Review: Smoke Machine returns with a new split ep featuring two artists from the Organik festival stable: Agonis and Valentino Mora. This will be Agonis' second outing on the Taiwanese based label anda first for Valentino. Now 9 years in the running with a successful podcast and parties, this will be Smoke Machine's second release on their newly established label with many more to come.
Review: If you're after some clandestine, otherworldly late night techno, you could do worse than cop this four-way hoedown from Italian imprint Unita Psicofisica. Korridor sets the tone with "Geotetra", a far-sighted and foreboding chunk of leftfield techno hypnotism, while PRG/M serves up some modular electronics and mind-altering rhythms ("Quantum Decay"). Over on the flip, Von Grall continues on a similar theme with the spaced-out electronics and rhythmic density of "Umalog", before SHLTR brings us gently back to earth via the slowly shifting drones, classical ambient melodies and sparkling beauty of EP standout "Pashupatinath" (try saying that after a few too many bottles of Peroni).
Review: Happily, Neo Violence's third label sampler contains some real gems. It begins with Niro's "Nazca", a distinctively spacey affair that brings together echoing, dub techno style synthesizer motifs, shuffling tech-house drums and chords seemingly beamed down from another galaxy. VNZO's woozy "Relax Yourself" continues the fusion vibe (think ultra-deep Motor City techno mixed with dusty deep house), before NMSS and Jjuan pepper a cowbell-laden broken house groove with swirling chords and late '80s hip-house vocal samples. Another rock solid EP is drawn to a close via the rubbery, post-electro rhythms, darting bass and dreamy pads of Zolaa's standout "Fao-Mao".
Review: To complement Objekt's masterful 36-track session for their irregular Kern mix series, Tresor have put out two self-explanatory 12" samplers. Kern Vol. 3: The Exclusives sees contributions from accomplished electro technicians Clatterbox and Polzer as well as Bristol's rising Shanti Celeste and Via App of 1080p fame. "Aspect Ratio" from Clatterbox and Celeste's understandably incandescent "Lights" both feature in a movement on the mix that is a real highlight of Kern Vol. 3, but DJs will be happy both have been pressed her for full club play. On the B-side, the swift and snappy metallic tunnelling of Polzer's "Static Rectifier" could be mistaken for an angry DJ Stingray, whilst Via App's "From Across The Room (Edit)" is a more playful, if pensive affair.
Review: Tabernacle aren't as known for their reissue work, but here they've made an exception to shine a light on a truly astounding hidden gem lost in the dry ice haze of the early 90s. Phuture Classical Appendix A originally came out on cassette in 1992 on Drome Tapes in the Netherlands, showcasing a low key selection of artists exploring the limits of deep, dark techno and house. Now spread across three 12" releases, these treasured curios now get the widespread release they deserve, leading in with the haunting self-titled track from Paradize Disowned before the gritty techno throb of "Gee Lee" by DJ Zero One. Considered in their execution and immensely evocative of the underbelly of early rave culture, these releases are ones that discerning old-skool heads will not want to miss.
Review: While Steffi and Virginia have been working together on and off for the best part of a decade, "Work A Change" is undoubtedly their most significant collaborative work to date (both in terms of its expansive nature and the quality of music on show). With Virginia handling singing duties throughout, "Work A Change" rides on waves of tasty electro grooves and hazy synth-pop motifs and futuristic electronics. It's a blueprint that guarantees goodness throughout, from the quietly euphoric shuffle of opener "Be True To Me" and the pulsating dancefloor fizz of "Help Me Understand" (one of two cuts showcased in both vocal and instrumental forms), to the high-tempo thrust of "Until You're Begging", the bass-heavy, future dancehall wonkiness of "Internal Bleeding" and triumphantly intergalactic title track.
Two Phase U - "Time Is Like Sand Through Your Fingers" (6:01)
Two Phase U - "Yolocreo" (8:01)
Review: Two Phase U has been busy recently and has a slew of releases out in the next few weeks, but first up is a split with relative newcomer Nemo Vachez for Opia. Every release on this label sells out in quick time, and for good reason: it deals in music that straddles a divide between house and techno, with elements of dub and breakbeat adding further vitality. Vachez's tech-funk opener sounds like classic Two Lone Swordsmen, while "Love From Jupiter" has infectious, fluttering metal snares and rugged bass. The flip features something you might describe as techno disco on "Time Is Like Sand Through Your Fingers", while "Yolocreo" is a blizzard of drums, toms, hits and restless melody that awakens your every sense.