Review: Benjamin Brunn and Dave Wheels are old studio buddies, having worked together on and off since 2006. "2000", though, is their most ambitious joint project yet: a collaborative album for Sushitech that offers up breezy, melodious and cheery fusions of heady dub techno, gentle electronica, chugging sofa-friendly haziness and glitchy late night hypnotism. It's an interesting blend but one that certainly hits the spot. Highlights include the horizontal pulse of "Orainge", the wonderfully hypnotic after-hours throb of "Iratamoto (Version)", the bold and sun-kissed undulations of "In The Club" and the pie-eyed warmth of "Waldeck".
Review: Dead Fader jumps from Kimochi Sound over to Tesuji with a rolling, dreamy, euphoric rendition of future electro. Essential, optimistic, forward-thinking. On the other side, Bassiani's HVL flips the beat on its head for more ominous perspective, complete with klaxon acid line and sinewy breakbeats.
Review: It's always a treat to spot Edward donning his Desert Sky guise for another trip into the hinterland of minimal techno, where expression reigns free and all kinds of sound sources tumble into a truly exotic mix. On this album for PAL SL, all bets are off as we get whisked down a mysterious and meandering path where organic and electronic matter merge in the shadows, all strapped to subliminal but pronounced grooves that make this some of the most potent, intriguing club material in circulation right now. Buy the ticket, take the ride and dance out under that Desert Sky.
Review: Hearty congratulations to the admirable Berceuse Heroique label, which here celebrates notching up 50 releases with a fine double-vinyl EP from label stalwart Don't DJ (AKA producer Florian Meyer). The first 12" boasts two versions of "Veles": the producer's original version - a slowly unfurling polyrhythmic techno delight rich in shuffling, South American influenced rhythms, poignant chords, fluttering pan pipe lines and foreboding aural textures - and a deep space techno Dub by Newworldaquarium. Over on record two, the broken techno rhythms, chiming melodies and fizzing electronics of "Reapercussion" [sic] are followed by the drowsy and humid ambient throb of foreboding closer "Two Of Pentacles".
Review: Building on his very sexy works for the Borft weirdos, Jon Doppler's Security is a meeting of Sued's minimal funk sound and the post-acid house trip of early Rephlex. The elasticized acid of Ciphertext, the skanky dub of Wonwah, and the mammoth low end of Lag Down all propel from below, while the swollen synthwork on Hot Sauce and showstopping MK650 inspire from above. These are late, late night jams that growl ominously in the bassbins, enhancing the foggy atmosphere and begging you to stay for one last dance.
Review: Since making his vinyl debut on Kimochi back in 2012, Justin "Dreamlogicc" James has flitted between labels, delivering all manner of dark ambient, electro, techno and grime delights. This belated return to Kimochi sees him exploring an altogether lighter, dreamier sound, variously informed by early '90s ambient house, IDM, and left-of-centre deep house. It's all of a pleasingly high standard, with highlights including the trippy, early morning dancefloor trip of the ambient house flavoured "I've Said It A Million Times", the crackling Autechre-on-acid wooziness of "Circle Dance" (check those whistling synth melodies and droning rhythms), and the deep and drowsy "Ramamine Worker".
Review: The good chaps over at Hardwax, Klockworks' own distribution network, are calling this a "perfectionist techno compilation" and, in their own words, it comes "warmly recommended". We agree with both of statements, and believe this to be a fine piece of work from the Ben Klock collective. Perhaps listeners won't hear anything drastically game-changing in here, but it is certainly all dance music of the highest calibre, from a collection of artists who have truly crafted a neat and elegant vision of techno music. On this double, the first in an upcoming series, there's a mixture of old and new faces all coming together to showcase the sound they've been so close to over the years; the wonderful Sterac makes an appearance with a refreshingly off-kilter blur of dub techno on "Lately", while Ben Klock himself comes through with the ice-cold bleeps of "Twenty", and the mighty DVS1 blasts out some penetrative percussion folds on "In The MIddle. Trevino rocks the boat with "Sombre Tones", whereas relative newcomers Etapp Kyle and Jon Hester turn in their own 5am bullets.
Review: Having built up a following over five years via their popular podcast series, Spain's Archaic crew has decided to launch a label. Their first missive is a multi-artist, compilation style affair that should find its way into the record boxes of some serious techno DJs. Experienced Ukrainian producer Stanislav Tolkachev hands side A, first delivering the mind-altering peak-time throb of "Sustainability #1" - all restless distorted bass, locked-in drum machine beats and sharp, undulating electronic lead lines - before creating an intoxicating mood via the angular modular motifs and cyclical acid flashes of wonky workout "Sustainability #2". Berlin-based Spanish duo The Transhumans offer up a punchy peak-time techno throb-job rich on minor key riffs and increasingly wayward electronics, while Dan Bohler's "Program and Control" will batter you into submission via Surgeon-esque beats, industrial noises and metallic percussion hits.
