Black Rave Culture – Columbia Rd (Uptown) [Haus of Altr]

Car stereo chiller, dance floor killer…Massif! The recent debut of Black Rave Culture (James Bangura, DJ Nativesun & Amal) shook the DC-NY scene in one crushing seismic wave last month; the breathe and range of the album flexes their collective production knowledge and how harmoniously these three compliment and build on each others’ flow. TheContinue reading “Black Rave Culture – Columbia Rd (Uptown) [Haus of Altr]”

Skee Mask – Dolan Tours [Ilian Tape]

Relaxed soundscape keys in perfect juxtaposition with hardcore breaks. Pool is the best album to release in 2021 thus far. That’s my opinion, duh, but you’d be insane to listen and deny the Skee Mask signature intricacies and details that separate this album into a stratosphere all it’s own. Dolan Tours sits in the 2ndContinue reading “Skee Mask – Dolan Tours [Ilian Tape]”

Dreamcast – Lonely Hearts Club [The Lost Tape]

A perfect loop matched in perfect harmonic overlay. The Lonely Hearts Club track on my copy of Dreamcast’s 2017 “The Lost Tape” LP has started crackling this past week. I’ve played it tirelessly, wearing down the vinyl grooves more than any other track from the record but I’ve never gotten enough of it. It’s supremelyContinue reading “Dreamcast – Lonely Hearts Club [The Lost Tape]”

Amal – Gleam [HOCHI RUNS]

A sweet, melodic, melancholy, uplifting, entrancing and reflective preview into a bright, gleaming future for DC young gun, Amal. “Holy Shit,” I audibly reacted in my headphones on first listen of Gleam, “I’ve never heard anything like this before.” What separates this from any other DnB or breaks track out there is the raw emotionContinue reading “Amal – Gleam [HOCHI RUNS]”

Roza Terenzi – Illusions [Step ball Chain]

Roza Terenzi‘s refreshingly eclectic and outside-the-box approach to her Stylish Tantrum release in January has stayed with me these past few months, demanding several relistens as the weeks pass. The B2 track, Illusions, blends together elements of halftime, downtempo and low-end dub with a surprising yet effortlessly fluid drum break stepping into liquid DnB territory.Continue reading “Roza Terenzi – Illusions [Step ball Chain]”

Daze – Lips (’94 Original DAT Dub) [Lobster Theremin White]

Dusty, synth-pad drunk breaks from golden age of lofi house. Released as the 2nd installment on Lobster Theremin’s white label series in 2014, Australian hazy house producer, Daze’s Lips mixes have stood the test of time in uniqueness and ease of listening. It flows, baby. Still, my only critique of the track is wishing the vocalContinue reading “Daze – Lips (’94 Original DAT Dub) [Lobster Theremin White]”

DJ Sprinkles – Kissing Costs Extra [Kolour Ltd.]

Sensual, sexual and timeless recording from the one and only DJ Sprinkles. Appearing on the B-side of a 2013 V/A release on Houston’s Kolour Ltd. label, Kissing Costs Extra begins with a hazy, whimsical, Balearic-style bassline and progresses effortlessly into congas and light synth stabs that sink you deeper and deeper into relaxation. This trackContinue reading “DJ Sprinkles – Kissing Costs Extra [Kolour Ltd.]”

Green Velvet – Technology’s Out of Control [Music Man Records]

An end of the world, chaotic techno ripper from Green Velvet’s 1999 album, “Constant Chaos.” Aside from the album and track title fitting into the post-apocalyptic 2021 landscape, Technology’s Out of Control provides a look into how imperfect, unsynced live techno recording – when done appropriately – can result in organized mayhem. The drums confidently continueContinue reading “Green Velvet – Technology’s Out of Control [Music Man Records]”

Son of Sound – Night Shift [Basement Floor]

