Review: Brothers Fabio and Marco D'Arcangelo can trace their roots back to Rome's industrial techno revolution of the early 1990s, but are arguably best known for their frequent outings on Rephlex. This EP originally came out on Richard D James and Grant Wilson-Claridge's imprint way back in 1996, when they were still beginning their musical journey. It remains a blisteringly good six-tracker, with highlights including the raw, Aphex Twin-influenced "Somewhere in Time", the guttural, fuzz-drenched post-electro rhythms and Kraftwerk bleeps of "Diagram VII (Milk Mix)", and the pleasingly skuzzy industrial hip-hop of "Skrakt". Arguably best of all, though, is the shimmering "80s Mix" of "Diagram 7", which recasts the track as a melodic chunk of funk-fuelled electro.
Review: Digital Poodle are one of those outfits from the 1980's who happened to stumble onto techno by accident, focusing on making deadly, driving songs rather than fitting into a genre or style. Alongside them there are the likes of Psychik Warriors Ov Goia and a few others, but this stuff is pretty damn hard to come by, and releases like this are few and far between. The impressive Suction label out of Canada has decided to reissue their "Work Terminal" tune - a screeching, venomous bit of screamo EBM - backed by a trio of remixes. OH transform "Work Terminal" into a more direct techno bullet with subtle swarms of the original's screams, while Solvent give it a more aggressive reshape a-la electro. It's the Metro Tekno version that gets our attention, though, and those heavy percussion patterns must surely be total winners on the sound system.
Review: The third volume in Suction Records' series of EPs featuring previously unheard late '90s productions from Dutch artist RX 101 is a thrillingly raw and wild affair. Mostly made up of tracks created using Roland's iconic SH-101 mono-synth and TB-303 bass synthesizer, it's chock full of cuts that pair razor-sharp electro beats, distorted drum hits and psychedelic acid lines. Of course, there are a few different excursions dotted throughout - see the metronomic, mid-tempo, acid techno hum of "Clinch" and ragged braindance madness of "Neuralgia", not to mention slow acid-funk wiggler "Sys.rx.3.a06" - but these feel like variations on a theme, rather than pleasant surprises. Regardless, it's an impressively forthright and exciting EP.
Review: Toronto label Suction return to New Ways, the latest LP from co-founder Jason "Solvent" Amm which was released earlier this year with an EP of remixes from some high grade artists. In original form New Ways was the soundtrack to I Dream Of Wires, the excellent documentary on modular synthesis, and was one of those rare LPs that's equally suited for the dancefloor and home listening. Here the likes of Chris Carter, Orphx, Bronze Teeth and Martial Canterel are let loose on the LP and there's a clear arc in intensity over the four remixes. As you'd expect "Burn The Tables" (Orphx remix) is totally suited to peak time techno deployment where as the three other revisions that sit either side take Solvent into more contemplative and abstract territory - the Bronze Tooth take being our favourite.
Review: Grey Edition: If you've seen the Modular synth documentary I Dream of Wires, you'll have been suitably impressed with the soundtrack provided courtesy of Suction Records boss Solvent. Whilst there was a double LP edition of the soundtrack, it didn't feature all the music Solvent had recorded for the documentary. That has now been remedied as Suction lay out this limited addendum 12" (available in three different colours of vinyl) consisting of previously digital only cuts and some fresh remixes. The DJs out there will be happy to see techno cut "Hadron" make the 12" upgrade, whilst the remix of "King Vincent" from Wrangler (featuring Cabaret Voltaire founder Stephen Mallinder) is equally floor-focused. Do check the other remix, of "Sender", which sees Todd Sines adopting his Interval alias for some unsettling modular sonics!!
