Review: As a self-confessed Terrence Dixon obsessive, this writer found it difficult to accept the concept of his work being remixed at all. That said, Ben Klock does a fine job of imbuing the Detroit producer's music with a sense of dance floor abandon. Klock's main version sees the Berlin producer lay down an insistent, stripped back groove, its shrieking stabs hitting the listener like the icy jolt of a winter morning. Klock's dub is more rolling and filtered, but contains a punch thanks to its metallic percussive licks. Edwin Oosterwal also delivers a high quality take on "Minimalism", with a slamming rhythm and dry hats providing the basis for a dramatic, sweeping chord sequence.
Review: Since debuting as Prostitutes in 2011 on his own StabUDown label, experimental noise and techno artist James Donadio has established his confrontational style with a slew of releases. This year alone has seen Donadio add two EPs on Avian's Mira sub-label and an album for John Elliott's Spectrum Spools label to a discography that already includes Diagonal, Digitalis and Opal Tapes. This Nouveauree 12" finds Donadio adding the prospering Night School to his collar, and you may think he makes a strange bed fellow with The Space Lady or Molly Nillson on the UK experimental label but Donadio's singular sonic fingerprint still feels strangely at home. Night School suggest Nouveauree to be "a purge, a palette cleanser," but it also feels like some of Donadio's most gratifyingly floor focused material. You can almost visualise someone like Powell giving it the screw face as he drops "Punk In The Street" in one of his sets.
Review: The ethos of M.I.L has always been to play the role of adventurer, to push forward the sounds that veer away from the main label Music is Love and M2222 pushes the envelope to the furthest boundary so far.
Kastil steps up for the 5th release on the vinyl only label with a divine techno ep. Etrek kicks off the proceedings with a kick drum solid enough to shake the bones of anyone in 100 meters of it. With its eerie analogue blips and noises the atmosphere this track emits is so intriguing you yearn for all its beautifully produced twists and turns. The main riff played against the surging drum section will make this track a timeless tool for techno & house djs alike.
Warning follows up with a warmer palette but still with plenty of drive and urgency, the delightfully playful lead wanders rounds your ears and conscious as the drum machines bang the groove, a perfect track to induce those euphoric moments in your dj sets.
Collapse is an all out weapon of mass destruction, with its un forgiving lead synth slowly but surely gaining more aggression and destruction as the drums build perfectly around the intensity, until it drops and your left immersed in this brute of a groove. It's the eb and flow of this track using tension and release that really bring this monster to life.
Dermax closes the ep and in fine style, once again flipping the techno stance of the ep into a deep druggy affair. The movement of the elements dancing around your head as you get lost in the dubby undertone of this track sit so perfectly in the sonic range, the depth and character of this track makes this a perfect track to end such a inventful and cleverly producer 4 tracker, this ep has every right to put WARNING on the label.
Review: Seminal album alert... If this isn't already in your collection, now's the time to get it. Recognised as one of Aphex Twin's most accomplished long players, I Care Because You Do is a comprehensive exploration into the future of electronic music that was penned 17 years ago but doesn't sound dated in any way. Featuring smooth segues from expansive dreamy soundscapes ("The Waxen Pith") to icy breakbeat workouts ("Wax The Nip") at points this is the warmest, cosiest friend you'll ever have. At others it's the most uncompromising foe you'll ever meet. Essential for music lovers.
Review: Aside from a pair of releases on Horizontal Ground, and one appearance for the magnetic Edit Select, the enigmatic SNTS has chosen to reserve his/her releases for his/her own self-titled label. While the artist has only released EP's in the past, The Rustling Of The Leaves marks a debut LP effort. As you'd expect, the work is made up of chilling soundscapes, sinister sonics and grey-scaled ambient, but it's the way in which SNTS assembles beats around these elements that is impressive. "Backwoods", for example, flutters its subtle beats seamlessly into a hollow cave of drones and religious chanting, while a tune like "Remission" is what the inside of a power station would sound ike at night. For those who love their techno textures dark and sparse, this is it.
