Following releases on Martyn's 3024 and Brotherhood Sound System, the latest artist to join the R&S fold is newly hyped UK producer John Randall, aka Yak. Currently pricking ears with his breaks-laden techno, cowbells kick off the lead track 'Wide Eye', which descends into pure high-energy, rave-anthem mayhem. A2 'Skooma' provides a serious percussive workout encompassing processed field recordings that started out life as scissor-cutting and paper-crunching sounds, before B1 'Termina' takes a more downtempo turn with glitchy melodies and dreamy pads for the breakdown. One thing is for sure: Yak has nailed a unique approach to percussion. All four tracks display his obsession for off-kilter rhythmic sequences, unsettled but decisive in their form. Right now Yak is gaining notoriety amongst tastemakers like Ben UFO, Objekt and Call Super, with his productions making their way into plenty of DJ sets. Keep you eyes peeled for Yak in 2019, as this is set to be his year.
For the second outing on Courtesy's new Copenhagen-based imprint Kulør, fellow Danish artist Kasper has delivered two cuts that are truly sublime. ‘Drømmen om Ø (Forever Mix ‘19)’ conjures dreamy imagery of birdsong — so much so that the artwork mirrors this exact thought — coupled with swirling pads, gradually building with subtle acid lines and 808 drums. 'Sky Dreams', meanwhile, sees sky-rocketing soundscapes carefully laid across fast-paced hats and urgent claps. Both tracks are truly colourful, displaying Marott's intricate knowledge of sound design.
'Ready For Take-Hoff’
'Captains Announcement' is the euphoric, tongue-in-cheek anthem that kicks off the seventh instalment on Marlon's own Midnight Themes imprint. Inspired by his no-phones-allowed Savour The Moment parties thrown in native city Berlin, the EP glimmers with plenty of highlights, like the Italo disco-fuelled 'Lost In A Feed' and the swirling synths of 'Der Eurotrancer'. This is some of Hoffstadt's finest work yet, so we urge you to “turn off your phone and savour the moment” with pure delight.
‘Biggest Bully’ / ‘Felt’
Alex Tsiridis and Mor Elian's Berlin-based Fever AM label has fast become a staple for high quality productions. Alex — also one half of Cassegrain — returns under his Rhyw alias to add yet another string to his bow. This EP delves into the outskirts of techno, examining genres further afield. Vocal stabs on A-side 'Biggest Bully' merge into percussive loops, both delivered with plenty of urgency. B-side 'Felt' is a heads-down, darker-edged affair designed for back rooms and cavernous warehouses in Berlin and beyond.
‘Forever In Transit’
Emerging Canadian artist Overland is next in line to join Violet's immensely popular, Lisbon-based Naive imprint. Her 'Forever In Transit' EP encompasses various genres, from full-throttle acid techno on the aptly titled 'Anxiety', to the lengthy, spacious trance-inspired breakdowns of 'Trance Dream'. 'Transit' is a more downtempo affair, exploring experimental sounds. It follows much-loved EPs from Ilana Bryne, and Eris Drew & Octo Octa and is a triumphant addition to the labels ever growing discography.
Bones & Natty
‘Pow’ / ’Thunder’
Jungle rarities can fetch a king’s ransom on Discogs, but the flurry of Record Store Day reissues offers the chance to pick up some limited edition wax without breaking the bank. This year, Foxy Jangle has done a public service by pressing up this hard-to-find ‘95 white label. ‘Pow’ is as punchy as the name suggests, all furious snare rolls and tough vocal samples, while ‘Thunder’ is similarly bombastic; instantly recognisable reggae vox leading into a hurricane of breaks and bass.
‘Stolen Keys’ / ’Running Through’
Two serene cuts from Response make up the latest offering from Mantra and Double O’s impeccably curated outlet for modern jungle. First up, a collab with regular collaborator Pliskin featuring airy vox from Lara Lee, ‘Stolen Keys’ pairs Balearic notes and blissful pads with a rolling break. On the flip, Sealord is the featured artist, and the vibe is similarly chilled — faint touches of piano drifting off to create a soft atmospheric haze around the drumwork. Summer has arrived.