Review: Stephen Laubner never fails to deliver the goods, whether on his own label Something or elsewhere. Having recently popped up on The Untold Stories, this time around he's dropping his uniquely crusty compositions on Synthetic Gold. After a quietly disconcerting ambient opening, the leftfield grind of "The Taphead" pushes an uncompromising agenda of ragged bass and an unrelenting groove. "October Sunrise" by way of contrast is a more intimate, sweet natured affair. "Syntax Error" too taps into the softer side of Laubner's craft in a most mesmerizing of ways, but for the die hard fans fear not, there's also plenty of locked groove loops included to keep you tripping into infinity.
Review: The singles accompanying Mr C's celebrated return to the album format keep on coming, this time drafting in some noted names to deliver remixes of "Ripple Effect". First up is Marc Houle who employs some of his trademark creepy bass tones to underpin a purposeful, driving slice of darkside party music. Noel Jackson is equally on edge with his version, although it's a more stripped down and sped up affair that borders on electro in its sense of tightly wound urgency. Chloe gets the run of the B-side to lay down a more varied remix that uses some punchy disco elements to create a more light hearted outlook on Mr C's original jam.
Review: The high grade, leftfield approach to house music Lyssna have set out as their MO continues in fine style on this new Colours series, starting with the Yellow EP and a strong cast of characters from the outer reaches. Riciar Ghir opens up proceedings with the tumbling deep house of "Cargo", making the keys dance with distinction and injection a subby rumble where it counts. Minimal Afrika follow that up with a percussive tryst entitled "Drakma Queen" that blossoms into a sumptuous ambient excursion. Robotalco takes a very different approach with some classically pumping sample-powered house music to shake feel-good fists to, and then Klubbhuset finishes up with an impassioned romp through peak time disco licks for the peak of the night.
Review: Building on the momentum of the strong reissue programme undertaken at Thule Records HQ, Thor returns to the fray with some new productions that add a new chapter to the story of Icelandic techno. This limited run of Decay appropriately comes on marbled grey vinyl. Of course, the unique atmosphere the label carved out in the 90s has been left intact - the dubby processing and icy melodies abound throughout, creating utterly immersive techno and house variations in the process. "Insanity Dub" has a live feel to its drum set which injects a curious disco energy into the mix, while "Rusty Flashback" takes things in a subtle tech house direction. "Garden Of Corrosion" stands apart with its slender sound palette, placing the emphasis on groove and swing, while "Pepper Jones" ramps the dub techno exploration up to 11. If you love the sound of Thule, you're going to love this.
Review: Asad Rizvi's bountiful archive of names and tunes continues to yield more fruit, this time in the shape of his Asadinho alias on regular haunt RvS. The bleeps cut through the shuffling drums on the Silverlining Mix of "When We Come To It" in a flurry of late night tech house finery. The original mix of the track is a tougher, slower twist with a straight-ahead groove but plenty of funk drizzled in between the joints. "Koppaitch" spreads itself across the B-side with a sizzling disco groove and more of those mean-tempered synths that project a dark and seedy side to Rizvi's many-sided musical dice.
Review: The fifth instalment of the Hoxton Records story turns to Alan Castro, who has already had a busy year appearing on the likes of For Club, STAMP and Soundterasse. The vibe is stripped down and unhinged on this record, with lead track "El Avion De La Mentira" unfurling in a strange tapestry of samples, found sounds and off kilter synth rubs strapped to a crafty set of drums. Modebaku delivers a more streamlined version of the track that keeps things freaky, but much more linear than the wayward original. "Sequela" on the flip is no slouch in the adventurous department either, with swathes of modulating tones and wild sonic matter flinging around a funky shuffle, which Ted Amber then dutifully bolsters with a rubbery b-line on his more functional but still daring version.
Review: De Grey launched last year with a 12" from Webstarr, and now it follows up with the raw, rough and ready sound of Jack Angle. "Week-End" is a lithe, percussive beast of a track that matches bloated kicks with glassy hits for a tracky but distinctive end result. "6PNHHPE" is a looped up, off-kilter affair that sports an industrial techno thread but heads into stranger territory with ease. "Stablilizer" is a more balanced, melodic affair but again those distinctive metallic tones pervade the mix and inject some real character into Angle's music. "Selta" takes this approach and whips it up into the most lively, peak-time minded belter on the whole record, sneakily tucked away on the B2.
Review: London-based Italian duo Konstress are back with their third release on their self-titled imprint, and it once again shows the pair progressing with a dynamic, detailed and original approach to stripped down dance music. The first track pits a stuttering groove against blown out keys and a smorgasbord of errant synth noises, and those noises jump across to the second track to plot a course through a highly textured, ominous soundscape where the drums have been left behind. The B1 track sports a tough, crooked groove and warm, sci-fi synth tones while the B2 takes a more eerie direction into deep and dingy techno. A classy, highly developed record for adventurous souls.
Review: Proudly positioned as a label dedicated to showcasing emerging talent within the realms of dark and dubby minimal techno, FarFromNormal return with their second release of the year. This time they're providing a platform to Nice N Trick & Sacke, who make the most of the vinyl space with two long form tracks that demonstrate just how much talent they have to offer. "Senor Memories" is a tribally-inflected experience sprinkled with off-kilter samples atop a driving techy backbone, while "Viola Profonda" steers a more streamlined course through crisp drums and nerve-jangling violin on a one way trip into the heart of the night.
Review: After launching into Memory Box with aplomb on the deadly Acid Stomp 12", Robin Ball steps up on the London-based imprint once again with the saucy tones of his latest four track EP. "Drop It Down Low" and its accompanying dub mix are classy twists on the tech house formula that lean towards old-skool methods while keeping the sleaze factor ramped up high. "Remember" takes a more tripped out tribal approach, with the "Vibes mix" providing a more subtle twist to the warm, melodic undulations of the full fat version. It's an EP loaded with personality and flair for sophisticated dancefloors.
Review: Josefine Hellstrom Hansson's debut track "Water Cave" on HMWLA received ADJ support from AIlario Alicante, Robert Babicz, Piemont, Slam, Paco Osuna, Horse Meat Disco, Nick Warren, Gabriel Ananda and Ame. Now the Malmo-based producer and DJ readies a three track techno / house EP on HMWL's vinyl sublabel Heartbreak Records. On A-side alongside "Water Cave" Josefine offers a peak hour techno weapon called "Sensus". On B-side we find the smooth melodic "Volcanics" at 118 BPM while fellow swede Martinez deconstructs Sensus into a jazzy, mellow piece of minimal tech.