Review: Photic Fields is an imprint with a clear and pronounced predilection for electro informed productions that dart out into murkier leftfield corners of contemporary electronic music, and with just four previous releases since 2012 they're an outfit clearly focused on quality over quantity. Be that as it may this 12" finds no less than six tracks jammed onto it, but there's no arguing with the calibre of artists. BNJMN's melancholic beatdown, Aroy Dee's gently lifting synth-pop funk, Lerosa's acidic drama, Metropolis' tense house noir, Perseus Traxx's adventurous box jam and TR One's balletic composition, all feeding into a release oozing hardware class and vintage sophistication.
Review: Dolly man Brooks Mosher is a man of many talents, it seems. Not content with serving up tasty deep house and dusty techno jams, he's decided to launch a new ambient alias, Cinematic 74. His debut album under the pseudonym, Realtime Inverted, is something of a treat, particularly for those raised on a diet of early '90s material from Mixmaster Morris, The Orb, Pete Namlook and Jonah Sharp. Woozy, melodious and spacey, it feels like an authentic period piece, complete with Global Communication style bubblers, heavenly Detroit techno influences, heavy dub basslines, and oblique early Internet references. Above all, it makes for wonderful listening.
Review: Dutch producer Nick Lapien has developed quite a sound over the course of just a few releases with Bliq, Sequencias and Photic Fields; whether it's as Lapien or Metropolis, there is always a smoky, cinematic quality to his output that borrows elements from Chicago house or Detroit techno but always presents them within his own sonic framework. The Marchland EP sees Lapien add local concern Photic Fields to his collection and presents both of his production approaches. There's plenty to enjoy with both sides here too, be it the looseness of percussion and the thickness of harmony that present a nice contrast in the opening Lapien production "Ballad of a Man" or the abstracted, curvaceous 303 manoeuvres of Metropolis closer "The Gatekeeper".
Review: Lerosa finds himself in good company on the Photic Fields label run by Micha Venderbos from Nijmegen with Perseus Traxx, Aroy Dee and fellow Ireland-based acts Leonid and Automatic Tasty having previously contributed. The Woman Flew Home EP follows the template laid down over Lerosa's long and celebrated production career in that the four track's represent the Italian producer's rich palette of sounds. Contrast the crunchy Faltemeyer-esque drums and plaintive melodics of "Some Things Endure" with the subtle acid undertones and punchy percussion of "Nebula Rider". On the flip, the appropriately titled "Dream Of Flight" will appeal to Legowelt fans whilst "Postmodern" is a perfect example of Leo's capacity for rich and emotive house music.
Review: Texan producer Submersible Machines previously plied his trade on Lunar Disko, delivering a pair of enveloping, melody-rich, synthesizer-heavy EPs separated by three long years. Two years on from his last outing, he resurfaces (sorry) on Dutch label Photic Fields. There's plenty more ultra-deep fare on offer, from the bittersweet melodies and yearning chords of "The Searching", to the heart-aching techno fluidity of "Abbysal Plains". While undeniably dancefloor-friendly, it's the Texan's way with mood and melody that really hits the spot. For proof, check the blissful tunefulness of closer "707 Dreams", which sounds like vintage ambient house reinvented for the 21st century.
Review: On previous full-length outings, Vagon Brei has successfully joined the dots between bombastic acid house, Drexcitan electro, atmospheric techno, shimmering IDM and becalmed ambience. On this ultra limited-edition full length for Dutch imprint Photic Fields, the Spanish producer concentrates more on the melodious side of his output. The Pleasure of Finding Things Out is, without doubt, his most positive and ear-pleasing set to date, sitting somewhere between the sprightly electro-meets-IDM of Vector Lovers, classic '90s ambient - think Spacetime Continuum or early Irresistible Force - and rolling, Italo-influenced chuggers (the skittish beats, throbbing synthesizers and sparkling melodies of "Feynman Theme"). While the whole album sparkles, it's the ambient moments - particularly the melancholic "Challenger Disaster" - that hit home hardest.
Review: From the moment that opener "Manifest Sequence (Initiation III)" surges from the speakers on a wave of glistening ambient melodies, this belated debut album from The Valley & The Mountain sounds like a giddy blast from the past. You see, the mysterious Detroit outfit's inspirations and reference points are undeniably vintage. At various points throughout the hugely enjoyable set, the doff a cap to early '90s British intelligent techno, the roots of psy-trance, IDM, electro, "On"-era Aphex Twin, and the fluid ambience of Jonah Sharp's Spacetime Continuum project. The result is a set of melodious, emotion-rich tracks that glisten with retro-futurist intent.