by Irina Kotik
It’s officially springtime! The sun-drenched vibe keeps on flowing with the amazing releases, stunning albums, and impressive remixes coming from Jimi Jules, Talaboman, Davis, TD, Eagles & Butterflies, Nuno Dos Santos, Cologne Tape, Map.ache, Cleveland, Pixelife released via Innervisions, R&S Records, Altin Village & Mine, Permanent Vacation, Something Happening Somewhere, Magazine, Engrave Ltd., Equation Recordings, Art Imitating Life, and Samo Records.
We selected best 10 tracks for you to listen and enjoy. Tracks are listed in no particular order.
The celebrated German Innervisions imprint ushers in 2017 with its ninth volume of the ‘Secret Weapons Part 9‘ compilation. Curated by label bosses Âme and Dixon, this intriguing collection of 12 exclusive grooves comes from a variety of artists and represents the label’s unique and diverse sound. The hot selection of fresh gems includes tracks from Tim Engelhardt, who will release his debut album on PokerFlat in May, Oliver Deutschmann, Jimi Jules, Marc Houle and Switchdance among other artists. Jimi Jules’s ‘Ostkreuz’ is a stand out track on the compilation. The incredibly talented Swiss producer masterfully managed to create an exciting and imaginative narrative for the dance floor with pulsing rhythm, beautifully arranged hypnotic jazzy chords, a lilting and slightly melancholic melody, gradually sustaining tension to an incredible degree.
From two of the pillars of the electronic music, John Talabot and Axel Boman, comes a mesmerizing, multi-faceted creative foray into the farther realms of house, a full-length debut ’The Night Land’. The collaborative duo, Talaboman, describes the album as “a journey inwards, an attempt to reach our subconscious and to document our dreams. We want to ignite hope and push imagination. Close your eyes and open your mind”.
The undeniable gem in the eight track collection is a gorgeous tune “Loser’s Hymn”. Enveloped in a dreamy haze of a deeply emotive melody, soft synth pads, rolling high-hats and subtle cymbals, it lavishes the listener with layers of pure sublime atmosphere, perfect for a timeless sunrise journey.
'Nevoa (Davis edit)'
Engrave Ltd. record label, founded by Italian producers Musumeci and Dodi Palese, continues its rise with a new debut compilation series "Engrave Ltd Vol. 1". The impressive collection of nine exclusive tracks reflects the sonic diversity and unique vision of the imprint and features new music from the label bosses Musumeci, Dodi Palese, Human Machine, Davis, Rancido among other producers.
One of the standout tracks in the package, Nevoa (Davis edit), comes from the hands of incredibly talented up-an-coming Brazilian producer Pedro Zopelar. Davis imbued the original deeply emotive techno version with his own mayhem-making rhythms and mighty bass line. The resulting output is undoubtedly destined to be a club favorite for peak-time set moments.
'All I Want is You ( Map.ache Remix)'
Altin Village & Mine
One of the finest underground electronic music producers, veteran resident DJ at Leipzieg's Connie Island, one-half of the Manamana DJ duo and KANN Records label boss, Map.ache, gives a new meaning to Altin Village & Mine's back catalog by reworking four tracks from its recent releases. "Perception Shift/A" EP features Skeletons' "All I Want Is You", Phoebe Killdeer & The Shift's "Let's Talk A Good Story", Urban Homes' "Tropical Jam", and Sven Kacirek's "Turkey Dance", delivering high sonic quality with an elegant, artistic touch.
Skeletons' "All I Want Is You" is a spellbinding minimalistic interpretation that embellishes the original with a mesmerizing meditative groove, moodier keys, and deep arpeggiated background synth that beautifully drives the track. This captivating version is made to melt listeners senses and send them off on a hypnotic excursion.
'Ghost Orchid (Cleveland remix)'
The always trustworthy Permanent Vacation imprint steps back into the spotlight with a remix package of tracks from Benjamin Fröhlich's 2016 'Rude Movements' EP. The new "Rude Remixes" EP features re-imagination from Permanent Vacation collaborator Lauer, Running Black regular Shan, Jack Patters and Luxembourg's rising Cleveland, who shows his unique talent for taking the original vibe and creating his own distinctive twist and flair. This elegant version is a surefire party starter.
