Sharing a rather stark and grey-scaled outlook with Akkord, a duo who I’ve made no bones about my love for before and whose EMF label are actually releasing this, Troy Gunner’s club material comes with a pretty weighty stamp of approval. Layered and rhythmically playful, sonically all four tracks are sort of devoid of colour and stand firm and broad backed, jutting out of their surroundings like the concrete monoliths of London’s South Bank.
Here's a deep roller featuring gloriously nebulous snatches of female vocal, muted keys, heady atmospherics and a gorgeous synth string line that cuts through the mix like a hot knife through butter. Londoner 100Me (Alex Hilliar to his mum) has a sound that is all his own, progressive in vibe but with an urban edge and melodic sensibility that helps this music stand out from the crowd. Gorgeous stuff from a producer to keep an eye on.
The talented Stephen Brown has changed direction since he returned to music-making. Gone are the hyper-kinetic rhythms of releases on Djax. Nowadays, he is more likely to be making the kind of reflective, bass-heavy grooves that feature on his latest Real Time release. ‘Micron’ features cinematic, textured soundscapes, but is lent some dancefloor bias thanks to its snappy percussion and nagging bassline. As its title suggests, ‘Swing Left’ is a swinging rhythm, full of jazzy nuances and sees Brown veer into the space once occupied by Ian O’Brien.
Andy Whitby’s HARD brand has been taking over the UK’s hard dance circuit this year, with packed events across the country, as well as his highly popular monthly Hardkast. With the label now in full swing this new release features a very catchy male vocal overload on top of a piano lead breakdown, building with sharp snares and dropping with a dirty electro bassline, with a bouncy element. Fresh hard house for 2014.