Review: Well Street continues to be a hotbed of innovation in the cloudy climes of contemporary UK techno, with label mainstay Loop LF returning for his third EP. The record opens in subliminal style with the restrained, heavy-stepping sideswipe of "IZ 200" before melting into "Drifting Forwards," a richly dubbed-out dreamscape of clicking and popping percussion and sparkly chord drops with a purposeful swagger around the rhythm section. The B side kicks off with the nervy minimalist techno abstraction of "C Rota", where sound design plays a vital role alongside cyclical rhythms in creating a truly transcendent yet strikingly sparse sound. "Mondo" closes proceedings with one of the more forthright tunes on the record, following a strident if still proudly leftfield groove that captures a little '90s downtempo funk and gives it a cosmic, hi-def refit.
Review: Released to mark the tenth birthday of his Novel Sound label, Levon Vincent's latest 12" boasts one of his most talked-about secret weapons, "WKO", a track he famously included on a Resident Advisor podcast a few years back and has been a staple of his sets ever since. It's a real late night treat: a loopy chunk of slack-tuned techno looseness that sees the acclaimed producer pepper a lolloping, cymbal-heavy beat with quietly spacey synth stabs, progressively more intense additional percussion and some woozy late night sounds. B-side "Jackson Heights" is a deeper and more sanguine affair, with deep, dubbed-out bass and quiet melodies riding a locked-in drum machine groove.
Review: Default strides with confidence into its third release with a cast of underground operators orbiting what might once have been called the minimal scene. Label boss Exander is up first with the warm and throbbing "Enigma", while Chad Andrew makes a welcome return after many years of silence with the smooth and undulating "Elemental". Cerec gets a little bouncy and trippy with the melodically adventurous "Shinobi", and Avidel keeps things neat and tidy with the pitter-patter percussion and pin-point lead lines of "Aguamenti". If you're seeking out refined, musical tech house suited to extended dancefloor sessions, this is just the record for you.
Review: Chuck 'em in a black bag and give 'em a blotchy stamp. That's Delsin's modus operandi when it comes to re-releasing their favourite older material. And following their re-up of Son.Sine's beautiful Upekah 12", Claro Intelecto's first ever release makes its way on to the prominent Dutch label, a solid decade after it was first released on the now defunct Ai Records. For that 'must have' feeling "Tone" is the track you want to hear first; a gnarly acid work out of Drexciya-influenced techno that's been dragged through the mud and sounds all the better for it. Before that though there's a deeper and electro-leaning "Peace Of Mind (Electosoul)", and while "Signifier" mirrors it somewhat, it's deep house that's pure as the driven snow. And if you needed any more proof that Intelecto is the master of a phat-bassline, look no further than "Contact".
Review: Having cut his teeth with some devilishly deviant drops on Primitive Languages, Lost Soul Enterprises and others, New York's R Gamble returns with a stunning mini-album for Public System that brings his canny twist on minimal wave and EBM to wax for the first time in years. As well as being a dab hand at programming his boxes to impart his ghoulish bangers, what sets Gamble apart is his sense of composition, making proper ear-snagging songs with structures and narrative. Marrying that accomplished approach with the clamour of his production style, and you've got yourself a slice of '80s inspired creepiness that's a cut above the rest.
Review: Spanish techno legend Oscar Mulero presents the second installment of Warm Up's limited edition Bandcamp Vinyl series, with three straight up techno tools from a true master of the craft. On 'WUBC 2', feel the mental overdrive of A-side cut "Gradual Blending" which will punish you with its relentless groove, go deeper into the later hours with the more restrained B-side offerings like the hypnotic and strobe-lit gallop of "Evolutionary Decay" or the Millsian majesty of "Natural Resources". Best described by the label itself as 'merciless techno designed to shake minds and feet.'
Review: The levels of intrigue continue to run high around the rapidly developing Vigenere label, as the Malin Genie-helmed label continues to showcase lesser known talents operating in more adventurous corners of the techno domain. Yard One are a UK duo split between London and Manchester, and you can certainly here a rough n' ready soundsystem attitude and the ghost of classic '90s techno permeating the textured, knotty rhythms on opening cut "Sky Kings". "Cellular Entanglement" takes things in a more serene direction, but not at the expense of crisp beats to propel the twinkling synths along. "Unfurling" presides over the flip with a mystical atmosphere that should appeal to those who like their techno oceans deep and dubbed out to perfection.
