Body In The Thames - "Silver Threaded Crystal Beads" (6:02)
Peach - "Silky" (7:13)
Jay - "Balsam Drum" (6:30)
Webstarr - "The Muse" (7:02)
Review: Midland's Graded launches a new diffusion imprint: Intergraded. Featured here are four cuts from emerging producers. With Graded now focusing on the label boss's solo work and ReGraded catering to a different style altogether - the logical progression was to start a new label that could help introduce this music to a wider audience. Body In The Thames kicks things off on the A side - despite the name he's actually Swedish. His track "Silver Threaded Crystal Beads" is an emotive piece that sits somewhere between early Detroit techno and electro, in the vein of the Motor City godfather Juan Atkins. This is followed by the slinky tech house of "Silky" by London's Peach - a sturdy number supported by ethereal elements. On the flip, NTS host Jay (Siren) presents some moody, heads down techno for the late night on "Balsam Drum" while Yorkshire native Webstarr (De Grey/Mistry) goes deep into the afterhours on the darkly hypnotic "The Muse".
Walid - "Human Injection" (Western World mix) (6:13)
Hank Rideau - "Tape 1" (5:10)
Review: Seuil's Eklo imprint returns, riding the post minimal wave of electro-techno on this fine three tracker by various artists. The Unknown Cities Of Gold Vol 1 is the first release from the Paris based imprint in 2018 thus far, and features the mysterious France 98 (a member of Tearss) who delivers a deeply meditative bleep techno excursion on "July 7" following the tradition of B12. We're loving Walid's trippy retro-tech jam "Human Injection" (Western World mix), which is the kind of track you'd hear at a Berlin party like Libertine or Melliflow alike. On the flip, it's TB-303 vs SP 1200 on the deep down and dirty "Tape 1".
Review: Delroy Edward's LA Club Resource finally drops its next bombshell, this time a collaborative effort that includes three newcomers, possibly riding low-key under different aliases. Riding shotgun, you got Chicago legend Gene Hunt with the minimal and freaky vibes of "OW (Drum Beat)", a woman's scream darting in and out of the stripped-back groove, and the heavily filtered "S Sonics" by the mysterious Wrecking Project. Over on the flip of the wax plate you have Blacktail's old-school lick "Now Muzik", while "Blimp Works" by Innsyter is a pumping techno gunshot that goes dirty and heavy on the percussive rattle. Raw, dirty, and messed up from the start.
Review: Eccentric imprint Les Points returns for the first time in 2018, bringing with it a quartet of cuts from "Various Xenopunks". Louh kicks things off with a fizzing, saucer-eyed techno shuffler that fixes classic electro chords and Motor City melodies to a bustling and forthright rhythm track, before Nicola Kazimir dips a mentalist, bass-heavy electro workout in modular distortion and a variety of mind-altering spoken word samples. Over on side B, Walid's "Posterior Spinneret" is a fine chunk of end-of-days electro with added foreboding noises, while Audinio's "Venus Flytrap" is the kind of wonky, acid-fired romp that would once have formed part of Rephlex Records' Braindance series of releases.
Review: For the debut of New York's anticipated Purple Trax label, a new formation of key players in Brooklyn's underground debuts with an EP sure to entrance fans of L.I.E.S., White Material, and other established NYC labels. Composed of Terekke, local DJ/producer Jan Woo, and Erez Avissar, label head and founder of the respected Weird Magic parties, Wabi Sabi's dusky and diverse sound comes from its origin in loft jams, but tracks like the closing 'Rx' with its powerful dub techno framework show the work of seasoned talents. Patricia's cameo on 'Casper' is the record's strangest sound, a propulsive house groove with explosions of crackling texture and a bassline deeply buried in fog, while 'Babi' stutters along between the drum pulse and its disappearances into deep wells of delayed vocal samples and gentle melodies. Vibes are saved for the opener 'Moon River Membrane', where Terreke's characteristic cosmic haze comes out more heavily, complemented by the genre-bending psychedelic tendencies of Avissar's programming and Woo's weighty low-end.
