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.
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: 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: 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: Over the last couple of years, Aussie Katie Campbell has delivered a string of well-regarded EPs and 12" singles steeped in retro-futurist flavours. Here she delivers here most expansive release to date, a double-pack that officially counts as the Roza Terenzi debut album. Her usual aural trademarks are all present - think deep bass, dreamy synths, fluttering electronic melodies, euphoric melodic motifs, breakbeats and bustling beats that are anything but conformist - alongside nods towards turn-of-the-90s techno, weighty electro rhythms and snappy, ghetto-house inspired workouts. It's undeniably a Roza Terenzi release, and there's enough variety - coupled with smart sequencing - to make it hang together as an album. Oh, and bass-heavy, Bleep-inspired closer "My Reality Cheque Bounced" is one of the best things Campbell has released to date.
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.
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: 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.
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: The third Skudge album is here. Dedication to details, attention to structure and a tireless pursuit of that specific and circular sound. The contextual element of 'Time Tracks' seem to be placed in-between the most cordial music that Skudge has presented up until now, as well as bridging the singularity and adrenaline from the previous albums and EP's.
Review: Given The Primitive Painter would go on to become Alter Ego it should come as no surprise to anyone that this self titled debut from 1994 still sounds incredibly polished, and manages to hit a multitude of electronic notes in one very impressive swoop - some melancholic, some otherworldly, others punchy and direct. Re-releases like this are enough to convince even the most cynical first-pressing militants of the value in re-releasing. Why shouldn't a new generation of heads be won over by the beautiful acid ravescape painted by 'A Pagan Place', the slamming toybox percussion of 'Click Song', the emotionally charged euphoric downtempo joy of appropriately-titled 'Hope' or the retro futurism of electro-stepper 'Levitation'? As essential today as it would have been 25 years ago.
Review: Libertine's popular "Traditions" series is now three years old and 15 releases deep. The latest artist to showcase their wares is Mark Wilkinson AKA Kid Machine, a producer who has previously offered up intoxicating throb-jobs on Red Laser, Cyberdance and Viewlexx. In keeping with his trademark style - think dark, foreboding and occasionally panicked fusions of Italo-disco, EBM, NYC freestyle and space disco - the eight tracks on show cannily combine moody, arpeggio-drivem grooves with hazy chords, sparkling synthesizer sounds, and chiming melodies that recall the synth-heavy horror soundtracks of John Carpenter. The quality threshold remains high throughout, meaning it should be a must-have for those in love with the more muscular and throbbing end of the electronic disco spectrum.
Andrea Parker & David Morley - "After Dark" (8:51)
Review: Helena Hauff's distinctive musical vision has made her one of techno and electro's most unique and celebrated selectors, and it's this side of her work that's showcased on "Kern Volume 5: Exclusives & Rarities", a triple-vinyl set that focuses on the numerous hard-to-find and previously unreleased tracks featured on her new DJ mix for Tresor. As you'd expect the quality threshold remains thrillingly high throughout, with Hauff focusing on fuzzy and scuzzy heavyweight slabs of electro, techno, ghetto tech and industrial-strength hardcore. Amongst the unreleased highlights are tracks from Umwelt, Machino, Galaxian, L.F.T and her good self (alongside Morah), while crate diggers will note the inclusion of rarities from Esoterik, Andrea Parker and David Morley, and DJ Godfather and DJ Starkski.