Review: In 2018, the idea was introduced by Jeff Mills to address the lack of artistic collaborations within and from the city of Detroit/USA. The city had always been an engine of new innovative ideas related to music, art, dance, poetry and all other arts. It was thought of as a way to demonstrate the commonality people possess from various art forms and that by mixing ideas visions and perspectives together are might produce unexpected and often provocative results.
The project started when Mills reached out to one of Detroit Techno's founder and legendary DJ/Producer Eddie Fowlkes. Though the two are known and connected to Detroit Techno and knew each other for decades, they never worked together so the first few meetings and conversations were marked with finding all the common links that have built both of their careers. During this time, Mills wanted to find a third person for the project, one that was from Detroit, but not a musician. His idea and theory was that by engaging two other creative thinkers would most likely produce something unique as emotions would become linked together to find that common, but higher level. While browsing the web, Mills discovered a post that featured the Detroit-born poet Jessica Care Moore. Struck by her words and the energy she mastered to say them, Mills knew immediately that she would be the perfect artist to approach for this creative venture. As with most artists that grew up in Detroit, they immediately opened up the links in their past, present and future outlook. He presented the case and explained to her how he thought it might work. She liked the idea and agree to join.
THE CRYSTAL CITY IS ALIVE. (A phrase extracted from Moore's words), puts the Detroit, America and the World on notice. The alarm has sounded and it is now time to mobilize all creative units to the frontline.
Stanislav Tolkachev - "Once A Cheater Always A Cheater" (12:26)
The Rare Breed Aka Regis & Christian Wunsch - "Reason Doesn't Sleep" (4:56)
Steve Bicknell - "Deeper Shades Of Grey" (7:24)
James Ruskin - "The Lake" (6:30)
Inigo Kennedy - "Dust-point" (5:38)
Review: Spanish techno veteran Christian Wunsch has decided to celebrate the 50th release on his esteemed Tsunami Records by bringing together some techno luminaries on a single release entitled 'The Future is Fixed'. From British legends such as Surgeon, who harks back to his House Of God residency on the sound of "Invisible Enemy", Blueprint's James Ruskin is in fine form on the hypnotic stomp of "The Lake", and Steve Bicknell (Lost) on the strobe-lit tunnel vision of "Deeper Shades Of Grey". Elsewhere, Ukrainian producer Stanislav Tolkachev delivers his idiosyncratic style of techno as always on "Once A Cheater Always A Cheater" and obviously label chief Wunsch appears too, collaborating with the mighty Regis as The Rare Breed - who deliver the contorted fury of "Reason Doesn't Sleep".
Review: To mark the passing of a quarter of a century since the birth of Eric Morand and Laurent Garnier's influential F Communications label, the long-defunct imprint has returned to deliver 25 re-mastered reissues of important and sought-after releases. "Club Traxx", Garnier's all-action, dancefloor-focussed 1995 EP made in tribute to legendary Parisian venue the Rex Club, is undoubtedly worth its place in the series. There's much to enjoy, from the moody, Motor City style synth-strings and bustling techno grooves of "Side Effects" and the wild, mind-altering stomp of "Ranchando O Bico", to the deep techno dreaminess of "Aquarius", the stab-happy, warehouse-ready thrust of "Pigalle", and the intergalactic, acid-fired call-to-arms that is "Dance 2 The Music". Proper European techno that pays due reverence to the sound's roots; don't sleep!
Review: Plant 43 is the quintessential electro stalwart, truly immersed in the sound and forever finding new realms of inspiration within the well-worn formula. Following the largely ambient The Countless Stones album on his newly minted label, the man known as Emile Facey now switches stance for some propulsive excursions that will keep his ardent followers more than satisfied. "Density Wave" splits the difference between ethereal pad moods and bruising machine funk, while "Dream Archive" keeps things sparse, deep and heavy. "21 Winters" piles on some of the most dramatic synth work we've heard from Facey in a hot minute, bringing serious levels of bombast to the electro arena and retaining that distinctive edge we expect from a Plant43 record.
Review: Roy Of The Ravers may be best known for his lysergic rave pelters, but there's always been a hint of grandiose melancholy in his synth work that suggested there was more to the machine botherer than tear-out acid beats. Emotional Response worked with the artist in trawling through a vast archive of material recorded between 1997 and 2017, rescued from hard drives once thought lost, and now gathered as a compelling ambient release with the full fat hardware veneer of Roy's work to date, but coming from a more reflective angle. From cathedral-quaking drones to deeply submerged aquatic excursions, this album has plenty to draw you into the inner world of an acid hero.
