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: 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: 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: 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.
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."
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: 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: 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: 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: P-Balans continues to shed light on the more unusual underbelly of the Romanian scene, taking a few cues from the dominant minimal scene but adding plenty of analogue weirdness into the mix to provide a genuine alternative for those who like a little more spice in their sauce. On this release Khidja and Delusion Men team up for some off-kilter trips into subversive danceability, starting with the subtle, wavey acid of "Strayed" before cartwheeling into the spooky delights of "Recurrent Weakness". The ghoulish theme gets ramped up to 11 on "Ghost Caravan", where a deathly slow beat carries all kinds of undead synth work, and then Borusiade takes "Recurrent Weakness" to task with a pinging, plunging remix for the end of days.
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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Bulgarian house wizard KINK is back and, of course, he's all about delivering the shadiest forms of dance floor music humanely possible. The man is a master at twisting and pushing house music to its very limits, something which is obvious from the start of "Soda Caustic", a nutty 4/4 banger boasting a curious new strain of acid at its core. "Synesthesia" barely even forms a groove out of its solitary bleeps and bass buds, whereas "Daddy Acid" takes a little poke at AFX's improbable mishmash of Goa trance and gabber junglism - we love this one. The B-side boasts "The Roots Of Techno", a kinetic array of machine noise and robotic beats, while "Antitune" makes some of Photek's early work seem antiquated by comparison. This EP has it all. Warmly recommended.
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: 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: Owen Jay's Batti Batti label has carried a great selection of various artists releases throughout its back catalogue, and the tradition continues with this latest missive. The Palette EP kicks off with the ever-rising talents of Jayson Wynters, who plies a seductive strain of deep house on "Sherella's Kiss" that melts perfectly into the blissful, twinkling keys and gossamer percussion of Duccio's "Absurdation". Kiddmisha leads in on the B side with the sprightly electro of "Healing" before Weakmassive rounds things off with the mellow acid of "Sjhue," which matches a nagging 303 with sumptuous keys for a spine-tingling conclusion to a fantastic 12".
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: 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: 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: Since it rose, Phoenix-like, from the ashes late last year, revitalized Warp offshoot Arcola has delivered a sting of impressive EPs focusing on "experimental club music". The label's latest missive comes from one of the leftfield techno scene's rising stars, debutant Anastasia Kristensen. There's much to admire from start to finish. Check, for example, "Ascetic", an in turns clanking and chiming chunk of dancefloor IDM that recalls some of Autechre's finest early work, and the low-slung bass and clicking percussion of hypnotic techno workout "LXR Jam". The bounding, bass-heavy clatter of "Donni" is impressive too, though the best of the bunch - for peak-time floors at least - is the sweaty early jungle revivalism of "Ascetic (In Breaks)".
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: 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: 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: 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.
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.
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