N.A.N.C.Y – Back Me Up

June 5, 2016 in Singles

N.A.N.C.Y Back Me Up Natural RhythmMore very solid deep/tech fare here courtesy of Romania’s ever-checkable Natural Rhythm.

Two tracks in a total of four mixes to choose from. Back Me Up itself, in its Original form, has a fat warping bassline, crisp tech-house beats and cut-up scatty jazz vox, while the accompanying uncredited Ken Fan Remix tones down the vocal but goes straight for the jugular with tuffer beats and big, throbbing two-note bassline. However, it’s actually Better Late Than Never that I’m feeling the most here. The original veers towards garage territory with its soulful male falsetto vocal and nagging Rhodes (?) chords, while the Deepshakerz Remix takes us into slightly tuffer, 3am territory and has a slightly tribal feel to the drums.

Out: This week

About: FindNatural Rhythm on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Various – Natural Rhythm ADE 2015

November 1, 2015 in Albums

Natural Rhythm ADE 2015Based in Romania and headed up by the ever-prolific Horatio, it’d be fair to describe Natural Rhythm as scene leaders when it comes to that Eastern European tech-house sound.

As such, you’ve probably got a good idea what to expect from the label’s first ever ADE comp already… and with 22 cuts from as many artists, I’m certainly not doing the full track-by-track with this one! But familiar names making an appearance here include Luca Barbieri, Horatio himself of course, Viorel Dragu and Larisse Van Doorn, as well as a whole swathe of more up-and-coming talent, and whether you like your tech-house leaning towards the tech or the house side of the equation – whether ‘sparse and minimal’ or ‘chunky and funky’ or ‘tough and crunchy’ or ‘epic and proggy’ floats your boat the most – you should find plenty to enjoy.

Out: This week

About: Find Natural Rhythm here, here and here.

Horatio – Past, Present And Future

October 5, 2015 in Albums

Horatio Past, Present And Future Natural RhythmOnce more I find myself playing the ‘albums catch-up’ game of a Monday evening, with three quite different long-players to tell you about.

First up, this ‘collected works’ set from Horatio. If you don’t know Horatio by now, then you’ve either been living under a rock for the past couple of years or just don’t like tech-house very much, in which case you can probably stop reading at this point. If you DO know Horatio, though, then you’ll know that the hard-working Romanian’s speciality is proving that you can make straight-up tech-house without it all getting formulaic and same-old-same-old… and so it is here.

Which is another way of saying that while all 11 tracks here – a mix of old faves and upfront material, including collaborations with/remixes by the likes of Darius Syrossian, Roland Clark, Larisse Van Doorn, Reboot and Stefano Noferini – all essentially come under the tech-house umbrella, there’s enough variety on offer to make sure things never get boring, with the diva-vox’d Does It Really Matter Yos?, moody, middle eastern-tinged The Ritual, acid-squelchin’ How Much 909 Can You Take? and chunky, bassy Chicago Tales the standouts for this reviewer.

Out: Now

About: This is brought to you of course by Horatio’s own Natural Rhythm label, who you can find here, here and here.

Iban Mendoza – Revoult EP

August 28, 2015 in Singles

Iban Mendoza Revoult Natural RhythmSome fine no-nonsense, floor-friendly house/tech-house grooves here from Romani’s Natural Rhythm.

Three tracks make up the EP. Revoult itself is a chunky affair with a hip-shakin’ rhythm and a familiar-sounding spoken male vocal (some hip-hop dude talking about putting “hard work and sweat into it”). There’s another well-known vocal to be found on Mans Boys, wherein a very familiar spoken Loleatta live intro gets placed (pretty much in full) atop a buzzing, pulsating bassline and tuff, staccato beats.

Both are very playable, but the killer here is Drunk & Roll, an absolute MONSTER of a tune that’s one-part classic-style early 90s prog (think Limbo/Guerrilla/Cowboy) to one-part early 00s NYC dark tribal, and that sports a “rock n’ roll, rock n’ roll music” spoken (or rather ranted) male vocal reminiscent of Mylo’s Destroy Rock N’ Roll one, huge menacing sci-fi synth drones and some superb Plastic Dreams organs.

Out: Tomorrow (29 Aug)

About: You can find Natural Rhythm here, here and here.

Various – Radamantis EP

June 14, 2015 in Singles

Various Radamantis EP Natural RhythmAnother nicely varied three-track EP to end on tonight, this one coming courtesy of Horatio’s Natural Rhythm stable in Romania.

