Review: Mannequin boss Alessandro Adriani returns to Stroboscopic Artefacts with 'Embryo' - an immersive four-track micro-odyssey spanning across jagged ambient scopes,unmapped acidic grounds and further leftfield-friendly sonic territories, opening up the path for his forthcoming sophomore LP and first ever for Stroboscopic Artefacts, 'Morphic Dreams'.
Review: There's a delightfully celebratory feel about this debut volume of Cititrax Tracks, a new 12" series from Minimal Wave offshoot Cititrax. As beautifully presented as we've come to expect, Tracks Volume 1 boasts a quartet of dancefloor-ready smashers from a blend of new faces and label stalwarts. Amato (aka The Hacker) kicks things off with the glistening EBM funk of "Physique" - all restless synth refrains and pounding bottom end - before LIES affiliate Tsuzing go all dark, psychedelic and twisted on the thrillingly intense, acid-flecked "King of System". An-I go all DAF (with a touch of Front 242) on the fuzzy and dystopian stomper "Mutter", before Cititrax regulars Broken English Club delivers a storming chunk of industrial-tinged analogue funk ("Glass"). Bravo!
Review: From the minds of Direct Beat and Detroit Bass Classics, comes the first initial compilation of electro/techno heat. "Electro In The Key Of Detroit Vol 1" presents 4 proven dance floor dope and record crate staples that provide the hungry ears of masses the groove to move. A Side features two sure-fire steppers - a rare AUX 88 voyage entitled "Phantom Power" and Blak Tony's tempo-pushing "Holla Holla" finally see the light of day on this wax collectable, giving praise to Motor City footwork culture. On the flip, DJ K-1's "Erase The Time" rocked the airwaves and global clubs with its signature thumping style laced beneath alien-like melody and repetitive vocal structure while Posatronix's mutant-rhythm mantra, "Pure Techno Sound" pulls the weight of Detroit's street dance roots down to the origin of how to boogie in space. This collection of re-issued jams and new explorations is the must-have for the electro/techno & bass aficionado.
Review: The seventh and final instalment of De:Tuned's brilliant Unboxed Brain series - an unashamed tribute to 1990s IDM and ambient techno featuring contributions from many of the artists who defined that scene - is predictably special. It features a slew of new remixes of previously released tracks, plus "Monolith", a previously unreleased ambient track from the Future Sound of London that's every bit as weird, wonderful and out there as the duo's greatest work. Elsewhere, Kirk Degiorgio (as Future/Past) and Mark Broom both drag B12's "World's End" towards the dancefloor (the latter providing a punchy electro re-make), while The Black Dog provides a brilliantly blissful, string-drenched ambient interpretation of Scanner's "Eros".
Review: It's high time that Berlin's Henning Baer launched his own imprint, and we're surprised that this is only happening now given the success of both his prior productions and of his Berlin club night, Grounded Theory. Manhigh kicks off with Henning Baer himself, gearing up the machines first with the bleeps and sporadic machine tones of "System Test (Nsdxit)", followed by the much more concrete and beat-laden shreds of drums on "Fighting The Dogs". The surprise comes from a rare appearance by Blawan as a remix of "Pan2945", with the Yorkshire native delivering some of his signature thrashing on the drums, and a fuzzy, drugged-out bassline that would have made Regis and Surgeon proud back in the days. The flip continues with more grey-scaled techno in the form of "Moving Ground", the excellent sack of squealing drones that is "The Last Quarter", and finished off tidily by the pouncing kick drums residing on "Copper Skin". Heavy duty gear.
Review: After slowly establishing his career via a handful of tidy EPs released over an eight-year period, Evan Baggs has really hit his stride in 2018. This outing on Partout is not only the American's fourth vinyl excursion of the year, but arguably his strongest, too. He hits the ground running on opener "New Language", where vintage Steel City bleeps rise above doom-laden chords and crunchy electronic percussion, before peppering another drum machine rhythm with spacey electro style synth lines on "5 Phased". Over on the flip, Baggs successfully breaks up the beats, ratchets up the sub bass and reaches for the deep electronics on "As It Is", while closer "Bo Jangles" is a fine slab of foreboding, acid-flecked late night techno funk.
