Review: Eudemonia was founded in 2017 with the goal to release versatile electronic music and to create a platform for visual art. Inaugurated by a terrific release by electro veteran Emile Facey aka Plant43, they now have an Irish purveyor of the deep taking up the reins on their second release: the Theme Of Perception EP by Leopoldo Rosa. He has definitely branched out in recent years, with surprising releases for labels diverse as Idle Hands, Slow Motion and locals Lunar Disko - where he dabbled in similar visions of electro as heard on the fierce electro funk of "Glider" - but these expressions are much more evocative and bittersweet. From the vintage electronics reminiscent of Kraftwerk on the dreamscape of "The Minister" to the deeply emotive "Plateau Rosa" - the guy's on point as always.
Review: Zurich outfit Les Points have previously impressed by developing a distinctively lo-fi, do-it-yourself style of tech-house. That style comes to the fore on this Eklo-released 12", with each of the five tracks bristling with the sounds of outboard hardware and spontaneous sound processing. They begin with the acid-flecked, electro/techno fusion of "ProjectErzame", before showcasing the crunchy drum machine handclaps, chiming melodies and bustling acid bass of "IDM778". Elsewhere, they successfully go deeper and woozier via the head-nodding hum of "Projektsektork", pay a whirlwind visit to the Motor City on the unpronounceable "Projektjezmueschlueggend" (think early Model 500 dragged through a hedge backwards), and reach for the stars on EP highlight "Hescdolby".
Review: Originally released by Music Man in 1990, Lhasa's "The Attic" is an unusual rarity: a Belgian record that sounds like it was influenced by the then popular British bleep movement. It's not a bleep record per se, but does include subtle nods to some of the biggest bleep records of the period (including a chord sequence that pays tribute to the biggest of the lot, "LFO" by LFO), as well as a chugging, saucer-eyed groove that sounds like new beat sped up. It remains a fine record, as this timely reissue proves. Interestingly, this time round it's backed by previously unheard jam "Sexxor", a bouncy, acid-fired chunk of loopy techno that boasts one of the most rush-inducing chord sequences we've heard in a while.
Review: Next up with his take on the electro sound is Firecracker Recordings co-head Linkwood, who looks to Motor City greats like Drexciya and Japanese Telecom on the aquatic future-funk of "Fresh Gildans" which is quite majestic in all its soulful and bass driven feel. On the flip are two deeper and more introspective cuts, with the immersive "Solar Panel" going for a hypnotic ambient house vibe, or the sublime deep techno journey "Another Late Night" taking its cues respectfully from Detroit like on the previous side. Another great EP by this stalwart of the Scottish scene, which the label best describe themselves as designed for the dancefloor, the sofa and all points in between.
Review: You couldn't accuse Applied Rhythmic Technology boss Kirk Degiorgio of jumping on the London Modular Alliance bandwagon; his Suffolk-based label was one of the first to release material by the hardware-obsessed trio back in 2016. It's fitting, then, that they should return to the label with arguably their strongest EP to date. Check first the sub-heavy thrills of opener "Turn Off The Light", a track whose weighty bottom-end, dub-wise rhythm and minimalist construction recalls the early days of UK "bleep and bass", before turning your attention to the mid-tempo, Drexciya-inspired thrills of "Round The House". Elsewhere, we've also been enjoying the Rod Modell style enveloping ambient of "Cherenkov Light" and the angular, acid-electro hum of "Nebulous Thoughts".
Review: Kirk Degiorgio's Applied Rhythmic Technology label shakes itself out of a two year release slumber with this freshly-pressed and freshly-dressed 12" from London Modular Alliance. This Wireless 12" is the debut release from the London Modular Alliance trio of Simon Lynch, Phil Ventre and Gavin 'Koova' Pykerman but there is a confidence exhibited throughout that is a reflection of the bond developed over a series of live sets together. A razor sharp approach to darker strains of electro is the order of the day here, witness how the various elements on lead track "Wireless" fizz aggressively against each other, whilst "Marauder" almost sounds like Randomer trying his hand at the style. "Pusher" sees the trio veer off into hardcore territory and will probably sound immense on a big system, though the intensity never quite boils over in the manner you want it too! "Fallow" closes the 12" out with a heady atmospheric approach complemented by some icy rhythmic snaps.
Review: First surfacing back in 2006 on UK IDM label SCSI-AV, the Lost Trax project has allegedly been a platform for any number of artists to produce under the cloak of anonymity, all identity shorn so the focus remains on the music. After a clutch of 12"s for Tabernacle at the turn of the decade, Lost Trax was reactivated last year with a contribution to a Shipwrec 12" and now migrates to Rotterdam's finest, Frustrated Funk. On the opening title track, "Life Out Of Balance," Lost Trax display a nervous fidgety energy and a looseness in execution that will sound quite thrilling on the dancefloor, whilst "It's You" is a muddy yet heavenly cut that will appeal to fans of Terekke. Closer "Out From Under" finds crystalline electro rhythms caked in thick tape hiss too.