Review: There's been plenty of online chatter about the confrontational title of Omar-S's latest full-length outing, and arguably not enough focus on the music itself (or the fact that the guest list contains Rick Wilhite, Norm Talley and OB Ignitt for that matter). This is unfortunate, because as usual Alex 'Omar' Smith has hit the spot. The six untitled tracks are impressively varied, with Smith effortlessly moving between 21st century P-funk (track one), cowbell-powered deep house funk (track 2), sparse and synth-heavy acid house hypnotism (track three), disco-house jack (track four), sub-heavy Detroit-meets-Sheffield minimalism (track five) and sunrise-ready dancefloor dreaminess (track six).
Review: Long-serving duo Morphology are the proud owners of one of the most on-point discographies in electro and IDM, though it should be noted that their releases have become far more sporadic in recent years. Here the Finnish pair make their first appearance on Exalt Records and, as expected, they've delivered a terrific EP. The headline attraction is undoubtedly "Quallia", a fine fusion of fizzing, Middle Eastern-influenced melodies, chugging bass, yearning string sounds and off-kilter electro drums. This is remixed twice on the flip. First John Shima gives the track a dreamy, sunrise-ready spin in his effortlessly emotive trademark style, before B12 man Steve Rutter re-imagines it as a melancholic slab of deep electro beauty. A fine EP is completed by "Flatlands", a melodic electro number with a subtly stargazing finish.
Review: Shine Grooves is a multifaceted artist, and this second record for Kimochi Sound explores two sides of that personality. The delicate, introspective, expressive precision of After All, DPS v55, and Secret move from sublime resignation to summery exuberance to a kind of earnest meditation. On the other side, collaborations with X343 yield a more extroverted approach: spontaneous mutations turn rolling grooves into unpredictable improvisational explorations.
Review: When a white label launches from an artist called MPX with single letters for track titles, you know there's some serious techno incoming. This four track EP is brimming with rugged, street-tough energy; from the slapping drum jack and throbbing b-line pulse of opener "G" to the crunchy strut of "J." There's plenty of psychoactive flair to match the classic drum machine flourishes though - "L" has a wicked arp coursing through its veins, while "K" takes the same rhythm section and boils it down to a hypnotising whirl of techno perfection.
Review: Following hot on the heels of the release of Dawl's superb "Break It Down" EP, Cardiff party-starters Haws offer up a label debut from sometime Steel City Dance Discs and Typeless Records contributor Aloka. The Welsh producer begins in creepy and clandestine fashion via the bold, beautiful and suitably sci-fi electro flex of "View Source", which sounds like something that could have been discovered in a trunk of Drexciya demos nestling at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. "Blind Spot" is, if anything, even more aggressive and energetic thanks to its raw, razor-sharp synth bass and furious electronic motifs, while "Red Shift" reminded us of some of Dexter's weightiest club cuts. As if to give us a breather, closing cut "Enigma" is a deep, melodious and ethereal electro treat.
Review: Featuring six tracks from an eye-catching array of rising stars and confirmed underground heroes, VEYL's latest release is a must-check affair. There simply isn't room to mention each and every track, so instead we'll pick out some of the many standout tracks. Check first the sleazy, foreboding filth of Jenson Interceptor's hybrid electro-techno treat "The Outer Limits", before diving headfirst into the even more mind-altering, synth-heavy darkness of Lokier's "Secrets". Randstad skilfully doffs a cap to Nitzer Ebb while keeping the grooves rooted in electro on the growling guitar-laden sweatiness of "Metalloid", while Cardopusher's acid-fired "Bloodlust" is a stylish blend of EBM weight, jacking drums and twisted electronic motifs.
Review: The 8th release on BLKMARKET MUSIC is the second part of Dystopian Future series on the label. Samuel Jabba, one of Bogota's finest locals, takes a more four on the floor approach with Dystopian Future Part II. We will let the music do the talking. We are thrilled to have this follow up EP as our next release.
