Review: For its seventh release, southern Italians Obscura Music return to welcome exciting new talents and core label acts. Head honchos Agents Of Time venture down an electro route with "East Coast", as do the ever impressive London Modular Alliance on the hypnotic "Buck One". Man of the moment Aussie Jensen Interceptor channels classic Drexciyan aesthetics on "Manix" before homeboys and label staples Hiver come through with the slinky and hypnotic tech house of "Stasys" and Detroit veteran Kris Wadsworth makes a surprising appearance with some slow burning minimalism displayed on closer "Abroad".
Review: Time Horizon's second episode enlists another team of dancefloor snipers delivering 5 brain-dancing tunes crafted appositively for late night use. After his appearance on the first XCPT record, Andrea is back on the label with his unmistakable shuffling drums and a heavy square bassline followed by Anybody Anytime covering the uptempo-zone with a rotative junglistic tool dressed with celestial pads; closing the A side TANS reveals his new robot alias The Sympathizer providing a neurotic electro progression fully based on his modular system. Flipping the records you will find two XCPT homies bringing the audience straight into Matera landscapes: Farron gets a 909 unceasing toms orchestra surrounded by his atmospheric leads while Kreggo illustrates clearly his hypnotic mid-low vision of breakbeat locked by a mystic bass for the whole track.
Review: Last year Brazilian DJ/producer Ana Miranda joined Kompakt Extra following years spent building her reputation via fine releases on such labels as Novamute, Twin Turbo, Yoshitoshi and Terminal M. For her third release on the long-serving German label she's joined forces with another scene queen, the incomparable Miss Kittin. The pair has produced a raw, driving dancefloor beast that's bigger than Donald Trump's ego and infinitely more alluring. "Forever Ravers" is heavy, intense and forthright, with stylized vocal snippets and razor sharp electronic motifs surging above a thumping groove. Miranda offers a different take on the track on side B, opting for bleeping and panicked electronics and spacey bleep melodies.
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: In 2012, the Zenker brothers introduced a new series on their Ilian Tape imprint: The Bias Tapes. We are now into the third edition come 2018 and it's a great one, we must say. Like the name may suggest, The Munich Edition features some heroes of the local scene such as Kareem El Morr: who delivers the dark side electro bass of "Eros 404", likewise label boss Dario Z. (ft. Maurice P.) goes down the same toute on "CEJ". Elsewhere, dubby and cyclical warehouse techno in the vein of G-Man can be heard on Konrad Wehrmeister's "CWS" and usual suspects Marco & Stenny hammer the message home in typically bold fashion with the emotive "Imcon".
Review: A fair few DJs will go weak at the knees when they spot this collaboration between Workshop overlord Kassem Mosse and Fit Sound supremo Fit Siegel. The three tracks showcased on the EP were actually recorded in Detroit back in 2016, though Siegel only got round to completing finished versions last year. There's much to enjoy throughout, from the snappy, slightly wayward machine drums, slowly shifting TB-303 acid lines and subtle Detroit electronics of "Saboten", to the dubby late night hypnotism of closing cut "Cycle Blue", where woozy intergalactic chords, blissful piano motifs and vaguely threatening electronic pulses cluster around fizzing drums and a suitably bubbly bassline.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Gravity Graffiti has been doing great things with its series of split 12"s already, but now the Italian label goes one better for its tenth release with this mighty double pack of heavy hitters. First up is the ever-untouchable Yoshinori Hayashi, who gets as straight up as he possibly could with the freaky house burner "Dissociative." Telephones is feeling particularly dubbed out and groovy on "Kalimbalimbo", while DB.Source and Riccardo Schiro take things strung out and textural on "Montevago". Dynamo Dreesen is in rave mode for the pepped up and delightfully weird "Reactivate", leaving the final side to Oyvind Morken & Kaman Leung's chugging "Tunnel Visjon" and the rubbery side swipes of Acidboychair's "The End (At Any Speed)".
Review: P-Balans is a new imprint in the Future Nuggets emerging constellation. A tehnodelia ramification within the Bucharest electronic scene that will host rising names like Khidja and Borusiade while introducing new characters like The Holy Fix (Camil Dumitrescu, co-member of Delusion Men) and Utopus (Ion D, producer of Steaua de Mare, Raze de Soare, Anahore?ii among others) already featured on "Sounds on the Unheard from Romania vol. 2". Keeping the same strategies of fusion and diffusion as Future Nuggets, P-Balans will explore the space traversal to techno, entering and exiting the dark halls of the club through multiple doors.
