Review: Six Ponts refers to the six bridges that connect the city of Nantes to its isle. A creative and forward-looking district where 44 Tours is located. The label presents its inaugural release with a gathering of local talents, who are all said to have met and become friends at the record shop - a place where they conversed about the wax imports at the shop, over beers on breezy afternoons. On the A side we have Marino with the breakneck and hyperaware electro groove of "Kyoto Plage" which despite its ferocious tempo is just sublime and evocative. On the flip, Mirouf goes for something more of an organic feeling on the breaks driven, almost drum & bass "Joyride", while Skrimz's "Pom'Pom" hears the drummer get wicked, until a futuristic bass and bleeps kick in.
Review: The name of the Space Drum Meditation label tells you everything about the sort of music they plan to release. After a well-received inaugural EP, the eponymous production duo behind the imprint (Eddie Ness and Liem, who have collaborated under their own names many times before) come correct with four more contemporary fusions of bass, breakbeat, techno and deep house that is best exemplified by the charming "Polar Peak". "Chatter" is a flurry of hits and jittery lines that will electrify any floor, then "Grapes" is a super slowed down and deep ambient day dream that resets the mood before "Dance Of The Snake" invites you into a sonic lava lamp and rhythmically inventive groove.
Review: Just under 12 months ago, French imprint Arpege launched with a multi-artist EP rich in far-sighted and futuristic takes on tech-house. For the follow-up they've decided to flip the script, instead offering up a quartet of electro-focused cuts. The headline attraction comes from British electro titan Carl Finlow, whose "Fmseq" is a spacey and melodious mixture of body-popping beats, throbbing bass, lilting lead lines and sparkling chords. There's plenty to set the pulse racing elsewhere across the EP though, from the heady deep space bleeps and hybrid electro/tech-house grooves of Harry Wills' "Estren", to the drowsy electronic warmth, bubbly acid bass and skittish beats of A2's "Plonk".
Review: Jack Pattern collective member Neu Verboten is transmitting sonic metadata from the interzone, between the secret Lustpoderosa headquarters (in Zurich) and the decentralised battlefields of today's resistance. Combine old synth machines with rusty surveillance tools and you get a quartet of rough and sludgy electroid mutations. From the slow burning retro boogie of opener "Arsenic Wish", to the dystopian future bass of "CET + 666" to the euphoric acid express of "Early Bab" and the oddball exotics of "We Trance Fair" - this is Certified Euro Terror.
Review: Rather unhelpfully, there's little info about the Superlux label available, other than the fact that it's run by the shadowy artists of the same name. They handle side A of this split EP, with Mike Gill's "Noisey Rework" of "White Noise" - a pulsating, otherworldly chunk of electro rich in trippy noises and elastic synth-bass - followed by the raw, foreboding, mid-tempo electro throb of "Chupa Track". Sometime Pleasure Club man Nick Glynn takes over on side two, first delivering the deep space club electro of EP standout "Take One", before inviting Dawl to re-invent it as a mind-mangling slab of electro/Yorkshire bleep fusion (minus the colossal sub-bass associated with that particular vintage style).
Review: Long time electro mainstay Anthony Rother is the third artist to release on Rekids offshoot Stranger in the Night. The Frankfurt talent proves, across a trio of tracks, that he is still a visionary after all these years in the game. "We Are The Future" is an 11 minute epic cut, with reduced minimal drums overlaid with soft focus daubs of synths that slowly but surely seduce you. "Super Future Metropolis" awakens you from your reverie with dehumanised vocals and steel plated drums then "The Message" is dark future music with more robot vocals, twitchy stabs and a shadowy sense of paranoia.
Review: Curtis Electronix is a brand new electro label out of Holland (where else?) run by CEM3340. The label is said to be is inspired by Doug Curtis, the father of the "CEM" chip as well as being a synthesizer pioneer and innovator, and the boss himself is behind this notable first EP. His brand of electro is a crunchy one, with distorted drums frying brains and computerised synth arps jagging their way about the mix. Next to three busy, textured originals is a remix from The Exaltics that is as raw as they come.
Review: It's now been two decades since Gallic producer Joan-Mael Peneau first donned the Maelstrom alias for the very first time. He's been in particularly fine form of late, offering up essential EPs on Cultivated Electronics, Central Processing Unit and Private Persons. Here he makes his debut on Craigie Knowes' hard-wired techno and electro offshoot C-Know-Evil with a formidably tough two-track offering. A-side "Spasm" is a riotous fusion of metallic percussion hits, high-octane electro drums, doom-laden acid lines and bass so raw and intense it was probably made in Scotland from girders. He opts for an even more doom-laden techno sound on fizzing flipside "Turbulence", wrapping increasingly intense electronic motifs around a surging rhythm track.
Review: Ovine build on the momentum of their first EP with another new house offering that is beautifully deep. It features two tracks each from Dan Piu and Pohl, and they all hack back to dreamy Italo, classic Mr Fingers and the more pensive Chicago greats. "Depresismatica" is a real highlight with its meandering basslines and infinite cosmic horizons. "Mello Phone" offers more pixelated melodies and busy beats and "Space In The Distance" has the sort of freaky edges and dusty analog textures house lovers always fall for. Already, then, this is a label that is setting a high standard.
