Review: Given the label's soulful roots, it's perhaps a little surprising to find Eglo championing a wild, wonky, machine-made EP full of angular electro, IDM, house and techno fusions from debutant Destiny71z. It's apparently the first of three EPs from the little-known producer, who used modular kit and dusty analogue gear to create his unpredictable but undoubtedly brilliant electronic workouts. We're particularly enjoying the zany Autechre-does-two-step-garage flex of "Softbeta" and the weighty, bass-powered crankiness of the artist's self-titled track ("Destiny71z"), but the jazzy, sun-bright breeziness of "Foodprogramvoltage" is also superb, and arguably more in keeping with Eglo's eclectic-but-soulful ethos. Either way, an eye-opening EP that's well worth checking.
Review: Bjarki's BBBBBB label has carved out its own unique niche in the techno world and next to occupy it is core label artist Stian "EOD" Gjevik. The former Rephlex artist shows off his magnificently complex and busy yet harmonic and melodic sound across five fantastically restless cuts that has lead synths taking you down a number of rabbit holes. Calming pads vie for your attention on "(Untitled) (W-R6)" while the acid laced "The Battery Poles (Are Conic!)" is so bright and shiny it'll have you reaching for your sunglasses. Few people speak so freely through their machines as this man right now.
Poisoned Words (Ricardo Villalobos remix 1) (6:35)
Poisoned Words (Ricardo Villalobos remix 2) (13:39)
Review: The Mandar dream team of Lazare Hoche, Malin Genie and S.A.M revisit "Poisoned Words" with a double dose of remixes from none other than Ricardo Villalobos. The minimal overlord lives up to expectations on both flips of the original track, needling into the tiniest sonic details and holding down an insistent groove that will sit beautifully in the mix. The A side features a simmering version that revels in wriggling sound design with ample space to flex and mutate, while the B side stretches out into a quintessential Villalobos wormhole of a remix. Unmissable sonics from one of the scene's true legends.
Review: Arapu is very much one of the key Romanian artists of the moment. Of course, like his revered countrymen, that means techno that is elegant, minimal, and delicately detailed. His own take on the style is often littered with curious little motifs and trippy loops that also characterise this new one on heavyweight vinyl for Liniar. "Over" is a brilliant opener with languid Balearic guitar riffs echoing over supple drum work which will hook you in and encourage your mind to wander, whereas "A Gain" is a more direct, driving minimal techno cut with warped synths peeling off an urgent groove. "I" closes out with a funky undercarriage and dub house overtones that will get any basement popping off.
Review: Dark Entries has been at the forefront of the coldwave and synth revival that has slowly taken hold over the last decade. Next up they turn their attention to a reissue of an out of print EP from 1988 by Jordi Guber and Krishna Goineau as Velodrome. Villalobos has been known to drop cuts from it, which should give you a good idea of its musical style: freaky 80s electro built on steppy drums, with taut and twanging synths reverberating around the mix, as exemplified by the opener. "Glasfabrik" is a hyper-speed cut with a tongue in cheek vocal, while "Capataz" is the most well-known joint with its acid bass and crashing hits.
Review: Curtis Electronix is a brand new electro label out of Holland (where else?) run by CEM3340. The label is said to be is inspired by Doug Curtis, the father of the "CEM" chip as well as being a synthesizer pioneer and innovator, and the boss himself is behind this notable first EP. His brand of electro is a crunchy one, with distorted drums frying brains and computerised synth arps jagging their way about the mix. Next to three busy, textured originals is a remix from The Exaltics that is as raw as they come.
Review: Moscow's Shanti Radio crew have really honed in on their own little music niche: deep, laced with trance tones, and emotive house. Tunes from this hotly anticipated EP by Volen Sentir has been doing the rounds in certain DJs sets for as much as six months. Highlights are plentiful throughout but the title track is arguably the standout. Languid piano chords dropped over soft, succulent, dubbed out drum rolls while tribal vocal chat bleeds in and out of focus to add to the hypnotic effect, and some sensitive xylophone sounds supporting an all-important melody line.
Review: "Supernature" is Escape Artist's sophomore EP on Salt Mines and is another stylish intersection between breaks, electro, techno and ambient. The music here is crisp and clean, with sleek lines and sharp edges making it all the more pure and serene sounding. "Carpentaria" is a scene-setting opener that builds on smeared pads without ever fully taking off, and "The Earth" repeats the trick but with more bubbling and organic percussion. "Silicone Valium" is a brilliantly trippy electro cut on fat and heavy kicks and the title track marks full lift off with a surging future-techno groove detailed with some old school breaks.
