Review: For the latest single on Umwelt's essential Rave or Die label, the Lyon-based producer finds himself sharing vinyl space with Perc Trax regular Ansome. The South London producer handles side A, assaulting the senses via distorted breakbeats, chilling, held-note horror strings and gory electronic riffs on the industrial techno insanity of "Vakuum". Umwelt's track, "Affres", explores similar sonic territory, though his use of macabre audio loops, redlined electronics and rapid-fire, ray gun drumbeats gives the track a much more rolling and hypnotic feel. Both cuts are wild-eyed and aggressive in tone, even if they are every bit as sci-fi as classic Detroit cuts.
Five Times Of Dust - "Computer Bank" (The Floor mix) (7:12)
Five Times Of Dust - "Armoured Car" (6:57)
Unovidual & Tara Cross - "Like I Am, Comme Je Suis" (The Floor mix) (7:11)
Unovidual & Tara Cross - "Imponative" (3:28)
Review: Thanks to the eternally revered Minimal Wave imprint, out of NYC, Mark Phillips and Robert Lawrence's Five Times Of Dust project is going through a bit of a revival. The duo had first released some post-punk cassettes back in the 80s, and they clearly have not been forgotten. On this new remix EP, "Computer Bank" is given a makeover in the form of a The Floor remix, who proceeds to add all sorts of quirkiness over the tune's tough, heavy bass and driving rhythm; "Armoured Car" breaks the 4/4 in favour of something much closer to the band's original drum machine style. Once again, on the flip, we have a remix of "Like I Am, Comme Je Suis" by The Floor, who throws up a gnarly electro bass onto shady, neo-romantic vocals, and the whole things is finished off by "Imponative" from Unovodual and Tara Cross, who produce a slow, heady industrial groove for the dancefloor.
Review: P-Balans is a new imprint in the Future Nuggets emerging constellation. A tehnodelia ramification within the Bucharest electronic scene that will host rising names like Khidja and Borusiade while introducing new characters like The Holy Fix (Camil Dumitrescu, co-member of Delusion Men) and Utopus (Ion D, producer of Steaua de Mare, Raze de Soare, Anahore?ii among others) already featured on "Sounds on the Unheard from Romania vol. 2". Keeping the same strategies of fusion and diffusion as Future Nuggets, P-Balans will explore the space traversal to techno, entering and exiting the dark halls of the club through multiple doors.
Review: Given a choice between raving or dying, almost all of us would grab a whistle, crack open a fresh pot of Vicks and head straight for the nearest warehouse. That's certainly the approach that would be taken by Rave or Die label boss Umwelt, whose releases continue to sound track messy nights out in fields and former factories the world over. His contribution to the label's tenth EP, "Requiem For A Haunted Warehouse", is fittingly titled: its spooky melody lines, unsettling low-end chords and bustling, house-tempo hardcore breakbeats could easily soundtrack an occult gathering of techno Ghostbusters. Fellow French producer I Hate Models takes a slightly different approach on the A-side, wrapping mutilated ice cream van chimes and intense acid lines around a thumping, kick-drum heavy rhythm track.
Blue Vulva & The Electronic Crooner - "Vulbitch Bazaar"
Review: Minuendo keep things interesting on this latest various artists 12", primarily focusing on Owen Jay and Brian James on the A side for two tracks of adventurous experimentation on the wild frontier of minimal house music. The wobbly synth running through "Niko's Groove" is a real head turner, while "Imagery" nudges the grand tradition of dub house into a new pocket of ambience that draws you in immediately. There's a lovely, classic deep house joint from Untitled called "Seafood", and then Blue Vulva & The Electronic Crooner completely flip the script on the B2 with rowdy acid burner "Vulbitch Bazaar".
Review: UK based French underdog Arnaud Le Texier returns on his Children Of Tomorrow imprint with a collection of fierce and functional cuts for clandestine warehouse parties. On the Spilt 7 EP, the label head honcho himself takes care of proceedings on the A side: with the tunnelling, mentalist epic "Ooze" that's perfect to take the punters further down the spiral, while the greyscale and textural mood of "Le Gratteur" calls to mind the sinister industrial experiments of Shifted's Avian imprint. On the flip, the reins are handed over to Russian producer Unbalanced - who hasn't been on our radar for a while, but we're certainly curious to hear what he's been up to since his stellar releases on his eponymous and Rebalance imprints. Indeed "Warehouse Tool 2 & 3" respectively do exactly what they say on the tin. These two seething, steely and austere cuts are perfect for maintaining the adrenaline levels on the dancefloor.
Review: For the second outing on their offshoot label, London's Art of Dark crew has handed over the reigns to Uruguayan artist Omar Chibbaro (best known for his outings on CABARET and My Own Jupiter) and Cartulis Music co-owner Unai Trotti. Chibbaro handles side A, first offering up the rubbery bleep techno/Drexciyan electro-funk fusion of "Zum" before slamming down the blackened beats, hypnotizing bleeps and twisted acid lines of "Adheuz". Over on side B, Trotti offers two tasty peak-time workouts: the snappy, bleeping retro-futurism of "Thisorden" and "Pirupipi", where deep space chords and angular electronics cluster around a weighty, forthright groove.
Review: Latvia's Blind Allies continues its series of crucial various artist trips into the underbelly of ravey electro, with another cast of underground operators on the buttons. RNBWS brings a hefty dose of old-skool bleep magic to "Engage", before stripping things back for the cool and deadly "Backtrack". Caprithy's "Smoky Sunday" has a seductively sinister side to it, while CYBEREIGN's "Accelerate" keeps things tuff and taut. RNBWS returns on the tripped out "Little Things Important", and Universo completes the set with the vintage tape-warped tones of "Mercury Retrograde".
Review: Russian label Mosaique has thus far carried some serious heat from artists like JASSS, Caron and Savage Grounds, and now they're shifting their nightmarish electro tendencies back to the various artists format of their Universe series. Umwelt leads the charge on this second installment with the eerie machine snarl of "Fallen Empire", followed up by two versions of the devilish "Sleep When You Die" by Moralez & The Horrorist. Alessandro Adriani is first up on the B side with the driving, noirish techno pulse of "Cosmic Transmissions," and then Morah rounds things off with the squelchy, spiky workout "Track 5".
Review: Pitch black antics by Greek industrial noise terror (and Liber Null main man) Unhuman, alongside Dutch modular maniac Derk Reneman aka Roberto Auser for this collaboration between imprints Gooiland Elektro and Enfant Terrible out of Holland. Unhuman (Emmanouil Simotas) takes care of the A side of the release, immediately treading the left hand path on the slow burning acid sludge of "Faces Of Death", followed by the seething EBM reduction of "Seven Days". On the flip, Auser lunges straight for the jugular on the brooding and contorted techno experiment that is "Avalon", followed by the pummelling four to the floor grindcore of "Unexplained".