Review: During the early-to-mid 1990s, Stefan Robbers released some of the most inspired techno to come out of the Netherlands during the period, mostly under the Florence pseudonym on the Eevo Lute Muzique label he co-founded in 1991. This fine triple-vinyl compilation from Delsin tells the tale of both artist and label, drawing together the best of Robbers' work for the label. You'll find extensive liner notes from fine techno scribe Oli Warwick on the accompanying insert, but it's the music - a mixture of sci-fi flavoured club cuts, dreamy and melodious electronica, heady ambient techno, and tactile, loved-up rhythmic soundscapes - that makes "Analogue Expressions" such an essential listen.
Review: Globe-trotting Kompakt regular Kolsch has taken time out of his schedule to deliver a non-stop mix of previously unheard material for Fabric. The album was inspired by the German producer's hectic touring schedule, with each of the tracks named after a particular flight taken to or from a gig. Musically, it's a fluid and evocative journey, with Kolsch moving from spacious and dubbed-out electronica to more hypnotic, forthright club fare via a variety of off-kilter techno and dancefloor IDM cuts rich in tuneful motifs, sun-kissed electronic melodies, spacey sounds, soft-touch beats and heady aural textures. It's beautifully paced, with each track sounding just as good at home as it would in the club.
Review: Music From Memory's latest must-check reissue is a fresh pressing of an obscure 1985 album by Musica Esporadica, a six-piece collective whose members included regular label contributor Suso Saiz. It's a hugely atmospheric affair from start to finish, with bubbly drum machine grooves and Afro-influenced hand percussion rhythms being overlaid with languid synthesizer melodies, atmospheric chords, distant guitar sounds and aural textures so warming you could probably use them as a duvet. There are naturally nods towards ambient, new age and Steve Reich style minimalism (see "I Forgot The Shirts") as well as the occasional operatic vocals and the most Balearic of sounds: fretless bass.
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: In recent times the Zenker Brothers seem to have spent more time running their inspired Ilian Tape imprint than they have producing music. While we'd hardly criticize their choices - Ilian Tape goes from strength to strength - it's certainly good to have them back. The Munich-based siblings begin their first outing of 2020 with the melodious, far-sighted electro shuffle of "Shaketown", before wrapping mangled, mind-altering electronic riffs around a crunchy techno groove of "Chi Boost". "Bengel Mode" sees the siblings successfully combine alien-sounding riffs with a denser techno rhythm track, while closing cut "Outside" is a sparkling trip into hypnotic, slow-release ambient techno territory with nary a kick-drum in sight.
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: Released with the minimum of fanfare, Dismantle represents Rabih Beaini's first substantial release as Morphosis since last year's Tepco Report 12", and comes in the form of a five track double 12" release for Honest Jon's The first comprises two Morphosis productions obviously aimed at more adventurous DJs, with the title track (in collaboration with Donato Dozzy) comprising subtly rattling percussion and organic tones unfolding over a steady rhythmic pulse, while "Tamrat Version" comes across as more full bodied, with thicker organ textures tied up with pulsing synths. The second 12" meanwhile is something entirely different, comprising a live score to Carl Theodor Dreyer's Vampyr recorded in Romania; free of rhythm and utilising some outlandish modular sequencing, it's the producer at his most immersive.
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: Despite scouring the Internet for the best part of an afternoon, we've been unable to identify the producer (or producers) behind "Keep Your Mouth Shut 1", an anonymous but quietly impressive four-track EP. While the untitled psychedelic techno shuffler that opens the EP sounds like a peak-time jam in the making, the cut that follows (simply titled "Track 2" here) is an exotic broken techno affair that makes superb use of raw, acid-fired sub-bass and haunting, almost child-like vocal samples. There's more hybrid fun to be found on the flip, where a driving breakbeat cut comes wrapped in shimmering, summery chords ("Track 3"), and a high-octane, acid-fired electro jam threatens to whisk us off to a deep space destination unknown.
