Thursday, December 17, 2009

Get down to this funky disco sound!

Hello Hello!

This year is running out, but there are still some parties ahead. Now a brief information about a couple of events I will be spinning at.

Firs of all, this Saturday - 19/12/2009 - "Disco Not Disco" night at our beloved Space:Garage. Seems like it will be a rather deep yet joyful ride. You can always expect a quality disco selection from Homeradio guys, who are the hosts of this event, then, on the other hand, Gosh is an expert of deep and dubby grooves with his excellent musical taste... Arno is going to put some music in the beginning with supposedly dub influenced vibes. As regards me, I'm planning to go rather deep path with records from artists/labels like Brendon Moeller, Coutu Dumonts, Liebe*Detail. Actually it's been a long time since I've played a proper set with vinyl records, so really looking forward to this. And last but not least, Rodion and Wickiss will celebrate their birthdays there.

Well, I also will have a reason for a celebration soon after - I'm turning 33 years old on 22/12. On this occasion, everyone is very welcome to pop by on my b-day party which will take place at Dirty Deal on Wednesday, 23/12/2009. The mood is intended to be quite private, and very eclectic music from me, Kristaps and my friends (feel free to bring your records/laptops with you for some bit of DJing).

OK, see you and cheers!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

In da box and playlist: october-december


These are the dance tunes that currently rock my world:

> Instramental - Leave It All Behind [Apple Pips]

Bristolian dubstep and new wave drum'n'bass producer goes disco, and the result is amazing! The tune is quite simple, but very nicely done - smooth, deep bases, a pitched-up vocal sample and a strong melodic hook is all we sometimes need.

> Brendon Moeller - Juice EP [Mule]

I've been keeping my eye on him for quite a long time - last couple of years he has had numerous remarkable releases. The new EP on Japanese Mule Electronic is pure bliss - even if I'm not a big fun of everything which now comes out labeled as deep house, however this kind of deep house easily fits in my cup of tea. All three tracks are great.

> Markus Nikolai - Kiss Your Mind [Perlon]

A funky, quite raw (Chicago) house track with catchy, teasing vocals. The beat sounds to be made on proper hardware.

> AGF/Delay - Connection (Heartthrob remix) [Bpitch Control]

From the four provided remixes, Heartthrob's treat might be the best (although Kiki's version is great, too, especially if you are looking for a lighter disco sound). It's one of the rare cases when collaboration among different producers actually gives some additional qualities which probably couldn't be achieved if they worked on their own. Heartthrob has given it some dancefloor-friendly boost, still leaving space for subtle details from the original Delay's production. Also, the lyrics are quite sophisticated - which is not so common for electronic dance music in general as we know.

> Guillaume & The Coutu Dumonts - Pussy Shepherd [Musique Risquée]

Although Guillaume Coutu Dumont has been one of my favorite producers for quite a while, recently I hadn't heard much good stuff from him, I mean nothing outstanding. However, the new EP on Musique Risquée - a home for fine dance music from Canada - is very solid. He has always been keen on using funky gospel vocals, and this times they are present in all three cuts. Actually Safety Meetings is a proper song with a vocal that sounds as Marvin Gaye would be produced by a deep house producer. The title track ain't bad either - a deep and thoughtful house track backed with tight percussion and a funky, driving bassline.

> Keny Leaven - Odyssey (doP remix) [Elenore]

I don't know anything about the original artist and this new label, but doP's funky, bluesy shuffle beat remix sounds refreshing. Grab a mic, and rock along.

> Michel Cleis feat. Toto La Momposina - La Mezcla (Paul Kalkbrenner remix) [Strictly Rhythm]

The original version is fine, but somehow I wasn't very enthusiastic about it - perhaps just too many latino-tech tracks were around that time. Nevertheless, Berlin's techno playboy P. Kalkbrenner has taken it to a new level and rendered into a hypnotic, spacey peak-hour groover. Huge tune, an anthem!

