Art Of War EP'
South Korean-born, London-raised and now in Berlin, Peggy Gou is afforded Rekids' first release of 2016. And this is quite an entrance. Herein two tracks of searing, stunning house music with a nod to an ancient military strategist, not two things you often find sharing the same sentence. 'Troop' is a feverish, blissful jam, with its nagging bells and pads that beg to be coupled with a sunrise. 'In Sum' is firm, propulsive stuff, simple but devastatingly effective. Over, Material's Galcher Lustwerk takes on 'Troop', and the results are magnificent. An exciting find from Rekids boss-man Radioslave.
Katy B x Four Tet x Floating Points
Now here's a dream team. As part of Katy B's forthcoming album project, called 'Honey', she's hooked up with various other producers and artists. Here, she's showing off her collaboration with the feted Four Tet and Floating Points. A rubberised bassline underpins wonky, clattering percussion and classical strings, while she turns out her soulful thing. The result is a magnificent thing indeed, at once dramatic, emotive, groove-heavy and intelligent. One for both the beard-strokers and the party people. And how often can you say that?
'Don't Give In'
Utterly blazing work here from Kevin Yost, he of the legendary i! Records out of New Jersey, a veteran of 20 years in the business of house music. Here on Mobilee's Leena Music spin-off, he goes deep into a delay-heavy dub disco bassline, tripped out atmospherics, warm synths and a spooky vocal. 'I Don't Get It' gets right to it, shaking and wobbling, before dropping a little acid. Rounding out with 'More, More', it's all very reminiscent of that dark and unctuous matter from Underworld and William Orbit back in the day. Classy.
Roland Appel has been hammering home brilliantly esoteric dance music under names like Fauna Flash, Voom:Voom, and with Christian Prommer and Rainer Truby as the Truby Trio. Solo efforts have seen him turn out equally sterling work for Sonar Kollektiv, Aus Music and Poker Flat, and this latest excursion, for the fledgling Faceless Recordings, is a stunner. A shaking, writhing, bottom-heavy stunner. There are mixes by James Teej and Inxec, but the original and the tough tribal dub put them in the shade.
'Music Makes Me High'
Parisian-Londoner REda daRE slams one out of the park here for house veteran Phil Weeks' eminent imprint Robsoul. All skippy rhythms and subtle stabs, this is classical deep house, from the Distance/Guidance/Cajual mould. 'We Used To' is pure heads-down party gear, while 'Manimal Death' syncopates the rhythms some, with its offbeat rides and an ominous organ. 'Rdna' drops in some old school cowbells amid the rasping funk, while the loose drums of 'Music Makes Me High' drive in relentless fashion. Essential.
Fuse London label boss Enzo Siragusa indulges himself with his first solo project since 2012, which, judging by this three-tracker, has been something of a gross error of judgement. Less label bossing, more house music-making, say we. 'Double Dove' throbs and chugs, but in a skilfully restrained manner, spaced-out pads drifting in when needed to lighten the bass load. 'Solo', with its skittering production, is very much the right sort of tech-house, while 'Gemini' is somehow breathtakingly simple, yet stunningly effective. Bravo.
'Street Lessons EP'
Deep and fluid funk from Australian producer Isaac Tichauer, rather amazingly capable of delivering sonic quality of this calibre despite being born deaf, and now having the use of just one ear. Not that this should figure at all. 'Street Lessons', turned out as Loft Records' third release, is all spooky vocals and a robot bassline. 'Higher Level', with its haunting bells and pulsing, building synths is quietly epic. Sterling work.
'The Return '
Third Ear Recordings
The maestro Brendon Moeller returns to the peerless Third Ear for the first time since his 2009 long-player 'Jazz Junk Safari', with a scything four tracks of brooding, trance-inducing brilliance. 'Ode To The Basement', with its dark machine bleeps, is a masterclass in simplicity. 'Blowback' is heavy with swing, while the fuzzy 'Dude On Arrival' thumps you in the chest with its distorted kicks. 'Complete Disregard' is another messy 5am jam guaranteed to spin out dancefloors from Brooklyn to Berlin. Just superb.