Review: Tale of Us launch their Afterlife label in style with the Realm of Consciousness compilation. Bringing together some of the best-known names in contemporary techno as well as a group of newcomers, it moves effortlessly between esoteric moods. Tale of Us contribute the ambient intro, while Monoloc and Woo York are both in more mellow form than usual on the melodic "Phoenix" and "Poseidon" respectively. Meanwhile, Recondite contributes the sad melodies and throbbing bass of "Murphy's Law" and Locked Groove balances supernaturally beautiful hooks with powerful bass pulses on "Emeralds". Even more dance floor-focused tracks, like Obscure Shape & SHDW's "Die Wiederkehr", are filled with trancey melancholia.
Review: After six months away, Melodious house and "neo-trance" heroes Mathame return to action with a fresh EP on Afterlife Recordings. A-side "Nothing Around" us is particularly potent, with guest vocalist Lyke passionately singing a small selection of key phrases over a rush-inducing backing track rich in sparkling electronics, chunky grooves, melancholic chords and summery melodies. Over on side B, "22" is a wonderfully hypnotic and quietly beautiful trip into deep techno, while the similarly shuffling bit sturdy "Fade Into You" expertly joins the dots between deep techno and high quality, stripped-back trance.
Review: Somewhat surprisingly, this is Amsterdam techno stalwart Patrice Baumel's first release of the year, following an action-packed 2017 that included EPs on Kompakt Extra, Afterlife and Crosstown Rebels. As expected, both tracks hit the spot. A-side "The Hatchet" boasts some seriously bouncy drums, but also the twin attractions of a relentless, dubbed-out synth riff - very hypnotic - and swirling, effects-laden vocal loops that build to a climatic conclusion. Flipside "Serpent" is deeper and more seductive, with an attractive, occasionally sparkling arpeggio style melody line that bobs and weaves around Baumel's booming, mind-altering groove.