Review: Following fine releases on Shipwrec, Natural Sciences and Return To Disorder, masked electro/techno misfit Galaxian (real name Mark Kastner) makes his first appearance on Ilian Tape. The Glasgow-based producer starts in suitably big fashion via "External Observer", where what sounds like an orchestra of synthesizers gets to work over a skittish, bass-heavy electro beat, before exploring more dystopian dancefloor pastures on the moody, alien-sounding and otherworldly "Fuzzy Clouds Of Potential Existence". On side B he gives his out-there interpretation of early jungle ("Coming Up For Air"), batters a broken computer into submission and makes electro gold out of it (the slightly melancholic "Mechanistic Control Fantasies") and soundtracks the end of days (or possibly Brexit) on weirdo closing cut "Terminal Phase".
Review: Prolific but underrated Motor City producer Detroit's Filthiest makes a comment on the falsehoods of society with his latest EP. But there is nothing fake about his talent: he manipulates his machines in compelling fashion here, pairing perfectly squelchy bass and synthetic synth textures with the most gorgeous and organic piano keys imaginable. "Baby Makin Music" is laden with romantic chords, while "Mothership Has Landed" is more edgy and unsettled. On the flip, "No Strings Attached" is a playful and jazzy electro cut that makes way for the equally excellent "Social Engineering". In these times of electro trendiness, this EP still manages to stand out.
Albert Luxus - "In Den Arm Bitte!" (Julian Stetter mix)
Tom Demac - "Serenade"
Jurgen Paape - "Abstrusia"
Reinhard Voigt - "Der Amnn, Der Nie Nach Deutz Kam"
Rex The Dog - "Vortex"
Justus Kohncke - "Mindless Sex Track"
Voigt & Voigt - "Der Schwarm"
Anii - "Ride The Tiger"
Clarian - "Early Life"
Extrawelt - "Pink Panzer"
DJ Balduin - "EWBA"
Anna - "Remembrance" (main mix)
Fahrland - "Yesterday" (Night version)
Patrice Baumel - "Grace"
La Fleur - "Tears"
John Monkman & James Monro - "Pesto Punk"
Blackrachas - "Rotary"
Raxon - "Dark Light"
Yotam Avni - "Track For Agoria"
Jonathan Kaspar - "Renard"
Gui Boratto - "618" (Kolsch mix)
Review: Cologne powerhouse Kompakt may not be talked about as much as it once was, but the label continues to put out high quality electronic music with its own distinctive vibe. For proof, check the 19th annual edition of their now legendary compilation series, "Total". There's much to set the pulse racing amongst the 25 tracks scattered across two CDs, from the shoegaze-influenced haziness of Weval's "Are You Even Real" and the picturesque, piano-sporting dancefloor deepness of Tom Demac's "Serenade", to the neo-trance throb of Rex The Dog, the twisted techno intensity of Voigt & Voigt, and the intergalactic electro/rave fusion of Raxon's strobe lit "Raxon".
Review: Spain's Fanzine hits double figures by welcoming Nullptr (the alter ego of British artist Eddie Symons) for some heat that has made him a cult favourite over the last decade. The man behind Cambridge electro night Motherchip Connexion and his own [d]-tached label invites you to strap in and surge through the skies with him on a pulsating journey that finds him tease real funk out of his machines. From sombre and stripped back cuts of lonely electro to masterfully melodic affairs via devastatingly emotional groovers, this EP does it all in fantastic fashion.
Review: Anyone who takes their electronic music history seriously should already be hip to this one, but a brief rundown for those new to the roots of electro and techno. Cybotron were the project from Richard Davis and Juan Atkins, who went on to help forge the sound of Detroit techno as Model 500. Released in 1983, their debut album "Enter" was a blueprint for so much music that came after, with "Clear" being the standout track that send 80s heads spinning into a state of funky future shock. This tasty little 7" reissue puts "Clear" on the A side, and 1981 sci-fi boogie belter "Alleys Of Your Mind" on the flip. Two evergreen gems no machine music aficionado should be without.
