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: In what is surely an unexpected collaboration in the field of house and techno, Mosaic mastermind Steve O'Sullivan teams up with Ricardo Villalobos for a hypnotic trip through minimal landscapes that plays to both of their strengths. The rock-solid rhythm of "Sullric" surely belongs to O'Sullivan while the rich, subtle layers of samples, tones and other such sonic decorations come straight from the Villalobos school of production. The two mixes on this 12" only have minor differences - whichever side you drop things will get considerably deeper than they were previously. Of such ingredients are classy, immersive techno joints made.
Review: Last year, someone set up an online petition calling for Warp to re-release The Other People Place's brilliant Lifestyles Of The Laptop Cafe album on wax. Happily, Warp has responded to the strength of feeling from electronica fans - most of whom bristled at the high online prices for second hand copies - and re-pressed it. Drexciya man James Stinson's 2001 solo set remains a timeless electronic classic; a perfectly pitched and immaculately produced fusion of downtempo electro rhythms, spacey electronics and twinkling synthesizer melodies. In fact, you'll struggle to find a better electro album full stop, making this reissue an essential purchase for anyone not lucky enough to own an original copy.
Review: **REPRESS**The last time a newcomer graced Theo Parrish's Sound Signature, it resulted in widespread praise for the Flowers EP from London based producer, DJ and singer Andrew Ashong, somehow we get the feeling this latest release on the label will prove to be as memorable. The Scorpio Rising EP sees Parrish look much closer to home and grant the DC-born, Detroit-bred producer Jay Daniel his debut release and the four track 12" more than lives up to his billing as one of Boiler Room's most exciting new discoveries at DEMF. Wild Oats obsessives will probably know Daniel from the Fundamentals residency shared with Kyle Hall and he's clearly spent some time honing his Detroit influenced craft, with cuts like "No Love Lost" expertly balanced between melody and rugged drum grit. "Brainz" is the kind of no-nonsense DJ tool you might have heard on a FXHE B Side circa 2008 whilst "I Have No Name" demonstrates Daniel is eminently capable of the sort of hope inducing Utopian house from the D that the much missed Aaron Carl was renowned for.
Review: Back in 2016, legendary Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen approached techno pioneer Jeff Mills with the idea of working together. A series of live gigs and off-the-radar studio sessions followed, with the first fruits of their joint efforts finally appearing on this must-have 10". As you'd expect, the duo's collaborative work combines Allen's traditional Nigerian polyrhythms, traditional Afrobeat instrumentation, and the far-sighted, sci-fi inspired electronic futurism that has always marked out Mills' work. The result is a quartet of cuts that could arguably be described as retro-futurist Afro-tech - all delay-laden beats, basslines and organs subtly sparring with gentle acid lines, Motor City electronics, beguiling deep space textures and shimmering, 31st century motifs. It's arguably Allen's stylistic contributions that dominate, but that's no bad thing.
Review: Carl Craig's annus mirabilis for remixing continues in similar vein as his work on Theo Parrish and Delia Gonzales, the take here of Bobo Shanti's "Poor People Must Work" should be hugely popular at all this summer's parties. Rhythm & Sound construct, by their own admission, a hard-steppin-funk Basic reshape of Willi Williams' by-now epochal "See Mi Yah" a true dub anthem for the dancefloor.
Review: Although Omar S' excellent Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself album was released on CD a few months ago, it's the deluxe vinyl version that the real "Homie's and Tender Roni's" have been waiting for. Only Omar S could get away with spreading all of its 14 tracks across 4 12"s, split into two parts, but for those yet to sample its delights, the album's superb selection of tracks more than justifies the expense; Part 1 features the superb vocal turn from L'Renee on "Rewind", the insanely feelgood house of "The Shit Baby", the experimental dubbiness of "Helter Shelter" and thick set deep house of "Amalthea".
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: Ever the champion of brains and brawn in equal measure, Maceo Plex makes his debut appearance on Drumcode with this punchy beast of a single. "Conjure Dreams" features plenty of Plex signifiers, from the rounded and rowdy bassline pump to the haunting tone of the synth lines, neatly packaged in a chunky framework of big room drums. "Conjure Floyd" meanwhile burrows into more minimal territory where the tones are amelodic and the percussion takes the lead, calling to mind the restraint and tension of classic M_nus productions where so much could be said with so little.
Review: Robin Ball has been on a roll of late, flaunting his wares on the Memory Box label amongst others. He makes a second outing on Groovepressure with four tracks of dynamic, inventive machine jams touching on synthwave influences and a healthy dose of electro. There's atmosphere loaded into each of these forthright, roughly hewn workouts, not least on the eerie, trancey synth strings on "Mr Mumble". The B side features the steadiest material in the shape of two versions of "Satin" that tap into the housier end of Ball's output.