Review: Somewhat confusingly, Bob Waltner isn't a sole producer, but rather a duo comprising Einfach Horen crewmembers Philipp Boss and Tiago Walter. They begin this collaborative debut EP with "Green Delicious", a warm and breezy number that wraps a bustling, bass-heavy tech-house groove in sumptuous deep house chords, 8-bit computer sounds and sparse but spacey electronics. There's a raw, retro-futurist feel to the track tech-house/electro-funk fusion of "Red Hair Skunk", while wonderfully bass-heavy and low-slung flipside "Why Piano?" sounds like the kind of bustling, stripped-cut that would work wonderfully if played in dark basements at four in the morning.
Review: Hyperdub and Tectonic regular Walton finds himself on vital Munich label Ilian Tape for his next EP. The rhythmic innovator takes cues from the label's love of breakbeats in one track here. Opener "Before The Storm" is a suspensory bit of ambient with sustained pads and distant hits, crashes and pops speaking of alien life forms. "Rolla", a dusty and shadowy cut that skates along with a sense of uneasy menace. Last of all, "Depth Charge" is as it sounds: fathom deep bass lurches to and fro with machine gun like snares firing across the face of the track. It's boombing body music to make you move.
Review: A four-track acid EP by veteran producer Warlock, out on Kalbata's Brush & Broom label. Ex-amount of jaw-grind action from the London underground legend. "Violent Rays" and "Swearings" are both straight-up warehouse workouts, comfortably placed next to reflective after-hour gushers "Run DC" and "Cave Tone". Once again, Warlock demonstrates stunning crisp production, touched by old-school heritage, dating back to pre-94 legislation times. Essential.
Review: For his first release of 2018, Hiroshi Watanabe has reworked one of the unarguable highlights of his 2016 album Multiverse. In its original form, "The Leonids" was a soaring slice of futurist techno perfection rich in bubbly synthesizer melodies and sweeping strings. It's this orchestrated aspect of the track that's explored in greater detail on "The Lenoid Strings", a beat-less, neo-classical string quartet cover that heightens the original version's rush-inducing positivity. It's stunning and - as both Derrick May and Watanabe have proved in recent DJ sets - sounds great when dropped over the top of the album mix. On the flip, Watanabe dusts down the drum machines and synthesizers to deliver "In To The Memory", a poignant and melancholic chunk of sci-fi techno deepness.
Review: When it comes to serving up all-analogue box jams, few labels can compete with Jerome Hill's Super Rhythm Trax imprint. The latest hardware fiend to join Hill's retro-futurist revolution is debutant Pendle Watkins. Naturally, there's barely a duffer in sight. Watkins begins with the intergalactic, Motor City electronics and sweaty drum machine hits of "Deal With It", before sauntering into deeper territory via the Larry Heard-esque "Emerge". On the flip you'll find the raging acid heaviness of "Domination" - all psychedelic TB-303 lines, dystopian vocal samples and redlined percussion - and the fuzzy alien bliss of undulating jack-track "Yah Boobay". In other words, it's a fine collection of club-ready analogue workouts.
Review: Those well versed in ghetto house history should know all about Wax Master Maurice, a Chicago originator who released a string of on-point EPs on Dance Mania throughout the second half of the '90s. This surprise 12" for Super Rhythm Trax marks his first appearance on vinyl since 2008's footwork-inspired Waxmaster Make 'Em Juke EP. The material here is closer in tone to his now-classic releases, though there are some nods to B-more club (see "Otis Ghetto House") and, of course, the juke movement of recent years ("Keep On Jukin"). Naturally, all six tracks are formidably club-focused, brilliantly combining chopped-up samples (snaking sax lines, bits of old funk records, looped vocal snippets) with the kind of boundless, energetic rhythms that send Chicago dancers crazy.