Review: 20/20 Vision have firmly gaffa taped their flag to the electro antennae with "Exit Planet Earth", a new compilation series celebrating veterans and newcomers in the business of tweaked out machine funk. The Hacker is up first with "Positif/Negatif", a rubbery, FX-laden workout with plenty of uneasy space around the core rhythm section. 214 follows up with the decidedly creepy, sound design-embellished "Testy Robot". On the flip Reedale Rise brings something a bit livelier with the plush synth flex pinging through "Lux". Derek Carr completes the set with "The Gap", a lush slice of melancholic machine dreaming for mellower moments.
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: **REPRESS** Another album from the amazing mind of Heinrich Mueller (aka Gerald Donald). Originally released on DJ Hell's Gigolo label and apparently only licensed after Gerald crashed Hell's BMW and had to come up with a means of paying him back. All the tracks first appeared on the very obscure Dataphysix imprint from Detroit, with some releases only reaching the 500 copy mark. Now brought back to life for 2007, "Gesamtkunstwerk" could be one of the best electro albums ever made. Yes that's right, I said it...the best ever! This is almost as important for the techno generation as Kraftwerk's "Computerworld" and "Autobahn" were for many in the 80s. The tracks are all pretty simple, made up of only two or three analogue instruments each, but they seem to hold these timeless melodies that you can never tire of. Other moments are eerie, menacing and downright strange, but still pure genius. You know how a lot of the time when you buy a new record it becomes your favourite for a while, and then it starts to lose a little life? (Of course it's still good, but just not as fresh as the first couple of weeks when you listened to it on repeat). Well guess what? That doesn't happen with this record. I must have listened to some of the tracks on here over a 1000 times and they still send shivers down my spine. It's one of those special albums that just don't seem to age.
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: 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: Riding high on the success of a second release that introduced A-Scott & Chad to the Constant Sound fold, the third instalment finds Burnski back in the saddle to offer up "Changes", getting into a more techno-oriented frame of mind without losing that warmth and playful sensibility he has made his own over the years.
After strong remixes from Trus'me, Steve O'Sullivan and Cab Drivers on previous releases, Constant Sound 003 gives another opportunity for the label to call upon the finest in the business to reinterpret the original material.
In keeping with the heads-down workout tones of Burnski's original, it makes perfect sense to invite an artist as accomplished as Deadbeat up for a remix. Scott Monteith has long been a stellar example of how to push dub techno in thrilling new directions and it shows on his version of "Changes".
Kris Wadsworth has just as much to say for himself after years spent crafting heavyweight house and techno with a mercenary instinct matched by lashings of machine soul. He reduces the original track into a stripped down techno dub perfect for late at night. His remix will only be available on the vinyl.
It's yet another step forwards for a label committed to delivering nothing but the highest quality house and techno for those who seek a touch more depth from their music.
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: The latest release on DJ Bone's Subject Detroit label is a split 12" featuring Esteban Adame and Santiago Salazar. This is how they do techno, Californian style, and you can tell it from the off. The beats are tough as hell, but there's a sun-kissed vibrancy to the synth work that positively leaps out of the speakers and shakes your cerebellum. Adame leads on the A side with "Guaguanco", an effervescent stomper that takes a turn for the deep when Frequencia jumps on board for a remix. Salazar is in a housey frame of mind on "October 17", letting smooth pads lead the way without losing that all-important impact. The "Dub mix" of the track actually beefs things up with a grinding lead synth pitched at big room scenarios while maintaining a steady tempo.
Review: Helena Hauff's Return To Disorder label plunges once more into the grimy underworld of electro and wave music, this time guided by dungeon dweller Morah who debuted on the label in 2015 and has since gone on to great things via Lux Rec, Berceuse Heroique, brokntoys and more. "I Saw, Strained Her Eyes Peering Into The Gloom" is a bittersweet dance with distortion as disheveled as it is catchy, while "Dance When Lights Off" pushes even further into the red with scintillating results. "Against Your Beloved" sounds positively shimmering by comparison, even if on its own it's still a truly dirty slice of jacked up electro. "One Shade The Less, One Ray The More" is a strong closing bout that draws from a similar sound bank and applies it to a more techno-minded structure.
