A bit late, but here are our picks from the November releases in Leipzig. With some new discoveries and new names.
Thomas Hessler „Sixty-Five EP“ (Unitas Multiplex)
Ok, so far we’ve been pretty lame – because we’ve known for a long time that Vincent Neumann has had his own label for more than two years. But so far it hasn’t happened to gladfroh. Now we’re finally catching up with the fifth release. With Thomas Hessler, Unitas Multiplex features a well-known and extremely active producer from Berlin – known for techno that is as precise and driving as it is harmonically charged. On the “Sixty-Five EP” it’s more of the latter side that comes out. Only the The Lady Machine remix of “Sixty-Five” is much straighter and more rugged. But even there, sublime synth chords take off at some point. Otherwise, the EP provides deep and extremely euphoric-intoxicating moments. Very good!
My hit: “Hold On”. Why: because euphoria and power are a perfect match here.
Various Artists „Vaertism003“ (Vaertism)
And here is another new Leipzig label that we just discovered: Vaertism has existed since summer 2021 and was founded by Mbius and Submod. So far, the focus has been on compact compilations that tend to feature newcomers. Musically, it’s about deepness in a broader sense. Of course, house plays a big role here, but there are also more breaky tracks on “Vaertism003”, such as by Ore and Submod. But here, too, there is always a certain warmth and calmness in the sounds. This third retrospective is consistently well produced and without any failures – but also without any really outstanding tracks. But that’s probably also due to the genre and vibe and whining at a high level.
My hit: “Stay Hydrated”. Why: Because Ore ventures rhythmically and dynamically out of the deep river.
Volta Cab “Bundesautobahn 98 EP” (Lubree)
Another new label seems to have popped up with this record – but it is “only” a sub-label or a new series from Hypress, which hadn’t released anything for a long time. The Lubree 01 leaves the stage to Volta Cab from St. Petersburg – and he uses it for a surprisingly long piano intro that sounds classical at first, from which a very beautifully shimmering vintage electro track later winds itself out. Volta Cab plays with a decent kitsch here, which is then completely thrown overboard on the second track “Magic Carpet Ride”. There, with a lot of joy in playing and experimenting, an obscure mix of cinematic sounds and a heavy beat is created – actually a very special track with hidden hit potential. “Dostizhenie Tzeli” then shows Volta Cab that he is also very fit in EBM techno. Remixes come from DJ Overdose and Cardopusher. Especially the latter can trim the wild “Magic Carpet Ride” even more for the dance floor. Exciting EP.
My hit: “Magic Carpet Ride”. Why: Because the wildness and the dry rock bass drum just kick.
Builders Of Love “Astro Kids EP” (OId New Records)
So to some softer and clearer sounds: Old New Records also released a new EP in November – from the construction worker of love. Well, a little silly name, but the tracks are serious classic house. With a few funk and soul influences, spoken word samples, a lot of US deepness and a really high level of musicality, the EP swings along very pleasantly. The five tracks are all rather short song format and with a lot of pop appeal. At the very end there is even an attempt at a house-pop hit. With Postnegative on the microphone, a slim, pushing beat and wonderfully warm house chords, it also works. Good XP against the winter blues.
My hit: “Automatic”. Why: Because Postnegative’s raw soul appeal and musicality harmonize very well here.
Made2Faze „Return / Skyforce“ (Defrostatica)
November was another strong month for Defrostatica. Leipzig’s currently most exciting label has released two EPs again. Made2Faze is a two tracker by Priyesh Patel aka X-161 from Manchester and Anand Patel aka Rawtrachs from Birmingham. And these two tracks couldn’t be more different: While “Return” keeps a lot of tension with dubbed power, whipping breakbeats, rattling claps and wildly cut vocal samples, “Skyforce” discharges a rousing, quite neurotic flow from the first second of raging Jungle Tekno and weird-hymnal harmony waves. Two in a very good way very idiosyncratic tracks that sound so unusual that you immediately want to hear them again.
My hit: “Skyforce”. Why: Because it created such a special mix of harshness and musical storytelling.
Arcane & Jon1st „Bloodstone EP“ (Defrostatica)
With the “Bloodstone EP” a joint EP of a UK duo was released by Defrostatica. This time there was a team-up of Arcane and Jon1st, two musically individual producers. Their joint EP consists of four intense, multi-layered and at times incredibly frantic drum & bass tracks. Despite all the wealth of different sounds and twists, there are always very catchy chords running through the tracks, which burn in quickly. In general, this EP is much more classic than many other Defrostica releases of the past few months. “Bloodstone” then slows down in terms of tempo and thus gives the sounds more room to work. At the end it gets almost epic and orchestral again – like the grand finale of an extremely strong label year.
My hit: “Honey Dew”. Why: Because the catchy main chords and the bold breakbeats go together perfectly.
Various Artists „Justice for Iran – Woman Life Freedom“ (Vaya)
The Vaya crew was also back on the radar with a release in November – and again they use their good producer network for a solo compilation. This time, Vaya draws the focus on the current struggle of many people in Iran against the dictatorial regime of this exciting country, which makes life difficult, especially for women. All proceeds from the sampler go to the NGO Justice4Iran. Musically, Vaya brings together different styles – from house, electronica, trance, techno to tech house and pop. And all this at the usual high level. For the donation there is actually a large package of exciting tracks from more or less well-known locals. Sefra’s closing track “Azardi” is the surprising highlight and leaves us with a bit of melancholy that the compilation doesn’t have more direct musical references to Iran.
My hit: “Azardi”. Why: Because he is a bridge into the political and musicallye presence of Iran strikes and thus goes particularly deep.
Basic Mind „RM12019“ (R.A.N.D. Muzik)
At RAND Muzik in November there was a reunion with the Australian producer Basic Mind. And with it his spherical house and tech house mix, which maneuvers its way into interstellar worlds in a breaky and retrofuturistic way. The result is once again weightlessly driving tracks with flat ambient sounds and different rhythmic foundations. Accordingly, there are more pushing tracks and then again tracks that are suitable for the after-hours. Great as always, but heard a lot at RAND lately.
My hit: “Closed Gateway”. Why: Because here the classic Detroit vibe steers seamlessly into current trance realms.
Reece Walker & Qnete „The Tribute / Carbird Express“ (QC Records)
RAND music curator Reece Walker also released his own tracks in November – along with Qnete on their QC Records label. On the A-side, “The Tribute” first goes on an introverted, deep and subtly percussive house journey with a slight trance shimmer – with a great game of relaxation and tension. “Carbird Express” on the B-side pushes much harder with a funky bass line and tight bass drums – but in the end the push is slowed down by very soft synth chords and a certain trance-like tangle. Nice calm EP.
My hit: “The Tribute”. Why: Because this track gets so delightfully trippy in time .
Heron „This Is My Beginning“ (O*RS)
Finally, some pop: O*RS is currently taking on Heron, a young duo from Leipzig who have been producing 80s synthwave tracks for around a year and a half. The first single was released in November, followed by an album next year. “This Is My Beginning” starts musically very sublime and reduced at the same time, but then breaks out surprisingly extroverted. The vocals seem to me to be pushed a bit too far into the foreground – and too smooth for the abysmal, gloomy charm that actually resonates in the music. But let’s see how Heron unfold on the album.