Review: Apparently, Rene Pawlowitz doesn't already have enough production aliases. Having already released killer material as Shed, Head High, Craft, WK7, The Traveller and War Easy Made (to name a few), he's now adopted another moniker: Zigg Gonzalezz. "High Jackin" sees him expertly doffing a cap to Nuyorican Soul-era Masters At Work and similarly loose-limbed US house from the turn of the millennium, layering sparkling deep house chords and sweaty vocal samples over a bustling, Africanism-style rhythm. "The Kind" explores similarly territory, though it feels a little deeper despite the presence of denser, tribal-influenced rhythms. As for "The Kind (Storm Dub"), it feels like a long lost DJ Duke jam from the tail end of the '90s.
Review: Open Recordings return with their 2nd release 'Flight' following the Departed Emotions EP released earlier this year. Frazer Campbell piloting the journey with 'Flight 82874' ... with 2 of the finest co pilots from hugely respected labels Slow Life and Wahlscheibe....S.Moreira and Allessandro Crimi re constructing the original into superb pieces of timeless music with a dubby outro for good measure!
Review: Ben Sims reignites his dormant Symbolism imprint for 2015. Last active in 2006, Symbolism is about music with real mood and will continue to impart Sims' vision of techno through releases from newcomers and established acts alike. The first release comes from D_Func and includes an edit from Sims himself.
Review: The revival of Symbolism continues with J.C. & Kastil. J.C. aka Jose Cabera is otherwise known as Spanish house producer Kasper as well as cropping up on Fred P's Boards imprint as J.C. in 2014 while Kastil is widely recognised for his output and stewardship of Soul Notes.
Review: Ben Sims' Symbolism continues apace with a release from Binny, a Liverpool-based producer DJ otherwise known for some superb output as part of Phantom Planet Outlaws. Comprising three original tracks, the Subtractive Rhythm EP also takes in a remix from long-time Sims collaborator and British techno legend, Paul Mac.
Review: Following it's recent reactivation and releases from JC & Kastil and D_Func, Ben Sims' Symbolism imprint sets out it's autumn stall with a blistering four tracker from Alphadrum. Rigourously roadtested by Sims himself over the past six months, this is an essential release from young italian producer, Alphadrum.
Review: The third instalment of Braiden's Off Out label arrives via Chunyin, a new dancefloor orientated project by Hong Kong born, Sydney based artist, singer and producer Rainbow Chan. Early support from Benji B, Eclair Fifi, Bill Kouligas, Joy Orbison amongst others.
The lead track of this release, "Fei", was the genesis of this project, created as she started to explore the world of murky dancefloor music. The track delivers a raw, punky attitude with a nod to minimal wave, littered with warped organic sounds and samples of Hong Kong new wave cinema.
Following this is "Emporium", a relentless jacking dancefloor number, syncopated groove laden drums married with airy atmospherics. "Shi" closes this EP with a unique and brooding techno inspired track that rolls yet feels as though it's perpetually falling apart at the seams.
Vinyl comes with screenprinted and Chinese seal hand-stamped artwork designed by Braiden, illustrated by Chunyin
Review: From his appearances on Aesthetic Audio and Ornate through to his own Atmospheric Existence label, Miles Sagnia continues to be one of the best kept secrets of British deep techno, and that's no more apparent than on this stunning release for Common Dreams. There's a looped up insistence to "Heal", but it's offset by emotive movement in the synth lines and an overall spiritual quality that escapes much cyclical techno. "Plight" takes a slightly slower path, amping up the early UK electronica tones for an immersive experience shaped out by interlocking rhythms and snaking melodies. It's a truly classy statement that stays true to techno while saying something original.
Review: 2016 marks two decades since Roman Flugel made his debut. It says much about the productive, genre-straddling German that he retains the desire to do things differently after all these years. Verscheibung is his first EP of 2016, and arrives for the rather fine Die Orakel label overseen by LARJ's Oliver Hafenbauer. The four tracks are split between stripped-back techno and druggy, off-piste ambient (the bubbly, post-party weirdness of closer "Track 4"). The most obviously floor-friendly cut opens the EP, with Flugel layering wonky, minor key melody lines over a dense but minimalist groove. Elsewhere, check the Villalobos-ish strangeness of "Track 3", and the druggy, pitched-down experimental throb of "Track 2".
