Review: In a sense, Snow Bone has been one of Lobster Theremin's mainstays since the label's relative growth to fame, and the artist's mechanical brand of techno is both effective on the dance floor and fresh on the ears. This time, he comes through like a roll of thunder with the bleepy, hard-faced techno of "Neon X", followed by the more chord-heavy analogue fuzziness of "Allstars". On the flip, "Tradecraft" offers some jaw-splitting four-to-the-floor in the same vein as artists like DJ Rush back in the DJAX days, and "Love Is A Stranger" falls in the dark depths of a techno depression that reminds us of the Avian output, except that here things are murkier, more distorted and a little more tenebrous.
Review: Publicity shy German jack-masters Snuff Crew seem like a good fit with Bleeper, the sister label to Jerome Hill's TB-303 powered Super Rhythm Tracks imprint. Certainly, you can imagine Hill strutting his stuff behind the decks to A-side "Where's The Bad?", a suitably stomping, funk-fuelled techno workout smothered inanalogue beeps, fuzzy stabs and faintly foreboding riffs. Over on side B, "Naughty" creates maximum energy out of jacking machine drums, chopped-and-looped vocal samples and a gargantuan bassline, while "Warehouse Boy" wraps psychedelic TB-303 acid lines around a bouncy but banging rhythm track and metronomic bassline.
Review: It's been some two years since Society Of Silence, aka Parisian pair Benoît 'BNY' Legrain and Poni Hoaxer Nicolas 'Tite' Villebrun released a record through their own eponymous label, in which time they've not exactly been prolific but have graced Versatile with a clutch of fine 12"s. This Chroma slab is a welcome return for Society Of Silence on Society Of Silence then, and finds the French duo presenting a diverse three track doctrine of their production palette. The title track is an intricately produced exercise is deep, dubby techno, whilst "Tunnel" ramps up the tempo exponentially, whilst "Tacam Dub" is reminiscent of a Claro Intellecto track cut to lo-fi tape and subjected to all manner of stretching.
Review: French label DDD now present Society of Silence composed of two Parisian artists and friends Benoît Legrain (Fareed) and Nicolas Villebrun also known as Tite. They usually appear on their eponymous imprint in addition to Fragil Musique or legendary local labels Versatile or Concrete. On "Ambivalent" they throw down a deep and dusty groove that is covered in a thick haze of smoke, you can smell the dust coming off those dense beats supporting some rusty/analogue groove aesthetics. Quite fitting then that they get in NYC's finest DJ Nature for some equally dope but more summery deepness; similar to that great stuff he threw down on Cottam's Ruff Draft last year.
Review: The Shahr Farang label is always an interesting one to check in with, sometimes veering towards fragile ambience as much as intriguing beat constructions. Here, label mainstay Sohrab invites Erik Jahaali to join in on the tough yet atmospheric thrust of "Industriegebiet", before he goes it alone on the moody beatless blanket of sound that is "Fasseleh". Jahaali is back on board for "Skypainter," which pivots around dusty pads and subtle, snaking rhythms in the deepest techno tradition. "Dayi Mohsen" is the surprise of the record, dropping into a Mo Wax style funk that should soothe all manner of chill out room scenarios.
Review: Despite boasting a DJ career that stretches back to the San Francisco rave moment of the early '90s, Solar Langevin has very little previous production pedigree. In fact, this 12" marks his debut single with the mysterious Brother Nebula, following occasional contributions to multi-artist EPs. "S.I.S" is the kind of pulsating, strobe-friendly cut that we can imagine goes down a storm in San Francisco's more muscular clubs. While its chords and occasional melodies tend towards the dreamy, it's the bubbling, mind-altering acid lines and bustling electro-techno groove that catch the ear. Brother Nebula takes a different approach on his looser and mellower, breakbeat-driven remix, while Saville Jetset re-imagines "S.I.S" as a deep electro shuffler lazily drifting through deep space.
Review: Following the excellent OHM compilation, Glasgow's Ambidextrous label continues its forays into vinyl editions with this sterling EP from label regular Solipsism, aka Craig Murphy. With an energised, dynamic sound that positively bursts out of the speakers, Murphy is flying the flag for leftfield electronica coming out of Scotland. "Error Hash Mirror Mountain" has the kind of overloaded yet melodic sound that you might expect from early Nathan Fake, although the wooziness is replaced by a rabid punch that shakes your cerebellum. "Sea Dweller" by way of stark contrast dives into a low-slung trip hop vibe, and the smoked out mood continues with "Hypnagogo" on the flip. "Fast Rubber Taxis" is equally slow, but it sports a sassy rhythmic strut that sets it apart from the other two downtempo tracks.
Review: Following up a great inaugural release by Portland's AC$, mysterious new imprint Open Channel for Dreamers (or simply O.C.D.) presents Montreal based Adam Solomon with four retro flavoured techno cuts, which take their cues from early sounds of Sheffield and Detroit. Starting off with the funky minimal techno-soul of "B 50" reminiscent of Titonton Duvante and the deep space transmission of "40.000 Light Years Away". On the flip, "Track For J" shares the same penchant for retro techno in the vein of recent releases on Berlin imprints Libertine and Slow Life, but the best was certainly saved for last on the hypnotic journey of "Sky Ride" with its evocative bounce that's led by those sweet arpeggiated pads.
