House veteran Dino Lenny pitches up for Hamburg's Hafendisko with 'Camouflaged', a thing of chugging, pulsing glory. There are grand, deep piano chords and moody strings, bursts of brassy synths, messed up vocals, clanging bells and a breakdown for the ages. While the original eschews the four-four, his powerful, surging 'Black & White Mix' panders to the wide-eyed wonder of the wee small hours with a driving loop. Hafendisko regular Brynjolfur brings a 303 bassline and a moment of towering clarity with his mix, which could be the highlight here. A highlight among highlights, at any rate. Gorgeous.
Louie Vega, Leroy Burgess & Universal Robot Band ft. Patrick Adams
'Barely Breaking Even'
Barely Breaking Even has been barely breaking even for 500 releases, a testament to its stamina and unfaltering passion for quality music. As a fitting celebration of this bewilderingly impressive milestone, what greater honour than to have the track which gave the label its name remade by Louis Vega, with assistance from Salsoul and Prelude legend Patrick Adams, Black Ivory's Leroy Burgess and the Universal Robot Band. Vega provides a soaring, string-heavy boogie version, along with a wealth of serious club mixes, notably the irresistible 'NYC Vamp Dubs'. Here's to many, many hundreds more.
Having made a rare splash on Moodymann's Mahogani Music, Dan Shake brings two tracks of high octane disco devastation to Denis Sulta's Sulta Selects offshoot, Silver Service. Neither of them fuck about in the slightest. 'Bert's Groove' has space toms, rolling congas, bass slapped to within an inch of its life and a pounding four on the floor. On the flip, 'Daisy's Dance' begins as a more low-slung, lugubrious groove, but soon enough, ebullient disco horns and soaring vocals are sending you to heaven on the back of a rainbow unicorn. It's a most joyful thing.
Tough minimal vibes from the far north, via Tromsø's Charlotte Bendiks, an alumnus of Mental Overdrive's Love OD label, and now Matthew Herbert's increasingly eminent club imprint Accidental Jr. Title track 'Hjemme Erotic' is driven by a thunderous kick and guttural, vocal percussion. 'Bon-Sexy', on the flip, busts out tough Roland toms before dropping dark, deep rave stabs, circus bells, pulsating atmospherics and cave noises. Tailored for those times when things just need to get weird.
A ludicrously generous six tracks of shuffle-heavy house and other matters here from Sumo, out of Stuttgart, repping for Berlin's venerable Sonar Kollektiv. Kicking off with 'Yapasu', the kick hits you in the chest, while its UK garage vibes are strong. 'Itsa' is a half-step groove with blasts of rave chords, while 'Dahilt' uses bursts of eastern vocals like percussion, while warming chords and off-centre stabs duel. 'Shima' and 'Hokori' are like '90s London pirate radio meets DJ Seinfeld and Matthew Herbert. So good.
'Juanita feat Kaleena Zanders'
An old-fashioned, feel-good house jam from Brooklyn's Moon Boots, via Above & Beyond's Anjunadeep, reminiscent of Roach Motel and Fire Island, Farley & Heller's much revered aliases of the early '90s. 'Juanita' features soaring diva vocals from Kaleena Zanders, warming synth stabs, joyous pianos at the break and a driving digital bassline that will propel the whole thing towards absolute dancefloor devastation. Even the moody sods at the bar will be abandoning their tops and cuddling strangers.
'Manhattan Sandbar EP'
York (not New York)-based Popka has fair clouted this out of the park for the legendary Nervous. Which is in New York, of course. Not York. 'From The L' mashes up a lush jazz sample, with some heavyweight Jersey-style beats butting up against sweet electric piano chords and swinging rides. 'Club Hopper' is the big one, a thunderous loop and bassline one-two punch. 'Get Down On The Roof' has soaring strings, blissful vibes and Balearic house chops, giving this sterling three-tracker all the versatility required to lodge itself in your box for the remainder of the year, and likely well beyond.
'Morning Contrast EP'
What Came First
Switzerland's Eveline Fink on Egg London's What Came First delivers four tracky vibes for late nights and early mornings. 'Contrast' has acres of space, detuned vocals and great rumbles of thunder, a re-rub from Cocoon's Tobi Neumann bringing with it gathering spookiness and a rapid-fire pulse bassline capable of loosening fillings. Over, 'Morning' chugs and writhes, a complex, building groove with a '6am Mix' from Kyle E bringing plucked strings, subtly ecstatic pads and then, spine-tingling pianos. Wonderful.
Kotelett & Zadak
Kotelett Heiko and Martin Zadak return for a second bite of the cherry on Steve Bug's Poker Flat, following last year's twinkling 'Clovis', with another absolute stunner. This time they've come with a one-tracker, always a ballsy move, but why muddy the conversation with extraneous details? 'Never Enough' is a brooding, chugging behemoth punctuated by hollow percussion and galactic interference. It builds to an admirably subtle climax, all understated class, but with production this pristine, you know an awful lot has gone into making this sound as elegant as it does.