Review: After years spent offering up impressive blends of ambient, drone, electronica and experimental drum and bass as ASC, James Clements has decided to commit more time to Comit (sorry), an alternative project which first surfaced via a debut single in 2016. Here the San Diego-based Brit delivers a first full-length excursion under the alias. There's plenty to soothe and seduce on the eight tracks stretched across two slabs of wax, from the undulating, occasionally skittish beats and sweeping chord sequences of opener "Behind Dulled Eyes" and the icy, doom-laden electronic melancholy of "Reverie", to the early Black Dog Productions flex of "Clouded Over" and the dubbed-out, slow motion bliss of "Soft Focus".
Review: Silas & Snare continue the heat on Madam X's Kaizen with their second single on the label this year. As always there's no letting up in terms of aesthetic, melting pot and energy. All sitting somewhere in the techno/hardcore/dub axis, "Pressure" lives up to its name with a rolling break, and warped grime basses, "Dreamscape" creates intensity with a loopy vocal hook and densely coded sense of tension while "Whistle Blower" brings us home on a deeper, more broken tip where noises aren't all what they seem. Feeling the pressure yet?
Review: Following the excellent instalment from DJ Skull, Mentha continues to gather pace as a house and techno label of note with this sublime offering from Hakim Murphy. While the Chicago native may be known for some bruising hardware house and techno a lot of the time, he's showing his more sensitive side on this release with delicate tracks that head into deep techno waters. The title of the EP says it all, as nimble, expressive beats merge with soothing, aqueous pad tones for a most satisfying of listening experiences. Fans of early deep techno a la B12 and Stasis will find much to enjoy here.
Review: The low-key but long-serving D2B steps up on a self-manned label to deliver two surefire club smashers for those who appreciate the grit and soul of proper Detroit techno. "My Love" on the A side is the friendlier cut, its taut machine rhythms embellished with dextrous synth work from pulsing chords to simmering strings, all shot through with a smoky after hours haze. On the flip side, D2B gets a little rawer with the component parts of the track, jacking up the drums and spacing out the arrangement for a more intense workout that should satisfy anyone who wants techno with personality that still smacks hard.
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: 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: 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: Techno heads with an appreciation of forgotten and almost-lost gems will be happy with this one. Mark Ambrose's 'Dimensions' first saw the light of day on Steve O'Sullivan's Mosaic way, way back in 1997, and here is finally remastered for the modern world. And what a treat it is. A shining example of just how compelling, addictive and inescapable tracks can be without needing to be particularly hard, those looking for adjectives will find them in the likes of tough, solid and crisp. The four tracks all follow a similar trajectory, deep but purposeful dancefloor stuff where sub bass rules and alien noises become warbling hooks- not leat on 'Cable Talk'. Those looking to stomp in the dark may find 'Signs 'N' Lights' is the go-to, 'Photo Funk' is pure darkroom mechanical groove and 'Bassoon' a sharp tech builder.
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: Mr Cloudy has a sizable back catalogue on labels like Entropy, Dubwax and Millions Of Moments, and now he's been snapped up by Local Traffic to impart his sumptuous dubby wares across four tracks. "Memoria I" and "Memoria II" let the A-side simmer in a bubbling broth of dub techno ambience, all shimmering chords undergoing heavyweight processing. "Sprayer I" is still immensely mellow, although a little rhythmic pulse creeps its way into earshot via the movement of the gravelly chords, and then "Sprayer II" rounds the EP off with something approaching a beat-oriented excursion through the same billowing clouds of dub techno finery.
Review: On celebrating 22 years of Josh Wink's cult acid classic "Sixth Sense" on his legendary Ovum imprint, they've invited one half of Masters At Work, Louie Vega, and Israeli techno hero Shlomi Aber for a set of remarkable updates. Vega looks after the A side with a couple of sweltering reworks: from the bouncy, bass-driven groove attitude of the main remix which retains industry veteran Ursula Rucker's powerful vocal performance, to the handy dub version up next. On the flip, Aber certainly has come a long way since the days of Chicago Days/Detroit Nights - it's about spending all weekend at Berlin's Berghain these days - getting on some proper tunnel vision with his steely and austere rework.
