Review: Following some standout solo releases from Rodhad and Recondite, the Dystopian camp take the various artists approach for their fourth release. First on the list is Alex Do, a young DJ who has evidently found kindred spirits in the Dystopian crew, and this EP provides the chance or them to showcase his debut production, "Concrete", a minimalistic combination of rigid kicks and claps, together with eerie morse code bleeps. Dystopian regular Rodhad returns with "The Wall", a fairly epic track which revolves around a slowly swelling tide of monotone synth horns which grow to monolithic proportions. However, the EP's standout moment belongs to Felix K, who leaves the experimental D&B stylings of his usual releases behind for a clattering 4/4 roller filled with his usual blend of tough beats and gentle ambience.
Review: BOOM! Our favourites, Cititrax, roll the third editions of Tracks out onto our shelves, and the results are unsurprisingly strong on this excellent various artists comp. It's a mixed bag of skills, as per usual, and the sounds are those of a new NYC, fuelled by a new sort of post-industrial sensibility. Amato Y Mariana open with the tight beats and groove of "Queires Bailar", followed closely by the ominous compositions of the EBM-flavoured "Montgat" from The Sixteen Steps. On the flip, His Dirty Secrets bleeps out some morphed acid on "Structures", and "Another Stranger" from Further Reductions churns out a slow, mild-mannered house experiment with its roots clearly planted in the coldest of waves. Sick.
Review: Time Horizon's second episode enlists another team of dancefloor snipers delivering 5 brain-dancing tunes crafted appositively for late night use. After his appearance on the first XCPT record, Andrea is back on the label with his unmistakable shuffling drums and a heavy square bassline followed by Anybody Anytime covering the uptempo-zone with a rotative junglistic tool dressed with celestial pads; closing the A side TANS reveals his new robot alias The Sympathizer providing a neurotic electro progression fully based on his modular system. Flipping the records you will find two XCPT homies bringing the audience straight into Matera landscapes: Farron gets a 909 unceasing toms orchestra surrounded by his atmospheric leads while Kreggo illustrates clearly his hypnotic mid-low vision of breakbeat locked by a mystic bass for the whole track.
Review: Second instalment from Belgian electro-label ZwaarteKracht, once again assembling a dream team of international producers to bring together this extraordinary selection of dancefloor tracks with dark sci-fi moods. All dynamically mastered by Karel De Backer to keep those subs moving like they should. Features Arsonist Recorder with the hard hitting retro futurism of "Brain Mode",
Deemphasis going deep on "In My Mind" with its underwater acid, Datawave served up our favourite on the darkly dystopian electro bass of "Quadrant" while Francois Dillinger's "Moon Prison" provides the abstract and minimal vibes.
Review: A dream team line up for this four way that heads off in various directions across detailed and trippy techno landscapes. Those who have been following these heads will understand what we mean- with the quartet all beginning to rise to prominence now and finally claiming the kind of respect they deserve. Saverio Celestri brings 'Ethereal', packed with direct cymbal work, lilting reversed organs creating leftfield-but-dancefloor business with plenty of usability. Midgar label manager Jacopo, toughest from the names here, takes us down an arpeggiated acid route, never quite unleashing but acting as precursor to whatever bangs come next. Otis' 'Axes of Continuity' has a simple three-four note melody mirrored by bumbling bass, and should sound ideal at anything with a free party vibe. Finally, Fede Lijt's 'Deflexion' goes deepest, twinkling chimes, submerged lows, plenty of snares.
Freakenstein - "Feakin' Time (+ Freak-A-Pella)" (7:24)
Review: Leeds-born session Hearlucinate makes the leap to wax with a special series of 12"s that correspond to line-ups for parties in London, spearheaded by resident Tristan da Cunha. On this first release, Dawl shores up on the A side and sets the bar very high indeed with the killer bleep techno stylings of "Energy Overdrive" and the tough, punchy electro of "Cyborg". Da Cunha himself follows up on the B side with the equally tough and thumping "Move (Let Me See U)", a seedy and sensual peak timer if we ever heard one. Freakenstein completes the set with a rabble-rousing booty bass beat down that will appeal to those who likes their electro fast and nasty.
Review: Manchester's meandyou. collective take their time over releases, averaging just over a 12" per year. Here they kick off 2016 with another collaborative EP, full of drowsy deep house, crackling techno and tipsy, world-weary ambience. With label conspirator Herron otherwise engaged, it falls to Workshopper Even Tuell to kick things off with the slowly unfurling new age chords, blazed vocal samples and sparse-but-chunky deep house groove of "Boys Truth". Sul "Does It For Andy" on the creepy, discordant dark world ambient track of the same name, before Sensu brings back the beats on the hypnotic, experimental dubby techno shuffle of "Sigmon". Finally, Fabric lays back and lights something fragrant on the similarly dub techno influenced, metallic IDM-goes-ambient of "Pink Grid".
Review: There is little to nothing that we know about the enigmatic Facket Strejkar, but what we're hearing is certainly placing the producer firmly onto our radars. Coming through on the fiery Varvet imprint, out of Germany, this is surely the best amalgamation of electro and dubstep that is currently on the scene, and we expect plenty of imitators to come busting through real soon. "Blyga Violer" is a tough, sharp-edged electro killer with undeniably UK-style bass at its core, while "Kolatorsk" launches a shape-shifting techno bullet styled on something utterly sci-fi, and the flip's "Svit & Sprit" provides us with a mean, heavy-weighted bit of industrial techno for the floor. B.A.N.G.I.N.G.
Review: Valcrond Video continues its devilish run of form with this new single from Fallbeil, a project that has previously been spotted on New York Haunted, Return To Disorder and Mannequin. That should give you an idea of the kind of deviant sonics we're dealing with here, skirting around industrial, electro and techno with limber and dirty hardware jams for the sinister dancefloor. "Rolling Dutch" clearly nods towards The Hague way of doing things, all eerie pads, gnarly acid lines and rasping drums, while on the flip side "Rave On Plastic" pushes the bubbling monosynth action to the front of the mix.
Review: Back after a much lauded first foray on LENSKE last year, Sam Deliaert alias Farrago rekindles the flame with the high-beam pulse of 'Neontrance'. Having served as the epic topper of Amelie Lens' Timewarp 2018 set and RA podcast, the title-track will undoubtedly ring a bell to all self-respecting fan of the LENSKE mastermind.