Review: Snap, Crackle & Pop does the business once again as Berlin-based producer Curses steps up with the distinctly 1980s new wave stylings of "Another View". It's the kind of track that will have lovers of early The Cure, Sisters Of Mercy et al dancing in a hazy fever dream where early goth and indie meets with contemporary beats. "Together In The Dark" makes the point even clearer with a brooding trip through languid guitar, beyond the grave vocals and scuffed drums. Inga Mauer takes an entirely different tact with her remix of the latter track, conjuring up a particularly chilling acid daemon to jangle the nerves before The Golden Filter spook out "Another View" with heavy doses of reverb.
Review: Underlying Form is a new vinyl only label run by Northern Irish DJ/Promoter Darren Allen. The first release, a debut for Darren, sets the tone for the labels future with 4 tracks of deep and abstract minimal techno on the 'Invisible Landscape EP'.
Love Gets Sweeter (vs The dancefloor Outlaws) (5:07)
Review: The clue's in the title... Two anonymous stitch-ups that will tear-up your floor with serious badness. "Oh Diggity" takes TC's version of Bashmore and takes it for a romantic walk down Blackstreet while "Love Gets Sweeter" busses up a bit of Mr Quaye with a sugar-sweet jungle feel that's perfect for the summer ahead. Subtle as a hammer.
Review: Rising Greek producer G.U.S. steps up on Equivalence with some pumped up vintage techno sounds that take more than a few cues from the UK. "Shelf Cloud" strikes a fine balance between tough and dreamy, using a twitchy set of drums moving at a decent pace and flooding them with atmospheric pads and a slice of vocal that forms a central hook to the track. "Halo" goes even deeper into British territory with its chopped up breakbeat funk calling to mind the dexterous sample magic of Stasis, and then "Haze Phenomenon" heads into deep tech house territory riding a pumped up shuffle beat and swooping pads.
Review: Hugo Capablanca may be best known for his more disco-minded output from his time on Gomma Records, but increasingly his scattered output and his label have been reaching towards more abrasive material. Nothing will prepare you for the confrontational nature of this daring, 'no label' transmission. The artwork alone is enough to challenge the senses, while the opening track is a metallic drone that gives way to the distended mutant beats of "Top Less". Guy Debord is no less cut throat in delivering a "Disco Punish" remix of "Lap Dance" on the B-side, all deconstructed groove and guttural noise, and then "Dance Less" rounds the record off with another excursion into unsettling, heavily processed noise.
Review: Studio surgeons Caserta & Lucky Ry have been busy revisiting a dance floor classic that they now serve up as two different remakes. Once again it is a blue-eyed gem that forms the source material for the pair to impress with their own versions. The "70's Mix" is a laid back soul gem with big horns and smooth, smoochy vocals that will get any bar grooving. Over on the flip, the "80's Mix", has bigger drums and more tiny percussive textures bumping things up while the vocal is passed through a vocoder for that perfect future-retro feel.
Review: Bobby Oroza has long been a key sideman in the Finnish Music Scene but now he's stepping out on his own and is a welcome voice indeed. Straddling a divide be-tween blue eyed soul and rock balladry once again on this latest single, he does a convincing job indeed. His own dreamy flute lines and gentle percussion tumble lie next to churning drums, but it's that super sweet vocal that makes "Strange Girl" so strong. "Down on My Knees" is more tender and introspective but just as good and sounds more like the work of someone from Southern California than the Nordic countries.
Review: The second installment of Damon Wild's Comet Finder series takes off from Synewave with another four perspectives on cosmically-inclined techno from the long serving US producer. "Death Dive" is an appropriate title for the edgy opening track, which keeps the rhythm section submerged and lets the bleeps do the talking. "Black Lake" heads into more experimental territory, using a crooked groove as a vessel for all kinds of wobbling frequencies picked up like errant microwaves fired across the solar system. "Moonraker" maintains the ominous atmosphere while plunging into a dense, rippling bed of blips and synth wriggles, and then "Radars" rounds the set off with a linear trip through space dust of the highest order.
