Steve Balance - Shade One (Harmonious Discord)

Harmonious Discord’s first selection of the year is from Austin-based tech-house producer Steve Balance (Headset, Bunchlox). Steve is a foundational pillar of the vibrant city’s underground. His humble nature and thoughtful approach have always been front and center in his music. Shade One is Steve Balance’s first project with Harmonious Discord and features remixes from Jeff Scroggin (Denied Music) and newcomer Ajay Kapoor.

The clever “Wander Ring” starts the release, a syncopated, tracky number with finely-enveloped synth washes. The disorienting nature of the musical components are well-tempered with the playful nature of the accompanying drums. Bearded Viking-prince Jeff Scroggin returns to the label to remix “Wander Ring” into a Detroit-style mindful tech masterpiece. Jeff uses vocal sampling and reverb tails to drift from section-to-section while sonic elements dance back and forth.

Shade One” shares the syncopated structure but adds a dash of jack. Pervasive, almost chanting, drum collisions roll into a muddled cascade of arpeggiated synthesizers. Ajay Kapoor joins the label as a fresh-faced talent with an evil disco sound. Ajay borrows the synthetic structure of “Shade One” on his rework but plays with the pitch to create a harmonic, moaning cadence. Coupled with the heavy disco drums, this remix occupies a unique hour in the night.

The release closes with “Resplendent,” an industrious, dark, and troubled love song. Steve Balance flexes multiple muscles in this handy dance floor expedition.

DJ P-REZ (Not So Fast Records) – “Some good stuff for those naughty late nights.”
Lee Jones / Country Gents (Buslife) – “Ajay Kapoors mix is really cool.”
Haris Custovic (Laus Music) – “Lovely deepess…”
Deepshizzol (Deepvibes Radio) – “The Jeff Scroggin remix is nice.”
Kosta (Vibe FM) – “Intense and flexed music on this one.”
DJ Hal (EQ Magazine) – “This is a solid release.”
Nico De Ceglia (Hyena Stomp) – “Nice one!”
Andrea Rraqi (Black Angel Promotion) – “Wonderful!”
Sharlese (KEXP, Seattle) – “Fun Tech house & synth grooves.”
Snooba (Radio Panik) – “Infectious & haunted folklore”

Available Now From: Beatport, Juno Download, Apple Music, And Spotify.

Brett Johnson - Illusion (Subplot Recordings)

Brett Johnson fills a critical role in house music’s underground history. His work for iconic imprints like Classic, Seasons, and 2020 Vision displayed a playful nature missing from most of the electronic landscape. Coupled with recent projects on Get Physical, Visionquest, and Freerange, Brett’s abilities as an innovative artist are undeniable. Subplot Recordings is happy to welcome Brett to the label with three versions of a dizzy concoction called “Illusion.” Each selection is wholly unique and showcases the versatility of Brett’s brain.

B’s Acid House Dub of “Illusion” builds on underground house foundations, riding cutoffs of dusty 303 devices. This acid excursion dances through rounds of playful interpretation keeping bodies moving and brains quaking. B’s Rave Mix is an unforgettable favorite on the project, with stunted Arp baselines and Brett’s classic percussion design. B’s Lost in Thought Mix tempers dizzying effects and sonic spills. An implied heady house jam, Brett covers impressive sonic territory. Listening too closely might drive one a little looney.

Diz Washington (Classic Music Company) – “Just what the doctor ordered!”
Severino (HorseMeatDisco) – “Oh yes, bring it!”
Hector Moralez (Fries & Bridges) – “Nice acid!”
Anthony Mansfield (Roam Recordings) – “Gimme dat Aceeeeed.”
Al Bradley (3am Recordings) – “Class as usual from Brett. The super spaced out ‘Lost in Thought’ mix is the pick for me, wicked.”
Jimmy Le Mac (Loophole Recordings) - “This is a banger.”
Rees Urban (5 Magazine) – “Love the acid mix, killer.”
Snooba (Radio Panik) – “Infectious Energy.”
Robot84 / Scott Ferguson (Paper Recordings) – “Oh yes. Banging Acid house, love it.”
Simon Kirk (Stag Beetle Radio Show) – “Oh yes. This is the business. 3 storming tracks with the “rave mix” being my fave. 10/10”

Available Now From: Beatport, Traxsource, iTunes, And Spotify.

