Review: In the face of all those Clone reissue compilations, Tresor are doing the right thing and digging into their own archive of seminal aquatic machine funk from Detroit electro legends Drexciya, and stepping up with the Hydro Doorways EP is the kind of power move that most labels can only dream of being able to make. From the cinematic drama of "Quantum Hydrodynamics" to the textbook boogie down synth abandon of "Polymono Plexusgel", not forgetting the heavy-on-the-one throwdown of "Lost Vessel" or the alien gurgles and peppy pace of "Species On The Pod", or the... oh you know the drill. This is timeless, essential business for anyone that takes electronic music seriously.
Electro Music Union - "Electroshock Mountain" (5:55)
Sinoesin - "Static Bodies" (4:57)
Sinoesin - "Angels Of Altitude" (part 2) (7:55)
Electro Music Union - "Immortal Cities" (4:30)
Review: For a brief period in 1993 and 1994, British imprint Metatone released some seriously good electronic music. The label was the work of former Jack Trax man Damon D'Cruz and J.M.Atkins, who wrote and produced almost all of the releases under aliases including Electro Music Union, Sinoesin and Xonox. This fine compilation from Cold Blow and AVA. Records showcases the best of this work, drifting between deep and intergalactic workouts (see the spacey ambient influences and pitched-down grooves of "Angels of Altitude (Part 1)"), blissful ambient techno ("Structures 1"), rush-inducing dancefloor positivity (the overwhelmingly good "Structures 3"), spacey ambient ("Descent") and heavyweight, post-bleep brilliance ("Electroshock Mountain").
Review: UK techno producer Sigha returns to his experimental project Faugust for the first time since the Devotions (1984 - 2006) EP on the short lived Avian sub label Mira five years ago. Unlike its predecessor, "Parallel Rave Fantasies" resurrects his long-dormant Our Circula Sound imprint and dives into new sonic territory, incorporating more IDM and generative music. Check the mind-mangling and glitchy "Cold Harbour", the demented digitized soundscape of "Process Aesthetics" and the brutalist, body bashing industrial of closer "Definition".
Review: This tidy EP gathers together some of The Hacker's most sought-after early tracks, all of which have been re-mastered to leave them sounding weightier than ever. First up is the pulsating brilliance of electro-techno fusion workout "At Night", which - like two other cuts on the EP - first appeared on legendary 1998 12" "A Strange Day". This prime chunk of mind-altering body music is swiftly followed by the sparkling, saucer-eyed alien electro-funk of "Leather Dreams" and the hard-wired Kraftwerk style electro heaviness of "Body Electric" (a fuzz-soaked slammer based around the Robots' "Numbers" that initially came out in 1998). "The Night Flight", a bubbly Drexciya style number from 1999, completes a fantastic package.
Review: Back in March, Icelandic techno stalwart Felix Leifur inaugurated Lagaffe Tales' BROT series with a quartet of decidedly punishing cuts that joined the dots between icy electro and bustling, rave-era breakbeat. He's at it again here, opening with bass-heavy hedonism of "Brot 5" - a sweaty fusion of energy-packed breakbeats, dubbed-out chords and weighty sub bass - before brilliantly fusing dub techno and club electro on the deep and spaced-out "Brot 6". Over on the flip, "Brot 7" is a crunchy electro box jam and "Brot 8" is a rolling mixture of locked-in beats, rubbery bass tones, trippy aural textures and mind-mangling electronics.
Review: LFT has already made a sizable impact on his gnarly, muscular brand of weathered electro and techno, and now he's been snapped up by Zement to deliver another four rowdy roundhousers. "Nucleon" channels the best of minimal wave and gives it a deadly dose of modern acid revelry that will incite fevered responses on the floor, while "Wounds" takes things in a spookier B-movie direction without shaking off those powerful 303 demons. "The Cure For My Kind" manifests as a kind of nightmarish electro, and "Hypno Haniwa" takes another route into machine funk for malevolent souls, with stunning results.
Review: Analogue hardware enthusiasts London Modular Alliance return to Kirk Degiorgio's storied Applied Rhythmic Technology label following a string of fine outings on Private Persons and Dimensions Recordings. Interesting, LMA believe that the EP boasts their strongest collection of cuts to date and we tend to agree. Opener "Peach Heat" sets the tone via rubbery but rock solid electro beats, wild electronics and echoing deep space sounds, before they pitch down the tempo on the sparse, spaced-out heaviness of "Harnessed Black Holes". Further body-rocking dancefloor explorations are provided on the flip, first by the Dexter style heavy electro throb of "Lavendah" and then via the booming bass, foreboding tribal drums and razor-sharp TB-303 pulses of "Precious Materials".
Review: When it comes to exploring the full potential of Roland's iconic TB-303 bass synthesizer, few are quite as capable of I Love Acid and Balkan Vinyl chiefs Posthuman. Here the long-serving duo pops up on X-Kalay with a particularly robust and club-friendly three-tracker. For straight-up heaviness you can't beat "King Rat", a muscular and sweaty fusion of booming beats, clanking drum fills, outer-space effects and energy-packed acid lines. Arguably more exciting, though, is A-side "Airwave Uranium", an acid-electro bubbler rich in psychedelic TB-303 lines, moody chords and bleeping electronics. X-Kalay artist Lou Karsh provides the accompanying remix, giddily emphasizing Posthuman's razor-sharp acid lines while subtly beefing up the beats.
Review: Ilian Tape fam: Stenny returns with some long-awaited fractured schematics. Last spotted on the previous V/A EPs, this is his first solo EP for over 18 months and he's making up for lost time... Opener "Stress Test" hits like a cross between Youngstar and Tim Wright circa 2001 while "ElasTCT" takes a much bumpier technoid approach in a way you could imagine Craig Richards playing at 5am. "Adequate Force" racks up the electro shock therapy with a blistering breakbeat whipslap which DJ Stingray would happily play, before closer "Fail Better (Bent Mix)" takes things back to the jungle foundations. All molten breaks and glacial pads. Keep it rolling.
Review: Prolific Dutch producer Boris Bunnik wears several hats: Conforce, Silent Harbour and Vernon Felicity, but some of his most exciting music is produced under the Versalife alias where he delves deep into the electro sound. He makes his debut here for Leeds institution 20/20 Vision with "Machine Life", taking the classic electro sound further but with a modern twist. We're going deep underwater on the moody title track, before coming up for air via the soulful android funk of "MO5". On the flip, the eerie dystopian themes continue on the sombre "Monospace" and the seething reductionist electro-bass of "Axion".