Review: Cong Burn made a mighty splash with its first release, clearly flaunting the kind of wares you'd expect to hear from Livity Sound alumni or other such esteemed techno renegades. The second installment is no slouch either, featuring a new cast of crooked creators offering up their wares for the modern mutant dancefloor. BFTT has a weighty low end thrum powering "Public/Private", while Lack takes things in a scuffed and nimble direction. Chekov pushes out into more experimental pastures with the broken beats and displaced sound design of "Celeste" and Howes creates a wonderful strain of mystical deep house for darkened souls. Each one of these tracks is loaded with flair and personality, yards ahead of your average generic knock offs and presenting something with real merit to the convoluted world of dance music.
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: Ed Davenport's Counterchange imprint is back with a label compilation that demonstrates a wide variety of techno derivatives by a stellar cast. From scene legends such as UK innovator Boddika (with his hypnotic and textural epic "Broken Wave)" and elder statesman Patrik Skoog with the functional, peak-time cyclicality of "Mind Control". For more heady and atmospheric flavours, they have you covered courtesy of Puglia's Distant Echoes on the utterly sublime "Under The Influence" while Acing Seas main men Cassegrain team up with the inimitable Tin Man on the heady acid epic "Opal Stare".The harder edged, dancefloor ready weapons are provided by label head honcho Davenport on the retro, bleep driven "Fluxus", while BNJMN's abrasive "Red Tide" hammers the message home on this true beast that reaches near tribal moments.
Review: Emotional Rescue and Malka Tuti serve up another round of top shelf remixes and revisions of John Rees Lewis' mid-late 80s project C Cat Trance, following in the wake of the Screaming Ghosts compilation. First up to bat are Red Axes, who bring a seductive line in loose and limber drumming to "Shake The Mind" that should suit the Fourth World dancefloor massive just fine. Jamie Paton brings a tough, clamouring intensity to "Take Me To The Beach," while Prins Thomas takes a truly spiritual approach when weaving the intricate arpeggios and percussion of "Sudaniyya." Khidja and Borusiade team up on "Simple Helen," presenting a dense and hazy trip into exotic territory with sinister undertones.
Review: Alongside his fellow New Yorker P.Leone, Caiazzo launched the E-Missions label in March of this year with the release "1994EVER" - an offering that further propelled their standing in the techno community. Caiazzo is said to have moved to techno capital Berlin first and upon Leone's arrival introduced him to Work Them Records boss Spencer Parker: which soon cemented a pretty sweet deal. The Devotion EP starts off with the snarling industrial strength techno of "917" (Sportmixxx) and the tunnelling hypnotic techno journey "Lifeform". On the flip "Godbody" treads a similar path down into the void, but it's all about fellow New Yorker Young Male's rendition which takes its cues from the trance inducing Sound Of Rome made popular by the likes of Donato Dozzy & Giorgio Gigli. Four secret weapons for any serious DJ's sonic arsenal. Tip!
Review: Caldera has been previously spotted on WNCL Recordings amongst other establishments, so you know he comes with a certain stamp of quality for rough and tumble hi-jinx in the more interesting corners of proper party music. He lands on the blossoming Boogie Box label with a diverse package that leads in with the percussive trysts of "Akman's Rhythm" and then swerves into the fractured minimal dub exercise "Old Hands". "Anaconda Legs" is a twitchy, atmospheric slow strutting house cut that sits right with the offbeat minimal crowd but actually sports a rich and expressive sound and FX palette. "A Moment To Breathe" blows up the dub touches across the EP and goes into full head-nodding meditation mode, and it's fantastic.
Review: For the sixth missive on his admirable Touch From A Distance label, Panorama Bar/Berghain resident Nick Hoppner has turned to debutant Cameo Blush. The little-known artist hits the ground running with title track "Murky Waters", a superb fusion of two-step influenced electro drums, bleeping electronic melodies and drowsy female vocal snippets. "Hypervisibility" is a deep but weighty chunk of melodic electro bliss, while "Prophet Paradise" is dreamy, languid and sun-kissed, with bright and breezy lead lines and warming chords. Equally as impressive is killer closing cut "Year 2000 Problem", a rumbling breakbeat workout smothered in the kind of blissful electronic flourishes that were such a feature of Isolee classic "Beau Mot Plage".
Review: Lo-fi, old-school style techno bangers in the same ballpark as 2MR or Flexxseal here by debutante Dylan Cameron out of Austin TX. He's found a fitting home here at Texas Recordings Underground - the Dallas based label releasing top jams in recent times by local legends such as Convextion and Bill Converse. The Purgatory EP features four truly hellbound cuts and "Dark Sorcerer" sets the scene in frightful fashion indeed. B side cut "Trojan Horse" is the true winner on this EP: a serious acid flashback full of wobbly Cybersonik styled basslines and reversed 909 bang and clatter. It truly reeks of the Packard Plant circa '94. "Lost Souls" and "Celsius" however are the EP's more functional cuts, providing some groove oriented yet austere 'heads down' perspectives for the dancefloor. Tip!
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: Earlier in the year, Livity Sound's "reverse" offshoot Dnous Ytivil returned after a two-year absence via a fine collaborative release from Hodge and Randomer. This relatively speedy follow-up is, if anything, even better, with debutant Bristol duo Cando serving up a trio of cuts that fuse typically Bristolian techno rhythms and serious bass-weight with tropical sounds and pleasingly glassy-eyed synthesizer melodies. It's a formula arguably best exemplified by bustling title track "Bleak", whose UK funky-influenced percussive pressure and surging bass-weight is offset by the picturesque quality of the electronic sounds placed on top. That said, the slightly more tribal Afro-tech drums and blissful synthesizer motifs of "Sundown" are also hugely impressive, while closing cut "Bleak (Dub)" is a sparse and heavy soundscape that reminded us of fellow Bristolian Ossia.
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.