Review: In line with the timely reappraisal of all things R&S related, the resurgent Apollo have seen the opportunity to bring one of their most celebrated records back for another round. Aphex Twin's ambient recordings mature magnificently with age, sounding ever richer and more emotive as the rest of electronic music continues to play catch up all around. From the gentle breakbeats of "Xtal" to the aquatic techno lure of "Tha", the airy rave of "Pulsewidth" to the heartwrenching composition of "Ageispolis", every track is a perennial example of how far ambient techno could reach even back then. It's just that no-one quite had the arm-span of Richard D. James.
Review: Emotional Rescue and Malka Tuti serve up another round of top shelf remixes and revisions of John Rees Lewis' mid-late 80s project C Cat Trance, following in the wake of the Screaming Ghosts compilation. First up to bat are Red Axes, who bring a seductive line in loose and limber drumming to "Shake The Mind" that should suit the Fourth World dancefloor massive just fine. Jamie Paton brings a tough, clamouring intensity to "Take Me To The Beach," while Prins Thomas takes a truly spiritual approach when weaving the intricate arpeggios and percussion of "Sudaniyya." Khidja and Borusiade team up on "Simple Helen," presenting a dense and hazy trip into exotic territory with sinister undertones.
Review: Gotshell is Cristian Alexander Soto: a DJ and producer from Colombia that has appeared previously on Mord, Detroit Underground and X/OZ. His new new thriller comes courtesy of the ever reliable Suara label - and he lunges straight for the jugular on this fierce new offering. Kicking off with the barrelling intensity of "Peras Cosmic" which reaches near acid moments,, this is followed by the hypnotic sonar pulse of "19 Caracteres" (which calls to mind the work of legend Sleeparchive) and on the flip we have label staple Coyu - who delivers a right punch with his remix of "The Draft" which is as steely and austere as you like it.
Review: Argy's These Days label is an occasional treat in the world of stripped down tech house, and it makes its first appearance for 2016 with a selection of club-ready remixes from the label boss, tackling various productions from German techno mainstay Paul Brtschitsch. The "Floor Adaptation" of "Green" heads into subterranean pastures, albeit with a powerful beat propelling it, and "Eternal Aspects" maintains that underground mood with a warmer synth repertoire. On the more flamboyant B-side, "Squeezed" takes on a wild old-skool quality perfect for more fiery moments on the floor before "Subbass" continues the jacking theme in fine style.
Review: Resurgent Welsh techno wizard DJ Guy launches his own label with a fresh batch of deep diving jams that put the soul back in the machine. From the twinkling, starry-eyed delights of "Music Is Life" to the horizontal meditation of "Interplanetary," this is immaculately executed electronica in the fine tradition of UK trailblazers like B12 that sounds as fresh as it did in the 90s. "Warmth In Rhythm" sports a nagging house groove to suck you in with ease, while "Propulsion State" fires off a dazzling arpeggio that heads skywards with a twitchy electro backbone for company. Top shelf tackle from a seriously talented cat.
Review: Three years in, Blackhall & Bookless' Jaunt label is becoming a serious force for forward thinking, fractured techno exploration. On this split EP with Chad, the duo take the A-side and present two different versions of "Links". The "Battle rework" is a tense and dramatic tumble through dub techno soundscapes, while the "Bleak remix" pares the elements down to a more focused, minimalist thrum. Chad presents a wholly different vibe on the flip, using rich, warm synthesiser tones to draw you in to "Afters", and then Scenery regular ASOK takes up remix duties on the track with an immersive version that borders on breakbeat.
Review: Some 20 years after "If" first hit stores, Jeff Mills has decided to get his old pal Terrence Parker to remix it. He's done a rather good job, with both versions making great use of Mills' ghostly original chord sequences and two different variations on the mesmerizing, seemingly drifting scat-style vocals that was arguably the track's most memorable feature. The A-side "Vox Soul Mix" includes new vocals in the original style by Marachka, whose haunting but soulful improvisations brilliantly rise above metronomic techno drums, spacey effects and those now famous chords. The similar sounding "Original Remix" is a little tougher and weightier, with tooled-up percussion (check the restless hi-hats) underpinning Anna F's original scat vocal and Mills' ethereal, ambient style chords.