Review: Early in the year, forthright lo-fi techno experimentalist Delroy Edwards released an eccentric, 22-track, download-only album called Rio Grande. Here, he makes some of the highlights of that set available on vinyl for the very first time. It's an intriguing and largely enjoyable affair throughout, with the sometime L.I.E.S man following the glassy-eyed, recorded-from-the-radio Balearic warmth of "When I Think" with the stripped-back, noise-laden jack-track "Sugar Shack". These kinds of juxtapositions continue throughout, as Edwards flits between sweet and tactile downtempo doodles (see "Rio Grande"), clattering proto jack-tracks ("Let It Rock!") and hissing 1980s deep house bliss (the woozy brilliance of EP closer "Wild Illusions").
Review: Delivery is the work of Greg Shin, who has previously appeared on LA Club Resource and Smashing Tape Records. Now he appears on Torn Hawk's Valcron Video with a wonderfully diverse set of leftfield machine workouts, kicking off with the tempestuous drum twitches of "Brain Drained". "Technology Transplant" is a polar opposite, focusing on calm drifts of ambient synth with a mournful tinge. The B2 is worth digging for, as "Four Two Nine" seems to balance the two other tracks and make for the most club-ready piece on the 12".
Review: The Heavy Thinker EP finds the legend that is DJ Skull back on SECT to regale our ears and limbs with further precious techno and house gems! "Bazzar" hits the spot with beautifully harmonious synths and a techno funk guitar lick that will keep you dancing forever. "Heavy Thinker" is a delirious peak time dance floor killer, working organic drum programming against techno siren and ominous kalimba hook. "Power" is all about the old school Detroit strings and tones, setting a steady pace to keep the momentum going into the small hours. Finally, "Rise" has those unmistakable Chicago house values emerging once more, as keys and strings lift the spirits to elevate mind and body.
Review: Having swiftly carved a niche for himself amongst the likes of Perc, Ben Gibson returns to Sect to deliver more of his brooding and engaging techno. There's a great emphasis on sound design and atmospherics in the two tracks on Quien Es?, as ominous clangs and tense tones hang heavy over rugged drum workouts. "Ceased To Gasp" is the more industrial of the two, but still allows for a melodic slant in the cavernous echoes that define the track. "Remain" adopt a swirling, psychedelic approach to sonic decoration that draws you in just as it continues flooring you, like all good techno should. Highly recommended.
Review: A new project based out of Copenhagen - Aether's Spring comes shrouded in mystery but makes a bold statement with this first transmission. WATER: Dancing Moon 12" leads in with "House In Blue Rain," a downcast track bathed in melancholic pads and blown out percussion around a steady 4/4 tick. "Dancing Moon" is a more kinetic affair that works with all kinds of synth shapes alongside some primal drum machine percussion that lends the track a new wave quality that suits it just fine. Closer "Throne Of Clay" spreads across the B side in a brooding, journeying epic fit for the likes of classic James Holden or a more wave-minded Jon Hopkins.
Review: Jonny 5 can rightly be considered a mainstay of Bahnsteig 23 now, as he returns to the label for the third time. It seems that the main source of inspiration for this latest opus from the intermittent producer has been the Indian sub continent, and he's channeled those vibes into three wild and wicked tracks for the weird dance party. "Bengali Dub" channels the proto electro vibes of 80s synth pop and shoots it through with some illustrious sample drops, while "Simha" works more like a particularly bold edit loping in a polyrhythmic fashion that will have the floor hopping like mad to keep up. "Tum Tum" turns up the heat on the B side with a deadly electronic revision of an Indian classic.
Review: Three years on from his last solo outing, former Innerzone Orchestra member Paul Randolph returns to action with a very special 12" on Moodymann's Mahogani Music imprint. In its original form, "Not Gonna Let" is something of a deep and soulful treat: a head-nodding, dancefloor-friendly modern soul gem full of twinkling piano lines and heart-aching vocals. It's accompanied by two fine remixes. The first, from Charles Webster, begins as a deep, ambient soul cut, before slowly flowering into a shuffling deep house treat. Dez Andres, on the other hand, emphasizes the track's organic instrumentation further, delivering a superb rework that sits somewhere between deep house, hip-hop and modern boogie.