Dan's Dancing EP
Touch From A Distance
Out of Melbourne, such a hotspot for house music and deep disco business right now, this from brothers James and Peter Isaacs, known collectively as Donald's House (we know not why), represents four tracks of utter Balearic house madness. There are Korg M1 flutes, huge drum fills, and jamming pianos on lead track 'Dan's Dancing'. On 'Soma', soul-soothing pads and wave noises make way for massive, loose snares and acid, while Trypno's hypnotic arps will send you trance-wards. But the glockenspiel vibes and portamento solos on 'Marimbanana Loaf' win the day, a masterful trip with a bassline from the very gods.
Felix Da Housecat & Kristin Velvet
'Cats Love Velvet II'
Arms & Legs
Truly firing on all cylinders, this muscular workout for Berlin's Arms & Legs hurls together Chicago's infamous Housecat with Kristin Velvet hailing, originally, from an isolated farm in the Australian outback. Despite their disparate origins, this coupling was clearly somewhere in the stars. 'Acid Picky' name-checks the 'right kinds' of acid (“Armando's acid, Pierre's acid”) over a throbbing, unsurprisingly acidic bassline and skittering drums. On the flip, 'Swing Special' is a rough-hewn, pared-down jacking vibe for darker floors.
'Dem People Go feat Bela Elbo (Wolf Story Remix) '
The eminent Dennis Ferrer's tribal jam with African vocalist Bela Elbo gets a truly towering re-rub from Rico and Peruvian Steve, aka Wolf Story, for the legendary King Street spin-off imprint Nite Grooves. That's some pretty impervious, buy-on-sight pedigree right there. As suspected, 'Dem People Go' just oozes production quality, from the rattling shakers to the hollow percussion, while the drama gently builds and the pianos lilt. Laurent Garnier 'looves it' (with an extra 'o', no less). Chances are you will too. It's massive.
A Most Wanted Man
Australia-via-Montreal's A Most Wanted Man turns in the second in a swift one-two punch of releases for Monologue Records, following his 'Hep Cat' single on the label in September. 'Floor Fodder' hangs its hat on an irresistible Juno bassline and a Loleatta Holloway sample — hardly ground-breaking elements, but you'd be a cold, heartless creature not to delight in this. Similarly, on the flip, 'Butch Queen' busts out a disco loop and the auto filter. Again, it's not like you've never seen the like before, but if you're not left with a daft smile slapped across your face, see above.
'Gotta Do EP'
One half of the legendary Metro Area with Morgan Geist, Brooklyn's Darshan Jesrani debuts on Ilija Rudman and Antonio Zuza's Imogen Recordings, straight out of Zagreb. A rare solo outing for the producer, it's an absolute cracker. 'Gotta Do' is a blissful 10-minute odyssey, with huge, reverb heavy percussion, building to moments of smouldering, knee-trembling joy. On the flip, 'Take Me' finds Jesrani tussling with yearning vocals from Charli Umami of Tokyo Dawn's Planetself. It's a glacially cool, low-slung groove most can only aspire to. Fire emoji.
'In The Aquarium'
Nite Grooves and King Street alum Aiko Morita tips up for Vancouver's Nordic Trax, with some bulbous, hypnotic stabs on the gloriously deep 'In The Aquarium', a cruise through the late night house cosmos. Philly legend Pete Moss, of Ovum fame, dials things up a tad, with a more club-ready take. 'Colorless' is spine-tingling stuff, an early morning jam to accompany the sunrise, where 'Second Banana' slowly builds a wall of dizzying synth noise before stripping everything back and starting again. Very nice indeed.
Delusions Of Grandeur
The lesser discussed island in the Balearics gets a nod from Cosmonection, previously seen on Paris's excellent Pont Neuf records earlier this year with the sterling '10 Feet Before The Horizon EP' (seek it out). Title track 'Menorca' blends warming synth chords with swelling psychedelics, and a spacey Moog wig-out. 'You', with its pulsing pads and urgent, heavily syncopated percussion, straddles the soothing and the frenetic (while a mix from Session Victim goes heavy on the filters). 'Light' drops some serious arps and a brassy synth break for the ages.
'Powered Funk EP'
Bass Culture Records
Powerful Chi-Town vibrations here from the legendary DJ Skull on D'Julz's venerable Bass Culture (Skull re-worked Julz's track 'Houdini' earlier this year too). 'Powered Funk' is a solid groove, with storming background percussion providing a canvas for hypnotic synth strokes. On the flip, 'Bopping' is a messed up jazz houser, off-key pianos creating a woozy, punch drunk vibe for fans of the Derrick Carter school of house. 'Aseed' is just driving acid, pure and simple.
Nathan Gregory Wilkins and Richard X, aka Cowboy Rhythmbox, return to Erol Alkan's Phantasy Sound with a girth-some collection of jams for low-ceilinged sweat boxes around the globe. 'Terminal Madness' is a chugging, vintage electro-house bombshell, with rasping bleeps and loose snare fills. Tops will come off. 'Hands Inside The Car' couples encompassing, filling-rattling sub-bass with machine percussion and warped murkiness, while 'Vodonik' hurls in voluminous, grandstanding synths with echoes of an M25 rave somewhere in the distant memory. Brassy.
'The Black Milk EP'
Prolific Italian duo Supernova break away from their home label Lapsus to supply Gorge’s inimitable 8Bit — and they delight with a double act of infectious, energy fuelled tech-house. Lead track ‘The Black Milk’ is led by hi-energy stabs and solid, rolling low-end. On the flip, ‘Deep Mamba’ generates power through an elastic, stereo-wide bassline and tough, pumping drum work. Both tracks are iced with catchy, 'Deep Inside' style vocal licks.