Review: Although Emile Facey has been producing as Plant 43 for roughly six years, the UK producer appears to be in a rich vein of form right now. Having debuted in impressive fashion on Dutch label Frustrated funk earlier this year, Plant 43 resurfaces on Semantica with this equally worthy five track 12" The Sentient City Awakens. No stranger to Svreca's label having first graced Semantica last year, this record will please Plant 43 fans no end, with "Inward Stream" and "Hydro Subway" showing equal reverence to melody and booming percussion that few other current electro practitioners can match. Concluding production "Frond Of Stars" is beautifully epic.
Review: 'The Man-Machine' is closer to the sound and style that would define early new wave electro-pop. Less minimalistic in its arrangements and more complex and danceable in its underlying rhythms. Like its predecessor, 'Trans-Europe Express', there is the feel of a divided concept album, with some songs devoted to science fiction-esque links between humans and technology, often with electronically processed vocals ("The Robots," "Spacelab," and the title track); others take the glamour of urbanization as their subject ("Neon Lights" and "Metropolis"). Plus, there's "The Model," a character sketch that falls under the latter category but takes a more cynical view of the title character's glamorous lifestyle. More pop-oriented than any of their previous work, the sound of 'The Man-Machine' in particular among Kraftwerk's oeuvre had a tremendous impact on the cold, robotic synth pop of artists like Gary Numan, as well as Britain's later new-romantic movement.
Review: Since opting to release more music under his given name, DeepChord man Rod Modell has largely stuck to dubbed-out ambience and heady drone soundscapes. His latest full-length is a little different, though, offering up club-focused cuts that mix his usual fuzzy aural textures and dub-fired motifs with up-tempo techno rhythms. By his standards, it's a very forthright set, with highlights including the noise-soaked stomp of "Reiki", the thrusting heaviness of "ITO", the hypnotic slam of "Jade" - where breezy, early morning electronics flutter away above tough drums and a mind-altering bassline - and the boisterous peak-time techno anthem "Scrawler".
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: Fresh from delivering the "Dance Music" trilogy of 12" singles, NYC native Levon Vincent returns to action with an EP of untitled tracks. It's an impressively melodious and ear-pleasing affair, with the Berlin-based producer's no-nonsense house and techno drums being smothered in a variety of tuneful synthesizer lines, fuzzy but futuristic electronics and warm basslines. Picking highlights is tough, but we'd suggest starting with the bubbly analogue bliss of "Track 1" before moving on to the chunky goodness of "Track 3", where cheery lead lines dance above non-stop bass and crispy machine drums. Elsewhere, "Track 4" sounds like a tribute to the soundtrack to forgotten early '90s Commodore Amiga game "Fire and Ice" and "Track 2" is a heartwarming rush of luscious lo-fi lead lines and unfussy drums.
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: Veteran maverick Elbee Bad pops up in ever-unpredictable places, but somehow he sounds just right on Thema. His fearless, deeply rooted take on house music defies imitation, and so it goes across this full-fat EP. "Request Monster" is a lazy groove embellished with strings protesting the culture of requests in the club, while "A Lot Of Jazz As A Child" doffs its cap to Sun Ra in a subtle way that manages to be both mechanical and free-flowing. "If EYE Was From The D" is a more overtly electronic production that sits somewhere in between acid, techno and deep house. "Crossing Dimensions" is an uplifting workout with a sweet vocal turn from an unknown source, and then "Jami Jam Dubb'd" finishes the record off with a primal set of ingredients working round a stout kick.
Review: Kreon & Lemos continue their exploration of dubby motifs and crafty beat programming on this latest missive for Equivalence, and at this point it's safe to say anything could be possible from the adventurous Greek duo. Each of the artists has a side across which to express their own vision of "Avatone", starting off with Kreon. The urgency of the funky breakbeat rhythms powering both versions is hard to resist, with Kreon's version ramping up the nagging synth lines in between the drums while Lemos opts for a more meditative refrain around the intricate percussion.
