Each designed to showcase Estiva’s range, the EPs taken from his ‘Metamorphoses’ LP continue to play tactical as hell. ‘Kosmos’ is celestial trance done differently. Bags of atmosphere, but without any big statement-like drops, it still has ether to burn, while never losing sight of the dancefloor. ‘Two Tigers’ has even more club pulse about it, with quick two-note stabs elevating its myriad acid lines. The police sirens and poolball FX are an attention-grabber too!
Jam El Mar
Jam El Mar Recs
For those that have got used to (and loved) El Mar on his doomily technotic, Frankfurt-esque preset, here's something of a break in the clouds. ‘Evo’ retains his structure, incrementally and ever rising, but brings a degree of chiming harmony to both its primary supporting melody and leadline. It cycles these ideas, modulating and developing them every four bars of the way. A simple but ruthlessly effective number, as clearly was the intention.
Gabriel & Dresden Feat. Jan Burton
'Keep On Holding (ilan Bluestone & Maor Levi Mix) '
With producer, singer and remixer firepower that’s hard to argue with, this is a consummate appetite whetter for 2020’s ‘Remedy’ album. After the slower, cooler original, Bluestone & Levi naturally give ‘Keep On Holding’ a big push up the tempo and tone scale. In the transition, Jan Burton’s vocal loses little of its wrought angst, making this as good in the delivery as it was in its reckoning.
'Kinetic (Genix Remix)'
Likely, your predicted appreciation curve for Genix’s ‘Kinetic’ treatment will run thus… bored, unimpressed, less unimpressed, impressed, relieved, excited and finally thrilled. The intro set up is prosaic in the extreme, and the drop into a flat reprise of ‘Kinetic’s untreated riff abrupt. From there though, Genix rapidly layers in sympathetic effects and transitional sub melodies, which apex with superbly executed 303, buoyed by bassy drive.
Akira Kayosa & Hugh Tolland
'Nightingale XVII '
During your first spin of ‘Nightingale XVII’, a little voice tells you your sixth is going to be a remarkably different experience. Appreciation-wise, the first does just enough harmonically to beget a second, and from there, this is only going one way. Artful note arrangements, evocatively detuned/delayed piano, pad sway and an unhurried but inexorable rise up to its majestic mainline subtly make its case. Grower? That’d be an understatement.
‘Outflow’ first cropped up on Driftmoon’s (50 per cent of Astrosphere) ‘Remember The Night’ album last year. While not a complete homerun, this might still be his best pairing with Robert Nickson to date. The spoken vocal — lecturing at length on some physics brain-boggler or other, is a minor bum note. Its mainline, however — a ravey, persuasive affair with killer key changes — is irresistible.
'Space Howl EP'
New three-pack from Lithuania’s Ankse. EP leader ‘Space Howl’ keeps its keel murky and authentically moody, while its mainline flies. No mean contrasting feat considering. ‘Back In Time’ has rhythmic drive, sprung bass and a lead note arrangement every bit as good as ‘Howl’s. ‘Mistika’ is a touch more mainline, but by the time you’re there, likely you’ll already be convinced of this EP’s merit.
Somna Feat Jennifer Rene
I have something of a soft spot for Jennifer Rene’s voice. She’s a singer we haven’t heard enough from in the last five years, which only adds to her cachet. With the first action from ‘Beside You’ — his debut album — Somna addresses that. Delivering a punchy, peak-time vying production, it also provides the perfect support to the empathetic nature of ‘Stars Collide’s song.
Aly & Fila
'Te Espero Aqui'
Future Sound Of Egypt
Long have I waited for a single from ‘It’s All About The Melody’ that would challenge ‘Beyond The Light’s all-eclipsing title track. ‘Te Espero Aqui’ (or ‘I Wait For You Here’) isn’t it, but it’s the closest we’ve come by far. The track finds the sweet spot between A&F’s main set pace and the warmth and feel of a trancer that has early Chicane written all over it. You’ll be thinking ‘Ibeefa’ before you know it.