Review: Another great EP from the 3 boys from Sweden, the Blotnik Brothers. Strong percussive big room electro, thick melodies and perfectly-timed arrangements are the mark of their second EP. Kraftwerk on steroids!
Review: Veteran Excel teams up with rookie Test to output four smooth yet beat driven tracks that bridge the gap between the genres. Not one of the tracks will disappoint. This 12" is a breath of fresh air for breaks and electro alike.
Review: Satamile turns 40, and does it in style with the stunning "Apocalyptica EP" from Sir Real. There are three top-notch tracks that combine the electro breakbeat of the early years with the sonic qualities of Kraftwerk, all soaked in nitro for one huge club-fuelled electro record. "Scorched Earth" is a full rev club cut with deep melodic arrangements, staccato bass accents and a driving breakbeat, along with very uplifting sound-design which characterizes this growler of a track. Not for the faint-hearted, but at the same time not dark. It's an emotive cut for the big room boom. "Ascension" picks up where the a-side left off. It is a subtle and funky acid breakbeat cut with nu-wave style chord progressions to lift the track skywards. "Landscapes" finishes off the EP, and the best may well have been saved for last. It has a snapping bass-snare break with great sound design, heavily treated ghostly vocal snippets, and mysterious and unique backing melodies providing rare and stunning new sonic landscapes. This one might be the 4am sci-fi voyeur track - deep and mysterious yet with lots of drive and energy for the dancefloor.
Jason Fine - "Puttin It Out" (A Made Up Sound remix)
Jason Fine - "Human Need" (Heinrich Mueller Celestial Sphere mix)
Review: Repress: As one of the younger breed of Detroit talents, Jason Fine is still just starting to get a foothold, despite having a good few years of releases behind him. His Kontra Musik relationship has proven to be the most fruitful, and this remix package capitalises on that with two top shelf commissions. A Made Up Sound brings his unmistakable broken house swing to bear, with warming subs and thick swathes of pad and melody twisted to Dave Huismann's crafty designs. Heinrich Muller brings the Drexciyan vibes in abundance with his punchy electro stance that remains peerless after all these years.
Review: Dutch label Bunker have always adorned their wax with a healthy dosage of track offerings. This time, Bunker 3092 serves up eight electro fuelled pieces that reek of early mornings wrapped in underground grime and strobe filled basements. Each track is equally trippy, for the mind and for the floor with electro synths, keyboard bleeps and wailing samples swooshing through all of the eight untitled tracks.
Review: Two of Detroit's most influential movers and shakers, it's about time Di'jital and Maaco enjoyed some of the limelight usually taken up the city's larger than life DJ characters. Here we find them brewing up the clippy, clicky classic electro groove "Aliens N Effect". Uptempo and nagging with a deadly scratchy riff, it's an instant bodypopper. Comes complete with an instrumental, a dub and a technicolour revisitation of Di'Jital's 2006 workout "Armada."
Review: With this sizable EP electro techno staple Scanone makes another appearance on regular haunt Yellow Machines, bringing five tracks of diverse, sci-fi infused electronica that kicks where it counts but keeps the tone esoteric on top. "Moon 2" is a fast-paced, dark-toned break cut, filtering in just enough melody to keep things emotional while the beats dutifully snap around the mix with an energetic grace. "Scene 7" is a more gentle affair, moving from anchorless strings to twitchy diversions into micro-sampled rhythms and rounded synth. "Darklight" calls to mind some of the earliest of Aphex Twin's breakbeats, but the melodies on top have a more tangible kind of melancholia to them which serves the spiritual impact of the record well. On the whole, it's the electro informed approach of classic labels like Skam that Scanone brings to mind with Scenes, and as an under-represented sound he is bringing a welcome focus to it.
Review: Under the Ekman name, Dutch producer Roel Dijcks has been in devastating form this year, haunting the finer dancehalls with his own distinct brand of dark and nasty electro and techno for Solar One, Abstract Forms and impressive newcomer Berceuse Heroique. Reform for the latter label is perhaps our favourite of the lot but the Nervous EP, Ekman's debut for the splendidly deranged Gooiland Elektro is serious stuff. Both the lead track "Do I Make You Nervous?" and "Hail To The Big Worm" have that grotty Rotterdam squat party vibe that's so appealing about Ekman's productions whilst "Don't Let Them In" mixes the deepset paranoia of a D'Marc Cantu production with brushes of new beat synthetics.
Review: The somewhat mysterious Dopplereffekt project founded by Drexciya's Gerald Donald ends their six year production hiatus with this Tetrahymena EP for Berlin label Leisure System. Established by Donald in the mid '90s, Dopplereffekt remain one of techno's most enigmatic propositions with their brand of cold, stark electro complemented by a bold, Cold War-indebted aesthetic and a general disregard for performing live or giving interviews. Though Donald has remained active production wise, developing the NRSB-11 project with DJ Stingray which recently saw the release of the politically loaded Commodified album, the Tetrahymena EP is a welcome return for Dopplereffekt and undoubtedly the most high profile release yet from Leisure System.
Review: After a fairly overwhelming 2013 of archival releases that was topped off with that excellent Patrick Cowley compilation, Dark Entries seemingly are maintaining that momentum this year with a clutch of new projects. The first is this reissue of the classic Signals From Pier Thirteen EP by Crash Course In Science, which is a name that should be instantly recognisable to fans of minimal wave thanks to "Flying Turns". The track featured on the Minimal Wave Tapes Vol. 1 compilation curated by Peanut Butter Wolf and Veronica Vasicka and has been reworked by Jamal Moss, J Rocc and Ricky Villalobos in recent years. "Flying Turns" of course features on this EP, and this Dark Entries issue is the first time Signals From Pier Thirteen has been reissued on vinyl since the early '80s and is a must for anyone who likes crude electronics and synthesised beats.
