Review: Blind Allies are an unstoppable force in the slimy underbelly of electro right now, and they're back with another shell shocker on the bounce from Zeta Reticula's "Sonic Assault". This time around Void Cells (Bristol-based Latvian producer Aleksejs Apolskis) makes a pointed return following the digital release Perception Model back in 2018. The drums rain down hard on this record, not least on punchy electro bruiser "SHE". NX1 offers up a rabble rousing techno twist on the original, before "Saturated Faces" opens up the B side with another fist-shaking slab of 4/4. Behind the grubby demeanour of the music lies some serious craft, making this a must-check for those looking in the more interesting corners of the electro boom.
Review: Parisian label Lowless follow up the stellar Svarog 12" with this intriguing paddlesteam through deepest techno waters via apparent newcomer Ameeva. The mood is resolutely ambient at the front end of this album, even as the soft-hitting, blown out beats creep in on "Hidden Inertia". There's a grubby, lo-fi quality to the sounds on offer, but they're offset by the depth of composition to create an engaging sonic environment that wraps itself around you. Plenty of dub processing and a preference for languid, subtly wielded pads adds to the gauzy finish of the record,
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: Where does electronic music lead you? To the inside, to a calm and warm place where sound resonates with your body in quiet bliss, or to the outside where the rhythm wants you dance, even without moving? "WTMCT" gives an answer to these questions that is complex yet extremely easy to understand in an immediate sentient and emotive way.
Menelaos music is unusual and unlikely both with respect to the structure and arrangement of tracks, and the materiality and spatiality of the sound. And yet these sounds convey an immediate sensation of familiarity and ease, of beauty and relaxation. Menelaos utilizes loudness and extreme dynamics in a thoughtful and intriguing way to accentuate strange runaway sounds while maintaining the continuity of the flow of the tracks, which is Ambient to the core. This is a rare art in our time, where hypercompressed and superoptimized glossy sounds dominate most of Ambient, drone and even deep listening music.
In this aspect the album follows and refines the subtle production skills of seminal electronic artists like Jan Jelinek or Terre Thaemlitz a.k.a. DJ Sprinkles. What is genuinly special about Menelaos music is the natural and seemingly effortless fusion of challenging experimentalism and a warm and soothing organic sound-design. This shows exemplary in the collaborative tracks with trombonist and bass trumpet player Achim Fink, a founding figure of the Cologne jazz and free improvisation scene of the eighties. Achim is uncompromisingand in times disruptive play merges perfectly into Menelaos serene soundscapes.
This way "WTMCT" became a genuine album. It tells a story. It invites deep exploration but it does not demand it, thus transcending common notions of how Ambient or Electronica should sound. Text: Frank Eckert
The Album includes also some warm sampels (my live with the wave vol 1+ 2) from the Detroit legend Mike Huckaby to whom i very thankful.