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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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".
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: 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: Argentinian techno hero Jonas Kopp returns with more hard hitting tool techno with a respectful nod to the past. For Zadig's Parisian imprint Construct Reform, he serves up Cosmic Control Centre: his first release for 2017 and it's certainly worth the wait. Starting out on the A side with the brash, unrepentantly Millsian futurism of "Cognitive Process" and then the droning/hypnotic groove of "Metaprogramming" which takes its cues from the good old 'Sound Of Rome' and sure to cause some strobed out hysteria on the dancefloor: pre-peak time. Speaking of which, on the flip you can cue up the release's big gun in the form of "Vortex", with its roaring trance style bassline and crashing hi hats all geared for some hands in the air moments, not just in Berlin's sweaty warehouses spaces but beyond, no doubt!