Review: Here's something to cheer fans of classic Chicagoan deep house: a surprise re-press of Boo Williams and Glenn Underground's much-lauded (and surprisingly hard to find) 1995 collaborative EP on Maad. The release has always been coveted by those in the know partly due to its' surprisingly eclectic nature. So, while there are classic, organ-laced, typically bumpy deep house jams (see "Motion Sickness", the vibraphone-laden "Cronic Groove" and deliciously bass-heavy, acid-flecked "Bee W G5"), the duo also used the opportunity to indulge their techno fantasies. The EP's final two tracks, "Lights Out" and "Stopen Niggaz", are both relentlessly tough, with ragged electronics and bombastic, fast-paced rhythms.
Review: Fresh from remixing Afrobeat legend Tony Allen for Dekmantel, Ricardo Villalobos presents his first solo outing of 2019 - an epic double-pack containing four lengthy workouts in his signature off-kilter, minimalist techno style. First up is title track "Mandela Move", where chanted South African vocals weave their way in and out of hypnotic, funk-fuelled, glitch-driven drums that rank amongst Villalobos' boldest beats for some time. "Fontec" is deeper and subtly more melodious, with plenty of weirdo noises and some seriously chunky bass, while "Ectroscop" sees our Chilean hero brilliantly blend the swinging funk of breakbeat with his mind-altering percussion and production. Finally, "Beetglass" is as crunchy, bass-heavy and percussive as anything Villalobos has done to date.
Review: The tenth volume in Libertine's "Traditions" series comes from Luke Vibert, a producer who has consistently delivered brilliant music across a range of electronic styles for the best part of three decades. This time he's in full-on intergalactic electro mode, charging between the ghetto-tech influenced dancefloor assault of "iSocket", the pitched-down, hip-hop tempo shimmer of "iTeeth" - all crunchy machine drums, intergalactic chords and alien lead lines - and the bleeping eccentricity of rolling workout "iCandy". Arguably best of all, though, is closing cut "iWash", a deliciously tipsy and wayward mixture of undulating acid lines, off-kilter synth splashes and skittish electro beats that are far more weighty than they initially appear.
Review: Basel-based group Varuna returns to Garcon and Agonius' Amenthia recordings, with an impressive debut long player, featuring four tracks of deep and ethereal sound exploration. Go deep into the rainforest on the esoteric opener "Departure From Kalidor", surrender to the void on the darkly psychedelic "Entela's Daymare" or lose yourself in the heady and hypnotic bliss of "Labyrinth Of Nuanto". Abstract tribal-trance expressions in the vein of Voices From The Lake, Nuel or natural/electronic.system - highly recommended!
Catnapp & Otto Von Schirach - "Rattle Snake" (2:38)
Gajek - "Large-Scale/Small-Scale" (5:14)
Redshape - "Dirt Box" (7:47)
Siriusmo - "Extra" (3:09)
Mouse On Mars - "Krautzig" (feat Drumno) (4:07)
Review: Modeselektor have never been all that keen on looking back, so it's little surprise to find that they've chosen to celebrate 10 years of their Monkeytown label with an album of brand new cuts. As you'd expect, it's rather good. As well as their own "My Friend The 201" - a rush-inducing fusion of glittering, star burst electronics and weighty bottom-end pressure - highlights include the insanely heavy warehouse flex of Shed's "Rigger", the off-kilter techno breeziness of Redshape's "Dirt Box", a skittish and jumpy workout from German veterans Mouse On Mars and a woozy chunk of experimental ambient/IDM fusion from Anstam.
Review: Some two years in the making, the double LP Datafunk Vol 1 compilation from UK label Abstract Forms finally arrives and should be classed under "worth the wait" by anyone with an interest in all strands of electro purism. Datafunk Vol 1 essentially demonstrates how respected Abstract Forms are as a label within the electro community with new and exclusive contributions from such luminaries as DJ Stingray, DMX Krew, mystery Bunker entity Shemale, Further Records Rotterdam correspondent Ian Martin and Andreas Gehm's Elec Pt 1 project. Don't skip on the lesser known names such as Das Mooster or Obergman however as their productions help lend Datafunk Vol 1 a sense of cohesion, with "Cycloaddition" from the unheralded Linear Synthesis a notable highlight. If Abstract Forms want to spend another two years working on a second volume that's fine with us!
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!
Marc Acardipane aka Pilldriver - "Pitch-Hiker" (5:00)
Shadowax - "I Want To Be A Stewardess" (6:45)
Universal Indicator - "15 C7" (2:51)
Roma Zuckerman - "Zero" (5:15)
Nina Kraviz - "Opa" (3:11)
Review: There's a loose concept surrounding the latest double EP-come-compilation from Nina Kraviz's TRIP label. Fundamentally this is a collection that mixes "essential gems" from the label's catalogue with a wealth of previously unreleased material. Kraviz's own "Opa", a fiendishly leftfield techno assault that's as skewed and out-there as they come, is undoubtedly amongst the highlights, but it's not alone. Check, in particular, the hectic, mind-altering braindance business of Biogen's "Hexagraphic", the speaker-busting loop techno intensity of "Grasshunter" by Exos, and the utter insanity of Bjarki's "3-1 Tap Lush", whose bizarre and tipsy manipulated non-verbal vocal sounds are capable of inducing travel sickness even in seasoned travelers.
