by Irina Kotik
As September draws to a close, and the rush of fall brings with it warm memories of amazing summer festivals and outdoor parties, we welcome some highly-anticipated releases and stunning remixes from the likes of The Drifter, Four Tet, Love Over Entropy, Benedikt Frey, Tom Trago, Llewellyn, Mattes Schwartz, Melatonin Man, Red Shape and QNA.
e compiled a list of 10 tracks released this past month for you to enjoy.
Tom Bioly and Benjamin Fröhlich's Permanent Vacation celebrates its ten-year anniversary with an astounding collection of exclusive tracks featuring the label’s key artists including John Talabot, Tuff City Kids, Pional, Mano Le Tough, Red Axes, The Drifter, Joakim, The Lord Of The Isles, and Daniel Bortz to name just a few. The 16-track package "Permanent Vacation X" is a stunning exposition of this distinctive and accomplished label.
The dance-floor hypnotizer "Space Ramp" is produced by an incredibly talented Irish producer and Maeve label boss The Drifter. This intricate beauty brings the listener on a spine-tingling, slow-burning journey through gorgeous cosmic harmonies and magical depth.
Love Supreme (Love Over Entropy Remix)
Offenbach-based Connaisseur Recordings continues to impress the electronic music scene by putting out outstanding quality releases. Following on from the huge success of Peter Pardeike’s “Love Supreme”, a stunning summer anthem released on the label last year, Connaisseur Recordings puts out an incredible remix package featuring top-notch artists such as Love Over Entropy, Fred und Luna, and Andre Hommen.
The sixth instalment of the ten-part anniversary series from the Dutch imprint, Dekmantel, delivers yet another mind-bending collection of outstanding tracks from the likes of Young Marco, Suzanne Kraft, Tom Trago, and Awanto 3. The label describes this release as “a collection of colorful soul, sun-filled gentle rhythms, and delicately smooth house-beats that are poised, and pertinent for long, summer days.”
Dutch producer Tom Trago brings the listener back to the endless summer nights with “Digital Love”. Gorgeous bass line, hypnotic rhythms, and smooth synth lines, all laced with a warm, open air vibe, giving this elegant mind-melter a well-balanced mysterious sensuality that is undeniably beautiful
True Rotary Recordings
The exceptionally talented Berlin-based producer Quarion (a.k.a. Yanneck Salvo) teamed up with the label co-founder Joel Alter to break the dancefloor with an impressive collaborative project called ‘QNA’.
Their first EP, "Tabor Sessions", is a genuine, powerful experience that gets better with each listen. Read a full review by FictionLab contributor Isabel Thompson-Officer here.
Rotterdam’s Nous’klaer Audio has been cultivating a relentless string of releases since 2013. The label's latest release is the first various artist compilation showcasing the forward-thinking artists who share their quality approach to underground electronic music. The thoroughly impressive 12-track collector’s dream, “Paelers”, features an array of talented artists including Mattheis, Oceanic, Arif, Paul Twin, Melatonin Man to just name a few.
Melatonin Man’s beautiful track “Garrol” is one of the many stand-out tracks on the compilation. It’s a mesmerizing sonic kaleidoscope of sublime musical tones and colors with a touch of timeless Balearic brilliance.
Veteran electronic music producer Four Tet returns with his ninth full-length album, 'New Energy', through Xxx. This is a follow up to the 2015 album "Morning/Evening" which was a truthful portrayal of Kieran Hebden's internal thoughts.
Four Tet introduced the 14-track album with an utterly gorgeous goosebump-generator "Planet", an intelligently crafted, positive yet enigmatic tune that can be played almost at any point during the night.
Sun-filled, shimmering synth lines circulate around an enchanting melody, whilst glass bells and vibrant keys give added texture and atmosphere to this mesmerizing musical tale.
