Review: 30drop debuts on Token with From Beyond The Unknown -- a six-track journey that evokes an excommunicative sense of splendor from the outer reaches of worlds beyond. Beginning with Surrender an immediacy pulsates from the outset and dances towards the playful exuberance of The Informant -- calibrating the gears for what frequencies are to be heard in the interim. Space Beacons delights with elegant pads and wry rhythmic evocations, while Mathematical Language bursts with energies that have been long dormant since the days of Jeff Mills' The Purpose Maker. In that same vein, Visitors From The Stars is an entropic message from above, seeking out a communicative line that's emotive and conductive -- leading towards the last track of this journey. Sagan's Implication is an adroit homage to the legendary astrophysicist; leaning into melodics that are both marvelous and mysterious all at once -- similar to finding the answers that lie above us. All in all, a journey that begins by looking past what's diegetic and looking for answers past the narrative presented.
Review: Native New Yorker Adam "X" Mitchell has long been a fan of collaboration, with a long list previous sparring partners including Ancient Methods, Navario Suaro and, of course, his brother Frankie Bones. For Mutiny & Disorder, he's joined forces again with fellow techno veteran Alistair "Perc" Wells. The duo begin in typically retro-futurist fashion on "Mutiny", whose rising and falling synth lines, dense beats and clanking hits recall the early days of Roman techno. The "back-to-the-future" feel continues with the warped riffs, spacey electronics, apocalyptic textures, surging sub-bass and thunderous rhythms of flipside workout "Disorder".
Review: Last year Brazilian DJ/producer Ana Miranda joined Kompakt Extra following years spent building her reputation via fine releases on such labels as Novamute, Twin Turbo, Yoshitoshi and Terminal M. For her third release on the long-serving German label she's joined forces with another scene queen, the incomparable Miss Kittin. The pair has produced a raw, driving dancefloor beast that's bigger than Donald Trump's ego and infinitely more alluring. "Forever Ravers" is heavy, intense and forthright, with stylized vocal snippets and razor sharp electronic motifs surging above a thumping groove. Miranda offers a different take on the track on side B, opting for bleeping and panicked electronics and spacey bleep melodies.
Jazz Carnival (Space Jazz mix - Global Communication remix) (11:15)
Review: We hear on the grapevine that there could be some seriously desirable Global Communication vinyl reissues on the way in 2020. To tide us over until then, Far Out has decided to reissue one of the legendary West Country duo's most celebrated and sought-after remixes: their 1996 "Space Jazz" remix of Azymuth classic "Jazz Carnival". Pritchard and Middleton's version is a spacey deep house epic of intergalactic proportions, with subtle elements of the Brazilian band's loose and languid '90s re-recording of the track (the B-side "LP Mix") weaving in and out of a warm, rich and hypnotic groove. It's one of the most dancefloor-friendly of all Global Communication remixes - many were straight ambient or downtempo rubs - but also one of Mark Pritchard and Tom Middleton's finest.
Review: Like Delsin label mates Conforce and Claro Intelecto, veteran producer John Beltran seems incapable of producing duff albums. "Hallo Androiden", his first full length outing for two years, is another wonderfully atmospheric, melodic and emotive set that recalls the producer's impeccable 1990s output. The nine tracks are as lushly produced as you'd expect, with Beltran effortlessly drifting between eyes-closed ambient techno, lilting electronica, slowly shifting sunset soundscapes and the kind of grandiose, life affirming ambient compositions that have long been a feature of the veteran producer's work. As with much of his output, there are enough intricate details and emotion-stirring motifs to suggest that the album will sound just as good on the 50th listen as it does the first.
Review: Danish imprint Nord has been an interesting label to watch develop since it began at the end of 2012. It's exposure was increased this year with the inclusion of DJ Spider's Northern Abyss 12" which earned its own remix EP featuring reworks from Anton Zap, Steven Tang and Token regular Ctrls. Now L.I.E.S. regular and Confused House co-founder Bookworms adds more credibility to the Scandinavian operation with a four-track EP of stripped back, throbbing and beatdown techno. "Compact Visual Nature" and "Location Unavailable" are slow burning, Northern Electronics/Donato Dozzy styled productions while "Outdoor" is lit with Legowelt-ish synths and slamming snares. Lastly the distorted beats of "STE-017" will sound most familiar to Bookworms advocates.
