Review: Ed Davenport's Counterchange imprint is back with a label compilation that demonstrates a wide variety of techno derivatives by a stellar cast. From scene legends such as UK innovator Boddika (with his hypnotic and textural epic "Broken Wave)" and elder statesman Patrik Skoog with the functional, peak-time cyclicality of "Mind Control". For more heady and atmospheric flavours, they have you covered courtesy of Puglia's Distant Echoes on the utterly sublime "Under The Influence" while Acing Seas main men Cassegrain team up with the inimitable Tin Man on the heady acid epic "Opal Stare".The harder edged, dancefloor ready weapons are provided by label head honcho Davenport on the retro, bleep driven "Fluxus", while BNJMN's abrasive "Red Tide" hammers the message home on this true beast that reaches near tribal moments.
Review: Straight out of Toronto's fast rising electronic underground comes Parallel Minds, a fresh imprint dedicated to releasing "progressive electronic music" from the Canadian city. This debut release boasts cuts from the imprint's three founders Ciel, Yohei S and Daniel 58, as well as guest artist Radiant Aura Faculty. There's much to admire throughout, from the dubby sub-bass, bouncy Afro-house drums and clonking electronics of Yohei S' "Eastern Rankin", to the chiming dub house/dusty deep house fusion of Daniel 58's warm-but-robotic "Space Bubble". Sweatier, rave-inspired breakbeat antics are provided via the loved-up vocal samples and low-end weightiness of Radiant Aura Faculty's "Mana Sadhana", while Ciel's "Hind Sight Is 360" gets just the right balance between driving machine beats, glassy-eyed intent and dreamy, head-in-the-clouds electronics.
Review: The eagle-eyed amongst you may notice that the four cuts showcased here made up the first 12" of Indigo Aera's recent Lost Archives Special box-set. Like most of the rest of that expansive package, these tracks are exclusive and previously unreleased. The quality threshold is undeniably high: check, for example, the glistening, beat-less ambient positivity of Yamaoka's "Dragon Robe", and the glacial melodiousness of Skudge's rolling techno shuffler, "November". Those looking for a darker, slightly more intense take on techno should head for Museum's throbbing "RA", while label co-founder Jasper Wolff's "Float" is a study in classic, dub-influenced techno hypnotism.
Review: The second 12" on Moscow-based mystery label Private Persons comes from Youngg P, a Ukraine-based DJ/producer whose debut release dropped on Kiev House a couple of years back. On the four tracks showcased here, he shows a good grasp of analogue house and techno dynamics. "Carpathian Rave" is a quirky, off-kilter jacker rich in buzzing electronics, liquid acid riffs and bustling house percussion, while "Ocean" fits the stargazing electronics of vintage Motor City techno to the saucer-eyed melodiousness of vintage Italian deep house. Meanwhile, creepy flipside "War" sounds like it was inspired by a mix of L.I.E.S style distorted techno and 1980s industrial funk. As for closer "Masher Track", it's a full-throated exploration of clanking, drum machine techno.
Review: Osaka's Koshiro "YPY" Hino built his reputation on a series of fearlessly experimental cassette releases, before breaking cover to deliver a 12" of frazzled techno on Nous last year. Zurhyrethm marks his long-form vinyl debut, and contains eight suitably experimental tracks stretched across two slabs of wax. While there are clear tropical influences, a humid feel and nods towards the visceral pleasures of ambient, Hino's greatest strength is his eccentric drum programming. Zurhyrethm's dense - but often subtly mixed - percussive backing dominates throughout, with nods to African and South American rhythms, Sweet Exorcist's C.C.CD-era "clonk techno" (look it up), and the metallic clanking of classic industrial music.