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: 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: RMXD is Armando 'Alpha 606' Martinez' second release on Interdimensional Transmissions and is the rather tardy follow up to 2008's Electronica Afro-Cubano. Flanked by high-profile remixers, Martinez does well to impress with "808 Trax". A linear drum track takes a ride through an inner city at night, the screeches, groans and howls of its nocturnal population kept under the surface by steely claps. Label owner BMG's take on "Armambo" is similarly inclined, this time with spacey undercurrents fusing with tight 808s. Erika's version of "We Leave Tonight" is a more understated deep techno track, while at the other end of the spectrum, Anthony Shakir turns "808 Trax" into a full-on, drum-heavy techno track that is more complex than a spaghetti junction at rush hour.
Review: Amato brings the kind of nasty electro business that fits right in on Helena Hauff's mighty Return To Disorder stable, and you know it's serious from the opening strains of the VHS noir monster "Escape From Grenoble 2018". "Hydraulic Funk" takes things slower, coming on like a freaky Frak flipside and sounding excellent for it. "Machine Outil" takes things in a more muscular direction that sounds built for bench presses and body jerks - the consummate peak time sledgehammer. Umwelt takes this sturdy starting point and demolishes it into a hailstorm of acid malevolence that'll melt your face clean off.
Review: More dark, euphoric and moody dancefloor 12"'s from Lobster Theremin's new sublabel UNDR. Following a terrific inauguration by Hidden Spheres, the second edition comes courtesy of Andrew Red Hand. The Romainian producer who has previously released on labels such as Twilight 76, M>O>S and Chiwax kicks things off with the spooky, cinematic John Carpenter-goes-electro vibe of "In The Cemetery", before bringing in the brooding Italo-influenced gloom of "Slaying The Dictator" and even displaying a fondess for the acid life (but hey don't we all) on the wicked 303 grind of "Bombing For Peace".
Review: The second part of Garage Hermetique's ongoing trawl through the archives of Kirk Degiorgio's acclaimed As One project offers up some classic, previously album-only tracks from 1994 and '97. First up is "Mihara", a wonderfully spacey, positive and dreamy fusion of elongated synth chords, funky, Clavinet style motifs, rich bass and skittish, Detroit-influenced drums. Deep breakbeat-techno cut "Destination Other" showcases two of Degiorgio's primary influences - namely jazz-funk and Motor City electro - while "Shambala" (B2) is a breezy, attractive and aesthetically pleasing chunk of techno/electro fusion. Fittingly, Convextion man Gerard Hansen dons his E.R.P alias to deliver a 2018 update of the latter track, in the process turning it into a warm, yearning and loved up chunk of deep electro full of lilting melodies and drifting pads.
Review: Melbourne's Steeplejack imprint has entered the game at just the right time, when the sounds of IDM, minimal house and techno are blurring ever so quickly into one glitchy umbrella sound. Nali, who has already appeared on the imprint a few times, comes through with four inimitable cuts, all of them powered by a distinctive 90s texture recalling the 'intelligent' side of dance music. "Ascendi" is the sort of tune that Autechre would have made had they been more techno-prone, while "Konstantinos" bleeps its subtle 303 waves over a stripped beat groove. The B-side opens with the 'Insidious' mix of "Poison", a true shape-shifter with a subtly pulsating techno beat, and closes with the relatively more jovial "Wormhole Transmission Service", a tune that takes inspiration from the UK's jungle sound thanks to a myriad of broken beats and breaks.
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: AUX88 Bass Magnetic re-Issue 1993-2018. Back by popular demand, the same unique spirits that brought forth the
sound of Detroit streets and turned it into the futuristic soundscape known as "Techno-Bass", The Original members
have collaborated to re-issue their catalog 25+ years later. Starting with their 1st double pack LP, "Bass Magnetic"
(considered to be a mesh of influences between Miami bass and Detroit techno), AUX88 established themselves in an
effort to stay true to their roots in the streets and the clubs creating their own genre into a global dance culture. After
the release and production of their own documentary ("AUX88-Portrait of an Electronic Band"), the group celebrates its
now classic recordings. Harkening back to its first days on cassette tape to revive a future generation of vinyl
aficionados. AUX88's "Bass Magnetic" = Classic Detroit Electro
Review: From the minds of Direct Beat and Detroit Bass Classics, comes the first initial compilation of electro/techno heat. "Electro In The Key Of Detroit Vol 1" presents 4 proven dance floor dope and record crate staples that provide the hungry ears of masses the groove to move. A Side features two sure-fire steppers - a rare AUX 88 voyage entitled "Phantom Power" and Blak Tony's tempo-pushing "Holla Holla" finally see the light of day on this wax collectable, giving praise to Motor City footwork culture. On the flip, DJ K-1's "Erase The Time" rocked the airwaves and global clubs with its signature thumping style laced beneath alien-like melody and repetitive vocal structure while Posatronix's mutant-rhythm mantra, "Pure Techno Sound" pulls the weight of Detroit's street dance roots down to the origin of how to boogie in space. This collection of re-issued jams and new explorations is the must-have for the electro/techno & bass aficionado.
