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: 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: 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: Trinidadian Deep's house music isn't just deep, it is spiritual. He layers up synths into oceanic movements that wash over you time and time again, leaving you feeling soothed in golden sounds. His obsessively detailed percussion adds movement and detail to each track, too, and all four cuts here are testament to that once again. "Balls Deep" is a little synth dance and jumbled house groove to make you move, while "Project 5am" slows things down and encourages reflection. "Flux" is more roomy and cosmic before "Bush Rum" closes with far sighted chords and shimmering drums that are deceptively complex.
Review: Yes! Styles Upon Styles step it up and drop their very first album length project and do so in their own inimitable style with this conceptual long player from the superb (and superbly named) Gut Nose. The NYC label have swiftly built a rep for introducing the unheralded or the lesser known (Clay Wilson, Certain Creatures, White Visitation and Kloke) and it's great to see them maintain that approach with Filthy City. Aside from one cassette release and a prior SUS 12", there is little to form an opinion on Gut Nose out there, and that works in his favour on this album. The traditional LP format has been thrown out completely in favour of two extended pieces made up of movements with the A Side, sub-titled Filthy City, a dizzying array of paranoid stuttering instrumental beats reminiscent to the late 90s work of El P and Cannibal Ox. Gut Nose flips it completely with the B-side's Filthnoid Mixx which ups the tempo markedly to a queasy fairground ride through a nightmarish techno landscape. You won't hear another LP like Filthy City this year.
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: Boo Williams may release far less music than he once did, but every 12" he releases retains the same high quality threshold that has long marked out the Chicagoan's work. This two-tracker is a brilliant example. Both tracks are ear pleasing, musically rich and dancefloor focused, offering a near perfect balance between club-ready grunt and emotion-rich tunefulness. A-side "Out of the Gate" sets the tone, with Williams' layering chiming melodies lines and dreamy chord progressions atop a near techno tempo, bass-heavy house groove. On the B-side, he pays tribute to long time pal and occasional studio buddy Glenn Underground via the tumbling synthesizer chords, bubby acid lines, melancholic flourishes and jacking drums of "Reckless Ending".
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: 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: Following up DJ Barbo$$a's absolutely awesome Mystical Teachings EP, Melbourne's Salt Mines are back with yet more lo-fi house shenanigans courtesy of the label bosses: Shedbug and Rudolph C (Neo Violence/X-Kalay/Lost Palms). The latter serves up the tribal raindance of "Indian Rope"and the saturated acid house of "Granite State". On the flip, Shedbug (who had a great track on Polish imprint PLAY !T LOUD earlier this year) serves up some dirty rave breaks on "Unwavering" featuring a massive Reese bassline and... panpipes! It's not altogether unpleasant though, believe us. Less introspective and more dancefloor oriented on the hi-NRG antics of "Dust Off" though - a right epic and featuring some euphoric arpeggios, cosmic synth leads plus the best of vintage drum machines. This will truly elevate the crowd and just begs to be played somewhere like their local festival Rainbow Serpent this year!
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.