Probably techno, really, but it's all house music in the end. Anyway, who knew Cardiff could produce such towering funk? Chayne Ramos, under his alias The Organ Grinder (that makes you the monkey, sadly), teams with 'debutant' Le Horn. The results are abrasive and brilliant. The Hague's Alden Tyrell & Gerd take no prisoners with their mix, and neither does Italian stallion Nicholas. But the original version is no slouch either. They're spoiling us, frankly. Lap it up.
Sweet as fuck - the Tragic Allies hook up on a beautifully measured throb of Rhodes-laden jazz abstraction from Purpose and the results recall Premo, Diamond D & Pete Rock in all the best ways. Essential.
Opening the score sheet for Solarstone's new imprint, a now conspicuously on-the-march Driftmoon locks his studio dial to pure trance. To be fair his output is already very much in the vicinity, but on 'Howl At the Moon' those keystone components come evermore accentuated. On his 'Retouch Mix' Solarstone adds his running/pummelling b-line hallmark and further beefs up the payoff. All in all, an impressive opener.
Like Marcellus, Cook is part of a new wave of European producers - can he distinguish himself from the established set of techno artists? In truth, 'Lighthouse' and 'Nylon' are well-executed but hardly revelatory, revolving around tough, dubby beats, doubled-up claps and mysterious, droning textures. However, when Cook departs from the script, he really impresses. In particular, 'Morse' shifts from stepping rhythms to a pulsing, buzz-saw bass, while 'Suspense' features the kind of jarring riffs and wild siren wails that makes it sound like vintage Joey Beltram, updated for 2014.