Review: Hoarder continues to impress here with another classy collection of serious club heat. It comes from Italian born, New York based artist Fr!sky Buziness and marks his best work to date. All four tracks deal in proper, original tech house with a superbly smooth and seductive sense of late night funk. "Grey Goo Romance" has a gooey groove with sci-fi motifs that race along, while "Bananafish" channels early Terry Francis with its clipped and slick drums and swirling cosmic pads. "Skyhook" is awash with alien lifeforms and brain cleansing synth tones that are shiny and reflective, then finally "Aurora" pumps the party with perfectly pressurised drum loops and a whole ecosystem of spaced out sound effects. This is high grade dance floor weaponry from start to finish.
Review: Having built his reputation via a regular series of self-released 12" singles, East End Dubs is now beginning to make guest appearances on selected labels. Here he pops up on the long established, vinyl-only INFUSE imprint with a trio of club-ready concoctions. On the A-side you'll find "Gradual Steps", a rolling and attractive fusion of bouncy deep house drums, spacey, Motor City chord, thickset bass and glitchy tech-house flourishes. As usual, there's a wonderful swing to his drums and the stretched-out chords are hazy and evocative. You'll find more of these sumptuous pads and chord progressions on similarly-minded flipside cut "Mind Traps", while closer "Enhance" is another deep house/tech-house hybrid blessed with a notably epic breakdown.
Review: It's been a long time between drinks for Chris Korda, a transgender artist and activist whose last releases of note came on famed electroclash label International Deejay Gigolo way back in 2004. New album "Akoko Ajeji" is very much a surprise return to action, though its melodious, ear-pleasing and accessible blend of house and techno drums, digital synthesizer sounds and cheery post synth-pop refrains is both striking and hugely addictive. Korda's compositions offer subtle nods towards various vintage house and techno styles - particularly turn-of-the-90s deep house and early Chicago jack - but never sound anything less than thrillingly DIY productions giddily made in back rooms and bedrooms over the last decade and a half.
Review: The force is strong in this electrifying new EP from DAED, who last appeared on this label in 2017 on a VA release. There are shades of IDM to his complex synths and melodies, while kinetic broken beat drum programming powers the tracks along. The mood is melancholic on "Aria" which is so frantic it feels like it might eat itself, "Voidal" has fizzing, icy textures that will tie you in knots before "H2FSBF6" really pulls of some impressive synth acrobatics. "Ephemeris" is the warp speed closer that tarps you in a gorgeous digital world.
Cafe Del Mar (Tale Of Us Renaissance remix) (8:18)
Cafe Del Mar (Nalin & Kane remix) (9:46)
Review: Energy 52 aka Paul Schmitz-Moormann and Harald Bluechel inaugurated the semail Frankfurt trance label Eye Q with the anthem "Cafe Del Mar" in 1993, named after the long running Ibiza bar and institution. It was the soundtrack to the rave culture movie Human Traffic in 1999 and later went on to be voted #1 in Mixmag's 2001 '500 Best Tracks Ever' list. Here, Renaissance recruit Tale of Us for the second edition of their quarterly-century celebrations. The modern experts in dancefloor drama were sure to deliver a stunning remix, that works the truly evocative qualities of the original into a shape for modern dancefloors - and it further enhances the levels of tension and suspense. Next up on the flip, German legends Nalin & Kane's remix from 1998 appears, delivering a zeitgeist from trance music's heyday.
Review: Jupiter4 is an Argentinean record label founded by Dj Loui (now based in Berlin) that has presented releases by the likes of Steve Murphy, Vin Sol and Vincent Floyd among others in the past - but it's all about him on the label's fifth release. Jam packed with tough and gritty electro jams that reek of hardware, feel the high-power sonic waves of the appropriately titled "Keep Breakbeat Evil", until he goes off-kilter with the contorted "HARDchip". Flip over for the bass heavy dystopia of "SQ80 System" on the flip, which receives a rework by one of the undisputed masters of the electro sound, Carl Finlow - respect!
Review: Techno heads with an appreciation of forgotten and almost-lost gems will be happy with this one. Mark Ambrose's 'Dimensions' first saw the light of day on Steve O'Sullivan's Mosaic way, way back in 1997, and here is finally remastered for the modern world. And what a treat it is. A shining example of just how compelling, addictive and inescapable tracks can be without needing to be particularly hard, those looking for adjectives will find them in the likes of tough, solid and crisp. The four tracks all follow a similar trajectory, deep but purposeful dancefloor stuff where sub bass rules and alien noises become warbling hooks- not leat on 'Cable Talk'. Those looking to stomp in the dark may find 'Signs 'N' Lights' is the go-to, 'Photo Funk' is pure darkroom mechanical groove and 'Bassoon' a sharp tech builder.
