Review: Both Ike Release and John Barera have been buzzing in the underground community for some time now. Ike with releases on Mister Saturday Night, Finale Sessions, Skudge and MOS and John with releases on Argot, Just Jack and Zakim. Now they turn to Ike's Episodes imprint to supply more of their upfront and dancefloor ready cuts. Starting out on the A side with the new wave acid sensibilities of "Looking Ahead" and the ferocious retro jack of "Lights Out" which are sure to set the night on fire. On the flip, the neon lit aesthetic continues with "Cosmic Divide" and "Winding Up" respectively, which conjure the ghosts from those dusty analogue machines to stunning effect.
Review: Braiden's material has been slow to come out since he first landed with a bang on Doldrums back in 2010. A turn on Rush Hour confirmed his status as a producer in command of the chops necessary to get a dancefloor shaking, but this year's X Years In London OST cassette was a chance for him to expand into more experimental pastures. Not so on this new 12" for his Off Out label, which finds Braiden turning up the heat with some fiercely modern tech house workouts. "V.O.L.A.T" has the same kind of dangerous earworm armour that made Paul Woolford's "Erotic Discourse" so potent all those years ago. "Hydroplane" meanwhile takes some of the crisp but playful tropes of Pearson Sound et al and straps them to a thrumming motorik beat.
Review: 10 Germany seem to get it bang-on each and every time! For a label who has released the likes of Ancient Methods, Perc and Matthew Herbert, among other legends, we'd expect nothing less than the spectacular and this is exactly what we got with this latest collaborative effort by Italy's Daniele Brusachetto, Jansky Noise, Human Larvae and Damaskin. Brusachetto's "Grigi Ma" is weird and wonderful pop tune set against a backdrop of cavernous percussion rattles, while Janksy Noise's "Black Night" is a full-on drone monster. Over on the flip, "Ruined" by Human Larvae is a fuzzy, noise-fuelled scorcher, and "Apocalypse" sees Damaskin produce the EP's only shred of rigidity thanks to its consistent 4/4 kick...accompanied by some rather gnarly power electronics, of course.
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: The mysterious Dream Weapons came through earlier this year with the Holger label's third outing, an EP which contained the lovely "Moonland" cut - a moody, lo-fi house cut for the thinkers. This time around, Holger have cherry-picked a couple of remixers to remould the tune into something totally different, starting with man of the moment Barnt (Comeme, Hinge Finger) who proceeds to inject some of his weirdness into the tune...a hypnotic bundle of synths is wound over apocalyptic strings and a steady kick drum. Jens Uwe Beyer, on the other hand, gets rid of all forms normality and chucks a 4/4 beat underneath what is basically a doom metal track - droning guitars and twisted vocals all the way!
Review: Italian expats Yoshi and Sbri run the Libertine imprint out of Berlin and the party of the same name, held down at the iconic Jannowitzbrucke district. Their label brings a renewed focus to often overlooked or even forgotten producers of the vintage techno realm, having previously shone the spotlight on legends such as Justin Morgan aka Ruseden, Ann Arbor's Andy Crosby aka Spesimen of (Infocalypse Records) and Miami electro-bass underdog Gosub. Their attention now focuses on one Scott Edward Hodgson, a London based producer highly active throughout the '90's on his on Beau Monde imprint, in addition to running Out Of Orbit: a sublabel of the legendary Roman imprint ACV, which was operated by the legendary Leo Anibaldi and Robert Armani. Expressive rhythm patterns, otherworldly synth textures plus certain suspense and a distinct aesthetic overall: which is absolutely timeless.
Review: Escape The Matrix sees the return of NYC sewer dweller Gut Nose, back on the Styles Upon Styles label that issued his superb 2014 album Filthy City. "Ten 18" is a noisy, loopy roller with a chopped up vocal thrown into the mix. It also has a punky undercurrent. Such rough and ready elements are pervasive elsewhere on Escape The Matrix. "Moon Lasers" revolves around a loose rhythm, dubbed out drums and atmospheric textures, while "Drifting to Parts Unknown" follows a similar approach, albeit to a faster tempo and noisier soundscapes. Gut Nose is also adept at making more musical tracks, and on "Enjoy Thy Flesh" even embraces jazzy keys, but he's primarily interested in noisy, at the fringes techno, as the fuzzy, frazzled live drums on "Crafty Gambit" demonstrate.
Review: Antonio Marini aka Healing Force Project is back with the Tranhumanism EP on Ambiwa. Starting out with the ever mysterious "Methodical Ear", it's more of the same later on "Sinapsi Sonora" which like the previously mentioned track sounds like the dusty and emotive deepness of early Sound Signature via the tough and rusty swing of fellow Italians Relative; a nice touch indeed. He then gives us the brooding and hypnotic "Shadow Manipulation Of The Mind" awash in delay drenched organs and skeletal vintage drum machine flair. But the fierce yet restrained functionalism of "State Of Induced Hibernation" with its near tribal moments supported by a series of exotic and mindbending drones is pure bliss. We'll say it again: Marini is undoubtedly one of the most underrated producers in techno at the moment!
Review: Fuzzy lo-fi electronics with a strict hardware/analogue focus courtesy of UK producer Polly Moneaux on local imprint Let's Go Swimming. The London label have been causing quite a stir as of late, not just for their respectful reference to the late/great Arthur Russell, but also for their interesting line ups at their parties at Stoke Newington's Waiting Room. The lush ambient opener "Out The Other" is the perfect introduction to the stomping and fuzzed out "Wet On The Wheel". There is quite a bit of variety on here; the noisy industrial/experimental cut "Send In The Drones" cleanses the audio palette to make way for the deep electro jam "Lunch With The Girls" until the lovely closer "This Into That" provides a nice contrast.
Review: Modal Analysis continues its unrelenting march towards the darkest territory in the electro landscape with this deadly 12" from Morah, which wastes no time in laying waste to the good vibes with the sinister stomp of "Voltage#1". The second track pumps up the rhythm section and lays down a sidewinder of a synth line that smacks of understated rave perfection, and it's that same synth that courses through the marginally more hypnotic "Voltage#3". Vapauteen offers up a remix of "Voltage#3" that slows the original right down and works a kind of mechanical tropicalia into the bones of the original.
Review: Despite the pastoral, park-based imagery utilized on the sleeve, Denis Morin's Working K is hardly a paragon of gentle beauty. While the main mix does make use of some picturesque elements - twinkling pianos, cascading guitar lines and birdsong - these have been heavily effected with delay and reverb, and tumble down over a restless kick drum pattern and wild electronics. The trippy Work It Out Mix begins as a field recording-heavy ambient house number, before morphing into a chunk of quirky, tropical-fired oddness midway through. Elsewhere, Krikor turns it into a lo-fi EBM throbber, while the EB Forgotten Sounds Mix teases maximum beauty from Morin's original sounds whilst ensuring a steady dancefloor pulse.
Revolution (Marcellus Pittman Sexual Pulse remix) (9:56)
Review: Bologna's NAS1 lands on his hometown's Sorry For This label, coming through with four magnificent house experiments that enter the scene from left of field. "Vino Cheenese" hardly boasts any beats except for a hazy blur of percussion, while "Ag Pini" sounds like a deep house cut that's been diluted in heavy amounts of aqueous FX, and "The Springer" comes in hard with a stomping blockade of harsh acid distortions. Surprise remix action from Detroit's mighty Marcellus Pittman features on the flip, with the veteran house solider dropping a remix of "Revolution", ending up with a convoluted house tune that manages to bring out the funk amid the darkness in its path. Recommended!