Review: Initially released on cassette in very limited numbers back in 2016, ROHS! Founder Andrea Porcu's "Live From Unknown" album (his third in total) has finally made it to CD. It's a fine collection of cuts, seemingly made using a combination of analogue hardware and effects units. Musically, it's reflective of his distinctively fluid "dub-tech" style, where echoing ambient chords and gentle melodies variously wrap themselves around deep dub basslines and beats that variously reference proper dub, IDM, steppers reggae, deep house and, of course, dub techno. The plentiful highlights include jaunty future dub number "Roll Haze", the thrillingly spaced-out, Deepchord-ish "Leaving Chichibabin" and the warm, becalmed brilliance of "Rainy Day (Rearrangement)".
Sly & Lovechild - "The World According To Sly & Lovechild" (Andrew Weatherall Soul Of Europe mix)
Dorisburg - "Rytm804"
Hiver - "Pert"
Kyle Hall - "Flemmenup"
DMX Krew - "EPR Phenomena"
JRMS - "3"
Shades Of Rhythm - "Exorcist"
Kode 9 - "Magnetic City"
The System - "Vampirella"
Black Merlin - "Kundu"
Aphex Twin - "Vordhosbn"
R-Tyme - "Illusion" (Mayday remix)
Psyche - "Crackdown"
Deniro - "Epirus"
I:Cube - "Cassette Jam 1993"
Review: South Korean star Peggy Gou continues her seemingly unstoppable rise by serving up her first ever DJ mix CD. It's a contribution to one of the longest running series in the business, DJ Kicks, and she's used the opportunity to showcase the depth and variety of the music in her crates. Beginning with the classic early '90s ambient of Spacetime Continuum, Gou flits between humid, mid-tempo Balearic house (her own "Hungboo"), acid-fired downtempo electronica (Pearson Sound), throbbing 1990 peak-time anthems (Weatherall's ace but largely forgotten remix of Sly & Lovechild), hypnotic techno minimalism (Dorisburg), main room throb-jobs (Hiver), pulsating electro (DMX Krew), classic breakbeat hardcore (Shades of Rhythm), post-dubstep (Kode 9), dark tribal drum jams (Black Merlin) and sunrise ready Motor City brilliance (Deniro).
Review: As usual, prolific dub techno producer Rod Modell has spent much of the last year collaborating with long-term studio buddy Stephen Hitchell under the Echospace alias. Even so, he's still somehow found time to ready another solo album for Soma (his fifth in total for the esteemed Glasgow imprint). This CD version is presented as a continuous audio journey, with tracks seamlessly segueing into each other to create a hazy and hypnotic sound soup. As you'd expect, it's a hugely atmospheric and attractive affair that dozily drifts between meditative ambience and texture-laden dub techno. Pleasingly, much of the material is more melodious and positive in feel than some of Modell's work, which can often tend towards the dense and claustrophobic.
A Toast To Momma Rose (Crowd Claps Jacked By Norm Talley)
That's Lil'Boy (feat Ian Finkelstein)
Second Life (feat John FM)
The Sound Of Neptune
Don't Get In My Way
This Love Is 4 Real
Hear Me Out (feat John FM)
Ambiance (feat John Cloud & L'Renee)
Coming Home Hum
Review: Those who've been paying close attention will know that Alex 'Omar' Smith has been mixing things up musically of late, veering away from the deep Detroit house he's famed for in order to explore a wider range of influences. New album "You Want" doesn't exactly reverse this trend, but it is far more rooted in his particular brand of seductive, off-kilter deepness and techno-tinged hypnotism than recent singles. That's undeniably a good thing, because nobody does crunchy, machine driven club jams better than the Motor City producer. There are nods towards Italian style piano house, disco, broken beat, jazz funk, Masters at Work and - more surprisingly - industrial techno (see the filthy closing cut) - but the resultant cuts don't sound like anything other than tried-and-tested Omar-S club jams.
Review: Omar S has always been something of a maverick, but even by his own high standards, surprise second album It Can Be Done, But Only I Can Do It is something else. Like much of his work, it's an album of acute contrasts: tough and aggressive on one hand (the ragging acid of the opener and "Ganymede"), soft, calming and blissful on the other ("Nite's Over Comption"). Along the way, highlights are plentiful, from the heady deep house of "You Wish", sparse porno beatdown of "Look Hear Watch" and hypnotic rhythms of "Bobien Larkin", to the next generation Motor City techno of "Over You Two" and near-anthemic simplicity of "Here's Your Trance, Now Dance".
