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: For the next instalment in WSNWG's collaborative saga, Rodhad welcomes UK Techno constant O (Phase) to the series. After productive sessions in the East-Berlin studio which lent its name to the label, the duo came up with a set of diverse techno tracks ready for anyone's bag.
Review: There's a sense of dark mystery throughout this latest from Onont Kombar, which some will recall from his contributions to the 2016 mini-album, 'Split', featuring celebrated tracks such as 'The Doors'. Not quite a case of more of the same here - all three pieces feel very original - but nevertheless that steely and unnerving cold wave vibe is very much present and correct. This outing veers from suggestion to full intoxication. 'The Last Days Last Forever' sounds like a recording of a track from distance; you struggle to make out the details but together they create a powerful overall mood. Meanwhile, 'Epitaph of Ego' brings acid warbles and snares to the fore, resulting in a tune that owes much to the more Romantic side of electro and electro pop, with 'Moondust In My Eye' employing a chugging groove to give its whirring, industrial details a dash of obscure funk.
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: After a break of four years in which he flirted with other labels - most notably Ekyspia - extended UR crew-member Mark Flash is back on long-time home Underground Resistance. As you'd expect, he hits the ground running with EP opener "Audiofluid", a suitably out there and intergalactic techno number high on sturdy, electro-influenced beats, foreboding riffs, tweaked acid motifs and some suitably sci-fi electronics. Flash next delivers a talbox-laden "Tuneup Beats" version for those who just want to revel in rhythm, before paying tribute to the warehouse-ready, late '80s KMS sound on retro-futurist EP highlight "Synthetic Bump". Rounding things off is "Liquid Drive", a fizzing and clattering affair that explores similar sonic territory as the fine title track.
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: Number 20 drops on Truncate and plunges us back into a world of chiseled, deadly serious techno. "Repeat" opens things up with some slowly modulating themes that teasingly evolve from veiled threat to clear and present danger. Luis Flores takes on a remix of the track that adds some industrial heft to the rhythm section and leaves a generous dose of white noise debris in its wake. "El Sonido" is a wound up jacker dreaming of peak time - a tight but swinging groove bringing the funk and end of the world interplay between the nervy synth line and the displaced vocal snippets. There's also a "No Vox" version of the track if that voice doesn't do it for you.
Review: Following a few fine outings on PARTOUT and Pressure Traxx, Cedric Dekowski makes his first appearance on Frankfurt imprint Traffic. The Offenbach-based producer kicks things off with "KBU", a fine fusion of off-key, modular-sounding electronic motifs, simmering melodies and a rhythm track that's arguably closer to house than techno. The feeling that he's really exploring the techno end of the tech-house spectrum intensifies on acid-flecked flipside opener "Glischfort", whose combination of squelchy acid bass and minor key stabs is undeniably alluring. Dekowski's 'all-rounder' status is confirmed by weird, dubbed-out closing cut "Diffused Slap", a bass-heavy excursion rich in minimal techno style drums, jazzy electronic flourishes and all manner of wonky noises.
Review: In the world of Tone Dropout, the rave never stops. It's this wholehearted 90s-inspired retro-futurism that makes their compilation style EP releases such a good listen. This ninth volume in the series packs a punch, with highlights coming courtesy of The He-Men (the trippy acid-psychedelia of saucer-eyed early morning workout "A-Train"), the weighty Yorkshire bleep and bass-meets-Italian dream house warmth of Ascot and WW's "Marelli Bleeps", and the deliciously quirky hip-house-meets-breakbeat hardcore-meets-acid bustle of Bufo Bufo's "Ectotherm". Arguably best of all though is Dawl's sleazy, alien and off-kilter acid-electro rub "Human Experiments".
Review: High grade club business from the lurking one right here. After a series of treats on his own Fringe White imprint, Lurka jumps aboard the good ship Timedance, run by his long-time musical ally Batu, for his first proper solo EP. As you'd expect, the results are joyously chaotic and unpredictable. "Point Noise Behaviours" is a stampy warped rave monster who has done 10 rounds with Tyson Fury but still just about manages to stand up and throw gunfinger. "Ssppeedd" takes more of a techno twist as it rambles at pace towards a very trippy breakdown before the hypnotic tripletty twists of "Minds Eye Tript" calm us into a more lucid state. Finally "Rhythm Hi-Tek" seals the deal. A fractured, tense slab of electro so electric it sizzles with pent up energy, Lurka didn't name the EP after it for nothing.