This week at Juno


Records from Head High, Floating Points, Filter Dread and more were among the best releases this week.

Head High – Megatrap (Power House)

MegatrapThere’s nothing more certain to cause a frenzy than the arrival of a new releases from Rene Pawlowitz’s Head High alias, and at a whopping nine tracks across two slabs of vinyl, Megatrap is the most bulging Power House release yet. Despite brandishing a name than sounds more a soundcloud tag for the American EDM scene, Megatrap is, unsurprisingly, in the words of the famous Hard Wax store: “uplifting Breakbeat Techno in golden 1990s leaning style.” If you’ve heard the previous Power House records there won’t be much to surprise you, but if you’re after some ruffneck techno rollage then you won’t find better than this. Also available digitally for those not quick enough to nab the vinyl.
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Floating Points – King Bromeliad (Eglo)

King BromeliadSecond only to Pawlowitz for his ability to shift records like the proverbial hot cakes is Sam Shepherd, who returned for one of his all too rare outings as Floating Points this week on regular home Eglo. Unsurprisingly, the two tracks on King Bromeliad offer some prime slices of sumptuous house goodness perfect for the humid summer months. The title track might offer the recognisable analogue flex we’ve come to love from the man’s productions, but our pick is the epic “Montparnasse”, which whirs and clatters its way through 11 minutes with the subtlest yet most euphoric of builds that’s perhaps the finest since Shepherd’s classic “Arp 3”. Essential.
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Various Artists – From The Reels: A No Corner Collection (No Corner)

From The ReelsBristol-based No Corner has been quietly putting out some of the best cassette releases of the past few years, and this deluxe package sees three of the best pressed to vinyl and collected in the kind of bespoke screen-printed packaging likely to inspire salivation in all but the most stoic of record collectors. The music is worth the price alone however, with the strange techno structures of El Kid’s Labyrinths EP, the zero gravity grime and jungle of Filter Dread’s Space Loops and the skewed but delicate house and techno of Lily’s Modern Malaise all modern classics deserving of a much wider audience.
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Filter Dread – MIDI Space (RAMP Recordings)

MIDI SpaceIf the No Corner compilation is a little too much but you want to sample some of Filter Dread’s uniquely cubist take on grime and jungle, then the MIDI Space EP on Ramp Recordings is highly recommended. The low-key producer’s most high profile release to date, MIDI Space features six tracks of thick square waves, ’90s rave and ambient references and 8-bit textures that sound like they’ve been produced on an old Amiga. We’d be hard pushed to pick a favourite, but the pitched chords and angular drums of “Stolen Dub” remind us of Actress at his most raucous, which is high praise.
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Luke Abbott – Wysing Forest (Border Community)

Wysing ForestLuke Abbott’s Holkham Drones LP from 2010 still holds a fond place in the hearts of certain Juno Plus writers, so the arrival of a new album from the Border Community regular is cause for much celebration. Much like close associate James Holden did with last year’s The Inheritors, Abbott has elected to use Wysing Forest as an opportunity to reconfigure his signature sound into something quite different but very much in the spirit of his earlier material, using his array of modular synths to create a truly panoramic sound supposedly brought about by the spaciousness of the Norfolk woodland of the title.
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Voiski – Culture to Trash (L.I.E.S.)

Culture To TrashParisian producer Voiski was one of the more surprising additions to the L.I.E.S. roster last year, no doubt informed by label boss Ron Morelli’s recent move to the French capital. The IAI Movement EP fast became a firm favourite of many, and Culture to Trash, the producer’s three track return to the label, doesn’t disappoint. While “Bloodthirsty Romantic Shark” delivers some of that punishing techno pressure the label is famous for, the more emotive palette of “Wax Fashion” and “Eccentric Habits” both return to that contrast of euphoria and hard-hitting club rhythms that made his L.I.E.S. debut such a winner.
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Various – Paris/Berlin 20 Years of Underground Techno (Fondation Sonore)

Paris/BerlinAmélie Ravalec’s Paris/Berlin: 20 Years of Underground Techno is undoubtedly one of the most interesting films on the subject of techno to have been produced in recent years, documenting the genre’s fertile underground through the lens of the two European cities. To mark two years of successfully touring the film worldwide, Fondation Sonore and Les Films Du Garage have decided to release a gatefold double LP featuring some of the harder cuts featured on the movie, with classics from Regis, Ancient Methods, Adam X, Kareem and more all featuring. Like the recent Unknown Precept compilation which took a similar path, this comes highly recommended to techno heads whether you’ve seen the film or not.
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Pinch – Down (Cold Recordings)

DownWith his Cold Recordings imprint, Tectonic Recordings boss Pinch has been attempting to push bass-centric UK club music forward by collecting a number of artists working in the 130BPM zone, and Down sees the man himself step up to deliver his own take on the aesthetic. Taken from his forthcoming B2B mixtape with Mumdance, the title track provides some particularly evil techno of a UK persuasion, and is joined by “Search Party”, a sub-heavy combination of heady atmosphere and broken rhythms that will have anyone who owns his Croydon House single on Swamp 81 all misty-eyed.
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Population One – A Mind Of His Own (Metroplex)

A Mind Of His OwnFor someone who announced his retirement from production earlier this year, Terrence Dixon sure is maintaining a prolific release schedule. We’re assuming this is down to a wealth of material left in the bank which we’ll happily forgive him for, especially if it’s as good as this killer four track release for the seminal Metroplex label. Opening cut “Musical Promises” is the kind of all-enveloping slice of electronic wonder that many have tried to emulate but few have come close to, while the lopsided groove of “Starting Over” is quite simply as good as anything else he’s produced. If Dixon really has quit music and this ends up being his last release, it will be a fitting send-off.
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Stump Valley – Hollywood (Off Minor)

HollywoodAlthough Jordan Czamanski’s Off Minor Recordings has so far worked with a number of close associates, this releases sees the sounds of the anonymous Stump Valley join proceedings to expand the label’s horizons. It’s a decision that pays off, as Hollywood features four of the deepest house tracks we’ve heard this year. Fans of Juju & Jordash’s woozy mechanical sound will be right at home here, especially on “Metropolis 27 (MTRPLS mix)”, but there’s a breezy approach to melody that really sets the duo apart from the rest of the label’s output. What with this and the previous record from Zsa Gang, Off Minor is really coming into its own right now.
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