Review: Helena Hauff returns to her own Return To Disorder label after last year's joyously received "Qualm" album on Ninja Tune. It's the first fully solo record Hauff has released herself, and it more than lives up to expectation. "Catso" is a wonderfully expressive slice of noirish electro draped in vintage synth arps and twinkling leads as enchanting as they are spooky. "Why Look At Animals" has a more low down funk, but once again sports the richly harmonic synth hooks to make this appeal right across the board. "The Brush" ups the tempo, but keeps things sparse and moody, while "Slim Filter" gets a touch more nasty and sounds utterly fantastic with it. Compared to her rabid DJ sets, these productions represent the more measured side of Hauff, but they're no less deadly.
Review: Pretty much anything Call Super has touched in recent years has turned to gold. This new collaboration with Parris is no different: it is a self-released project with a fictional backstory involving an ageing writer called Mortise Koshimitsu who lived in a small apartment. The music itself is uptempo but deep, with shimmering wooden hits gliding on elastic drums as ambient synth beauty bleeds into the spaces left behind. "Majenta" is a more cavernous and dreamier track that is as good for home listening as it does for tasteful dancing.
Review: Through a series of must-check releases on Nous'klaer Audio, Ruben Uvez AKA Konduku has proved to be one of the more thoughtful and inventive producers to emerge in recent times. While some of his previous releases have strayed away from the dancefloor, his first outing on Idle Hands is a wonderfully basement-bothering affair full of tracks tailor made for hazy, early morning sets. It boasts two suitably dark, dubby and clandestine cuts - the echoing dub techno pulse of "Lila" and the sub-heavy, Livity Sound style flex of "Bolu" - plus two more melodic outings. Of these, we're particularly enjoying "Caduata Di Massi", where deliciously dreamy chords ebb and flow around stabbing analogue bass and crunchy drums.
Review: Swiss producer Alci, also known as Shaolin Fantastic, landed with lauded releases on Robsoul before skipping to other labels like Apollonia and Meander. Following last year's excellent "Diversity" double pack, he lands on his own label Seeingsounds with this pitch perfect slice of dreamy minimal house. "Acid Drip" may be a misleading title - it's more of an unending groove draped in gorgeous, shimmering melodic finery. "Hiragana" takes things in a more twitchy direction, while "Apachi" brings another slant on reduced, oddball funk to get the up all night crowd loose and freaky in all the right ways.
Review: Edanticonf has been a mainstay of Silent Season for many years now, first delivering an album and EP to the Canadian label back in 2012. Since then he's travelled to labels such as M_REC, Wolfskuil, Phorma and Linear Movement, but he's back home to roost with this gorgeous four-tracker that plays on his trademark sound. Rich with melancholic synth work and moving with a purposeful but thoughtful pace, this is exactly the kind of evocative techno that makes Silent Season a buy on sight label. Every track tells its own story, but the starry twinkle of "The Metamorphosis Of Plants" is especially captivating.
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: FunkinEven's Apron label rarely, if ever, puts a foot wrong, whether putting out ragged techno, raw hip hop or whatever in between. It is Molinaro who steps up now after first landing on the label back in December 2017. The NTS host has long been a firm part of the London underground and has a lo-fi, frazzled sound that blurs the lines between a number of different genres. Here he offers spaced out and grizzled drum tracks, unsettling machine-made ambience and rough and ready beatdown that Theo Parrish would admire. It's been a long wait since his last release, but this EP was well worth it.
Review: Originally prolific in the late 90s and back with a renewed sense of vigour in the past few years, Dan Piu's classic, widescreen vision of hardware techno captures the verve of the original Detroit blueprint while bringing a fresh, welcome energy to the genre. This drop on Common Dreams brims with the same head-swirling magic, especially on vividly rendered lead track "Halo City". "Falling Framework" has a more mellow veneer, but there's still so much playful detail bringing the track to life. "Akira 2171" has an old-skool sci fi quality balanced out by its linear sense of progression, and "Ilipsyon" takes things deeper into a wistful jack reminiscent of the spookiest Trax output.