> Sven Tasnadi & Juno 6 - Tranquillo [Liebe Detail Spezial]

Jazzy chords, flutes and atmospheric strings plus a wicked live drums brake... make a soul resonate.

> Martyn - Elden St (Sebo K Watergate Edit) [Watergate]

Elden St was likely my favorite track from Martyn's Great Lengths LP which came out earlier this year. Sebo K keeps the same mood, just slows it down and gives it some dubtechno pulse. This track was included in Sebo K's Watergate 04 mix.

> DJ Jus-Ed pres. Nina Kraviz - Voices [Underground Quality]

I just cannot resist this beautifully haunting piece of deep house. Nina Kravitz is a talented and very good-looking DJ and producer (and obviously a singer, too) from Moscow, whereas remixes are provided by Jus-Ed and his mates from the U.S. Eastern Coast who dig that raw, uncompromised deep house sound. Anyway, the original still stands out. From the remixes, Levon Vincent's rework might be my favorite - it is as sick as usually. (By the way, Resident Advisor has a new, interesting feature about Nina, read it here).


> Lawrence - Until Then, Goodbye [Mule]

No doubt a masterpiece of modern deep electronic dance music. Seems as the best work from Lawrence to this date. No wonder it's less about drums, more about melodies, interesting harmonies, strings, bells, tones - as we know Lawrence is closely associated with the Dial sound. The overall mood is dreamy, sometimes wandering, hypnotic. Technically, upbeat tracks are followed by slower beats or even ambient pieces, but I must say that attempts to describe this album are destined to fail - take a seat, have a listen and enjoy the journey!

> Mathias Kaden - Studio 10 [Vakant]

Kaden's first album is not very typical for him laidback excursion into a realm where deep house meets jazz but still having all those neat microsamples and percussion he is known for. In fact, most of the tracks feature some guest musicians or vocalists, and all together it actually sounds as a proper album, not a collection of unrelated tracks. Impressive and beautiful!

> Luciano - Tribute To The Sun [Cadenza]

It's already been a while, since this LP was released, but it certainly deserves to be mentioned. As typically for Luciano, tracks are very detailed, loaded with myriads of various percussions, however this time most of the tracks avoid being just functional DJ tools but strive towards more a song-like structure. The album features some prominent guest vocalists (Keren Ann, Martina Topley-Bird, Ali Boulo Santo), and the majority of tracks apparently haven't been designed with the dancefloor needs in mind. As the album title suggests, it would be a joyous fiesta celebrating the Sun, unless those freaky samples on the last tracks - it seems as if Luciano got afraid to make the album sound too sunny and therefore decided to drop some darker psychedelia at the end, or perhaps it is meant as the antagonism between the light and the dark. Anyways, the result is a profound, experimental record - a highly original oevre of the contemporary world music.

Friday, November 27, 2009

HOAX: Technics 1200 will disappear

Today a worrysome message pops up around the net - that Panasonic is going to cease the production of the living club culture icon Technics 1200 turntable in 2010. You can read it, for instance, here.

However, it looks like a hoax, I would suggest not to believe the hype! The given arguments, even if they seem reasonable at first glance, actually are not very well grounded. Any numbers? I'm quite sure it is still the best selling turntable, even if the sales have decreased in general numbers. Besides, how about the fact that so many digital DJs still use the good ol' pair of Technics to ride timecode controllers of such applications as Rane Serato Scratch or Traktor Scratch?

So, sleep well, the 1200s will outlive many fancy digital gimmicks.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

morning glory 6 a.m.

Hello, long time no see... Well, we are having a summer break over here before coming back with something fresh this autumn. There are some new ideas in the air, but let's see what direction they are going to take and what comes out of it eventually.

Meanwhile, the summer is coming to its end, and it's the last moment to catch proper sun, have a swim or indulge in an open-air music festival. One of them - Zaļumballe - will take place at Beibeži, Vecumnieki (that's in Latvia, folks) this coming week-end, August 28-30. The main focus is on local bands and DJs from various musical camps - but generally the line-up seems promising and fun.

