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: 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: Given the sheer pace at which Boris Bunnik puts out material across his cavalcade of aliases, there is no small irony in the relaxed manner in which Transcendent, the label he runs with Julius de Wal, operates. Launched back in late 2012 with some material from Bunnik, naturally, under his Hexagon alias, there have been only two subsequent releases on Transcendent. A new year brings the count to five, with the Travelogue EP brandishing four fresh Conforce off cuts from Bunnik's Rotterdam studio. From the off, Transcendent has focussed on deeper, more abstract sonic terrain and it's no different here with cuts such as "Phase 7" little more than analogue pulses transmitted into the ether and met with all manner of delay and phasing. Nobody does it better than Bunnik!
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: 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".
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: 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!
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: 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: 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.