Berlin's Max Graef and Fantastic Man — aka Mic Newman — got together last year, and thank goodness they did, because this is a stunning two-tracker for east London's excellent Love Fever imprint. 'Soothe Me' busts out that wonky Detroit style, its jazzual synths somehow abstract but still locked in over the panel-beating loop. Over, there's 'At the Flip', all crackling 808/909 percussion, with a sliced and diced old school piano. While the classic house revival becomes more and more wearisome, it's the real quality that starts to stick out, sore thumb-like.
A change is as good as a holiday they say, or in Al Tourette’s case, a new non de plume. A cute play on his name, Alex Storey begins the next chapter in his musical endeavours with some crunchy, swinging techno on Fabric’s Houndstooth. 'Shaman Champagne' is paranoid, menacing and bizarrely bumping; if the Grim Reaper had some entrance music, this would be his jam.
"I love the impact when the drop comes, and it's my first tune on Chestplate, so has a special place for me..."
Ran-D is best known for pioneering the rawstyle sound that's dominating the hardstyle scene worldwide these days, but this release proves his diversity as a producer. He's still able to deliver huge melodic anthems like this, with a strong vocal by E-Life, stadium-sized breakdowns and powerful drops keeping the kicks raw but the rest of the elements incredibly accessible. This is the definition of an anthem.