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.
Vatican Shadow - "Church Of All Images" (Regis version)
Fiedel - "Andreas" (bonus beats)
Cub - "Cu2" (Ust Funk mix)
Mary Velo - "Detune"
Jpls - "Basis"
Rrose - "Wedge"
O - "Syvays"
Rrose - "Wedge"
Function - "Modifier"
Carl Craig - "Darkness"
Markus Suckut - "Hunt"
Samuel Kerridge - "Waiting For Love" (part 1)
Untold - "Motion The Dance"
Surgeon - "As You Breathe Here Now"
Mark Ernestus - "Mark Ernestus meets BBC"
Plastikman - "Plasticine"
Trevino - "Uptight"
Vcmg - "Spock" (Regis remix)
Planetary Assault System - "Flat Tire"
Factory Floor - "16-2-16-9-20-1-14-9-7"
James Ruskin - "Into A Circle"
SS/S - "Sicario De Dios: Siglo 2"
Laurent Garnier - "At Night"
Function - "Voiceprint" (reprise)
Review: Despite the nebulous Sandwell District label ceasing operations at the end of 2011, the name has lived on as a performance based entity with Female and Silent Servant leaving it to be fronted by Karl 'Regis' O'Connor and Sumner. Thus the latter two step forth to man the figurative decks for this stunning induction into the Fabric mix series. Productions from the pair feature heavily, with several tracks from Function's recent Incubation brushing up alongside several of Regis' recent remixes for Blackest Ever Black and VCMG, while Sandwell alumni Silent Servant and Rrose also feature in the form of "A Path Eternal" and "Wedge" respectively. There are also a few surprises in the form of Untold's "Motion The Dance" and Factory Floor's "16-2-16-9-20-1-14-9-7?, which are joined by experimental fare from Boyd Rice and Samuel Kerridge. A must for fans of Sandwell District.
Review: UK techno veterans Mark Broom and James Ruskin first joined forces under The Fear Ratio alias back in 2011, delivering the inventive - and hugely enjoyable - IDM-meets-techno full-length, Light Box. Here they join forces once more for a follow-up that gleefully explores similar sonic territory, whilst throwing a few more influences - most notably experimental hip-hop and vintage electro - into the pot for good measure. The result is a hugely entertaining album that naturally doffs a cap to Skam Records' dystopian roots, as well as the heavyweight soundsystem throb of dubstep, the hypnotism of dub techno, and the crackling electronic wizardry of Autechre.
Review: Mancunian legends Graham Massey and Andy Barker reunite for the first 808 State album in 17 years. They recorded the new opus "Transmission Suite" in the Granada studios (where they once performed live on television 30 years ago) and looked to their hometown's club scene as their main source of influence - along with the timeless aesthetic of Detroit which has always influenced their style. Across this collection of "sonic landscapes" (as described by Massey) you'll hear the booming acid electro of first single "Tokyo Tokyo" and "The Ludwig Question", through to off-kilter jams like "Westland", futurist house grooves of "Ujala" and a modern reboot of classic "Angol Argol".
Review: Shout outs to Gerd Janson and Running Back for doing the decent thing and issuing the surprise Syclops LP from the master Maurice Fulton in physical form. Having seemingly abandoned his Syclops pseudonym following the critical and commercial success of the superb 2008 full-length, I've Got My Eye On You, Fulton elected to resurrect it for a surprise sophomore album. Predictably, A Blink of An Eye is a bit good. Picking up where the previous album left off, it delivers a warped fusion of titanium-plated electronics, leftfield acid jack, freestyle jazz flourishes and intergalactic mutant disco. Formidably twisted but hugely enjoyable, it gleefully charges off in many different directions, mixing shirts-off anthems (see the brilliant "Sarah's E with Extra P"), with curious percussion jams (the afro-centric "Jump Bugs") and curiously blissful, Boof-ish excursions ("5 In"). Stellar stuff.
