Review: Long-serving Swedish producer Joel Mull, previously best-known for his club-focused techno sets, first started work on Nautical Dawn, his first album under his occasional Damm alias, over a decade ago. Inspired by the natural phenomenon of 'nautical dawn' - that point when the sun is not yet above the horizon, but bathes the sky in vivid colours - he wanted to make music for the break of dawn that combined home-made field recordings with suitably drowsy, opaque electronic motifs, slow-burn ambient chords, tactile aural textures and, when the mood took him, horizontal and hypnotic beats. It may have taken him a while, but the resultant set is little less than inspired: an evocative set of enveloping compositions that tease and tingle the senses.
When Is Deep (Thor & Octal Industries remix) (7:15)
Review: Russian techno mastermind Anton Kubikov has enjoyed an incredibly productive run that has seen him grace Nervmusic, Mayak and his own Pro-tez label. Now one of his finest works, 'When Is Deep', lands on AE Recordings in four new versions from a cast of top-shelf remixers. Idealist is up first, rolling out a smooth and sublime dub house medication to keep dancers locked in and shuffling, while Ben Buitendijk simmers things down to a hypnotic pulse. Dot kicks off the B-side with an immersive, propulsive techno blend before Thor and Octal Industries complete the set with a quintessential dub techno meditation to take your mind to spell-binding new spheres of exploration.
Review: Earlier in the year, Chilean minimal maestro Ricardo Villalobos reached an agreement with Rawax for the long-established label to release a series of singles and, more remarkably, a digital-only, hour-long track called 'Matsu'. This brown, marbled vinyl 12" is the first in the sequence of singles to hit stores and contains two typically lengthy workouts. Lead cut 'Aslohop' leads the way, with Villalobos once again delivering entrancing action built around oddly programmed, distinctively swung South American drum hits, curious noises and a hypnotic, undulating bassline. Flipside 'Detrand' is an even more spaced-out and druggy affair, with various barely audible samples subtly rising and falling for 21 minutes atop another deliciously out-there rhythm track.
Review: Having already surfaced as a digital release earlier this year, Dycide's impeccable deep techno excursion Fluctuation gets a vinyl pressing. Existing outside of space and time, this is immersive body and mind music of the highest order. 'Fluctuation' The title implies a sense of urgency in its kinetic rhythm patterns, but the beats are slender vessels for an expansive palette of atmospheric tones and impulses. 'Fluent Iteration' plumbs darker depths in a manner that calls to mind Consumed-era Plastikman. 'Inflation' adopts a broader set of sonic tools, using poised inflections of percussion and found sounds in a wide-open space that remains betrothed to the night. Claudio PRC comes on board for a remix of 'Fluctuation' that weaves subtle threads of warm melodic material around a straight and narrow groove, slotting neatly into the deep techno veteran's formidable canon.
Kolsch is one of the artists who has been at the forefront of the melodic techno and progressive house resurgence of recent years. He is one of the bigger weapons in the Kompkat arsenal and here they unleash him across a double album that really shows off a full and widescreen spectrum of synth heavy sounds. There are darker, more retro tinged stompers like 'Great Escape' next to city, electro styled cuts with epic synth lines soaring the heavens, and deeper, more slow burning mounters designed to get large crowds in a trance. It's an openly emotional sound from Kolsch that is sure to connect with fans old and new.
Review: Originally released back in 2011 on two singles, Shades of Detroit is a journey of six deep and dubby house monsters! The new limited reissue includes both Dark and Light parts, marbled vinyl and a new updated artwork. Essential Detroit house classic!
Review: The latest drop on the consistently brilliant Kimochi comes from Eho Kates, a new project from Todd Gys and Brendon Moeller. While the names involved may be familiar, the resulting sound is something wholly fresh. Certainly, Moeller's rightly heralded instinct for dubwise processes is no great shock, but there's a playful sense of experimentation powering every element of this release from the scuffed, fractured rhythms of 'Anxiety Sensitivity' to the submerged echo chamber surrealism of 'Emotional Distress Endurance'. Inquisitive processes and otherworldly sound design shape out the whole record, shot through with the alluring mystery that defines Kimochi output overall.