Review: Clear Edition: If you've seen the Modular synth documentary I Dream of Wires, you'll have been suitably impressed with the soundtrack provided courtesy of Suction Records boss Solvent. Whilst there was a double LP edition of the soundtrack, it didn't feature all the music Solvent had recorded for the documentary. That has now been remedied as Suction lay out this limited addendum 12" (available in three different colours of vinyl) consisting of previously digital only cuts and some fresh remixes. The DJs out there will be happy to see techno cut "Hadron" make the 12" upgrade, whilst the remix of "King Vincent" from Wrangler (featuring Cabaret Voltaire founder Stephen Mallinder) is equally floor-focused. Do check the other remix, of "Sender", which sees Todd Sines adopting his Interval alias for some unsettling modular sonics!!
Review: Throughout his career, L.I.E.S. regular Beau Wanzer has proved adept at delivering decidedly fuzzy, lo-fi workouts that variously draw influence from industrial, EBM, techno and electro. He's at it again on "Do The Spider Shimmy", a tidy ten-inch containing six wonderfully wayward cuts. It's a noticeably stripped-back affair, with most of the cuts existing of little more than sparse but heavy basslines, occasional electronics, minimalist electro beats and the odd droning, stylized vocal. Highlights come thick and fast, from the gently spacey synth-scape "Never Look Back" and the buzzing simplicity of "You Can't Stand On Broken Shoes", to the lo-fi no wave pop of "Choice Curve" and the raw, laid back electro sleaze of the title track.
Review: Veteran Toronto-based producer Gregory de Rocher's career spans over 20 years, where he has released on the likes of City Centre Offices, Ersatz Audio and his own Suction Records - which he co-founded in 1997 with like-minded producer Jason Amm (aka Solvent). They present a collection of salvaged tape recordings from 1996 under de Rocher's lesser known Pest(e) moniker. A fascinating assortment of analogue electronics originally intended as a demo, it was at one point almost released on seminal UK label Skam but de Rocher ended up releasing it himself under the Lowfish alias - this being his debut album under the moniker. He uses broad strokes to paint a picture across the various tracks: from the jungle reductions of "Sieve", cosmic electro of "Agamemnon", to the evocative IDM trip of "Polychromerats" and hypnotic drone piece "Lungs Of The Clock".
Review: A year on from their last deep dive into the unreleased archives of Dutch producer Erik "RX-101" Jong, Suction Records has re-opened the vaults and put together the artist's first ever full-length excursion. As with their previous archival RX-101 releases, all the material on "Dopamine" was recorded between 1997 and '99. It sees the little-known Dutch producer offer up a range of melodious and atmospheric IDM and ambient techno tracks that were massively influenced by the early-to-mid '90s output of Warp Records and the more meditative and luscious works of Richard D James as Aphex Twin and Polygon Window. It's a wonderfully emotive excursion all told; an impeccably produced and impressively sequenced set that should be considered a long lost classic of '90s electronica.
Review: The name Roger Semsroth will be eminently familiar to fans of monotonal, bleep laden techno thanks to his canon of material as Sleeparchive for his own label, Tresor, Repitch and more. Prior to becoming the staple of Berlin techno he now is, Semsroth was creating child like melodies and toy tones as Skanfrom, a project which now returns to Jason Amm's Suction Records for the first time in 12 years. Combine themes tunes and motifs from the original Zelda video game with the sounds of older Rephlex and Skam Records and you are somewhere close to understanding what Postcards, this new Skanfrom album, sounds like.
Ceramic Hello - "Sampling The Blast Furnace" (4:30)
Digital Poodle - "Soul Crush" (Manie Sans Delire Revision) (5:07)
June - "Idealized States Of Perfection" (3:37)
Review: Some 14 years after volume three first appeared in stores, Suction has decided to re-launch its Snow Robots compilation series. Happily, the quality threshold remains as high as it was first time around. The seven tracks feature a mixture of metallic electro, fuzzy minimal wave and industrial electronica, with occasional inspired forays into tongue-in-cheek electro-disco (Ceramic Blast Furnace's "Sampling the Blast Furnace" - sample lyric: "pouring passion down your throat like concrete") and druggy, ultra-muscular Italo-disco ("Pulsdisco 1.2" by Celldod). It's naturally far more killer than filler, with notable contributions from Mr Reliable himself, Beau Wanzer and former Berceuse Heroique artist Morah.