Burnski’s transformation from useful tech house artist into hugely exciting garage innovator has been remarkable. He’s done it under the INSTINCT alias – while also turning out classy dub tech on his Constant Sound label – and now shows yet another side to his sound with a lush ambient album. It’s music to daydream to with moving melodies, lush harmonies and field recordings that make it all the more alive.
As soon as the summer comes and the days warm up, we all love a bit of disco in our ears. Enter A’s and Bees, a new label not only serving up sizzling sounds but also one on a mission to help our little furry friends by donating 50% of profits to the British Beekeepers Association. Rare Pleasure’s ‘Superfine Feeling’ is their opening gambit, and it is a fine reissue of a glossy bit of synth laced disco complete with a handy remix from UK veteran Ashley Beedle.
Locus is an offshoot of the mighty Fuse label and it hits release number 10 in superb fashion here. It is fast rising Italian artist Dimmish who takes the reins and offers the sort of irresistibly high tempo, high impact tech funk that dance floors love. His drums are punchy, his synths are balmy, and his vibes are nicely spaced out yet dynamic on all four of these cuts.
Interplanetary Criminal has been at the forefront of the ongoing garage resurgence for ages, and mostly on the excellent German label Time Is Now. That’s where he returns for this latest missive, which is part rude boy old school face melters, part new, dark wave garage with menacing bass. ‘In My Arms’ is the sort of organ laced, vocal tinged cut that will always stand out at the peak time, while ‘Opulence’ brings a smart dub wise swagger and cavernous bass rumbles for the heads.
You get the sense DJ Swagger really has fun in the studio. He does anything from smooth and sweet deep house to retro garage to high speed techno. Here though, he is in his wildest and most unrestrained form yet with four blistering tracks of inventive electro. There’s warp speed stuff like the siren laced ‘Atomic Fear’ next to naughty wobbler ‘Drybones’, then a white knuckle banger in ‘Noseblunt’ and DJ Stingray aural assault on ‘Trail Of Destruction.’ Superb.
Ok this is not technically new but it is a re-issue landing this week that is utterly essential. It comes from New York native Taylor Deupree, who was a real ambient wizard back in the 90s. When he made techno, he used his knack for crafting gorgeous melodies and atmospheres to layer in cosmic moods and new age vibes that soothe the soul as well as get you moving. His Hyaline EP was a high water mark with six tracks of superbly dreamy and otherworldly deep techno for mind, body and soul.
Shall Not Fade has just turned five years old, and in that time has turned out more than fifty releases covering an impressively wide sonic terrain. The latest from DJ poolboi is deep house but with a melancholic edge. That comes from the way he drapes sombre pianos and plaintive chords over his deep rolling beats and rally allows them to ring out into the airwaves. That means that while his infectious grooves really get you moving, the musicality of each tune also forces you to think deeply on a wide range of personal subjects.
Every new week brings with it literally tens of new electronic music labels. Planet Tapes was one of those last year and then it went quiet for a while 12 months, as many do. Thankfully, it has made a welcome return this month with a vital, various artists EP. There is lots to enjoy here from the cosmic ambient opener to the balmy, spaced out electronic house of ‘Back To The Old School’ via 4 Chemins’s standout cut ‘1999 5 AM’ which is as silky and icy cool as you like.
Whatever you think of the value of dance music full lengths doesn’t matter here, because Dan Piu packs in so many vital tracks that no one will be complaining. The album was written during the dark days of the last year and so comes with some pretty pensive emotions, but also some killer grooves. Harking back to a perfect mid-90’s tech house sound, he programmes nice steel plated drums and runs them through with all manner of sci-fi signifiers, old school bass lines and cinematic pads to make for perfect dancing fodder.
Denmark’s Echocord might not be at the cutting edge of the underground scene, but what it does, it does damn well. And that is, of course, dub techno. The latest to offer up their take on the genre is El Choop, aka London’s Harvey Bones. His ‘Insane Sends’ is a masterclass of grainy dub chords, deep rolling and frictionless kicks and the sort of swirling pads that help you easily get lost in the moment. ‘Some Fall Harder Than Others’ is a little darker and heavy and just a s effective and then Sven’s Angelic Sends mix closes down with spine-tingling pads.
If you are ready to absolutely fucking have it whenever you can next, finally, step on a dance floor, you’ll be hoping to hear this sort of tackle. It is unabashed, high energy electro and techno designed to blow up and spot. ‘Sub Sonic Survivor’ has twisted vocals over raved up drums, ‘Divide & Multiply’ is corrugated electro funk and ‘Blast Them To Infinity’ is edgy, brain frying old school hardcore techno that takes no prisoners.
Subsequent is now well established amongst those who know. The 11th outing from the label is another bumping ride through acid, electro and techno with drums front and centre. Each of the four tunes brings a certain sense of subtle electronic funk, but there is also a playfulness and raw sense of character in the synths which dart in and out, the prickly that’s tumble off-grid and nasty bass that makes you wanna punch the air.
Joe Claussell is respected worldwide for his ability to bring an intense spirituality to everything he does. The Body & Soul man is a master on the mixer and heads up his own Sacred Rhythm, where he often serves up his own unique interpretations and edits of classic tracks. Here come a bunch more that will have you in raptures as they draw out squealing synths right up the heavens, layer in his trademark percussion and generally leave you feeling breathless.