Berlin Bass Collective
Japan's Kazuki Yamaguchi never – ever – fails to impress, proving that without question on this generously proportioned four-track bonanza for the Berlin Bass Collective. 'Blood Heat' is clamorously percussive, an assault of funk and deep organs. 'Mind Scope' too builds the noise to a stirring crescendo, with horns firing off left, right and centre pivoting on a underpinned groove. 'Rhythem Circulations' brings more disorientating disco, while 'Trapezoid Dance' is just impossibly good.
Spooky, percussive vibrations from Venezuela's Vainc, making a captivating debut on Manchester's most venerable purveyor of house music, Paper Recordings. Title track '2000300' muddles together haunted brass and thwacked congas amid washes of dubby weirdness. It's a winner. On the flip, 'It Smells Like Jungle' goes native, like a rave in the rainforest — a churning, trippy groove complete with squawks, and the odd chainsaw rip, ideal for late-night and early morning dancefloors. Dive in and explore.
'Adventures In Drums'
Snatch! Records bossman Riva Starr clobbers this out of the park for Damian Lazarus's Crosstown, three tracks so heavy with drums you can feel them in your chest. 'My Afrika' rocks and clatters, and other than a pulsing bassline, it's all about the myriad layers of percussion. Then there's the oddball clicks and snaps of 'Eurovoodoo', more South American in vibe than European, but nonetheless captivating. Over, 'El Sonido' goes bananas with the congas. Very big.
Earth Trax & Newborn Jr
Out of the wonderful Echovolt from Athens comes this truly tear-jerking slab of Balearic Italo house music from Earth Trax and Newborn Jr, two Polish gents who first collaborated in 2016 on Peckham's very-hot-indeed Rhythm Section. 'Bailando' channels the spirit of Don Carlos, a simple but spine-tingling riff repeated until a trance-like state is achieved. 'Aquamarine' goes for pianos so thick with reverb they stumble over each other, creating a mass of ecstatic joy. A stone-cold cure for Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Only the second release on mysterious edit label Cedric, this bombshell banger comes via Manchester's xxxy, he of recent sterling stunners on Doc Daneeka's Ten Thousand Yen. It's quality business from front to back. 'Fleeting Moment' curls heavy disco vibes around a humping loop. 'Takin The Easy Way Out' turns out the cowbells and the soaring strings, while 'Get On It' drops in some Balearic piano madness, so really all the bases are covered here. Gertcha.
'Locked In The Groove'
Bolton's inimitable edit maestro Paul Cottam slings things low and slow for this second break-out track on the revered Fat Cat. The epic 'Locked In The Groove' buries grumbling of disco deep down inside, eventually bursting out with muted horns to give the dancefloor something to shout about. Meanwhile, 'Dreaming Of Another Place' drops a hollow kick and spine-tingling dub vibes. The dub is also strong with the grunting, mournful, afro-esque 'Sample Heavy Dub' too. Just blazing.
Son of Sound
'No Loitering EP'
Delusions Of Grandeur
New York veteran Henry Maldonado, known under a plethora of aliases from House 2 House on Strictly Rhythm back in the day to Rhythm Section for MAW Records, is Son Of Sound for Freerange sister label Delusions. If 'NY Iz All I Know' doesn't grab you within the opening bars, maybe house music just isn't your thing. 'Tight Skin' hurls in a rasping break, rolling on a bassline which burbles with deep funk. With Aroop Roy on the remix, this is all things to all men.
Dawit & Dolo
Dawit Eklund (he of Washington's 1432R crew) and Max D (appearing here in his Dolo Percussion alias) come together for some future house vibrations via Future Times, also out of Washington. 'Rise' is a slinky, rolling groove, with off-key synth stabs from the Larry Heard end of things. It's extraordinarily classy. Over the other side, there's 'Wise', where the beats are busted up a treat and the organs fire off like laser beams into your soul. Get all over it.
'Techno Mafia EP'
Woozy and wonderful house music from Andrew Rasse on his fledgling Extrasketch label (the roster being just himself for the time being), after wrapping up his long-standing Alphahouse earlier this year. 'Losing Their Minds' just rolls, tucking weirdo horns into the solid groove. 'Above The Scene' touches dub vibes, a subtly thunderous bottom-end countered with warm chords, while 'Testify' is one for the freakier dancefloors come 7am. Winding up, 'Rise Up' is moody AF, as the kids say.