Honey Rocks EP
This is a star-signing to Will Saul's Aus Music — none other than the magnificent Recloose, aka Matthew Chicoine, former Planet E and Peacefrog alumnus, and more recently seen on the eminent Rush Hour imprint from Amsterdam. After a stint in New Zealand, he's now resident in Brooklyn, and this is blazing work. 'Honey Rocks' is bliss-heavy, pulsing joy, breaking into jazzual, percussive transitions before locking back in. 'On & On', with its Prelude-style boogie synth stabs is just a delight. Winding up with the shimmering 'Sidewalks', a paean to his new style of pavement, this is every bit as good as you'd want it to be. And maybe even a little better.
Michel De Hey
'Basic Eggs EP'
So well made it hurts, this EP from Dutch don Michel De Hey, on his newly-reinvigorated Hey! imprint is a delight. 'Basic Eggs' might sound basic — obviously — but with its stuttering stabs, it's somehow masterful at the same time. Tracklights brings the swing, while the break at the five-minute mark will devastate any dancefloor. Feverish winds things up, a subtly impressive terrace anthem par excellence, with distant horns and a buzzing synths. Top notch.
'Bullets (Alan Fitzpatrick's Light Up Remix)'
You've got to love this curveball. Drumcode and Hotflush alumni Alan Fitzpatrick momentarily turns his back on the girthsome techno with which he's made his name in recent years to re-rub Drewxhill's blissful Bullets, unleashing it on Whistleblower, the imprint he runs with Reset Robot and Rhymos. Imbuing the stuttering, downtempo melancholy of the original with some serious end-of-night chops, this is a thing of beauty indeed. Wade in, and get stuck. It's lovely.
A spectacularly good release from the Gomma spin-off imprint Toy Tonics, courtesy of Black Loops, aka Riccardo, a drummer from Berlin, and Gabriele, a photographer from Milan. We've little more to go on than that, but with 'Cassette 2's gentle organs coupled with an undulating bassline and some expertly-executed swing, what's not to like? 'Cassette 7' is more killer funk. Gilding the lily are remixes from Munich's COEO and Carlo from Neovinyl. With material like this to work from, it's a case of shooting fish in a barrel.
Mr Tophat & Art Alfie
'Skunk & Silver EP'
Well, this is massive then. Karlovak bosses Mr Tophat and Art Alfie drop two bombshells here following blazing releases from Radio Slave and Ben Sims' house alter-ego Ron Bacardi on the Nordic outpost. 'Skunk Silver' is an epic, disco-houser, running at 11 minutes and smashing every second of it. On the flip, 'Tiny House' is a rumbling, surging, propulsive dub, dropping hints of piano amid enveloping atmospherics. Just essential.
'Social Housing Club Sampler 1'
A sneak preview of the mysterious Marquis' debut long-player for Fabric's Houndstooth label, there are three gargantuan jams here. Fantasy jacks up the filters, like Ian Pooley's sterling work in the early 2000s, crossed with the cut-up styles of Akufen. 'Feel The Music' drops in a breakbeat, a four-to-the-floor, some burbling acid and classic house organs. It might not be blazing a trail, but it's nonetheless thrilling. Bouncing and phasing, 'Tim's Keys' rounds off a tantalising glimpse of some serious talent.
'What U Want'
Glasgow Underground boss Kevin McKay has tended to have championed the sounds of others on his revered imprint in recent years, from Daniel Trim and the Golden Boy to the legendary Romanthony (RIP). Stepping out himself, and not before time — it's his first since 2014 — this looped-up disco slab is all good; a glistening, driving party-starter with width and depth. J Paul Getto out of Boston pitches up on the remix too, amping up the soulful vibrations. Very nice indeed.
'White EP '
Intricately-crafted, deep soul here from Stuttgart's Hans Thalau on his enigmatic Thal Communications imprint, following his 'Black EP' on the label, unveiled last month. This, as you'd expect, is a touch lighter, but only in mood. 'White BB', with its warming pads and classic vibes is a delight. White 'CC' ups the swing, stabbing chords punctuated with clipped hats and claps. Winding up, 'White DD' brings together loose congas and a mucky digital bass. There are only 500 downloads of this, so when it's gone it's gone.