Review: Although rarely spoken about in hushed tones, Peter Adshead AKA Baby Ford is one of British house and techno's true pioneers. As many readers will know, he spent the first decade of his career exploring acid house and rave, before switching to a deeper and more minimalistic techno and tech-house sound towards the end of the '90s. It's in that period that BFORD14, which is finally being reissued, first appeared in stores. Intoxicating, bass-heavy and entrancing, the EP's many highlights include the hissing hypnotism of 'Serpentine Tale', the deep bass, melancholic synthesiser chords and crunchy drums of 'Night D3 Died', and the spacey, deep techno warmth of deliciously hazy closing cut 'The Introducer'.
Review: Underground techno veteran Johannes Volk's impressive discography has seen him release on Jeff Mills' Axis and 6277 imprints, in addition to labels as diverse as Dolly, Token and Cocoon in addition to his own operation - Exploration. Volk can now add Running Back to his list of credible affiliations, where he incorporates all of his influences from the glory days of Frankfurt's legendary techno scene in the '90s on the Extra Dimensions LP. From the Giorgio Moroder-style homage of the electrifying title track, the Motor City also receives a respectful salute in the form of the Reese-driven dancefloor drama of 'Reload Love' and the funky techno workout of 'An Old Android On A Broken Piano', while the neon-lit "Rainbow Rockets" channels the spirit of Paisley Park.
Hector Oaks Aka DJ KAOS11 - "No Darkest Night Will Shut Our Light" (7:50)
Nene H - "No Pause For Reflection" (5:48)
999999999 - "P05535510N" (5:00)
Pawlowski - "Demonic Dimensions" (8:10)
Review: Possession is a new label, and if this multi-artist musical manifesto is anything to go by, we can expect plenty of high-quality fusions of EBM, techno and trance from the imprint in the months and years ahead. After Hector Oaks AKA DJKAOS11 sets the tone with a slab of loopy new-wave techno-funk ('No Darkest Light Will Shut Out Light'), Nene H takes over with a bombastic, high-octane romp that fixes a pitched-up EBM bassline to a stomping techno beat. Even weightier is flipside opener 'P05535510N' by 999999999, where a lone voice shouts "I wanna new brain please' over a cranium-smashing blend of ten-ton techno beats and razor-sharp trance-style stabs. Pawlowski's EP closer 'Demonic Dimensions' should also delight all those who like their dance music fast, heavy, acid-flecked and trance-inducing.
Review: This one should come with a serious health warning - it is high octane, hugely textural techno to designed brutalist all who hear it. After slamming drums and lashing rave synths of 'Three O Nine', 'Adsorption' mangles some familiar samples over a hugely distorted kick drum that couldn't possibly be any crunchier. On the flip, 'Resonate' rather strips back to a more subdued and subliminal deep techno rhythm, but still pulses with white noise and barely-restrained synth energy, then 'Difraction' bashes you over the head and into submission for five fantastic minutes of perfect darkness.
Review: German veteran engineer and producer Gregor Tresher's new release on Frankfurt's Cocoon gives us time out from dreaming of summer sun and euphoria. There are three contrasting cuts on the Trident EP, each carrying his distinct sound signature. The uplifting and life-affirming energy of the title track may not have had the chance to capture the moment in clubs this year, but we are fairly sure that this will be a cross generational anthem for years to come. On the flip, the full throttle 'Pariah' is equal parts peak time energy and dancefloor drama, while the slinky and hypnotic slow burner 'Witchcraft' closes out the EP in fine style.
Cage & Aviary - "Lean On Me" (Felix Dickinson Foolish dub)
Posthuman - "Make More Man"
Review: Just as the new football season settles into it's groove, the fourth edition of the highly collectable Rothmans arrives sporting some high profile signings! Leading the way on The Claudio Gentile Release is a Foolish Felix dub of Cage & Aviary's "Lean On Me" whose deranged acid gurglings provide a nice contrast to the thrusting Escape From East London stylings of Posthuman's "Make More Men". On the flip Ali Renault returns for Rothmans duty with the Weatherall worthy "The Black Heart" whilst Iron Blu is loaned from Flight Recorder for the synthy swamp of orchestral drama that is "Oiche Shamhna"
Review: Fittingly, the first release from Barcelona party crew Maricas's offshoot record label was written and produced by one of their co-founders, resident DJ ISAbella. Rich in analogue electronic sounds that hark back to techno's dim and distant past, not to mention some suitably weighty basslines inspired by Warp Records bleep-era output, it's as vibrant, exciting and interesting a debut 12" as we've come across of late. Highlights include the sub-heavy, club-ready intoxication of "Track 90", the psychedelic, breakbeat-driven heat of closing cut "Contacta", and the alien-sounding, early LFO style intoxication of EP opener "Extrema".
