Review: After initial outings from phile and Ptwiggs, the Deep Seeded crew welcome phile member Barking into the fold for another excursion into crooked techno from the outer realm. There's a lingering sense of industrial malaise emanating out of "Singularity" thanks to some dense signal processing, while "Clay Passage" pings off into a strange but utterly accomplished trip into Fourth World techno that packs a serious rhythm without the need for obvious drum lines. "Pathos" matches malevolent beats and tones with dominant ambience to create a proper push 'n' pull of a track, and then "Prone" rounds the EP off with some gutsy analogue demolition for the broken techno and electro crowd to get wild to.
Review: "Abyssopelagic" is the third release on Tresor Berlin resident Marcel Heeses label Finitude Music. This time he teamed up with d_func. aka legendary Berlin producer Alexander Kowalski who has been around for almost 20 years and surely needs no further introduction. The title track is a slow piece of nautical Techno aiming at the bigger floors. As the title suggests the B-Side includes a stripped-down version of "Abyssopelagic" for the deeper moments on the floor.
Review: Josefine Hellstrom Hansson's debut track "Water Cave" on HMWLA received ADJ support from AIlario Alicante, Robert Babicz, Piemont, Slam, Paco Osuna, Horse Meat Disco, Nick Warren, Gabriel Ananda and Ame. Now the Malmo-based producer and DJ readies a three track techno / house EP on HMWL's vinyl sublabel Heartbreak Records. On A-side alongside "Water Cave" Josefine offers a peak hour techno weapon called "Sensus". On B-side we find the smooth melodic "Volcanics" at 118 BPM while fellow swede Martinez deconstructs Sensus into a jazzy, mellow piece of minimal tech.
Review: Having been spotted splurging out guttural techno mischief on Super Rhythm Trax and No Logo, G-23 gets invited to Torn Hawk's Valcron Video label with more of that deviant sonic behaviour to share with the world. There is sludgy bass, strangled acid and clattering percussion aplenty on lead track "Access Code", while "Bleep Shots" throws down hard and raw with an utterly sick mix of grotty drums and gnarled synth blots. There's a Mr Husk "unmix" of "Access Code" which adds some extra melodic strains into the melee, and then "ARS Trip" finishes the EP off with some end of days tone damage for anyone left standing.
Review: De Grey launched last year with a 12" from Webstarr, and now it follows up with the raw, rough and ready sound of Jack Angle. "Week-End" is a lithe, percussive beast of a track that matches bloated kicks with glassy hits for a tracky but distinctive end result. "6PNHHPE" is a looped up, off-kilter affair that sports an industrial techno thread but heads into stranger territory with ease. "Stablilizer" is a more balanced, melodic affair but again those distinctive metallic tones pervade the mix and inject some real character into Angle's music. "Selta" takes this approach and whips it up into the most lively, peak-time minded belter on the whole record, sneakily tucked away on the B2.
Review: SORN002 welcomes another experimental beat maker tot he fold. Asan is likely from another planet. His take on techno is like no other. Expect wild drum patterns, freaky synths and alien grooves. Synth Lord Steve Moore strips things back in a way only he can and creates an arpeggiated synth journey which you'd never tire of, even if it was 45 minutes long!
Review: A new label and a new artist throwing their hat into the techno ring with a sideways reference to A Certain Ratio. Do The Du clearly mean business, and waste no time in laying down the law with the rowdy snarl of "Verses", a punky slice of lo-fi techno from the gutter. "Senses" is a more tightly wound, looped up affair for the most nerve-jangled of dancer, while "Sauro" makes mincemeat of the house music blueprint with a wonderfully distorted twist on the genre. "Aicee" gets the whole B-side to trance out on a submerged, throbbing 303 burner and subtle drum jack that harks right back to the early days of Phuture.
