Review: A new enigmatic duo from London named Two Shell present Livity Sounds' next installment. Their debut "Access EP" draws influence from the South London underground of the late '90s and early 00's, with a nod to more contemporary Bristol sounds across these four wicked tracks. From the off-kilter stepper that is "Heart Piece', through to the glacial and deconstructed dub techno of "Contactless" and the rolling bass-driven entrancer "SYNC-2020" - they have forged an EP of warm but stripped-down, deft UK style grooves to mark an anthemic debut. More groundbreaking future sounds from the ever reliable Bristol label.
Review: Munich-based mystery man, Skee Mask, remains at the top of our Ilian Tape favourites. While we love the work of brothers Dario and Marco Zenker, the two label founders, we think that this guy's sound is the creme de la creme of contemporary, dub-filtered techno. Serum and Junt were both absolute killer EPs, and the Shred album was also on our list of the best releases of 2016, so we're pretty psyched about this new single, the curiously named 2012. The opening "Kordman Return (Swing mix)" is Skee Mask up to his naughty break sampling and techno wizardry, all broken and loose, whereas "Palo Alto" sees the producer in a surprisingly sturdy, head-first mood driven by solid bursts of 4/4 and wondrous synths. Over on the B-side, "Fjorward Flex Dub" swings its mighty swarms of drums over a minimal flurry of melodies, in what feels like a sublime reinterpretation of heavy, 90s power-house; "Glass Museum" closes with a real twist thanks to an abstract, wide-eyed landscape of dissolving, jazzed-out percussion and moody ambience. Excellent material, as per usual.
Review: Last year Skee Mask put the Ilian Skee Series on hold in order to release the brilliant "Compro" album on parent label Ilian Tape. Here he presents the second undeniably dancefloor-focused ISS EP of the year - a robust and forthright floor-tracker full of what the Munich-based composer calls "unstoppable fruity brain benders". It's certainly a vibrant collection of cuts capable of setting the pulse racing, with highlights including the mind-mangling analogue electro/techno/breakbeat fusion of opener "Juug", the deep two-step techno skip of "RZZ", and the IDM influenced shuffle of "Slow Music". Arguably best of all though is the teak-tough analogue electro wonkiness of "Play Ha".
Review: Back on the buff stuff! Rising UKG act Y U QT return to Warehouse Rave who they released their debut with this time last year, with another sassy five track session. All garage styles covered from the sweet sunshine vibes ('Can I Say', 'Sundae Gelato') to the twisted rave jumps and stutters ('I Believe') to the headsy hip-twisters that have a jazzy mind of their own ('Liquid Magma') Cute.