Review: Jupiter4 is an Argentinean record label founded by Dj Loui (now based in Berlin) that has presented releases by the likes of Steve Murphy, Vin Sol and Vincent Floyd among others in the past - but it's all about him on the label's fifth release. Jam packed with tough and gritty electro jams that reek of hardware, feel the high-power sonic waves of the appropriately titled "Keep Breakbeat Evil", until he goes off-kilter with the contorted "HARDchip". Flip over for the bass heavy dystopia of "SQ80 System" on the flip, which receives a rework by one of the undisputed masters of the electro sound, Carl Finlow - respect!
Review: New label Nuances de Nuit kick off in fine style with a various artists 12" that draws on some emergent names to lay out a vision of cross-style dance music that favours the deeper end of the pool. Things get going with an organ-rich house bumper from DJ Steaw that pumps in all the right places, before Armless Kid switches things up with an untitled slice of dynamic, richly layered electro. T. Jacques thumps out a crafty, swinging cut with techy inclinations and oodles of groove, and E. Wan takes things in a more linear, deep techno direction laden with gorgeous synth work and plenty of artful effects processing.
Review: Not On Earth's first release sold out in quick time - unsurprising given the reputation of Frankfurt based founders Bodin & Jacob. Their second is a various artists affair that shows off some of the talents they have unearthed, while Bodin also reappears with "A Walk In The Park." It's a brilliantly militant cut with clipped, marching beats and rasping bass squelches, and elsewhere Philipp Boss opens the EP with the slippery electro rhythms of "Lava". Griezman's "Decheterie" is an uptempo bit of proper first wave tech house a la Terry Francis. Closing out this more than handy EP is the hard edged electro-tech of "Zoober" from Martyne.
Review: LKR hits release number 007 with a suitably smooth and stealthy electro offering from Ouxh. This is a new, mysterious artist making their debut, and an impressive one at that: the title track is a thoughtful number thanks to the lingering chords which hang behind muted drums and perc, while "Birdman" has a chirping bird lost in a rather eerie landscape populated by a corrugated bassline and unsettling chords. Last of all is the excellent "Coma Void", with stepping, jungle influenced rhythms and a tense vocal loop that pans about the mix to make for something brilliantly dynamic. On this evidence, Ouxh is one to watch.
Review: Three years after the "Illahertz EP" on Shipwrec Records, Jason McCracken makes this great come back on his own Advanced Robotiks imprint with heavy rotation from DJStingray, Helena Hauf, and the underground global Electro scene.
Review: Spain's Fanzine hits double figures by welcoming Nullptr (the alter ego of British artist Eddie Symons) for some heat that has made him a cult favourite over the last decade. The man behind Cambridge electro night Motherchip Connexion and his own [d]-tached label invites you to strap in and surge through the skies with him on a pulsating journey that finds him tease real funk out of his machines. From sombre and stripped back cuts of lonely electro to masterfully melodic affairs via devastatingly emotional groovers, this EP does it all in fantastic fashion.
Review: La dame Noir is a Marseille-based label who first crept onto vinyl with a crucial various artists release back in 2016. Now they're back with more of that noirish modern disco deviance that made them an exciting proposition first time around. "Take The Shock Away" is a bittersweet groover by Dawad and label co-founder Relatif Yann, with pitch-perfect vocals by Mounissa which sounds strong on its own. The label however has drafted in a list of big hitters to deliver remixes, from Vox Low's synthwave laced trip to Pete Herbert's punchy electro-disco burner. Whichever version you plump for, the quality is undeniable on this surefooted 12".
Review: Long-serving electro project Transparent Sound come back full throttle with this expansive album of masterful machine music. Opening track "Pretend Like You Care" is a startling opener that feels like a wormhole back to the Cologne laboratories of the kosmische movement. The beats kick in proper from that point, and in consummate noirish fashion, with "No Call From New York", and proceed to trip through all manner of nocturnal dreamscapes lit in sleazy neon strip lighting. It's a lurid, evocative sound world the veteran duo concoct, and one you'll find yourself returning to again and again.
Review: Remarkably, veteran producers Neil Landstrumm and Tobias Schmidt first worked together as Sugar Experiment Station way back in 1996. Here they present their first joint release of 2019: a fine EP on Falty DL's Blueberry Records imprint that's packed to the rafters with weighty and otherworldly club cuts. Perhaps the most instantly arresting track of the quartet is opener "Sounds Like", a chunky, garage-influenced house cut rich in attractive female vocal samples and booming bass. That said, many may prefer the sleazy, bleep-laden, Legowelt style techno intensity of "Europa", the drowsy post-electro alien funk of "Hijacker" or the wonderfully weighty electro insanity of closing cut "Flesh Tone". In other words, it's a killer EP that rocks from start to finish.
Review: London-based retroverts Art Of Dark return with a wicked double header here for their third vinyl release. Antonin Hifda aka Daif takes up the A side, offering up the hardcore rave reductions of "Another Version Of The Truth" followed by the deep down Detroit styled electro beats of "Devil". On the flip, it's all about newcomers DC EFX who follow through with the electro bass vibe on the absolutely booming "Expansionz", before closing with the bass-driven acid techno "The Roller Express".