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.
Review: For the first release on their freshly minted Euphoric State sub-label, London label OPIA has turned to '90s survivors A2 & Stopouts, a trio of producers who first made their name as British tech-house pioneers in the late 1990s. The four tracks showcased on "Go With The Flo" apparently date from this period, though this is the first time they've seen the light of day. There's much to admire throughout, from the rolling, funk-fuelled house grooves and intergalactic pads of opener "You Gotta", to the jacking tech-funk of closing cut "Suits You", via the glassy-eyed rush of "Techfest", where sci-fi motifs and dream house electronics rise above bumping beats and a deliciously squelchy bassline.
Review: We're not sure who's behind the mysterious AC-EXP project, but the shadowy figure returns with more of that strange, submerged house music he's been tickling discerning DJs with over the past few years. After taking last year off, "1A" is a fine place to start things up again with a strutting jack track carrying acidic synth pulses that flirt with measured delay processing. It's a jam that sounds steamy and sinister all at once. "1B" maintains this restrained but seductive vibe with the slightly trancey throb of the lead synths pivoting around the snappy drums to great effect.
Review: The very first release in Hardfloor's "Versus" series pits the acid legends against one of their peers, the mighty Rob Acid! Rob's track "Blue Print" is a stroke of genius. Iit takes you on a 13 minute acid ride complete with dark, sliding synth sounds and mind-altering drums - we kid you not! Hardfloor responds with "Hitchhikers Choice", taking it waaaaay back to the old school with that classic Hardfloor touch.
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.
Review: While he may have been operating in the underground for some time, Darren Allen's music is only just coming to light through his own Underlying Form label now. There's a range of styles on offer across this EP, kicking off with the subtle pulse of "Feel" before moving on to a distinctly French-flavoured micro house groove on "Inmost Cave" that wouldn't sound out of place on Telegraph Records. On the B side, "Routine Kills Inspiration" switches the mood up with a rougher sound palette, even if the arrangement is still a minimally-minded affair. Then it's left to Vid Vai to drop a complex reworking of "MD Habitat" loaded with intricate textures.
Review: Mark Ambrose doubles up on his appearance on Was/Is with this strident bout of deep end dwellers, kicking off in style with the charged up strut and punchy mono bass of "Makossa (mix 1)," making a point of stepping into a more peak time sound. "Makossa (mix 2)" takes things in a more bugging direction, but there's still plenty of pressure to be felt in the wriggling low end mess and nagging hi hats. The Teakup mix of "Makossa" is a devilish broken beat track, and then "Wagamama" slips in a loopy melodic hook and lets a firm but freaky slice of techno roll out underneath.
Review: Mark Ambrose brings his years of expertise in the deeper end of the techno spectrum to bear on this latest joint for Crayon, the label he founded way back in the mid 90s. "Destiny Angel" is a stomping, expansive cut with a cinematic lilt to its sound design and melodic progression - one for people to truly travel on. "Bleeps & Bits" is a more rugged workout that digs deep into intricate rhythm programming and FX processing to create a unique future-tribal flavour. "Just Tonight" keeps the beats dynamic and broken, but with a much hookier punch and some choice vocal snippets that should find favour with all kinds of DJs.
Review: Techno heads with an appreciation of forgotten and almost-lost gems will be happy with this one. Mark Ambrose's 'Dimensions' first saw the light of day on Steve O'Sullivan's Mosaic way, way back in 1997, and here is finally remastered for the modern world. And what a treat it is. A shining example of just how compelling, addictive and inescapable tracks can be without needing to be particularly hard, those looking for adjectives will find them in the likes of tough, solid and crisp. The four tracks all follow a similar trajectory, deep but purposeful dancefloor stuff where sub bass rules and alien noises become warbling hooks- not leat on 'Cable Talk'. Those looking to stomp in the dark may find 'Signs 'N' Lights' is the go-to, 'Photo Funk' is pure darkroom mechanical groove and 'Bassoon' a sharp tech builder.
Review: It feels like too long since we heard anything new from Joey Anderson, but it's wonderful to see him returning to the fray on a label we love as dearly as Uzuri. It's plain to hear none of the US techno maverick's wild edges have dulled in the interim - "Steady Stare" bristles with angular energy as ear-snagging as it is individual. "Let Us In" is another fluttering techno piece with East Coast toughness balanced out by pattering psychedelia. "Mystic Strings" amps up the trippy synth lines in stunning fashion, and "Someday" takes things in a more brooding direction without losing that distinctive spark that makes Anderson such a marvel to behold.