Review: Eccentric imprint Les Points returns for the first time in 2018, bringing with it a quartet of cuts from "Various Xenopunks". Louh kicks things off with a fizzing, saucer-eyed techno shuffler that fixes classic electro chords and Motor City melodies to a bustling and forthright rhythm track, before Nicola Kazimir dips a mentalist, bass-heavy electro workout in modular distortion and a variety of mind-altering spoken word samples. Over on side B, Walid's "Posterior Spinneret" is a fine chunk of end-of-days electro with added foreboding noises, while Audinio's "Venus Flytrap" is the kind of wonky, acid-fired romp that would once have formed part of Rephlex Records' Braindance series of releases.
Review: Torino label We Play The Music We Love has already made a strong start with some immersive turns by Trevor Deep Jr and Rills, and now they provide a platform for Italian duo Luminer. "Indaco" is a charged up dub techno excursion with crisp percussion to propel the classic chord shimmer that course through the centre of the track. "Canadian" takes a deeper direction with a crafty tapestry of synth flares and a more understated rhythm section. Hiver's reconstruction of "Indaco" opts for a crooked electro foundation, nimble acid line and a shapeless swell of pad tones as the key ingredients, and then Icelandic techno champ Thor whips up a sharp-strutting dub techno variation of "Canadian" that sits comfortably with the Luminer tracks.
Review: French electro expert Maelstrom returns to Central Processing System for the second time in 2018, following up his tremendous Alph4 EP earlier in the year. The Bromance and Zone staple takes time out from his RAAR imprint to deliver these menacing bass explorations heard on the terrific Fragment EP. From the frantic electro bounce of "The Scope" or the slow motion acid trip "USSIDD" to the slamming futurist beats of "Utility Shift", Joan-Mael Peneau remains a force to reckoned with.
Review: When French "enfant terrible" Joan-Mael Peneau AKA Malestrom first pitched up on Central Processing Unit earlier in the year, more than a few eyebrows were raised. Many were expecting noisy, all-action techno similar to his earlier work, but instead he delivered high-grade futurist electro. Like that EP and his subsequent releases since, this outing on Private Persons is similarly minded. Opener "Red Stamp" offers a brilliant balance between distorted, gut punching beat-box drums and intergalactic melodies, while the even fuzzier "Blue Stamp" comes on like the soundtrack to a CGI battle in a big-budget Hollywood sci-fi flick. Turn to the flip for the panicked, mind-altering intensity of EP standout "On The Run", as well as the acid-fired electro trip "Temporary Document" and the anthem-like peak-time bustle of "Dialogue".
Review: Brand new Detroit duo Man VS Indian Man comprises Ian Finkelstein and Even Haywood. Complementing each other's strengths, the pair make the perfect match as they pour out thick viscously barbed future soul in thick gooey doses; both "Ice Accountant" and "Cloud Nine" are wrapped in foggy layers of sleepy textures as the falsetto vocals and lean instrumentation cut through with dreamy delight. Remixes from the legendary Egyptian Lover (cosmic electro), fellow Detroitian Pontchartain (filtered disco house) and Brazilian Table Daddy (lolloping dream tech).
Review: Italian arcade electro superstars Mat 101 are back with this LP of lost recordings from the vaults on Cyber Dance Records. Back in the late 90s when electro was first being resurrected and transformed into a more European dark psychedelic style Mat 101 were at the forefront of the revolution, taking inspiration from the pure electro sounds of the arcade games of their youth and representing the classic Italian sound in new and unexpectedly brilliant ways. Their legacy was immense, spawning Jollymusic, Pigna People, Raiders Of The Lost Arp and Francisco (among many other projects) and inspiring subsequent generations of electro wannabes with how to do it properly ever since. This LP brings together their lost recordings, some intended for a second LP that never was, along with live cuts and rarities as well as other unreleased material. However the album is in no way merely a random collection of lost bits and pieces - what is surprising is how fresh, finished and naturally flowing the record sounds, so much so that it really would have made a worthy follow up to their classic 1999 'Goodbye Mum!' first album. The breadth of sound on the records, from the gently hypnotising strains of 'Marble Madness' and the blissful climax of 'Gloria Gloria' to the intense electro jamming of 'Commando' and the progressive rave monster 'Toys Around', is truly stunning. And with dancefloor anthems like 'Falling Down Suite' and 'Musicadambiente' thrown into the mix too the release is essential ammunition for both DJ activists and armchair-listeners alike.
