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27 Oct 10

San Soda: Immers & Daarentegen LP (We Play House) review

immers_daarentegenIf you don't know We Play House Recordings (WPH) you certainly will soon as they launched their first CD album last month. WPH (discography on discogs) was born in 2008 as a very small Belgian label specializing in quality (deep) house music and has become quit big during the last couple of years.

Their current catalogue consists of a dozen EP's, almost only available on Vinyl, with artists like Reggie Dokes, Russ Gabriel, Raoul Lambert, Nacho Marco and San Soda.

If you want to know more about WPH just check the interview I did with Red D, founder of WPH, coming soon here on DR (link will appear here once it's online)


san_sodaSan Soda, being the freshest and most unknown artist on the label, releases after some very good EP's an album: Immers & Daarentegen. The biggest fear I had when I pushed the play button was to have a collection of his best tracks coming from his EP's. But that's not the case!

The album is a real album with interludes, new tracks, older tracks and also some very nice downtempo tracks.

We kick off with "Juno Love", a slow dreamy track to welcome you on a trip to San Soda's world. "Quilombo", one of my favorites, is an older track as it appeared on San Soda's first EP and is the perfect soundtrack to walk in a big city on a rainy day, every time you think the sun might pop up the piano riff pulls you back through the rain drops, break after break. Like typical Belgian weather...

"Evaluation of the evidence" is a nice long downtempo track, which builds up very slowly and reminds me of José Padilla's 'Souvenir' album. Very chill, I would not be surprised if this song would be on a Café Del Mar compilation soon.

With "Hypocrisy" we go back on a house trip with a very moody bass line and some threatening synth chords. Once the lead comes in we are really up to speed.

This vibe continuous with probably the most 'dance floor suited' track of the album: "Let's go". A real house track with a soulful vocal, a funky piano riff, a great break and a real stomping beat!

Now that we are in the mood for a night out we are ready to go more underground with "Cocomo", a track which got already lots of positive comments from Jimpster and Charles Webster to name a few. A simple but very efficient production with a killer bass line, lead and break. The good stuff!

Extras & conclusion

The digipack also offers a mix cd recorded by Red D in 1 take with only 2 turntables and 1 CDJ. The old school way.

In overall Immers & Daarentegen is a nice debut from a young and talented artist who's following his own path and putting some real originality in his tracks. This being done in Belgium makes it really special!

I'm really looking forward to what San Soda, and WPH in general, will release in the future and so should you too!

- Reviewed by Pat Lezizmo

San Soda: Immers & Daarentegen LP

We Play House Recordings
Vinyl, LP, Album, Limited Edition CD, Album
Sep 2010
House, Deep House
Juno Love
Something About Compression
Kylie Bling
Shouts In Peace
  1. Juno Love
  2. Interlude: Milientechnologie 1
  3. Quilombo
  4. Evaluation Of The Evidence (Short Version)
  5. Interlude: Kousevoetjes
  6. Hypocrisy
  7. Something About Compression
  8. Let's Go
  9. Interlude: Milientechnologie 4
  10. Doorsnee
  11. Cocomo
  12. Interlude: NLST
  13. Shouts In Peace
  14. Kylie Bling
  15. NMBSucks
  16. Timbapunk

... read the review

24 Aug 10

Jamal Moss Sample/Pattern Mix


Truly inspiring listening from Jamal Moss aka Hieroglyphic Being! via Rough proto house like sounds, there's a little bit of magic happenin' right here.

"Jamal Moss aka Hieroglyphic Being is one of the most forward thinking Chicago musicians. Rooted in old-school Chicago house, he pushes the envelope by creating noisy and pulsating compositions that, underneath a rough, distorted exterior reveal a sublime musical complexity and tenderness. Jamal's sound is probably one of the most organic ones that can be produced with electronic machinery. His music throbs with life and, to me, sounds more like high-caliber free jazz then simply 'techno' or 'house'. He also runs Mathematics Recordings, an internationally acclaimed label releasing raw analog Chicago-influence music.

