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: 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.
Jared Wilson - "Lynnwood2 Northgate Transit Center" (6:39)
Sohrab - "Sinking" (6:42)
KCLF - "Reloaded 9615" (4:17)
Review: Undersound Recordings hit release number 15 with a various artist EP that packs four vital techno punches. Audio Quest's "The Mental Screen" kicks off with some old school techno that recalls the sound of legendary Dutch label Djax-Up. It's filled with metallic snare sounds and deep space bleeps. Jared Wilson of course brings the acid that has defined his output for years, and Sohrab get busy with a kicking number and some busy melody patterns. KCLF closes out with twisted bass and shiny chords that look back to go forwards with "Reloaded 9615".
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: This ultra stacked remix EP see's artists, Lauren Flax, Josh Wink, Radio Slave, and the 'Missing' remix contest winner Kai Van Dongen. Legend Josh Wink brings his minimalistic approach to the classic 'Concentrate'. Lauren Flax brings her deep jackin acid flavor to 'Culture'. Radio Slave does what he does best and keeps his remix of 'Reflex' stripped down and tough, Rekids style. Lastly, remix contest winner and new comer Kai Van Dongen, balances out the EP with his deep but driving rendition of 'Missing'.
Review: One of the joys of Pugilist's productions is that you never quite know what you're going to get, though there's a fair chance it will boast extraordinary amounts of sub-bass. It's this inventive and off-kilter approach to bass music that makes many of his releases essential. We'd put this first outing for Martyn's 3024 label in that category. A-side "Blue Planet" is particularly potent, with the Melbourne-based producer wrapping tribal style hand percussion, tweaked acid lines and occasionally creepy chords around a bombastic bassline and a funk-fuelled, trickily tweaked two-step rhythm. TB-303 acid lines are also a headline-grabbing feature of the similarly weighty and loose-limbed "Acid Flange", while Tamen hook-up "Guidance" is a surprisingly spacey tribute to the early days of UK jungle culture.
Review: Strap in for a wild techno ride on the first ever offering from Psionic. The new label kicks off with an EP from Astral Travel. The aptly named artist reaches for beyond the event horizon on "Sky's The Limit", with its punchy kicks and relentlessly wobbly bass. "As One" gets into a nicely mechanical groove built on stomping kicks and rigid synth movements that make for perfectly robotic funk and the trip closes out with "Orbiting." With its urgent drums that are smooth and silky and serene synth work, it's one for peak time techno cruising.
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: 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: 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.
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: 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: 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: Paris talents Armless Kid and Aes are back together sharing a hot slab of wax for the Luud label. Yes takes the a-side and gets us underway with deep cosmic house and sauced out breaks of jazz-tinged gem "Jhonedo." "WAYD" ups the ante with fluttering sheet metal snares and ticking hits that ride over bumpy kicks for a truly sci-fi adventure. Armless Kid goes for a scintillating techno cut with warped acid and manic percussion working you into a lather on"603" then a wonky house kicker on "604" that will unhinge any club.