Paul Stickman - xpressions EP (Kozmik Hype Recordings)

Toronto’s Kozmik Hype Recordings is back once again, this time with an in-depth six track EP from legendary hometown producer, Paul Stickman. A veteran DJ dating back to ’84, Paul is the co-founder of Stickman Records Inc. and Aquarius Recordings with work appearing on a list of other top labels like Strictly Rhythm, Nervous, and Studio !K7. Having built an impressive career, the xpressions EP shows his ability to build expansive songs - not surprising for an artist with his longevity. He forays into extended melodic progressions, each track developing its own ebb and flow.

First comes the rolling, stab-driven “We Wanted To Play” which features vocals sure to resonate with the very being of passionate house and techno DJs. The 4 Da Headz Mix twists things up a notch with a fattened bass and added acid elements. A monster of a tune lurks beneath cutting, high pitched strings, fluid pads, and a crunchy snare on “Artoureau” while “Tek3” likewise unveils a creature in cracking form. Both “Lazy B” and “Theme 001” really shine in the midrange, welcoming arpeggiated synths that fidget about, with the latter of the two cuts barely even employing a kick.

Paul Stickman expresses himself quite alright on this spacious new EP for Kozmik Hype.

Stacey Pullen - “Cool.”
Rennie Foster (Rebirth / Dirty Works) - “Nice EP! I will be playing it.”
Ulysses (Neurotic Drum Band) - “They’re all keepers. It’s nice seeing Paul still in top form.”
Hippie Torrales - “‘We Wanted To Play’ … nice, indeed.”
Alkalino (Estimativa / Audaz Recordings) - “Instantly in love with the 4 Da Headz mix of ‘We Wanted To Play.’”
Malbetrieb (Klopfgeist / Paradigm) - “Proper deepness … I like.”
ed2000 (Tresor / Dangerous Drums) - “This is very cool. You can hear the artist’s story in the quality.”
Spesh (Jondi & Spesh / Loöq Records) - “This is an outstanding release!”
Alvaro Hylander (DeepWit Recordings) - “I would definitely play this one … a great combination of moods and beats.”
Al Bradley (3am Recordings) - “Wicked. I’m really digging the trippy vibe on ‘Lazy B,’ with the atmospheric ‘Theme 001’ proving useful, too.”
Greg Eversoul (Elektek / Evasive) - “Really good EP. Nice to see Paul making such a strong return. Every track is good.”
Chris Udoh (Tigerhook) - “Bangers!”
DJ Di Costa (MoodyLushious Influences) - “‘Theme 001’ is simply the ultimate intro tool here. A lovely piece of work.”
Fine Cut Bodies (Biscuit Real / Chi Recordings) - “Nice, dirty, and groovy.”
Jean Jérome (Radio FG / Kut ‘N’ Paste) - “I’ve got a big vinyl collection with some old jewels from Paul. This new EP shows some new skills from him. This guy’s got pure talent.”
Tony D’Onghia (Radio Koper-Capodistria, Italy) - “Proper solid no-nonsense grooves. I really like it.”
Joey Silvero (Distant People) - “Some damn serious ammo on this release … heavy weight soundz.”

Available now from Beatport.

Mystik Mike - Arcobaleno (Kozmik Hype Recordings)

Toronto’s Kozmik Hype Recordings returns with veteran DJ Mystik Mike for “Arcobaleno,” a new single in the label’s distinctive house music style. A mainstay on the Toronto scene, Mystik Mike has been spreading the house message since the ’90s as a DJ, club owner, and radio show host. With “Acrobaleno,” Mike delivers a solid groove with squeaky clean accents. The bulk of the cut is built around a big bass sound, an arpeggiated synth, and shuffling percussion. Pitched up vocals are teased out before coming in proper with the breakdown.

