Review: In the info sheet heralding the release of his second studio album, "Hands Rest", German experimentalist Aparde states his desire to fuse "the essence of the Berlin club scene" and "dive deep into personal emotions" via the medium of avant-garde pop. You can judge whether he's achieved that, but from where we're sat Aaparde has done a pretty good job at hitting those aims. Rhythmically and sonically there are nods towards the city's techno scene (see the late night throb of "Layers"), but these aspects often act as background textures in support of the artist's ambient-pop electronics, early morning soundscapes, atmospheric chords and yearning, soft-touch vocals. It's a brilliant blend.
Review: Christian Loffler has been producing pensive, cinematic electronic soundscapes for a long time now. 10 years since his first EP landed, the German producer presents his third studio album on his own Ki Records label. Once again Loffler has continued to grow through the album recording process, embracing more adventurous textural and sound design practices whilst also enriching his songwriting chops. The vocal turns from Josephine Philip and Mohna help deepen the seductive melancholy of his compositions, but even in its instrumental moments the pensive synth lines sing their own heartfelt messages. If you're a fan of Jon Hopkins, Nathan Fake and other such emotionally charged electronica artists, you won't want to miss this album.