by Irina Kotik
We've hand-picked the ten favorite tracks of January featuring such luminary producers as Joannes, Russian Chandeliers, DJ Octopus, TR One, Huerta, Ninos Du Brasil, Aera, Theus Mago, Local Suicide, Working Titles, Vidall, FIT Siegel and Kassem Mosse released via Something Happening Somewhere, Samo Records, Duro, Tropical Animals, Solar Phenomena, Amadeus, Life and Death, Working Titles, FIT Sound and Avantroots.
FIT Siegel & Kassem Mosse
To start off the year, Leipzig’s respected producer Gunnar Wendel, better known as Kassem Mosse and Detroit veteran producer, and FIT Sound label boss FIT Siegel have teamed up for an impressive collaborative “Saboten” EP. The beautifully diverse three-track package came from the “sessions recorded at Omar-S’ FXHE Studious and FIT’s studio at Submerge at Detroit in 2016, then mixed down my Siegel in 2018 after a few years of playing rough versions in his DJ sets in clubs around the world”, a statement from the label explains.
Highlighting irresistible groove and vibrant melodic passages, “Cycle Blue” gradually unfolds into a continuously evolving hypnotic journey.
Amsterdam-based producers Robbert Van Der Bildt ( a.k.a. Kaap) and Boris Acket come together as Working Tiles to offer their elegant and hypnotic power in form of the beautifully orchestrated ambient long runner “De Tuin” which formalized after their improvised live set in the garden of De School. The beautiful ten-track tapestry of improvisation is filled to the brim with rich textures and luscious soundscapes famed with fluid atmospheric sound arrangements.
The album’s closing track “De Tuin” captivates the listener with a dazzling array of gorgeous soundscapes carefully built by kaleidoscopic ambient layers of endless elegant ambiance and embellished by a distant delicate melody.
Fake Leather Whatever
Californian producer Steve Huerta shines brightly on the “Amaso” EP delivered via Amadeus imprint. Almost three years after his debut “Apache Line” EP on the hometown outfit, Amadeus welcomes the Berlin-based producer for another impressive outing.
The four-track record suavely blends a wide range of influences, styles, and sounds. The beautifully immersive “Fake Leather Whatever” leans heavily into the timeless UK breakbeat realm with elegant piano arrangements, velvety pads, and jazzy electronics to bring the listener a vivid imaginary and subtle nostalgia.
Vrijdag (Nadia Struiwigh Remix)
Something Happening Somewhere
Nuno Dos Santo’s home of heartfelt electronic music Something Happening Somewhere imprint jumpS straight out of the blocks in 2019 with a powerful "Got Needs" EP by the Dutch producer Joannes. “We all need to do shadow work once in a while, integrating our inner demons to create a more balanced reflection to carry out our lives from”, explains the label. “The Got Needs EP provides the soundtrack for this personal journey, including delightful remixes by Nadia Struiwigh and Melatonin Man.”
On the flip side, Nadia Struiwigh hits all the right buttons with her cosmic mind-melting version of the enthralling “Vrijdag”. She is carefully painting an abstract futuristic landscape by slowing down the tempo beneath endlessly mysterious widescreen pads and dubby undertones.
Stay In Seattle
Making their debut on the exciting Brooklyn-based Samo Records, Julian Grefe ( of Pink Skull) and Fringe Society ( previously known as Qeull) joinS forces under the Russian Chandeliers alias to deliver an impressive “Worm In Worm Out” EP. The mighty package brings together artists delivering three original tracks backed up by remixes from Mr TC and Zombies In Miami.
“Stay In Seattle” is a twisted dystopian journey into an avant-garde electronic world of driving rhythms, vibrant undulated basslines, futuristic bleeps and sparkles, all soaked in colorful psychedelia.
