Review: Electro heads take note, Gaetan Votion is here with his emergent Aquatronics alias looking to celebrate everything Drexciyan. From the project title to the sounds on this latest 12", you can hear the influence of Gerald Donald and James Stinson faithfully channeled - the important thing is Votion has done a good job of it. "Wave Gliders" is awash with rich, sweeping pads and underpinned by chunky bass synths, while "Ocean Myst" takes things under the waves with beautifully rendered aqueous atmospherics. "Deep Horizons" is a sweeter mood with powerful chord progressions at its heart for a highly emotional listening experience. "Twilight Dive" completes the set with a mellow mood for that brings a perfect sense of balance to this top drawer EP.
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: Borft have been digging deep in the archives of much loved techno talent Crinina for some of his old unreleased works. What they have found is "Tropique Manique", a masterpiece from the 90s that pairs warm dub undercurrents with minimalist percussion and sleek synths. It all adds up to a perfect roller that will make any floor march. On the flip is another previously unreleased gem by VILLA ABO (a defunct project from Jan Svenson of FRAK fame). It's another sweet tendon groove, this time with busier synths and far sighted chords.
Review: Colin McGraw's MDA Analog project continues to enjoy a renaissance after more than 20 years of silence, serving up the third instalment of vintage techno with a house-spirited warmth. "Lost But Not Broken" capitalises on some particularly soaring synths to create a uniquely uplifting flavour, while "A Theory Of Everything" takes things deeper with dubby pulses underneath an ear-snagging set of keys. "Mimico Creek" has a particularly playful arrangement marked out by nimble arps and bleeps, and "Scavenger Hunt" completes the set with a punchy rhythm section and yet more plush layers of harmonic interplay.
Review: Berlin's Nikk is back after a great inaugural release on the local Spandau20 imprint, and a remix for DJ Haus on his Unknown To The Unknown. This new one is for the ever reliable Dance Trax, and following up great ones by D. Tiffany, Ejeca and Assembler Code. Entitled "Beyond The Measure" it is a proper heads-down banger that proudly wears its Rene Pawlowitz influence on its sleeve. This is followed by an equally slamming remix by British techno legend Mark Broom. On the flip, prepare for a late night at the warehouse party with the mentalist hypnotizer "Sluricane" and its M-Plant style chord stabs leading the way through the strobe lights and smoke machines. It ends the morning with the deep and soulful Detroit vibe of "100 Grams".
Review: Nite Fleit has had a barnstorming couple of years with drops on Planet Euphorique and Unknown To The Unknown, a team-up with Mall Grab on Looking For Trouble and now this rabid electro stormer on Helena Hauff's Return To Disorder label. Compared to some of the grungier, punk-inflected electro you'd expect to find on the label, this is bright, bold, big-room stuff with plenty of ravey motifs to move large masses of bodies. "Empty Nest Syndrome" is hyped up to 11 while "Naive" pivots around a hard as nails electro beat. Watch out for the mad arps on "Can't You See" and "Rebel Faction" too - they're gunning for your cerebellum and you should take heed.
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: Last year Victor Ruiz hit the headlines by signing to Drumcode - ample reward for a producer who had spent almost a decade building up his reputation via releases on a string of credible underground imprints. The Brazilian's second EP for the Swedish picks up where its predecessor left off, with Ruiz offering up a string of wonderfully weighty, full-throttle techno stompers tailor made for massive rooms and gargantuan festival stages. Our picks of a strong bunch include the bold bass and razor-sharp riffs of opener "Freedom", the more melodic, warm and sunny loop techno roller "Senses", and the buzzing, constantly rising techno/trance fusion of glimmering closing cut "Existence". If you dig Drumcode's rigidly defined brand of big room techno, you need this in your bag.
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: 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: **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.
A Revelation Of Nothingness - Downwards (part 1) (2:43)
Waiting For Ayin (7:31)
Time Is A Child Playing With Virtues (4:46)
The Revelation Of Nothingness - The Dream (part 2) (4:17)
Review: Rather unhelpfully, there's not much we can tell you about The Loud Age, other than this is the publicity-shy artist's debut album. But whoever is behind the project, "The Second Siren" is well worth a listen. It draws influence from fuzzy and metallic '80s industrial music, EBM, new beat, techno and trance, delivering a string of club-ready cuts and drowsy ambient interludes peppered with off-kilter loops, clandestine chords, bold melodies and unsettling aural textures. Our picks include the warped, mind-altering industrial techno stomp of "Waiting For Ayin", the two-part ambient piece "A Revelation Of Nothingness" (which comes complete with whispered spoken word vocals), and the throbbing, trance-inducing opener "Sur La Maladie (Part 1)".
Review: Given The Primitive Painter would go on to become Alter Ego it should come as no surprise to anyone that this self titled debut from 1994 still sounds incredibly polished, and manages to hit a multitude of electronic notes in one very impressive swoop - some melancholic, some otherworldly, others punchy and direct. Re-releases like this are enough to convince even the most cynical first-pressing militants of the value in re-releasing. Why shouldn't a new generation of heads be won over by the beautiful acid ravescape painted by 'A Pagan Place', the slamming toybox percussion of 'Click Song', the emotionally charged euphoric downtempo joy of appropriately-titled 'Hope' or the retro futurism of electro-stepper 'Levitation'? As essential today as it would have been 25 years ago.