Tender Games (DE)

HRRSN is the owner of the fast-emerging Berlin imprint Well Done! (and an impressive musician to boot), while Hoffstadt – both on solo duties and alongside Harrison - has embarked on an emphatic production streak that's seen his talents perk the ears of some of the scene's foremost movers and shakers. Having bonded in Berlin through a mutual love of music, this eclectic pair are now traversing a path that's all set for the scene's upper echelons. While their inspirations are wide and varied (Harrison credits YouTube with much of his musical education, while Hoffstadt touched on everything from soul to funk to hip-hop during his formative years), it's a reciprocated merging of sounds and styles which pays off in spades. While the pair are neither classically trained musicians or pretentious analogue heads, their rich and nuanced sound very much belies the fact. Indeed, theirs is a potent myriad of sounds that works wonders on the ear, with everything from modern to retro timbres merged into a sumptuous and delectable mix. Precocious, young and with an unrelenting thirst for quality-laden music, there's something refreshingly honest about the work of Tender Games. Indeed, theirs is a way of working which quickly comes to the fore on their debut LP for the Berlin-based Suol imprint; itself a vehicle for a diverse range of house-tastic gems. Full of charm, zest and dancefloor prowess, the self-titled album is the sort of listen that neatly joins the dots between house, techno and pop – with a unique crossover appeal that'll appease fans of various persuasions. As you'd expect, it's all wrapped up in a most sophisticated manner - and while the album pays homage to the duo's sinewed and textured musical understanding - it also expertly underlines the continuing relevance of Chopstick & Johnjon's A&R skills. A duo which is undoubtedly indicative of a new generation of Berlin clubbers, Tender Games DIY approach to their craft is just as sensual, touching and captivating as their title alludes to. Sometimes it goes deep and sometimes it kicks like a mule, but regardless of the direction it takes, it's sure to leave you yearning for more. With a string of dates on the horizon and more musical goodness also on the agenda, one gets the feeling that Tender Games are only just getting started. If the next chapter is as intriguing as the first, then we're in for a veritable treat.
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Previous editions –
    2016, 2015 & 2014
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