Review: De Grey launched last year with a 12" from Webstarr, and now it follows up with the raw, rough and ready sound of Jack Angle. "Week-End" is a lithe, percussive beast of a track that matches bloated kicks with glassy hits for a tracky but distinctive end result. "6PNHHPE" is a looped up, off-kilter affair that sports an industrial techno thread but heads into stranger territory with ease. "Stablilizer" is a more balanced, melodic affair but again those distinctive metallic tones pervade the mix and inject some real character into Angle's music. "Selta" takes this approach and whips it up into the most lively, peak-time minded belter on the whole record, sneakily tucked away on the B2.
Review: Since it was Area that started the Kimochi Sound revolution just under a decade ago, it seems fitting that the publicity-shy artist has delivered the label's first release of a new decade. There are no new Area tracks here though, but rather a quartet of fresh reworks of classic cuts. Natan H kicks off proceedings with a deep, hypnotic, trippy and undeniably wonky revision of "Dare To Be Different", before Leif weighs in with a deliciously melodious, soft-focus revision of picturesque track "The Face Yours Reminds Me Of". Benjamin Brunn takes over on Side B and delivers two contrasting versions on "Effortlessness": the deep, wayward electro-meets-dub house drowsiness of the "Gold Plated Diamonds" mix and the heady ambient techno brilliance of the "Chrome Plated Diamonds" mix.
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.
Review: Veteran UK producer and DJ Aubrey finds himself on Brixton's Dream Diary label for his next offering. As always his brand of techno is laced with ambient lushness and superbly smooth and seductive grooves that roll deep. None more so than on opener "Abstract Chemistry" with its gently persuasive rhythms and dub-wise swagger. "The Slicer" is lighter and airier, with dancing drums and vocals all working it into a lather before "Distant Object" journeys deep into the cosmos with its hypnotic, loopy bass and glassy melodies to close out this most classy outing.
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".
Deep'a & Biri - "Pilgrim" (Tripeo Journey mix) (5:48)
Review: Jaunt continue their 10 year celebrations with another strong cast of remixers taking their vision of techno even further out from the point of origin. Markus Suckut is up first, remixing AWOL with a blissful, almost Balearic leaning version that places piano chords front and centre. BNJMN takes on Artefakt's "Wanderings", digging it into the undergrowth for a gritty but submerged beatdown. Aubrey brings a little of his wildstyle charm to Luke Hess' "TDY", all bouncing drums, raining acid and delightfully wonky chords. Then Tripeo rounds things off with a boisterous take on Deep'a & Biri's "Pilgrim", using clattering drums and evocative atmospherics to create an epic trip.
Review: Seminal reissue alert! Baby Ford had already been a chart-baiting acid house superstar by the time he launched the PAL SL label in 1996. He'd left behind the major label scene and moved firmly back into the underground with exploratory techno releases on Ifach and collaborations with Mark Broom. This new label marked a shift for Ford though, setting him up for the trips into minimalist club tracks that have been his bread and butter for decades now. From the machine soul trysts of "Slow Hand" to the woozy techno thrust of "Tall For His Height" and the atmospheric house wriggle of "Kez", this release is a classic through and through. Beat the sharks and nab a copy of this long out-of-print gem.
Review: Robin Ball has been on a roll of late, flaunting his wares on the Memory Box label amongst others. He makes a second outing on Groovepressure with four tracks of dynamic, inventive machine jams touching on synthwave influences and a healthy dose of electro. There's atmosphere loaded into each of these forthright, roughly hewn workouts, not least on the eerie, trancey synth strings on "Mr Mumble". The B side features the steadiest material in the shape of two versions of "Satin" that tap into the housier end of Ball's output.
Review: Basic Reshape features Basic Channel's very free takes of two of Carl Craig's projects that were originally released separately from each other on his own Planet E label. The Basic Reshape of "The Climax" (which itself was originally released in 1991 on Retroactive) first appeared on the 2001 reissue of this milestone in Carl's work, is one of the most hypnotic and driving club tracks that Mark Ernestus and Moritz von Oswald have produced in their post Basic Channel period. "Remake" Basic Reshape from 1994 relates to "Remake Uno/Duo", Carl's sample-based re-interpretation of Manuel Göttschings epochal E2-E4. Basic Channel take a radical, abstract, sample-free approach with a breathtaking slow motion groove under a multilayered sound sphere. This track also appeared on the Basic Channel CD.