Kinky, playful house / disco hybrid slow burner. Phillip Chung & Turtle Bugg founded operated the NY-based Basement Floor label in 2013 while under the tongue-in-cheek production duo alias “Soul 2 Seoul” and sporadically released 7 records through 2018. Night Shift is an esoteric A2 cut by longtime NY disco producer Son of Sound fromContinue reading “Son of Sound – Night Shift [Basement Floor]”

Mor Elian – Planet Kismet [Visible Spectrum]

Far-out, psychedelic, enigmatic techno. Prolific Berlin-based techno producer Mor Elian‘s 3-track “Clairvoyant Fog” record on Visible Spectrum is now a year old and, listening to the final track Planet Kismet with fresh ears in 2021, it offers a wealth of soundscape melded into ever-changing but effortlessly smooth rhythmic drums. An acid synth arpeggiator sequence underneathContinue reading “Mor Elian – Planet Kismet [Visible Spectrum]”

Heiko Laux – Earthbouncing Pt. 1 [Kanzleramt]

Minimal, big room, classic lush techno. Heiko Laux had managed his Berlin label, Kanzleramt, for 4 years before releasing his first album entitled “Liquidism” in summer 1998. The first track, Earthbouncing [Pt 1], creates an incredible first impression of the record and has stuck with me this past month as a notably well-arranged, mixed andContinue reading “Heiko Laux – Earthbouncing Pt. 1 [Kanzleramt]”

uon – J [West Mineral Ltd.]

The essence of feeling stoned, musically-speaking. While careening wildly through favorite ambient releases this morning, none stack up quite like this J track by uon on West Mineral. Liquid, fluid, morphing synths diving over each other like molten lava reshaping the mountain side of an active volcano. The deep, cavernous, contorting bassline ignites your brain and rearrangesContinue reading “uon – J [West Mineral Ltd.]”

Money Morning – American Pharoah [Acting Press]

The soundscape soundtrack to your favorite sci-fi novel, re-imagined. Combined feelings of melancholy, curiosity, and growth lend a foundation to the emotional draw of the 2017 Corporate Karma EP from Money Morning on Acting Press. The American Pharoah track pulls the listener into hyperdrive through a distinct harmonic tunnel of space exploration and wonder. I’ve home-listened thisContinue reading “Money Morning – American Pharoah [Acting Press]”

Globex – Inversia 2 [Acting Press]

Sonically balanced and floating in ecstasy. The A-side on this 2018 Globex record for Acting Press revolved around a simple, single note pad but carries with it so much depth and imagination in the background. The bassline moves at it’s own pace, the cymbals continue on their own wonky pattern – each element of thisContinue reading “Globex – Inversia 2 [Acting Press]”

SCNTST – Hell Of A Group [Image Is Everything Pt. 2]

Self-released today on bandcamp, Skee Mask shared an album of retrospective 2010 demos under his first production alias, SCNTST, as a part 2 to his “Image Is Everything” release from 2015. You can hear the early foundations of slipperiness and ease of cohesiveness in all the recorded parts throughout the album, much of which takesContinue reading “SCNTST – Hell Of A Group [Image Is Everything Pt. 2]”

James Bangura – Synthetic Sustenance [Mister Saturday Night]

A chill yet relentlessly, dramatically building jam. In general, I’m an admirer of most cavernous, reverbed-out pad stabs and when you place one on the first hit and let it ride like in Synthetic Sustenance, that’s a ten. Rounding out “Interpretation of Sound” by DC’s own James Bangura, this B3 manifesto shifts between stripped backContinue reading “James Bangura – Synthetic Sustenance [Mister Saturday Night]”

Young Male – Reveal [White Material]

“How To Disappear In America” sounded fresh in 2016 and gets better with age – Young Male‘s last album on White Material still sparks new inspiration with each listen. A tractor-beam-like ripping drone synth starts off the A2 track, Reveal, progressing into slow-burning drums and chords that help balance the mood to an even levelContinue reading “Young Male – Reveal [White Material]”

Paul Johnson – Me And My Queen [Nite Life Collective]

