Review: As Until My Heart Stops turns 10, we head back across the Atlantic , this time to Boston and a stunning ep from the still hugely under rated DeViere.DeViere is a music producer and radio disc jockey (Progressive Black, 90.3 FM WZBC Newton) based in Boston, Massachusetts. He first came to our attention with the Transcendental Numbers ep on Jamal Moss' Mathematics label in 2012 and we've waited on each release ever since, including last year's huge Future Shock Disco ep (a collaboration with Jamal himself). Here DeViere presents 3 beautiful examples of his deep, soulful craft and a fitting way for UMHS to hit double figures.
Review: For Finitude Music's 5th release, label owner Marcel Heese and Alexander Kowalski aka d_func. share their visions on ""Thought Control"".
Both tracks on the EP harbour the same intent, but each of them approaches it in a different way. d_func.'s take revolves around Sahko-like bleeps - if you are into early Mika Vainio or Sleeparchive - look no further! But instead of being loopy, it's definitely a builder. Its original trance track-like structure is sure to rock many an underground dancefloor.
Marcel's vision is slower and less straight-forward but creates and maintains a high tension. Based on dense a bassline and intricate soundscapes, it builds up slowly, only to explode halfway through. An extra payoff also comes at the very end of a track - its noise/ambient outro making a perfect way to wrap up an amazing party at 8AM somewhere deep in the heart of Berlin.
Review: Alexander Kowalski has been immersed in techno for a long time, and his sound is massively representative of the reduced, late night Berlin sound. As d_func. he's contributed many times to Marcel Heese's Finitude label, and now he's back to pay tribute to UK free party techno legends Spiral Tribe. Kowalski's own interpretation may be more minimal and hypnotic than the wild, raucous energy Spiral Tribe was best known for, but his trancey approach comes on like a nostalgic vision into the early 90s, while also aligning with the modern masters such as Donato Dozzy and Peter Van Hoesen.
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: La Rioja in Spain may not be thought of as a hotbed of avant garde techno and electronica, but Psychoskunk has been quietly issuing an uncompromising salvo of proudly underground releases since as far back as 2004. Error Etica, an alias from label boss Victor Martinez, is at the controls for this tenth vinyl release on the label, and he's sounding as proudly left of centre as ever. "Diatonic Scale" locks into an insistent groove, but the real magic of the track lies in the grubby notes punching their way around the drums, capped off with artful distortion that gives a wonderful bite to the production. "Tetratonic Scale" keeps things fuzzy but blows the rhythms wide open for a more poised, patient kind of techno incantation. R2pi's remix of the track meanwhile clamps it back in order with a stern beat and a slow-release minimalism guiding the evolution of the track.
Review: After bringing Kangaroo Skull and Cale Sexton to light on previous releases, Temporal Cast once again provides a platform for lesser known talent with this, their third release. Born in Italy and based in Australia, Chiara Kickdrum has only had one digi-only EP out in her name previously, so this release marks a big milestone for her. "Pulsar" is a subtle and refined opening gambit, using a reduced set of cyclical rhythms and draping distant pad notes over the top of it for a perfect exercise in techno elegance. "Moebius" is at the other end of the spectrum, all bloated drums and cavernous reverb decays creating a monolithic atmosphere. "Anomaly" meanwhile maximises on negative space, using a dry drum palette and keeping things firmly submerged - the whole EP is a masterclass of restraint and control.
Review: Eric Cloutier launched Palinoia last year with a single of his own, but now he's turned to Berlin mainstays Exercise One to lay down some of their trademark psychoactive machine music for the second installment. "Heptagon" sports metallic synth notes clanging out over a freight train of techno drums, while "Prism" takes a more nimble approach to twist out its various synthetic squeaks. "Nitrogen" is a warmer proposition, placing the emphasis on chords and melodies while still aiming squarely at the dancefloor. "Thirty Four" finds the duo veering away from the 4/4 dogma to deliver a captivating kind of broken techno in a soundscape loaded with tension and ominous empty space.
Review: Guy Tavares makes a rare appearance on his own Bunker outlet under the Schmerzlabor alias. We're pretty excited to say the least given the fact that Tavares releases music once in a blue moon, and instead prefers to use the label as a platform for other sewer dwellers to excel. Four tracks of bitterly uncompromising steel funk, noise-fuelled techno driller-thrillers. Sounding like the inside of one of Tavares' famous bunker raves, the air is humid and drenched with fuzzy distortion, where beats collide and contort into sweltering bundles of dancefloor noise. A bloody bunch of chest-bursters, hawk-nosed and machine-licked. Viciously recommended and ludicrously unmissable. Bunker wins again.
