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: 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!
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: 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: 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: Yes! Styles Upon Styles step it up and drop their very first album length project and do so in their own inimitable style with this conceptual long player from the superb (and superbly named) Gut Nose. The NYC label have swiftly built a rep for introducing the unheralded or the lesser known (Clay Wilson, Certain Creatures, White Visitation and Kloke) and it's great to see them maintain that approach with Filthy City. Aside from one cassette release and a prior SUS 12", there is little to form an opinion on Gut Nose out there, and that works in his favour on this album. The traditional LP format has been thrown out completely in favour of two extended pieces made up of movements with the A Side, sub-titled Filthy City, a dizzying array of paranoid stuttering instrumental beats reminiscent to the late 90s work of El P and Cannibal Ox. Gut Nose flips it completely with the B-side's Filthnoid Mixx which ups the tempo markedly to a queasy fairground ride through a nightmarish techno landscape. You won't hear another LP like Filthy City this year.
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: 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: 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!
I Saw Her Kiss Him In Front Of Me & I Was Like WTF? (5:13)
Bring U Back (5:51)
Too Late For U & M1 (6:40)
Time Spent Away From U (5:34)
With My Luv (6:05)
Another Way Back (5:15)
It's Just My Luv (6:02)
How U Make Me Feel (6:20)
U Hold Me Without Touch (6:31)
Come Thru For U (6:12)
Review: It's been a whirlwind 12 months for DJ Seinfeld, who has gone from "unknown entity" to hyped producer in what seems like the blink of an eye. There's little doubt that this debut album on Lobster Fury will simply enhance his credentials further. It's a typically dusty and lo-fi affair, but far more positive in tone than your average crackly techno full-length. The Swedish producer makes extensive use of rubbery synth basslines, hazy R&B and pop vocal samples and the kind of production tricks more frequently found on disco-house and old US garage records (while, naturally, rarely sounding exactly like either style). In other words, the album is full of attractive, floor-friendly party techno for those who like their cuts fun and funky, rather than stern and severe.