Review: On the next record from Main Drain Studios, Chicago artist K-rAd brings two high-tempo cuts loaded with their distinct blend of bright, nimble production.
The A-side, "174_B7B5" is a total D&B tear-out. Thundering subs carry along waves of arpeggiated synths, while whimsical samples cut the tension of the winding breakbeat flurries.
On the flip side, horns fade in and out of "154_Materials Stardust Memories ", conjuring visions of a metropolis at dusk, with jazzy interludes telling tales while lean, skittering drums & warped bass lines pepper the road along the way.
Review: After their last release under the labels Ornate Music (UK) and Finale Sessions (US), Ka One & St-Sene are back with a special Flyance Records release. REWORK: the action of redoing, correcting or rebuilding"; that is the spirit they put in this Ep with those four House music anthems of those consider today as the father figures of this music. Without sampling, replaying all the keyboards and arpeggio, they turned thoses anthems into modern acid and techno vibe. From 1989 to 2015 Ka One & St-Sene give great tribute at Lil Louis, Mr Fingers, Kerri Chandler and Laurent Garnier.
Review: Malmo based artist management agency now run a label. This is their third release and they've tapped the legendary Karl Axel Bissler to do the honours. "Soul" is bleepy and driving hypnotic techno in the same vein as fellow Swede Staffan Linzatti that has all the right elements: white noise splashes, reverberated percs and just enough funk in its bassline. He throws us a bit of a curveball next on the deep tribal tech house workout of "Armando Alvarez" sounding more like early Jori Hulkonnen or Nick Curly. But he gets back into the techno side of things thankfully on the flip with "By The Lake (Karl M Redefinition) another entrancing and atmospheric stomper pushing the same vibe as Ness or Claudio PRC. That's what we're talking about!
Review: Longstanding Detroit deepsmith Kage returns on his brand new label Michigander. The result? Three superlative exercises in synth soul and an on-point version for later hours. "The Arc" prowls with all the string-soaked majesty of an early Rolando cut while the stringless version hits a little harder. "D Drive" jacks with a slappy bass groove while tipping a slight nod to Yazoo with its vibrant riffy ripples while "Transcending" is all about the big dubby synth washes and off-kick bass palpitations. Let's hope there'll be more to gander from Michigander very soon.
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.
Review: 47016 is Killawatt's third solo EP on 47. The 12" vinyl and digital formats will be released on July 20th 2018. A1 'Accupunk' thrashes and beats with complex rhythm programming. A2 'The Roamer' continues with high-velocity alien minimalism. B1 'Polar Polemic' slows the pace to heavy stepping with cyborg talk. And B2 'Glacia Systemic' decelerates even more so the voices and synth-lines are glaciers twisting in space. Portsmouth, UK-based producer and DJ Killawatt released the solo EPs 47010 and 47012 in 2017, and featured on the label's first release 47001 with label head Tommy Four Seven.
Review: Chris Weeks has been building up the Kingbastard catalogue for a long time now, generally taking a self-reliant approach in the underground electronica scene where CD-r releases reign supreme. He's been a key figure on Ambidextrous since the label launched back in 2008, and now he's committed to wax with a range of crunched up leftfield sonics for the machine-loving crowd. "Anxiety" is a melodic cut with a house-minded structure, but there's a lot of production acrobatics and compositional swerves taking place within this framework. "Scatterbrain" is more overtly out there, tapping up the kind of heavily processed sounds that producers like Paradroid have championed in the past. "Data_Loss" strike a heavy blow somewhere between dubstep and electro, and "Data_Ctrl" ups the tempo for a rabble-rousing exercise in mind-bending machine music.
Review: Bulgarian hardware maverick KiNK released the Playground long player back in late 2017 to much acclaim, and now re-appears on Gerd Janson's Running Back with a nice remix package. Following the first edition which featured reworks by Dusky and Radio Slave, Strahil Velchev gets Mr. Minimal himself - the inimitable Matthew Herbert - to provide a Funnel Dub of "Yom Thorke". This one is a reductionist exercise in hypnotic polythyrhms and it is to quite stunning effect. On the flip, the legend from Philadelphia Josh Wink steps up to deliver a hi-tech rendition of "Five" where the Ovum Records boss delivers an energetic techno perspective of the most timeless variety.