Review: The seventh single on Patrick Conway's Black Orpheus imprint comes from prolific producer Pablo Mateo, an artist who has released no less than 14 EPs since 2014. To kick things off on the A-side, Mateo conjures up a bouncy, broken techno workout full of poignant chords and fluttering electronics (EP highlight "Into5"). Over on the B-side, he wraps decidedly psychedelic TR-303 style acid lines and glacial electronic motifs around an unfussy, house-tempo machine groove ("Next Time's For Shure"), before serving up an atmospheric, spaced-out chunk of industrial-tinged electro. He may well be prolific, but at present Mateo can't put a foot wrong.
Review: Following up an inaugural release by the enigmatic DJ Playstation, we have London based Age Genesis delivering yet another outing by the mysterious producer in the form of Maukook. The Enter Maukook EP sees them serve up some hard hitting takes on classic techno forms. From the euphoric opener "Welcome To The Island" getting that soaring 303 acid glide on in full effect, to the pitch back warehouse stormer "The Rave Under Maukook". On the flip, "She Left The Party" was definitely our favourite of the bunch; this deep and evocative electro number is perfect for drifting and is reminiscent of American legends Exzakt & Excel's work from the early noughties.
Review: Amsterdam's young Depth Over Distance label is finding its feet amid a hybrid blend of house and bass, slowly forming a sound and a collective of artists that look to be promising. For their second outing, they've entrusted newcomer McGregor with the controls, and the fresh-faced producer lays down some majestic deep-house on the opening "Lightyears From You", followed by the more tribal-minded groove that is "Reality". Over on the flip, "Wanna E" is a choppy, off-kilter MPC workout, while "Closer" heads down the jungle for a fluid wave of breaks, and "1997 (vocal mix)" tears the place apart with a lovely, distinctly UK, broken beat killer. Tip!
Review: Mirror Box is the solo analog synth project of Dallas musician Sean Kirkpatrick. With an extensive resume that includes keyboard duties for Kill Rock Stars' 00s noise rock band The Paper Chase as well as his concurrent projects, dark post-punk-synth-rockers Nervous Curtains and darkwave duo Little Beards, Mirror Box is Kirkpatrick's first foray into the purely electronic realm. Blending together elements of Giallo moodiness, dub texture, techno propulsion, a passing nod to your favorite wave music, and a flare for the kosmiche, Mirror Box' debut release, Minimal Compliance EP, is a tour de force of the veteran musician's exploration of a wide range of influences and experience.
Review: Skip Intro sees Leipzig artist Mix Mup return to The Trilogy Tapes having scored one of the best releases on Will Bankhead's label so far with that KM/MM LP alongside friend and confidant Kassem Mosse. Though closely associated with the Workshop man, Mix Mup has really developed his own style over the course of the past decade of releases and Skip Intro might be his best work yet. His is a subtle touch; see the manner in which Mix Mup teases an Asian melodic refrain out of nowhere to dominate the title track. Both "Sequoflec" and "IE" are the kind of drum tracks you'll hear Ben UFO slip into a set and wonder for ages what they are, whilst the midi sax on "Curtain Scene" makes it sound like a hollowed out remix of Pender Street Steppers jam "Love Theme (Angelo)".
Review: Inspired by the drone of automated factories, the sound is dark, mysterious and truly unique - nothing comes close. The perfect follow up to "No UFO's" and a blueprints for almost every electro record ever since. Juan Atkins in his prime. Don't sleep on this.
Review: First dropped in 1985, over thirty years ago, "No UFO's" paved the way for Detroit to unleash the beast we know refer to as 'techno', to the rest of the planet. Merging everything the Juan Atkins had heard through his adolescent years, from electro to funk and krautrock, his first outing as Model 500 will never grow old. Thus new reissue drops both the vocal and the instrumental, which are equally powerful on the floor. The bonus points come from the remixes: Detroit's own Moodymann makes his debut for Metroplex with a wonky, broken tech-house stormer charged by the original's bass, and sexified with the help of some blazing new sub-vocals from the master of funk; Luciano makes a surprise addition to the pack, dropping an ultra-sleek, minimalistic house mix that will lead this record being in the hands of thousands of different DJs across the globe. Big-dawg business.
Review: Initially released back in 1993, M5003MB was an all-star collaboration between Detroit techno originator Juan Atkins, Rhythm & Sound man Moritz von Oswald and fellow Berlin techno stalwart Thomas Fehlmann. Predictably, the resultant three-tracker was rather special, as this timely reissue proves. Many Detroit techno enthusiasts cite A-side "Jazz is the Teacher" as one of the best examples of the style; an energy-packed Motor City romp full of jaunty, jazz-flecked drum machine hits, undulating synthesizer melodies and sci-fi intent. While superb, both of the B-side tracks - the acid-fired futurism of "Cosmic Courier" and post-bleep hustle of "Bassmental" are almost as good. In other words, it's an EP that every serious techno enthusiast should own.