Review: Before the recent rise in '90s style psychedelic, ambient-influenced electronic music, one of the only producers offering up this kind of hallucinatory revivalism was Nick Harris AKA A Sagittariun. If truth be told, his productions are still a cut above the rest, as this fine outing on Craigie Knowes proves. The famously cynical (and, we should add, hilarious) Bristolian is in a positive frame of mind on bubbly, melodic opener "Heart Sutra", where a variety of melodic elements spar cheekily atop a rubbery electro beat. "The Soft Machine" sees him introduce some typically tough, mind-altering motifs on a darker and more psychedelic electro workout, while "Interzone" is rush-inducing, sunrise-ready dancefloor straight out of the top drawer.
Review: Acidworx present their tenth release, which label boss DJ Seri so eloquently describes himself as 'more funky, squelching acid cuts for your brain'. Their acid trips have assisted them in travelling (without moving) as far as Japan, Australia, Netherlands and Switzerland on this one. The acid flashback on A1 will take you back to the days of the Plastik parties at the legendary Packard Plant in Detroit, while the tunnelling and strobed-out mentalisms of "10.02" will certainly cause long term effects - at the very least it'll have you calling in sick on Monday. On the flip, strap yourself in for a wild ride on the full-throttle acid trance epic "10.03" and boldly exclaim 'stay up forever!'
Review: It's time to tune into those weird and wonderful frequencies from Alien FM once again. This time the intergalactic space traveller serves up his Monochromatic Images, a five track transmission from outer space that leaves you breathless. The titular track is a busy and bumping electro cut with organic pianos draped over squelchy and synthetic bass. "Recordman" is a much crunchier and more dystopian affair complete with freaky vocals, then "Out There" is a stripped back, sublime electro rhythm that is perfectly mysterious. Two further mixes close out a super tight EP.
Review: The MUSIC INSTITUTE was Detroit's answer to legendary house and garage clubs like Music Box in the Windy City and Paradise Garage in New York. Now it is a label putting out the sort of raw, direct music you would have heard in the club. This time out it is famous Chicago producer and vocalist Alton Miller who steps up under his Aphrodisiac alias with cuts made on an MPC and Yamaha keyboard in Studio B of KMS. They are jacking, of course, but with plenty of musicality in the chords and though now a few years old having beenfirsst put out on Transmat's sub-label Fragile, they still bang.
Review: Germany's Kopf Bei Fuss brings the brilliance once more after a fine first outing a year ago. This one licks off with the hugely likeable and high speed techno funk of "Nani Kore". It has a rubbery bassline that is busy and off balance, and scintillating hi hats and drum programming that are clean and serene. A wonky melody line and weird vocal stabs all add plenty of the sort of eccentricities that are all too often missing in modern techno. "Palmenhouze" is another characterful track, this time pairing ambient pads and keys with acid undulations and high speed, spaced out house beats. Completing a varied package are the loopy breaks and bendy sine waves of "Radio Exercise". A fine EP.
Review: Berlin-based Italian producer Audri has been scattering his smart, fine-tuned machine soul across a handful of labels over the past four years. Picking up the thread from the emotive and inventive end of the 90s techno spectrum, his latest drop on Albion should appeal to all those who can't get enough of that B12-flavoured sound. 'Inner Movement' sports plenty of classic Motor City influences, but given a crisp modern finish. 'Dizzy Freq' has a deeper demeanour that jacks and jives in equal measure, with a nod to the formative sound of bleep techno. Domenica Rosa delivers a fun and freaky twist on the original, before the legendary Titonton Duvante dubs things out nicely on his version of 'Inner Movement'.
Review: Audri (real name Adriano Sorrentino) is an Italian DJ and producer based in Berlin and owner of DEMUT, which he inaugurated last year. Sorrentino serves up some tough minimal jams with a strong nod to Detroit techno and Yorkshire bleep on his new release for London's Opia - their eighth release. An integral part of the label/party from its early stages as a resident DJ, the 'Tappo Di Ferro' has an aesthetic right in line with their vibe. They've managed to cram three cuts onto the A side: the futurist thump of "Background Radiation" with its syncopated 909 clatter, or the hypnotic "Zisco United" were our picks. On the flip, there's the off-kilter freak funk of "9 Evolution" with rhythms reminiscent of Thomas Barnett or Suburban Knight - tip!
