Probably more than ever, music plays a significant role in our lives. Being under many restrictions and lockdowns, music is the predominant activity and a good way to connect with friends and people with the same values, even at distances.
Since the beginning of the year, we heard many fantastic productions that caught our imagination and gave us good vibes and motivated us to write reviews and premiere some of the tracks, documenting this intriguing underground but yet global phenomenon that we all refer to as ROminimal or micROhouse.
Below you can find an extended list containing 29 releases, carefully selected from some of the most prominent record labels like [a:rpia:r], Amphia, AtipicLab, Berg Audio, BodyParts, Dialogue Records, feeder sound, Gettraum, H24records, Nervmusic Records, Stackenschneider, Sushitech, Ukiyo Music.
Scroll down (slow) and listen to a wide and diverse spectrum of tracks recently produced by local and international artists like Ada Kaleh, Alci, Anton Kubikov, BRYZ, Bucurie, Christopher Ledger, Cosmic Clap, Cosmjn, Cristi Cons, Dana Ruh, DeWalta, dot13, Doubtingthomas, Dubtil, Emi, Ferro, Giacomo Pellegrino, Herck, Ion Ludwig, Janeret, Lola Palmer, Mihai Pol, Oana, Pauli, Pîrvu, Priku, Ricardo Villalobos, RQZ, Shaun Reeves, SIT, Steve O’Sullivan, Sublee, Thomas Melchior, Topper, Traumer, Tripmastaz, Visullucid aka Emi, Vlad Arapasu, Vlad Caia, Wyro, Yaklev and many others.
Ada Kaleh – Solace In Repetition (incl. SIT & Shaun Reeves) [Dialogue Records]
Los Angeles-based events brand Dialogue reveal their first pressing as a record label in the form of “Solace In Repetition” EP signed by local artist Ada Kaleh alongside SIT (Cristi Cons & Vlad Caia) and Visionquest’s co-founder Shaun Reeves on remix duties.
Alci – Delayed Control [Nervmusic Records]
“Alci is joining the Nervmusic family by bringing this 7 pieces of space love on board of our Enterprise”. – info sheet from the distributor
BRYZ – Digbeth EP [Dubøka Records]
“Dubøka Records are pleased to announce their first vinyl-only release dedicated to their home town Birmingham, UK. This 3 track EP titled ‘Digbeth’ encapsulates the unmistakable production style from BRYZ. Each unique track is curated with that pure Romanian sound.” – info sheet from the distributor
Christopher Ledger, Pirvu, Sublee, Cristi Cons, Topper, DeWalta – Family Jubilee III [Meander Records]
“A fabulous overview into Meanders momentum.” – info sheet from the distributor
Cosmjn – Atipic Lab 012 EP [AtipicLab]
The next chapter to arrive on vinyl in early January 2021 from Priku‘s Atipic Lab venture sees local artist Cosmjn returning to the label with two driving cuts, designed with sublime old-school elements which explore inner and outer dimensions with a forward-thinking approach to the minimal genre.
dot13 – Horns of Dilemma EP (incl. BRYZ) [H24records]
“In a world full of minimal techno be dot13, a name that revitalized the local Romanian musical establishment with his productions. He landed, as did his music, with a lot of noise. A pleasant noise. The name of EP, Horns of a Dilemma, like a metaphor for the mix of present musical genres, places our fourth release somewhere on the border between breakbeat, electro, minimal and tech-house.” – info sheet from the distributor
Dubtil – Anume EP [a:rpia:r]
“Arpiar 016 announces the long-awaited 3 track EP from Dubtil entitled Anume”. – info sheet from the distributor
Ferro – The Unforced EP [Amphia]
“Amphia welcomes Ferro, making his debut with a four-tracker EP titled The Unforced”. – info sheet from the distributor
Giacomo Pellegrino – Dub Experience [Detroit Side]
Italian artist Giacomo Pellegrino makes a fantastic return to his record label Detroit Side with a 2×12″ LP titled “Dub Experience” that packs 8 immersive dub techno/ambient compositions, carefully crafted to evoke deep feelings and vivid memories. The material marks the seventh vinyl-only instalment in the imprint’s catalogue, with previous releases being signed by Ocu, Enrico Mantini, Dixia Sirong and Bassa Clan while the venture continues to deliver regular live streaming sessions, podcasts and showcase events.
