Luigi Madonna & Roberto Capuano - "Limitless" (6:46)
Review: More big guns for the main room (at peak time!) courtesy of tried and tested experts Drumcode - and they sure aren't messing around on part four of the sixth instalment of their A sides series. Tuscany's Luca Agnelli serves up the pummelling and furious DJ tool "Hypericum" while India's finest techno export Arjun Vagale continues to make waves with his dynamic sound and "Liquid" is no exception, as it electrifies your senses with rapid fire rhythms and mental synth sequences. On the flip, London's Vinicius Honorio serves up the tunneling and hypnotic journey that is "Diamond Dust" which has the potential to appeal to a wide cross section of techno DJs and their respective styles - loved the mesmerising Jeff Mills style chime melody on this one. Finally, two of the label's staples team up for what you could only expect as massive: Neapolitans Luigi Madonna & Roberto Capuano with the slinky late night tech house of "Limitless".
Review: Following some standout solo releases from Rodhad and Recondite, the Dystopian camp take the various artists approach for their fourth release. First on the list is Alex Do, a young DJ who has evidently found kindred spirits in the Dystopian crew, and this EP provides the chance or them to showcase his debut production, "Concrete", a minimalistic combination of rigid kicks and claps, together with eerie morse code bleeps. Dystopian regular Rodhad returns with "The Wall", a fairly epic track which revolves around a slowly swelling tide of monotone synth horns which grow to monolithic proportions. However, the EP's standout moment belongs to Felix K, who leaves the experimental D&B stylings of his usual releases behind for a clattering 4/4 roller filled with his usual blend of tough beats and gentle ambience.
Review: Somewhat later than initially intended, Pinkman serves up the second volume in its celebratory "Five Years of Tears" series (the first landed back in April 2018). As was the case with its predecessor, the six-track set is made up entirely of previously unreleased material. This time round, the majority of the material is inspired by EBM, industrial, coldwave and other skewed, left-of-centre electronic sounds from the 1980s. The material is uniformly strong, with highlights including the sweaty, percussive, all-action insanity of "Al Batard" by Jann, sleazy, mid-tempo EBM pulse of Kris Baha's superb "Beatthemachine" and the pitch-black, DAF style intensity of Retrograde Youth's "Final Days".
Review: Steve O'Sullivan's Mosaic train keeps on rolling, this time via the LTDX series which reaches its second station stop with two more dubbed out dancefloor delights for the deepest divers. O'Sullivan dons his Bluetrain guise to deliver the UK steppers-indebted "Armchair Analyst," which artfully folds subtle dubwise influences into its minimal techno construction. On the flip side, Roger Gerressen spaces things out good and proper with the slow-stalking groove of "Long Overdue," fusing the best elements of contemporary minimal and classic dub to create a fine extension of the Rhythm & Sound blueprint.
Review: Fragrant Harbour once again dig out a cult gem from the seemingly endless vaults of 90s dance music, picking up on a rare and precious gem from a seminal Laurent Garnier mix and giving it the remaster and reissue it deserves. The artists responsible, Broccoli Brothers vs Righteous Men, hailed from Germany and were trying to emulate Mike Dunn. "Catch It (Calm Manoeuvre)" is a spaced out deep house track with all the gritty impact of a classic jam, while "Catch It (Jam)" gets decidedly rowdy with its hefty kick, jacked up swing and wonky bassline. On the B side "Ruhrschnellweg (Last Exit Stahlhausen Mix)" brings a little Detroit flavour into the mix with spectacular, uplifting results.
David Last - "All That's Left" (feat Lavender - dance mix) (5:51)
Review: Besides its inimitable name, Hobo Camp has had a pretty unbeatable first few years in the game, switching up the electro sound with shades of loopy house and techno. These guys have released over two dozen EPs since 2016, and are showing no signs of stopping if this new collaborative release is anything to by! Pumping the vibes through with utter ease, Run The Length Of Your Wilderness is a daring, rip-roaring amalgamation of tech-driven sounds that span just about every quality corner of the game. "The Industrial City", from Cherushii, moans and weeps with a fragile acid bassline over broken percussion beats, while Nackt's "Next" floats at a house tempo, driven forwards by a winding bass from the darkest corners of the 4/4 game. On the flip, Roche's "One For Cherushii" bigs up his counterpart with a deep, aqueous house chugger, and David Last's "All That's Left" drops a clean, sparkly prog house groover for the lovers.
Review: Straight out of Toronto's fast rising electronic underground comes Parallel Minds, a fresh imprint dedicated to releasing "progressive electronic music" from the Canadian city. This debut release boasts cuts from the imprint's three founders Ciel, Yohei S and Daniel 58, as well as guest artist Radiant Aura Faculty. There's much to admire throughout, from the dubby sub-bass, bouncy Afro-house drums and clonking electronics of Yohei S' "Eastern Rankin", to the chiming dub house/dusty deep house fusion of Daniel 58's warm-but-robotic "Space Bubble". Sweatier, rave-inspired breakbeat antics are provided via the loved-up vocal samples and low-end weightiness of Radiant Aura Faculty's "Mana Sadhana", while Ciel's "Hind Sight Is 360" gets just the right balance between driving machine beats, glassy-eyed intent and dreamy, head-in-the-clouds electronics.
