Review: Ilario Alicante now makes his full debut Drumcode. He's established himself as a key player among a new breed of techno artists and really is one of the brightest stars in the game. Opening with "Times" Alicante gets straight into top gear, rolling through six minutes of pure power: this is a peak time tool if we've ever heard one and is set to be heard across dancefloors worldwide this year. "Awakened" is one you may have heard from label head honcho Adam Beyer's sets of late; rampant synths and mesmerising vocal hooks all make it one hell of a journey. "Sense" is a more industrial affair, led by its chunky bassline this one is a right trip too. The EP finishes off with "Apogeo", packed with hypnotic siren tones and acute percussion.
Review: Although Omar S' excellent Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself album was released on CD a few months ago, it's the deluxe vinyl version that the real "Homie's and Tender Roni's" have been waiting for. Only Omar S could get away with spreading all of its 14 tracks across 4 12"s, split into two parts, but for those yet to sample its delights, the album's superb selection of tracks more than justifies the expense; Part 1 features the superb vocal turn from L'Renee on "Rewind", the insanely feelgood house of "The Shit Baby", the experimental dubbiness of "Helter Shelter" and thick set deep house of "Amalthea".
Review: The second part of Omar S' You For Letting Me Be Myself album in vinyl form sees another 8 tracks across four sides of wax; aside from the '80s inflected sounds of the album's title track, the 303 workout of "Ready My Black Asz" finds itself with the dubbed out loops of "Messier Sixty Eight". As a bonus for those who already have the album, this part contains two vinyl exclusive tracks; the soothing deepness of "She's Sah Hero Nik" and the delayed organ weirdness of "Broken Bamalance Horn" - both more than worth the price of admission alone.
Review: Anyone who has caught Helena Hauff in action will excitedly tell you that she's one of underground electronic music's top DJs - a mixer who combines top-notch technical skills with an exhaustive knowledge of music to deliver distinctive sets that set her apart from the crowd. It's for this reason that her contribution to Tresor's "Kern" mix series has been so hotly anticipated. Having now given it a listen, we can confirm that the two-disc mix-up is every bit as good as we'd hoped, with Hauff surging through a breathless, 32-track selection built around scuzzy, fuzzy and forthright slabs of electro, techno, ghetto-tech and industrial strength early UK hardcore. Piled high with rare, hard-to-find and previously unreleased tracks, it may well end up being the mix of the year by some distance.
Review: Laurent Garnier began the LBS (Live Booth Sessions or Loud Bass & Samples) concept in 2010, as a means of experimenting with live techniques. The crew incorporates Garnier himself, as well as Benjamin Rippert on keyboards and Scan X on machines. The Timeless EP begins with "Jacques In The Box" delivering a full-impact slice of techno sprinkled with surging synthesisers and climbing polyphonic key strokes. The percussion seems to melt into one element as the kick drum drives this fast, hard and slightly euphoric techno jam. Loud Disco's mix of "Our Futur" will surely capture the ears of any large crowd caught in the reverie of a darkened nightclub, with a notable chord progression and sharp, saturated snare drum.
Review: With this release, the Zenker Brothers' Ilian Tape label has delivered something of a curveball. It sees experimental D&B producer and all round bass head Djrum join the party, sharing space with unknown quantity Struction. Djrum begins with broken techno gem "Untitled 9", cutting up sweaty broken beats, heavy basslines and deep techno electronics. On the flip, we are treated to the sounds of Struction, combining punchy breakbeats with ambient-influenced electronics on the rolling "Don't Blame", before moving further towards beat-less, end-of-night territory with the acid-flecked trip that is "Struktur".
Review: Turin techno stalwart Andrea has been serving up slabs of goodness on Ilian Tape since way back in 2012, though "Ritorno" is remarkably his very first full-length excursion. The 12 track set is far more varied than his fine club-focused singles, with the Italian variously turning his hand to swelling, Global Communication style ambient techno ("Attimo"), ultra-deep breakbeat dreaminess ("SKLYN"), melodious, jungle-influenced IDM ("LS September"), bassbin rattlers ("TrackQY", the skittish brilliance of moody roller "Reinf"), dreamy soundscape techno ("LG_Amb"), angular fusions of bass music and dark Italo-techno ("Drumzzy") and picturesque ambient dub slow jams ("Twin Forests").
Review: Silent Season have carried the music of Submersion and Mon0 independently before, but now the dub techno producers have teamed up to take their sound onto new plains of exploration. The sound palette is consistent with both their music and that of the label, but the familiar dancefloor tropes have been jettisoned in favour of a more meditative end result, leading in with the achingly beautiful tundra excursion of "Beginning Of The End". From there the album drifts with glacial motion through a range of finely crafted soundscapes, wielding a world of rumbling, harmonious noise in the middle distance without ever losing that seductive dub techno ambience.