Review: Given the forthright, analogue-powered sound of his productions, Faster Action member Robert Bergman seems a neat fit with Ron Morelli's L.I.E.S. label. For that reason, it's surprising to learn that this self-titled EP is his first release on the long-running U.S imprint. He's pulled out all the stops too, opening with the ten-minute journey through gently unsettling electronic motifs, locked-in machine grooves and odd noises that is "The Sleaziest". Arguably even more off kilter is the Chicago jack/industrial EBM fusion of "What's On Yr Mind", while "All The Way" is a disconcerting slab of spaced-out lo-fi techno. As for closing cut "Quick Escape", it cannily joins the dots between wayward, psychedelic acid and breathless EBM rhythms.
Review: Klasse Wrecks welcomes Bristol-based Marco Bernardi to its ranks following strong releases for Clone, Delsin, Rawax, Planet E, and most recently the Kelly Twins' Happy Skull label. Spacejam provides an EP of demented drums, fiddling electronics and refreshing originality, showcasing the signature sound of the studio-obsessed Scottish born DJ and producer. His idiosyncratic style runs through the three tracks here, from the space jack and Green Velvet-inspired vocals of the title track, through the rubbery funk of "No I Didn't" and frenetic acid of "Oist Mal".
Review: The brilliantly monikered Big Strick - familial elder to Omar S and responsible for the odd killer release on his younger cousin's FXHE imprint - belatedly sates the appetite of record collectors keen to indulge in his recent album Detroit Heat with a six track selection of the choicest cuts spread across this twelve inch. Seemingly drawing influence from a myriad of Motor City influences, Detroit Heat impressively flits between murky deep house, tracky techno and hypnotic jack-tracks. Like many of his contemporaries, Strick is a sucker for 'cement mixer' production - that distinctly Detroitian sound where every beat, groove or bassline sounds like the master tapes have been marinated in grit. That trademark sound, alongside a solid selection of floor-friendly grooves, makes Detroit Heat an excellent addition to the Motor City house canon. The rubbery spinal atmospherics of "Under Tone" and the Tony Coates vocally assisted jack of "Maybe 1 Day" are particular highlights!
Review: Cult Berlin favourite Binh heads to the Far East's finest minimal label, Cabaret, for his next outing He has been releasing here since 2014 and in that time has only subtle evolved his style. But when it ain't broke, why fix it? This EP features four more tracks of timeless house and techno for the underground connoisseurs. It is squelchy acid that defines opener "Mandarine", while "Rolli Glitzer Kurz" is more dark and paranoid as it journeys through the cosmos. "Beeboo" closes out with clunky metallic hits and detuned piano chords that make for a fresh vision of future techno.
Review: The EYA Records crew continues their trip into a new musical direction with the Lonewolf series, this time offering up a split 12" between two distinctive techno producers. Bladymore Galaxy, otherwise known as Riccardo Buccirossi, brings some effervescent synthscapes to bear on his side of the record. There's an old-skool sensibility to the production - all uptempo drums and layer upon layer of sparkling sci-fi melodics - but there's equally a welcome fresh energy and emotional honesty embedded in Buccirossi's style that makes it so joyous to listen to. Belgian producer Innershades brings a punchier style informed by electro and trance - the perfect sound to lose yourself to as the dry ice creeps around and the sun starts rising over the dancefloor.
Review: More re-issues of seminal tech house classics by Josh Brent aka Schatrax from the eponymous imprint, mainly active through the late nineties. For those that know, yes we're preaching to the choir, to those that don't: listen and learn! Up there with legends of the UK sound such as Silicone Soul, Pure Science and early 20:20 Vision. This release was originally known as Schatrax #10 and released in 1997. On side A we've got "The Same Fury" which likes its name suggests is probably the most ferocious track Brent probably ever made: this is some pretty hard jacking and functional techno on here for serious DJ use only. "Giddy Up" is equally as cyclical a DJ tool, with its tribal loops work out hypnotising you into submission much like his other classic "Dizzy". Finally on the flip we've got "East", a more straightforward techno stomper with some fierce 909 driven energy supporting some killer synth stabs.
