hypnotizing nostalgia that dictates the dance floor. with previous releases on rythm section, echovolt and les yeux orange, earth trax & newborn jr. are unapologetically consistent in building a legacy. the maze ep is the fourth collective delivery of the duo, sent off into the world by dopeness galore. while hypnotizing synths dictate the dance floor, it is hard to resist the balearic arrangements of new wave nostalgia. the record elevates through soothingly repetitive ambient dreamscapes, while minimalist entrancement pulls us right back into underground territory. the ep represents a side a. meant for club settings and a more ambient side b. once the vocals on a2 set the tone, we bear witness to what seems to be the true ethos of the maze ep: where theres a will, theres a way
next stop for echovolt s regular catalog is two post-summer tear-jerker workouts by this great polish duo! earth trax & newborn jr. started their collaboration in 2016 with a release on rhythm section from peckham, london. their new offering follows the same principles - ecstatic and slightly nostalgic. a side (bailando) utilizes famous solid/lately bass sound with a modern twist and features additional work by annjet who layered lush pads on top of it. b side (aquamarine) is a hypnotic uptempo workout with sparkling keys, sizzling hihats and a powerful bass line.
next up for les yeux orange is a collaboration between earth trax, also known for his productions as the phantom & one half of ptaki, and newborn jr. individually or together, the polish winning duo is on hell of a hotstreak lately with some remarkable works for rhythm section, echovolt or phonica and connoisseur mixes for thump or stamp the wax. they debut on lyo with a diverse selection of four dreamy, melodic and emotional tracks both suitable for the club or for a domestic listening.
rhythm section look to poland once more for two of the most uplifting tracks of the year. earth trax (known for his productions as the phantom & one half of ptaki) and newcomer newborn junior pull two absolute classics out of the bag here that do what they say on the tin. both sax track and flute track centre around ecstatic midi melodies on (you guessed it) saxophone and flute! falling somewhere between the late night deep house excursions of ron trent (circa morning factory era) and more recent retro-leaning breakbeat driven output from the pender street steppers et al, the sax & flute ep is a masterclass in sustain-release. euphoria guaranteed - or your money back!
for over 18 years, spectral sound, the dance music imprint of ghostly international, has thrived at the forefront of techno and house. it has been a source of support for numerous djs and producers during that time, from matthew dear and benoit & sergio to avalon emerson and hieroglyphic being. now, spectral brings the past alongside the present with its latest release, a compilation that offers a vibrant cross-section of the current moment in underground dance music. despite the wide-ranging selections on spectral 139, a throughline of classic style and infectious energy emerges from the up-and-coming and established artists alike. rising talents such as minimal violence, russell e.l. butler, and earth trax x newborn jr. bring unique perspectives to their hardware-centric productions. veteran producers bring their own edge as well: d marc cantu blows the roof off with the outsized funk of regularly people, and nigil caenaans januarys end, a low-key detroit classic from the late 90s, closes spectral 139 with a whirlwind of manic rhythms and sedate synths. gunnar haslam opens the tracklist with his acidic mindbender, versione antica. and ghostly regulars like tadd mullinix, who drops a lush jtc remix of his new x-altera alias, and matrixxman, who collaborates with riccardo limiti on the cavernous inferno, tie everything back to the label s roots. the double 12 compilation, as well as each individual single, features original work by los angeles-based artist nina hartmann. her designs have appeared on releases from labels such as ascetic house and big love, and the pieces for spectral 139 continue to develop her cryptic aesthetic. the marriage of hartmanns striking, high-contrast symbols with such bold dance music speaks to a collection that aims to stand out.
the compilation reflects simon greens penchant for both expansive combinations of mixed musical elements and intricate structures. he uses the multi-instrumental arrangements of his own work as the basic structure on which to build a narrative across house, techno, electronica and breakbeat. (fabric london)