Review: 30drop debuts on Token with From Beyond The Unknown -- a six-track journey that evokes an excommunicative sense of splendor from the outer reaches of worlds beyond. Beginning with Surrender an immediacy pulsates from the outset and dances towards the playful exuberance of The Informant -- calibrating the gears for what frequencies are to be heard in the interim. Space Beacons delights with elegant pads and wry rhythmic evocations, while Mathematical Language bursts with energies that have been long dormant since the days of Jeff Mills' The Purpose Maker. In that same vein, Visitors From The Stars is an entropic message from above, seeking out a communicative line that's emotive and conductive -- leading towards the last track of this journey. Sagan's Implication is an adroit homage to the legendary astrophysicist; leaning into melodics that are both marvelous and mysterious all at once -- similar to finding the answers that lie above us. All in all, a journey that begins by looking past what's diegetic and looking for answers past the narrative presented.
Review: Native New Yorker Adam "X" Mitchell has long been a fan of collaboration, with a long list previous sparring partners including Ancient Methods, Navario Suaro and, of course, his brother Frankie Bones. For Mutiny & Disorder, he's joined forces again with fellow techno veteran Alistair "Perc" Wells. The duo begin in typically retro-futurist fashion on "Mutiny", whose rising and falling synth lines, dense beats and clanking hits recall the early days of Roman techno. The "back-to-the-future" feel continues with the warped riffs, spacey electronics, apocalyptic textures, surging sub-bass and thunderous rhythms of flipside workout "Disorder".
Review: There's a decidedly rushing, saucer-eyed feel to Ellen Allien's latest album, her eighth since launching the BPitch Control label at the dawn of the century. The Berlin veteran shows no desire to soften her sound or move away from the dancefloor, delivering an eight-track set that giddily charges between neo-trance (the loved-up "Empathy" and tech-trance throb-job "Free Society"), post-dubstep electro (the swirling "MDMA" and atmospheric "Exit To Humanity"), raging acid ("Bowie In Harmony"), decidedly muscular techno (the arpeggio-driven heaviness of acid fired smasher "Love Distortion" and the creepier "Electronic Joy") and bubbly acid electro (superb closing cut "Stimulation").
Review: Danish imprint Nord has been an interesting label to watch develop since it began at the end of 2012. It's exposure was increased this year with the inclusion of DJ Spider's Northern Abyss 12" which earned its own remix EP featuring reworks from Anton Zap, Steven Tang and Token regular Ctrls. Now L.I.E.S. regular and Confused House co-founder Bookworms adds more credibility to the Scandinavian operation with a four-track EP of stripped back, throbbing and beatdown techno. "Compact Visual Nature" and "Location Unavailable" are slow burning, Northern Electronics/Donato Dozzy styled productions while "Outdoor" is lit with Legowelt-ish synths and slamming snares. Lastly the distorted beats of "STE-017" will sound most familiar to Bookworms advocates.
Review: Many of the great record labels are born out of an already-established movement such as a clubnight, and this is the route Amsterdam techno crew Konstrukt have taken. The past few years have seen residents Doka and SHLTR bring Dozzy, Svreca, and Stan Tolkachev to the city and 2015 saw Konstrukt expand into a record label. The debut offering gave SHLTR a chance to demonstrate his production prowess but this second Konstrukt 12" finds them reaching out to some highly respected techno partnerships that have been previous guests. Cassegrain and Sendai bring the heat, each providing two weighty techno tracks that all emphasise the noisier side of their respective production styles. "Antennaed" by Sendai is a definite highlight!
Review: Anom Valley follows Damcase's recent outing on Bunker and positions the Greek producer as a leading light in hard techno. There is a rough, raw feel throughout this release for Bas Mooy's label; "Delete Scene" is mired in distorted kicks and noisy, barb wire percussion and both "Rusty" and "Towards Them" resound to titanium-powered steel drums. "Interlogon" is probably the most extreme track, thanks to its grisly, punishing rhythm, but Damcase also has a funkier side. He showcases this on "Rn 45" and "X Gun", where hypnotic electronic pulses, although encased in weeping layers of white noise, see him get his groove on.
Review: Few producers do the dub techno sound better than Rod Modell and on this second Atmospherica instalment, he shows why he is so revered. "Exploring The North" is dense and subdued, the hisses and crackles ebbing and flowing fluidly over a powerful sub-bass. "Pinewood Lodge" is more atmospheric and floaty, its chords flitting about like fireflies over a camp fire on the first night of autumn. Rounding out the release is "Shot Point". Immersive, hypnotic and ghostly, it washes through the speakers like waves crashing on a deserted beach at midnight. This is electronic music that is designed to get lost in.
Review: In anyone's book, DJ Guy's story is remarkable. The Welsh techno producer recorded material throughout the 1990s, but his vast archive of material went untouched until All Caps put out the 20 (1996) 12" last year. Now Anders Vendelbo and Christopher Kejlstrup's NORD imprint has picked up the baton, and here presents a doublepack of material recovered from the vaults. Given the vintage nature of the tracks, it's somewhat surprising how fresh they sound. While techno fanatics will no doubt spot nods to intelligent techno, ghetto funk, Drexyica, Autechre and the like, the potency of the material has not diminished by sitting in shoeboxes for 20 years.
