Touch From A Distance
A masterful release from siblings Jim and Pete Isaac from Melbourne, aka Donald's House, their second for Nick Hoppner's Touch From A Distance. 'Marimbanana Loaf' from their 'Dan's Dancing EP' remains one of the finest releases this year. This four-tracker is no less exceptional. 'Rainbow Gelato' is laden with irresistible Korg M1 chords, and a grunting, propulsive bassline, breaking down to its barest percussion before riding back triumphant. 'Pseudo Affogato' echoes the classic sounds of Tevo Howard, while 'Piano Parfait' rides Italo pianos to glory. Untouchable.
'An Artist Thinketh EP'
Canada's Demuir got this EP signed from a snippet of the track 'Werq. Feel. Gruv. Vogue' posted on Instagram. The dudes of Detroit Swindle happened upon it, and now it's landed on their Heist imprint. Easy. You only need a snippet of this bumping, rolling groove to know that it's going to work wherever it drops. It's not the only highlight. 'The 3nity Returneth' is a wonky Detroit jam, while 'Philippine Sunrise' gets reworked in serious fashion by Lady Blacktronika.
Kristy Harper's debut EP on Monologues (and anywhere, in fact) could indeed encourage exotic shapes, if handled correctly. A tale of two styles, there's both wild disco abandon and deep, girthy house here. 'Uncle Jungle' is a rolling disco extravaganza, whipping a hook from Gladys Knight, while '1955' has the distant echoes of Roulé's classic filter fury. Title track 'Exotic Shapes' goes deep with surging pads and some mild acid, where 'Sterk's low-slung loop and sub-aqua chords demand a low ceiling and a red light.
An indisputable big room anthem from Zurich producer and Watergate regular Jimi Jules on the eminent Innervisions (it tore up the place at the label's showcase at Sonar in the summer). With a dark, enveloping hoover bass, urgent keys and Jules's breathy vocals ("just a fool, just a fool in your eyes"), this is moody and magnificent. On the flip, 'My Father Was A Master' takes a similarly foreboding tack, with added rave stabs. 'Gubrist' builds bleeps and tones to a shattering crescendo. Watch this grasp terraces next summer.
Mediterranean Key Collective
Italian imprint Cosmic Rhythm brings the supergroup of the legendary Don Carlos, Cosmic Garden and Rhythm Of Paradise as the Mediterranean Key Collective. These are sun soaked vibes indeed. 'Il Tramonto' is like floating in the Med, warm organ chords lapping at your toes (the Mediterranean mix making things even more Balearic). 'La Casa Del Sole' — 'house of the sun' — soothes the soul with swelling pads and a plucked bassline. 'Fraganza' brings the smoky horns, and all is right with the world.
'Perfect Time '
A rare excursion on wax for Panorama Bar resident Cormac here on Jennifer Cardini's Correspondant. His original cut is a murky, mucky slo-mo groove, woozy and weird, hollow percussion cutting through the haze. LA's Eagles & Butterflies turns in two sturdy re-rubs, his 'Main Mix' working in a surging bassline and an epic break, retaining the breathy vocals. The 'Rave Mix', meanwhile, hurls in layers of brassy synths and Vangelis vibes come the final act. Very pleasing.
J Gabriel x Chuffing Buffy
'Pretty Girls Don't Dance '
Moteur Ville Musique
Just the second release from Detroit's Moteur Ville, some stunning talent collides here. New York's J Gabriel confronts his own alter-ego Chuffing Buffy, while Delano Smith and Rick Wade both take the results for a ride. 'Pretty Girls Don't Dance' is a towering jam, with building percussion and a rolling bassline. Smith's 'reconstruction' brings the shuffle and the deep dub vibes. Over, 'Ritual' is weird and wonky, with Rick Wade's churning interpretation augmented with warming chords, high, sweeping strings and spine tingles. Sterling work.
'Time & Space'
The Lobster Theremin boss lets loose on Hypercolour with four heavyweight tracks for the ravers. 'Take Anymore', with Qualis, grinds and pounds, an aqueous bassline barely keeping things together, before a full-on deep garage break. 'And Go' is equally as frisky — if not more so — an anthem for dark warehouses. 'System', the pick of this fearsome bunch, threads a weighty kick through an irresistible rave loop. A bonus jungle track, the firing 'Time & Space', completes the look.
Rack'em returns with a second salvo in his Disco Banger series. 'WYBES' has the vibes in spades, as you'd expect, a teased disco loop bent out of all recognition, then pasted back onto wax with some additional sub. The supremely wonky 'E' is like 808 State meets Cerrone, a deep boogie loop which gives way to warm pads and surging arps. Elsewhere, the low-slung 'Stevie' slows things down to a mucky P-funk meets Stevie Wonder jam.