Review: Ten Days Of Blue is John Beltran's second LP to date, from a distant-not-so-distant 1996, when a rush of neo-techno - on an intelligent tip - began to rush over the scene. The opening "Flex" is one of the greatest of its kind, a near 7 minute voyage of sparse drums, heavy bass and a level of euphoria that is close to match anywhere else. The truth is, however, that every tune on here is absolute fire, from the gentle IDM waves of "Collage Of Dream", the jazzed-out percussion of "Gutaris Breeze (6000km To Amsterdam)" and, of course, the knifty, pseudo d&b of "Ten Days Of Blue". There is so much more to explore, too, including the totally innovative techno of "Venim & Wonder". This gear really does sound like it was made the other day. Warmly recommended.
Review: Dan Curtin's 1994 album, The Silicon Dawn, is still a marvel even after 24 years of significant playback, and is still inspiring younger generations of producers who are interested in the more dystopian side of techno - very relevant, it seems. In fact, it would be fair to say that this LP has become a pinnacle of modern dance music, almost a framework for perfection, and it's not a surprise that it's absolutely killer from the very first track, "Intro", which kicks off a wild voyage into hyper-space. From "Parallel" to "A Flash In The Distance" there is plenty of deep-minded synth experimentation and acid bleeping, and this carries on through with the supremely modern "Population 2". It is a hard LP to describe in parts, precisely because it is so well interlocked, flowing from tune to tune with one single vision in mind - the outer realms of space and time. A true techno album, from a legend.
Review: By the time he released debut album Bump Talkin' in 1995, Paul Johnson was already an established figure on the Chicago house scene. He'd already released all manner of bumpin', forthright fare on such legendary labels as Cajual, Dance Mania and Djax-Up Beats, leading UK label Peacefrog to offer him an album deal. While many of his early singles were undeniably slamming, Bump Talkin' was an altogether more musically rich affair, with Johnson offering up a selection of warm, rich, jazz-flecked deep house cuts that have stood the test of time superbly. This vinyl reissue - the first since the original album release - emphatically proves the timeless nature of the music. Relatively few copies are available so don't hang around if you want to snag one.
Review: Gothenburg, Sweden, is a hotbed of diverse and escalating musical talent, now boasting the dynamic, organically soulful pop sounds of Little Dragon. Featuring radiant vocalist Yukimi Nagano and her close high school friends Erik Bodin (drums), Fredrick Kallgren (bass) and Hakan Wirenstrand (keyboards), Little Dragon stepped into the spotlight with releases on Peacefrog. "Little Dragon" is their debut album.