Review: Since opting to release more music under his given name, DeepChord man Rod Modell has largely stuck to dubbed-out ambience and heady drone soundscapes. His latest full-length is a little different, though, offering up club-focused cuts that mix his usual fuzzy aural textures and dub-fired motifs with up-tempo techno rhythms. By his standards, it's a very forthright set, with highlights including the noise-soaked stomp of "Reiki", the thrusting heaviness of "ITO", the hypnotic slam of "Jade" - where breezy, early morning electronics flutter away above tough drums and a mind-altering bassline - and the boisterous peak-time techno anthem "Scrawler".
Sly & Lovechild - "The World According To Sly & Lovechild" (Andrew Weatherall Soul Of Europe mix)
Dorisburg - "Rytm804"
Hiver - "Pert"
Kyle Hall - "Flemmenup"
DMX Krew - "EPR Phenomena"
JRMS - "3"
Shades Of Rhythm - "Exorcist"
Kode 9 - "Magnetic City"
The System - "Vampirella"
Black Merlin - "Kundu"
Aphex Twin - "Vordhosbn"
R-Tyme - "Illusion" (Mayday remix)
Psyche - "Crackdown"
Deniro - "Epirus"
I:Cube - "Cassette Jam 1993"
Review: South Korean star Peggy Gou continues her seemingly unstoppable rise by serving up her first ever DJ mix CD. It's a contribution to one of the longest running series in the business, DJ Kicks, and she's used the opportunity to showcase the depth and variety of the music in her crates. Beginning with the classic early '90s ambient of Spacetime Continuum, Gou flits between humid, mid-tempo Balearic house (her own "Hungboo"), acid-fired downtempo electronica (Pearson Sound), throbbing 1990 peak-time anthems (Weatherall's ace but largely forgotten remix of Sly & Lovechild), hypnotic techno minimalism (Dorisburg), main room throb-jobs (Hiver), pulsating electro (DMX Krew), classic breakbeat hardcore (Shades of Rhythm), post-dubstep (Kode 9), dark tribal drum jams (Black Merlin) and sunrise ready Motor City brilliance (Deniro).
Review: For the latest volume in their essential reissue series, Tresor has decided to offer up a brand new edition of Robert Hood's celebrated 1994 debut album, "Internal Empire". A quarter of a century after Hood first committed it to wax, it remains one of the Motor City maestro's most potent and inspired works. It effectively defined his throbbing, minimalist style, with heavy and hypnotic cuts such as "Master Builder", the bleeping "Minus", deep and wonky "Within" and angular "Multiple Silence" perfectly encapsulating the stripped-back genius of Hood's production. If you've yet to acquire a copy, we'd recommending grabbing one of these: in truth, no techno collection is complete without it.
Review: Given his prolific nature, we were rather surprised to find that "Shadows of Death & Desire" is actually John Juan Mendez AKA Silent Servant's second album for six years. It's an impressive set, with Mendez offering up a stony-faced, steel-eyed shuffle through industrial-fired machine chug ("Illusion"), mind-altering EBM workouts ("Damage", "Harm In Hand", the throbbing "24 Hours"), icy electronic soundscapes (the vintage Autechre style dancefloor IDM of "Loss Response"), early '80s style Cabaret Voltaire industrial funk (the brilliant "Glass Veil"), and moody compositions where razor-sharp guitars and foreboding electronics envelop particularly skittish electro drums (closing cut "Optimistic Decay").
Review: Since Emeralds disbanded earlier in the decade, Steve Hauschildt has impressed with a serious of largely overlooked albums on Kranky that showcased his innate ability to craft distinctly melodic music that sits somewhere between IDM, slowly shifting ambient, droning soundscapes and more ethereal home listening techno. Dissolvi, his first album for Ghostly International, could well be his most accomplished solo work to date. While it explores similar sonic territory to previous full-length releases, the set is bolder, more atmospheric and, at times, intensely beautiful. While undoubtedly fresh, those with long memories will note audible nods to ambient and deep techno greats of the early 1990s, including Jonah Sharp (Spacetime Continuum), Pete Namlook and, most obviously, Boards of Canada. In a word: timeless.
