Review: A new project based out of Copenhagen - Aether's Spring comes shrouded in mystery but makes a bold statement with this first transmission. WATER: Dancing Moon 12" leads in with "House In Blue Rain," a downcast track bathed in melancholic pads and blown out percussion around a steady 4/4 tick. "Dancing Moon" is a more kinetic affair that works with all kinds of synth shapes alongside some primal drum machine percussion that lends the track a new wave quality that suits it just fine. Closer "Throne Of Clay" spreads across the B side in a brooding, journeying epic fit for the likes of classic James Holden or a more wave-minded Jon Hopkins.
Review: Hugo Capablanca may be best known for his more disco-minded output from his time on Gomma Records, but increasingly his scattered output and his label have been reaching towards more abrasive material. Nothing will prepare you for the confrontational nature of this daring, 'no label' transmission. The artwork alone is enough to challenge the senses, while the opening track is a metallic drone that gives way to the distended mutant beats of "Top Less". Guy Debord is no less cut throat in delivering a "Disco Punish" remix of "Lap Dance" on the B-side, all deconstructed groove and guttural noise, and then "Dance Less" rounds the record off with another excursion into unsettling, heavily processed noise.
Review: Snap, Crackle & Pop does the business once again as Berlin-based producer Curses steps up with the distinctly 1980s new wave stylings of "Another View". It's the kind of track that will have lovers of early The Cure, Sisters Of Mercy et al dancing in a hazy fever dream where early goth and indie meets with contemporary beats. "Together In The Dark" makes the point even clearer with a brooding trip through languid guitar, beyond the grave vocals and scuffed drums. Inga Mauer takes an entirely different tact with her remix of the latter track, conjuring up a particularly chilling acid daemon to jangle the nerves before The Golden Filter spook out "Another View" with heavy doses of reverb.
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: Early in the year, forthright lo-fi techno experimentalist Delroy Edwards released an eccentric, 22-track, download-only album called Rio Grande. Here, he makes some of the highlights of that set available on vinyl for the very first time. It's an intriguing and largely enjoyable affair throughout, with the sometime L.I.E.S man following the glassy-eyed, recorded-from-the-radio Balearic warmth of "When I Think" with the stripped-back, noise-laden jack-track "Sugar Shack". These kinds of juxtapositions continue throughout, as Edwards flits between sweet and tactile downtempo doodles (see "Rio Grande"), clattering proto jack-tracks ("Let It Rock!") and hissing 1980s deep house bliss (the woozy brilliance of EP closer "Wild Illusions").
Review: As a staunch representative of Midwest techno since the mid-nineties, Fanon Flowers has always skirted on the periphery of the scene rather than getting placed on the pedestal many of his neighbours do, but this return to UK's Sect Records sees a further widening of his reach, with this particular record embracing his dub techno side with a cavernous chord deployment and plenty of metallic hits. Substance is on deadly form for the remix, trimming said chord down to a fine point and adding some welcome funk into the arrangement to a thoroughly engrossing end.
Review: Having swiftly carved a niche for himself amongst the likes of Perc, Ben Gibson returns to Sect to deliver more of his brooding and engaging techno. There's a great emphasis on sound design and atmospherics in the two tracks on Quien Es?, as ominous clangs and tense tones hang heavy over rugged drum workouts. "Ceased To Gasp" is the more industrial of the two, but still allows for a melodic slant in the cavernous echoes that define the track. "Remain" adopt a swirling, psychedelic approach to sonic decoration that draws you in just as it continues flooring you, like all good techno should. Highly recommended.
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: Grooveboxx is a new label launched from the Parisian underground with a focus on fresh, invigorating rhythms with an outernational focus. The label's leading lady Myako opens this first 12" up with the dynamic, dusty adventure of "Salvia Cosmica", which makes for the perfect scene setter before Aleqs Notal throws down a tougher set of tumbling tribal drums. Myako then returns with "La Danza De La Risa", another subtle, poised and tantalizing rhythm track, before Geena trips things out on the heavy effects bliss out of "Selva Spirit". Myako's closing statement, "La Jungla Encantada", is a spaced out affair marked by Spanish speech and fragmented rhythmic hiccups - a cinematic end to an evocative release.
Review: Robert Crash's new TC White alias offers an ulterior shade of raw here, made possible by Swiss newbie label Moto. This is proper bangin' material from start to finish, kicked off with the liquid-like patterns of "Cow", a grungy house banger masterminded by heavy folds of mutant bass and crusty drums; "Muffin" splits the tempo down to a magnificently awkward broken beat with a deep, off-kilter sensibility. On the flip, "Cool" travels under a much murkier, more swamped sort of disguise, while "Cheese" is barely able to contain its inebriated groove from melting apart amid distorted tape hiss and loose instrumentation, which leaves "Mountain" to provide a little disco comfort to this mighty fine, utterly loopy EP of true-school house music.
Morgan Geist/Julie Dexter - "Linking Tunnel/The Plan"
Aardvarck - "Komt Goed"
Circulation - "Sincerely" (Creation mix)
DJ Koze - "Let’s Love"
Ron Trent & Chez Damier/Deetron - "Morning Factory/Choose Me" (feat Steve Spacek)
Nikola Gala - "Only" (Ryan Elliott remix)
Keith Worthy - "Moon Dance"
Paul W Teebroke - "Thing 1"
Radio Slave - "Children Of The E" (KiNK SP1200 remix)
Deetron - "Cry With The Stars" (feat Jamie Lidell - acappella)
A Made Up Sound - "Rework"
Hnny - "Hotline Riddim" (Jacques Renault edit)
Tony Allen - "Kilode" (Carl Craig remix)
Pepe - "Benzine Electronics"
Black Dog Productions - "Flux"
Deetron - "Untitled"
DJ Bone - "All My Heart"
Francis Bebey - "Bissau" (Pilooski edit)
Floorplan - "Let The Church"
Terrace - "Seventh City" (Filtered dub)
Derrick May - "Kaotic Harmony"
Equiknoxx - "Flagged Up" (Mark Ernestus remix)
DJ Bone - "Dreamers 6.1"
Stanislav Tolkachev - "Optical Illusions"
K-Lone - "Old Fashioned"
Jessy Lanza - "Strange Emotion"
Review: It would be fair to say that Deetron has taken the opportunity provided by a DJ Kicks mix to show off a little. We'll forgive him, though, because he's delivered an astonishingly good mix. Cramming an astonishing 38 tracks on to one CD might look like overkill, but the selection, programming and mixing (presumably in the studio, given the number of overdubs and sneaky track blends involved) is so good that you barely notice. Musically, he delivers a brilliant blend of electronic music old and new, moving from deep house and jazzy electronica to ambient via slamming rave jams and almost every techno sub-genre you can think of. We'd usually spend time banging on about highlights, but they're so plentiful that there simply isn't space. Just buy it: you won't be disappointed.