Flying Between The Clusters Of Trees Without Buoyoant, Floating Wing Beats (6:11)
He Was Beginning To Despair Of Ever Knowing (3:58)
Like Sleepwalkers Ghosting Through A Dreamscape (4:31)
Lions In The Supermarket Don't Sound Like Humans (3:45)
Misty Fog Covering The Side Window (3:07)
He Or She Will Then Drill Into The Pulp To Reach The Root Canal (3:30)
Into Your Brain - A News Report Said The Line Carried 13,000 Volts Of Electricity (2:53)
The Film Is About A Clown Who Leaves His Circus & Lives In A Building Near The Railway Station (1:47)
She Wanted Her To Grow Up In A Nice House With A Backyard, So She Could Play (7:06)
The Drawings Were Rearranged, As If By Magic (6:41)
He Didn't Seem The Kind Of Guy Who Would Just Get Talking To A Stranger (7:48)
Pigeons Dancing On The Roof (7:00)
When They Returned Home After Midnight (6:17)
I Wanted To Hold Her Close & Whisper In Her Ear That She'd Be Fine (2:36)
Good Bye My Love (3:17)
Review: We've all seen sledgehammer techno DJ-producers head off on a personal pilgrimage into the ambient drone wilderness. Many heads have got lost in endless seas of timbre and refrain, only to emerge the other side with something void of personality and littered with sonic cliches born from 'intelligent' warm-up sets packed with beatless B-side gems. RODHAD certainly fits the bill in terms of powerful club players, a guy whose own Dystopian parties, not to mention global guest bookings, refuse to take any prisoners from dark, sweaty dancefloors. Thankfully, though, this career landmark (if nothing else, it's the first outing on his new WSNWG - Back To Basics imprint, designed to provide a home for solo experimentations) manages to steer clear of overly-trodden paths. Made from field recordings, gorgeous hypnotic loops, layers of subtly ethereal synth work and plenty of nods to dance culture, it's impressive stuff.
Review: When Eric Prydz fancies offering up some forthright, warehouse-ready techno, he fires up the Mouseville label and dons the Cirez D alias. Clearly, he's in a rave-igniting mood right now, because this two-tracker is the first Cirez D outing - and Mouseville release - for almost two years. There's a definite "massive room" vibe emerging from A-side "Valborg", where decidedly foreboding lead lines and ghostly chords ride a chunky, Drumcode-friendly techno beat. The saucer-eyed, hands-aloft "festival techno" feel continues on flipside "The Raid", which cleverly peppers a house-tempo rhythm track with the sort of raw, razor-sharp riffs more often found in neo-trance productions.
Review: Nina Kraviz's Trip continues to lead from the front when it comes to fresh techno. The celebrated first lady this time signs up for a full EP having reached for one of their tunes on the Locus Error double 12" that landed back in January. The results are superbly dialed back and deep techno with slick, quick grooves, deft percussion cruising by like the sound of a train on the tracks and distant pads hinting at far off life. "Entropy To Syntropy" is a masterclass in mind melting minimalism and "Perceptual Models" is a gorgeous piece of celestial techno.
Review: Essential repress! Tomas Bangalter's stone cold classic Roule 12" Trax On Da Rocks makes a return. The five tracks on offer - "On Da Rocks", "Roule Boule", "What To Do", "Outrun" and "Ventura" - have acquired legendary status, standing as sublime examples of the rough, raw end of the filter-soaked French house sound. Some 17 years since they were first released, these tracks have lost none of their madcap brilliance; if this isn't already a cherished part of your record collection, here's your chance.
Review: ASC continues to explore the techno dimensions of his sound in more detail with the Nereid alias. "Splay" leans in heavy on cyclical rhythms and billowing clouds of dubby atmospherics to create a profoundly immersive experience. "Plask" has a more pronounced set of ingredients that subtly nod to vintage industrial and electro while adhering to the modernist techno focus of the project. On the flip, Svreca is up first with a version of "Vapid" that locks into a tight and nervy broken beat pattern and teases out slow and sustained energy shifts accented with dub processes. The original track is a more spaced out affair with a slow half-time beat and ample space for an eerie wash of sounds to unfurl in dynamic, hypnotic patterns. This is advanced techno with an exploratory instinct and a seductively steely feel.
Review: <3 is a rather pop leaning new album from Atom TM written in collaboration with an "entity" called x1n. The producer himself refers to the sound as "hard code pop" and the entity generated human voice and natural language content. It came with an obtuse message from the entity which is worth finding if you want some extra back story, or else just dive headfirst into the music. It's a flurry of whirring machines and deconstructed electronic sounds, with dehumanised vocals lost in the middle of it all. Despite the cold futurism of it all, there is still plenty of soul to be found in these fascinating tracks.