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: Having previously impressed with two suitably atmospheric EPs on Propersound, Zug has decided to launch his own imprint. This label debut is naturally rather delicious, with the producer offering up a quartet of analogue-rich cuts that effortlessly combine the sci-fi sounding futurism of Detroit with the comforting melodiousness of Larry Heard. Such is the quality throughout that picking highlights is tough, though we're particularly enjoying the gentle grooves and alien melodies of "Constancia" and the suitably dubby, intergalactic pulse of EP opener "Alegria". Elsewhere, "Bienestar" combines bleeping melodies, dreamy chords and shuffling, tech-house style beats, while "Celebracion" sees him wrap far-sighted electronics around a bustling, two-step influenced rhythm track.
Review: Noiztank co-founder Zosima has been surprisingly quiet of late, with his last release of note - the suitably intense and dystopian "Apropos Of The Wet Snow" - dropping back in 2017. As the title suggests "Live Cuts I" is made up of fuzzy, lo-fi workouts that were recorded to tape during live shows in Madrid, Berlin and Vienna. All four are suitably atmospheric and spontaneous in feel, in keeping with the producer's sweaty, hardware-driven performances. What you get is full-throttle industrial techno full of head-mangling distorted drums, rhythmic white noise and - on the clandestine "LC3" and paranoid "LC1" - a sliver of wild-eyed melodic intent. Not for the faint hearted, but well worth your attention if you like your grooves raw, ragged and full-throttle.
Review: For the latest release on his quietly impressive Greyscale label, Lithuanian producer Grad_U has turned to fast-rising Hungarian artist Zol. The two join forces on collaborative opening cut "Intro", an impeccably spacey and intergalactic voyage into pulsing electronic ambient, before Zol serves up a string of atmospheric dub techno workouts, star-gazing tech-house rubs, bass-heavy minimalist rhythm tracks and clanking, early morning club jams. It makes for enjoyable listening, with the ultra-deep "Fin", hypnotic "Szurke", impressively wonky "Nov1" and intensely blissful "Constellation" - a future dub techno classic in our eyes - standing out.
Review: The Zenker Brothers and their Ilian Tape venture get stronger by the minute, and here Marco flies solo with this latest EP, sounding in utterly rude health with it. "Geezin" is a distinctive opener, ditching standard 4/4 propulsion in favour of an airy drum machine arrangement infected with the slightest flurries of hardcore breaks and offset by wistful synth patterns. It's a curious combination that works magnificently, but for those wanting something a little more direct "Splifer" is on hand to deliver a more classically Zenker techno mantra. "Darai" brings the swing back in fine style, throwing down a chunky stomp to match the sizzling hats, and then "Lubiana" wrecks the surroundings with its magnificent pummel of low end percussion and gritty production values.
Review: Having spent the last couple of years concentrating on his collaborative Zenker Brothers project with brother Dario, Marco Zenker has decided the time is right to deliver a new solo 12". Predictably, he hits the mark from the off, successfully blending starburst chords and loose, clattering drum machine rhythms on the tech-jazz influenced "Amb-01". Those looking for a more metronomic, 4/4 club techno roller should check the bounding kick drums and restless hi-hats of "Isolated". B1 cut "First Feeling" sounds like a Motor City techno take on The Orb's 1989 classic "A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain", while closer "Motion" is little less than a sparkling, sunburst tribute to classic, hardcore-era breakbeat techno.
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: Sex Tags Mania chief Sotofett has had an ongoing friendship with Sydneysider Carlos Zarate, since appearing on the latter's Thug imprint with their collaborative Planetary Involvement EP back in 2016. Much like their previous outing, Arjun is another brazen tribute to the classic sounds of Detroit techno. From the classic hi-tech soul aesthetic of the title track with its celestial pads backed by bombastic electro-bass beats, plus sleazy G-funk leads. Speaking of which, the intergalactic funk of "Afroz" likewise gets its bass-heavy boom on, with melancholic strings and a wonky synth bass that's reminiscent of the Motor City's first wave - in particular Derrick May's Rhythim Is Rhythim releases.
