This top twenty was supposed to be finished weeks ago but entropy once again prevailed. The good news is that I learned a great many things when it comes to layout and speeding up the process. Hopefully next time there won't be two and half feet of snow to completely kill my Internet connection for a week. Oh well, better late than never. This top twenty represents my reactions to the new tracks I played the most between late November of last year through the end of January 2009.
Luomo-Tessio EP (Great Stuff Roots Edition)(Germany)
Key mix: Stimming Remix
Fantastic to see this one back in print, I absolutely love the original. There are almost too many good mixes on here to decide from-all are equally great. I prefer the Spektre remix for the dark, late night moments and the Stimming remix for the peak hour but my heart will always be with the original.
Key mix: Into Your Head Again
H.E.A.D. is a partnership of Athletikk's Roger Cobernuss and well-known producer Khan. The original EFS LP on Blue is a mid 90s leftfield techno classic . The real reason to check this one out is for the deep, dubby techno reworking on the b-side, simply dance floor dynamite.
Atjazz feat. Robert Owens-Love Someone Rmxs (Mantis Recordings)(UK)
Key mix: Fireworm City Lights By Night Remix
I found this single as a free download on Myspace and found myself impressed that someone would give away tracks this good for free. Owen injects his routine inspirational house music vocal but on the Fireworm remix everything connects with a beautiful chunk of chiming deep house. It's an infectious head-nodder that is incredibly hard to forget.
Adam Shaw-Far Cry EP (Leaders Of The New School/Toolroom)(UK)
Key mix: Far Cry
This four tracker from newcomer Adam Shaw shows off Toolroom's deeper, more underground profile. The EP contains a 4AM peak hour popper, something deep and dark, and even a happy mix. But the champ here is the title track with it's heavy bass line and off-kilter Hammond stabs. "Far Cry" is big but it's got a few nice twist and turns.
Def Disko-In Your Arms (Invisible Agent/seedy R)(Ireland)
Key mix: Corrugated Tunnel remix
Def Disko is Irish producer Des O’Leary. The a-side mix is ok but has too much farting bass and strays a little too far into the new romantic zone for my needs. The Corrugated Tunnel remix is the hands-in-the-air winner here with a sublime combo of vocals and hypnotically proggy techno goodness.
Android Cartel-Basslines On Ze Autobahn (Tekfunk)(US)
Key mix: Original
Both of Chris Fortier's 40oz remixes are too far in the k-hole for anyone I'd ever play to. The Erphun remix is okay but strays too far into the melodic prog zone for any serious consideration. The original is straight up magic, straddling the line btwn tech and house almost perfectly.
Junesex-Worst Than Love (Junesex International Airlines)(France)
Key mix: Original
Junesex drop a nice, romantic little deep house vocal ditty on this one. The original is precious and reminds me a lot of the Wamdue material. Losoul adds some acid and other flourishes for a real Laurent Garnier flavor while Gilb'r of Chateau Flight takes a deep voyage to the inner space. That mix is very nice but probably too out there for any places I will be playing.
Munich Disco Tech Vol. 3 (Great Stuff)(Germany)
Key mix: Nicolette-No Government (Gimikk On The Groove Remix)
The Gimikk (aka “Mr. Mumbling Yeah” Daniel Sanchez and partner E Contact) remix of the Nicolette classic is deep and techy while still being the requisite amount of luscious dreaminess. The Ramon Tapia track is another great example of his inviting Latin tech- house formula. Italian producers Under Ground Loop Hole and Federico Locchi sound like they could have come from NYC circa 1995, very refreshing to hear something this current and yet have such a solid connection to the past.
DJ Pierre aka Da Master Blaster-I've Lost Control (International Deejay Gigolo)(Germany)
Key mix: Glen Underground's Old School Re-Rub
Every mix is playable on this release. While I do like the "Spastic Meltdown" mix for the peak hour it is highly derivative of Green Velvet's "Flash" so I get bored quickly. What I did really like on here was the deep electro grooviness of the Glen Underground mix. I have played this one several times to amazing crowd reaction.