Last but not least, the first night (ok, morning) I will have a morning set around 6 a.m. on the Dirty Deal stage there. Expect lighter, somewhat more uplifting and melodic vibe plus some spaced-out sampling action, however it will depend on the mood. Actually I'm quite looking forward to it, since morning sets can be very beautiful and special experience - people and DJs going loose and sometimes creating even a kind of spiritual bond.

OK, I hope you had a good summer and now let's groove and say good-bye to it.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

netcords 002 is out

A weird yet lovely song by our maestro Martinez Gonzalez backed up with quite different remixes by DV5, NGC-5128 and Max Brannslokker. Get your free copy here.

Friday, April 03, 2009

...'cause I can do it in the mix

There’s not a problem that I can’t fix
‘Cause I can do it in the mix
And if your man gives you trouble
Just move out on a double
And you don’t let it trouble your brain
‘Cause away goes trouble down the drain
Said away goes trouble down the drain

Yeah, right, that's Indeep about a bloke who's saved someone's life... I've also put together a bunch of tracks in two mixes recently - even if they are not supposed to save anyone's life, perhaps they can at least provide a pleasant listening experience to someone.

The first one was kindly published by TikTak Radio in its mixes series - you can download it here. It's a quite laidback excursion on a deep and dubby house tip. See the tracklisk further below.

The other one is also a deep affair, however faster and somewhat more abstract and experimental, containing a good number of slowed down dubstep tunes. So, the overall groove is pretty irregular and varying, hence I named it "Swinging undercurrents mix". For the limited time, you can download this mix here.


Eazy Rollin' TikTak Radio mix by Heincha:

1. Move D - Cube
2. Kontext - Plumes
3. DJ Sprinkles - Brenda's $20 Dilemma (Kuniyuki Dub Remix)
4. Bovill - Atlantic Highway
5. Beat Pharmacy - House Of Love
6. Sideshow feat. Paul St.Hilaire - If Alone (Chateau Flight dub mix)
7. Daniel Stefanik - Reactivity 9
8. Gosh From Yaputhma - Just Kitten
9. Rhythm & Sound - Mango Drive
10. Sideshow feat. Paul St.Hilaire - If Alone (Appleblim & Komonazmuk Remix)
11. Peverelist - The Grind
12. IMPS - Almost Live But Definetly Plugged (Move D remix)
13. My My - Pink Flamingos
14. Roosevelt & Charles - Monastery
15. Newworldaquarium - Trespassers
16. Pulshar - Mr Money Man (Dubbyman & Above Smoke Deep Explorer Mix)
17. Invisible Conga People - Weird Pains
18. Mind Over Midi feat. Tikiman - Champion
19. Minilogue - Mr Mustafa B

Swinging undercurrents mix by Heincha:

1. Intrusion - Twilight
2. Shed - The Lower Upside Down
3. IMPS - Uncle Imps (Minilogue Remix)
4. Mod.Civil - Einfachheit Gewinnt (Marko Furstenberg remix)
5. Jark Prongo - M-Tech
6. Salvatore Freda & Volta - Bombolone
7. 2562 - Techno Dread
8. Link - Amenity
9. Martinez - The Alley Cat
10. Deadbeat - Night Stepping
11. Soul Capsule Prod. - Meltdown
12. Ben Klock - In A While
12. Martyn - All I Have Is Memories
13. 2562 - Enforcers
14. Brendon Moeller - Elixir
15. Appleblim & Peverelist - Over Here (Beat Pharmacy remix)
16. Peverelist - Infinity Is Now
17. Ben Klock feat. Elif Biçer - Goodly Sin
18. Freund Der Familie - Surplus

Some gigs worth seeing: Exit & TikTak Radio

Hello, just a quick info! Since I'm heading to Riga today, unfortunately I'll miss a gig at Exit tonight, in which almighty Kevin Blechdom and Tim Exile will be taking part. I've seen both of them in the frame of Skaņu Mežs events in Riga, and I can assure they kick ass, so don't miss this one if you can. Plus, I will be missing out the contemporary jazz riddims monsta Squarepusher as well - he will perform at Exit in April 10. Be there or be square!