Review: Hong Kong based label Fragrant Harbour has thus far supported work from choice leftfield beat candidates such as General Ludd, Fulbert and Renart, and this time turns its attentions to international outfit LPZ. There's a modernist, UK-leaning style to their brand of mutant techno, focusing on crooked, moody rhythms that sup from the same font as Livity Sound et al. "Triangular" crashes and bangs its drums through blissful pads before "Heliopolis" pushes the kick to the foreground and dives into more meditative depths. "In Flames" rides some dreamy breakbeat tones and "Luminescence" rounds the EP off with another crafty pairing of off-centre beats and soundsystem-ready tones.
Review: Stephen Laubner never fails to deliver the goods, whether on his own label Something or elsewhere. Having recently popped up on The Untold Stories, this time around he's dropping his uniquely crusty compositions on Synthetic Gold. After a quietly disconcerting ambient opening, the leftfield grind of "The Taphead" pushes an uncompromising agenda of ragged bass and an unrelenting groove. "October Sunrise" by way of contrast is a more intimate, sweet natured affair. "Syntax Error" too taps into the softer side of Laubner's craft in a most mesmerizing of ways, but for the die hard fans fear not, there's also plenty of locked groove loops included to keep you tripping into infinity.
Review: Manni Dee might be best known for his upfront techno tackle on Perc Trax and the like, but he's also been quietly building up a separate identity as Nuances, and it's a world away from his dancefloor output. Following on from some choice album appearances on Bastakiya Tapes, it's up to Tabernacle to give the project its first outing on wax. While Tabernacle can have some range in their sound, this finds the label plunging wholeheartedly into ambient climes. Heavily processed textures and delicate chimes all feed into a truly evocative atmosphere loaded with significance. Ignore the familiar name behind the music - this is an album deserving attention all on its own.
Review: The Cyclist fires up his Tape Throb label for a sixth instalment of grubby, wayward sonics that pivot around a danceable axis while reaching to a higher plain of musical expression. There are plenty of psyched-out overtones bursting out of "Requite", and there's a rugged groove cutting its way through the dense thicket of ferric noise. "Chime" has a more tender approach in some regards, sporting a tropical lilt and sparser arrangement, but there's still plenty of space for artful distortion. "Brave New Wave" is a brilliant mish mash of peppy electro, early synth pop weirdness and that overall Cyclist sound that only he can conjure up. "Mackabee" goes in on that particular quality to finish the EP off in an evocative ambient lick sending out an SOS across a shoreline of grubby, tidal dub washes.
Review: Nathan Melja drew some favourable attention with choice outings on Mister Saturday Night, Black Opal and Technicolour, but now he's steering his own label Dream Real as a vessel for his wayward but warm sonics. This second release keeps the psyched out tone of his previous work intact, offering up four jams of illustrious synth work and fractured beats for the adventurous souls out there. "Ignore" is a vaporous cut of stuttering drums and fuzzy chord shapes, while "Steam" sports a more clearly defined rhythmic pulse for the deepest house heads. "Raindrops" cools things down to a downtempo lilt, and then "That F Sound" nudges towards a leftfield techno domain that Melja ably makes his own.
Review: New Sydney-based label Deep Seeded has a clear mission to subvert conventions about club music, and new signing ptwiggs is right in there with the kind of otherworldly grime weirdness that you might find around the likes of Visionist, Rabit and other such sonic tinkerers. There's plenty of brutality at work on "Day Of Wrath", while "Exuviae" aims for something airier while getting sideswiped by distortion and trance leads. There are calmer moments, but it doesn't take long for intense levels of sound design, sampling and raucous processing to shake up the situation.
Review: Seixlack has been wobbling around many a label since first surfacing on Bliq and 777 in 2015, and their grubby, wonky approach to hardware house music sounds just right on DJ Haus' House Crime label. As is customary with House Crime, you get a whopping double pack of jams to chew on here, and the mood veers from the blown out dream-dance of "Computer Cosmos" to the bunker-dwelling deviant electro blips of "Asa-Delta". With lo-fi distortion guiding the way throughout, Seixlack demonstrates how to use production attitude to bind together disparate moods into one cohesive assault on prim and proper house music. This is gutter-dwelling groove music with a whole lot of heart.
