Review: The very first release in Hardfloor's "Versus" series pits the acid legends against one of their peers, the mighty Rob Acid! Rob's track "Blue Print" is a stroke of genius. Iit takes you on a 13 minute acid ride complete with dark, sliding synth sounds and mind-altering drums - we kid you not! Hardfloor responds with "Hitchhikers Choice", taking it waaaaay back to the old school with that classic Hardfloor touch.
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.
Jazz Carnival (Space Jazz mix - Global Communication remix) (11:15)
Review: We hear on the grapevine that there could be some seriously desirable Global Communication vinyl reissues on the way in 2020. To tide us over until then, Far Out has decided to reissue one of the legendary West Country duo's most celebrated and sought-after remixes: their 1996 "Space Jazz" remix of Azymuth classic "Jazz Carnival". Pritchard and Middleton's version is a spacey deep house epic of intergalactic proportions, with subtle elements of the Brazilian band's loose and languid '90s re-recording of the track (the B-side "LP Mix") weaving in and out of a warm, rich and hypnotic groove. It's one of the most dancefloor-friendly of all Global Communication remixes - many were straight ambient or downtempo rubs - but also one of Mark Pritchard and Tom Middleton's finest.
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: 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: Given that they not only share space on the same label, but also both explore the deeper end of the dub techno spectrum, we were rather surprised to learn that "Hypnotic Dub Season" marks the first collaboration between musical cosmonauts Mr Cloudy (AKA Sergey Barkalov) and Gradient (Igor Arsenjev). So, was it worth the wait? If you're into dub techno, then certainly. The album is made up of three epic workouts (the last of which runs to an astonishing 30 minutes) in which the pair wrap hissing aural textures, echoing melodic motifs and sumptuous, huggable ambient electronics around chunky, slowly shifting dub techno rhythms. If you like your music hazy, spaced-out and - as the title promises - hypnotic, then you need this in your life.
Review: Spanish techno stalwart Oscar Mulero trailed this fourth album in as many years with Dualistic Concept, a set of typically dark, hypnotic and ghostly remixes. That can be found on the second disc, and ties in neatly with the robust, forthright and atmospheric sound of the album itself. Muscle & Mind has moments of beauty, of course - see the blissful ambience of "Mental Causation" and enveloping chords and found sounds of "Unconscious" - but for the most part it's concerned with the power of rhythm. Few are better at wringing maximum intensity from loop-heavy jams, and Mulero's love of dusty white noise, trippy melodies and skittering percussion guarantees variety in the grooves throughout.
Review: Raphael Fragil's Fragil Musique has never ceased to stop exploring and innovating through electronic sounds. Since 2011, the imprint has showcased an impressive array of previously unheard talents and, in the process, has given us access to names such as Jafar, Cedric Borghi and Kenny Lane. More recently, the likes of Nummer and Simo Cell have played their part in the label's development, and this latest collaborative EP has come at exactly the right moment to lock these past six years down to a varied and polished release. Nummer, who had first come to light through Going Good, lays down some slick, slow lounge house on his "Nummer's Tribute", followed by the equally wavy and Balearic-leaning "Simo Cell's Tribute". "Jafar's Tribute" is a different kind of affair; the house beats are out in full motion, charged by a glorious minimal-dub energy, which leaves "Bazarov's Tribute" to deliver the funk via some masterfully executed boogie vibes. A splendid EP - TIP!
Review: According to their Discogs entry, The Final Experiment is "More stuff out of the galaxy called "Hard Wax Berlin". Seelow is actually another alias of the now legendary Rene Pawlowitz, so you know already that it's going to be pretty damn good, right? The A side track "TFExx4A" is proper, nasty peak time business; we all know Pawlowitz' great knack for revisiting nostalgic dance music sounds and this track is built around a grating, doom-laden hoover and as always has a monstrous and shuffling rhythm. On the flip "TFExx4B" sounds like something more familiar from the artist, namely under his infamous Shed alias. With its catchy, dreamy pad melody and that signature warehouse techno beat with the perfect amount of hiss and dust in it. Nice one!
Review: It's hard to think of a DJ with the global profile of Nina Kraviz who runs a label as underground and innovative as trip. The latest comes from Shadowax, who has previously contributed to the label's compilations but now makes her full label debut. Unlike much of the frantic and frenetic material trip has dealt with in the past, this EP slows the tempos and explores more moody and hypnotic techno. Opener "Nikolai Reptile" is a super slow motion and dub rhythm with searching synth lines gently riding up and down the scale, while "Ochen" recalls the icy minimal perfection of Daniel Bell. "What About Me" has spoken word mutterings and paranoid, pressurised kicks that hurry you along and lastly "Mortal Talking" is a flurry of hyper-speed drums and synth loops to fully flip you out.
Review: Shedbug's slow but steady rise continues via an EP that's as thrilling and action-packed as a narcotics-fuelled weekend with a platoon of free party lunatics. There's a distinctively psychedelic feel to the retro-futurist club cuts on show, with bombastic opener "Aciidmuzik" - all effervescent hardcore style breakeat, psy-trance acid lines and fizzing electronics - being quickly followed by the hallucinatory ambient techno shuffle of "One Day Later". His devotion to the more LSD-inspired aspects of early '90s electronic music continues on the flip, where the exotic vocal samples, trippy electronic motifs and glassy-eyed melodies of breakbeat shuffler "Rubber" come paired with the sunrise-friendly bliss of the EP's most loved-up track, "There's Hope For You Yet".
Solar Sound System - "K7" (Nemo Vachez Transcendantal dance mix) (6:38)
Solar Sound System - "CD-R" (4:25)
Jimmy Batt - "Magic Garden" (5:27)
PO - "On The Radio" (6:09)
Review: London-based label Opia turn their attention to Solar Sound System, who have a playful brand of electro to impart that manages to fuse kitsch '80s slap bass and classic sample stabs with immersive, expressive pads on the head-turning highlight "K7". Nemo Vachez does a great job of remixing the track before another original closes out the B-side - the pumped up roller "CD-R". Jimmy Batt pops up on the B side with the cheeky tweaking of "Magic Garden", and then PO rounds things off with the deep techno delights of "On The Radio".
Review: AvantRoots apparently spent a year putting together their dub techno focused "Espectrum" compilation prior to its release in 2016. We're not sure how long they spent on this sampler for the expanded, digital sequel, but we can confirm that it's every bit as alluring. Toki Fuko kicks things off with the sparse, Basic Channel style dub techno minimalism of "Druid (Dub)" - all subtle shifts and echoing, ultra-deep motifs - before Segue combines hushed, locked-in drums with fluid ambient textures on the drowsy and picturesque "Stepping Up". Sibling impresses with the similarly opaque and soft-focus flipside opener (and Drhamer collaboration) "Tunnel Vision (Dub)", while Beat Pharmacy's "Hemp (Dub)" brilliantly wraps tactile, tropical-sounding synth riffs around an undulating bassline and ultra-deep drums.
Review: According to Jared Wilson, the debut release on the freshly minted Jason, Jared and Brian's Records imprint is dedicated to (and influenced by), "Roland, Dinsync, Social Entropy Engine and the Pacific Northwest". Musically, it's not a great departure from his usual robust, acid-fired, club-focused style, but that's no bad thing. Perhaps the pick of the bunch is A-side "Acid Remake (Lynwood New mix)", where undulating TB-303 acid lines bubble away atop a snappy house beat and suitably intergalactic, Motor City techno style chords. Elsewhere, "Lynwood 23" is a more boisterous if bittersweet acid techno workout, while "Lynwood Engine" is deep, melancholic and undeniably alien sounding.
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