Cult Hero (Do You Wanna Touch Me) (album edit) (6:45)
Cult Hero (Do You Wanna Touch Me) (club mix) (5:47)
Cult Hero (Do You Wanna Touch Me) (Slow) (7:29)
Review: House and techno badboys Paranoid London are proceeding the release of their second album with a bunch of singles from it. First up is "Cult Hero" featuring Simon Topping - one of many guest vocalists on the full length. It's a bristling acid house cut with tight, corrugated drums and relentless 303 mania ripping up the groove. Topping's deadpan vocals are layered over the top and bring to mind the more anthemic work of Depeche Mode. "Club Mix" is even more caustic and kinetic, while closer "Slow Mix" strips back everything but for the lunching drums and demonic vocals of Topping.
Following the successful reception of klodio's debut EP, the Tokyo-based producer spent the year playing shows in Japan with various upcoming artists like Fulbert and label co-founder Alixkun, and taking part in disruptive events such as Pow Wow School of Music.
When klodio decided it was time to start recording his second EP, he took a slightly different direction, going from Techno-influenced Detroit House to House-influenced Detroit Techno. "Shinagawa Sunrise" is a fast-paced retro-futuristic Jazz jam which climaxes on a fantastic sax solo by the young and talented Ilia Skibinsky. Daiba goes a step further in this Techno journey, flowing from glowing, light, syncopated chords to a dark and aggressive atmosphere, and back again to the relaxing chords.
More polished, singular, deep, and yet aggressive than "Toktroit", "Rainbow Bridge EP" brings another stone in the Asia-infused universe that the French producer is bringing to the world of electronic music.
Review: After debuting his Pakzad moniker on Infiltrate last year, Justin Pak makes the leap to Burnski's Constant Sound with this assured set of electro workouts built for the modern age. "Timeless" is a snappy, vibrant cut with a serious amount of techno propulsion to match the crooked funk of the beats. "Clutch" has a more trippy, melodic twist, while "Correlation" hunkers down into a more backroom vibe as detailed as it is freaky. This is seriously executed electro from a fast-rising talent - nab a copy, drop it into a set and watch the bodies writhe.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Cisco Ferreira continues to fly the flag for rugged hardware powered techno with personality, well over 20 years since he first emerged. The Advent is rightly hailed as a mark of assured quality for good reason, and Thema make a smart move in signing up this fresh grip of tracks from the veteran producer. "Kombination 100" is a lurid, slightly unhinged acid workout from the outer limits, while "Dorian Blue" sets a more moody, aquatic tone with a dash of electro thrown in for good measure. "In Time" brings things up in tempo and attitude, sporting some surging 909 drums guaranteed to get bodies striding with purpose, and then "Rhythm" spins out into trippy electro territory for the heads-down travelers to get spiritually expanded to.
Review: Icelandic label Lahar debuts with this highly impressive release from NonniMal, who was previously spotted dropping the classy "Freyja" 12" on AE Recordings back in 2016. Sound design is the order of the day on "Eitt" as a beautifully rendered set of percussive bell notes chime around a minimal rhythm section - a piece pointedly geared towards transcendence. "Tvo" has an intriguing slant to its groove, as the sharply oscillating synth wobble juts out against the grain of the drums. "Thrju" takes things in a bleak but captivating direction, while "Fjogur" cools the record down in a cloud of blissful, frostbitten ambience.
Le Syndicat - "Prothesis Pack Xtract 08 (1983)" (3:52)
Le Syndicat - "Maximalist" (Ekman remix) (6:05)
Review: Continuing their uncompromising fusions of artists new and old, Contort Yourself return with a punishing array of industrial thuggery from hardware manipulators you wouldn't take home to your mother. Novacom were last seen on Slumdiscs back in 2014 and here bring a fast and gnarly rhythmic tryst to bear before JK Flesh do their own snagging dance with oppressive synths and drums twirling into a heavyweight whole. French brutalists Le Syndicat then dominate the B-side with their confrontational bastardisation of techno and industrial, making the perfect source material for Ekman to get nasty with on his remix of "Maximalist".
Review: It's been six years since Lewis Fautzi debuted on Soma, and since then he's become a real techno powerhouse. His latest shows yet more evolution in his sound across four streamlined and hypnotic "Extinction" cuts. "F01" is alluringly low key as drums roll over a frosty and frozen tundra, then "F02" ups the ante with steel plated kicks and sonar-like pulses that burrow deep. After the warped synths of "F03" comes closer "F04", the most heady of the lot thanks to its MIllsian minimalism and infinite melodic loops.