Review: P-Balans continues to shed light on the more unusual underbelly of the Romanian scene, taking a few cues from the dominant minimal scene but adding plenty of analogue weirdness into the mix to provide a genuine alternative for those who like a little more spice in their sauce. On this release Khidja and Delusion Men team up for some off-kilter trips into subversive danceability, starting with the subtle, wavey acid of "Strayed" before cartwheeling into the spooky delights of "Recurrent Weakness". The ghoulish theme gets ramped up to 11 on "Ghost Caravan", where a deathly slow beat carries all kinds of undead synth work, and then Borusiade takes "Recurrent Weakness" to task with a pinging, plunging remix for the end of days.
Review: Not An Animal Records was formed in 2015 out of the ashes of the London-based party Bad Passion, and has thus far welcomed the likes of Man Power, Ess O Ess and Eric Duncan to release on the label. Now they turn to James Hadfield, a relatively new producer previously spotted on To Rack & Ruin and Me Me Me. On this four-tracker he deals in brooding synthwave tones mixed with classic jack track rhythms. "Literate" is just the kind of taut, sinister club creeper we can't get enough of, while "Buried Answers" takes a skippier but no less moody approach. On the remix front, Jamie Blanco takes the prize, turning "Buried Answers" into a bombastic slice of driving synth pop.
Review: Emotional Response reach out to another fine selection of sonic voyagers to take Brain Machine's excellent Peaks LP to task, leading in with the warm discoid undulations of Rollmottle who refigures "To The Stars" as a gentle, groovy warm-up joint. Die Wilde Jagd takes on "Mercury Ripples" and fashion a bombastic breaks jam out of it, and Merrick Adams pushes "Alpha Moon" into a curious but ultimately cosmic space somewhere beyond the titular lunar body. Cass takes the prize with the bittersweet synth tones that course through the two-part remix of "Nexus Vox".
Review: Three years in, Blackhall & Bookless' Jaunt label is becoming a serious force for forward thinking, fractured techno exploration. On this split EP with Chad, the duo take the A-side and present two different versions of "Links". The "Battle rework" is a tense and dramatic tumble through dub techno soundscapes, while the "Bleak remix" pares the elements down to a more focused, minimalist thrum. Chad presents a wholly different vibe on the flip, using rich, warm synthesiser tones to draw you in to "Afters", and then Scenery regular ASOK takes up remix duties on the track with an immersive version that borders on breakbeat.
Review: Having previously popped up on ESP Institute, Juan Ramos teams up with Trent to form Greenvision, making their first appearance on the home of freshly squeezed discoid deviance, Cocktail D'Amore. "Surdinia" takes over the A side with a bombastic array of peak time devices in its utility belt, from bubbling acid tweaks to gluttonous monosynth leads and a chunky set of drums. "Meccanica" is no slouch either, laying down thick slabs of synthesized grease in pursuit of a different kind of party track. This is unusual, distinctive club music for those who want the crowd to stop and pay attention.
Review: The singles accompanying Mr C's celebrated return to the album format keep on coming, this time drafting in some noted names to deliver remixes of "Ripple Effect". First up is Marc Houle who employs some of his trademark creepy bass tones to underpin a purposeful, driving slice of darkside party music. Noel Jackson is equally on edge with his version, although it's a more stripped down and sped up affair that borders on electro in its sense of tightly wound urgency. Chloe gets the run of the B-side to lay down a more varied remix that uses some punchy disco elements to create a more light hearted outlook on Mr C's original jam.
Review: Having crept out of the tape undergrowth and respected haunts like Clan Destine and Always Human to earn more civilized recognition on BANK Records NYC and Bliq, Strahinja Arbutina makes the move to Vivod for yet more of that edgy, leftfield techno business that keeps mothers awake at night from worry. The grit, noise and distortion has been faithfully carried through from the cassette-based roots of Arbutina's sound, but these tracks are more than ready to do the damage in the dance (where you're less likely to find a tape deck). Hold on tight as the likes of "Way Ahead" give the sound engineer a fright when they think the system has overloaded.
