Review: Like Delsin label mates Conforce and Claro Intelecto, veteran producer John Beltran seems incapable of producing duff albums. "Hallo Androiden", his first full length outing for two years, is another wonderfully atmospheric, melodic and emotive set that recalls the producer's impeccable 1990s output. The nine tracks are as lushly produced as you'd expect, with Beltran effortlessly drifting between eyes-closed ambient techno, lilting electronica, slowly shifting sunset soundscapes and the kind of grandiose, life affirming ambient compositions that have long been a feature of the veteran producer's work. As with much of his output, there are enough intricate details and emotion-stirring motifs to suggest that the album will sound just as good on the 50th listen as it does the first.
Review: After years spent offering up impressive blends of ambient, drone, electronica and experimental drum and bass as ASC, James Clements has decided to commit more time to Comit (sorry), an alternative project which first surfaced via a debut single in 2016. Here the San Diego-based Brit delivers a first full-length excursion under the alias. There's plenty to soothe and seduce on the eight tracks stretched across two slabs of wax, from the undulating, occasionally skittish beats and sweeping chord sequences of opener "Behind Dulled Eyes" and the icy, doom-laden electronic melancholy of "Reverie", to the early Black Dog Productions flex of "Clouded Over" and the dubbed-out, slow motion bliss of "Soft Focus".
Sly & Lovechild - "The World According To Sly & Lovechild" (Andrew Weatherall Soul Of Europe mix) (8:25)
Deniro - "Epirus" (6:34)
Psyche - "Crackdown" (5:59)
Hiver - "Paert" (7:04)
Aphex Twin - "Vordhosbn" (4:46)
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, throbbing 1990 peak-time anthems (Weatherall's ace but largely forgotten remix of Sly & Lovechild), hypnotic techno minimalism, main room throb-jobs (Hiver), pulsating electro, classic breakbeat hardcore, post-dubstep, dark tribal drum jams and sunrise ready Motor City brilliance (Deniro).
Review: When it comes to melodic, layered, emotion-rich techno, Tim Jackiw is a master craftsman. While he's demonstrated his aptitude before - mostly via some lauded singles and EPs - we'd argue that "Monuments" proves it beyond a shadow of doubt. It's a wonderful album; a set of club cuts whose spacey electronics, warm basslines, dreamy chords and futurist synthesizer flourishes combine on tracks capable of making the feet move and the heart sing. Highlights are plentiful throughout, from the dub techno influenced beauty of "Solar" and the picturesque emotional rush of the near symphonic "Beyond The Family", to the dense-but-dreamy intensity of "Soul Appease" and the analogue chunkiness of "Aerophone", whose raw, angular bassline is offset by some suitably bouncy piano riffs.
Review: Given his stargazing, intergalactic ethos, it's perhaps unsurprising that sci-fi techno overlord Jeff Mills has decided to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo XI moon landing by releasing an album containing his musical "interpretations of Earth's moon". As you'd expect from an artist of Mills' standing, it's a very good album. Evocative, atmospheric and hugely spacey - this is Jeff Mills after all - the seven-track set moves from scene-setting, string-laden ambient ("Control, Satva and Rama") to sparse, acid-flecked dub techno ("Electromagnetic") via a string of fine cuts that variously touch on electro-fired broken techno ("Stabilizing The Spin"), Steve Reich style minimalism (the brilliant "Lunar Power"), and semi-orchestral electronic positivity ("The Tides").
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: Since making his debut six years ago, Sergio Moreira has released countless singles exploring his personal take on drowsy deep house and left-of-centre electronic futurism. Because of that, this debut album feels long overdue. From start to finish, it feels like the set of a producer comfortable in his own skin. While many will be dazzled by the three-part suite at the centre of the album - "Bring Back The Night", which subtly twists and turns over 15 warm, glassy-eyed minutes like a breakbeat-sporting deep house version of a classical epic - there's plenty to set the pulse racing elsewhere. Highlights include the bass-heavy, breakbeat-driven peak-time dubbiness of "One Last Thought", the Motor City techno electronics and shuffling bottom end of "Controlling Transmission" and the hazy opener "From Here To There".