Below is a mix from the Sample/Pattern/Freeform series in which Jamal is using outdated equipment to recapture and explore the ways in which old-school DJ such as Ron Hardy constructed edits and mixes. More info here. The mix is as heavy as it is beautiful. Out of this world!"

... read on

15 Apr 10

Classic tracks: Sterling Void - It's alright

"On and on and on...". Does house get any better than this?

... read on

15 Apr 10

Beats in Space Radio Show: DJ Dex, August 7 2007

Glad this is still online. UR's DJ Dex guest feature on the excellent Beats in Space radio show hosted by Tim Sweeney.

Grab it from here

Pt 1 with: DJ Dex 1. Theo Parrish - Synthetic Flemm - Sound Signature

DJ Dex (Underground Resistance)
2. UR - Technology Gap - Underground Resistance
3. Nublu Orchestra - Sketches of NYC (UR I80 Remix) - Nublu
4. Jeff Mills - If - Purpose Maker
5. Raiders of the Lost ARP - Beyond the Dark (Los Hermanos Remix) - CDR
6. Glory B - Bring It On - (Minifunk)
7. UR - Windchime (Unreleased Jazz Mix) - UR
8. Ibex "Oasis" (Planet E) 12"
9. Ellery Cowles - Steel Motion - Deja Vous
10. R-Tyme - R-Theme (Mayday Mix) - Transmat
11. Raiders of the Lost ARP - Crashing - Final Frontier
12. Suburban Knight - Tiny Toys - Dark Print
13. UR - Quadrasonic - UR
14. UR - Illuminator - UR
15. Octave One - Terraforming - 430 West
16. Jeff Mills - Scout - Purpose Maker
17. UR - Return Of The Dragons (Unreleased 061 Beatless Mix) - UR
18. Model 500 - I Wanna Be There - R&S
19. SLS - Smokestack
20. Phil Kieran - Skyhook - Novamute

* Related Links +DJ Dex
* +Underground Resistance

Pt 2 with: DJ Dex + Tim Sweeney 21. DJ Hell - Buttersaure (Perc Remix)
22. Nomadico "Planeta - UR
23. UR "Baghdad Express - UR
24. Skurge "Sabotage - UR
25. Excerpt from The Mothership Connection
26. Parliament - Agony of Defeet - Casablanca
27. The Deacon - Soulsaver - UR
28. Frivolous - Sooo... Savvy - Scape
29. UR - Codebreaker - UR
Tim Sweeney takes over:
30. The Martian - Tobacco Ties - Red Planet
31. Hercules & Love Affair - Classique #3 - DFA
32. Mike Dunn - Personal Problem - Classic Cuts
33. Moodymann - Dem Young Sconies - Planet E
34. Senor Coconut - Electrolatino (Villalobos Remix)
35. Model 500 - Ocean To Ocean (Juan's Magic Mix) - Kool Kat
36. Marshall Jefferson - Ride The Rhythm - Trax

... read on

5 Nov 09

Cole Medina Disk Union mix

Download link on this thread @

Amazing mix, so much love has gone into crafting this one it just shines through. Makes me feel happy, sada and everything in between. P-E-R-F-E-C-T.

Le Petit Chevalier (Interlude) - Pilooski - Dirty Edits Vol.1
Explosion - The Oceans - Super Snooper Soundtrack
Elektro Donkey - Dennis Jr. - Akustikk Recordings
Wonderful Dub - Eddie C. (Canada) - Unreleased
Never Give You Up - Andy Ash - Forever In Their Debt 4 - L.E.S.S. Productions
You Know How - Eddie C. (Canada) - Unreleased
Friday Nights - Cole Medina - Unreleased
Gettin' Together - Fudge Fingas - Miles Away - Firecracker Recordings
Estranged Lover - Craig Smith & The Revenge - CSRV1 - Five20East Records UK
Orozco (Dubphonic Dub) - Tosca - Suzuki In Dub - G-Stone Recordings
Nelson's Back - Syclops - I've Got My Eye On You - DFA
New York City (Rub'N'Tug Inst) - Beastie Boys/Rub N Tug - NYC001
Just A Memory - 6th Borough Project - On The Rinse - L.E.S.S. Productions
Tonight's The Night (Good Time) - Kleeer - I Love To Dance - Atlantic 1979
Magic (Medina's Magic Mix) - Cole Medina - Unreleased
Peggy - Cole Medina - Unreleased
My Woman - Eddie C. (Canada) - Unreleased
Hear The Sun - Linkwood - Firecracker EP 03 - Firecracker Recordings

... read on

5 Nov 09

LWE Podcast 29: Black Jazz Consortium

Detroit in full effect. Check out this crazy mix from Black Jazz Consortium aka Fred P on little white earbuds.

