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: La dame Noir is a Marseille-based label who first crept onto vinyl with a crucial various artists release back in 2016. Now they're back with more of that noirish modern disco deviance that made them an exciting proposition first time around. "Take The Shock Away" is a bittersweet groover by Dawad and label co-founder Relatif Yann, with pitch-perfect vocals by Mounissa which sounds strong on its own. The label however has drafted in a list of big hitters to deliver remixes, from Vox Low's synthwave laced trip to Pete Herbert's punchy electro-disco burner. Whichever version you plump for, the quality is undeniable on this surefooted 12".
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: It's now been two decades since Gallic producer Joan-Mael Peneau first donned the Maelstrom alias for the very first time. He's been in particularly fine form of late, offering up essential EPs on Cultivated Electronics, Central Processing Unit and Private Persons. Here he makes his debut on Craigie Knowes' hard-wired techno and electro offshoot C-Know-Evil with a formidably tough two-track offering. A-side "Spasm" is a riotous fusion of metallic percussion hits, high-octane electro drums, doom-laden acid lines and bass so raw and intense it was probably made in Scotland from girders. He opts for an even more doom-laden techno sound on fizzing flipside "Turbulence", wrapping increasingly intense electronic motifs around a surging rhythm track.
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: Brand new Detroit duo Man VS Indian Man comprises Ian Finkelstein and Even Haywood. Complementing each other's strengths, the pair make the perfect match as they pour out thick viscously barbed future soul in thick gooey doses; both "Ice Accountant" and "Cloud Nine" are wrapped in foggy layers of sleepy textures as the falsetto vocals and lean instrumentation cut through with dreamy delight. Remixes from the legendary Egyptian Lover (cosmic electro), fellow Detroitian Pontchartain (filtered disco house) and Brazilian Table Daddy (lolloping dream tech).
Manuk & Oli Silva - "Nevermind The Crispies" (5:55)
Eliaz - "Verdico" (7:06)
Meta 4 - "Urnammu" (7:45)
Jorge Gamarra - "Dypac" (5:42)
Review: There's a certain air of buy-on-sight mystique around EYA Records, somewhere between the low-key presentation of the music and the cult artists they're calling on to realise their particular vision of deviant dancefloor business. This is unabashed freaky party tackle, from Manuk & Oli Silva's delirious B-movie jack track "Nevermind The Crispies" to the uneasy electro snarl of "Verdico". Meta 4 has equally nightmarish moods to share on the graveyard acid of "Urnammu" and Jorge Gamarra seals the deal with the schlocky braindance horror of "Dypac". It's the kind of record that you'll be reaching for come Halloween, trust.
Review: Six Ponts refers to the six bridges that connect the city of Nantes to its isle. A creative and forward-looking district where 44 Tours is located. The label presents its inaugural release with a gathering of local talents, who are all said to have met and become friends at the record shop - a place where they conversed about the wax imports at the shop, over beers on breezy afternoons. On the A side we have Marino with the breakneck and hyperaware electro groove of "Kyoto Plage" which despite its ferocious tempo is just sublime and evocative. On the flip, Mirouf goes for something more of an organic feeling on the breaks driven, almost drum & bass "Joyride", while Skrimz's "Pom'Pom" hears the drummer get wicked, until a futuristic bass and bleeps kick in.
Review: The tenth missive on Vortex Traks is full to bursting with tasty treats. As with many of the Berlin-based imprint's previous outings, it's a multi-artist affair. Marshall Applewhite kicks things off via the deep electro/dusty IDM fusion of "Better Do Not", where eight-bit electronics and undulating acid-style motifs rise above a crunchy beat, before Forehard attempts to batter dancefloors into submission via the full-throttle, Klakson-style Rotterdam electro filth of "Rhythm Device". Das Ding invites us to party in deep space via the high-tempo beats and swirling, some would say psychedelic electronics of "Analog Devices", before VCS2600 serves up some seriously punchy, acid-fired electro ("Modular Device").
Review: Gird yourselves; starting from this month and running through until December, Dutch institution Dekmantel are celebrating a decade in the game with a series of monthly 12"s featuring a seriously all-star cast from Tony Allen to Villalobos. It starts right here as legendary innovative composer Gigi Masin opens with the lilting, delicate "Maja", Vakula brings us down from the clouds and back to the future with the body-jacking ghetto bump of "Robot Fuck The System" while Flugel blows the finale horn with the swampy Amazonian harmonic trip-out "Mice On Stick". This is the start of something very special.
