Review: SORN002 welcomes another experimental beat maker tot he fold. Asan is likely from another planet. His take on techno is like no other. Expect wild drum patterns, freaky synths and alien grooves. Synth Lord Steve Moore strips things back in a way only he can and creates an arpeggiated synth journey which you'd never tire of, even if it was 45 minutes long!
Review: Having shot into the limelight in 2012 with a 12" on Hessle Audio followed up by an outing on Liberation Technologies, Bandshell has since been on covert operations largely centred around releasing his music himself via Bandcamp. Now he's extended that practice into the B.S.Hell label, providing a physical presence to his wayward experimentation on the fringes of bass music. It's a sound that naturally aligns with the likes of Batu and Laksa, but also defiantly makes its own statement as well. With five tracks of distinctive drum science and textural voodoo to indulge in, this is a welcome return to wax for a thrilling, self-motivated producer.
Review: Three years in, Blackhall & Bookless' Jaunt label is becoming a serious force for forward thinking, fractured techno exploration. On this split EP with Chad, the duo take the A-side and present two different versions of "Links". The "Battle rework" is a tense and dramatic tumble through dub techno soundscapes, while the "Bleak remix" pares the elements down to a more focused, minimalist thrum. Chad presents a wholly different vibe on the flip, using rich, warm synthesiser tones to draw you in to "Afters", and then Scenery regular ASOK takes up remix duties on the track with an immersive version that borders on breakbeat.
Review: Having debuted on Valcrond Video label last year with the Immured 12" under her familiar Xosar alias, Sheela Rahman now returns to the platform for some "shared make-believe" with founder Luke Wyatt for new project Body Tools. Taking a catalogue number as its title, this two track 12" follows a succession of Body Tools radio broadcasts on Berlin Community Radio and showcases a softer, more hypnotic side which in the case of lead track "Locusts & Lions" hits hard when the poignant piano makes its presence felt. "Brave" channels a strange, modern kosmische vibe that will really hit the spot deep in the mix.
Review: Braiden's material has been slow to come out since he first landed with a bang on Doldrums back in 2010. A turn on Rush Hour confirmed his status as a producer in command of the chops necessary to get a dancefloor shaking, but this year's X Years In London OST cassette was a chance for him to expand into more experimental pastures. Not so on this new 12" for his Off Out label, which finds Braiden turning up the heat with some fiercely modern tech house workouts. "V.O.L.A.T" has the same kind of dangerous earworm armour that made Paul Woolford's "Erotic Discourse" so potent all those years ago. "Hydroplane" meanwhile takes some of the crisp but playful tropes of Pearson Sound et al and straps them to a thrumming motorik beat.
Review: Coup d'etat is a collaborative project from Kane Ikin and Harvey Sutherland. Working from their respective fringes of electronic music and produced in moments of respite between extensive touring and recording commitments, the project offers a glimpse into the pair's mutual influences and inspirations; part Maurizio, part Moroder. Kane Ikin, a meticulous producer of abstract forms and polyrhythms, weaves percussive static and drone amongst Sutherland's considered syntheziser work - a leftfield turn from Harvey's brighter moments. Ikin also traverses new rhythmic territory and signals a departure from earlier ambient works. The inaugural release for new imprint CDT, the 12" was mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy and features full sleeve artwork from Traianos Pakioufakis.
Review: For Finitude Music's 5th release, label owner Marcel Heese and Alexander Kowalski aka d_func. share their visions on ""Thought Control"".
Both tracks on the EP harbour the same intent, but each of them approaches it in a different way. d_func.'s take revolves around Sahko-like bleeps - if you are into early Mika Vainio or Sleeparchive - look no further! But instead of being loopy, it's definitely a builder. Its original trance track-like structure is sure to rock many an underground dancefloor.
Marcel's vision is slower and less straight-forward but creates and maintains a high tension. Based on dense a bassline and intricate soundscapes, it builds up slowly, only to explode halfway through. An extra payoff also comes at the very end of a track - its noise/ambient outro making a perfect way to wrap up an amazing party at 8AM somewhere deep in the heart of Berlin.
