Review: It's common knowledge now that #.4.26. is Ilian Tape mainman Dario Zenker, who under this alias released a slew of hard hitting DJ tools on cult label Frozen Border - and this is his first new material under the name since five years. From the sheer terror of dynamic opener "Mono Middle", a dystopian electro number saturated in dense lo-fi fuzz, the broken beats continue on the minimal boom and thump of "Whenever Voi". But it's the B side that proclaims no more Mr. Nice Guy here, with the slamming old school energy of "Free Upload" calling to mind the early '90s sound of Djax or Pro-Jex, while "Van Cul" again demonstrates Zenker's fine ability to weave broken beat arrangements into epic, big room techno bangers.
Review: 30drop debuts on Token with From Beyond The Unknown -- a six-track journey that evokes an excommunicative sense of splendor from the outer reaches of worlds beyond. Beginning with Surrender an immediacy pulsates from the outset and dances towards the playful exuberance of The Informant -- calibrating the gears for what frequencies are to be heard in the interim. Space Beacons delights with elegant pads and wry rhythmic evocations, while Mathematical Language bursts with energies that have been long dormant since the days of Jeff Mills' The Purpose Maker. In that same vein, Visitors From The Stars is an entropic message from above, seeking out a communicative line that's emotive and conductive -- leading towards the last track of this journey. Sagan's Implication is an adroit homage to the legendary astrophysicist; leaning into melodics that are both marvelous and mysterious all at once -- similar to finding the answers that lie above us. All in all, a journey that begins by looking past what's diegetic and looking for answers past the narrative presented.
Review: With this the 3rd instalment of Hell's my definition of house 12" series, two new massive Gigolo old-school tracks are resurrected for the pleasure of a modern listening public. In 1986, three young DJs began making music on a 4-track recorder in a Baltimore basement studio. Little did they know at the time that more than 15 years later they would be viewed as pioneers of American dance music. 33 1/3 Queen (aka Basement Boys aka Jay Ateinhour, Reddy Souglas, and Thommy Davis) took samples of A Guy Called Gerald's classic "Blow Your House Down" (originally released in 1988) and made their single "Searchin'" which quickly turned out to be an underground club favourite. To date, the boys have remixed songs such esteemed acts as Michael Jackson, Erykah Badu, The Shamen, Angie Stone, Lenny Kravitz and Paula Abdul. In addition, they continue to expose and nurture new talents on their own label, Basement Boys Records, which was established in 1995. The Basement Boys have been responsible for some of clubland's biggest anthems and their hit "Searchin'" is as relevant today as it was ten years ago. Earth People's (aka Pal Joey) house masterpiece reach up to mars originally released in 1990 on Underworld Records finally gets a re-issue on Gigolo Records. The original with its monster drums shuffling guitars synth stabs great use of vocal samples and incredible production skills still withstands the test of time sounding like it could have been made yesterday. This is classic material here that will destroy any dancefloor!! House maestro Pal Joey released this tune, a funky cross-pollination of garage classics from Toney Lee ("Reach Up") and Dexter Wansel ("Life On Mars"), in 1990, and you have to thank Hell for making it available now once again to a 2006 audience. There's a fine line between classic and dated. Hell knows this well and selects only for his 12" series "My Definition Of House" those which were groundbreaking when they first appeared and still sound hot to 21st century ears. So keep your mind and ears open, for you never know what Hell will dig up from the basement next. Stay tuned for "My Definition Of House part 4"!
Review: One year later, UVB-76's shadowy collective 4 6 2 5 strike again with two more unique startling schematics. Flexing across the tempo axis, "Sedition" leads with a fast 170 twist as hard pneumatic kicks cut through the dense foggy atmospherics before doubling up the momentum and taking unpredictable twists midway. "Crown Of Nails" maintains the hunchback pressure and that heavy foreboding sense synonymous with each member of the collective, but does so at a cool 105BPM pace giving space for each percussive element to ricochet around your purdy little pranged-out soul.
