Review: When Marie Davidson announced last year that she would be, "retiring from club music", many wondered what she'd do next. Renegade Breakdown, her first album recorded with a full band (L'Oeuil Nu), answers that question. It sees the Canadian artist and her new collaborators deliver suitably arresting, personal and ear-catching songs built on mixing and matching a surprisingly wide variety of musical inspirations, from Blondie, classic disco and mutilated heavy metal guitars, to Kraftwerk, Billie Holliday, Fleetwood Mac and Daft Punk. It's a big shift for the previously highly experimental artist, but thanks to her skill as both a a producer and performer, one that works magnificently well.
Review: Berlin-based Canadian Scott Monteith has released many albums over the course of a near two-decade career, though few are quite as focused and laden with meaning as Wax Poetic For This Our Great Resolve. At heart, it's a political record, with each track featuring spoken word pieces or poetry written and delivered (in a variety of languages) by one of Monteith's music pals. Whether his collaborators are musing on the nature of democracy or telling a political parable, their words subtly rise above a sequence of brilliant backing tracks that variously touch on dub techno, melodic deep house/techno fusion, basement bothering post-dancehall riddims, hypnotic organic/electronic fusion and hazy, early morning ambient. As a result, this could well be the most varied and enjoyable Deadbeat album yet.
Review: As usual, prolific dub techno producer Rod Modell has spent much of the last year collaborating with long-term studio buddy Stephen Hitchell under the Echospace alias. Even so, he's still somehow found time to ready another solo album for Soma (his fifth in total for the esteemed Glasgow imprint). This CD version is presented as a continuous audio journey, with tracks seamlessly segueing into each other to create a hazy and hypnotic sound soup. As you'd expect, it's a hugely atmospheric and attractive affair that dozily drifts between meditative ambience and texture-laden dub techno. Pleasingly, much of the material is more melodious and positive in feel than some of Modell's work, which can often tend towards the dense and claustrophobic.
Morgan Geist/Julie Dexter - "Linking Tunnel/The Plan"
Aardvarck - "Komt Goed"
Circulation - "Sincerely" (Creation mix)
DJ Koze - "Let’s Love"
Ron Trent & Chez Damier/Deetron - "Morning Factory/Choose Me" (feat Steve Spacek)
Nikola Gala - "Only" (Ryan Elliott remix)
Keith Worthy - "Moon Dance"
Paul W Teebroke - "Thing 1"
Radio Slave - "Children Of The E" (KiNK SP1200 remix)
Deetron - "Cry With The Stars" (feat Jamie Lidell - acappella)
A Made Up Sound - "Rework"
Hnny - "Hotline Riddim" (Jacques Renault edit)
Tony Allen - "Kilode" (Carl Craig remix)
Pepe - "Benzine Electronics"
Black Dog Productions - "Flux"
Deetron - "Untitled"
DJ Bone - "All My Heart"
Francis Bebey - "Bissau" (Pilooski edit)
Floorplan - "Let The Church"
Terrace - "Seventh City" (Filtered dub)
Derrick May - "Kaotic Harmony"
Equiknoxx - "Flagged Up" (Mark Ernestus remix)
DJ Bone - "Dreamers 6.1"
Stanislav Tolkachev - "Optical Illusions"
K-Lone - "Old Fashioned"
Jessy Lanza - "Strange Emotion"
Review: It would be fair to say that Deetron has taken the opportunity provided by a DJ Kicks mix to show off a little. We'll forgive him, though, because he's delivered an astonishingly good mix. Cramming an astonishing 38 tracks on to one CD might look like overkill, but the selection, programming and mixing (presumably in the studio, given the number of overdubs and sneaky track blends involved) is so good that you barely notice. Musically, he delivers a brilliant blend of electronic music old and new, moving from deep house and jazzy electronica to ambient via slamming rave jams and almost every techno sub-genre you can think of. We'd usually spend time banging on about highlights, but they're so plentiful that there simply isn't space. Just buy it: you won't be disappointed.
Review: There's something admirable about the Kern series' remit, which asks DJs to dig deep and join the dots between contemporary cuts and lesser-known releases lurking in the far corners of their record collections. DJ Deep did a superb job with last year's first instalment, so the pressure's on German veteran DJ Hell to make this second volume equally special. For the most part, Hell rises to the challenge, offering a fluid, energetic, well-paced trawl through three decades of electronic music. Predictably, there are some brilliant surprises - No Smoke's 1989 Afro dub-house cut "Koro-Koro" and Joey Beltran in deep form for Nu Groove with 1991's "Quad 1" - as well as a smattrering of recent bangers (see DJ Yoav B's "Energize").
Review: Zak Khutoresky AKA DVS1 famously doesn't do many mixes. It's perhaps unsurprising, then, that he apparently initially struggled to know how to approach this contribution to Fabric's now legendary mix series. Really, he shouldn't have worried. The finished mix - completed using three turntables and a mixer - is something of a gem; an all-action techno assault on the senses with Khutoresky whipping through 29 tracks in less than 80 minutes. Impressively, every track is an unreleased exclusive, with some 16 of these forthcoming on the DJ/producer's HUSH and Mistress labels. In many ways, it's a near perfect package for those who enjoy Khutoresky's muscular style; certainly, the inclusion of so many unheard gems makes the first listen a genuine voyage of discovery.
Review: Somewhat surprisingly, this collaborative album had its roots in a 2013 request from Michael Mantra for dub techno and ambient dub stalwart Mr. Cloudy to remix tracks from his Silent Season-released 2013 LP "Light In My Head". Six years later, and after sending parts and versions back and forth, the pair has conjured this set of lengthy, deep and mind-altering excursions. Mr. Cloudy provides versions of the collaborative "White Dub": an ultra-deep, spaced-out "Remix" that smothers a gentle, slowly shifting ambient dub rhythm in heavily processed snatches of field recordings and atmospheric aural textures around and a sparser, more spaced-out "Edit" that's closer in tone to Mantra's otherworldly, dub-influenced soundscapes. Sandwiched in between you'll find a hypnotic version by Mantra that was partly created using music concrete techniques.