Review: Given its title, you might expect Aaron K's second vinyl outing to be filled with forthright, sub-heavy sleaze. While there's some weighty low-end pressure to be found - especially on the sparse, dubbed-out delights that are 'Superbass 1' and 'Superbass 2' - for the most part the EP delivers blends of atmospheric, analogue deep house and jacking acid house that prioritise mood and melody over significant bass-weight. It's a fusion that works really well throughout, with highlights including the subtle electro influences and deep, spaced-out riffs of 'Transphat', the picturesque, arpeggio-driven melodies of 'Folding Arps', the jaunty deep acid of 'Everyone in the Pool (Filtered Mix)', and the cosmic late night hypnotism of 'Walls'.
Review: The Advent is a legendary techno outfit dating back decades. Originally consisting of Mr G and Cisco, now only the latter remains, and he brings a certain hardness to the techno remakes that will connect with those who are fans of that style's recent resurgence. Of course, Perc Trax has always dealt in that stuff so makes a perfect home. 'Planting Seeds' is a manic, dense opener, yet 'Night Seeds' manages to up the ante with even more frenzied grooves. 'Scorched' leaves the warehouser behind and has a more Motor City style, looking to the future and filled with machine soul.
Review: In 1995, The Advent - then a duo, now the solo project of founder member Cisco Ferreira - released debut album "Elements Of Life". Unlike some of the Advent material that followed, it wasn't all hard techno intensity, offering up just as much hard-wired electro futurism. New album "Life Cycles" doffs a cap to that set both in style and presentation, though it's all-electro approach is arguably more sonically similar to 2003's "Light Years Away". Ferreira's take on electro tends towards the tougher end of the spectrum, with weighty basslines and industrial-strength TR-808 drums being peppered with spacey sounds, bleeping melodies and foreboding acid lines. It's aggressive and dystopian rather than deep and melodic, keeping dancefloors in mind throughout. Crucially, it's also really good.
Review: Amid a ton of releases on the likes of Wrong Island and CPU in recent months, the legendary recovering optimist Automatic Tasty now flings a full album upside our faces. His ninth long'un, as always it's both jaunty and contemplative in equal measure as he tweaks his machines to create bubbling little narratives that weave in and out of the shades. At one moment you're weeping to a sartorial lament ("Illegal Trousers"), the next you're skipping on clouds on a secret level in your favourite childhood side-scroller ('One Of These Days'), the next you're doing the locomotion on Tomorrow's World ('Dialup') the next you're rolling out the lino for a slo-mo robo dance ('Scaldy Fiver') Slinky, cheery, honest analog fun; You'll Never Work In This Town Again isn't a threat... It's a promise
Review: One of the genre's funkiest groups, continuing where Cybotron, Model 500 and Drexciya left off and heading to a style all of their own, Aux 88 aka Tom Tom (Tommy Hamilton) and Keith Tucker (DJ name DJ K1) give two tracks from their classic 2009 album Mad Scientist an inaugural outing on vinyl, getting electro fans everywhere dribbling with instant Pavlovian desire in the process, no doubt. 'Voice Modulation' is slower, heavier and steadier, built around a shuddering b-line that anyone with a pulse will find hard to resist. 'Mad Scientist' the track, meanwhile, is faster and, with its vocoder-ed vocal delivery from Tucker, gives a good flavour of what makes the Michigan pair a vital live act as well as a legendary studio prospect.
Review: Verdant continues to provide a platform for interesting variations on the deep techno tradition with lesser-spotted names. This intriguing collaboration comes from Iranian producer Nesa Azadikhah and the UK's Alison Marks (also spotted in the Wallflower project alongside Leah Floyeurs). Between them, the artists sculpt expressive, immersive atmospheres that use a classic palette but tell their own unique story. 'Pathetic' is a highlight with its fusion of steady-pulsing dub house rhythms and swooping, straining pads. 'Love Note' whips up a swirling, hypnotic blend with an urgent pace, while 'Understandings' injects a little forthright energy into sparkling synthscapes that return focus to the sci-fi idealism of techno at its inception.
Review: For the first volume in the "Secret Sun" series, Open Channel For Dreamers offers up a first retrospective of Jeroen Borrenbergs' now sought-after work as Ballet Mechanique, all of which was originally released between 1992 and '99. First up is "See You", a cheery, bass-heavy electro track rich in cheery IDM melodies, which is quickly followed by the intergalactic ambient techno bliss of "Zoo Is Out", where mangled analogue bass and Black Dog style electronics buzz around a bustling dancefloor groove. Elsewhere, "Electro" is a razor-sharp, funk-fuelled electro-acid workout, while "Under The Surface" sounds like "In Sides"-era Orbital after a fistful of sleeping pills.
Review: It's always good to hear from Benjamin Damage, and especially so when he is in this sort of fine form. As always, the UK talent brings his unique brand of muscular, striped back techno to the fore from the off. 'Alpha Centauri' is all deep rhythms and pounding bass, spooky pads and haunting vibes. 'Circle Machine' ups the ante with more propulsive and driving kick drums surging ahead and 'Remote Viewer' is more pensive groove that comes with sustained churchy chords up top and a kicking drum line that never lets up. 'Glavset Bubble' is warm, tunnel vision techno par excellence to close things up.
Review: Following flirtations with the Trilogy Tapes and L.I.E.S, techno noise-maker Robert Bergman returns to Brew with two more intensely lo-fi club jams. He opens with 'Champion Sound', a throbbing and pulsating affair in which squelching acid motifs, fizzing electronic riffs and weird noise fight for attention atop a jacking and weighty techno beat. It's hard to describe and, as is his usual style, a touch messy in parts, but that's always been part of the charm of Bergman's decidedly dystopian music. Over on side B, 'Invaders' is a more sci-fi sounding affair, with the producer's usual mind-mangling noises and angular motifs coming accompanied by hybrid techno/electro beats, rising and falling TB-303 lines and deeply spacey pads.
