A prelude to a full artist album due on Systematic from the French producer later this year, ‘Ouragan’, plus ‘Snowball’ on the B-side, both dish out melodic techno that’s fitted for peak time impact, with Cerato showing impressive attention to detail with his nuanced studio work.
A Friend of Marcus
'Suspension Point EP'
A three-track offering, packed with big sounds that are perfectly primed for a Henry Saiz set. The Australian producer pulls out all the stops in terms of evocative melodies, while also knowing when to hold and release in terms of juggling harmony and groove.
A prolific Dutch talent who’s released on an impressive array of progressive imprints, the return of O’Rian to Sudbeat demonstrates not only how much confidence he’s accrued in the studio, but also the label’s impeccable instinct for deep progressive of the highest calibre.
'Antigone (Yotto Remix)'
Yotto maxes out the progressive trance here, with a remix for Joris Voorn that indicates how increasingly compatible his sound has become with the house and techno A-league. The ascending melody in the breakdown teeters as close to trance as you could possibly get, before a burst of bass-driven energy arrives at the drop to propel things forward with genuine momentum.
'TTRP (Taking The Right Piss)'
Coming with some, erm, interesting artwork, this Shirazi Beats-produced cut has the Essex MC reminding everyone why he shouldn’t be overlooked.
Manga Saint Hilare
'Thoughts And Prayers (feat. Novelist)'
A taste of Manga’s forthcoming ‘Make It Out Alive’ album, ‘Thoughts And Prayers’ finds two heavyweight MCs trading bars with spiritual, conscious delivery.
'What Are You Doing To Me EP'
Bamboleo's head honchos deliver an ultra cool but energetic four-track EP on their home label. It's a good 'un.
Inxec & Droog
The infamous collaboration revisit the studio for a two-track offering on LA's Culprit.
'Twilight feat. Jakes'
This track’s got an element of big room about the build-up, but the drop reveals a devastating, pulsating bassline, and it continues to switch throughout.
You’ve heard it doing the rounds, we all know it’s a beast. This fast-paced, forward-moving, creepily scuttling slab of metallic menace is ready to do some damage.
Sicknote & Dissect
Starting out with pristine jungle breaks bathed in waves of soft, dreamy synth, 'The Law' drops into something more sinister, with weird, warped sounds filling the space over a continually flipping drum pattern. Big.
'Piano Days (Lucas Remix)'
Top Drawer Digital
Well-woven beats and a nostalgic summery groove. Perfectly captures that Bizarre Inc 'Playing With Knives' vibe from '91.
Another barnstormer out of the blooming electro techno scene. Deep acid grooves and a stomping kick-snare perc track. Let’s get messy.
Shy FX & UK Apachi
'Original Nuttah (Stanton Warriors ReBump) '
Spanking mid-tempo re-fix of one of the UK’s most prolific jungle anthems. This one’s an absolute belter!
Even The Strong
If you’ve ever assumed that Irish drum music is just some guy bashing a bodhrán, listen to Syn on Even The Strong.
'Brand New Drop'
Addison Groove does that same thing that took his moniker interstellar on ‘Brand New Drop’; pounding that juke groove out relentlessly.
Jelly Bean Farm
If you’ve ever assumed that Russian techno is basically the soundtrack to the club scene xXx, listen to RNBWS on Jelly Bean Farm.
'Arp Trails EP'
A new sub-label for the Unknown To The Unknown family, Bicep and Sulta Selects alum Hammer lays these down for Soft Computing. Expect stripped-back computer soul.
Go Deep Records
A new collab between Fish Go Deep and Depeche Mode associate Andrew Phillpott, this second release from Squares is an understated delight.
On his own Shake imprint, bucket hat aficionado Dan Shake busts out a low-slung, swing-heavy percussion monster with 'Mosquito'. Seek it out.
'Disco Pregnancy (Tonal + Rhythmical)'
Fab new release on 2 Many DJs/Soulwax's label by Brazilian artist, Laima. Oddball pop/new wave tracks, with a concept that encourages both tunes “to be played simultaneously” for an “unconventional way to experience the music”. Fun.
Barcelona’s DJ Frankie brings the slam with this new EP. ‘K7’ is particularly good, with its snapping snares, thunderous kicks and dreamy pad.
Don’t miss this electrifying cut from audio-visual group Polyop. Raw acid electro geared to the club, like its namesake, ‘Leapwerm’ wriggles all over the shop.
Tesla 286 & Freestyle Man
Berlin’s Tesla 286 joins forces with Finland’s Freestyle Man, known for EPs on Studio Barnhus, Endless Flight and Dirt Crew, for an exercise in chill downtempo electro. ‘Time Dilation’ itself has wispy chords that drape around a spacious arrangement, and ‘Yssabeua’ has a summery yearning sensation to its drifting pads and subdued details. Anja Schneider remixes the latter into a more dancefloor tech-house piece.
