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.

Kay Barton - MacroGod (Emerald & Doreen Records)

After the well-received “Return 01” for the Bonzai label, Kay Barton returns with the MacroGod EP on Emerald & Doreen Records.

The North German producer started DJ’ing in 1997 after a several years in the studio and followed the rapidly developing techno scene in Germany and abroad. Eventually, Kay worked for a record label some radio stations, and regularly hosted numerous events dedicated to electronic music in different locations around the Rhine-Main area. After releases under different artist names Kay now focuses on straight techno and tech house under his given name, Kay Barton.

With the MacroGod EP, Kay combines rough sawtooth sounds and TB-303 waves and rounds things out with four-to-the-floor techno beats. Besides the two original mixes of “Oh God“ and “Macrowave“ the EP features a remix each from Berlin’s techno godfathers, Dr. Motte and Mijk van Dijk.

Dr. Motte — founder of legendary Love Parade in Berlin and as well as the Praxxiz label — has countless projects and releases during the past 30 years. He’s shaped an entire culture as an ambassador for electronic music worldwide. His remix of “Macrowave” is a straight-up sexy techno underground track featuring the 303 from the original mix as its main element.

Mijk van Dijk's history also reaches nearly 30 years. As a DJ and live under the name Microglobe, he’s performed at countless clubs and events all over the world and is an important part of the electronic music movement. With his version of "Oh God" van Dijk takes the dance floor into a world of synth melodies and his own distinctive sonic character.

Colin Dale (Abstrakt Dance Records) – “All really cool mixes here. Top EP.”
Hard Ton (Toy Tronics) – “Gimme Aceeeeed!”
Projekt Gestalten (VRAAA Records) – “Loving the acid lines. Great release.”
Rory Hoy (Howlin’ Records) – “To quote Fatboy slim, "Everybody Loves a 303". Here's proof on why Acid is for the win!”
Satoshi Fumi (Outerspace Radio show) - “I like the Dr. Motte mix for my set.”
Yourhighness (Born Free / Romb Records) – “Great release!”
Snooba (Radio Panik) – “Energetic & Infectious.”
Zach Van Lue (91X) – “Wicked!”
Simon Francis (Tonic Music / – “Loving these! Supporting.”
Salenko (MoustacheMusic Radio) – “Emerald & Doreen always brings us high quality sounds.”

Available Now From: Beatport, Juno Download, iTunes, And Spotify.

Josiah Fontenot - Unseen Forces (Harmonious Discord)

Harmonious Discord staple Josiah Fontenot (AKA El Natured, JB Fontenot) has a knack for creating wide reaching projects that display a precision for the foundational aspects of dance music with a propensity for boundary pushing. Recently Josiah has been busy with projects on imprints like Denied Music and Colour and Pitch. His productions have the city of Houston, TX, clamoring to find out more about this talented and mysterious artist. On remix duties are Signal Deluxe, who bring a seasoned tenure to the project, and multi-faceted Dallas, TX, artist Wanza Dover (Blixaboy, Black Dots, and Jack Dover). Wanz features his rough and rumble alias Jack Dover, giving listeners a comprehensive variety.

Unseen Forces” starts with dulcet chimes and disorienting effects. Growing steadily, synthesizer elements begin to collide with dusty drum machine patterns. The track progresses into abject calamity, with distorted acid lines and circuit bent squeals. Signal Deluxe muddies the waters keeping subtlety at the forefront. Their remix widens the sonic landscape and plays tricks in the ears of the listener, instilling a bit of confused delight amid a playful mixture of elements.

New Paranoia” rattles nerves with expertly executed musical framing. Wrought with tension and growing in complexity this tune introduces a fever to the dance floor that can only be followed with more well-tempered weirdness.

Picking up the pace, “Distant Ally” sits squarely between a techno banger and an electro spectacle. Synthesizer placement and construction are remnant of early electro recordings, but the drum progression is all techno. As with the rest of the project a hint of acid permeates, giving the desired fluidity that only a TB-303 can provide. For the remix, Jack Dover brings a Detroit discipline with big drums, looped-crescendos, and playful percussion.

This fall the Harmonious Discord camp is falling for the weirdness with upcoming features that continue to challenge ears and excite the senses.

Spettro (Get Physical Music) – “I get goose bumps listening to Unseen Forces. The chord progressions and groove are amazing!”
Nick Warren (The Soundgarden) – “Unseen Forces is dope!”
Salah Sadeq (The Crate Radioshow) – “I like the release, and nice work by Signal Deluxe.”
Steve ‘Griffo’ Griffiths (Freak Da Funk radio show) – “Brutal stuff! ‘New Paranoia’ is my fave so far … dirty acid workout! ‘Distant Ally’ brings to mind Dave Clarke’s Reese inspired Red series.”
Snooba (Radio Panik) – “Yeah Acid!”
Henderick AKA Thelonious Funk (Thelonious Funk Sessions) – “Liking the original productions and the Jack Dover mix.”
James Kidd (Thoughtless Music) – “Gorgeous synth tone on Unseen Forces. Both mixes are good.”
Lunacybot (FNOOB Techno Radio) – “New Paranoia is saucy as hell.”
Lcaise (Tanztone Records) – “Signal Deluxe mix for me. Nice minimal house trip.”
Taigo Onez (Bang Le’ Dex Radio Show) – “This is lovely. Signal Deluxe Remix is a sure fire cut for me. Great body of work on the whole EP.”

Available Now From: Beatport, Traxsource, iTunes, 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.