Vulvareen - "Jerk In The Sand, Sleep In That Sand" (4:18)
1905 - "Sometimes Sweet, Sometimes Salty" (4:30)
Review: Former City launch what will presumably be new various artist sears here with Volume 1 of Ghettoboom. It features two tracks each by three different artists on a super limited 12" that has a healthy dose of streetwise swagger. There are rave samples and big breaks on 1905's 'Recorddeals' while DJ Pirna gets for a more soul soothing and loved up vocal vibe on his super sweet bumper 'Booty Snapper. Bringing a third different sound is 'Get Your Head Bust', a high speed, lo-fi techno cut with turbo claps. The flip also features footwork style club tracks, lush deep house and urgent floor pumpers. This one covers lots of ground in real style
Review: It's time to tune into those weird and wonderful frequencies from Alien FM once again. This time the intergalactic space travelers serve up their Monochromatic Images, a five track transmission from outer space that leaves you breathless. The titular track is a busy and bumping electro cut with organic pianos draped over squelchy and synthetic bass. "Recordman" is a much crunchier and more dystopian affair complete with freaky vocals, then "Out There" is a stripped back, sublime electro rhythm that is perfectly mysterious. Two further mixes close out a super tight EP.
Review: Having spent the last 18 months guesting on numerous compilations and multi-artist EPs, rising electro star Arsonist Recorder has finally been given a chance to showcase his wares across an entire vinyl EP. He's grasped the opportunity with both hands, filling his debut outing with club-rocking rhythms, foreboding Drexciyan bass, and similarly mind-altering synthesizer sounds. We're particularly big fans of EP opener "Vaxxer", which feels like a breathless, hyper-speed rush through the farthest reaches of the galaxy, though the deeper, more evocative "Multivers" and fizzing "Shifty" are also top-notch. As debut EPs go, this is pretty darn good.
Review: The long running Dutch stable Frustrated Funk serve up more of their irresistibly corrugated and coruscated grooves here, with Bitstream on the buttons. It's an Arcade mix of "Communion" that gets things underway with icy pads and dancing beats underpinned by booming bass. "Eltromat" is more turbulent, with galactic synth battles playing out over punchy broken beats. After the squelchy bass face meter that is "Glycon" comes "Temporeal", a more ambient laced beauty with far sighted pads and a real sense of cosmic adventure.
Review: Having established himself many moons ago on Alphabet Set, Cignol has gone on to become a firm fixture in the contemporary electro scene with drops on labels like Lunar Disko, Furthur Electronix, Seagrave and many more. Now he appears on 20:20 Vision with an EP that slots perfectly into the electro direction the label has been exploring in the past couple of years. 'Past Futures' pivots around a nagging acid line, a pitched-down vocal hook and an easy tempo, while 'Virtual Array' swerves for the plushest Drexciya-indebted territory. 'Gantm' brings forth more 303 action, matched with all kinds of other playful synth strokes and a tumbling beat. 'Lessened By Lessons' completes the set on a plaintive note, but with a similar palette of expressive synth lines and a keen sense of harmony powering the track.
Review: Portugal's Conversion is the latest new imprint to chuck its hat into the ever growing electro pool. The label is run by an artist of the same name who is also known as Jorge Caiado, who runs the Carpet & Snares label and shop, as well as doing A&R for Chez Damier's cult Inner Balance Music. It's been two years since he serve up the first release but the wait was well worth it - these are five more tracks of serene and cinematic electro. There is sparse, ambient laced dreaming material, more driving and punchy dance floor tackle and futuristic soul searching of the highest order.
Review: Three years on from their admirable (but arguably overlooked) debut on Steeplejack Records, Melbourne trio Cutting Room pops up on Brokntoys with an EP of fuzz-soaked industrial electro mutations. Dark, twisted and mind-altering, the set sees them confidently fuse metallic post-punk noises, redlined riffs and clandestine aural textures with clanking, body-popping machine rhythms and buzzing, out-there electronic sounds. It's a blueprint for atmospheric sonic success, as is proved by EP standouts "Night Chemist", "Hum" and "Soul Patch Assailant". The "Esplendor Geometrico" remix of "Always Rock", a sludgy and even more out-there industrial affair, is also well worth a listen.
