by Irina Kotik
The dawn of the New Year brings with it a flock of fresh albums, exciting releases, and impressive remixes from the likes of Julian Stetter, Eagles & Butterflies, Mattheis, Opal Sunn, Pional, Fluxion, DJ Koze, Christopher Rau, Dave DK and DJ Tennis. We’ve hand picked our ten favorite tracks for you to enjoy. Tracks are listed in no particular order.
Elephant (Pional Re-Interpretation Remix)
Slowciety is a French imprint run by producers Matt Karmil, Pional, Marc Piñol and Dandara. For their third release, the undeniably talented quartet steps into the light themselves to give the remix addendum to Sunrom’s 2017 ‘Guru’ EP in the form of a four-track ‘Guru Remixes’ EP.
Spanish producer, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Pional deliver an adrenalin-pumping version of ‘Elephant’. Leading with euphoric tribal elements and infectious percussive rhythms, Pional has transformed the original, magical delicacy into a late night anthem.
Nous’klaer Audio starts off 2018 with a vibrant “Nodal Lines” EP by the incredibly talented Rotterdam-based producer Mattheis. Following on from his stunning 2016 single ‘Osi’, the four-track package further cements Mattheis’s exceptional ability to craft sophisticated, expressive, and beautifully melodic sound.
The EP opens with an impressive “Maass” which is incredibly infectious and groovy with hints of nostalgia. It is filled with harmoniously rich textures, subtle melody, intricate details and driving hypnotic rhythms that take the mind away.
Jennifer Cardini’s Correspondent label has been firing out impressive releases over the years with likes of Marvin & Guy, Red Axes, Patrice Baumel, Zombies In Miami, all making stunning appearances on the imprint. Their first release of 2018 welcomes a Cologne producer and one half of German electronic duo Vimes Julian Stetter for his outstanding six-track record. “Another” EP is a superbly delivered deluge of gorgeous introspection and kaleidoscopically bright sonics.
A beautifully expressive and elegant “Bushwick” moves gracefully between sensual melancholy and power, evoking deep emotions and strong dynamics.
Amityville (DJ Tennis Remix)
The latest installment from Futureboogie comes courtesy of the London based DJ and producer Kiwi, a.k.a Alex Warren. After his successful 2016 ‘Orca’ EP, Kiwi makes a rerun to the label with a hauntingly beautiful “Amityville” EP backed with a remix by Life And Death boss DJ Tennis. Following remixes for The Juan Maclean, Tricky, and 2017 DJ-Kicks mix, his reinterpretation of Kiwi’s Amityville tips the focus over ever-unfolding organic rhythms, and original eerie melodic elements from the 1979 horror movie while adding ominous guitar riffs, various percussion instruments, and deep tension building atmospherics.
Nein König Nein
Pampa don Stefan Kozalla, better known as DJ Koze, will release his fifth studio album on May 4th through Pampa Records, following up from his 2013 album “Amygdala”. The thrilling collection of 16 tracks features exclusive contribution by Bon Iver, Eddie Fummler, José González, Róisín Murphy, Sophia Kennedy, Mano Le Tough, Kurt Wagner among others.
As a teaser to the forthcoming album, DJ Koze is sharing the first single “Seeing Aliens” which first debuted this past October as part of the showcase for German menswear designer Herr von Eden’s autumn-winter collection, and the B-side “Nein König Nein”. The former is a haunting fusion of metallic percussion hits, handclaps and smooth detuned pads tinged with dark undertones and psychedelic textures.
Eagles & Butterflies
The Last Dance (Sunrise Mix)
Art Imitating Life
LA-based producer Chris Barrat, better known as Eagles & Butterflies, returns with the third installment of his Art Imitating Life series. “The Last Dance” EP contains three gorgeous versions of the title track which unravels yet another facet of Eagles & Butterflies' signature sound.
Masterfully merging elements of broken beats and poetic atmosphere, the Sunrise mix is a lush ride powered with a colorful, detuned synth, atmospheric keys, sweeping pads and grooving percussion that will carry any listener far and away. The Last Dance (Sunrise Mix) is an epic track in every way!
Straylight (Dave DK Remix)
Amsterdam based Atomnation record label starts another year of incredibly stylish releases with two superb remix interpretations of tracks from Portable Sunset’s albums Bless and Order. The tracks “Believes” and “Straylight” receive remix treatment by the German electronic music producer Dave DK who has been melding the cosmic ends of ambient techno and warm melodic house with an effortless charm since the late 90s. His version of ”Straylight” envelops the listener in its serene ascension into melancholic harmonies that float atop Peter Segerstrom’s silky vocals, resonant frequencies, hypnotic percussive elements, and lush sonic collages, creating an elegant remix full of magnetism
Danish imprint Echocord Denmark opens 2018 by welcoming back to the label Konstantinos Soublis a.k.a. Fluxion. Over the course of two decades and dozens of conceptual releases, the Greek Dub techno producer has garnered a notable reputation in the underground electronic music scene. Continuing his fruitful relationship with Echocord, Fluxion offers up the next chapter in their musical adventure, ‘Upsides & Sideways’ EP.
The opening track ‘En Route’ is beautiful dub techno exploration filled with spacey and mysterious melodies, repetitive dubby chords, intricate atmospheric textures, and hypnotic groove. Fluxion expertly creates a classy and very deep sound of hazy dub infused electronic music.
Jazz Vol.1 (Christopher Rau Remix)
Church, a London-based label which always pursues sophisticated, forward-thinking music and succeeds in bringing a unique jazzy deep house sound to the electronic music scene. The ever-reliable imprint starts off the year with the repress of summer 2016 instant classic “Jazz Vol.1”. The 12” features a stunning remix of the title track by the German deep house guru, Christopher Rau. With releases on Smallville, Giegling, Hypercolor, Pampa, Mule Musiq to name a few, he now returns to Church to amaze listeners across the musical spectrum. This striking version masterfully blends musical elegance with subtle jazz-inflected elements that are beautifully interwoven with hazy textures and hypnotic electronic flourishes.
With one known release to date under this sunny alias Opal Sunn, the Berlin-based live-performance duo Hiroaki OBA and Al Kassian make an impressive return with ‘Opal Sunn II’ on Japanese label Planet Sundae. After first listening to Opal Sunn’s podcast for Japan’s most popular electronic music website Clubberia in 2017, we closely kept an eye on the talented duo. Following on from ’Opal Sunn I’ released last year, we’re graced by the stunning four-track Opal Sunn II’ which is filled with hypnotic hardware-driven work, intoxicating dark undertones, and an intricate array of instrumentation.
Expressed through acid-infused atmospheric textures, arpeggiated celestial synth, and funky, irresistible groove, ’Serafin’ takes the listener on the powerful trip through both the cosmos and the dance floor.