Review: On their third album, Tiger & Woods have decided to flip the script a little, paying tribute to Italy's remote, rural clubs of the early 1980s. To do this, they've sampled up a wealth of material from Rome's boogie-inspired, Italo-disco era Full Time and Goodymusic labels and turned it into slow motion and mid-tempo gold. As a result, the album's eight tracks are altogether more sun-kissed and Balearic in feel than their electrofunk-inspired club jams of old, though this is no bad thing. In fact, there's an argument to suggest that "AOD" (it stands for Adult Oriented Dance apparently) is their most enjoyable and listenable album to date, with less reliance on heavyweight loop jams and more intricate musical touches. However you spin it, "AOD" is a glassy-eyed, loved up triumph.
Review: Let the sermon begin - Detroit techno legend and innovator Robert Hood steps up to deliver the latest installment of !k7's legendary DJ Kicks series and it's an edition well worthy of attention. The ordained minister leaves the minimal techno sound that he helped pioneer, for powerful, big room techno on this highly anticipated mix. Despite his famously linear approach, here he builds tension between tracks with suspenseful breakdowns throughout. Highlights include the direct impact of his own "Focus" and its factory floor stomp, his hypnotic rework of Landside's "Signs Of Change", the seething tension of Slam's "Remain" and the return of Space DJz' Ben Long who teams up with Belgian veteran Tom Hades on the sci-fi epic "The Knight Rider".
Morgan Geist/Julie Dexter - "Linking Tunnel/The Plan"
Aardvarck - "Komt Goed"
Circulation - "Sincerely" (Creation mix)
DJ Koze - "Let’s Love"
Ron Trent & Chez Damier/Deetron - "Morning Factory/Choose Me" (feat Steve Spacek)
Nikola Gala - "Only" (Ryan Elliott remix)
Keith Worthy - "Moon Dance"
Paul W Teebroke - "Thing 1"
Radio Slave - "Children Of The E" (KiNK SP1200 remix)
Deetron - "Cry With The Stars" (feat Jamie Lidell - acappella)
A Made Up Sound - "Rework"
Hnny - "Hotline Riddim" (Jacques Renault edit)
Tony Allen - "Kilode" (Carl Craig remix)
Pepe - "Benzine Electronics"
Black Dog Productions - "Flux"
Deetron - "Untitled"
DJ Bone - "All My Heart"
Francis Bebey - "Bissau" (Pilooski edit)
Floorplan - "Let The Church"
Terrace - "Seventh City" (Filtered dub)
Derrick May - "Kaotic Harmony"
Equiknoxx - "Flagged Up" (Mark Ernestus remix)
DJ Bone - "Dreamers 6.1"
Stanislav Tolkachev - "Optical Illusions"
K-Lone - "Old Fashioned"
Jessy Lanza - "Strange Emotion"
Review: It would be fair to say that Deetron has taken the opportunity provided by a DJ Kicks mix to show off a little. We'll forgive him, though, because he's delivered an astonishingly good mix. Cramming an astonishing 38 tracks on to one CD might look like overkill, but the selection, programming and mixing (presumably in the studio, given the number of overdubs and sneaky track blends involved) is so good that you barely notice. Musically, he delivers a brilliant blend of electronic music old and new, moving from deep house and jazzy electronica to ambient via slamming rave jams and almost every techno sub-genre you can think of. We'd usually spend time banging on about highlights, but they're so plentiful that there simply isn't space. Just buy it: you won't be disappointed.
Review: Although she's offered up plenty of high-grade DJ mixes in the past, this volume in the "DJ Kicks" series marks Laurel Halo's first commercially available mix-up. The sometime Hyperdub producer has dutifully delivered something rather special, somehow joining the dots between 29 diverse and disparate cuts in the manner of a true turntable maestro. Beginning with the melodious experimentalism of her own "Public Art", Halo giddily charges between mutant industrial funk (Stallone The Reducer, Final Cut), thrusting electronic disco (Red Axes), deep techno (Parris), mind-altering acid-style intensity (Rrose), stomping, sweat-soaked peak-time techno (Machinewoman, FIT Siegel), polyrhythmic bass music (Facta, one of her Livity Sound collabs with Hodge) and an impressive array of cuts that defy easy categorization. The resultant all-action mix is nothing less than stunning.
Review: Kompakt staple Axel Willner returns to present his sixth full-length effort for Kompakt, following up 2016's rather brilliant LP The Follower. On his latest outing, Willner is said to have looked for inspiration outside of the studio, which opened up fresh perspectives on the creation of new music. Moreover, he has stated that in a current climate of hopelessness, the album provided a sense of relief and comfort to him - providing feel good moments that he did not want to end. Indeed, Infinite Moment is a much more introspective affair than previous releases, from the brooding/slow burning opener "Made Of Steel. Made Of Stone", the smoky and glacial dub techno of "Hear Your Voice" to more evocative moments as heard on "Divide Now" or the life-affirming feel of the title track - which closes the impressive release on an optimistic note.