Review: Adam Feingold once again dons the Ex Terrestrial alias, this time for an outing on box fresh Canadian imprint NAFF. He's in a typically melodious and glassy-eyed mood on the A-side, where "Portal Living (Kali)" and "Portal Living (Plain)" provide two contrasting takes on the producer's warm and wavy interpretation of early Italian dream house. "Vanilight (Re-Zoned)" sounds like his tactile take on obscure bleep pioneers DJ Martin and DJ Homes' brilliant (but little-known) bass-heavy remixes of Man Machine's "Animal", while closer "2DS" is a kaleidoscopic slice of deep musical bliss that sits somewhere between original New Jersey deep house and the turn-of-the-'90s Soul II Soul sound.
Review: Sound the alarm, Borai is back with another essential drop of rough n' tough breakbeat business on his Higher Level label. In the same vein as his celebrated Club Glow work with Denham Audio, these are well-schooled rollers with sonics to make the sternest soundboy shock out. 'Sanctuary' calls to mind the earliest strains of Good Looking Records in its dreamy moments, with ample space afforded for the amens to get gnarly too. 'Carpet Bagger' strikes a deadly blow in the hardcore vein, piling on the darkside synths for a rave-ready showstopper to get synapses tingling and jaws clenching.
Review: Berlin-based Italian producer Audri has been scattering his smart, fine-tuned machine soul across a handful of labels over the past four years. Picking up the thread from the emotive and inventive end of the 90s techno spectrum, his latest drop on Albion should appeal to all those who can't get enough of that B12-flavoured sound. 'Inner Movement' sports plenty of classic Motor City influences, but given a crisp modern finish. 'Dizzy Freq' has a deeper demeanour that jacks and jives in equal measure, with a nod to the formative sound of bleep techno. Domenica Rosa delivers a fun and freaky twist on the original, before the legendary Titonton Duvante dubs things out nicely on his version of 'Inner Movement'.
Review: New York label and party Mister Saturday always brings roughed up, raw and steamy house grooves. This new one is no exception to that unwritten rule and it comes from Russell El Butler who serves up four platters that matter. 'Blah Blah' is a brilliantly brainless house romp with vocal loops and distorted kicks making you march. 'Kruymska' is more tight and taught thanks to the pinging kick drums and molten melodies up top, while 'Tout Va Bien' is a late night cut that glistens thanks to its prickly bass and razor sharp hats. 'Alone At Pisecka 12' closes out in malfunctioning fashion to round out a wide-ranging EP.
Review: Ole Mic Odd aka Michael Padgett is a hardware operator and DJ from Los Angeles and runs the wonderfully named label The New U.S. Government. Here he sweeps to power with four tracks across four sides of vinyl for the Zement label, two following a slower, punishing pulse that's like P-funk remade in a robot factory, only with tons of added bubbling acid, Drexciya-style filtering and Juan Arkins-like synthetic strings. The other two are way faster, Ice So Bright sounding like someone secretly spiked Kraftwerk's cocoa with something extremely sinister, sending them racing off on their bikes at treble speed. Echo Park has an even more distinct flanging acid flavour and hyper, hooligan electro foundations, again with those Model 500 misty clouds of synthesiser floating overhead. Absolutely cracking stuff.
Review: The atmospheres on this one are seriously dark and spooky, so are perfectly timed for listening to as the nights draw in, the weather gets grey and misty and Halloween approaches. Kerridge opens up with a sparse and cavernous dub that sounds like being trapped in a vast and empty factory after dark, while Giant Swan opts for a dystopian industrial mood that never allows you to relax. Elsewhere there is broken sci-fi dub from Cub, refractive melodies from Slow White and an epic whole-sided adventure into realms unknown from Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement. All in all, this adds up to a fantastic EP.