Review: Essential repress! Tomas Bangalter's stone cold classic Roule 12" Trax On Da Rocks makes a return. The five tracks on offer - "On Da Rocks", "Roule Boule", "What To Do", "Outrun" and "Ventura" - have acquired legendary status, standing as sublime examples of the rough, raw end of the filter-soaked French house sound. Some 17 years since they were first released, these tracks have lost none of their madcap brilliance; if this isn't already a cherished part of your record collection, here's your chance.
Review: Despite having already released a 16 track album this year, Detroit's finest, Omar S, proves that there is quite simply nothing stopping him as he issues the four track Nelson County. "Don't Let Dis Be HapNin! Comes on like the classic "Psychotic Photosynthesis" at witnessed through a haze of smoked glass, while "U Heard What Da Man Said Muthafukka!!" is something much more driving, like taking a spin on Detroit's streets after dark in a souped up Dodge Charger, before "Nelson County" sees the tough house-focused denouement take place in a dingy backstreet club. As always with Omar S, this stuff doesn't mess about....
Review: Doing things properly and building up a DIY phenomenon from their base in Zurich, the Les Points crew have brought a fresh, daring originality to the house and techno scene with their gritty outboard approach and a wide range of stylistic tendencies. Taking a break from releasing on their own label, Audino, Barbir, Louh and Nicola Kazimir have been invited to the evergreen Trelik to broach their music to a wider audience. From the blissful space techno groove of "Anubis" to the tightly wound beats of "Housepacer" and on to the cranky acid funk of "Ripstyle", this is yet another distinctive transmission from the plucky Swiss crew.
Review: With a title like Annoying Mumbling Alkaholik, you'd expect this three-tracker from the mighty Alex "Omar" Smith to be full of pent-up anger and bitter frustration. Sure, there's a raging rawness about the third track - an undulating trip into spiraling acid territory - but for the most part the EP is a beacon of simple beauty. The opening track is particularly picturesque, with beautiful, new-age influenced melodies and immersive pads riding a cymbal-heavy Detroit deep house groove. There's more Mood Hut/Future Times style synth work on the Tangerine Dream influenced "Track 2", which contrasts deep, sun-kissed melodic loops with a fuzzy drum machine groove.
Review: ** Re(condite)press ** Ever a reliable source of restrained and chilling excursions into experimental techno, Recondite steps up to the burgeoning Dystopian label and brings a selection of tracks that fit the labels implied ethos like a glove. "Liberia" in particular stalks on a broken beat that is just barely audible underneath the clangs and decays of delicate industrial noises, exorcising all manner of minimal demons to an uneasy end. "Cleric" is more forthcoming with a solid 4/4 rhythm and a heartfelt arpeggio but still the vibe is quite a bleak one. "EC10" gets no sunnier, instead pitting morbid synth notes against each other while the rhythmic elements tick into the mix progressively with a healthy amount of weight behind them. "Equilibrium" rounds proceedings off with another study of planting melancholic moods within sterile textures, while those quiet but perfectly pitched drums provide the necessary framework.
Review: These days, we're all familiar with Jan Jelinek's trademark brand of dusty, dubbed-out, jazz-sampling downtempo explorations. That wasn't the case when Loop Finding Jazz Records, his acclaimed debut album, first appeared back in 2001. It has since become an in-demand item, making this reissue more than handy. It remains a fine album; a blazed shuffle through a sonic world where dub techno, ambient, minimal house, jazz and downtempo grooves and seductive vinyl crackle merge into one intoxicating hybrid sound. It's not showy and over-the-top, but rather becalmed and subtly seductive. In other words, it's still a brilliant album and if you don't own already own a copy, you should add this to your cart sharpish.
Review: FXHE maintain their monthly heat emission for 2012, with label boss Omar S displaying all aspects of his production prowess (as well as skill for a humorous track titles) across four productions - one of which features the button bashing assistance of one Patrik Sjeren. There's something icily brilliant about the restrained "Income Tax Refund Dance" melding a dark piano riff with snapping 808 kicks and rippling lo fi rhythms which only further justifies the title of Omar S's killer 2011 LP. It's complemented by the far rowdier box jam "The White Castle Song" which jackhammers a simple yet highly flammable key riff over low rent percussion for FXHE's most potent ode to the perfect warehouse moment since the all conquering "Here's Your Trance..." Given the lack of additional info, we presume the Patrik Sjeren that produces the B Side "Untitled" track is the same Patrik Sjeren that released in the mid 90s under a multiplicity of aliases, and his contribution is every bit as incendiary as the track preceding it, whilst "3c 273" sees Omar S slip into pensive utopian electro mode with aplomb.