However, the good news is that tonight I'm going to the first TikTak Radio party at Space:garage in Riga. Berlin deep vibes expected - Marcel Cluso and TikTak Radio / Minipower guys will rock on the wheels of steel.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

C90 Rules OK! release party

I'm happy to announce that this Friday (March 27), at Exit07 there will be a release party of Veste's and Flaaps split 7" "The Stamp" brought by C90 Rules OK! label.

The night promises to be quite different than the usual stuff at Exit07 - the guys are into raw sounds and analogue equipment. A live performance by Flaaps & Veste is foreseen, plus DJ sets by Andy b and LFND as well as another live act - TriggerZ. All these guys are associated with C90 Rules OK! which is run by Flaaps.

The record is available at Wolf’s

By the way, Veste's remix for z99 is on netcords003.

The first Brussels Electronic Music Festival

Right now I'm sitting on the train from Brussels to Luxemburg - quite wasted but rather inspired after having attended the Brussels Electronic Music Festival which was held for the first - hopefully not the last - time. It was one of those pleasant and digestible mid-size events with a great line-up in just a few halls. Plus, the venue itself - Bozar - was quite special - it's a labyrinth-like palace normally serving as an art exhibition centre.

There were three nights of blissful music and beats on the offer, however, due to some practical implications, I'm missing out the last night when basically Raster Noton artists (Alva Noto, CoH, Byetone etc.) perform. But now a bit on what I've actually seen not missed. So, the first opening night was somewhat calmer and with less people in comparison to the following night, which was not necessarily a bad thing, as it made the atmosphere more intimate. One space was given to the ~scape artists, namely Pole and Deadbeat - no surprise, the both filled the hall with a profound bass sound, slightly surprising though was that Pole's live set was rather upbeat. Deadbeat took over the floor with even more energetic "deep structures" and riddims. Although the most of the tracks he played were already heard from his brilliant "Roots And Wire" album, there were some unheard gems, too - particularly a tune in which a lovely garage-style vocal was masterfully coupled with a solid bassline. Apart from the music, the air was filled with that instantly recognizable cannabis aroma which made the whole experience even more familiar, although the venue itself, as I already said above, was a formal establishment, think of a state's museum. Meanwhile, a project from the French imprint Tigersushi - Principles Of Geometry - was entertaining the crowd with a no-nonsense house music in the main hall. However, a live set by Yapacc - a producer whom I shamefully hadn't known before - made my day or night, to be more precise. His music is more the one used with the adjective "house" than "techno", even deephouse, though with that more electronic, techy edge than the traditional house music - I imagine that a few years ago it might be easily pigeonholed as so called microhouse... A bit of DOP meets Lee Jones sound - just beautiful and groovy music with uplifting yet deep vibe that moves people literally and emotionally. At least, that's how it worked on me. Afterwards, Jay Haze with his laptop and controller reigned over the danceflor - his tracks were good, too, but more stripped down, and somehow after the emotionally charging set by Yapacc they sounded emptier to me. Or I was already tired, so it was pretty enough for the first night and I left soon.

The second night started early with two very special live performances by the IDM/techno icons The Black Dog and the legendary sci-electro workout Dopplereffekt. It happened in a hall which might be more appropriate for staging operas or at least classic music events than this kind of repertoire. The Black Dog duo, bent over their laptops (pictured in the beginning of this post), started with deep and immersive ambient soundscapes gradually adding more rhythmic spice. A half through, the performance got ravey, still keeping the melodic elements though. The people from their seats responded with cheerful whistling and clapping along. The music was accompanied by marvelous, minimalistic visual lines distantly depicting the nature (like clouds, a forest, meadows), then switching to more urban elements which didn't seem to be out of place or contrasting to that first out-in-the-woods approach, on contrary, everything together worked very well and seemed just natural.

