Wax Cylinder Only
Meda Fury Records
An absurdly generous double pack of dancefloor devastation from Berlin-via-San Jose native Lady Blacktronika. Disc one brings the hustle with four new tracks, while disc two drops four more, previously only available digitally and now resplendent on wax. There's only space for highlights here, but rest assured, this is all fire. 'Love Room', 'How I Learned' and 'Body Move' hypnotise with swirling vocals and old school sensibilities, while 'How Strong', with its New Jersey-esque 909 skip, and the beamed-from-space 'Love Comes To A Beginning' are just stunning. Don't sleep on this.
'4 Leaf Clover'
Majestic deepness from Berlin's Dana Ruh, unveiled on Molly's burgeoning RDV imprint, just five releases in but already making a weighty impression. 'Natural High' is laden with echoes of Distance, Guidance or Cajual, and has a hollow bassline and dub stabs, coupled with lush pads. 'Moonday' plumbs yet deeper, a hypnotic, relentless groove, propelled by rattling hats and occasional burbles of acid. It has a stunning crescendo. 'Vattenfall My A' is initially dark and murky, before suggesting light with pulsing synths, and rattling tambourines. Molly's own mix is also pleasingly substantial.
'Grown Woman (Ben Gomori's Got That Bomb Edit)'
There's nothing official about this, but you would truly hope that Beyoncé would approve without reservation of this blazing, peak-time, bring-you-to-your-knees, Afro house reinterpretation of the Timbaland-produced 'Grown Woman', delivered by Monologues and Sterns Edits boss man Ben Gomori. Laden with clattering drums, it builds, it drops, it builds, it drops. Sounds simple, but simplicity is the hardest thing of all. This nails it. Hats off, and hands up, if you please.
'Human Lung Chair EP'
Part Of The Gang
DJ/producer tINI launches new label venture Part Of The Gang with clear, funky intent. 'The Authentic Blach' shakes and grooves, amid a thick barrage of prodding, tranced-out synths. The legendary Mr G turns in a pretty stunning dub too, with a kick-drum that gets deep into your chest. 'Shakesbeer' features spooky vocals from Steffy Argelich, coupled with equally spooky bleeps, thick with delay. 'Synthia' couples a classic break with falsetto from JAW (of dOP fame). This is a gang we want to be part of.
Scissor & Thread
Via Francis Harris and Anthony Collins' scarcely short of wonderful Scissor & Thread, out of Brooklyn, Nadia Khan presents five tracks of lush, ambient house. 'Local Visit', composed with Harris, blends warming, radiant pads with skittering, wooden percussion. S&T regular Alex Albrecht, aka Melquíades, takes on 'Restless', where distant kicks and hats blend with soul-tugging pianos. 'Sorting Through' is 'the one', as it were, all deep, swelling joy, with layers of pulsing, lo-fi synths, made for sunsets and sunrises.
'Spiritual Zombie EP'
Supremely classy vibrations from Sascha Dive on Cassy's sterling Kwench label, with three cuts for late nights and early mornings. The quietly chugging 'Spiritual Zombie' combines distant jazz with a pulsating bassline. 'Jack The Ripper', meanwhile, with its Chicago via Berlin sensibilities, couples a tripped-out wig-out with a solid, jacking groove. But the heavily swung 'Gadgets & Buttons' could be the go-to here, though, with moody, woozy synths and crunchy percussion propelling this into orbit.
Carpet & Snares
Having upped sticks from Melbourne — where she was resident at the revered Revolver — Dokutoku label boss Katie Drover is now in Berlin, dropping simple but devastatingly effective grooves such as 'Theorem', seen here for Jorge Caiado's Lisbon-based Carpet & Snares, all deep jazz chords and subtly evolving percussion. 'Take My All' is woozy and weird, stuttering percussion and muffled stabs inhabiting the dark recesses. On the flip, 'Struck', heavy with underpinned swing, rumbling bass and, later, wonky gated synths, is understatedly spectacular.
'This Is 4U'
Hidden Spheres, aka Manchester's Tom Harris, busts out three slices of vital house music for new Lobster Theremin off-shoot Lobster UNDR, dedicated specifically to "nostalgic, moody, deep and dark club traxx". 'This Is 4U' most accurately fits the bill, though the mood lifts significantly when those blissful, enveloping pads emerge. 'McKenna's Mind' brings the arps and a busted up break, while 'Lazer Beam' pulses with squeezebox stabs, brassy rides and occasional swells of warmth to take the chill off. Very nice.
Red Pig Flower
'Thought Crime EP'
Sound Of Vast
Korean-Japanese producer Red Pig Flower injects drama into minimal, atmospheric house music here, on her own Sound Of Vast imprint. 'Thought Crime' grinds and shuffles, with piano chords burning through the murk. 'No Fear' slices up a dusty break, hurling it through grumbling low frequencies, while 'Since 1984' shows an aptitude for spooky, arpeggiated ambience. Perlon threesome Wareika turn in a sterling mix of 'Thought Crime' too, introducing a burbling bassline and some additional bounce.