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Music Reviews

Music Review: Robert David – Love Manifesto EP (incl. Argenis Brito and Macarie Remixes) [Unfelde Records]

By Music Reviews

Romanian imprint Unfelde Records boss Robert David serves up his latest offering with ‘Love Manifesto EP.’ Known for his rolling house tracks which has seen him release earlier productions on the likes of; Capodopere, Whoyostro, Tzinah, Baile Musik and many more over the years.

His latest release kicks off with title track ‘Love Manifesto’ which is a deep, dark, rolling affair with tight drums, wobbly b-line intertwined with dreamy pads and keys. This is a sound synonymous with the ‘Romanian’ sound and a great way to kick off proceedings.

One of the standouts’ names over the last couple of years, Macarie serves up his remix of this one. A squelchy bass with well-programmed drums and a trippy vocal takes us on a journey with this one and is sure to fit into your DJ sets just right.

‘Inima’ takes things up a gear with a really nice groovy feel to it. Tight claps, subtle hats, and an infectious lead designed to get you moving work perfectly here. It has a hypnotical rhythm to it and is going straight into our record bag to play as soon as the clubs re-open!

Berlin-based veteran Argenis Brito is on remix duties for this one and takes things even darker with its hypnotic lead line, skippy hats, and growling bass. Think late-night dark room vibes on this one! Overall, this is a really nice package of 4 club-ready cuts that we certainly think you should be getting your hands on.

 

More Unfelde Records: Facebook / Soundcloud

 

Words by Dom Fletcher

Music Review: Klon Dump – Understanding EP [My King Is Light]

By Music Reviews, Reviews

Thomas Melchior’s new imprint “My King Is Light” keeps on proposing a fine and sharp vision on minimal music dropping its third release to date. It’s time to welcome in MKIL fam the Aussie born and Berlin based producer Klon Dump.

A1 “Paul’s House” kicks start with a rumbling, 90s-feeling bass. Gritty https://www.phonicarecords.com/label/my-king-is-light/168898/all/latest/descgroove is laid down with simplicity and taste, pace is quick, determined. It’s difficult to stay still. Sonorities remind of the harsher Nolga and Micheal James cuts, with unexpected turns towards concrete and dense sound hits, old-school synth arps and nasty leads. Energy is at the right place,

B1 “Surprise Room” glitches its way through the flipside, taking us for a bouncy ride downtown! Gliding strings moody move in the spectrum, painting fluid lines on Klon’s canvas. Drums are super tight, very definite. Each rhythmic element has its proper crisp. Acid and metallic tastes are next to soothing pads, creating an uplifting contrast. Vocal takes the listener into a completely different dimension, before plunging into the depth again.

No Surprise Room” is the most melancholic jam in the EP, delivering clusters and atmosphere alongside Klon Dump’s signature groove. Scenario is darker, while drum hits go fast on the beat. Minimal groove is intricate, extra polish, extremely curated. The way Klon interrupts the flow by removing ambient pads, leaving the beat alone, is a powerful way of creating more and less dense areas throughout the length of the track. That happens in a very natural way, at the very right time, so that the track unfolds smoothly.

Looking at the bigger picture, “Paul’s House” EP is a very complete work. Klon Dump doesn’t make any secret of his references and inspiration, integrating influences into a very mature and personal style. Skill is apparent in the way everything comes round sweetly, satisfyingly caressing the listener’s brain and body. Composition is wise, achieving complex and notable musical results starting out from simple ideas.

We’re curious to see how MKIL will move further – it is not an easy task – but here at Meoko, we don’t doubt that we just have to wait for the next record!

