Review: REPRESS ALERT: Stephen Lopkin made an impression when he landed on M>O>S, and now he follows up that star turn with this arch tribute to the archetypal techno sound on Distant Worlds. The "Imitator EP" may be brazen about its influences and intentions, but that's no disservice to the quality of the techno on offer here, which shows Lopkin to be incredibly well-read on the studio techniques of the past masters. From the Detroit stable to the UK torch-bearers, the reference points come thick and fast, but more telling is that fact these tracks fit right in with a lot of techno being produced at the moment. If you're feeling that classic 90s sound right now, then there's an embarrassment of riches to be enjoyed on this release.
Review: Mihail P (Verdant/Where We Met/Magnonic Signals) returns to Distant Worlds with 4 more communiques of inter-dimensional wonder. Here, the Macedonian sonic strategist sets his sound palette ever wider whilst still maintaining his signature emotional pads and haunting melodies integral to all his productions. His hauntological approach bears fruit throughout -the future fails us so let's explore different futures, different interpretations of the past, the present. Certainly a maturation in sound, this manifesto offers up 4 distinct meditations on the continuum of electronic sound from the early 90s through to the present day and beyond...
Review: Following sterling entries from Derek Carr, John Shima and Mihail P, Distant Worlds reaches out to Perseus Traxx for a demonstration of the emotional heft and utopian optimism that classic techno promises in its most compelling moments. This is relatable, familiar territory, but executed with finesse beyond the reach of the average producer. "A New Mystery" is bathed in swirling synth tones as elegant as they are moving, while "Simulacra" places a bold square wave riff front and centre for an impactful deep techno meditation. "Circumstantial" reframes the same rich melodic approach in a frantic chassis of snapping beats darting around the grid with playful glee, and then "The Map Is Not The Territory" applies the same logic to a mystical but rhythmically charged trip into the netherworld of machine soul.
Review: Erell Ranson has got some serious credentials behind him. The French producer has been releasing music for over ten years, landing on a range of underground labels that more recently include Barba Records, Subwax Excursions and Nightflight. On this release for UK label Distant Worlds, he matches the vibe of label mates John Shima, Derek Carr et al with a gorgeous set of emotive, yearning techno reflections that call to mind the early UK scene pioneered by B12, Baby Ford and others. This is thoughtful, heartfelt stuff that works both as distinctive dancefloor material as well as intimate home listening fare.