Review: Last year, someone set up an online petition calling for Warp to re-release The Other People Place's brilliant Lifestyles Of The Laptop Cafe album on wax. Happily, Warp has responded to the strength of feeling from electronica fans - most of whom bristled at the high online prices for second hand copies - and re-pressed it. Drexciya man James Stinson's 2001 solo set remains a timeless electronic classic; a perfectly pitched and immaculately produced fusion of downtempo electro rhythms, spacey electronics and twinkling synthesizer melodies. In fact, you'll struggle to find a better electro album full stop, making this reissue an essential purchase for anyone not lucky enough to own an original copy.
Review: It's rare that an electronic album is the biggest album of the year, or at least the most hyped. That's certainly the case with Syro, Richard D James first official release under his Aphex Twin moniker for some 13 years. So, is it in any good? For starters, it sounds like an Aphex Twin album. Listen through to the 12 tracks, and many of his familiar staples are present - the "Digeridoo" era rave breakbeats, the mangled synth-funk mash-ups, the intoxicating ambient-era melodies, the warped basslines and the skittish drill & bass style rhythms. There's madness, beauty and intensity in spades. In other words, it's an Aphex Twin album, and - as so many have pointed out since the album's release was announced - there's no-one else quite like Richard D James.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Uruguay's finest house and techno export Z@p continues his welcome return to active service in the freakier end of the scene with this spot on Cartulis Music. "Tracid" has a clue in its title, and it doesn't take long to detect the brazen 303 baiting taking place through the core of this peppy workout. It's an effective weapon used in just the right way that should get bodies wriggling with approval. "That Break" meanwhile diverts into a kind of braindance territory with the titular drums matched with more wobbly synth leads and spooked out pads, and then "Acid Rhytms" rounds the EP off with a more reflective cut for calmer moments in the dance.
Review: FXHE maintain their monthly heat emission for 2012, with label boss Omar S displaying all aspects of his production prowess (as well as skill for a humorous track titles) across four productions - one of which features the button bashing assistance of one Patrik Sjeren. There's something icily brilliant about the restrained "Income Tax Refund Dance" melding a dark piano riff with snapping 808 kicks and rippling lo fi rhythms which only further justifies the title of Omar S's killer 2011 LP. It's complemented by the far rowdier box jam "The White Castle Song" which jackhammers a simple yet highly flammable key riff over low rent percussion for FXHE's most potent ode to the perfect warehouse moment since the all conquering "Here's Your Trance..." Given the lack of additional info, we presume the Patrik Sjeren that produces the B Side "Untitled" track is the same Patrik Sjeren that released in the mid 90s under a multiplicity of aliases, and his contribution is every bit as incendiary as the track preceding it, whilst "3c 273" sees Omar S slip into pensive utopian electro mode with aplomb.
Review: Given the underground acclaim heaped on Marie Davidson's previous albums - ultra-stylish affairs that blend elements of minimal wave, dark Italo-disco, off-kilter electro and moody ambient - it's little surprise to see her popping up on Minimal Wave offshoot Cititrax. The album's nine tracks are largely sharp, rough and fuzzy, with sparse-but-dense drum machines rhythms underpinning bouncy, delay-laden synth lines, thrusting electronics and Davidson's sleazy, spoken word vocals. It's an attractive combination that guarantees thrills throughout, from the almost claustrophobic throb of "Denial", to the mutant electrofunk bounce of "Good Vibes".
The Other People Place - "Sorrow & A Cup Of Joe" (6:23)
Mystic Tribe AI - "Telepathic Seduction" (5:44)
Review: Given that Warp has finally bowed to pressure and reissued James Stinson's sole album under The Other People Place guise (2001's peerless Lifestyles of the Laptop Cafe), there was an inevitability about this 12" getting the re-press treatment. It first came out on Clone back in 2002, and paired a fine Stinson solo effort with a rare outing for DJ Stingray as Mystic Tribe A.I. Stinson's "Sorrow & A Cup of Joe" is a thing of rare beauty: a spacey, 4/4 electro cut blessed with bubbly electronics, alien chord progressions, heavy sub-bass and a fluttering, melancholic vocal sample. On the flip, Stingray's "Telepathic Production" is a dreamy chunk of outer space warmth driven by chunky hip-hop breakbeats and an undulating bassline.