By Zambianchi

Listen/Buy this Record on Yoyaku

My King is Light

Thomas Melchior / Melchior Productions

Klon Dump

Music Review: Pauli – Solara EP (incl. Ion Ludwig Remix) [Aissa Records]

By Music Reviews, Reviews

We are in a world where many of us are constantly rushing on things, often neglecting the care and the attention that everything needs to receive to be at its best. I said many of us because this is definitely not the case for Darem Aissa and his homonymous label Aissa Records that after almost 2 and half years since its first release, now finally drops the second chapter by rising talent Pauli, another one that has work in the shadows for a very long time who will you hear a lot about in the future. The entitled “Solara” EP also sees the legend of Ion Ludwig on the remix duties, giving a further feeling of majesty to the entire release.

Opening the EP in style, title cut “Solara” immediately shows its nature showcasing profound and warm chords above which gentle arpeggiated plucks bubble around, gradually rising in tone and setting a dreamy and cuddling mood, not even remotely disturbed by a simple but effective techy groove.

Up next, “Phase Issue” starts with another lean techy groove backed up by robust sub-bass which, however, reveals a more rascal intent than its predecessor, as sneaky female vocal chops and untamed airy chords rise the tension that is further released in a clean and easy-to-dance-to drop.

On the flip, the bouncy “Flow-Matic” features lovely 808 rhythms over a fat and gnarly bassline which proceeds seamlessly almost for the entire piece. Icy hats, scratchy percussions, and subtle rave-ish synths drive the track till the end for an upbeat slice of dancefloor gold.

Dutch maestro Ion Ludwig steps up on the remix duties with a hypnotic version of “Solara” dominated by poignant piano chords, majestic pads, and an unexpected vocal sample, with the stuttering low end that, unhurried, heads the release to a trippy and enchanted conclusion.

 

Words by Francesco Quieti

Music Review: BRYZ – Digbeth [Dubøka Records]

By Music Reviews

Birmingham-based collective of Dubøka has made a name for himself over the last couple of years, gathering together the ro-minimal enthusiasts and giving life to crazy parties inviting Arapu, Mihai Pol, Gescu, and SIT among local talents. They’re now throwing their very first vinyl-only release EP which comes from the hands of young talented BRYZ and, as the title suggests, is dedicated to their home town, with the talented Romanian bringing three of his trademark groovy productions.

Click here to pre-order your copy on deejay.de

Kickin’ off with the main track “Digbeth”, BRYZ opts for some low-rumbling waves surrounded by echoing gloomy synths and neat groove elements, as the prominent clap sharply divides the beat, scattered with diverse hats and subtle rides. The track gets filled with each passing second with ethnic Balkan-ish sounds, splashes of a gnarly bassline, and some female vocal chops, altogether making of this one a filthy wiggly number.

Thus, “Slow Down” is another groovy tool, yet again featuring sinister strings, and nasty percussive elements to which are added bubbling plucks, delicate tribal percussions, and a powerful low-pitched vocal that almost carries the track from start to finish, marking the entire flow like a mysterious godly voice from the otherworldly space.

“Railway Valley” closes the package with a 7+ minute ride within which pressing hats beat incessantly on a dense blanket of visceral sounds and thick drum patterns, occasionally interrupted by sparks of electric guitar, a shortstop before boarding on BRYZ’s train again.

 

Words by Francesco Quieti

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Music Review: Various Artists – OLDiViBES 171

By Music Reviews, Reviews

There are certain labels that you know already before you hear the EP that you’re in for a pleasantly mind-bending audible experience. iO (Mulen)’s OLDiViBES ticks this box inside and out. Next up to the plate on the sort after imprint is a VA from 5 artists who are making waves across the circuit at the moment in their own right; Vitess, Mandana, Andrea Caioni, Josh Baker & Alfie Jack.

 

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Click HERE to buy OLDI171

 

The A-side kicks straight into play with Vitess using thunderous kicks and nimble hats to instantly grab your attention. The introduction of robotic pads and electronic synths teleport you to another dimension. Soft under layers and a driving bassline keep you moving. It’s the breakdown where all the elements really come into their own. The synth arrangement here takes you straight back to Acid House movement of 89’ alongside tight breakbeat percussion elements before dropping back into the groove. A grade weapon material.

