Review: Dutch minimal techno hero Koos "Ion" Ludwig teams up with multi-instrumentalist Twan Sallaerts to present a collection of experimental and electro acoustic ambient journeys on this one for Berlin-based label Meander's Horizon Pi Series. Ludwig's singular sound is recognised by his penchant for all things esoteric and hypnotic, and although this is a non-dancefloor affair he still manages to channel that aesthetic into this collection of tracks, by way of Sallaerts' competent classical know-how on "Entre-Acte". The title track's mesmerising use of sparse melody and disorienting pads over a slow motion / skeletal drum groove is almost just a pitched-down version of Ludwig's usual work when you think about it, while the droning tension and suspense of the atmospheric "Towaknos Carpet" is much more of a departure. Elsewhere, free jazz and film score aesthetics collide on the moody "C.A.T. Track" and the cavernous and glacial ambient textures of "Ijsselzand" only add to the many moments of introversion offered here.
Review: David Koch, better known as Dewalta has gradually grown his Berlin-based Meander label into one of the most respected names in minimal techno, and production wise he has really hit his stride in recent years. Testament to this is his new double opus Lyra, with the second part being a collection of ambient productions that will launch the new Horizons sublabel. In Greek mythology, Lyra represents the Lyre of Orpheus, given to Apollo, which is said to be the first music instrument ever made. The dusty and understated techno reductions that he similarly explores with studio pal Mike Shannon are evident on the album, with highlights such as "Atralux" and "Myths". Things get fully cavernous and glacial on chilling dub techno journeys such as the title track, and broadening the album's groove diversity are deep, dreamy and ethereal numbers (well suited to the afterhours) such as the evocative closer "Cabinet Of Mirrors". One of 2019's most highly anticipated albums and worth the wait.
The Mole - "Set You Free" (Amorf interpretation) (8:36)
Valerie Temple Boyd - "Comb Over" (9:17)
The Mole - "Untitled Title X" (5:46)
Review: Dewalta's Meander imprint never fails to impress, with its careful curation of the finest minimal house and techno at present. Following up terrific releases by Swiss rising star Alci and Romania's Cristi Cons, the Berlin based imprint calls in veteran Canadian producer Colin de la Plante aka The Mole - for his take on subtle and understated groove music for the afterhours. While the deep and dubby bounce of "Set You Free" is decent enough in its original form, it's really all about Amorf's awe-inspiring rework where the aforementioned Cons teams up with right hand man Vlad Caia and Mischa Blanos for some drifting and hypnotic sonic sorcery. On the flip, there's a collaboration with de la Plante's Canadian homeboy Hreno (as Valerie Temple Boyd) on the tripped-out mini-funk of "Comb Over".