Review: When Eric Prydz fancies offering up some forthright, warehouse-ready techno, he fires up the Mouseville label and dons the Cirez D alias. Clearly, he's in a rave-igniting mood right now, because this two-tracker is the first Cirez D outing - and Mouseville release - for almost two years. There's a definite "massive room" vibe emerging from A-side "Valborg", where decidedly foreboding lead lines and ghostly chords ride a chunky, Drumcode-friendly techno beat. The saucer-eyed, hands-aloft "festival techno" feel continues on flipside "The Raid", which cleverly peppers a house-tempo rhythm track with the sort of raw, razor-sharp riffs more often found in neo-trance productions.
Review: ZamZam Sounds has been killing it of late, with Rider Shafique, Ishan Sound and Kahn's recent "When Shall We Rise" single arguably being one of their most potent releases yet. Here they continue that fine run of form via another must-check "45", this time via the artist formerly known as Deadboy, Al Wooton. A-side "Request" offers a deliciously contemporary take on steppers/dub fusion, with ricocheting electronics, humid aural textures and echoing vocal snippets jumping around above a killer bassline and bustling drums. He continues on a similar theme with "Philo", which is the kind of weighty, club-ready dub excursion that would sit well in many house and techno sets.
Review: Brawther's Negentropy label has already carried gold star material from Ron Obvious and the man himself, and now it's the turn of debutant producer Zweizig to show off his wares. This assured 12" leads in with the ambient intro "Gewissen" before the crisp minimal funk of "Rhythm Tension" kicks in with its shimmering and shuddering sound design pinging around the dexterous beat. "Zephyr" is a smoky affair with a snappy broken beat and lots of subtle organic matter writhing in the middle distance. "Rehash Repeat" takes things deep and dubby to complete the set, all mellow hiccupping rhythm accents and hazy melodic phrases.
Review: Serenity is a new label geared towards raising money and awareness around mental health in the music industry. The label kicks off in fine style with the supple, expressive techno of John Shima and Mihail P offering up two tracks each. Shima takes the A side with the warm and bubbling synth expressions of "Seasons" before taking things in a more hypnotic direction on the ever-so-slightly trancey "Hunter Mind". Mihail P maintains a similar vintage techno sound palette, but pings for positive constellations with the jubilant "Momentum" before veering into blissful breakbeat on "Neon Hologarden".
Review: Fabrice Lig on DJ Bone's Subject Detroit label backed with killer remixes from Aaron Carl and DJ Bone! Allegedly stored in the Subject archives for some time, "Hmong Dignity" is finally unleashed and the original will be familiar to anyone that's witnessed a DJ Bone set in recent years. Eminently raw, but filled with melody thanks to those chords and restless riffs, "Hmong Dignity" is a fine example of how Detroit influenced European techno. A remix from the late, great Aaron Carl opens the B Side, lending the track a familiar dose of murkiness thanks to some stomach churning bass, whilst that instantly recognisable central melody is wisely retained. The accompanying remix from DJ Bone glides along on a tough techno meets electro vibe, superbly slicing up the melodic element to form an entirely different refrain.
Review: Itokim, aka Tendo-based producer Takuro Ito, aligns with DJ Bone's Subject Detroit label with the Subject Japan: Rhythm Poems EP and his opening gambit certainly leaves a dent. "Motechnique" has been a staple of Bone's 3 deck attacks in recent months and it will have eyebrows raised and mouths open from the off. Weighty but warm kicks start as they mean to go on, bursting with pace and vigour as thrusts and stabs pinprick the brooding chords. The laidback, easy-going connotations of the title to "Roll Up and Shine" are very much the ethos and aesthetic of the production, as a playful, bubbling melody sets a warm and almost sugary tone from the off before being bolstered by a suave melange of full-bodied kick and dexterous percussion. Itokim rounds off his first outing on Subject Detroit with "The Mood Device", a to the point groover that melds elements of the previous productions to stunning effect. A genuine builder of a track with a straight and true trajectory, "The Mood Device" melds innumerable coatings of percussion and synth as stabs are layered and layered again, clotting and coagulating the composition in to one delightfully deep and multidimensional slice of formidable dancefloor composite.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Needs is back with its fifth installment of charity-raising goodness from some seriously quality producers. This time the gauntlet is thrown down by the increasingly prolific DJ Normal 4, who wields some of his signature breakbeats over a cheeky synth that nods to Da Hool for a dark and deadly roller. Israeli duo Red Axes pop up fresh from outings on !K7 and Phantasy Sound for the worldly percussion and mystical atmosphere of "Treacksheni" before Bristol bass-wielding techno titan Hodge finishes the package off with the stunning, dramatic undulations of "Signal," making this a collection of tracks that all feed into the same vein of rhythmically adventurous, moody club music.
