Winter Warmers 2020

Inspired by Laurence’s recent blog post showcasing some recent favourites, here are just a few of the records, plucked from the pile next to the turntable, that have been floating my boat over the past few months.

I took a breather from doing mixes this summer, but picked up the baton again in November and you can hear some of these in a mix I put together for Radio Buena Vida in Glasgow, plus a forthcoming broadcast (next month) with Mihail P.

Reedale Rise – Doing Regular Things (Frustrated Funk)

I’ve been digging Reedale Rise’s stuff for a while, and he’s hit a rich vein of form recently. On this six-tracker for the Clone-affiliated label, beatless synth pieces rub shoulders with immaculately-produced electro. Check out the sublime Water Margin for six-minutes of blissed-out electronics guaranteed to lift your mood. Buy digital from Bandcamp.

ESB – Earth and Heaven EP (Wex/Telomere)

Vancouver’s Elan Benaroch drops a five-tracker of hardware-driven house/techno hybrids. Every track’s a winner here, with shades of early New York house sitting comfortably alongside more electro-fuelled grooves, and the production is impeccable without being over-polished. Very limited, and no digital release, so don’t sleep. Buy from Bandcamp.

Atypic ‎– DE:10.09 (De:tuned)

A bit of a treat here for fans of early Black Dog/Plaid productions, in the form of two previously unreleased 1992 recordings by Andy Turner and Ed Handley under the Atypic alias, as used for the sublime Otaku on Rising High. Neither of them are quite in the same league as that, but both have the characteristic sound of that era and have aged like a fine wine. Buy from Juno.

Ballet Mechanique ‎– 1992-1999: Collection 1 (Open Channel for Dreamers)

Talking of that mid-90s techno sound, there was recently a welcome repress for this 2019 EP which compiles four vintage cuts from Jeroen Borrenbergs – clearly heavily influenced by Black Dog and Detroit techno but with a Dutch twist. Delsin are also reissuing his classic Embody EP, originally released on Eevolute. Buy from Juno.

John Beltran ‎– La Mañana EP (Stasis Recordings)

Have to admit that John Beltran isn’t a ‘buy on sight’ producer for me, and I don’t have all his records by a long chalk, but when something does click with me, it clicks big-time. That’s the case with Sweet Storm, the opening cut on this vinyl-only four-track EP – a timeless ambient techno cut with warm chords, twinkling synths and syncopated melody lines. Sold out in most places but try Redeye.

Dan Piu – Let’s Come Together (Euphoric State)

Five tracks of raw, melodic house from this long-serving Swiss producer. Again, I don’t have too many of his records, but when he gets a shot on target for me, it’s a knockout. The standout here is El Viento De La Noche, which dates back to 1994 and, as one Discogs commenter noted, “sounds like a forgotten Strictly Rhythm gem”. Stripped-down, subtly euphoric afterhours grooves that would make perfect sense at sunrise after a long night of dancing. Sold out in most places but try Subwax.

Ex-Terrestrial ‎– Ex-Terrestrial (Temple)

Originally released in 2017, this six-track mini-album from Montreal producer Adam Feingold got a welcome repress this summer. Super-deep, spaced-out house and electronica with a psychedelic edge, marrying 80s digital sheen with 90s ambient house. Standouts include the insistent groove of Dance of the Nymph and the precision-tooled cosmic roller, Spatial Dub. Buy digital from Bandcamp.

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