Essential Dance/Electronic Albums For November 2014


If you like your music deep, funky and on the techno-house tip, you’re in for a great month. November roars in with an incredible area of solid artist albums from trusted underground stars. Here’s our picks for must-buy albums listed in no particular order.

Gaiser – False Light (Minus)
Minimal techno kingpin Jon Gaiser has come into his own in the past few years, continually refining his sound across a series of choice releases, and even presenting his ambient/downtempo side on VOID’s No Sudden Movements issued in late 2011. On False Light he continues his ascension to the top rung of the minimal ladder with deftly crafted no-bullshit tracks. “Say What” is a funky romp fueled by a funky bottom-end groove and pitched-up sample while the subterranean bliss of “Want Some” is pure manna for the dance floor. Albums that are as lean and mean as Gaiser’s third effort don’t come around every day.
Essential track: “Spillage”
Release date: November 10

Reverse Commuter – Exposure (Hallucienda)
Prolific L.A.-based producer Kenneth James Gibson, who records under the [a]pendics.shuffle moniker (among others) and co-helms the band Bell Gardens, delivers Reverse Commuter’s flawless debut album for DJ Three’s recently launched Hallucienda imprint. Opening track “Take It” is as deep and techy as they come, neatly falling into a sound pioneered by kindred spirits including Claptone. Nonetheless, Gibson presents many sides to his musical personality on Exposure. Kelly Johnston guests on two brilliant tracks (the trippy “Icarus” and cinematic “Still Voice Convincing”), with Douglas J. McCarthy (Nitzer Ebb, Recoil) lending his legendary croon (“Whispers In”) to the mix. Laden with crisp percussion, heavy bass and an array of blips and bleeps, Exposure gently pushes electronic music’s status quo forward without any pomp and circumstance.
Essential track: “They Move So Slow”
Release date: November 3

Mr G – Personal Momentz (Phoenix G)
Since his days producing music as half of The Advent, Mr. G (a.k.a. Colin McBean) continues to stay the course, crafting music that transcends the norm. Personal Momentz comes after the loss of his father, who he pays homage to on “DAD,” a song with deep pads and a truly righteous hi-hat. Unlike his prior full-length, State of Flux, the story goes that McBean waxed this beauty in 10 days. Opening cut “Faith!” is dark, sinewy and spiced with a primo female vocal sample and keyboard melody that’s as infectious as the line in Pal Joey’s ’90s classic “Hot Music.” Others like “Lot to Say” are on the deep Jersey/Nu Groove tip, no doubt bringing McBean’s storied career full circle. Any way you slice it, Personal Momentz is a brilliant and uncompromising album.
Essential track: “DAD”
Release date: November 10

Faded Ranger – Mechanical Tonight (hfn)
We’ve been fans of Faded Ranger since the duo consisting of Chicago’s Nick Maurer (ex-Greenskeepers frontman) and London’s Neville Attree (founder of Gumption Recordings) delivered a pair of awesome Big Shot Guest Mixes. After the success of their debut single, “Be On The Lookout,” the Geramny-based duo stretch out on a post-disco romp where they let their synths do the talking. A must-listen album for fans of early Depeche Mode.
Essential track: “Come To Me” (Extended Version)
Release date: November 10

Sean McCabe – It’s Time (Z Records)
Bristol-based DJ/producer Sean McCabe, who has cut tracks over the years for King Street, Z Records and Tone Control, comes correct with a gallant deep-house album. His debut album is overflowing with cameos galore — Nathan Adams, Big Ed, Erik Dillard, Taliwa, Hannah Khemoh, Sabrina Chyld, Jennifer Wallace, Diane Charlemagne and Renn — with McCabe forging his jams on real hardware such as the Fender Rhodes, SH-09, Juno 106, Poly 61, JV-1010, EMU Vintage Keys and the Moog Slim Phatty. On “Tomorrow’s Another Day” he links up with English singer/rapper Donae’o for a song that’s destined to crossover. The underground is clearly McCabe’s forte, but It’s Time hints that chart domination is in his immediate future.
Essential track: “Who’s Foolin Who”
Release date: November 3

Guy Mantzur & Sahar Z – Time (Lost & Found)
Friends for 15 years and musical collaborators for the past 7, Tel Aviv-based producers Guy Mantzur and Sahar Z present Time, an album of some of the most beautiful and compelling techno-house you will likely hear this year. Released on Guy J’s Lost & Found label, the album comes after the December 2013 release of Mantzur triumphant Moments debut for Sudbeat and finds the duo uniting on tracks that are deep, lush and utterly hypnotic. Aside from a guest appearance from fellow Israeli Amir Darzi guests on “Small Heart Attack,” Time is awash in gorgeous melodies, making this an album an essential album to have on when you get to see the sunrise.
Essential track: “Future Memories”
Release date: November 17

Heiko Laux – Fernweh (Kanzleramt)
Berlin-based techno DJ/producer Heiko Laux marks the 20th anniversary of his Kanzleramt label with an album that seemingly draws from the musical lessons he’s learned over the past two decades. Laux’s production is impeccable and he’s careful to keep his tracks minimal for maximum dance floor impact for a sound that’s unwaveringly underground and proud of it.
Essential track: “Fernweh”
Release date: November 27

Various Artists – Pop Ambient 2015 (Kompakt)
Launched in 2001 by the Cologne-based Kompakt label, the ridiculously consistent Pop Ambient series continues rolling along, presenting selections from newcomers and established artists. Curated by label co-founder Wolfgang Voigt, this year’s edition features a pair of standout productions from Thore Pfeiffer as well as offerings from Max Wueden and past series contributors Leandro Fresco, Ulf Lohmann and Jens-Uwe Beyer.
Essential track: Thore Pfeiffer’s “Nero”
Release date: November 10

Various Artists – Eamon Harkin and Justin Carter: Weekends And Beginnings (Mister Saturday Night)
As New York City’s nightlife scene has expanded and contracted since 009, DJ duo Eamon Harkin and Justin Carter have steadfastly kept their secret Mister Saturday Night and Mister Sunday Brooklyn loft parties running almost completely oblivious to fleeting fads and trends. The pair’s open-minded musical ethos shines brightly on this phenomenal 18-track mix recorded live at the August 24th Mister Sunday party held this past summer. Blending across genres and tempos, standout cuts include Maurice Fulton’s remix of Alice Smith’s “Love Endeavor,” Motor City Drum Ensemble’s majestic reworking of Caribou’s “Leave House” and the raw house of House of Gypsies’ “Another Worry” forged by Todd Terry. If you can’t get enough of this funky duo’s sound, rest easy knowing that a follow-up session, Weekends And Beginnings Companion Mix, is due in December.
Essential track: Terrence Jerome – “Believe”
Release date: November 18

Various Artists – FABRICLIVE78: Illum Sphere (Fabric)
Former resident Fabric party starter and co-founder of the Hoya:Hoya club night in Manchester, Ryan Hunn has done well for himself in recent years, releasing music on Ninja Tune (his 2014 album Ghosts of Then and Now is ace), Young Turks, 3024, Fat City and Tectonic; remixing Radiohead, Martyn, Kuedo, Lorn, Zed Bias and MONEY; and DJing all over the world the world. His contribution to Fabric’s revered mix series finds him doing what he does best — stretching out across a spate of genres (dub, funk, acid and everything in between). Most of the tracks here are obscure nuggets. If you’re looking for a collection with the latest bangers, you’d be advised to look elsewhere.
Essential track: Powell – “Fizz”
Release date: November 17

Darren Ressler

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