Sound Quelle can boast a productive year indeed. Dropping his debut ‘Iridescent’ album in May and following it with a recent compilation for the Colorize crew, he’s back on the imprint for a triple A-side EP that’s packed with quality from start to finish. Each track brings equal amounts of deep melodic emotion, to the degree that it’s impossible to pick a standout from the trio. While opener 'Makelda' brings the most swagger and momentum, the energy mixing perfectly with its finer, deeper details, both 'Onacana' and 'Filenta' steer things into floatier, more ethereal territory. All selections feature the dancefloor function that’s characteristic of the Colorize imprint. Credit where it’s due for this prolific, and always heartfelt Russian producer.
'Defect / 8022'
The Swedish deep duo make a visit to the Colorize stable for an EP that carries their trademark style though suitably beefed up with the kind of progressive energy the label is famous for. While a heavily-applied layer of proggy synth-bass might kickstart ‘Defect,’ it’s a prelude for some rather housey piano melodies and filtered vocals. ‘8022’ on the other hand deals in angelic, heavily-processed vocals for a decidedly deeper affair that’s packing one hell of a bassline. farfetch'd have delivered an EP that definitely stands out from the crowd.
Now apparently a regular on the Anjunadeep release roster, Marsh shoots for slightly more conventional thrills here, though you can’t fault the sumptuous execution. All the elements of a mid-tempo progressive banger are lined up; a DJ-friendly intro with a focus on the drums, a hypnotic syncopated bassline, droning synths for extra atmosphere, plus a plucky melodic riff that’s placed in the spotlight. Marsh playing it straight but doing it right.
The Yomo imprint, operated in beautifully understated style by the Sudhaus duo, marks its 20th release with 'Every Direction 01', a new sampler series that covers its impressive spectrum of club-ready sounds that range from melodic techno, actual bangin’ techno plus the occasional slice of bona fide deep progressive. The latter is represented by Teknaut ‘Moments’, a brooding affair packed with analogue synth textures, atmospheric reverbs and one certifiably sexy, pulsating progressive bassline that delivers proper driving momentum.
'Plastic Dreams (Nicole Moudaber Renaissance Remix)'
It’s hard to maintain enthusiasm for this endless stream of reworked classics, custom fit for festival cheap thrills and rolled off the production line with a cynical regularity (and inevitability). However, it’s hard to maintain the cynicism when the modernised nostalgia is executed as well as Moudaber manages here. This rework just rolls along so beautifully, and somehow, those iconic ideas of ‘Plastic Dreams’ still sound so good a zillion remixes later. Pretty much guaranteed to blow the roof off anywhere it’s played.
With her habit of unleashing hyped-up melodic techno bangers, ANNA was the natural choice to join the wildly successful Drumcode family, though with this pulsing weapon she’s managed arguably one of the best-realised examples we’ve heard to date of the label’s recent big room evolution. ‘Portable Paradise’ is so packed with acid-drenched, peak-time techno energy that it's bursting at the seams. While ANNA isn't afraid to go big, she also smartly steers away from the cheesy theatrics.
'Stranded Mind EP'
FSOE UV outdoes itself here with a groovy, seductive record that doesn’t quite know whether it’s house music or straight-up progressive, and is all the better for it. Sounding like it easily could have landed on Lost & Found or Bedrock, just with a dash more euphoria, Sebastian Sellares lays down his grooves before embellishing them with gorgeous licks of melodic detail, escalating things even further into delirious peak-time territory. Wonderfully, he never loses sight of the groove.
'Ten (Barry Jamieson Remix)'
Finnish progressive maestro Cid Inc. might not quite have the same godlike status of fanboy favourites like Guy J and Hernan Cattaneo, but he's certainly approaching swiftly from the side. His Replug imprint is celebrating its 10-year milestone; precisely what the title is referring to here. The original is good, but the Barry Jamieson remix is better, an insanely deep affair that deploys a squishy synth groove at its peak, with ethereal energies in the breakdown that really bring the goosebumps — and so, so much more in this epic 10-minute journey.
Featured on his recent ‘Expectations’ EP, and part of a rush of new music that represents somewhat of a revisit to his short-lived, though absurdly euphoric ‘Adrenalin’ era from the start of the decade, Scuba delves into deliciously trancey territory on ‘Voices’, albeit with a heavy side serving of acid. The form he’s working with here is pure house music, with an analogue vibe that’s actually a bait-and-switch for a twist into particularly melodic territory. It’s a reflection of his versatility that Scuba never stands still for too long, though this is definitely a welcome detour.