As much as we wish we did, most of us don’t have the time to spend countless hours trawling for new music. With the sheer volume of it released on a daily basis, some great tracks fly under the radar.
Crate Digging is a monthly roundup of top-tier tunes you might have missed from across the electronic music spectrum. From obscurities uncovered during trips down Bandcamp rabbit holes to the latest releases from legendary artists, Crate Digging is here to keep your collection up to date.
1. Vromm – Red Tuna [R&S Records]
Vromm‘s debut on the legendary R&S Records sees the London-based producer embrace the label’s eclectic, boundary-pushing ethos with a melting pot of future jazz, leftfield electronica, and chunky breakbeat influences. In “Red Tuna,” speaker-busting beats and bass rumble alongside funky synth progressions and cavernous effects to create a modern classic.
2. Trulz & Robin – Key-2 [Electronic Be]
Rereleased ahead of a brand new, full-length LP coming later in the year from Trulz & Robin, “Key-2” still sounds as fresh as it did back in 2001. Timeless, deep breakbeat lushness with a dash of dub techno grit.
3. Philip D Kick Featuring Om Unit – Replicant [Astrophonica]
Taken from the third and final EP in the trilogy of releases by Om Unit under his Philip D Kick moniker, “Replicant” injects some of the roots-meets-acid-house sensibilities of his Acid Dub Studies series into the chaotic, frenetic footwork/jungle aesthetic characteristic of his work under this alias. The result is an up-tempo, scattergun rhythm that is complemented by hypnotic, swirling acid sequences and eerie chord progressions.
4. Nabil Hayat – Night [FORM1]
Australian artist Nabil Hayat lands on his own FORM1 imprint with a subtle, groovy Detroit techno-inspired cut in the form of “Night.” Hayat slowly builds up layers of tightly programmed 909 grooves, booming sub bass stabs, and dusty pads to create a dense, swirling soundscape.
5. Holden Federico – Emergence [SK_eleven]
With one foot in the ’90s and another in the future, “Inner Order” updates the funk and grit of techno’s formative era for modern dance floors. Making the most out of as few elements as possible, Holden Federico keeps the focus firmly on the dance floor while paying respect to techno’s musical roots with tight, precise drums and rapid-fire synth progressions.
6. Syz – Headspin [Banoffee Pies Records]
Syz continues to play with the conventions of genre, this time mixing elements of dubstep, UK funky, and deep techno on “Headspin.” Chunky, synthetic drums that consistently switch up their rhythm keep the track playful and unpredictable while rough, wobbly bass stabs add some gritty attitude.
7. Speedy & Steve – Dabbler Nine [Mote-Evolver]
Two legends of the game join forces to release on an equally legendary label. “Dabbler Nine” is the result of a live jam between Steve Rachmad and Speedy J, edited down to a devastating five-minute thumper led by its warbling, alarm-like lead synth and tense, crunchy drums.
8. Sam Goku – Silver Rushing Streams [Permanent Vacation]
Sam Goku demonstrates his knack for blending natural and synthetic sounds on “Silver Rushing Streams,” balancing organic percussive rhythms with twinkling ambient sequences and thunderous drum breaks.
9. Photek – Phaze 1 (Gremlinz & Jesta Remix) [Odysee Recordings]
A hefty slab of contemporary jungle, Gremlinz and Jesta‘s remix of this Photek classic updates it for modern times while retaining the original’s forward-thinking approach to sound design and drum programming. “Phaze 1” had a reputation back in the day for its deadly breaks and huge sub bass hits — a reputation it’s set to earn all over again with this remix.
10. Orlando Voorn – Between The Surface [Rhythm Cult]
Rolling along effortlessly with its sparkling Detroit chords, loose jazz drums and buoyant walking bass line, “Between The Surface” is brimming with the inventiveness and soul characteristic of all of Orlando Voorn‘s productions. It’s dance floor-ready techno loaded with soul.