Voices In My Head
The Intricate stable is so overflowing with excellent underground club music, it’s needed to launch a sibling SkyTop imprint to manage some of the excess tunage, and this sleeper hit is sonic proof the same quality standards have transferred over smoothly. A moody, menacing record that’s as slow and groovy as it's infused with visceral progressive thrills, 'Voices In My Head' is grounded by a crunchy bassline that ebbs and flows alongside its haunting, low-pitched vocal snippets, with extra atmosphere gifted from the chordal synth riff ducking and weaving in the mix. Fon.Leman is a progressive lifer, and his superb studio talents are well on display here.
'11:11 The Awakening EP'
We Are The Brave
A mini-album of sorts from Fitzpatrick, directly resulting from a desire to steer clear of the traditional album format in favour of a seven-track EP that’s chock full of melodic techno bangers. It’s a solid assault from start to finish, though ‘Eleven Eleven’ is the powerful centrepiece: an evocative anthem loaded up with hypnotic pitch-bent bass stabs. ‘Stand Up’ and ‘Ego’ are soaked with big room melodies, while tougher techno platitudes are explored in the EP’s second half.
'Absurd (Hatzler Remix)'
The formidable standout on Huntemann’s recent ‘Propaganda’ remix package, and a chunky techno weapon by any measure, it's the kind of track that’s put aside by DJs for those moments when they need to channel a dash of deranged intensity on a late-night dancefloor. Hatzler wickedly conjures a manic mix of white noise into a fat, growling modulated bassline that carries proper apocalyptic fervour.
Lost & Found
Ascending Dutch progressive producer Kasper Koman makes his debut on Guy J’s inimitable Lost & Found stable with an EP that’s lush, nuanced, detailed, and deep enough to have emerged from the studio of the label boss himself. ‘Hi’ is the lead, and it’s a sumptuous affair that allows itself nearly two minutes to build into its melodic ideas, unveiled in full during a short and sweet breakdown. The harmonies are lovely, though like the best Lost & Found material, it’s the lavishly detailed soundscapes that deliver the personality.
Progressive trance producer Muvy is a regular on Ruben de Ronde’s Statement label, though he pivots in a decidedly deeper direction here with a brand-new alias. ‘Melancholy Star’ is turbo-powered by a chunky, deep progressive bassline and a heavenly twinkle of ethereal synth pads. Evocative and focused enough to properly hypnotise the dancefloor.
Lawrence Hart & Casually Here
Hotflush with one of its deeper, more melodic moments, as Lawrence Hart and Casually Here return for another collab on the label after their earlier ‘Wanderlust EP’. Melancholic and pitched at a slower 120BPM, the personality of ‘Ochre’ is shaped beautifully by its tuned-down, processed vocals, the pace eventually picking up speed for some lovely chord progressions.
Alex Pich & Mcvinski
While elsewhere Intricate’s sibling imprint has snatched this month’s Money Shot record, the parent label shows it’s as consistent as ever. Ethereal synths float serenely over the chunky bassline that’s vintage Intricate fodder, joined eventually by triplet synth stabs loaded up with reverb and short arpeggio bursts that weave in and out regularly on the fourth bar. Intricate doing what it does best.
The prolific Estiva turns out a progressive trance monster that’s tailor-made for the darker, deeper moments of an Armin van Buuren marathon set — 'The Maze' is menacing tech-trance energy at its finest (with a measured dose of melody stirred into the mix). Its tunnelling, driving momentum comes courtesy of an evolving, uninterrupted arpeggio that swells to bursts of intensity, with savage bass stabs ripping into the mix. This is the sound of stadium trance when things get nasty.