Review: Libertine's 14th release is something of a beast: a double-EP from sometime My Own Jupiter Producer Do Or Die that squeezes in nine impressively varied tracks. The fast-rising producer's roots are of course in techno and electro, but he's not shy in exploring every avenue of these wide-ranging genres. For proof, compare and contrast the acid-fired, new wave-influenced bubbliness of "Galactic Bang Bang", the fast-paced acid-electro intensity of "Blackmail", the Italo-disco style throb-job "Morning To Lose", and the chiming, all-action cheeriness of quirky closing cut "Small Town Yoky 11". The rest of the double-pack maintains this interconnected eclecticism, portraying Do Or Die as a producer with a head full of ideas and an eccentric musical vision of his own.
Review: Over the last couple of years, Aussie Katie Campbell has delivered a string of well-regarded EPs and 12" singles steeped in retro-futurist flavours. Here she delivers here most expansive release to date, a double-pack that officially counts as the Roza Terenzi debut album. Her usual aural trademarks are all present - think deep bass, dreamy synths, fluttering electronic melodies, euphoric melodic motifs, breakbeats and bustling beats that are anything but conformist - alongside nods towards turn-of-the-90s techno, weighty electro rhythms and snappy, ghetto-house inspired workouts. It's undeniably a Roza Terenzi release, and there's enough variety - coupled with smart sequencing - to make it hang together as an album. Oh, and bass-heavy, Bleep-inspired closer "My Reality Cheque Bounced" is one of the best things Campbell has released to date.
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: Sardinia's Dusty Kid was riding high in the minimal tech house scene of the late '00s, not least when releasing his career-best LPs on Boxer Recordings. Now he's returned to his 2009 opus A Raver's Diary to give it a first vinyl pressing on his own Isolade label. This is music that will take you right back to the era, all psyched-out synth patterns and rolling grooves for the big room beatdown. "Lynchesque" is from the same school of pitch-sweeping freakery that made Marc Houle's early records seminal, while "Klin" and "Cowboys" both bring a more melodious tone that will be giving people some strong nostalgia hits for sunkissed Ibiza terraces. Timeless club tracks of the highest caliber.
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.
Andrea Parker & David Morley - "After Dark" (8:51)
Review: Helena Hauff's distinctive musical vision has made her one of techno and electro's most unique and celebrated selectors, and it's this side of her work that's showcased on "Kern Volume 5: Exclusives & Rarities", a triple-vinyl set that focuses on the numerous hard-to-find and previously unreleased tracks featured on her new DJ mix for Tresor. As you'd expect the quality threshold remains thrillingly high throughout, with Hauff focusing on fuzzy and scuzzy heavyweight slabs of electro, techno, ghetto tech and industrial-strength hardcore. Amongst the unreleased highlights are tracks from Umwelt, Machino, Galaxian, L.F.T and her good self (alongside Morah), while crate diggers will note the inclusion of rarities from Esoterik, Andrea Parker and David Morley, and DJ Godfather and DJ Starkski.
Review: Libertine's popular "Traditions" series is now three years old and 15 releases deep. The latest artist to showcase their wares is Mark Wilkinson AKA Kid Machine, a producer who has previously offered up intoxicating throb-jobs on Red Laser, Cyberdance and Viewlexx. In keeping with his trademark style - think dark, foreboding and occasionally panicked fusions of Italo-disco, EBM, NYC freestyle and space disco - the eight tracks on show cannily combine moody, arpeggio-drivem grooves with hazy chords, sparkling synthesizer sounds, and chiming melodies that recall the synth-heavy horror soundtracks of John Carpenter. The quality threshold remains high throughout, meaning it should be a must-have for those in love with the more muscular and throbbing end of the electronic disco spectrum.
Review: Earlier this year, Jeff Mills decided to don his occasional Millsart alias for the first time in 17 years, in order to release the fifth volume in the long-running "Every Dog Has Its Day" series. The Motor City stalwart is obviously in a rich vein of form, because he's now ready to serve up volume six, which at nine tracks deep is the series' most expansive release to date. There's much to set the pulse racing throughout, from the hybrid deep house/Detroit techno warmth of opener "Phoenix Rising" and the summery, sun-kissed tech-jazz of "What's So Funny", to the Robert Hood style Motor City minimalism of "Six By Six By Nine" and the classic, sci-fi-fired futurism of "World Wide Whoops".