Review: Given their famously militant approach to music formats, it's a surprise to see Paranoid London's previously vinyl-only 2014 debut album finally being issued on CD. For those who missed out first time around, it's well worth checking. As you might expect, it makes great use of both vintage analogue equipment and similarly old skool influences, in turn doffing a cap to Phuture-style Chicago acid, Inner City, hip-house, Green Velvet, Dance Mania style ghetto-house, and stripped-back, dancefloor-friendly machine soul. Despite the ragged nature of some of the material, it's both hugely listenable and hangs together impressively - no mean feat given the DJ-friendly nature of the tracks. It all adds up to a retro-futurist treat.
Review: Despite building his reputation as a creator of tough, left-of-centre club material, Objekt is smart enough to realize that the full-length format offers more room for experimentation and personal musical exploration. Like its predecessor, 2014's "Flatland", "Cocoon Crush" rarely goes in search of dancefloor thrills, instead offering up a refreshingly eclectic, fearlessly experimental take on off-kilter electronica that not only draws heavily on IDM, glitch-hop and ambient, but also regularly veers from glassy-eyed, melodious positivity, to intense, paranoid darkness. It's a blend that guarantees great results, and we're not surprised if he jettisons functional club music for good.
Review: Two years ago Ostgut Ton launched their ambient-leaning A-Ton imprint with "Chronicles", a fine trawl through the archives of Luke Slater's ambient techno project 7th Plain. This is the second part of a trilogy (the third and final instalment is also out now) and, like its predecessor, gathers together tracks released on General Productions between 1993 and 1995, and previously unheard material. It's as evocative, atmospheric and on-point as that previous volume, sashaying between more dancefloor-leaning fare (see the deliciously dreamy but percussively heavy "Astra Naut-E" and the Motor City flex of "JDC"), genuinely beat-free soundscapes (the Pete Namlook style bliss of "I Think I Think Too Much" and "Big Field") and cuts that shuffle further towards "Artificial Intelligence" style IDM.
Review: Ostgut Ton A-Ton completes their trilogy of compilations charting the early-to-mid-'90s ambient techno work of British producer Luke Slater under the 7th Plain alias. As with its predecessors, the eight included tracks offer a mixture of previously released fare from the project's heyday and music that's sat on dusty DAT tapes for well over two decades. Highlights come thick and fast, from the sun-bright sci-fi melodies, sustained ambient chords and bubbly acid lines of "Time Melts" and the Black Dog-ish shuffle of "Reality of Space", to the booming, club-ready "Lost", drowsy IDM cut "Think City" and the intergalactic, stretched-out bliss of brilliant closing cut "Seeing Sense".
Review: There should be more than a few techno fans getting rather excited right now. You see, Donato Dozzy and Nuel's Aquaplano Sessions is something of a "holy grail" for tribal-influenced minimal techno collectors. Originally released over two 12" singles on the short-lived Aquaplano label in 2008 and 2009, the material has long been held in high regard - so much so, in fact, that copies of the original vinyl pressings are extremely hard to find. This reissue from Spectrum Spools is great news for anyone who missed out first time round. While there are some immaculate deeper moments (see the becalmed dreaminess of "Aqua 8"), it's the robust, aggressive, bass-heavy and occasionally intense tracks that really stand out.
Review: Earlier in the year, modern minimal wave and coldwave hero Marie Davidson signed a high-profile deal with Ninja Tune. Here, she makes good on that contract, following a couple of killer singles with what could be her strongest album to date. After setting the tone with clandestine, tongue-in-cheek opener "Your Biggest Fan" - a creepy spoken word cut taking aim at stalker-line fans to the accompaniment of heavy analogue synth bass and creepy computer bleeps - Davidson giddily flits between elastic dancefloor workouts (the brilliantly sleazy "Work It" and mind-altering "Workaholic Paranoid Bitch"), attractive post-EBM instrumentals (the psychedelic and fizzing "Lara"), meditative ambient melodiousness ("Day Dreaming"), bizarre experimental weirdness (the suitable dystopian "The Tunnel"), and stylish analogue pop (the whispered vocals and off-kilter early morning funk of "So Right").
Review: Ryan Hunn AKA Illum Sphere has impressively grown and matured as a producer since making his debut on Fat City back in 2009. His 2014 debut album, Ghosts of Then & Now, was something of a watershed moment, tempering his experimental, bass-heavy dancefloor compositions with a newfound love of cinematic sounds. Glass arguably moves further in the latter direction. While there are some nods towards his club-ready past - see the 4/4 shuffle of "Fall Into Water", or the moody electro bounce of "Fuel The Fire" - it's not the beats that dominate, but rather his evocative chord progressions and IDM style melodies. In fact, it's the more sanguine, ambient inspired cuts, of which there are numerous, that really stand out.
