Review: When it comes to immersive listening experiences built on cutting-edge sound design, few can match the continued brilliance of Echospace duo Rod Modell and Stephen Hitchell. For proof, check the pair's latest offering under the alternative CV313 alias. Built around a suite of three drawn-out soundscapes, Analogue Oceans sees them mimicking the ebb and flow of oceanic tides by smothering gentle dub techno rhythms in lapping waves and soft-focus, spacey electronics. On disc two, Hitchell goes solo to present his own, hour-long interpretation under the Variant guise, heading into the pitch-black depths via watery effects, clandestine aural textures and suitably horizontal ambient dub rhythms.
Review: Surprisingly, Space of Variants' latest limited edition CD release doesn't come from boss man Sergey Barkalov (AKA Mr Cloudy), but rather a previously unheard talent. DAS is Andrew Korotkov, a Russian producer from Lipsetsk city. Musically, he inhabits similar sonic waters to Barkalov, delivering long, slowly shifting soundscapes that draw on ambient, drone and dub techno for inspiration. As debut albums go, Transcendental is quietly impressive. Over the course of three long variations, Korktov delivers a meditative experience rich in effects-laden field recordings, slowly shifting chord progressions, gentle beats and, on occasions, decidedly cosmic aural textures.
Review: Between 2012 and 2017, grad_u released nine EPs of high quality dub techno on the vinyl-only Redscale imprint. With the label now seemingly a thing of the past, the prolific Lithuanian producer has decided to gather together all 19 tracks from those sought-after vinyl EPs on CD for the very first time. Those who have paid close attention to grad_u's career will know what to expect, namely an evocative mixture of deep, hypnotic techno epics, delay-laden dub techno workouts, spacey late night rollers, abstract dancefloor explorations and occasional surprise turns towards a bolder, warehouse-friendly style (see the formidably sweaty and sub-heavy "Holdback").
Review: With Rod Modell putting the finishing touches to his next Deepchord album (due for release later in the year on Soma), Echospace partner Stephen Hitchell took the opportunity to record a new solo set of his own under the lesser-known Intrusion alias. "Amongst The Stars", a beguiling, 21-minute chunk of soft-focus dub techno smothered in spacey analogue electronics and the distant sound of traffic, is taken from that forthcoming album. Here, Hitchell's fine "Extended Dub" comes accompanied by a trio of varied but typically atmospheric translations from CV313 (AKA Hitchell and Modell), of which the astonishingly deep "Distintegration Dub" is probably our pick. On the second CD, Hitchell dons his ambient alias, Variant, and delivers an absorbing, CD-length "re-shape" that's as entrancing as it is quietly picturesque.