The sound and images of the following Dopplereffekt were of a different kind. The anonimity and mysteriousness that surround this project were kept intact - there were a man and a woman standing behind keyboards and facing each other, both of them disguised in black masks. It seemed that they were playing chords and sounds on top of already prerecorded (or at least preprogrammed) tunes. The mood was such as one should expect from them - very reserved, even soulless (unless robots have a soul). As it's common for the classic electro - the main focus was on melodies and sound effects, whereas drum patterns were pretty simple and the use of samples - limited. Also the visuals were intentionally simple and lo-fi, dealing mostly with the 80's science-related themes, for instance, early computers and particularly satellite dishes. At some point, both performers unexpectedly left the stage leaving a rough electro beat still running. The rhythmic sequence went on for a couple of minutes and then it was the end. No any closing remarks or thanks to the public, but somehow very appropriate.

OK, enough sitting, it's time to get out to inspect what's on the dancefloors. The main floor is given to Kompakt, i.e. Mugwump (DJ), Matias Aguayo (live), SuperMayer (DJ). I was just on time to see the last 20 minutes of Mugwump's set which was pretty good and, in any case, far from minimal. One of the last things he played was a tune by Photonz which I heard at least once more during the festival. Mugwump, by the way, is a local guy and can be seen in some Brussels' record shops.

The next one was Aguayo. I'd always been curious to see him live, because judging from his records he's got his own unique way... And, yes, he looks quite the same as he sounds - energetic, life-assuring party animator. He was shouting, commenting and singing on top of his tracks, all the time making tongue-in-cheek references to pop music, for instance, Chris Isaak, something sounded to me as Digital Emotion and even Macarena. This all together seemed perhaps quite bizarre and spaced-out, nevertheless outstanding and all about having fun.

Meanwhile, Guy Gerber rocked another smaller room. He was quite fine, although a bit too epic and trancey for my liking. The next thing was more my cup of tea - a French duo DOP. In fact, I really like some their releases, and they turned out to be entertaining and interesting as a live act as well. In their performance there was a guy singing on a mic with sort of jazzy vocal but keeping it raw and sweaty as, in my view, real jazz music should be. DOP was quite dope, indeed.

As the last ones for the Saturday night M. Mayer plus Superpitcher which together are known as SuperMayer spun some lovely and melodies-driven records. The guys looked really enjoying playing records and the crowd responded cheerfully. One of the last songs Superpitcher put was the uplifting song by Animal Collective - For My Girls. A very nice ending for a great event in general.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Moments in love mix

Recently I have put together a new mix which has been kindly published by ind-ex. Although it contains quite different tracks, there are certain seductive and irrational qualities in them, hence the name. It features a few tracks by Seth Troxler - one of recent discoveries - as well as my all time favorites Guillaume & Coutu Dumonts, My My, DOP and others (see the tracklist below). It all has been spiced up with some classic Chicago house samples/loops and delays. Have a lovely trip!


1. 2562 - Embrace (+ misc. samples)
2. Portable - The Shallow Final
3. Sis - Orgsa
4. Bruno Pronsato - Aria
5. Seth Troxler & Shaun Reeves - Mru Talkin (+ sample from Kevin Saunderson - Bounce Your Body To The Beat)
6. Sten - Take Me To The Fridge
7. Dilo - The Kittycat Track (Tolga Fidan's San Pedro remix)
8. Reboot - Vandong
9. Markus Fix - Panacota
10. Guillaume & The Coutu Dumonts - They Only Come Out At Night
11. Shackleton feat. Jackson Del Rey - Next To Nothing (Excersise One remix)
12. Scuba - Hard Boiled (SCB remix)
13. Donnacha Costello - Trust
14. Osborne - Evenmore (+ sample from Chicago Bad Boy - House Music All Night Long)
15. My My - Everybody's Talkin'
16. DOP - Ikarus
17. Seth Troxler & Patrick Russel - Doctor Of Romance (+ sample from Sound Stream - Live Goes On)
18. Seth Troxler - Love Never Sleeps
19. Touane - Chamber

netcords003 is out

After some period of silence (due to technical and personal reasons), the netlabel netcords is back with a release from Latvian electronic music and counterculture activist Z99. The EP is based on his track "Juusu gruuvs" (which means "Your groove" in Latvian) - a deep, immersive and rather non-standard piece of techno - plus remixes from LXC (Germany), Casual Violence (Germany), Veste (Luxembourg) and Esse (Lithuanian).