Review: Monnom Black welcome back Fractions for more of their sonic disturbances, will acid and rugged techno weapons. For those who like hard edge, brain frying sounds with an instant impact these are perfect tunes: "NITE NRG" has a prowling synth and dystopian vibe that is impossible to escape, while "Do You Believe" is a twisted and distorted techno stomper that will make your fists and teeth clench. "All The Streets Are Silent" sounds like it is straight from Wipeout in the original Playstation console and "Hive Mind" then explodes over and over with maximal drums driving it along.
Review: It would be fair to say that Levon Vincent's latest single could well be one of his strongest yet - and that's saying something. We're particularly enjoying A-side "Drum Circle", a near ten-minute outing that subtly builds throughout. Creepy, clandestine and intoxicating, it sees Vincent cloak a hypnotic, cymbal and bells-heavy rhythm track with deep, booming sub-bass pulses and hard-worked, marimba style melodic loops. It's a genuine heads-down treat that packs a punch, despite its hazy and minimalist vibe. There's more atmospheric fun on the flip, where "Space Exploration" sees him conjure up a suitably dark, intergalactic mood via crackling drums, opaque chords and far-sigted electronic melodies.
Review: Original music from Vancouver based producer NAP has been intermittent on the electronic music scene, but now the Isla boss has finally dropped a 12" of deadly, textured and fresh-sounding electro for our bodies and minds. "Transhumano" features ZDBT and has all the hallmarks of Stingray-friendly future shock machine funk, but the particular approach to pads and melodies has a distinctive, moody slant that chimes with the hazy sound of Canada's West Coast. "Anestesia General" is another needlepoint, uptempo workout that packs layer up on layer of darting rhythms and blippy synth lines into the mix. "Sin Sistema" completes the set with a more subdued but no less detailed box jam workout.
Review: The next limited edition 12" from Dublin's Rave Selekts comes with promises of no represses and has already sold out most places on pre-order. It comes a whole three years after the label's first release - also by Tommy Holohan - and features "Subaru Impreza" which was on that EP in cassette form. It's a big, brash, brutal banging together of breakbeats, hardcore and techno into an all out warehouse rave. "Costa Del Rush" is just as direct and powerful but with a slightly sunnier atmosphere and warmer chords and "South Beach Burnin Bins" then gets back to heads down, no frills rave darkness.
Review: From his appearances on Aesthetic Audio and Ornate through to his own Atmospheric Existence label, Miles Sagnia continues to be one of the best kept secrets of British deep techno, and that's no more apparent than on this stunning release for Common Dreams. There's a looped up insistence to "Heal", but it's offset by emotive movement in the synth lines and an overall spiritual quality that escapes much cyclical techno. "Plight" takes a slightly slower path, amping up the early UK electronica tones for an immersive experience shaped out by interlocking rhythms and snaking melodies. It's a truly classy statement that stays true to techno while saying something original.
Review: Nereid appears out of the techno mists on the newly minted Warped Core label shrouded in mystery, with subtle monochrome head twisters to match. "Umea" leads the charge on the A side with an ethereal trip into dubby soundscapes filled out with plentiful reverb and pattering rhythms to snake straight into your cerebellum. "Operator" has an instructive bass throb carrying it along, although it imparts a similar steely aesthetic to the opening track. "Neptune" is no slouch either, using nagging mid-range percussion and eerie bleeps to spell out stern, functional techno of the deepest kind.