Marvin & Guy's Equation Records once again explores mysterious territory with their latest installment of the 'Equation II' series that brings "very special edits" from "very special artists". The vinyl only series are limited to 300 records each. The identity of the artist behind the edits is masked by their initials. The second volume brings "along the Mexican outlaw hippie, a Danish who learned how to build beats better than Lego, as well as the only Irish keener on music rather than on beer. And the last player is a man who abandoned the euro dance hits of the 90s to play basketball in Peru.”
The Irish TD masterfully works his magic to offer a mindfully creative perspective on Laurie Spiegel's "Appalachian Groove". This new version is a gorgeous treat for music lovers and fans of the original.
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Eagles & Butterflies
Art Imitating Life
Eagles & Butterflies' newly fledged imprint Art Imitating Life continues to push boundaries with high-quality electronic music and new musical experiments. On the new 'Art Imitating Life Vol. 2' EP, he presents another collection of 4 colorful sound experiments. Vol. 2 closes with a powerful and vividly beautiful 'Experiment H'. Its distinctive bongo-infused percussive accent atop the gorgeously crafted melody is designed to set dancefloors on fire.
'Welt 3 ( Magazine Edit)'
Cologne Tape, a super-collective of mostly German electronic and experimental artists who are rarely in the same place, returns to Magazine with a new full-length 'Welt' album. Consisting of Magazine co-founders Barnt, Jens-Uwe Breyer and Crato, as well as Ada, Axel Willner ( a.k.a. The Field), John Stainer, Jörg Burger, Mario Katz and Von Spar's Philipp Janzen, the group launched the music label Magazine in 2010 with the album 'Render'. Cologne Tale's second 8-track release is a dazzling kaleidoscope of sonic influences, sounds and rhythms also featuring Rebolledo, guitarist Burkhard Mönnich and singer Isis Lace.
One of the album's standout tracks, 'Welt 3 ( Magazine Edit)’ brings beautifully breathing Krautrock-inspired soundscapes into an extravagant electronic track. A masterfully crafted hypnotic atmosphere flows in this version of 'Welt 3' with a spacey synth meditation that draws the listener into an altered state of mind.
Nuno Dos Santos
'Dust in Your Eyes'
Something Happening Somewhere
Dutch producer Nuno Dos Santos returns to his own imprint Something Happening Somewhere with the 'Trigonometry of Love’ EP. This eleventh release on Nuno's label ‘SoHaSo’ is a deeply personal EP for him. Featuring cover art by his father, the release captures Nuno’s life experiences complemented by his extensive knowledge of music and sound production as it genre-hops between deep house, techno, and nu-wave disco.
The bouncy closing track, ‘Dust In Your Eyes’ opens straight up with a driving rhythm and melodic bassline while light snares fidget in the background. This track is deep and mesmeric with a floating percussive progression that builds with light warping sounds throughout. A long breath exhales and adds to the dreamy and harmonious synths. A strong knock on every second beat adds a frisky accent to the strong bassline. The beautifully tailored synths and keys seem slightly muffled but couple perfectly with all the quirky percussive beats throughout this track. This is a true example of Nuno Dos Santos’ amazing talent as a true master of sound - it’s an absolute work of art that is as about as unique as it gets.
'Chimeras In The Matrix'
Newly inaugurated New York-based Samo Records is set for an exciting journey exploring the darker and moodier shades of electronic music. Their debut release, 'Chimeras In The Matrix' EP, "comes from Pixelife (Sean Dack), a highly accomplished visual artist and veteran of NYC's underground. In addition to releasing on such respected labels as Throne of Blood, Horn Wax, and Let's Play House, he also makes up half of GHOST COP, a band known for its textured synths, iconic vocals, dissonant beats, and captivating live sets. Incorporating the same expert sonic-layering techniques he employs in his live analog sets, he's created a dynamic EP that's both intimate in feel and broad in scope."
“Chimeras In The Matrix” is filled to the brim with electricity, right from the first kick. Laced with twisted synths patterns, emotive dystopian melody, and infectious groove, the layers of cleverly blended acidic elements make for a gorgeous techno track.