A killer assortment graces the top spot this month from William Djoko, for his inaugural release on the brand-new imprint, DJOKO. The Amsterdam-based producer slams down four diverse palettes of sound, moving from the technoid chugging of lead track ‘Whiplash’ to the bubbly, percussive bounce of ‘Panic Is A Feeling’, before delivering a pumping, vocal-heavy, funked-out disco tool called ‘Bernice’, and ending on a high with the alt-disco revolution of ‘Strangest Thing’. Absolute killer sounds from Djoko!
This EP should come with a warning. POPOF delivers an assured, bass-heavy double A-side on Manchester’s high-flying label, Kaluki Musik. ‘Kronik’ leads the assault with driving bass, rising FX and peak tech-house drums, and he follows it up with the even more bass punishing ‘Hooker’, which centres around a techno kick and sub partnership that'll turn dancefloors upside down and inside out.
The prolific Italian duo keep up their incredible release pace with edition 'T' of their simply titled label catalogue, and they’re always able to produce quality in high quantity. The six on offer here see the two enter the techno spectrum (‘T4’, ‘T5’) but they supply trademark bass bounce on ‘T1’, some technical roll with additional (green, velvety) vocals on ‘T2’, and similar feelings, if a few atmospheres deeper, on ‘T3’. These boys are unstoppable.
Livio & Roby
This package from legendary Romanian minimalists Livio, Roby and remixer Priku showcases two effortless originals in ‘Ondul’, a spacious, deep roller, and ‘Bartez’, a dubby stepper. Priku tackles ‘Ondul’ and adds a shimmering high-line and gritty, bubbling sub movement. A simple and highly effective package on the duo’s own Tier imprint.
February’s chart supplier, AJ Christou, returns to his home imprint with ‘Right Now’. He’s guided the label impressively over the past three years, with 2018 inviting Ray Okpara, Matt Tolfrey, Davide Squillace and Ricardo Villalobos to release exquisite tech-house and minimal-leaning material. Here, Christou sets the bar with a deep and hypnotic groover, while the inimitable production flair of Heartthrob conjures a bouncy and haunting refix. Then, Christian Burkhardt strips and rebuilds Right Now’ into a technical yet sensuous tech-house roller on his ‘Check 1, 2’ remix.
'Rooted Series 009'
Valencia’s vinyl and various artists-only Rooted Series showcases a gorgeous four-track EP. This edition includes tracks from series debutants Javier Carballo, Carlos Sanchez and Moises, as well as Series’ mainstay Bolumar. Carballo supplies the speediest joint, the tough and upright ‘Jacking’, while Sanchez’s ‘Flood’ is awash with ascending, mutating pads, underpinned by a chugging tech beat. Then there’s hypnotic, bubbling tech forms from Moises on ‘Stereohyper’, and a Bolumar airy pad groove breathes added texture via some blushing white percussive shakes.
'Strong Feelings EP'
Stepping out for the first time on Saved Records, the fast-rising Toolroom protege delivers a pair of tidy tech-house steamers to see you through spring. ‘Strong Feelings’ centres on a hypnotic, four-bar synth hook, underpinned by a rumbling bass lead, while the flip ‘Work’ drives harder in the low-end and holds tension for longer, making this the perfect big-room roller.
Life & Death
A landmark release for Joseph, as he graces the acclaimed Life & Death label with two originals — the gritty, hopeful, driving techno sound of ‘Trooper’, and the club-aimed ‘Laminated’. The former will have you contemplating life, while the latter will get you and 300 other people forgetting your worries for a few hours. Ron Trent tackles the title track with a deft and impactful touch, as he switches up the gears for a heavier, deep-set revision. Margot Records' Sebra Cruz offers a powerful alternative to finish up.
Manchester’s fast-ascending tech-house collective deliver some essential listening for their inaugural label release. Lead track ‘Wifey’ is a jumpy, high-paced groover that draws you in with its tasty low-end movement, and keeps you locked via the trippy, vocal-cutting FX and sharp drum production. The flip’s a more understated roller, with bumpy low-end, tight percussion and Hispanic vocal licks that cut through the mix and add an edge. This EP’s primed and ready to make dancefloors move proper.