Review: Not On Earth's first release sold out in quick time - unsurprising given the reputation of Frankfurt based founders Bodin & Jacob. Their second is a various artists affair that shows off some of the talents they have unearthed, while Bodin also reappears with "A Walk In The Park." It's a brilliantly militant cut with clipped, marching beats and rasping bass squelches, and elsewhere Philipp Boss opens the EP with the slippery electro rhythms of "Lava". Griezman's "Decheterie" is an uptempo bit of proper first wave tech house a la Terry Francis. Closing out this more than handy EP is the hard edged electro-tech of "Zoober" from Martyne.
Us & Ours & You & Yours (feat DJ Overdose & A Tyrell)
Review: In a week where Murder Capital drop news of a debut album from MF Gesloten Cirkel, poppa label Viewlexx come through with a timely repress of the I-F classic Space Invaders Are Smoking Grass. First issued back in 1997, if you are not familiar with the title track from this record you might as well stop fronting you know about Dutch electro because you bought the last Legowelt LIES release and give it up. Raw, brutal, alien electro at it's finest, "Space Invaders Are Smoking Grass" is a classic that will lift any set, and is of course complemented by three further jammers of the highest order. "Playstation #2" still sounds mental almost twenty years on. Essential.
Review: Aphelion is a Greek producer who is part of the Equations Collective, and here he offers up his first ever release. Clearly well schooled in production, the atmospheres of his tracks belie his debutant status as he kicks off with the mutant bass and pounding kicks of "Volatile Radiance". More warped bass characterises the sparse and eerie "Cosmic Vibrations" before Silicon Scally aka Carl Finlow heads off in a more menacing direction on his remix of "What You Want". The original is a more haunting and paranoid affair that has you looking over your shoulder.
Review: Anders Trentemøller is one of the rising stars of the dance music scene, his remixes and productions have gained critical acclaim from a broad range of DJs and producers including Pete Tong, Sasha, John Digweed, Switch, MANDY, Mylo, Nathan Fake and Freeform Five. Released on the influential Poker Flat label this is set to be one of the definitive releases of 2006. Available as a limited edition double CD and double LP. Trentemøller is currently the most in-demand remixer (recently delivering critically acclaimed mixes for The Pet Shop Boys, The Knife, Royksöpp, Sharon Phillips and Moby) with releases on Naked Music, Get Physical, and of course Poker Flat/Audiomatique.
Review: Transhumanism is a collective of Dutch producers who first met on the dance-floor at Dave Clarke's Whip It party at Melkweg in Amsterdam, so that will give you a reliable indicator of their sound: it's brash, serrated electro that fires your synapses and awakens your every sense. Juan Atkins and Helena Hauff have been dropping it all summer and it's easy to see why. There is strobe lit action from Slaves Of Sinus, walls of high intensity sound from RXmode, rave tinged stuff from W1b0 and a more throwback jam from TFHats to round out a high impact EP.
Review: London's legendary Mute institution goes back to its roots and digs up some of the best work by one of the UK's finest Cabaret Voltaire. These guys don't really need an introduction give the fact that they're pretty much responsible for the rise of post-punk right through to the birth of techno. It was about time a new compilation of their stuff was released, especially one as brutally on-point as this one! All the classics such as "Nag Nag Nag", "Kneel To The Boss" and "On Every Other Street" are one here but the more obscure rarities that were previously only available on 7" are the real winners. "Just Fascination", for example, is one you'll certainly want on a longer, re-mastered cut! Downright essential!
Review: The FUSE London crew are back everyone, look out! Bringing the sound of their legendary daytime raves to us again and getting straight down to business on Enzo Siragusa's third edition of 5 are label mainstays Rich NxT (with the rolling and adrenalised "Badass") and the always impressive OdD aka Damian Daley & Danny Dixon joined by newcomer Rossko (making his production debut) on the rolling hypnotism of "Jabba The Hut". On the flip is Moscow Records boss Archie Hamilton (another mainstay of the label) with the woozy and tripped out after hours deepness of "Cirrus" and the Deep End Soundsystem affiliated Sam Bellis with the gutsy acid driven "Solstrole".