The Swim Meet
The latest installment on the Canadian imprint Solar Phenomena comes from Irish artist Eddie Reynold, better known as TR One. The Carlow producer has been releasing music under a plethora of guises such as Apartment Records, Lunar Discko, Don’t Be Afraid and Bodytonic. He now appears on Solar Phenomena with an impressive three-track “The Swim Meet” EP including a mesmerizing remix from Dublin-based Italian producer Lerosa.
The title track is dripping with a nostalgia-filled melancholy. IT starts out with repetitive synth chords creating a reflective atmosphere before it builds with electro beats and funky acid bassline.
Theus Mago & Local Suicide
Komm Ins Loch (Aera Remix)
Mexican outfit, Duro inaugurated the 2019 season with a club-oriented single “Komm Ins Loch” from the label co-head Mateo González, a.k.a. Theus Mago and Local Suicide, the project by the Berlin-based real-life partners Brax Moody and Vamparela. Translated from German to English as “Come Into The Hole”, the slow-burning dark and fuzzy kosmische deftly underpinned with post-funk vocals and EBM effects.
German producer Aera continues his strings of top-notch remixes by delivering a powerful re-interpretation of the lead single. One of the highlights at the Innervisions Off Sonar Open Air event, during Áme‘s back to back set with Dixon and at Tomorrowland during Solomun‘s set, Aera’s version exhaling the eclecticism through a moody and irresistible groove.
Barcelona via New York multi-talented producer, musician, and singer Sergio Vidal, also known as Vidall, steps up into a spotlight to his own Avantroots imprint, which he co-runs with Spanish respectful producer and longtime fiend Pablo Bolivar, for an impressive six-tracks “Nomad” EP. In artists own words,
“The many places where he has lived and the number of times he has moved apartments inspired the title of this work. A mini album where you can trace some nostalgia for the 90s house and electro sound that continues to infiltrate modern electronic music. Sergio, (AKA 50% of the electronic dub duo Pulshar) shows his ability to blend different styles in a seamless way, creating hypnotic and sensual scenarios, using just a Micro Korg and some mobile apps. With the phrase “Limitations are the basis of Inspiration" hanging from his computer, the NY based producer likes to create his tracks in an extremely easy way and using basic equipment (most of the drums and sequences were born in subway commutes or traveling).”
Ninos Du Brasil
Life and Death
DJ Tennis’s illustrious Life and Death imprint start off 2019 in grand style be releasing their second edition of the “Displaced Soundtracks “ compilation series. Manfredi Romano, better known as DJ Tennis, explains in the press release, “ the score is a translation of our imagination, memories, and emotions into music, with no protocols.” Following in the tradition of contemporary club producers exhibit their talents as soundtrack craftsmen. The eight-track compilation feature compositions from the likes of Midland, Vatican Shadow, DJ Nobu, Ninos Du Brasil, Scuba, Uchi, Isolee and Cosmo.
Among the standouts on the “Displaced Soundtracks” is Ninos Du Brasil’s “Nocturno Culto”. Hospital Productions affiliates Nico Vascellari and Nicolò Fortuni, masterminds behind the “batucada-infused techno project” Ninos Du Brasil, bring shrouded in mystery percussive sound to the compilation. Underlined by intricate rhythms and tribalistic patterns, “Nocturno Culto” IS steeped in a charming cloak of hazy atmosphere and elegant mysticism.
Italian record label and party series Tropical Animals continues its hot streak into 2019 with a brand new EP from Marco Zanin, a.k.a. DJ Octopus. The Venice-based prolific producer has been delivering uncompromising quality music on labels like Hot Haus Records, Hardmoon, CHIWAX, Shall Not Fade among others. “Glue Monday” EP is composed of four tracks of “pulsating boppers, encompassing hints of retro-futurism, tense breaks, and unstoppable grooves.”
With an irresistible kaleidoscope of pulsating statics and retro-futuristic mechanical garnishes borrowed form EBM, the second track “Mechanical Action”, is a thrilling voyage into electro territories.