Review: Rather unexpectedly, the third CVX release, to date, comes through on Berceuse Heroique, an imprint which seems to be following and replicating just about any genre or sub-culture form the past, making it a perfect example of post-post-modernism in action. Zibaldone III of CVX, a serious previously restricted to the Laura Lies In label, is undoubtedly a wild and wicked concoction of nebulous sonics that are all driven by a toxic, merciless percussion which spews from all angles with a certain mechanical fashion. It's an honourable third edition of the series, and we hope this marks a beginning of a new dawn for CVX. Wicked style.
Heretic - "We Are Left To Dance In The Ashes" (7:45)
Review: In Celebration of 10 years of Modularz We present a very special 40th vinyl release, focusing more on the deeper side of the label pushing a more melodic and chord progressive sound. Written and produced by label head Developer, Ukrainian producer Rhomb and new comers Astronomical Telegram from Colombia and Heretic from the UK. Together compile a great compilation that will destroy floors for years to come.
Review: Pampa offshoot Hart & Tief launched earlier in the year, via a split 12" featuring tracks by Soulphiction and Mike Denhert. This time round, fellow German producers DJ Koze and Robag Wruhme are at the controls. Koze kicks things off with "Driven", a clanking, booty-shaking fusion of metallic percussion hits, resonating electronics, dub techno motifs, and minimalist textures. It feels a little like a contemporary Berlin take on early '90s Sheffield "clonk" (think Sweet Exorcist's Clonk's Coming album on Warp), which is no bad thing in our book. Wruhme's "X-mop 198" is a much more straightforward, early morning techno bubbler, albeit with similarly clanking percussion hits amongst the thumping kick drums and restless, one-note riffs.
Exterminador - "Mohammed Bin Salman" (Tegeler mix) (4:17)
Craow - "Lot" (7:06)
R Gamble - "Dead Advice" (club mix) (8:08)
Plastic Ivy - "Exit Strategy" (4:35)
Review: Pitch black EBM mutations await you on Mannequin's new EP series Death Of The Machines. Volume 1 features the man from the evil empire himself Exterminador, receiving a very Silent Servant sounding remix courtesy of Tegeler on "Mohammed Bin Salman", Providence based newcomer Sean Halpin aka Craow gets the darkwave vibes into full effect on "Lot", while New York City's Richard Gamble nails that classic Zoth Ommog style of old on the electrifying "Dead Advice" (club mix). On the B side, you're treated to some bold minimal wave by Philadelphia's Plastic Ivy - who's in great form on the chilling noir antics of "Exit Strategy".
Review: ** FLOORPLAN REPRESS ** It's fair to say that this was one of the best Robert Hood moments in a while! Just two tracks but boy do they hit hard - "Altered Ego" is more brakey than the usual Hood bombs but he's kept the inimitable chords, all wailing and weaving their way through the beat. The real heat is on the flip however, where the nostalgic, rave-infused piano keys of "Confess" make for a certified classic! Is it Hood who influenced Shed on this sort of beat or the other way around? Who cares, it's bloody amazing!
Review: Roza Terenzi has had a head-spinning past 12 months, notching up a wave of high grade electro releases on labels like Oscillate Tracks, Butter Sessions and Dekmantel. Now she's debuting the Gloworm alias on start up concern Sides, and sounding as vital as ever as she delves into deviant jack tracks dripping with tripped out FX processing. "One Ten" has a slow and nasty acid vibe to it, with a groove that rolls with ease and wobble bass wielded to perfection. "One Twenty" has a more brittle electro bent to it, while "One Thirty" pumps things up to a more peak time flavour of machine funk. As you might have guessed by now, "One Forty" takes things even higher til you're flying at ghettotech levels - Terenzi sounds utterly on point so select with confidence, whichever tempo you need to reach for.
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: Jaunt Records' 10 year celebrations are spanning a series of 12"s that feature a broad spectrum of artists searching for the ultimate deep techno fix. The four contenders that occupy this Sea release all have their own agenda, but they sit together perfectly. Hiver weaves illustrious pads in between nimble electro drums and bubbling acid bass, while Artefakt creates eerie, fractured acid meanderings to send a shiver down your spine. Hinode does some deft break choppage to create a dreamy trip for the up all night crew, and then Region rolls the record out on an emotive tip while keeping the rhythm section pumped up for the floor.
Review: Speak to anyone on the Bristol scene, and they'll happily tell you that Jacob Martin AKA Hodge is willing to open his studio doors to almost any like-minded soul. His latest collaborator is the similarly productive Randomer, fresh from inspired outings on Clone Basement Series and Dekmantel UFO Series. There's a real energy about A-side "Second Freeze", which slowly builds on waves of punchy, polyrhythmic percussion and creepy noises, before bringing in a similarly bold and speaker-hugging bassline. The talented duo goes ever further in this African-influenced direction of thrillingly percussive flipside "Simple As", where additional drum hits pepper a dense, polyrhythmic groove. It's one of the best drum records we've heard this year, and that's saying something.