Review: "Abyssopelagic" is the third release on Tresor Berlin resident Marcel Heeses label Finitude Music. This time he teamed up with d_func. aka legendary Berlin producer Alexander Kowalski who has been around for almost 20 years and surely needs no further introduction. The title track is a slow piece of nautical Techno aiming at the bigger floors. As the title suggests the B-Side includes a stripped-down version of "Abyssopelagic" for the deeper moments on the floor.
Review: For the sixth release on Final Chapter, Sean Dixon provides three tracks of warm and precise electronic sound complimented by a very deep and full remix from Analog Solutions label boss and director of the electronic music documentary "Beatz," Eduardo de la Calle.
Opening with Yearning and deep feel with Dixon?s trademark scattered percussion building layer by layer as the bass tones are modulated, he weaves then a complex emotion with pads and melodies. Continente takes things more towards Detroit based territory. Definite dance floor action with percussive whistles, as keys and pads seem to meld playfully throughout. Eduardo de la Calle?s take on the same track, drops things back towards the deep, with feeling of pressure and density punctuated with waves of sci-fi sound that give the feeling of being in some kind of great machine, floating in deep space. Roots of Funk provides a very danceable track using vocal samples within the music to put across a more serious idea, as synth piano?s gently echo into the distance and horns gently swell over the track.
Review: DJ Central presents three new aliases on this elegantly put together 12". Conjuring up the perfect recipe for a DJ Cake, Central blends and explores the likes of pulsating atmospheric techno on the track "Balast", smoothly escalating breaks on "Ko Ko Dak Dak" and hazy crackling ambient on the finale "Daeksel". Unique, inspiring and truly excellent works from the one they call DJ Central.
Review: A promise is a manifestation of intent to act or refrain from acting in a specified way at some point in the future. It's communicated by one party, to at least one additional party, to signify a commitment has been made. The person manifesting intent is the Promisor. The person to whom the manifestation is addressed is the Promisee.
Review: With previous releases from some of the top heads of the electronic spectrum, including Leif, Steevio, Arnaldo and more, the imprint UntilMyHeartStops returns with its latest release, this time for mysterious producer Ekeko. Rich analog tape waves sit nicely beside thick 909 rhythmic elements throughout this killer three tracker. The title track "Beyond Good & Evil" starts things of with strong spirit, taking pulsations of warping synths and balancing them with hazy club driven patterns. This theme continues through "FM Joy" and "Eye Ache" but with a wider focus on the dubbier elements of the electro and house spectrum.
Review: Having been spotted splurging out guttural techno mischief on Super Rhythm Trax and No Logo, G-23 gets invited to Torn Hawk's Valcron Video label with more of that deviant sonic behaviour to share with the world. There is sludgy bass, strangled acid and clattering percussion aplenty on lead track "Access Code", while "Bleep Shots" throws down hard and raw with an utterly sick mix of grotty drums and gnarled synth blots. There's a Mr Husk "unmix" of "Access Code" which adds some extra melodic strains into the melee, and then "ARS Trip" finishes the EP off with some end of days tone damage for anyone left standing.
Review: "Following up on the excellent 'Stabbed in Konya' EP for Peur Bleue, SORN welcomes Gohan to the fold. Three tracks of dystopian techno for the heads, plus a Boddika-esque remix from newcomers Ikpathua & Paterson. Recommended."
Review: Valcrond Video invites you into the world of Helmer's "Roccale". Helmer's second release picks up the pummel that began with his first release, and continues the attack with three tracks of thoughtful, pulsing darkness. "You Say I for Me" presents a forbidding metallic landscape, a snake winds through it in the aural form of an eerie growl, making its way among the crunch and clutter to periodically emerge and rear with menace. "Corrib chun Mask" is what they play for prisoners sentenced to hard labor in the gulag of the future, if hard labor = dancing for days. "spry -Env", the closing piece on Roccale, is perhaps Helmer's most masterfully evocative. We have walked in on a ritual, dominated by an incense pendulum that swings and smokes, and carries with it the sound of an ancient transgression.
