Summer is coming to an end – time for a look back at some exciting and less exciting Leipzig releases. Nils and Jens from gladfroh listened through the Bandcamp summer in Leipzig.
Ewan Jansen – „RM12022“ (R.A.N.D. Muzik)
Another EP on RAND Muzik Recordings is as sunny and airy as the end of summer. This time by Australian producer Ewan Jansen. Definitely stands out among all the Progressive House and sometimes trance-inspired releases that the label has recently released.
The four tracks oscillate between deep house and fluffy tech house. Everything in the range of 120 bpm. Sweet synth pads meet percussive elements, the groovy bass on every track is also super good. It all sounds a bit retro and yet very contemporary. A hot tip for everyone who likes it a little more comfortable.
Nils’ hit: “UFO”. Why: Because it glides a little deeper through the interstellar spheres.
DC Sales „Pressure EP“ (R.A.N.D. Muzik x Echocentric)
At the end of June, the “Pressure EP” by Belgian producer DC Sales caused a wow on RAND. Because the four tracks of this EP steer very straight to the main floor. Very bold and with its flat psy and rave sounds, this EP is clearly designed for big room moments. It’s kind of exciting how RAND is trying out new territory here and maybe checking out whether it can’t go one size bigger. Sure, it works, and DC Sales is keeping the reins tight. But the rave scale is too much in the red for me.
Jens‘ Hit: „Pressure“. Why: Because the bass drum pushes so nicely and the track still remains minimalistic despite the rave chords.
Sascha Funke & Niklas Wandt – RM12023
And another little surprise on RAND Muzik. Two names that you might not have expected together. The Berlin producer and DJ veteran Sascha Funke meets the percussionist and drummer Niklas Wandt. Not their first release together, as a quick look at Discogs reveals. The EP is a ride through the genres, with no track being inferior to the other in any way.
It starts with a gentle number called “barn find”. Playful synths and percussion on a comfortable pad basis and 4/4 kick. The piece has a flawless flow, Niklas seems to drum on everything he can get his hands on. Then there’s a synth that sounds like a flute, or is it a flute? Very good vibe, very playful, very good.
Second piece, first break. Once IDM á la earlier Warp Records releases. What is to be bad about it? Even. Nothing. Great number. The Balearic, esoteric and herbaceous house track “Erntegold” then goes well forward and increases the intensity of the EP again. And at the end there is electro in its purest form with “Schemen” – with delaying percussion. The track is still playful enough for the EP to be perceived as a duo release. Super good release, more like this!
Nils’ hit: “Barn find”. Why: Because it simply has an incredibly good flow. It’s also the “hit with the flute”.
Mbius „Played At Venues etc.“ (Kann Records)
After DJ Balduin’s album, Kann featured another Leipzig producer at the beginning of August – Mbius. And with it comes a proggy tech house note in the Kann catalogue. With tangled and wildly buzzing sci-fi sounds and longer, mystically gliding deep chords. Everything very well dosed between a bouncy and dreamy vibe. But in the end I have the feeling that a current RAND Muzik or an old Delsin EP on Kann got lost here.
Jens’ hit: “UFO”. Why: Because it glides a little deeper through the interstellar spheres.
Snad – Blowminding (Long Vehicle)
No surprise on Long Vehicle, Kann’s sub-label. why? LV delivers consistently good output for all (progressive) house heads. This time with a slight dub touch. Snad twists the filter like crazy. “Jacarandista” is definitely a bit funky and fits perfectly into any house set. “Blowminding” then almost passes as housey dub techno, but it’s still varied enough not to fully surrender to the genre.
The last piece of the EP called “Dark Horse” is again classic house stuff with a lot of synth noises and a well-embedded plucker melody, which makes the thing shine after two and a half minutes. Overall, the EP is a well-rounded thing with lots of synth gimmicks and very smart basslines. As I said, no surprise, but qualitatively very high.
Nils’ hit: “Dark Horse”. Why: Because the plucker melody is just really good.
