Review: The ever prolific Lee Renacre is on Constant Sound in his 100Hz guise for a fresh trip through expressive techno and house music delivered with a warm, old-skool flavour. 'Jive' skips and twirls across the A side in a swung, sprightly exploration of soft and rounded synth lines and pleasingly chunky beats, capturing a dusky ambience along the way that's so easy to melt into. 'Honkey (Crazy Hats)' takes things deeper with a more rhythm-focused joint that maintains a submerged feel throughout. 'Ochos' completes the set with a deep tech house meditation rich in melodious uplift, striking a spiritual tone which would go down very well with someone bumping records on Yoruba and other such labels.
Review: Last year Anunaku debuted on Whities with an essential EP of tribal-infused breakbeat bass music and clanking, speaker-bothering Afro-techno. It was an insanely good debut and this follow-up on 3024 is every bit as impressive. Restless African hand percussion, intergalactic electronics, spacey riffs and tactile house beats combine brilliantly on A-side "Stargate", while fiendishly heavy flipside opener "Teleported" is a wicked mix of crunchy breakeats, elongated hoover bass, tight vocal stabs and mind-altering snake charmer solos. Closing cut "Atlas4088" meanwhile is a locked-in Afro-techno drum track with just the right amount of ethereal flute sounds.
Review: Bristol's bass bin botherer and rhythmically playful producer Facta steps up on the label he co-runs with K-Lone for two more of his superbly dialled in dance floor bombs. This ode to real life clubbing kick off with 'Doves' which pairs tripped out sound effects and tropical jungle motifs with a well swung, chunky house groove that comes backed by some serious bass. The second missive is more airy and expansive. 'MPH' blends house and 2-step to dreamy effect with nice rich synths and knocking kick drums that get you up and looking lively.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Well Street have been mightily impressive with their first two releases, presenting relatively unknown artists exploring some fertile liminal zones between deep techno, broken beat, ambient and many other shards of on point electronic music. Robert Fleck is now drafted in for the third release, making a debut appearance with a sound that further shapes out the vision of the label. "Echo Chamber" unsurprisingly deals in dubby textures, taking classic dub techno chords and matching them with delicate, crafty percussive flex outs. "Set Point" follows a similar path, but with a more delineated 4/4 backbone to the track that emphasies Fleck's techno tendencies. "Soft Focus" heads in a more UK-minded direction, using ample space and snagging beats with poised touches of Reese-ish sub bass without ever over-cooking the broth. Gasometric Run then comes on board to remix "Soft Focus," channeling Rhythm & Sound loud and proud to create a wonderful slice of ambient dub techno.
Review: Introversion comes correct with more of his artful techno weapons on the correctly named ARTS label. It is three years since he debuted on the label and shows a real evolution in his sound across the four cuts which make a deep dive into his consciousness. The opener is a hard hitting banger with overdriven drums and a wall of silvery percussion. 'Lucid' is a dreamscape to get lost in with scintillating percussion and sombre pads, then 'Myoclonus' flips it up with a heavenly vocal layered over huge, robust breakbeats. Powerful stuff.
Review: In the space of just a few years, Luca Lozano has made a busy schedule for himself. Managing Klasse Records and Grafiti Tapes, he has released a load of music both form himself and a number of artists, such as Kris Wadsworth and DJ Fett Burger, among many others. This time he's up on the excellent Super Rhythm Trax with a little vintage flavor; "Outer Space" makes up the A-side and it's a gorgeous, break-ridden dance stepper in the same vein as stuff from the likes of Horsepower Productions, back in their day. On the flipside, "End Of Line" is a certified UK swinger, a grimey beast of a tune with a heavy percussion march and that inimitable London feel. Recommended.
Review: A new record from Malin Genie is always an intriguing proposition, and on this occasion the prolific, chameleonic producer is working in the realm of sharply focused techno with a dubby sensibility at its heart. That's especially true on 'Drek', which does a great job of bringing a fresh texture to the well worn dub techno palette thanks to some canny FX processing. 'Mastodon' is bigger still thanks to its own assortment of pulsing chord tones, and 'The Foolish & The Senseless' brings things into a new realm of expression with some forthright melodies that aren't typically associated with the dub techno tradition. Top shelf stuff as always from this inventive and accomplished producer.
Review: London-based, Belgian-Congolese artist Nikisi has launched her own label and this is the first release. Given that she has such a unique and singular sound it's a wonder she hasn't started her own thing before now. Cutting utterly loose here she layers up hard, flat drums with white noise and what sound like ancient drones to make for a hard but hypnotic weapon. It's dark but light, controlled but chaotic. 'Phantasmagoria' explores the same dichotomies, with poly-rhythms pummelling away beneath haunting synth drones up top. In between is the glitchy 'What Comes Next?', another stark, inventive track that is challenging yet rewarding.
