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Stelios Vassiloudis & Sasse – Refuse

Berlin-based Klas Sasse Lindblad teams up once more with Athens’ Stelios Vassiloudis to drop some more pure pressure for Audiomatique – subsequent to their 2013 release ‘Options & Futures’. Sasse has been making house for the best part of 20 years, both for his own Moodmusic label and many other imprints. Stelios Vassiloudis has also carved out his own niche, not least via his debut album on John Digweed’s Bedrock label.

Here they combine their strengths again for this exceptional release – ‘Refuse’ is a deep, snarling house bomb, dripping in sex and sweat. The bassline struggles to free itself from its moorings, mutating and evolving menacingly over the tight, driving rhythm.

Play with caution – things may get messy. Johannes Brecht’s remix takes things even further down the rabbit hole – strange bleeps and blips tear through the track, which has been streamlined into a slick tech workout. Beatport customers also get access to the killer dub version, which somehow manages to tame the wild bassline but turns up the heat on the groove. Out on May 19.

Stelios Vassiloudis – It Was What It Was EP [2014]

From ambient soundscapes, down-tempo vocal tracks and slo-mo house, through to deliciously deep experiments, firing tech-house and acid grooves, “It Is What It Is”, the supremely exciting double-disc debut artist album from Stelios Vassiloudis, was released on Bedrock at the tail end of 2011. Then, at the height of summer 2012, came the first of a planned series of album remix packages featuring interpretations from some of the most exciting producers from around the world, fittingly titled “It Was What It Was”. Now, at the start of 2014, comes the next highly anticipated, super-exciting selection of remixes.

The original album is rich with the many vocal talents it hosts, one of the most glorious contributions coming from Astrid Suryanto on “Feed”, giving Russ Gabriel (whose name has been synonymous with UK Techno since 1993) the perfect backdrop to create an absolutely beautiful, fresh interpretation. The brilliant One Of Them (aka New York based Niko Dalagelis) continues with the beauty theme, taking the vocal contribution of Japan’s Tomomi Ukomori on “Green Is Blue” into a deeply chilled house excursion, whilst the Japanese music master, Satoshi Tomiie, interprets things a more upbeat manner that is equally enthralling for his remix.

Guy J’s work is always touched with a magic and emotion that few rival and his remix of “I Burn Like” is yet another example of why his productions are so special. This time the distinctive original vocals of Darren Murphy are meshed into a deeply hypnotic journey. In contrast, Wiretappeur (the production partnership between Florian Kruse, Nils Nurnberg and Stelios himself) turn “I Burn Like” into a seductive slo-mo vocal house masterpiece.

Dieb Audio’s John Dalagelis (brother of the aforementioned Niko) was heavily involved in the original album project and returns here with a delightfully adventurous, jazz-influenced, widescreen techno take on “Repetition”. The superb selection of creative remixes is brought to a finale with India’s Arjun Vagale joining forces with Spain’s Ramiro Lopez to put together a frenetic percussive acid interpretation of “What’s That” (odd one out here as the original track first appeared on the Bedrock 14 compilation album).

Stelios Vassiloudis & Sasse – Options And Futures EP [2013]

Greek producer/dj Stelios Vassiloudis (pictured above) teams up once more with Berlin-based Klas Sasse, following their 2011 outing on Bedrock. This time round, the pair find a home with Audiomatique, and use it as the perfect platform to launch another assault on the dance floor. The ‘Options and Futures EP’ sees the well-traveled collaborators speculating on house’s enduring ability to thrill. The original mix fires along at pace, building and building via frenetic synths, and a well-placed vocal stab that references some of the kinetic energy of early house. The whole thing holds together perfectly and is as euphoric a moment as you will hear this year – this will ring out on floors across the globe. The Phonogenic mix is a different affair – a deeper more spacey voyage but maintaining the taught sense of tension throughout. Dubbed out effects lend it a very late night appeal, somewhere between the main room and the after party.