Review: Argentina's Andres Zacco has form with Ilian Tape, debuting on the Zenker Brothers-helmed label back in 2011. Zacco is back in the IT fold, but this time it's through the label's X Series, a chapter reserved to more spontaneous white label action. As such, "Thaw" is a sublime mass of percussion riding solo on a soundscape, before being punched into shape by a powerful kick drum, while "Quirt" is more of a stripped-back techno slitherer for DJ tool use. Flip the wax and you'll find the weighty kicks and morphing sonics of "Beighty", alongside Ilian Tape's Rupcy's distorted, big room reinterpretation of "Thaw". All killer, no filler.
Review: Exos' label X/OZ continues to grow as a distinct voice in the world of minimal techno, this time around inviting Russian producer Nikita Zabelin to explore his sound with a sizable EP of finely crafted techno and thought-provoking ambience. "Confusion" is a consummate slice of hypnotic techno crackling with heavily processed energy, while "Pluton" drifts into rich beatless territory. There's more experimental fare afoot with the fractured tumbles of "Curtains", but "Trans Siberian Express" is on hand to lock things back into a sturdy rhythmic framework. Exos also takes the time to remix "Brooklyn Train" into a noirish dub techno workout.
Review: Fernando Zapico AKA Z@p is one of those producers whose work is always worth a listen, primarily because his quality threshold is very high. This two-track missive on My Own Jupiter picks up where his recent EP for Japanese imprint Cabaret left off, delivering faintly foreboding futurist techno whose sci-fi inspirations are clear to hear. A-side "Brutalismo" sets the tone, with paranoia-inducing analogue bass, creepy synth stabs and swirling electronic textures rising above a punchy drum machine-driven groove. "We Control The Sound" is notably denser and a little darker, with sturdier beats, moodier chord sequences and a bone-chilling breakdown.
Review: Osaka's Koshiro "YPY" Hino built his reputation on a series of fearlessly experimental cassette releases, before breaking cover to deliver a 12" of frazzled techno on Nous last year. Zurhyrethm marks his long-form vinyl debut, and contains eight suitably experimental tracks stretched across two slabs of wax. While there are clear tropical influences, a humid feel and nods towards the visceral pleasures of ambient, Hino's greatest strength is his eccentric drum programming. Zurhyrethm's dense - but often subtly mixed - percussive backing dominates throughout, with nods to African and South American rhythms, Sweet Exorcist's C.C.CD-era "clonk techno" (look it up), and the metallic clanking of classic industrial music.
Review: The second 12" on Moscow-based mystery label Private Persons comes from Youngg P, a Ukraine-based DJ/producer whose debut release dropped on Kiev House a couple of years back. On the four tracks showcased here, he shows a good grasp of analogue house and techno dynamics. "Carpathian Rave" is a quirky, off-kilter jacker rich in buzzing electronics, liquid acid riffs and bustling house percussion, while "Ocean" fits the stargazing electronics of vintage Motor City techno to the saucer-eyed melodiousness of vintage Italian deep house. Meanwhile, creepy flipside "War" sounds like it was inspired by a mix of L.I.E.S style distorted techno and 1980s industrial funk. As for closer "Masher Track", it's a full-throated exploration of clanking, drum machine techno.
Review: Sadly departed producer Susumu Yokota made and released some breathlessly brilliant music during his lifetime. Acid Mt Fuji, a 1994 album released in the earliest stages of his recording career, is one of the strongest examples. Here, it gets a first ever vinyl release, some 24 years after the CD edition started appearing in Japanese record stores. In typical fashion, the eleven tracks on offer brilliantly combine elements of ambient, creepy horror soundtracks, IDM and Hardfloor style hard acid with beats that veer from intense and full throttle, to skewed and experimental. It's testament to the album's timeless nature that it doesn't sound like it has aged one bit. In a word: essential.