The artists are quite different, so are the remixes. LXC offers a kind of dub meets drum & bass interpration. Casual Violence goes more into dark and atmospheric experimental techno direction with some references to electronic industrial music. Veste offers an edit in the best minimal analogue deep techno traditions, whereas Esse's remix is a moody deephouse cut. However, the best way is to hear them yourself, so feel free to download this EP from the netcords site. Enjoy and groove along!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The new minimal vs. the old one

Tonight DBX aka Daniel Bell - one of the originators of bleepy, loopy minimal techno - and Bruno Pronsato - one of the best nu skool mnml producers - rock at Fuse. We´ll see how it´s gonna work.


I didn't see much of Pronsato, because he started just shortly before 5 a.m. when I already didn't have much energy and patience left, but from what I saw I enjoyed Daniel Bell more - he had a very solid deep and Detroit techno set, spicing that up with some classic acid house tracks. By the way, Bell also played the seminal Zadak's track Zahara (greets to our pals from Berlin's White label!). Pronsato, at least the beginning of his live set, didn't impress me as much as I was expecting though. Said this, I would like to add that it was by no means bad and his records are still great.

Rest in peace, brother!

People are mortal, we all know that. But when somebody, whom you know, dies young and all of sudden, we resist to accept that, it seems to be so wrong and unfair.

Sasha Matrosov was a very talanted electronic music artist and a good guy. Besides his solo productions (as Spayer, for instance), he was a half of the famous Alexandroid duo - this project was very well known in Russia, but has also been released on the German K2 O Records and the British Lo Recordings. Their creations usually has an IDM tag, but in fact it's a boundaries-free, melodic yet experimental electronic music per se with various obvious influences from electro to synth-pop to industrial to classic ambient to pop music etc., it's all there. I still remember how in the mid 90s I bought 2 tapes of their previous project God's Delusion in the "Desants" shop... Well, nostalgic memories. Then a few later albums got released on some Russian labels, and probably the project's best album "False Starts" on Lo Recordings. Very personal, melodic and melancholic electro/ambient/IDM with certain pop sesibility.

This great music will never pass away and will outlive all of us. Thank you Sasha!

The track below is from Alexandroid´s album Sinoptic which was released back in 2001 on Russian label Ar-Tek.

Alexandroid - Cats

And this one is my dedication to Sasha (I hope the author wouldn´t mind) - just a beautiful song. Rest in peace, brother!

Mind Over Midi - Into The White Light

Hauschka vs. Kubin

Recently there were quite many good performances at our local Exit venue. Hauschka and Felix Kubin were one of the best. Oddly enough, they have performed in Riga some time ago (there was even a rather wild afterparty at my apartment with Kubin) and both remembered the gigs there and wished to visit the city once again some day. Nice guys, great artists.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

10 best albums in 2008

Here's my selection of 10 the best e-dance music albums in 2008.

> Bruno Pronsato – Why Can't We Be Like Us LP [Hello? Repeat]

The year started promising - this outstanding LP is a good example of what minimal can be and once was supposed to be – an abstract and boundaries-pushing form of techno (or house, if you prefer) full of unexpected twists, complex percussion, very detailed work with samples. Pronsato’s album was a masterpiece of this kind.