Christian Orlo-La Tempestad Remixes (Dialtone)(Mexico)
Key mix: Ron Costa Rmx
Talented Christian Orlo is the owner of the Cancun based Dialtone Records. Here the Chris Fortier 40oz remix has some sick and twisted acid to go with a dark tribal techno stomp perfect for peak hour play. Manuel Di Lorenzi's mix is far more proggy but comes thru w some blistering laser beam sounding bass. The original is way too pretty and progressive for any crowds I would ever play to but does sound nice in the headphones. The Ron Costa remix is the one getting my support on this EP with its popping minimal drums and glitchy tech house leanings, crowds eat this one up every time I play it. The Buddy System's "Paisano" mix, despite being quirky, is deep as a well making this whole EP a very solid release.
Joshua Heath-Writers Block EP (Salted Music)(US)
Key mix: Heartache (Tech Mix)
Joshua Heath hails from Fresno, one of the long line of cities in California's Central Valley ending in the letter "O". Here he drops pretty standard fair Migs/OM style SF house but gets wiggy and crazy with a delicious dub of "Heartache" entitled the "Tech Mix". Nothing too special with some burbling acid bass lines and the standard Chicago house shuffle until the dubbed out horns come in about half way through and carry this one making it into a monster.
Ghosts Of Paraguay-Birth Of A Hero EP (Freelance/Dialtone)(Mexico)
Key mix: Beautiful Secret
The first two tracks on this ambient EP from new Dialtone offshoot Freelance are dance floor friendly space fillers while the remaining 4 tracks are great for home listening in the headphones. Hard to choose a winner here but I'd have to say it is "Beautiful Secret" the lead-off cut.
Montiel-Labna EP (Dialtone)(Mexico)
Key mix: Riviera
Excellent change of pace tech house with lots of character on this two tracker of Mexican tech house. Hard to choose a favorite here but I'd have to favor the a-side "Caribe".
Kenneth Scott-The Business (Nightlight Music)(US)
Key mix: Make It Modulo (Alland's Business Mod Mix)
Excellent all around single w 5 seperate mixes each worthy of play. Choosing a favorite here it is the "Alland's Business Mod" remix of the b-side "Make It Modulo". It's all minor-chorded melancholic tones that are a breath of fresh air. The mix make a nice opening track or change of pace later in the set.
The Captains’ Crunk-Monosodium Booty Breaks EP (Auralism)(US)
Key mix: Acid Circus mix
The Captains' Crunk is a collaborative effort between Florida drum & bass producer Gary Montoya and Coalition of the Killing. The original is a nice hunk of hyper-edited tech bass somewhere between Dirtybird and Timbaland. Droid Behavior under the Acid Circus guide deliver some drippy psy-trance influenced techno enchantment.
Florian Kruse-The High Tide Is In EP (Urbantorque)(UK)
Key mix: Turn of the Tide mix
The a-side and b-side dub are acceptable house tracks but the third mix is pure late night techno bliss and I see this one getting a lot of play.
Code Talkers-Dos Amigos EP (Fade)(US)
Key mix: Speak Up (Miami S2A Mix)
I love the reggae congas sprinkled all over this EP, that is its number one attraction for me. "Smooth It Out" is menacing and yet pretty and can work for me in certain situations. "Speak Up" sounds just like the West Coast house of a few years back w its thick dub reggae leanings updated to accomodate a more techno oriented world. Crowds out here LOVE this mix. "A Trak" is bit too proggy and emotronic for my needs. The melodic hook on the Chris Fortier/Code Talkers pairing "Missing Libraries" is catchy and the handclaps nearly seal the deal but just a little too much dungeon creeps into the mix for usage.
Brian Taaffe-S.O.B. (Dublin Xpress)(Ireland)
Excellent Irish techno record w each mix bringing something to the table from hard techno to more minimal styles all with a menacing bassline. The nugget here is the original with it's ticky-tacky percussion propelling the deep techno engine.
Signal Deluxe-Local Detox (Fade)(US)
Key mix: Vuelo M
Deep and weird Latin techno that is really hard to put a finger on. I like the spacey elements all over this EP but "Vuelo M" has the best chance of meeting my dancefloor needs.
The Hacker-Mumu (InFine Music)(France)
Key mix: Mumu
Excellent hard, buzzing techno from the Hacker-best know for his work with Miss Kittin. "Mumu" keeps it simple and bangin like guys like Mike Dunn and Jeff Mills used to do.