Change Underground and Aidan McGlynn present their monthly podcast series, which showcases some of the shining lights from today’s scene. Here he takes you through the tracks on this month’s mix.
1. Dale Middleton – ‘Cuesta (Silinder Remix)’ – Tarnished Tracks
When Dale Middleton talked to us last year about the launch of Tarnished Tracks, he promised a strong brand and quality music. This is the third release, and he’s certainly delivered so far. ‘Cuesta’ is a upbeat, stab-heavy techno number from Dale himself, but he turned the track over to one of my favourite producers for the remix treatment. Silinder works the arp from the original over a sparser, progressive sound, and the atmospheric intro made it irresistible as an opener here.
2. Qbical – ‘Back to the Start (Paul Hazendonk Remix)’ – Soulful Techno
Soulful Techno is also on its third release, with Qbical taking the reins after two releases from label-boss Gabriel Ananda. Manual’s Paul Hazendonk’s remix fits just perfectly with the kind of sound and ethos that Gabriel Ananda is all about, with a super chunky bassline and airy melodies creating some real magic.
3. Finnebassen – ‘Soul’ – Polymath
Another relatively young label on its third release, this time Third Son’s Polymath. Each release features a theme, and three producers each contributing a track inspired by that theme. ‘Soul’ is the strongest release by the label so far, in my opinion. It’s Habischman’s spiralling techno that’s going to receive most of the attention, I predict, but both of the other tracks deserve lots of love too, including this wicked number from Finnebassen, which steers between minimalist bleepy tech-house and sweeter, abstractly melodic sounds, all punctuated by intense blasts of bass.
4. Ralfus – ‘Chiken Skin’ – Malo
This is the lead track from a really diverse EP from Ralfus on Mallorca based house label Malo. I love the way it sounds building over the more minimal sequences from ‘Soul’, and it gradually reveals a really hypnotic, deep hook that really makes the track work. Great stuff, and a label and producer to look out for if they’re not already on your radar.
5. Sonderzug – ‘Simulated Universe’ – ICONYC
This is definitely one of my favourite releases this year so far from one of the most consistent labels around at the moment. There’s a cool GMJ remix on the package, but my pick is the original here, with its heavy bass tones, beautiful melodies, and philosophical samples – I’m pretty sure we can know we’re not in a simulated universe, fwiw, but still, a fantastic track.
6. Habischman – ‘The Way (Just Her Remix)’ – Selador/MUUI – ‘Amelie’ – microCastle
Habischman has really taken off since his wonderful EP on Selador last year, with his recent entry to the GU NuBreed series giving him a very well-deserved boost in profile. It’s great to have new version of the tracks to play with, and in particular this driving but melodic interpretation of the lead track from Just Her is wonderful, and makes full use of the vocals. Along for the ride is one of MUUI’s most compelling creations so far, the utterly gorgeous ‘Amelie’ from his recent EP on microCastle – I’ve let the melodies drift over Just Her’s remix for a bit more texture and emotional punch.
7. MUUI & Marc Poppcke – ‘Grey Feathers’ – Crossfrontier Audio
Congratulations to Marc Poppcke and the rest of the CA crew – not only has the label reached its 50th release landmark, but under Poppcke’s stewardship its done so while keeping the quality levels absolutely sky high. The release itself unites the label-boss with one of the label’s defining artists – MUUI again. The pair have remixed each other’s work for years, and the full collaboration is as good as you’d hope – this is the understated but glorious lead track from the EP.
8. Michael Gin & Dan Robinson – ‘Running With Butterflies’ – Crossfade Sounds
Michael Gin has been steadily building a reputation with a series of great deep and progressive house cuts on various label. There’s lots to enjoy on his latest EP on the ever-cool Crossfade Sounds, but it’s this soulful vocal track with Dan Robinson that really stands out.
9. Subandrio & Nishan Lee – ‘Sustain’ – Juicebox
I closed out the first podcast in this series with a track from Juicebox, the beautiful ‘Underwater’ from Diyo. Twelve months and episodes on, and I find myself doing the same again, this time with ‘Sustain’. There are huge nods to Jam & Spoon’s classic ‘Stella’ here, with the chiming melodies and breathy trance lines, but there’s also some real groove in the bassline – the combination works really well. Be sure to check out ‘Dynamic Ocean’ from the same release too – it’s perfect.