Max Vangeli X Drop Department
Vangeli teams up with newcomers Drop Department for a thundering bigroom offering on his own Noface imprint that stands out for all the right reasons. Something of a wildcard for fast-approaching summer festival sets, it’s inexplicably a bigroom record inspired by a massive dose of nu skool breaks, in the key of Plump DJs or Rennie Pilgrem. It’s an energy present from its opening bass drops, that drip with menace, through to its brash “switch” callout, and the bottom-heavy funk of its broken beats. It’s a welcome “break” from the bland, predictable four-four tempos that dominate most bigroom music, meaning ‘Ground Shake’ is destined to have a big impact.
'Consequence Of You feat Cory Friesenhan'
Intricate boss PROFF moonlights with a release on the beloved Silk stable, showing his usual panache for combining tightly engineered studio work, dancefloor function and proper musicality. As such, he manages to again pump out one of those rare club tracks that stands out as distinct and full of personality. Front and centre here is the electro bassline, that lock-steps in with his tight rhythmic work and lush melodies. There’s some great vocal work from Cory Friesenhan, though it’s available in a dub version too (plus a ‘deepstep’ reinterpretation).
Santoro polishes his stadium-sized grooves to even more devastating effect here, keeping it on the harsher, more aggressive side that he allows to breathe just a little during the breakdown.
'In These Arms (Gundamea Remix)'
FSOE UV indicates it plans to continue delivering the goods with a remix of an ethereal offering that opened Thrillseekers’ recent album on the parent FSOE imprint. Gundamea flips the switch and transforms ‘In These Arms’ into nine minutes of moody, menacing deep progressive that patiently builds its grooves as a launchpad into the original’s deeper, ambient elements, while dialling them back a tad for a more subtle approach. This pays off with an epic breakdown, that springs into uplifting vibes for the rest of the tune.
'Panic Room feat. Au/Ra'
CamelPhat are certified by now as the kings of visceral, crossover club music, just as at home dominating radio playlists as topping the Beatport charts. This time the UK duo is deploying an extra dash of melody alongside the trademark polish of those mainroom tech-house grooves, which sound crisp as ever. ‘Panic Room’ is even more of a vocal anthem than their smash `Cola’ last year, beginning with an ethereal flutter of synths that eventually meets an accomplished vocal topline from Au/Ra, reaching its zenith at with an artfully executed drop that coincides with a sharp gear change in the groove. Mass-appeal house done right.
Bäumel continues his ascent with his latest on Tale Of Us’ Afterlife imprint, hitting that same sweet spot between progressive and techno. While his rhythmic work is workmanlike (rather than craftsmanlike), where he shines is with his melodies, and understanding of what creates a powerful moment on the dancefloor. Based initially around a spiralling swirl of techno percussion, what's important is Baumel builds its energy towards an emotional peak.
'The Lost Remixes EP'
Lost & Found
A special release to mark the 50th release for Guy J's excellent Lost & Found imprint, three of its biggest moments are selected for remixing here, demonstrating in particular how much the label has drawn from Israel’s cracking progressive scene. Khen stands out on this three-track EP, his remix going all in with the emotional melodies of a full-blown trance riff.
The return of Booka Shade to straightforward club music has delivered a wealth of pleasant surprises. Alongside the collection of surprisingly melodic and trancey offerings that comprise their new 'Cut The Strings' LP is this particularly ravey piece. The relatively subdued breaks that open ‘Tyrell’ mean that the euphoric rave riff that eventually busts in to take over the mix delivers all the more of a punch on the dancefloor. Club culture heritage meets musicality.