Review: Strahil "Kink" Velchev may well be the hardest-working man in dance music. Each new-year brings a succession of fine singles, with little in the way of fluff or filler. Even so, the vast Playground is only his second album to date (his first, "Under Destruction", appeared in 2014). It is arguably his strongest collection of tracks to date, though. Over the course of the 12 tracks, he brilliantly demonstrates the depth and variety of his influences, variously turning his hand to cinematic downtempo beats ("Samodiva", "The Universe in Her Eyes"), warehouse-friendly peak-time anthems (stab-heavy smasher "Russian"), DJ Sneak/Dj Duke-style big room house ("Perth", 'Organ"), mind-altering experimental dub ("Peter Piet Pete"), Industrial ("Tate of Metal") and, of course, angular analogue techno ("Five", "Teo Techno").
Review: Such has been the dizzying rise of Helena Hauff in recent years that the release of her second album, Qualm, feels like a genuine "event". Preceded by a limited, while label edition, the Hamburg producer's first full-length in three years is undoubtedly worthy of the growing hype surrounding it. By design, the 12 tracks are raw, distorted and lo-fi, with Hauff peppering heavyweight, redlined drum machine beats - think wayward Chicago jack, laidback electro and nails techno - with a mixture of razor-sharp acid lines, moody industrial textures and drowsy chords. The clattering intensity of the album's dancefloor moments is in sharp contrast to the creepy and evocative, soundtrack style electronic soundscapes showcased elsewhere on the album. These - ambient in ethos, but more experimental in tone - are frequently amongst the set's most inspired moments.
Review: With nearly 40 years experience as a producer, having collaborated with everyone from Holger Hiller, Moritz Von Oswald and Juan Atkins among others, Swiss legend Thomas Fehlmann presents Los Lagos ('The Lakes'). It's his seventh solo full-length (and fourth for Koelsch institution Kompakt), following his Berlin inspired 2010 LP Gute Luft. The multi-talented composer and long standing member of The Orb embarked on a deep journey of soul searching while recording the album - and in the process incorporated elements of art, disco, minimalism, jazz and funk. A collection of glacial and textural dub introversions as best exemplified on "Lowenzahnzimmer" or "Morrislouis", but he also makes room for moments of pulsating hypnotic dancefloor dynamics ("Triggerism") and moments of lush ambient bliss reminiscent of his work with Dr. Alex Patterson on "Geworden".
Review: Closely affiliated with Nina Kraviz's trip label, Icelandic maverick Bjarki has managed to carve out a unique identity for himself in the hustle and bustle of contemporary electronic music. Following three full-length releases back in 2016, he now appears on !K7 with a new album that shows off the depth and breadth of his idiosyncratic vision. From curious ambient excursions peppered with rich sound design to spooked out boogie and deconstructed techno, sometimes within the same track, Bjarki has ably cemented his reputation as one of the scene's most intriguing operatives. Just take a trip on the fractured breaks and looming pads of "AN6912" and marvel at the originality.
Review: Let the sermon begin - Detroit techno legend and innovator Robert Hood steps up to deliver the latest installment of !k7's legendary DJ Kicks series and it's an edition well worthy of attention. The ordained minister leaves the minimal techno sound that he helped pioneer, for powerful, big room techno on this highly anticipated mix. Despite his famously linear approach, here he builds tension between tracks with suspenseful breakdowns throughout. Highlights include the direct impact of his own "Focus" and its factory floor stomp, his hypnotic rework of Landside's "Signs Of Change", the seething tension of Slam's "Remain" and the return of Space DJz' Ben Long who teams up with Belgian veteran Tom Hades on the sci-fi epic "The Knight Rider".
