Christian Smith – Carambola EP (Bedrock)
Señor Smith has this lovely habit of releasing new EPs nearly every month (or so it seems). His latest outing, the two-track Carambola EP, just came out on Bedrock and it’s hella good! The title track is a whirling progressive/techno tune carrying big trancey string waves and steady beats, while Carambola Green is an even more epic track (a remix, really) that has that same superb festival vibe. Big tune alert!
Rating: 8.0/10 | Release date: out now
Drums Of Death – Blue Waves (Civil Music)
The final edition in DoD’s Waves trilogy is a razorship batch of twisted electro vibes and broken beat mania. Opening track Life In The Machine revolves around oscillating bells, staccato snares and mental sirens, while Let No Shadow Fall Upon You takes us back to the early nineties with its garage grooves and menacing bass stabs in the form of a very powerful club tune. Transistor Rhythm is a more traditional electro cut while Waves City closes the EP with a lush combination of club and Detroit techno. An all-rounder EP, and quite a big one too.
Rating: 8.0/10 | Release date: July 2012
Uner – Universe (Visionquest)
Spanish producer Uner is set to drop three tracks on one of the coolest house labels in dance music today. Opening track Sol is a very well crafted house tune with a deep techno twist that slowly builds up to a very melodic middle part, while Luna is its darker counterpart with haunting melodies built around trippier grooves. Cuac is the most uptempo track of them all, offering irregular beat drops across a hypnotizing groove/arp combo. Very well done!
Rating: 8.3/10 | Release date: June 11th, 2012
Joe Europe – Joe Europe EP (Vitalik)
This EP was supposedly crafted after Joe Europe –whose identity is shrouded in mystery- found himself incapacitated with 75% of his body being covered in plaster after a high-speed boat chase accident. Using his one moving limb he tapped out beats and melodies that would lead to this EP, which has become a soulful and very, very sexy collection of hot soul/disco/club cuts. Runner opens the EP with a mid-tempo pool tune, after which the uptempo Things and Amore present two French house-tinged club grooves rigged with serious basslines and glowing keys. Attitude turns to the electronic side of nu-disco, while Standing brings along a series of fuzz bass and jazzy chords. Quite an original affair, this release.
Rating: 7.6/10 | Release date: June 4th, 2012
Simon Baker – Riker EP (FINA)
Leeds purveyor of chunky house Simon Baker presents three new tracks including a remix by Eliphino. The original mix of Riker sees Simon at the top of his game, which is producing energetic grooves supported by sensual melodies and detailed percussion textures. A very atmospheric track in essence, Riker is a bombs for both outdoor shindigs as peak time moments during the nightly hours. Geo is a bit rougher and tougher, relying on a more oldschooly house groove while the middle part shoots off a very powerful bassline that turn the track intro a serious shuffler. The Eliphino remix of Riker, with its many breaks and twists, is a nice extra but nothing we haven’t heard before.
Rating: 7.5/10 | Release date: June 25th, 2012
Marcelus – Super Strength EP (Tresor)
Berlin powerhouse Tresor follows up its 250th release (the amazing Infiniti remix packages) by presenting one of its latest signees: 25-year old Parisian producer Marcelus. His Super Strength EP is a powerful but rather monotone selection of big room techno built from traditional techno elements, but lacking hooks and exciting twists. The title track and follow-up track Falcon are both too messy to make a proper impact, but Radical Groove and Suspension are much more structured. Still, we’re not convinced, sorry.
Rating: 5.5/10 | Release date: out now
Bas Mooy & Chris Finke – Parallel Series 3 (Mote-Evolver)
The third installment in Mote-Evolver’s Parallel Series comes from two well respected forces in international techno: Bas Mooy and Chris Finke. Mooy opens the EP with two stunning techno bangers, of which the first one (Howl) is a no-nonsense, mid-tempo big room tune carved out of dubby elements and horror fx and marked with an incredibly fat punch. The second track from his hand (Wesp) is a faster and much more pumping techno bomb with reverb kicks and EQd drums serving as its engine, all the while transmitting a very unsettling vibe. Superb… On the flip side, Chris Finke delivers two mean stompers, the first one of them being Sleep When You’re Dead, an electro-tinged floorfiller that slowly transforms into a stinging hypnotizer. Euphemism sees Finke experimenting with stripped but rock-hard techno with the result being a mean killer track that will bring any room to its knees.
Rating: 8.4/10 | Release date: May 28th, 2012
Gary Beck & Mark Reeve – Ars Poetica / Fabula (BEK)
Gary Beck’s own BEK label has arrived at its tenth release, which is a split EP by the label boss himself and Soma/Cocoon/Traum artist Mark Reeve. Gary Beck opens things with Ars Poetica, a storming and noisy variation to his signature techno sound fueled by sweeping percussion bits and menacing kicks. The various breaks top things off and guarantee cracks in any club’s walls. Mark Reeve drops an equally heavy cut on the flip side in the form of Fabula, track propelled by a super deep bassline set against a stripped groove. The track slowly works its way up to a sweeping breakdown after which that same old dirty bassline kicks in once again for some more clubbing frenzy. Pretty big.
Rating: 7.8/10 | Release date: May 2012
Florian Meindl – What Is Techno (FLASH Recordings)
What Is Techno is the first single to be taken from Meindl’s forthcoming debut album and is set to be released alongside his Good Times track and a remix of What Is Techno by Shadow Dancer. The title track is an incredibly energetic fuse between house and techno decorated with a repeating ‘What is techno, what is house’ vocal. The several melodic layers that top the tune make it one helluva floor rocker, my dear boys and girls. The Shadow Dancer remix is a much darker electrohouse rework with raw basslines and minimal techno grooves, which make it a bit of a neurotic but very likeable track. Good Times takes us back to the pumping grooves of the title track with a fresh portion of steamroller beats.
Rating: 8.0/10 | Release date: May 2012
Jon Lee & Damage Brigade – Fakin (Anadamide Records)
Seattle’s Jon Lee and Damage Brigade from L.A. drop three westcoast club funk tracks, two of them being remixes by Tyler Johnson and Wendall. The original of Fakin’ is a shuffling broken beat track with a 90s touch due to the oldschool bass and robotic vocals in the middle part. Tyler Johnson’s Bouncin’ mix invites us to the floor with its powerful tech-house pulse while Wendall’s Freakin’ rework is a warm piece of progressive floor funk, and the best track of the pack.
Rating: 7.0/10 | Release date: June 8th, 2012
Edu Imbernon – Imberlove (More Music)
Hotly tipped producer Edu Imbernon follows up his recent slew of successful releases with Imberlove, another high quality example of the man’s funk-flavored house sound. The original mix of Imberlove is a mid-tempo but still pretty laidback chunk of groove for the outdoors, with slowly moving strings and a repetitive melody as its pull factors. Inxec’s remix is a tad bit grittier, relying on heavy bass machinery and moody, at moments icey cold synthesizers. Outstanding track, by the way. The Jozif remix completes the bundle by delivering a rhythmic piece of Balearic funk that gets more and more progressive house as the track proceeds. All in all a pretty solid EP, this one.
Rating: 7.6/10 | Release date: June 28th, 2012