Keeping it mostly a Toronto affair, remixes come from fellow veteran Canadian DJs Paul Stickman, Darren Marshall, Nick Theos, and Steve Venom. The lone regional outlier is the young Geneva, Switzerland-based Falcord with his pulsing pad remix. The two mixes from Paul Stickman (Stickman Records, Aquarius Recordings) both slowly evolve to mesmerizing effect. Steve Venom and Darren Marshall focus on driving bass lines and tech-inspired chops, but with completely different end results. Nick Theos creates the trackiest of the lot with devastating highs and hypnotic use of the original’s synths.

Tensnake - “Some nice remixes in here.”
Joey Silvero (Distant People) - “A strong vocal part and I like the shift in chords … nice tension. The breakdown is hot.”
DJ Style (Knob Records) - “Great release.”
Tyler Stadius - “Good ones!”
Kadabra (House Hookup / 5Magazine) - “All solid house cuts. Nick Theos’s mix bangs, and the beat has that old school Moody Records / H-Foundation feel to it. I also love Darren Marshall’s rolling funk take on it.”
Alvaro Hylander (DeepWit Recordings) - “Paul Stickman’s 4 Da Headz Mix does it for me!”
DJ MTS (Progress Radio Show) - “This is the best pack I’ve received in a while! All the mixes are hot … big, quality EP.”
Affie Yusuf (Superfreq / I Love Acid) - “Paul Stickman’s mix is one underground-as-hell tune!”
Al Bradley (3am Recordings) - “A very smart selection of mixes here; the original is a cracker, but overall for me it’s the Paul Stickman 4 Da Headz Remix which is the standout … a wicked mood-setter to up the ante in the sets. Cool as fooooook!”
Mark Mac (The Sound Collective) - “A top main room track … every mix sounds great.”
Bogdan Taran (Dance Box) - “The Nick Theos and Paul Stickman remixes sound classy.”
Michael Stukes (Mystic Vybes) - “A serious secret weapon.”
QuestionmarQ (Vision Collective / Red FM) - “I’m really liking the bouncy vibe of the Steve Venom remix … also feeling Paul Stickman’s 4 Da Headz Mix. Quality.”
DJ Lolly (Freek FM / Ruff Diamond) - “I’m loving the original and the Darren Marshall remix.”
Velanche (Velanche’s Playtime Radio Show) - “The Nick Theos is mad deep … that’s the one for me.”

Part 1 and Part 2 now available from Beatport.

Hot Lipps Inc. - Foolish Pride / High Expectations (Hot Lipps Records)

Toronto producers Hot Lipps Inc. get a little more techy with their latest Hot Lipps Records label offering. Unlike previous releases, Peter & Steve Primiani forgo any remixes on this one, simply featuring two original tracks produced, arranged, and mixed by the brothers themselves.

Foolish Pride” is the first track and it’s a dynamic tech house piece with a boisterous bass line, soft pads, and a liberal use of vocal bits.

The second track, “High Expectations,” is a textbook amalgamation of deep and tech house, featuring a masterful bass line with synths layered cleverly on top. Their veteran touch shows through well-placed percussive elements and smooth hi hats that keep the groove never sounding repetitive.

These two standalone tracks add up to another stellar release on Hot Lipps Records.

