Review: BOOM! Our favourites, Cititrax, roll the third editions of Tracks out onto our shelves, and the results are unsurprisingly strong on this excellent various artists comp. It's a mixed bag of skills, as per usual, and the sounds are those of a new NYC, fuelled by a new sort of post-industrial sensibility. Amato Y Mariana open with the tight beats and groove of "Queires Bailar", followed closely by the ominous compositions of the EBM-flavoured "Montgat" from The Sixteen Steps. On the flip, His Dirty Secrets bleeps out some morphed acid on "Structures", and "Another Stranger" from Further Reductions churns out a slow, mild-mannered house experiment with its roots clearly planted in the coldest of waves. Sick.
Review: The wonderful Er + Er imprint has a knack for getting some of the biggest names in electronic music together and jamming the hell out! Some of the works by Ricardo Villalobos for the label have been simply sublime. This time, we got legend Carl Craig going head-to-head with the supremely talented Francesco Tristano in a sort of classical techno vibe. "Luder Pre" combines a mid-tempo percussive beat with some seriously twisted piano work, twisting and contorting into a right old spin. It's a one-sided gem, it's 300 copies limited, so you better get yourself one quick!
Review: Manchester's meandyou. collective take their time over releases, averaging just over a 12" per year. Here they kick off 2016 with another collaborative EP, full of drowsy deep house, crackling techno and tipsy, world-weary ambience. With label conspirator Herron otherwise engaged, it falls to Workshopper Even Tuell to kick things off with the slowly unfurling new age chords, blazed vocal samples and sparse-but-chunky deep house groove of "Boys Truth". Sul "Does It For Andy" on the creepy, discordant dark world ambient track of the same name, before Sensu brings back the beats on the hypnotic, experimental dubby techno shuffle of "Sigmon". Finally, Fabric lays back and lights something fragrant on the similarly dub techno influenced, metallic IDM-goes-ambient of "Pink Grid".
Review: If you're in the mood for some industrial-strength dancefloor experiments and lo-fi workouts saturated with noise, this collaboration from old studio buddies Felix Krone and Yu Aseada AKA Ena should hit the spot. It's an altogether more foreboding and paranoid beast than their previous joint excursion, hence the new "F&E" alias. After offering up a decidedly dystopian ambient intro, the duo slowly cranks up the pressure via the industrial dub techno/electro fusion of "Thesis" and the crackling lo-fi techno crustiness of "Premis I". "Premis II" offers a more percussive and rolling take on the same murky blueprint, while "Conclusion" is a suitably hypnotic chunk of dub techno.
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: Newcomer Feon up next on Optimo Music, with some some gorgeous and sunkissed balearica. The London based producer wrote these tracks in a brisk 10 day session, shortly after the experience of Ayahuasca ceremony - which is evidenced in the psychedelic sound of the first track. He has explained that the production involved his vocals being layered 30 times in different harmonies, then put through a space echo and you can sure hear it! This one was awesome. On the flip, we have the trance inducing muscle disco of "Holland Fly By" with its super cosmic influences enough to propel your mind into the stratosphere. Finally there's something much more experimental on the solemn, breaks-driven tripper "Without Sound".
Review: Shadowy London producer Filter Dread returns from Beyond Saturn with four new futurist designs. This time on Seattle newcomer label Tech Startup. Maintaining his stark ravey elements, pneumatic breaks and grainy bass signature, the vibe remains hardcore, rough around the edges throughout. "Rainforest" is near militant with its drum edits and warped, detuned synth washes while "Blizzard" brings a crush sense of decay to the percussion and much more of a subverted electro feel to the mix. Flip for two more weapons: the gnarled, schizoid "Tripping Up" which touches on breakcore but at a much slower tempo and "RX 4 Real" which taps into the classic hardcore aesthetic and flips more switches than Battersea Power Station.
Review: For their first trick, recently launched label Ex Machina presents a selection of tunes extracted from M. Finnkreig's 1988 debut cassette, Exit/Accidental. There's much to admire throughout, from the foreboding, fuzz-laden new beat pulse of "Blank Order" and "Clean State", to the bubby but moody, alternative synth-pop bustle of "Discover The Truth" and high-pitched, manipulated acappella vocal cut "Medium". Elsewhere, "Exit-Accidental" is a cheery and out-there chunk of pitched-down electro rich in moody, post-apocalyptic chords and stuttering sample stabs, and "Liberia" is a woozy collage of layered spoken word snippets, lilting synthesizer melodies and wobbly drum machine programming.