Review: Somewhat later than initially intended, Pinkman serves up the second volume in its celebratory "Five Years of Tears" series (the first landed back in April 2018). As was the case with its predecessor, the six-track set is made up entirely of previously unreleased material. This time round, the majority of the material is inspired by EBM, industrial, coldwave and other skewed, left-of-centre electronic sounds from the 1980s. The material is uniformly strong, with highlights including the sweaty, percussive, all-action insanity of "Al Batard" by Jann, sleazy, mid-tempo EBM pulse of Kris Baha's superb "Beatthemachine" and the pitch-black, DAF style intensity of Retrograde Youth's "Final Days".
Order From Chaos Of The Death (Samuel Kerridge remix) (5:59)
Avoidance Paranoid (Isabella remix) (8:27)
Order From Chaos Of The Death (Ryo Murakami remix) (6:10)
Hissiyat (Svreca remix) (6:35)
Review: Following the release of Tolga Baklacioglu & Dee Grinski's album "Your Secret Face", VENT presents a remix package featuring Samuel Kerridge, Svreca, Ryo Murakami, and Isabella, who are some of the artists who have most inspired and supported the duo's music. These exceptional artists' interpretations refract the industrial rhythms and harrowing vocalisations of the original tracks into caleidoscopic tunnel visions with each remixer's individualistic expression.
Review: Tolga Baklacioglu's releases may not be all that frequent, but when they do arrive they're always worth a listen. Your Secret Face is his first outing of 2018 and sees him join forces fast-rising Russian artist Dee Grinski. The latter's stylish - and heavily distorted - spoken word vocals can be heard on the EP's opening and closing tracks, with the latter - an 11-minute experimental epic that could feasibly soundtrack nuclear Armageddon - also benefitting from her drowsy, improvised singing. No doubt she contributed heavily to the EP's instrumental cuts, too, which are bleak, fuzzy and industrial in the best possible way.
Review: Following his highly praised album "Word Color" from last year, Gacha Bakradze offers up this stunning EP on Fever AM. "Monument" sees the Tbilisi based art- ist taking us on a refreshing, sublime journey over 4 pieces featuring his signature melodies, broken beats and striking sound design. Gacha pulls off a very well rounded EP here that works perfectly on headphones at home or on a sound system in the club. This is also the first artist besides labelheads Mor Elian and Rhyw to appear on Fever AM, opening up a new phase for the label.
Review: Robin Ball has been on a roll of late, flaunting his wares on the Memory Box label amongst others. He makes a second outing on Groovepressure with four tracks of dynamic, inventive machine jams touching on synthwave influences and a healthy dose of electro. There's atmosphere loaded into each of these forthright, roughly hewn workouts, not least on the eerie, trancey synth strings on "Mr Mumble". The B side features the steadiest material in the shape of two versions of "Satin" that tap into the housier end of Ball's output.
Review: Fresh from his exploits with King Kashmere, beat alchemist Bambooman crashes the party at Accidental with four more singular experiments; "Shudder" rolls on a stuttering break that's paced in such a way it's as much UKG as it is techno. Both "Grasp" and "M1" show off more of a house side to B's spectrum as the former insists with an almost Detroitian charm while "M1" scrapes strange strings to create unique texture. Finally "Kyrian" takes us on a futurist twist on broken beat with spacious kicks and a warm, fat analogue synth. Some say shudder, we say goosebumps...
Review: Bambooman (real name Kirk Barley) is a London based producer who presents his fourth release on Matthew Herbert's Accidental imprint - which follows up last year's terrific long player, Whispers. His new offering is the trippy minimal techno kicker "Ricochet", with its sparse arrangement revolving around a stuttering bassline and nasty chord stabs awash in plate reverb. On the flip, the man himself Herbert steps up to deliver a wacky and glitched out remix in his own truly idiosyncratic style once again.
Review: At first glance, French enfant terrible Bambounou is a surprising addition to the Diskant impint - now known as just Disk. Known for his techno and house exploits on Clek Clek Boom and 50 Weapons, his knack for intricately programmed rhythms were on display even back then. It kind of figures that he'd be a good choice for the label, come to think of it now. That's certainly proven across the three tracks on the Parametr Perkusja EP, where his sound sits comfortably alongside label mates like Harmonious Thelonious and Durian Brothers. From the slo-mo esoterica of "Dernier Metro" which reaches near tribal moments, the hard hitting polyrhythmic techno of "Kosovo Hardcore" it is great to hear some original productions from him after lengthy absence.
