Merky Ace’s new eight-track project recruits the production skills of Tre Mission, Kokane and Southside JB, and has the Lewisham MC going in in his signature raw style.
'Secure The Bag!'
We’ve sung AJ’s praises enough times on these pages, but the eight-track ‘Secure The Bag’ is the work of an MC ready to take over. Showcasing his versatility, as well as a host of high-profile pals, this’ll take him to the next level.
There’s traces of grime in this technicolour-as-ever EP from Dark0, who absolutely leads the pack in terms of rave-led, ambient sounds that burst at the seams with energy.
'I'm Forgiving Love'
Commercially accessible piano chord progressions, horns and a repetitive, catchy vocal paired with an insanely high energy, attention-grabbing modulated sub, which twists and throws itself into the forefront of the track. ‘I’m Forgiving Love’ is a perfect example of how to crossover without losing authenticity.
This track is absolutely beautiful, soft shimmering shakers, laden with crispy highs and delicate ethereal pads. Toped with haunting synths and a stunning vocal and finished with a warm barely there sub, new-age liquid at it’s finest.
Calibre ft DRS
When these two get together there’s always soul searching to be had, even when a track is about an after party. Calibre’s perfect understanding of music translates into the beautifully soft chords and rolling shuffles, while DRS’s conscious singing makes for hands-in-the-air moments.
Bun The Grid
I respect the name of the label, Bun The Grid. I avidly believe in setting fire to the past and moving on. I also like this weird hip-hop and dubstep hybrid production running at such a slowed boom-bap tempo.
Heralds of Change
After 10 years Hudson Mohawke and Mike Slott’s Heralds of Change project still sounds very vital and thankfully the dons at All City are reissuing the vinyl to mark the milestone. It has a song called ‘Ass Wank’ on it.
'Bleeds Colors And Puddles'
Over six tracks of harsh and sometimes quite testing music, Sharp Veins gets a bunch of things very right, namely the endless crescendo of ‘Wave_Cut’, the stuttering patterns on ‘Learn Boxing Miami’ and the contrast of his elements on ‘Empty’.
'Light of the World (Jay Robinson Remix)'
Here's a rare broken beat number from the inimitable Jay Robinson, who reworks Nattasshia's original into a typically minimalistic, sinewy workout that dispenses with most of the vocal and instead plays up the raw b-line brutalism.
Burnin Beat feat. Olive Masinga
This gorgeous, to-die-for, mid-tempo disco heart-breaker that was originally released in South Africa in 1979 finally gets a reissue!
'The Mike Maurro Remixes Vol. 2'
Added production shine from MM on two jazz funk/disco classics from the legendary Heatwave 'The Groove Line' from 1977 and their evergreen slow-jam 'Always And forever'.
Box Of Wolves
Oddly named electro-pop outfit aim high with this stadium-sized disco tune. Mighty Mouse remixes a clean disco-trance version.
Riddim Commission & Vanilla Ace
'Hard and Cruel feat. Asha (Francois & Louis Benton Remix)'
Brummie badboys Francois & Louis Benton take the original's angelic vocal house themes and rinse out a dose of devilish bassline bravado that's guaranteed to keep them moving in the dance. Steamy beats for the 3am massive.
James Holden And The Animal Spirits
'Each Moment Like The First'
Back with a new expanded line-up, James Holden shows yet again what can be done with some drums, some synths and a ton of creative sonic endeavour.
Golden Teacher Records
The PR blurb says Golden Teacher have made their mark over the last four years “Mixing raw-edged house, leftfield disco, syncopated percussion, and odd-ball experimentalism with a serious party attitude”. Think that pretty much covers it!
More polished excellence from the Sudhaus collaboration of Mike Koglin and Moodfreak, it’s a three-track affair that sees them loading up their progressive with a hefty dose of techno.
Nicky Romero & Teamworx
Crowd-pleasing EDM that doesn’t overdo it in the cholesterol stakes. While it takes the predictable route with its vocal sample, it kicks its goals with its stupendous percussive grooves.
'Winter Sleep (Monolink Remix)'
An emotive beauty from the German stable that slipped out over the summer and charmed its fair share of early morning dancefloors, this remix doesn’t hesitate to turn its melodic appeal up to the max.
Classic Music Company
Top dancefloor gear from Chi-Town's David Macias. 'Melondrop' is a relentless, noisy, but ultimately scorchingly funky slab, whether it's the original Chicago Mix or Luke Solomon's proper mucky edit.
Lazare Hoche & Traumer
Lazare Hoche Records
Parisians Lazare Hoche and Traumer hook up for this unctuous, burbling three-tracker on the former's very own imprint. 'Compass' somehow makes its intricate layers feel wonderfully simple.
