Review: REPRESS ALERT: Stephen Lopkin made an impression when he landed on M>O>S, and now he follows up that star turn with this arch tribute to the archetypal techno sound on Distant Worlds. The "Imitator EP" may be brazen about its influences and intentions, but that's no disservice to the quality of the techno on offer here, which shows Lopkin to be incredibly well-read on the studio techniques of the past masters. From the Detroit stable to the UK torch-bearers, the reference points come thick and fast, but more telling is that fact these tracks fit right in with a lot of techno being produced at the moment. If you're feeling that classic 90s sound right now, then there's an embarrassment of riches to be enjoyed on this release.
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: Following sterling entries from Derek Carr, John Shima and Mihail P, Distant Worlds reaches out to Perseus Traxx for a demonstration of the emotional heft and utopian optimism that classic techno promises in its most compelling moments. This is relatable, familiar territory, but executed with finesse beyond the reach of the average producer. "A New Mystery" is bathed in swirling synth tones as elegant as they are moving, while "Simulacra" places a bold square wave riff front and centre for an impactful deep techno meditation. "Circumstantial" reframes the same rich melodic approach in a frantic chassis of snapping beats darting around the grid with playful glee, and then "The Map Is Not The Territory" applies the same logic to a mystical but rhythmically charged trip into the netherworld of machine soul.
Review: Erell Ranson has got some serious credentials behind him. The French producer has been releasing music for over ten years, landing on a range of underground labels that more recently include Barba Records, Subwax Excursions and Nightflight. On this release for UK label Distant Worlds, he matches the vibe of label mates John Shima, Derek Carr et al with a gorgeous set of emotive, yearning techno reflections that call to mind the early UK scene pioneered by B12, Baby Ford and others. This is thoughtful, heartfelt stuff that works both as distinctive dancefloor material as well as intimate home listening fare.
HOLOVR - "An Expanded State Of Consciousness" (5:35)
Review: Following marvelous turns from the likes of Perseus Traxx and Stephen Lopkin, Distant Worlds returns with this heavy slice of emotional synthwave from a strong cast of characters. Tagwell Woods heads up the pack with some lingering, poignant leads and tasteful 303 wriggles, before Castel drops some seriously wiggy trance-out sounds into the mix (all still very much on the sensitive tip, of course). Mihail P returns to Distant Worlds to open up the B-side with a slow, break fuelled funk and soul-stirring melancholy, before the always-excellent HOLOVR completes the set with a distinctive and delicate romp through finely sculpted electronica.