Review: Immigrant Records launched in 1998 and after a six year hiatus is back with an EP produced by US techno veteran Casey Hogan - his first vinyl release since 2008. Casey emerged in the late 90's with fellow techno legends Adam Beyer, Dietrich Schoenemann, Alexi Delano and Jesper Dahlback and is a pioneer of the original tech-house genre. Now a professional sound engineer, he is back doing what he does best and is currently working on new projects and remixes with Robin Porter for Immigrant and Shva Muzik. The EP's title track "A Time Before Now" was produced back in 2000 and has been pulled from his archives to show what tech-house was, is and should be, with it's shuffling percussion, arresting bass line, pensive chord lines and introspective vocals. "Rebuilding" highlights Casey's ability to create an effortless techno groove that chugs along with undulating sub bass and hypnotic synth patterns. "On The Road" takes a detour down a darker road with a haunting sub bass, trademark shuffling percussion and mesmerising chords.
Review: "HYDRAFUNK is an exciting Detroit Techno inspired collaboration between Immigrant Records owner and label manager Robin Porter and US analogue synth guru Mike Carr. The duo first collaborated back in 2002 releasing the 'Mental Stealth EP' on Immigrant, featuring the bassline and synth heavy 'Fathernature', a track that found it's way on 'Evil' Eddie Richard's Fabric 16 mix CD. Their debut three track EP, Beasts From Below, fuses the analogue aptitude of Mike Carr and Robin Porter's attention to sound frequency, arrangement detail and understanding of the dance floor, delivering an intoxicating peak time package of delight. "Underworld" is a deep journey of melodic synth work and chugging groove that travels into dark territories, complimented by uplifting percussion that builds into a peak time beast from the deep. On the flip, "Immortal Melody" delves even further into moody territory delivering a tantalising array of dreamy synths and jackin' old school percussion, that submerges into an abyss of texture before rising up into a dance floor banger. Closer "Hydra's Dance" is definitely not a token bonus track and is the most dance floor friendly cut; featuring Robin's knack for creating powerful basslines, unique vocals and Mike's ability to create depth and texture with his analogue synth programming."