Review: From the minds of Direct Beat and Detroit Bass Classics, comes the first initial compilation of electro/techno heat. "Electro In The Key Of Detroit Vol 1" presents 4 proven dance floor dope and record crate staples that provide the hungry ears of masses the groove to move. A Side features two sure-fire steppers - a rare AUX 88 voyage entitled "Phantom Power" and Blak Tony's tempo-pushing "Holla Holla" finally see the light of day on this wax collectable, giving praise to Motor City footwork culture. On the flip, DJ K-1's "Erase The Time" rocked the airwaves and global clubs with its signature thumping style laced beneath alien-like melody and repetitive vocal structure while Posatronix's mutant-rhythm mantra, "Pure Techno Sound" pulls the weight of Detroit's street dance roots down to the origin of how to boogie in space. This collection of re-issued jams and new explorations is the must-have for the electro/techno & bass aficionado.
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.
Exzakt - "Clarity" (The Lethal Agent remix) (6:14)
BFX - "Coma" (5:53)
Proto - "Dark Data Dancing" (5:49)
Danny Electro - "Part Man Part Machine" (6:03)
Review: Straight up electro-bass coming at you from Boca Raton, Florida here on Ascendant Recordings - run and operated by Lethal Agent (of Analog to Future). The label's second release is a riveting various artist EP, featuring some legends of the Florida scene such as West Palm Beach's Larry "Exzakt" McCormick who gets a serving of body-bashing dystopia by Lethal Agent himself on the remix of "Clarity". Get familiar with 'electrocore' via the devastating "Coma" by BFX before flipping over to side B to welcome the return of Danny Electro on the booming sci-fi aesthetics of "Part Man Part Machine". Tip!
Review: After debuting his Pakzad moniker on Infiltrate last year, Justin Pak makes the leap to Burnski's Constant Sound with this assured set of electro workouts built for the modern age. "Timeless" is a snappy, vibrant cut with a serious amount of techno propulsion to match the crooked funk of the beats. "Clutch" has a more trippy, melodic twist, while "Correlation" hunkers down into a more backroom vibe as detailed as it is freaky. This is seriously executed electro from a fast-rising talent - nab a copy, drop it into a set and watch the bodies writhe.
Review: Thus far all we know about Wilson Phoenix is pressed into the previous two records the anonymous operator has released so far in 2018. That should be enough for techno heads with their ears to the ground - this is rough and ready hardware business for those who like it nasty. While not perhaps as willfully unhinged as Neil Landstrumm, it's very much in that sonic ballpark, not least on relentless acidic opener "Between Mars." Things get a little freakier with the pinging electro delights of "Moon Machine" before the rowdy rave beast "Exo Planet" levels the landscape with some brutal synth stabs that would sound at home on an early The Prodigy record.
Review: Photonz is the alias of Marco Rodrigues a DJ, producer and driving force of Lisbon's underground scene. For little over a decade now, he's been crafting his own deeply personal style of Portuguese house and techno for labels such as Creme Organization, 20:20 Vision, Don't Be Afraid, Skylax, Unknown To The Unknown and his own One Eyed Jacks. As a DJ, Photonz grew a reputation for deep crates and intensely euphoric sets and in 2017, together with Violet (co-founder at his Radio Quantica) and Lisbon's own Rabbit Hole collective, he started the now infamous Mina parties - a monthly, sex-positive, queer and intersectional-feminist techno party aimed at using the dissociative potential of intense raving to create a temporary space of suspension away from patriarchal expectations.
Etheric Body Music is Photonz's debut 6-track EP for Dark Entries and a simultaneous reference to hermeticism and EBM (Electronic Body Music). Marco loves that "aesthetic when 80s industrial and EBM bands split up and start to make trance in the early 90s and all the ritual magick pushes them to zen stuff and they do ecstasy." There's this concept in theosophy and hermetic philosophy of the Etheric Body, which is an energy body superimposed and connected to the physical body, similar to the acupuncture idea of an energetic body. That idea manifests itself as six primal club cuts, which also channel early techno, Drexciyan rhythms, balearic & old school jack. Raw arpeggiated synth lines and bass blast jut against metallic stabs and highly percussive shakedowns to create mournful atmospheric warped house. All songs have been mastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The vinyl comes housed in a psychedelic jacket with snakey green and purple velvet in an electric acid spewing weird biological alien energy form designed by Eloise Leigh.