> Ricardo Villalobos – Vasco EP [Perlon]

Too much praised producers sometimes get stuck to the same formulas not being able to surprise any more. Fortunately, it was not the case for Villalobos, who delivered some tasty remixes and this 2x12" EP. The first part (containing also remixes by Schackleton and San Proper) was particularly surprising and interesting when I heard it for the first time and it has succeeded to remain such. Dark, deep and spaced-out atmospheres, accented snares and hi-hats, generous bass flows… Mimimoonstar is based around a jazzy motif which seems to be created from a distorted bell sound, whereas Electronic Water with its tense yet flowing groove has obvious references to dubstep, also leaving some room for some jazzy intonations. An instant classic.

> Lee Jones – Electronic Frank [Aus]

If you like melodies and if you would prefer not having obvious clichés (my case as well), this album by Lee Jones (as well as his other and MyMy productions) is highly recommended. He has succeeded to interweave classic house chords into an innovative micro-house form spiced with many organic yet very fitting samples and instruments. In general, it is very vibrant, positive and uplifting record which sounds completed and homogenous – all tracks are on the right place, no fillers at all. It is hard to pick up any favorites, so good they are, and they work the best altogether as an album, that’s why I haven’t put any particular track in my “tracks of the year” selection. Painfully beautiful.

> Deadbeat – Roots And Wire [Wagon Repair]

Canadian producer Scott Monteith is known for his digital dub and dancehall influenced electronica. However, lately his output on Wagon Repair leans towards more straight dancefloor riddims. While his recent EP’s contained solid yet not very impressive deep and dubby techno tracks, he has certainly scored with this album – tracks like Grounation, Deep Structure, Night Stepping are heavyweight dancefloor rockers. Also, the production qualities are amazing – the beats are very tight, swinging basslines – profound. It makes me think of all kind of -step music, as well as Berghain’s/Ostgut’s sound. Apart from the obvious dance tracks, Roots And Wire still has some reggae action with guest vocals from Paul St.Hilaire aka Tikiman (bless him Jah Almighty!), but these songs fit in greatly for the opening and the final of the album. As a result, it’s an exceptionally well prepared and served food for your mind and body.

> Shed – Shedding the Past [Ostgut Ton]

No surprise this album was voted by many music portals as the number one. Again, basically it offers a very original form of dubstep-influenced techno. Very clean, reduced beats married with gradually evolving ethereal melodies. No more, no less, but it works great.

> Prosumer & Murat Tepeli – Serenity [Ostgut Ton]

By this long-player Prusumer and Murat Tepeli proved that analogue (Chicago) house music can still be kicking and intriguing. Excellent tracks created by quite simple means which affirms the truth that great music doesn’t necessarily need abundance of instruments and state-of-art technology, rather – a good talent and feel for a right groove. This is true house music.

> Minilogue – Animals [Cocoon]

Even if some tracks were heard previously as singles and the general impression about this album was that it sounded very Minilogue-like, it was still very remarkable release. Although it mainly contains their typical phat saturated basslines, progressing melodies and jazzy keys, a few different, deeper tracks are present, too (notably, In A Distance; Cow, Crickets And Clay). Their music may be not too surprising any more, but no doubt it is very well produced, giving impression that the guys can also play actual instruments well. So, the result is not one of those many boring, standardized minimal products, but it sounds bubbling, vibrant and, well, just musical.

> Loco Dice – 7 Dunham Place [Desolat]

Loco Dice together with help from Martin Buttrich has created a very pleasant, moody album, apparently dedicated to Brooklyn. Evolving melodies, distant piano chords, excellent sapmpling and outstanding production in general – the result is a nice balance between dreamy, subtle and delicate soundscapes, on one hand, and well-managed tension, on the other hand. The ultimate gems include such tracks as M Train To Brooklyn which is based around a repeating voice sample and a sound of passing train. Another one, La Esquina, starts off with a repeating piano house chord, accompanied with delayed hi-hats, then additional keys appear and about the midway through a thumping bassline unleashes. And that’s not all – a marvelous album.

