Review: The first release from R.A.N.D Muzik Recordings, a new venture from Gunnar Heuschkel and Jan Freund's Leipzig-based pressing plant, is either a statement of intent or a collection of killer cuts from artists they've previously dealt with. Either way, it's something of a treat from start to finish. For proof, check the early Orbital-goes-electro positivity of Varum's "Das Busch", the psychedelic, acid-fired electro trip of Perm's thoroughly intoxicated "All", and the low-slung, pitched-down, lo-fi electro swing of Uncanny Valley regular Credit 00's fine "On Hold". If that's not enough to sway you, Robyrt Hecht and XY0185 do a passable impression of Drexciya on bustling opener "The Left Lane".
Review: The tenth missive on Vortex Traks is full to bursting with tasty treats. As with many of the Berlin-based imprint's previous outings, it's a multi-artist affair. Marshall Applewhite kicks things off via the deep electro/dusty IDM fusion of "Better Do Not", where eight-bit electronics and undulating acid-style motifs rise above a crunchy beat, before Forehard attempts to batter dancefloors into submission via the full-throttle, Klakson-style Rotterdam electro filth of "Rhythm Device". Das Ding invites us to party in deep space via the high-tempo beats and swirling, some would say psychedelic electronics of "Analog Devices", before VCS2600 serves up some seriously punchy, acid-fired electro ("Modular Device").
Review: Gird yourselves; starting from this month and running through until December, Dutch institution Dekmantel are celebrating a decade in the game with a series of monthly 12"s featuring a seriously all-star cast from Tony Allen to Villalobos. It starts right here as legendary innovative composer Gigi Masin opens with the lilting, delicate "Maja", Vakula brings us down from the clouds and back to the future with the body-jacking ghetto bump of "Robot Fuck The System" while Flugel blows the finale horn with the swampy Amazonian harmonic trip-out "Mice On Stick". This is the start of something very special.
Review: Happily, Neo Violence's third label sampler contains some real gems. It begins with Niro's "Nazca", a distinctively spacey affair that brings together echoing, dub techno style synthesizer motifs, shuffling tech-house drums and chords seemingly beamed down from another galaxy. VNZO's woozy "Relax Yourself" continues the fusion vibe (think ultra-deep Motor City techno mixed with dusty deep house), before NMSS and Jjuan pepper a cowbell-laden broken house groove with swirling chords and late '80s hip-house vocal samples. Another rock solid EP is drawn to a close via the rubbery, post-electro rhythms, darting bass and dreamy pads of Zolaa's standout "Fao-Mao".
Review: To complement Objekt's masterful 36-track session for their irregular Kern mix series, Tresor have put out two self-explanatory 12" samplers. Kern Vol. 3: The Exclusives sees contributions from accomplished electro technicians Clatterbox and Polzer as well as Bristol's rising Shanti Celeste and Via App of 1080p fame. "Aspect Ratio" from Clatterbox and Celeste's understandably incandescent "Lights" both feature in a movement on the mix that is a real highlight of Kern Vol. 3, but DJs will be happy both have been pressed her for full club play. On the B-side, the swift and snappy metallic tunnelling of Polzer's "Static Rectifier" could be mistaken for an angry DJ Stingray, whilst Via App's "From Across The Room (Edit)" is a more playful, if pensive affair.
Review: While Steffi and Virginia have been working together on and off for the best part of a decade, "Work A Change" is undoubtedly their most significant collaborative work to date (both in terms of its expansive nature and the quality of music on show). With Virginia handling singing duties throughout, "Work A Change" rides on waves of tasty electro grooves and hazy synth-pop motifs and futuristic electronics. It's a blueprint that guarantees goodness throughout, from the quietly euphoric shuffle of opener "Be True To Me" and the pulsating dancefloor fizz of "Help Me Understand" (one of two cuts showcased in both vocal and instrumental forms), to the high-tempo thrust of "Until You're Begging", the bass-heavy, future dancehall wonkiness of "Internal Bleeding" and triumphantly intergalactic title track.