Review: Mr Cloudy has a sizable back catalogue on labels like Entropy, Dubwax and Millions Of Moments, and now he's been snapped up by Local Traffic to impart his sumptuous dubby wares across four tracks. "Memoria I" and "Memoria II" let the A-side simmer in a bubbling broth of dub techno ambience, all shimmering chords undergoing heavyweight processing. "Sprayer I" is still immensely mellow, although a little rhythmic pulse creeps its way into earshot via the movement of the gravelly chords, and then "Sprayer II" rounds the EP off with something approaching a beat-oriented excursion through the same billowing clouds of dub techno finery.
Review: You may well have come across Miltiades doing sterling work on such excellent labels as Nous and Echovolt, pushing a grubby, blown out kind of hardware house music for freaky warm ups and wayward souls in red lit basements. Stepping out as Outermost, the methodology seems to be the same but with an gutsy electro mission that suits Modal Analysis perfectly. There's a seductive quality to "Surface#1" that makes it the consummate opener to this record, but it's something of a foil for the extreme sonic degradation at work on some of the tones in "Surface#2". There's a more bleak, industrial tone to "Surface #3" while "Surface#4" heads into a slower braindance conundrum before the sludgy slow-mo acid of "Surface#5".
Review: Hailing from Hong Kong and more commonly found recording as S.Y., this release is the first music the producer has put out as Dopamine Rider, and it's certainly a record that thrives on unpredictable rushes of chemicals to the brain, making it a perfect fit on Discos Capablanca. "$ LFO" sports a techno framework of sorts, but it's really a vessel for strange ripples of FX and one-shot tones, but then "Personal FX" ramps up the freakiness with some atonal machine whirring that sounds like it's been wrenched from an errant modular system. "John Cage Is My Homeboy" is positively delicate in comparison, but it's by no means straight laced, and "Sai Ying Pun" finishes this adventurous EP off with a strange drum track that adds a little spice to the DJ tool format.
Review: Ikeaboy is the intermittent project from Damian Tubbritt, who first debuted the moniker more than ten years ago. It's been a long while since any fresh material from this deep cover curio of oddball techno hit wax, but now Wicked Bass have done the honourable thing and gathered up this excellent trio of tracks. "Shape Memory" plies a funky line in squelchy bass and jangling delay trills, while "Living In The Future" opts for a more mysterious, pad soaked trip into spooked out electro. On the B-side "Dayna" sports some forthright drum machine beats and epic sweeps of synths that only serve to confound any expectations you might have about the sound of Ikeaboy.
Review: Building on the momentum of the strong reissue programme undertaken at Thule Records HQ, Thor returns to the fray with some new productions that add a new chapter to the story of Icelandic techno. This limited run of Decay appropriately comes on marbled grey vinyl. Of course, the unique atmosphere the label carved out in the 90s has been left intact - the dubby processing and icy melodies abound throughout, creating utterly immersive techno and house variations in the process. "Insanity Dub" has a live feel to its drum set which injects a curious disco energy into the mix, while "Rusty Flashback" takes things in a subtle tech house direction. "Garden Of Corrosion" stands apart with its slender sound palette, placing the emphasis on groove and swing, while "Pepper Jones" ramps the dub techno exploration up to 11. If you love the sound of Thule, you're going to love this.
Review: Tony Rodriguez has many strings to his bow already as Brothers' Vibe and the head of Mixx Records, and now he's embarking on a new venture in the shape of the Toad Red label. Focused on a harder-edged sound than the deep house he's normally associated with, Rodriguez has invited Esther Duijn and youANDme to join in the fun with some finely crafted techno for open-minded dancefloors. Meanwhile there's an original BV jam in the shape of "Dee's Drama", while Rodriguez also unveils a new modular-focused alias named Silent Rodgerz. It's a new chapter for the New Jersey mainstay, and it promises exciting things to come in the future.
