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: Transhumanism is a collective of Dutch producers who first met on the dance-floor at Dave Clarke's Whip It party at Melkweg in Amsterdam, so that will give you a reliable indicator of their sound: it's brash, serrated electro that fires your synapses and awakens your every sense. Juan Atkins and Helena Hauff have been dropping it all summer and it's easy to see why. There is strobe lit action from Slaves Of Sinus, walls of high intensity sound from RXmode, rave tinged stuff from W1b0 and a more throwback jam from TFHats to round out a high impact EP.
Walid - "Human Injection" (Western World mix) (6:13)
Hank Rideau - "Tape 1" (5:10)
Review: Seuil's Eklo imprint returns, riding the post minimal wave of electro-techno on this fine three tracker by various artists. The Unknown Cities Of Gold Vol 1 is the first release from the Paris based imprint in 2018 thus far, and features the mysterious France 98 (a member of Tearss) who delivers a deeply meditative bleep techno excursion on "July 7" following the tradition of B12. We're loving Walid's trippy retro-tech jam "Human Injection" (Western World mix), which is the kind of track you'd hear at a Berlin party like Libertine or Melliflow alike. On the flip, it's TB-303 vs SP 1200 on the deep down and dirty "Tape 1".
Review: Owen Jay's Batti Batti label has carried a great selection of various artists releases throughout its back catalogue, and the tradition continues with this latest missive. The Palette EP kicks off with the ever-rising talents of Jayson Wynters, who plies a seductive strain of deep house on "Sherella's Kiss" that melts perfectly into the blissful, twinkling keys and gossamer percussion of Duccio's "Absurdation". Kiddmisha leads in on the B side with the sprightly electro of "Healing" before Weakmassive rounds things off with the mellow acid of "Sjhue," which matches a nagging 303 with sumptuous keys for a spine-tingling conclusion to a fantastic 12".
Review: Typically, General Elektro isn't giving much away about the identity of the producers behind "new collaboration" Westend, or their aims for the project for that matter. Musically, it's a quietly impressive debut that features a sextet of tracks mostly built around gently undulating synthesizer arpeggio lines and moody electronics. Many of the tracks are stripped-back, hypnotic and beat-less, deriving their power from the relentless thrust of the arpeggio lines that ripple across the sound space. Others, meanwhile, include ghostly electro drums or, in the case of the bombastic "Track 4", the kind of no-nonsense, kick-drum-driven beats that were once a feature of the greatest Electronic Body Music releases.
Review: Throughout his career, L.I.E.S. regular Beau Wanzer has proved adept at delivering decidedly fuzzy, lo-fi workouts that variously draw influence from industrial, EBM, techno and electro. He's at it again on "Do The Spider Shimmy", a tidy ten-inch containing six wonderfully wayward cuts. It's a noticeably stripped-back affair, with most of the cuts existing of little more than sparse but heavy basslines, occasional electronics, minimalist electro beats and the odd droning, stylized vocal. Highlights come thick and fast, from the gently spacey synth-scape "Never Look Back" and the buzzing simplicity of "You Can't Stand On Broken Shoes", to the lo-fi no wave pop of "Choice Curve" and the raw, laid back electro sleaze of the title track.
Review: Fresh from delivering two killer cuts on a split release with pal Jack Michael on Orbital London, former Osman artist Harry Wills pops up on LEMAK. There's plenty to admire throughout, from the subtle deep garage influences, bleeping melodies and rolling tech-house grooves of opener "Quench", to the shuffling deep electro pulse of ghostly closing cut "Grebe". By far away the most arresting cut on the EP, "Capri Swung", is sandwiched between the two. This sees him continue to develop his trademark garage-influenced tech-house sound by wrapping glitchy electronics and jammed-out organ chords around a bonkers, Luke Vibert style bassline and swinging two-step drums.
Review: Given his recent obsession with shoegaze-influenced psychedelic disco chug, it's easy to forget that Andrew Weatherall is capable of crafting seriously good electro. Of course, his take on electro is far from purist. "Blue Bullet", the title track from the veteran DJ/producer's second Byrd Out 12", features spacey, ricocheting machine drums and deep space electronics, but is powered by a typically fuzzy, restless dub disco bassline. Weatherall's love of dub soundystem culture comes to the fore on flipside "Making Friends With The Invader", where discordant, psychedelic influenced guitars rise above delay-laden drum machine hits and a suitably heavyweight bassline.
Review: Last year, Andrew Weatherall launched yet another collaborative project, joining forces with long-time pal and occasional studio partner Nina Walsh as The Woodleigh Research Facility. Here, they continue their partnership with The Phoenix Suburb (And Other Stories), a fine debut album that marks the first material on Weatherall's Rotters Golf Club imprint since 2013. Rooted in the Detroit end of electro, but with more than a hint of the early, IDM influenced escapades of the former Junior Boys Own man's Two Lone Swordsmen project, it's a set that combines moments of snappy dancefloor heaviness with more evocative, ambient-influenced fare. There are, of course, plenty of intriguing aural references to shared influences - psychedelia, rockabilly, Arabic music, and so on - scattered throughout, making it an intriguing and entertaining proposition.