Review: German producer Martin Matiske has been sporadic in his appearances dating back to 2002, but when he releases a record he makes it count. Following previous turns on International Deejay Gigolo and Stilleben, he now brings his fulsome electro sound to Vivod sounding fresher than ever. "Die Nibelungen" draws on a fine tradition of German electronica while using that mechanical melancholy you might find in a Bochum Welt track. "Bayerischer Wald" is a cheery synth-pop celebration, and "Virtuosic Mechanic" is a more snappy club track with plenty of Bunker-friendly darkness packed into its bones. "Kammermusik" cools things down with a lovely meander through plaintive bleep lines and plastic synth leads.
Review: Despite being active for just seven years during the 1980s, Dutch new wave band Mekanik Kommando released a wealth of raw, off-kilter and intergalactic material. 1982's "Dancing Elephants" EP, which here gets the reissue treatment from Dark Entries, remains one of their finest moments, largely because it fuses crunchy, electro-influenced beats and Kraftwerk style computer bleeps with sassy new wave vocals, nods to synth-pop and the low-slung basslines and fuzzy guitars of post-punk rock. Our picks include the alien post-punk pop of "Beauty Of Language", the out-there, delay-laden, extra-terrestrial weirdness of "Miss B" and the new wave electro-pop perfection of "Stop & Play".
Review: Finnish producer Mesak steps up on Orson following the previous killer entry from Carl Finlow, and he's got just as much electro firepower to dish out as the celebrated Silicon Scally. "Sata EP" kicks off with the dystopian ripples of "Ayran Meydan," which zips through nervy, strafing synths and nimble acid licks. "Dim Sun" brings a funkier style to the table, while "Kruisata" plunges into the aqueous depths of Detroit flavoured electro. Extended jam "Iskut" stretches out for eight body popping minutes of stern-faced robo funk to fully cut loose to - it's the perfect finishing move on an EP packed full of advanced electro excellence.
Review: EYA Records branch out with this crafty, wriggling slab of freaky techno diversions on new imprint Lonewolf. Meta4 twists all kinds of gnarly subversion out of "Four Body Centers," where the funk of foundational Detroit techno collides with the rampant machine messing of UK acid for stunning results. There's an eerie ghost train vibe hovering over Jorge Gamarra's "Pact", while "Langan" by Twophaseu drops a fresh UK twist on electro. Meta4 returns to bookend this ear-snagging EP with the equally catchy oddball trysts of "666blank", another devilishly deviant slice of underground party music for the ghoulish crew.
Review: For the second release on Futurepast, MGUN aka Manuel Gonzales offers a fresh take on his Detroit roots with three tracks that escape the usual categories. No two subsequent bars are identical, simultaneously reflecting and satisfying our curiosity. Gritty drums and panned-out synth sequences in "The Nerve" result in a suspenseful yet unmistakably energizing step. "Snap In", with its funky, reverb-soaked highs and hefty breakbeat, demonstrates MGUN's talent for folding in his electro and hip-hop influences. "Intent" recalls a dreamy, vintage slideshow projector, misplaced memories lining up in a heartfelt procession. Each track taps into an elemental feeling within, fitting well into Futurepast's time-traveling vision.
Review: Distant Worlds is a label going from strength to strength as it carries the work of underground deep techno producers celebrating that hopelessly romantic strain of UK machine music that emanated out of labels like B12 and Pure Plastic. Mihail P makes a return to the label after last year's "Multiverse EP", channeling all the right moves for a blissful trip into imagined sci-fi vistas fuelled by the box jam funk of electro and the synapse-tickling soundscapes of Tangerine Dream et al. From the dreamy delights of "Kessel Run" to the downtempo groove of "Sons Of October", this is beautifully executed music that champions electronic music with real heart and soul.
Review: Mirror Box is the solo analog synth project of Dallas musician Sean Kirkpatrick. With an extensive resume that includes keyboard duties for Kill Rock Stars' 00s noise rock band The Paper Chase as well as his concurrent projects, dark post-punk-synth-rockers Nervous Curtains and darkwave duo Little Beards, Mirror Box is Kirkpatrick's first foray into the purely electronic realm. Blending together elements of Giallo moodiness, dub texture, techno propulsion, a passing nod to your favorite wave music, and a flare for the kosmiche, Mirror Box' debut release, Minimal Compliance EP, is a tour de force of the veteran musician's exploration of a wide range of influences and experience.
Review: Matt Cheon & Co. unearth yet more rare gems from old school electro fiends Caroline Herve & Michael Amato here, on the second volume of Lost Trax. As story has it, after the French duo met at a rave in their native Grenoble in the early '90s, they made music heavily influenced by 80s synth, post-punk and Italo disco. Bored by the techno scene at the time, they set out out to lighten the serious tone and bring a campy sexiness to the dour musical landscape. From the sexy, four-to-the-floor EBM of "Upstart", the Drexciyan style "Love On" with its aquatic bass assault, or the classic Miss Kittin & The Hacker sound of old on the monochromatic" The Building" featuring the former's trademark deadpan vocal delivery.