Review: Chris Weeks has been building up the Kingbastard catalogue for a long time now, generally taking a self-reliant approach in the underground electronica scene where CD-r releases reign supreme. He's been a key figure on Ambidextrous since the label launched back in 2008, and now he's committed to wax with a range of crunched up leftfield sonics for the machine-loving crowd. "Anxiety" is a melodic cut with a house-minded structure, but there's a lot of production acrobatics and compositional swerves taking place within this framework. "Scatterbrain" is more overtly out there, tapping up the kind of heavily processed sounds that producers like Paradroid have championed in the past. "Data_Loss" strike a heavy blow somewhere between dubstep and electro, and "Data_Ctrl" ups the tempo for a rabble-rousing exercise in mind-bending machine music.
Review: Following the excellent OHM compilation, Glasgow's Ambidextrous label continues its forays into vinyl editions with this sterling EP from label regular Solipsism, aka Craig Murphy. With an energised, dynamic sound that positively bursts out of the speakers, Murphy is flying the flag for leftfield electronica coming out of Scotland. "Error Hash Mirror Mountain" has the kind of overloaded yet melodic sound that you might expect from early Nathan Fake, although the wooziness is replaced by a rabid punch that shakes your cerebellum. "Sea Dweller" by way of stark contrast dives into a low-slung trip hop vibe, and the smoked out mood continues with "Hypnagogo" on the flip. "Fast Rubber Taxis" is equally slow, but it sports a sassy rhythmic strut that sets it apart from the other two downtempo tracks.
Review: UK techno stalwart Steve Bicknell's Lost Recordings series must be one of the longest running in dance music; the Lost and Cosmic founder has been putting out previous unheard material from his early '90s heyday on and off since 2004. There are few surprises on this 10th edition, but plenty of slamming, no-holds-barred grooves. The hissing, spacey, cymbal-heavy "Track 3" is particularly trippy, while there's a gnarled, ragged intensity about the pulsating heaviness of "Track 1". Arguably best of all, though - ambient interlude "Track 2" aside - is "Track 4", an eerie techno shuffler built around a wonky, off-key electric piano loop and fizzing percussion.
Review: The revival of Symbolism continues with J.C. & Kastil. J.C. aka Jose Cabera is otherwise known as Spanish house producer Kasper as well as cropping up on Fred P's Boards imprint as J.C. in 2014 while Kastil is widely recognised for his output and stewardship of Soul Notes.
Review: Amid whispers of a new album from Unirhythm boss and Three Chairs stalwart Marcellus Pittman, two tracks from his excellent debut LP Pieces finally get committed to wax. It's a shame Pieces never got a vinyl release, but the chance to grip "Sneak Attack" and "Random Acts Of Insanity" on 12" should not be passed up. This 12" was actually released in 'blink and you'll miss it' white label format in 2014, but finally gets a proper issue! For those that don't have the LP, "Sneak Attack" is a curious concoction, with Syclops style electronics occasionally flowering over deep, dusty, intricately programmed rhythms. "Random Acts Of Insanity" feels a little bolder in approach, though its' rich chords and odd, off-kilter rhythm track are contrasted with some notably bonkers electronic touches.
Review: Having shot into the limelight in 2012 with a 12" on Hessle Audio followed up by an outing on Liberation Technologies, Bandshell has since been on covert operations largely centred around releasing his music himself via Bandcamp. Now he's extended that practice into the B.S.Hell label, providing a physical presence to his wayward experimentation on the fringes of bass music. It's a sound that naturally aligns with the likes of Batu and Laksa, but also defiantly makes its own statement as well. With five tracks of distinctive drum science and textural voodoo to indulge in, this is a welcome return to wax for a thrilling, self-motivated producer.