Review: Detroit duo Aux88 always danced to a different drum than their Motor City peers, developing a ludicrously weighty trademark sound that put massive, mind-mangling analogue bass and gut-punching electro beats at the heart of the action. "Direct Drive", a 1995 release that has long been hard to find (hence this much-needed reissue), is one of the best examples of their distinctive sound. The title track (side A on this edition) is little more than a raw, thrusting bassline, snappy machine beats, spacey pads and occasional Kraftwerk samples, but it's brilliantly floor-friendly and brilliantly executed - Detroit body music for those who like their club cuts sub-heavy. Elsewhere, "Aux Express (DJ K1 Mix)" is a bouncy electro jam and the short "Bytes" tracks are wonky vocal samples for creative DJs.
Time Marked Its Irregular Pulse In Her Eyes (2:18)
Review: One of the standout cuts from Daniel Avery's superb Song For Alpha album, "Diminuendo", gets a deserved single release. The title track - an alien-sounding chunk of psychedelic darkroom techno made in collaboration with recent Tresor signing Manni Dee - kicks off the EP, before Avery serves up a trio of previously unheard workouts. The first of these, "Hyper Detail", is a weighty chunk of creepy and intense techno propelled forwards by thunderous beats and wickedly wild TB-303 acid lines, while B-side opener "Light of Falling Rain" is an equally trippy slab of wonky electro/modular techno fusion. Closer "Time Marked Its Irregular Pulse In Her Eyes", meanwhile, is the kind of twisted ambient - all barely decipherable electronic speech and spacey noises - that sounds like it was beamed down from another universe.
Review: Following releases from Marquis Hawkes, Francis Harris and Hamatsuki, Georgia's Horoom label showcases some local talent. Gacha Bakradze is a rising talent on an international level, having recently appeared on Fever AM, but here he channels a sound that should find favour with fans of fellow Georgian talent HVL. Dubby atmospheres and snaking percussive rollers abound, with a hint of UK hardcore and jungle influence lurking in the middle distance but deployed with care. Subtlety is key here, as Bakradze unfurls immersive cuts with a restrained power to take the dancefloor to some truly transcendental places.
Review: Black Cadmium first came to our attention last year thanks to their rather good collaboration with Kevin Ney on Afro Deep ("The Nasty"). Here the Rotterdam duo offers up their first full EP, which also doubles as the debut release on Dutch imprint Vault Wax. There's plenty to tingle the senses from the word go, with opener "Muted Chaos" offering a clandestine mixture of chunky electro beats, buzzing riffs, intergalactic electronic pulses and winding acid lines. The fun doesn't stop there though, with the acid-fired ghetto-house bounce of "Get That Booty" and the deep techno dreaminess of closing cut "Stairway" also hitting impressive heights.
Stojche - "The Exchange" (Gian Hydrocity Refix) (5:40)
Review: Blackhall & Bookless have been pursuing a fantastic strain of house and techno via their Jaunt label for many moons now. They're back and celebrating 10 years with a series of fantastic remixes that highlight the scope of their artistic vision, and that of those close to them. Inland leads in with an oceans deep version of the label bosses' "Spirit", which is smartly followed up by Jonas Kopp's equally submersive take on Hiver's "Itria". Jasper Wolff and Maarten Mittendorff lets the swooning "Meandering Rivers" by Kaelan burst its banks and fill out an expansive landscape, while Stojche pings Gian's "The Exchange" out into an electro-speckled cosmos.
Review: Another great EP from the 3 boys from Sweden, the Blotnik Brothers. Strong percussive big room electro, thick melodies and perfectly-timed arrangements are the mark of their second EP. Kraftwerk on steroids!
