Review: Lustwerk Music presents a mysterious new entity known simply as The Fock. With little to no background information, this record stakes its own claim within the Galcher-verse by offering up a range of mixes of "Shat Pop." The "Saldes Mix" is a proper immersion heater of cerebral techno, while the nervy, stomping "Flood1 Remix" is credited to White Material regular Young Male. The "Electro Mix" has a squelchy, boogie-inflected palette offset by woozy atmospherics, and the "Ambient Mix" unsurprisingly does away with the drums and drifts in limbo with a disembodied tannoy announcement for company.
Review: The raw jackin' antics of early Chicago merges with the sludgy new-school attitude of outsider house (can you still call it that?) on the second instalment on Northern Powerhouse. It's quite fitting then to discover that the project is comprised of Alex Handley (who has been producing since the mid '90s in projects such as Primordial Soup) and Nigel Rogers aka Perseus Traxx. The crunchy syncopated rhythms of vintage drum computers, with the chorus drenched bounce of the legendary Juno 106 bassline and classic FM pads of the most celestial kind make up the dirty magic on "House Of York". On the flip, the savage lo-fi grind of "Bell Pit" swims in a filthy analogue bubblebath of saturation and overdrive - and we loved it!
Review: Helena Hauff's label is back, this time presenting a various artists 12" that heralds the start of the No Return series. The release starts on a mystical bent with the Eastern-tinged death electro of "El Carmel", sounding ripe for a Hague-friendly warm-up session. Neud Photo then take over with a dystopian trip through rich synth tones coloured in dark hues for the bleakest of robotic fantasies. Antoni Maiovvi fills the B-side with the slow grinding bombast of "The Dig", bleeding out a noirish take on coldwave for the darkest hearts to swoon to.
Review: Alongside his fellow New Yorker P.Leone, Caiazzo launched the E-Missions label in March of this year with the release "1994EVER" - an offering that further propelled their standing in the techno community. Caiazzo is said to have moved to techno capital Berlin first and upon Leone's arrival introduced him to Work Them Records boss Spencer Parker: which soon cemented a pretty sweet deal. The Devotion EP starts off with the snarling industrial strength techno of "917" (Sportmixxx) and the tunnelling hypnotic techno journey "Lifeform". On the flip "Godbody" treads a similar path down into the void, but it's all about fellow New Yorker Young Male's rendition which takes its cues from the trance inducing Sound Of Rome made popular by the likes of Donato Dozzy & Giorgio Gigli. Four secret weapons for any serious DJ's sonic arsenal. Tip!
Review: Snap, Crackle & Pop does the business once again as Berlin-based producer Curses steps up with the distinctly 1980s new wave stylings of "Another View". It's the kind of track that will have lovers of early The Cure, Sisters Of Mercy et al dancing in a hazy fever dream where early goth and indie meets with contemporary beats. "Together In The Dark" makes the point even clearer with a brooding trip through languid guitar, beyond the grave vocals and scuffed drums. Inga Mauer takes an entirely different tact with her remix of the latter track, conjuring up a particularly chilling acid daemon to jangle the nerves before The Golden Filter spook out "Another View" with heavy doses of reverb.
Review: It's early days for Jakob Panthel and his Faune alias, but he more than steps up to the plate as London label Ornate Music invite him to present his vision for immersive, techno tinged deep house. "5.34 AM" is aptly named, the undulating chord pulse at the heart of the track aiming for the woozy hour of the dance before dawn breaks through. "Reduit" is a more sprightly affair, using similar ingredients but pushing a brighter line in synths amidst the raw drums. "Grindewald" meanwhile heads out into more ambient techno territory with its plush pads and snaking arpeggios, soothing the feisty club-ready energy of the previous two tracks.
Review: Secret Studio Records sixth offering (SCS06) features the Circling Vultures, a hardware driven project fronted by Chicago natives Justin Long (Hugo Ball) and Ken Zawacki (Dar Embarks). On Dark Spring EP, the title track sounds like an early Regis track on Downwards that's being played on the wrong speed, while "Goblin Cleaver" goes for the same kind of rusty acid jack that homeboy Hieroglyphic Being does. B side cut "When Titans Fall" is a dirty, slow grinding thriller full of clattering vintage drum machine rhythms and and the raw pulsating energy of pawn shop synths. Secret Studio Records, is a blue collar DIY label and production team based out of California's Bay Area with deep roots to Chicago. They've established a strong acidic catalog centered around hard-hitting jack tracks and lo-fi techno with raw aesthetics. The label features co-productions with D'Marc Cantu, D-Wynn and Jason Kendig (Honey Soundsystem), while also releasing EPs by fringe/upcoming artists. Secret Studio Records is a vinyl only label at heart, focused on short runs of 200-400 copies, hand-stamped and numbered with limited distribution.
Review: Moscow's Isaiah Tapes are also the guys behind the great Baptismo Alpinismo and Longlife Python sub labels, which are doing great things at the moment. Next up for the label is Charles Torris aka Le Matin, who after a bunch cassette only releases over the past few years releases his first full length. The LP album's six tracks and accompanying bonus CD traverse the galaxy of lowdown smack electro; reminiscent of Dopplereffekt like on "Ma Voisine La Pute" or "Yeah", wacky modular synth improvisation as heard on the charmingly titled "Cat Vomit" or deeply sublime minimal techno as heard on "M05 Michel Platini". Brilliant album from start to finish. Tip!
Review: Left Hand Path is a record label based in San Francisco run by Surface Tension's Nihar Bhatt and Chris Zaldua, who put on some impressive line-ups at their parties and were even featured on one of fellow Californian label Jealous God's short run mix CDs which used to come with vinyl releases. The label is "dedicated to liminal sounds and dancefloor transgression" according to their Soundcloud profile. CUBE is the project of Adam Keith of Oakland, California. He draws from a variety of influences on the My Cube LP; there's the brutal textured noise of dynamic opener "First", the lo-fi industrial swagger of "Favorite" or "Emblem" (which are reminiscent of the likes of Profligate) or the brazen post-punk antics of "Bargain Water" which calls to mind early Tropic Of Cancer.