Review: The sheer volume of New York maverick DJ Spider's back catalogue is as intimidating as the picture of the man himself holding a machete in the studio, but it's a rich and unpredictable treasure trove of leftfield techno. He makes an appearance on Thema with a record typically diverse in its make up. The opening track "Throwing Hairs" is a masterful trip through atmospheric, organic soundscapes with submerged ecosystems of sound rippling around deathly simple kick n hi hat pattern. His own rework of "Extropy" features similar smudged textures underneath, but the sweet nature of the chords makes for a killer foil to the murk. "The Final Revolution" gets into a tougher frame of mind, placing plenty of emphasis on the low end and letting fly with some seriously dishevelled percussion. "Distress Signal" is oppressive in its sense of desolation, all icy winds blowing into a kick propelled nothingness.
Review: REPRESS! Sometimes there is a sound that lifts you so high you can't possibly come down. It's the kind of sound that many strive for, but few can ever reach. UK mainstay Aubrey has been hitting this pinnacle for years through his releases on renowned imprints such as Metroplex, Ostgut Ton, and Skudge, as well as his very own Solid Groove Records. "The Reflection" EP comes as no exception. As only a DJ and Producer of his stature can do, Aubrey goes above and beyond to take the listener through a spectrum of moods that culminate in a rounded and complex experience. From the uplifting, fast paced pads in "Peligro 45" to the disorienting rhythmic voodoo of "Roger Doger" and peak energy drive of "Train To The Fire" there is a sense of direction and otherworldly ambiance that will take any dance floor to the place it needs to be.
Review: After previously appearing on Thema's digital series back in 2016, Gabriella Vergilov returns to the label's vinyl arm with a set of distinctive hardware techno reuminations to send shivers down your spine. "Termosfera" strides in confidently with a grinding mechanical synth hook that subtly shifts around the 4/4 drum pattern like all the best wormhole techno should. "Siempre Loco" is a sparser affair that focuses on space and poise, using minimal ingredients for maximum effect. "Boring Shit" bucks against the suggestion of its title to fire off a set of rhythmical cycles that feel indebted to the vast outer reaches of space. Detroit hero T-1000 runs with this idea and pings the track into a particularly funky star system somewhere very far away from planet Earth.
Review: After the way Dorian Blue Part 1 permeated through dance floors across the globe and shook listeners at their core, The Advent is back on Thema Recordings with an unrivaled return. His calescent energy has only grown with time, culminating in three interminable tracks of jacked body mechanics. Whether it's the hammering slapback of the A side or the signature electro-infused B side, there's nothing here for a tame dance floor. Seeing as these heaters begged to be thrown around as doubles, a series of locked grooves have been included for those with the skillset to match their collection. With everything resting easily around the 130 mark, the searing pressure of these productions is undeniable. The Advent cements his legacy once again with a record that is not for the faint of heart.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Cisco Ferreira continues to fly the flag for rugged hardware powered techno with personality, well over 20 years since he first emerged. The Advent is rightly hailed as a mark of assured quality for good reason, and Thema make a smart move in signing up this fresh grip of tracks from the veteran producer. "Kombination 100" is a lurid, slightly unhinged acid workout from the outer limits, while "Dorian Blue" sets a more moody, aquatic tone with a dash of electro thrown in for good measure. "In Time" brings things up in tempo and attitude, sporting some surging 909 drums guaranteed to get bodies striding with purpose, and then "Rhythm" spins out into trippy electro territory for the heads-down travelers to get spiritually expanded to.
Review: Veteran maverick Elbee Bad pops up in ever-unpredictable places, but somehow he sounds just right on Thema. His fearless, deeply rooted take on house music defies imitation, and so it goes across this full-fat EP. "Request Monster" is a lazy groove embellished with strings protesting the culture of requests in the club, while "A Lot Of Jazz As A Child" doffs its cap to Sun Ra in a subtle way that manages to be both mechanical and free-flowing. "If EYE Was From The D" is a more overtly electronic production that sits somewhere in between acid, techno and deep house. "Crossing Dimensions" is an uplifting workout with a sweet vocal turn from an unknown source, and then "Jami Jam Dubb'd" finishes the record off with a primal set of ingredients working round a stout kick.