Ion Ludwig – Foundation [unreleased]
“The ever cultured Ion Ludwig is next up on the esteemed Unreleased Ltd label with a new three-tracker that once again shows off his intricate studio skills. Ludwig has long been turning out killer tunes on labels like UGold and Sushitech, and he does it again here.” – info sheet from the distributor
Lola Palmer – Somewhere New EP (incl. Janeret & Priku feat. Dinu) [Berg Audio]
“BERG AUDIO welcomes Lola Palmer with her debut EP on the label, entitled “Somewhere New”. Known for her impeccable selections that she has been sharing during the past two decades, Lola Palmer delivers two superb deep techno tools, incl. Janeret & Priku feat. Dinu remixes. Artwork by Juli Jah.” – info sheet from the distributor
Macarie – Debieight [MDT LTD]
After publishing three amazing minimal records signed by Chrivu, Maifaunu and Sonohat on his freshly founded record label Midas Touch, local DJ and producer Macarie drops “Four Out Of 4 LP” on vinyl-only side venture MDT LTD, unleashing a solid underground narrative that extends to 8 fresh tracks, with half of them going for the classic 4/4 rhythm backed-up by solid basslines and twisted textures and the other half settling for an unconventional electro/breakbeat approach. A highly recommended record right here for collectors, selectors and enthusiasts alike!
Mihai Pol – Pandora 04 LP
Mihai Pol announced his latest album, titled Pandora 04, the fourth LP of its series, which is independently released on Bandcamp by the artist.
Pandora 04 contains four well-tailored tracks, composed with deep and uplifting lines, twisting basslines, driving percussive patterns and unusual inserts. The LP is a dance lesson, but at the same time, the journey has a hidden and mysterious story underneath.
Oana – Transmisiune Intergalactică EP [feeder sound]
Oana delivers the third vinyl-only instalment to arrive from the Romanian record label feeder sound. Oana is well-known for her vibrant selections and productions, as well as for running Ariki Records. Titled “Transmisiune Intergalactică”, the 12’’ packs three solid minimalistic tracks designed with deep and futuristic rhythms and textures, ready to take you on a journey into inner and outer space!
Pauli – Solara EP (incl. Ion Ludwig Remix) [Aissa Records]
Canadian imprint Aissa Records returns with its second pressing, this time with Hungarian artist Pauli at the controls alongside Ion Ludwig on remix duties. Titled “Solara EP”, the material provides three uplifting house-infused originals and a deeper re-interpretation of the title track that will surely delight electronic music enthusiasts, collectors and selectors worldwide. The artwork is made by MID Studio while the mastering is signed by Pheek.
Pîrvu – Vulpix EP [Club Guesthouse]
“Club Guesthouse reveals the first release of their record label coming from Pîrvu, one of GH’s residents and a sound design wizard with a remarkable ear for detail, including a special remix Rhadoo.
The 12-inches sports ‘Vulpix.ro’ on the A-side, a track that immediately stands out, challenging our perceptions of harmony and structure for the better. ‘In fat ca petele’ illustrates an elusive atmosphere, deepening surface and depth into a fresh electronic dialect of modern mirage. Rhadoo is rearranging molecules in the air on the flip-side, delivering a minimalist remix. The vocals seek out some darkened hues, with certain attention to the low end, giving the subs a proper workout – making it another vital dispatch from the Romanian pioneer.” – info sheet from the distributor
Priku feat. Dinu – ENDZ042 [Eastenderz]
For this release, Eastenderz invited Priku to collaborate with Dinu for a two-track EP. Combining their astonishing skills in a complex array of sound derived from electronic music and classical instruments, the two tracks forming the EP are in contrast with each other.