Review: Many of the great record labels are born out of an already-established movement such as a clubnight, and this is the route Amsterdam techno crew Konstrukt have taken. The past few years have seen residents Doka and SHLTR bring Dozzy, Svreca, and Stan Tolkachev to the city and 2015 saw Konstrukt expand into a record label. The debut offering gave SHLTR a chance to demonstrate his production prowess but this second Konstrukt 12" finds them reaching out to some highly respected techno partnerships that have been previous guests. Cassegrain and Sendai bring the heat, each providing two weighty techno tracks that all emphasise the noisier side of their respective production styles. "Antennaed" by Sendai is a definite highlight!
Review: Anom Valley follows Damcase's recent outing on Bunker and positions the Greek producer as a leading light in hard techno. There is a rough, raw feel throughout this release for Bas Mooy's label; "Delete Scene" is mired in distorted kicks and noisy, barb wire percussion and both "Rusty" and "Towards Them" resound to titanium-powered steel drums. "Interlogon" is probably the most extreme track, thanks to its grisly, punishing rhythm, but Damcase also has a funkier side. He showcases this on "Rn 45" and "X Gun", where hypnotic electronic pulses, although encased in weeping layers of white noise, see him get his groove on.
Review: Few producers do the dub techno sound better than Rod Modell and on this second Atmospherica instalment, he shows why he is so revered. "Exploring The North" is dense and subdued, the hisses and crackles ebbing and flowing fluidly over a powerful sub-bass. "Pinewood Lodge" is more atmospheric and floaty, its chords flitting about like fireflies over a camp fire on the first night of autumn. Rounding out the release is "Shot Point". Immersive, hypnotic and ghostly, it washes through the speakers like waves crashing on a deserted beach at midnight. This is electronic music that is designed to get lost in.
Review: In anyone's book, DJ Guy's story is remarkable. The Welsh techno producer recorded material throughout the 1990s, but his vast archive of material went untouched until All Caps put out the 20 (1996) 12" last year. Now Anders Vendelbo and Christopher Kejlstrup's NORD imprint has picked up the baton, and here presents a doublepack of material recovered from the vaults. Given the vintage nature of the tracks, it's somewhat surprising how fresh they sound. While techno fanatics will no doubt spot nods to intelligent techno, ghetto funk, Drexyica, Autechre and the like, the potency of the material has not diminished by sitting in shoeboxes for 20 years.
Review: 23 years have passed since Edward Upton first donned the DMX Krew alias, but the prolific British producer shows no signs of slowing down. Astonishingly, Strange Directions is the electro stalwart's 21st full-length excursion. Predictably, it's rather good, with Upton delivering a set that effortlessly body-pops between vocoder-laced electro workouts, melodious IDM, bass-heavy intelligent techno, gnarled Drexciyan throbbers, Artificial Intelligence style home listening fare and even a dash of muscular, tongue-in-cheek Italo-disco (the deliciously sleazy "Soft Networks"). As usual, the distinctive, off-kilter swing of original analogue hardware is present throughout, as Upton showcases his full range of talents. Recommended.
Review: Hospital Productions is a non-stop operation and following this year's long-players from Alessandro Cortini, Ninos Du Brasil and Ron Morelli, Vatican Shadow's latest swoop is this ambient album produced with Function. The seven-track LP was recorded between Berlin and New York, and it's described as best suited for after-hours home listening, but whether you really want to listen to this after a big night is up to you. Indeed "A Year Has Passed" and "A Year Has Gone By" are downbeat and melancholic, whereas other tracks lean more towards industrial ambient, similar to fellow Hospital artist Lussuria's work. "The Nemesis Flower" is a darker highlight while "Red Opium" and "Bejewelled Body" is where the house and techno beats lie.
Review: Although she's offered up plenty of high-grade DJ mixes in the past, this volume in the "DJ Kicks" series marks Laurel Halo's first commercially available mix-up. The sometime Hyperdub producer has dutifully delivered something rather special, somehow joining the dots between 29 diverse and disparate cuts in the manner of a true turntable maestro. Beginning with the melodious experimentalism of her own "Public Art", Halo giddily charges between mutant industrial funk (Stallone The Reducer, Final Cut), thrusting electronic disco (Red Axes), deep techno (Parris), mind-altering acid-style intensity (Rrose), stomping, sweat-soaked peak-time techno (Machinewoman, FIT Siegel), polyrhythmic bass music (Facta, one of her Livity Sound collabs with Hodge) and an impressive array of cuts that defy easy categorization. The resultant all-action mix is nothing less than stunning.
