Review: Naura Records presents the third release of the Bleak series.
'Relics' is a full oriented dance floor track, twisted and static in all directions.
'Black Ice' reveals itself as a cataclysmic and intelligent analog tool with pulsating baselines and profound deepness.
Review: Liverpool's Scenery Records has been making a real splash over the last 18 months, delivering the kind of top notch, analogue-heavy deep house gear that invites comparisons with the best labels from Vancouver, Washington D.C and New York. There's plenty more to cheer on this label debut from Liverpudlian producer Binny, not least the immersive melodiousness, dancing synthesizers and rhythmic hustle of "Retrospective". Chicago Skyway delivers two impeccable rubs of that track, with the second - a new-age techno stomper built around beautiful synthesizer arpeggios and drum machine cowbells - standing out. Flip for the glassy-eyed intelligent techno-meets-deep house thrills of "A Moment In Time", which is also given a pulsating acid techno makeover from Scenery veteran Circular Rhythms.
Review: Haunted Doorbell are Timothy J. Fairplay and Matilda Tristram who released 'Xylophone' together last year on Astro Lab Recordings. Picking up where Xylophone left off 'Unconnected thoughts on jacking' is four tracks of naive melodies, rough slamjack drums, and new age atmospheres. 'Starclash' kicks off side A, with its dramatic arpeggios and SID chip crashes, Techno to soundtrack the Saturday night laser show at the planetarium. Following is 'A night of adventure' with its eastern scales and washy broken chorus unit hiss. On side B we have 'Beautiful Sheffield' - an ode to electronic music's (possibly) most important British city and the title track rounds of the EP - house music for listening to while looking out to sea.
Cage & Aviary - "Lean On Me" (Felix Dickinson Foolish dub)
Posthuman - "Make More Man"
Review: Just as the new football season settles into it's groove, the fourth edition of the highly collectable Rothmans arrives sporting some high profile signings! Leading the way on The Claudio Gentile Release is a Foolish Felix dub of Cage & Aviary's "Lean On Me" whose deranged acid gurglings provide a nice contrast to the thrusting Escape From East London stylings of Posthuman's "Make More Men". On the flip Ali Renault returns for Rothmans duty with the Weatherall worthy "The Black Heart" whilst Iron Blu is loaned from Flight Recorder for the synthy swamp of orchestral drama that is "Oiche Shamhna"
Review: "HYDRAFUNK is an exciting Detroit Techno inspired collaboration between Immigrant Records owner and label manager Robin Porter and US analogue synth guru Mike Carr. The duo first collaborated back in 2002 releasing the 'Mental Stealth EP' on Immigrant, featuring the bassline and synth heavy 'Fathernature', a track that found it's way on 'Evil' Eddie Richard's Fabric 16 mix CD. Their debut three track EP, Beasts From Below, fuses the analogue aptitude of Mike Carr and Robin Porter's attention to sound frequency, arrangement detail and understanding of the dance floor, delivering an intoxicating peak time package of delight. "Underworld" is a deep journey of melodic synth work and chugging groove that travels into dark territories, complimented by uplifting percussion that builds into a peak time beast from the deep. On the flip, "Immortal Melody" delves even further into moody territory delivering a tantalising array of dreamy synths and jackin' old school percussion, that submerges into an abyss of texture before rising up into a dance floor banger. Closer "Hydra's Dance" is definitely not a token bonus track and is the most dance floor friendly cut; featuring Robin's knack for creating powerful basslines, unique vocals and Mike's ability to create depth and texture with his analogue synth programming."
Review: After a pair of superb 12"s from Duckett, Untilmyheartstops turn their attentions to across the Atlantic with the label debut of Zachary Lubin. Fans of the Kimochi label will recognise Lubin from the two wonderful 12"s he's committed to the cause over the past three years, and this four-track Future Laboratories record is a fine addition to his small discography. "Flooring Operations" opens proceedings on a dizzying techno tip, a kaleidoscope of sound billowing up around the taut bass drums, whilst "Mediation Garden" will please those who like some sonic grit in the mix. By contrast, the excellently titled "Ambivalent Robot" veers off into insouciant, glistening techno and is quite life-affirming. "Chloroform" rounds out the 12" on a similarly warm tip.
