Review: Hailing from Crimea, Stas Karpenkov's Krym Mryk label is a direct line into the most intriguing techno-oriented diversions transmitting from Russia and Ukraine. In a similar vein to the likes of Udacha and Ghost Zvuk, Krym Mryk is brimming with the kind of originality and expression that makes records such as these essential purchases. "Entity" presents a calm, icy ambient lead in before the quivering, dubby techno pulse of "Yevpatoriya Satellite". "I've Had Enough To Look Down" is a writhing, biomechanical synth work out of the highest order, and "Windswept" finishes the EP off in a gentle blizzard of drones. A serious draw for this record as well is the Stanislav Tolkachev remix, which nudges "Yevpatoriya Satellite" into dynamic broken techno territory with a powerful synth wave channel coursing through it.
Review: The Happy Skull label hasn't been afraid to look locally for inspiration, with The Kelly Twins sourcing some fine output from Bristol types Marco Bernardi, Rhythmic Theory, Kowton. But 12"s from Throwing Shade and Creta Kano suggests their feelers extend much further too! The latest Happy Skull release extends an invitation to Cologne and the severely under rated Andreas Gehm, a man who really knows how to abuse his acid lines to great effect. Lead track "Yes Or No" is the sort of cut you keep in your record box for the sweaty moments deep into a set when you really want to beat down the dancefloor. "Summer Time In Coloniae" does offer a more pensive side to Gehm's palette and perhaps inspired the Twin Peaks artwork on the 12", whilst closer "Going By" is ocean deep.
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: 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.