Review: Since 1984, Laurent Prot has been putting out music as In Aeternam Vale, a project which has given us some of the best experimental beat music, the finest in darkwave and paved the way for many contemporary artists to do their thing. Although Prot had long periods of hiatus, the last five years have seen renewed interest in his work thanks to the efforts of Veronica Vasicka whose Minimal Wave label has issued several outstanding In Aeternam Vale retrospectives. Following his excellent Jealous God release, Prot now appears on the newly formed Linda Records with a devilish 10" containing three tracks that sounds as fresh and captivating as any of the music made by twenty-something year-olds now. "Self-Destruct" is an electrifying techno driver riding at a slow pace; "Non" ups the speed and drops in a heavy layer of pseudo-acid to the equation; "Inside" ties things off with a cavernous swarm of drones, sounding like the inside of a jet engine. DO NOT SLEEP.
Review: Drumcode's first big release of 2019 comes courtesy of Julian Jeweil, a relative newcomer to the Swedish label who originally built his reputation via years of releases on M_Nus, Plus 8 and Cocoon Recordings. "Transmission" is not only his long-awaited debut album, but also a far more spacey and intergalactic proposition than much of Drumcode's output. Of course, the majority of the tracks are still underpinned by relentless techno rhythms and gnarly electronic stabs, with plenty of darkness amongst the stargazing grooves. Intriguingly, there's also a little more variety than you might expect, with the deep and woozy "Planet X", acid-fired heaviness of "Astral" and glassy-eyed early morning ambient of "Final" catching the ear.
Review: Under-rated Detroit innovator Gary Martin is back. Not on his legendary Hypnotika imprint, rather DJ 3000's Motech which equally has been rather quiet of late. Who cares; they're here once again and in good form. The Robert Hood remix of "Well" is the kind of sure-fire, peak time cyclical treatment that this legend could lend a version to, but not of typical of him as you'd think.. It's great! The original (on the flip) is damn good too; a smooth and sleazy slow burner with enough atmosphere for those cool down moments. "We Get Down" is the usual sound of Martin; tribal and esoteric. The DJ 3000 remix getting possibly more minimal and soulful than the Hood remix heard previously.
Review: Given that they not only share space on the same label, but also both explore the deeper end of the dub techno spectrum, we were rather surprised to learn that "Hypnotic Dub Season" marks the first collaboration between musical cosmonauts Mr Cloudy (AKA Sergey Barkalov) and Gradient (Igor Arsenjev). So, was it worth the wait? If you're into dub techno, then certainly. The album is made up of three epic workouts (the last of which runs to an astonishing 30 minutes) in which the pair wrap hissing aural textures, echoing melodic motifs and sumptuous, huggable ambient electronics around chunky, slowly shifting dub techno rhythms. If you like your music hazy, spaced-out and - as the title promises - hypnotic, then you need this in your life.
Review: Spanish techno stalwart Oscar Mulero trailed this fourth album in as many years with Dualistic Concept, a set of typically dark, hypnotic and ghostly remixes. That can be found on the second disc, and ties in neatly with the robust, forthright and atmospheric sound of the album itself. Muscle & Mind has moments of beauty, of course - see the blissful ambience of "Mental Causation" and enveloping chords and found sounds of "Unconscious" - but for the most part it's concerned with the power of rhythm. Few are better at wringing maximum intensity from loop-heavy jams, and Mulero's love of dusty white noise, trippy melodies and skittering percussion guarantees variety in the grooves throughout.
Review: Raphael Fragil's Fragil Musique has never ceased to stop exploring and innovating through electronic sounds. Since 2011, the imprint has showcased an impressive array of previously unheard talents and, in the process, has given us access to names such as Jafar, Cedric Borghi and Kenny Lane. More recently, the likes of Nummer and Simo Cell have played their part in the label's development, and this latest collaborative EP has come at exactly the right moment to lock these past six years down to a varied and polished release. Nummer, who had first come to light through Going Good, lays down some slick, slow lounge house on his "Nummer's Tribute", followed by the equally wavy and Balearic-leaning "Simo Cell's Tribute". "Jafar's Tribute" is a different kind of affair; the house beats are out in full motion, charged by a glorious minimal-dub energy, which leaves "Bazarov's Tribute" to deliver the funk via some masterfully executed boogie vibes. A splendid EP - TIP!