Review: A big Juno bear hug goes to the folks from Tresor for releasing a string of sublime re-issues this year. The latest is Drexciya's seminal Harnessed The Storm long player, generally a much darker affair than Neptune's Lair, which itself was reissued earlier this year. It is hallmarked by longer, more exploratory tracks, full of sinister twists and turns. The stormy electro thunder of "Digital Tsunami" is perhaps the standout moment here, closely followed by the subterranean squelch of "Soul Of The Sea". "Dr Blowfins Black Storm Stabilizing Spheres" has an eerie crackle that predates the current vogue for dark atmospheric techno by nearly a decade, while the robotic key melody on "Song Of The Green Whale" marks it as the LP's most playful moment. Highly recommended for electro and techno purists alike.
Review: Damon Wild dons his Mistaken Identity guise for the latest 12" on his resurgent Synewave label, and it finds the US techno maestro burrowing into the deeper realms of his sound to create a truly hypnotic kind of boss-level techno. "Mindset" is all low-end pulse that will feel incredible hitting your bones from a proper system, while "Varity" takes a lighter approach that focuses on the upper frequencies. "Scalene" gets lost in an endless loop with a soupcon of disco woven in, and "Backdoor" has a metallic, dubbed out central hook that sounds perfect reverberating over the stern, stripped back rhythms.
Review: The recent news that the Jealous God label is planning to wind down was slightly softened by the impressive selection of releases that will appear before it does. Chief amongst those was this EP from Champagne Mirrors, an alias of Blackest Ever Black contributor Alex Barnett. Extended Communication Techniques is as dark, unsettling and creepy as you'd expect, with occasional shards of light - a headline melody here and there, with similarly rare slivers of woozy electronic positivity - helping to balance out Barnett's dystopian tendencies. It's one of those sets that benefits from repeated listens, with each successive play revealing additional layers of moody detail.
Review: Modeselektor are clearly keen to make 50 Weapons' last few releases as strong as possible. For this 12", they've turned to Berlin techno titan Shed, who - somewhat predictably - more than delivers the goods. "Dark Planet" is a thick, tough and driving beast, with chopped-up, manipulated vocal snippets forming a quirky melody line above a thumping rhythm that neatly combines pounding kick-drums and hissing cymbals. This is no-nonsense, floor-friendly techno that comes laden with sly funk. Modeselektor themselves have a go at remixing it on the flip, delivering a far weirder, wilder, stranger and - bizarrely - more melodious 'broken techno' interpretation.
Review: One Records move into 2016 with what is set to be one of the biggest records of the year coming from elusive producer Gabriels. This one sided, one track bomb comes in the form of 'Amethyst' and sits in a whole league of its own.
Originally from England but currently based in the midst of the L.A hills, masked by mysterious identity, Gabriels has been quietly forging a comprehensive studio set up and is finally ready to unveil his debut release. Setting his own standards sky high, 'Amethyst' grabs you from the off with it's floor shaking bass, immersive vocals and hypnotic energy that builds with subtle intensity and texture for a dramatic breakdown. This is the track you'll remember when you leave the club, an undeniable beast that is certain to do the rounds in 2016.
Review: You have to admire Laurent Garnier's continued desire to push boundaries and confound critics. His plan to devote 2014 to releasing five EPs on five different labels, whilst mixing up the styles, is undoubtedly bold. This three-tracker for the ever-intriguing 50Weapons imprint is particularly impressive. "MILF" bristles with stuttering analogue rhythms, foreboding chords and attractive bleep melodies, coming on like an unlikely jam session between Sweet Exorcist and Orbital. "DSK" sees the French veteran moving further towards his techno roots, while "He" sounds like an homage to darkwave with techno overtones and more than a hint of stripped-back early Chicago acid. Bravo Monsieur Garnier, bravo!
Review: Jaunt Records' 10 year celebrations are spanning a series of 12"s that feature a broad spectrum of artists searching for the ultimate deep techno fix. The four contenders that occupy this Sea release all have their own agenda, but they sit together perfectly. Hiver weaves illustrious pads in between nimble electro drums and bubbling acid bass, while Artefakt creates eerie, fractured acid meanderings to send a shiver down your spine. Hinode does some deft break choppage to create a dreamy trip for the up all night crew, and then Region rolls the record out on an emotive tip while keeping the rhythm section pumped up for the floor.