Review: Alongside regular studio partner Andreas Baumecker, Sam Barker has released a swathe of admired singles and a couple of on-point albums on Ostgut Ton. Here he returns to the much-loved German imprint with his most significant solo release to date: a debut album of drowsy, sun-baked electronic positivity that expertly melds elements of hazy ambient, dub techno, off-kilter electronica and the classic kosmiche synthesizer soundscapes associated with Tangerine Dream. It's a lot less dancefloor-focused than much of his previous material, but that's not a criticism: indeed, the fact that it's warm, opaque and prioritizes fuzzy, slowly shifting musical movements is the album's greatest strength.
Review: You'll struggle to find another album opener that's quite as striking as "Oh, Lovely Appearance of Death", the stunning ambient-folk cut that kicks off Phillip Sollmann's first album as Efdemin for five years. It's utterly beguiling and features a traditional folk acapella over layers of hushed electronic chords. It sets the tone for an album in which Sollmann effortlessly saunters between atmospheric and droning dancefloor techno ("Good Winds", the 14-minute, Berghain-friendly "New Atlantis"), woozy experimental ambient works ("At The Stranger's House"), Jew's Harp-sporting club cuts ("A Land Unknown"), discordant free tech-jazz ("Temple") and the kind of hazy, traditional music-meets-electronica cuts that have previously been a hallmark of Firecracker's Mac-Talla Nan Creag ("The Sound House").
Review: Before Omar-S became a global cult hero amongst the underground house and techno community, there was Oasis - a collaborative project with fellow Detroit producer Shadow Ray that spawned two full-length albums of deep, stripped-back Motor City grooves. This timely reissue offers an expanded version of their 2004 debut set, Oasis Collaborating. Given that it was Alex "Omar" Smith's first attempt at an album it's pretty impressive, offering a hypnotic, otherworldly mix of cuts that icily flits between stone-cold drum tracks, droning ambience, mildly aloof club workouts and glistening, space age techno. This edition also includes three previously unreleased cuts, including two 2011 remakes that bring the originals bang up to date.
Review: To coincide with the twenty-fifth anniversary of Berlin club Tresor, Juan Atkins and Moritz Von Oswald have released a second Borderland album together. It begins in ominous mode, with the title track's brooding bass tones casting a long, dark shadow, but the pair soon find a way to break away from the gloom with the mesmerising chords and heavy rhythm of "Lightyears" and the wonderfully spacey Detroit techno of "Riod". Both "Odyssey" and "Merkur" push the tempo back down but keep an emphasis on hypnotic, woozy textures, snappy drums and jazzy tones, while "2600" shows that Van Oswald hasn't lost his ability to craft dub-heavy, dreamy techno.
Review: For the latest volume in their essential reissue series, Tresor has decided to offer up a brand new edition of Robert Hood's celebrated 1994 debut album, "Internal Empire". A quarter of a century after Hood first committed it to wax, it remains one of the Motor City maestro's most potent and inspired works. It effectively defined his throbbing, minimalist style, with heavy and hypnotic cuts such as "Master Builder", the bleeping "Minus", deep and wonky "Within" and angular "Multiple Silence" perfectly encapsulating the stripped-back genius of Hood's production. If you've yet to acquire a copy, we'd recommending grabbing one of these: in truth, no techno collection is complete without it.
Review: Since opting to release more music under his given name, DeepChord man Rod Modell has largely stuck to dubbed-out ambience and heady drone soundscapes. His latest full-length is a little different, though, offering up club-focused cuts that mix his usual fuzzy aural textures and dub-fired motifs with up-tempo techno rhythms. By his standards, it's a very forthright set, with highlights including the noise-soaked stomp of "Reiki", the thrusting heaviness of "ITO", the hypnotic slam of "Jade" - where breezy, early morning electronics flutter away above tough drums and a mind-altering bassline - and the boisterous peak-time techno anthem "Scrawler".