Review: Not On Earth's first release sold out in quick time - unsurprising given the reputation of Frankfurt based founders Bodin & Jacob. Their second is a various artists affair that shows off some of the talents they have unearthed, while Bodin also reappears with "A Walk In The Park." It's a brilliantly militant cut with clipped, marching beats and rasping bass squelches, and elsewhere Philipp Boss opens the EP with the slippery electro rhythms of "Lava". Griezman's "Decheterie" is an uptempo bit of proper first wave tech house a la Terry Francis. Closing out this more than handy EP is the hard edged electro-tech of "Zoober" from Martyne.
Heidi Sabertoorh - "So You Want To Take Back Your Will" (6:37)
Synapse - "Shiny" (locked groove) (0:30)
Somatic Responses - "Strategy Of Desire" (5:22)
John Selway - "Brainchild" (5:29)
Pointsman - "Dirty Shirt" (locked groove) (0:30)
Review: Seminal New York City imprint Serotonin lives on. John Selway and Jason Szostek present It's What We Live For: Volume 2 - the second in a series of compilations sharing their vision of sounds of tomorrow. Szostek himself dons the well known BPMF alias again for some fierce breakbeat techno action on "Zu Heib Fur Uns", the equally legendary Healy brothers aka Somatic Response still going strong - as heard on the slo-mo acid trance journey "Strategy Of Desire" and relative newcomer Heidi Sabertooth of Opal Onyx delivers some sludgy electro-punk antics on "So You Want To Take Back Your Will". There's some handy locked grooves on the electro-bass tip featured too by Synapse and Pointsman, which were pretty wicked too.
Review: Emergent duo Broken Arrows were previously spotted lurking around Giallo Disco back in 2015, so you should have some idea of the kind of lurid late night machine sleaze they like to get their hands dirty with. They've now slid over to the sympathetic but marginally more techno-minded Vivod imprint with a new clutch of deviant heaters for those adventurous dancefloor spaces where B-movie sounds reign supreme. "Female Predator" is a tough EBM-tinted workout with plenty of jack in its stack, while "Fear Eats The Soul" takes a more synth-wave approach with some speech samples thrown in for good measure. "Edge Of Darkness" is a more tense affair that pings arpeggios around a minor key refrain, and then "Basic Structure" whips out the hardest track on the record, a lithe industrial stomper laden with rhythmic noise and a mean synth bassline that will hit your solar plexus like a battering ram.
Industrialism (Koehler's Six Sided Storm mix) (7:50)
Review: Having previously appeared on Transcendent back in 2014, Caron returns on Russian label Mosaique with a fearsome slice of distorted techno futurism for the darkest of dances. "Liquid" is a lithe and limber workout full of grubby percussion and gutter-dwelling synth lines that makes for the perfect lead track on the record, while "Industrialism" sits in stark contrast with its airy, metallic electro machinations hitting a strangely breezy note. Kind Human Being takes "Liquid" to task with an atmospheric remix that plays on Kraftwerkian themes to create a robotic but funky slice of electronic unease, and then Koehler whips "Industrialism" up into a rowdy frenzy of mean-tempered leads and broken rhythms.
Review: Subconscious Algorithms kicked off with the dulcet tones of Norken, and now turns its attention to another champion of the UK underground in the form of Derek Carr. There's much to draw parallels on between the artists, as they both explore the outer realms of expressive, delicate and most importantly melodic electro, with Carr sounding especially harmonious on the intricate programming of "Osc 1". "Trust In You" is a more angular, acidic affair still steeped in Motor City soul, while "Beneath The Ice" takes a lighter, almost synth-pop indebted approach. "Blood Moon" rounds the record off in a swirl of twitchy drums and lingering strings.
Review: Florin Buechel aka Contra Communem Opinionem first appeared on our radar a few years back with some killer EPs on Swiss electro imprint Lux Rec - in particular the collaboration with label boss Daniele Cosmo as Savage Grounds in 2016. Here he presents new Berlin label Omega Men's third installment, serving up yet more gritty analogue machine exploits on "The Transformation Problem". Hear that legendary Roland silver box hard at work throughout the four-tracker: we're loving the soaring resonance and glide of frantic opener "Dead Labor", the dystopian noir vibe of electro jam "Necessary Labor" and our pick of the bunch that is neon-lit exhilarator "Living Labor". Tip!
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