Cyberian Nights (Siberian Nights remix In Tribute To Twilight 22) (4:59)
Hologram People (6:40)
Review: Fundamental Records, the electro music label behind the 808 Box, Electric Eclectics and Music for The Other People Place project starts with a new project and new label called Electro Records and has made something of a statement with its first release, not only opting for a striking clear and white splatter patterned slab of wax, but also by securing the services of sometime CPU, Craigie Knowes and Biosoft Record producer Phillip Washington aka Cygnus. Do not forget Fundamental Records is the home of the Dallas producer with a full album in 2016, several EPs and tracks for the 808 Box and Electric Eclectics and the project MACHINE FUNK!... a triple album released only a few months ago. Cygnus rarely disappoints, and we can safely say he's delivered the goods here too. For proof, check the robotic, vocoder-laden deep space shuffle of "Hologram Killer", the lilting melodies and emotive, starry synths of "She Work All Night" and the canny combination of bubbly acid house and deep electro tropes that is "Hologram People". Elsewhere, "Cyberian Nights" doffs a cap to original '80s electro crew Twilight 22 and closing cut "Satisfaction" flits between crunchy dancefloor aggression and drifting-through-space deepness
Review: Motor City artist Detroit's Finest doesn't do things by half - his electro is turbo-charged, with big booty bass and rave sirens underlining hard raps and streetwise swagger. He now finds himself on Casa Voyager outta France, laying out a double 12" vision that is varied and vital. After the urban opener 'Hands Behind Your Back' that is all about snapping snare loops and impromptu block parties, 'Undefeated' veers towards jungle madness. There are also sci-fi excursions, sample heavy and jazz tinged rollers like 'Blaxploitation' and pure ghetto bangers in 'Dis N Dat'. This one might be the mysterious producer's best yet.
Review: Detroit electro legends Dopplereffekt return to Leisure System for their fourth release on the Berlin based imprint. Athanatos is named after the angel of the planet Mercury in ancient Greek mythology, but that isn't so much the theme. Here the duo again explore subjects related to genetic conditions and chromosomal influences that define mortality across the EP's five tracks. After the brooding sonic landscapes of the title track , it's classic Mitchell & Nhan all the way on the majestic electronic funk of "Hayflick Limit" while devilishly enchanting slow burners like "Telomere" or "Mitosisin" lock you in with their hypnotic grasp. Raster-Noton founders Carsten Nicolai (who did the artwork) and Olaf Bender are said to have collaborated with the pair on this release.
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: In something of a dream pairing for Leisure System, this split disc spans the old guard of electro and those well versed in pushing it into new contortions. Dopplereffekt is of course one of the most lauded of all post-Drexciya projects, and new material comes few and far between. "Delta Wave" is a lavish, sweeping wonder of celestial voices and sci-fi mystery that satisfies all your desires without sounding like a re-hash of old material. On the flipside Objekt has risen to the occasion and delivered one of his most outright electro-infused belters to date, keeping the beat rigid but funky, and working similar amounts of drawn out pads into the mix while keeping the crafty edits and playful sounds as limber as ever.
Review: Specimen's latest 12" is heavyweight both metaphorically and literally. It is a talent packed four tracker that opens with the dark wave electro sounds of 'Extererri'. The kicks are rigged, the bass is frazzled, the synths circle around you with an ominous presence. Datawave's remix is more liquid, bulbous and fluid, as well as being riddled with acid, while 'Smooth Vibrato' a weird and wonky ride on unbalanced drum loops as steps melodic sequences that seem to get faster. Federico Leocata closes out with a twitchy groove filled with mystery and deep space atmosphere.
Review: Sometime Andrew Weatherall collaborator, long time guitar enthusiast and always innovative studio talent Timothy J FairPlay can do just about anything. After standout dark disco and techno offerings in the past, here he is electro mode, and is as essential as ever. 'Cerro El Condor' is an electric opera that surges on waves of acid while disquieting vocal sounds shimmer next to glassy chords. 'Sad Magic' is high grade sonic sorcery and 'Skylark II' cuts utterly loose, with crashing hits and withering chords, frenzied arps and more all adding up to an intergalactic battle royale. 'Superstition Springs' has a dark, more gritty palette but is no less cosmic or compelling.