Review: Following rock solid entries from Ben Sims, Markus Suckut and Alan Fitzpatrick, Mosaic's Red Series continues apace in 2017 with a firing three-tracker from German scene stalwart Andre Kronert. "A Track Called Jinx" is a slow and nervy slice of bleepy techno that says a lot with the barest of ingredients. "The Bottom Line" is a more feisty concern, raising the tempo and the intensity without losing that loopy quality that shoots straight into the dark heart of the night. "Pressure Dub" represents the more experimental side of Kronert's output, using sparse materials to create a minimalist megalith.
Review: As part of Mura Oka, Louis Vial has already been spotted on the excellent Latency label as well as delivering a solo EP to Collapsing Market earlier this year. He once again dons his Eszaid cape on this release for the equally fine Meandyou stable, tapping into the labels predilection for obscure variations on the fringes of house and techno. "777,7" is especially captivating in its insistent cyclical minimalism, drilling straight for the subconscious, while "Eyeless Mannekin" sets adrift in aqueous climes for a proper floatation tank dub techno immersion. Using subtlety as a powerful tool, Eszaid ably matches up to the quality that has come before on Meandyou.
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: DJ Central presents three new aliases on this elegantly put together 12". Conjuring up the perfect recipe for a DJ Cake, Central blends and explores the likes of pulsating atmospheric techno on the track "Balast", smoothly escalating breaks on "Ko Ko Dak Dak" and hazy crackling ambient on the finale "Daeksel". Unique, inspiring and truly excellent works from the one they call DJ Central.
Review: Moon Temple is Gabriel Andruzzi, who some of you may know as the former bass player/saxophonist and engineer from New York City (via San Diego) outfit The Rapture. This nine track album is Andruzzi's first release under this alias and comes in two volumes. According to Willie Burns WT Records, the album is a collection of "delicate interludes, acid stompers and weirdo spastic mechanical marches." Starting out with the chilling dark ambient intro "Approaching The Inner Temple", he then gets stuck into the deep acid techno jam "Sea Of Crisis" (which brings to mind the sounds of Tin Man) while "Bay Of Rainbows" goes for the jugular on this adrenalised 303 thriller.
Review: After launching with a buttechno 12", Russia's leading exponent of leftfield techno fires up his RASSVET label under his own name with a trip into the strange middle ground between trance and coldwave. "Main Loop" is certainly obscure in its leaning, coming on like an 80s soundtrack refrain, but there's no mistaking the dazzling leads undergoing surgery in "Chording". This is deconstructed trance mangled for the post club generation, all the euphoria straining against aggressive digital processing to create a very unsettling listening experience indeed. Trance aficionados will be aghast, techno snobs will be up in arms, and the new wave of heads drawing on all genres great and small will be relishing in the post modern madness of it all.
Review: Carl Craig's annus mirabilis for remixing continues in similar vein as his work on Theo Parrish and Delia Gonzales, the take here of Bobo Shanti's "Poor People Must Work" should be hugely popular at all this summer's parties. Rhythm & Sound construct, by their own admission, a hard-steppin-funk Basic reshape of Willi Williams' by-now epochal "See Mi Yah" a true dub anthem for the dancefloor.
Tempo Reale (Eduardo De La Calle Tempo Intrusion Reale remix)
Review: Italian label Greentech was inaugurated by Minimono last year with a great remix by Windy City legend Paul Johnson. The second edition features Gaetano Caruana aka Caruan making his debut in production after many years of DJing. "Tempo Reale" is an inventive and off kilter groove generated by clearly analogue means that pounds and grinds away out of sync at first, until it gradually begins to lock and it sounds great. There's some killer remixes by a real who's who of the scene and we can't help but mention all of them! First up fellow Italians Verrina & Ventura deliver a typically stripped and rolling minimal house rendition. Croatian hypnotic techno don Petar Dundov then delivers something more pounding and aggressive than we're used to, but we loved it all the same. Finally the "Eduardo De La Calle Tempo Intrusion Reale remix" sees the Spanish master of trance induction deliver one of his best remixes in a while, complete with spooky sci-fi atmosphere, Millsian bleeps and sonar blips.
