Review: Both Ike Release and John Barera have been buzzing in the underground community for some time now. Ike with releases on Mister Saturday Night, Finale Sessions, Skudge and MOS and John with releases on Argot, Just Jack and Zakim. Now they turn to Ike's Episodes imprint to supply more of their upfront and dancefloor ready cuts. Starting out on the A side with the new wave acid sensibilities of "Looking Ahead" and the ferocious retro jack of "Lights Out" which are sure to set the night on fire. On the flip, the neon lit aesthetic continues with "Cosmic Divide" and "Winding Up" respectively, which conjure the ghosts from those dusty analogue machines to stunning effect.
Review: When ambient soundscapes and electro design combine as well as they do on the opening track here, 'Il Tempo E Lo Spazio', you cannot fail to be impressed. It's a scene setting opener from Roberto Bosco and Il Cornonauta that immediately wins you over before 'Accelerazione' takes you to a higher level of electro funk on 'Velocita' Costante' which might just be the EP highlight. The high speed and high tech electro soul of 'Wolf 359' sure does give it a run for its money, though.
Miro SundayMusiq - "From Behind The Corner" (8:39)
Review: Following an excellent EP from Memphis, Animals On Psychedelics returns with more weird and wonderful party fare from the outer reaches. This time it's a various artists release that brings together all the producers involved in the label so far, while also introducing BPMF to the fold with the woozy, rubbery synth shapes of "Liza On Clouds." Jane Fitz and Dom Ahtuam's Invisible Menders project presents the rolling, psyched out melodics of "Three On Three," while Memphis pushes further into experimental territory with the wonderfully fractured "Altered States." That leaves it to Miro SundayMusiq to complete the EP with the wave-meets-Italo tones of "From Behind The Corner," a perfectly noirish flourish to finish a sterling record.
Review: Aussie duo Echo Inspectors first joined forces with Dresden veteran Insect O back in 2015, wowing critics and buyers alike with the sumptuous dub techno vibes of "Bourne Dub". Three years on they're at it again with "Bribie Dub", a bouncy and rather delicious excursion that wraps ricocheting, undulating dub techno motifs around a far bolder and chunkier rhythm track that provides the track with plenty of movement and pace. Mike Schommer steps up to remix the track on side B, delivering an even more hypnotic take that's a little more bright and melodic than the A-side original version.
Review: Weapons Of Desire kick off what is presumably a new series of various artist releases under the Machine Funk banger, and do so with a right royal collection of dance music punks. Drvg Cvltvre, for example, is a Dutchman who makes dirt, sleaze and noise an art form in his techno tracks, and the brilliantly brainless 'I Hate Thinking' is proof of that. UK hardware lover Perseus Traxx also brings plenty of lo-fi brilliance to his 'Hi-Tech', while Rennie Foster's 'Deposition Acid' achieves some hypnotic brilliance with the 303. Add in more rough and ready excellence from Type-303 and Bad Outfit and you have a hefty EP.
Review: Bliq Records fire up the coffers for 2018 with a new jam from Iakovos, otherwise known as Lowjac and spotted in groups such as Anopolis and Deemonlover. He's a regular on Bliq, and steps up under his own name with seriously on-point club tackle for those who like their hybrid sounds. "Singers" straps some breakbeat choppage to a mellow deep techno stomp, while "Evil Flower" unfurls in a fit of edgy electro before "Adidas People" cools things down with a focused trip into straight up psych-out techno. "Hackney Tower" finishes the EP off on a wonderfully creepy tip, all skin-crawling acidic gurgles and unsettling voices to inspire paranoid glances in the club.
Review: Ikeaboy is the intermittent project from Damian Tubbritt, who first debuted the moniker more than ten years ago. It's been a long while since any fresh material from this deep cover curio of oddball techno hit wax, but now Wicked Bass have done the honourable thing and gathered up this excellent trio of tracks. "Shape Memory" plies a funky line in squelchy bass and jangling delay trills, while "Living In The Future" opts for a more mysterious, pad soaked trip into spooked out electro. On the B-side "Dayna" sports some forthright drum machine beats and epic sweeps of synths that only serve to confound any expectations you might have about the sound of Ikeaboy.
Review: If you're in the market for an otherworldly trip into deep space, this quietly impressive debut from I.M.J.U.S could just be the ticket. Taking the sparse and spacey feel of Drexciyan electro as its' base, the EP saunters between discordant, out-there ambient ("Insomnia"), hypnotic deep techno ("Welcome to Scientology"), wild alien funk masquerading as body-jacking techno ("After Orgie"), slow and slugy, industrial-influenced sleaze ("Untitled 6") and viciously pitched-up madness with added old school bleeps. It's a mixture that makes perfect sonic sense but also remains thrillingly surprising even after multiple listens. Certainly, we'd recommend it to those who like their electronic music tough, out-there and eccentric.
Review: Fans of mechanical techno-not-techno sounds will be all over Minimal Wave's latest transmission from 80s French underground heroes In Aeternam Vale. Having reissued several essential lost works from the outfit last year, most notably the proto-Sandwell sound of "Highway Dark Veins", Veronica Vasicka delivers another two tracks from the vault. Stylistically mirroring that previous two track release the title track is an equally brilliant synth-techno beast which could easily pass for a Function track today, while B-side "Calling Somewhere" sounds like a cold wave version of proto-halfstep. Needless to say, the fact that these tracks are 22 years old literally left us speechless.
Review: Since 1984, Laurent Prot has been putting out music as In Aeternam Vale, a project which has given us some of the best experimental beat music, the finest in darkwave and paved the way for many contemporary artists to do their thing. Although Prot had long periods of hiatus, the last five years have seen renewed interest in his work thanks to the efforts of Veronica Vasicka whose Minimal Wave label has issued several outstanding In Aeternam Vale retrospectives. Following his excellent Jealous God release, Prot now appears on the newly formed Linda Records with a devilish 10" containing three tracks that sounds as fresh and captivating as any of the music made by twenty-something year-olds now. "Self-Destruct" is an electrifying techno driver riding at a slow pace; "Non" ups the speed and drops in a heavy layer of pseudo-acid to the equation; "Inside" ties things off with a cavernous swarm of drones, sounding like the inside of a jet engine. DO NOT SLEEP.
Review: Fresh from releasing the superb Pink Flamingos album on Dement3d, In Aternam Vale returns to Minimal Wave. This time round, he's not alone. Each of the tracks features the breathy, stylish vocals of Madrid-based Belarusian, Anneq. Her sleazy, whispered refrain is the headline attraction on the throbbing, industrial pop-meets-techno hustle of "Je Ai Dissous", while she also chats seductively over the undulating arpeggio lines, restless drums and dystopian atmospheres of "Tendencia (About Blank Version"). The ambient-leaning "V6" take of that cut is also hugely inspiring, while the Page R version of "Je Ai Dissous" is a dark, atmospheric and intoxicating celebration of legendary '80s "computer musical instrument", the Fairlight CMI.
Review: LA Club Resource's Innsyter helps carry Contort Yourself into this new realm of dedicated solo releases from contemporary artists (their previous form was to split releases between archival and new tracks). The snarling, industrial palette is much the same, and the years of origin are as ambiguous here as they've ever been on the label, making Innsyter the perfect addition to the catalogue. From acid-dipped synth pop to nightmarish wave contortions, this record is certainly not for the faint of heart, but if you already love the dark and deadly world of Contort Yourself then this brilliantly-realised, consistently inventive record can't fail to hit the spot.