Review: Adam Marshall has been a part of the worldwide techno movement since about the same time as Mike Dreben; the pair's tunes have been hitting our shelves since the early days of Juno, and so we feel that they have been a special part of our development over the decades. They appear out of nowhere for the BLUE imprint, out of Canada, by slamming down some furiously penetrative techno bruisers with a minimalistic touch and feel. Dreben's first 2 cuts are wild and fast, tumbling over their own kicks and snares as the toxic levels of bass are released over tight, dance-centric grooves. Marshall's "Avalokitesvara" reigns supreme on the B-side, hitting harder and more direct comparted to Dreben's stripped-back feel, with a heavy succession of kicks and snares hitting down extra hard. Finally, some proper techno runnings!
Review: As a staunch representative of Midwest techno since the mid-nineties, Fanon Flowers has always skirted on the periphery of the scene rather than getting placed on the pedestal many of his neighbours do, but this return to UK's Sect Records sees a further widening of his reach, with this particular record embracing his dub techno side with a cavernous chord deployment and plenty of metallic hits. Substance is on deadly form for the remix, trimming said chord down to a fine point and adding some welcome funk into the arrangement to a thoroughly engrossing end.
Review: After a bit of a hiatus, Roots Unit return with some deep house hybrids from their bulging vaults. "Learn To Love" is a melodic dub-house / techno infused big sound system warmer that comes from a studio session with former 2 Lone Swordsman Keith Tenniswood and will be familiar to those who tune into Tim Sweeney's Beats In Space show on the regular. "Morning Sequence" is a lovely early morning hypnotic slinky electronic house jam that gets under your skin and into your mind. This latter track is mutated into a heavy floor filler by Mark E in full on peak time mode.
Review: For Finitude Music's 5th release, label owner Marcel Heese and Alexander Kowalski aka d_func. share their visions on ""Thought Control"".
Both tracks on the EP harbour the same intent, but each of them approaches it in a different way. d_func.'s take revolves around Sahko-like bleeps - if you are into early Mika Vainio or Sleeparchive - look no further! But instead of being loopy, it's definitely a builder. Its original trance track-like structure is sure to rock many an underground dancefloor.
Marcel's vision is slower and less straight-forward but creates and maintains a high tension. Based on dense a bassline and intricate soundscapes, it builds up slowly, only to explode halfway through. An extra payoff also comes at the very end of a track - its noise/ambient outro making a perfect way to wrap up an amazing party at 8AM somewhere deep in the heart of Berlin.
Review: "Following up on the excellent 'Stabbed in Konya' EP for Peur Bleue, SORN welcomes Gohan to the fold. Three tracks of dystopian techno for the heads, plus a Boddika-esque remix from newcomers Ikpathua & Paterson. Recommended."
Review: The fourth installment in the Legwork Records saga sees label heads Lance DeSardi & Leopold come together under the artist moniker LEGWORK. For their first outing under the name they start with BUCK SHOT, a techno-soul chugger featuring a remix by the futurist himself, Matrixxman. On the flip, the boys go in for a straight-ahead killer with MEAN 2 ME and a more musical version of the same tune, KEY 2 ME.
Review: Finale Sessions is excited about this reease and we are greatfull to bring you Natan H hailing fro the "City Of Angels" Natan has this energy that we at Finale Sessions as of late have not been able to find so as you know we are estatic to get this out to the masses and give you a little taste of what is going on out on the Left Coast and we start with the track "Lignes" with its melodic pads and its wavering synths make for a latenight beauty for sure then we move to track 2 which is " 0 (Phase)"This track is another latnight stomper with moving chords and melodic drum patterns that keep it a smooth sounding pieace, Then last but not least we have the song "Invariant" (Feat.Jordan) This dub techno track is floor filler for sure with its heavy laden pads and synths and its monsterous sounds one of my favorite tracks at the moment . We want to thank you at Finale Sessions for giving us the opportunity to share this music with you and we hope you enjoy it
Review: Naura Records presents the third release of the Bleak series.
'Relics' is a full oriented dance floor track, twisted and static in all directions.
'Black Ice' reveals itself as a cataclysmic and intelligent analog tool with pulsating baselines and profound deepness.