Review: After slowly building his career over the last few years via well-received singles on Rave Or Die, Khemina Records and, most recently, Perc Trax, Guillaume Labadie delivers his hotly anticipated debut album. It's something of a beast, too, with 12 lengthy tracks spread across two CDs. After scene-setting via a constantly-building blast of symphonic synth strings, new wave style guitars and crashing drum rolls ("The Beginning of the End"), Labadie sprints through bombastic, mind-altering stompers ("Crossing The Mirror"), dark and twisted soundscapes ("Impossible Love"), distorted techno thumpers ("The Night Is Our Kingdom", "You Are Not Alone"), redlined downtempo soundscapes (the filthy "Partner In Crime"), industrial strength insanity ("Romantic Pyscho") and pitch-black throb-jobs ("Eternity Is Burning").
Review: Ryan Hunn AKA Illum Sphere has impressively grown and matured as a producer since making his debut on Fat City back in 2009. His 2014 debut album, Ghosts of Then & Now, was something of a watershed moment, tempering his experimental, bass-heavy dancefloor compositions with a newfound love of cinematic sounds. Glass arguably moves further in the latter direction. While there are some nods towards his club-ready past - see the 4/4 shuffle of "Fall Into Water", or the moody electro bounce of "Fuel The Fire" - it's not the beats that dominate, but rather his evocative chord progressions and IDM style melodies. In fact, it's the more sanguine, ambient inspired cuts, of which there are numerous, that really stand out.
Review: Given that he took his DJ/production pseudonym from the name of a 19th century Romanian writer of folk stories, it's no surprise that Petre Insperescu's chosen form of techno is shuffling, atmospheric and classically-minded. Sitting somewhere between Luciano, Ricardo Villalobos and Nicholas Jaar, his sparse but well-rounded productions are simultaneously pleasingly calming and genuinely energetic, full of curious touches (a twinkling, distant piano here, a cut-glass string trio there) and gentle exploration. Gathered together and mixed into a seamless whole, as on this first mix for Fabric, they offer an intriguing journey that should appeal to all those who love their techno subdued and atmospheric.
Review: With Rod Modell putting the finishing touches to his next Deepchord album (due for release later in the year on Soma), Echospace partner Stephen Hitchell took the opportunity to record a new solo set of his own under the lesser-known Intrusion alias. "Amongst The Stars", a beguiling, 21-minute chunk of soft-focus dub techno smothered in spacey analogue electronics and the distant sound of traffic, is taken from that forthcoming album. Here, Hitchell's fine "Extended Dub" comes accompanied by a trio of varied but typically atmospheric translations from CV313 (AKA Hitchell and Modell), of which the astonishingly deep "Distintegration Dub" is probably our pick. On the second CD, Hitchell dons his ambient alias, Variant, and delivers an absorbing, CD-length "re-shape" that's as entrancing as it is quietly picturesque.