Review: Over the past couple of years, George Thompson AKA Black Merlin has made some of the most intoxicating, otherworldly electronic music around. The genius of his music lies in the way Thompson fixes creepy, paranoid aural textures and faintly haunting lead lines with rhythmic and instrumental elements inspired by trips to South East Asia and Oceania. He's at it again here, too, wrapping chugging polyrhythms and uncomfortable electronics in chiming, Steve Reich style melodic cycles on brilliant opener "DE 2.1". The track that follows, "PKL", is arguably even more unsettling in its hypnotic melodic approach, twinkling sound palette and mind-bending electronic shifts. Arguably best of all, though, is epic B-side "MM5", a sparse and loopy affair that could well be capable of inducing hallucinations in even the most sober of listeners.
Review: By his own productive standards, White and Giegling regular Edward (AKA Desert Sky man Gilles Aiken) has been pretty quiet of late. Shockingly, Shufflehead is his first EP since 2015. The title track, which stretches out for 11 minutes across the A-side, is an unusual concoction, to say the least. Built around loose, tropical percussion loops, layered field recordings, creepy noises and an off-kilter electronic bassline, it sits somewhere between humid minimal techno and some of Dominick Fenrow's more ambient moments. Flip for the EBM style electronic funk of "Dekta", and the Black Merlin/Berceuse Heroique style tribal wonkiness that is "Etern".
Review: 2016 marks two decades since Roman Flugel made his debut. It says much about the productive, genre-straddling German that he retains the desire to do things differently after all these years. Verscheibung is his first EP of 2016, and arrives for the rather fine Die Orakel label overseen by LARJ's Oliver Hafenbauer. The four tracks are split between stripped-back techno and druggy, off-piste ambient (the bubbly, post-party weirdness of closer "Track 4"). The most obviously floor-friendly cut opens the EP, with Flugel layering wonky, minor key melody lines over a dense but minimalist groove. Elsewhere, check the Villalobos-ish strangeness of "Track 3", and the druggy, pitched-down experimental throb of "Track 2".