Review: Serial collaborator Romain "Traumer" Reynaud is at it again, this time joining forces with fellow Parisian producer Gregory "Point G" Dorsa for a three-track workout on INFUSE. The experienced duo predictably hits its stride from the word go, serving up some swinging rhythms, hypnotic sub-bass and Salt & Pepa samples on peak-time tech-house box jam "Push It". There's a more percussive and slightly glitchy feel to the bongo-laden "Modulation Tropique", while banging B-side "Locoliente" feels like the kind of bouncy tech-house floorfiller that Sheffield sorts Swag used to do so well in their early 2000s pomp.
Review: Baby Ford's minimal minded label is back in action with some psyched-out goodness from Alex Celler. The long-serving Greek producer has many strings to his bow, but this release finds him tapping into his foundational sound as a steady ticking groove carries a richly produced bed of chimes and tones for the deepest moments in the dance. Where "Feudade" is a lilting, soothing trip, "Vis A Vis" heads into a more mysterious headspace peppered with nagging rhythmic trysts, crafty licks and fulsome bass to get the synapses popping. It's exactly how stripped down house music should be done, inventive to the last and yet utterly danceable.
Review: iO Mulen's eponymous imprint is unstoppable at the moment after releases by himself, homeboy Silat Beksi and Frenchman Varhat setting the bar high. Now it's over to emerging Romanian talent Suolo with this brilliant new one. Starting off in trippy and hypnotic fashion with the rather Villalobos-ish "Kamadeva", he then gets down with the ultra deep "Domergue's Got A Secret" which, likewise, is perfect for a Sunday afternoon after-hours in Bucharest. Finally, he saves the best for last on the flip with "Merimna", a rolling, trance inducing cut where subtlety and tight programming of elements effectively showcase a less is more work ethic.
Review: After making his debut with the Slum EP on Bucharest-based Te Iubesc Records, Romanian producer Ionu? Arapu has spread his wings with a series of releases across a wedge of European labels such as Dusseldorf's Gua Camole and London crew Moss Co. This Mdmamazing 12" for Michael Peter & Siggi Schulz's Movida label is Arapu's most high profile to date and despite the slightly dubious title will probably land the Romanian some new fans too! The title cut is a powerful minimal dancefloor tool with a supple bassline driven groove and some nicely broken drums, whilst "Chivoice" finds Arapu in more abstract territory.
Review: We're very happy to see a renewed interest in Underground Resistance sub-label Happy Records: which is sure known for its fair share of house classics. Quite fitting then that the chief retrovert Gerd Janson over at Running Back saw it fit to issue some remixes of the classic "Sunshine" by Unit 2 aka Raphael Merriweathers Jr. and Niko Marks. KiNK's remix on the A side is a nice modern revision of the track which retains those uplifting trademark pianos but adds some of his thunderous trademark 909 drum machine workouts beneath. On the flip, lo-slung disco pranksters Tiger & Woods do a remix which cuts up and stutters those said pianos (and the vocals) to interesting effect plus adding some nice boompty swagger into it.
Review: Matt Cheon & Co. unearth yet more rare gems from old school electro fiends Caroline Herve & Michael Amato here, on the second volume of Lost Trax. As story has it, after the French duo met at a rave in their native Grenoble in the early '90s, they made music heavily influenced by 80s synth, post-punk and Italo disco. Bored by the techno scene at the time, they set out out to lighten the serious tone and bring a campy sexiness to the dour musical landscape. From the sexy, four-to-the-floor EBM of "Upstart", the Drexciyan style "Love On" with its aquatic bass assault, or the classic Miss Kittin & The Hacker sound of old on the monochromatic" The Building" featuring the former's trademark deadpan vocal delivery.
Review: Using the Turkish psychedelic project Insanlar as a jump off point, Honest Jon's have enlisted Ricardo Villalobos to turn out one of his grandiose remix projects that gels so naturally with more exotic sound sources. The original of "Kime Ne" is already an enchanting, Moog-infused groover rich with traditional vocals, and then Mr Villalobos locks the ingredients in for a typically cosmic ride into stripped and hypnotic house territory, letting the lutes intertwine with dusty reams of percussion using that alchemists touch that could only come the man himself. The remix spreads itself over two sides of wax, leaving one side of the double pack free for a fetching etching as well.
