Review: Style Upon Styles sister label Bangers & Ash is fired up once again to encourage a select artist to indulge both their ambient and dancefloor sides, and on this occasion it's US producer Contakt who has been asked to split his musical personality across two sides of wax. It's actually the mellower 'Ash' side that leads in first, with the dub techno meditation of "Second Shift" followed up by the star-gazing machine soul of "Detritus." Then on the flip the heat gets turned up with the rolling drums and punchy chord stabs of "Shut Off Notice" and the distinctly Motor City flavoured thump of "NDO."
Review: Hugo Capablanca may be best known for his more disco-minded output from his time on Gomma Records, but increasingly his scattered output and his label have been reaching towards more abrasive material. Nothing will prepare you for the confrontational nature of this daring, 'no label' transmission. The artwork alone is enough to challenge the senses, while the opening track is a metallic drone that gives way to the distended mutant beats of "Top Less". Guy Debord is no less cut throat in delivering a "Disco Punish" remix of "Lap Dance" on the B-side, all deconstructed groove and guttural noise, and then "Dance Less" rounds the record off with another excursion into unsettling, heavily processed noise.
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!
Bitch & Bites - "Techdrea In Andromeda (Time/Space)"
Bouhouz - "Fairy Tale"
Review: Tabernacle have an enviable instinct for visionary talents in the well-ploughed field of purist machine-powered techno and house, and their various artist releases can be a goldmine for new names to add to your watch list. So it goes on this latest transmission, kicking off with the dusty Chicago house styles of Models Over 18 before switching stance drastically to the splayed out tonal investigations of Paradize. Bitch & Bites are equally subversive, shirking dancefloor demands to apply classic techno motifs to a fractured but ultimately inviting strain of hardware-honed techno. That leaves it to Bouhouz to round the EP off with a gentle murmur of synth patterns carefully composed for a spiritual, subliminal end result.
Review: Valcrond Video, the label run by sound and image artist Luke Wyatt (Torn Hawk), Apresents VV-013 Russo's ""Wild Metals"". A
Russo (Ari Russo) is an NYC based multi-artist whose engagement with abandoned media finds an outlet in the video bursts he culls as OfficeFern. As a programmer, he's produced innovative music generation tools such as the Diamond Arpeggiator. He returns to his own music with this collection of challenging and transporting structures.A
Wyatt and VV are eager to endorse Russo's latest report on crossmodal perception, a true exercise in synesthesia.A
""Wild Metals"" sounds like ferns and orchids infiltrating a tableaux of black plastic electronics, the breed of black plastic that Russo and Wyatt both found sinisterly inserted into the grid of their childhood. It provided the skin for some of their favorite toys, and its general resonance was aligned with the fast cars, women, and architecture that dominated their imaginations.
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: 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: KM Editions and Pleasure Unit are proud to anounce the launch of Pleasure Wave. A new imprint to release special projects.Our first release "Tarnished Idol comes from the multi faceted g-Marie a friend of ours for over 20 years. This mini LP was concieved over the first few months of 2015 after various travels around Europe and Asia and then recorded at his home studio in South London.
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: REPRESS ALERT: After launching Brush & Broom with two solo releases, maverick German producer Kalbata keeps his followers guessing yet again with this collaborative release with the equally unpredictable Maayan Nidam. "The Town" is a surefire party starter made up of catchy bleep lines, quivering rhythmic flashes and lots of shimmering FX sends that suggest this was a live jam from two talented producers locked in the groove. "Chrome Moon" takes a deeper, more meditative approach without losing those heavy echo chamber washes, where the spring reverb and buckwild delay feedback rein supreme. Wonderful, free-tripping results from an unexpected meeting of minds.
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: A four-track acid EP by veteran producer Warlock, out on Kalbata's Brush & Broom label. Ex-amount of jaw-grind action from the London underground legend. "Violent Rays" and "Swearings" are both straight-up warehouse workouts, comfortably placed next to reflective after-hour gushers "Run DC" and "Cave Tone". Once again, Warlock demonstrates stunning crisp production, touched by old-school heritage, dating back to pre-94 legislation times. Essential.