Review: Since announcing their debut album on UK institution Ninja Tune earlier this year, Irish duo Bicep present the first single from the album in the form of title track "Aura". Said to have been created via a series of accidents while experimenting with a new studio setup, the track finally came together through trial and error and here is the wonderful result. A dark and sexy serving of dancefloor drama featuring 'hands in the air' style vintage synth melodies, life affirming strings and immaculate drum programming. It is sure to be one of 'those' tracks you're going to be hearing a lot of in the latter part of 2017 and beyond.
Review: For Those That Knoe are back with another wedge of dusted down delights from Casey Tucker, a hidden treasure of the mid 90s that nearly got away. Fortunately his effervescent machine soul jams have found a new lease of life with these reissues, and this fourth installment comes from a freshly unearthed box of DATs that pushes Tucker's story even further. "Inner Strength" is a pumped up shot of dynamic techno in the classic sense of the word, mysterious but hopeful, tough but sensitive. "Terraform," which previously aired on a long-deleted 12" from the 90s, takes things skywards with an unabashedly positive tone to the dense layers of synths and box beats. "Waiting Game" rounds the EP out on a wistful, acid-drenched tip - let's hope there's more jams of this quality to come from the Tucker archives.
Review: The latest joint on Verdant comes from an exciting new collaboration between ESB (previously spotted on Echovolt, Leftroom and Heart To Heart) and Mihail Petrovski of Distant Worlds and Seventh Sign. This is classically informed machine soul as you would expect on Verdant, kicking off with the expressive deep techno stomp of "Subliminal Wave". "Phayse Distance" edges things towards the stratosphere with a staggered groove, plenty of cosmic acid tweaking and airy pads, and "Memory Upgrade" floats in a bath of mellow chords and submerged drums. "Permission To Dream" cools things down even more, ending the record on a particularly mellow note that B12 would be proud of.
Review: Man Band mandem Toma Kami returns to Livity with more sharp tools and insanity, this time in the form of "Negative Extasy". Each cut primed with big roomy broken beats, each cut more beguiling and trippier than the last, each cut rising in intensity; "E-Ache" warms us up with soothing harmonic stabs over a cavernous beat, "Aces" spins us round the stars with housey chords and pretty percussive vapour trails while "Suomi" is nothing short of a 24th century funeral march. For most the title track will be the highlight; more upbeat and bumping, with fat layers of percussion, it's Toma in pure peaktime mode... And everyone's invited.
Review: Having lurked around murky corners of the grubby industrial techno realm for the past year or so, Pavel Milyakov builds on his rapidly swelling discography with this transmission for Public System. It's the second release on the label following a strong opening salvo from DJ Spider and Greypeople, and this 12" offers up further forthright club-wreckers that balance taut functionality with production flair. Opening cut "Strainn" delivers bludgeoning electro from the netherworld, which Ekman then dutifully reworks with an added eerie tension. There are edgy arpeggios aplenty on "Trance T" and warmer tones in "Augusts 13", rounding out an essential slab of serious techno tackle.
Review: Probably for good reason, techno deviant Rrose isn't as active as he was a few years back. However, we see this as a winning strategy - building and maintain momentum up until the very moment the bombs drop. Back on his own EAUX label, we have three new, blurry technoid structures made for the more finessed ears. "The Smallest Footprints" dazzles and confuses with its constantly shape-shifting groove, guided and supported by an ocean of deep-water sonics and atmospheric harmonies, whereas "The Ends Of Weather" itself sounds like the beginning of the perfect storm, gliding with tenebrous might across its six minutes and 42 seconds of instability and beatless sway. On the B-side, "Nest Of Queens" manages to do very much with very little, launching a minimalistic percussion flex that evolves at its own pace, twisting and convulsing more and more with each new bang of the beat. What a stunner. Be quick, these will go!
