a gritty bassline kick in, giving unity and compactness to the whole composition. As the track progresses, a twisted acid line makes its way into the already chaotic atmosphere, where noisy hats perfectly match with heavy claps before leaving the scene again to the main element that never left the track: dustiness and analogue harm are felt throughout.

 

 

 

Thus, "Dolphin Tribe" enters and instantly we're swimming amongst a sea of wondrous percussion with those classic 808 kicks and snares doing the business from the off. Electronic harpsichord-esque synths are softly introduced as the breakdown brings a touch of acid into the mix with sonic pads to bring you up and rising out of the sea into the sky.

 

Lastly, the digital bonus "Frametrax" is without a question one of those perfect tracks to start to lift the energy of the night again; it’s sunrise you’re starting to bring back up the rhythm and this is your weapon of choice. Dubby pads accompany a thunderous bassline which gives the track plenty of depth, coupling perfectly with light and energetic snares and claps to give you the energy. Perfect B side paraphernalia rounding the EP nicely.

 

 

Words by Jordan Diston & Francesco Quieti

 

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Music Review: RSLane - Dupa EP [Duck It Records]

Algerian based label Duck It Records’ new vinyl release comes by its label head, RSlane, a man of many talents who has been committed to promote the North African music scene for years now also known for his infectious groovy and deep sounding music. During the past decade, his efforts and his passion for the local electronic music cultural movement also led him, at the age of 34, to also found his own label.

 

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His latest EP, Dupa, contains four tracks consisting of two original cuts and two special remixes, one by Romanian sEmoa and the latter by Algerian talent Harr, perfectly complementing the release. The whole album is a beautiful mix of breaks and minimal house that have a contagious and deep feel that is both distinctive and alluring throughout.

 

"Dupa" is a fiery break driven minimal house cut that captures the listener from the beginning to end with its organic broken rhythm kick drum pattern, coalesced with mysterious and distorted atmospheric background pitch sounds and textures that subconsciously draw the listen inwards. The track’s bass synth gives off an enigmatic and vibrant vibe that both catches you by surprise and pushes the momentum forward. Deep sleek chords float and as cutting one-shot percussions pierce the air through, adding gritty and deep cuts to the sonic trip alongside some catchy female hip hop verses. Overall, a well balanced high key roller that displays RSlane’s versatility and natural instinct for musical blends.

 

 

 

RSlane carries on the release smoothly with his consistent and striking take on breakbeat and minimalistic house cuts with his second instalment, "Cosmic Breaks". The kick drum beat starts of the track as short hi-hat notes appear while a deep synth holds down a modulated key, reminiscing of the grandeur sound of sci-fi film introduction scores. The snare and chopped vocal percussive sample add properly well to the energetic and broken ravey breakbeat feeling of the track. The use of distorted slurred vocal sampling appears effortlessly as it complements the arrangement in gorgeous flair, whilst the panned one-shots drive the listeners' motion and attention headfirst. The hi-hats add the spice as the 808 tom brings memories of the grittier and more vibrant days of the UK nightlife. A deep bassline sine synth with deep house synth chord melody create a beautiful fusion of broken beats and flowing motion.

 

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sEMOA takes on a more acid sound and electro-funk note for his reinterpretation of the lead track. A funky bassline gives off more of a wacky twist on the original cut and the breakbeat kickdrum perfectly works along with the acid synth for a harmonious track. The use of the classic 808 cowbell pattern along with flangerized effects and its characteristic bassline adds on to its particularity in sound design.

 

 

 

Harr, instead opts for a deep house minimal take on "Cosmic Breaks" that concludes the EP on a refreshing note. With beautiful synth chords, the remix lets the listener take on a lighter experience to that of its counterpart on the A-side.  Harr perfectly closes Duck It 002, which arrives as a pleasant surprise for those seeking to search deeper into the broken rhythms and get carried away into a profound daze.

 

 

 

 

Words by Daniel Ordoñez

 

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