Review: The fourth installment in the Legwork Records saga sees label heads Lance DeSardi & Leopold come together under the artist moniker LEGWORK. For their first outing under the name they start with BUCK SHOT, a techno-soul chugger featuring a remix by the futurist himself, Matrixxman. On the flip, the boys go in for a straight-ahead killer with MEAN 2 ME and a more musical version of the same tune, KEY 2 ME.
Review: It's not all minimal techno in Romania, as the P-Balans crew ably demonstrate on this second release from local hero The Holy Fix. The synths come down thick and gloopy on "The Void" before "Slagwise" ramps up the horror tones with a perfect distillation of what makes a soundtrack pop off. This is nightmarish disco music in the vein of Maiovvi and the like, and it's delivered impeccably. There is a greater focus on club tones amongst the atmospheric FX on Tracks & Traps though, with "Quite Vicious" in particular conjuring up a thrilling, madcap romp through buffed up disco techno.
Review: Long time minimal techno pusher Franklin De Costa steps up to Jersey City label Green Village to thrown down a ruckus with four serious cuts of advanced house and techno. "Derp Journal" may be flippant in name, but the bassline it packs is not to be trifled with, nor the edgy drums and lashings of reverb. "Bogart Space" is a more house-minded affair, but it's still reaching to a contemplative space using unfamiliar sounds. "Good Day Bad Day" gets into a cyclical, psychedelic mood thanks to a trippy synth circling overhead, but then the EP gets dealt a tough finishing blow by the cranked up hustle of "Flashmelo", coming on like a crunchy mid 00s minimal jam of the highest order.
Review: Green Village has already proven itself to be a trusted outpost for all kinds of adventurous souls in the US house and techno game. Transmitting out of Jersey City, the label now invites Ali Asker to serve up a mixed bag of treats. "Standards" heads into classic electro territory, while "Concatenate" swerves into strange, fractured lands somewhere between deepest techno and outright tropical ambience. "Ascent" is a celestial soarer, all achingly beautiful arpeggios and sub bass pressure, which DJ Spider then drags into one of his knotted grooves. Patrice Scott's version is understandably lighter, favouring his trademark strain of soul-stirring deep house as a framework for whispers of the original to dart around.
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: Having first surfaced last year with their first various artists release featuring the dearly departed Andreas Gehm, the Stealth Mission label is back with another four-strong salvo of no-nonsense acid, electro and techno. Naked Eye People kicks off proceedings with the punishing jacker "Short Distance" before Barrow Boy whips up a perfect slice of malevolent 303 mischief on "BTB (Demo Mix)". On the B side there's space for a little more reflection with the spacious pings of Bobby Durst's "Shape Shifting" before Mike Storm turns the heat back up on the delightfully unhinged "Dark Sight (Sims JFF Edit)".
Review: Naura Records presents the third release of the Bleak series.
'Relics' is a full oriented dance floor track, twisted and static in all directions.
'Black Ice' reveals itself as a cataclysmic and intelligent analog tool with pulsating baselines and profound deepness.
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: US veteran and all round champion of any genre he turns his hand to, Freddy Fresh is still immersed in the game and slinging out essential jams at a rate of knots. He dons his Modulator guise for two tracks on this latest 12", keeping things decidedly raw and letting the machines do the talking. This is stripped back robot music, all primal drum machine rhythms and errant synth bleeps for synthetic souls. On the B side Fresh represses a track produced in collaboration with Paul Mix, which was originally released back in 1996. It's not hard to see why it's so in demand on the second hand market - a spellbinding slice of ambient techno from the golden era of the genre.
The Man From Another Place (Timothy J Fairplay remix)
The Man From Another Place (Cottam remix)
Review: Hailing from sunny Los Angeles, Plastic Love Records kicks off our first release with an EP from label co-boss Jimmy Maheras. Maheras made his debut in 2011 with his Space Jam EP on the Crosstown Rebels edit sub-label, Rebellion. Since then he's released remixes and singles on Strainjjur, Riff Raff, Supernature, and Left'd.
Maheras's two original tracks showcase his depth with The Man From Another Place being squarely aimed at the big room dance floor and the second track, Arecibo, bringing a little Kraftwerkesque funk. We've commissioned Timothy J Fairplay (Crimes Of The Future) and Cottam (Aus Music / Ruff Draft) for two very unique remixes. Fairplay crunches down the original melody and throws it over the famed amen break to give TMFAP a hands in air late night feel while Cottam's remix brings the dreamy melody closer to acid with storming late night kick ready to knock down a wall.