Review: It's been five years since Echospace man Stephen Hitchell donned the Phase90 alias for "Infinitati", a suitably dark and dubbed-out debut album that remains one of his most mesmerizing releases. All these years on, he's decided to rework three of the album's most potent tracks under one of his other aliases, Intrusion. The heart of the EP is undoubtedly his A-side "Possession Dub" of "Vinci", a quiet, contemplative and effortless spacey dub techno revision that bubbles away for almost 16 minutes. He switches focus on the B-side opening "Remake" of "Infinitati", re-imagining the track as a cloudy and slowly pulsing ambient soundscape, before offering up a "Metamorphose" revision of "Ango" that's as deep and ambient as dub techno gets.
Review: Something Records boss, elusive production room deviant, raw house outsider, and Perlon regular, STL, rises back up from the shadows and drops a new EP for Portugal's low-key Assemble Music. As per usual, he's cool, he's tight with his beats, and he means business; "Crank Notion" itself is a bubbly, playful house number complete with the man's signature percussive twist and deranged pseudo bells - all in all, an effective DJ tool with an edge. Over on the flip, "Neat Buzzl" gets all the love from us; a woozy, dark and cavernous techno bomb with a slow pace and a mean lean. It's exactly the sort of gear we want to be pulled out at 4am. Choice cuts, as always.
Review: No one knows who E Myers is, and may well never know, but they've been kind enough to inform us that they're alive and most definitely kicking with this pumping machine soul juggernaut where lavish nods to Italo textures and EBM energy hit with analog warmth. Flip for "Dreamland", a track that keeps us rooted in that era with its jittering, body-popping electroid breaker arrangement and atmospheric arpeggios. My my, Myers. You do know to rock the party.
Review: Tresor really are a special label. Almost thirty years in the business, and still dominating like no other imprint on the techno scene. This is because they have the power to bring in the very best of artists, with this latest re-appearance from Porter Ricks being one of the many examples of their timeless qualities. The Berlin duo made their name thanks to a succession of incredible releases for Chain Reaction, a Basic Channel sub-label that brought the experimental dub frame to the techno sphere; the project has always been a favourite of ours, and it's so pleasing to hear them doing what they do best. "Shadow Boat" is classic Porter Ricks, a glitchy, intricate dub-techno monster whose 4/4 beat is hidden among the myriad of sonics and harmonics bundled into a tight roll, and the same goes for "Bay Rouge" and its slower, more placid cascade of heartical melodies. "Harbour Chart" is the final call, a downtempo beauty that makes all other ambient seem sterile and lifeless. This is so highly recommended...
Blondes Have More Fun (The Black Madonna Immaterial Girl remix) (8:25)
Blondes Have More Fun (Tiga Elevation mix) (6:11)
Blondes Have More Fun (instrumental) (6:20)
Review: Those who copped Tiga's recent album, No Fantasy Required, should recognize "Blondes Have More Fun". A deep and dreamy slice of contemplative synth-pop, it offered a fitting conclusion to the well-received set. This second 12" of remixes contains a handy instrumental of the ear-pleasing original version, plus headline grabbing rubs from Tiga and The Black Madonna. The latter's Immaterial Girl Remix is particularly good, and sees the Chicagoan re-inventing the track as a fine chunk of synth bass-fuelled analogue house warmth (albeit with more dancefloor energy than your average Larry Heard track). Tiga's own Elevation Mix, which contains all of his evocative vocal performance, is also something of a bittersweet, floor-friendly treat.
Review: To the casual observer it might seem like we are approaching 'Donatoverload' with numerous Dozzy related projects released recently. Look a bit closer though, and it's either been reissues (like the Aquaplano Sessions) collaborations with Tin Man and Neel or extensive remix packages like Plays Bee Mask. There has been little actual solo Dozzy material since a 2011 release for the Acid Test series, so this release for Lucy's Stroboscopic Artefacts label is most welcome! Translating roughly as "Third Day", the four track Terzo Giorno 12" is typical Dozzy with a fine sense of textural dexterity evident on "Il Canto Della Maga (part 2)" and the title track. The addition of Dozzy makes perfect sense for Stroboscopic Artefacts within the context of their recent releases from Lakker, Rrose and Chevel which have provided the label with a renewed juncture to the dancefloor.