Review: We've been rather spoiled this year with new Convextion material. His 2845 full-length on Artless is arguably one of the best electronic albums of 2016, while his ambient-leaning 12" on Acido was also breathtakingly good. Here, he rounds off the year with a fine 7" single containing two terrific tracks. The veteran producer begins with new road, a delightfully spacey combination of cascading melody lines, similarly tumbling bass, and punchy but laidback electro beats. It's evocative and emotion-rich like much of his best work. Similar accolades could be heaped upon flispide "Summer Nights", a warmer and woozier concoction that sounds like Larry Heard in electro mode.
Review: Following the series of Drexciya retrospectives on Clone, Tresor has dug their own sizable archives to revisit some of the work James Stinson and Gerald Donald committed to the Berlin institution in their time working together. Having already reissued the Drexciya LP Return To Neptunes Lair, Tresor now present a reissue of The Opening Of The Cerebral Gate, the 2001 LP from the late James Stinson's Transllusion project. Initially released on Tresor offshoot Supremat, this new triple LP edition from the label includes three cuts that were not present on the original vinyl version. Given how much og copies command on the second hand market, Drexciya fans without a copy should consider this an essential purchase!
Review: Although Clone's series of remastered Drexciya retrospectives are excellent, it's nice that Tresor have decided to reissue the majority of material the Detroit pair released through the Berlin label in its original format. This way you get the music in the manner Donald and Stinson originally intended. The four tracks on Digital Tsunami were drawn from the same recording sessions that resulted in the sublime Drexciyan document Harnessing The Storm and thankfully got pressed on an addendum 12" after not making the cut for the double LP. With Tresor having just reissued Harnessing The Storm it seems only fair Digital Tsunami should be granted the same treatment. Some 13 years after it's original release and all the music here still sounds like it was drawn from the future, with Donald and Stinson excelling at rapid fire bursts of abstract subaquatic electro, such as towering highlight "The Plankton Organisation".
Review: The somewhat mysterious Dopplereffekt project founded by Drexciya's Gerald Donald ends their six year production hiatus with this Tetrahymena EP for Berlin label Leisure System. Established by Donald in the mid '90s, Dopplereffekt remain one of techno's most enigmatic propositions with their brand of cold, stark electro complemented by a bold, Cold War-indebted aesthetic and a general disregard for performing live or giving interviews. Though Donald has remained active production wise, developing the NRSB-11 project with DJ Stingray which recently saw the release of the politically loaded Commodified album, the Tetrahymena EP is a welcome return for Dopplereffekt and undoubtedly the most high profile release yet from Leisure System.
Review: Chris Romans has been rolling out crucial electro jams for a number of highly regarded labels since the early 00s. Amongst them are Touchin' Bass, Shipwrec, Frustrated Funk and Central Processing Unit, so that tells you everything you need to know about the level he's operating at as 214. Now he comes to 20/20 Vision with some body-poppin' jams of the highest order, broadening the tech house label's remit to embrace the thriving electro scene with one of its most vital practitioners. "Potential Events" is a brooding, atmospheric affair while "Windeye" draws on a more playful, Detroit indebted palette of sounds. Radioactive Man remixes "Windeye" with a steady, finely detailed approach, and then "Back To Sine" finishes the record off with another snappy salvo of funky drums and bubbling synths.
Review: AUX88 Bass Magnetic re-Issue 1993-2018. Back by popular demand, the same unique spirits that brought forth the
sound of Detroit streets and turned it into the futuristic soundscape known as "Techno-Bass", The Original members
have collaborated to re-issue their catalog 25+ years later. Starting with their 1st double pack LP, "Bass Magnetic"
(considered to be a mesh of influences between Miami bass and Detroit techno), AUX88 established themselves in an
effort to stay true to their roots in the streets and the clubs creating their own genre into a global dance culture. After
the release and production of their own documentary ("AUX88-Portrait of an Electronic Band"), the group celebrates its
now classic recordings. Harkening back to its first days on cassette tape to revive a future generation of vinyl
aficionados. AUX88's "Bass Magnetic" = Classic Detroit Electro
Review: Helena Hauff's label is back, this time presenting a various artists 12" that heralds the start of the No Return series. The release starts on a mystical bent with the Eastern-tinged death electro of "El Carmel", sounding ripe for a Hague-friendly warm-up session. Neud Photo then take over with a dystopian trip through rich synth tones coloured in dark hues for the bleakest of robotic fantasies. Antoni Maiovvi fills the B-side with the slow grinding bombast of "The Dig", bleeding out a noirish take on coldwave for the darkest hearts to swoon to.
