Review: The Innate label made a sizable impact with its first release - a killer various artists 12" with Mark Hand, Lerosa and others. Now it returns with another balanced mix of established and emergent artists, leading in with a stunning A side cut from A Sagittariun delivering what might be his most beautiful production to date - a swooning, snaking slice of melodious techno that brims with emotion and canny programming. After turning heads on the first Innate release, Gilbert returns with "Polynoid," a punchy, Lately bass-powered workout with lashings of Motor City soul heaped on top. Sean Dixon completes the package with "Our Love For Music," a pointed machine mantra that maintains the classic techno tone Innate is shaping up as its MO.
Review: For its seventh release, southern Italians Obscura Music return to welcome exciting new talents and core label acts. Head honchos Agents Of Time venture down an electro route with "East Coast", as do the ever impressive London Modular Alliance on the hypnotic "Buck One". Man of the moment Aussie Jensen Interceptor channels classic Drexciyan aesthetics on "Manix" before homeboys and label staples Hiver come through with the slinky and hypnotic tech house of "Stasys" and Detroit veteran Kris Wadsworth makes a surprising appearance with some slow burning minimalism displayed on closer "Abroad".
Review: Drumcode head honcho Adam Beyer and Chicagoan legend Curtis Jones (aka Green Velvet) had discussed writing music together for a long time. Also, Beyer's protege Layton Giordani had admired the mohawked Jones' work for as long as he could remember. When he got to DJ alongside him at Belfast's Shine - the spark and subsequent friendship was immediate. The outcome of this respected trio's musical journey comes in the form of "Space Date" which will be familiar to many who've followed their sets over recent months. Featuring a relentless main room stomp with steely hats and droney synth leads, all accompanied by Green Velvet's trademark vocal delivery. The thunderous peak time energy of "Rome Future" is likewise guaranteed to rock the house - that killer Reese bassline particularly is sure to blow the doors off!
Review: Ron Wilson's 777 serves up more raw and rusty house jams on a new various artists sampler entitled Internal Affairs: this is serious! On the A side is newcomer Brighton with "Tesla" (Leaves Remix), while Frankfurt's Orson Wells gives us "Ratio" where Saarbruckens finest: Roger 23 gets on the remix and delivers a lush deep acid rendition this side of Tin Man. On the flip, Leaves returns with the impressive "Third Floor" getting an awesome remix by Pablo Mateo; working those drum computers to impressive effect as always. Finally, Orson Wells stays on too; working the nightshift on his remix for Glyn's "Kevin Lomax" and giving it a lo-fi, neon lit makeover that will appeal to retroverts dancing well into the morning at Robert Johnson next Sunday morning.
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: Russ Gabriel returns to Ferox with another round of classy, thoughtful techno excursions that point to his decades in the game. "Peace For Thought" stretches across the A side, its forthright rhythm section carrying an elegiac line in synth work. "Archipelago" is a snappier, Detroit-tinted workout defined by its catchy organ leads. "Finches In Flight" sends the B2 tripping off on a downtempo selection crafted with the chillout room (or some other non-dancefloor situation) in mind, and sounds utterly magnificent with it. Once again Gabriel proves his deft touch as well as his diversity on this sterling new entry in the Ferox canon.
Review: Although largely unknown outside of underground electro circles, Mark Kastner AKA Galaxian consistently serves up some of the most on-point experimental and club-focused electronic music around. It's a bold claim, for sure, but one that's backed up by the high quality tracks showcased on the Scottish producer's first EP for Natural Sciences. A-track "Golden Armageddon", for example, is a thrilling, nine-minute electro ride that brilliantly alternates between sweeping, cinematic style melodic movements and fizzing, acid-fired sections that are more intense than a late night beating from a far-right thug. Elsewhere, "Ride The Spiral" joins the dots between Drexciya, early UK bleep and weirdo IDM, while dystopian closing cut "Psychic Purification" is a Rephlex style "braindance" monster.
