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Top Releases: January 2016

A kick-start of musical goodness for 2016.

Deepchord ‘Exploring The North' / Soma Quality Recordings / 25th January

We begin with something rather serene in the form of new emissions taken from Atmospherica Vol.2 out on the Glasgow based record label. The title track is 13 minutes of rolling sublimity with divinely sweeping pads and lustrous synths marking this deep techno excursion. It's one to be savoured solo as you retreat from the chaotic outside world.

Anja Schneider ‘Soul Traveler' / Mobilee Records / 22nd January

Here comes a very personal release from the German who divulged that the EP from which 'Soul Traveler' is taken, is a more mature sound for her. Not the first and undoubtedly not the last to do so, she sampled the vocal riff from spacey Jazz man Sun Ra, who mindfully interjects the driving, techy groove that hits the mark from the get go.

Junior J ‘Keep it Comin' / Spinnin Deep / 25th January

The official video for this track ranked up over 90,000 views in just one day and that says it all. It was revealed by Danny Howard on BBC Radio 1 and has rallied support from Oliver Heldens, Martin Garrix, Don Diablo, Tough Love, Chocolate Puma, R3hab and Sam Feldt. A re-work of C&C Music Factory's 1992 classic Music Is My Life, Junior J takes the lushest elements of house music and puts them to work in what is already finding itself touted as one of the catchiest tracks of the year. It might still officially be winter but this is one of those tracks that with its packing of summer vibes, can take you out of reality and leave you where your imagination should desire.

Kerrier District ‘Techno Disco' (KiNK Remix) / Hypercolour / 6th January

KiNK is on remixing duties for a track taken from Luke Vibert's revived Kerrier District project and the result is a cracker. He joins the likes of Ricardo Villalobos and Max Loderbauer as they also lent their finesse for the release which marks Hypercolour's 50th single release. The Bulgarian, who left 2015 as the rightful winner of RA's Best Live Act, announced last August that he was adding his touch to this while on a plane to Amsterdam. Of the two genres in the title, it packs more of a disco punch with spacey synth melody and bassline that transforms it into a powerful peak time track.

Chris Bekker ‘Heimat B' / VANDIT Records / 25th January

Richly atmospheric, 'Heimat B' lies somewhere between between house, trance and progressive. For the obscure knowledge geeks, Heimat is a German word that has no English equivalent and is often expressed with terms of home or homeland. We reckon you could be hearing this in clubbing spaces very far from home and if that slice of knowledge never appears in a pub quiz, unlucky.

Ambivalent ‘Daylights' / Cocoon Recordings / 22nd January

Ambivalent has already been smashed out by the likes of Sven Väth, Adam Beyer, Alan Fitzpatrick, Laurent Garnier, Skream, Gregor Tresher's, Gary Beck and John Digweed. From that info alone, you know it's a mainroom mauler. For the US born, Berlin resider, Daylights is his Cocoon Recordings single debut and what a beast it is. Loaded with dark Detroit character with the vocal samples and the harmonic synthstrings being flung along by the massive techno bassline. For the techno heads, you'll be hearing this one aplenty.

Thomas Schumacher ‘Bandera' (Hermanez Remix) / Snatch! Records / 25th January

Bandera slides through with its Latin American flavourings from Riva Starr's revered record label in the form of its BPM Festival 2016 compilation album entitled In Dubb Vol.1. The album has been designed to capture the sound of Snatch's big debut label showcase at Mexico's BPM festival and has already garnered support from Richie Hawtin, John Digweed, Marco Carola, Danny Tenaglia, Joseph Capriati, Steve Lawler and many more. Another to listen out for going by its growing legion of industry fans.

Kevin Over ‘LY' / Noir Music / 22nd January

The 24-year-old German is adding to his Retrovision EP collection with the third instalment. Studying sociology in Düsseldorf by day and by night, concocting some of the most masterful and inspiring techno and raw house making the orbits. You can hear it drawing inspiration from ‘80s and ‘90s Chicago and Detroit sounds with a dosage of modernity.

Bambook ‘Tow The Line' (Camea Remix) / Jeudi Records / 11th January

Tow The Line is a track that begs for the repeat button, but luckily it isn't one to be fallen out of love with easily, as can so happen when we skunner ourselves with a newfound record soulmate. It's ever so slightly moody as Camea takes a dark wand to it with grinding, distorted pads that are unrelenting in their grip.

Kobosil ‘To See Land' / Ostgut Ton / 27th January

Berghain's latest resident DJ is up with his debut album for Ostgut Ton. The album is detailed as making a swerve from club-contextual tracks towards a more musical, multilayered song format. While To See Land isn't one that can be released onto a crowd during the climax of any techno gig, expressive vocal samples and continuous bass thud make this one an absolute weapon when used in the right context. Enjoyed best anywhere with a lack of sunlight.

Markus Schulz ‘Bayfront' (Miami) / Coldharbour Recordings / 19th January

2016 welcomes a new adventure for DJ Times' America's Best DJ. Miami native. The Bayfront is for Markus an iconic professional space, it's home to the legendary Club Space, Ultra Music Festival and Groove Cruise which have each received vast contributions from the trance Titan. The track gives life to their collective qualities with a dark and slightly sinister climb towards a release of euphoria. Give the video a watchover to remind yourself why Miami is one on many a bucketlist.

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