Five Times Of Dust - "Computer Bank" (The Floor mix) (7:12)
Five Times Of Dust - "Armoured Car" (6:57)
Unovidual & Tara Cross - "Like I Am, Comme Je Suis" (The Floor mix) (7:11)
Unovidual & Tara Cross - "Imponative" (3:28)
Review: Thanks to the eternally revered Minimal Wave imprint, out of NYC, Mark Phillips and Robert Lawrence's Five Times Of Dust project is going through a bit of a revival. The duo had first released some post-punk cassettes back in the 80s, and they clearly have not been forgotten. On this new remix EP, "Computer Bank" is given a makeover in the form of a The Floor remix, who proceeds to add all sorts of quirkiness over the tune's tough, heavy bass and driving rhythm; "Armoured Car" breaks the 4/4 in favour of something much closer to the band's original drum machine style. Once again, on the flip, we have a remix of "Like I Am, Comme Je Suis" by The Floor, who throws up a gnarly electro bass onto shady, neo-romantic vocals, and the whole things is finished off by "Imponative" from Unovodual and Tara Cross, who produce a slow, heady industrial groove for the dancefloor.
Review: Last year Burial and the Bug joined forces as Flame 1, delivering an in-demand EP on the latter's Pressure label featuring two sizable slabs of industrial strength soundsystem science. Here they return as Flame 2, once again offering up a pair of weighty dancefloor excursions. A-side "Dive" is a loud and claustrophobic affair, as the duo wraps dystopian dub bass and sparse, mutilated post-drill rhythms in layers of apocalyptic aural textures and mind-altering dub techno style processed noise. Flipside "Rain" is arguably more suitable for dancefloor plays and sees the esteemed twosome combine pulverizing sub-bass heaviness with dancehall style drums that come smothered in mind-melting effects and paranoia-inducing aural smoke.
Review: Last year, Burnt Friedmann and Uwe Schmidt reunited as Flanger for the first time in a decade, releasing the IDM-meets-future jazz full-length Lollopy Dripper. Here the experimental electronica veterans are at it again, delivering three more eccentric chunks of body-popping electronic jazz-fusion. They begin with the spacey throb of "Spinner", where broken computer noises and glitch electronics ride an undulating, off-kilter drum machine groove. "It From Bit" retains the attractive glitches of its' predecessor, blending them with an up-tempo, dub-influenced techno rhythm. Finally, they let their jazz influences run free on the computerized broken beat-meets-IDM-in-dub fizz of "Loose Joints".
Review: Current heroes of the industrial techno sound here tend to focus on the industrial side of things for The Cast Project: a vinyl affair from Los Angeles based on the collective sounds from a faction of artists. They are said to gather a few artists; each of them providing several unique audio samples, clips and/or field recordings that best define their sound. They then collect the samples from each artist and redistribute them to the artists as a master pack, at which point they create a unique track. First up fellow Los Angeleno Luis Flores delivers the grinding and guttural first offering, while 138 then delivers some impressive Autechre styled IDM on his/her effort. On the flip, Dutch terroriser Bas Mooy delivers a furious and powerful warehouse techno stormer that blows the doors off as always. Finally Serbian duo Ontal deliver some more of their typically contorted takes on techno.
Review: For their ninth release, Berlin's mindcolormusic present another stellar release by a debutant, as well as an old schooler. Shane Teal aka Flux is based out in the Pacific Northwest U.S.A. and is said to have been recording music for over a decade, making anything from electro to drum and all that's in between. All these disparate influences can be heard on the unholy mixture of "2linx" which comes off sounding like some broken-beat offworld IDM experiment - and sounds pretty awesome. On the flip, it is over to Eddie Symons: a veteran producer based in the UK, who after releasing on his own Struktur and [d]-tached imprints, made his debut as Bovaflux for the Highpoint Lowlife label back in 2005. Four deep and dystopian electro bass offerings from Symons here, and we particularly enjoyed the Aphex/Autechre spounding melancholia of "Lmp_Nrg".
Review: Detroit based Blair French aka Dial81 is a producer and DJ known for his work in the local groups Cosmic Handshakes, Nois Land and BLKSHRK and has released on labels diverse as Going Good and Claremont 56 - in addition to Amsterdam techno powerhouse Delsin. Since relocating to the Michigan capital Lansing (where he's apparently been collaborating with the city's favourite son: John Beltran) he's also involved in Detroit Electronic Quarterly Magazine. As far as the Public Park EP is concerned, it's all about Afro influenced soul and disco vibes as heard on the sunkissed and spiritual title track, or the deep and dreamy mood lighting of "Spirit Guides". On the flip, strap yourself in for the bass heavy gqom vive of "Public Beach" followed by a tougher Stripped Version.