Kerrier Collective „Dreams Of The Sea“ (Brombért)
New nuances also with the young Leipzig house label Brombért. In mid-June, the EP by an English collective that merged different genres was released there. As in long sessions, new facets keep emerging from the four tracks. House grows from ambient and folk, jazz and funk chords shimmer from a slow house track at the same time, and later there are also Latin sounds. It sounds super musical and organic, in some places a bit well-behaved. But here there are very obviously very experienced musicians in the collective who are interested in sophisticated dance music. Similar to The Whitest Boy Alive, it certainly works great live on an open-air stage.
Jens’ hit: “Friday Afternoon”. Why: Because it combines pop, classic and house with a crazy ease.
Nico Bulla – Machine Dance Work (O´RS)
And then there’s a digital one-track release on O’RS from June.
The name is program. Bulla lets the machines, more precisely his synth, work and dance for him. The synth arpeggio line runs through the piece in different filter and sustain stages. In addition a rustling and pushing 4/4 beat. Everything builds up more and more, one hopes for a redeeming surface, which then really comes. O’RS recommends that we enjoy the track at 5am on a good sound system. That sure works well because the dance floor is definitely where machine dance work should do its work.
Nils’ hit: “Machine Dance”. Why: It’s just a one-track release, what do you want to do? Also, the whole time I had to think about the piece “The Arpeggiator” by Erobique.
Hidden Lines “Uusi Aalto” (Subsonic)
At the beginning of June we discovered a new label from Leipzig: Unterschall. The tape label, which focuses on darkwave, post-punk and synhpop, has existed since the end of 2020. With Hidden Lines they have discovered a very interesting Swedish band. On their mini-album “Uusi Aalto” they dive deep into the dark world of the 80s – with sharp-edged synth melodies, plastic beats and cool vocals. They manage the whole thing so authentically that when you listen to it for the first time you could actually believe that this is an original tape discovery from an old Stockholm attic. Again and again, German and Finnish lyrics are interspersed with the English texts.
Jens’ hit: “Aalto”. Why: Because it reveals itself directly as a reverberant hit for dystopian moments.
Vincent Neumann – Acid Tracks Done Quick (Unitas Multiplex)
An electro breakbeat, a simple two-note melody. That’s how the title track begins on an EP that promises us acid tracks, doesn’t it? The shaker sounds pretty fresh, the pads a bit like old Harthouse discs from the 1990s. And of course what shouldn’t be missing from the “Acid Tracks” is a 303 bassline. The first track is definitely very harmonious. The hit melody comes from a synth that slides between the pads and the 303. In any case, the track is just bursting with ideas, whether it was created “quickly” or not.
The second title called “Negasonic” follows on seamlessly, although an FM piano sets the tone at the beginning. All in all a playful synth/acid/breakbeat meditation that just keeps getting better and better. I would still book as a listening number. “Descent” surprises with a voice sample. And the pace is also slowed down a bit. The acid still flashes up here sometimes, but all in all it’s more for the IDM faction. I had one or the other Plastikman association. The EP is rounded off with a dubbed remix of “Descent”, which gives the release a little detour into other musical realms. The producer Blind Observatory only takes snippets of the vocal sample and builds more on mood and space. Sweet!
Nils’ hit: “Descent (Bind Observatory Remix)”. Why: Because it breathes a good blade runner vibe and has a nice slightly hidden melody in the synth chords.
Medici Daughter „Leash“ (110100100.global)
In mid-August, a new album was released on 110100100.global, which definitely needs calm, openness and attention – because “Leash” by Medici Daughter explores the interfaces between noise, ambient and electro-acoustic in short pieces. A lot of it is cranky, chaotic and rough – but if you listen more closely, coherent and catchy arrangements as well as warm soundscapes unfold. But in between there are always exhausting, rousing and destructive tracks. But: If the calm and the system are there, you can experience an incredibly dense and exciting album with “Leash”.
Jens’ hit: “Lathe Of”. Why: Because super fascinating pop hides behind a wall of sound that has been shifted several times.