Review: Nite Fleit has had a barnstorming couple of years with drops on Planet Euphorique and Unknown To The Unknown, a team-up with Mall Grab on Looking For Trouble and now this rabid electro stormer on Helena Hauff's Return To Disorder label. Compared to some of the grungier, punk-inflected electro you'd expect to find on the label, this is bright, bold, big-room stuff with plenty of ravey motifs to move large masses of bodies. "Empty Nest Syndrome" is hyped up to 11 while "Naive" pivots around a hard as nails electro beat. Watch out for the mad arps on "Can't You See" and "Rebel Faction" too - they're gunning for your cerebellum and you should take heed.
Review: Over the course of their six-year career, French twosome Nummer have slowly morphed from fresh-faced angular techno enthusiasts, to makers of admired electronic music rooted in a widescreen and nuanced musical vision. Their growing maturity is much in evidence on "Night Confidence", an EP that effortlessly flits between deep, dreamy and delay-laden lo-fi deep house bliss ("Sea Junkies"), sleazy, acid-fired, alien-sounding late night house weirdness ("Hassen (Dub)"), extra-percussive fusions of Burrell Brothers style deep house and new age beauty ("Kyoto's Forest"), and the wonderful analogue/organic fusion that is rolling, outer-space house jam "Windchill". An inspired EP from a duo whose music is sounding fresher than ever.
Review: Woo York seem to save their best work for Tale of Us's Aftelife label. Their previous outing on the imprint, 2018 debut album "Chasing The Dream", was an underappreciated gem, and happily this EP-length follow-up is equally as impressive. Musically, all four tracks draw great influence from what some are calling neo-trance, employing riffs and arpeggiated synthesizer lines more often found in both trance and progressive house. The weightiest cut of the lot is "Dancing With Sirens", whose star attractions include squidgy bass, moody acid stabs and sustained, spacey chords, while opener "Echoes From Beyond" is sunny, summery and almost rush-inducing in its melodic positivity. "Minimalism", a deep and trippy excursion dominated by psychedelic acid lines, hoover noises and a lengthy breakdown, is also rather good.
Review: **REPRESS** Another album from the amazing mind of Heinrich Mueller (aka Gerald Donald). Originally released on DJ Hell's Gigolo label and apparently only licensed after Gerald crashed Hell's BMW and had to come up with a means of paying him back. All the tracks first appeared on the very obscure Dataphysix imprint from Detroit, with some releases only reaching the 500 copy mark. Now brought back to life for 2007, "Gesamtkunstwerk" could be one of the best electro albums ever made. Yes that's right, I said it...the best ever! This is almost as important for the techno generation as Kraftwerk's "Computerworld" and "Autobahn" were for many in the 80s. The tracks are all pretty simple, made up of only two or three analogue instruments each, but they seem to hold these timeless melodies that you can never tire of. Other moments are eerie, menacing and downright strange, but still pure genius. You know how a lot of the time when you buy a new record it becomes your favourite for a while, and then it starts to lose a little life? (Of course it's still good, but just not as fresh as the first couple of weeks when you listened to it on repeat). Well guess what? That doesn't happen with this record. I must have listened to some of the tracks on here over a 1000 times and they still send shivers down my spine. It's one of those special albums that just don't seem to age.
Review: Last year Victor Ruiz hit the headlines by signing to Drumcode - ample reward for a producer who had spent almost a decade building up his reputation via releases on a string of credible underground imprints. The Brazilian's second EP for the Swedish picks up where its predecessor left off, with Ruiz offering up a string of wonderfully weighty, full-throttle techno stompers tailor made for massive rooms and gargantuan festival stages. Our picks of a strong bunch include the bold bass and razor-sharp riffs of opener "Freedom", the more melodic, warm and sunny loop techno roller "Senses", and the buzzing, constantly rising techno/trance fusion of glimmering closing cut "Existence". If you dig Drumcode's rigidly defined brand of big room techno, you need this in your bag.
Review: There's been plenty of online chatter about the confrontational title of Omar-S's latest full-length outing, and arguably not enough focus on the music itself (or the fact that the guest list contains Rick Wilhite, Norm Talley and OB Ignitt for that matter). This is unfortunate, because as usual Alex 'Omar' Smith has hit the spot. The six untitled tracks are impressively varied, with Smith effortlessly moving between 21st century P-funk (track one), cowbell-powered deep house funk (track 2), sparse and synth-heavy acid house hypnotism (track three), disco-house jack (track four), sub-heavy Detroit-meets-Sheffield minimalism (track five) and sunrise-ready dancefloor dreaminess (track six).
Review: Second time around for Cab Drivers' fantastic debut EP, which the Berlin-based duo initially recorded and released way back in 1996. As the original EP did, this reissue begins with the crunchy, Motor City-influenced techno throb of "Seat Belt" - all mind-altering, fast-paced bass, spaceship horn stabs and bustling beats - before moving on to the sub-heavy hustle of "Traffic Light". Over on side B, "Traffic Light" is a pounding slab of intergalactic techno-jack laden with alien-sounding synthesizer motifs, while "Hit and Run" combines darting, funk-fuelled space boogie motifs with driving drums and another restless, all-action electronic bassline.
Review: Five years have now passed since Russia-based Stef Mendisis first set out his stall as a maker of dark, intense, lo-fi and mind-altering club techno. In that time he's released just as handful of 12" singles, though all have been spot on. There's plenty to enjoy on the Greek producer's first outing on Mancunian label CLERGY, from the warehouse-friendly, stab-happy stomp of opener "Critical Ratio", to the similarly slamming surge of closing cut "Chroma", where hands-aloft riffs and short, looped female vocal snippets ride a booming, lo-fi techno groove. Sandwiched in between you'll find more rave-ready business, with the clap happy, organ-sporting peak-time sweatiness of "Memorex" standing out.
Review: We can think of few producers who are quite as capable of crafting timeless, emotive electronic music as John Shima - something that makes each of his releases a "must-check" for fans of far-sighted musical futurism. He's naturally in fine form on this surprise outing for Subwax's Excursions series, effortlessly moving between the emotive, melodic bliss of "Evergreen", where lilting lead lines spar with dreamy chords and a hybrid electro/deep sci-fi techno groove, the poignant, pitched-down deep electro beauty of "Moodswing", the deep space breakdowns and tactile chords of "Space Cadet", and the intergalactic electrofunk haziness of enveloping closing cut "Street Soul". Music for your head, heart and soul: don't sleep!