Review: Although Emile Facey has been producing as Plant 43 for roughly six years, the UK producer appears to be in a rich vein of form right now. Having debuted in impressive fashion on Dutch label Frustrated funk earlier this year, Plant 43 resurfaces on Semantica with this equally worthy five track 12" The Sentient City Awakens. No stranger to Svreca's label having first graced Semantica last year, this record will please Plant 43 fans no end, with "Inward Stream" and "Hydro Subway" showing equal reverence to melody and booming percussion that few other current electro practitioners can match. Concluding production "Frond Of Stars" is beautifully epic.
Review: Point B has a mighty fine discography behind him, although he's been a little quiet on the release front in the past five years. Rumour has it he's been busy with other projects, but his return to the club 12" format finds him in searing form. "Jack Knife" kicks proceedings off on a twitchy, electro-indebted tip, with deft splashes of IDM synths to match the beats. "Out Of Flavour" has a more manic feel, with some seriously warped lead tones to twist minds left right and centre. "Video Vault" drops the tempo a touch, but the feisty sound design and brooding atmospheres remain at the heart of the track. "Smash Hits" finishes the record off with a playful electro funk cut that wouldn't sound out of place alongside classic DMX Krew.
Review: Frits Caroe, AKA Popmix, unleashes some fascinating sounds on his debut release, which should score with discerning listeners looking for those tracks that standout without making a scene. Occupying somewhere between deep house, IDM, slo-mo and techno, there's mass appeal here but with niche noises. 'Funtema' has one of those wasp-in-jar synth lines that threaten to drive you crazy, or at least send the dancefloor into a frenzy, but avoids all intensity, balancing things out with playful keyboards and expansive refrains. 'Klub Frimis' is more of a plodder, its stabbing low end and twisted glockenspiel chords inviting everyone to get stuck in. Closing out on 'Teenage Club Fantasy', a sparse, low tempo acid-inflected epic that never veers from the course it's sets out on, you can have a lot of fun with what's here.
Review: Following up some great releases by Voiron and Betonkunst, Parisian label Nocta Numerica returns with PQ17, a Russian producer said to be returning from a long hiatus. He shows huge potential and an inexhaustible amount of energy on his vinyl debut, "Somnus Ambulo", where he provides some immaculate and majestic perspectives on the electro sound. From the sublime cyborg romanticism of "Organismus", futurist electro-bass noir of "Disambiguation" packing just the right amount of punch for the dancefloor to the evocative neon-lit drama of "I'm All Right", which takes a more synthpop oriented route akin to Visonia.
Review: First up on Klakson's NR series is Privacy, a Berlin-based producer whose crunchy electro missives and mangled dancefloor fusions have previously graced the catalogues of Lobster Theremin, Klasse Wrecks and Cultivated Electronics. There's plenty to set the pulse racing throughout the EP, from the punchy electro beats, squelchy bass and foreboding synth-strings of opener "Slide Back", to the rolling mid-tempo dancefloor melancholy of closing cut "(Not) Again!", whose cascading chords and unsettling bassline help set a suitably clandestine mood. Elsewhere, "Filestream" is a fuzzy but melodious chunk of lo-fi late night electro, while "Go" is a high-octane ghetto-tech thriller capable of causing devastation on dancefloors that like it raw and speedy.
Review: There are no prizes for guessing the influences of this hand-stamped, screen printed 12" from illusive Dutch artist Proxyan given that its title, 313, is also the area code for Detroit. The mystery man channels those Motor Funk vibes through his own crystalline melodic filter and out the other side come three superbly evocative electro tunes. "Network 313" has a curious, inquisitive lead synth over slippery drums, while "Artificial Superstition" has a more doleful mood. "Human-Error Processor" is the crunchiest and most visceral of the lot, but the EP ends on the brain cleansing alien frequencies of Tracey's deft remix.
Review: After a long hiatus of four years, synthwave duo Power Glove (yes, named after the Nintendo Power Glove) consisting of Australian brothers Jarome and Joel Harmsworth under the pseudonyms of Michael Biehn and Michael Dudikoff, return with their debut full length entitled "Playback". Our picks of the bunch are the vocoder driven, nite drive of the title track which bears comparisons to legends Daft Punk, the neon-lit disco antics of "Clutch" which follows in the footsteps of local legends Miami Horror's early work and the spooky mood music of "Loaded" which reminds us of legendary John Carpenter's seminal soundtrack work.