Review: It's not all minimal techno in Romania, as the P-Balans crew ably demonstrate on this second release from local hero The Holy Fix. The synths come down thick and gloopy on "The Void" before "Slagwise" ramps up the horror tones with a perfect distillation of what makes a soundtrack pop off. This is nightmarish disco music in the vein of Maiovvi and the like, and it's delivered impeccably. There is a greater focus on club tones amongst the atmospheric FX on Tracks & Traps though, with "Quite Vicious" in particular conjuring up a thrilling, madcap romp through buffed up disco techno.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: After launching Brush & Broom with two solo releases, maverick German producer Kalbata keeps his followers guessing yet again with this collaborative release with the equally unpredictable Maayan Nidam. "The Town" is a surefire party starter made up of catchy bleep lines, quivering rhythmic flashes and lots of shimmering FX sends that suggest this was a live jam from two talented producers locked in the groove. "Chrome Moon" takes a deeper, more meditative approach without losing those heavy echo chamber washes, where the spring reverb and buckwild delay feedback rein supreme. Wonderful, free-tripping results from an unexpected meeting of minds.
Review: When a white label launches from an artist called MPX with single letters for track titles, you know there's some serious techno incoming. This four track EP is brimming with rugged, street-tough energy; from the slapping drum jack and throbbing b-line pulse of opener "G" to the crunchy strut of "J." There's plenty of psychoactive flair to match the classic drum machine flourishes though - "L" has a wicked arp coursing through its veins, while "K" takes the same rhythm section and boils it down to a hypnotising whirl of techno perfection.
Review: Original music from Vancouver based producer NAP has been intermittent on the electronic music scene, but now the Isla boss has finally dropped a 12" of deadly, textured and fresh-sounding electro for our bodies and minds. "Transhumano" features ZDBT and has all the hallmarks of Stingray-friendly future shock machine funk, but the particular approach to pads and melodies has a distinctive, moody slant that chimes with the hazy sound of Canada's West Coast. "Anestesia General" is another needlepoint, uptempo workout that packs layer up on layer of darting rhythms and blippy synth lines into the mix. "Sin Sistema" completes the set with a more subdued but no less detailed box jam workout.
Review: Nereid appears out of the techno mists on the newly minted Warped Core label shrouded in mystery, with subtle monochrome head twisters to match. "Umea" leads the charge on the A side with an ethereal trip into dubby soundscapes filled out with plentiful reverb and pattering rhythms to snake straight into your cerebellum. "Operator" has an instructive bass throb carrying it along, although it imparts a similar steely aesthetic to the opening track. "Neptune" is no slouch either, using nagging mid-range percussion and eerie bleeps to spell out stern, functional techno of the deepest kind.
Review: Moopie's A Colourful Storm label launched earlier this year as an extension of the popular online platform that has hosted a rich and diverse stream of mixes from the likes of Imaginary Softwoods, DJ Nobu, Frak and Rabih Beaini to name a few. Pro-tip: do check that latter live mix from the Morphine boss! It was the archival sounds of Denial and their lost Oz classic cover of "California Dreaming" that heralded the arrival of A Colourful Storm, but this second release on the label switches the focus to more contemporary fare. Power Relations is a two track 12" of bad-mannered, f*cked up club trax from Melbourne's Nerve. The stomping, nocturnal techno of the title track is backed with a Photek-meets-Sunn O))) terror stepper entitled "Heads & Ordinary Concrete". For fans of Regis, Emptyset and Blackest Ever Black.
Review: New Sydney-based label Deep Seeded has a clear mission to subvert conventions about club music, and new signing ptwiggs is right in there with the kind of otherworldly grime weirdness that you might find around the likes of Visionist, Rabit and other such sonic tinkerers. There's plenty of brutality at work on "Day Of Wrath", while "Exuviae" aims for something airier while getting sideswiped by distortion and trance leads. There are calmer moments, but it doesn't take long for intense levels of sound design, sampling and raucous processing to shake up the situation.
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: After a bit of a hiatus, Roots Unit return with some deep house hybrids from their bulging vaults. "Learn To Love" is a melodic dub-house / techno infused big sound system warmer that comes from a studio session with former 2 Lone Swordsman Keith Tenniswood and will be familiar to those who tune into Tim Sweeney's Beats In Space show on the regular. "Morning Sequence" is a lovely early morning hypnotic slinky electronic house jam that gets under your skin and into your mind. This latter track is mutated into a heavy floor filler by Mark E in full on peak time mode.
Review: For the first reference, Sounds of The City is happy to welcome the mysterious Spirit Of The Black 808, responsible for one of the hottest pieces of wax in 2013 for Eargasmic Recordings in Chicago. Invasion Of The Black Bass is also following the Eargasmic record in terms of style. It's warm in every way and infectious. Let's get invaded with Invasion of the Black Bass and Invasion of the Black House. Both tracks share the same chords grid, one could be a re-interpretation of the other. Both are very warm and melodic. Frenzy In Firenze on the other side demonstrates SB8's skills for groovy tools and more DJ oriented tunes.
Review: Having crept out of the tape undergrowth and respected haunts like Clan Destine and Always Human to earn more civilized recognition on BANK Records NYC and Bliq, Strahinja Arbutina makes the move to Vivod for yet more of that edgy, leftfield techno business that keeps mothers awake at night from worry. The grit, noise and distortion has been faithfully carried through from the cassette-based roots of Arbutina's sound, but these tracks are more than ready to do the damage in the dance (where you're less likely to find a tape deck). Hold on tight as the likes of "Way Ahead" give the sound engineer a fright when they think the system has overloaded.
Review: Fresh off introducing the Bulb project from William Burnett and Crimes Of The Future bosses Tim Fairplay and Scott Fraser, the label adds to its growing roster of artists with the introduction of Tapan. Steeped in Belgrade's club scene as residents at Disco Not Disco, Tapan are evidently well equipped to the Crimes cause on the basis of the two productions presented here; both "Volumes" and "Who's There?" are creeping, slow techno numbers rich with psychedelic qualities with the latter featuring some fine guitar work from Vladimir Djordjevic. Willie Burns and Drvg Cvltvre have been collared to remix the title track and both opt to up the tempo whilst taking "Volumes" in distinctly different directions. The former reimagines the track as heavily processed shoegaze techno that could feasibly have surfaced during the Hacienda's pomp, whilst the latter mutates "Volumes" into an exercise in dank acid.
Review: For the debut of New York's anticipated Purple Trax label, a new formation of key players in Brooklyn's underground debuts with an EP sure to entrance fans of L.I.E.S., White Material, and other established NYC labels. Composed of Terekke, local DJ/producer Jan Woo, and Erez Avissar, label head and founder of the respected Weird Magic parties, Wabi Sabi's dusky and diverse sound comes from its origin in loft jams, but tracks like the closing 'Rx' with its powerful dub techno framework show the work of seasoned talents. Patricia's cameo on 'Casper' is the record's strangest sound, a propulsive house groove with explosions of crackling texture and a bassline deeply buried in fog, while 'Babi' stutters along between the drum pulse and its disappearances into deep wells of delayed vocal samples and gentle melodies. Vibes are saved for the opener 'Moon River Membrane', where Terreke's characteristic cosmic haze comes out more heavily, complemented by the genre-bending psychedelic tendencies of Avissar's programming and Woo's weighty low-end.
Review: The mysterious Wilson Phoenix returns with another batch of muscular techno joints that'll wipe the floor with any half-hearted 4/4 pretenders. Considering how sought after his earlier releases are, don't expect this to hang around for long. The beastly 909 kicks on "Dorphin" would slot in perfectly with Head Front Panel's own blown out take on peak time rabble rousing techno, while the kick-clap sync on "Dexed" will get fists a-shaking. It's not all blunt drums though - there's plenty of peppy colour splashed all over this record to make it stand out from the crowd. This ain't no monochrome chugging business!
Review: Brawther's Negentropy label has already carried gold star material from Ron Obvious and the man himself, and now it's the turn of debutant producer Zweizig to show off his wares. This assured 12" leads in with the ambient intro "Gewissen" before the crisp minimal funk of "Rhythm Tension" kicks in with its shimmering and shuddering sound design pinging around the dexterous beat. "Zephyr" is a smoky affair with a snappy broken beat and lots of subtle organic matter writhing in the middle distance. "Rehash Repeat" takes things deep and dubby to complete the set, all mellow hiccupping rhythm accents and hazy melodic phrases.