Poker Flat continue to impress with the excellent Martin Landsky

Artist: Martin Landsky
Title: Ekko Trax 2
Label: Poker Flat
Release Date: 17th June 2016
Genre: Deep House/Tech House

Recently I posted a link online to John Tejada’s classic underground house anthem ‘Sweat’, which was released by Poker Flat back in 2004. The track still sounds superb, holding up startlingly well next to modern productions and a friend commented on how Poker Flat is a label that over the years has become synonymous with consistently high-quality music.

It was a point that was hard to argue with (not that I wanted to) and goes some way to explaining the labels’ longevity. Back in 1999 when the label launched, it stood out from the crowd, a forerunner of what was to come, with the deeper sounds of Detroit and Chicago all packaged inside a new minimal German aesthetic. Since then under the careful curation of label boss Steve Bug, the imprint has gone from strength to strength, with Bug astutely cherry-picking talented producers both old and new to join the Poker Flat family.

Part of that family from the start was fellow Hamburg DJ and producer Martin Landsky, who has made regular appearances on the label over the years, notching up some fine releases in the process. He returns here with a new EP Ekko Traxx 2, which follows on from 2012’s Ekko Trax. The aptly titled ‘Voices In My Head’ opens things up with some typically snappy clipped percussion and a looping vocal to hook you in. Some familiar old-school hits build the track before things really kick off with some metallic 90’s style house stabs. Faultless production here as you would expect from a veteran producer like Landsky and the track will work well early doors for locking the dance floor firmly into a groove.

‘Weird Night’ comes next and again Landsky gives the track an appropriate title. A thick tape saturated kick bounces the track along, while skippy garage snares and clicks give the track a groove laden off-kilter feel. The weirdness comes in all manner of strange effects and discordant risers, which give the whole thing a slightly unhinged atmosphere. One for those deranged, hazy after parties then or possibly even the after-after parties. They are always the best ones anyway, right?

Finally and probably the pick of the bunch is ‘That Organ’, which opts for a heavily side-chained groove before seeing us hop into the back of a Ford Capri and head down the M25, circa 1989, to dance glow-sticks aloft in some backwater field. Yes, this is pure unadulterated rave nostalgia and the organ in question is lifted with a knowing wink straight from the back pockets of 2BadMice. Landsky unburdens himself from his minimalist tech-house shackles, jams some Vicks up one of his nostrils and lands a big gurn-inducing right hook to the dance floors collective chops. Nice one, top one, get sorted!

About the Author

Record collector, music maker and spurs fanatic Geraint Rees has been involved in DJing and club promotion for well over a decade. He is currently a promoter and DJ for the four:four project, a Manchester collective who organise club events that support a range of worthwhile charities and promote high quality music. Over the last few years he has produced techno as Acitone for labels such as Stripped and Hype Music. In his free time, he is found regularly inhabiting a dark box like hole known as ‘the studio’ and trying to rear his band of unruly cats.