Review: Juan Rico has many aliases to his name, but he's been doing some especially fierce work as Architectural with releases on Wolfskuil and Ellum Audio alongside his own self-titled label. Now he lands on R&S with this surefooted 12", which leads in with the distinctive P-funk techno slapper "This Is Not Purple". It's a heavy loop which hammers home on the one for eight minutes plus. On the flip, "Rhythms & Souls" has a more industrial bite - that's the Ministry version of industrial mind you - which merges perfectly with his club-geared techno sensibilities to make for a vitally exciting weapon for any adventurous DJ who wants some vintage crunch in their sonic palette.
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").
Time Marked Its Irregular Pulse In Her Eyes (2:18)
Review: One of the standout cuts from Daniel Avery's superb Song For Alpha album, "Diminuendo", gets a deserved single release. The title track - an alien-sounding chunk of psychedelic darkroom techno made in collaboration with recent Tresor signing Manni Dee - kicks off the EP, before Avery serves up a trio of previously unheard workouts. The first of these, "Hyper Detail", is a weighty chunk of creepy and intense techno propelled forwards by thunderous beats and wickedly wild TB-303 acid lines, while B-side opener "Light of Falling Rain" is an equally trippy slab of wonky electro/modular techno fusion. Closer "Time Marked Its Irregular Pulse In Her Eyes", meanwhile, is the kind of twisted ambient - all barely decipherable electronic speech and spacey noises - that sounds like it was beamed down from another universe.
Review: Cititrax present the sinewy synthwave sound of Tornische, a project first showcased on label boss Veronica Vasicka's Resident Advisor mix from earlier this year. We don't know much about them, but neither does it matter when the music is this good. The reference points are clear, but Tornische don't sound bogged down by nostalgia. Their tracks bristle with energy, and the interplay between the vocalists is theatric and ineffably cool in the same breath. Meanwhile the productions are deceptively nuanced even as they stalk in the raw alleyways first traipsed by plucky '80s bedroom studio dreamers.
Review: There's a delightfully celebratory feel about this debut volume of Cititrax Tracks, a new 12" series from Minimal Wave offshoot Cititrax. As beautifully presented as we've come to expect, Tracks Volume 1 boasts a quartet of dancefloor-ready smashers from a blend of new faces and label stalwarts. Amato (aka The Hacker) kicks things off with the glistening EBM funk of "Physique" - all restless synth refrains and pounding bottom end - before LIES affiliate Tsuzing go all dark, psychedelic and twisted on the thrillingly intense, acid-flecked "King of System". An-I go all DAF (with a touch of Front 242) on the fuzzy and dystopian stomper "Mutter", before Cititrax regulars Broken English Club delivers a storming chunk of industrial-tinged analogue funk ("Glass"). Bravo!
Review: Phantasy Sound's main man Daniel Avery has linked up with modular wizard Alessandro Cortini for a debut full length, "Illusion Of Time". It came together over many years, with no real concept or constraints but it has still managed to make a powerful impact despite its spare, lo-fi, ambient vibes. There are heavier, darker tracks like "Inside The Ruins" that are brilliantly bleak, but also thoughtful meditations like the title track, which has some magical piano playing at its core. It's the rays of light amongst the darkness that make this such a beguiling and beautiful listen, and a perfect soundtrack to long lost days at home during lockdown.
Review: Having previously popped up on ESP Institute, Juan Ramos teams up with Trent to form Greenvision, making their first appearance on the home of freshly squeezed discoid deviance, Cocktail D'Amore. "Surdinia" takes over the A side with a bombastic array of peak time devices in its utility belt, from bubbling acid tweaks to gluttonous monosynth leads and a chunky set of drums. "Meccanica" is no slouch either, laying down thick slabs of synthesized grease in pursuit of a different kind of party track. This is unusual, distinctive club music for those who want the crowd to stop and pay attention.
Review: There's no shortage of great electro around at the moment, but lest we forget Carl Finlow has been dishing out some of the finest for decades now. In many ways 20/20 Vision is his spiritual home too, so it's great to see him imparting his skills for a fresh long player of razor sharp body poppers loaded with robo-funk. From charging opener "Apparatus" to freaky wriggler "Carbon Deposits", restrained creeper "Components" to punchy melodic workout "Ampere", there's a lot to enjoy and so much musical detail to absorb across this record. As if we'd expect any less from Mr. Finlow.