Review: Although she's offered up plenty of high-grade DJ mixes in the past, this volume in the "DJ Kicks" series marks Laurel Halo's first commercially available mix-up. The sometime Hyperdub producer has dutifully delivered something rather special, somehow joining the dots between 29 diverse and disparate cuts in the manner of a true turntable maestro. Beginning with the melodious experimentalism of her own "Public Art", Halo giddily charges between mutant industrial funk (Stallone The Reducer, Final Cut), thrusting electronic disco (Red Axes), deep techno (Parris), mind-altering acid-style intensity (Rrose), stomping, sweat-soaked peak-time techno (Machinewoman, FIT Siegel), polyrhythmic bass music (Facta, one of her Livity Sound collabs with Hodge) and an impressive array of cuts that defy easy categorization. The resultant all-action mix is nothing less than stunning.
Review: Kompakt staple Axel Willner returns to present his sixth full-length effort for Kompakt, following up 2016's rather brilliant LP The Follower. On his latest outing, Willner is said to have looked for inspiration outside of the studio, which opened up fresh perspectives on the creation of new music. Moreover, he has stated that in a current climate of hopelessness, the album provided a sense of relief and comfort to him - providing feel good moments that he did not want to end. Indeed, Infinite Moment is a much more introspective affair than previous releases, from the brooding/slow burning opener "Made Of Steel. Made Of Stone", the smoky and glacial dub techno of "Hear Your Voice" to more evocative moments as heard on "Divide Now" or the life-affirming feel of the title track - which closes the impressive release on an optimistic note.
Review: In the words of Axel Willner himself regarding his fifth studio album "The Follower is about old myths, finding utopia and how mankind repeatedly makes the same mistakes over and over". The title track is fairly stomping acid techno that hypnotises you with its loopy and sinister repetition until the snare drum and organ sets in around the five minute mark; transforming the track dramatically. There's also some stylish electro-pop noir in the form of "Pink Sun" while "Monte Verita" or "Soft Streams" have that classic Kompakt sound ie: ethereal and dreamy house journeys. We particularly enjoyed the droney shoegaze electronics of "Raise The Dead" and the 14 minute long closing epic "Reflecting Lights", an ambient house journey that even The Orb would be impressed by.
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.
Review: For the first time since 2016, Jamal Moss has pitched up on Soul Jazz with a typically eccentric and mind-altering full-length excursion. As you'd expect, The Red Room is another triumph - an inspirational collection of otherworldly and melodious cuts that effortlessly combine elements from Moss's many major inspirations. One minute, you're wigging out to his jacking, piano-heavy fusion of gospel house and synth-jazz ("The Seduction Syndrome"), the next he's laying down a chunk of deep space ambient with Terry Riley synthesizer cycles ("Awake and Energize"). And so it goes on, breathlessly joining the dots between Sun Ra, Juan Atkins, Adonis, Steve Reich, L.I.E.S and Jeff Mills while sounding thoroughly different to all of them.
Review: Ostgut Ton has been trailing Steffi Doms' third album, World of the Waking State, as a departure for both artist and label. Certainly, it's an altogether more considered, complex and musically expansive set than its' predecessors. It's rich in evocative electronic soundscapes, whose scuttling rhythms look to IDM and vintage "intelligent techno" for inspiration. The assembled musical elements - think bubbly and occasionally wonky electronics, sweeping synthesized strings, deep space chords and Motor City melodies - often tend towards the heart-aching and melodious, lending the set a genuinely poignant feel. When Doms decides to change tack and head towards the dancefloor - see the ghostly, industrial electro assault of "Mental Events", sparkling positivity of "Cease To Exist" and bustling, intergalactic title track - the results are equally as inspired.
Review: Berghain resident Patrick Graeser returns as part of the Ostgut Ton family, with his second full length opus. Much like his 2014 debut Code, Graeser has honed a hybrid musical approach that stands out in a world of uniform 4/4 techno - as heard over the years on MDR, Music Man and of course his own Answer Code Request imprint. Gens is a diverse yet cohesive affair, between the more straight-ahead tracks like "Knbn2", "Cicadae" or the particularly seething "Sphera" (which are breakbeat driven, bass-heavy and UK inspired), there are some mentalist IDM journeys ("Ab Intus/Audax") and even breathtaking ambient moments like "Orarum" and "Mora". Brilliant stuff.
Review: French techno legend Terence Fixmer returns with another killer EP for Ostgut Ton since 2017's Force EP. The Planete Rouge head honcho follows up releases on aufnahme + wiedergabe, Novamute and Jealous God - so you know what to expect from the man here: bold, industrial techno loaded stright off the factory floor. From the grinding and textural hypnotism of "Shout In A Black Hole", the Millsian sci-fi aesthetics of "Fury" or the classic industrial noir of "Accelerate" to the slow burning EBM sleaze of "Expedition" - Fixmer displays yet again that he's competently consistent at whatever style he chooses throughout this riveting extended EP.
