Review: Thule's dark doppelganger AE Recordings was revived last year with the excellent Freyja EP by NonniMal, and now the saga continues with this devastatingly on-point release from Cold. Much like the vibe on Thule, the music on Thule continues to channel the mood of the icy tundra into refined, modern club tracks, but there's definitely a more sinister intent at work in these tracks from Cold. "Aerials" is a nightmarish chugger loaded with eerie sonics, while "Phased Out" lays down some fine dubby processing over a bed of chilly chord pulses. "Exiles" is a standout track thanks to its crafty groove, coming on a little more housey than its counterparts but still heavier than the average Thule jam.
Review: For their 9th offering, ae Recordings have a various artists release. What all these artists have in common is that they have undoubtedly been leading figures within the local scene for the last 25 years.
A-side features a long lost remix which Thor made for GusGus back in 2002. There has been loud demand for this one to appear on vinyl, so the waiting is now no more. Its a balearic, tasteful and will certainly be a regular in the DJ bags this season. The B-side starts with a minimalistic and dubby anthem from Thor. A solid composition as expected from the label honcho himself. A timeless dub techno remix from Sanasol of the Icelandic electronica wizard Biogen completes this 12" - a track that first saw release back in 1997.
ae Recordings, the infamous sublabel of Thule Records, has been a hub for techno talents in Iceland since 1999. The label was, and still is, known for bringing in fresh winds into the scene and this release doesn't stray away from the concept at all; although this time we're offering a delicious slice from the older times.
Review: AE Recordings turns its attention to Oculus, who they describe as a "titan of the Icelandic techno scene", famed for his live sets that have kept bodies moving for the past decade. He commits some of his sounds to wax here, maintaining the otherworldly emotional lilt that often comes from the scene orbiting AE and Thule Records, but with a bolder sound palette than some of the icy dubbed out artists he rubs shoulders with. "Nostalgia" deals in powerful, swooning chord progressions, while "Rydgad" pings a set of metallic percussion around a sturdy but crooked low end groove. "Morph" takes things deeper, while "Flod" offers up a classy take on the minimal techno aesthetic, with added sound design trysts for good measure.
Review: The resurgence of Icelandic techno continues with the latest release on AE Recordings, seeing Bjarnar Jonsson returning to his long standing Ohm project alongside emergent talent Kvadrant. The pair were last seen on Kvadarant's Kontakt label, and their production partnership is clearly still yielding quality, dubbed out techno in the finest Scandinavian tradition. Even if all the tracks are built with a steely techno focus to them, the synth work and sound design scattered throughout the tracks elevates this to a higher level, not least on the bubbling geisers of signal processing that course through the middle of "Grip".