Review: NTHNG's debut album "It Never Ends" impressed on its 2017 release, with both buyers and critics warming to the former Mork and Delsin producer's personal blend of ambient, deep techno and dub techno sounds. Eight-track follow-up "Hypnotherapy" is, if anything, even better. It explores relatively similar sonic pastures, with even more up-tempo and dancefloor-focused tracks (for example the trance-inducing throb of "Heitt", the spoken word-sporting deep hypnotism of "I Just Am", fizzing "Wave Return" and the glassy-eyed "Spirit Of Ecstasy") coming cloaked in rich, ear-pleasing chords and languid melodies. The album's downtempo and ambient excursions are superb, too, especially Pete Namlook-esque closing cut "With You" and the slowly shifting "Beautiful Love".
Review: There's been plenty of online chatter about the confrontational title of Omar-S's latest full-length outing, and arguably not enough focus on the music itself (or the fact that the guest list contains Rick Wilhite, Norm Talley and OB Ignitt for that matter). This is unfortunate, because as usual Alex 'Omar' Smith has hit the spot. The six untitled tracks are impressively varied, with Smith effortlessly moving between 21st century P-funk (track one), cowbell-powered deep house funk (track 2), sparse and synth-heavy acid house hypnotism (track three), disco-house jack (track four), sub-heavy Detroit-meets-Sheffield minimalism (track five) and sunrise-ready dancefloor dreaminess (track six).
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.
Review: It's taken a while, but finally SUED co-founder SVN (real name Sven Rieger) has delivered a debut solo album. Ominously, the accompanying release sheet only features the following words: "the end of an era". Perhaps we'll find out more about what that means in future; for now, we can enjoy "Mechine", because it's as strange, off-kilter, inspired and involving as we've come to expect. Rieger's analogue-rich sound takes elements from a number of styles and sounds - acid, ambient, electronica, ultra-deep house, mid-90s IDM, ghetto-tech, weird slow jams etc - without fully embracing any. As a result, "Mechine" is quirky and curious, but also full-to-bursting with leftfield gems that will variously soothe, seduce and surprise the senses.
The Empire Line - "Traet Av Lagen, Traet Av Systembolage" (4:33)
Puce Mary - "Violent & Delusional" (feat Varg2tm) (6:13)
Fatal - "Indolent" (4:10)
Tusagi - "Swetti" (4:36)
E-Saggila - "Blue Amps" (4:12)
JS Aurelius - "Crime Is The Highest Form Of Sensuality" (3:30)
Mischa Pavlovski - "Fra Midt Til Slutning II" (7:34)
Free The ID - "Red Fall Foliage" (5:38)
Evigt Morker - "Stege" (4:55)
Ulwhednar - "Dimman Runt Borgen" (5:01)
BHMF - "Morkertal" (4:19)
CA2 - "Taki Patch-Out" (5:02)
Age Coin - "No Corner, No Devil" (6:07)
Review: Five years after the first volume of Northern Electronics' "Scandinavian Swords" series was released, the series most expansive instalment yet hits record stores. This time round, the label is releasing it in two tripe-vinyl volumes. This is the first part and is every bit as thrilling and otherworldly as you'd expect. Across the collection you'll find all manner of wayward treats, from the thumping techno growl of Varg2tm Vtss's "VARGTSS1 (Do The Roar)" and the pitch-black EBM horror of Exploited Body's "She Blames The River", to the buzzing modular psychedelia of "Indolent" by Fatal, and the savagely cut-up jungle mutations of E-Saggila and The Pellican Company.
Review: Pi Electronics's last various artist collection was two years ago and now it returns with a second that is just as strong. Put together with a view to showing off the label's favourite collaborators from the roster and parties, there are Greek and international artists all serving up no frills, hard hitting techno experiments. Across the 13 tracks, harsh textures are abound, with elements of EBM, industrial and UK bass all adding intensity to the airwaves. What's more, the Divide & Rule title of the compilation has never seem more socially or politically important than right now.
Review: Marcel Dettmann's Bad Manners label has already yielded some quality drops from the label boss and Exterminador, and now it's the turn of Vril to deliver some of his fiercest material to date. As opening track "Scalar" shows, this is Vril in full-on confrontational mode, slamming down heavyweight rave stabs and noisy drum blasts with a sound that goes beyond big room techno to something experimental in its sheer impact. The pressure remains high on "Biohak", and remains malevolent if a little more stripped down on the deadly jack of "Verkunstungstraktat". Notes of EBM and industrial lurk behind this double pack 12", but really it's just bruising modern techno with an artful twist, which seems to be the Bad Manners M.O. - one we can all get behind.