Roger Van Lunteren - "On And Dna No (The Sun Riser)" (5:06)
Phil Gerus - "Prelude To Love" (4:37)
Review: The XXX crew are on a mission to celebrate the adventurous and utterly well-informed dance music scene of Amsterdam, and they move to the fourth release on their label with a strong cast of characters that all have something different to say. Alterleo opens up the 12" with the low-throbbing psyche out of "Train To..." before Al Gobi takes over with the aqueous hardware house bubbles of "Rule Of Three". On the B side, Jack Pattern & John Parsley work together to lay down a fierce blend of industrial and disco that will send shivers down your spine. Roger Van Lunteren meanwhile revels in the squelchiest kind of esoteric acid with a new age mystique thrown in for good measure, and then Phil Gerus provides a soothing soliloquy to finish this distinctive record off.
Rob Amboule & Manuel Schatz - "Manz Not Hot" (6:30)
Peter Raw - "Brotherhood" (5:52)
HDV - "Digital Delight" (5:44)
Kosh - "The Mess" (5:08)
Review: Sounds Benefit founder Tom Joyce cast his net far and wide when sniffing out cuts to include on the label's latest multi-artist EP. There's plenty of little-known talent on show across the four tracks that make-up the EP, which come from artists based in Frankfurt, Paris and - most surprisingly - Casablanca. We're particularly enjoying the hybrid electro/spacey tech-house bounce of Peter Raw's wonderfully swinging "Brotherhood", though the deep and melodious electro bounce of Kosh's "The Mess" is also really rather good. Elsewhere, Manuel Schatz and Rob Amboule offer up some bold and snappy Motor City techno/acid house fusion, while HDV's "Digital Delight" is raw, analogue, funky and decidedly alien in tone.
Review: Bristol house imprint Banoffee Pies return with more subtle and hypnotic grooves. On the A side is the mysterious Jay Anderson with "Didn't Care Too Much". While not much is known of him yet, we are sure that will change once people listen to this track: deep minimal house that crosses over into electro much in the vein of Frenchman TC80 or what his peers on Japan's Cabaret imprint are doing right now. Next up, Greek up and comer Simonas Paplauskas serves up the rolling and entrancing afterhours cut "Untitled" which takes its cues from the current sounds of Romania: an immaculate production. On the flip, the entire side is handed over to Ukrainian producer Peshka, who delivers another jagged yet downright wacky and unique take on reduced grooves with "Basic Instinct".
Review: For their sixth release, deep house doyens Bliq present something a little different in the form of Space Culture Volume 1, the label's first compilation 12". The A-side is given over to the dub techno of Audio Atlas, whose track "Finland" is a suitably chilly excursion into mid-tempo 4/4, its steady pulse and icy chords seemingly inspired by a wintry Scandinavian forest at dusk. On the flip, Pietro Tangianu's "Frabaer" is a similarly laid back production, but one that thaws things slightly with its warmer, housier chords, and swung rhythm though its subs are as deep as the A-side. Finally, Matti Turunen's "Nocturne" offers something entirely different, a sparse electro track whose minimal 808 rhythms and thick bass are contrasted with melodic pads and brittle diamond-like textures.
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: Earlier this year, Palmbomen II joined forces with the previously unheralded Betonkust to deliver a cracking cassette of lo-fi IDM and leftfield house experiments on 1080p. Here the duo pairs up again to deliver their debut collaborative 12" on Pinkman. It explores similar sonic territory, with the six tracks variously touching on dark, soundtrack-style analogue ambience ("Donkerblauwe Auto's"), off-kilter acid ("N401"), vintage EBM (the thoroughly druggy motifs, creepy melodies and ricocheting percussion hits of "Suite 100"), blissful early 90s IDM ("Zwaluw"), and eccentric, electro-influenced house ("Boven De Wet"). Throughout, the Dutch twosome strikes a fine balance between dancefloor chops, and inspiring home listener fodder.
Review: Fresh from schooling us on the current state of the UK electro synth wave underground via the crucial second volume of Messages From the Void, local hero Ali Renault dons his Cestrian outfit once again for some equally momentous movements for the Future Flash imprint. Strictly limited is the name of the game here - only 200 twelves have been pressed up and there's added incentive for vinyl freaks in the shape of a heavy duty wax seal bearing the Future Flash logo which adorns the centre label. All this is secondary to the music however, and "Annihilator" surely ranks in the upper echelons of apt titles as Renault explodes into a frenzy of spazmoid analogue rhythms from the off. Spectral flourishes and bubbling textures keep it interesting and it all rides on top of a pummelling aqua techno groove. The aforementioned spectral elements are expanded on by Perseus Traxx on an eerie electro refix that displays all the producers' talent for eking every last drop of lysergia out of analogue machinery. Big tip!