 

 

Following on, Fuse (BE) resident Mandana shows her prowess in the studio. Distinct percussion and crystal clear hats accompany voltaic synths which instantly grab your attention. The introduction of a heart-warming bassline sets the tone of the track throughout. The contrast of ever the building hypnotic synths, precision like percussion and dub undertones works perfectly here.

 

Flipping it over to the B side and we begin a journey through space and time. The layers of this track evolve effortlessly. A master class in arranging from Andrea sees hi-end synths come and go throughout. Skipping hats and tight kicks create the energy and groove complementing the progressive synths. This is one that builds and builds and you’re more than happy to go with it as it does.

 

 

The EP concludes with duo Josh Baker & Alfie JackThis is not the first time they have collaborated in the studio; producing yet again a sound perfectly blended and distinctively influenced from both their own individual styles. Intricate pads, accompanied by a deep and resounding bassline send you flying across the skies. New elements are introduced carefully throughout allowing the track too effortlessly develop.

 

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Label owner iO (Mulen)

 

 

Safe to say this is an EP that will be enjoyed on many dancefloors across the world. Another one for the bag from OLDiViBES.

 

 

Words by Jordan Diston

Meander 29 Cover Digital

Music Review: Alci – Can’t Dance EP [Meander]

By Music Reviews, Reviews

Alci is one of those names in the minimal house scene that has been constantly dropping solid releases, a mixture of sophisticated music with a balance of groove and thoughtful flair that captures listeners and dancers alike. His latest work is no exception to the rule, released on DeWalta’s forward-thinking and top quality Meander label. The entitled “Can’t Dance” – inspired by the weird moment we’re all living in – is a four-tracker EP full of bass-jackin’ heavy tunes that reflect the high energy, versatility and laidback style of the young Swiss DJ and producer. The EP covers a good range of tones within minimalistic and technoid soundscapes perfect for anything between late-night dancing and early after-hours.

 

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Click HERE to buy Can’t Dance EP

 

Opener ¨Can’t Dance¨ starts off the recording with a walking jazzy bassline, enveloping the listener’s feet and head into a trippy funky groove. The bass dissonances from the glitchy elements and percussive textures in the middle ground section of the song adding a surrealistic feel. The irony of the vocal recording repeating the song’s title, in different pitched registers makes the track both fun and weird, a vibrant minimal roller that keeps feet moving despite the song’s contradictory title.

 

 

¨Sonsuz Seconds¨ takes form as a minimal house track with a more upbeat energetic groove cleverly spiced with organic and tribal sounds alike. Sparking warm percussions hypnotically captivate the listener as they respond to the deep and funky bassline that intensely carries the momentum forward. The glittering clicks and textures combine with full-bodied and acoustic percussions as it transports the listener to a tropical vortex-like dream. The track’s tone is emphasized with the gentle yet sharp synth that creates a type of pause and melodious colourful tension as it alternates with the driving force of the heated drumming polyrhythms. The combination of the robust kick, the open hi-hat, a sharp clave, and a crispy clap brings the track together as dancefloor minimal house weapon. 

 

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On the flip, ¨Kelime Bir ¨ conveys a darker toned mood, with dry percussive clicks and drums that evoke a minimal techno dominance and somberness. Modular and analogue synthesizer melodic pads flow as they collide and drift in a dense sea of low-end sound waves. The vocal sample subtlety whispers distorted words which creates a mysterious ambience, while the closed jazzy hi-hat keeps pushing against the beat. The unexpected piano melodies, along with a nice rhythmic lead and syncopated bassline make for a flammable yet inviting musical cocktail.