Take Down Enemies (Special Request Splurgecore remix) (6:17)
Review: Back in March, Jordon Alexander AKA Mall Grab returned to the Looking For Trouble imprint he founded in 2018 with his first missive of the year. Even by his standards, it was a wild, all-action affair, and this follow-up is no less giddy or sweaty. "Take Down Enemies" is a blistering, all-action affair, with Alexander peppering a stomping industrial techno beat with tight acid motifs and cut-up hip-hop vocals. Under the Special Request alias, Paul Woolford offers up a surging, scintillating rework that adds huge dollops of techno-funk to the Australian's slamming original. Elsewhere, "Alarmed" is a more psychedelic and trance-inducing take on Alexander's big room techno template, while "Smash" is a thunderous voyage through body-popping electro nastiness.
Review: For his first outing of 2020, Kyle Hall returns to the label he founded last year, Forget The Clock, with a suitably strong five-track missive. Check first languid opener "Shark", a splash around in crystal clear waters where simmering chords, luscious pads and glassy-eyed melodic motifs stretch out over bubbly, Latin-tinged drum machine beats and a dubby bassline. Hall makes bolder strides towards the dancefloor on lo-fi house cut "Vexed", before doffing a cap to Larry Heard and Ron Trent on the gorgeous deep house positivity of "Distant". Elsewhere, "Slam Deep" joins the dots between Steve Poindexter and the 2000 Black style of jazzy broken beat, while "Channel & Transmission" is a skewed skip through wonky deep house/jazz-funk fusion.
Cage & Aviary - "Lean On Me" (Felix Dickinson Foolish dub)
Posthuman - "Make More Man"
Review: Just as the new football season settles into it's groove, the fourth edition of the highly collectable Rothmans arrives sporting some high profile signings! Leading the way on The Claudio Gentile Release is a Foolish Felix dub of Cage & Aviary's "Lean On Me" whose deranged acid gurglings provide a nice contrast to the thrusting Escape From East London stylings of Posthuman's "Make More Men". On the flip Ali Renault returns for Rothmans duty with the Weatherall worthy "The Black Heart" whilst Iron Blu is loaned from Flight Recorder for the synthy swamp of orchestral drama that is "Oiche Shamhna"
Solar Sound System - "K7" (Nemo Vachez Transcendantal dance mix) (6:38)
Solar Sound System - "CD-R" (4:25)
Jimmy Batt - "Magic Garden" (5:27)
PO - "On The Radio" (6:09)
Review: London-based label Opia turn their attention to Solar Sound System, who have a playful brand of electro to impart that manages to fuse kitsch '80s slap bass and classic sample stabs with immersive, expressive pads on the head-turning highlight "K7". Nemo Vachez does a great job of remixing the track before another original closes out the B-side - the pumped up roller "CD-R". Jimmy Batt pops up on the B side with the cheeky tweaking of "Magic Garden", and then PO rounds things off with the deep techno delights of "On The Radio".
Review: For the next instalment in WSNWG's collaborative saga, Rodhad welcomes UK Techno constant O (Phase) to the series. After productive sessions in the East-Berlin studio which lent its name to the label, the duo came up with a set of diverse techno tracks ready for anyone's bag.
Review: After a break of four years in which he flirted with other labels - most notably Ekyspia - extended UR crew-member Mark Flash is back on long-time home Underground Resistance. As you'd expect, he hits the ground running with EP opener "Audiofluid", a suitably out there and intergalactic techno number high on sturdy, electro-influenced beats, foreboding riffs, tweaked acid motifs and some suitably sci-fi electronics. Flash next delivers a talbox-laden "Tuneup Beats" version for those who just want to revel in rhythm, before paying tribute to the warehouse-ready, late '80s KMS sound on retro-futurist EP highlight "Synthetic Bump". Rounding things off is "Liquid Drive", a fizzing and clattering affair that explores similar sonic territory as the fine title track.