Review: Hyped Barcelona DJ/producer and '90s U.S sitcom fan DJ Seinfeld is in the midst of a rich vein of form, with recent EPs on Lobster Fury and Endotherm only enhancing his rising reputation. This collection of analogue-rich, alien techno workouts on Natural Sciences is, predictably, also rather good. There's a pleasing looseness to the clattering drum machine hits, thrusting analogue bass, psychedelic electronics and cut-up vocal samples of "Vaping Lyf", while "Ruff Hysteria" sounds like late '80s Chicago deep house crossed with the fluttering, head-in-the-clouds innocence of early '90s ambient techno. On the flip you'll find the drowsy chords, hustling machine drums and wonky vocal samples of "Wombat Bounce" and the roughneck, hardcore style cut-up drum breaks and saucer-eyed chords of "What Kind of Sandwich Is This?"
I Saw Her Kiss Him In Front Of Me & I Was Like WTF? (5:13)
Bring U Back (5:51)
Too Late For U & M1 (6:40)
Time Spent Away From U (5:34)
With My Luv (6:05)
Another Way Back (5:15)
It's Just My Luv (6:02)
How U Make Me Feel (6:20)
U Hold Me Without Touch (6:31)
Come Thru For U (6:12)
Review: It's been a whirlwind 12 months for DJ Seinfeld, who has gone from "unknown entity" to hyped producer in what seems like the blink of an eye. There's little doubt that this debut album on Lobster Fury will simply enhance his credentials further. It's a typically dusty and lo-fi affair, but far more positive in tone than your average crackly techno full-length. The Swedish producer makes extensive use of rubbery synth basslines, hazy R&B and pop vocal samples and the kind of production tricks more frequently found on disco-house and old US garage records (while, naturally, rarely sounding exactly like either style). In other words, the album is full of attractive, floor-friendly party techno for those who like their cuts fun and funky, rather than stern and severe.
Review: To the casual observer it might seem like we are approaching 'Donatoverload' with numerous Dozzy related projects released recently. Look a bit closer though, and it's either been reissues (like the Aquaplano Sessions) collaborations with Tin Man and Neel or extensive remix packages like Plays Bee Mask. There has been little actual solo Dozzy material since a 2011 release for the Acid Test series, so this release for Lucy's Stroboscopic Artefacts label is most welcome! Translating roughly as "Third Day", the four track Terzo Giorno 12" is typical Dozzy with a fine sense of textural dexterity evident on "Il Canto Della Maga (part 2)" and the title track. The addition of Dozzy makes perfect sense for Stroboscopic Artefacts within the context of their recent releases from Lakker, Rrose and Chevel which have provided the label with a renewed juncture to the dancefloor.
Review: Marcel Dettman's mighty MDR label doesn't offer a huge amount of releases every year, but what does get put out is always pure and utter quality. The Berghain resident pick out Ryan James Ford for number 17 in the catalogue, a young producer which we know little to nothing about at this point. We do, however, know that he makes seriously effective techno in the label's familiar style. There's five cuts spread across the two sides on here, all representative of Dettman's marathon sets in which he spans the full circle. Aside from all the techno bashings, there are also moments of tranquillity, manifested in the beatless ambience of "Hoodlam Klothe", and "Lempt Jarkarin", in particular. Do check "Rjiyen Orandim" for some serious percussive action, though. An impressive debut.
Review: Since 1984, Laurent Prot has been putting out music as In Aeternam Vale, a project which has given us some of the best experimental beat music, the finest in darkwave and paved the way for many contemporary artists to do their thing. Although Prot had long periods of hiatus, the last five years have seen renewed interest in his work thanks to the efforts of Veronica Vasicka whose Minimal Wave label has issued several outstanding In Aeternam Vale retrospectives. Following his excellent Jealous God release, Prot now appears on the newly formed Linda Records with a devilish 10" containing three tracks that sounds as fresh and captivating as any of the music made by twenty-something year-olds now. "Self-Destruct" is an electrifying techno driver riding at a slow pace; "Non" ups the speed and drops in a heavy layer of pseudo-acid to the equation; "Inside" ties things off with a cavernous swarm of drones, sounding like the inside of a jet engine. DO NOT SLEEP.
Review: Under-rated Detroit innovator Gary Martin is back. Not on his legendary Hypnotika imprint, rather DJ 3000's Motech which equally has been rather quiet of late. Who cares; they're here once again and in good form. The Robert Hood remix of "Well" is the kind of sure-fire, peak time cyclical treatment that this legend could lend a version to, but not of typical of him as you'd think.. It's great! The original (on the flip) is damn good too; a smooth and sleazy slow burner with enough atmosphere for those cool down moments. "We Get Down" is the usual sound of Martin; tribal and esoteric. The DJ 3000 remix getting possibly more minimal and soulful than the Hood remix heard previously.