Review: Cititrax's first Tracks 12" sampler did a good job in showcasing material from some of the Brooklyn-based label's favourite contemporary producers. This follow-up, arriving only a few short months after the first, aims to do the same. Returning for his second appearance, Tsuzing kicks things off with the razor-sharp shuffle of "Nonlinear War", whose intoxicating electronics and wild synth lines recall Brown Album-era Orbital, before London-based L/F/D/M takes a trip into bleak techno territory with the acid-laden "Mouth Holes". Flip for Silent Servant's deliciously grandiose, muscular electro-disco workout "The Touch", and the clanking industrial percussion, EBM attitude and humming electro beats of Maelstrom's "Lithium".
Review: Detroit techno hero DJ Bone is ever prolific these days, with his Differ-Ent alias releasing an epic triple LP release on Don't Be Afraid last year. A Piece Of Beyond marks the second DJ Bone studio album, and it finds him in an exploratory mood. "It Begins" is a unique exercise in synth wobbles and military drum programming, while "The Stalker" heads into the deepest and farthest corners of the quintessential Motor City techno sound. "The Chase" takes on a cosmic, break-infected stance that calls to mind spiritual jazz as much as techno, while there's more classic styles to be enjoyed on "Dreamers 9" and the absolutely stomping "Sweat".
I Can See It In My Dreams (Orgue Electronique remix) (6:04)
Review: The ever-impressive Organic Analogue returns with another crucial excursion into seductive hardware jams from the deeper end of the electronic gene pool. Marvis Dee is an alias for Dutch electro champ Jeremiah R, and finds the promising upstart on impeccable form. There's something seedy in the air on killer opening jam "Alpha", while "Dipper" makes no bones about its classic, Drexciya-informed electro intentions. "I Can See It In My Dreams" is a wistful trip into Chicago house territory, which Orgue Electronique dutifully remixes in his warm, effervescent manner. With "Intervention" and "Cygnus" taking a deeper direction it's a record with depth to match the other excellent releases on OA, and one of the strongest sleeve designs we've seen in some time.
Review: The latest audio missive from the My Own Jupiter camp brings together debutant Nicholas Lutz (here using the previously unused Draculas Lutz alias) and former CABARET Recordings producer Omar Chibarro. They pair begins proceedings with arresting A-side "Instrumento", a bold, bass-heavy and angular electro jam packed with mind-altering acid lines and shimmering, deep space motifs. They change tack on the flipside, accompanying snappy, organ-laced NYC garage bumper "Tschuss" with the hybrid acid-jack/spacey house bluster of quality closer "Gerogliftko". While stylistically varied, the EP's three tracks are united by an attractive looseness that only emphasizes the thrillingly wayward nature of the duo's otherworldly electronics.
Nothing Is True; Everything Is Permitted (instrumental) (4:54)
Breakin' Indistortion (instrumental) (4:16)
A Dirty Song (instrumental) (5:05)
Review: Dark Entries know their stuff when it comes to '80s synth pop reissues, and this latest reissue of Carlos Peron's Dirty Songs single is a sign of just how deep into the crates these guys get. Originally out over thirty years ago, these instrumentals are still total killers and will go down a storm in most DJ sets which venture out of the 4/4 formula. "Nothing Is True; Everything Is Permitted" and "Breakin' Indistortion" are particularly fresh and must have truly cut the edge back then: metallic drum machine beats and sparse melodies ring away into the cavernous ambience created by Peron. Wonderful and highly recommended.