Review: With previous releases from some of the top heads of the electronic spectrum, including Leif, Steevio, Arnaldo and more, the imprint UntilMyHeartStops returns with its latest release, this time for mysterious producer Ekeko. Rich analog tape waves sit nicely beside thick 909 rhythmic elements throughout this killer three tracker. The title track "Beyond Good & Evil" starts things of with strong spirit, taking pulsations of warping synths and balancing them with hazy club driven patterns. This theme continues through "FM Joy" and "Eye Ache" but with a wider focus on the dubbier elements of the electro and house spectrum.
Review: The mysterious Wilson Phoenix returns with another batch of muscular techno joints that'll wipe the floor with any half-hearted 4/4 pretenders. Considering how sought after his earlier releases are, don't expect this to hang around for long. The beastly 909 kicks on "Dorphin" would slot in perfectly with Head Front Panel's own blown out take on peak time rabble rousing techno, while the kick-clap sync on "Dexed" will get fists a-shaking. It's not all blunt drums though - there's plenty of peppy colour splashed all over this record to make it stand out from the crowd. This ain't no monochrome chugging business!
Review: Carl Finlow, aka electro main-man Silicon Scally, originally released the Boot Loop EP on Billy Nasty's Electrix label back in 2013 - an aeon ago in real terms but a blink of an eye to any electro devotee. Such is the quality of the music that it's well deserving of a repress, not least given the fearsome appetite for this kind of electro now compared to seven years ago. "Conduit" and "Hashtag" are quintessential Finlow cuts, wriggling and writhing with snappy sound design riveted to the machine funk rhythm section. On the flip, Volsoc's "Orange Problem" mix of "Conduit" slips a few more melodic elements into the mix, and Radioactive Man flips "Hashtag" into a gnarly, noisy workout bowling in from leftfield.
Review: Braiden's material has been slow to come out since he first landed with a bang on Doldrums back in 2010. A turn on Rush Hour confirmed his status as a producer in command of the chops necessary to get a dancefloor shaking, but this year's X Years In London OST cassette was a chance for him to expand into more experimental pastures. Not so on this new 12" for his Off Out label, which finds Braiden turning up the heat with some fiercely modern tech house workouts. "V.O.L.A.T" has the same kind of dangerous earworm armour that made Paul Woolford's "Erotic Discourse" so potent all those years ago. "Hydroplane" meanwhile takes some of the crisp but playful tropes of Pearson Sound et al and straps them to a thrumming motorik beat.
The First Rebirth (Reinier Zonneveld remix) (6:51)
The First Rebirth (5:54)
Review: Bonzai is one of those labels - if you're familiar then you know exactly which side of the stylistic debate(s) the imprint falls on. A bonafide trance institution that made a name for itself back in the genre's 90s heyday, dedicated followers and disciples will be delighted to know that even with the much more techno-leaning Reinier Zonneveld on remix duties, this one is firmly in the neon end of the dance spectrum. While the alternative version holds little back, including its roots in the laser-reaching mania of the source material, the original still manages to make that seem slow by way of a ferocious and frantic pulse beat which juggernauts its way below sirens and choral samples. One thing's for sure, you're not getting away from either very easily.
Review: After making a splash with releases on Twig and Lumbago, Raphael Beneluz brings his classy machine music to Cartulis with the P 12". Things get off to a pumped-up start with the dynamic, detailed thrust of "Xzomet" before the night draws in around the tastefully creepy workout "Darkanethesie". "Hostile Planet" opens up the B-side with more eerie atmospheres and stout box jam beats, and then "System Down" completes the package with another thumping tapestry of nervy acid and old-skool jack. For all the familiar touches, this is music dripping with personality and attitude, bottom-heavy and sure to devastation in the dance, real or virtual.
Review: "Following up on the excellent 'Stabbed in Konya' EP for Peur Bleue, SORN welcomes Gohan to the fold. Three tracks of dystopian techno for the heads, plus a Boddika-esque remix from newcomers Ikpathua & Paterson. Recommended."