Exhauated Modern - "The Last Minute On Earth" (6:06)
Review: Brokntoys has released a number of superb multi-artist EPs over the years, so it's little surprise to find that their latest compilation style effort consistently hits the mark. Robert Valera impresses with the creepy, minor key techno/electro fusion of "Test 2" - a modular workout that intensifies in waves - before Bristol-based Glaswegian heavyweight Marco Bernadi wraps glistening, Vector Lovers style synth motifs around a shuffling, hardcore style breakbeat on "Tokyo Sunrise". Turn to side B for punchy and spacey electro antics from Vertical67 (whose "Out of Sight" is luscious), not to mention the widescreen chords, cinematic electronics and foreboding, spaced-out beats of "The Last Minute on Earth".
Review: After years spent supporting the underground IDM scene digitally, Glasgow label Ambidextrous makes the leap to vinyl with this killer compilation of ear-catching deep techno and electronica. Christ brings a bubbling range of synth tones to "Rom" before Norken and Nyquist drop some brooding electro tones over rolling beats on"Od Detot". Solipsism has a more sassy house sound to impart, while Nyquist goes into full electro mode on his own. On the flip, Analogue Audio Association have some edgy acid to throw down, Cyan341 brings a touch of boogie flex to the record and Mich Chillage rounds the record off with emotive outboard electronics of a reflective nature.
Review: Dark Entries has been at the forefront of the coldwave and synth revival that has slowly taken hold over the last decade. Next up they turn their attention to a reissue of an out of print EP from 1988 by Jordi Guber and Krishna Goineau as Velodrome. Villalobos has been known to drop cuts from it, which should give you a good idea of its musical style: freaky 80s electro built on steppy drums, with taut and twanging synths reverberating around the mix, as exemplified by the opener. "Glasfabrik" is a hyper-speed cut with a tongue in cheek vocal, while "Capataz" is the most well-known joint with its acid bass and crashing hits.
Review: Crimes Of The Future is the kind of label you can trust, no matter who is at the controls. The same could be said for Giallo Disco, and certainly the two labels orbit a similar space for lurid soundtrack-inspired hardware jams from the Italo age. Vercetti Technicolor is one half of the Giallo team alongside Antoni Maiovvi, and here steps out with a perfectly bombastic range of compositions that revel in B-movie brilliance. "Golden Taurus" is the perfect slow-burner, those mono bass notes warming like no soft synth ever could, while "Topaz Fear" brings a more action-driven sequence into the mix. "Death Wish" too opts for a pumped up club scenario, while Heinrich Dressel smokes out "Golden Taurus" into a seedy slow-jam.
Review: Five years on from the release of his brilliant debut 'Watched By The Experts" album on Apartment Records, VernoN finally returns to action. While that acclaimed set explored a sleazy mix of techno, EBM and new beat, this belated follow-up features a quartet of tracks wrapped in the distinctively wild and undulating sounds of Roland's legendary TB-303 bass synthesizer. There are a couple of suitably forthright, acid house style "jack tracks" - see the superb "Assault" and the snappy alien funk of "Riot" - alongside a bustling, breakbeat-driven acid shuffler ["Don't Be a Slave (Consumerism Mix)]", with its bounding waves of wild electronics and whispered vocal samples) and a surging acid-electro workout that's so psychedelic it could probably induce hallucinations in even the most sober of listeners (standout "Scuffle").
Review: The Electronic Leatherette label shows its hand straight away with a pointed nod to The Normal and the foundations of Mute Records. Sure enough there's an industrial, new wave and electro fog hanging over the nocturnal transmissions that make up this first release, although it's far from one dimensional throwback music. Vessel In Distress has a chilly sci-fi leaning to its brand of gloomy electro, but that's contrasted by the sprightly robo-funk of Franck Kartell's "Sigma Octantis". MSRG brings the party with the feisty stomp and gnarly synth lines of "Elliptical Wave", and Heinrich Dressel rolls out an evocative night crawler of a track in "Down Upsight", as is his customary style.