Review: KUMP's second multi-artist extravaganza - the Lyon-based label's first such exercise for two years -brings together tracks from a quintet of eccentric experimentalists. Clanking, horror-inspired creepiness is provided from the start via Jon The Baptist's lolloping "Hear No Evil", while those looking for some chugging, mid-tempo dancefloor sleaze should make a beeline for Maahrt's "Davardage". Elsewhere, Stove's "Chief of Nine Sisters" is an industrialist's take on tropical music with a suitably pagan twist, and Yssue and Yaws' contributions both sound like contemporary re-inventions of Nitzer Ebb style electronic body music (albeit with a touch more inherent looseness).
Review: The eagle-eyed amongst you may notice that the four cuts showcased here made up the first 12" of Indigo Aera's recent Lost Archives Special box-set. Like most of the rest of that expansive package, these tracks are exclusive and previously unreleased. The quality threshold is undeniably high: check, for example, the glistening, beat-less ambient positivity of Yamaoka's "Dragon Robe", and the glacial melodiousness of Skudge's rolling techno shuffler, "November". Those looking for a darker, slightly more intense take on techno should head for Museum's throbbing "RA", while label co-founder Jasper Wolff's "Float" is a study in classic, dub-influenced techno hypnotism.
Review: Under the Yak alias, Steel City producer John Randall has previously plied his wares on Version, 3024 and R&S, offering up distinctively percussive tracks that sit somewhere between techno and bass music. His latest outing - this time for Phonica Records - delivers more hard-to-pigeonhole goodness for discerning dancefloors. Opener "Zip" peppers African style tribal drums and raw Motor City techno bass with the kind of ear-catching bleeps that were once a Steel City staple, before the jumpy and upbeat "Guevenne Groove" wraps positive, glassy-eyed synthesizer motifs around sweaty, loose-limbed live drumming. "Fret" is a spaced out, bass-heavy two-step number laden with intergalactic electronics and undulating bass, while closing cut "Gerudo" brilliantly joins the dots between tribal rhythms and shimmering deep house.
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: 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: Synthesizer and drum machine obsessive Xosar (AKA producer Sheela Rahman) has enjoyed a productive few years, building a formidable reputation via releases on Rush Hour, L.I.E.S and Creme Organization. Here she delivers her first full-length for Opal Tapes' occasional vinyl offshoot, Black Opal. It's perhaps a little less colourful and synthesizer-heavy than previous excursions, instead focusing on dark, fuzzy, heavily percussive takes on acid house and techno. Of course, there are curious interludes - see the wonky industrial IDM of "Prophylaxis" and the beatless synth madness of "Gnome Circle" - but it's the more floor-friendly excursions (and most profoundly the bleak and intense "Hades Gates") that really stand out.
Review: Given that XOR Gate is a new project from Drexciya member and all round Detroit legend Gerald Donald, we'd expect copies of Conic Sections to fly off the shelves. It helps, of course, that's the mini-album is little less than inspired. There are hints of Drexciya's alien electronics throughout, but little in the way of punchy TR-808 beats or booming bass. Instead, Donald treats us to a sublime selection of futurist soundscapes, experimental doodles, deep space ambient compositions and trippy, horror-influenced electronica. It's effectively the distilled essence of Motor City futurism with the dancefloor grooves removed and some creepy modular electronics thrown in. Which, we think you'll agree, is an enticing proposition.
Review: There's a certain mysticism that hovers around Piramide Registrazioni, with its occult symbolism, mysterious artists and fuzzy, vintage sound. Label protagonist Xinner has been previously spotted alongside S. Moreira on Phonica Records, but here is sharing valuable wax space on Piramide 2 with Autre and Hawaiian Chips. Autre's version of old-skool deep house has an interesting urgency about it, and Hawaiian Chips turns out shimmering electro of the highest order. It's Xinner's tracks that stand out the most though, with synths straining under the weight of their own wobblyness and beats that punch out in clouds of reverb fog.
