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: 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: Like Delsin label mates Conforce and Claro Intelecto, veteran producer John Beltran seems incapable of producing duff albums. "Hallo Androiden", his first full length outing for two years, is another wonderfully atmospheric, melodic and emotive set that recalls the producer's impeccable 1990s output. The nine tracks are as lushly produced as you'd expect, with Beltran effortlessly drifting between eyes-closed ambient techno, lilting electronica, slowly shifting sunset soundscapes and the kind of grandiose, life affirming ambient compositions that have long been a feature of the veteran producer's work. As with much of his output, there are enough intricate details and emotion-stirring motifs to suggest that the album will sound just as good on the 50th listen as it does the first.
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: The second collectible EP out of three, arriving on double white 10" vinyl, and containing tracks from Jon Convex's debut album, Idoru sees another four hard hitting fusions of techno and contemporary bass music. Unlike the first EP, which was surprisingly melodic, these tracks aim squarely at the floor, with "What I Need" a heavy tom-led piece of Detroit influenced techno, and "Aversion" providing some tracky functionalism. "Desolation" and "Four Faces" meanwhile provide some bleak electro dystopianism, much indebted to his Autonomic heritage.
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: 23 years have passed since Edward Upton first donned the DMX Krew alias, but the prolific British producer shows no signs of slowing down. Astonishingly, Strange Directions is the electro stalwart's 21st full-length excursion. Predictably, it's rather good, with Upton delivering a set that effortlessly body-pops between vocoder-laced electro workouts, melodious IDM, bass-heavy intelligent techno, gnarled Drexciyan throbbers, Artificial Intelligence style home listening fare and even a dash of muscular, tongue-in-cheek Italo-disco (the deliciously sleazy "Soft Networks"). As usual, the distinctive, off-kilter swing of original analogue hardware is present throughout, as Upton showcases his full range of talents. Recommended.