Review: Italian outfit Templebeat spent much of the 1990s offering up decidedly dark, dystopian and muscular blends of EBM, techno, new beat and industrial music on a variety of obscure, DIY labels. "Interzone" was one such release. It appeared in limited numbers on cassette in 1992, and is here given the vinyl reissue treatment for the very first time. It remains a distinctively murky and alluring set, with the band blending their own throbbing, arpeggio-driven rhythms, razor-sharp electronics, mind-altering synthesizer riffs and Nitzer Ebb style vocals with various spoken word snippets and sampled dialogue. It's a blueprint that makes for a fine selection of tracks, with thrusting and teak-tough dancefloor workouts being joined by occasional forays into moody, clandestine ambient.
Review: Midnight Shift continues its fine run of form via a mini-album of bleak intensity from renowned modular electro/analogue rave fusionist Umwelt, an artist whose distinctive releases are always worth a listen. The French producer sets his stall out via title track "Superior Life Forms", an undeniably heavy and distinctively dystopian chunk of broken electro fuzziness, before reaching for even grimier electronics and gut-punching bass on "Computer Controlled". "Latent Existence" is a moody, beat-free soundtrack for urban decay, "Fragment" and closer "The Windfall" are teak-tough industrial techno stompers, while "Shadow Entity" is a suitably psychedelic slab of trippy acid electro. Not for those of a fragile disposition, but impressively intense and forthright nonetheless.