Review: Gifted Culture Collective member and occasional S. Moreira collaborator Xinner has decided to inaugurate a new alias, Robotron, via a first EP for ESP Institute. The man-machine's first missive, "Dream Resonator", is rather delightful, and sees him warp chiming, crystalline synthesizer melodies and glassy-eyed IDM style chords around an inventive and entertaining rhythm track that sits somewhere between Drexciya style electro and jazz-fired broken beat. The same rhythmical dexterity is also at the heart of similarly rush-inducing flipside "Ice", where bolder melodies and chunkier bass catch the ear alongside some suitably futurist electronics.
Review: Despite an impressive discography and a well-deserved reputation for crafting high quality techno and electro, Lee Xhin's releases have been few and far between in recent years. In fact, this wonderful four-tracker is the sometime Token, Stroboscopic Artefacts and Semantica artist's first release for two years. It sees him exploring the potential of dancefloor futurism by flitting between melodious, piano-sporting electro/techno fusion (the surprisingly melancholic "Everythingremains"), punchy but spacey peak-time electro ("Vision Electrified"), angular and mind-altering modular experimentation (twisted, beat-free closing cut "Dust") and moody, off-kilter breakbeat techno (electro influenced roller "IKNx2", where strummed shoegaze guitar motifs rise above claustrophobic chords and pummeling drums).
Review: Owen Jay's Batti Batti label has carried a great selection of various artists releases throughout its back catalogue, and the tradition continues with this latest missive. The Palette EP kicks off with the ever-rising talents of Jayson Wynters, who plies a seductive strain of deep house on "Sherella's Kiss" that melts perfectly into the blissful, twinkling keys and gossamer percussion of Duccio's "Absurdation". Kiddmisha leads in on the B side with the sprightly electro of "Healing" before Weakmassive rounds things off with the mellow acid of "Sjhue," which matches a nagging 303 with sumptuous keys for a spine-tingling conclusion to a fantastic 12".
Review: Distant Worlds HQ has tasked 4 sonic scientists, spaced intermittently throughout the earth, to each intercept a transmission on behalf of the electronic music community. Tagwell Woods steps up first with a mournful, melancholic but beautiful interpretation of hardware-based electronica. Castel unearths a track from the mid 90s telling of a progressive approach to acoustics. Flip over for a downtempo trip into the future past courtesy of label fave, Mihail P and HOLOVR tops this release off with an acidic excursion into an expanded state of consciousness.
Review: Last year, Andrew Weatherall launched yet another collaborative project, joining forces with long-time pal and occasional studio partner Nina Walsh as The Woodleigh Research Facility. Here, they continue their partnership with The Phoenix Suburb (And Other Stories), a fine debut album that marks the first material on Weatherall's Rotters Golf Club imprint since 2013. Rooted in the Detroit end of electro, but with more than a hint of the early, IDM influenced escapades of the former Junior Boys Own man's Two Lone Swordsmen project, it's a set that combines moments of snappy dancefloor heaviness with more evocative, ambient-influenced fare. There are, of course, plenty of intriguing aural references to shared influences - psychedelia, rockabilly, Arabic music, and so on - scattered throughout, making it an intriguing and entertaining proposition.
My Love Is For Real (feat Haddaway - live At The Cathedral) (5:42)
Review: We've long thought that Austrian artist Wolfram Eckert is destined for greatness - or, to be more specific, crossover success - but to date his authentically produced but often tongue-in-cheek take on Euro-pop has yet to catch on with the public. "Amadeus", his long awaited second album, has all the ingredients to be a massive hit. Rich in bold synthesizer motifs, knowing nods to classic new wave and Euro-disco hits, atmospheric electronics, on-point grooves (we can hear nods to Italo-disco, Hi-NRG, acid house and the Pet Shop Boys) and high profile collaborations (Egyptian Lover, Haddaway, Peaches and, bizarrely, Pamela Anderson all appear), it's an album that brilliantly combines a mature synthesizer sound with the catchy hooks and giddy rush of the best pop music.
