Review: Chicago label Chained Library present some contemplative minimal noise experiments courtesy of the mysterious Agnes who presents the 012016002001 EP and it is mastered by the one and only Rashad Becker: which is fitting really. Fans of Becker's recent works will really appreciate these extreme and at times challenging sonic workouts on both sides, approximately 15 minutes each. Both extended pieces are reductionist electronic sound art at its finest. Very intrigued as to what this imprint is up to next.
Review: Benjamin Brunn and Dave Wheels are old studio buddies, having worked together on and off since 2006. "2000", though, is their most ambitious joint project yet: a collaborative album for Sushitech that offers up breezy, melodious and cheery fusions of heady dub techno, gentle electronica, chugging sofa-friendly haziness and glitchy late night hypnotism. It's an interesting blend but one that certainly hits the spot. Highlights include the horizontal pulse of "Orainge", the wonderfully hypnotic after-hours throb of "Iratamoto (Version)", the bold and sun-kissed undulations of "In The Club" and the pie-eyed warmth of "Waldeck".
Review: Once every three or four years, Kassem Mosse drops a new record under a new alias. We've loved the producer's mystique, which he has retained since day 1, because it is representative of a true artist and musician, evolving new ideas while remaining grounded in a particular aesthetic that is personal to him. This debut DJ Residue 12" drops on Will Bankhead's TTT, whom he has kept tight relations with over the years, and has hit us pretty hard. In fact, it is the most relevant depiction of techno, or general warehouse music, that we have heard this year, shifting and morphing endlessly, going from the regular to the utterly insane with pure ease. Sludgy beats, eerie atmospherics, and Mosse's intricate percussion patterns form a beautifully dark variety of noise music. Recommended, as per usual.
Review: Romania's newest source of experimental minimalist, Listen2Me, digs up a new talent by the name of MGCH, and shoots him - or her - onto our shelves with this small marvel of an EP. "87" is a delightful tune, a glitchy minimal groove that travels between house, noise and electro with utter ease and pure elegance, a sound that is matured further via the rhythmic sway of the moodier, dubbier folds and clicks of "Is This It". There's a trio of leftfield charmers on the flipside, spear-headed by the warm and placid glow of the near beatless "What For", evolved into something of a lounge house mood on "How You See", and tied off by a dubwise reinterpretation of "87" by Serb. TIP!!
After The Cremation (Area Green Green Grass version) (4:23)
Pankow (SW Electrofunk mix) (5:36)
Steamed Up Window (Skookum Reminiscence) (4:06)
Review: Mystery production unit UD returns to Kimochi, one of the more overlooked imprints of the last few years, with four new cuts and a rather fine selection of remixers to boot! The mood is pensive and the sounds are atmospheric throughout, where tracks like "Lollipop Robot" or "Adapter" stand somewhere between ambient and electro-acoustic. The remixes give the tracks slightly more dancefloor weight, and both Area Green Grass and label regular Skookum contribute with a set of pretty killer reinterpretations a-la outsider house, but the silent killer is most certainly SW's remix of "Pankow". The SUED records co-owner fixes up a wonderfully bizarre concoction of sounds and shapes, moulding them into a dubby, sparse and cinematic twister. Another fine slice of Kimochi, beautiful artwork and all.
Review: Despite releasing a series of inspired, out-there 12" singles on Tabernacle, Offseason and Going Good, we're no nearer to discovering the identity of Anom Vitruv. In many ways, it doesn't matter. The music he produces - a ghostly blend of curious found sounds, crusty ambience, mawkish deep house and unsettling techno - seems to revel in its unmarked, untitled nature. This long player for Canada's Total Stasis continues on his now familiar theme, quietly shuffling between eerie soundscapes, experimental interludes, dubbed-out minimalist oddness (the weird but immersive "Track 3") and clanking, industrial house (the alien electronics and metallic percussion of "Track 4").
Review: Bulgarian house wizard KINK is back and, of course, he's all about delivering the shadiest forms of dance floor music humanely possible. The man is a master at twisting and pushing house music to its very limits, something which is obvious from the start of "Soda Caustic", a nutty 4/4 banger boasting a curious new strain of acid at its core. "Synesthesia" barely even forms a groove out of its solitary bleeps and bass buds, whereas "Daddy Acid" takes a little poke at AFX's improbable mishmash of Goa trance and gabber junglism - we love this one. The B-side boasts "The Roots Of Techno", a kinetic array of machine noise and robotic beats, while "Antitune" makes some of Photek's early work seem antiquated by comparison. This EP has it all. Warmly recommended.
Review: Big Hands, big heart, big ideas; Milan man now based in London Andrea Bonalumi blesses us with his biggest release to date on Beat Machine. Fractured, frazzled and fried in future innovation, we're blindsided by the offbeat bubbles on "Prequel" and shunted and stuttered by disco freakery on "More Than Love". Elsewhere the title track boils things down to a much sludgier, warped and weird shuffle, "Tensegrity" reimagines rave for a modern day jilted generation while "Kick Blood" kicks us down a twisted UKG rabbit hole. "Blood" concludes this extensive extended player both in its breakbeat original form and gun-toting instrumental grime take from Walton. Big.
Review: Fiery dynamics abound as Detroit's Snakepiss delivers a caustic six track document. Ranging from the paranoid and intense overlapping vocal samples of the angst-ridden "Blaze" to the slow-and-steady tribal thunder of "Our Love", each cut reveals a different shade of Snakepiss's sonic personality. There's anger here, but it's displayed conservatively and creatively; "Set Fire To The Living", for example, is an icy slice of electro that develops into such a rich groove you can't avoid the heat. The vocal texture on "Frig", meanwhile, sounds as if the devil has been sampled himself... And wrapped around a meditative cosmic sermon that would sit well in any daring disco set. Strike a light.
Review: Versalife's second release for 20/20 Vision sees Dutch producer Boris Bunnik aka Conforce return with another slab of signature electro.
'Clandestine Development' serves up dark tones and melodies layered within insistent electro beats and growling bass, that sounds huge on big room systems. 'Aegis' delivers a double dose of mechanical funk, played over atmospheric strings and auditory acid delights.
On the B side 'Lamba' continues to impress with a moody laidback bass line holding the groove down over a solid rhythm & dystopian keys. Wrapping things up the title track 'Asimov's Code' plays out like war drums from space pounding away after a blissful intro of building synths.
Review: The Durian Brothers consist of rising polyrhythmic talent Don't DJ, outernational adventurer Harmonious Thelonious and Salon Des Amateurs resident Marc Matter. Following their excellent outings on Kontra-Musik and Diskant, the experimental trio build on a burgeoning relationship with Emotional Response by gathering together some of the best of their intense, globetrotting sounds. There's a great focus on cyclical rhythms, not least on the wonderful "Planete Sauvage", while "Mille Yeaux" takes a more spacious, groovy route through wooden percussion and pinging organic tones. Considering the scarcity of the original Diskant pressings of these tracks, this collection couldn't come quickly enough.
Review: Ex-Terrestrial associate Richard Wenger - better known as R Weng - dons a new alias here, for an album that's apparently the result of a "three-year experiment in minimal synth maximalism". In practice, that means a hugely enjoyable trip through Radio Workshop style synthesizer motifs, hypnotic machine rhythms, 1970s style electronic music soundscapes, jaunty turn-of-the-90s IDM and occasional forays into decidedly dubbed-out, synth-driven grooves. It's a hugely enjoyable collection of cuts, with Wenger providing finished tracks that sound like they could have been made in 1979 (or in some cases, '69) rather than 2019.