Review: Throughout his lengthy career, Steve O'Sullivan has proved adept at delivering "proper techno" tracks that are a cut above those of his contemporaries. This re-issued three-tracker for Rawax shows him doing just. A-side 'Off Message' sets the tone, with O'Sullivan layering deep space chords and gentle intergalactic melodies atop a tough-but-rubbery beat. The sweatier and sleazier 'Night Nurse' boasts fizzing, fill-happy drum machine percussion and deep space chords that recall the early years of Detroit techno, while 'Porcupine Grove' is a snappy, pitched-up romp rich in crunchy TR-909 beats, faintly foreboding background chords and tight melodic loops.
Review: Conoley Ospovat is back on Kimochi Sound, who have honoured the occasion with a super limited, hand-numbered plum vinyl 12" in spray-painted sleeve. It looks delicious and sounds just as good: 'Post-Typhoon Shakedown' does somehow capture the energy after a storm - that sense of calm, with dew in the air and optimism everywhere. It's a brilliantly bubbly house cut that makes way for the more spaced out tech house minimalism of 'From the Cockpit', an expansive track that gets you into a nice calm head space. 'Love The Lights' keeps you there with an even more reduced deep house brew while the closer is a summery, leggy instrumental house cut packed with interest.
Review: Bleep43 crew member Emile Facey, aka Plant43, returns for one of his irregular conceptual forays on Svreca's Semantica Records. Continuing the theme of his previous two Semantica releases, the four strong suite of intense electro revolves around Facey's sonic travels through the imaginary Sentient City. If you have indulged in previous Plant43 output you will know the London artist possesses a masterful range and it's displayed wonderfully here. Opener "Chain Of Memories" combines ripples of richness with the instantly gratifying snap of 808 programming, whilst "Ascendant Machines" is a wonderful example of his ear for melody. B side opener "Ubicomp Malfunction" veers into alien territory whilst "Amphibious Architechture" offers a contemplative finale.
Review: Neighbour Recordings is a German label run by Birke TM and Sven Schienhammer aka Quantec - the latter bringing you its sophomore release. Schienhammer has released on renowned imprints such as Echocord, Silent Season and Toffler (to name but a few) so you're in good hands with this veteran artist on the Moments EP. Featuring some absolutely sublime dub techno experiments: from the glacial and cavernous bliss of 'Momentum I', the rolling groove of 'Nocturne' with its endless echo-laden chords, as well as the evocative acid-washed deepness of 'Diurnal' on the flip. Terrific stuff from an underrated producer - tip!
Review: 20/20 Vision continue to celebrate their renewed electro vigour with the third part in the Exit Planet Earth series, once again calling on a crack team of machine funkers to deliver the robo-goods. Radioactive Man is up first with 'One Out', which finds the original Lone Swordsman on impeccable form teasing and testing his rubbery synth flex around a needlepoint groove. Annie Hall follows up in fine style with the dreamy lilt of 'Invisible Dust', while Sansibar locks into something a little dirtier on the dungeon boogie of 'Tamagotchi'. VC-118A's 'Moss' completes the set in a spellbinding fashion, dropping the tempo for something a little more exploratory with plenty of mystical atmospheres and tweaked FX fills marking out an evocative soundscape.
Review: Imprints co-founder and Metropolita Recordings man Riccardo brings his vision of techno to life once more on this widescreen four track for his other label, Elma Rivaga. His opener 'Agenda' is a high speed techno trip with big drums and plenty of cosmic synth lines. A driving bassline underpins the whole thing and will make for some all out moments of joy once we're back in clubs. 'Eleonore' shows an excellent mastery of synths with its various designs - some long and smooth, others tiny and twisted, and somehow he manages to find yet another high gear on 'Svistato,' a blistering cut awash with warming synths astral rays. There is a hint of Italo disco to the colourful techno closer 'WW Valley' that makes this another vital EP.
Review: Longtime techno innovator Silent Servant finds himself on the cult Hospital Productions to close out this year in visceral fashion. 'Harm In Hand' is many things - dark wave synth and jittery techno and it even has a hint of jerking EBM rhythms. It's a trip back to the future on a pulsing wave of menace. 'Damage' then cuts more loose, with spraying synths and crashing hits trapping you in dystopia and 'Death Of Decadence' bring all manner of raw textures, twisted synth lines and stark drums to a line techno groove.