Review: Kiasmos are a Reykjavik based duo comprised of BAFTA awarded composer Olafur Arnalds and Janus Rasmussen from the band Bloodgroup. The sounds of classical music and electro-pop collide fantastically on this release. First track "Drawn" is a sublime and emotional serving of trip-hop with Arnald's signature piano style floating on top of Rasmussen's immaculately programmed beats. And then that lush string section comes drifting in, its magnificent! "Gaunt" features some mutant pan pipes accompanied by a bleepy melody and sub-bass pulsations, but once again balanced out by Arnalds' lush piano and strings arrangements. On the flip "Swept" is a dreamy and melancholic deep house cut that could have come out on Kompakt, it's that good. There's even a remix of it by men of the moment Tale Of Us, who revise the track into one of their signature dark and adrenalised journey tracks, it's well done!
Review: Alex is a brand new alias from the artist regularly known as Baba Stiltz - a Swedish producer whose quirky, off-kilter house and techno releases are rarely less than brilliant. His first Trilogy Tapes outing is suitably impressive. The real killer is "Samba", an inspired nine minute workout in which he layers deep, woozy electric piano motifs, sun-kissed chords, child-like vocal samples and rich bass atop a swinging, samba fired techno beat. The deeper and more bass-heavy "Memo" is even more epic; a near 13-minute journey through sparse, crunchy, hypnotic and dubbed-out minimal house rhythms and exotic, snake charmer solos. In other words, it's another top-notch EP from a producer who genuinely can do no wrong.
Review: Domenico Torti is best known for his high profile remixes of Daft Punk, but this outing on Ed Banger finds him indulge in his first love: the sounds, colours and scenes of New York City in the 1980s. To help authenticate his quest, he enlists expert beat maker Afrika Bambaataa. Their single "Radar" is a wild disco ride with electro synth work and plenty of future retro motifs, from the vocoder vocals to the sounds of spacecrafts taking off. Deena Abdelwahed flips it into a heavy drum work out with rising chords, Dimitri From Paris layers in brilliantly funky bass and Adesse Versions and Borussia go for jacking club workouts.
Jeremy Castillo - "Beat Dat" (feat Vin Sol) (4:24)
Review: Unknown To The Unknown spreads its wings with a new sublabel dedicated specifically to jacking house jams for proper white-knuckle party times. Steven BC turns the acid intensity up to 11 with the devastatingly on-point "Flanger Zone", while Mall Grab reaches for a classic bit of disco funk to sample and filter mercilessly. Lawrence Lee meanwhile opts for a playful, budget take on Eastern electro on "Pyongyang Rhythm" before Jeremy Castillo and Vin Sol return to primal Trax Records territory for "Beat Dat". It's a release that marks House Crimes out as a natural descendant from UTTU's irreverent approach to dance music, without compromising on the quality.
Review: Brawther's Negentropy label has already carried gold star material from Ron Obvious and the man himself, and now it's the turn of debutant producer Zweizig to show off his wares. This assured 12" leads in with the ambient intro "Gewissen" before the crisp minimal funk of "Rhythm Tension" kicks in with its shimmering and shuddering sound design pinging around the dexterous beat. "Zephyr" is a smoky affair with a snappy broken beat and lots of subtle organic matter writhing in the middle distance. "Rehash Repeat" takes things deep and dubby to complete the set, all mellow hiccupping rhythm accents and hazy melodic phrases.
Review: For the fourth and final edition of Matthew Herbert's Parts series, we have four further reductions from the UK producer's back catalogue - all in his idiosyncratic style. Timeless minimal house that has truly stood the test of time and sounds as captivating as it did over 20 years ago. Part Four came out on Phono back in 1996 and is reissued here on Herbert's Accidental imprint. From the dubbed-out heroin house of "Pen", the crunchy robo-jack of "Pump", more blip, blurp and bleep on "Take Me Back" or his knack for simply straight-up and emotive deep house as heard on the utterly sublime "Resident". The tracks on here are still relevant in today's musical landscape and completely essential, in our humble opinion.
Review: Subtil is run by Nils Weimann and Martin Glowacz. The latter teams up with label stalwart Martin Glowacz for the Berlin label's twelfth release, following up some great ones by Romanian tech house heroes Piktor and Vlad Arapasu. The A side features the slinky and hypnotic groove of "Frankonia", followed by the rolling and esoteric sorcery of "Lower". The flip belongs to an epic 13 minute long remix of "Frankonia" by Paul Agripa - of the trio Sahau with Dan Andrei and Serban Goanta. The Bucharest based producer's trippy daydream of a rendition is pure magic and exactly the kind of thing we could have imagined the crowd at Sunwaves 23 trancing out to last week.