Atnarko - “Love these Hot Lipps tracks, as usual!”
Julius Papp - “I’m digging ‘High Expectations’ … it hits!”
Toomy Disco (Kitsuné / Under The Shade) - “Amazing sounding! Lovin’ this new drop from Hot Lipps Inc. ‘Foolish Pride’ for me.”
Da Sunlounge - “Great release … will support in my sets.”
Claudio Coccoluto - “I love this sound.”
Giom - “Wicked! I’ll try these out.”
Sumsuch (Colour and Pitch) - “A solid brace of tracks here.”
Motorcitysoul - “Top notch tunes!”
DJ MFR (Transport Recordings) - “Great tracks … full support from me.”
Spesh (Jondi & Spesh) - “A totally solid release … just excellent!”
Joey Silvero (Distant People) - “More slammin’ madness to move everyone on the floor … solid rocking bass and tight beats.”
Alvaro Hylander (DeepWit Recordings) - “Nice, powerful, and deep at times.”
Ourra (Pop Out And Play / Alola) - “‘Foolish Pride’ has got the funky tech house bass line … it reminds me of that early 2000 Mr. C sound and that’s a good thing!”
Deron Delgado (Stompy / Paradise) - “Both tracks are fire!”
Al Bradley (3am Recordings) - “Boom! Top work from the brothers Primiani! Both are wicked; ‘Foolish Pride’ for its ass-shaking bass groove, ‘High Expectation’ for its techy elements. Killer!”
Tony D’Onghia (Radio Koper-Capodistria) - “Solid, sturdy grooves. I love the ‘High Expectations’ vocal sample.”
LavaLava (Subcity Radio, Glasgow) - “Both tracks here are great deep house groovers. Prefect for kicking off a set … digging this one.”
DJ Di Costa (MoodyLushious Influences) - “Good stuff comin’ once again from Hot Lipps Inc. Very cool package … both tracks are ace, especially ‘Foolish Pride’ which is an indisputable winner for me.”

Available now from Beatport and Traxsource.

Brad Goldfinger feat. Amalia Leandro - I Like The Way (Kozmik Hype Recordings)

Kozmik Hype Recordings’ deep new single has everything to do with the label’s home base, Toronto. Deploying three artists hailing from the Canadian electronic music hub, “I Like The Way” is a big yet spacious collaboration between Brad Goldfinger and Amalia Leandro with remixes from house music veteran Paul Stickman. Goldfinger has made a career as a deep house and tech blending DJ, sharing the stage with huge international talent. Portuguese by blood, Leandro has traveled the world with stints in Toronto, NYC, and Miami as a DJ, songwriter, poet, actor… she’s a recognized creative, to say the least.

Working together they unleash an epic rush of rhythmical stabs, rising and falling pads, heavily charged bass, precision cutting hats, and a “let’s move this to the bedroom” vocal performance uprooted in dance floor romanticism. Two heavily redacted remixes come from Stickman Records and Aquarius Recordings co-founder Paul Stickman. Both are mesmerizing in their focus on the fine details, with Stickman’s Dirty Back Seat Mix entraining into bare disco territory and his Raw Hard Dub Mix practicing a deep, minimal hypnotism. This release is refined and ready to inject some sexuality back into the dance community with no guilt, only pleasure.

Quentin Harris - “Grooving track.”
Tyler Stadius - “Good to hear some Stickman sounds again.”
Fabricio Peçanha (Moodmusic / Definition Records) - “Good one!”
Hippie Torrales - “Rocking hard!”
Alvaro Hylander (DeepWit Recordings) - “It’s all about the Paul Stickman mixes for me. Nice stuff.”
Chris Udoh (Tigerhook / Escapism) - “Banging single! All mixes are hot.”
Sumsuch (Colour and Pitch) - “The Stickman dub is in for the win!”
Al Bradley (3am Recordings) - “I’m digging both mixes from Paul Stickman here. The Raw Hard Dub is wicked … really hypnotic stuff.”
Jevne (Onethirty Records) - “The original is quite driving.”
QuestionmarQ (Dance On Red / Vision Collective) - “The Dirty Back Seat Mix is a well-oiled mass of heaving rhythms … it’s wicked.”
Spettro - “Paul Stickman’s Raw Hard Dub definitely has a great groove to it.”
Deepshizzol (MyHouse-YourHouse) - “The original mix is lush … fat chords, analog stabs, great stuff!”
DJ MTS (Progress Radio Show, Brazil) - “The original mix is so emotive!. It gave me goosebumps.”
Clive Craske (RadioReverb) - “Loving the original … the silky vocal, softly understated melodic waves, and insistently syncopated house beats.”
Michael Fossati (Spirit of House) - “Beyond the shadow of a doubt the original will send the floor into a frenzy.”

Available now from Beatport.