Review: Crimes Of The Future rounds off the year in fine style with an absolutely essential EP from Twins. 3 moody US house cuts straught out of Atlanta and a sublime deep remix from label boss Scott Fraser. Opening up with Cause Of Dissociation, a slice of banging Chicago house that would not have been out of place in the hands of Mike Dunn at the warehouse. Rattling drums amd percussion a cut up vocal and a killer bassline make for dancefloor devastation. Next up "You Take too" takes things a little deeper, maintining the groove with Chicago inspired percussion and filtered drums and stabbing synths grooving the track along. Over on side B Scott Fraser takes "You Take Too" on to 5am on a dark smoke filled dancefloor, with a deep bassline and soaring strings. Adding additional percussion, keys and swirling echoes... could be the sound of a lost Nu Groove classic. Finally things close out with "A Way From Now" with more Chicago inspired goodness with a funky bassline, pumping percussion and eerie ethereal keys rounding the EP off in fine style.
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 latest joint on Verdant comes from an exciting new collaboration between ESB (previously spotted on Echovolt, Leftroom and Heart To Heart) and Mihail Petrovski of Distant Worlds and Seventh Sign. This is classically informed machine soul as you would expect on Verdant, kicking off with the expressive deep techno stomp of "Subliminal Wave". "Phayse Distance" edges things towards the stratosphere with a staggered groove, plenty of cosmic acid tweaking and airy pads, and "Memory Upgrade" floats in a bath of mellow chords and submerged drums. "Permission To Dream" cools things down even more, ending the record on a particularly mellow note that B12 would be proud of.
Review: Wurzburg wonder Johannes Albert returns to Frank to cast more of his signature melodic techno spells. As always it's a vast spread; "Generators" is the initial full-pelt blast. A power lightning strike, causing your body to move involuntarily, it's Albert at his most active. "Minilogue" pays homage to Korg with a vibrant arpeggio and shimmering peaks while "Frame" closes on a beatless note; dense atmospheres that enshroud and mystify, it's Johannes at his most alluring. Wunderbar
Your Eyes Were Telling Me That You Really Cared (5:34)
I've Got Dis (But I Can't Do It) (4:23)
I've Got Dis (But Seixlack Can Do It) (6:45)
Review: It's early days for DJ Loser, having just been snapped up for a split cassette release with Raw Ambassador in the recent past. Luckily, getting a spot on London's well-established Bliq label is a fine place to start, and the debutant producer turns out some confidently grubby house wares for their first spot on vinyl. "Your Eyes Were Telling Me That You Really Cared" is a woozy, infectious club track full of scuffed drum machines and low-rent synth flares, while "Untitled" has a much more abrasive palette on offer. "I've Got Dis (But I Can't Do It)" hits a similar vein of atmospheric jackery before Bliq regular Seixlack turns out a more densely packed remix.
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: Katsunori Sawa is no stranger to the Weevil Neighbourhood, first appearing on the experimental Berlin outpost as Steven Porter with confidant Yuji Kondo. Having subsequently walked on the Weevil side sans his Steven Porter compadre for The Two Legs 12" late last year, Sawa's relationship with the Neighbourhood is emboldened further with a new 12" entitled The Holy Ground. If you have a rudimentary grasp of the avant garde drum and bass and musique concrete that Weevil Neighbourhood specialise in, you'll love what Sawa gets up to on these four tracks as walls of rhythmic noise, undulating bottom end rave and terrifying soundscapes are explored with thrilling results.
Review: Early in the year, forthright lo-fi techno experimentalist Delroy Edwards released an eccentric, 22-track, download-only album called Rio Grande. Here, he makes some of the highlights of that set available on vinyl for the very first time. It's an intriguing and largely enjoyable affair throughout, with the sometime L.I.E.S man following the glassy-eyed, recorded-from-the-radio Balearic warmth of "When I Think" with the stripped-back, noise-laden jack-track "Sugar Shack". These kinds of juxtapositions continue throughout, as Edwards flits between sweet and tactile downtempo doodles (see "Rio Grande"), clattering proto jack-tracks ("Let It Rock!") and hissing 1980s deep house bliss (the woozy brilliance of EP closer "Wild Illusions").
Review: Proof of the rude health of the Australian underground abounds with this new label from Phile, who step out with a self-titled debut EP that tells you all you need to know. This is searing, brutalist techno crafted with invention and imagination - the dense crackle of the beats and scorched peals of synth on "Found In Blood" are a visceral force to behold. "Marauder" is mellow by comparison, furnishing a minimal beat with live bass, dramatic string licks and steadily building atmospherics. The analogue dirt of "Abhor" is positively evil, and that's before Karina Utomo's none-scarier vocals come into play. Brimming with personality and demanding of your attention, Phile made themselves a duo to watch in one fell swoop.
Review: Scott Ferguson's highly collectable and mysterious concept was a seriously hot ticket with total anonymity running through the early releases. This ensured the full focus was on the vibes, grooves and dancefloor. Now, three years after the second EP 3, he gives the project one final hoorah with a signature range of physical late night styles. Ranging from smoky, slo-mo hypnotically plodding soul of "Track One" to all-out acid frazzles of "Track Three", it's a fittingly broad and on-point way to end a great concept series.
Review: Personable, who goes by the passport name of M. Geddes Gengras, and also the alias of Fantastic Ego, lands on California's Peak Oil after a bunch of enticing escapades on the always excellent Opal Tapes. He brings yet more peripherally-minded house this time around, starting with the broken, jagged groove that is "Bushi", followed by the odd, molecular house sway of "New Balance". Flip to the B-side, and you'll find the coarse techno shock of "Cris Rose" - a masterfully performed bit of cognitive dissonance between sweet melodics and nasty drums - and the tamer, more cerebral flutters of "New Lines". All in all, a smokin' bunch of outsider joints.