Review: As the matter-of-fact title makes clear, this 12" is the first in a series of EPs offering up fresh reworks of tracks from KiNK's superb 2017 album "Playground". These revisions are, we'd suggest, rather large. Check, for example, the celebratory rush that is Dusky's rambunctious reworking of "Perth", which builds on waves of luscious chords and snappy beats before turning into a stab-happy, riff-heavy main room slammer of the highest order. Arguably even better is the druggy, metallic pulse of Radio Slave's ten-minute "Disco Dub" of "Teo Techno". It doesn't sound like disco, of course, but rather a throbbing, angular trip into Berlin techno territory that's as mind-altering as it is heavy.
Review: Melbourne's Short Black label has been relatively sporadic with its releases up until now, having started back in 2013 with Matt Kennedy's Together At 2am EP and dropping the third release on the label back in 2016, Rustal's Privilege. Hopefully this excellent new transmission from newcomer Tristan Kino will be the start of more productivity from the crew. The EP starts off in fine style with the nervy, reduced acid twitch of "Yggdrassil", while at the other end of the record "Niddhog" presents a tougher, darker throwdown crafted for seedy techno dancefloors. Johannes Volk has been snapped up for remix duties, and does a sterling service with the metallic clang of his version of "Niddhog".
Review: Soundscape Versions delivers its third edition of the various artists series and offers four effective cuts between subtle house breaks, acid house, electro and atmospheric techno. Featuring Kintaro 89, Faune, Arian Alexander and Douala.
Review: Helms's Alter label is the latest to be seduced by the Primitive Languages of New York-based Nick Klein, whose brash industrialisms have previously featured on Entro Senestre's BANK, German labels MMODEMM and Unknown Precept and cult US tape crew Ascetic House. The Lonesome Dealer features some wonderfully evocative track titles ("Christian Rock Concert" and "Pain Resource Management") and continues Klein's grotty amalgamation of techno rhythms with the powerful sonic impact of noise traditions. If you have been enjoying the output of Beau Wanzer or Maoupa Mazzocchetti recently you should certainly check this 12" out! The Cabaret Voltaire gone Reggaeton of lead track "Chats with Lucy" and the deranged abstraction of B-side opener "Do You Want To Crash?" are particular highlights.
Review: Anton Klint first came to our attention thanks to a handful of EP's that he dropped on Munich's Public Possession label, but while we were already big fans of the imprint's work, it was Klint's singular take on house and disco that attracted us. This latest two-tracker comes via Sweden's IDEAL label, and the producer offers something a little darker and more experimental compared to his previous escapades. "Personalmote" is a fuzzy, broken tune that verges on house but never quite fully rids itself of a tribal, stepping kind of vibe. On the other hand, "Efter Stangning" churns and drives away at a more classic deep house level, but Klint nevertheless injects a noticeable layer of something altogether more exotic. Twisted, dystopian house beats would be the best way to some this up.
Review: It never used to be so, but these days solo releases from Ben Klock are few and far between. We've seen periodic collaborations from the Berghain resident - most notably with old pal Marcel Dettmann - but little else, making this first solo single in nine years a genuine "event" release. He's in fine form on A-side "Subzero", a hushed, deep and intoxicating techno workout that delivers nine minutes of locked-in drums, hazy aural textures, simmering chords and icy, undulating lead lines. Flipside "Coney Island", an evocative and atmospheric affair that moves from dusty field recordings (presumably of the famous New York resort mentioned in the title) to forthright, funfair-aping techno headiness via a drawn-out ambient intro, synthesized horror strings and bubbly acid bass.
Following the successful reception of klodio's debut EP, the Tokyo-based producer spent the year playing shows in Japan with various upcoming artists like Fulbert and label co-founder Alixkun, and taking part in disruptive events such as Pow Wow School of Music.
When klodio decided it was time to start recording his second EP, he took a slightly different direction, going from Techno-influenced Detroit House to House-influenced Detroit Techno. "Shinagawa Sunrise" is a fast-paced retro-futuristic Jazz jam which climaxes on a fantastic sax solo by the young and talented Ilia Skibinsky. Daiba goes a step further in this Techno journey, flowing from glowing, light, syncopated chords to a dark and aggressive atmosphere, and back again to the relaxing chords.
More polished, singular, deep, and yet aggressive than "Toktroit", "Rainbow Bridge EP" brings another stone in the Asia-infused universe that the French producer is bringing to the world of electronic music.
Review: Brit in Melbourne Kloke follows up previous releases on this impressive NYC label (and sterling effort in 2014 on Sub Squared) with something different. The intense Latin percussion workout of "PHONE" sounds like Sergio Mendes on steroids in this relentless epic, while "Rhythm #1" is more restrained in its exotic execution. Jamal Moss does an impressive job as ever on the remix. His analogue hardware jam turning the track into something else completely.
