Arms & Legs
Stepping out from her Cats Love Velvet project with Felix Da Housecat, Aussie producer Kristen Velvet returns to Berlin's Arms & Legs for this blazing three-tracker. 'Schuttelfrost' is an impressively muscular tech workout with no bassline, but not a little drama. 'Momentum' is deep, dubby and minimal, but it's the surging 'Featherweight', smashing together the particles of acid and piano house, that you'll return to again and again. Unmitigated dancefloor devastation.
' Shelter EP'
If 'Shelter', by Mobilee alumnus Lis Sarroca, doesn't move you, then you're dead inside and we can't help you. Sorry. The UR vibes are strong with this one, a rasping technoid jam which trips out brilliantly in the final act. A total knockout. 'Moody Wax' couples rapid arps with sprawling pads and air punching. 'Saved By The Bell' does as it promises, bringing the cowbells, but it's a wolf in sheep's clothing, playing it cool until five minutes in, after which it reveals itself to be a pretty big deal. Superb.
Tuff City Kids
Gerd Janson and Lauer's Tuff City Kids alias is never short of spectacular, and this cut for Chopstick and Johnjon's Suol is certainly no exception, originally featured on its 'Summer Daze' compilation, and now getting its much deserved moment in the sun. 'Beau-Tan' is a huge, feel-good house anthem with high strings and rave sensibilities. Italian stallion Ruff Stuff — aka Gianfranco ‘Nanni’ Barnaba — turns in a propulsive, stripped down mix with some additional acid, while Reykjavik's Intr0beatz goes for an irresistible dream garage vibe. Toasty.
Quantise be damned in the brilliantly wonky house jam 'J05' from Ricky Tinez's VCF project, the star of the 'Breadkrumz EP'. It jitters and stutters over pulsing synths. 'E06' is no slouch either, mind you. With a warming sample sliced, diced and reassembled, it's a complex groove with swing up the yin-yang. Title track 'Breadkrumz' blends jazz pianos and percussion to make Kerri Chandler weep tears of joy. Freerange alum Cromie re-rubs 'E06' to devastating effect too. Buy this on sight, people.
Fire from London's Joseph Ashworth on Moscoman's Disco Halal. Title track 'Breathe', with breathy vocals courtesy of Vanity Fairy, is a moody, towering slab of electronica, prepped for the dancefloor thanks to a break-heavy mix from Tunnelvisions. But it's the chugging 'Alternator' which clubs it out of the park, a rolling groove of the first water, blending subtle acid with Eastern vibes, while 'Expectation' is a subtly epic thing, gated pads building to a magnificent, fists-in-the-air moment come the break. Just blissful.
'Club i '
Dutch vinyl-only imprint Filament pulls together three tracks to be deployed at various stages of the evening. Russia's Kito Jempere joins with LovvLovver for '11pm', an off-kilter, low-slung vibe with Latin roots and warming Rhodes chords. Sandwiched in the middle, Melbourne MVPs Donald's House come with '3am', continuing a run of stunning productions: a Moroder-esque jam for peak-time devastation. Brazil's Carrot Green finishes up with '6am', a shimmering, spine-tingling lo-fi houser perfect for watching the sunrise.
Ricardo Baez, the Toy Tonics alumnus and man behind Florence party and label concern Tropical Animals, drops three irresistibly moody cuts here. 'Fantasy Island' is dusty yet firm, a diva howl cutting through the gathering murk. 'луна', meanwhile, is a throbbing slab of chug, heavy on the reverb and clattering, punchy percussion (those claps!), where the brooding title track 'Dream' pulls together an abrasive bassline, 909 toms and a very wonky lead synth. One to spin folks the fuck out at 4am.
Dramatic, cinematic vibrations from Joshua James on the eminent Phantasy Sound, a dubbed-out spoken word from screen icon Marlene Dietrich bouncing around sirens, synth throbs and gathering strings. It's already massive, but somehow Deetron brings even more game, hurling in Detroit soul and off-kilter jazz chords over a nagging machine bassline which writhes in and out of the mix, before some dark hoover bass in the final act. A huge record, make no mistake.
'One EP feat. Casamena '
Jimpster — aka Jamie Odell — takes the helm for Freerange's 250th release, a pretty stunning milestone for an independent house label, and a prolific one at that. New York's Casamena joins him in the lab for a swelling, spine-tingling groove, while Detroit's Dirt Tech boss Waajeed beams in a stunning re-rub with an orchestral persuasion. Nearly 25 years in the business, and it still shows no signs of dancefloor fatigue. In fact, by this evidence, Freerange is stronger than ever.