The triumphant celebration A3 jam off an underrated 1998 Paul Johnson “We Can Make The World Spin” album. Me And My Queen puts Johnson’s sampling sixth sense on display. Some of the more well-known hits from the Chicago house legend carry a tougher, speedier and sometimes raunchier sampling spirit, but you get the sense he practiced patienceContinue reading “Paul Johnson – Me And My Queen [Nite Life Collective]”

Bookworms – You Say So [BANK]

Doubling blistered drum patterns underneath a sweet, enchanting melody. Experimentation and outside-the-box ideas are hallmarks for Bookworms (Nik Dawson), especially evident on a fresh listen back to his 2016 “Xenophobe” album on then-new Bank Records NYC. You Say So catches the listener off guard immediately, thrown into a swirling tornado of delay and repeated patterns that soundContinue reading “Bookworms – You Say So [BANK]”

INVT x Nick León – Jumpstart

Full-on, high octane techno-infused footwork. Listening around to INVT‘s self-release bandcamp page, Jumpstart sits in good company of what sounds like a typical session for the Miami producer. The entire SANO release boasts a beautifully mastered soundscape with an impeccably full sound spectrum, a confident understanding of the purpose behind the release and dark, sinisterContinue reading “INVT x Nick León – Jumpstart”

J. Albert – Atabey [anno]

A long-format slow-burning techno breakbeat manifesto. New York-based label anno released J. Albert‘s latest Pre Formal Audio EP in July with Atabey as the focus piece on the record. Nearly 9 minutes of existential-inducing pad, dub delay and flanger-tinged breaks culminate, ebb and flow for a superb audio journey. It’s a jam that sounded like a blastContinue reading “J. Albert – Atabey [anno]”

Michael Claus – Ocean Side [100% Silk]

Slick-filtered, slide-y sequential techno from longtime San Francisco producer, Michael Claus, stands out in this 8-track 2017 EP on LA-based label 100% Silk. That melodic arp pulls you in deep from point blank and carries those harmonically overlaid synth chords through a nonstop 7 minutes of chug. It takes years of experience and trial-and-error toContinue reading “Michael Claus – Ocean Side [100% Silk]”

Shaka – New Relationship [Local Talk]

Jazzy, playful, wickedly cool – this Shaka (Swiss house veteran) Kurt Spichiger record puts me in a stellar mood every listen. A new release as of last week on long standing Swedish house label Local Talk, New Relationship revives the bygone classic 90s house style of epic 8+ minute tracks that take you on a journey.Continue reading “Shaka – New Relationship [Local Talk]”

Kush Jones – Earth Note [Future Times]

Creating an incredibly playful atmosphere from the first note – rather Earth Note – a spiritually cleansing, celebratory tone takes hold from the get-go. Bronx-native Kush Jones‘ debut 12″ on Future Times in June clocked in as a certified hit, spawning a couple of represses in following months – this A1 track in particular an anthem. TheContinue reading “Kush Jones – Earth Note [Future Times]”

Alex Falk – Know [Allergy Season]

The electrifying Knoxville techno mastermind, Alex Falk, returns for a 2nd EP entitled Movefast on NY’s Allergy Season. Falk understands hypnotizing patterns and the perfect place to lock a loop, which is what makes the 4th track Know such an earworm. The vocal loop soars in from the first beat, circling the atmosphere while a 2-step pattern laysContinue reading “Alex Falk – Know [Allergy Season]”

Jackson Ryland – Stealth Mode [1432 R]

My new 4-track EP Stealth Mode released on 1432 R (officially) this past week. I was reflecting on the title track remembering feeling a thrill winging it on the chords after a practice run through. The drums and underlying synth sequence drove in a straight-ahead pattern leaving plenty of room to riff it on the Poly-800Continue reading “Jackson Ryland – Stealth Mode [1432 R]”

T-RWRK – Chanté [Holic Trax]

Yea, I think this record got taken down from Discogs at one point because it’s blatant copyright infringement (ripping off the groove from Cybil – Love So Special), but it’s back up for sale! I bought it from Juno in 2013(?), a one-off bootleg edit record from London-based Holic Trax and got a ton ofContinue reading “T-RWRK – Chanté [Holic Trax]”

