Hungarian producer Gergely Szilveszter Horváth, aka Route 8, returns to the Theremin fold after a three-year hiatus, and pleasingly marks the label's 50th release. It's a beauty. The aptly-titled 'Come Home' is spine-tingling Italo dream house, plucked from a dim and distant Alfredo set, circa 1990. It's got trumpets and everything. 'From The Valley' rings out the cowbells with angular synth stabs, while 'Fun Fun Fun' is just that, a jacking late night anthem with echoes of Underground Resistance's more house-orientated moments. Get two copies. You'll wear one out.
'A Says Hello'
Detroit don Alton Miller shows up for work on London's Release/Sustain with fire in his briefcase. 'A Says Hello' is clear as a bell, honest-to-goodness house music, with gentle piano chords, space noises, warming synths and rolling percussion. 'Cool But So...' busts up the beats, with New Zealand's Chaos In The CBD hurling some subtle samba house vibes into the fray. 'Below The Underdog' is moody magnificence, winding up a very solid release.
Dense & Pika
Alex Jones and Chris Spero's latest as Dense & Pika comes courtesy of Jones' own Hypercolour, the label he co-founded back in 2006. With a two-note pad chord progression, breaking down to rave vocals, you reckon you've got it pegged, until the drums return with added thunder. It's an ode to the glorious past of a distinctly British vein of house music (possibly techno, but back then there was little distinction), all doused in liquid ecstasy. Similarly, the abrasive, unrelenting groove of 'Hard Light' makes you yearn for a field and a soundsystem.
Leeds producer LK drops this undeniable heat for Moxie's On Loop imprint, a release drenched in summer vibes. 'Dreams' is proof, were it needed, that when filtered disco is done right, there's little that can touch it. There are strings, there are loose, wild hats, there are breaks that will make you beam and punch the air. Ditto '(I Wanna) Make Luv 2 U' on the flip, a heavyweight dancefloor devastator that walks the tightrope between purest class and purest cheese. Still not 100 percent sure which it is, but probably the former.
Detroit Swindle ft. Seven Davis Jr
Amsterdam's Detroit Swindle assemble a mini dream team here, with Seven Davis Jr joining them on vocals for the spaced out 'Flavourism', while the legendary Pépé Bradock is recruited for a rare remix. The title track boasts warm, pulsing garage synths, slowly filtering out into brassy glory, underpinned by a mucky p-funk bassline. John Barera & Will Martin provide some tech soul vibes, but it's Bradock's psychedelic version which, unsurprisingly, tips things over the edge: a lesson in clanking, clicking and shuffling mayhem.
The swing is strong with this one. Studio whizz Pow-Low, aka Paolo Fedrigoli, shuffles seven shades of buggery out of 'Ghost Note', a slinky, syncopated groove that's just unstoppable, and his fourth single for Zurich's forward-thinking Psycle. imprint. Similarly, 'Cargo Cult' is one of those tracks which can shift things into an entirely different gear, a heavyweight transition track with fine pedigree. 'Minigrip', meanwhile, is all itchy, micro-house vibes, intricate yet supremely funky with it.
The first release from Florence-based party Tropical Animals' new label, also called Tropical Animals, comes from 2020 and Freerange alum (and countryman) Whitesquare. It's a thing of rare beauty. 'Limitation' is the A-side show pony, a heavyweight trance house anthem which builds until your head is spinning, before dropping some light acid. But it's 'Velvet Room' on the flip which is the one: a melodic, moody, magnificent piece of late-night house music. Winding up with the emotional 'Pressing Points', this is a first release to die for.
Arthur Baker feat. Rockers Revenge
'On A Mission'
Legendary renaissance man Arthur Baker helps Damian Lazarus mark the 200th release on Crosstown, with assistance from his old crew Rockers Revenge. Already it's impressive, personnel-wise, and then you throw in remixes from François K and Michael Mayer. Baker's original is a tough, high-energy workout, with nods to that spacey, soulful garage of the early '90s, while FK's version is thick with percussion and shimmering production (coupled with a sturdy dub). Kompakt don Mayer drops an urgent re-rub, all murky atmosphere and throbbing bass. A release befitting the occasion.
Alex Albrecht pres. Melquíades
'The Bluff EP'
Fascinating pastoral house music here from Alex Albrecht, previously known for Albrecht La’Brooy on R&S, and now releasing solo material under this new Melquíades alias for Scissor & Thread and Analogue Attic. 'Hunted' features wildlife field recordings and pianos to make your heart burst, over a thudding kick. 'The Bluff', meanwhile, is a trip into warm chords and more piano atmospherics. Both are wonderful, as is the soothing ambience of 'Taylors Road', rounding off this EP. More of this please.