Review: To date, Lee Gamble's UIQ label has done a fine job squaring the spotlight on some lesser heralded exponents of cutting edge club experimentation such as Glaswegian Lanark Artefax, Cairo-based Zuli and Latvian N1L. The addition of Budapest's Stephan Olbricht is a step out of this tradition then, with the Hungarian a well-known and regarded name for his work on Opal Tapes, Farbwechsel, Gang Of Ducks and most recently, Lobster Theremin. On the basis of this four-track ZZM EP, Olbricht does fit right in on UIQ however, packing a quartet of punch-drunk ambient techno rollage that sounds like Gamble himself after a few hours on the green. Actress and Huerco S are other names that spring to mind, "J UC" has that similar feeling of stasis to it that the Werk Discs boss does so well whilst closer "F10a1" is quite heavenly.
Review: Here's something to put lead in the pencil of any electro nuts out there: a high-profile collaboration between rising star Vectorvision (AKA Dallas producer Brian Bishop) and all-round legend Convextion (AKA Gerard Hanson). In its original form, ZY Clone is something of a beast, sitting somewhere between the heavy, angular, acid-laced Dutch electro sound and the melodious, synth-laden, deep space bliss of Hanson's usual Convextion fare. Bishop goes solo to provide the obligatory flipside remix, layering waves of glacial, cascading synthesizer lines and spacey chord progressions over an action-packed drum machine workout. Naturally, both sides are rich in bustling analogue drum machine hits and vintage synthesizer motifs.
Review: The inscrutable artist that is DB1 first appeared in 2012 alongside Martsman, courtesy of the Hidden Hawaii collective, and the producer has been an integral part of the imprint's development ever since. It is now time for an LP from the mystery artist and its name, Zwischenwelt, is as difficult to interpret in the English language as its music is to describe into written words. What we can say is that it's a fresh and singular piece of music that is successfully prolonging the dub techno continuum with the originality that it deserves. If Basic Channel broke down their favoured 4/4 format, it would sound a little bit like "KTZ1" or "Quebe (part 1)", two broken techno bombs with a heartical soul. Tunes like "Zuki" do provide a more techno-minded framework, still rich in half-step movements, while "Jona" will cater to fans of the deep techno sound of artists like Dozzy. All in all, this is not an album to underestimate, and we're pretty confident that you'd be making a mistake by not copping it. HEAVY.
Review: The third of M_Rec Ltd's vinyl only Grey Series comes from Asma, a new collaboration between Repitch's Ascion and M_Rec boss Max_M. Supposedly inspired by Dutch experimental filmmaker Frans Zwartjes' 1968 short film of the same name, "Birds" offers some expectedly atmospheric techno; opening with tribal, rolling, warehouse-sized drums and foggy strings in the background, the track soon gives way to a heady concoction of bristling static and plucked textures played over a sonic void. Sandwell District alumnus Silent Servant's remix is a stark contrast, pairing some vintage chord stabs, snare rolls and drum machine percussion to create a basement ready house jam laced with spectral atmospherics that is possibly one of the more club-ready tracks he has produced to date.
Review: Second instalment from Belgian electro-label ZwaarteKracht, once again assembling a dream team of international producers to bring together this extraordinary selection of dancefloor tracks with dark sci-fi moods. All dynamically mastered by Karel De Backer to keep those subs moving like they should. Features Arsonist Recorder with the hard hitting retro futurism of "Brain Mode",
Deemphasis going deep on "In My Mind" with its underwater acid, Datawave served up our favourite on the darkly dystopian electro bass of "Quadrant" while Francois Dillinger's "Moon Prison" provides the abstract and minimal vibes.
Review: Robert Crash's new TC White alias offers an ulterior shade of raw here, made possible by Swiss newbie label Moto. This is proper bangin' material from start to finish, kicked off with the liquid-like patterns of "Cow", a grungy house banger masterminded by heavy folds of mutant bass and crusty drums; "Muffin" splits the tempo down to a magnificently awkward broken beat with a deep, off-kilter sensibility. On the flip, "Cool" travels under a much murkier, more swamped sort of disguise, while "Cheese" is barely able to contain its inebriated groove from melting apart amid distorted tape hiss and loose instrumentation, which leaves "Mountain" to provide a little disco comfort to this mighty fine, utterly loopy EP of true-school house music.
Review: Osaka's Koshiro "YPY" Hino built his reputation on a series of fearlessly experimental cassette releases, before breaking cover to deliver a 12" of frazzled techno on Nous last year. Zurhyrethm marks his long-form vinyl debut, and contains eight suitably experimental tracks stretched across two slabs of wax. While there are clear tropical influences, a humid feel and nods towards the visceral pleasures of ambient, Hino's greatest strength is his eccentric drum programming. Zurhyrethm's dense - but often subtly mixed - percussive backing dominates throughout, with nods to African and South American rhythms, Sweet Exorcist's C.C.CD-era "clonk techno" (look it up), and the metallic clanking of classic industrial music.
Review: Last spotted exploring the halftime swamps, ex-Perverse member Pugilist makes his debut on J.Sparrow's smoking Navy Cut imprint. Once again he paints three distinct and diverse pictures. "Zulu Blues" (with Mystik) builds up from the roots as a heavy dub groove with precision space and weight while "True King" takes us much deeper into the chamber with a soft kick and heavier emphasis on the atmospheres. We conclude on the slippery technoid funk of "Conduit" that could easily take up residence in Detroit. Stunning.
Review: Yet another bold and challenging Wild Oats 12", a label that seems to be positively affronted by some of the meekness currently getting mislabelled as techno. Zug Island sees label boss Kyle Hall team up with Detroit Underground's Kero for two productions inspired by their visit to the toxic metal factory on Zug Island, housed between Detroit and Windsor, Canada on the Detroit Rouge river. The label explicitly states this record is "intended to sonically personify the environment of Zug Island and its harmful industrial vibrations it currently has on the river, wildlife and even the humans residing there". Naturally there's an underlying anger present throughout, with "Zug Island" setting menacing 303 loops spiralling over a sparse backdrop of clattering snares. With no discernable kick drum, the track tends to float in corroded stasis, though this lack of driving force makes it a perfect track to combine with drum heavy DJ tools. Complementing this, "K2 Attack!" is less abstract but more abrasive, rising from the high frequency noise into a rigid frame of bubbling electro in the style of Detroit's techno forefathers.