Duckett – The Balsamic State EP (Greta Cottage Workshop)
When the sun shines, make some hay or something. Not quite sure how the saying goes but the sun is shining for Mr Duckett at the moment and he’s been making a fuckload of hay recently. From his two part EP on Until My Heart Stops, a string of gigs and a brilliant guest mix on Ben UFO’s Rinse FM show, things have really been flowing for the Freerotation resident recently. So after this flurry of activity it’s great to see him team up with one of my favourite labels, Greta Cottage Workshop. Forget Detroit and Berlin – this is the North Wales/Devon techno alliance.
But is it any cop? Well yes of course it is or I wouldn’t waste my time and yours by writing about it. Duckett really has his own sound and, while he definitely isn’t a one trick pony, you can spot his productions a mile off. There’s a marked difference here to, say, the UMHS EPs from a few months back. Softer and gentler in approach, we have pleasing synthetic mallets, warm electric piano licks and lazy rhythms. I love the open feel to the EP. This is a fantastic release from start to finish.
City People/20 Below – It’s all In The Groove (MCDE)
Ok a little repress alert here. This absolute cracker of a 12” passed me by first time around but the good people at MCDE (Massive Cider Drinking Elephant) have just seen fit to give it another press for all us slow off the draw. Featuring tracks from City People and 20 Below, this is up to the high standards of quality house music that you’d expect from this excellent label. Grab it now or forever hold your piece.
A Made Up Sound – Thin Air (Delsin)
Dave Huismans, better known as A Made Up Sound, has just dropped a release on the Dutch techno behemoth that is Delsin Records and, as you would expect, it's rather good. His second for the label, this guy has put out some mouthwatering good records over the past 10 years. Delsin has been one of the most reliable and consistent sources of quality techno, not just in Holland but anywhere in the world so the only surprise here is that this lot haven't collaborated more.
We kick off with the title track which is a full on pumper and no mistake. The sound pallet is busy, but everything is in its correct space. Up next, "I Repeat" bubbles with pent up energy, it's skippy electro rhythm section leaves you gagging for a release that just isn't coming. Pulling down the energy on the dancefloor, clearing the space for you to take people somewhere new. From here we move on to "All Out" which is underpinned by a heavily swung rhythm that will definitely make you move. And finally it's lush chords and clattering claps that are the order of the day for the final push of "Waybackmachine". This is seriously good release.
Chinaski – Rivers Edge (Uncanny Valley)
The output of Dresden’s Uncanny Valley imprint can vary in style and tone quite considerably from release to release but one thing that stays consistent is the quality. I’ve been following the label for quite a while now and whether it’s electro, disco, techno, house, ambient or an amalgamation of any of the above they just turn out release after release of great music.
They’ve just dropped their 35th record, this time coming from Chinaski, and it’s well worth a look. The five track EP channels gorgeous, glassy synths and 80s hints with varying tempos to achieve a nicely varied package. Highlights for me are the opening “Disaster” which has a lovely pace and energy to it, and also the closing “Never Look Back” which is a lazy yet captivating house number. Great stuff.