Review: 4E used to be Khan's apartment number in New York City's East Village back in the late 90's. 4E became the trademark sound for his downbeat acid infused electro work. On his kitchen floor he produced a very unique brand of futuristic funk tracks with only a ROLAND TB-303, SH-101 and the Hip-Hop fundamental SP1200 drum sampler. Besides a couple of 12"s for Force Inc. Music and the "Gentle Killer E.P." on Freddy Fresh's Socket imprint, 4E released the highly acclaimed downbeat electro album "4E4ME4YOU" on German glitch label Mille Plateaux. Back in 1998 4E shared the now legendary 12" with I-F "Space Invaders Are Smoking Grass" on the "From Beyond Series" by Ectomorph's Interdimensional Transmissions. Pills & Thrills" on Temple Traxx is four previously unreleased acid-electro stomper that are as funky and noisy as it can get on an East Village kitchen floor.
Review: Back to 96: The 4th Wave was a producer named Steve Paton. Also operating under aliases such as The Invisibles and Lo-Fi Sensibilities (when he appeared on Mo Wax), Steve didn't remain active for too long outside of the 90s but he left us two killer EPs. One on Planet E in 95 and this one on Kirk Degiorgio's Op-Art in 96. Reissued for the first time, and now featuring the twinkling downtempo delight "Lounge Music" (which was only ever previously available on a compilation), it's a powerful example of the Detroit/UK feedback loop at the time as both techno hubs were influencing each other. "Attention Please" rolls out the breaks, "Mean Streets" bites like a woozy UR record while "Cosmic Dance" whips up a tribal frenzy for the finale. 23 years old and still sounding future.
Review: Surface Records has never pulled any punches as one of the UK's toughest techno labels, and The 65D Mavericks have embodied the same spirit with their charged, lyrically provocative approach. After a lengthy hiatus label and artist are back in action, and sounding as fierce as ever. "False Prophets" is not for the faint hearted - an avalanche of thunderous drums and expletive-laden diatribes. "Cosmic Drift" is marginally more meditative, but still positively unhinged in its execution. "You Lost Your Mind" flails around a muddy, punky swamp of deviant sonic behaviour, and "Immovable (dub)" throws one last curveball into the long grass, stripping out the bark without losing the bite of this proudly individual group of techno marauders.
Review: Since making their debut as 90 Process last year, Julian Muller and Hadone have delivered a series of EPs that look to the rave era for inspiration. They're at it again here, serving up a slamming EP for Lobster Theremin that reeks of Vicks, Essex and sweaty parties on farmer's fields off the M25. "Hate In The Pants", for example, sounds like the offspawn of Joey Beltram and Mark 'Ruff' Ryder, "No Warehouse Needed" wraps '92 style rave stabs and sped-up vocal samples around a blistering hardcore breakbeat, and "Strictly Cut" could have been tailor-made for loved-up sunrises and illicit mountainside parties. In order words, it's a slamming collection of retro-futurust hardcore and techno bangers.
Review: While the name may be new, A New Line (Related) is supposedly the work of an already established musician, although Kimochi was never a label that cared about hype. The music stands just fine on its own, digging into the kind of dusty and dusky house and techno formations that the label has forged its hand-sprayed identity on. There's plenty of ambient techno twirls to be enjoyed on the likes of "Dancing On Soft Borders", while the beats melt away entirely on "After A Short Illness" and grandiose EP closer "RIYL Failures". Once again Kimochi comes up with the kind of meaningful variations on the 4/4 framework that keep our record bags full and our souls enriched.
Review: Often found spiraling amongst the stars, A Sagittariun takes a turn inwards for this formidable foray into tougher techno realms for MPX. The drum jack pressure is real on "No Drama", which also sports a wonderfully psychoactive synth line to wriggle into your nerve endings with potent results. Mor Elian does a killer job on the remix too, chopping up the groove to create some dynamic syncopation around that nagging synth hook. "Loose Fit" and "Hand Of Eris" on the flip keep up the percussive pressure, but there's also plenty of character rubbed into these rhythmic ripples to make it far more than a set of DJ tools.