Review: Martyn's last physical album came out all the way back in 2014, when the term 'post' had still yet to gain notoriety and a meaningful relevance to the music industry. It is now 2018, and it's clear that Martyn, the Dutch bass legend, has a new story to tell, and it's thanks to Ostgut Ton that he's able to tell it. Voids is a magnificently deep and treacherous LP, often relying on abstract shapes to give the techno its edge, much like on "Voids One" and the following "Manchester". Aside from the beatless thrills, though, Martyn drops an impressive amount of hybrid burners, such as "Mind Rain" or "Why" - both representative of the blending of sounds that has taken electronic music by the scruff of the neck. It's a more pensive, more exploratory Martyn, and we love it.
Review: We never quite know what to expect from leftfield explorer Jon Hopkins, but we know it will be worth a listen. Immunity, his fourth solo album (he's recorded two others, one with Brian Eno and another with King Creosote), doesn't disappoint. Rooted in shuffling, forthright and occasionally off-kilter rhythms, it melds hazy, late night atmopsherics and subtle melodies with intense, droning chords, woozy electronics and all manner of inventive noises. It's a blend that repeatedly pays dividends, from the mournful pianos and jumpy rhythms of "Breathe This Air', to the crystalline, soundscape ambience of "Abandon Window", and glitchy wonkiness of "Form By Firelight".
Review: Borderland sees the illustrious Juan Atkins & Moritz von Oswald join forces for an album of meditative techno for Tresor. The partnership marks the first time Juan Atkins and Moritz von Oswald have directly collaborated in 20 years, though both have regularly assisted each other's work behind the scenes. Von Oswald played an important role in engineering much of Model 500's R&S catalogue, while Atkins supplied his mixing craft and two edits on Thomas Fehlmann & Moritz von Oswald's early '90s project 3MB. This eponymously titled album is skewed toward club-orientated electronic music blessed with a freedom for organic musical experimentation and expect to sink into a soundscape where melodic and textural motifs float in and out of focus.
Polished Chrome (feat Gary Numan - The Friend Part 1)
No Regrets (feat Aleen - The Friend Part 2)
Review: While he forged his reputation on fearlessly mechanical, no-holds-barred techno, Chris Liebing's occasional albums have tended to take a more widescreen approach. For example, his last solo set, 2003's "Evolution", jogged between spoken word, ambient, techno and left-of-centre breakbeat. He's taken a similarly eclectic approach 15 years later with "Slow Burn", a full-length low on rip-snorting club fare but high on atmospheric electronica, hypnotic chuggers, woozy ambient, early '80s cold wave influences, nods to early industrial music and a clutch of impressive collaborations (Gary Numan, who pops up on "Polished Chrome", being the most eye-catching guest). For the most part, this approach pays dividends, with the intoxicating "Trilogy", becalmed "So Then" and John Carpenter influenced "Ghosts of Tomorrow" standing out.
Review: A big Juno bear hug goes to the folks from Tresor for releasing a string of sublime re-issues this year. The latest is Drexciya's seminal Harnessed The Storm long player, generally a much darker affair than Neptune's Lair, which itself was reissued earlier this year. It is hallmarked by longer, more exploratory tracks, full of sinister twists and turns. The stormy electro thunder of "Digital Tsunami" is perhaps the standout moment here, closely followed by the subterranean squelch of "Soul Of The Sea". "Dr Blowfins Black Storm Stabilizing Spheres" has an eerie crackle that predates the current vogue for dark atmospheric techno by nearly a decade, while the robotic key melody on "Song Of The Green Whale" marks it as the LP's most playful moment. Highly recommended for electro and techno purists alike.
Review: It took Extrawelt some five years to get round to recording last year's wonderfully expansive and on-point "Fear of an Extra Planet", a willfully eclectic album that remains a high point of their production career. Happily, "Unknown", their fourth album, didn't take nearly as long to gestate. Interestingly, it's more tightly focused than previous outings, consisting almost entirely of electro workouts. While there are subtle nuances and incremental shifts throughout - a little more acid here, a nod to early '90s IDM there, and regular tempo changes throughout - the majority of the album is as spacey, weighty and punchy as you'd expect. It's almost as if the German duo has spent the last year exclusively listening to Drexciya and Central Processing Unit records. Superb stuff.