Review: As Until My Heart Stops turns 10, we head back across the Atlantic , this time to Boston and a stunning ep from the still hugely under rated DeViere.DeViere is a music producer and radio disc jockey (Progressive Black, 90.3 FM WZBC Newton) based in Boston, Massachusetts. He first came to our attention with the Transcendental Numbers ep on Jamal Moss' Mathematics label in 2012 and we've waited on each release ever since, including last year's huge Future Shock Disco ep (a collaboration with Jamal himself). Here DeViere presents 3 beautiful examples of his deep, soulful craft and a fitting way for UMHS to hit double figures.
Review: Eric Cloutier launched Palinoia last year with a single of his own, but now he's turned to Berlin mainstays Exercise One to lay down some of their trademark psychoactive machine music for the second installment. "Heptagon" sports metallic synth notes clanging out over a freight train of techno drums, while "Prism" takes a more nimble approach to twist out its various synthetic squeaks. "Nitrogen" is a warmer proposition, placing the emphasis on chords and melodies while still aiming squarely at the dancefloor. "Thirty Four" finds the duo veering away from the 4/4 dogma to deliver a captivating kind of broken techno in a soundscape loaded with tension and ominous empty space.
Review: REPRESS: The second release from the Hlanganani label lives up to it's MO to provide a platform for talented producers from South Africa to shine, focusing here on Deep Sixty, aka young and fast-rising producer Johannesburg producer Thabiso Mamogwa. Back in 2010, the producer made it to London to take part in the Red Bull Music Academy, which is when the HLANG team first heard the tracks that make up the Mme Hayo EP whilst some studio time on the same trip with Todd 'Soundmurderer' Osborn resulted in the "Thursday Nights" track which Mamogwa previously self-released. In addition to Deep Sixty's own 'Deep Terror' mix of "Mme Hayo", the label have coaxed some fine remixes out of Esa and William Kouam Djoko.
Review: Scott Fraser and Timothy J Fairplay's Crimes Of The Future label has had quite the banner year, ushering in various projects from the pair as well as seeking out like-minded contemporaries such as Perseus Traxx. The latest Crimes of the Future release introduces Bulb, another project bearing the label founder's finger prints along with a high profile third colluder in one William Burnett. Apparently laid down at WT Records HQ in the spring of 2014 whilst Fairplay and Fraser were committing Crimes in NYC, Bulb is a bold offering from the trio with two extended dancefloor workouts taking a side each. "Light It Up" pairs ghetto techno breaks with something from wayward Kosmiche studio experiments in deepest Germany, whilst "Dimmer Switch" plunges into a world of psychedelia and cavernous cave dwellings thanks to some dark ambient synthesis and stabbing drums.
Review: You have to admire Laurent Garnier's continued desire to push boundaries and confound critics. His plan to devote 2014 to releasing five EPs on five different labels, whilst mixing up the styles, is undoubtedly bold. This three-tracker for the ever-intriguing 50Weapons imprint is particularly impressive. "MILF" bristles with stuttering analogue rhythms, foreboding chords and attractive bleep melodies, coming on like an unlikely jam session between Sweet Exorcist and Orbital. "DSK" sees the French veteran moving further towards his techno roots, while "He" sounds like an homage to darkwave with techno overtones and more than a hint of stripped-back early Chicago acid. Bravo Monsieur Garnier, bravo!
Review: Presenting the fourth vinyl release, Los Angeles imprint Reinhardt welcomes Romanian sonic explorer Akim# to the fold. Culminating in four tracks crossing genres and themes, pulling from influences and experiences throughout a history crafting his art within the Bucharest electronic music scene.
