Review: Year Zero" is a first release on Post Scriptum's own label and in a sense it is a manifesto defining it's musical identity. No space here for a sound targeting the current techno mainstream. There is dirt, and the pinch of imperfections, very characteristic of avant-garde electronics and industrial well known for the quite nearby past. On the A side, there are compositions appearing like shutters from experiments conducted in the secret laboratory. The rhythm is giving the appropriate weight, while the rest is a musical conglomerate of sounds and synthesis building up a feeling of anxiety. A swarming energy, a modulation, an uncertainty and lurking somewhere danger are surrounding us.On the flip side are remixes constituting the lighter counterpunch. Motor eurhythmics bringing to life the old good Detroit techno definitely of a dance-floor character, making this material ideal for an interesting set.
Review: Kalbata has turned his hand to many styles over the years, not least the excellent soundsystem explorations of Congo Beat The Drum, but on this second release for his label Brush & Broom, he's decided to fling himself into the fiery pit of acid while paying tribute to 90s motocross bikes. "Honda" is dripping with 303, punctuated by a twitchy set of drums, while "Yamaha" takes a diversion into moodier territory, letting hazy chords set the tone for an energised but defiantly heads down acid workout. "Suzuki" is a bit spicier, capturing the essence of 'up-for-it' early Trax Records but edging it into more hypnotic, looped up territory. "Toyota" finishes the EP off with an atonal bleep out with an electro undercarriage.
Review: Ever since their first white labels started to appear a few years back, we've been big, bigs fans of Russia's Gost Zvuk label. That's because, aside from all the gnarly artwork, these guys are doing things on their own agenda: the sounds on these records are recognisable and yet different. Different in their approach, their style, and their message. On this Pavel 'BUTTECHNO' Milyakov debut, a record that sounds like it's been made by a veteran, we here shards of techno, but the genre is only used as a means of expression, one means to an end in terms of tying these alien sonics together under one groove. We won't describe this music in detail because it simply must be heard to be understood. Album of the week from us, don't miss it. Oh, and check the rest of the label out, it's all solid gear.
Review: Under the SolarX alias, Roman Belavkin was one of the leading lights of the Russian IDM scene in the mid-to-late '90s, though very few copies of his cassette and CD releases ever made it in to record stores outside the former Soviet Union. Furthermore, this is the first ever reissue of Belavkin's 1997 sophomore set, "X-Rated", an album that remains a firm favourite in the Russian electronic underground. There's much to admire throughout, with Belavkin effortlessly joining the dots between the skittish, angular rhythms of Autechre, Rephlex-esque "Braindance", Aphex Twin style ambient, early Squarepusher-esque "drill and bass" business and hypnotic ambient techno.
Review: Robin Ball's Memory Box dips once more into the acid-laced honey pot and comes up with the lysergic maestro Luke Vibert, who delivers a crucial gurgler in "X To C" that ranks amongst his most incisive 303 workouts in recent memory. A snappy 808 drum line and quintessential vocal chops make this an all-round masterful jam for heads down moments in the dance. Robin Ball himself steps up on the B side with two equally proficient cuts, from the big and bold peak time propulsion of "Gripper" to the punchy tech-noir of "The Edge".
Review: For the fourth release on their promising Wisdom Teeth imprint, founders Facta and K-Lone have turned to the combined talents of old pal Alex Coulton, Italian produer Chevel, and fast-rising studio boffin Simo Cell. Coulton kicks things off, delivering a deliciously heavy and floor-friendly concoction that sits somewhere between broken techno, contemporary bass music, and the kind of comforting deepness more associated with hazy house productions. Chevel does an excellent job of calming things down, layering up bleeping electronics and ambient textures to create something reminiscent of mid '90s IDM, before Simo Cell attempts to "Escape The Fate" on a creepy cut that combines fizzing hi-hats and wonky ambient melodies, with drum programming and musical touches borrowed from EBM and industrial
Review: Nick Sole is back on Mojuba! If you ever asked yourself how deep-house should sound like, now you have the chance to experience. The a-side of "World Dubbing" is an epic ocean of the deepest house sounds that will blow you away with its hypnotic organic feel and harmony. The b-side is a dancefloor shaking drum track with a catchy dubby atmosphere. Get it while you can!