Review: The tenth volume in Libertine's "Traditions" series comes from Luke Vibert, a producer who has consistently delivered brilliant music across a range of electronic styles for the best part of three decades. This time he's in full-on intergalactic electro mode, charging between the ghetto-tech influenced dancefloor assault of "iSocket", the pitched-down, hip-hop tempo shimmer of "iTeeth" - all crunchy machine drums, intergalactic chords and alien lead lines - and the bleeping eccentricity of rolling workout "iCandy". Arguably best of all, though, is closing cut "iWash", a deliciously tipsy and wayward mixture of undulating acid lines, off-kilter synth splashes and skittish electro beats that are far more weighty than they initially appear.
Review: After the label debuted recently with a 12" from Enrico Mantini, Purism returns with another fresh talent in the shape of Pepe Villalba, who makes a mighty fine impression with this first outing. "Acidbreak" may be something of a misleading name, although the 303 and a broken beat do feature heavily. It's actually woozy lead lines that shape out the vibe of this track, making for a dreamy electro diversion, and the mysterious yet warmly melodic tone continues on "U.F.O. (Sad Story About Conquering A Planet)". "Pianelice" is a different kind of jam with its stark keys way out front, but it's no less classy and ear-catching. "Charlie On The Moon" then finishes the record off with some slow, leftfield sparkle pitched at the lounging crew.
Review: This tasty four-tracker is worth celebrating on a number of levels, not least the return to action of rising star Voiron. The Parisian producer has been frustratingly quiet since releasing a new edition of his popular 2016 EP "Voironzinor" on Craigie Knowes last March. Happily, "Air Voiron" is every bit as good as we'd hoped it would be. Check first the bustling bursts of breakbeats, droning analogue bass and lilting electronic melodies of "K Mvoiron", before turning your attention to the psychedelic acid lines, pitched-up vocal samples, restless drum builds and fizzing riffs of "League of Voiron". Elsewhere, "Air Voiron" sees our hero wrap IDM style melodies and bubbly electronics around a mid-tempo, house style beat, while "Voirongate" is a cheery, piano-laden jog through blissful, saucer-eyed early '90s electronica pastures.
Review: Parisian producer and DJ Voiron got his break back in 2014 with the Radome EP on Concrete Music and he's popped up on the excellent One Eyed Jacks operated by Photonz as well as Lyon's Rave or Die since then. Across his releases so far, Voiron's shown a willingness to dabble in the crawlspace between acid, electro and techno no it's no surprise to find him land on local concern Nocta Numerica Records! The Paris label may be young but they've impressed with releases from Dynarec and Cold Colours and this bright yellow Voironizer 12" is killer. The title track's usage of synths and drum samples displays a sense of humour redolent of Ceephax Acid Crew, whilst "Building Voiron" and "After Chez Oim" are delightful attempts at classic synthwave.
Review: Although better known for being one of the few European producers to fully embrace the early ethos of Detroit techno, Orlando Voorn's first love was actually electro. He's been returning to those roots a little in recent years, and here delivers another fine EP of bustling, beatbox-driven cuts as the Stalker (an alias he last used 21 years ago). There's much to enjoy throughout, from the chiming synthesizer melodies, wiggly acid bass and body-popping beats of "Electrocute" and warped electrofunk shuffle of "Tech The Soul", to the razor-sharp, high register acid lines, deep space chords and booming bass of "Solar System". We're not sure whether these tracks are brand new or rediscovered archive gems; either way, the EP is a thrilling blast from the past.
Review: Following up a terrific 2018 that closed out with a killer output by Robert Dietz, Jensen Interceptor and Hugo Massien, U.K. label E-Beamz are back with more throwback sounds, this time courtesy of the enigmatic Vort who makes an impressive debut on the label here. From the brooding underwater electro-funk of killer opener "50 Yen", the rolling junglist stepper "Rainfall" to the depth charged yet emotive soul of "Tulip", Vort is keeping a low profile at present but we are pretty sure you'll be hearing more from this promising producer in this year.