Review: Amphia co-founder Cristi Cons has been rather quiet of late, having previously impressed with a swathe of solo and collaborative EPs in early 2016. Here, the Romanian producer returns to action for the first time in 2017 via a rock solid collection of cuts, which come stretched across two weighty slabs of wax. As you might expect, all four tracks sit neatly into the now familiar Romanian tech-house style, which combines the crackling textures and production intricacy of minimal techno with the head-nodding shuffle of tech-house drum programming. Our highlight is probably super-odd closer "Mutual", which boasts some serious sub-bass and plenty of odd electronic noises, though the slightly more symphonic "Perceptual" is not far behind.
Review: David Koch, better known as Dewalta has gradually grown his Berlin-based Meander label into one of the most respected names in minimal techno, and production wise he has really hit his stride in recent years. Testament to this is his new double opus Lyra, with the second part being a collection of ambient productions that will launch the new Horizons sublabel. In Greek mythology, Lyra represents the Lyre of Orpheus, given to Apollo, which is said to be the first music instrument ever made. The dusty and understated techno reductions that he similarly explores with studio pal Mike Shannon are evident on the album, with highlights such as "Atralux" and "Myths". Things get fully cavernous and glacial on chilling dub techno journeys such as the title track, and broadening the album's groove diversity are deep, dreamy and ethereal numbers (well suited to the afterhours) such as the evocative closer "Cabinet Of Mirrors". One of 2019's most highly anticipated albums and worth the wait.
Review: Dewalta has been doing a fine job of curating his respected Meander imprint of late, with some stunning releases by the brightest stars in the minimal techno scene at present. Following up some quality EPs by newcomers like Sublee and Alci, we've got a stunning release by Italian virtuoso Christopher Ledger - who has carved his own distinct sonic path over the last few years with releases on Brouqade, Animae and Ada Kaleh. "Dark Moon EP" consolidates many of his sonic aesthetics on this 4-tracker: the moody and intoxicating title track with its UKG influence, to the straight up hypnotic tech house of "The Ninth Cloud" (which will mix in perfectly with most of the label's back catalogue), closing with the emotive breakbeat IDM of "Scarlet Heaven" which calls to mind a similar vibe as explored on his recent 'MPC Sketches' EP.
The Mole - "Set You Free" (Amorf interpretation) (8:36)
Valerie Temple Boyd - "Comb Over" (9:17)
The Mole - "Untitled Title X" (5:46)
Review: Dewalta's Meander imprint never fails to impress, with its careful curation of the finest minimal house and techno at present. Following up terrific releases by Swiss rising star Alci and Romania's Cristi Cons, the Berlin based imprint calls in veteran Canadian producer Colin de la Plante aka The Mole - for his take on subtle and understated groove music for the afterhours. While the deep and dubby bounce of "Set You Free" is decent enough in its original form, it's really all about Amorf's awe-inspiring rework where the aforementioned Cons teams up with right hand man Vlad Caia and Mischa Blanos for some drifting and hypnotic sonic sorcery. On the flip, there's a collaboration with de la Plante's Canadian homeboy Hreno (as Valerie Temple Boyd) on the tripped-out mini-funk of "Comb Over".
Review: As you'd expect given his impressive track record, there's much to enjoy on Stefan "Sublee" Nicu's first outing on Berlin label Meander. We're particularly enjoying A-side "Electica", a driving and hypnotic affair built around relentless percussion, a nagging and spacey synth hook and some seriously dreamy, otherworldly chords. Over on side B, opener "Continuum" sees the Romanian deliver a more typically atmospheric, glitchy and rolling tech-house shuffler, while EP closer "Irealis" subtly joins the dots between his techno-leaning house productions, the futurism of Detroit and the heartwarming, loved-up bliss of classic deep house. In other words, it's tech-house in the truest sense of the term.