Review: Kalita's obligatory Record Store Day offering is something rather special: synth-funk visionary couple Emerson and Leora Sandidge's mythical unreleased album finally sees the light of day, following Emerson's sole private press seven-inch single release way back in 1988. Those two tunes ("Sending All My Love Out" and "Why Are You So Cold?") make the cut on this belated debut set, alongside six other previously unreleased recordings from the same sessions. Their take on electrofunk, boogie and '80s soul is colourful, soulful and synth-heavy, with the included tracks veering from up-tempo club workouts (see "Raw Deal Cocaine Kills") and fizzing dancefloor pop workouts, to sugary ballads and seductive slow jams. In other words, it's a more than tidy selection of rare and unheard gems.
Review: It's been some six years since Caroline "Miss Kittin" Herve and Michel "The Hacker" Amato last delivered fresh material together. While we await further news of their long-mooted comeback, there's this tasty EP of previously unheard archive material to enjoy. Made up of tracks recorded between 1997 and '99 - when their production partnership was in its' infancy - The Lost Tracks Volume 1 contains a number of fuzzy, stylish, floor-friendly bangers, from the S&M-themed madness of opener "Leather Forever" and stripped-back electro gem "Nightlife" (a tribute to Berlin clubs of the period, apparently), to the high-tempo acid-loaded freakishness of "Loving The Alien". Top-notch sleaze.
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: For Missing Tapes, Minimal Wave has managed to unearth a wealth of previously unheard gems from Dutch electro trailblazer Danny Bosten. Dark electro diggers may be aware of Bosten's early 1980s work, which was initially self-released on cassette, but has also been re-issued since by Minimal Wave and others. The material here was recorded in the same period and rediscovered some years back by the producer. It's similar in style, as you'd expect, with Bosten variously exploring otherworldly electro, sci-fi leaning Italo-disco, stylish, new wave synth workouts, and throbbing proto-techno. What impresses most, though, is the seeming freshness of the material; it might be 35 years old, but it still sounds formidably futuristic.
Review: Subconscious Algorithms kicked off with the dulcet tones of Norken, and now turns its attention to another champion of the UK underground in the form of Derek Carr. There's much to draw parallels on between the artists, as they both explore the outer realms of expressive, delicate and most importantly melodic electro, with Carr sounding especially harmonious on the intricate programming of "Osc 1". "Trust In You" is a more angular, acidic affair still steeped in Motor City soul, while "Beneath The Ice" takes a lighter, almost synth-pop indebted approach. "Blood Moon" rounds the record off in a swirl of twitchy drums and lingering strings.
Review: After releases for Discos Capablanca and Moon Glyth, Minneapolis collective Food Pyramid align with Especial for a remix EP based around "Oh Mercy", a track from their 2012 album Mango Sunrise. Apparently a long term favourite of label boss Stuart Leath, the warped breakbeat jam-fusion of the original is ripe for reinvention and gets the remix treatment from Especial in-house team Apophenia, Inhalt and Jamie Paton. It's the full on italo pumper remix from San Francisco's Inhalt that really impresses too, with Especial right to compare it to Timmy Regisford classic remix of "Rules To Survive" by NOIA.
Review: Get ready for some of the most stunning tracks yet to come from Carl Finlow, aka Silicon Scally. These tracks represent an entirely new evolution of Silicon Scally's progressive hybrid electro concepts.
Review: Despite scouring the Internet for the best part of an afternoon, we've been unable to identify the producer (or producers) behind "Keep Your Mouth Shut 1", an anonymous but quietly impressive four-track EP. While the untitled psychedelic techno shuffler that opens the EP sounds like a peak-time jam in the making, the cut that follows (simply titled "Track 2" here) is an exotic broken techno affair that makes superb use of raw, acid-fired sub-bass and haunting, almost child-like vocal samples. There's more hybrid fun to be found on the flip, where a driving breakbeat cut comes wrapped in shimmering, summery chords ("Track 3"), and a high-octane, acid-fired electro jam threatens to whisk us off to a deep space destination unknown.
