Review: For its seventh release, southern Italians Obscura Music return to welcome exciting new talents and core label acts. Head honchos Agents Of Time venture down an electro route with "East Coast", as do the ever impressive London Modular Alliance on the hypnotic "Buck One". Man of the moment Aussie Jensen Interceptor channels classic Drexciyan aesthetics on "Manix" before homeboys and label staples Hiver come through with the slinky and hypnotic tech house of "Stasys" and Detroit veteran Kris Wadsworth makes a surprising appearance with some slow burning minimalism displayed on closer "Abroad".
Review: Latvian label Blind Allies have been on a roll since first committing to their various artists series to wax two years ago. On their latest release, the A side is given over to UK producer Dexterous Numerics, who offers up two tracks of dark and emotive electro heavy on leads and atmospherics. On the flip, Lectromagnetique takes a freakier turn into sparse, dungeon-ready acid electro that should appeal to fans of Bunker Records et al. Davide Piras has a lighter touch on "Arcade" that draws from the Drexciya school of thought, and DVS NME's "Song For The Doomed" rolls out an expressive strain of braindance as considered as it is punchy.
Review: With this sequel to December's brilliant, compilation style "The Orbitant" EP, FU ME boss George K is spoiling us. With a high quality threshold and five varied cuts to enjoy, it offers excellent value for money for clued-up electro DJs. Heinrich Dressel sets the scene via some wonderfully spacey, widescreen ambient electronica ("Sem Intro"), before Galaxian wraps 1990 style Yorkshire bleeps and fizzing, minor key electronics around a booming bassline and ghetto-tech style drums on "Source Reality". Foreign Sequence's throbbing, acid-laden "Negative Vibe" sits somewhere between surging Italo-disco and pulsating electro, while Lake Haze's "System Glitch" combines creepy, deep space electronics and ragged acid lines with a rolling electro groove. Arguably best of all though is the mutant funk overload that is Jenson Interceptor's techno/electro fusion workout "Faceless".
Review: Cong Burn is a new label that features a range of producers plying a more interesting twist on the standard deep house formula. Take opening case in point Haddon, who uses oodles of processing to create a slippery, shifting tripper out of "Not Coming To The Club" and instantly stepping aside from the run of the mill milieu. Howes then pops up with the snaking, ultra-deep electro abstractions of "Untitled". L Pearson is in a particularly cheeky mood with the scratchy micro-sampling fun of "PSR1170", calling to mind the crafty chops of Paradroid et al, and then Perfume Advert book end the release with some beautifully horizontal deep house for the subliminally minded to revel in.
N'ecoutez Pas Tous Les Conseils De Vos Amis (4:45)
Dans Mon Desordre (5:42)
En Retirant (5:52)
Review: LCN is the alias for Le Chocolat Noir, an artist whose thirst for roughneck electro seems absolutely devoid of any sort of replenishment. The man's been active for near ten years now, skipping and hopping from label to label, and he lands on Gooiland Elektro, a subsidiary of Enfant Terrible, with these four stomping bangers. The A-side twists and turns its industrial gears with a fluid motion, bubbling up all sorts of dark energies from the depths of the inferno; the flip is no less magnetic in its look-and-feel, offering up two dicey cuts - "Solitude" and "En Retirant" - the former being a deep excursion into cold-waves and the latter a nasty, vibrating acid hybrid for the warehouse.
Review: By his usually prolific standards, Danny Wolfers has been surprisingly quiet of late. In fact, this EP for Clone West Coast Series marks his first Legowelt release since November 2017. All four tracks are naturally up to Wolfers' usual standard, with opener "Omnibus Babylon" - think Braindance-era ambient techno after a bottle full of Jager shots and a dose of Colombian marching power - and thrillingly melodious, IDM-influenced closer "Golem Memory Bank" our pick of the bunch. Elsewhere, "Miskatonic Trimester" sees the Dutch stalwart pepper a chugging house groove with starry electronics, while "Learning To Fly" wraps gentle acid lines and futurist Motor City techno riffs around a crunchy, post Chicago house rhythm track.
Review: Eudemonia was founded in 2017 with the goal to release versatile electronic music and to create a platform for visual art. Inaugurated by a terrific release by electro veteran Emile Facey aka Plant43, they now have an Irish purveyor of the deep taking up the reins on their second release: the Theme Of Perception EP by Leopoldo Rosa. He has definitely branched out in recent years, with surprising releases for labels diverse as Idle Hands, Slow Motion and locals Lunar Disko - where he dabbled in similar visions of electro as heard on the fierce electro funk of "Glider" - but these expressions are much more evocative and bittersweet. From the vintage electronics reminiscent of Kraftwerk on the dreamscape of "The Minister" to the deeply emotive "Plateau Rosa" - the guy's on point as always.
Review: Next up with his take on the electro sound is Firecracker Recordings co-head Linkwood, who looks to Motor City greats like Drexciya and Japanese Telecom on the aquatic future-funk of "Fresh Gildans" which is quite majestic in all its soulful and bass driven feel. On the flip are two deeper and more introspective cuts, with the immersive "Solar Panel" going for a hypnotic ambient house vibe, or the sublime deep techno journey "Another Late Night" taking its cues respectfully from Detroit like on the previous side. Another great EP by this stalwart of the Scottish scene, which the label best describe themselves as designed for the dancefloor, the sofa and all points in between.