Steve Rachmad – A Fabla [SINO]

A true original, Steve Rachmad fostered the Detroit techno sound in the Netherlands from 1996 onward. Rachmad’s 2nd full-length album, Neo Classica, landed on Technasia’s Sino label in 2006. Big room techno had been waning in popularity by that era and though experimentation in melding house, techno and elements of trance is evident throughout this album, theContinue reading “Steve Rachmad – A Fabla [SINO]”

DJ Skull – Get Em [DJAX-Up-Beats]

Originally released under the Internet Server 211 EP with legendary Dutch techno / gabber label DJAX-Up-Beats in 1999, Get Em is my ultimate DJ Skull classic Chigaco house jam and a go-to for ending a dj set in euphoric style. Plenty of DJ Skull classics employ this similar big room echoey pad synth design and curt, jaunting, swingingContinue reading “DJ Skull – Get Em [DJAX-Up-Beats]”

Chevel – 2020 [Non Series]

A foreshadowed sinister tone of how 2020 would feel – though I can’t speculate if that’s what Chevel had in mind when constructing this Backwards Loops release for Non Series in 2015, you can feel it in the distorted low end grinding, bleeding together. With many more productions centered around techno minimalism, I’ve admired thisContinue reading “Chevel – 2020 [Non Series]”

Takaaki Itoh – Face Life As It Is (DJ Shufflemaster remix) [WOLS]

No pause nosebleed techno. A handful of all-star Japanese techno producers emerged from the late-90s heyday of techno, none superior to DJ Shufflemaster. That’s my opinion but his musical output spoke for itself and continues sounding fresh decades later. His tight sampling precision and intangible ability to create a building sensation throughout his recordings madeContinue reading “Takaaki Itoh – Face Life As It Is (DJ Shufflemaster remix) [WOLS]”

Toronto – Electric Toothbrush [SEGA]

An esoteric cut from the iconic Jet Grind Radio game on Sega Dreamcast. This game holds a special place in my childhood, notably this song as my first time hearing a funky house / techno crossover track. Electric Toothbrush didn’t appear often in the game itself, mostly hanging back as an addition soundtrack for cut scenes.Continue reading “Toronto – Electric Toothbrush [SEGA]”

Stephen Brown – Polar [Theory]

On what’s possibly my 2000th time hearing this track, it sounds wonderfully fresh and innovative as the first. Listening to Stephen Brown over the past 7 years has influenced nearly every facet of how I approached recording house and techno, popping up in every peak-time, unhinged 140+ Rush Plus set we ever played as well.Continue reading “Stephen Brown – Polar [Theory]”

Skee Mask – Reefer Madness [Ilian Tape]

Diving LFO-tinged & layered bass lines matched with meticulously arranged breaks. Reefer Madness checks the box on classic Skee Mask production approach; icy electro hihats set a continuous breathing tone, soaring pads cut the tension at peak moments while reverbed claps crash into place with a delayed meeting point at the end of each bar. Keeping upContinue reading “Skee Mask – Reefer Madness [Ilian Tape]”

Ben Ritz – Transition Piece [Sweat Equity]

Full-throttle mental overdrive. Transition Piece nests as the centerpiece of Ben Ritz debut on Sweat Equity last year. A refined balance – equal parts of wonky-timed laser arps, an alleviating chord progression, and bassline bouncing like its got somewhere to be – all blended in a high-octane tempo. The unexpected transition at 3:46 is theContinue reading “Ben Ritz – Transition Piece [Sweat Equity]”

Djoser – Blurry [Lost Tapes Vol. 1]

Djoser unveiled his Lost Tapes Vol. 1 project during the wake of the Covid lockdown. A 5-track collection of old and new bass maneuver tracks that weren’t committed to any label. The full release displays Shadi’s mastery of psycho-mode break precision and timing in song structure. The 2nd track Blurry swells to its finish withContinue reading “Djoser – Blurry [Lost Tapes Vol. 1]”