Review: Ali Renault's Cestrian alias is responsible for some proper gutter-dwelling electro business that has come to light on Bunker Records, MNX Recordings and more besides. There's no let up with this new slab, presented to the underworld by Vivod and Unknown To The Unknown as a joint release. "Napoli" keeps the pressure wound up to a breakneck pace while "Secret Language" places the emphasis on devilish synth tones. "Purge" attempts something akin to a more melodic, mellow mood splattered with acidic bleeps, and then "Krapton Fictor" whips out some truly crafty android boogie loaded with short circuits aplenty. Umberto swoops in at the last minute to remix "Napoli" into a relentless, storming techno brute with brains to match the brawn.
Review: Simon Keat has been slipping out devastatingly funky electro cuts as Reedale Rise for a few years now. He's put out records on such esteemed labels as Frustrated Funk and Subwax, and now he's landing on the mighty 20:20 Vision, who have been showing a renewed interest in electro with recent releases from 214 and others. The EP leads in with the whipcrack beats of "Hydraulics" before settling into the lilting acid inflections of "Arkeme," while on the flip "Pressure Drop" presents the deeper side of electro and "Naria" takes things in an upbeat, almost jazzy direction.
Review: When it comes to electro, Carl Finlow has been doing it longer than most. The machine funk specialist rocks up to his regular stomping ground of 20/20 Vision with another slab of crucial beats for body poppers to get frisky to, kicking off with the crisp, future-noir stylings of "Electronic". Things take an even darker turn on the murky "Side Effects", while "Vortices" weaves a more mystical message out of the intricate threads of synths and drum machine hits. The EP closes out with "Flaw", a blown out and irrepressibly funky workout Drexciya heads will lap up.
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: After the stunning Ostati album released on Organic Analogue last year, Georgia's HVL is back with a new album on the label for his home turf, Bassiani. As a resident of the infamous Tbilisi club, he knows innately how to communicate the vibe of one of the world's most widely discussed techno clubs, only this time he's taken a slightly tougher stance. "Eyes In The Sky" has a fierce, paranoid acid edge, while "F12 (Korg Patch Mix)" gets into freaky, cerebral techno territory. There are intriguing interludes and skits, and plenty more dancefloor heaters delivered with an inventiveness that once again affirms HVL's status as one of the brightest talents operating in the loosely defined field of deep techno.
Review: Reissue anthem alert!! Another Day drop DJ Bone's early material from Metroplex back onto vinyl with this tasty reincarnation of the 1999 juggernaut. When this badboy first came out, no one was doing percussion the same way as Bone, with tunes like "Shut The Lites Off" capable of destroying any dance floor with its sublime balance of harmonies and hard beats. "The Funk" offered new and curious shades of electro madness to the scene - a cocktail which still sounds fresh now - and "The Haunting" smashes out the funky techno for warehouse use.
Review: ** REPRESS ** Following the series of Drexciya retrospectives on Clone, Tresor has dug their own sizable archives to revisit some of the work James Stinson and Gerald Donald committed to the Berlin institution in their time working together. Having already reissued the Drexciya LP Return To Neptunes Lair, Tresor now present a reissue of The Opening Of The Cerebral Gate, the 2001 LP from the late James Stinson's Transllusion project. Initially released on Tresor offshoot Supremat, this new triple LP edition from the label includes three cuts that were not present on the original vinyl version. Given how much og copies command on the second hand market, Drexciya fans without a copy should consider this an essential purchase!
Continuez Mon Enfant Vous Serez Traite En Consequence (4:53)
Review: The seemingly unstoppable rise of Helena Hauff continues apace. After previously shining on Ninja Tune's Actress-helmed Werk Discs offshoot, the Hamburg-based DJ/producer has now graduated to the parent label. As usual, there's much to enjoy throughout, from the punchy drum machine percussion, tumbling synthesizer melodies and foreboding chords of opener "Nothing Is What I Know" and thrillingly intense, end-of-days techno jam "Do You Really Think Like That", to the lo-fi, intergalactic brilliance of closer "Gift". Perhaps most impressive, though, is "Continuez Mon Enfant Vous Serez Traite En Consequence", a thrillingly wonky trip into dark, acid-fired electronica. In a word: essential.