Review: Volume Six of Tempa Allstars collects contributions from some of the underground music scene's pioneers and leading lights Skream. "Rollin' Kicks" begins the EP with a tapping drumbeat and a Breakage hued sonic palette (circa "Open Up") which is a million miles away from Magnetic Man. D&B-turned-dubstep minimalist Icicle steps up with "Anything". Crisp, acerbic breaks feature heavily, perfectly calculated beats and a futuristic touch. Falty DL adds a funky touch with "Sunday" as chirpy bleeps and bellows of bass underpin the fidgeting rhythms here, with notable sunny, upbeat vibes in the synth work. Benga injects a dose of humour with the ticking percussive lisp and robotic chant of "I Come From London" driving things along into a hypnotic state of sentiency. SBTRKTs "Sleep In Tokyo" is all broken, funked up beats, warm keys and delicately textured rhythms. Alix Perez brings the EP to a close with "Metric". Deep, atmospheric crackling, crisp SFX and rumbling subs roll along with dark menace. A superb finale to one of the finest releases in the Tempa Allstars series so far.
Review: The Busy Twist run a really interesting operation... Inspired by the UK's bass movement, the London-based producers have recorded extensively in their native Ghana, giving this a truly international tongue. A fine case in point is Drumtalk's remix of the brilliantly titled "Auntie Fatty": riddled with all manner of chopped up chants and percussion, there's a very familiar riff on the drop. "Floor Excitement" is another highlight; the vocals are reminiscent of a Wookie plate but delivered with heartwarming gusto. Technically this is an EP... But with such a bounty of tropical treats, this is almost album material.
Review: Despite some FXHE releases containing playful artistic references to the films that undoubtedly referenced the titles, this Romancing The Stone double pack from Omar S is sadly lacking in any MS Paint renditions of the Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner 90s vehicle of the same name. It does however contain four more fine examples of the fact no one does it quite like Omar S. Lead track "Leave" sets the tone, as ripples of percussion emerge from a pool of simmering sonic emotion and embarks on a masterclass in slow build dancefloor revelation at breakneck pace. "Romancing The Stone" pulls from the same palette of anthemic Omar S productions as "Here's Your Trance, Now Dance" and "Psychotic Photosynthesis" as a lead array of synths, keys and chords weave with supple grace over crunchy drums - watch out for the track finishing abruptly. On the second 12", "Frogs" dovetails from a simple disco guitar loop into fucked up abstract acid techno territory with little prior warning whilst "Surpass" finds AOS ending with some anthemic maximal piano house.
Review: The combination of Richard H. Kirk and Minimal Wave was never going to disappoint, but the four tracks on this Never Lose Your Shadow 12" are still very special! Digging deep through the archives of the Cabaret Voltaire front man, Veronica Vasicka presents a quartet of solo recordings that have never been committed to wax before. The highlight is undoubtedly the A Side title track, a lolloping ten minute track of hypnotic industrial action made all the more memorable by Kirk's acerbic intonations about "the blind leading the blind". If you've caught a Vasicka DJ set recently you will have probably lost yourself to these ten minutes. On the flip are three tracks recorded in the same late '70s period which are distinctly more experimental in tone and just as vital.
Review: Known most for his TC Studio work alongside Matei Tulbure, Traian Chereches has latterly taken to working in a solo capacity and demonstrated an equal degree of aplomb for unique rhythms and joyful sensations. Fans of the Romanian's work will delight in this double pack on his and Tulbure's prospering TC Studio label with the six tracks on Lobster Club really showing Chereches' full production range. Proceedings begin on an abstract note with "Wald 1975" memorable for some bold vocal sampling, though tracks such as the tumbling "A New Beat" and "Orchestra Rehearsal" will provide more than enough dancefloor satisfaction.