Review: Toronto label Suction return to New Ways, the latest LP from co-founder Jason "Solvent" Amm which was released earlier this year with an EP of remixes from some high grade artists. In original form New Ways was the soundtrack to I Dream Of Wires, the excellent documentary on modular synthesis, and was one of those rare LPs that's equally suited for the dancefloor and home listening. Here the likes of Chris Carter, Orphx, Bronze Teeth and Martial Canterel are let loose on the LP and there's a clear arc in intensity over the four remixes. As you'd expect "Burn The Tables" (Orphx remix) is totally suited to peak time techno deployment where as the three other revisions that sit either side take Solvent into more contemplative and abstract territory - the Bronze Tooth take being our favourite.
Review: Grey Edition: If you've seen the Modular synth documentary I Dream of Wires, you'll have been suitably impressed with the soundtrack provided courtesy of Suction Records boss Solvent. Whilst there was a double LP edition of the soundtrack, it didn't feature all the music Solvent had recorded for the documentary. That has now been remedied as Suction lay out this limited addendum 12" (available in three different colours of vinyl) consisting of previously digital only cuts and some fresh remixes. The DJs out there will be happy to see techno cut "Hadron" make the 12" upgrade, whilst the remix of "King Vincent" from Wrangler (featuring Cabaret Voltaire founder Stephen Mallinder) is equally floor-focused. Do check the other remix, of "Sender", which sees Todd Sines adopting his Interval alias for some unsettling modular sonics!!
Review: Clear Edition: If you've seen the Modular synth documentary I Dream of Wires, you'll have been suitably impressed with the soundtrack provided courtesy of Suction Records boss Solvent. Whilst there was a double LP edition of the soundtrack, it didn't feature all the music Solvent had recorded for the documentary. That has now been remedied as Suction lay out this limited addendum 12" (available in three different colours of vinyl) consisting of previously digital only cuts and some fresh remixes. The DJs out there will be happy to see techno cut "Hadron" make the 12" upgrade, whilst the remix of "King Vincent" from Wrangler (featuring Cabaret Voltaire founder Stephen Mallinder) is equally floor-focused. Do check the other remix, of "Sender", which sees Todd Sines adopting his Interval alias for some unsettling modular sonics!!
Review: REPRESS ALERT: relik returns with a repackaged edition of one of the catalogue's most treasured releases. "Overcome" and "Lady Science (NYC Sunrise)" need little introduction, and now come sporting the new TR11:11 matrix number. Written and produced by Thomas Melchior and Baby Ford aka Soul Capsule, these tracks came from one of the many sessions recorded at the West London Ifach Studio in 1999. On the A Side "Overcome" is stripped back and energetic, driven by rolling and shuffling garage style beats, tight bubbling bass and atmospheric synth pads. The intermittent vocal samples and the release's signature organ set you up for the flip, "Lady Science (NYC Sunrise)". Possibly one of house music's most emotive pieces, the track builds slowly with the introduction of each part building a story of soulful optimism based around a sparse palette of deep synths, uplifting keys and warm analogue bass. The understated beauty of the main vocal riff never seems to grow old or tired with the track lending itself perfectly to either main room, peak-time play or after-hours sessions alike. Remastered by Rashad at D & M.
Review: Bang, boom, biff! New label alert from contemporary house maestros Soulphiction and Mike Dehnert, a collaboration which has caught us by surprise and left us trailing by the wayside. Masterful. Hands & Tief is the name of the home to this punchy two-tracker that sees both artists put on their techno mask and offer something a little moodier than their usual output, respectively. "Sky So High" is Soulphiction going for a distorted, industrial approach and it works like a charm; the tune's percussion is raw and mashable in any mix, the bassline ominous and intriguing, and the groove powerful and body-moving. Mike Dehnert's "Zumwald" is more in line with his usual bags of tricks, except that here the lower frequencies are more aligned to the electro dynasty than a classic 'Berlin' approach. Both sleek, effective dance floor bangers recommended for pretty much any DJ wanting to lay down some heat!
Review: Lately, interest has been growing in the turn-of-the-'90s work of Stefan van Elsen, a Belgian producer arguably best known for his ambient-leaning work with brother Dimitri as Trans4m. Now Stroom has decided to reissue two more dancefloor-leaning cuts from the van Elsen production line. On side A you'll find "Dilemma", a solo cut Stefan produced as Sound Mercenary that layers glassy-eyed, life-affirming synth riffs and Inner City style stabs over a breakbeat-tinged, bass-heavy Belgian techno groove. Over on side B you'll find another 1991 gem: the van Elsen brothers' response to bleep-heavy British bleep and hardcore, "Switch (Techno Mix)". Built around booming sub-bass, Kraftwerk bleeps, dreamy pads and electro-fired breakbeats, the track remains a timeless dancefloor workout.