Review: In recent years, David Sumner's music as Function has tended towards the dark, lo-fi, industrial and minimal. "Existenz", his first solo album in six years, is an altogether more melodious, thoughtful and ear-catching affair. Of course, there are still some suitably mangled, mind-altering club cuts on show - see the buzzing, shape-shifting heaviness of "Ertrinken", the spaced-out hypnotism of "Kurzstrecke" and the Berghain-ready "Vampire" - but these largely play second fiddle to more playful and tuneful expressions of electro, Detroit style techno, dreamy fusions of deep house and early UK style tech-house, and ambient cuts so lovely you'll want to bathe in them. He even makes room for a couple of vocal collaborations with Robert Owens. It all adds up to a stunning set that's undoubtedly one of the most instantly arresting techno albums of the year.
Review: Given that they've long been one of techno's busiest live acts, it's perhaps unsurprising that Fear of an Extra Planet is Extrawelt's first album for nearly five years. We'll forgive them for taking their time, though, because it's really rather good. It's largely warm, atmospheric and melodious, flitting between shuffling techno floor fillers, analogue-rich electro, low-slung breakbeat-driven creepiness (see the Brown Album-era Orbital style goodness "Oddification" and "Gentle Venom"), acid-flecked late night throb-jobs ("Silly Idol"), deep space hypnotism ("Fear of an Extra Planet"), James Holden style positivity ("The Friendly Coroner") and surprisingly loose, Giallo-influenced soundtrack fare (excellent closer "2084").
Review: Acclaimed live act Strahil Velchev aka KiNK is said to have been a vital ingredient of Cocoon's ecstatic nights on the island over the years. The man from Sofia offers up a recording of one of his explosive performances there, featuring well known tracks and exclusives alike on what the label best described themselves as a 'spontaneous tour de force through the history of electronic dance music.' The Bulgarian hardware maverick takes the best of The Windy City and The Motor City alike, and all the while adding his distinct magic touch. It's a wild ride from start to finish, with peaks coming in at moments like that of "The Russian" with its massive Detroit style chord progressions, the heads-down and direct techno attack of "Kink In De Kabel" through to last year's thrilling anthem "Perth" and the uplifting "Disco Transition".
Review: Given that he took his DJ/production pseudonym from the name of a 19th century Romanian writer of folk stories, it's no surprise that Petre Insperescu's chosen form of techno is shuffling, atmospheric and classically-minded. Sitting somewhere between Luciano, Ricardo Villalobos and Nicholas Jaar, his sparse but well-rounded productions are simultaneously pleasingly calming and genuinely energetic, full of curious touches (a twinkling, distant piano here, a cut-glass string trio there) and gentle exploration. Gathered together and mixed into a seamless whole, as on this first mix for Fabric, they offer an intriguing journey that should appeal to all those who love their techno subdued and atmospheric.
Paperclip People - "Country Boy Goes Dub" (Marcel Dettmann remix)
Norman Nodge - "BB 1.0"
Francois X - "Rising"
Marcel Dettmann - "Lightworks" (Phase remix)
Lockertmatik - "M Lock 4"
Wincent Kunth - "Carlre"
Joey Anderson - "Repulsive" (Marcel Dettmann edit)
Marcelus - "Flash"
Vril - "Torus XXXII"
Review: When it comes to DJing there aren't many names as trusted as Marcel Dettmann to provide the essential mix, be it in CD or podcast format. To date he's curated the second installment of Ostgut's in-house Berghain mix series and the Conducted mix for Belgian label Music Man. So it's about time Fabric invited the Berghain resident to participate in their own mix series, with this 77th edition providing a selection mostly based on unreleased MDR demo tracks that Dettmann's been utilising in his sets for years. The result is a good primer for what to expect from his label in the future, with Answer Code Request, Norman Nodge, Ilian Taper Dario Zenker and French producer Marcelus amongst the high-profile names contributing unreleased productions.
Review: Zak Khutoresky AKA DVS1 famously doesn't do many mixes. It's perhaps unsurprising, then, that he apparently initially struggled to know how to approach this contribution to Fabric's now legendary mix series. Really, he shouldn't have worried. The finished mix - completed using three turntables and a mixer - is something of a gem; an all-action techno assault on the senses with Khutoresky whipping through 29 tracks in less than 80 minutes. Impressively, every track is an unreleased exclusive, with some 16 of these forthcoming on the DJ/producer's HUSH and Mistress labels. In many ways, it's a near perfect package for those who enjoy Khutoresky's muscular style; certainly, the inclusion of so many unheard gems makes the first listen a genuine voyage of discovery.