Review: Active between 2006 and 2009, the Members Only series was essentially a homage to the days of Muzic Box and Ron Hardy from Jamal Moss which saw the Mathematics boss dramatically rewire everything from Loleatta Holloway to Chris & Cosey via Liaisons Dangereuses and Gil Scott Heron. The series has long been out of print, though a recent Members Only edit for the Brasserie Heroique series from Berceuse Heroique will have ignited some interest in the project amongst a new generation of collectors and selectors. This Editions Disco Vol 1 double pack should be viewed as a second chance to witness Moss doing disco edits in the manner they were originally intended. Moments of outright queasiness (the klaxon that runs throughout the Frankie Goes To Hollywood revision will really test a dancefloor's patience) sit alongside killer percussive disco cuts and wonderful oddness like the closing Banamarama edit.
Review: Having made his name during the late '90s and early 2000s as a maker of particularly forthright techno, Oliver Ho has broadened his horizons in recent years. Nowhere is that more obvious on his Broken English Club project, which debuted last year with a pair of industrial and EBM minded releases for Jealous God and Minimal Wave offshoot Cititrax. Here he returns to the latter, laying down more fuzzy, straight-to-tape journeys into analogue, mid '80s dancefloor experimentalism. There's naturally much to enjoy, from the peak Cabaret Voltaire grittiness of "Drycutting", and the bleak EBM throb of "Ritual Killing", to the ghostly synthesizers, Jaydee bass and droning textures of "Channel 83".
Review: If you are lucky enough to have visited Dusseldorf club Salon Des Amateurs, you may be familiar with one of its residents, the cultish Serbian DJ Vladimir Ivkovic whose daring sets are inspiration to another of the venue's stars in Lena Willikens. Often Music is Ivkovic's new label and their first release shines a light on the unreleased archives of pioneering Serbian electronic artist Rex Ilusivii, real name Mitar Suboti?. The Serbian artist sadly passed away in a studio fire in 1999 leaving behind a vast number of unreleased works recorded over a decade from 1980 onwards. Six of those rescued tracks feature on this double 12" release In The Moon Cage (side 4 houses an etched illustration) and the more daring selectors out there will find them quite inspirational.
Review: There's a delightfully celebratory feel about this debut volume of Cititrax Tracks, a new 12" series from Minimal Wave offshoot Cititrax. As beautifully presented as we've come to expect, Tracks Volume 1 boasts a quartet of dancefloor-ready smashers from a blend of new faces and label stalwarts. Amato (aka The Hacker) kicks things off with the glistening EBM funk of "Physique" - all restless synth refrains and pounding bottom end - before LIES affiliate Tsuzing go all dark, psychedelic and twisted on the thrillingly intense, acid-flecked "King of System". An-I go all DAF (with a touch of Front 242) on the fuzzy and dystopian stomper "Mutter", before Cititrax regulars Broken English Club delivers a storming chunk of industrial-tinged analogue funk ("Glass"). Bravo!
Review: Aside from reissuing a whole heap of glorious boogie material from the 1980'sm People's Potential Unlimited also have their own distribution roster, and Cosmic Chronic is right up there waving the flag for the US stable. To kick-start 2016, we have a four-tracker from newcomer Arcade Odyssey, and as you'd expect, they're every but as funky and lo-fi as those instrumentals from back in the day. "Spring Yard Zone" kicks off with massive electro baseline, tropical melodies, and a hazy vibe, while "Beautiful Forest" breaks the beat down and goes Eastern with its synths. Flip the plate and you'll be confronted by the huge, stabbing bassline and fast beats of the utterly gnarly "Neon Night Riders" - easily the gem of the lot - and wound down thanks to the gentler, more tame waters of "Port Town". Sick.
June Miller - "Robots & Romans" (audio remix) (5:53)
Kryptic Minds - "The Truth" (Insideinfo remix) (5:54)
Rene Lavice - "The Calling VIP" (4:53)
Review: Andy C's mega-label Ram celebrates the big 200 in style: triple vinyl in trifold sleeve with etched sixth side, each of the five cuts represent Ram's dark, start extremes. The touching depths of Culture Shock's long-awaited "Piano Dark", the Noisia-level antics of Audio on his June Miller, InsideInfo's deep throat bass on "The Truth" and the add bass fluctuations on Rene's VIP. 200 singles deep and still killing it, Ram have put together a serious package here.