Review: When Braik made his debut earlier this year with an EP of retro-futurist breakbeat/tech-house/techno fusions, it was released on the most unlikely of formats: a CD-ROM. We suspect he'll get more praise and plays for this follow-up, which marks his first appearance on wax. There's much to enjoy throughout, from the chiming, acid-flecked deep breaks shuffle of opener "Breakund", to the funky acid bass, psychedelic electronics, creepy melodies and snappy house beats of closer "Jack O'Lantern". Sandwiched in between you'll the bold synth-string stabs, squelchy alien bass and jacking drums of "Intentos Fallidos", as well as the funky, sharply defined 21st century electro shuffle of "Buildin".
Review: REPRESS ALERT: After launching Brush & Broom with two solo releases, maverick German producer Kalbata keeps his followers guessing yet again with this collaborative release with the equally unpredictable Maayan Nidam. "The Town" is a surefire party starter made up of catchy bleep lines, quivering rhythmic flashes and lots of shimmering FX sends that suggest this was a live jam from two talented producers locked in the groove. "Chrome Moon" takes a deeper, more meditative approach without losing those heavy echo chamber washes, where the spring reverb and buckwild delay feedback rein supreme. Wonderful, free-tripping results from an unexpected meeting of minds.
Review: Donnell Knox and Mark Hawkins, better known as D-Knox and Marquis Hawkes respectfully, team up for a collaborative EP on Sonic Mind that speaks to their respective roots in underground techno reaching back to the 90s. "Kalamazoo" is a tough and clattering jacker with out-of-phase organ lines to send your mind spinning, while "Not The DX100" brings things front and centre for a comparatively direct, acidic workout. "Halfway" ramps up the melodic content as a displaced vocal celebrates Kalamazoo's location between Chicago and Detroit, and then "Just Let Me Go" completes the set with a tough and bumping vocal house cut.
Review: Back in 2016, legendary Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen approached techno pioneer Jeff Mills with the idea of working together. A series of live gigs and off-the-radar studio sessions followed, with the first fruits of their joint efforts finally appearing on this must-have 10". As you'd expect, the duo's collaborative work combines Allen's traditional Nigerian polyrhythms, traditional Afrobeat instrumentation, and the far-sighted, sci-fi inspired electronic futurism that has always marked out Mills' work. The result is a quartet of cuts that could arguably be described as retro-futurist Afro-tech - all delay-laden beats, basslines and organs subtly sparring with gentle acid lines, Motor City electronics, beguiling deep space textures and shimmering, 31st century motifs. It's arguably Allen's stylistic contributions that dominate, but that's no bad thing.
Review: German artist Lowtec operates in the shadows, on the fringes of traditional genres where everything becomes weird, wonky and wonderful. Since 2016 he has been doing so for Swedish label Blundar, and after putting out their first EP he now returns for another that is just as unusual and otherworldly. It is made from busted drum loops, distant church bell sounds, deconstructed percussion and off grid rhythm. All four of the untiled cuts here are dark but beautiful, subtle but profound. The opener is the most intense, "Track 2" is filled with mystery and the flip takes in haunting house and rhythmic noise. This EP proves that few are more adventurous or inventive than Lowtec.
Review: Modularz presents a new release by Japanese producer Hattori Hanzo - recorded in seclusion in a studio near the mountains of Mt.Fuji Japan - Hattori delivers a great body of work focused on Extremely functional tracks with lots of driving rhythms, space influenced hypnotic grooves with the right amount of tension and drama. This is a sure thing get it quick - TIP!
Review: Fresh off introducing the Bulb project from William Burnett and Crimes Of The Future bosses Tim Fairplay and Scott Fraser, the label adds to its growing roster of artists with the introduction of Tapan. Steeped in Belgrade's club scene as residents at Disco Not Disco, Tapan are evidently well equipped to the Crimes cause on the basis of the two productions presented here; both "Volumes" and "Who's There?" are creeping, slow techno numbers rich with psychedelic qualities with the latter featuring some fine guitar work from Vladimir Djordjevic. Willie Burns and Drvg Cvltvre have been collared to remix the title track and both opt to up the tempo whilst taking "Volumes" in distinctly different directions. The former reimagines the track as heavily processed shoegaze techno that could feasibly have surfaced during the Hacienda's pomp, whilst the latter mutates "Volumes" into an exercise in dank acid.