Beatrice Dillon & Rupert Clervaux - "The Same River Twice"
M:I:5 - "Masstab 1:5/11"
Jan Jelinek - "Tendency"
Dresvn - "Untitled B1"
Objekt - "The Stitch-Up"
Two Full Minds - "No Smoke"
Photek - "T'Raenon"
Don't DJ - "Pornoire"
Flanger - "Spinner"
Carl Craig - "A Wonderful Life" (Epic mix)
Call Super - "Acephale I"
Call Super - "Acephale II"
Marco Bernardi - "Demonia"
Jega - "ZX82"
Shanti Celeste - "Strung Up"
Bitstream - "Incubator"
Bruce - "Sweat"
Convextion - "Niche"
Karen Gwyer - "Hippie Fracca"
Thomas Ankersmit & Valerio Tricoli - "Plague #7"
Walter Brown - "Keep On Walkin'"
Yves Tumor - "The Feeling When You Walk Away"
Max Loderbauer - "Giant Hug"
Speng Bond - "Cutbacks"
Review: Soon, Fabric's impeccable mix series will reach its 100th installment - an impressive achievement in anyone's book. This 92nd volume comes from rising star Call Super, who joins the dots between all manner of tasty house and techno treats - some left-of-centre and quirky, others simply wonky and picturesque - over the course of 80 hugely entertaining minutes. According to the producer, it's designed for the break of dawn, rather than peak-time, a fact reflected in the presence of dreamy, loose, fuzzy and melodious tracks from the likes of Carl Craig, Speng Bond, Max Loderbauer, Shanti Celeste and Dresvn.
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: Despite becoming a serious force in the contemporary techno scene over the last seven years, Antonin Jeanson has never released an album. He's made plenty of killer 12" singles, but for one reason or another has never applied his trademark style to the long-playing format. It's perhaps a surprise then, that his debut album, "Rising", is a near perfect example of a modern techno album. There are quite a few atmospheric and ear-catching dancefloor workouts - see the bustling beats and creepy electronics of "Perchance To Dream", the dark throb of "Duality of Mind" and the slamming psych-techno of "It Follows" - but also more considered, left-of-centre trips into IDM, ambient techno and otherworldly ambient territory. It's these diversions that make the album such an entertaining and rewarding listen.
Review: Irish duo Lakker have been on something of an epic musical journey over the last decade, beginning life as an experimental noise and industrial outfit (delivering an overlooked debut album in that style back in 2007), before expanding their sound to take in a far wider range of sounds and influences via 12" singles for Blueprint, Candela Rising and R&S. Here, they deliver their sophomore set, Tundra, a collection of intoxicating, atmospheric electronic compositions that joins the dots between early Aphex Twin style IDM chaos, creeping electronica, dystopian ambience and Actress style machine jams. It's hardly the cheeriest record you'll hear this year, but it's certainly a very good one. It suggests that we'll be hearing a lot more from Lakker in years to come.
Review: After slowly building his career over the last few years via well-received singles on Rave Or Die, Khemina Records and, most recently, Perc Trax, Guillaume Labadie delivers his hotly anticipated debut album. It's something of a beast, too, with 12 lengthy tracks spread across two CDs. After scene-setting via a constantly-building blast of symphonic synth strings, new wave style guitars and crashing drum rolls ("The Beginning of the End"), Labadie sprints through bombastic, mind-altering stompers ("Crossing The Mirror"), dark and twisted soundscapes ("Impossible Love"), distorted techno thumpers ("The Night Is Our Kingdom", "You Are Not Alone"), redlined downtempo soundscapes (the filthy "Partner In Crime"), industrial strength insanity ("Romantic Pyscho") and pitch-black throb-jobs ("Eternity Is Burning").
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").
Review: Is there a more forward-thinking and proudly distinctive outfit in contemporary electronic music than Modeselektor? Certainly, the German duo's latest album - their first studio set for eight years - suggests that they have few competitors for this crown. Underground but accessible, diverse but consistent thanks to the pair's fuzzy-but-polished production, the set sees them showcase a range of cuts that expertly meld club-friendly beats and sounds - think grime, techno, post-electro, acid house and the punchy-but-rubbery rhythms of UK funky - with skewed pop hooks, oddball vocals, hazy electronics and a big dollop of experimental intent. As you'd expect, the results are little less than superb.
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