Review: Militant Detroit techno crew Scan 7 have learned much from their association with Underground Resistance, not least the benefits of myth-making and mystery. This is one of the reasons that "Between Worlds" is fast becoming one of techno's most talked about releases of 2019. Of course, the fact that it's also the seven-piece crew's first album since 2002 has added to the hype, too. So is it any good? Oh yes. Variously deep, spacey, futuristic and foreboding, the album's 13 cuts range from pitch-black acid-fired techno ("I'm Covered") and fizzing techno-funk ("Trackmasta Hoop"), to percussion-laden deep house melancholia ("Deep Roots") and punchy club electro ("It's Time"). For the most part, though, what you get is uplifting, emotion rich techno in the style of their fellow Detroit greats.
Review: Italo-Iranian producer Sciahriar Tavakoli, commonly known as Sciahri, after releasing on renowned label as Ilian Tape, Mord, Opal Tapes/Black Opal and MANHIGH finally presents his first long playing record "Double-Edged", and he does it on his own imprint, Sublunar Records.
The LP is an extended, carefully compiled exploration of the many facets of his signature sound, where emotional melodies collide with dense and rasping basslines.
The artist aims to express emotions with unsettling simplicity, showcasing techno compositions that are both thoughtful and primal.
Within the space of ten tracks, Sciahri's sound design reveals his structure, pushing the listener through a labyrinth of textures and rhythms.
Review: Silent Season's mainstay artist Segue returns with a new album, following up on the well-received immersion of his 2016 LP "Over The Mountains" with further explorations in the hinterland between dub techno, ambient and a more pastoral kind of palette. It's a field he's well versed in, and one that typifies Silent Season's approach as well, but there's plenty of fresh ideas to latch onto here as Segue weaves gorgeous threads of melody around tactile, mossy beds of sound and understated grooves that carry you to far away, inviting places. Even the more pronounced dub techno stylings of "Mirage", for example, sound vibrant and invigorating in Segue's hands - another sterling album from an accomplished producer.
Review: Danish producer SOS Gunver Ryberg is known for her compositions in soundtracks, video games and theatre, as well as her own A/V installations. She now presents this mini LP for Berlin-based imprint Avian, following up some exciting releases on Contort and Noise Manifesto. "Entangled" includes six tracks focused on the dancefloor, including four "micro compositions", which illustrates Ryberg's vision of contemporary techno and her ability to hypnotise through sound design. From the barrelling intensity of opener "Palacelike Timescale Of Black", introspective ambient drifter "The Presence Eurydike", to powerful moments of textured greyscale techno ("Levitation") and intoxicating IDM deconstructions as heard on "Magnetic Force" - prepare yourself for one intense sonic experience.
Review: Welcome to the world Cosmocities Records, a new French label whose first release is an incredible, triple-vinyl collection of what it calls "rare and beautiful instrumental tracks". It's a rather eclectic set, all told, but thanks to immaculate track selection and programming it hangs together exceptionally well. Flick through the clips and you'll find some next-level ambient bliss (Pepe), a crazy, flute-laden percussion workout (DJ Maboku), sunrise-ready dub techno (Segue), melodious ambient techno (Leif), Balearic space jazz (Jitwam), warm analogue deep house (Jaime Read) and a clutch of cuts that blur the boundaries between jazz-funk and broken beat. In other words, it's a stylistically diverse collection of brilliant electronic music that you'll want to listen to again and again.
Circling Vultures - "Frothing Over The Fruit Of Original Sin" (7:30)
Israfil - "Psy ~ K" (5:56)
Locked In Blue - "Say God" (4:17)
Years Of Denial - "You Should Worry" (5:38)
Joshua Cordova & Sam De La Rosa - "El Gusano Pendejito" (4:34)
Raum-Zeit - "Toni Fahrt Motorrad" (3:46)
Champagne Mirrors - "Evelyn's Doll" (4:02)
Review: With a true curation of artists, this double LP marks the eclectic and passionate works from Public System. The latest in the synth-heavy sludgedown from the ever impressive imprint, invites a new cast of characters into the dungeon dance. The common theme throughout this collection, seems to be wide, slowed down melancholy. Some tracks take a floor-focused jump, while others demand the attentive consumption of a more serene setting. These two discs are packed with dynamic, chugging, and forward thinking jams that make you mesh all things the imprint is clearly passionate for.