Review: Always a man with his hand on the swing button, Stephen Brown knows a thing or two about funk in a techno world, but on this single for Technorama there's a distinctly house finish to the track. That's helped in no small part by the soulful vocal lick that runs through the middle of the track, even if the beats still bump with the roughness that he has made his name on. Don Williams ups the ante on his remix by slicing the remix up into fine slithers and fattening up the drums to make for a big room beast of the highest calibre.
Review: Benjamin Brunn and Dave Wheels are old studio buddies, having worked together on and off since 2006. "2000", though, is their most ambitious joint project yet: a collaborative album for Sushitech that offers up breezy, melodious and cheery fusions of heady dub techno, gentle electronica, chugging sofa-friendly haziness and glitchy late night hypnotism. It's an interesting blend but one that certainly hits the spot. Highlights include the horizontal pulse of "Orainge", the wonderfully hypnotic after-hours throb of "Iratamoto (Version)", the bold and sun-kissed undulations of "In The Club" and the pie-eyed warmth of "Waldeck".
Review: Riding high on the success of a second release that introduced A-Scott & Chad to the Constant Sound fold, the third instalment finds Burnski back in the saddle to offer up "Changes", getting into a more techno-oriented frame of mind without losing that warmth and playful sensibility he has made his own over the years.
After strong remixes from Trus'me, Steve O'Sullivan and Cab Drivers on previous releases, Constant Sound 003 gives another opportunity for the label to call upon the finest in the business to reinterpret the original material.
In keeping with the heads-down workout tones of Burnski's original, it makes perfect sense to invite an artist as accomplished as Deadbeat up for a remix. Scott Monteith has long been a stellar example of how to push dub techno in thrilling new directions and it shows on his version of "Changes".
Kris Wadsworth has just as much to say for himself after years spent crafting heavyweight house and techno with a mercenary instinct matched by lashings of machine soul. He reduces the original track into a stripped down techno dub perfect for late at night. His remix will only be available on the vinyl.
It's yet another step forwards for a label committed to delivering nothing but the highest quality house and techno for those who seek a touch more depth from their music.
Review: 7 Days Entertainment chief Big Strick has always encouraged his kids to make music; here, his youngest son makes his debut on the imprint with a raw, analogue-heavy collection of Motor City deep house cuts. There's plenty of variety across the four tracks, with Strick junior (who goes under the alias Butterbandz) skipping between sparse, melodious warmth (the tuneful and spaced out "Monkey See"), snappy, synth-heavy haziness (the rather groovy "If You Don't Dance", featuring the spoken word vocals of pal Marc), locked-in late night dreaminess ("Free Roaming", where bleeping synth sounds and ear catching chords rise above snappy beats and a chunky bassline) and stab-happy, trance-influenced tech-house ("Hellraiser (BDB)").
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: On the A1 Chekov follows up their moves on Peach Discs and Timedance with a proper peak timer, they've been described by Ben UFO as 'king of the build up' and that's evident on this one. At the A2 London's Doppelate makes their Cong Burn debut with an elegant tech-house roller. Fresh from Russia's underground is Camin, on this, his debut 12" release he drops a useful tool which squeezes between electro and techno. Cong Burn founder Howes closes the B side with some warm hypnosis that could have landed in the golden era of Workshop.
Review: Cong Burn continues to exercise one of the most promising instincts for future-minded music on this, their third release. It's surprising they haven't done more previously, considering the maturity of their curation, but either way the quality remains at an all time high here, leading in with some light and liquefied 4/4 sonics from Chekov before pirouetting into one of Duckett's illustrious abstractions around the techno blueprint. Label regular Lack is back on side B with the stern and punchy "Track 3," and then Haddon finishes the record off with "Anabiosis," a densely textured, slow creeping trip of a track.
Review: Since 2015, Jacob Chenaux has been serving up singles made in collaboration with fellow Offenbach resident Martyne. Here he goes solo for the very first time with a four-track outing on Traffic. He eases us in gently via the crunchy techno-funk of "Frostnach" - all bouncy drum machine beats, rumbling bass and minor key organ melodies - before heading to deep space via the sci-fi bleeps, supersonic noises and robust drums of "Challenjour". Flip to the B-side for the wayward early morning techno throb of "Jericho" and the rubbery goodness of "Wrath", where Motor City style chords and chiming melodies rise above unfussy machine beats and a squelchy analogue bassline.