Review: The Swedish techno hero Eric Prydz is back under the Cirez D alias, which has kicked into action full throttle recently - alongside music under the Pryda and ToNjA Holma monikers. His new main room thumper "Dare You" comes courtesy of his own esteemed imprint. From the title track and its tunnelling adventure down into the vortex, to the strobe-lit adrenaline of "The Glitch" or "Black Hole" with its druggy mid-noughties style of minimal shuffle: there's something to rock the dancefloor at any time of the morning by this A.M. expert - on Mouseville's 24th vinyl edition.
Review: For Finitude Music's 5th release, label owner Marcel Heese and Alexander Kowalski aka d_func. share their visions on ""Thought Control"".
Both tracks on the EP harbour the same intent, but each of them approaches it in a different way. d_func.'s take revolves around Sahko-like bleeps - if you are into early Mika Vainio or Sleeparchive - look no further! But instead of being loopy, it's definitely a builder. Its original trance track-like structure is sure to rock many an underground dancefloor.
Marcel's vision is slower and less straight-forward but creates and maintains a high tension. Based on dense a bassline and intricate soundscapes, it builds up slowly, only to explode halfway through. An extra payoff also comes at the very end of a track - its noise/ambient outro making a perfect way to wrap up an amazing party at 8AM somewhere deep in the heart of Berlin.
Laika (Dantiez Saunderson’s Deep Journeys remix) (7:37)
Review: Stephane Lefrancois & Jameson Gilvarry team up for the latest 12" from the Secret Music label and find inspiration from a canine icon of space travel. "Laika" is named in honour of the first cosmonaut dog, depicted here on the cover art and Lefrancois and Gilvarry convey her journey through an uplifting, rolling techno cut that doesn't seem to stop building. Complementing the original is a remix from Dantiez Saunderson who strips down the groove, while giving it a swung, offbeat feel. Staying true to the original, this version also introduces another layer of melodic synths, extending the journey, making it deeper and moody. The booming, clean low end and bouncy high end keep the groove propelling forward.
Review: For the debut of New York's anticipated Purple Trax label, a new formation of key players in Brooklyn's underground debuts with an EP sure to entrance fans of L.I.E.S., White Material, and other established NYC labels. Composed of Terekke, local DJ/producer Jan Woo, and Erez Avissar, label head and founder of the respected Weird Magic parties, Wabi Sabi's dusky and diverse sound comes from its origin in loft jams, but tracks like the closing 'Rx' with its powerful dub techno framework show the work of seasoned talents. Patricia's cameo on 'Casper' is the record's strangest sound, a propulsive house groove with explosions of crackling texture and a bassline deeply buried in fog, while 'Babi' stutters along between the drum pulse and its disappearances into deep wells of delayed vocal samples and gentle melodies. Vibes are saved for the opener 'Moon River Membrane', where Terreke's characteristic cosmic haze comes out more heavily, complemented by the genre-bending psychedelic tendencies of Avissar's programming and Woo's weighty low-end.
Review: For the sixth release on Final Chapter, Sean Dixon provides three tracks of warm and precise electronic sound complimented by a very deep and full remix from Analog Solutions label boss and director of the electronic music documentary "Beatz," Eduardo de la Calle.
Opening with Yearning and deep feel with Dixon?s trademark scattered percussion building layer by layer as the bass tones are modulated, he weaves then a complex emotion with pads and melodies. Continente takes things more towards Detroit based territory. Definite dance floor action with percussive whistles, as keys and pads seem to meld playfully throughout. Eduardo de la Calle?s take on the same track, drops things back towards the deep, with feeling of pressure and density punctuated with waves of sci-fi sound that give the feeling of being in some kind of great machine, floating in deep space. Roots of Funk provides a very danceable track using vocal samples within the music to put across a more serious idea, as synth piano?s gently echo into the distance and horns gently swell over the track.
Review: A promise is a manifestation of intent to act or refrain from acting in a specified way at some point in the future. It's communicated by one party, to at least one additional party, to signify a commitment has been made. The person manifesting intent is the Promisor. The person to whom the manifestation is addressed is the Promisee.