Review: London label No More Dreams are back with more dry-as-a-bone techno reductions by Sweden's Axel Backman. This will appeal to fans of Waveform Transmissions era Jeff Mills (particularly on the savage and cyclical grind of "93") or classic Regis and Surgeon. Shadowy British duo Rezzett get onboard for a remix of "94" on the flip , where the Trilogy Tapes affiliated artists replace the gutsy tribal stomp of the original with a deep and slow burning rendition that slithers away beneath dense tape saturation and hiss -much like a vivid dream sequence captured to VHS. Bold stuff indeed. Tip!
Review: Fresh from serving up some savage "Rave Reworks" on an ultra-limited 12" single, techno's leading number crunchers return with an EP of fresh studio jams. As usual, what's on offer is intense, full-throttle and mind-altering in the extreme. Check, for example, opener (and title track) "000000005", where increasingly ragged, wayward and psychedelic acid lines surge forwards over a stomping, kick-drum dominated beat, or"000000006", an acid techno onslaught that waves a glow-stick towards the Halcyon days of German techno-trance. The acid-fired '90s techno revivalism continues on the flip with two more chunks of sweaty, mind-altering peak-time insanity. Not one for the faint hearted.
Review: As one of the foremost energies in Rome's electronic music scene, Adiel's productions on her own Danza Tribale label have communicated her take on minimalist, rhythmically inventive techno to the wider world. On this fourth installment, Adiel pays tribute to the Japanese capital with the snaking immersion and insistent propulsion of "Tokyo". On the flip, she truly opens up the filters of possibility with the kinetic, hyper-detailed percussive ripples of "Jungle". In an eerie, cavernous space, these needlepoint drum lines interlock and drive the listener deeper into a well of meditation, delivering the intended outcome of submission and transcendence that Adiel's music is engineered for.
Review: ALSI are the Romanian duo of Limpid and Einzig - better known as Alex Florea and Silviu Tanase. The Brahe and Stockholm's Colourful affiliates step up to inaugurate new imprint Presence with the "Right There" EP. We're loving the deep, dubby and rolling grooves of the hypnotic and ethereal variety as heard on A side tracks "Right There" and "Locked". However the main attraction is undoubtedly the remix on the flip by Bucharest based power duo SIT (Cristi Cons & Vlad Caia) who serve up their signature style of emotive microhouse with their rendition of the title track.
Review: James "ASC" Clements has built up a vast discography since making his debut 19 years ago, mixing atmospheric ambient and electronica albums with more floor-focused EPs that see him explore his own particular take on everything from IDM and experimental drum and bass to deep techno and more dub-wise futurist rhythms. This superb double-pack sits somewhere between the two schools, offering up epic, slowly unfurling soundscapes that fix his explorative, head-in-the-clouds chords and melodies to intriguing, club-ready rhythms. He opens with the IDM-influenced deep techno bliss of "Arrival", before exploring similar sonic pastures on the breakbeat-powered iciness of "Redshift". "Blueshift" is a brilliant 17-minute trip into broken techno/ambient techno fusion, while closing cut "Departure" sees Clements casually join the dots between dub space ambient and hazy dub techno.
Review: Techno veteran Mike McClure can be found these days running the Analog label alongside Freddy Fresh in Minnesota, and he's been reviving his raw, hardware-based techno output this year with some strong digi-only appearances. Now he's back on wax with some fist-shaking belters steeped in Midwestern grit - just check "Illuminati Confirmed" with its nasty acid lines and tough drum jack. "Plague Doctor" is an uneasy jam that should satisfy all lovers of truly underground, darkside, old-skool techno, but things get even eerier with "Quantum Levitation." This stuff right here is the real deal, and you can hear McClure's experience all over the tracks.
Review: Former L.I.E.S. and Apron regular Greg Beato struck out on his own in 2017, establishing the Ni Un Pero label as an outlet for his work. He's not released all that much since, though last month's "Cum In Peace" two-tracker suggested there was more to come. At five tracks deep, the "Dade EP" is the producer's most action-packed release for some time. There's plenty to enjoy throughout, from the ricocheting percussion, jaunty electro bass and spacey electronics of opener "Tres" and the deep lo-fi techno shimmer of "Cero", to the restless percussion, alien electronics and clanking industrial drums of EP highlight "Hasta". Wonky closer "El Fin", a kind of deep space electro/lo-fi P-funk fusion cut, is also inspired.
Review: While George Thompson AKA Black Merlin has released rather a lot of fine material in recent times, we still think that he saves his best for Berceuse Heroique - or at least his darkest and most clandestine aural explorations. For proof, check this inspired double-pack of creepy, pitch-black workouts, which we think contains some of his most potent work to date. There's the triple-time, paranoid deep techno throb of "Void", the faintly threatening dystopian dancefloor shuffle of "Machine", and the clanking, industrial-fired hypnotism of "R24" and "Mechanic". While it tends towards the paranoid and unsettling, Thompson has included one sun-bright shard of light: the blissful, beat-free, intertwined synthesizer lines of closing cut "Mod".
Review: Steve O'Sullivan's Mosaic train keeps on rolling, this time via the LTDX series which reaches its second station stop with two more dubbed out dancefloor delights for the deepest divers. O'Sullivan dons his Bluetrain guise to deliver the UK steppers-indebted "Armchair Analyst," which artfully folds subtle dubwise influences into its minimal techno construction. On the flip side, Roger Gerressen spaces things out good and proper with the slow-stalking groove of "Long Overdue," fusing the best elements of contemporary minimal and classic dub to create a fine extension of the Rhythm & Sound blueprint.
Review: Subconscious Algorithms kicked off with the dulcet tones of Norken, and now turns its attention to another champion of the UK underground in the form of Derek Carr. There's much to draw parallels on between the artists, as they both explore the outer realms of expressive, delicate and most importantly melodic electro, with Carr sounding especially harmonious on the intricate programming of "Osc 1". "Trust In You" is a more angular, acidic affair still steeped in Motor City soul, while "Beneath The Ice" takes a lighter, almost synth-pop indebted approach. "Blood Moon" rounds the record off in a swirl of twitchy drums and lingering strings.