Review: Probably for good reason, techno deviant Rrose isn't as active as he was a few years back. However, we see this as a winning strategy - building and maintain momentum up until the very moment the bombs drop. Back on his own EAUX label, we have three new, blurry technoid structures made for the more finessed ears. "The Smallest Footprints" dazzles and confuses with its constantly shape-shifting groove, guided and supported by an ocean of deep-water sonics and atmospheric harmonies, whereas "The Ends Of Weather" itself sounds like the beginning of the perfect storm, gliding with tenebrous might across its six minutes and 42 seconds of instability and beatless sway. On the B-side, "Nest Of Queens" manages to do very much with very little, launching a minimalistic percussion flex that evolves at its own pace, twisting and convulsing more and more with each new bang of the beat. What a stunner. Be quick, these will go!
Review: For their latest release, Pittsburgh Tracks has turned to Shawn Rudiman, an experienced producer arguably best known for previous releases on Applied Rhythmic Technology, Matrix and Detroit Techno Militia. There are four quality cuts to choose from, of which the muted Detroit futurism of "Works On Paper" - classic sounding riffs and spacey electronics over a rolling techno groove - and the acid-fired deep space thrust of "Switching Rails" are our picks for peak-time plays. That said, ultra-deep, daydreaming IDM closer "One More Sometime" is also superb, while "Last Light On" is a deep and driving techno box jam. In other words, it's an excellent EP.
Review: UK techno dons James Ruskin and Mark Broom are back at it again on Blueprint with three slabs of upfront peak time material that packs brains to match brawn. "Domwen" is a delirious workout that revolves around a mad-eyed synth hook to make late night ravers fly off the handle. "Screwface" is equally ear-catching with its snarling electro lead bending and flexing around the stern beat, and then "Okt" bowls in with yet more oscillating acrobatics to shock out your local techno dungeon. You hardly need assuring of the quality these two can conjure up, but suffice it to say if you're after tough and inventive fist-shakers, this 12" has got you covered.
Review: Rising star and all round nice guy John Shima has gone on record as saying it was a dream to work with B12 man Steven Rutter, whose work from the early 1990s onwards has been a constant source of inspiration. Predictably, the duo's first collaborative EP is something of a far-sighted, intergalactic treat. Opener "Skywards" sets the tone, wrapping melancholic chords, poignant melodies, rumbling bass and deep space electronics around a soft-focus IDM beat. There's a classic "Artificial Intelligence"-era deep electro feel about the similarly beautiful and melodious "Broken Spell", while "A New Day" pulses and throbs impressively via the use of a stabbing but spacey bassline and shimmering chords. Closer "Disjointed Route", a slow motion but intensely picturesque affair, is also sublime.
Review: Telemorph mainstay RVO (short for Reggy van Oers, fact fans) returns to the esteemed Dutch label with another suitably epic workout. Over the course of the 11 whirlwind minutes that make up "Ambipolar Diffusion", van Oers layers horror soundtrack chords, dystopian melodies and dub techno style manipulated field recordings over a thrusting, arpeggio-driven techno groove. While restlessly intense, the track is poignant and melancholic. The flipside is taken up by a previously unheard cut from Deepbass, a Barcelona-based Glaswegian who recently impressed with an EP on Materia. His track, "Amazonian", is arguably even better, cannily joining the dots between tribal-infused broken techno, creepy ambience and the hazy atmospherics of the best dub techno.
Review: If your metallic fascias need a bit of work, the S&M Trading Co - a newly incorporated collaboration between Fit Sound supremo Aaaron "Fit" Siegel and Norwegian eccentric DJ Sotofett - is here to help. This first 12" does a good job in showcasing their (imaginary) services, primarily via the epic and mind-altering A-side "Metal Surface Repair". It's sparse, spacey, undulating and intoxicating, with the action focused on clanging machine percussion hits, intergalactic chords and a restless TB-303 acid line. Sotofett handles remix duties on the flipside, first exploring wilder acid house pastures on the aptly named "Acidic Mix" before taking us on a druggy ambient acid trip on the excellent "Synthetic Mix".
Review: Leipzig's PH17 are back with their third release and its second compilation on vinyl. They invited six artists to contribute a track on Second Wave - a collection that showcases electronic music dwelling on the outer limits. From S. Olbricht & Abris Gryllus' immersive ambient journey entitled "Trood", the frantic polyrhythmic madness of "Kalimbopolis" by Berlin by way of New York City's M.E.S.H, the lo-fi darkwave electro of Privacy's "No Discussion" and Daniel McCormick aka Ital aka Releaxer's epic rave reconstruction The Enemy Within".
Review: Maybe it's something to do with Sabre's Portuguese background, but whatever the explanation, this latest release is full of breathy, sun-kissed melodies and ramshackle grooves. It starts with "Cascavel Breeze", where woozy, psychedelic chords unravel over broken down drums and a beat-down rhythm. "Vigilante" is based on the same template, but on this occasion it sees Sabre conjure up jazzy keys and loose drums, against which there is some nonsensical but hugely enjoyable vocal wittering. "Ghetto Prophet" is the main dance floor track and features a searing bass fused with dreamy melodies, but the standout track is "Streets Of Love - Blaze". It sees Sabre lay down a hypnotic deep techno pulse to which he adds freeform synth lines and cosmic pan pipes.
Lick Wid Nit Wit (A Sagittariun Sabresonic Re-Dream) (6:51)
Lick Wid Nit Wit (A Sagittariun Friday Night At Happy Jacks remix) (5:53)
Review: It would be fair to say that "Lick Wid Nit Wit" is not one of the better-known tracks by the Sabres of Paradise, Andrew Weatherall's once high profile 1990s techno trio. The track, a wild re-imagining of their "Wilmot" single rich in clanking, metallic percussion hits, snaking Middle Eastern inspired melodies and copious amounts of dub delay, was only ever released on an obscure compilation. Happily, Elastic Dreams has decided to give it a new lease of life, with label boss A Sagittariun delivering two thrillingly intense new interpretations. There's a "Sabresonic Re-Dream" (named in honour of the trio's label/club night, Sabresonic) that mixes fast-paced rhythms and distorted bass with some particularly hallucinatory sounds, and a more straightforward - but no less trippy - techno take (the Friday Night At Happy Jacks Remix).
Review: Sad City's debut album was an absolute delight to behold when it landed late last year, and this remix package on Emotional Response does a great service to the quality of the original by offering up some truly outstanding new versions from impeccable talent. DJ Nature is one of the greats of heads down, dusty house, and his smoky handling of "Steady Jam" draws you in across two blissful versions that adorn the A side. On the flip, "Pace, Movements I-IV" gets a beautifully bubbly acid treatment from HOLOVR, and Herron plunges "Rain" into a murky bath of leftfield techno.