Review: Some 25 years after delivering his debut 12", Richard D James hasn't lost the ability to thrill or inspire. By his obtuse standards, the material that makes up the surprise Cheetah EP is actually rather laidback and melodious. "Cheetah2 (LD Spectrum)", for example, sounds like a slow house jam written by robots, while the even deeper "Cheetah7B" shuffles along in a metronomic fashion, seemingly oblivious to the increasingly aggressive World at large. Of course, those trademark skittish IDM rhythms are present - see the B-side's lead cut - and the Cornishman has thrown in a couple of hazy ambient cuts for good measure.
Review: Six brand new shakers from Omar S...This is the sh*t! Never confined to one particular genre, Omar is again blending house, techno and even minimal styles into one big pot of deep Detroit underground funk. There's even some Basic Channel / Deep Chord vibes going on there somewhere. Simply killer.
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.
Review: FXHE has been brimming with activity in recent times, with a steadfast flurry of singles refusing to let the quality drop, and now the big bossman delivers another two slices of finely cured business in his inimitable style. The lead track is an arresting piece with just a kick to drive proceedings, leaving ample room for a haunting array of bleeps and a 'speak & spell' vocal until the track slowly ramps up with some more prominent drum programming. "Mayall II" on the flip is a less tense affair, with a cheery string refrain and old school jack-in-the-box beats disseminated in a plain and simple fashion.
Review: The second part of Omar S' You For Letting Me Be Myself album in vinyl form sees another 8 tracks across four sides of wax; aside from the '80s inflected sounds of the album's title track, the 303 workout of "Ready My Black Asz" finds itself with the dubbed out loops of "Messier Sixty Eight". As a bonus for those who already have the album, this part contains two vinyl exclusive tracks; the soothing deepness of "She's Sah Hero Nik" and the delayed organ weirdness of "Broken Bamalance Horn" - both more than worth the price of admission alone.
Review: In the field of minimal house reissues, this is a big deal. Perlon main man Dimbiman doesn't appear on wax often, but when he does he makes it count. This early release on Baby Ford's seminal Pal SL was originally out in 1998, when minimal house was a vague concept at best on the most outer reaches of dance music. "Iso Grifo" itself remains a masterclass of spine-chilling space and perfectly strange sonic matter, while "Lava" pushes the notion of reduction dance music to its absolute limit. "Round" is an even more immersive affair that hides many subtle layers within its seemingly simple construct. Quite simply groundbreaking stuff, and highly sought after so don't sleep on it.
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".
Review: ** FLOORPLAN REPRESS ** It's fair to say that this was one of the best Robert Hood moments in a while! Just two tracks but boy do they hit hard - "Altered Ego" is more brakey than the usual Hood bombs but he's kept the inimitable chords, all wailing and weaving their way through the beat. The real heat is on the flip however, where the nostalgic, rave-infused piano keys of "Confess" make for a certified classic! Is it Hood who influenced Shed on this sort of beat or the other way around? Who cares, it's bloody amazing!
Review: In the face of all those Clone reissue compilations, Tresor are doing the right thing and digging into their own archive of seminal aquatic machine funk from Detroit electro legends Drexciya, and stepping up with the Hydro Doorways EP is the kind of power move that most labels can only dream of being able to make. From the cinematic drama of "Quantum Hydrodynamics" to the textbook boogie down synth abandon of "Polymono Plexusgel", not forgetting the heavy-on-the-one throwdown of "Lost Vessel" or the alien gurgles and peppy pace of "Species On The Pod", or the... oh you know the drill. This is timeless, essential business for anyone that takes electronic music seriously.
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: There's a delightfully celebratory feel about this debut volume of Cititrax Tracks, a new 12" series from Minimal Wave offshoot Cititrax. As beautifully presented as we've come to expect, Tracks Volume 1 boasts a quartet of dancefloor-ready smashers from a blend of new faces and label stalwarts. Amato (aka The Hacker) kicks things off with the glistening EBM funk of "Physique" - all restless synth refrains and pounding bottom end - before LIES affiliate Tsuzing go all dark, psychedelic and twisted on the thrillingly intense, acid-flecked "King of System". An-I go all DAF (with a touch of Front 242) on the fuzzy and dystopian stomper "Mutter", before Cititrax regulars Broken English Club delivers a storming chunk of industrial-tinged analogue funk ("Glass"). Bravo!