Review: Random XS was founded in 1991, when DJ Zero One (Sander Friedeman) joined forces with Arno Peeters to perform live at a small underground party in Utrecht before the latter left three years later and was replaced by Frank de Groodt. After the long awaited re-release of their 1992 Djax-Up-Beats classic "Give Your Body" last year on Delsin, they return with a pair of unreleased jams for fellow Dutch imprint MOS Recordings. Both tracks are said to be recorded in the early '90s, but reworked and remastered for "heavy club impact". On the A side is some proper minimal mentalism on the frantic and tunnel vision "Centrifuge", followed by the sublime 303 wizardry of "Relic Reworked" on the flip, which hails "all aboard the acid express!" better than any other.
Cage & Aviary - "Lean On Me" (Felix Dickinson Foolish dub)
Posthuman - "Make More Man"
Review: Just as the new football season settles into it's groove, the fourth edition of the highly collectable Rothmans arrives sporting some high profile signings! Leading the way on The Claudio Gentile Release is a Foolish Felix dub of Cage & Aviary's "Lean On Me" whose deranged acid gurglings provide a nice contrast to the thrusting Escape From East London stylings of Posthuman's "Make More Men". On the flip Ali Renault returns for Rothmans duty with the Weatherall worthy "The Black Heart" whilst Iron Blu is loaned from Flight Recorder for the synthy swamp of orchestral drama that is "Oiche Shamhna"
Review: Over the last couple of years, Aussie Katie Campbell has delivered a string of well-regarded EPs and 12" singles steeped in retro-futurist flavours. Here she delivers here most expansive release to date, a double-pack that officially counts as the Roza Terenzi debut album. Her usual aural trademarks are all present - think deep bass, dreamy synths, fluttering electronic melodies, euphoric melodic motifs, breakbeats and bustling beats that are anything but conformist - alongside nods towards turn-of-the-90s techno, weighty electro rhythms and snappy, ghetto-house inspired workouts. It's undeniably a Roza Terenzi release, and there's enough variety - coupled with smart sequencing - to make it hang together as an album. Oh, and bass-heavy, Bleep-inspired closer "My Reality Cheque Bounced" is one of the best things Campbell has released to date.
Review: Following up DJ Barbo$$a's absolutely awesome Mystical Teachings EP, Melbourne's Salt Mines are back with yet more lo-fi house shenanigans courtesy of the label bosses: Shedbug and Rudolph C (Neo Violence/X-Kalay/Lost Palms). The latter serves up the tribal raindance of "Indian Rope"and the saturated acid house of "Granite State". On the flip, Shedbug (who had a great track on Polish imprint PLAY !T LOUD earlier this year) serves up some dirty rave breaks on "Unwavering" featuring a massive Reese bassline and... panpipes! It's not altogether unpleasant though, believe us. Less introspective and more dancefloor oriented on the hi-NRG antics of "Dust Off" though - a right epic and featuring some euphoric arpeggios, cosmic synth leads plus the best of vintage drum machines. This will truly elevate the crowd and just begs to be played somewhere like their local festival Rainbow Serpent this year!
Review: According to their Discogs entry, The Final Experiment is "More stuff out of the galaxy called "Hard Wax Berlin". Seelow is actually another alias of the now legendary Rene Pawlowitz, so you know already that it's going to be pretty damn good, right? The A side track "TFExx4A" is proper, nasty peak time business; we all know Pawlowitz' great knack for revisiting nostalgic dance music sounds and this track is built around a grating, doom-laden hoover and as always has a monstrous and shuffling rhythm. On the flip "TFExx4B" sounds like something more familiar from the artist, namely under his infamous Shed alias. With its catchy, dreamy pad melody and that signature warehouse techno beat with the perfect amount of hiss and dust in it. Nice one!
Review: It's hard to think of a DJ with the global profile of Nina Kraviz who runs a label as underground and innovative as trip. The latest comes from Shadowax, who has previously contributed to the label's compilations but now makes her full label debut. Unlike much of the frantic and frenetic material trip has dealt with in the past, this EP slows the tempos and explores more moody and hypnotic techno. Opener "Nikolai Reptile" is a super slow motion and dub rhythm with searching synth lines gently riding up and down the scale, while "Ochen" recalls the icy minimal perfection of Daniel Bell. "What About Me" has spoken word mutterings and paranoid, pressurised kicks that hurry you along and lastly "Mortal Talking" is a flurry of hyper-speed drums and synth loops to fully flip you out.
