Take Down Enemies (Special Request Splurgecore remix) (6:17)
Review: Back in March, Jordon Alexander AKA Mall Grab returned to the Looking For Trouble imprint he founded in 2018 with his first missive of the year. Even by his standards, it was a wild, all-action affair, and this follow-up is no less giddy or sweaty. "Take Down Enemies" is a blistering, all-action affair, with Alexander peppering a stomping industrial techno beat with tight acid motifs and cut-up hip-hop vocals. Under the Special Request alias, Paul Woolford offers up a surging, scintillating rework that adds huge dollops of techno-funk to the Australian's slamming original. Elsewhere, "Alarmed" is a more psychedelic and trance-inducing take on Alexander's big room techno template, while "Smash" is a thunderous voyage through body-popping electro nastiness.
Review: Welcome to Saike, a new French label that debuts with a collaborative project from Hadone and Shlomo. As Viper Diva the pair brings together their disparate respective backgrounds into brain frying new forms that are part techno, part rave, part trance. Particularly on the thrusty opener "Born To Be Slytherin" (Tbilisi mix) which is an all out assault with bright chords and menacing drums. "En Y" is a frosty and frozen affair, while "Hold Me Back" is a retro white knuckle ride through hardcore techno. "Cold Heart Prediction" closes at 100 miles an hour, with no prisoners taken along the way. This is high octane stuff, for sure.
Review: When Eric Prydz fancies offering up some forthright, warehouse-ready techno, he fires up the Mouseville label and dons the Cirez D alias. Clearly, he's in a rave-igniting mood right now, because this two-tracker is the first Cirez D outing - and Mouseville release - for almost two years. There's a definite "massive room" vibe emerging from A-side "Valborg", where decidedly foreboding lead lines and ghostly chords ride a chunky, Drumcode-friendly techno beat. The saucer-eyed, hands-aloft "festival techno" feel continues on flipside "The Raid", which cleverly peppers a house-tempo rhythm track with the sort of raw, razor-sharp riffs more often found in neo-trance productions.
Review: One of the joys of Pugilist's productions is that you never quite know what you're going to get, though there's a fair chance it will boast extraordinary amounts of sub-bass. It's this inventive and off-kilter approach to bass music that makes many of his releases essential. We'd put this first outing for Martyn's 3024 label in that category. A-side "Blue Planet" is particularly potent, with the Melbourne-based producer wrapping tribal style hand percussion, tweaked acid lines and occasionally creepy chords around a bombastic bassline and a funk-fuelled, trickily tweaked two-step rhythm. TB-303 acid lines are also a headline-grabbing feature of the similarly weighty and loose-limbed "Acid Flange", while Tamen hook-up "Guidance" is a surprisingly spacey tribute to the early days of UK jungle culture.
Jared Wilson - "Lynnwood2 Northgate Transit Center" (6:39)
Sohrab - "Sinking" (6:42)
KCLF - "Reloaded 9615" (4:17)
Review: Undersound Recordings hit release number 15 with a various artist EP that packs four vital techno punches. Audio Quest's "The Mental Screen" kicks off with some old school techno that recalls the sound of legendary Dutch label Djax-Up. It's filled with metallic snare sounds and deep space bleeps. Jared Wilson of course brings the acid that has defined his output for years, and Sohrab get busy with a kicking number and some busy melody patterns. KCLF closes out with twisted bass and shiny chords that look back to go forwards with "Reloaded 9615".
Review: Monnom Black welcome back Fractions for more of their sonic disturbances, will acid and rugged techno weapons. For those who like hard edge, brain frying sounds with an instant impact these are perfect tunes: "NITE NRG" has a prowling synth and dystopian vibe that is impossible to escape, while "Do You Believe" is a twisted and distorted techno stomper that will make your fists and teeth clench. "All The Streets Are Silent" sounds like it is straight from Wipeout in the original Playstation console and "Hive Mind" then explodes over and over with maximal drums driving it along.
Review: This ultra stacked remix EP see's artists, Lauren Flax, Josh Wink, Radio Slave, and the 'Missing' remix contest winner Kai Van Dongen. Legend Josh Wink brings his minimalistic approach to the classic 'Concentrate'. Lauren Flax brings her deep jackin acid flavor to 'Culture'. Radio Slave does what he does best and keeps his remix of 'Reflex' stripped down and tough, Rekids style. Lastly, remix contest winner and new comer Kai Van Dongen, balances out the EP with his deep but driving rendition of 'Missing'.