Review: Melbourne's Short Black label has been relatively sporadic with its releases up until now, having started back in 2013 with Matt Kennedy's Together At 2am EP and dropping the third release on the label back in 2016, Rustal's Privilege. Hopefully this excellent new transmission from newcomer Tristan Kino will be the start of more productivity from the crew. The EP starts off in fine style with the nervy, reduced acid twitch of "Yggdrassil", while at the other end of the record "Niddhog" presents a tougher, darker throwdown crafted for seedy techno dancefloors. Johannes Volk has been snapped up for remix duties, and does a sterling service with the metallic clang of his version of "Niddhog".
Review: It's been a little while since we last heard from Donnell Knox, but he's back in action finally on his regular haunt Sonic Mind with some of that evergreen US techno tackle that he's forged a long and winding career out of. "No Time" is steeped in the smoky pads of the Motor City, with a rugged rhythm section and errant bleeps thrown in to seal the deal. "Rat Race" takes things in a more housey direction, but there's still a certain mysticism that reaches beyond the average club banger. "Sick Mind" continues the theme, but ties more knots in the programming to make for another essential slice of techno, and then "Repetition" finishes the job with a razor sharp slice of sky-scraping hardware science.
Review: Following previous outings on Blind Box and Half Baked, OddMann strike out on their own with a self-titled label to carry their crafty twists on the minimal house and techno formula. There's quite a tough, old-skool finish to "Track 1" on this no-nonsense 12", tapping up the early UK techno vibe in all its swooning pads and errant bleeps. "Track 2" is more aligned with the clean lines and head-nodding grooves of European minimal, but there's still plenty of space for surreal sound design in between the drums. "Track 3" dials up the swing and gets seriously funky, keeping things stripped back to let the DJ do their thing.
Review: Josefine Hellstrom Hansson's debut track "Water Cave" on HMWLA received ADJ support from AIlario Alicante, Robert Babicz, Piemont, Slam, Paco Osuna, Horse Meat Disco, Nick Warren, Gabriel Ananda and Ame. Now the Malmo-based producer and DJ readies a three track techno / house EP on HMWL's vinyl sublabel Heartbreak Records. On A-side alongside "Water Cave" Josefine offers a peak hour techno weapon called "Sensus". On B-side we find the smooth melodic "Volcanics" at 118 BPM while fellow swede Martinez deconstructs Sensus into a jazzy, mellow piece of minimal tech.
Review: Norwegian label Sommeroya enters the fray with a strong cast of Scandinavian sound scientists spread across a lucky dip range coloured vinyl. Skatebard leads the charge with the emotive electro tones of "Early Morning", all warm and fuzzy synth lines wobbling across the frequency range, while Fredrik Bekkassen brings a more militant brand of techno to the table with "Shroud". Bjorn Svin's "Clay Penalty" is equally tough and mechanical, although splashing through a generous helping of effects processing too. Then Christian Tilt finishes the EP off with a dubby dancefloor excursion entitled "It's Too Much Light In Here".
Review: "Following up on the excellent 'Stabbed in Konya' EP for Peur Bleue, SORN welcomes Gohan to the fold. Three tracks of dystopian techno for the heads, plus a Boddika-esque remix from newcomers Ikpathua & Paterson. Recommended."
Review: Aubrey's Don Gardon alias was a one-shot decoy deployed in 1997 with the now highly sought-after "Textures" 12" on Aubrey's own Textures label. While the provenance of these new tracks is a little foggy at this stage, what you can be sure of is the grade of techno we're dealing with here. Aubrey's illustrious career speaks for itself, and so do these tracks in the first Textures release since 2001. "The Phase" is an effervescent, funk laced race to the stars, while "Vari Tube" takes a more intimate route through dusty house that wouldn't sound out of place in the Workshop stratosphere. "Slam Dunk" is a cheeky, jazzy affair while "Dons Slide" gets a little more freaky and far out in the finest tradition of B2 tracks.
