Review: The rise of Ilian Tape has been piloted by Dario and Marco Zenker with a steady assurance, so it makes perfect sense for the brothers to helm the first long player project from the Munich label. Immersion is a vibrant, atmospheric stroll through their various influences and inspirations with plenty to admire amongst the ten tracks. There is the bustling, leftfield breakbeat techno of "TSV WB" and pounding "High Club" (a no-nonsense dancefloor assault blessed with occasional eyes-closed chords), as well as sublime tech-jazz of "Cornel 21" and pitched-down junglisms of "Innef Runs". Interestingly, there are also a number of crusty, distorted ambient interludes, with "Erbquake" sounding particularly potent.
Review: Icelandic producer Yagya (AKA reclusive producer Aoalsteinn Guomundsson) doesn't release very much, with four studio albums and a lone single the sum of 12 years productivity. However, what he does release is usually top notch. Sleepygirls, his fifth album and first for Delsin, is predictably good, delivering warm, sensual, melodious, dub-inflected techno and undulating, ultra-deep house. Grooves shuffle, electronics drift between speakers, melodies bubble and chords float off into the ether. It's the kind of album to stick on while the sun's coming up, or as you're easing yourself into the day following a heavy session the night before. Any many ways it's as sleepy as the title suggests, but in the most beguiling way.
Review: On his first solo release for some three years, Robag Wruhme is in a retrospective kind of mood. "Wuzzelbud FF" has been trailed as a "stylistic follow-up" to 2004 debut album, "Wuzzelbud KK", with the long-serving German producer stating his desire to make some "straightforward music for the dancefloor". It's certainly true that the set contains some genuinely serviceable club cuts - see the mildly foreboding techno growl of "Provol Eto", delightfully metallic and wonky tech-house bump of the title track and creepy stomp of "Veddel Braav" - but there's so much more to it than that. Elsewhere on the set, Wruhme memorably turns his hand to glacial ambient, turn-of-the-90s ambient techno, B12 style IDM and, on the memorable "Maiowu", the kind of Squarepusher and Autechre style madness that would once have been called "drill and bass".
Goon (Entire Kickless) (feat Trish Van Eynde) (5:19)
Anti Political (5:14)
The Swamp (7:11)
Predator's Cave (5:42)
Chicago By Night (6:20)
Turn Left Right Here (9:10)
Review: Since releasing his first album for 14 years in 2013, Dutch techno veteran Orlando Voorn has been almost unstoppable. This is his third album in as many years, and may well be his strongest set to date. From the start, it's a blindingly colourful, vibrant and melodious affair, with distinct tropical, jazz, new age and heavy electro influences adding extra depth and interest to his Motor City techno template. Highlights are pleasingly plentiful, from the spacey, bittersweet depth of "Chicago By Night" and hip-hop influenced IDM bounce of "In My World", to the spine-tingling beauty of "Anti Political", and warehouse-friendly carnival warmth of "Goon Entire Kickless".
In Case You Don't Know What To Play (Techno) (3:54)
Unknown Afrique (5:21)
Tokio 1987 (6:35)
All Night Long (6:05)
Sometimes It's Like That, No? (6:15)
In Case You Don't Know What To Play (House) (5:09)
In Case You Don't Know What To Play (Afro) (5:43)
What Is Eigentlich Wrong? (1:38)
Review: As an album title, In Case You Don't Know What To Play is rather good. We suspect that Damiano von Erckert had his tongue firmly pressed against the inside of his cheek when he came up with it, but it somehow seems fitting. You see, the album - the producer's third solo full-length excursion - contains a range of quirky, off-kilter, sample-heavy cuts that suit a variety of moods and situations. While his roots are in groovy and off-kilter deep house, the album's 10 tracks cheekily touch on a myriad of styles and sounds, from wonky Afro-house, broken beat and Balearic disco, to stomping, Terrence Parker style piano anthems and stripped-back jazz-house.
