Hodge - Blood Moon (Hemlock Recordings)
With Livity Sound, Berceuse Heroique and Hotline all under his belt, it has been a rip-roaring run of releases for Bristol upstart Hodge, and now he cements his place amongst such prestigious company with a double pack on Untold’s imprint. At four tracks on four sides it’s a statement release no doubt, and it’s not hard to see why. “Blood Moon” bristles with manic energy, building up nail biting textures only to rip them apart with grime string sideswipes. “I Don’t Recognise You Lately” takes a more introspective approach while “Recall” coils up in a most threatening of ways, and “Tail Of The Snake” revels in rough distorted disorientation. It’s a decisive mark of Hodge’s ever-maturing sound, and it’s the kind of fearlessly experimental dance music that sounds right at home on Hemlock.
John T Gast - Excerpts (Planet Mu)
An artist of mysterious origins who holds affiliation to a widely appreciated release will always unavoidably pique our interest. Having scored a production credit on Hype Williams’ Black Is Beautiful
LP and after a string of low-key CD-R releases, John T Gast steps a little closer to the limelight with this fully fledged statement of sound, and it lifts the lid on an intriguing and diverse imagination that only stimulates the curiosity even more. There are tongue in cheek skits like “£”, heavy-rocking slow-motion industrial on “Infection”, and plenty of spacious tonal studies like the captivating “Green”. With no linear or repeated approach apparent, it’s an album of many different shades, but it’s all held together with a woozy, rough-hewn charm that makes it a treat to delve into.
Asusu - Serra (Impasse)
While Pev and Kowton have had a steady stream of activity outside their Livity Sound home base, there hasn’t been nearly enough of Asusu’s music out there in the wider world, so it’s good news he’s branching out with his own label, Impasse. The title track on Serra is going to feel very comfortable to any Livity fan, reverberating as it does with the same kind of powerful drum flaring that made “Velez” such an instant hit, and it’s a trick that works just as well second time around. The rest of the EP however shows a very different side to Asusu, as he explores beatless production with stunning results. From the floatation tank delights of “Anglo Skin” to the playful pulses of “Low Art”, it’s an avenue that he sounds very comfortable heading down.
The Hangout Project - Sword Of Light (Out To Lunch Germany)
Lowtec will forever prove to be a slippery character in the world of hard to define house and techno, having swerved the hype of minimal house when he was dropping bombs for Playhouse, and later Workshop. Now, reigniting his Out To Lunch imprint with a 12” from the anonymous The Hangout Project, seems too good to be true. It’s a diverse affair ranging from scattershot pastoral footwork through to heart-warming electro, and it certainly brims with the oddball attitude that can be attributed to most of Lowtec’s work. Whoever was responsible for the sounds contained within, Sword Of Light
invokes the spirit of freak so charmingly in its plush synth sweeps and loose grooves that the artist behind it is the least of your concerns.
Anthony Naples - Body Pill (Text)
It’s been a rolle rcoaster ride for Anthony Naples since his first appearance on Mister Saturday Night in 2012, with his own Proibito label now flourishing and regular appearances on the likes of The Trilogy Tapes further illuminating his sound. After a comparatively quiet year in 2014 he returns to the fray with his debut album on Four Tet’s Text imprint, making the most of the ample space in which to try his hand at some different styles. Some moments are more familiar, such as the charmingly scuffed house bleeps of “Refugio” and the patient orchestrations of “Abrazo”, but equally you can find Naples indulging in trap-infected grime-nodding on rowdy half-stepper “Used To Be”. With more delicate moments in between to smooth out the experience, he’s tackled the first album hurdle with aplomb.
Stave - After The Social (Repitch Recordings)
There’s a feeling over here at Juno Plus
HQ that we’ll be hearing a lot more from Johnathan Krohn, either as Talker, a collaboration with one-time Sandwell District producer Kalon (aka Karl Meier), or as Stave, the Chicago producer’s rough techno project. This first solo release for Krohn as Stave in two years sets the tone for what the future may hold and it’s a battering four-track that finds a home on one of modern day techno’s hardest techno labels, Repitch Recordings. Harsh, greyscale techno that comes packed with a Regis remix, it’s perfect for those yearning more Downwards material when there is none, and let’s be honest, does techno get more techno than this?
Gonno – The Muddler EP (Endless Flight)
Now that the fanfare surrounding the disco revival of about 2009-2010 is long gone we can leave it to the professionals to keep doing what they do best. Japanese label Endless Flight has long championed their own sound, with artists like Eddie C, Mark E and KZA helping define its distinct aesthetic (and don’t forget the Mule Musiq sub-label) and it just got stronger thanks to this techno-tough two-track by Gonno. Techno on Endless Flight may at first seem a little strange, but if you consider Gonno once released with Perc Trax, and has been remixed by Skudge, the Japanese producer’s Legowelt-like jams couldn’t be more at home on Endless Flight.
Model 500 – Digital Solutions (Metroplex)
No way back, all you need is on this track,’ says what we can only assume is Juan Atkin’s Cybotron-vocoded voice on “Standing In Tomorrow”. It’s been an eventful 16 years since Model 500’s music appeared in long playing form, and now the project once helmed by Juan Atkins alone includes revered Detroit legends Mike Banks, DJ Skurge and Mark Taylor. Digital Solutions
comes two whole decades after the project released its debut album, Deep Space
, on R&S Records, with this new instalment landing on Atkin’s own and trusted Metroplex. Expect familiarly foreign trimmings of futuristic bass sounds, snappy snares and discombobulated computer rhythms Model 500 are famously known for, and don’t be afraid to rock out the shredding guitars of “The Groove”.
Sam Kidel – Untitled (Movements) (Entr'acte)
There’s something very Karlheinz Stockhausen about this new record by El Kid, aka Sam Kidel, and it’s a demonstration of the Young Echo member at his discordant best. If you’re expecting something similar to what’s he produced before, be it as Killing Sound or otherwise, think again, as this is a record, said to take some inspiration from drawings
by Belgian poet Henri Michaux, combines subtle, yet gnarly industrial sonics, atmospheres as foreboding as the soundtrack to Valhalla Rising
and twisted and experimental percussive techniques that sound as if they’ve come straight from the classical avant garde of the 1950s. Untitled (Movements)
also finds a release on Entr'acte, a label that reaffirms there’s more music out there than any of us will ever know about.
Kerridge - Always Offended Never Ashamed (Contort)
The sheer clout of Samuel Kerridge’s craft has never failed to send a shiver down the spine, what with such landmark stomping grounds as Horizontal Ground, Downwards and Blueprint to revel in. If his was always the kind of techno heaped with gnarled and grimy textures, this second LP for his own Contort label finds him embracing ever more extreme layers of noise and pushing the techno element to the back. There are still fleeting moments of kick pressure, but they’re far outweighed by extravagant sound design that shreds at your ears while tickling your synapses. For those times when nothing other than sheer tonal abandon will do, Kerridge has just the album you’re looking for.