Review: Marco Pellegrino is Ancut, and here he make his debut on Wicked Bass with more fresh cuts that show off his ever evolving style. His opening statement is a strong one that finds him making his machines really dance - the drums are bumpy, the pads soulful, but there is a lithe looseness to the whole thing that stands it out. After "Sinergia", "Renaissance" is a more wonky late night tech house workout with twisted pads and spinning hi hats underpinned by double kicks. Innershades remixes with a slick Chicago energy and analogue hits, then "Stasis" trips you out with bubbly acid lines, smeared pads and the sort of dreamy emotions that capture your imagination at 4am.
The First Rebirth (Reinier Zonneveld remix) (6:51)
The First Rebirth (5:54)
Review: Bonzai is one of those labels - if you're familiar then you know exactly which side of the stylistic debate(s) the imprint falls on. A bonafide trance institution that made a name for itself back in the genre's 90s heyday, dedicated followers and disciples will be delighted to know that even with the much more techno-leaning Reinier Zonneveld on remix duties, this one is firmly in the neon end of the dance spectrum. While the alternative version holds little back, including its roots in the laser-reaching mania of the source material, the original still manages to make that seem slow by way of a ferocious and frantic pulse beat which juggernauts its way below sirens and choral samples. One thing's for sure, you're not getting away from either very easily.
Review: Strap in for a wild techno ride on the first ever offering from Psionic. The new label kicks off with an EP from Astral Travel. The aptly named artist reaches for beyond the event horizon on "Sky's The Limit", with its punchy kicks and relentlessly wobbly bass. "As One" gets into a nicely mechanical groove built on stomping kicks and rigid synth movements that make for perfectly robotic funk and the trip closes out with "Orbiting." With its urgent drums that are smooth and silky and serene synth work, it's one for peak time techno cruising.
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: Die Orakel's superb "0114 Series" - a trilogy of 12" singles from Frankfurt artists paying tribute to the turn-of-the-90s Bleep & Bass sound of the Steel City - concludes via a suitably bass-heavy four-tracker from Koga. It's not pure Yorkshire bleep by any means, but the untitled tracks certainly include many knowing nods to the style (think deep and weighty sub-bass, alien electronics and an intoxicating, sci-fi fired late-night mood. Interestingly, Koga's extensive use of breakbeats throughout is perhaps closer in tone to the "Bleep and Breaks" sound that sprung up in London from early 1990 onwards, though the boldness of the bass is thoroughly in keeping with the aesthetics of Warp's early Rob Gordon-mastered releases. Either way, all four cuts are superb, whether or not you're a bleep aficionado.
Review: Paris talents Armless Kid and Aes are back together sharing a hot slab of wax for the Luud label. Yes takes the a-side and gets us underway with deep cosmic house and sauced out breaks of jazz-tinged gem "Jhonedo." "WAYD" ups the ante with fluttering sheet metal snares and ticking hits that ride over bumpy kicks for a truly sci-fi adventure. Armless Kid goes for a scintillating techno cut with warped acid and manic percussion working you into a lather on"603" then a wonky house kicker on "604" that will unhinge any club.
Review: 20/20 Vision have firmly gaffa taped their flag to the electro antennae with "Exit Planet Earth", a new compilation series celebrating veterans and newcomers in the business of tweaked out machine funk. The Hacker is up first with "Positif/Negatif", a rubbery, FX-laden workout with plenty of uneasy space around the core rhythm section. 214 follows up with the decidedly creepy, sound design-embellished "Testy Robot". On the flip Reedale Rise brings something a bit livelier with the plush synth flex pinging through "Lux". Derek Carr completes the set with "The Gap", a lush slice of melancholic machine dreaming for mellower moments.
Review: Modularz presents a new release by Japanese producer Hattori Hanzo - recorded in seclusion in a studio near the mountains of Mt.Fuji Japan - Hattori delivers a great body of work focused on Extremely functional tracks with lots of driving rhythms, space influenced hypnotic grooves with the right amount of tension and drama. This is a sure thing get it quick - TIP!
Review: After a break of four years in which he flirted with other labels - most notably Ekyspia - extended UR crew-member Mark Flash is back on long-time home Underground Resistance. As you'd expect, he hits the ground running with EP opener "Audiofluid", a suitably out there and intergalactic techno number high on sturdy, electro-influenced beats, foreboding riffs, tweaked acid motifs and some suitably sci-fi electronics. Flash next delivers a talbox-laden "Tuneup Beats" version for those who just want to revel in rhythm, before paying tribute to the warehouse-ready, late '80s KMS sound on retro-futurist EP highlight "Synthetic Bump". Rounding things off is "Liquid Drive", a fizzing and clattering affair that explores similar sonic territory as the fine title track.