Review: ** REPRESS ALERT ** Originally released back in 1998 on Synewave sublabel Deja Vous, Airwaves by underrated Chicago veteran Ellery Cowles receives a much needed reissue here on Milan's Dark Groove. It's emotive and spiritual tech house all the way on the acid-inflected epic 'Electronic Seduction', while 'Music' nails that classic Windy City deep house sound oh-so-well. On the flip, it's all about the ultra-sensual mood music of 'Get Up' which follows in the tradition of Chicago greats like Boo Williams and Glenn Underground - respect! This was a record fetching obscene amounts on the second hand market not long ago, so don't sleep on this one!
Review: REPRESS ALERT: relik returns with a repackaged edition of one of the catalogue's most treasured releases. "Overcome" and "Lady Science (NYC Sunrise)" need little introduction, and now come sporting the new TR11:11 matrix number. Written and produced by Thomas Melchior and Baby Ford aka Soul Capsule, these tracks came from one of the many sessions recorded at the West London Ifach Studio in 1999. On the A Side "Overcome" is stripped back and energetic, driven by rolling and shuffling garage style beats, tight bubbling bass and atmospheric synth pads. The intermittent vocal samples and the release's signature organ set you up for the flip, "Lady Science (NYC Sunrise)". Possibly one of house music's most emotive pieces, the track builds slowly with the introduction of each part building a story of soulful optimism based around a sparse palette of deep synths, uplifting keys and warm analogue bass. The understated beauty of the main vocal riff never seems to grow old or tired with the track lending itself perfectly to either main room, peak-time play or after-hours sessions alike. Remastered by Rashad at D & M.
Review: Berlin-based Brit Sam Coates aka Setaoc Mass returns for an extended EP on his SK_Eleven imprint entitled Neo-Noir, a collection of tracks produced before and during quarantine that draw on influences from past and present, and explore the full spectrum of functional and experimental techno. Lunging straight for the jugular from the get-go on the hypnotic techno slammers "Inferno" and "Technique" respectively, which incorporate Sakho style bleep elements, to the introspective IDM stylings of 'Moon Lit Eyes or Moon Groove', to the functional DJ tool 'The Trip Commander [Drum Track]' reminiscent of Surgeon or Ben Sims' material from the early noughties. Coates goes out all guns blazing on the relentless warehouse techno slam of 'Driving In Circles'. Serious!
Review: For the latest missive on his undeniably forthright techno label Warm Up, Spanish producer Oscar Mulero welcomes Mike Storm to the imprint for the very first time. The long-serving Dutchman duly delivers, first peppering a sweaty, ultra-jacking rhythm track with high-pitched, mind-mangling modular noises ('Any Strong Way'), before wrapping a more hypnotic, cymbal-heavy groove in unsettling aural textures and bleeping lead lines ('Power Distance'). He's back to his nails-hard best on flipside opener 'Constant Battle', a pounding and numbing affair for those who love muscular techno, while 'Into a Human Mind' is another jacking throb-job full of sharp bleeps and restless drum machine handclaps.
Review: Seven months on from the label's last outing - a suitably trippy, acid-fired four-tracker from Justin Robertson's Deadstock 33's project - Tusk Wax returns to action with a fresh album from synthesizer fetishist and Giallo soundtrack specialist Antoni Maovvi. The Berlin-based Bristolian is at his atmospheric and far-sighted best, offering up a range of synthesizer and drum machine-heavy compositions that sound equally as good at home as they do in clubs. Highlights include - but are in no way limited to - the glistening, guitar-laden mid-80s bubbliness of 'Emotional Trigger', the hard-wired Italo-disco sleaziness of 'Disaster Code', the organ-laden horror-house of 'Insider', and the ever-rising starry brilliance of the album's standout moment, closing cut 'The Circle Remains Unbroken'.
Review: Earlier this year, Jeff Mills decided to don his occasional Millsart alias for the first time in 17 years, in order to release the fifth volume in the long-running "Every Dog Has Its Day" series. The Motor City stalwart is obviously in a rich vein of form, because he's now ready to serve up volume six, which at nine tracks deep is the series' most expansive release to date. There's much to set the pulse racing throughout, from the hybrid deep house/Detroit techno warmth of opener "Phoenix Rising" and the summery, sun-kissed tech-jazz of "What's So Funny", to the Robert Hood style Motor City minimalism of "Six By Six By Nine" and the classic, sci-fi-fired futurism of "World Wide Whoops".