Stabilize (Mark & Matt Thibideau Reconstruction) (7:21)
Review: The 'Reconstructed' series has featured reworks by legends such as Steve O'Sullivan, Thomas Melchior and Cobblestone Jazz, whose take on tracks from Paul St. Hilaire and Rhauder's debut LP Derdeoc was originally released in 2017. On the third and final edition in the series, the Berlin based duo's work gets remixed first by the Philpot affiliated Soulphiction who gives "Redeem" a truly fervent re-rub - this is utter dancefloor drama in the vein of Carl Craig. Argentinian veteran Leonel Castillo gets a slinky, bass-heavy groove on with his dub-laden rendition of "Stabilize" while the equally revered Thibideau brothers work their magic as always on their glacial re-rub of the track: where the Canadian twins take it into cavernous territory. They truly conjure those ghosts in the machines on this killer remix.
Review: It's not often that you get to see Alan Oldham stepping out under his own name. The legendary Detroit artist is more commonly spotted as DJ T-1000 (or designing iconic artwork for techno labels) but this time around he's sharing some more house-minded delights for Finale Sessions. "Don't Take Me" is a haunting, mystical slice of deep house that fits into the Finale narrative perfectly, while "Wild" too offers up a distinctive approach that manages to be both refined and yet imbued with that Detroit roughness. "Breathe" may well be the best jam on the record, dealing in subtle threads of melody that conjure up the perfect dubby 4/4 confection.
Review: It's been a long time since Dadub released anything - the core of their output came via Stroboscopic Artefacts between 2011 and 2013. Now after a hiatus, they make a powerful return with this release for the label of Georgia's most infamous nightclub, Bassiani. They're not pulling any punches on this record, coming down heavy on "Rituals" with a dense, layered approach as edgy and experimental as it is propulsive. Zesknel's remix of the track goes in heavy too, although more in terms of erratic sound design rather than punishing techno rhythms. Check out "Resistance" on the flip to hear Dadub in full flight with spacious dub processing and rave samples over a stomping percussive undercarriage that begs to be played out in a smoke filled room.
Review: All that we know about the enigmatically named Sa Pa is they are affiliated with Weimar crew Giegling, emerging earlier this year with the Fuubutsushi album on the Forum sublabel that garnered comparisons with Prince Of Denmark. Sa Pa's penchant for subaqueous techno now lands the producer a 12" debut on Marcel Dettmann Recordings. Lead track "We Can Be Friends" is so dubbed-out and murky that it could almost run as a background percussive piece in your mix - that's not to say that we don't think it's absolutely killer, because it is! "Morocco" is completely in a world of its own, crackly feedback and sparse sonics abound, while "Fast Jam" is a heady techno stomper with a punchy low-end and sublime percussion, a track that is followed by another murky load of swamped atmospherics in the form of "Untitled 11". If we have to be completely honest, this has been our favourite MDR 12" in a long time, and it comes with a heartfelt recommendation. Killer.
Review: After appearing on the first Calypso Records release out of Mexico last year, Colossio returns to the fray with a whole EP of sleazy jams for the warm up crowd to get nasty to. "Moto" is a grinding crossover track that features dirty garage guitars to match the low-slung synth undulations and sizzling disco beat, while "Fe" throws the windows open for a ranging cut centred around all kinds of instrumentation played with a post-punk looseness. "Ansia" keeps things nervous and atmospheric without skimping on party energy, and then Man Power swoops in for a remix of "Moto" that keeps things spooky while injecting a swinging groove into the mix.
Review: Surfacing from somewhere in the Russian Federation, Gost Zvuk Records live up to their name's rough translation of Ghost Sounds on the basis of this debut release from newcomer Aleksei Nikitin. There's versatility to Nikitin's productions here that will serve him well, with the taut, subtle groove and programming on opening track "Tevi" giving the producer the space to lay down some impressively emotive melodic arrangements. The opening bars to "Tebe Nujno Vernutsya" hint that the production is heading for a weird place, yet there's a smart switch up that takes proceedings into bumping raw house with some smart vocal edits. Face down "Inache" finds Nikitin indulging in some gritty dub house whilst "Ostavim" comes from the Gerry Read school of thumping house tools.
Review: 'Ploy' is the imitating release by Basic Channel even before they had found their name under which they would create a complete outstanding release sequence. The vibe here is very infected by the early 90s Detroit techno movement. The B-side features an extended playing atmospheric remix by Detroit's major force Underground Resistance (2005 re-mastered re-issue!).
