The passing of several of our cherished musical idols in recent weeks has left us numb and sad. While we will always honor their artistic legacies, we take comfort knowing that a new generation of artists continues to stretch their creative wings and fly into the great unknown. That said, here’s our curated roundup of the month’s most important releases.
Max Chapman – Catch Me If You Can (Madtech)
All too often house producers attempt the creative leap from dance floor single to album but fall woefully short, mainly because they lose focus and try to be all things to all people. Fortunately, UK house maestro Max Chapman draws from the lessons he’s learned crafting productions and remixes for a spate of top labels and distills his knowledge into a career-defining debut album. The essence of his sound remains razor sharp, and he pulls no punches on raw, bass-heavy cuts like “Move Your Body” and “I’m Going Deeper.” I absolutely love this album.
Hunter/Game – Adaptation (Kompakt)
After select releases on Dynamic Music, Last Night On Earth, Kompakt and their own Just This imprint, Hunter/Game, the Italian duo comprised of Emmanuele Nicosia and Martino Bertolt, present a brilliant debut album that’s overflowing with heady ideas. Brandishing an array of sounds and styles ranging from deep tech-house to techno, Adaptation is an emotionally powerful and singular masterpiece that touches your mind, body and soul.
Beacon – Escapements (Ghostly International)
Extensive touring has served these Brooklyn road dogs well. Recorded at home in New York City’s finest borough (sorry, we can’t be more impartial), their second album finds Thomas Mullarney III and Jacob Gusset continuing to refine their dark, melancholy signature and delicate arrangements made up of blips, beeps and beats. Infectious and soulful jams like “Backbone” sit comfortably against the synthy boom-bap of “Running Out” allowing the pair to steer clear of the dreaded sophomore jinx.
Dansor – Theory Of Love (Comport)
Haarlem-based DJ/producer/Comport Records boss Dansor (a.k.a. Hungarian-born Anett Kulcsar) unveils her excellent debut album after one-off releases for Tulipa and Nervous. Though the album is founded on electronic music, she smartly peppers elements from other styles into her smorgasbord including choice collaborations with Ayden Vice, Jeffrey Snijder and Saskia Laroo.
Simone Gatto – Detachment (Sheik ’N’ Beik)
One of electronic music’s deep thinkers, Gatto’s full-length debut explores all facets of the human condition. Why are we here? What does it all mean? While the subject matter he wrestles with is heady, Gatto’s dozen tracks extend well beyond the dance floor. The result is some of the most meaningful techno you’ll hear this year. Available this month on vinyl, the digital version of Detachment is out on March 15.
Eats Everything – fabric 86 (Fabric)
Bristol’s Eats Everything (a.k.a. Daniel Pearce) has been gobbling up real estate on festival and club bills ever since he unleashed “Entrance Song” on Pets Records in 2011. Having come into his own as an international entity it seems only fitting that the Fabric regular lends his mixing touch to the club’s long-running mix compilation series. Opening with a crafty Danny Teneglia edit of Ananda Project’s “Cascades of Colour”—which is arguably one of the best house tracks ever written—Pearce delivers the goods on a pumping session. Laced with top tunes from Âme to Booka Shade, Pearce includes a pair of exclusive tracks, Lauren Lane’s “The Diary of a Madwoman” and his “Baby Talk” collar with Cajmere.
Ansome – Stowaway (Perc Trax)
Perx’s experimental London label unleashes a gnarled industrial strength debut by emerging UK techno producer/sound designer Ansome (a.k.a. Kieran Whitefield). The album is chock full of abrasive soundscapes, eerie timbres and raucous hooks. Though he’s clearly in his element on the album’s more outlandish numbers, Whitefield is perhaps at his best on the nightmarishly brilliant “Blackwater” and the title track that careens along at the speed of a runaway train.
Various Artists – Tessellations (Houndstooth)
Fabric’s eclectic sister label marks three years on its 50th release with a stellar 14-track compilation reflecting the imprint’s varied sound and sensibility. Featuring a diverse selection of bespoke contributions from Aisha Devi, Guy Andrews Second Storey and Unsubscribe and others, Tessellations finds the label once again giving the middle finger to provincial genre fascists.