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Reviews: House / Techno


Review: Various Artists Strictly Rhythm Est. 1989. 20 Years. Remixed.

It's hard to believe that classic American house music is nearing 30 years old, even as the music continues to mutate and endure on dancefloors around the globe. Twenty years in, Strictly Rhythm has come to be synonymous with the genre. 20 Years. Remixed. stuffs two discs with the label's most iconic tracks from big names like Ultra Nate, Armand Van Helden, and Barbara Tucker, leaving new twists to a younger generation of remixers. Read more » 

Review: Seth Troxler Boogybytes Vol. 05

Seth Troxler's recent surge in popularity may have more to do with his gift for delivering the perfect sound bite than delivering consistently strong tracks, but one thing's for certain—the young Berlin-based expat knows how to craft a mix. Troxler's past podcasts for The Bunker and Save the Cannibals are first-rate efforts in low-slung, slinky house. Boogybytes Vol. 05, on the other hand, paints in broader strokes. Read more » 

Review: Ellen Allien Watergate 05

Label: Watergate

Ellen Allien and Berlin clubbing institution Watergate have had a long relationship, so it's disappointing that her entry in their mix series is such a dud. Watergate 05 may begin in familiar territory—the icy, emotive techno of DJ Yellow and John Tejada have typically been her bread and butter—but soon we're thrown into everything from wobbly bass to bongo-laden micro-house to second-rate electro. The mixing is jarring, the pacing erratic. Read more » 

Review: Nick Chacona Love in the Middle

Label: Moodmusic

Variety can either be an enhancement or disaster on full-length album projects. In Nick Chacona’s case, cohesion steers his debut album, Love In The Middle, toward brilliance. Born wanderer, former XLR8R scribe, and prolific producer, Chacona artfully unites house, reggae, disco, and cosmic dance modes. Right off the bat, opener “Especial” brings percussive disco beats, reverby keys, and steady, dub-inspired bass pathways together at a sunny intersection. Read more » 

Review: Danton Eeprom Yes Is More

Label: Fondation

Working in the oft-arid realms of minimal techno and microhouse, French producer Danton Eeprom imbues them with a sly sensuality that coaxes maximum wigglyness from a sparse sound palette. For his debut album, Eeprom threads male and female vocals (his own and Au Revoir Simone's Erika Forster) into a varied sonic tapestry without abandoning the genres with which he's established his lofty rep. He's also brought a brighter and more colorful approach to his tracks, as beat-wise opener "Thanks for Nothing" makes clear. Read more » 

Review: Anthony "Shake" Shakir Frictionalism 1994-2009

Label: Rush Hour

Real Detroit techno heads have long been repping Anthony "Shake" Shakir's work, but only a few outside of that small scene have given him his proper due, if only because his profile's rise has been restrained by health issues and limited-run releases. Read more » 

Review: Kasper Bjørke Standing on Top of Utopia

Label: hfn

The sophomore solo LP from Danish producer Kasper Bjørke, Standing on Top of Utopia, is a collection of solid, if unremarkable, songs on the hfn label. Known for his award-winning group Filur with Tomas Barfod, Bjørke's occasionally forgettable productions benefit from collaboration, care of guest vocalists Louise Foo, Jacob Bellens, and WhoMadeWho's Tomas Hoffding. Read more » 

Review: Bomb the Bass Back to Light

Label: !K7

Plenty of people have mentioned the supposed tropical influence on the new Bomb the Bass album. Granted, Tim Simenon worked with Brazilian Gui Boratto (and a host of other guests) on this follow-up to 2008's Future Chaos, and the resulting album is light and breezy. Read more » 

Review: The M&M Mixes John Morales

Label: BBE

A Bronx-based mixing pioneer, John Morales certainly worked with some disco luminaries, and it is these tracks on best-of collection The M&M Mixes that still hit with force. Selections from Curtis Hairston, First Choice, and Universal Robot Band still get people out on the floor at gay disco nights, mostly because of Morales' use of prominent funk bass and ass-shaking congas. Read more » 

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