by Irina Kotik
December continues to be an incredibly magical month full of unforgettable moments, everlasting impressions, and a slate of exciting releases and remixes that span across a wide spectrum of underground house and techno.
We have compiled a list of the 10 best tracks released during December, featuring such artists as Kurt Baggaley, Polo, Margot, Dorisburg, Efraim Kent, Yard One, DJ Kush Boogie, Davis, Dubspeeka, Leafar Legov and Internacional Electrical Rhythms.
Our Love Is Strong
Cult techno collective Giegling is set to end 2017 on a major high note. An essential member of Giegling family and one half of Kettenkarussell, Leafar Legov has returned to round out the year with the utterly gorgeous “Family” EP. Following up his 2016 debut solo work “Talk”, Leofar Legov delivers five sonically diverse tracks edging towards sophisticated musical ambience.
“Our Love Is Strong”, which was originally featured on RA’s podcast, flows with boundless elegance and emotional depth. There is a melancholy in the elegance of the jazzy piano chords which combines soothing grooves and sensual vocals to create a chillingly beautiful piece of music.
German producer Polo conjured pure underground magic with a four-track record for the consistently impressive KANN Records founded and run by Map.ache, Sevensol, and Bender. He is next to release on the label following Falke and Cmd Q. “Leisure Time” EP delivers stunningly original kaleidoscopic techno that folds in Detroit and abstract influences.
“Flatland” is a gorgeous expedition into techno-utopia with staccato underground groves tied to atmospheric textures, warm pads, and methodically mysterious Morse-code-esque tones, all set against a rather minimal background.
DJ Kush Boogie
The acclaimed UK outfit Lobster Theremin concludes another year of incredibly stylish releases with the gorgeous ‘Chardonnay’ EP from enigmatic Auckland dance duo DJ Kush Boogie. The mesmerizing four-track record consists of “warm chord washes, sailing synth lines, and thudding crummy undercoat”.
Atmospheric and elegant, ‘Get It’, takes listeners on a breathtaking journey through wondrous soundscapes, beautiful synth melody, subtly acid lines and spacey effects that seem to translate perfectly the combination between the futuristic and soulful ambience.
Something Happening Somewhere
The latest installment from the imprint Something Happening Somewhere comes courtesy of the UK underground scene's prolific producer Kurt Baggaley. The artist, who has previously released on the likes of Stem Records, Talahachi, Chapter 24 Records, Sound Avenue, and Abstract Theory among others returns to Something Happening Somewhere with a mind-altering “Remembering Infinity” EP, featuring three originals and two remixes by Rotterdam producer Mattheis and Amsterdam artist Awanto 3.
The title track is an 8-minute immersive opus that slowly explores a gorgeous sonic tapestry of sound. With rich textures, drifting pads, and intricately laced soundscapes, “Remembering Infinity” deeply stokes the imagination.
Dorisburg & Efraim Kent
Dorisburg’s journey through the electronic kaleidoscope of 2017 culminated with a mesmerizing “Tecken” EP released in partnership with Efraim Kent via Casablanca-based label Tikita. Following their impressive collaboration “Bubblebad” on Tikita’s “Body 2:2 Mind” EP, the Swedish pair returns to the label with three original versions of the title track radiating deep, atmospheric, and intricate sound.
“Tecken I” is a mysterious musical exploration into the deeper shades of percussion dominated by an emphasis on intricate textures and hypnotizing rhythms.
Internacional Electrical Rhythms
Once again Internacional Electrical Rhythms, a powerful joint-venture of Portuguese producer Trikk and German artist and Lossless label co-head Mathias Schober impresses with their latest release of Momental EP. The follow-up to their “War Of The Worlds”, the track was exclusively contributed to the “Outbound 2” complication. Here is what the label said about the release:
“It was hard to pick an A-Side for the release, but we had to do it and so we open with "Momental" - a dub-influenced and rather detailed banger with a constantly driving sequence and washed out synth chords that will drag you into a different sphere."
"On the B, ‘ Furia' builds around a never-ending synth string and a driving real tom drum groove. Together they make a team you cannot resist. It's sexy, it's dub, and it a certainty for making your floors move."
Aurora (Davis remix)
Moodmusic imprint closes 2017 with a stunning remix package of tracks from Patlac’s “Rodeon” EP released earlier this year via Moodmusic. The new “Rodeon Remixes” collection features very talented producers Marco Resmann, DJ Le Roi, Foreign Guest, and Davis bringing their tasteful interpretations of the original tracks.
The incredibly striking 808 mayhem comes from Brazilian producer and master of futuristic techno Davis who saturates the elegant acid-funk of “Auroa” with power and attitude. He incorporates some of the distinct synth elements from the original into a full frontal 808 percussion and 303 acid-line-heavy jam that walks the line between the old school and the nouveau.
UK production duo Jordan Bruce and Larry Jones, a.k.a. Yard One and owners of the Tact Recordings imprint launch a new vinyl-only sub-label ’Tactics’ in partnership with Richard Fletcher who also produces under various aliases including Adventures In Daydreams and Fletcher. The new sub-label will “showcases a more stripped back and minimal side to the Tact Recordings family with releases coming courtesy of Yard One, Fletcher, Luke Black and their close friends only”.
The first installment comes from Yard One themselves. They bring three masterfully crafted tracks, entitled "Tactics Vol.2”. Striding on a rhythmic magnetism, the closing track ‘Hexad’ features dreamy pads introduced over resonating, chugging grooves drenched in melancholic ambience. Capturing the spirit of the intelligent and innovative, this utterly gorgeous music displays the benefits of an excellent collaboration.
Amore A Bordo Pista
Life and Death
The Riccione-based duo Stefano Serafini and Daneil Vatanti, also known as Margot shines bright with their debut release on DJ Tennis’s Life and Death label. The “Amore A Bordo Pista” EP is made up of three beautifully euphoric original tracks backed with remixes by Daud and Kiwi.
Built around an arpeggiated synth spine powered by propulsive bass-lines and synth-driven robotic vocoder vocals, “Amore A Bordo Pista” is a swoon machine of enlivening euphoria that makes the listener's goosebumps pop.
Last Night On Earth
Techno maverick duo Dubspeeka joins Sasha’s prolific Last Night On Earth label with a batch of ominous, menacing, and beautifully hypnotic techno grooves. Following right after the release of their “Reflection” EP on Get Physical Music, the three-track “Theme” EP fuzzes in all right places.
Featuring opaque harmonic progressions and tranquil sonic sensibilities, “Theme1” is a beautifully mysterious, dark, and moody techno track made for nocturnal peak-time set moments.