Taking elements of ambient, electronica and techno, channeled through a dream-state lens. The Phosphene EP is created for the dance floor with a soundscape sensibility, making for an unmapped odyssey.
Review: The man behind the track that Move D proclaimed "owned the dome at freerotation" , returns with 3 new tracks of deep machine grooves, his first release since 2013's Analogue Mapping. "Frey'd" is built around a synth patch stumbled upon whilst conducting a test on one of bovill's machines with rennouned Synth engineer Frey Smith. Opening with playful ,bubbling analogue tones and nostelgic pads, before characteristic basslines, percussion and 303 lines join in, ending on a spaced out contemplative groove . " L.A.T. " is a more stripped down track, which ebbs and flows around subtle builds, tweeks, and delays, perfect for the deeper late night dancefloor. Closing the ep is Golden burn, the deepest and most dubbed out of the 3 tracks, sprinkled with emotive keys, and underpinned by distinctive bass lines.
Review: For the debut of New York's anticipated Purple Trax label, a new formation of key players in Brooklyn's underground debuts with an EP sure to entrance fans of L.I.E.S., White Material, and other established NYC labels. Composed of Terekke, local DJ/producer Jan Woo, and Erez Avissar, label head and founder of the respected Weird Magic parties, Wabi Sabi's dusky and diverse sound comes from its origin in loft jams, but tracks like the closing 'Rx' with its powerful dub techno framework show the work of seasoned talents. Patricia's cameo on 'Casper' is the record's strangest sound, a propulsive house groove with explosions of crackling texture and a bassline deeply buried in fog, while 'Babi' stutters along between the drum pulse and its disappearances into deep wells of delayed vocal samples and gentle melodies. Vibes are saved for the opener 'Moon River Membrane', where Terreke's characteristic cosmic haze comes out more heavily, complemented by the genre-bending psychedelic tendencies of Avissar's programming and Woo's weighty low-end.
Review: A promise is a manifestation of intent to act or refrain from acting in a specified way at some point in the future. It's communicated by one party, to at least one additional party, to signify a commitment has been made. The person manifesting intent is the Promisor. The person to whom the manifestation is addressed is the Promisee.
Review: Modeselektor are clearly keen to make 50 Weapons' last few releases as strong as possible. For this 12", they've turned to Berlin techno titan Shed, who - somewhat predictably - more than delivers the goods. "Dark Planet" is a thick, tough and driving beast, with chopped-up, manipulated vocal snippets forming a quirky melody line above a thumping rhythm that neatly combines pounding kick-drums and hissing cymbals. This is no-nonsense, floor-friendly techno that comes laden with sly funk. Modeselektor themselves have a go at remixing it on the flip, delivering a far weirder, wilder, stranger and - bizarrely - more melodious 'broken techno' interpretation.
Review: Romania's newest source of experimental minimalist, Listen2Me, digs up a new talent by the name of MGCH, and shoots him - or her - onto our shelves with this small marvel of an EP. "87" is a delightful tune, a glitchy minimal groove that travels between house, noise and electro with utter ease and pure elegance, a sound that is matured further via the rhythmic sway of the moodier, dubbier folds and clicks of "Is This It". There's a trio of leftfield charmers on the flipside, spear-headed by the warm and placid glow of the near beatless "What For", evolved into something of a lounge house mood on "How You See", and tied off by a dubwise reinterpretation of "87" by Serb. TIP!!
Review: DJ Octopus begins 2015 as he finished 2014, with a typically forthright selection of late night jams that join the dots between vintage deep house, acid, European techno and the analogue style jack tracks of Willie Burns and the L.I.E.S crew. There's a particularly day-glow feel about deep house opener "Untitled", which features looped organ riffs and energy-packed drum machine rhythms. "The Player" switches things up nicely thanks to some brilliant, cut-up slap bass antics, while "Ghost Antics" sounds like the sort of early British acid track that was found lying around on a dusty DAT. Finally, "Purple Pills" invited you to drop illicit refreshments and lose yourself in a brightly coloured fusion of rave chords, bounding beats and clandestine textures.