The Man From Another Place (Timothy J Fairplay remix)
The Man From Another Place (Cottam remix)
Review: Hailing from sunny Los Angeles, Plastic Love Records kicks off our first release with an EP from label co-boss Jimmy Maheras. Maheras made his debut in 2011 with his Space Jam EP on the Crosstown Rebels edit sub-label, Rebellion. Since then he's released remixes and singles on Strainjjur, Riff Raff, Supernature, and Left'd.
Maheras's two original tracks showcase his depth with The Man From Another Place being squarely aimed at the big room dance floor and the second track, Arecibo, bringing a little Kraftwerkesque funk. We've commissioned Timothy J Fairplay (Crimes Of The Future) and Cottam (Aus Music / Ruff Draft) for two very unique remixes. Fairplay crunches down the original melody and throws it over the famed amen break to give TMFAP a hands in air late night feel while Cottam's remix brings the dreamy melody closer to acid with storming late night kick ready to knock down a wall.
Review: The boy Naples hooks up with Bankhead again for what looks and sounds like a sequel to last year's much loved El Portal 12" for The Trilogy Tapes. Apparently named in honour of the hospitable reception young Anthony received whilst playing a party in the Columbian town of Zipacon, this four track release opens with "Perron" which sounds like previous Naples hit "Busy Signal" hollowed out. From here, "Zipacon" feels like a real high point with fizzing, intricate drum patterns and a warbling pad line that really captivates. Flipside cut "More Problem" offers a undeniably booming interlude before Naples gets really bugged out on the excellent "Crazy Spirit".
Review: Once a compelling production unit on the superb Thisisnotanexit label, it's been a while since we heard anything from the Spectral Empire duo of Kyle Martin & George Thompson. More recently the pair has been engaged in other projects, with Martin collaborating with Jonny Nash as Land Of Light and Thompson casting a cosmic spell on the Andy's Weatherall and Blake with his Black Merlin output. Back together as Spectral Empire for this 12" on Nu Earth Kitchen, Martin and Thompson's studio chemistry hasn't dissipated in the time apart on the basis of the two cuts here. Lead track "Goloko Dhama" uses it's nine minute duration wisely as Spectral Empire go deep into a brooding sci fi flecked disco groove. Face down "Sadhu" finds Martin and Thompson veer into almost techno territory driven by some brilliantly sputtery 808s.
Review: Manchester artist Belly is back with his second EP of 2014 released through his new inprint Belly Dance and this time he is joined by East End Soul vocalist Shona Carmen & one half of Asphodells Tiimothy J Fairplay on the remix. The second EP see's Belly up the pace slightly from his inagural release moving slightly away of the slow beat of tracks like Dark Autumn and Farewell and embark on a sligtly more up tempo , swing style bordering on the style of Machine Drum. The first track 'Control' is a hazy club track with strong vocals from both Belly & Shona backed up by drum and bass beats which is followed by vocal heavy space beats in the form of 'Zu' . On the flip side we see the real inpact of Shona Carmen with a clubtrack loaded with summer vibes called 'Painting' . The vocals are soulfull and beautiful with a swing tempo and drum patterns that lift throughout. This is followed by Timothy J Fairplay bringing in his own take on 90's chicago garage music with a banging clubtrack remix of Dark Autumn off of Belly Dance 001.
Review: ** REPRESS ** Following the series of Drexciya retrospectives on Clone, Tresor has dug their own sizable archives to revisit some of the work James Stinson and Gerald Donald committed to the Berlin institution in their time working together. Having already reissued the Drexciya LP Return To Neptunes Lair, Tresor now present a reissue of The Opening Of The Cerebral Gate, the 2001 LP from the late James Stinson's Transllusion project. Initially released on Tresor offshoot Supremat, this new triple LP edition from the label includes three cuts that were not present on the original vinyl version. Given how much og copies command on the second hand market, Drexciya fans without a copy should consider this an essential purchase!
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: While the title evokes images of the Uncanny Valley crew getting up to sitcom-style scrapes while bumbling around Germany in a rickety old bus, there's an altogether simpler explanation for the Uncanny Vacation tag. Basically, it's a hook-up between the Dresden label and their pals from Munich's Permanent Vacation imprint, featuring tracks from both camps. Musically, there are plenty of thrills on offer, from the looped deep house-disco of Jacob Korn's "Eieiei" and bodypoppin' electro-meets-classic Italo of DMX Krew's "Astro Logical", to the woozy, almost Balearic analogue deep house of Drvg Culture's winding "See You Again Someday". It's as off-kilter but on-point as you'd expect. We'd still think the bus trip idea is a goer, mind.
Review: The latest Acido release sees the full debut of Karl Lukas Pettersson, aka Gothenburg's premier electro exponent Lukas Karl Pettersson who previously featured on Dynamo Dreesen's label back in 2007 under his familiar Luke Eargoggle alias. As Karl Lukas Pettersson, the Swede is evidently looking to explore a sound less trodden with both "Paradise Island" and "Travel The World" crafty concoctions formed from various elements of primitive wave and Das Ding style electro that sound convincingly like they were exhumed from DAT tapes in the late '80s. If you are a fan of Acido, you'll no doubt be used to such stylistic deviations from the label, but Dark Entries and Minimal Wave fans should also check these cuts!