Claudio Ricci – Enkiyama (Stripped Down Records)
Afro House EP inc. Remixes from Tiefschwarz, Florian Busse and West & Hill
Responder – 303 Overdrive EP (Flash)
Hannes Croell – Hands together EP (Bergliebe)
incl. remixes from Gaty Lopez and Stephen Wild
Stripped Down hits a super sixth release with the hugely prolific Basti Grub at the helm. Over more than a decade this German producer has turned out an always evolving and vast amount of EPs and LPs. Using a range of different instruments and modular synths he cooks up inventive minimal tracks that are dance floor focused but packed with new ideas. First up here is solo track ‘Would Be An Angel’ which has a zoned out quality thanks to the harmonic bell sounds and stripped back rhythms. Enchanting vocals are hypnotic and the various breakdowns build the tension, only for things to roll on again and surely get huge reactions in the clubs. ‘Amelie’ is the second fantastic offering and finds Grub link with DJ Slowhand, who has been resident at Tanzhaus West FFM since 2011. Together they cook up a sparse techno track that takes you on a journey to the heavens, with lush chords, choral vocals and synth orchestration all exuding clean, crisp and classy feelings of subtle euphoria.
First to go is Reboot, a long-time advocate of stripped down grooves on labels like Cadenza and Get Physical. His eight-minute masterpiece is a warm, underlapping house cut with sub bass and loose synths getting under your skin.
Moblack and Monaberry artist Sobek goes for something superbly slow burning,
layering up the poignant synths and drums into something that is poised and grandiose.
Next up, Ibizan based label boss Claudio Ricci is in fine form as he reworks ‘Galaxy 82’
into an upbeat bit of classy techno with serene Detroit pad work and thoughtful keys
taking you into the future.
Austrian Ken Hayakawa keeps up Stripped Down Records’ fine run of form with two new tracks that get remixed by John Tejada and Whitesquare. Superbly soothing opener ‘Sonic Wave’ is a brilliantly warm and spaced out deep house track that voyages into the cosmos. American tech house titan and long-time Kompakt associate John Tejada steps up to remix and takes things even deeper, with pulsing, sonar-like acid blips and icy hi hats all working on melting your mind as warm, gurgling bass drives things forwards. It is Italian producer and DFTD, 2020 Vision and Freerange house master Whitesquare who then remixes. He brings plenty of spine-tingling chords to his version, which is deep yet driven, with layer upon layer of rich sound all oozing real soul. Hayakawa then finishes things off in style with ‘Lost,’ a brilliantly atmospheric track that is cavernous, dubbed out and finished with exquisite ambient details that cannot help but calm you. This is a beautiful EP of deep, dynamic house music.
Claudio Ricci returns to his own label with a fresh new single that comes with superb remixes from Uner, Brigado Crew and Makossa & Megablast. Ricci is a veteran of the scene who was born in Vienna but is based in Ibiza. He has a weekly radio show on Ibiza Global Radio and takes cues from all styles of house music. He mixes organic sounds with proper melodies to enthralling effect and after EPs on the likes of MoBlack, Compost and Sudam, serves up his best work on his own ever more vital label. His original here is ‘Yano’, a perfectly paced track with loose, jumbled percussion. Dark, broad and sweeping chords bring tension and menace to the grooves, but a soulful vocal cry off in the distance means it also has real heart. A tribal track that is designed to unite the floor, it’s a perfect later summer anthem in the making. This excellent EP offers various house styles that will connect with a wide range of audiences.
Stripped Down Records continues with munimuni & Seelenwald and featuring stellar remixes from label founder Claudio Ricci as well as Sasse, Tiefschwarz and Kollektiv Turmstrasse. The excellent original is ‘Missing Link’, a strikingly emotional track with slow, lurching drums and a menacing bassline. These are five fantastically expressive and emotive tracks that bring a whole new world of feelings to the dance floor.
With new track ‘Warschauer Strasse’, Claudio Ricci has created an expansive seven minute workout of twisted synths and deep house drums. The first remix comes from long time techno heavyweight Timo Maas and the prolific and inventive Basti Grub. Their singular remix speeds up the original and layers in fluttering toms and percussive sounds as well as broad, groaning synths and the distant sound of a bustling city at rush hour. Sudam label boss and Ibiza based artist Kintar flips the track into something spacious and haunting. Eerie keys and sweeping synths keep you on edge as the rubbery techno groove rolls on into the night. Bulgarian based Metodi Hristov loves to experiment and has a distinctive techno style that gains support from the likes of Richie Hawtin, Carl Cox and Adam Beyer. In his hands the track becomes a peak time tech banger!