Review: Story has it that UK techno legend Tim Taylor paid a visit to DJ Slip in Minneapolis, where they collaborated on "Pleasure Unit" back in 1998 - and it quickly became a cult track. The intention was to return to work on some tracks from that session, and they entertained the thought of releasing them as an alternative limited series project named "Fear Of Music" on Taylor's Missile imprint. 21 years later, Dame-Music proudly presents the original track in all its barrelling and austere intensity, remastered by Thomas P. Heckmann. It also features remixes by Super Rhythm Trax's Jerome Hill, plus a truly pounding rework by label boss Bloody Mary that can easily match the brute force of the original, complete with a bonus functional "Drum Workout" mix.
Review: A big Juno bear hug goes to the folks from Tresor for releasing a string of sublime re-issues this year. The latest is Drexciya's seminal Harnessed The Storm long player, generally a much darker affair than Neptune's Lair, which itself was reissued earlier this year. It is hallmarked by longer, more exploratory tracks, full of sinister twists and turns. The stormy electro thunder of "Digital Tsunami" is perhaps the standout moment here, closely followed by the subterranean squelch of "Soul Of The Sea". "Dr Blowfins Black Storm Stabilizing Spheres" has an eerie crackle that predates the current vogue for dark atmospheric techno by nearly a decade, while the robotic key melody on "Song Of The Green Whale" marks it as the LP's most playful moment. Highly recommended for electro and techno purists alike.
Review: Alex is a brand new alias from the artist regularly known as Baba Stiltz - a Swedish producer whose quirky, off-kilter house and techno releases are rarely less than brilliant. His first Trilogy Tapes outing is suitably impressive. The real killer is "Samba", an inspired nine minute workout in which he layers deep, woozy electric piano motifs, sun-kissed chords, child-like vocal samples and rich bass atop a swinging, samba fired techno beat. The deeper and more bass-heavy "Memo" is even more epic; a near 13-minute journey through sparse, crunchy, hypnotic and dubbed-out minimal house rhythms and exotic, snake charmer solos. In other words, it's another top-notch EP from a producer who genuinely can do no wrong.
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.
Sly & Lovechild - "The World According To Sly & Lovechild" (Andrew Weatherall Soul Of Europe mix)
Dorisburg - "Rytm804"
Hiver - "Pert"
Kyle Hall - "Flemmenup"
DMX Krew - "EPR Phenomena"
JRMS - "3"
Shades Of Rhythm - "Exorcist"
Kode 9 - "Magnetic City"
The System - "Vampirella"
Black Merlin - "Kundu"
Aphex Twin - "Vordhosbn"
R-Tyme - "Illusion" (Mayday remix)
Psyche - "Crackdown"
Deniro - "Epirus"
I:Cube - "Cassette Jam 1993"
Review: South Korean star Peggy Gou continues her seemingly unstoppable rise by serving up her first ever DJ mix CD. It's a contribution to one of the longest running series in the business, DJ Kicks, and she's used the opportunity to showcase the depth and variety of the music in her crates. Beginning with the classic early '90s ambient of Spacetime Continuum, Gou flits between humid, mid-tempo Balearic house (her own "Hungboo"), acid-fired downtempo electronica (Pearson Sound), throbbing 1990 peak-time anthems (Weatherall's ace but largely forgotten remix of Sly & Lovechild), hypnotic techno minimalism (Dorisburg), main room throb-jobs (Hiver), pulsating electro (DMX Krew), classic breakbeat hardcore (Shades of Rhythm), post-dubstep (Kode 9), dark tribal drum jams (Black Merlin) and sunrise ready Motor City brilliance (Deniro).
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: When it comes to melodic, layered, emotion-rich techno, Tim Jackiw is a master craftsman. While he's demonstrated his aptitude before - mostly via some lauded singles and EPs - we'd argue that "Monuments" proves it beyond a shadow of doubt. It's a wonderful album; a set of club cuts whose spacey electronics, warm basslines, dreamy chords and futurist synthesizer flourishes combine on tracks capable of making the feet move and the heart sing. Highlights are plentiful throughout, from the dub techno influenced beauty of "Solar" and the picturesque emotional rush of the near symphonic "Beyond The Family", to the dense-but-dreamy intensity of "Soul Appease" and the analogue chunkiness of "Aerophone", whose raw, angular bassline is offset by some suitably bouncy piano riffs.