Review: Eric Cloutier has decided to launch a new offshoot to his consistently impressive Palinoia label. The basic idea seems to be limited edition EPs featuring tried-and-tested club cuts from like-minded machine abusers. To begin this sub-label debut in style, he offers up a killer cut from pal Donato Dozzy that's as hypnotic and mind-altering as you'd expect. Built around a rock solid kick-drum pattern, hissing cymbals and a deep bassline, "Aquatica" is sparse, unearthly and intoxicating, with trippy noises, metallic electronics and watery sounds bubbling across the sound space. Cloutier takes over on side B with "Ekpyrosis", a thrusting, muscular mixture of locked-in grooves, faintly foreboding psychedelic acid motifs and the kind of swelling chords that make your synapses snap.
Review: When Braik made his debut earlier this year with an EP of retro-futurist breakbeat/tech-house/techno fusions, it was released on the most unlikely of formats: a CD-ROM. We suspect he'll get more praise and plays for this follow-up, which marks his first appearance on wax. There's much to enjoy throughout, from the chiming, acid-flecked deep breaks shuffle of opener "Breakund", to the funky acid bass, psychedelic electronics, creepy melodies and snappy house beats of closer "Jack O'Lantern". Sandwiched in between you'll the bold synth-string stabs, squelchy alien bass and jacking drums of "Intentos Fallidos", as well as the funky, sharply defined 21st century electro shuffle of "Buildin".
Review: Israel duo Red Axes land on Dark Entries with more of their brilliant guitar and synth fusions. "Voom" is a twitchy sci-fi kraut rock experiment that eventually erupts into a fantastic breakbeat while "Dosa" is layered up with comic drones and boarding baselines that pin you to the floor. There's a dark disco vibe to the crashing hits and menacing arps of "Mister Q" before analogue machine goes wild on closer "Prblems" with its twisted leads and detuned chords all growing increasingly unhinged. Diverse and electrifying club music as ever from this pair.
Review: After building his reputation via releases on Plus 8 and M_nus, amongst others, Julian Jeweil has secured a big-money move to Drumcode. As you'd expect, all four tracks on this first label outing tend towards the forthright, with title track "Rolling" - a sweaty fusion of booming arpeggio bass, pounding kick-drums, foreboding riffs, metallic hits and drum machine handclap fills - setting the agenda. The "build and drop techno" blueprint is explored further on "Venice", before the experienced Frenchman opts for some full-throttle antics on "Blue". Sensing listeners need a little bit of a breather, he dips the tempo a little on "Traffic", which boasts some deliciously psychedelic acid lines.
Review: Anyone who has caught Helena Hauff in action will excitedly tell you that she's one of underground electronic music's top DJs - a mixer who combines top-notch technical skills with an exhaustive knowledge of music to deliver distinctive sets that set her apart from the crowd. It's for this reason that her contribution to Tresor's "Kern" mix series has been so hotly anticipated. Having now given it a listen, we can confirm that the two-disc mix-up is every bit as good as we'd hoped, with Hauff surging through a breathless, 32-track selection built around scuzzy, fuzzy and forthright slabs of electro, techno, ghetto-tech and industrial strength early UK hardcore. Piled high with rare, hard-to-find and previously unreleased tracks, it may well end up being the mix of the year by some distance.
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: After making a splash with releases on Twig and Lumbago, Raphael Beneluz brings his classy machine music to Cartulis with the P 12". Things get off to a pumped-up start with the dynamic, detailed thrust of "Xzomet" before the night draws in around the tastefully creepy workout "Darkanethesie". "Hostile Planet" opens up the B-side with more eerie atmospheres and stout box jam beats, and then "System Down" completes the package with another thumping tapestry of nervy acid and old-skool jack. For all the familiar touches, this is music dripping with personality and attitude, bottom-heavy and sure to devastation in the dance, real or virtual.
Review: Oliver Moon introduces the Dancing With Strangers record label, alongside good friend and fellow DJ/Producer Paul Louth aka Agile Kind - who inaugurates the label here. While it may have been a long time between drinks for the veteran DJ on the production front (he's intermittently created music under aliases like Water Walk and Soulfish over the years) he proves that slow and steady wins the race on the "Pyramid EP". The emotive vibe of early '90s British IDM and US techno-soul is eminent throughout. From the sensual deepness of the title track or B side cut "Mime" which are reminiscent of classics by the likes of DaRandLand, not to mention the full throttle rework by legend Kirk Degiorgio under the As One moniker on the flip.