'No More Funk EP'
Tough house music from Leipzig, seemingly via New Jersey, with swing heavy vibes, courtesy of Mac-Kee. Seek out the scything, chopped up groove of 'The Tune' for the win.
From the recently reactivated Arctic Quest, something of a progressive slant to the trance on offer. Doomy sub-bass, chanty Africanisms and a contagiously effective mainline all play their part in making ‘Nomoto’ work.
Gonzalo Bam & A-Tomy-k
Price Trance Recordings
‘Ordon’ is doing more than its fair share to pitch trance a curve ball this month. The two Spaniards weigh out just enough pad and chord pathos, and rafter blasting synths to balance out its sit-up-and-take-notice (read: bonkers) electric ‘geetar’ refrains.
Kyau & Albert With Hello Machines
It’s taken 20 years of Euphonic for a track to warrant release on a subsidiary label, but finally here it is. Appropriately ‘Vision’s ‘Changes’ charts a deeper, more prog-trance course and has all the instrumental charm and vocal charisma to carry it off.
Cosmic Gate With Super8 & Tab
Wake Your Mind Records
Refined of pace, but boom-ily bass’d, ‘Noom’ also boasts excellent sequence, build and overall structure. There’s an element of restraint to it too though, as well as a strong emotional seam. All good enough anyway to make this a reasonable shout for the ‘Materia Chapter.Two’ album’s Best In Class.
Gracing AJ Christou's high-flying Celesta is the Belgian producer, Hermanez. He delivers two originals; the atmospheric and otherworldly mood of 'Fabel'; and the rolling, modulating vocal tech of 'TAO'. Joey Daniel and Caleb Calloway remix 'Fabel' respectively. Joey's is deep and rolling, and Caleb's is a pacey, drum-focused trip.
Dead Space & Dateless
'In The Mood EP'
New Violence Records
New Violence Records turn in their 59th release, drafting the American pairing of Dead Space and Dateless for a seriously heady, two-track EP, which includes remixes from DJ Frontier, and Fancy Inc & Hippocoon. All four offerings are brilliant here.
'Techno Disco Tool EP'
Disco-sampled house music at techno speed that takes no prisoners. This release from Mella Dee will tear down the (ware)house. He offers the high-energy 'Techno Disco Tool', a slightly deeper but no less pounding 'Cloud One' and rounds off with the percussion assault of 'World Dance'.
PhybaOptikz x Giallo Point
'Frank Underwood '
Go hence immediately and go find this track — a leak from a new LP by PsybaOptrix with stunning production from Giallo Point that could be shaping up to be one of the unheard masterpieces of 2017. Guests onboard also include Farma G, Recognize Ali, Sonnyjim, Daniel Son and SmooVth so you KNOW how good this is gonna get.
'Awakening the Past'
The veteran techno DJ reissues tracks that originally featured on the ‘Why? And for Whom?’ double pack on Lost. Despite being 20 years old, the material has not lost its lustre, with the snaking, powerful bass and wild filtering on ‘Physical Life’ impressing most.
Bordello A Parigi
Veteran French producer The Hacker serves up a warm ’n’ squelchy electronic disco workout on the title track, but ‘Heavy Duty Disco’, which centres on an insane Hoover bass and recalls his hardcore past, really impresses.
'Kess Kill 06'
Rivet’s label delivers more left-of-centre sounds, this time from Victor Hublot. Operating at the very fringes of electronic music, the jittery rhythms, madcap vocal samples and discordant noise on ‘On A Tue No Pourcheau’ and ‘Piron Non Veut Non Dinser’ are worthy of your attention.
'Villains On The Rise'
Ghost Town Entertainment
Always tickles me to see my hometown of Coventry rendered as the gnarly backdrop to a hip-hop video — here KB leaks his first new material in two years from his new mixtape 'Apocryphal Origins' with some great old-skool Gunshot-style production courtesy of Plazid. Check out Mugun, Azzkazaam, Legion and the whole Track Records stable too. COV fire!
The third release from Upfront's up-and-coming second solo album 'Lettermorphosis' and available on limited edition 7" vinyl, snap this up as soon as you can, a sweetly mournful slice of Rhodes-laced trippy hip-hop from the ever-reliable Bristol-based Split Prophets stable, with incisive and speedy rhymes from Upfront himself. Strung-out yet sharp as a Stanley-blade.
Superb triplets lead release featuring chopped-up vocals, creating a unique groove and intertwoven with acid stabs. This has an early hard trance sound to it with modern-day production!
A tough and techy, dancefloor stomper fusing influences from techno and psy into hard dance. Very much the 2017 evolution of the ‘sub ground’ sound!
DJ Mad Dog
High-energy hardcore beats from the infamous Italian producer, my personal favourite from his brand new album. Dark vocal, moody melody and brutal beats!