Review: The Poverty Is Violence stable are firmly established now as an essential conductor for rabid, rowdy and downright rasping mechanics from subterranean operators of all shapes and sizes. Anonymous but reportedly veteran Dutch producer XXX previously appeared on the label in 2016 with the wild Noorder Scannen 12", and now returns with a bludgeoning new release. There's a consistent metal grind to the percussion on Westzaan Doelen, while the synth tones in between tend towards the jagged and abrasive, there's space and poise in the arrangement to lift this out of knuckleheaded noise. "Don't Go After Her" reverberates with clamouring intensity while the beefy chassis of "Just The Two Of You" shimmers under an acidic glaze - this is full-tilt deviant music executed with finesse to match the grime.
Review: Any new Robert Hood single is cause for celebration, but particularly when the release in question contains cuts as strong as this one. A-side "Reflector" is loopy and forthright, with Hood using swirling effects and subtle manipulations of a repetitive, big room-ready riff to increase intensity throughout. It's perhaps a little different from his usual heavy, stripped-back fare, but that's no bad thing. In contrast, flipside "Rotate" is classic Hood style minimalism, with warped acid lines, twisted bass and layered percussion creating a driving, mind-altering late night mood. There are slivers of melody, too, but these are sporadic and subdued in comparison to the rest of the Motor City's maestro's musical elements.
Review: Toki Fuko has quietly slipped out some high-grade ambient electronics over the past 10 years, but this double-vinyl drop on the ever excellent Silent Season represents some his most striking work to date. In line with the label's aesthetic, gauzy dub techno atmospheres prevail in the main, as thick billowing clouds of chord drift over submerged, stripped down rhythms. There is also space for other moods to infect the process though - there's a laconic 90s chill-out room groove to "Spring Ray (Outtake)", which then gets reshaped as a pattering percussive meditation on the EP's closing mix. Stunning, immersive approaches from start to finish.
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.
Domenic Cappello - "Not A Festival Track" (Basement mix) (6:57)
Stojche - "Decipher Language" (5:41)
Gauss - "Aperture"
XDB - "Satimak"
Leonid - "Woodwalk"
Life Recorder - "True Moments"
Review: The Verdant stamp of quality is well established by now, but it presses even deeper with the release of this high-grade compilation from a rich cast of subterranean seafarers. Steve O'Sullivan dons his Bluetrain cape for the slow-chugging, appropriately dubbed out meditation of "Sleeping With The Enemy", while Domenic Cappello creates a swooning string-drenched masterpiece out of "Not A Festival Track". Stojche's "Decipher Language" is a snappier affair, while XDB crafts one of his sublime, leftfield techno variations brimming with imagination to match its functionality. At every turn this is a compilation of top-drawer techno crafter with passion and originality - grip it while you can!
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: Brawther's Negentropy label has already carried gold star material from Ron Obvious and the man himself, and now it's the turn of debutant producer Zweizig to show off his wares. This assured 12" leads in with the ambient intro "Gewissen" before the crisp minimal funk of "Rhythm Tension" kicks in with its shimmering and shuddering sound design pinging around the dexterous beat. "Zephyr" is a smoky affair with a snappy broken beat and lots of subtle organic matter writhing in the middle distance. "Rehash Repeat" takes things deep and dubby to complete the set, all mellow hiccupping rhythm accents and hazy melodic phrases.
Review: Jan Jelinek has made many fine albums over the years, under both his given name and a handful of occasional aliases. One such pseudonym was Gramm, a handle he plucked out of thin air for the release of the now celebrated 1999 full-length "Personal Rock". Here that set is given a deserved 20th anniversary vinyl reissue, allowing a whole new generation to investigate the dusty nooks and crannies of one of the producer's most techno-centric releases. It is every bit as sample-heavy, glitchy and crackling as his other work, whereas other outings explored skewed hip-hop beats and downtempo grooves, "Personal Rock" was more informed by the steady pulse of dub techno, the deep space fluidity of ambient techno and the locked-in hypnotism of original era minimal techno. The results are out of this world.
Review: US veteran and all round champion of any genre he turns his hand to, Freddy Fresh is still immersed in the game and slinging out essential jams at a rate of knots. He dons his Modulator guise for two tracks on this latest 12", keeping things decidedly raw and letting the machines do the talking. This is stripped back robot music, all primal drum machine rhythms and errant synth bleeps for synthetic souls. On the B side Fresh represses a track produced in collaboration with Paul Mix, which was originally released back in 1996. It's not hard to see why it's so in demand on the second hand market - a spellbinding slice of ambient techno from the golden era of the genre.
Review: Darren Jason NYE, or simply Darren NYE, is a UK rave-head through and through. The man has been involved in the larger house and techno scene since the early 90s, primarily as a DJ and promoter but has, in more recent years, released some cracking house and techno, levitated further by a conscious love for euphoria. He launches the new Polarity imprint with this white label 12", Excursions Into The Unknown, thanks to the help of two fat rum-machine tracks residing on the A-side - both killers if you're in the mood for some nasty percussion stabs! On the B-side, "Mass Relay" heads further into the deeper end of the house scale, coming through with a splendid symphony of distant synths, while "A Moment In Space" is edited by the lesser-known Piermattei, who proceeds to trim the original into vast pool of sonics and rhythm, all without a single kick-drum. Tip!
Review: Up next for Adam Beyer's esteemed Drumcode imprint is Enrico Sangiuliano, a Milan based DJ/producer originally from Reggio Emilia who has been been active on the Italian scene since the early noughties, playing everywhere from clubs to illegal raves. His work of late has been released on sister label Truesoul, Alleanza, Gem Records, Octopus Recordings and Rhythm Converted. On "Moon Rocks", Sangiuliano provides a euphoric, hands in the air anthem with soaring synth leads and seriously humming Reese bassline over a high octane beat. Also on the A side is the mad diva vocal breakdown on "Ghettoblaster" which soon gives way to a dark and tunnelling epic. Finally on the flip, we have two versions of "Dutch Kiss" but for our money it's all about the sombre and emotive IDM vibe of the Inner remix.
Review: Anders Trentemøller is one of the rising stars of the dance music scene, his remixes and productions have gained critical acclaim from a broad range of DJs and producers including Pete Tong, Sasha, John Digweed, Switch, MANDY, Mylo, Nathan Fake and Freeform Five. Released on the influential Poker Flat label this is set to be one of the definitive releases of 2006. Available as a limited edition double CD and double LP. Trentemøller is currently the most in-demand remixer (recently delivering critically acclaimed mixes for The Pet Shop Boys, The Knife, Royksöpp, Sharon Phillips and Moby) with releases on Naked Music, Get Physical, and of course Poker Flat/Audiomatique.
Review: It's been a hot minute since Timothy J. Fairplay slipped on his Junior Fairplay guise, but he's done just that for this bleep-tastic new 12" on (Emotional) Especial. "End Of Love" is unabashed in its embrace of early Yorkshire techno tones, making a fine job of resurrecting the bleep spectre and letting it shake up the dance once more. Roy Of The Ravers is a smart choice of remixer, and he brings an off-kilter acid rub to the table in his idiosyncratic, braindance-inflected style. The B-side is equal laden with purposefully dusty dance grooves transplanted from the late 80s / early 90s, with "Faxes From The Future" hitting a particularly sharp point in its lazy breakbeat roll and the clanging harmonies of the stabs.
Review: Having set our world alight with his third Ilian Tape 12", 2012, back in the spring, Munich man Skee Mask delivers another essential collection of loose-limbed, broken techno workouts. Typically, he's on point from the word go, enveloping swinging, off-kilter techno breakbeats with swirling chords and cascading melodies on brilliant opener "Inti". His love of African-influenced polyrhythms is explored further on the ghostly, percussion-rich club cut "Kappelberg Chant" (which, incidentally, makes great use of choral chants), while "Routine" is a warm, loved-up and evocative tribute to rave-era British breakbeat-house. His debt to British dance music's formative years also comes to the fore on killer proto-jungle jam "Skreet Lvl Dub".