Review: We are honored to announce the debut album from Vin Sol, who's taken club-goers on a trip with his tracks and sets for the past two decades. Vin Sol is a third-generation San Franciscan of Salvadorean descent who has released on Unknown to the Unknown, Clone, Delft, Honey Soundsystem, and Ultramajic. His DJ sets expertly span the genres of house, electro, techno, italo, disco, soul, funk, and whatever other finds he digs up. He's also a musical partner of Matrixxman, AKA Charlie Duff, with whom he started the Soo Wavey label. His current focus is on the wild monthly party and label Club Lonely, which he runs with Primo Pitino and Jeremy Castillo. 'Planet Trash' consists of 10 tracks spread across 2 slabs of vinyl and a bonus flexi disc. Vin started working on the album in the winter of 2017 while taking a break from making club tracks. Simultaneously he also wanted to disconnect from the grip of the internet and 24 hour news cycle. Spending more time outside, he became entranced by the Bay Area fog. Sutro Tower wholly enveloped in mist is a view that inspired the ambient tracks on the album. You will also hear hints of the Latin freestyle and classic acid that informed Vin's youth. By spring of 2018 Vin headed to Berlin to finish the album and work on a collaboration with Matrixxman, an homage to SF musical institution Bottom of the Hill that kicks off side C. Vin's musical approach is honest, using the tools of the trade to both innovate upon and pay respect to classic forms. All songs have been mastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. Each copy is housed in a jacket using photos by Vin Sol, and designed by Kevin McCaughey of Boot Boyz Biz. It includes a 4-color giant newsprint fold-out poster and golden flexi disc.
USM1A1 Abrams Exhaust Rises Between The Hands Of Victory (2:40)
Shadow War In Yemen (6:14)
Asymmetric Warfare Studies Group Double Game (6:25)
Review: New York's Dominick Fernow has released no fewer than eight albums of experimental techno and industrial ambience in his Vatican Shadow guise since 2011, all but one of them on his own Hospital Productions label, and now here comes number nine. As ever with Fernow's output, if you're looking for instant podium singalongs or catchy earworm riffs you'll be humming all day, forget about it: this is uneasy listening for the beat-inclined, as industrial FX and fragmented synth melodies merge with stuttering, off-kilter rhythms while track titles like 'Deny Military Involvement' and 'Asymmetric Warfare Studies Group Double Game' hint at the paranoid, dystopic overall feel.
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Stellate 3(limited clear vinyl 2x10" LP in circular metallic tin)
General Electrik meets Andy Rantzen - "Leather Lover" (5:50)
Jandy Rainbow & Adrenalentil - "I Will Go" (7:19)
Sobriquet - "Is This Your First Time?" (Artificial remix) (4:03)
Blimp - "Yellowgold" (4:33)
Inner Harmony - "Da Lub Club" (3:03)
Maroochy Barambah - "Mongungi" (dance mix) (6:39)
Third Eye - "Behold The Angel Of Frequency" (5:08)
Tetrphnm - "Track 11" (3:59)
Screensaver - "Eliminated" (3:55)
Review: Efficient Space's latest essential release sees Andras and Instant Peterson take a trawl through the darker, lesser-visited corners of Australian electronic music. According to the label, the pair lifted material from "local 12" singles, CD-Rs and the archives of community radio station 3RRR FM". Highlights come thick and fast throughout, from the acid-flecked, "Nude Photo" style Detroit fun of FSOM's "Resist The Beat" and chiming, trumpet-laden bliss of Ian Eccles-Smith's "The Slaughtering Eye", to the jaunty, mid-90s New York style bounce of Blimp's "Yellowgold" and the ultra-deep ambient techno pulse of Tetrphnm's "Track 11". Check, too, the enveloping dreaminess of Screensaver's drifting ambient closer, and the jazzy dancefloor depth of Inner Harmomy's "Da Lub Club".
Review: Welcome to the world Cosmocities Records, a new French label whose first release is an incredible, triple-vinyl collection of what it calls "rare and beautiful instrumental tracks". It's a rather eclectic set, all told, but thanks to immaculate track selection and programming it hangs together exceptionally well. Flick through the clips and you'll find some next-level ambient bliss (Pepe), a crazy, flute-laden percussion workout (DJ Maboku), sunrise-ready dub techno (Segue), melodious ambient techno (Leif), Balearic space jazz (Jitwam), warm analogue deep house (Jaime Read) and a clutch of cuts that blur the boundaries between jazz-funk and broken beat. In other words, it's a stylistically diverse collection of brilliant electronic music that you'll want to listen to again and again.