Review: Acclaimed live act Strahil Velchev aka KiNK is said to have been a vital ingredient of Cocoon's ecstatic nights on the island over the years. The man from Sofia offers up a recording of one of his explosive performances there, featuring well known tracks and exclusives alike on what the label best described themselves as a 'spontaneous tour de force through the history of electronic dance music.' The Bulgarian hardware maverick takes the best of The Windy City and The Motor City alike, and all the while adding his distinct magic touch. It's a wild ride from start to finish, with peaks coming in at moments like that of "The Russian" with its massive Detroit style chord progressions, the heads-down and direct techno attack of "Kink In De Kabel" through to last year's thrilling anthem "Perth" and the uplifting "Disco Transition".
The Space Brothers - "Lodore" (Purple Twilight remix)
Review: Kern Volume 3 is Objekt's first commercially available mix and it's clear that he invested an inordinate amount of time and effort into it. Despite being limited to 70 odd minutes, he has crammed a total of 36 tracks into the mix, but it never sounds rushed or frenetic. If anything there is an inordinate amount of space, with Objekt breaking the mix down midway through with the glitch dream textures of Anna Caragnano & Donato Dozzy's "Love Without Sound". Before that happens, there's the abstract woozy intro, supple metallic rhythms, throbbing bass-heavy steppers and atmospheric synth-led electro and the ebm of Jeff Mills' Final Cut band to contend with. Kern also includes a number of rarities, like Kirk De Giorgio's 1992 deep techno classic "Nebula Variation" as Future Past and the jittery 808s of Pollon's "Lost Souls" a one-off release on the short-lived Scopex label. These showcase Objekt's ability to bring forgotten gems to the fore, but would mean little without his masterful programming. This is evident throughout the mix, but is most notable when he moves from The Persuader's foggy techno through Oliver Ho's Birdland edit of Blaze's "My Beat" into the aforementioned Pollon.
Review: For those who follow the work of British IDM legend Claro Intelecto, the last few years have been frustrating, to say the least. It's been five years since his last album, and three since he released a 12" single. Exhilarator, his fifth full-length, is certainly well over-due. Predictably, it is also rather good. As usual, it offers a superb balance of dark and intoxicating electro, tuneful intelligent techno, bubbly IDM, glitchy post-ambient soundscapes, deep and bass-heavy techno shufflers and clanking, off kilter experimentation from the Autechre school of electronica. It's atmospheric, impeccably produced and stuffed full of highlights. In other words, it's another great Claro Intelecto album.
Review: To celebrate a decade of his Token label, Belgian DJ/producer Kr!z wanted to do something rather special. Hence Momentum: Ten Years of Token, a nine-track set of club-ready collaborations from some of the label's most storied artists. It's an approach that's resulted in some genuinely draw-dropping fare, from the slamming, post-jack techno beats, macabre aural textures and intense acid lines of O (Phase) and Rodhad's "Destination Vortex", to the looped computer beeps and skittish drums of Kr!s and Ctrl's "Comets". Elsewhere, Inigo Kenedy and Sigha's "Minor Ascent" is a superb combination of chiming melodies, cut-glass chords and hypnotic drumbeats, while Oscar Mulero and Inigo Kenedy's "Cathasrsis" sounds like a melancholic, creepy and distorted take on early British bleep techno.
Review: Given that he took his DJ/production pseudonym from the name of a 19th century Romanian writer of folk stories, it's no surprise that Petre Insperescu's chosen form of techno is shuffling, atmospheric and classically-minded. Sitting somewhere between Luciano, Ricardo Villalobos and Nicholas Jaar, his sparse but well-rounded productions are simultaneously pleasingly calming and genuinely energetic, full of curious touches (a twinkling, distant piano here, a cut-glass string trio there) and gentle exploration. Gathered together and mixed into a seamless whole, as on this first mix for Fabric, they offer an intriguing journey that should appeal to all those who love their techno subdued and atmospheric.