Review: Too long had passed since the last Power House killah, so these four new bangers from WK7 aka Shed couldn't be more welcome on our charts. As per usual, the techno luminary chugs out some proper old-school vibes under this slamming guise and, unsurprisingly, they're as mean and tooled-up as ever. "Rhythm 1" is classic WK7 on a breakbeat tip, molding euphoric rave waves together with fat, driving beats for the dancehall; "The Healer" is a much deeper, funkier groove powered by rough flanger FX and Shed's magical groove tactics. On the flip, "Rhythm 2 (Power Snap Mix)" is a subtle edit of the A1, boasting yet more percussive glory, while the Tripple H mix delivers a fine jungle rework of the original - crunchy breaks all-round!
Review: Keeping up with Rene "Shed" Pawlowitz's many aliases is almost a full-time job in itself. Here, he dons the WK7 guise last used in 2012 for an EP that happily joins the dots between the sensual shuffle of house, and the rigid thump of techno. A-side "Washer" leads the way, with curious synth refrains and off-kilter electronics riding a delightfully bumpin', extra-percussive, 125 BPM groove. Flipside "More Music" successfully doffs a cap to vintage US and UK garage - feel the swing of those beats, with the added intensity of his usual techno kicks - with warm chords and vocal samples emphasizing the classic inspirations.
Review: Having only made spotted appearances in the past, icy ambient techno artist Winter In June makes a fine first outing on vinyl with a press of his formerly digi-only EP Eternal Lovers. It's prime Silent Season material, using massive slabs of reverb and a foreboding sense of space as his main weapons while rolling out bleak machine matter that sounds as though it were blown across the tundra. "About Life & Death" is particularly moving with its heart monitor bleeps and forlorn strings, while "The Party Is Elsewhere" is a telling trip into the coldest of coldwave.
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: It would be fair to say that Super Hexagon is Leeds' main night when it comes to the darker side of house and electro. Sure, the music is played week in and week out on plenty of sound systems, but this crew like to focus on those sounds exclusively... and they know just how to deliver the goods! They've snatched up UK electro producer, J.Wiltshere, who we've come to recognise as an impressive new talent on the streets thanks to a pair of releases for the mighty Hypercolour. SH003 is the third instalment of the imprint, and "Large Mammals" gives the EP a worthy kick-start thanks to a raucous blend of gunshot percussion and metallic bass knots, which is further explored on the vicious bumps of the acid-ridden "Existential Energy". "DX Hell/HVN" takes a more laid back approach to the electro bruisings, coming through with a blissful techno groove filled with raw percussion patterns, while "No More Knives" surprisingly meanders in an ambient zone, bereft of any beats at all but primed with plenty of contained energy from the same industrial space as its siblings.
Review: The mysterious Wilson Phoenix returns with another batch of muscular techno joints that'll wipe the floor with any half-hearted 4/4 pretenders. Considering how sought after his earlier releases are, don't expect this to hang around for long. The beastly 909 kicks on "Dorphin" would slot in perfectly with Head Front Panel's own blown out take on peak time rabble rousing techno, while the kick-clap sync on "Dexed" will get fists a-shaking. It's not all blunt drums though - there's plenty of peppy colour splashed all over this record to make it stand out from the crowd. This ain't no monochrome chugging business!
Review: Fresh from delivering two killer cuts on a split release with pal Jack Michael on Orbital London, former Osman artist Harry Wills pops up on LEMAK. There's plenty to admire throughout, from the subtle deep garage influences, bleeping melodies and rolling tech-house grooves of opener "Quench", to the shuffling deep electro pulse of ghostly closing cut "Grebe". By far away the most arresting cut on the EP, "Capri Swung", is sandwiched between the two. This sees him continue to develop his trademark garage-influenced tech-house sound by wrapping glitchy electronics and jammed-out organ chords around a bonkers, Luke Vibert style bassline and swinging two-step drums.
