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: For 22 years now Zhark Recordings Berlin has been operating relentlessly on an alternative technoid vision. The keystone of this vision is an approach of full artistic autonomy in full front against the demons of the momentariness, reproduction and stagnation, which were ever present in these past 20 years. This endeavor intensified over the years leading to numerous releases on all types of medium. With the vinyl catalogue number 30 the big K is setting out ONE more TIME to settle the score presenting yet another wrenching collection of DANCE Variations. The Haunting chains of a demoralized sorcerer in HINRICH, the shattering congas of a sinister entity in RATTLE DISCO, the euphoric bawling of a merciless god in LET ME FLY AWAY FROM YOU, the alternating motives of growing tension, clarity and unavoidable obscuration in the UNDERNEATH the 4th Alignment. All these motives are entangled in layers of a fierce percussive bombardment.
Review: Whatever Makes You Feel Safe is a collaboration between Canadian producer and singer Marie Davidson and Berlin based Ukrainian sound designer Invisible Church. They met in Montreal during Red Bull Music Academy festival and shared the idea of exploring the concept of feeling safe both on a personal level and as a part of society. Quite different from what you'd usually associate with Davidson but still worthy of your attention all the same. Beginning on the A side with "Collage" featuring some chilling drone experiments over textural sound design and field recordings which allow Davidson's haunting vocals to carry the track further into the void. Sounds like a cross between OAKE and Lustmord. Next up "Never Release The Tension" delves further into pitch black territory on this contorted downbeat industrial thriller. Finally on the flip, we've got an epic 10 minutes of haunting esoterica in the form of "Ten Years" and features Theo Parrish on cymbals! The label recommends it as for fans the late Mika Vainio, Black Rain, CTI, and the Bladerunner OST. Pretty on point, if we do say so ourselves!
Review: Since 2016, Stockholm outfit Viagra Boys has offered up a swathe of singles that excitedly veer between heavy post-punk, krautrock and angry, riff-powered alternative rock. "Street Worms", their debut album, boasts the same swaggering, lo-fi approach as their previous singles, zipping between the fuzz-fuelled dancefloor stomp of "Amphetanarchy", the growling riffs and razor-sharp solos of "Shrimp Shack", the mangled sax solos, bellowed vocals and tempo-changing insanity of "Sports" and the low-slung brilliance of "Slow Learner", which boasts far more funk than much of the rest of the album put together. This CD edition includes a quintet of bonus cuts, with the skewed Americana-80s alt-rock fusion of "Beijing Taxi" and throbbing "Special Helmet" standing out.
Review: Nomadico is Dan Caballero aka the Underground Resistance affiliated DJ Dex. His new Gentefication EP is inspired by the movement of the same name in East Los Angeles that's striving to maintain the local street culture without selling out to real estate developers and hipsters. More power to 'em we say! The title track on the A side is emotive hi-tech soul: just the way we like it and sounding like his old days with Los Hermanos or Ican. The gritty B side cut "Graff Walk" was probably our favourite of the bunch. With its buzzy sub bass snarl and rusty spitfire rhythm patterns going for some proper 'street techno' style. This really is a soundtrack for 'young barrio coders, digital artists and community organizers.' as Yaxteq claim. And they'll certainly continue to honour high-tech urban innovation that goes against all expectations.
Review: Time Horizon's second episode enlists another team of dancefloor snipers delivering 5 brain-dancing tunes crafted appositively for late night use. After his appearance on the first XCPT record, Andrea is back on the label with his unmistakable shuffling drums and a heavy square bassline followed by Anybody Anytime covering the uptempo-zone with a rotative junglistic tool dressed with celestial pads; closing the A side TANS reveals his new robot alias The Sympathizer providing a neurotic electro progression fully based on his modular system. Flipping the records you will find two XCPT homies bringing the audience straight into Matera landscapes: Farron gets a 909 unceasing toms orchestra surrounded by his atmospheric leads while Kreggo illustrates clearly his hypnotic mid-low vision of breakbeat locked by a mystic bass for the whole track.