Moomin – A Minor Thought (Smallville)
This guy is a don and no mistake. Over the past 5 or 6 years Moomin has been one of the most consistent house artists coming out of Germany and that’s saying a lot. He’s clocked up a steady stream of releases on imprints such as White, Closer and Smallville, with whom I will always associate him the closest, and is sound has always been restrained, thoughtful and melancholic.
He’s very recently dropped his second full length, the last coming out also on Smallville back in 2011. This latest is everything you would expect from him. Warm and inviting house music. Friendly even. His trademarks are all here, the tinge of melancholy mixed with optimism, the hypnitic piano loops, the fulsome yet understated 808 beats. In an age when everyone is trying so hard to be noticed Moomin almost seems to do the direct opposite which is why I think I find his sound so enjoyable. When was the last time you heard a dance record that felt cheerful?
Garrett David & Adam Rowe – Now that We’re Here (Stripped and Chewed)
Chicago imprint Stripped and Chewed kicked off back in 2012 and have chalked up a pretty impressive roster including the likes of Borrowed Identity, Rahaan and the Black Madonna. I first heard of them when they dropped the Black Madonna’s “Goodbye to All This” in 2014 but that prompted me to get well acquainted with their output and they quickly became a firm favourite.
Now their bringing up their 10th release with this rather excellent release from Garrett David and Adam Rowe which comprises of 4 very tasty cuts of effortlessly groovy house music and one lush ambient sojourn. The absolute killer for me is “Sound Space” which blends instantly infectious percussion with a sweet laid back feel. The whole EP makes knowing nods towards a more classic sound pallet but most definitely doesn’t fall into the trap of being a pastiche. While the beautiful ambient track “Space Jam” doesn’t quite feel like it fits in with the four more conventional house jams it’s absolutely lovely so I don’t care a bit. Think of it more like an added, and very welcome, bonus.
FRAK – Sudden Haircut (Dark Entries)
Not many people do it better than FRAK. The veteran Scandinavian wonky techno maestros have been following their own path for over 30 years now. I only picked up on them a couple of years ago, and have since become a huge fan. They’ve teamed up with Dark Entries to put together a four track ep including material recorded between 2001 and 2010, and two of the tracks were released before on Sex Tags back in 2012. This EP sees them at their weird, unsettling, acidic best and, whether you’re a die hard fan or have never heard of them before, is definitely worth checking out when it drops later in February.
Various Artists – Swamp Tapes 002 (Swamp Tapes)
This is the second outing from the new offshoot from the good people who bring you the Bokhari and SORN imprints and it’s just as good, if not better than the first. Comprising of 70 minutes of weird, warped and wonderful music pushing into the murkier spaces of house and techno. Available now either on tape or as a download from their Bandcamp.