Review: This various artists compilation across two discs sees the Melbourne based house larrikins Sleep D curate some fab local and nationwide talent. It's best demonstrated on their collaboration with Cale Sexton "Strait Bass" - a serving of sublime acid-house infused balearica. Similarly Newcastle's Roman Nails works that little silver Roland box like a you know what on the dry and lo-fi "Fresh Fruit". Representing the new garde of the country's west coast (Perth) are Good Company's Phil Stroud with the polyrhythmic mayhem of "City Living", sonic terrors Senate with the frantic acid stomp of "Chambers" and the legendary Ewan Jansen: who presents yet more of his coveted retrospective works in the form of "Motif Of A Fish". Elsewhere UK transplant in Melbourne Kloke dons the Colours Of Infinity alias for the compilation's standout: the futurist electro fusion of "Frequency Shift".
Genesis Breyer P-Orridge - "One Being, One Orientation, One Power" (6:12)
Review: For the ninth volume in their ongoing compilation series, Berlin clubbing institution Berghain has handed over the reigns to man-of-many-aliases Dominick Fernow, an experimental electronic music hero known for his work as Vatican Shadow, Prurient, Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement and Exploring Jezebel among others. His choices are universally inspired, from the spoken word loops of Genesis P-Orridge and ghostly, mind-altering dancefloor hum of Los Angeles Death Cult, to the lo-fi techno of Ron Morelli, the acid-fired intensity of Volvox and the dust-encrusted industrial throb of full-throttle cuts by JK Flesh and Alberich. The double-vinyl set also includes a number of twisted modular loops and occasional forays into noise-soaked ambience. Impressive stuff all told.
Review: "Off radar dance music / elitist pop culture transmitted from the Gooiland area in Holland" according to the label themselves on the Noblesse Oblige EP " it is a gathering of artists with a different heartbeat and mind-set... uncompromising sounds for the real freaks ... in this case this means sweaty EBM, dark techno and industrial acid". Yeah we couldn't have said it better ourselves really. Take for instance the A side cut "Apertanence" by Zagreb's LCN, a slow burning EBM grinder reminiscent of early DAF or Liaisons Dangereuses, the always impressive Noah Anthony aka Profligate with his new wave electro-punk noir on "Come Back (Bleeding House)". On the flip we've also got some reduced industrial techno courtesy of Osty on "Untitled One" and the gritty and uncompromising techno-punk of "Neugeborene Nachtmusik" by Yoshiwara.
Felix Da Housecat - "Temptation" (Color mix) (5:54)
China White - "Theme From The Underground" (5:53)
The Operator - "The Mind Strike" (7:18)
Steve Poindexter - "Body Jam" (14:19)
Mike Dearborn - "Deviant Behaviour" (instrumental mix) (5:39)
DJ Skull - "Don't Stop The Beat" (6:04)
Review: In case you didn't know, leading Dutch crew Dekmantel have taken it upon themselves to shine a light on the vital work of the Djax Up label. It was one that joined the dots between US and European scenes back in the nineties and this second volume features eight cult 90s cuts from some foundational names. Highlights are plentiful throughout, but our picks have got to be Glenn Underground's "Real Space"; a jacking Chicago jam with cosmic bass that still bangs and DJ Skull's hi-tek soul on "Don't Stop The Beat" that well and truly defies its age amongst a release that is full of golden oldies.
Review: Pitch black antics by Greek industrial noise terror (and Liber Null main man) Unhuman, alongside Dutch modular maniac Derk Reneman aka Roberto Auser for this collaboration between imprints Gooiland Elektro and Enfant Terrible out of Holland. Unhuman (Emmanouil Simotas) takes care of the A side of the release, immediately treading the left hand path on the slow burning acid sludge of "Faces Of Death", followed by the seething EBM reduction of "Seven Days". On the flip, Auser lunges straight for the jugular on the brooding and contorted techno experiment that is "Avalon", followed by the pummelling four to the floor grindcore of "Unexplained".
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: The Kimochi label has been steadily releasing quality output over the last four years and they've been responsible for introducing us to a pool of new talent from the ambient corners. This latest beautifully presented 12" comes in their usual house style and comes from UD, an unknown artist who has already released one EP for the label last year. "Muy Casera" starts things off with colourful minimalism thanks to its glitchy sonics, while "Meticulous" breaks the groove and takes the beeps to an irregular tempo. "After The Cremation" is looser and more heavily focussed on cinematic pads, whereas "Pankow" takes subtle bursts of noise and places them above grey-scaled low frequencies. There's some special appearances on the B-side in the form of two remixes by Leipzig's Mix Mup and Sued's SW: the former gives his own version of "NFL CC DUB", a slow and chuggy beat burning below mild pads, whereas the latter interpretation of "Dewy" contains that classic SUED sound, a bag of rickety percussion and rich soundscapes. Don't miss it, gone before you know it.