Review: Essential repress! Tomas Bangalter's stone cold classic Roule 12" Trax On Da Rocks makes a return. The five tracks on offer - "On Da Rocks", "Roule Boule", "What To Do", "Outrun" and "Ventura" - have acquired legendary status, standing as sublime examples of the rough, raw end of the filter-soaked French house sound. Some 17 years since they were first released, these tracks have lost none of their madcap brilliance; if this isn't already a cherished part of your record collection, here's your chance.
Review: Michigan artist John Beltran has long embodied the evocative, richly textured techno sound that has so long been synonymous with Detroit. He is in particularly majestic form on this one, however, with opener 'Love Freq' bringing scintillating hi hats and synths over dancing beats that are brilliantly restless. 'Epic Soulmate' has that sombre synth sound that has you gaming off into the distance, rueful for a love you once knew, then 'Controller' brings you back down to earth on a more punishing groove laced with darker bass notes. The manic and freeform 'El Conquistador' is a perfect end to this EP, which journeys much further than most techno albums ever do.
Review: Since debuting on Bird Scarer in 2012, George Thompson AKA Black Merlin has delivered some of the most intoxicating, percussive and otherworldly electronic music around, much of it shot through with exotic South East Asian instrumentation, feverish percussion and plenty of atmospheric field recordings. He continues this invigorating approach on the Mod Ik EP, confidently strutting between seriously hallucinatory techno (the heavy and hypnotic title track), mind-mangling ambient acid (the beat-free electronic psychedelia of 'Miea'), dark and foreboding modular intensity ('PK9', whose lead lines and breathless bass are both unusual and inspired) and feverish early morning chuggers ('HL').
Immulsion (Come To Me In Full Electric mix) (5:40)
Immulsion (That Kind Of Kink mix) (6:33)
Review: Having devoted much time of late to the release of fresh material from his Karenn project with Pariah, this solo single from Jamie Roberts AKA Blawan is long overdue. Roberts opens with the thumping intensity of "40 Spiral", where cut-up, nightmarish vocal samples buzz around a ten-ton techno beat, before skipping his way through the loose-limbed, lof-fi techno-funk of "Immulsion (Come To Me In Full Electric Mix)". You'll find an alternate version of that track - the "That Kind Of Kink Mix"- at the end of the EP, and it's worth a listen thanks to a quirkier rhythm, stranger noises and discordant riffs. B-side opener "Rain", a kind of production-line clang-fest underpinned with formidably redlined beats, is also well worth a listen.
Review: Delsin mainstay BNJM's last album Hypnagogia gets remixed by an interesting crew for this one. The ever deep German Efdemin goes for a smooth and serene techno atmosphere that's detailed with deft cosmic pads, and Luigi Tozzi channels classic Berlin dub techno on his icy yet warm take on "Inbdub." RRoxymore keeps things just as subtle but soothing on a dreamy late night and pad laced take on "Atoms Speak" while Mattheis traps you in a state of astral trance on his lush remix of "Moth Lines" which is as delicate and floaty as the insect it is named after.
Review: Sound the alarm, Borai is back with another essential drop of rough n' tough breakbeat business on his Higher Level label. In the same vein as his celebrated Club Glow work with Denham Audio, these are well-schooled rollers with sonics to make the sternest soundboy shock out. 'Sanctuary' calls to mind the earliest strains of Good Looking Records in its dreamy moments, with ample space afforded for the amens to get gnarly too. 'Carpet Bagger' strikes a deadly blow in the hardcore vein, piling on the darkside synths for a rave-ready showstopper to get synapses tingling and jaws clenching.
Review: Detroit native Mathew Dear can do no wrong. The man known as Jabberjaw, Audion, False, Asa Breed and himself here introduces another new alias, The Brain, with a well crafted double 12" on Planet E. "Boss" from it was first heard on Carl Craig's Detroit Love Vol. 2 compilation and seems to draw on all his various other projects - it is heady techno with dark, heavily filtered vocals that take you to the dead night. Elsewhere there is dubby tackle, hyper-speed minimal and warped tech house, all of which adds up to another winning project.