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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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.
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: 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.