... read on

5 Nov 09

Jesse Saunders rocking the crowd with a crazy Cole Medina edit!

DJ Scott K & Cole Medina vs James Brown "I'm Satisfied" at the Chosen few House Reunion picnic in Chicago.

... read on

22 Jul 09

Guest mix for !title | notitle podcast by Timo


Timo's guest mix for Bulgarian !title | notitle podcast. He's digging the roots of his affection for electronic music in the first few tracks...

... read the whole article

23 Jan 09

Don't miss! Estimuloshow, the deepest mixshow on the net


What's the deepest live mixshow on the intahweb today? it's of course ESTIMULOSHOW every saturday! The music is provided by Germany's deepcore Estimulo and Makarov along with a heavy, heavy guest dj roster. Catch Mike Bishop spinning tomorrow, january 24th, on the show - head over to Mixomat around 7pm CET.

... read the whole article

16 Sep 08 podcast - get the mixes automagically!


044e8d49e31a0a.pngWe've decided to offer our 20 most recent mixes as a podcast feed. Downloading mixes and following our site's updates could not be any easier! You can either subscribe directly using iTunes or use this link to subscribe to the podcast using another aggregator. Either way, you'll get our deep house mixes deliver automatically to your computer/iPod/portable player!

... read the whole article

22 Sep 05

HI-LEVEL PM5000 - a modular rotary knob dj mixer reviewed

This DJ mixer boasts rotary pots on every channel and a modular construction. TIMO ROTONEN puts on his lab coat, and finds out more...



As the "less frills, more sound quality" approach is gaining more edge in the deep house scene over the "more features, the better" (think of DJ mixers that look like they are consoles on the Starship Enterprise rather than a tool for mixing records), it's quite surprising how few basic high-end mixers there are on the market.

Enter the PM5000, the German company HI-LEVEL's stab at providing the best sound and build-quality a house DJ could ever need in a single 19" wide, rack-mountable unit.

NOTE: This mixer is designed for installations at clubs and bars. This review was made in the comfort of my house, so some points in this review may be biased because of the environmental factors. I didn't have a chance to hook the mixer up to a good sized PA system so my comments about headphone volume might have been different.

The mixer



This is from Pm-80, essentially the same


  • 5 (ins and outs gold plated)

PHONO INPUTS (ex works):

  • 3


  • 3-way
  • Low (peak) +-12dB @ 60Hz
  • Mid (bell, Q=1,5) +-12dB @ 1.5kHz
  • High (shelving) +-12dB @ 12kHz


  • 2 x rec out
  • 1 x master
  • 1 x monitor
  • 1 x headphone


  • Width: 483mm
  • Lenght: 262 mm
  • Height: 90mm
  • Weight: 6.1kg


  • Built in 115 or 220 volts


A highly specified, great sounding rotary pot mixer with tons of creative potential. With its solid-build and ease of use it deserves to be a big success, even though its price tag puts it towards the upper end of the DJ market. If you're looking for a rotary pot mixer for smooth blends with a great sound, look no further.


  • 935 euros (1085 euros incl. 16% VAT)
  • Built to order


  • Excellent sound, by far the best sounding mixer I've ever played on
  • Highest quality rotary Alps potentiometers make blends smooth
  • Excellent build-quality and parts
  • Wide variety of built to order custom set-ups available
  • Did I mention about the sound?


  • Would like to have more headroom on gain (can be easily varied easily by changing some resistors)
  • Low volume on the master out (can be easily varied easily by changing some resistors)

  • Note: HI-LEVEL has a philosophy against blown soundsystems, hence the slight cut in levels. Can be easily changed when ordering a unit.


