Review: Second instalment from Belgian electro-label ZwaarteKracht, once again assembling a dream team of international producers to bring together this extraordinary selection of dancefloor tracks with dark sci-fi moods. All dynamically mastered by Karel De Backer to keep those subs moving like they should. Features Arsonist Recorder with the hard hitting retro futurism of "Brain Mode",
Deemphasis going deep on "In My Mind" with its underwater acid, Datawave served up our favourite on the darkly dystopian electro bass of "Quadrant" while Francois Dillinger's "Moon Prison" provides the abstract and minimal vibes.
Review: Robert Crash's new TC White alias offers an ulterior shade of raw here, made possible by Swiss newbie label Moto. This is proper bangin' material from start to finish, kicked off with the liquid-like patterns of "Cow", a grungy house banger masterminded by heavy folds of mutant bass and crusty drums; "Muffin" splits the tempo down to a magnificently awkward broken beat with a deep, off-kilter sensibility. On the flip, "Cool" travels under a much murkier, more swamped sort of disguise, while "Cheese" is barely able to contain its inebriated groove from melting apart amid distorted tape hiss and loose instrumentation, which leaves "Mountain" to provide a little disco comfort to this mighty fine, utterly loopy EP of true-school house music.
Review: Ryuichi Sakamoto's latest collaborative release sees him join forces with Kukangendai, a Tokyo-based experimental rock trio who've been putting odd and inspired releases in their native Japan since 2006. A-side "Zureru" offers a perfect blend of both parties' styles, with Sakamoto adding trippy production and mind-altering effects to Kukangendai's loose, post-rock sounds, free-jazz drums and wayward vocalizations. Over on side B, we're treated to two versions of "Suuji": Kukangendai's hypnotic, wayward and ear-pleasing original take, and a sublime re-interpretation by Sakamoto that re-imagines the track as a slowly pulsing journey into intergalactic ambient territory, where ghostly vocal snippets and shards of re-contextualized guitar drift across the sound space.
Review: Is It Balearic bring the heat with a stunning release from Sorcerer. The First track is Zulu Honda. Skipping thick drums and a bouncing bass overlaid with nu med guitars and beautiful synth lines. This track is made for pool parties and lofts. The second track is Afro Vibes a more atmospheric percussive groove. Maribas throbbing bassline and slightly melancholic guitars eventually make way for a subtle acid accent before returning to the groove.. Salins Jockey club remix zulu Honda adding some lovely elements while holding the original feel. Top draw from the dependable IIB crew
Review: Original music from Vancouver based producer NAP has been intermittent on the electronic music scene, but now the Isla boss has finally dropped a 12" of deadly, textured and fresh-sounding electro for our bodies and minds. "Transhumano" features ZDBT and has all the hallmarks of Stingray-friendly future shock machine funk, but the particular approach to pads and melodies has a distinctive, moody slant that chimes with the hazy sound of Canada's West Coast. "Anestesia General" is another needlepoint, uptempo workout that packs layer up on layer of darting rhythms and blippy synth lines into the mix. "Sin Sistema" completes the set with a more subdued but no less detailed box jam workout.
Review: Yaleesa Hall returns to his Will & Ink imprint with some fascinating techno derivatives on the Hayley Laura EP, although these are much more straight ahead than his usual stripped down experiments - best heard on his 2016 debut album. Beginning with the electro-bass assault of "Zoe Price" bringing that UK style sound popularised by Carl Finlow or Radioactive Man in true style. "Hayley Roach" with its splintered beats and and tunnelling sequences are reminiscent of Regis' output in the late '90s, while "Laura Pomeroy" being the the most atmospheric cut on offer here - going down a more lush and hypnotic route. This is the first solo output from the Amsterdam based producer on the label.
Review: LFT has already made a sizable impact on his gnarly, muscular brand of weathered electro and techno, and now he's been snapped up by Zement to deliver another four rowdy roundhousers. "Nucleon" channels the best of minimal wave and gives it a deadly dose of modern acid revelry that will incite fevered responses on the floor, while "Wounds" takes things in a spookier B-movie direction without shaking off those powerful 303 demons. "The Cure For My Kind" manifests as a kind of nightmarish electro, and "Hypno Haniwa" takes another route into machine funk for malevolent souls, with stunning results.
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: Rather unexpectedly, the third CVX release, to date, comes through on Berceuse Heroique, an imprint which seems to be following and replicating just about any genre or sub-culture form the past, making it a perfect example of post-post-modernism in action. Zibaldone III of CVX, a serious previously restricted to the Laura Lies In label, is undoubtedly a wild and wicked concoction of nebulous sonics that are all driven by a toxic, merciless percussion which spews from all angles with a certain mechanical fashion. It's an honourable third edition of the series, and we hope this marks a beginning of a new dawn for CVX. Wicked style.
Review: Central Processing Unit chief CP Smith is keeping tight-lipped about the identity of the shadowy producer(s) behind the Secret State project. Smith describes this debut EP as "an attempt to rise above the all-pervasive, vacuous, decaying culture." We'll let you judge whether the men or women of mystery have succeeded in that aim, but we certainly think it's a fine EP. By CPU standards, it's a rather eclectic affair, flitting between druggy, arpeggio-driven alien funk ("CIA UFO Google Search"), ghetto-tech influenced deep electro (the wonderful "De-Pattern"), sparkling dacenfloor electro positivity ("The Sleep Room") and glistening, bass-heavy techno/proto-house/deep house fusion (sublime closer "Weep For Joy").
Review: For all his skills as a DJ - and, let's face it, he pretty much created the Afro-cosmic DJ style all on his own - Daniele Baldelli's productions have not always hit the mark. It's heartening to report, then, that this collaboration with Dario Piana for Leng Records is arguably the best thing he's produced to date. "Infinity Machine", where wild, effects-laden Clavinet lines, jammed-out electric piano chords and meandering synthesizer solos ride a particularly druggy arpeggio bassline, sets the tone magnificently, before the Italian duo jogs towards dub disco territory on the percussion rich "If You Drive". Badlelli's love of spacey synths, crunchy guitars and tactile synth bass comes to the fore on closer "Air Vibes", which also boasts a wonderfully tactile breakdown.
Review: New label Pointillisme Music return after some great releases by Disuasiv (Andi Parlogea & Dragosh) and the always impressive Ukrainian KiRiK. It's now over to Esoteric Workshop, who has released previously on Sensual and 87 Records and rest assured that the Zern EP certainly follows in suit. Starting out with the deeply hypnotic subtlety of "Travers" featuring a gentle broken beat, emotive pads and tripped out atmospherics: this one ticks all the right boxes. The remix of said track up next by Anestie Gomez stays faithful to the original, but gets dubbier by injecting more tempo and shuffle into the rhythm complete with a rolling bassline which works even better. On the flip, the mysterious producer experiments further with broken beats, like on is the classic Chicago deep house sounds of "Loren" and then back to four/four with the tough, electro-infused analogue driven groove of "Sera".