Review: This time the Mojuba sublabel brings us the second part of the 'Detroit' series by the label owner Don Williams himself. This one-sided
record features two fine examples of music inspired by the city of D. The first one is a pumping, peak-time cut to hit the dancefloors with
and might become an essential tool for the ambitious DJ. The second track convinces in its very own character, providing a feeling that
many will recognize from the early years of techno, when this music was connected to the listener in a more deep and emotional way.
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: The second installment of Damon Wild's Comet Finder series takes off from Synewave with another four perspectives on cosmically-inclined techno from the long serving US producer. "Death Dive" is an appropriate title for the edgy opening track, which keeps the rhythm section submerged and lets the bleeps do the talking. "Black Lake" heads into more experimental territory, using a crooked groove as a vessel for all kinds of wobbling frequencies picked up like errant microwaves fired across the solar system. "Moonraker" maintains the ominous atmosphere while plunging into a dense, rippling bed of blips and synth wriggles, and then "Radars" rounds the set off with a linear trip through space dust of the highest order.
Review: After dropping the Cosmic Path album on Infrastructure last year, US techno veteran Damon Wild returns to Synewave with some further ruminations on the relationship between space and electronics. There's a plethora of starry-eyed sounds to latch onto on "Comet Finder," which launches with a shuddering rhythmic chassis and a galaxy of intertwining synth tones. "Shadows" takes things in a deeper, eerier direction, while "Other Places" drops back even further into a minimalist shaker laden with heavily reverbed acid blips. The "Muted Mix" of "Comet Finder" is an icy, beatless flip of the lead track perfect for sending an interstellar chill out of the speakers.
Review: After Gunnar Haslam inaugurated Kalvanic Languages with his deep-minded techno styles, now it's up to supposed newcomer Bill Westerby to follow up with another round of elevated machine learning. "K-Stream" was a smart choice for the lead track, bubbling along on a warm acid line and shuffling a wealth of dubby processing around in the middle distance. "Down A Back Alley In Cholon" is a slightly more wound up affair with a bleepy lead and a firmer jack powering the drums, but the end results are actually more meditative than that description might have you believe. "Caye De Crabe" is a more overtly tripped out affair with polyrhythmic phrases weaving in and out of each other while Westerby lets rip on the parameter tweaks in a fine display of machine wielding prowess.
Review: Typically, General Elektro isn't giving much away about the identity of the producers behind "new collaboration" Westend, or their aims for the project for that matter. Musically, it's a quietly impressive debut that features a sextet of tracks mostly built around gently undulating synthesizer arpeggio lines and moody electronics. Many of the tracks are stripped-back, hypnotic and beat-less, deriving their power from the relentless thrust of the arpeggio lines that ripple across the sound space. Others, meanwhile, include ghostly electro drums or, in the case of the bombastic "Track 4", the kind of no-nonsense, kick-drum-driven beats that were once a feature of the greatest Electronic Body Music releases.
Review: The masterful Sven Weisemann returns to the album format with Inner Motions, his second long player of a storied career as a producer of supple, genteel house music. It's released, naturally, on the Mojuba label whose sound has been defined by Weisemann and compatriot Nick Sole, and offers an extensive demonstration of the Berlin based producer's capacity to combine heart wrenching musicality with the crisp dynamism needed for club play. Arriving in some typically luxuriant packaging from Mojuba, Inner Motions is apparently "inspired by electronic music's classic and timeless albums of the early and mid 90s" and its 12 tracks form part of a greater whole. As intoxicating a listening experience it is, Weisemann has still ensured some of the music here can be equally powerful out of the collective context with "Rejection" and "Evolver" notable highlights.
Review: Long-serving Brazilian techno titan Redolfo Wehbba made his bow on Drumcode earlier in the year, delighting the Swedish label's army of fans with the Eclipse EP. Here he returns with what may be the first and only EP ever named in honour of a kitty's chocolate starfish. "Catarse", the aforementioned title track, is something of a bombastic, big room techno roller; a thumping affair where dreamy, saucer-eyed riffs slowly rise above an intense rhythm track. While good, it's arguably not a patch on the ragged intensity of opener "She Lost Control" - all ricocheting drum machine fills, wild electronic riffs and rumbling bass - or "Mind Awake", a throbbing, sleazy and downright intoxicating workout that contains some distinctly dystopian noises.