> Stefan Goldmann – The Transitory State [Macro]

The first of the two CDs is a slightly edited selection of his tracks mainly for his own Macro imprint which all sound together surprisingly well. So, it’s a kind of retrospective collection. As far as I remember, my first acquaintance with Stefan Goldmann was through Lunatic Fringe. At the time when the use of traditional music elements was so widespread that it started to get annoying, this track didn’t seem anything special, besides the sampling of a Bulgarian choir seemed too direct, i.e. the sample was too big and uncut. Although I still think that Lunatic Fringe is not his best track, the whole album gives a good idea about his sound which is very melodic yet having some deep and even haunting elements. Tracks like Sleepy Hollow, Beluga and The Bribe are among the best.

> Sten – The Essence [Dial]

Sten, who might be more known as Lawrence, along with other Hamburgians, Carsten Jost and Turner, runs the well-known Dial record label. As one may expect, this album contains the typical Dial characteristics, for instance, rather than paying attention to sampling and complex rhythmic structures, it's melodies, atmospheres and instrumentation that stands out. Additionally, this album owes much to the classic Detroit techno sound. At the moment my favorite tracks are Squares, The Essence and Take Me To Fridge. A very solid Hamburg meets Detroit affair.

33 in 2008

Hello, sisters and brothers! The year 2009 has already begun its journey towards its logic end, and, supposedly, the first post should deal with a roundup of the previous year, which, in musical terms, was not bad at all. Although there were no big surprises, the existing branches of what we know as electronic dance music kept growing, thriving and mutating into new exciting forms. So, here we go again – below you can find my selection, a fairly subjective one, of those house ‘n techno tunes which seemed to have been the most important to me in 2008, i.e., either they have been heavily present in my DJ-ing répertoire or simply I have found them being outstanding pieces of the contemporary beat music. I have picked up 33 tracks. Furthermore, posts with listings of 10 best albums and the most important record labels will follow soon.

33 tracks (in no particular order)

> Move D. feat. Fragment – Untitled [Workshop]
> Marcus Meinhardt – Jerry Lee (Marek Hemmann Remix) [Upon.You]
> Heinrichs & Hirtenfellner – Tromp It [Supdub]
> Mutant Clan – Kenesai [Connaisseur]
> Stimming – Una Pena [Diynamic]
> Brendon Moeller – Electricity [Leena]
> Appleblim & Peverelist – Over Here (Beat Pharmacy remix) [ApplePips]
> The Per Eckbo Orchestra – Kodo Verano [Oslo]
> Matias Aguayo – Minimal [Kompakt]
> Ricardo Villalobos – Minimoonstar [Perlon]
> Dave Aju – Anyway [Circus Company]
> DOP – Horns N Roses [Eklo]
> Deadbeat – Deep Structure [Wagon Repair]
> Seth Troxler – Love Never Sleeps [Crosstown Rebels]
> The House Vectorz – We Bring U Muzik [M>O>S]
> Seuil – Double Room [Moon Harbour]
> October – Say Again [Perspektiv]
> Guillaume & The Coutu Dumonts – Can’t Argue With Silence [Circus Company]
> Martin Zadak – Zahara [White]
> Henrik Schwarz & Amampondo – I Exist Because Of You (Henrik Schwarz Live Version) [Innervisions]
> Carl Craig & Moritz von Oswald – ReComposed (R. Villalobos "Uli, Mein Ponyhof" remix) [Deutsche Grammophon]
> H.O.S.H. – Under A Fig Tree [Diynamic]
> DJ Koze – I Want To Sleep [I.R.R.]
> Invisible Conga People – Cable Dazed [Italians Do It Better]
> Reboot – Vandong [Below]
> Guillaume & The Coutu Dumonts – Halleluyah Yeah [Oslo]
> My My – Day For Night [Playhouse]
> Luciano & Mirco Loco – Liah [Desolat]
> Bruno Pronsato – What They Wish [Hello? Repeat]
> Kontext – Plumes [Immerse]
> Sis – Dim Dim [Cecille]
> Stimming – The Anger [liebe*detail]
> Move D – Cube [Running Back]