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DJ Best British Award 2009

As much love has already been given to Larry Heard's late '80s and early '90s work, it's nice to see some of the Chicagoan's slightly later work getting a deserved reissue. Alien first surfaced on Black Market International back in 1996, and finds Heard exploring his sci-fi influences in a range of deep and emotive styles Read more...
Classic Albums on Vinyl
This week saw something of a clash of the titans, as the new long player from Den Haag synth wizard Legowelt arrived alongside a four-track double pack from Detroit's singular talent Omar S. Although the world isn't short of material from either, both Legowelt's Crystal Cult 2080 LP on Creme Organization and the Romancing The Stone EP from Omar S on FXHE were equally as good as anything they've released before, proving that the presumably sizable vaults of both producers are far from running dry any time soon.

We were also treated to a strong showing from L.I.E.S. and the artists surrounding their orbit this week, headed up by the Territories LP from veteran synth explorer Jorge Velez. Anyone who heard the sublime Hassan LP from Velez back in 2012 will have some idea of what to expect, but the ground covered on Territories take his sound into ever more abstract zones. This was accompanied by the latest L.I.E.S. White Label, which saw recent Russian Torrent Versions artist NGLY deliver four tracks of dank, jack tracks for basement use. Elsewhere, L.I.E.S. boss Ron Morelli released Periscope Blues, his third record for Dominick Fernow's Hospital Productions, which comes firmly grounded in Morelli's most experimental frame of mind. Finally, L.I.E.S. artist Delroy Edwards donned the DJ Punisher mantle for four untitled tracks of brutal techno and noise explorations.

In the UK sphere, Livity Sound's Dnous Ytivil label saw Hodge join the fold, making the logical jump following last year's Punch Drunk appearances. Those who have been following the Bristol-based producer's career will agree his Dnous Ytilvil debut contains two of his strongest tracks to date, with both "Amor Fati" and "Renegades" honing in on the swung, bass-heavy techno sound and adding his own distinct signature. Djrum also returned to 2nd Drop this week with two all-new 12"s. Both Ode and The Miracle showed different sides to the producer, with the more delicate, melodic sounds of the former's title track contrasting with the bassier dancefloor fare of the other tracks. Finally, UK veteran Luke Vibert returned with his latest album on the surprising home of Hypercolour. Entitled Ridmik, it sits somewhere between the deep, Metro Area-inspired synth disco of Vibert's Kerrier District project and his rougher, acid-tinged work.

The forward-thinking US contingent was represented this week by DJ Clent, the footwork veteran who delivered his first solo release for Planet Mu, despite having a history to rival footwork originator RP Boo. First releasing juke on Dance Mania Records in the late '90s and a host of other labels throughout the last decade, the five-track Hyper Feet offers a taste of where he's at now, blending MPC sample workouts with frenetic 303 production - the title track is supposedly a footwork homage to Mike Dunn's acid house classic "Magic Feet". Fade To Mind also presented their first Mind II Mind collaborative release, with Mike Q and DJ Sliink teaming up on a pair of tracks which feature the bracing contemporary ballroom you'd expect from such a team-up.

Fans of interesting house music were spoilt for choice this week, with Jordan Czamanski and Max D's Zsa Gang project on Off Minor Recordings arguably one of the week's strongest records. The results of the duo originally starting out wanting to write a punk record but being too lazy to arrange a drum kit, and going wild in the studio a 909 and a CS30, the four-track Beehive Rhythms contains some of the wildest dance music we've heard this year. More sedate material was on offer from Lobster Theremin, whose latest record came from Route 8, the Budapest-based producer last seen on Nous. Meanwhile the Dry Thoughts EP was anything but, with the four tracks on offer running through new age influences and satisfyingly gritty rhythms. Joining that was a second edition repress of Equation, the label's debut from Palms Trax, featuring an all-new Tin Man remix. Finally, Munich-based label Public Possession released Territory, another fine EP from Australian-born, London-based producer Bell Towers filled with thick analogue techno, classic Chicago house and Italo disco influences.

This week's techno offerings were headed up by A Series Of Shocks, the new Ostgut Ton long player from Tobias. As you'd expect from the producer, austere Berlin techno minimalism is the order of the day, quite the opposite from Mike Dehnert's Lichtbedingt album for Delsin, which throbs and sparkles with all manner of maximalist synth textures, a clear change from the stripped-back Fachwerk sound we've come to associate the producer with. Token also previewed their forthcoming album from Inigo Kennedy with the Lullaby single, containing two tracks which combine the heft of contemporary Berghain techno with the melodic intricacy of '90s IDM. Offering some much deeper vibes was the latest Acid Test 12", which saw Donato Dozzy and Tin Man coming together for their first full collaboration, which paired expectedly warm 303 tones with Dozzy's hypnotic approach, and Black Orchid, the new Echovolt EP from G-String and Marco Antonio Spaventi's Crystal Maze project, which rippled with feverish humidity. Some classic Robert Hood material also got a fresh coat of paint, as Mark Broom took the scalpel to a pair of tracks as part of M Plant's 20th anniversary.

In more experimental climes, Blackest Ever Black regular Dalhous returned to the label with Visibility Is A Trap, a five-track EP which offers a taste of the artist's forthcoming second album for the label, with the artist's delicate sample-based ambience even more haunting than on the under appreciated debut album from last year. Meanwhile Brainfeeder presented E S T A R A, the latest album from Teebs which showed the producer's knack for light percussion and hazy, windswept melody. Finally, Spectrum Spools returned to business of releasing new music following their reissue of The Aquaplano Sessions, with the Seed LP, which the label describes as having a "shimmering, crystalline sound that seems to exist infinitely within its own micro-habitat".
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