Jensen Interceptor X Assembler Code - "Red Cell" (5:51)
CKFT (Keith Tucker X Carl Finlow) - "Coder" (4:55)
Voigtmann - "Subtopia" (6:07)
Cignol - "51D" (5:13)
Review: 20/20 Vision's electro mission continues unabated with this second compilation drop in the Exit Planet Earth series. The record opens up with Jensen Interceptor working alongside Assemble Code for a darkside workout heavy on the details and rude around the low end. Carl Finlow and Keith Tucker form a mini-supergroup for a new partnership CKFT, displaying their formidable chops with the body-rocking dystopia of 'Coder'. Voigtmann keeps things closer to the 4/4 spectrum on 'Subtopia', but with plenty of machine funk tropes woven into the mix. Cignol completes the set with a widescreen sound that's steeped in emotion and sci-fi noir from a dazzling array of finely tuned synths (including some essential 303, of course).
Review: Following up the inaugural release by Tomassini which featured a remix from Hodge, newcomer Kilig (of club Night Tales) draws from London's dynamic underground sound for their first club-centric EP on Bath-based Origins Sound. If the progressive breaks of "Is It Time" was released over 20 years ago, it could well have been played by the likes of Sasha & Digweed. Also very much on a quintessentially British vibe is the post UK bass experiment of "VHS Flex", while the flip the fledgling producer show us their version of electro on the futuristic vibe of "Bed Test".
Review: 2020 has been a successful year so far for improvised electro specialists London Modular Alliance, who followed a killer EP on Brokntoys with similarly inspired outings on Infiltrate and Electrix. Predictably, there's much to admire on this surprise single on Censor. Check first the foreboding, hard-wired electro throb of "Glass Cannon" - an undeniably alien-sounding affair that comes accompanied by a chunkier, club-ready Alex Jann rework - before admiring the swinging, sub-heavy deepness of "Mom's Knife". Elsewhere, "Super Hang On" is a growling, up-tempo affair full of high-octane rhythms and aggressive stabs, while "Low Slung" is spacey and bass-heavy, with just the right amount of loose-limbed, UKG-inspired swing.
Review: The 10th release on EYA comes from French producer Master Flashhh, who delivers punchy, cool-headed house music with a strong early 90s slant. 'Too Big To Fail' keeps things stripped back and weighty, with a bassline so thick you could sink your teeth into it. 'Beat Boxxx' has a more psychedelic, slow-techno slant to it, not least thanks to the ranging 303 gurgles sliding around the track. 'Boulevard Mystere' adds a little cinematic spookiness to the mix for an ear-snagging warm up track, and 'Enigma' completes the set with the kind of eerie mood and crisp box jam sounds that make artists like RVDS so compelling. Highly recommended for those who like their machine music with personality and punch in equal measure.
Review: Two and a half years have passed since the tragic passing of Maltese electro producer Rhys Celeste AKA Microlith. He's missed badly by those who knew him, particularly fellow Maltese artist - and regular studio buddy - Keith Farrugia AKA Sound Synthesis. Here Fundamental Records offers up a collection of previously unheard tracks recorded by Farrugia and Celeste during the latter's lifetime, and as you'd expect it's very, very good. All six tracks are top notch, but our picks are melancholic, acid-flecked deep electro opener "Ecosphere", the ultra-melodic, Boards of Canada-influenced "Flying Cosmonauts", enveloping ambient-electro number "10,500 Miles" and richly emotive closing cut "Safe Travels".
Review: The latest audio missive from Funkineven's Apron camp has been receiving a lot of heat, and it's easy to see why. In typical style, both tracks take classic boogie and '80s soul jams, impressively mangling them in distinctly different ways. Mighty Baron III's "Screwed" is a "chopped and screwed" masterpiece - a fusion of sludgy, slowed-down electrfunk loops, pitched-down vocals and wonky beatbox rhythms. It's distinctively odd, but really rather special. Flip for the Sun Runners' "The Finest", a smart and melodious S.O.S Band re-edit that's been pepped up with additional drum machine hits and special effects. It will do the business on both boogie and R&B dancefloors.
Review: Ole Mic Odd aka Michael Padgett is a hardware operator and DJ from Los Angeles and runs the wonderfully named label The New U.S. Government. Here he sweeps to power with four tracks across four sides of vinyl for the Zement label, two following a slower, punishing pulse that's like P-funk remade in a robot factory, only with tons of added bubbling acid, Drexciya-style filtering and Juan Arkins-like synthetic strings. The other two are way faster, Ice So Bright sounding like someone secretly spiked Kraftwerk's cocoa with something extremely sinister, sending them racing off on their bikes at treble speed. Echo Park has an even more distinct flanging acid flavour and hyper, hooligan electro foundations, again with those Model 500 misty clouds of synthesiser floating overhead. Absolutely cracking stuff.