Review: The Heavy Thinker EP finds the legend that is DJ Skull back on SECT to regale our ears and limbs with further precious techno and house gems! "Bazzar" hits the spot with beautifully harmonious synths and a techno funk guitar lick that will keep you dancing forever. "Heavy Thinker" is a delirious peak time dance floor killer, working organic drum programming against techno siren and ominous kalimba hook. "Power" is all about the old school Detroit strings and tones, setting a steady pace to keep the momentum going into the small hours. Finally, "Rise" has those unmistakable Chicago house values emerging once more, as keys and strings lift the spirits to elevate mind and body.
Review: London based label Sect salute Spain's techno history with their tenth release, represented by highly respected techno producer and DJ Victor Martinez. Psychedelia-tinged tracks are the order of the day here as Victor steps up the pace and sets the standard. "The Infiltrator", Chapters 1 & 2 are both moody and mysterious slices of voodoo magic from Martinez and firmly nod to the dark hours of techno. Flip to the B, and "Lessons On Emptiness" is just as menacing, with weird samples and indecipherable vocals flying throughout. "Motor Zerox" leans to a slightly lighter atmosphere with rumbling percussion sections and a hook melody. Another killer 12" from Sect.
Review: Sect Records' recent compilation It's All For You showcased the exceptionally high standard of the label's roster as well as introducing some talent to the world, and this, the first 12" sampler from the album, selects three of the compilation's finest tracks for vinyl treatment. Victor Martinez takes over the A-Side with "Dav To Dub", combining heavily delayed chords filtered to breaking point, while a massive kick drum propels everything along, and a jazzy piano melody adds some subtle ambience. On the flip, D'Knox's "I'm Sorry (remix)", is a sparse number contrasting soothing chords with micro-loops which contain the spectre of disco, with a rapid rhythmic flutter and chittering melody at its core, while Fanon Flowers closes with "Invisible Life", a murky production filled with chords that ripple like sheet metal over a flurry of 909 rimshots.
Review: Sect's third and final sampler for the It's All For You compilation ends on a bittersweet note, seeing the last release from Sect favourite Grovskopa, who has decided to retire following the closest of near death experiences. The A-Side features Lag's remix of his Sect classic "Atopic", reworking the lurching bass and broken-beat rhythms of the original into a hypnotic number with a fractured synth melody. The B-Side sees "2:69", a brittle yet powerful track with churning bass which recalls Drexciya's classically hard edged approach, combined with hazy orchestral sweeps - a fitting swansong for a great producer.
Casual Violence - "Acceptance Of The Fact At Hand"
Victor Martinez - "Dav To Dub"
Fanon Flowers - "Invisible Life"
Grovskopa - "Haas"
Casual Violence - "Word & Form" (version II)
Grovskopa - "Atopic" (Lag remix)
Grovskopa - "Stinson"
Sect Outro 1
Review: "It's All For You" is a complement to the Sect vinyl catalogue, and a mark of respect to the CD in techno history. Artists known and new swell the ranks, representing the techno forms in the honorable Sect style. Beyond the usual, exceptionally high standard of quality from the Sect roster of artists so far, new artist productions on the first CD include Ben Gibson's "Clamour", a modern take on a Tokyo-style future cityscape, Jeroen Search's "Section A", a physical, forward thinking deep techno triumph and Voidloss' "In The Void" - techno the way it should be made for the 21st century. On CD 2, AnD's "Granular" offers traditional dub aesthetics and modern techno techniques taken to a wholly satisfying next level, while OCH's "Tears" manifest as a dark techno experience of rhythm-led lines of perfection. CV's "Acceptance Of The Fact At Hand" hones hues of colour in aural form, as a subtle vista is painted with strings of haunted beauty.
Review: It's been a while since something new from Dave Ellesmere surfaced, but the multifaceted artist has been tasked by the ever on-point Brothers' Vibe to lay down a few serious slabs of club tackle for Mixx Records. "Caught In A Moment" heads straight into tripped out techno territory, all urgent cyclical rhythm and head-teasing FX, but the mood is drastically different on the chord led 909 thumper "Universal Vibe". "From Now On Only Good Things Will Happen" once again channels the edgy Robert Hood style to great effect before Brothers' Vibe takes over for a deliciously dusty, meandering remix of "Universal Vibe".