Phase acoustics
Juergen Hoffmann
Drosselstrasse 16
D-72124 Pliezhausen

Internet: Telephone: +49-(0)7127-972479


HI-LEVEL PM5000 is described as "A state-of-the-art house music mixer with 5 rotary pot channels, 15 inputs and up to 5 modular phono preamp cards. PM5000 was introduced already in 1996 and it was the worlds 1st rotary control club mixer with Gain + Triple EQ per channel. Followed by companies like Rane, Numark, Vestax, Ecler, Gemini and Pioneer."

The basic specs have stayed the same pretty much since then, upgrades have been made mainly to the quality of parts used.

It's designed to fit a 19" rack taking up 5 units of space. The controls and the headphone out are on the top, the inputs and outputs on the back side.

The overall look is very professional with a matte black finish. This is a serious piece of hardware aimed at pros, and not a cheap toy is the first impression you get by looking at the PM5k is.

Master section


The master output section has a 4 knobs, a VU meter and a little "cue on" LED. Three smaller knobs control the headphones level, monitor level, and panning. One large knob is controls the overall house volume, so you can rock the crowd with volume drops easily using just one knob.

I would have preferred a dedicated knob for cue volume, since if you're mixing at a low master volume, kicking the cue on can really hurt your ears. Though at a club, you need loud cue volume on the headphones.

I have some minor complaints about the overall output level, but I'll get back to that a little later on.

The VU meter has 2 LED rows next to each other going from green to orange to red. Now, if you're used to mixing with a low or mid-range mixer, the meters on them are more forgiving. Going red on those usually means a healthy level, but on the PM5000, red is a warning sign, the way it is supposed to be. The VU meter switches automatically from the master out level to cue level when one or more of the cue buttons are pressed down.

Note: You can get serious volume in the headphones!

Input channels


The unit I received for review had 5 stereo channels (labeled A, 1, 2, 3 & 4) with 2 sets of stereo RCA inputs and 1 balanced XLR microphone input (the XLR input isn't phantom powered, which limits the type of microphones you can use).

The modular design of the PM pretty much lets you spec. a mixer that's best for your own use - the modules on my unit were

  • phono/aux channel modules (2)
  • phono/cd module (1)
  • cd/tape module (1)
  • line/video module (1)

This means: Fully loaded with all RIAA preamp cards - you can connect 5x turntables, 5x CD and 5x balanced microphones to the PM5000.


The gains could have more headroom. I'm used to mixers where you get a healthy level at 9 o'clock, but on the PM5k you have to turn it to the max almost every time.

Every DJ has encountered bad pressings or just badly mastered records where the volume level is sufficiently lower than most other records. So, getting the levels right is a pain if you're already riding high on the gain and have no headroom left. OK, you can always turn up the channel volume pots you say. Not that simple. I found that to get a really optimal master output level, you have to have both the gains and channel pots turned all the way up. By optimal level I mean the VU's slightly peaking on orange�not reaching red at all.

This is a drawback in my opinion - but according to the manufacturer it's a conscious decision and can be altered if the client wishes so. I wish the demo unit had had that option.


The PM5k has a three-way equalizer on every channel. Nothing new there..... Hmmmm, but let's take a closer look at the details.

First, the low part. It's a peaking, +/-12dB equalizer tuned to 60Hz. "So what?", you might ask. Well, usually a DJ mixer's low-end is tuned to 100hz, which covers a wider range of low frequencies but can also kill a lot of sound in the midrange, which is not desirable. HI-LEVEL studied a lot of DJ-friendly vinyl before deciding to take this approach - they claim that the low-end is tuned to the "disco bass" frequency. It is designed to boost or cut the most thumping bass frequencies without overheating voice coils (read: blowing speakers).

Indeed. Turning the low-eq to zero won't kill the kick altogether - this is something you need to get used to, but in the end your mixes sound a little smoother this way.

