Eris Drew / Octo Octa
Violet's Naive imprint has been truly unstoppable lately and these four tracks, lovingly crafted by good friends Maya Bouldry-Morrison (aka Octo Octa) and Eris Drew, send the label into the stratosphere. The EP was made after the girls spent some time together back in February this year, and their bond is tangible. The classic break samples on Eris' 'Hold Me (T4T Embrace Mix)' delightfully compliment the retro synths, later making way for a naughty 303 acid line. It comes complete with a 'Synth-a-pella' version that makes for an essential DJ tool if thrown in the mix. The breakbeat theme continues with 'Trans Love Vibration (Eris Goes To Church)', and retrospective vox samples rooted in gospel house switch up the pace of the breakdown, taking a soulful turn. Maya's 'Beam Me Up' — both versions — are effortlessly dreamy; a respectful homage to the golden era of ‘90s rave and hardcore. The EP draws inspiration from the past but keeps its feet firmly in the present. Simply divine.
Thomas Feriero returns to Vakant under his Avatism moniker in November, but it’s the edit of 'Alex, Why?’ under his own Maenad Veyl alias which is the pick of the bunch here. A devastating 140bpm jungle cut that lurches and heaves through a rapid-fire three-and-a-half minutes, it’s music aimed squarely at the dancefloor. The alias appears to be Feriero’s main focus going forward, as he’s launched his new Veyl imprint as well as there being word of an album is in the pipeline.
‘Black Label’ EP
When you consider Fanu is a mixing and mastering engineer, with over 15 years of releases under his belt, who gives online production tutorials, it’s not surprising that his debut on Metalheadz is so exquisitely put together. The A-side is a rough-cut steppa, but the highlight is the lighting-fast title track B, all chaotic breaks and ravenous maw bass that threatens to swallow you whole. Check the digital bonuses for even more experimental goodness — the deconstructed breakbeat of ‘Baretta’ in particular.
‘Dance Music Has Betrayed Us All’
Manchester trailblazer Finn McCorry is back with his first new music since 2017’s breakthrough single, ‘Sometimes The Going Gets A Little Tough’. Returning to Local Action, ‘Dance Music Has Betrayed Us All’ pushes forward with the same hopeful, bittersweet and infectious urgency as before, only this time with better posture. With bursts of speed garage, ghetto house, French Touch and the slightest brush of hardcore, this four-track EP retains the universal appeal of ‘Sometimes…’ while showing us a producer for whom evolution and sincerity is fundamental.
‘Hundred Flowers’ EP
Toronto's Ciel is an integral member of the Discwoman collective and has quickly gained recognition over the past year. This EP follows her debut on Shanti Celeste's Peach Discs in 2017. The title track 'Hundred Flowers Groove' enlists tribal drums soothed by evolving melodies, while 'Blo A Wish' slows the tempo with subtle vocals and atmospheric pads. 'The Twirler' is bright and playful with chimes and laughs that make this track twinkle, while the 'Central Mix' takes a more club-focused approach with rolling breakbeat and drum fills.
While there have been several posthumous releases from the late, great Marcus Intalex since his tragic death last year, this one may just be the most special yet. Pressed and ready to ship at the time of his passing, three house cuts — the sun-soaked ‘Ballin’, acid stomper ‘Dirty Thirty’, and sleek synths of ‘Olde Rotary’ — released under the sadly now one-off alias, Art Vandelay, perfectly reflect how he could turn his hand to anything. A unique release from a unique talent.