H For Hysteria
German DJ and producer Benedikt Frey steps up to Los Angeles-based ESP Institute with an utterly gorgeous and sonically diverse full-length album titled “Artificial”. The new album is the follow up to Benedikt Frey's 2016 EP "The Lobbyist".
The 13-track LP was produced over two years and is described by the label as a "genre-twisting odyssey" that's "electronic and rhythm-based, but never reliant on any prescribed instrumentation, arrangement, or expectation."
Propelled by a hypnotic, driving groove, twisted synth, and captivating, seductive vocals, “H For Hysteria” lures the listener into the dark, alluring world of psychedelia. Drenched in melodic alchemy, this stunning tune is another gorgeous record to add to Benedikt Frey’s extensive catalogue.
The Long Run
Llewellyn is the remarkable brainchild of the Leipzig-based multitalented producer, live-performer and DJ, best known as Lake People. The project was formed with a vision to create a deep, more house-focused beats that leave the listener hypnotized on the dance-floor.
Following on the stunning 2015 "A Bender Story" EP released via KANN records, Llewellyn returns to Riotvan with a new three-track package which is expertly demonstrates his arty style, passion for melody, and detailed approach to music production.
The opening track “The Long Run" is a masterfully crafted peace of work brimming with a deep atmospheric ambience, striking melodic elegance, arpeggiated synth groove and a warm, summer vibe.
From The Distance
Mattes Schwarz, also known as ’Stecken-Mattes’ due to his long affiliation with the Stecken venue, over forty years of residency at the club, is a real veteran of the Cologne dance music scene.
Now he is back to Cologne’s finest record label “Magazine” with his debut EP, titled “I Don’t Know”. Here is what “Magazile” had to say in a press release: "The first time I heard of Mattes Schwarz, someone called him “Stecken-Mattes”. Stecken was a defining, if almost secret, Cologne dance music venue of the 2000s and early 2010s, a minuscule basement without curfew and seemingly any other restrictions, where the up to twelve hour long DJ-sets felt like a tightly knit circle of friends just playing records to each other: The selectors from the night before and the one after reliably sitting right in front of the just over one meter long stretch of the bar that formed its booth, never missing out on a chance to see their mates play, heads nodding and hands clapping through the smoke-filled air, until someone started to sing along, and eventually everyone got up for a few hours of moves on the 15 square meter dancefloor, on a grey Wednesday or Saturday morning at 7 or just as well 10 am.”
"Mattes Schwarz started DJing in 1982 at age twelve, inspired by, as many West-German kids, the GI-DJs of the roller skating rinks around US army bases. While he got heavily involved in Cologne’s BMX scene of the 90s, he never really stopped, and during the main years of being known as Stecken-Mattes and playing there each Friday night, he coincidently lived in Magazine record’s homebase, North-Eastern Cologne’s old harbour."
"One day after Stecken’s closure had sent restructuring ripples through the city - I imagine him getting up in the morning and taking a deep breath - he decided to send Magazine a few tracks.”
New Born Soul (Redshape Remix)
Berlin-based label/collective Keinemusik drops its latest release, ”Doppeldänger” EP, featuring exclusive remixes from Russian duo Simple Symmetry, Bedouin, and Redshape.
German producer Redshape “repositioning Rampa’s 'New Soul’", describes the label, "though his own very own dark recourse on Electro-Techno. The producer enigma even more so adds some EBM flavor to his signature sound, incorporating a catchy bass and heavy, stomping beat.”
Here is how Nico Fier from FictionLab describes this mighty dance-floor destroyer: “An aggressive arpeggiated synth drives the whole track, slowly shifting and evolving, keeping the sound on edge while giving it a heavy electro feel. A melodic element is introduced to give it that extra flavor of mystery that track heavily depends on. Then it happens, vocals arise and all the elements from the high hats to the kick drum play in harmony with each other, complimenting one and another causing complete bliss. Hit play and enjoy because the next 9 minutes will take you on an inner mind journey with complete mystery, tactful glitches, and beautiful darkness.”