Review: After bringing Kangaroo Skull and Cale Sexton to light on previous releases, Temporal Cast once again provides a platform for lesser known talent with this, their third release. Born in Italy and based in Australia, Chiara Kickdrum has only had one digi-only EP out in her name previously, so this release marks a big milestone for her. "Pulsar" is a subtle and refined opening gambit, using a reduced set of cyclical rhythms and draping distant pad notes over the top of it for a perfect exercise in techno elegance. "Moebius" is at the other end of the spectrum, all bloated drums and cavernous reverb decays creating a monolithic atmosphere. "Anomaly" meanwhile maximises on negative space, using a dry drum palette and keeping things firmly submerged - the whole EP is a masterclass of restraint and control.
Review: Following choice wares from tape_hiss and Pascal Viscardi, Love Notes stride into winter with a fulsome offering from lesser-known artist Subtenant, who packs just the right balance of classic acid and modernist techno into the three original tracks on this 12". "Evergreen Soul" looks set to turn heads in the club with its playful organ flex hopping around the punchy 303 notes, while "Artisanal Acid" brings some homespun hardware handiwork to the table. "Know How It Feels" drops in at a slower tempo, but it's D'Marc Cantu who steals the show with a dynamic remix of the title track loaded with detail and shot through with dub.
Review: Having first surfaced last year with their first various artists release featuring the dearly departed Andreas Gehm, the Stealth Mission label is back with another four-strong salvo of no-nonsense acid, electro and techno. Naked Eye People kicks off proceedings with the punishing jacker "Short Distance" before Barrow Boy whips up a perfect slice of malevolent 303 mischief on "BTB (Demo Mix)". On the B side there's space for a little more reflection with the spacious pings of Bobby Durst's "Shape Shifting" before Mike Storm turns the heat back up on the delightfully unhinged "Dark Sight (Sims JFF Edit)".
Review: Coup d'etat is a collaborative project from Kane Ikin and Harvey Sutherland. Working from their respective fringes of electronic music and produced in moments of respite between extensive touring and recording commitments, the project offers a glimpse into the pair's mutual influences and inspirations; part Maurizio, part Moroder. Kane Ikin, a meticulous producer of abstract forms and polyrhythms, weaves percussive static and drone amongst Sutherland's considered syntheziser work - a leftfield turn from Harvey's brighter moments. Ikin also traverses new rhythmic territory and signals a departure from earlier ambient works. The inaugural release for new imprint CDT, the 12" was mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy and features full sleeve artwork from Traianos Pakioufakis.
Review: A big Juno bear hug goes to the folks from Tresor for releasing a string of sublime re-issues this year. The latest is Drexciya's seminal Harnessed The Storm long player, generally a much darker affair than Neptune's Lair, which itself was reissued earlier this year. It is hallmarked by longer, more exploratory tracks, full of sinister twists and turns. The stormy electro thunder of "Digital Tsunami" is perhaps the standout moment here, closely followed by the subterranean squelch of "Soul Of The Sea". "Dr Blowfins Black Storm Stabilizing Spheres" has an eerie crackle that predates the current vogue for dark atmospheric techno by nearly a decade, while the robotic key melody on "Song Of The Green Whale" marks it as the LP's most playful moment. Highly recommended for electro and techno purists alike.
Review: Mark Ambrose doubles up on his appearance on Was/Is with this strident bout of deep end dwellers, kicking off in style with the charged up strut and punchy mono bass of "Makossa (mix 1)," making a point of stepping into a more peak time sound. "Makossa (mix 2)" takes things in a more bugging direction, but there's still plenty of pressure to be felt in the wriggling low end mess and nagging hi hats. The Teakup mix of "Makossa" is a devilish broken beat track, and then "Wagamama" slips in a loopy melodic hook and lets a firm but freaky slice of techno roll out underneath.