Review: It's been some six years since Caroline "Miss Kittin" Herve and Michel "The Hacker" Amato last delivered fresh material together. While we await further news of their long-mooted comeback, there's this tasty EP of previously unheard archive material to enjoy. Made up of tracks recorded between 1997 and '99 - when their production partnership was in its' infancy - The Lost Tracks Volume 1 contains a number of fuzzy, stylish, floor-friendly bangers, from the S&M-themed madness of opener "Leather Forever" and stripped-back electro gem "Nightlife" (a tribute to Berlin clubs of the period, apparently), to the high-tempo acid-loaded freakishness of "Loving The Alien". Top-notch sleaze.
Review: Skip Intro sees Leipzig artist Mix Mup return to The Trilogy Tapes having scored one of the best releases on Will Bankhead's label so far with that KM/MM LP alongside friend and confidant Kassem Mosse. Though closely associated with the Workshop man, Mix Mup has really developed his own style over the course of the past decade of releases and Skip Intro might be his best work yet. His is a subtle touch; see the manner in which Mix Mup teases an Asian melodic refrain out of nowhere to dominate the title track. Both "Sequoflec" and "IE" are the kind of drum tracks you'll hear Ben UFO slip into a set and wonder for ages what they are, whilst the midi sax on "Curtain Scene" makes it sound like a hollowed out remix of Pender Street Steppers jam "Love Theme (Angelo)".
Review: First dropped in 1985, over thirty years ago, "No UFO's" paved the way for Detroit to unleash the beast we know refer to as 'techno', to the rest of the planet. Merging everything the Juan Atkins had heard through his adolescent years, from electro to funk and krautrock, his first outing as Model 500 will never grow old. Thus new reissue drops both the vocal and the instrumental, which are equally powerful on the floor. The bonus points come from the remixes: Detroit's own Moodymann makes his debut for Metroplex with a wonky, broken tech-house stormer charged by the original's bass, and sexified with the help of some blazing new sub-vocals from the master of funk; Luciano makes a surprise addition to the pack, dropping an ultra-sleek, minimalistic house mix that will lead this record being in the hands of thousands of different DJs across the globe. Big-dawg business.
Review: Fuzzy lo-fi electronics with a strict hardware/analogue focus courtesy of UK producer Polly Moneaux on local imprint Let's Go Swimming. The London label have been causing quite a stir as of late, not just for their respectful reference to the late/great Arthur Russell, but also for their interesting line ups at their parties at Stoke Newington's Waiting Room. The lush ambient opener "Out The Other" is the perfect introduction to the stomping and fuzzed out "Wet On The Wheel". There is quite a bit of variety on here; the noisy industrial/experimental cut "Send In The Drones" cleanses the audio palette to make way for the deep electro jam "Lunch With The Girls" until the lovely closer "This Into That" provides a nice contrast.
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".
Rawmance - "Mondonotte, La Mattina Dopo" (Security re-drums) (3:30)
Review: La Beaute Du Negatif's fourth multi-artist EP arrives with little fanfare or fuss. Instead, the Rome-based label has decided to simply offer-up the EP and let us come to our own conclusions. For what it's worth, ours is that it's well worth checking - especially Monomorph's blissful, acid-flecked IDM opener "Rystal", which previously appeared on a hard-to-find CD way back in 1996. There are plenty of highlights elsewhere across the EP, though. Head first for the sparse, spacey cheeriness of Brainwaltzera's "Phos Harbinger", before getting your ears around the ambient jungle-techno brilliance of "Opener" by The Jaffa Kid. This is followed on side B by the shuffling, sun-kissed downtempo grooves of SSIEGE's "Sogno In BB" and a drowsy, mind-altering chunk of late 90s Warp Records style electronica by Rawmance.
Review: Helena Hauff's Return To Disorder label plunges once more into the grimy underworld of electro and wave music, this time guided by dungeon dweller Morah who debuted on the label in 2015 and has since gone on to great things via Lux Rec, Berceuse Heroique, brokntoys and more. "I Saw, Strained Her Eyes Peering Into The Gloom" is a bittersweet dance with distortion as disheveled as it is catchy, while "Dance When Lights Off" pushes even further into the red with scintillating results. "Against Your Beloved" sounds positively shimmering by comparison, even if on its own it's still a truly dirty slice of jacked up electro. "One Shade The Less, One Ray The More" is a strong closing bout that draws from a similar sound bank and applies it to a more techno-minded structure.