June 2020 was a great month for new, quality house and techno music. We’ve gathered together a few of our favourite releases of the month.
Border One – Host EP
Border One brings four tracks of rolling dance floor techno on his eponymous label for his Host EP. Ranging from the metallic, burbling square wave rinse-out of the title track, to the broken kicks of ‘Spore’ and the rigid, ticking beats of ‘Burst’, all four tracks are quality dance floor fodder.
Hector Oaks – Forwarded State of Evidence – DJ Stingray Remix
Cramped, claustrophobic edge-tech from this intense DJ Stingray remix of Hector Oaks’ ‘Forwarded State of Evidence’. Dark vocals, a spiralling rubbery synth and a constant state of anticipation make for a serious piece of dance floor action.
Gene Farris – So Dope
The latest release on Yousef’s Circus Recordings is a four-track compilation featuring contributions from Alan Nieves who turns out an acid-emo vocal track and a stripped-back selection of beats with haunting male vocals from TAYA. Serge Santiago & Nolan manage to produce an original take on the concept of the house music breakdown while lead track ‘So Dope’ from Gene Farris is perhaps the pick of a strong bunch, its bouncy approach to car-alarm house working very effectively indeed.
DJ Bone – Black Power Rhythm
In which Detroit’s DJ Bone supplies a raw tech-funk rhythm and then does little else for four and half minutes except drop some lush warm chords in and out of the mix. Simplicity at its best.
Locked Groove – Revolution EP
Excellent three-tracker from Belgian born and Berlin-based Locked Groove. The title track marries a wandering kick drum, chiming pads and some vocodered robot vocals while ‘Nth of Time’ follows a similar slightly heavier path. ‘You Can’t Walk Through A Buffalo Herd’ is a moody atmospheric 4/4 with an excellent moment of utter silence tucked at the end of the breakdown. What he does particularly well here is to compliment his conglomerate techno/breaks beats with layers of warm emotive chords giving all three tracks a slightly misty, fuzzy warmth. All Bandcamp sales of this EP go to the African American Art & Culture Complex (AAACC).
DJ Boring – Stockholm Syndrome
‘Stockholm Syndrome’ is taken from DJ Boring’s four-track ‘Like Water’ EP on Ninja Tune, four typically gauzy, melancholy deep house grooves, with ‘Stockholm Syndrome’s moody chord stabs, R2D2 synth flourishes and house beats that slap the clear winner in a strong field.
Black Kawa$aki Ninja – Fresh Kid Ice EP
Strong EP from Black Kawa$aki Ninja. The title track is all about the various vocal parts droping in and out of the mix which mesh with a rave-ish lead. Head straight for The Hektor Oats Urban Shamanism Remix or the unwavering grinding thud of ‘Naked Shadow’ for some peak time techno action.
King Britt – Back To Black
The title track here has lots of space, a distinctly edgy acid line, shuffling techno beats and some outré chords making for an excellent 4 am curve-ball from King Britt. Track 2 ‘Too Shay’ rinses out the slightly wonky unquantised feel introduced in ‘Back…’ over 15 minutes, in a tune that occasionally nearly lurches into seasickness and at other points is as joyous as you’d imagine a robot carnival might be.
Bruise – Presentation EP
Classy 5-track deep house package from Bruise, the new project from Darren House (X-Press 2) and Christian Campbell (Sona Vabos). All five tracks are strong, but a special mention has to go to ‘Grand Hi’, a piano tune with anthem-potential. Digital-only bonus track ‘Wildflower’ puts a squelchy moog-esque bass, Rhodes, strings and a swishing open hat together to create an ecstasy-garage jam. Quality.
Baronhawk Poitier – Temperado Tornado EP
Four very different tracks make up this EP from DJ/producer Baronhawk Poitier’s, from the jazz-tinged acid house of ‘Lowside’ to the thwacking big-room beats and spacious synths of ‘Phakie Phattie’. Lead track ‘Temperado Tornado’ is the big one here though: a feast of Brazilian beats, a samba b-line, space-disco synths and a cheeky horn sample, all of which combine for a full-on irresistible party jam.
Brame & Hamo – Retro Active EP
The title tune from this three-tracker is breakbeat & epic chord excursion which does indeed possess a pleasingly retro feel, whilst ‘Floor Nine’ breaks out the acid and 4/4 beats. In some places, ‘Harzer’ isn’t dissimilar from an early 90s UK progressive house tune on Stress or Guerrilla, in other places B&H blend crispy breaks with trance-seque synths to great effect.
Ellen Allien – Auraa
German techno maestro, DJ and label boss Ellen Allien’s full-length album ‘Auraa’ also dropped in June. Ranging from techno slammers and acid rollers to hints of industrial noise and nods towards all sorts of electronic sub-genres, ‘Aurra’ is a well-rounded and explorative album. At times dreamy, at times full-pelt but always engaging.
There was also some superb compilations out this month too. Naive’s ‘No Justice No Peace’ features 17 breaks, techno, jungle, electronic and ambient tracks including the rattling breakbeats of Octo Octa’s brooding ‘Channelling Paid’, with all profits donated to anti-racist organisations.
HAUS of ALTR also released their excellent broad HOA010 comp, 27 tracks which feature ‘the future of Black electronic music’ and including a gorgeously restrained deep house jam from Galcher Lustwerk, ‘Retire’ and Kush Jones’ dreamy ‘Present Space’.
Finally, the Care4Life compilation is a huge 45 track affair with 100% of profits going to NHS charities. Featuring music from Crooked Man, Jaden Thompson, Chemical Brothers, Jamie Jones, Radio Slave, Maya Jane Coles, Daniel Avery and this from Matthew Herbert: