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Tunes of the month | February

Our favourite releases from January.

Right now clubbing remains off the cards as European governments act to bring local infection rates down. In spite of this, January 2021 has delivered its lion's share of new music to slightly soften the blow.

In the office (and at home), we've still got Bicep's album Isles on repeat - read our review here. In between plays, we've managed to cram in a whole lot of listening to uncover our next round of gems.

Ÿuma | Smek (Ricardo Villalobos Remix) | Crosstown Rebels | 22 January

This month marks a year since we were last on the dancefloor. What we would give for a Ricardo Villalobos session on Amnesia's Terrace right now. Here the Swiss-Chilean enigma lends his Midas touch to this remix on Crosstown Rebels.

With stripped-back kicks and tribal-laced drums, it's 12-minutes of wobbliness as only Villalobos knows how.

Carly Wilford feat Mr V | Generation X | Toolroom Trax | 15 January

Fresh for 2021, Toolroom Records has dusted off and repackaged its Leaders Of The New School concept. An album full of material from Toolroom Academy graduates gives us a glimpse into the future.

We're used to seeing Sister Collective's Carly Wilford on the panels at IMS, but here is a first taste of her work from the studio. On this evidence, the kids are alright.

Fatima Hajji | Liberty | IAMT | 22 January

Spain's own Fatima Hajji is in ferocious form. Hot on the heels of the scorching Kua/Freedom, comes more hard tarmacked Techno in the form of Liberty. Brutish percussion and powerful low-end stylise this chasmic track from a no-nonsense producer.

Dense & Pika | Oxbow (Ron Trent Remix) | Kneaded Pains | 29 January

We don't get many opportunities to showcase music from Ron Trent, so we've jumped at the chance now its arrived. The legendary Chicagan remixes UK Techno duo Dense & Pika in his unmistakable style.

Oxbow is the first single taken from their forthcoming album, Colour Burn.

Nathan Martin & Adam White | Stronger Together | Planet Perfecto | 22 January

Paul Oakenfold's legendary Planet Perfecto imprint has been a go-to for Trance fans since its birth. It continues to lead the way in the current day with its latest offering from Nathan Martin and Adam White. Let's harness the power of community through the medium of music.

Chloé | Where It Began | Permanent Vacation | 22 January

Visionary French producer Chloé is consistently excellent. She doesn't release anything but the highest quality. Where It Began is a dark slice of modern Disco, taken from her 4-track debut EP on Permanent Vacation. Sure to be big with Dixon, Solomun and the like.

Raxon | 2121 | Cocoon Recordings | 15 January

Cocoon Ibiza celebrated 20 glorious years of parties in 2019, but now its record label is also marking that same milestone. An anniversary V/A has just dropped, featuring Rampa, Gregor Tresher, Ricardo Tobar and lots more.

But we're still hypnotised by the last single from Egyptian artist Raxon.

Who caught Papa Sven's special Essential Mix this weekend? Listen back here for a voyage through the years.

Themba feat Thakzin | The Sound Of Freedom | Armada Music | 22 January

Timeless keys and staccato strings lead us into Themba's trademark beat-driven warmth on The Sound Of Freedom. The 10-minute extended mix is where we're at. Themba is making final preparations for his two part Modern Africa album, which will be landing soon.

Sink Ya Teeth | If You See Me (The Secret DJ Mix) | Hey Buffalo Records | 8 January

Taking time away from his musings, Dalt Vila dweller and elusive author, The Secret DJ is back making music.

This remix is his first release under his secretive guise. He's been on his social media soapbox of late. Libertarian politicians, plague rave DJs and rule-flouting Covid-deniers have all been on the receiving end of his rants.

For more frank assessments and industry insights, order his new book The Secret DJ: Book Two here.

Anthony Thomas | Promised Land | DJ International | 15 January

Decorated Chicago label DJ International has made an unexpected return. Its last incarnation released music from the likes of Frankie Knuckles, Steve 'Silk' Hurley and Marshall Jefferson. To mark the relaunch, the first single is a new version of Promised Land recorded with original vocalist Anthony Thomas.

Imagine hearing this at the first party back! The Promised Land awaits...

Enjoy these? Then check out our Spotify channel for more great music.

We'll be back next month with the best releases from February.

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