Review: While electro and techno pioneers Kraftwerk were obsessed with the humble bicycle, Kaften regular Klorex 55 is more partial to motor vehicles. At least that's what the electro stalwart is celebrating on this first solo 12" in nigh on six years. Opener "In The Back Of My Car" is a punchy, full-throttle affair, with robotic vocoder vocals and tongue-in-cheek vocal samples bouncing giddily above a throbbing four-to-the-floor electro rhythm. "Watch Your Car" is darker but funkier, with more metallic electronics and a more menacing vocal, while "Your Car Is My Car" is a riot of bustling techno-tempo drums, razor-sharp electronics, broken robot riffs and a ghetto-tech style vocal (minus the sleaze and misogyny) to help things move along at a pleasingly frenetic pace.
Review: The Kompakt affiliated Kolsch presents the second release on his new Ipso imprint. A collaborative project, his recent club residency in Cologne took the same name and he's back with a brand new collaboration with Turbo head honcho - Tiga. Said to be recorded in a couple days in Kolsch's Copenhagen studio, the pair present three surefire cuts that are ready to burn up any dancefloor - at all hours. From the evocative dancefloor drama of "HAL" with its powerful and catchy analogue melody, some surging adrenaline on the fierce and functional "Still So High" and "First Blood" on the flip: a pounding peak-time weapon that's jam packed full of driving bass and trippy synth textures galore.
Review: If you're after some clandestine, otherworldly late night techno, you could do worse than cop this four-way hoedown from Italian imprint Unita Psicofisica. Korridor sets the tone with "Geotetra", a far-sighted and foreboding chunk of leftfield techno hypnotism, while PRG/M serves up some modular electronics and mind-altering rhythms ("Quantum Decay"). Over on the flip, Von Grall continues on a similar theme with the spaced-out electronics and rhythmic density of "Umalog", before SHLTR brings us gently back to earth via the slowly shifting drones, classical ambient melodies and sparkling beauty of EP standout "Pashupatinath" (try saying that after a few too many bottles of Peroni).
Review: Vester Koza has remained quiet as of late but he's back with his singular brand of deep house on his own Maslo imprint. While his previous 12"s were coated in a relatively upbeat and funked-out flavour, the PRISN EP feels darker, more expansive and ethereal, where Koza prefers the use of drones and abstract electronics as a base for his grooves. "Deciveid", for example, takes a broken, hypnotic beat and places it over subtle twists of noise, whereas "Bind_Dream_Service" is slow, jagged and lacking of a 4/4 beat...it's Vester Koza's industrial side coming out to play.
Review: Kreon & Lemos continue their exploration of dubby motifs and crafty beat programming on this latest missive for Equivalence, and at this point it's safe to say anything could be possible from the adventurous Greek duo. Each of the artists has a side across which to express their own vision of "Avatone", starting off with Kreon. The urgency of the funky breakbeat rhythms powering both versions is hard to resist, with Kreon's version ramping up the nagging synth lines in between the drums while Lemos opts for a more meditative refrain around the intricate percussion.
Review: Following rock solid entries from Ben Sims, Markus Suckut and Alan Fitzpatrick, Mosaic's Red Series continues apace in 2017 with a firing three-tracker from German scene stalwart Andre Kronert. "A Track Called Jinx" is a slow and nervy slice of bleepy techno that says a lot with the barest of ingredients. "The Bottom Line" is a more feisty concern, raising the tempo and the intensity without losing that loopy quality that shoots straight into the dark heart of the night. "Pressure Dub" represents the more experimental side of Kronert's output, using sparse materials to create a minimalist megalith.
Review: Released earlier this year to critical acclaim, Krystal Klear's "Euphoric Dreams" was a non-stop rush of neo-trance synthesizer refrains and melodic, life-affirming electronics. Here, Kink turns in his takes on the track, starting with a formidably filthy, bass-heavy take that flits between euphoric, synth-heavy sections and dark, stripped-back grooves. It's neo-trance, Jim, but not as we know it! The veteran producer's flipside "Drums & Bass Mix" removes the giddy and glassy-eyed synth parts, instead layering psychedelic acid lines atop thumping, trance-inducing beats and Belgian hardcore style "Hoover" bass. In other words, it's a properly intense techno throb-job.
Review: Today Kimochi Sound gets Baltic Sea sonar pinging techno deep, maybe something like bridging the gap between Sleeparchive and Mono Junk.