Review: Hessle Audio's emergence from hibernation in 2012 really has seen the label release some of the most extraordinary music of its life, and this EP from Bandshell might top the lot. Tapping into the grainy, murky sound world of the like of STL, Shed and Actress, this record explores strange rhythms constantly on the verge of breaking out into a frenzy. The title track is comprised of little more than rattling percussion and dense, fizzy bass, while "Rise 'Em" places a jungle breakbeat atop a mucky hum. On the flip, "Metzger" takes the vibe of classic dubstep and fills it with subtle melodies and clipped snares, but "Dog Sweater" is the real killer - a homage to soundsystem culture whose threadbare rhythms are the only thing to stop you being dragged into the track's viscous centre. Make no mistake, this is a serious new talent.
Review: Having shot into the limelight in 2012 with a 12" on Hessle Audio followed up by an outing on Liberation Technologies, Bandshell has since been on covert operations largely centred around releasing his music himself via Bandcamp. Now he's extended that practice into the B.S.Hell label, providing a physical presence to his wayward experimentation on the fringes of bass music. It's a sound that naturally aligns with the likes of Batu and Laksa, but also defiantly makes its own statement as well. With five tracks of distinctive drum science and textural voodoo to indulge in, this is a welcome return to wax for a thrilling, self-motivated producer.
Review: Both Ike Release and John Barera have been buzzing in the underground community for some time now. Ike with releases on Mister Saturday Night, Finale Sessions, Skudge and MOS and John with releases on Argot, Just Jack and Zakim. Now they turn to Ike's Episodes imprint to supply more of their upfront and dancefloor ready cuts. Starting out on the A side with the new wave acid sensibilities of "Looking Ahead" and the ferocious retro jack of "Lights Out" which are sure to set the night on fire. On the flip, the neon lit aesthetic continues with "Cosmic Divide" and "Winding Up" respectively, which conjure the ghosts from those dusty analogue machines to stunning effect.
Review: Over two decades into its lifespan, Adam Beyer's Drumcode imprint keeps evolving and excelling, pushing techno forward while remaining wholly respectful of its roots. On Part 3 of A Sides Vol 7, Beyer brings in the scene's top guns to expertly execute some main room peak-time action. On the first side, it's an undeniably Dutch affair with Amsterdam hero Bart Skils stepping up to deliver the deeply hypnotic tunnel vision of "West Of The Moon", while veterans Secret Cinema & Reinier Zonneveld deliver the darkly druggy dancefloor drama of "Pain Thing". On the flip, Pig & Dan should need no introduction and are in fine form as always on the adrenalised "Pushing On" while ascendant Aussie Juliet Fox similarly impresses on "Wanted Me".
Review: When it comes to dub techno, you need look no further than the master of the genre, Basic Channel. It's been a good long while since there was any fresh material on wax from the immortal German outfit, but now they have looked back over their archives and realised that "Q-Loop", originally found on the BCD CD release, never made its way on to vinyl, and so here it is for all the Basic Channel completists out there. There's no need to go into detail about the music, but an extended fourteen minutes of "Q-Loop" stretched across the A side can only be a beautiful thing. On the flip you can also enjoy the aqueous strains of "Q1.2" and "Mutism"s vaporous ambience, both of which are enjoying their first outings on the black stuff.
Review: Stuart Li, better known as Basic Soul Unit, set up the Lab.our Music label last year as a low-key outlet for vinyl only transmissions from himself and others. Having introduced local Toronto talent Maxwell Church last time round, Li is back behind the buttons for Lab.our 003 which seems to retain the techno orientated slant of much of Basic Soul Unit's work in 2013. Lead track "Head Long" grips control of the A Side, rolling out one long groove of heads down techno, with the sort of windy textures and rolling toms that tend to get Ben UFO all excited. Face down, "Nowhere To Be Found" opts for a more broken feel, with the ghost of hardcore buried deep in it's DNA and the kind of stunted drums that can cause ankle fractures, and "Spiralling Down" will appeal to STL fans.
Review: Over the course of TTT's rise to fame over the last 7 or so years, UK dance deviant Bass Clef has been an important part of the label, putting out his most daring work through Will Bankhead's imprint. He's back in future-mode with this new EP, kicking off with the spaced-out waves of "Celescalating", a deep tech wormhole that gets more hypnotic by the bar. On the flip, "Iridescending" falls under the same pretext yet here the vibe is more on a house tip, with large folds of bass forming a Mr Fingers-style groove; "Unlundone" strips the melodies down in favour of more itchy percussion, a growling Chicago bass and a distant, ethereal wave of subtle atmospherics. Beautiful. And recommended.