Oris Jay & Chris Innasound - "Ghost & Darkness" (5:11)
Krust - "Escape From Finland" (3:39)
Au & Jesta - "Just Don" (5:36)
Danny Scrilla - "Clockwerkz" (4:52)
Von D - "Ah So Let It Go" (4:40)
Akcept & Another Channel - "Don't Believe" (6:16)
Monic - "Storm Doris" (4:53)
Review: Let's just list the amount of stone cold bass OGs on this collection: Krust, dBridge, Om Unit, Danny Scrilla, V.I.V.E.K, Von D, Moresounds, AU, Oris Jay & Chris Innasound and whole load more of soundsystem culture's most innovative craftsman working at the deepest levels of the low end coalface all feature on this immense and forward thinking document. Including the curator Amit himself. Every track is a highlight, each one and abyssal, immersive experience but essential highlights include the toxic bass bounces of Moresounds' "They Can't Handle It", the 23rd century UKG of Oris and Chris' "They Can't Handle It" and Krust's big screen masterpiece "Escape From Finland". Amit deserves a holiday. Or a massive trophy. Or both. Bass compilations don't get much bigger than this.
The Djoon Experience - "Old Landmark" (feat Kenny Bobien) (7:29)
2AM/FM - "Desolate Cities" (6:50)
Tom Of England - "Be Me" (4:23)
Invisible Conga People - "In A Hole" (6:22)
Christopher Deloach - "Snow" (feat Nick Hallstrom) (3:31)
Review: The outspoken pair that are Paul Nickerson and Francis Englehardt ran the Dope Jams record store out of Brooklyn until the pressures of rising gentrification in the area forced them to sadly close their doors in 2012. Featured on this compilation across three 12"s are exclusive tracks; reissued or previously unreleased. Highlights weren't limited to: Scottish tech house legend Funk D'Void: who delivers the hi-tech soul of "Thank You (Slowly)", Chicago hardware maverick Hieroglyphic Being on the relentless jack of "Kilometer Zero" and D'Marc Cantu and Tadd Mullinix aka 2AM/FM with the tunnelling acid techno of "Kilometer Zero". Comes with a 32-page booklet full of photos, staff profiles and various anecdotes from over the years.
Review: Tale of Us launch their Afterlife label in style with the Realm of Consciousness compilation. Bringing together some of the best-known names in contemporary techno as well as a group of newcomers, it moves effortlessly between esoteric moods. Tale of Us contribute the ambient intro, while Monoloc and Woo York are both in more mellow form than usual on the melodic "Phoenix" and "Poseidon" respectively. Meanwhile, Recondite contributes the sad melodies and throbbing bass of "Murphy's Law" and Locked Groove balances supernaturally beautiful hooks with powerful bass pulses on "Emeralds". Even more dance floor-focused tracks, like Obscure Shape & SHDW's "Die Wiederkehr", are filled with trancey melancholia.
Review: 10 years in the business already: who would have thought. Belgian powerhouse Token has brought us some strong techno tools in the last five years in particular, which have earned them a reputation as a buy on sight label for serious DJs. Launched by Kr!z in 2007, it started out with releases by a couple of UK legends - namely Inigo Kennedy and Ashley Burchett aka O [Phase] who are still staples of the imprint in the present day. With that in mind, this celebratory compilation is a fitting collaborative project, with almost every track on the album produced by these two longstanding and well-respected artists and especially commissioned for the release. Fast forward to 2017, the label is truly in its prime, if the material on this killer compilation is anything to by. Highlights include the slow burning fury by Sigha and new label regular Rodhad on "Bloom" the latter then delivers another stellar effort with Parisian Antigone on the hypnotic and evocative "Icosahedron Flood". Kennedy's contributions come in the form of "Amalgam" with label boss Kr!z and with Pole Group head honcho Oscar Mulero on the powerful and club-ready "Catharsis".