Review: Under the clever Even Tuell alias (say it quickly out loud if you don't get the gag), Paul Rollmann has been a valued member of the Workshop family since 2009. Here he returns to the Hardwax affiliated deep house imprint with his first release of any sort for almost five years. Rollmann is in fine form throughout, opening with an alluring combination of crunchy, off-kilter machine beats and Music From Memory style ambient melodies (the wonderfully melodious "Rise March Mellow") before opting for a dustier and more lo-fi sound on pastoral techno workout "Highway Daydreams". "Domingo Nap" is a wonderfully spaced-out journey into trippy ambient territory awashed with delay-laden electric guitar motifs and fuzzy sub-bass, while closing cut "Sharp & Shallow" is a defiantly left-of-centre romp through glassy-eyed electro.
Review: Despite the pastoral, park-based imagery utilized on the sleeve, Denis Morin's Working K is hardly a paragon of gentle beauty. While the main mix does make use of some picturesque elements - twinkling pianos, cascading guitar lines and birdsong - these have been heavily effected with delay and reverb, and tumble down over a restless kick drum pattern and wild electronics. The trippy Work It Out Mix begins as a field recording-heavy ambient house number, before morphing into a chunk of quirky, tropical-fired oddness midway through. Elsewhere, Krikor turns it into a lo-fi EBM throbber, while the EB Forgotten Sounds Mix teases maximum beauty from Morin's original sounds whilst ensuring a steady dancefloor pulse.
Review: Earlier in the year, modern minimal wave and coldwave hero Marie Davidson signed a high-profile deal with Ninja Tune. Here, she makes good on that contract, following a couple of killer singles with what could be her strongest album to date. After setting the tone with clandestine, tongue-in-cheek opener "Your Biggest Fan" - a creepy spoken word cut taking aim at stalker-line fans to the accompaniment of heavy analogue synth bass and creepy computer bleeps - Davidson giddily flits between elastic dancefloor workouts (the brilliantly sleazy "Work It" and mind-altering "Workaholic Paranoid Bitch"), attractive post-EBM instrumentals (the psychedelic and fizzing "Lara"), meditative ambient melodiousness ("Day Dreaming"), bizarre experimental weirdness (the suitable dystopian "The Tunnel"), and stylish analogue pop (the whispered vocals and off-kilter early morning funk of "So Right").
Review: While Steffi and Virginia have been working together on and off for the best part of a decade, "Work A Change" is undoubtedly their most significant collaborative work to date (both in terms of its expansive nature and the quality of music on show). With Virginia handling singing duties throughout, "Work A Change" rides on waves of tasty electro grooves and hazy synth-pop motifs and futuristic electronics. It's a blueprint that guarantees goodness throughout, from the quietly euphoric shuffle of opener "Be True To Me" and the pulsating dancefloor fizz of "Help Me Understand" (one of two cuts showcased in both vocal and instrumental forms), to the high-tempo thrust of "Until You're Begging", the bass-heavy, future dancehall wonkiness of "Internal Bleeding" and triumphantly intergalactic title track.
Review: Bergerac head honcho Red Rack'em is back with yet another oddball jam for the first time since 2017's "Place For Me", and it's fittingly titled "Wonky Techno Banger". Tripped-out, hypnotic and well funky - this one is perfect for getting weird at the afterhours. Groovy and equally psychedelic disco mutations that you've come to know and love from the man are catered for as well, such as on the bass heavy and lo-slung "Devon Analogue" on the flip, which is followed by "Nave Gazing" - a deep, beatless and neon-lit expression in Arp 2600 minimalism.