Harvey Hunzed Productions are responsible for the title track Radamantis itself, a laidback and meandering affair with rolling, Afro-y percussion, a nice chunky b-line, breathy flutes, gently tinkling ivories and a hint of middle eastern flava, with a beatless breakdown in the middle. It’s the other two tracks that are floating my boat more, though. Freedom by Hunzed & Alberto Niri is a rolling, tribal-tinged tech-houser that’s quite dark to start with but brings the light soon enough in the form of some old skool-sounding, arms aloft pianos, but the jewel in the crown is Hunzed & Mr Deka’s Mytha, which starts with tuff tech-house drums and playground noise but quickly develops into a wigged-out organ jam of the very highest calibre.

The other two are fine but Mytha is essential!

Out: This week

About: You can find Natural Rhythm here, here and here.

Internullo – L’Amour

March 20, 2015 in Singles

Internullo L'Amour Natural RhythmTwo quite contrasting mixes to choose from on this latest from Romania’s Natural Rhythm.

On the A, the original of L’Amour is a smooth deep houser that starts out with warm, rolling beats, a full-phat bassline, heavily reverbed vocal fragments and some gorgeous pads, all of which are slowly joined first by sprightly old skool pianos and then, after what sounds suspiciously like a panpipe interlude (I know, but it kinda works), by a cheeky vocal bite from Raw Silk’s Do It To The Music. Flip it over, though, and local hero and label boss Horatio’s remix is a mooder, darker affair altogether, centred mostly of shufflin’ beats and a relentlessly throbbing bassline but, somewhat unexpectedly, making full use of the aforesaid panpipes (or whatever they are).

Both are cool but a combination of pianos + Raw Silk was never gonna fail to win over these ears!

Out: This week

About: Find Natural Rhythm on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Various – Two Years Of Natural Rhythm

August 31, 2014 in Albums

Two Years Of Natural RhythmRomania’s Natural Rhythm (and sub-labels Waldliebe Familien and Quanticman Records) have only recently popped up on the TIWWD radar. How convenient, then, that they should choose to release this ‘best of so far’ collection now!

The collection comprises a whopping 40 tracks, totalling over five hours of music, so you’ll forgive me if we don’t go in for the full track-by-track right now! But tech-house from the tuffer, drummier side is the general order of the day, with a dash or two of straight-up techno, though as you might expect given the sheer quantity of tuneage on offer there’s room too for excursions into other music pastures, which are actually some of the best bits. Dive in and you’ll find dubwise skank on Trippy Soul’s Jack Behrouz, a lil’ filter disco flava on Vinyl Speed Adjust’s That’s Right, bubblin’ deep house vibes on Paul Eg’s Sloth Morning and head-frying acieeeeeed on Manuel Belgrano’s Mind Tool, to name but a few of the delights on offer.

Belgrano is in fact one of the few familiar names involved, along with label boss Horatio, H’s partner-in-crime Gruia, Nima Gorji and Ronan Portela (him again!) – otherwise,  these are mostly newer talents. Which makes this collection an ideal way to familiarise yourself with the house and techno sound of eastern Europe, 2014-style…

Out: This week

About: You can find Natural Rhythm on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Chemars – Lost In Music EP

May 28, 2014 in Singles

Chemars Lost In Music Waldliebe FamilienStupidly busy with real, paid work stuff this week, but there’s just time tonight to tell you quickly about this new EP from Waldliebe Familien, a Romanian label whose promos have recently started landing in the TIWWD inbox.

Fellow Romanian Chemars, AKA Manuel M*, is the man at the helm, and he brings us four tracks here. Jazz Stax is a driving, boompty-ish affair with mucho parping sax, energising organ stabs and vocal “dance!” and “do it!” interjections. Lost In Music has a similarly Carter-esque feel, rocking a neat little plainitive keyboard hook and garage-y vocal snips. Slalom is a slightly more sedate, understated number with unhurried drums and long, sweeping synth washes, while finally Stangaci sees Chemars back in unashamed slammin’ mode, in this instance adding a zeitgeisty sawtooth b-line.

Jazz Stax is the standout here for me but all four tracks will rock the real house floors for sure.

Out: Saturday (May 31)

About: Waldliebe Familien can be found on Facebook, or at the website of parent label Natural Rhythm.

*I think there are two Manuel M’s by the way, because there’s also a French one who does stuff with David Duriez, unless I’ve got it twisted and they’re actually the same guy?