Review: Shedbug's slow but steady rise continues via an EP that's as thrilling and action-packed as a narcotics-fuelled weekend with a platoon of free party lunatics. There's a distinctively psychedelic feel to the retro-futurist club cuts on show, with bombastic opener "Aciidmuzik" - all effervescent hardcore style breakeat, psy-trance acid lines and fizzing electronics - being quickly followed by the hallucinatory ambient techno shuffle of "One Day Later". His devotion to the more LSD-inspired aspects of early '90s electronic music continues on the flip, where the exotic vocal samples, trippy electronic motifs and glassy-eyed melodies of breakbeat shuffler "Rubber" come paired with the sunrise-friendly bliss of the EP's most loved-up track, "There's Hope For You Yet".
Review: Nordanvind Records is a new techno label from Sweden and judging by the country's past achievements within the dance music sphere, we're pretty excited about it! It's a collaborative effort from four rising talents in the game, some of whom have already appeared on quality imprints in and around the Scandinavian territories. First up is Skymn's "Memory", a broken jigsaw of a track with eerie background sonics; Nobody Home aka Marcus Henriksson comes through with the grey-scaled "Speglar", "En Liten Saga" by Fjader is a dubby techno affair surrounded by bleak drones, while Korridor - who has appeared on the excellent Northern Electronics alongside Abdulla Rashim - turns in "Somnolence", the top pick in our opinion and also the track with most movement and character. All in all, a rather fine bundle of cave sounds!
Solar Sound System - "K7" (Nemo Vachez Transcendantal dance mix) (6:38)
Solar Sound System - "CD-R" (4:25)
Jimmy Batt - "Magic Garden" (5:27)
PO - "On The Radio" (6:09)
Review: London-based label Opia turn their attention to Solar Sound System, who have a playful brand of electro to impart that manages to fuse kitsch '80s slap bass and classic sample stabs with immersive, expressive pads on the head-turning highlight "K7". Nemo Vachez does a great job of remixing the track before another original closes out the B-side - the pumped up roller "CD-R". Jimmy Batt pops up on the B side with the cheeky tweaking of "Magic Garden", and then PO rounds things off with the deep techno delights of "On The Radio".
Review: AvantRoots apparently spent a year putting together their dub techno focused "Espectrum" compilation prior to its release in 2016. We're not sure how long they spent on this sampler for the expanded, digital sequel, but we can confirm that it's every bit as alluring. Toki Fuko kicks things off with the sparse, Basic Channel style dub techno minimalism of "Druid (Dub)" - all subtle shifts and echoing, ultra-deep motifs - before Segue combines hushed, locked-in drums with fluid ambient textures on the drowsy and picturesque "Stepping Up". Sibling impresses with the similarly opaque and soft-focus flipside opener (and Drhamer collaboration) "Tunnel Vision (Dub)", while Beat Pharmacy's "Hemp (Dub)" brilliantly wraps tactile, tropical-sounding synth riffs around an undulating bassline and ultra-deep drums.
Review: Dreamy Harbour celebrates 25 years of Berlin institution Tresor with several new and unreleased cuts by staples of the club and its seminal in house label alike. Featuring work of artists from the US, Germany, China, France, Austria, Italy and the UK, it is worth dwelling on how the cultural conditions that birthed Detroit techno (ie economic neglect and broken industry) were mirrored by the disused bunkers and impromptu parties of post-unification East Berlin. Techno a found new, vigorous expression. "Without Tresor, Berlin would not be what it is today," concludes founder Dimitri Hegemann. "Even though it sounds a bit pretentious, it is true. Tresor was the prototype for an extraordinary club. It was only possible as a combination of the right time, the right place, the right content and determined people." Excerpt of liner notes, by Rob Sharp - November 2016.
Review: According to Jared Wilson, the debut release on the freshly minted Jason, Jared and Brian's Records imprint is dedicated to (and influenced by), "Roland, Dinsync, Social Entropy Engine and the Pacific Northwest". Musically, it's not a great departure from his usual robust, acid-fired, club-focused style, but that's no bad thing. Perhaps the pick of the bunch is A-side "Acid Remake (Lynwood New mix)", where undulating TB-303 acid lines bubble away atop a snappy house beat and suitably intergalactic, Motor City techno style chords. Elsewhere, "Lynwood 23" is a more boisterous if bittersweet acid techno workout, while "Lynwood Engine" is deep, melancholic and undeniably alien sounding.
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