Review: Having debuted on Valcrond Video label last year with the Immured 12" under her familiar Xosar alias, Sheela Rahman now returns to the platform for some "shared make-believe" with founder Luke Wyatt for new project Body Tools. Taking a catalogue number as its title, this two track 12" follows a succession of Body Tools radio broadcasts on Berlin Community Radio and showcases a softer, more hypnotic side which in the case of lead track "Locusts & Lions" hits hard when the poignant piano makes its presence felt. "Brave" channels a strange, modern kosmische vibe that will really hit the spot deep in the mix.
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: When Oliver Chapoy is in the mood to make dark and deranged electronic music, he slides into the Certain Creatures moniker and things suddenly turn rather nasty. His debut came a little while back on Styles Upon Styles, a wonderful independent label that has showcased the likes of Brendon Moeller and Archie Pelago, and the producer returns to the label with a buzzing LP. The eleven cuts on here are totally genreless, loosely bound together by gritty, hollow drum beats and grey-scaled atmospherics. Although tunes like "Passages" or "Je Est Un Autre" are driven forwards by an abstract idea of techno, the tunes never steer too closely to one style, and together make for an ideal listening experience with a twist. Moreover, the changes in energy from the beginning to the end are similar to the pace of a live set in a club. Dance to it, nod to it, listen to it - it's a deep and mesmerizing experience.
Review: With Jealous God, Eerie and L.I.E.S on his C.V. they don't come much more approved that Domenico Crisci, but few would be prepared for the onslaught that leaps out of this first release on Summa Cum Laude. "The Violinist" champions distortion as a weapon, running everything through a fuzz pedal in a most unrelenting of fashions. It's certainly not for the feint-hearted, and all the more powerful with it. Meanwhile "Return" would sound brutal in any other context were it not for what came before, all slamming, grubby drums and the noises that splay off them. "Blacklord" them manages to push the vibe further back into the red with a searing throwdown to finish the EP off in a masterful display of intensity.
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: "In music, phrygian mode is dissonant, dark, depressive and gloomy. Its use was even forbidden in classical Greece for centuries because it was considered pagan. The sound of phrygian mode is rather exotic..."
Following the excellent Lost Series (Part 1) and (Part 2), Frigio label founder Juanpablo is back, this time with a full five track mini-LP: Darkness gathers above the needle's edge as the Colombian artist delivers the shadow strewn The Hideout. Abstraction is balanced against dancefloor clout across this quintet of underworld electronics. Rhythms curve and bend, scattering into the blackened chasms of "Chrome Light" and "Shadow's Color," before resurfacing into the light of "Indumorg." The title piece burns with a slow intensity. Sinister coils of Acid drip, skies bruise and ash rains before "They Watching You" closes. Juanpablo's builds on his past releasing, melting the lines of Techno, House and Electro and remoulding genres and blurring styles. Eclipsed sounds from the centre of Spain.
Review: Minilogue member Sebastian Mullaert has been rapidly building on his reputation in recent years, and now he gets to enjoy an expansive double pack release on Default Position with plenty of remixers on board for the ride as well. The "Vocal Expression" of "Samunnati" is a sleek house jam sprinkled with shimmering chords, while the "In That Distorted Light" mix is a more cosmic, arpeggio-filled affair that aligns with the deep techno tendencies of the original. Wa Wu We heads into icy minimal territory on the "Simplification" version, while Knutsson/Berg take a nimble but ultimately simple approach in reducing the track down to a subtle core.
Review: Amid whispers of a new album from Unirhythm boss and Three Chairs stalwart Marcellus Pittman, two tracks from his excellent debut LP Pieces finally get committed to wax. It's a shame Pieces never got a vinyl release, but the chance to grip "Sneak Attack" and "Random Acts Of Insanity" on 12" should not be passed up. This 12" was actually released in 'blink and you'll miss it' white label format in 2014, but finally gets a proper issue! For those that don't have the LP, "Sneak Attack" is a curious concoction, with Syclops style electronics occasionally flowering over deep, dusty, intricately programmed rhythms. "Random Acts Of Insanity" feels a little bolder in approach, though its' rich chords and odd, off-kilter rhythm track are contrasted with some notably bonkers electronic touches.
Review: Last year Jose Rico surfaced on Semantica, which for emerging producers is one of the best stamps of approval you can have. His first release since then is this London Calling EP which inaugurates the Shubaka label, newly launched operation whose inspiration seems to combine Star Wars' Chubaka with classical composers the artwork is any reference. "Afofaifa" is a challenging listen and one for the freaks at the end of a long club night (if they can handle it), while "Supernova" is deep and lo-fi. "No Name No Dub" flirts with dub techno and dusty house music as does "12bits" but without the woozy dub elements.
Review: Throughout his short but productive career to date, Keita Sano has managed to keep buyers guessing, delivering both rugged, L.I.E.S style machine workouts (see his release on Mr Saturday Night, for starters), and more intriguing, hard-to-pigeonhole fare (the Afrobeat-influenced deep house dustiness of Sweet Bitter Love on Spring Theory). Here, he pops up on Greece's Lower Parts with a selection of heavy, apocalyptic jams. There's a dash of rugged acid ("All God's Chillun Got Rhythm"), some crazed techno-wonk ("Marine California"), a spooky, stripped-back box jam ("Chaotic Death Strike"), and even a trip into drowsy, dubbed-out hypnotism ("7am").
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: The Sun God aka Hieroglyphic Being aka Jamal Moss is a difficult guy to keep up with, that's for damn sure. Spreading his signature trademark of gritty, fuzzed out pseudo-techno across so many aliases and labels, it's as if the dude is making music 24/7. For his latest excursion Mr. Moss appears as The Sun God - a tribute name to his idol Sun Ra - for Copenhagen's always-on-the-money Cejero imprint. The A-side, "Cosmic Chords One", is classic Moss with its stumbling, alcoholic drum pattern and beautifully distorted chords - one of his finest moments and surely the winner from this year, so far. The B-side, "Cosmic Chords Two" continues Moss' devious sounds but takes them onto more distant plateaus, where the beats have now fallen into place and the synths have taken a less abstract form. Warmly recommended.