Well, what can I say? Every so often a record comes along that’s just so fresh sounding and different to anything else around, it makes other current releases seem – in a word – shit. Belonging is one of those records. German trio Wareika take what would usually be another boring ‘deep’ house excursion and completely rewrite the script. Loose 3/4 beats, sweet hand claps, percussion and guitar licks give way to some weird and trippy synths, and a sultry male vocal which is brought in and out of the mix to absolute perfection. The track slowly begins to open up, the vocal comes to the forefront and the synths become more prominent – the track just seems to build and build without actually doing anything. This is electronic soul music. And it’s because of tracks like this that house music will always be around. Ace. 10/10
Out on Eskimo Recordings
Also check out Wareika’s cover of The Doors’ Riders On The Storm – and watch for an LP later this year

Knowone Can Take Away

Although having been released in the summer of last year, the first release from Alan Abrahams (aka Portable) on the prolific Perlon grabbed not only my attention, but that of anybody who’s heard it. It seems, however, to have slipped under the radar of a lot of jocks and music lovers, as I always get asked about this whenever I play it. On the A-side, Release, is proper house music – with its almost spoken male vocal and eerie drawn-out synth patterns, which gel perfectly when the bass drops, this sounds like it could have been made 10 years ago or so. On the flip, The Many is a dubbier affair. Some nice keys, cut-up female vocal snippets, finger clicks and sampled 808 drum patterns (I think) lead into another jaw-dropping bassline. This reminds me of New York house in the early 90s, reminiscent of Ron & Chez or the Burrell Bros. It’s that good. I can’t recommend this release highly enough. 9/10
Out on Perlon
Also check out Alan’s current release, The Emerald Life, on the excellent Musik Krause label

Ian Pooley
Nightscape EP
German house don Ian Pooley seems to have been around forever in some form or another. He’s now relocated to Berlin from Mainz, and you can definitely hear it in this, his current release on Simple. On the A-side, title track Nightscape is groove-laden house, with some cool stabs and nice warm pads which seem to deliver a very ‘clean’ sound. Nevertheless, the track still retains a special atmosphere. On the B-side, there are two versions of Difference. Both the Jupiter mix and the Eight mix have interesting percussive elements, but the stabs and poly-sounding pads make it all a little bit too digital for me – but maybe this was his intention. Having said that, this is something really different from Pooley. Not only can you hear Berliner house influences, but you also get a sense of the years of experience he has in the studio. Nightscape is my pick of the three. 6/10
Out on Simple Records

Dance Tactics EP
The second Mixworks release sees Alex Picone return with yet another excellent track. Head straight for the A-side where Picone teams up with Kay Sand under their Chronic Flakes guise for Numalbix. The intro sets the tone for the rest of the track, with jacking highs and tough beats which drop into an enormous drum roll. And when the bass drops, it’s on. Cut-up siren samples and skippy beats give it a New York house feel, leading into another massive breakdown. I think the track may have had some mastering issues though as it does sound extremely bass heavy. But this doesn’t detract from the emotive quality of the record, and it really does have to be played loud to be appreciated. 7/10
Out on Mixworks
Also check out the Berlin Dub on Mixworks 001

Crowdpleaser & Ly Sander
Walking Home
The Drumpoet guys keep things moving with their 20th release in the shape of Crowdpleaser & Ly Sander’s Walking Home. The original is a downbeat house affair with nice beats and bass, subtle percussive rhythms, a full vocal and guitar action from Yann Poppon, which helps give the track a really nice but eerie atmosphere. The remix comes courtesy of fellow Swiss house-head Kalabrese who turns in an excellent version. As with all of his productions, there are lots of interesting sounds used, particularly the beats and the bass which bump along nicely with the full vocal which has been chopped up, making for a better arrangement than the original. There are some nice pads too, and the main synth line is subtle. Along with the vocal, this helps retain the cool atmosphere of the original. It might sound like one of those boring filler tracks to some, but you can play anything after it and go in any direction. Kalabrese is definitely one to watch for ‘09. Rounding off the EP we have XYZ, which is the most up-tempo track on here. There are some pretty inoffensive sounds used, but the main synth line is a little weak and sounds exactly like you expect any German house track from the last four years to sound (except this is from Switzerland). That’s not to say it’s a bad track – it’s just not all that. 7/10 (for the Kalabrese mix)
Drumpoet Community
Also check out Kalabrese tracks and remixes forthcoming on labels such as Innervisions later this year

Pierre LX
Gabita EP
Having only previously appeared on an Initial Cuts B-side in 2006 and featured on Safari Electronique in 2007, relative newcomer Pierre LX returns for his first full EP. First up is Sketch Drive, with its instantly recognisable bassline, ‘borrowed’ from Kenny Dixon Jr, and originally used by Chic in the seminal I Want Your Love. The bassline remains prominent throughout, with one-chord stabs bringing a deeper vibe to the track. The stabs open up halfway through, and the synths come to the forefront – nothing which hasn’t been done before, but it still manages to retain some freshness. There’s also a remix courtesy of Detroit’s Jus Ed, ditching the Chic bassline and opting for a more heads-down approach. He beefs up the beats and the bass and adds his own signature stabs and pads, not to dissimilar to the original, but in a way that only Ed can. However, I expected more from the big man. Rounding off the EP we have title track Gabita, opening with some filtered drums, crisp claps and a fairly quiet bassline which seems to sit way back in the track. Some hollow piano chords and a sparingly used horn snippet give way to rather lovely rhodes and backing synths – very simple but effective nevertheless. Some classic sounding house on offer here, with the pick of the three being Gabita. 6.5/10
Out on Initial Cuts

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Reviews by
Telford, resident at Subculture @ the Sub Club, Glasgow