Vintage & Morelli
With the Belgrade producer having just released his debut album on Silk last month, he’s back with his first offering on Anjunabeats and it’s something special indeed. Hovering ambiguously in that gulf between house and trance, 'Contrasts' is also indescribably lush. Haunting whispers lead its deep grooves towards the soft landing of its breakdown, where they’re embellished into a soulful croon, slowed down in the fashion of a deep house cliché. The effect is thoroughly haunting; add an extra dash of piano house, and the build-up to its powerful peak is mesmerising. An example of how good groove-driven progressive trance can really be.
Ilan Bluestone feat. Giuseppe de Luca
'Bigger Than Love '
Nu-trance star ilan Bluestone has remixed his share of Above & Beyond vocal anthems, though here he has his first attempt at working with an original vocalist, and does a slamming job of it. His trademark rock-hard grooves are in full effect, though cleverly he deploys the vocal in the breakdown, which lends to energetic fist-pumps rather than saccharine singalongs. 'Bigger Than Love' sees Bluestone exploiting his unbeatable trance-EDM prototype for maximum thrills.
Thomas Schwartz & Fausto Fanizza
'Circles (First Bounce Mix)'
Schwartz and Fanizza branch out to start their own record label, with its first release a particularly deep, haunting record. It's evocative enough that it was selected by Above & Beyond as one of the opening ‘build’ tracks on their recent 'Anjunabeats 12' compilation.
Mike Koglin & MoodFreak pres. Sudhaus
The Sudhaus pairing deals out another pristine example of pumping melodic progressive, drawing brazenly on the classic progressive sound in its most peak-time-focused form. It’s a deft mix of thundering basslines, trancey flourishes and overblown build-ups, glossed over beautifully with a futuristic sheen. Sudhaus have locked onto a classic, overlooked club aesthetic, and polished it with a 2.0 upgrade. The driving ‘Dusk’ on the B-side is just as good.
The lead record from Rodriguez Jr’s new EP makes an early contender for a 2016 house and techno anthem. Its stripped-back techno pulse is complemented by some powerful sonic punches, its synthy basslines ebbing and flowing as the tension rises and falls. ‘Petropolis’ will be one of those records that DJs will turn to during the peak-time in the coming months.
Seductive bubblegum electro/progressive that features a heavy dash of trance alongside a measured dose of deepness, to balance out those big chords and dramatic build-ups. The Positronic label has offered up an impressive number of dancefloor weapons in its early lifespan, largely from unknown producers, and Redfield’s EP is the perfect case study of that.
'Ruffneck Bad Boy (VIP)'
Mat Zo’s sophomore 'Self Assemble' album is an occasional incoherent mess of its different influences, though the anarchy convalesces beautifully on 'Ruffneck Bad Boy'. Its raga sample starts things on a wistful note, before Zo kicks out the table legs as it spirals into crashing post-brostep mayhem. A record that’s prepped to deliver shock and awe on the dancefloor.
An emotive deep progressive record that channels its atmosphere via its earthy percussion elements, and a few skilfully deployed guitar licks. Classic sounds, executed with panache.
The Swiss duo deliver another cracker in the form of a long, brooding build of a record that simmers over nine minutes as it moves towards its brooding, percussive peak — which pushes through to a grinding, bassline-driven drop. There are strings and melodic embellishments galore, and Adriatique are standouts in the current crop of house producers — not afraid to work a bit of melody into the mix. 'Soul Valley' is a little slice of progressive heaven.
'Summer Day '
Another winner from the Intricate stable, which manages to keep churning out fresh takes on their staple electro/progressive sound. The rush of the electro synths and basslines in ‘Summer Day’ are complimented by some particularly effective vocal grabs, with its energy percolating in a particularly trancey breakdown. Unashamed '80s vibes, reengineered for the 2016 dancefloor.
Way Out West
Jody Wisternoff and Nick Warren revive their heritage Way Out West project for a new single that slides in neatly with the current deep house zeitgeist — though it’s still brimming with WOW’s trademark wafty synths and heavy emotions. Like this month’s Money Shot record, the breakdown features a soulful croon that’s extremely evocative, with another mysterious vocal grab introduced after the drop. ‘Tuesday Maybe’ deals in more straightforward emotive vibes than we’re used to in house music at the moment, but that’s definitely a good thing.
Recondite steps up for his debut on Hotflush with a melodic techno weapon that’s built from the ground for a powerful impact. 'Warg' goes for unrestrained epic vibes, with its high-pitched synths and menacing drops that thunder like the apocalypse. It’s made such an impression in Recondite’s DJ sets that he’s had to take to Facebook to warn off over-eager fans from ripping and sharing it prior to release; evidence enough there’s some serious power here.