Review: Grooveboxx is a new label launched from the Parisian underground with a focus on fresh, invigorating rhythms with an outernational focus. The label's leading lady Myako opens this first 12" up with the dynamic, dusty adventure of "Salvia Cosmica", which makes for the perfect scene setter before Aleqs Notal throws down a tougher set of tumbling tribal drums. Myako then returns with "La Danza De La Risa", another subtle, poised and tantalizing rhythm track, before Geena trips things out on the heavy effects bliss out of "Selva Spirit". Myako's closing statement, "La Jungla Encantada", is a spaced out affair marked by Spanish speech and fragmented rhythmic hiccups - a cinematic end to an evocative release.
Review: REPRESS: The second release from the Hlanganani label lives up to it's MO to provide a platform for talented producers from South Africa to shine, focusing here on Deep Sixty, aka young and fast-rising producer Johannesburg producer Thabiso Mamogwa. Back in 2010, the producer made it to London to take part in the Red Bull Music Academy, which is when the HLANG team first heard the tracks that make up the Mme Hayo EP whilst some studio time on the same trip with Todd 'Soundmurderer' Osborn resulted in the "Thursday Nights" track which Mamogwa previously self-released. In addition to Deep Sixty's own 'Deep Terror' mix of "Mme Hayo", the label have coaxed some fine remixes out of Esa and William Kouam Djoko.
Review: Adam Marshall has been a part of the worldwide techno movement since about the same time as Mike Dreben; the pair's tunes have been hitting our shelves since the early days of Juno, and so we feel that they have been a special part of our development over the decades. They appear out of nowhere for the BLUE imprint, out of Canada, by slamming down some furiously penetrative techno bruisers with a minimalistic touch and feel. Dreben's first 2 cuts are wild and fast, tumbling over their own kicks and snares as the toxic levels of bass are released over tight, dance-centric grooves. Marshall's "Avalokitesvara" reigns supreme on the B-side, hitting harder and more direct comparted to Dreben's stripped-back feel, with a heavy succession of kicks and snares hitting down extra hard. Finally, some proper techno runnings!
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: 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: The latest release on DJ Bone's Subject Detroit label is a split 12" featuring Esteban Adame and Santiago Salazar. This is how they do techno, Californian style, and you can tell it from the off. The beats are tough as hell, but there's a sun-kissed vibrancy to the synth work that positively leaps out of the speakers and shakes your cerebellum. Adame leads on the A side with "Guaguanco", an effervescent stomper that takes a turn for the deep when Frequencia jumps on board for a remix. Salazar is in a housey frame of mind on "October 17", letting smooth pads lead the way without losing that all-important impact. The "Dub mix" of the track actually beefs things up with a grinding lead synth pitched at big room scenarios while maintaining a steady tempo.
Marcello Napoletano presents Ra Toth and The Brigante's Orchestra - "Terra Arsa"
Richeart - "Purple Grace"
Review: Gravity Graffiti is reborn from the unknown space with this explosive split EP. Two jazz-influenced gems by Marcello Napoletano and Richeart through the roots of rhythm! On the A side the third chapter of Ra Toth's saga, after Mathematics and Berceuse Heroique, with a diabolic trance dance. Flip side for a killing-edge banger by the emerging producer Richeart, a new definition of Acid Jazz. Let the spirit move you! Supported by Jamal Moss, Funkineven, Soichi Terada, Raybone Jones, John Swing and Robert Crash.
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: 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: Delivery is the work of Greg Shin, who has previously appeared on LA Club Resource and Smashing Tape Records. Now he appears on Torn Hawk's Valcron Video with a wonderfully diverse set of leftfield machine workouts, kicking off with the tempestuous drum twitches of "Brain Drained". "Technology Transplant" is a polar opposite, focusing on calm drifts of ambient synth with a mournful tinge. The B2 is worth digging for, as "Four Two Nine" seems to balance the two other tracks and make for the most club-ready piece on the 12".
Review: Always a reliable destination for cult talents operating on exciting frontiers of techno, meandyou this time shine a light on J.S. Zeiter, who adopts the Analog 1 alias for some dense, meticulously crafted trips into the strange psychedelic underbelly of dub techno. "SM4L" features pastoral chord swells straining behind a babbling brook of high frequency sound design, while "Mistral" takes a classical approach to ambient composition, all yearning arpeggios and lingering keys. "Interlude" is a brief twirl around blown out drums and textural impulses, and then "SKIV Loop (Rework)" sets a more positive tone for the end of the EP, pushing classic dub techno sounds into a hazy, summery space away from the usual icy tundra the genre normally inhabits.