New In is back from the summer break – we have filtered out the most exciting Leipzig records from July and August. Here we go!
Various Artists „Clear Memory 008“ (Clear Memory)
A new Clear Memory was released on July 1st – this time a 5-track compilation with some new electro nuances. Varum is also there and, like on his great debut album, mixes in very refreshing 80s hip-hop vibes. And Mr. Beef’s “Project 15” is so nice, melodic and groovy that I haven’t heard electro in a long time. But VR-Systems “Electro Queen” also has some pop appeal. The biggest surprise is Hayter. With his “Slightly cloudy, otherwise Hayter” he knocks out a real wave pre-EBM board. With German vocals and good dramaturgy. Very versatile and exciting compilation.
My hit: “Project 15”. Why: Because the rough softness takes me straight away.
Gnork „RM12017“ (R.A.N.D. Muzik)
At RAND you can hear house from Budapest for the first time. Gnork contributes a 4-track EP that, as is so often the case with RAND, revels in house nostalgia. But here with nice rattling claps and hi-hats as well as some breaks-sidekicks. “RM12017” alternates very well between a certain straightness and the obligatory house depth. “Lazy Beats” sounds really warm, an incredibly engaging bass with equally embracing and warm snyth chords. In addition a somewhat stubborn beat that keeps the tension going without really releasing it. Mega.
Mein Hit: „xxx“. Why: xxx.
Limc „Ramp EP“ (Inch by Inch)
Yeah, Christoph is back for a record review, he has the new Inch by Inch and says: At the Lindenau record shop Inch by Inch, label work is now picking up speed. While the associated hip hop sublabel Hole in One has released five 7″ singles with beats and remixes by Inch by Inch boss Drunkenstein since 2020 and also takes care of reissues of rare Memphis rap recordings, the versatile main label is now the fourth vinyl release released. After ethereal house realms, tasty Italo disco edits and dry, banging electro, the “Ramp EP” by Leipzig producer Limc follows with a sound that doesn’t happen often here either in nightlife or in the label landscape, but has never really gone away. Intricate rhythms, convoluted melodies, often chased by an unmanageable number of effects and, especially in the UK, often interspersed with a rainy melancholy: A few decades ago, the legendary Rephlex label aptly named this combination brain dance.
The epic heart of the A-side, “ROD”, could indeed not only get the brains but also the dancefloor of daredevil 160+bpm DJs dancing who know how to use this mixture of claustrophobic acid, mutually slowing breakbeats and samples of reloaded ammunition . With restrained beats, “Ocean” then releases some pressure from the cauldron, although the mood remains similarly tense.
Only on the B-side does the mood shift: “Pulsim” seems like a bittersweet memory of the night you’ve just danced, recorded in audio form, “Hrzzlam” is reminiscent of the hangover after the party, which you want to cure with aspirin and samurai videos , and to the happily squeaking “Klixx” the batteries recharge quite adequately – for the next level in the party game. Or for restarting the game, for which the plate can simply be flipped back to side A.
My hit: “ROD”. Why: Because the track develops an incredible pull for almost ten minutes.
Jermaine Soul „Signs feat. Utelka“ (Defrostatica Records)
There were unusual sounds at Defrostatica in early July. The Leipzig label ventures with the Birmingham producer Jermaine Soul on a breaky spherical downtempo pop approach. Utelka Johnson adds pleasingly unpretentious soul vocals. The experiment works: “Signs” starts out reserved and dark, opens with a super engaging, almost sacral refrain. The two actually manage to seamlessly merge the breaks and pop worlds here without either side having to take it or getting cheesy. Ticklish & Max9d show with their remix that “Signs” also fits perfectly on the dance floor. Here the tempo picks up significantly, the vocals fray and the pop song is re-launched with typical but by no means boring club dramaturgy. A very good surprise in the Defrostatica catalogue.
My hit: “Signs”. Why: Because the original sounds so balanced and confident.
Flavored „Melon“ (self-released)
And finally a soundtrack for balmy summer nights. Aromatisé, a new duo of Titus Waldner and singer-flutist Manon, emerged this summer with two first tracks. The two obviously have a soft spot for soft 90s house sounds and sugary lofi pop with a touch of French. While “Apricot” is a subtly pushing ode to the apricot, the glory of the melon is celebrated on the new track with warm bass and soft synth chords. All very coherent, possibly with an ironic touch. Because the video for “Apricot” is a bit too cheesy in its VHS aesthetics.
My hit: “Apricot”. Why: Because house depth and French vocals go really well together.
HAL „Placid“ (Counterchange)
August’s Surprise is an EP by HAL. As a name, I had been on the screen together with Perm for a long time. But I hadn’t heard anything about their own EPs until now. “Placid” doesn’t appear anywhere either, but on Ed Davenport’s label. The four tracks here also take you straight into the techno era of the late 90s and early 2000s – when quite a few artists took techno and house to the next level very stylishly with trance elements and foggy dub-techno thrusts. Everything sounds a bit cloudy and veiled, slightly mystically charged and still straight in the bass drums. With “Kido” was also a track together with Perm. Both embark on an increasingly faster and trippier journey that gradually unfolds new dimensions. Incredibly strong EP.
My hit: “Kido”. Why: Because it is dramaturgically produced so engagingly.
Salomo & Reece Walker „Free001“ (Breakfree Records)
A new label from Leipzig started at the end of August: Breakfree Records. It was founded by Salomo and Reece Walker, both of whom are known from other local backgrounds. Both founders share the “Free001” with their own and joint tracks that move house history with old-school vibes. Subtly driving, odd every now and then and break-related vocal samples and a pleasant nonchalance. A very nice record for the currently emerging mix of summer nostalgia and late summer melancholy.
My hit: “Evaporate”. Why: Because the track grooves so smoothly and versatile at the same time.
Maurice Schirm & Merlin May „Drifting In And Out Of Focus“ (110100100.global)
Finally, a new release from 110100100.global – we recently had a portrait of the exciting label. And with “Drifting In and Out of Focus” features two more new discoveries: Maurice Schirm and Merlin May. In their three tracks, both combine electronica with shoegaze, ambient and avant-garde in a very coherent way. Especially with the first two tracks, this sound mesh works really well, since harmony and dissonance are kept in equal balance. This creates a pull of hectic rhythms and trippy synths.
My hit: “Drifting In And Out Of Focus”. Why: Because the track sounds like a gliding flight over shimmering landscapes.