Review: London-based retroverts Art Of Dark return with a wicked double header here for their third vinyl release. Antonin Hifda aka Daif takes up the A side, offering up the hardcore rave reductions of "Another Version Of The Truth" followed by the deep down Detroit styled electro beats of "Devil". On the flip, it's all about newcomers DC EFX who follow through with the electro bass vibe on the absolutely booming "Expansionz", before closing with the bass-driven acid techno "The Roller Express".
Review: Itchy tech house label NCSS returns with a trio of new artists all weaving their way into the top charts, and if the material is sounding this good then we're pretty sure we'll be hearing a lot more from them soon! Newcomer Jhobei rolls through with "Do Milk", a creamy, synth-heavy house killer with a slap-up bass, followed by Casey Spillman's "Simply Focus", a freaky tech roller with all sorts of minimal nuances going off in its mix. On the flip, Jhobei returns with "Club Beige", an aqueous roller that sounds a little like the Cab Drivers, while Ben Balance's "Funk Tower" unleashes a dark, muddy bassline interlocked with subtle bursts of sc-fi goodness.
Review: KUMP's second multi-artist extravaganza - the Lyon-based label's first such exercise for two years -brings together tracks from a quintet of eccentric experimentalists. Clanking, horror-inspired creepiness is provided from the start via Jon The Baptist's lolloping "Hear No Evil", while those looking for some chugging, mid-tempo dancefloor sleaze should make a beeline for Maahrt's "Davardage". Elsewhere, Stove's "Chief of Nine Sisters" is an industrialist's take on tropical music with a suitably pagan twist, and Yssue and Yaws' contributions both sound like contemporary re-inventions of Nitzer Ebb style electronic body music (albeit with a touch more inherent looseness).
Review: Nestled comfortably on his constant home of Erased Tapes, Rival Consoles imparts another collection of plush forays into warm, melodic synthesis for those who like their instrumental electronic music scuffed with a little earthly charm. With the same starry-eyed innocence that bursts out of Nathan Fake's music, tracks like "Helios" leap with great strokes of synth and upsurging drums, carefully running threads of live instrumentation into the fold through some canny processing. The progression of each track is a beautifully crafted story with pleasant surprises aplenty but always reaching a logical resolution, making for a thoroughly rounded and satisfying listening experience without losing that all important bite of intrigue.
Review: The boy Naples hooks up with Bankhead again for what looks and sounds like a sequel to last year's much loved El Portal 12" for The Trilogy Tapes. Apparently named in honour of the hospitable reception young Anthony received whilst playing a party in the Columbian town of Zipacon, this four track release opens with "Perron" which sounds like previous Naples hit "Busy Signal" hollowed out. From here, "Zipacon" feels like a real high point with fizzing, intricate drum patterns and a warbling pad line that really captivates. Flipside cut "More Problem" offers a undeniably booming interlude before Naples gets really bugged out on the excellent "Crazy Spirit".
Review: Berlin's Cab Drivers are the real deal. If their extensive collection of classic Roland machines wasn't enough, they even sequence them all on an old Atari ST you don't get more purist than that. Paul and Augustowsky's new track "Correspondence" has all the hallmarks of their signature sound: bumpin', melodic, rolling and emotive. You know; the Cab Drivers sound! On the flip, fellow Berlin minimal techno legend Audio Werner steps up to deliver a more darker and emotive remix that strays on the dubbier side of things and we loved it: Tip!
Review: Get ready for some of the most stunning tracks yet to come from Carl Finlow, aka Silicon Scally. These tracks represent an entirely new evolution of Silicon Scally's progressive hybrid electro concepts.
Review: Roving Romanians Khidja take us on a trip of a lifetime with "Impossible Holiday"... We take off with the stately, cavernous and slightly fuzzy "Die Wilde Spirale" and land in our improbable destination to the spiked out synth washes and dubby bass palpitations of "Pinnacles". We enjoy all sorts of unperceivable activities to the bouncy, analogue bed and fluttering, head-soothing arpeggios of "Haetrin" then fly home to our comparably dismal existences on the droning, groaning and ever-morphing "Kraftfield". Happy travels.