Review: Finale Sessions is pround to bring you another fine release with none other them Pittsburgh Track Authority they have been heating things up at the moment and we are great full to have them on label and this release is a gem for sure and we start with the first cut called "Missile 2" It is my favorite of the ep for sure with its rolling drums and its acid based textures a must have peak time jam then we have " Cara Cara" no holds bar jam with a no holds bar approach to drums and rhythm a must have for the later times of the night . Then we have " Wrap Game" this track is a dancefloor killer for sure with its massive pads and intense synth work one of my favorites on Finale Sessions to date and we dont want to forget the drums of coarse with its hipnotic rhythm . Then last but not least we have " Chromed" the first thing you notice about this track is the drums and its crazy rhythm most definetly a techno killer for sure it has massive sound to it for sure and it is not to be ignored with its deep synths and wicked key work a must have for you record collection ..I want to thank you for your support on Finale Sessions and I personally want to thank you and I love you ...
Review: Somewhat surprisingly, Floorplan's third album is not coming out on the M-Plant label established by founder Robert Hood, but rather Will Saul's Aus Music imprint. Either way, it's Hood and daughter Lyric's first Floorplan LP for three years and is full of spot-on techno treats. Those familiar with their style should know what to expect: big room ready loop jams that make extensive use of short, soulful samples, cheery electronics and lots of gospel influences. Highlights include the rubbery deep house/disco/techno fusion of "Oasis", the Terrence Parker style piano rush of "Brothers & Sisters", the stomping gospel techno insanity of "Song Like This!" (the album's standout moment) and the deeper, bluesy techno hypnotism of "I Try".
Review: Having been dormant for over three years, New York label Satamile returns to continue spreading the gospel of proper electro music with a six-track EP from The Ghost That Walks. Drexciya enthusiasts will be all over this record; the rubbery melody of "The Angriest Angel" recalls the Detroit duo at their most playful but with a simmering undercurrent of tension that is very much the producer's own signature style. Similarly great are the searing analogue synth buzz of "Seven Deadly Sons", the tribal 303 stomp of "Urban Jungle" and the 808 rattle and Belgian rave tones of "Resident Evil". Those who were lost without the label's presence should rest easy - Angry Angels is easily among their extensive catalogue's best releases.
Review: With the 'Lucy Reworks' EP, label head Lucy, nom de techno of Luca Mortellaro, revisits four pivotal tracks from his label's peerless catalogue. In their original form, these tracks from Donato Dozzy, Caterina Barbieri, Lucy & Klock and Xhin each represent significant and deeply personal moments for Mortellaro in Stroboscopic Artefacts' history. And like the recent 'Ten Years Of Artefacts' album and the currently ongoing tour, this EP is a chance for Mortellaro to look back fondly at the label's past while closely considering its present and its future.
Review: A long and distinguished recording career for the always faithful Norm Talley has been lacking something Tsuba shapes until now, so kudos to Kev Griffiths for coaxing three drops of powerfully deep and danceable house from the Westside Detroiter. Each track here offers a different mood with A-side cut "Mid-Nite Madd-Ness" the peak time burner with classically Detroit house styled cymbal clashes cuing breakdowns, while vamping chords ascend and descend. "Holiday" is the warmer summer house jam with woozy Rhodes on loop, while "One Track Mind" is deep and rhythmic with a sultry vocal to boot.
Review: Last time we heard from James Ruskin, it was in collaboration with fellow UK techno veteran Mark Broom. Here he flies solo on Blueprint - the label he co-founded way back in 1997 - for the first time in five years. Title track "Reality Broadcast Off" is thrillingly wonky and unsettling, with Ruskin peppering a sturdy late night techno groove with waves upon waves of minor-key arpeggio lines and seemingly out of time motifs. It's great, all told, and most likely capable of inducing hallucinations in suitably refreshed dancers. He continues on a similarly off-kilter theme on the slightly more positive sounding - but no less mind-mangling - "We Are Everywhere", before rounding off a rock solid EP via the squelchy acid motifs and rumbling bass of "Disaffection".
Review: Amato brings the kind of nasty electro business that fits right in on Helena Hauff's mighty Return To Disorder stable, and you know it's serious from the opening strains of the VHS noir monster "Escape From Grenoble 2018". "Hydraulic Funk" takes things slower, coming on like a freaky Frak flipside and sounding excellent for it. "Machine Outil" takes things in a more muscular direction that sounds built for bench presses and body jerks - the consummate peak time sledgehammer. Umwelt takes this sturdy starting point and demolishes it into a hailstorm of acid malevolence that'll melt your face clean off.
Review: It's always a treat to spot Edward donning his Desert Sky guise for another trip into the hinterland of minimal techno, where expression reigns free and all kinds of sound sources tumble into a truly exotic mix. On this album for PAL SL, all bets are off as we get whisked down a mysterious and meandering path where organic and electronic matter merge in the shadows, all strapped to subliminal but pronounced grooves that make this some of the most potent, intriguing club material in circulation right now. Buy the ticket, take the ride and dance out under that Desert Sky.