Chris Farrell represents a wide spectrum of dance music.

A staple of Bristol’s underground circuit, Farrell has seen trends come and go over the years, but has stayed committed to the diverse sounds emerging from Bristol and further afield. Farrell mans the city’s Idle Hands record store, as well as the store’s label arm and a second imprint, BRSTL, which he runs together with Shanti Celeste and Rhythmic Theory.

Here, Farrell has picked a selection of newly released heaters to inaugurate our new column, in which selectors, curators and dance music lifers hand pick tracks aimed specifically at the club environment.

Phrased – Star Maker

L.B. Produce

I first came across this label whilst shopping at Kristina Records earlier in the year, when Shanti [Celeste, former Idle Hands employee] thrust a copy of their second release in my hands and told me to check it.

They haven’t put out a great deal, but what they have put out is refreshingly to the point, no nonsense house and techno. The four tracks here are different takes on the classic acid template with my favourite being Diatom; a mellow 110bpm jam drenched in echo and bubbling acid.

John Horton – Half True 1

Half True

A new label that doesn’t give much away in its press release apart from the fact they are from East Germany. There is some bloke speaking in German on one of the tracks which could give more away, but unfortunately I don’t speak the lingo. Whatever he is saying, this is the type of house music that Germany seems to do best, stripped back club tracks with warmth and depth. Good, functional dance floor gear.

Creta Kano - Versions

Happy Skull

A strong remix package from the Kelly Twins’ Happy Skull label. Lurka turns in a tough electro bass rework of Skyway Motel and Bruce dubs out False Water in his idiosyncratic style.

Both of those remixes are great but pick of the bunch is the O$VMV$M version of Skyway 81. One of my favourite tracks of the year, it sounds like a heavily sedated take on grime. It’s one of our best selling 12″ of recent times in the shop.

Steven Simpson - ND

1Ø Pills Mate

These tracks from Glasgow newcomer Steven Simpson are an affectionate take on classic acid house that brings to mind the early John Heckle releases. Looking forward to hearing more from this artist and label.

Frits Wentink - Horses in Cornfield

Bobby Donny

While Steve Simpson might be necking pingers, by the sound of these tracks, Mr Wentink is more of a beer man. The four tracks on the EP have a squiffy charm to them, all wobbly bass and clattering hats. The sonic equivalent of a sloppy kiss from a drunken friend. Three releases in, and Bobby Donny is already a must-check label for me.


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