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.
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: 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: 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: 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: 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.