The mid part (+/-12dB@1.5kHZ) of the EQ has a bell curve with Q value of 1,5. You can hear the difference to the shelving EQ's. At first, I was a little surprised how much cutting the mids actually affected the levels. Its behavior is not consistent with the other EQ knobs so you have to learn how to control it by trial and error. One improvement might be a differently colored knob or a label next to it to avoid confusion. I understood this after I read the spec more carefully - not a major drawback, but might need a little redesign. The sound itself is great, as usual - the mids sound very musical.

The high part of the EQ sounds very different from any other EQ I've laid my hands on. It's shelving +/-12dB at 12kHZ, "carefully tuned to the range of hi-hats", according to the manufacturer.

Here we encounter one drawback - if you play dusty and badly produced records, you're bound to hear the bad quality. Now, this really isn't the fault of the PM5k - it actually makes you take care of the records you play more carefully. All in all, the highs sound transparent, detailed, soft and natural - it's hard to get the high-end to distort.


The crossfader will be familiar to most DJs, and allows signals from channels 1 and 2 to be mixed with those from channels 3 and 4. The centre-position of course allowing equal levels of both signal groups to be heard. The fifth channel, in this case A (mic/video/line) won't be affected by the cross in any way. “ I don't need a crossfader on a rotary mixer” - well, disconnecting or removing it is an easy 5 minute job.


Each of the of the 5 channels has a large cue button that enables listening to the individual channel through headphones. When none is pressed, the master outputs can be heard on the headphones. There is no split-cue available, which is a good design decision.

The cue section allows you to monitor incoming signals of each channel before they reach the master output stage, and the controls in this section are particularly clear and well laid out.

Rotary pots


Each of the 5 input channels has a rotary pot as well as the house volume, the only slider is the crossfader.

This is where this mixer really shines! If you're looking for a mixer that you can scratch and perform fast tricks with, stop right here, as you cannot do that with a PM5000. But if you're looking for a mixer for those looooong, smooth-as-butter blends, you're looking at an obvious choice.

The pot layout looks a bit crammed at first, but when you put your hands on them you'll instantly feel at home with this desk. (Granted, I have fairly skinny fingers so someone with larger hands might prefer the pots to have a little more room between each other.)

In use

The rotary pots have an ULTRA smooth feel, very high quality components were used. The pot hats are made out of matte black plastic and they are big, so you can grab them and rock them easily. It feels like you could not break them, no matter how hard you twist and turn. It took a while to get used to mixing with rotary pots, but I cannot see a way of going back anymore - dammit, I'm hooked! It really is a different world, my blends have never been this transparent and 'live.'

One metaphor would be that my previous Pioneer mixer felt like jogging on gravel, whereas the PM feels like gliding on ice. The torque is perfect. I urge every house DJ to test one out.

What about the sound?

Now, we've come to the 2nd part where this mixer rises above the rest. The sound is amazing and clear. Solid bass. Well defined midrange - the high end has a kind of magical sheen to the sound. It's almost like there's an exciter in the signal path, but soon you'll figure out it's just the high-quality components used to build it. I was able to hear new stuff on records I've had for ages - that does tell you something about the sound.

As I stated, the sound is by far the best I've heard on a DJ mixer - one can get into a debate wether a DJ mixer can sound different because of the simple signal path, but honestly, it's like night and day. One thing PM5000 does require is good needles and clean records. It's a good thing. Believe me. At first I thought the mixer sounded mushy and dirty until I figured out my needles were worn out and some of the records needed good cleaning.... doing this prolongs the life of you priceless vinyl collection!


At 1085 euros (incl. VAT) it's not cheap, but considering the quality it offers (sound, build and parts) is a great value for money. HI-LEVEL are obviously targeting a serious and professional type of customer with the PM5000, and if you're either serious about your sound and creating smooth transparent blends the chances of being disappointed by this mixer are very slim indeed. On the other hand, if you're in the game to perform loads of fast turntable wizardy and scratching, then this mixer clearly is not for you. The only drawback was the gains and the overall output volume, but this is supposedly easy to adjust.

Am I buying the demo model? Hell yes!

Where to buy?

Phase acoustics
Juergen Hoffmann
Drosselstrasse 16
D-72124 Pliezhausen


Telephone: +49-(0)7127-972479


Got questions or want to share opinions? Discuss this review here!