Review: Tabernacle aren't as known for their reissue work, but here they've made an exception to shine a light on a truly astounding hidden gem lost in the dry ice haze of the early 90s. Phuture Classical Appendix A originally came out on cassette in 1992 on Drome Tapes in the Netherlands, showcasing a low key selection of artists exploring the limits of deep, dark techno and house. Now spread across three 12" releases, these treasured curios now get the widespread release they deserve, leading in with the haunting self-titled track from Paradize Disowned before the gritty techno throb of "Gee Lee" by DJ Zero One. Considered in their execution and immensely evocative of the underbelly of early rave culture, these releases are ones that discerning old-skool heads will not want to miss.
Review: The second collectible EP out of three, arriving on double white 10" vinyl, and containing tracks from Jon Convex's debut album, Idoru sees another four hard hitting fusions of techno and contemporary bass music. Unlike the first EP, which was surprisingly melodic, these tracks aim squarely at the floor, with "What I Need" a heavy tom-led piece of Detroit influenced techno, and "Aversion" providing some tracky functionalism. "Desolation" and "Four Faces" meanwhile provide some bleak electro dystopianism, much indebted to his Autonomic heritage.
Review: Valcrond Video, the label run by sound and image artist Luke Wyatt (Torn Hawk), Apresents VV-013 Russo's ""Wild Metals"". A
Russo (Ari Russo) is an NYC based multi-artist whose engagement with abandoned media finds an outlet in the video bursts he culls as OfficeFern. As a programmer, he's produced innovative music generation tools such as the Diamond Arpeggiator. He returns to his own music with this collection of challenging and transporting structures.A
Wyatt and VV are eager to endorse Russo's latest report on crossmodal perception, a true exercise in synesthesia.A
""Wild Metals"" sounds like ferns and orchids infiltrating a tableaux of black plastic electronics, the breed of black plastic that Russo and Wyatt both found sinisterly inserted into the grid of their childhood. It provided the skin for some of their favorite toys, and its general resonance was aligned with the fast cars, women, and architecture that dominated their imaginations.
Review: As part of longstanding no wave duo Naked On The Vague, murky girl group Knitted Abyss and extraterrestrial drone project Half High, Lucy Phelan has been a critical force in the Sydney DIY scene for over 10 years. Under the solo veil of Lucy Cliche, she annihilates with these four wavey techno tracks that honour her noise and punk ethos. With pounding drum sequences, draining synths and emotionless vocals echoing Cosey Fanni Tutti, her dark dreams sabotage our calculations of modern dance while demonstrating how physicality and the ethereal can interact.
Review: Animals On Psychedelics is a new label out of Cleethorpes, run by DJ/promoter Carl_H. Through a combination of name, artwork and musical output, Animals On Psychedelics focuses on the more tripped out, spacey side of electronic music. The label's debut release is a two-track EP from London duo Invisible Menders, otherwise known as Dom Ahtuam & Jane Fitz, who have also released on Porn Wax and BOE Recordings.
Review: Riding high on the success of a second release that introduced A-Scott & Chad to the Constant Sound fold, the third instalment finds Burnski back in the saddle to offer up "Changes", getting into a more techno-oriented frame of mind without losing that warmth and playful sensibility he has made his own over the years.
After strong remixes from Trus'me, Steve O'Sullivan and Cab Drivers on previous releases, Constant Sound 003 gives another opportunity for the label to call upon the finest in the business to reinterpret the original material.
In keeping with the heads-down workout tones of Burnski's original, it makes perfect sense to invite an artist as accomplished as Deadbeat up for a remix. Scott Monteith has long been a stellar example of how to push dub techno in thrilling new directions and it shows on his version of "Changes".
Kris Wadsworth has just as much to say for himself after years spent crafting heavyweight house and techno with a mercenary instinct matched by lashings of machine soul. He reduces the original track into a stripped down techno dub perfect for late at night. His remix will only be available on the vinyl.
It's yet another step forwards for a label committed to delivering nothing but the highest quality house and techno for those who seek a touch more depth from their music.