Review: Something Records boss, elusive production room deviant, raw house outsider, and Perlon regular, STL, rises back up from the shadows and drops a new EP for Portugal's low-key Assemble Music. As per usual, he's cool, he's tight with his beats, and he means business; "Crank Notion" itself is a bubbly, playful house number complete with the man's signature percussive twist and deranged pseudo bells - all in all, an effective DJ tool with an edge. Over on the flip, "Neat Buzzl" gets all the love from us; a woozy, dark and cavernous techno bomb with a slow pace and a mean lean. It's exactly the sort of gear we want to be pulled out at 4am. Choice cuts, as always.
Review: Storming into our fifth release from the dirty shores of New Jersey, Green Village is proud to present Village Elders 001, a compilation EP featuring new material from artists who have already flown the flag for GV. The A-side is held down by the Plan B duo of DJ Spider and Dakini9, purveyors of the Metro Area's dirtiest and deepest house sounds. Spider gets toxic a second time, following his 2013 Instruction drop with 'Toxic Trace 2', a thickly layered deep house cut whose seedy percussion underbelly contrasts vividly with the more traditional deep house pads that accompany it. Dakini9's 'Lost Paradise' is dark and mysterious like its title, the hats, trumpets, and vocals emerging in tangled webs of dub effects, a strong follow-up to her dope EP for the label. Disaroen, a duo from Toronto, half of which previously appeared on GV, turns in the most barren of the four tracks, 'Serious Doorman', heads-down techno that crackles to life halfway in and an auspicious debut for a promising new group. Last is NJ heavyweight Nicuri, a rising star whose 'Ripples of Time' closes the EP in his signature searching, melodic style.
Review: In recent times, Sergey Barkalov has begun to look back over his vast discography and re-release selected albums. Space of Variants first surfaced on Germany's Confineless Recordings back in 2012, and here gets a deserved reissue on the Russian producer's own label. It's undoubtedly amongst the ambient and dub techno heavyweight's finest releases, and offers a near perfect balance between deep space textures ("Intention"), dubbed-out ambience ("Reduce", "Cloudy Spaces"), and minimalist dub techno ("Space of Variants"). Like the original CD release, it also boasts a trio of reworks of "Space of Variants": a thrillingly horizontal dub techno rework from Sub Made, a more fluid and positive ambient dub rendition from Desove, and a quietly hypnotic and trance-like rearrangement by Arkhaious.
Review: Long time minimal techno pusher Franklin De Costa steps up to Jersey City label Green Village to thrown down a ruckus with four serious cuts of advanced house and techno. "Derp Journal" may be flippant in name, but the bassline it packs is not to be trifled with, nor the edgy drums and lashings of reverb. "Bogart Space" is a more house-minded affair, but it's still reaching to a contemplative space using unfamiliar sounds. "Good Day Bad Day" gets into a cyclical, psychedelic mood thanks to a trippy synth circling overhead, but then the EP gets dealt a tough finishing blow by the cranked up hustle of "Flashmelo", coming on like a crunchy mid 00s minimal jam of the highest order.
Review: Sling & Samo DJ's always on point Born Free label come correct once again with some music from a elder statesman of Swedish techno in Mighty Thor! Not the most familiar of names, Mighty Thor is one of numerous production aliases used by grizzled Stockholm artist Tor Lowkrantz, who has also served time as part of Grammy-winning dub techno outfit Hundarna Fran Soder. The Tralfamadore 12? represents Lowkrantz's first Mighty Thor output in some time, with a title track that's every bit as thunderous as you'd expect from someone called Might Thor. Complementing this, "The Will" is a wonderful slice of billowing dub techno laced with abstract acid, whilst a B Side remix from LIES artist Florian Kupfer is an exercise in foreboding droning techno that will appeal to fans of Acido Records.
Blood Is Truth (Leaders Of The Wild Hunt mix) (6:53)
Review: Dutch imprint Bio Rhythm has been on fire of late, serving up thrillingly muscular and intense 12" singles from Africans With Mainframes, Marco Bernadi, Brassfoot and DeViere. Here, they introduce us to the previously unheralded Mirror Man, an alias for a "mean mother f*cker" who is better known under his usual pseudonym. Whoever's behind the project is clearly not happy, because A-side "Blood Is Truth (Metaphenethylamine Mix)" is a bleak treat, with stomach-churning electronics and druggy arpeggio lines riding a sturdy but hissing techno rhythm. Leaders Of The Wild Hunt go for a slightly more musically expansive approach on their remix, which boasts snappier drum machine hits, bittersweet chords, and all manner of melancholic melodies.