Want to see your product reviewed here? Contact us!

... read the review

9 Sep 05

Deeprhythms t-shirts are finally here!


DR shirtsHere they are, by popular demand, t-shirts! The first in the series boasts a rather summery flower design and will be available for a limited amount of time only, so hurry! Don't worry about shipping costs or customs, choose a store location nearest you - EU or USA.

... read the whole article

20 Mar 05

Timo in Istanbul 19/3


turkeyTimo performed in Istanbul on the 19th of march. Amazing city, amazing scene - loads of nice and friendly people. Here are some pictures from the gig at Club Babylon, taken by Gökhan Kali.

... read the whole article

28 Jan 04

Neurotron - Purusha EP - Deep and Dark Recordings

Our rating: ****
Cat #: DEEP002 | Released: Jan 2004 | Format: 12" promo |  Website

promo epNight Drive Music label bosses Axel Schuh and André Kroenert release tracks under the alias Neurotron. "Purusha ep" is released on german tech house imprint Deep and Dark Recordings which I haven't heard of before.

In their press release Neurotron reveal Deep Chord, Theorem and Basic Channel as their influences. But they've have developed their own original and recognizable style - would be nice to catch these guys performing a live show!

"Purusha" is a two track affair -A-side's "Purusha" being stronger of the two. A beautiful atmospheric dubby track with swirly pads and nice percussive snare hits. B-side's "The coast of living" would serve as a nice opener for a set - another dubby groover that could go on for hours without sounding dull - nice work. With top production quality this is a solid piece of work, keep it coming like this!

... read the review

28 Jan 04

Kéli - Too Close to Dawn - Night Drive Music

Our rating: ****
Cat #: NDM001 | Released: 2003 | Format: 12" | Website | BUY THIS RECORD

keli.jpgAndré Kroenert & Axel Schuh are the forces behind Night Drive Music, a new up and coming German tech/dub house label. Their first release is a 4 track ep by a new Californian artist Kéli.

"Too Close to Dawn" is a very strong debut for both her and the label. All 4 tracks are solid, though a little bit of variation in production could've made this a 5 star ep - but that's a very very minor gripe.

The overall feel is dubby and techy but what makes Kéli stand apart from the somewhat gray mass of german dubtech releases is her strong sense of melody, b sides "For you" being the best example. If b-sides tracks are more melodic and calmer ("Green Feeling" being the other one), then a-side is a little harder and more hypnotic. "Area101" & "Goodbyes" with their percussive delays and compressed kick make your head nod instantly.

I'll hold the 5 stars this time since I'm pretty sure her next release will be an instant classic. Highly recommended!
-Timo Rotonen

... read the review

23 Aug 03

Oratai - The Timpani Waves EP - Oratai Sound Salon

Our review: ****
Cat #:  ORA-001 | Released: 2002 | Format: 12"  |  Website: 

oratai.jpgAt the end of 2002, Oratai silently released their debut 12" featuring a remix by master of the deep Theo Parrish. The EP is decidedly downtempo, centered on sparse yet dense percussion and stop-start breaks. From the scattered jazz piano on Lighthouse, to the early Aphex Twin-esque ambience of Coastal Interlude, this is a work that reveals itself slowly, and will reward with repeated listens.

The "Lure of the Siren" remix if Lighthouse is a fantastic atmospheric piece. Awash in detuned synths and cymbal crashes, it finds its center within a lush melody, and crawling organs. For those who like it deep, Parrish's remix of Lighthouse is the standout track. Beginning with a stuttering kick drum, the track quickly evolves into a beautiful excursion winding through jazzy piano-progressions and nuanced synth splashes.

The EP winds down with Closet Space, an evocative piece adrift with muted chimes, and cracking claves. Listening to this track is like being in the belly of a creaking ship, lurching in the waves.

While Oratai demonstrates serious potential with his freshman release, I can only imagine that subsequent releases will become more refined. Overall, this is a very solid start for a newcomer.

After all, if Theo Parrish is remixing your first release, you're doing something right, no? -David Wolf

... read the review


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