Miro SundayMusiq - "From Behind The Corner" (8:39)
Review: Following an excellent EP from Memphis, Animals On Psychedelics returns with more weird and wonderful party fare from the outer reaches. This time it's a various artists release that brings together all the producers involved in the label so far, while also introducing BPMF to the fold with the woozy, rubbery synth shapes of "Liza On Clouds." Jane Fitz and Dom Ahtuam's Invisible Menders project presents the rolling, psyched out melodics of "Three On Three," while Memphis pushes further into experimental territory with the wonderfully fractured "Altered States." That leaves it to Miro SundayMusiq to complete the EP with the wave-meets-Italo tones of "From Behind The Corner," a perfectly noirish flourish to finish a sterling record.
Das Ding - "Life Is A Tool In The Hands Of Strangers" (4:04)
DJ Overdose - "I See No Stars At Night" (4:16)
DJ Overdose - "Potje Freaken" (4:55)
Review: The Go Finger label has been digging into the undergrowth of synthwave sounds and deviant electro for a few years now, more recently graduating from the tape scene to put out EPs of leftfield electronic adventures on wax. This EP in particular is quite something, calling on the vintage talents of Das Ding in all their eerie, warped, pulsing, analogue refinement. "Conun Drum" is a curiously playful trip through noirish cityscapes by way of strobing lead lines and militaristic machine beats, while "Life Is A Tool In The Hands Of Strangers" takes a more uptempo approach without losing the bombast of their melodic arrangements. Dutch electro champ DJ Overdose steps up for the B side, dropping the overcast and creeping "I See No Stars At Night" and the dishevelled robot beatdown "Potje Freaken".
Review: William J.Youngman's Headless Horseman project has created a new and exciting techno sound that was only an offshoot of EBM and industrial in years past. Stepping out of his own imprint, the dark horseman lands on Tommy Four Seven's excellent 47 label, tearing through the speakers from the get-go thanks to the toxic sounds of "Revelation", and the even nastier sway of "Concussion". Metallic and hard-nosed in absolutely every way, "Locust" follows up on that with a menacing pounce of beats and cavernous bass, while "Gravity" breaks the techno groove for something much more in line with the likes of Powell's Diagonal output. Big boy sounds.
Review: Having kicked off his Etheric label with the Origins EP earlier this year, Leonardo is back with more adventurous machine music for the spiritually inclined dancefloor. "The Offering" has a dark and moody tone thanks to the snaking synth line wriggling its way through the track, perfect for eyes-down submission as the strobe blinks slowly. "Symmetry" is a more open affair, all soft top chimes and vapour blasts pinging around an easy electro beat, while "The Afterlife" strikes somewhere in the middle with a tougher, club-minded sound that still favours a sunnier sound palette. "Droplets" is the consummate B2, shrugging off the dancefloor rules of the previous tracks to trip out in a dubwise atmosphere that further strengthens the quality of what Leonardo is up to.
Review: No-nonsense techno type Mike Davis founded the Brenda label last year. While previous releases have been credited to the now familiar CNCPT, Brenda 003 (which, confusingly, is actually the imprint's fourth release) sees the debut of Company, a collaboration between Davis and CNCPT. As usual, the four tracks showcased here don't mess around; "003.01", for example, builds into a throbbing techno floor-slayer from the most moody and atmospheric of starts, while "003.02" is as ghostly and otherworldly cut as you're likely to find all year, even if it does boast some seriously dense drums. Elsewhere, "003.03" is a functional but playable percussion workout, while "003.04" achieves a perfect balance between muscular aggression and heart-aching melancholy.
Review: Italian tech house producer Thomas Feriero aka Avatism presents his sixth outing for Vakant, which follows up the terrific Bad Summer EP for close comrades Clockwork on their Parachute imprint. The Milan based producer's sound has changed considerably from what he was doing a few years back, as heard on the sludgy and broken beats of "Ate-Up" and its brazen UK influence, while the industrial edged warehouse stomp of "Crisis Engine" lunges straight for the jugular. On the flip, Feriero dons his Maenad Veyl alias again for the snarling junglist stepper "Alex, Why?".