A Gargantuan Melting Face Floating Effortlessly Through The Stratosphere (4:58)
Review: Paul Woolford has spent a good chunk of his downtime over the last year or two making Special Request tracks in his pants. So much so, in fact, that he's created enough material to fill four albums, all of which will be released this year. "Vortex" is the first and is, in Woolford's own words, high on "bangers" and low on "conceptual guff". In practice, that means lots of gut-busting low-end frequencies, trippy analogue electronics, razor-sharp rave-style riffs and bustling rhythms that variously touch on electro, early '90s progressive house, breakbeat hardcore, slamming Joey Beltram style techno (see album highlight "Fahrenheit 451") and metallic, delightfully mangled drum and bass ("Fett", whose wonky electronic undulations hark back to early Woolford classic "Erotic Discourse").
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: British techno legend Neil Landstrumm returns to Unknown To The Unknown with an EP that's described as a "super charged fusion of dance music styles". Prepare for a proper alien transmission via title track "Hell Is Other People", featuring long time collaborator Si Begg, and the vinyl-only exclusive electro funk cut "Shadow Man". On the flip, he goes for a classic acid house vibe (with vocoder!) on the Adonis sounding cut "Aviemore" while it's classic Landstrumm all the way on the raw hardware techno of closer "Jackshit".
Review: Jordan Alexander's been rinsing it under his Mall Grab moniker, and every release since his debut back in 2015 has been hotly tipped by us here at Juno towers. EP's for Church, 1080p and Collect-Call have now earned him a spot on Unknown To The Unknown, one of our favourite labels and surely one of the most diverse, too. "I've Always Like Grime", as the name implies, is a house track made by someone who listened to high doses of Crazy Titch and Plastician back in the day, but "Black Palms" does its best to distance itself from the UK thanks to some pretty nasty acid bumps, and "Menace II Society" heads to Chicago with its singular vocal sample and dusty house flex. Sick!
Review: Given the forthright, analogue-powered sound of his productions, Faster Action member Robert Bergman seems a neat fit with Ron Morelli's L.I.E.S. label. For that reason, it's surprising to learn that this self-titled EP is his first release on the long-running U.S imprint. He's pulled out all the stops too, opening with the ten-minute journey through gently unsettling electronic motifs, locked-in machine grooves and odd noises that is "The Sleaziest". Arguably even more off kilter is the Chicago jack/industrial EBM fusion of "What's On Yr Mind", while "All The Way" is a disconcerting slab of spaced-out lo-fi techno. As for closing cut "Quick Escape", it cannily joins the dots between wayward, psychedelic acid and breathless EBM rhythms.
Review: There's been little new of note from Underground Resistance house band Timeline for some time, something that's doubly frustrating given the quality of their previous material. That includes this fine EP, which was first released in 2014 and now appears in stores again courtesy of a much-needed re-press. The highlight for UR aficionados and tech-jazz enthusiasts is undoubtedly epic flipside "Next Step 4wrd", a delightful chunk of sci-fi house rich in warm riffs, rising jazz horns and mazy synth solos. That said, plenty of people will gravitate towards the dewy eyed deep house soul of opener "Light My Fire", whose electric piano solos are superb, and the hypnotic dancefloor drowsiness of deep jazz-house number "Moment In Marseille".
Review: Steve Hauschildt's profile has been on a steady rise since he moved from his long time home of Kranky to Ghostly International. It was a logical move to partner up with the Ann Arbor label as it encouraged the emotional side of his regal ambient pieces to shine through in line with the sensitive tones of other Ghostly alumni (Tycho, Telefon Tel Aviv, Shigeto, for example). On his second album for the label, Hauschildt sounds more moving than ever, his winsome compositions reaching towards bigger spaces especially on rhythmically charged tracks like "Subtractive Skies". This is no drastic departure from his established identity, but rather a considered evolution towards a new space in which his muse can reside.
Review: French producer Nathan Melja has amassed a spotless discography on the likes of Mister Saturday Night, Antinote and Opal Tapes, and now debuts on Kalahari Oyster Cult with another terrific offering. "Synesthesia" is futuristic sci-fi techno with shiny synth lines and a hurried kick pattern that gets you on your toes while the bassline burrows deep. TTT affiliate and Incienso co-founder Anthony Naples steps up with the first remix. His version is more dreamy thanks to the array of background pads, then closing things out is Pariah with a punch groove that leaves the original's prying lead intact. Essential stuff.