Review: It's the tenth outing from Holland's 030303 imprint, and we're good and ready for some jacked-up, screw-face techno-house from this bunch of misfits. Wildcard D'Marc Cantu opens the EP by dropping a vicious electro bruiser in "Mine Motion", a tune would go down a storm in a dark basement with nothing but a single strobe to accompany its industrial bleeps, while Murder Capital associate Mark Du Mosch's "Bermuda" is a gentler, more opaque house duster with a dubby afterglow. Finally, Bio Rhythm overseer Paul Du Lac delivers the hypnotic "Beta Rhythm", a kick-less techno scorcher with a frenetic percussion and a bassline that would make Plastikman circa 1998 a very proud man indeed.
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.
The Egyptian Lover - "This That Old School" (5:48)
Syracuse & Epsilove - "Scubatomic Love" (4:35)
Palms Trax - "Honey Lemongina" (4:45)
Interstellar Funk - "EFX Harmonix" (6:43)
Review: For the fourth volume in their tenth anniversary series, Dekmantel has decided to go all-out electro. Wisely, they've recruited scene legend the Egyptian Lover to kick things off. His "This That Old Skool" is an unashamed romp through early '80s nostalgia, with the eccentric producer peppering a sturdy TR-808 beat pattern with exotic synth lines, "Tour De France"-style heavy breathing and raw vocoder vocals. Syracuse and Epsilove wrap their skittish electro beats in chiming melodies, trippy acid lines and dreamy vocal snatches ("Scubatomic Love"), while Palms Trax necks a fistful of anti-depressants and delivers the pure endorphin rush that is the melodious and spacey "Honey Lemongina". Finally, fast-rising producer Interstellar Funk offers up a lesson in melodious electro/techno fusion on the standout "EFX Harmonix".
Review: Sync 24's Cultivated Electronics imprint brings "The World Electronix" series to a fittingly slick climax with this four-track adventure into electro's most twisted pastures. Gerard Hanson's ERP project ignites the show with a heavily textured trip to the most unforgiving peripheries of the cosmos, Sync 24 & Deixis's "Ah Ah Ah" is a full-on acid assault while the bulbous bass and warm kicks on Plant43's "GJ1214b" remind us of electro's undiluted funk roots. Finally Steve Allman closes the show with his Cultivated Electronics debut "Evolution Technology". Stark, slippery and bolstered with bullet-proof beats and a heady, muscular bass riff, it's a fantastic finale to this essential cultivation collection.
The Exaltics - "Do I Have To Repeat Myself" (4:45)
Helena Hauff - "Culmination Of Frustration" (5:24)
Perseus Traxx - "MK Ultra" (4:48)
Drvg Cvltvre - "The Dead Envy The Living (UNM)" (6:25)
Ekman - "Landmarks" (5:12)
Review: Artwork of the week goes to this Solar One 12", with the label enlisting Lowlands don Mehdi Rouchiche to work his Godspill magic on the collective talents of Helena Hauff, Perseus Traxx, The Exaltics, Drvg Cvltre and Ekman. Perseus Traxx's moustache is quite something! These artists join forces for the Signs Of Decay 12", a powerful collective statement on the desiccation some "hard and dirty acid tracks" can do to a dancefloor. Don't come here looking for any lofty concepts, this is just five of the best banging their boxes in the name of all that is grotty and lysergic. Fans of Hauff's Panzerkreuz material will be delighted with the demonic, red lining sounds of her contribution "Culmination Of Frustration."
Review: DJ Glow's long running TRUST label returns with the closing installment of its TRUST XV trilogy of releases which once again canvasses the finest names currently making electro music. Closing contributions come from The Exaltics, Plant43, Adapta, and Epy X Micromega and this is a must have 12" for any fans of the genre. Solar One man The Exaltics is first up, laying down some dank sonic dystopia in the shape of "Flexible Horizons" which offers a nice contrast the purist electro styles of "Infected Biome" by Plant43. There's a nice crunchy feel to Adapta's bass heavy contribution "Black Orpheus", whilst "Halcyon Days" from Epy X Micromega ends a fine record on a contemplative note.
Exterminador - "Mohammed Bin Salman" (Tegeler mix) (4:17)
Craow - "Lot" (7:06)
R Gamble - "Dead Advice" (club mix) (8:08)
Plastic Ivy - "Exit Strategy" (4:35)
Review: Pitch black EBM mutations await you on Mannequin's new EP series Death Of The Machines. Volume 1 features the man from the evil empire himself Exterminador, receiving a very Silent Servant sounding remix courtesy of Tegeler on "Mohammed Bin Salman", Providence based newcomer Sean Halpin aka Craow gets the darkwave vibes into full effect on "Lot", while New York City's Richard Gamble nails that classic Zoth Ommog style of old on the electrifying "Dead Advice" (club mix). On the B side, you're treated to some bold minimal wave by Philadelphia's Plastic Ivy - who's in great form on the chilling noir antics of "Exit Strategy".
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!