 

 

Closing off, ¨Kelime Iki¨, dwells in a dusky mood and atmospheric minimal track. The track’s drumming entrances the mind with low-end frequencies that resonate steadily in time. The clap accentuates and moves the energy forward as it complements the downbeat in a simple yet effective manner. Shortly after, mumbling voices appear adding a sense of depth and enigmatic dynamism. Short synth pads leak into the foreground while incorporating cleverly a straight-headed hi-hat that firmly raises the dynamics of the track. The low-end bassline reproduces ascending notes which coast smoothly along with the beat. While pads with trippy bends surround the air as delicate deft tones. Once again, Alci proves that it is possible to seemingly combine simple backbone elements with refined details in a reductive and alluring composition while keeping the dancefloor on edge. “Can’t Dance” EP has already sold out in various record stores so don’t sleep on Meander’s latest addition to their catalogue. 

 

 

 

 

Words by Daniel Ordoñez

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Music Review: Jamie Lie A Kwie – The Groove Codex LP [VL Recordings]

By Music Reviews, Reviews

Today – about 10 years after since his first release – Jamie Lie A Kwie releases his debut album on the mighty Vatos Locos label. Known for his warm and charming groove tools, The Rotterdam-based DJ and producer has captured many facets on the entitled Groove Codex LP by introducing the listener to his personal vision of dub rhythms. A vision which is evident across titles across his work here; in fact, the 15-tracks album includes tunes called “Forever Dub” and “Re-Dub Overdub” that, as well as the other tracks on the LP, feature quite long analogue rides where large rolling low-grooves are boss.

 

VLLP01 BACK

 Click HERE to buy the Groove Codex LP

 

With Jamie being a personal favourite among tINI and Vatos Locos’ head-honcho Hector, to name a few, so much that his first output for the label is from 2016, the album traces his whole artistic path, starting right with “Jungl“, originally released earlier last year on the label. This track is a straight and heady minimal house track that since the very beginning makes us live the frenzy of the jungle thanks to pounding kick, tribal congas and a percussion loop that constantly gets pitched up & down, giving to the track a sense of restlessness. On the opener, Jamie features dark and mysterious atmospheres with some odd synths moving on long lines together with smooth arpeggios patterns in an effective interplay, especially when the pads arise in the break, before the drums cycle back smoothly, sharp and dusty. 

 

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Up next, “Nordzee“, hits the spot by working on an interesting combination between the kick and the groove: the 4/4 beat takes a little further with a strange but effective the use of low percussions, to which is added an unconventional hi-hat right on the beat. Trippy and higher-pitched percs create a sort of hook for the drums to follow, with some mellow vibes also courtesy of lush and airy pads. Lifted two centimetres from the floor, we keep on floating on this intimate track.

 

On the entitled “Time & Again“, Jamie shows us his personal taste in the choice of drum sounds, bringing to evidence his love for fat grooves, re-taking some of those 2015-ish dub forgotten sonorities. Synths are further apart, shotting some harmonics on the heavy beat. A wispy breakbeat filters through, slowly coming to the listener’s attention during the break and continues for the drop, but once we are aware of it we can’t get rid of this stumbling shake.

 

 

Track 6, “Moving Current“, insists on a rusted groove where the drums are thin, with the exception of the clap which is fat and deep. On this one, Jamie gives to the drums the right dose of saturation, creating a grainy lofi feel. The snare roll picks the groove up at the end of four bars, creating an endless story combining with low reverberated pad chords that are drugging as down under smooth current. The synth line is melodic and introspective, sounding like an endless journey which takes us deep within the sea. This unfinished, infinite feeling makes the piece sounds fragile to its utmost expression.

 

Thus, “In Arts” goes back to a straightforward kick and bass relation. The kick is stingy and the bass rolls tight on it, with the drums getting more aggressive and the synths turning into hypnotic harsh-drivers, more harsh and definite. On this one, we lose that tinge of vagueness that we had so far for a more solid attitude. Reverbed drum hits create variation while the hat and clap proceed regularly and steady. The arp synth has a very deep house flavour, rubbery and everchanging. Melody is obscure and trippy, hypnotic, compelling. Just close your eyes, here’s everything you need.

 

 

 

 

Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi