Reviews/Previews

Music Review: Various Artists - Empirical Test Vol. 1 [Bohrium Records]

Madrid-based Bohrium Records is ready to drop its very first chapter called "Empirical Test Vol. 1". This various artists compilation consists of four sublime tracks by four different talented producers, which have already been hammered by heavyweights like Priku and Gescu. 

 

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Click HERE to buy BHR001 - Empirical Test Vol. 1

 

The first empirical test is courtesy of Romanian rising talent Cojoc. With his "Frics", we are immersed from start to finish into an ocean of sinister sounds and twisted hypnotic synths. The groove winks to minimal-techno, making us understand the power of repetition trough well-balanced elements and extra-tight hats. As soon as the track proceeds, perception of time is lost, and we slowly dig deeper in this dark gem, falling relentlessly into the loop. Swishy effects are framed by the straight-forward attitude of the drums, while the main vocoderized synth talks to us, escalating to the breaks. 

 

 

 

Up next is the more driving techno-oriented "Mal So Mal So" by Switzerland-based Marques Sigi. This one is a headstrong minimal roller with subtle but sticky acid mood with prominent snares, trying to surface in a wide sea of sound. The synth line spreads in huge reverb and outlines a deep ambience, drums are on top and epic reverse sweeps bring us in a completely new dimension. As well as the track progresses, we can taste some piano-ish sounds as well as some horns, all melt in a beautiful and abstract way.

 

On the flip, the newborn project of Akela (aka Angel Mosteiro and Joel Vazquez) goes deeper and melodic, kicking things off with carillon-like arp alongside majestic pads. Metallic sounds give goosebumps while they travel from one side to another while the breakbeat kick is tight and clean, stinging elastic on the high-tech groove. The synth horn arising introduce the breaks, with LFO's rate constantly changing throughout the track, giving life to a virtuous movement that slows down and speeds up the entire track. "Space Runner" reminds us something from the 80s and the 90s, bringing to our memory epic soundtrack themes and dark-wave records, due to the old-fashioned synthesizers used, almost wanting to celebrate a time now remote.

 

 

 

Wrapping up the record is the powerful "The Muggles" by Panama's Avidel. This one's a pure ro-minimal club tool, conceived for after-hours moments due to the delicious drum patterns, dense of micro variations. Kick is boomy enough, in contrast to the stabby synth insisting on the sixteenths. Dreamy pads, noise fills and SCI-FI arpeggiators do the rest, leaving the subby bass going rigid on the beat, while everything else is sounding so fluid. The break represents our only time to rest, while we float in the evocative texture.

 

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Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi

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Music Review: Sound Process & Giorgio Maulini - Fourth Addition [Addition by Subtraction]

We shone a light on the Addition By Subtraction imprint a little while ago in our 20 Record Labels to Keep An Eye on in 2020 article. Here, we take a look at their next outing which sees them put out their fourth release with the handy title 'Fourth Addition.'

 

Music should not be restricted by the somewhat dubious borders of a so-called 'genre.' In essence, 'Fourth Addition' entails an all-inclusive selection of Tech and Deep House alongside Minimal and Techno to offer something for everyone and for those with an open mind.

 

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Click HERE to buy ABS004 - Fourth Addition"

 

Argentinian export Sound Process kicks off the A-side with a lovely rolling tech-house number titled 'Hoxton', perfect for when you need to step things up a gear on the dance floor! Having released on labels such as 20/20 Vision and Little Helpers, the Buenos Aires-based producer and DJ has been well renowned in the scene for around 10 years now and was able to showcase his sound alongside Fuse head-honcho Enzo Siragusa earlier this year in his home country!

 

 
 

 

Closing out the A-side is an exciting new joint venture between two artists who are undoubtedly one of house music's hottest properties at the moment! PIV President Chris Stussy and DJOKO aka Stussko combine their reputable and well-distinguished sound and provide eclectic diggers with a track suitable for various types of listening and use. We are big fans of these guys and everything they seem to pump out of the studio is pure gold and there's no chance to the routine here!

 

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Born in Venezuela but residing in the beautiful Swiss Alps, Giorgio Maulini showcases his stripped-back sound to kick off the B-side. The Minimal House specialist is the founder of the amazing Underground Town, a vinyl-only record label aiming to influence the underground music scene in Switzerland. Having signed artists such as Silat Beksi, Michael James, Mihai Pol, and Kepler in recent releases, his refined yet uplifting style is clear to hear throughout his track 'Send Me Your Location' and is the perfect sunrise set-ender for those looking to close things up in style! Perfectly constructed drum hits and percussion blend with infectious pads and lead lines to create pure magic!

 

Last and by no means least, rounding off the release is the highly acclaimed and respected Voigtmann. The German producer and DJ has been rocking dancefloors and festivals for many years now and delivers a unique take on Maulini’s original to present his minimalistic techno-inspired sound ready to jump-start the dance floor! His rework oozes pure class from start to finish with a trippy and melodic bass, spacey glitches, and shuffling hats and shakers to really get you moving! Support has come in so far from the likes of; Archie Hamilton, Ben Rau, Djebali, Diego Krause, Fabe, Michael James, Stephan Bazbaz and Toman just to name a few.

 

You can buy the record from clicking right here and you can check out snippets of the 4 awesome tracks below...

 

 

 

Words by Dom Fletcher

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Chris Stussy: Isolation Inspiration

Sample Market “Original Series” continues to bring you unique sample libraries from artists around the world. Each custom-curated exclusive sample pack will focus on the signature sound of some of your favourite producers. This edition comes straight from PIV head-honcho Chris Stussy's studio to help give you some isolation inspiration!

 

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Following up his breakthrough in real quick time with some head-turning house tracks, Chris Stussy has continued to back his early promises with steady essential releases. He is now very much a key part of the underground scene with his unique sound that taken him to essential labels like Djebali, Rutilance, Eastenderz, Meta and his very own PIV, where he is also in charge of spotting new talent for the label. 2020 will see music dropping on Moscow and Fuse and an official remix for the one and only Kerri Chandler!

 

A few short years after breaking through, on the back of a series of huge house tracks, Dutchman Chris Stussy is now a growing part of the global underground scene. Always leading the way and heading into new musical territory, he has built on early successes with a steady stream of essential new releases with each one bringing something fresh to the dance floor via influential labels like Djebali and Phil Weeks’s Robsoul. Inspired by the likes of Kerri Chandler, raw Chicago grooves and well-schooled in the classics, Stussy uses this knowledge to head into the future and perfect his own take on the genre, while drawing on disco and the jazz of his youth to lend his music its extra special and standout sense of character.

 

 

All of this understanding also colours his work in the DJ booth of key clubs and festivals around the world. From Awakenings to the mainstage of Welcome to the Future, via Watergate in Berlin, Rex Club in Paris and Mysteryland with Carl Cox and Jamie Jones, plus various other gigs around the UK, Ibiza and Hungary. He can seamlessly switch up his sound to suit the moment and is as comfortable on the scene’s huge mainstages as he is in intimate and personal clubs.

 

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The Dutch prodigy has a long-standing love of early house music, but also raw production aesthetics and an understanding of Jazz, Disco and Chicago styles that feed into his own unique take on the genre. As such, his sublime and late-night house tunes often come with a musical baseline that is superbly slick and supple. Smart vocal samples, lush synth colours and bumping drums then add to the allure of most seductive and warm grooves.

 

Drum Loops -> From Jackin house beats and raw drum grooves to classic machine drums programmed to perfection. A great selection of instant drum inspiration including folders with full drum loops, no kick versions, percussion, hi-hat loops, kicks and clap and snare loops.

Synth & Music Loops - > Dubbed-out chords, timeless synth lines and rich melodics bursting with inspiration.

Bass Loops -> Funky basses, mellow subs and clever sequences.  

Pads -> Lush evolving pads, deep polyphonic beds and cloud-like atmospherics.

Textures & Glitches -> 12 Glitch tools and background grooves perfect for adding movement to your tracks.

Single Hits -> An essential collection of drum hits and bass and synth one-shot samples.

FX -> A useful selection of classic house FX sounds.

 

You can buy Chris' sample pack by clicking right here and you can check out the demo below for an idea of what this unique pack has to offer:

 

 

 

What you'll find inside the pack - 

 

26 Full Drum Loops

33 No Kick Loops

32 Percussion Loops

22 Hi-Hat Loops

15 Clap & Snare Loops

10 Kick Loops

41 Synth & Music Loops

36 Bass Loops

18 Pads

12 Textures and pads

10 Kicks

11 Claps

12 Hats

10 Bass Hits

5 Synth Hits

Download contains - Wav: 629.1 MB, 304 x WAV 44.1 kHz, 24-bit

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Music Review: Umberto - 2020 EP [320KB Music]

Italian collective of 320KB Music may look like one of those "good-old-days" kind of nostalgic groups at first glance, but they're definitely not! These guys from Bologna, the city of the famous ragù, have all the ingredients to make some serious and appetizing house music, which is served on a tasty 12" wax. Their very first EP is courtesy of label-head Umberto and has been recorded at his very own 320KB Studio, which gives the name to the homonymous label.

 

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Buy the EP on KMA60

 

Opener "Love II Love" kicks the things off hard and direct, without too much small talk and providing a sort of tech-house feeling but staying very minimal in composition. Solid drums are just a few and only the ones really needed. Some old-school synths keep the beat going, while a dusty vocal joins the track right in front of us, chopping the track into different sections according to its presence, almost with a certain complacent arrogance. The synths will make us feel like walking up the stairs, along which runs parallel the tight on the groove.

 

 

 

Up next, "Feel Me" is a real house piano jam, with a lean groove contrasted by a super fat bassline which oftentimes pitches down, giving us a sense of fall in the low end. The boxy kick hits heavily and the piano reminds of some old-tape jazzy record - metallic and straight - while analogue synths arise creating a wavy motion. When the track gets dry, we're directly hit by the groove, but piano never stops, stabbing and insisting all the time. Rolling snares follow each other from start to finish, filling the gaps in a very satisfying way. 

 

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B1's "Dope About You" basically insists on the opposition of rolling bass and lovely stabs. Being them in contrast with each other, they give continuous interest to the piece. The interplay is framed by Umberto's signature drums, essential and techy. The mix's so clean that we can clearly hear the grain of every single piece of the track, having a sensation of definition, nevertheless staying in a Lofi world. That's something very hard to accomplish and very cool to listen to. The stab is funky and adds a little bit of soul that we really need, especially in times like these. This is an introspective tune, trippy and hypnotizing, still hitting hard on the floor.

 

 

 

Closing the EP is the 90s inspired "My House Is A Club". Old school disco stabs bounce on top of liquid and sharp synths and above an edgy and fluid bassline, while Umberto's processed voice keeps the measure of time passing, never getting too prominent. This is real house music here at its finest form.

 

 

 

Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi

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Music Review: Politics Of Dancing x Okain x Rowlanz [P.O.D. CROSS 006]

The French duo of Politics Of Dancing seems to be more in strength than ever; by now with a certain frequency, the pair are delivering quality material both on their main Politics Of Dancing Records and sister-"collaborations only label" P.O.D. CROSS. And this time the latter has caught our attention, as they're about to release the sixth chapter, sharing the wax with men of the moment Okain and Rowlanz.  

 

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A-Side sees the guys bring into play Talman Records' label-head Okain. Their collaboration starts with fat drums ready to take us for the ride. A delicate sub-bass hums and shakes, creating the right foundation for the harmonic elements. The main stab is hypnotic and reminds to the Berlin-ish sounds that inspired Okain over the years, keeping us dancing throughout the piece. A lot is happening and the scene changes constantly, opening up and closing sweetly on new scenarios. We are being caressed by the intriguing sound of this track, but the groove is hard and feet can't stand still, with the vocal sample being the cherry on top. It sounds like this piece doesn't want to end and definitely doesn't, staying in your head for days!

 

 

 

On the flip, the going gets tougher with UK Rowlanz (INFUSE) who joins forces with the P.O.D. guys for track 2. The glidy and raw bassline keeps the groove up and never rests, while beautiful harmonic stabs and lush pads introduce extra feelings in this dubby banger. The drums are tight and sting the hear with sharpness but despite this the piece breaths in and out liquidly, following rotative percussions. As soon the open hat kicks in, it's totally hands up-head down vibes, with more mysterious vocal glitches fill up the bottom. When the track is about to end, it gets dry, and we can finally appreciate the neverending texture, a panoramic view of our emotional space.

 

 
 

 

 

 

Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi

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