Review: Boom! Finally another reissue of Boards Of Canada's seminal Hi Scores LP from 1996! Along with the likes of Aphex Twin, LFO and Squarepusher, these guys have helped to define how we see electronic music today and this particular LP is arguably their most complete when it comes to the dancefloor. The title track is a twisted, floaty bindle of breaks and beats, but it doesn't end there. Tracks like "Nlogax" are inherently Detroitian in nature thanks to the bleepy drum machines inside, and all we can say is that if you haven't laid hands on this album yet, you shouldn't miss the opportunity to cop it now. It's still so relevant and contemporary, it hurts.
Review: After a break of almost a decade, one of Skam's most mysterious artists is back in action. Since debuting in 2001, North Manc Beds has steadfastly refused to reveal their identities, preferring instead to let their music stand on its own two feet. Helpfully, their standards remain high 18 years after they made their bow. Beginning with the dystopian, string-drenched dark ambient of "MoKo", the publicity-shy outfit saunters between off-kilter industrial rhythm tracks ("Jussbassoneandone"), murky IDM ("FRBounces") and creepy post-apocalyptic soundscapes (the odd field recordings, elongated tones and sparse beats of "Safebliss 53 Cond P455"). There's also a rather fine bonus remix in the shape of the Nabz & Cluff version of "Stelcore2", which sounds like a dancehall riddim conjured up by Autechre.
Review: Mark Broom and James Ruskin re-ignite as The Fear Ratio, with their third appearance on British IDM imprint Skam. Under this alias, the pair of techno figureheads explore styles outside of their usual techno trajectory - pushing their sonic repertoire into the realms of extreme electronics and UK derived splintered beat explorations. Featuring exclusive versions of tracks taken from their last album Refuge of A Twisted Soul, and made in preparation for their live sets. The industrial strength breaks of "GBA" can match anything by fellow brethren British Murder Boys, "Onefiveoooh" is as much hyperware as it is completely contorted, while the deep and atmospheric slow burner "Era" allows you a moment to come up for air.
Review: It's been a long time between drinks for Darrell "Bola" Fitton, a long serving IDM explorer who released five fabulous albums on Skam between 1998 and 2007. D E G, his first album in a decade, is a predictably beguiling and atmospheric affair. Beginning with the sumptuously spacey ambient sweep of "Fhorth", Fitton delivers a master class in hard-to-pigeonhole electronica. While some tracks are reminiscent of some of Autechre's more melodious moments (see "Herzzatzz" and the acid-flecked "Pelomen Vapour 2"), others draw influence from Rephlex style braindance (see the sharp synth riffs and bustling beats of "Landor 50X2"), spaced-out post-dubstep electronic folk ("Evensong") and ghostly, post-apocalyptic ambience ("Pelomen Vapour 3"). Throughout, it remains a hugely entertaining affair.