'Berlin Moon (inc. Electrosexual Remixes)'
Berlin label KlubKid releases new material from house producer Stephanie D'Olieslager under her new alias Shero. ‘Berlin Moon’, with remixes by Electrosexual, finds the point where acid and new wave meet.
'Zwango Zop (Artwork Edit)'
Mildlife For Wildlife
Space jazz favourites of DJ Harvey release a not-for-profit single (all proceeds going to charities dealing with bushfire relief in Australia) that features a monster, disco house edit from Artwork.
'Into The Light'
Managing expectations ahead of their impending 200th release perhaps, it feels like Subculture might’ve made a quieter year-start than average. Generous of runtime, flush with melody and packing bags of energy, Will’s latest almost singlehandedly rights the ship.
Following some strong releases on VANDIT, Perfecto, Universal Nation and others last year, the resurgent AJ Gibson fires one into NUCR’s net. A peak-of-the-night number, and one that’s not afraid to dabble toes into some psy along the way.
'Everytime (Sultan + Shepard Remix)'
More lesser-remixed fare from the Armada camp this month, which is only to be applauded. Sultan + Shepard might like to think of this as progressive, but pace and bass suggest (at the very least) prog trance. Either way, fantastic remix work — you’ll hit ‘play’ time and time again.
'The Score EP'
New Violence Records
Midlands-based newbie Daniel Brooks furnishes New Violence Records with a three-track dispatch of grooving, deep and techy underground house.
Masters of Hardcore
A very Dutch approach to happy hardcore sounds here, with a female vocal and euphoric melody, backed up with a high BPM and powerful distorted kick drums.
An evolution of the Ransom sound in this latest release from the Dutch duo, keeping their renowned party vibe and adding huge hardstyle kicks.
Toy Soldierz & DJ Wheelz
A collaboration between these Seattle-based hardstyle acts, bringing a distinct reverse bass drop with euphoric touches in the breakdown.
A E Productions
Fab double-header from the ever-dependable WD — 'MDM' is a propulsive little banger produced by Djar One, peppered with PE samples and great cuts from Specifik, while on the flip, 'Time Waits For No Man' gets a Djar re-rub, a summery, delicate slice of sun-kissed soulful rap. Essential juice.
'What's The Point'
"What’s the point? When everybody overdose” — maaaan this is doomy, but without despair or rancour. It's precisely the equanimity with which Rasstokyo seems to greet the ultimate pointlessness of everything that makes this compelling trappy/drilly track so damn addictive. Play so loud that you can say 'OK BOOMER" when asked to turn it down. Love it.
The Four Owls
High Focus Records
They're baaack — and if 'Honour Codes' is anything to go by, they've grown up a little on this natty little positive-minded banger. Leaf Dog on the mix, so you know every line is punchy and powerful, and as someone who's heard what's to come later . . . ooh you're in for a TREAT.
West Coast legend Jay Worthy wraps up the 'Two4One' series he's been dropping over recent weeks. He's worked with Cardo and Jake One, and this time around hooks up with the Alchemist for a lipsmackingly snarly track with some laid-back flute-laden funk courtesy of the Alc. On the mic, JW ciphers with long-time collaborator G-Perico, and their comfort with each other combined with Alc's customarily delicious backdrop makes this a stone-cold corker. Snort up every single 'Two4One' you can find out there. Bargain of the month.
HEAD FRONT PANEL
Head Front Panel
More Mills vibes from John Heckle, as he delivers the urgent, coruscating rhythm of ‘Siren’. ‘Filter’ is less abrasive and rides a series of filters, but straight afterward, the buzzing rhythm and utilitarian percussion of ‘Six’ lead the listener back to harder territory.
'Bad Manners 4'
The latest instalment on Marcel Dettmann’s other label sees Vril deliver ravey and EBM-infused bangers like ‘Scalar’ and ‘Nosode’, the stripped back 'Biohak', and the slow-burning electronic disco of ‘Kruqz’.
Shawn Rudiman & Jordan GCZ
'AMS > PIT'
Love What You Feel
Two true mavericks get together to deliver deep, broken beat techno (‘Catnip Freak’); dubbed-out grooves (‘Hole In The Ground’) and electronic abstractions (‘Too Many Teef In My Mouf’).
Sylvia Crystal feat. Veronica Moser
A shadowy upload of distant bass and glitchy windscape rumblings, terrifying in its ghostly and mechanical constructions.
Mysterious Cairo-based 3Phaz is producing slowed down, expanded, dystopian and brilliant re-imaginings of his home city’s joyous chaabi music.
FOQL & Fischerle
'Swimming Pool 2.0'
Two Polish producers meet for the first time and make some hefty and groovy dub techno, coloured with creepy dissonance.