Love Changed Me (feat Eric Kupper & Byron Stingily) (7:10)
Let's Change The World (4:54)
Review: Italian business techno CEO Jospeh Capriati has been a mainstay of the big room sound for years. He plays to as big a crowd as techno ever has a mega-sized festivals, but for this album rather pairs tings back. He reportedly had close conversations with Carl Cox and Louie Vega about the importance of stretching oneself when it comes to doc albums and does just that. He also embraces his first love, house music, on some of the tracks, making for a much more nuanced record that you might expect. Sure there are club bangers, but also afterparty rollers, atmospheric synth sounds and nicely reduced minimal grooves for the heads.
Review: Aside from occasional appearances on Moisture Records, much of Francesco Pio Nitti's work as Caramel Chameleon has been self-released. He's put out some great music though, so it's heartening to see that fast-rising Dutch imprint 030303 has decided to hand him his first ever vinyl release. There's much to admire across the five-track set, from the sun-bright, life-affirming, synth-pop-influenced techno positivity of 'Solitario' and the 'New Order goes Balearic on the moon' vibes of 'Dronacid (Phaserinterlude Mix)', to the cheery, vocoder sporting electro bounce of 'Peanut Butter', and the Boards of Canada style IDM melodiousness of quality closing cut 'Barocco CC'.
Review: Following on from excellent 12"s by Seraphim Rytm, Vand and Edit Select, Alpengluhen is back with a new deep rumination from live modular techno whizz Citty following his outing on Kvalia last year. There's a writhing, dynamic quality to the sonics coursing through 'Alpenrauschen', where the harmonically rich leads slide underneath icy sheets of atmospheric pressure. 'Prehistory' has a more smudged-out, burrowed-down quality for more subliminal techno immersion, while 'Restored Balance' takes a more meditative, slow-release approach and 'The Carillon' rounds the EP off on a more melodic, melancholic tip.
Review: New London based imprint Breakfast Musik inaugurate their label with a release by Uruguayan talent Cosmonaut: not to be confused with the Ukrainian superstar DJ of the same name. Real name Fede Jorcin from Montevideo, these retro flavoured jams will appeal to fans of the current sound of Berlin, emanating from the headquarters of Cabaret, Libertine or My Own Jupiter. Starting off with the deep bleep techno of "Loft Lunar" sounding like classic Stasis, the four to the floor electro of "Tenebrosys" up next really gets the party started. On the flip, there's a mellower strain of electro on "Slippery Master" (that's more reminiscent of Gosub) while the closing track "Nautravellius" goes out with a right blast: featuring that syncopated bang and clatter of vintage drum computers assisted by the funk of classic acid sounds.
Review: Developer Archive returns with its Eleventh chapter and as you'd expect, the EP is made up of four groove based techno bangers tailor-made for floor-filling. The moods differ on each track and its mostly in-your-face beats, growing looped riffs, haunting modular electronics, and occasional mind-altering synth lines. Huge TIP
Review: Skatebard's Digitalo Enterprises label hits release number 20 with the boss himself linking up with felt cult hero DJ Sotofett for one tune, while the oddball producer also goes solo on a remix. Italian dance music is very much in focus here but as seen through a new, weird and wonderful lens. 'Decoded Satellite' distills menacing synth drones with a pounding groove and Italo disco synths are stripped of all joy and repurposed as prowling late night miscreants. Flip it over for a much more airy and libidinous DJ Sotofett Synth-Dub-Mix of Lauer & DJ Sotofett's 'Privat & Scharf.' Serious stuff.
Review: Incy wincy Walid El Barbir dons his DJ Web guise for this stark set of analogue fusions. Blurring the lines between every genre this side of 1990s hardcore, Traditions 16 is a melting pot exploration that brings in elements of new romantic pumps ('Nos Noctium Dominarium'), swampy big beat drama ('Chaosophia777') dense, acidic new beat ('Extinction For The Psychic Sustenance') sleazy rock ('616 The Number Of The Beat') and plenty more in between. A truly unique experience, if you enjoyed Wilid's output as Les Points, you'll be all over this.
Review: It would be fair to say that this first ever vinyl edition of Dopplereffekt's landmark 2003 album "Linear Accelerator" is long overdue. Over the years the Gerald Donald-helmed crew has been responsible for some of the greatest electro of all time, and this album arguably remains their strongest single audio document - in part because it contains a mixture of blissfully melodic numbers and some serious dark, experimental epics. If you still need convincing, check epic opener "Photo Injector", a 21-minute trip into the darkness of deep space that just gets more dystopian as it progresses, or the "Radioactivity"-era Kraftwerk tribute that is the similarly weird and spaced-out "Graviton". Speaking of Kraftwerk, the pioneering Germans would also have been proud of the rushing positivity that is "Z-Boson" and "Computer World"-ish "Higgs-Boson".
Review: Following his adventures with Effraiim Kent earlier this year, Sweden's Alex Berg makes his debut on Phonica with a triplet of slinky, pared-back minimal tech work-outs. Each track representing a different side of palette 'House Organ For The Lonely' eases us in softly with Innervisions style pads and a molten, ever-evolving bass bedrock. 'Fumana Prophecy' takes us much deeper down Berg's rabbit hole where the bassline stays fluid but the pads are replaced by more rhythmic elements and low end shades. For the full Berg blow-out flip for the trippy, sexy harmonic affair 'Rhythm Paint'. Think 'Erotic Discourse' but more mangled and off-beat to suit these strange, unnerving times.