Review: Kimochi Sound introduces a new artist for their 30th release. This debut record is all deep beats and breaks and it's full of the fuzzy feels and swollen atmospheres we've come to expect from the imprint. It's a bit of a mini album, moving from Ilian Tape techno influences to a closing number reminiscent of Ulrich Schnauss.
Review: Kalbata is a delightfully unpredictable fellow, one minute turning out slick tech house with Guy Gerber and the next starting a dancehall riot with Warrior Queen. His long and varied career continues following a recent spot on Optimo Trax with this first 12" on Brush & Broom, a new label that is housing some particularly straight up 4/4 jams from the prolific producer. "Obskuur" has a clue in the name, plying a trade in the kind of furtive deep techno that ekes tension out of the most ambivalent of crowds with its oh-so-slow but powerful sense of progression. "Rumoured" has a broader palette, letting undulating threads of melodic synth work slither around the subby, minimal percussion.
Review: Kalbata has turned his hand to many styles over the years, not least the excellent soundsystem explorations of Congo Beat The Drum, but on this second release for his label Brush & Broom, he's decided to fling himself into the fiery pit of acid while paying tribute to 90s motocross bikes. "Honda" is dripping with 303, punctuated by a twitchy set of drums, while "Yamaha" takes a diversion into moodier territory, letting hazy chords set the tone for an energised but defiantly heads down acid workout. "Suzuki" is a bit spicier, capturing the essence of 'up-for-it' early Trax Records but edging it into more hypnotic, looped up territory. "Toyota" finishes the EP off with an atonal bleep out with an electro undercarriage.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: After launching Brush & Broom with two solo releases, maverick German producer Kalbata keeps his followers guessing yet again with this collaborative release with the equally unpredictable Maayan Nidam. "The Town" is a surefire party starter made up of catchy bleep lines, quivering rhythmic flashes and lots of shimmering FX sends that suggest this was a live jam from two talented producers locked in the groove. "Chrome Moon" takes a deeper, more meditative approach without losing those heavy echo chamber washes, where the spring reverb and buckwild delay feedback rein supreme. Wonderful, free-tripping results from an unexpected meeting of minds.
Review: Running Back Double Copy's second installment lovingly re-issues this house classic.The duo of Geoffrey Becker and Philippe Heinenonly only ever had a couple of releases on the short lived Brif Records: and this was the first. Originally released in 1998, right here is some timeless deep house that originally got lumped in with the whole French Touch scene of the time. "Akasha" (re-edit) is an evocative jam reminiscent of Pepe Bradock with its rising chords and tribal percussion really getting that sense of elevation happening. "Thank You Larry" (re-edit) is straight up deep house with diva vocals, as is "Let's Take A Break" (re-edit) but they really are an afterthought in comparison to that epic first offering, As label boss Gerd Janson said it best himself (regarding the original test pressing) "hopefully the Discogs haters won't get their knickers in a twist this time. It's old house music you fools!"
Review: Man Band mandem Toma Kami returns to Livity with more sharp tools and insanity, this time in the form of "Negative Extasy". Each cut primed with big roomy broken beats, each cut more beguiling and trippier than the last, each cut rising in intensity; "E-Ache" warms us up with soothing harmonic stabs over a cavernous beat, "Aces" spins us round the stars with housey chords and pretty percussive vapour trails while "Suomi" is nothing short of a 24th century funeral march. For most the title track will be the highlight; more upbeat and bumping, with fat layers of percussion, it's Toma in pure peaktime mode... And everyone's invited.
Review: For 22 years now Zhark Recordings Berlin has been operating relentlessly on an alternative technoid vision. The keystone of this vision is an approach of full artistic autonomy in full front against the demons of the momentariness, reproduction and stagnation, which were ever present in these past 20 years. This endeavor intensified over the years leading to numerous releases on all types of medium. With the vinyl catalogue number 30 the big K is setting out ONE more TIME to settle the score presenting yet another wrenching collection of DANCE Variations. The Haunting chains of a demoralized sorcerer in HINRICH, the shattering congas of a sinister entity in RATTLE DISCO, the euphoric bawling of a merciless god in LET ME FLY AWAY FROM YOU, the alternating motives of growing tension, clarity and unavoidable obscuration in the UNDERNEATH the 4th Alignment. All these motives are entangled in layers of a fierce percussive bombardment.
Review: Back in April, Blawan and Pariah rebooted their hardware-based Karenn project after a five-year hiatus via a rugged EP on their freshly minted Voam imprint. Here the pair inaugurates a new series, Voam Club Archive, in which they'll offer up tracks recorded during live performances. For fans of raging, hard-wired club techno, there's much to enjoy, from the intoxicating, acid-fired stomp of "Berlin - Live Cut 1" and the redlined intensity of the dark and distorted "Berlin - Live Cut 2", to the Sheffield style bleep melodies, wild electronics and Lory D style grooves of "Rome - Live Cut 1". Arguably best of all, though, is the metallic, forthright insanity of closing track "Amsterdam - Live Cut 1".
Review: Hailing from Crimea, Stas Karpenkov's Krym Mryk label is a direct line into the most intriguing techno-oriented diversions transmitting from Russia and Ukraine. In a similar vein to the likes of Udacha and Ghost Zvuk, Krym Mryk is brimming with the kind of originality and expression that makes records such as these essential purchases. "Entity" presents a calm, icy ambient lead in before the quivering, dubby techno pulse of "Yevpatoriya Satellite". "I've Had Enough To Look Down" is a writhing, biomechanical synth work out of the highest order, and "Windswept" finishes the EP off in a gentle blizzard of drones. A serious draw for this record as well is the Stanislav Tolkachev remix, which nudges "Yevpatoriya Satellite" into dynamic broken techno territory with a powerful synth wave channel coursing through it.
Review: NTS mainstay Kasra V joins Kim Ann Foxman's Firehouse Records for the Akasa EP, where the Iranian-born/London-based producer showcases his broad musical taste and his ability to seamlessly blend genres. He collaborates with Detroit electro legends Dopplereffekt on the absolutely majestic "Bloom", while the title track or the breaks-driven "Otaku" explore old-school beats with a modern twist. Finally on the flip, we have a remix of "Bloom" by American retroverts Mike Servito and Justin Cudmore - who inject more dancefloor dynamics into it with their Kv In Full Mix.
Review: Despite scouring the Internet for the best part of an afternoon, we've been unable to identify the producer (or producers) behind "Keep Your Mouth Shut 1", an anonymous but quietly impressive four-track EP. While the untitled psychedelic techno shuffler that opens the EP sounds like a peak-time jam in the making, the cut that follows (simply titled "Track 2" here) is an exotic broken techno affair that makes superb use of raw, acid-fired sub-bass and haunting, almost child-like vocal samples. There's more hybrid fun to be found on the flip, where a driving breakbeat cut comes wrapped in shimmering, summery chords ("Track 3"), and a high-octane, acid-fired electro jam threatens to whisk us off to a deep space destination unknown.