Review: House and techno contortionist Gilmer Galibard's debut on wax comes via London's prolific Lobster Theremin outlet, and we always keep a hawkish eye on new signings from the label. Galibard serves up four deep yet punishing cuts, with "Bell Blocker" dishing out the dubby techno, and "Brain Poacher" going for a more 90's techno swing complete with wailing bells and menacing beats. On the flip, "TTT" - possible ode to Will Bankhead's charismatic imprint? - is deadly and cold with its fuzzy swarms of sonics and 909 percussion, whereas "Unknown Touch" goes for a hypnotic approach, swinging its subtle distortion to and fro amid watery beats and grizzly low-ends.
Review: Sometime PAN regular and UIQ head honcho Lee Gamble pitches up on Hyperdub with what the label says is the first of a three-part "sonic documentary" that "loosely explores three stages of 'Semioblitz' - the aggressive onslaught of visual and sonic stimuli of contemporary cities and virtual spaces". What's most exciting about "In a Paraventral Scale" is the sheer scale and quality of the music. Gamble is in fine form throughout, from the gentle, Boards of Canada-ish IDM of "Folding" and hybrid orchestral/electronic sweep of breathtaking opener "Fata Morgana", to the skittish, automotive energy and fizzing synth lines of "In The Wreck Room", and the almost ecclesiastical lament of closing cut "Many Gods, Many Angels". In a word: stunning.
Review: Aubrey's Don Gardon alias was a one-shot decoy deployed in 1997 with the now highly sought-after "Textures" 12" on Aubrey's own Textures label. While the provenance of these new tracks is a little foggy at this stage, what you can be sure of is the grade of techno we're dealing with here. Aubrey's illustrious career speaks for itself, and so do these tracks in the first Textures release since 2001. "The Phase" is an effervescent, funk laced race to the stars, while "Vari Tube" takes a more intimate route through dusty house that wouldn't sound out of place in the Workshop stratosphere. "Slam Dunk" is a cheeky, jazzy affair while "Dons Slide" gets a little more freaky and far out in the finest tradition of B2 tracks.
Review: Ok, so the Speicher 95 series from Cologne's mythical Kompakt label is always capable of pleasing all sorts of DJs, from the shady outsider freaks to the progressive show-off, but having Laurent Garnier on top of that feels like striking gold. The legendary French producer and DJ doesn't exactly release a lot of music these days, so a new two-tracker by the man feels like something truly special to adorn our charts with. On the A-side, "1-4 Doctor C'est Chouette" is an explorative house voyage with plenty of life and organic energy behind its deep web of bass tones and spaced-out melodies; the flip, "From The Crypt To The Astrofloor", is another story altogether - Garnier enters a new realm of cerebral fantasy here, a world that sits more in line with films like Akira or Blade Runner rather than a basement dance floor. Magic.
Review: There's been much debate over the years about whose version of this seminal track was in fact the best. Laurent Garnier's 1997 classic "Crispy Bacon" gets a vinyl re-issue and it still stands the test of time. You can just imagine how innovative and futuristic this adrenalised peak time weapon sounded like in the mid-nineties. On the flip, the equally legendary Jeff Mills delivers his take on the track, keeping in mind that this is one of only a handful he's ever done. There's relentless and punishing cyclicality on offer here; the sharply resonating loops, that brutally overdriven 808 kick.. it's one of those secret weapons that never leaves the bag of the best techno DJs. Choose your side, but either way it's a definitely a classic!
Review: You have to admire Laurent Garnier's continued desire to push boundaries and confound critics. His plan to devote 2014 to releasing five EPs on five different labels, whilst mixing up the styles, is undoubtedly bold. This three-tracker for the ever-intriguing 50Weapons imprint is particularly impressive. "MILF" bristles with stuttering analogue rhythms, foreboding chords and attractive bleep melodies, coming on like an unlikely jam session between Sweet Exorcist and Orbital. "DSK" sees the French veteran moving further towards his techno roots, while "He" sounds like an homage to darkwave with techno overtones and more than a hint of stripped-back early Chicago acid. Bravo Monsieur Garnier, bravo!