There are enough hypnotic spaces and hallucinatory frequencies in these loops to tide over the dark winter months, with enough funk packed into the riddims to inspire some heated early morning grooves.
Review: Ukranian hypnotic techno merchant and rising star Etapp Kyle is back, this time on Ostgut Ton sister label Unterton. "Opto" is cyclical, functional and bleepy. This track works well and is no doubt honed by his experience releasing for Klockworks in recent years. Second track "Ahora" is the one that really nails it though, with it's doubled up kicks and rapid fire claps doing most of the work beneath some immersive and lush chords. On the flip "Continuum" is definitely the highest-octane track on here for peak time use; this one is thunderous! Finally "Limb" keeps on with the intensity on this reduced yet muscular cut with steely rhythms and grinding synth programming calling to mind classic Steve Rachmad.
Review: The good chaps over at Hardwax, Klockworks' own distribution network, are calling this a "perfectionist techno compilation" and, in their own words, it comes "warmly recommended". We agree with both of statements, and believe this to be a fine piece of work from the Ben Klock collective. Perhaps listeners won't hear anything drastically game-changing in here, but it is certainly all dance music of the highest calibre, from a collection of artists who have truly crafted a neat and elegant vision of techno music. On this double, the first in an upcoming series, there's a mixture of old and new faces all coming together to showcase the sound they've been so close to over the years; the wonderful Sterac makes an appearance with a refreshingly off-kilter blur of dub techno on "Lately", while Ben Klock himself comes through with the ice-cold bleeps of "Twenty", and the mighty DVS1 blasts out some penetrative percussion folds on "In The MIddle. Trevino rocks the boat with "Sombre Tones", whereas relative newcomers Etapp Kyle and Jon Hester turn in their own 5am bullets.
Review: All good things come to an end. Part ten of ten in Ostgut Ton's tenth various artists' compilation and they've recruited some of their superstar residents to give their very best. Marcel Fengler's restrained fury on "Fallin' (feat. Elif Bicer)" almost sounds like something off the soundtrack of a sci-fi film where dramatic elements face off with Bicer's angelic voice. Etapp Kyle's "Nolah" is another example of his well executed hypnotic techno with a nod to the master himself Robert Hood. Finally Steffi's "Loweborschtel" is the kind of surefire sub-aquatic electro funk and the standard in quality you'd always expect from the Dolly boss.
K'Alexi Shelby - "That Old Chicago" (Sims JFF edit)
Scott Franka - "Francine" (Acid mix)
Barrow Boy - "Shacid"
Review: Stealth Mission has a rugged, old skool approach to acid techno that makes it seriously potent material for those who like their parties dark and nasty. The likes of Andreas Gehm (RIP) and Mark Ambrose have appeared on the label before, and now there's a third selection of scuffed and scraped warehouse belters to feast your ears on. Naked Eye People are back once again with an understated breakbeat roll and a devilish 303 line on "Jungle Acid," while K'Alexi Shelby takes no prisoners on the brittle drum jacker "That Old Chicago." Scott Franka's "Francine" is a surprisingly emotive but no less gritty acid trip, and then Barrow Boy ramps up the intensity with squelchy techno beast "Shacid."
Review: The resurgence of Icelandic techno continues with the latest release on AE Recordings, seeing Bjarnar Jonsson returning to his long standing Ohm project alongside emergent talent Kvadrant. The pair were last seen on Kvadarant's Kontakt label, and their production partnership is clearly still yielding quality, dubbed out techno in the finest Scandinavian tradition. Even if all the tracks are built with a steely techno focus to them, the synth work and sound design scattered throughout the tracks elevates this to a higher level, not least on the bubbling geisers of signal processing that course through the middle of "Grip".
Review: The first Various Artists release on Kynant, 'K.Y. Space'. Mike Parker's unmistakable modulations and the broken-beat, UK techno of Forest Drive West share the A-side.Korridor's ultra-deep sonic exploration leads into fellow Swedish artist Fjader crafting a downtempo beat in her signature ambient style. Mastered by Neel.
Review: Ali Wells's Perc Trax has done incredibly well over the years, and in fact, this latest EP (the third in the series) marks the label's ten year anniversary! Patrick Sottrop aka Kareem drops "Just When You Thought It Was Over" on the A-side, unleashing a militant and subtly dubbed-out warhead for the peak time hours, while Wells himself touches down as Perc with the stormy, wide-eyed sound sculpture that is "Volley". Surprisingly, the kick drum - a menacing pound to the head - only pops up well into the track, leaving space for all other sorts of atmospherics and distortion to surface. Excellent, as per usual.