Review: Earlier this year Minimal Wave offshoot provided one of this year's most visceral dancefloor weapons in Kino-I, the debut from Doug Lee's new An-I project. Taking inspiration from techno, jack, industrial and punk, An-I successfully drew a line under some of the Berlin-based artist's previous disco-flavoured endeavours. And then some! If you like the Kino-I 12" you will love the new triplet of An-I productions housed on this appropriately titled Gutz 12". The title track alone should come with a health warning; such is the furious onslaught of machine funk it contains, whilst the unnerving "Rut" is the most schizophrenic production you will hear this year. Best of all id closing track "Save Us" sounds like a cross between in Aeternam Vale and Silent Servant. Pressed on a rather thick and dashing slab of magenta orange vinyl!
Review: Dark Entries are simply a good record label, enough said. However, we will give you a touch of context on this latest killer, a four-tracker by the mythical Frak trio, still wearing their aluminium hats after twenty years of head-banging. "Sudden Haircut" has been recorded exclusively for the label, and it's a delicious techno lick with a crescendo of XOXBOX acid, while both "Synthfrilla" and "Synthgok" were recorded in 2010, and have previously appeared on the much coveted Sex Tags Mania label out of Bergen, Norway - both essential bangers. The finale is in the shape of "First Glimt I Ogat", another of Frak's classic drum-led house weavers that works both on its own and mixed into just about anything. Recommended gear - be quick!
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: Jordan Alexander's been rinsing it under his Mall Grab moniker, and every release since his debut back in 2015 has been hotly tipped by us here at Juno towers. EP's for Church, 1080p and Collect-Call have now earned him a spot on Unknown To The Unknown, one of our favourite labels and surely one of the most diverse, too. "I've Always Like Grime", as the name implies, is a house track made by someone who listened to high doses of Crazy Titch and Plastician back in the day, but "Black Palms" does its best to distance itself from the UK thanks to some pretty nasty acid bumps, and "Menace II Society" heads to Chicago with its singular vocal sample and dusty house flex. Sick!
Review: We've been rather spoiled this year with new Convextion material. His 2845 full-length on Artless is arguably one of the best electronic albums of 2016, while his ambient-leaning 12" on Acido was also breathtakingly good. Here, he rounds off the year with a fine 7" single containing two terrific tracks. The veteran producer begins with new road, a delightfully spacey combination of cascading melody lines, similarly tumbling bass, and punchy but laidback electro beats. It's evocative and emotion-rich like much of his best work. Similar accolades could be heaped upon flispide "Summer Nights", a warmer and woozier concoction that sounds like Larry Heard in electro mode.
Review: Having given keen listeners a healthy preview in his Fabric live mix last year, the artist formerly known as Stopmakingme delivers his full-length album for Erol Alkan's Phantasy Sound. It's a limber brew that channels a strong dose of analogue trickery through smart and snappy beat constructions, all bubbling, aquatic synths and troubled delays propelled by unfussy drum patterns so that the melodies can do the talking. Primarily this is a dancefloor album, moving from peppy breakbeat driven numbers to gently bumping house, but always the playful, ineffably warm synth work sets the tone, from "Naive Response"s robotic charm to "Drone Logic"s soaring grind. It's an album brimming in confidence and nailed with precision, and it's packed full of incredibly usable floor rockers to boot.
Review: Sound Signature are at it again with their dark, driving and jackin' grooves. Every time Theo Parrish decides a tune is worth pressing up nice and loud on vinyl, it's wise to pay attention. And so it proves here, with Chicago native Spekter dropping one-sided 12" "Pipe Bomb", a deadly and pounding excursion into the murkier corners of house music. It's not one for the faint hearted either, as an overwhelming sense of moodiness pushes ever forward, dripping in twisted samples and heavy techno kicks.
Review: Following the series of Drexciya retrospectives on Clone, Tresor has dug their own sizable archives to revisit some of the work James Stinson and Gerald Donald committed to the Berlin institution in their time working together. Having already reissued the Drexciya LP Return To Neptunes Lair, Tresor now present a reissue of The Opening Of The Cerebral Gate, the 2001 LP from the late James Stinson's Transllusion project. Initially released on Tresor offshoot Supremat, this new triple LP edition from the label includes three cuts that were not present on the original vinyl version. Given how much og copies command on the second hand market, Drexciya fans without a copy should consider this an essential purchase!
Review: There's been much debate over the years about whose version of this seminal track was in fact the best. Laurent Garnier's 1997 classic "Crispy Bacon" gets a vinyl re-issue and it still stands the test of time. You can just imagine how innovative and futuristic this adrenalised peak time weapon sounded like in the mid-nineties. On the flip, the equally legendary Jeff Mills delivers his take on the track, keeping in mind that this is one of only a handful he's ever done. There's relentless and punishing cyclicality on offer here; the sharply resonating loops, that brutally overdriven 808 kick.. it's one of those secret weapons that never leaves the bag of the best techno DJs. Choose your side, but either way it's a definitely a classic!