Review: While Hendrick Grothe's Blac Kolor output is usually reserved for his own Basic Unit Productions, he has recently stepped out onto new, and highly suitable, imprints that span the entirety of the wider 'industrial' domain. Hands Productions, from Germany, is one such label that seems to work very well with Grothe's bottomless array of deathly sonics, and Awakening marks his first LP outside of BUP. These 14 tracks are well-balanced and well-placed, rising in momentum with each new kick drum; our favourites have to be "Loneliness", a downpour of industrial dread ike no other, "Awakening" itself for the quasi-techno approach, and the harsh, violent kicks of "Nano Creator". All together, this is shaping up to be a rather special affair to have on our shelves. 500 numbered copies, so act fast!
Review: The second part of Nigel "Perseus Traxx" Rogers' Ellis De Havilland double-header (his first since 2013's similarly formatted Born Out Of Cheapness & Frustration) continues where its' predecessor left off, with the producer showcasing more "straight to tape" hardware compositions. The seven tracks vary in tone, tempo and texture, from the druggy throb of "Track 1", and fierce-but-weird "Track 2", to the clicking, outer-space hypnotism of "Track 4", and Jamal Moss style acid onslaught "Track 6". They're all subtle variations on a theme, created with a relatively sparse selection of old drum machines, synths and samplers, but there's enough variety to keep things fresh and interesting.
Review: With previous releases by Tin Man, Veiled and King Blood, Philadelphia based White Denim are back with the debut LP by Graham Dunning: a self-taught artist and musician based in London. His live work explores sound as texture, timbre and tangibility - drawing on bedroom production, tinkering and recycling found objects. Much of the work evolves through experimentation with different processes: considering the methods by which sounds become music, process as a continuum encompassing both improvisational and procedural methods, and testing analogous processes across different media. Dunning provides two immersive minimal techno workouts on the Tentation EP, with the slow burning and dubbed-out echomania of "Another Rhythem" and the further reductions of "Ping Pong Rhythem" on the flip - reminiscent of Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia or Plastikman's early exploits. Highly recommended.
Review: Scottish producer Tony Scott graces Prologue for the first time with a debut album under the Edit Select guise - now as established a name as his old Percy X work was. The Munich label is cultivating quite the reputation for techno album projects, with excellent longplayers from Mike Parker, Echologist, Dino Sabatini and of course Voices From The Lake in recent times and we can add Phlox to that pile. The Scotsman's collection of mesmerising and sometimes big-room techno productions is a perfect match for the Prologue aesthetic, pitched perfectly between moments of emotional ambience and "hypnotic monsters for the dance floor". Look out for a new rendition of "Bauer", which appeared on the Berghain 03 Mix CD and the Dino Sabatini collaboration "Survivors Of The Pulse".
Review: The reinvigoration of the Borft label overseen by Swedish eccentrics Frak's has provided some of 2013's most exciting musical treats, and this record from Hakan Fridlund's Garonneman project is another hit. Better known under the FDASFDA moniker, it's 11 years since his Fridlund's last release, and sounds as bizarre yet timeless as anything else on the label. Seven tracks long, it covers just the kind of possessed machine music you'd expect, with the hyper neon melodies of "RnB" and odd mix of gabber rhythms and upbeat melodies of the brilliantly named "Saxon the Beast" standing out as particularly brilliant.
Review: It's been a little while since Kyle Hall dropped his album The Boat Party, but now the Detroit powerhouse is back on Hyperdub to indulge the freakier end of his studio output inline with his previous Kaychunk 12" for Kode 9's outpost. "Girl U So Strong" is a stirring beast of a track, starting in scattered fragments of bass patterns, vocal snippets and woodblock hits, gradually forming into a starlit stepper of the highest calibre. "Take Me Away" comes on like a Detroit take on the Purple phenomenon, all sticky synth lines and Mega Drive melodies but roughed up with ample grittiness.
Review: If you're in the market for an otherworldly trip into deep space, this quietly impressive debut from I.M.J.U.S could just be the ticket. Taking the sparse and spacey feel of Drexciyan electro as its' base, the EP saunters between discordant, out-there ambient ("Insomnia"), hypnotic deep techno ("Welcome to Scientology"), wild alien funk masquerading as body-jacking techno ("After Orgie"), slow and slugy, industrial-influenced sleaze ("Untitled 6") and viciously pitched-up madness with added old school bleeps. It's a mixture that makes perfect sonic sense but also remains thrillingly surprising even after multiple listens. Certainly, we'd recommend it to those who like their electronic music tough, out-there and eccentric.
Review: After a near three-year absence, Fabian Kempe brings his Korridor project back to Northern Electronics. It's with a big release, too, as End of Cycle marks the producer's first full-length under the alias. After beginning with a blast of trippy, mind-altering ambient, Kempe delivers a master class in polyrhythmic electronic exploration, serving up hypnotic and off-kilter cuts that veer from dark metallic minimalism ("Integration") and dense modular dub techno ("Fundamental"), to psychedelic dancefloor intensity ("The Fall"), out-there hypno-jack ("Now Or Never"), to glacial, beat-free soundscapes designed to make the hairs on the back of your next stand on end ("Accident, I'm On The Ground").
Review: Having initially snuck his jams out in the early 90s as Memphis, Paul Williams has been around longer than most and his excursions into ambient music are definitely worthy of attention. As well as a 12" on Mirror Zone, this release marks 24 years since we last heard from Memphis and it's startling how relevant the sound is now. It's dated for sure, but only in the same way as much of the music you'll hear our favourite deep digging DJs reach for. There's a heady, trancey pulse to these productions, but without any naff strings or cheesy leads - this is proper trip-out box jam business from an unsung champion.
Review: SH2000, a mystery artist whose been busy keeping himself under the radar, returns to Volking Music with another EP (check the guy's Ethereal Sound release for a true lesson in deepness!) and it's two tracks of utter symphonic beauty. "Track 1" releases a steady, driving kick beneath airy, delayed sonics and dreamy melodies, while on the flip, "Track 2" heads into total abstraction thanks to a starry landscape of atmospherics gliding left, right and centre without the help of any beat or bassline. Breathtaking excursions into the ether.
Review: Norwegian label Sommeroya enters the fray with a strong cast of Scandinavian sound scientists spread across a lucky dip range coloured vinyl. Skatebard leads the charge with the emotive electro tones of "Early Morning", all warm and fuzzy synth lines wobbling across the frequency range, while Fredrik Bekkassen brings a more militant brand of techno to the table with "Shroud". Bjorn Svin's "Clay Penalty" is equally tough and mechanical, although splashing through a generous helping of effects processing too. Then Christian Tilt finishes the EP off with a dubby dancefloor excursion entitled "It's Too Much Light In Here".