Demarkus Lewis - Anything, Anymore (Viva Recordings)

Texas Native Demarkus Lewis is back for his third round on Viva Recordings with Anything, Anymore. Fusing his own vocals and all original production, Demarkus delivers an deep and driving title track swirling with emotion. Static vibrato strings, meandering keys and sub bass frequencies set make this a standout for latenight sets. ”Know Your Angles”
steps things up a notch and balances the project out with a jackin’ workout for peak hours. Squelching filtered sounds, techy beats and a touch of acid round it out for dark clubs and warehouse parties alike. This one definitely covers all of the angles.

Dutchican Soul (Strictly Rhythm) – “Dope tracks! Anything, Anymore is so original.”
Mark Farina (Great Lakes Recordings) – “Very nice!”
Laurent N. (House Nation Radio) – “Sublime EP with top tracks and versions.”
Spettro (Get Physical Music) – “Love the vocals. Super production here.”
Alvaro Hylander (DeepWit Recordings) – “It’s all about Anything, Anymore in all versions. Great stuff as ever from the master! Unique and groovy.”
Edground (Grooveland Music) – “Another amazing release from Mr. Lewis. I will play it loud! Well done.”
Onionz (Electrik Soul) – “This records HOT. Will play!”
Taigo Onez (Bang Le’ Dex Radio Show) – “Woooo! Know Your Angles is righteous.”
SimonG (Volcano Radio) – “Some quality beats … D spreads his sounds to the world again.”
Sumsuch (Colour and Pitch) – “Love this. Demarkus is simply and consistently one of the best.”

Available Now From: Bandcamp, Traxsource, Apple Music, And Spotify.

Futureworlder - Just Let It All Go (Whiskey Pickle)

Whiskey Pickle puts out a solid installment of psychoactive house with Brian Traister’s otherworldly Just Let It All Go EP. As Futureworlder, Traister gives a taste of the alternative planet of his imagination. The Brooklyn-based DJ and producer’s escape unfolds like the unforeseen house expression of a new age past.

The hazy sun rises over the horizon mirrored in the water as the opener “Forever” begins, awash with warm synths lapping at the shore while revelers weary from the night before are summoned by the steady rhythm of the kick drum to give it another go, tempted by the rising hi-hats and chunky bassline, dancing in the warm sand, only coming down midstream to cool off in the surf and then dance some more in the rising sun. “Energie” follows, quoting an old school, lush deep house flavor complete with warm, enveloping pads and echoing percussion. “I believe good can only bring good,” says the voice on the third offering “Altruism,” and repeats like the clear memory of a party-worn dancer whose flood of endorphins makes him philosophical, hopeful, and unreserved. The voice comes and goes, like a flashback after the night is over, powerful for a few moments, playing on a loop with psychedelic waves that swell and recede over a house beat. “Just Let It All Go” rounds things out, merging a chunkier rhythm section with hypnotic, shimmering synth arpeggiations and swirling strings.”

Nick Warren (The Soundgarden) – “A very, very good EP. 4 great tracks.”
Blueshift (Nurvous Records) – “Great vibe on these. “Energie” is really beautiful.”
Tyler Stadius (Deepsite) – “Love these. Dreamy and hypnotic to get lost in.”
Lebrosk (Mixmag) – “Yes yes! Can’t get enough of this one.”
Logan Fisher (Haules Baules) – “Very nice. Altruism is a real creeper.”
DJ Supafly (DJ Supafly) – “Love the funk-infused house beats, the dreamy keys and gritty basslines. Will do some damage in the late-night sets for sure.”
Ket Shah (Mucho Soul) – “Some powerful tracks on this release.”
Jon Manley (hOUSEwORX Radio show) – “Wow. Atmospheric House nailed right here, stunning!”
Mark Mac (The Sounds Collective) – “Deep, solid release rammed full of driving energy.”
DJ Nova (Rodon FM 95) – “Shimmering sonics, cascading stabs and melodies synthesize this no place, no time, just space release… Deep dub space sound at its best. Housey trance for your mind, your body and your soul!”

Available Now From: Bandcamp.