Review: After a strong run of releases between 2013 and 2014 that saw the likes of Hakim Murphy and Mark Forshaw grace their grooves, III Rivers are back in action with a sterling new effort from apparent debutant producer Dane Weaver. The techno foundations of the label sound as strong as ever on "Atom Soup," which charges ahead on firm but malleable arpeggios with an acidic undertone. "In The Clear" is a more wriggly affair with a swung groove and plenty of off kilter delights for wonkier dancefloors. "A Brief Trip To Space" opens up the B side with some delightful anchorless tones, and then "French Stu" burrows deep into the outer realm of machine manipulation in a gritty demonstration of leftfield techno.
Review: Given his recent obsession with shoegaze-influenced psychedelic disco chug, it's easy to forget that Andrew Weatherall is capable of crafting seriously good electro. Of course, his take on electro is far from purist. "Blue Bullet", the title track from the veteran DJ/producer's second Byrd Out 12", features spacey, ricocheting machine drums and deep space electronics, but is powered by a typically fuzzy, restless dub disco bassline. Weatherall's love of dub soundystem culture comes to the fore on flipside "Making Friends With The Invader", where discordant, psychedelic influenced guitars rise above delay-laden drum machine hits and a suitably heavyweight bassline.
Review: Those well versed in ghetto house history should know all about Wax Master Maurice, a Chicago originator who released a string of on-point EPs on Dance Mania throughout the second half of the '90s. This surprise 12" for Super Rhythm Trax marks his first appearance on vinyl since 2008's footwork-inspired Waxmaster Make 'Em Juke EP. The material here is closer in tone to his now-classic releases, though there are some nods to B-more club (see "Otis Ghetto House") and, of course, the juke movement of recent years ("Keep On Jukin"). Naturally, all six tracks are formidably club-focused, brilliantly combining chopped-up samples (snaking sax lines, bits of old funk records, looped vocal snippets) with the kind of boundless, energetic rhythms that send Chicago dancers crazy.
Review: For his first release of 2018, Hiroshi Watanabe has reworked one of the unarguable highlights of his 2016 album Multiverse. In its original form, "The Leonids" was a soaring slice of futurist techno perfection rich in bubbly synthesizer melodies and sweeping strings. It's this orchestrated aspect of the track that's explored in greater detail on "The Lenoid Strings", a beat-less, neo-classical string quartet cover that heightens the original version's rush-inducing positivity. It's stunning and - as both Derrick May and Watanabe have proved in recent DJ sets - sounds great when dropped over the top of the album mix. On the flip, Watanabe dusts down the drum machines and synthesizers to deliver "In To The Memory", a poignant and melancholic chunk of sci-fi techno deepness.
Review: A four-track acid EP by veteran producer Warlock, out on Kalbata's Brush & Broom label. Ex-amount of jaw-grind action from the London underground legend. "Violent Rays" and "Swearings" are both straight-up warehouse workouts, comfortably placed next to reflective after-hour gushers "Run DC" and "Cave Tone". Once again, Warlock demonstrates stunning crisp production, touched by old-school heritage, dating back to pre-94 legislation times. Essential.
Review: Throughout his career, L.I.E.S. regular Beau Wanzer has proved adept at delivering decidedly fuzzy, lo-fi workouts that variously draw influence from industrial, EBM, techno and electro. He's at it again on "Do The Spider Shimmy", a tidy ten-inch containing six wonderfully wayward cuts. It's a noticeably stripped-back affair, with most of the cuts existing of little more than sparse but heavy basslines, occasional electronics, minimalist electro beats and the odd droning, stylized vocal. Highlights come thick and fast, from the gently spacey synth-scape "Never Look Back" and the buzzing simplicity of "You Can't Stand On Broken Shoes", to the lo-fi no wave pop of "Choice Curve" and the raw, laid back electro sleaze of the title track.