Review: Fresh from another killer collaboration with regular studio sparring partner E-GZR on Wania, Laura "LNS" Sparrow goes solo and offers up the second volume in her ongoing "Recons" series. It's another confident and hugely entertaining affair, with Sparrow flitting between electro-influenced space funk ("Recon Two"), deep and dubbed out breakbeat shufflers ("Ecumene"), sunrise ready analogue deep house warmth ("Prahvist"), bleep and bass influenced machine techno ("Lehkist") and spacey ambient beauty ("To Be Continued"). Old pal DJ Sotofett is also on hand to remix "37th Degree" in a typically warm and woozy dubbed-out manner.
Review: This tasty 12" marks a welcome return to action for "metalurgic funk" maestro E-GZR, a shadowy, publicity shy producer whose occasional outings on Sex Tags offshoot Wania are rarely less than essential. The headline attraction here is the saucer-eyed geezer's collaboration with Vancouver's Laura Sparrow AKA LNS. Entitled "Crypto Stock", the track offers a deliciously spacey, funk-fuelled trip into deep electro territory that offers a near perfect balance between weighty dancefloor chops and ear-catching home listening fare. On the flip, E-GZR goes solo, wrapping more deep space chords, jammed-out synth lines and bustling bass around a suitably fuzzy bassline and redlined TR-808 drums.
Review: Analogue hardware enthusiasts London Modular Alliance return to Kirk Degiorgio's storied Applied Rhythmic Technology label following a string of fine outings on Private Persons and Dimensions Recordings. Interesting, LMA believe that the EP boasts their strongest collection of cuts to date and we tend to agree. Opener "Peach Heat" sets the tone via rubbery but rock solid electro beats, wild electronics and echoing deep space sounds, before they pitch down the tempo on the sparse, spaced-out heaviness of "Harnessed Black Holes". Further body-rocking dancefloor explorations are provided on the flip, first by the Dexter style heavy electro throb of "Lavendah" and then via the booming bass, foreboding tribal drums and razor-sharp TB-303 pulses of "Precious Materials".
Review: You couldn't accuse Applied Rhythmic Technology boss Kirk Degiorgio of jumping on the London Modular Alliance bandwagon; his Suffolk-based label was one of the first to release material by the hardware-obsessed trio back in 2016. It's fitting, then, that they should return to the label with arguably their strongest EP to date. Check first the sub-heavy thrills of opener "Turn Off The Light", a track whose weighty bottom-end, dub-wise rhythm and minimalist construction recalls the early days of UK "bleep and bass", before turning your attention to the mid-tempo, Drexciya-inspired thrills of "Round The House". Elsewhere, we've also been enjoying the Rod Modell style enveloping ambient of "Cherenkov Light" and the angular, acid-electro hum of "Nebulous Thoughts".
Review: Electro pushers Koova, Yes Effect and Pip Williams are back with their London Modular Alliance project, a consortium of sounds that clearly don't need much of an explanation. Their one rule is that this is all improv business, no mucking about with needless arrangements on tacky DAWs. This is the first Dimensions Recordings EP that's not a VA, so it's a tiny landmark for both them and the artists; the title tune "Hands & Brains" kicks off with a squelching acid stomper with an abrasive stomp of melodies, and "False Prophecy" is the point at which things take a turn for the electro nuttiness, all sombre and grey-scaled. On the flip, "Forbidden" takes the path down more tranquil waters with a peaceful balearic sway, and "I Settled For Her Leftovers" bumps out the bass good and proper, bruising us with its heavy-loaded sub-bass. Heavy gear!
Review: Eccentric imprint Les Points returns for the first time in 2018, bringing with it a quartet of cuts from "Various Xenopunks". Louh kicks things off with a fizzing, saucer-eyed techno shuffler that fixes classic electro chords and Motor City melodies to a bustling and forthright rhythm track, before Nicola Kazimir dips a mentalist, bass-heavy electro workout in modular distortion and a variety of mind-altering spoken word samples. Over on side B, Walid's "Posterior Spinneret" is a fine chunk of end-of-days electro with added foreboding noises, while Audinio's "Venus Flytrap" is the kind of wonky, acid-fired romp that would once have formed part of Rephlex Records' Braindance series of releases.
Review: We had to double check that this was indeed the first time the mighty Luke Eargoggle had graced Jan Svensson's Borft label, such is their shared DIY ethos and heritage within Scandinavian electronics. But here we are with Train To Illusion, the Borft debut for Luke Eargoggle and a wonderful four track foray into the classic electro sound the Swede has become renowned for. "Deep Sea Reminder" is a delight that could easily snap on for a lot longer than its eight minute reminder, but the record doesn't stay on this hopeful note throughout. Indeed there is a ruff and ruggedness to "Optical Illusion" which will probably appeal to the Helena Hauff's of the world, whilst "Frau Bowie" could easily be mistaken for a Panzerkreuz b side.