Review: Earlier in the year, modern minimal wave and coldwave hero Marie Davidson signed a high-profile deal with Ninja Tune. Here, she makes good on that contract, following a couple of killer singles with what could be her strongest album to date. After setting the tone with clandestine, tongue-in-cheek opener "Your Biggest Fan" - a creepy spoken word cut taking aim at stalker-line fans to the accompaniment of heavy analogue synth bass and creepy computer bleeps - Davidson giddily flits between elastic dancefloor workouts (the brilliantly sleazy "Work It" and mind-altering "Workaholic Paranoid Bitch"), attractive post-EBM instrumentals (the psychedelic and fizzing "Lara"), meditative ambient melodiousness ("Day Dreaming"), bizarre experimental weirdness (the suitable dystopian "The Tunnel"), and stylish analogue pop (the whispered vocals and off-kilter early morning funk of "So Right").
Review: On his first solo album in five long years, Berlin techno heavyweight Marcel Dettmann is in scintillating form. The six tracks that make up "Test File" are in some ways typical of his output, in other ways surprisingly atypical. Compare and contrast, for example, the title track's buzzing, mind-altering, percussively dense Berghain techno intensity, and the deliciously low-slung, atmospheric and dubby "Torch", where Dettmann dips the tempo and looks towards post-dubstep rhythms, post-punk and gnarled electronica for inspiration. Or, for that matter, the smooth and atmospheric dub techno hypnotism of "Error (1st Take)", the head-nodding dark-room house haziness of "Autumn 77" and the blistering peak-time techno assault of "Ascending". All hit the mark impressively and bear the hallmarks of Dettmann's signature style, even of their aims are impressively varied.
Review: Detroit techno maestro DJ Bone has been on prolific form of late, from his collaboration with Deetron to his own steady stream of sharply realised output on his Subject Detroit label. Now he's back with a new album, Beyond, and it's as advanced and keenly executed as you'd expect. From the echo chamber synth flourishes of "Multiples Of Self" to the low-end grind of "In The Deep," there is plenty for Bone fans to chew on here, with a continued focus on expressive synth work as first mooted with the "A Piece Of Beyond" LP earlier this year. "Rosedale Park" is a clattering, Rhodes-embellished track primed for damage in the dance, while "Bound To Move" equally brings the peak time heat.
Review: The mighty DJ Spider lands on Green Village after delivering a 12" to the Jersey City label a couple of years back. Spider's deadly combination of the weird and tough is whisked into a canny blend on this record - the synths have a warm, melodious quality that complements his crooked drum craft, not least on sterling opener "Kill Your TV". "Warhead" is a muscular payload of flanging techno, while "1984" aims for psycho-acoustic devastation with its own arsenal of ranging tones. The smell of war is in the air, with politically charged samples to boot, but Spider's vibrant production skills lift the whole experience to make it all the more impactful, and indeed memorable.
Review: There should be more than a few techno fans getting rather excited right now. You see, Donato Dozzy and Nuel's Aquaplano Sessions is something of a "holy grail" for tribal-influenced minimal techno collectors. Originally released over two 12" singles on the short-lived Aquaplano label in 2008 and 2009, the material has long been held in high regard - so much so, in fact, that copies of the original vinyl pressings are extremely hard to find. This reissue from Spectrum Spools is great news for anyone who missed out first time round. While there are some immaculate deeper moments (see the becalmed dreaminess of "Aqua 8"), it's the robust, aggressive, bass-heavy and occasionally intense tracks that really stand out.
Review: Last year's excellent Drexciya retrospective, Journey Of The Deep Sea Dweller, was rightly heralded as a must-buy for anyone with even the smallest interest in the history of underground dance music. This second volume offers more of the same, conclusively proving - though few would argue otherwise - that Drexciya remain one of the most forthright, intriguing and forward-thinking acts ever to emerge from Detroit. The material here largely centres around their own peculiar take on proper electro, from the liquid synths and bouncing grooves of "Anti Vapour Waves" and "Journey Home", to the excitable, steel-hard rhythms and naked funk of "Positron Island".
Review: With previous releases by Tin Man, Veiled and King Blood, Philadelphia based White Denim are back with the debut LP by Graham Dunning: a self-taught artist and musician based in London. His live work explores sound as texture, timbre and tangibility - drawing on bedroom production, tinkering and recycling found objects. Much of the work evolves through experimentation with different processes: considering the methods by which sounds become music, process as a continuum encompassing both improvisational and procedural methods, and testing analogous processes across different media. Dunning provides two immersive minimal techno workouts on the Tentation EP, with the slow burning and dubbed-out echomania of "Another Rhythem" and the further reductions of "Ping Pong Rhythem" on the flip - reminiscent of Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia or Plastikman's early exploits. Highly recommended.
Review: Brighton based producer Richard Smith aka L/F/D/M who first emerged in 2013, inaugurating the Optimo Trax series with the Purple Maps EP before going on to release two EP's of hardware-driven atonal techno on Powell's Diagonal Records makes his bow on Cititrax "Dream Bleeds". Overflowing with body jerking industrial, raw acid/techno, the album hints of the warehouse sound of the late '90s and the caustic spirit of EBM. From opener "Cru" to "One Terminal", the eight tracks thread together; each starting point completely open, each new step informed by the last, shaped by emotion, inspiration and time.