Review: For its seventh release, southern Italians Obscura Music return to welcome exciting new talents and core label acts. Head honchos Agents Of Time venture down an electro route with "East Coast", as do the ever impressive London Modular Alliance on the hypnotic "Buck One". Man of the moment Aussie Jensen Interceptor channels classic Drexciyan aesthetics on "Manix" before homeboys and label staples Hiver come through with the slinky and hypnotic tech house of "Stasys" and Detroit veteran Kris Wadsworth makes a surprising appearance with some slow burning minimalism displayed on closer "Abroad".
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: With this sequel to December's brilliant, compilation style "The Orbitant" EP, FU ME boss George K is spoiling us. With a high quality threshold and five varied cuts to enjoy, it offers excellent value for money for clued-up electro DJs. Heinrich Dressel sets the scene via some wonderfully spacey, widescreen ambient electronica ("Sem Intro"), before Galaxian wraps 1990 style Yorkshire bleeps and fizzing, minor key electronics around a booming bassline and ghetto-tech style drums on "Source Reality". Foreign Sequence's throbbing, acid-laden "Negative Vibe" sits somewhere between surging Italo-disco and pulsating electro, while Lake Haze's "System Glitch" combines creepy, deep space electronics and ragged acid lines with a rolling electro groove. Arguably best of all though is the mutant funk overload that is Jenson Interceptor's techno/electro fusion workout "Faceless".
Review: Although largely unknown outside of underground electro circles, Mark Kastner AKA Galaxian consistently serves up some of the most on-point experimental and club-focused electronic music around. It's a bold claim, for sure, but one that's backed up by the high quality tracks showcased on the Scottish producer's first EP for Natural Sciences. A-track "Golden Armageddon", for example, is a thrilling, nine-minute electro ride that brilliantly alternates between sweeping, cinematic style melodic movements and fizzing, acid-fired sections that are more intense than a late night beating from a far-right thug. Elsewhere, "Ride The Spiral" joins the dots between Drexciya, early UK bleep and weirdo IDM, while dystopian closing cut "Psychic Purification" is a Rephlex style "braindance" monster.
Review: Phil Gerus is a rising talent that fits right into the (Emotional) Especial mould with his sharply realised 80s bombast and dynamic electro funk production style. Treating body-popping club tracks as a vessel for heartfelt expression, these tracks have it all from Linn Drum boogie to fully capable instrumental chops, all shot through with Gerus' choice new wave vocals. Lauer hops on board for a seductive remix of "Still Blind" that ups the sensual intensity of the track while keeping the club foremost in his mind, before Jamie Paton steps up on the flip with a couple of freakier turns that dub the original out into deadly, spooky jams for more adventurous party people to get loose to.
Review: Distorted Sensory Perception is a new label emerging out of the Bristol underground to represent the deeper end of the techno and electro scene. The first release is a various artists affair that kicks off with the bold and expressive sound of rising talent Gilbert, last spotted on two excellent Innate releases. Mindless Evolving Objects takes a similar approach laden with harmonious pads and twinkling arps, while Datawave takes things in a darker direction without losing that melodic nous. Label founder Zobol has an emotive bent in his track "Scatterbrain," and Nikolay Sunak completes the set with the illustrious "Dance & Cry Baby."
Review: Roza Terenzi has had a head-spinning past 12 months, notching up a wave of high grade electro releases on labels like Oscillate Tracks, Butter Sessions and Dekmantel. Now she's debuting the Gloworm alias on start up concern Sides, and sounding as vital as ever as she delves into deviant jack tracks dripping with tripped out FX processing. "One Ten" has a slow and nasty acid vibe to it, with a groove that rolls with ease and wobble bass wielded to perfection. "One Twenty" has a more brittle electro bent to it, while "One Thirty" pumps things up to a more peak time flavour of machine funk. As you might have guessed by now, "One Forty" takes things even higher til you're flying at ghettotech levels - Terenzi sounds utterly on point so select with confidence, whichever tempo you need to reach for.
Review: Gary Gritness' real name is Tim Becherand. He is a session musician who has been around for some time and has worked alongside some of the greats such as the legendary Kenny Bobien and top producers in house music like Grant Nelson, Terry Hunter, Louie Vega and many more. The Sugar Cane Chronicles Vol. 1 on London's Hypercolour was one of 2016's highlights where he explored some Underground Resistance inspired hi-tech soul jams alongside some electro-funk reminiscent of Japanese Telecom. Here for the second instalment of the series, he delivers the goods once again. Take for instance "Countin' Up With Starr" which features some razor sharp analogue arpeggios and celestial synths, dancing atop rusty vintage drum computer patterns. So convincingly that you'd think they were lost tapes from 1991. On the flip, another gem came in the form of "Pool Shark Loot" which unlike the other tracks is a lo-slung boogie jam and shows of Gary's dexterity on the keys and he tears it up on a series of slick synth solos.
Mono Junk vs Morphology - "Electro Por Favor" (4:51)
Mono Junk vs Morphology - "Electro Por Favor" (Mono Junk dub remix) (6:09)
Mono Junk vs Goner - "Later On" (5:28)
Mono Junk vs Goner - "Fj" (5:42)
Review: Given Finland's iciness and eternal winter darkness, it makes sense that the Scandinavian nation should be host to some top-notch electro and techno talent. Here, one of the country's first underground electronic stars, '90s survivor Mono Junk, goes head to head with fellow Finns Morphology and sometime Hospital Productions noisenik Goner. Morphology hook-up "Electro Por Favor" is a deliciously dystopian affair, with doom-laden spoken word vocals and minor key melodies bubbling away over a typically punchy beat. It's accompanied on the A-side by Mono Junk's own "Dub" version, which is altogether weirder, fuzzier and apocalyptic. Flip for two Goner collaborations: the drowsy and creepy throb of "Later On", which boasts distinctive dark-wave tendencies, and the old skool '80s hustle of sparse funker "Fj".
Review: Since making his debut on Clone's Crown series back in 2015, keytar-sporting electrofunk revivalist Gary Gritness has released some of the most essential synthesizer-driven dance music of recent times. Hopes are therefore sky-high for "The Legend of Cherenkov Blue", a rare solo album that gleefully wraps the producer's usual snappy electro drums and funk-fuelled basslines in atmospheric chords, poignant melodies and a cinematic sense of developing drama. It's a formula that results in a thrilling number of highlights. These include, but aren't limited to, the spacey wiggle of "Laser-sighted Smoke", the bustling, Jan Hammer style '80s movie theme flex of "Enter Cherenkov Blue (LP2: The Killing)", the mind-altering electro wonkiness of "Snitch Huntin'" and the deep bliss of "Big Marcus Knows The Score".