Vatican Shadow - "Church Of All Images" (Regis version)
Fiedel - "Andreas" (bonus beats)
Cub - "Cu2" (Ust Funk mix)
Mary Velo - "Detune"
Jpls - "Basis"
Rrose - "Wedge"
O - "Syvays"
Rrose - "Wedge"
Function - "Modifier"
Carl Craig - "Darkness"
Markus Suckut - "Hunt"
Samuel Kerridge - "Waiting For Love" (part 1)
Untold - "Motion The Dance"
Surgeon - "As You Breathe Here Now"
Mark Ernestus - "Mark Ernestus meets BBC"
Plastikman - "Plasticine"
Trevino - "Uptight"
Vcmg - "Spock" (Regis remix)
Planetary Assault System - "Flat Tire"
Factory Floor - "16-2-16-9-20-1-14-9-7"
James Ruskin - "Into A Circle"
SS/S - "Sicario De Dios: Siglo 2"
Laurent Garnier - "At Night"
Function - "Voiceprint" (reprise)
Review: Despite the nebulous Sandwell District label ceasing operations at the end of 2011, the name has lived on as a performance based entity with Female and Silent Servant leaving it to be fronted by Karl 'Regis' O'Connor and Sumner. Thus the latter two step forth to man the figurative decks for this stunning induction into the Fabric mix series. Productions from the pair feature heavily, with several tracks from Function's recent Incubation brushing up alongside several of Regis' recent remixes for Blackest Ever Black and VCMG, while Sandwell alumni Silent Servant and Rrose also feature in the form of "A Path Eternal" and "Wedge" respectively. There are also a few surprises in the form of Untold's "Motion The Dance" and Factory Floor's "16-2-16-9-20-1-14-9-7?, which are joined by experimental fare from Boyd Rice and Samuel Kerridge. A must for fans of Sandwell District.
Odd Parents - "Learn To Fly" (Maceo's Flight Home mix)
Review: Since 2007, Guiseppe 'Joseph' Capriati has been a growing force on the International techno scene, with releases on Drumcode and Analytic Trail fuelling a hectic schedule of DJ gigs. Here, he's given a chance to showcase his rolling, fast-paced, after party-friendly mixing style with a first contribution to Fabric's acclaimed mix series. It's a typically rhythmic and percussive affair, with fuzzy, distorted slammers from the likes of Adam Beyer, Phil Kieran and Recondite being joined by more gently melodious fare from Johannes Heil, Gary Beck and Alan Fitzpatrick, whose warm, evocative anthem "Organic" stands out. Undulating enough to retain interest and undeniably energetic, Fabric 80 is an excellent contribution to an always on-point series.
Paperclip People - "Country Boy Goes Dub" (Marcel Dettmann remix)
Norman Nodge - "BB 1.0"
Francois X - "Rising"
Marcel Dettmann - "Lightworks" (Phase remix)
Lockertmatik - "M Lock 4"
Wincent Kunth - "Carlre"
Joey Anderson - "Repulsive" (Marcel Dettmann edit)
Marcelus - "Flash"
Vril - "Torus XXXII"
Review: When it comes to DJing there aren't many names as trusted as Marcel Dettmann to provide the essential mix, be it in CD or podcast format. To date he's curated the second installment of Ostgut's in-house Berghain mix series and the Conducted mix for Belgian label Music Man. So it's about time Fabric invited the Berghain resident to participate in their own mix series, with this 77th edition providing a selection mostly based on unreleased MDR demo tracks that Dettmann's been utilising in his sets for years. The result is a good primer for what to expect from his label in the future, with Answer Code Request, Norman Nodge, Ilian Taper Dario Zenker and French producer Marcelus amongst the high-profile names contributing unreleased productions.
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.
Jesper Dahlback & Mark O'Sullivan - "When I Was Young"
Midland - "First Tube"
Review: Midland apparently spent much of his years fantasizing about one day playing at superclub Fabric, so it's perhaps fitting that the globe-trotting producer has finally been given a chance to contribute to the club's long-running mix series. Beginning with the woozy, off-kilter electronica of Georgia's "Pey Woman" and ending with his own "First Tube", the mix sees Midland effortlessly join the dots between breakbeat-driven house, skewed analogue techno, hypnotic leftfield tech-house, warm and fuzzy ambient house, quirky broken techno shufflers, throbbing electro and lots more besides. What's perhaps most impressive - aside from the quality and subtle variety of music on show - is the DJ/producer's willingness to flip the script and allow for lengthy beat-less intros, confirming his belief that mixes should be about more than a simple linear journey.