RQZ – SVR EP [Sous-Vide Records]
“Rising Romanian producer RQZ is back on Sous-Vide Records following his previous remix of “First Floor” from SVR001. This time the Mioritmic resident presents four snappy minimal offerings.” – info sheet from the distributor
Steve O’Sullivan (incl Ricardo Villalobos, Dana Ruh, Thomas Melchior, Soela) – Dimensions Parallel Edition LP [Sushitech]
“Part Three of Steve O’Sullivan’s ‘Dimensions’ album series featuring collaborations with Ricardo Villalobos, Dana Ruh, Thomas Melchior and Soela.” – info sheet from the distributor
Traumer – GETTRAUM008 EP [Gettraum]
“Traumer returns on his imprint.” – info sheet from the distributor
Tripmastaz – Ulybok tebe ded makar EP (incl. Vlad Caia) [BodyParts]
“BodyParts Vinyl welcomes the Russian sound wizard Tripmastaz with his Ulybok Tebe Ded Makar EP. The package contains 3 fresh tunes with a minimalistic but housy touch and a remix by Romanian stalwart Vlad Caia.
The EP is mastered at Tripmastering, the analog mixing and mastering studio the all-rounder opened back in 2020.” – info sheet from the distributor
Unknown artist – noodles 002 EP [Noodles]
“Underground noodles. Sweet & sour. 180g.” – info sheet from the distributor
VA (Anton Kubikov, Kirill Matveev, Raf) – STK03 [Stackenschneider]
Russian imprint Stackenschneider reveals its third Various Artists compilation with Anton Kubikov, Kirill Matveev and Raf being the ones behind the production this time. STK03 features 5 tracks that incorporate various influences from minimal, breaks and electro, elegantly crafted by the artists into a thrilling narrative that stands as a reminder for those beautiful moments spent behind the decks at the notorious nightclub located in the central area of St. Petersburg.
VA (Emi, Estmode, Pandilla Ltd feat. Akal Anand Kaur) [Ukiyo Music]
Italian label Ukiyo Music returns with a Various Artists compilation dedicated to the minimal genre with Emi, Estmode and Pandilla Ltd feat. Akal Anand Kaur being the ones in charge of the production for Retro Series Vol. 1. The 12” packs three solid cuts and arrives in a limited number of 200 copies in 180 gr. vinyl with no repress.
VA (userUNKNWN, Soyro, Bucurie, Rares Romanov, Cerec) [Abduction]
Rowle‘s official sublabel Abduction returns with its fourth vinyl-only pressing in the form of a Various Artists compilation which showcases amazing minimal-infused sounds by userUNKNWN & Soyro, Bucurie, Rares Romanov and Cerec.
Visullucid aka Emi – 2021d
“Released March 25, 2021. Mastered by .e. Photo by visullucid” – info sheet from the distributor
Vlad Arapasu – Good times during bad times EP [Serialism]
“Vlad Arapasu debuts on Serialism Records with a sleek 3 tracker dancefloor-friendly Vinyl Only gem. Three minimal – tech trippy – funky – always rolling pearls presented on a beautiful full sleeve artwork collage. For DJs and collectors.” – info sheet from the distributor
Wyro – Volga EP (incl. Katsuba, Doubtingthomas, Per Hammar, Herck) [BPrecs]
“BP Digital opens 2021 with the Russian producer Wyro, talent within the minimal house and deep tech sphere.
Volga EP shows how the addictive rolling groove with a pinch of dirtiness effortlessly meets sneaking basslines.
Beside the title track, Wyro teams up with DoubtingThomas and Katsuba to deliver the two other rollers to the release.
The EP is complimented with the Dubb remix by Per Hammar and minimalistic after-hours vision from Herck.” – info sheet from the distributor
Yaklev – Manian Romanian (incl. Cosmic Clap) [Yaklev Ryche]
Russian artist Anton Voroshilov aka Yaklev announces the first pressing to arrive from his freshly founded record label Yaklev Ryche to arrive soon alongside Cosmic Clap on remix duties. Titled “Manian Romanian”, the two-tracker delivers a solid minimal sound designed with intricate and driving rhythms perfect for the dancefloor while exploring non-standard arrangements and vibes.
Let us know what are your favourite releases this year, and what do you think we should add to this list.