More proof that Australia is making some of the finest house music around at the moment comes this time from DJ Heure, aka Vlad Gavrilov of Adelaide, and courtesy of Lobster Theremin spin-off Distant Hawaii. Calling to mind the magnificent work of Glenn Underground and Boo Williams in the glory days of Distance and Guidance Records, 'Rue de Saintonge' wrong foots you with disorientating percussion, before locking into a blissful swing. 'Over, I Want To Be There' is as good a house track as you'll hear this year. Sublime.
'Ambivert Tools Volume Two'
More Ambivert Tools from Lone for R&S. Like the previous instalment, its roots are planted in the world of spine-chilling emo-house, the kind reserved for sunsets and sunrises. 'Mind's Eye Melody' has the intoxicating whiff of classic Italo-house tracks from the likes of Don Carlos (see also Slam's seminal 'Eterna' or even 'Sueño Latino'). Unleash it and watch grown men weep. 'Looking Glass' shimmers and shakes, a pounding loop serving as a sturdy foil to the euphoric atmospherics. So very, very good.
Bebetta & Cioz
'Elephant On Ebay EP'
If you've a soft spot for the occasional blast of epic-ness (lord knows, this page has), then this from Berlin's Monaberry imprint, helmed by Super Flu, should be right up your strasse. Bremen's Bebetta and Bergamo's Cioz have joined in a matrimony of holy house music to create the all-consuming 'Elephant on Ebay', a rolling, hands aloft groove of elephantine proportions. On the flip, 'Jello' injects some much-needed swing into proceedings, while 'Cow Kau' finds more joyous arps to fill your addled brain.
The Man Like Sasha drops his latest through Berlin's club-n-label combo Watergate, which feels like a bit of a coup for everyone involved. Though 'GameOvr' gets top billing — and it's a broad, big-room floor-filler, don't get us wrong — it's 'Trigonometry' which is easily the more thrilling proposition here. Slowly building layer upon layer, it's brimming with drama, and come the epic mid-point break, it's easy to get a bit emotional.
Silken, spectacular house music from Black Spuma — aka Italian stallion Fabrizio Mammarella and Tuff City Kids don Phillip Lauer — on Mark Barrott's International Feel. If that combination of factors is not enough for you to buy on sight, be assured that it lives up to the sum of its impressive parts. Acidic and soulful, 'Orme' and 'Ceephab' sound like they've been unearthed from a missing 808 State EP (in the best way possible), while 'No Cube's old school pianos will have you all misty-eyed.
'Power Factor EP'
Live from Copenhagen, this from Scotsman Stephen Brown, on Denmark's Echocord spin-off Echocord Colour is a glistening, minimal dub delight. Erstwhile of legendary labels like Transmat and Djax Up Beats, Brown shows off a singular skill for creating deep sonic textures with the towering, reverb-laden 'Sandtext'. 'Wet' brings them funky, syncopated stabs, a thunder-some growl at the bottom end and swinging clicks and clips, while 'Back Stroke' shows an enviable lightness of touch. Simple, but effective. And not simple, really.
Ross From Friends
More dusty, shuffling heat from Ross from Friends, everyone's favourite former members of the Friends cast now making house music (but not really, he's from South London somewhere). He's turned in an excessively generous six-tracks for Lone's Magicwire, kicking off with 'Crimson'. If Burial cracked a smile and made some house music (who knows, maybe he already does, all secret like), it would likely sound like this. Other noteworthy moments included the angular jack 'Romeo Romeo' and title track 'The Outsiders', a murky old school jam with mucky stabs aplenty. Essential.
'Walk.Man Vol .1'
Ten Thousand Yen
'Walk.Man Vol. 1' — as the name would suggest, the first in a series of releases from the Ten Thousand Yen main man Doc Daneeka — really is a bit of a banger. 'Save Me', with its rolling bassline, soulful howls and rasping brass is the obvious choice. And it's great. It is. But it's the flip-side's low-slung discotheque damager 'Please U' that does it better. A boogie loop and a feeling, it's just a little bit muckier and a little bit moodier, and it's all the better for it.