Some absolute bangers in this month’s round of our favourite house, techno and electronic music releases for July 2020.
Special Request – Spectral Frequency EP
Paul Woolford’s Special Request debut on R&S is a killer four tracker featuring a monstrous jungle romp of a title track that is essentially an Amen break that’s been taken on a tour of various effects units. There’s a beatless version that sounds like it’s the sum of an effects send, and then two gorgeous electro-space-soul tracks in the style of his ‘Offworld’ album from last year. Big.
Héctor Oaks – As We Were Saying Remixed
Strong remix package from Bassiani resident Héctor Oaks featuring a clutch of peak time action from Zeskenel, Parrish Smith, Voiski and Somewhen that would justify the entrance price alone. However, it’s the DJ Stingray remix that really caught our ears – a huge, deconstructed, dank stalker of a re-rub featuring distorted vocal snippets over an industrialised electro beat.
Martyn Bootyspoon – Lickety Split EP
Five tracks of fresh future tech, beats and bass from Martyn Bootyspoon. KEYGEN 2 MI H34RT manages to change key and tempo several times over its three minutes which is intriguing enough but its the title track that’s probably the strongest here, matching relentless beats, Atari-esque bleeps and spoken vocals.
Risa Taniguchi – How We Dance Again EP
Label: Second State
Four tracks of heads down techno from Tokyo producer Risa Taniguchi. From the rave stab-ridden title track, the stripped back tension of ’Slipped My Mind’, Detroit-leaning ‘Sodium’ and ragged intensity of ‘Unchained’, all four are proper dance floor fodder.
Kush Jones – EP
Label: Future Times Records
It’s all about the cross-rhythms on this funked-up four-track effort from New Yorks’ Kush Jones. Four distinctive genre-straddling cuts, the pick of which is probably the rolling A1 track ‘Earth Note’, a pacey deep groove coloured by warm pads, nifty little synth squiggles and detailed percussion.
Theus Mago – Apache Nights
Label: Future Boogie
Future Boogie are a superb label who consistently put out decent, slightly left-field house and their latest four-tracker from Theus Mago keeps up the pressure. You get two quality, detailed originals and a pair of remixes, a throbbing house stomper from Argentinian producer Thomass Jackson and the pick of the EP a huge, wandering Balearic remix from Chicken Lips featuring trademark mutated synths and an excellently morphing breakdown too.
Maya Jane Coles – Would You Kill (4 Me)?
Label: The Weird And The Wonderful
Tasty three-tracker from MJC, featuring a pair of stripped back tech funkers but it’s the third track ‘Piano Magic’ that is doing it for us. A pair of mournful piano chords, presumably played on a ‘Broken Piano’ preset, sit atop a bassline that sounds less like a bass and more like sub-enhanced wind. Moody.
Chontane – Healing EP
Berlin based DJ and producer Chontane drops a dark EP for Rekids entitled ‘Healing EP’. Nam and Leto keep it 4/4 with slamming kicks, knarly machine beats and moody atmospherics. The’ bass drum patterns on both ‘Exam’ and ‘Gora’ are much more broken up, with the former featuring rich pad sweeps and the later some scientifically arranged beats in tandem with epic synth work.
A Sagittariun – Live From The Sea Of Tranquility
Label: Craigie Knowes
Brilliant three-tracker straight out of Bristol from the genre-warping A Saggitariun on the excellent Craigie Knowes label. Top-shelf future-techno and space-age robot electro, all characterised by pristine production and an instinct for the dancefloor: winner.
EM & STAV – Afterglow
Four tracks of glorious hard-to-classify broken-techno-electro-soul-machine-groove from Midland’s Graded label courtesy of EM and STAV. Funk, soul, atmosphere, emotion and deep dance floor destruction: you get it all here. Quality.
July Album Releases
Pittsburgh Track Authority – PA System
Label: Pittsburgh Tracks
Ten tracks that range from soulful deep house to driving techno via some moody tech house, this is a great return from the Pittsburgh Track Authority.
The Beneficiaries – The Crystal City Is Alive
Label: Axis Records
It’s bold, challenging and powerful; ‘The Crystal City Is Alive’ collaboration between Jeff Mills, Eddie Fowlkes and Jessica Care Moore that isn’t really aimed at the dance floor as such. Instead, ‘The Crystal City Is Alive’ is a spiritual, afro-futurist epic.
Cinthie – Skylines – City Lights
Unsurprisingly, Cinthie’s long-player is a great collection of music, taking in various shades of underground house including UK garage, disco cut-ups, piano bangers and deep/tech hybrids across its twelve tracks.