Review: Famously, Avalon Emerson is a woman of many talents who divides her time between DJing, fashion photography, music production and software engineering. Given this hectic schedule, it's perhaps unsurprising that this second single for Whities marks her first musical output for 18 months. As the Japan-themed artwork hints, there's more than a little Far Eastern influence on lead cut "One More Fluorescent Rush", a deliciously melodious and intoxicating techno bubbler rich in rising and falling synthesizer lines, eyes-closed motifs and multi-coloured electronics. You'll find occasional melodic hints of the same inspiration on weirder, wonkier and heavier flipside "Finally Some Common Ground", a fizzing number rich in broken techno rhythms and densely layered percussion hits.
Review: The sixth release on Nic Tasker's hyped Whities imprint comes from the similarly fast-rising techno starlet Avalon Emerson. A-side "Frontier" sees her in fine form, contrasting a heavy, arpeggio techno bassline with the kind of exotic, winding, Far East melodies that you'd expect to find on a vintage Japanese deep house record. While suitably heavy, it's also a thing of great beauty. This approach continues on "2000 Species Of Cactii", where ambient piano riffs and languid electronic flourishes wrap themselves around a crunchy, broken techno groove. "The Frontier (High Desert Synthapella)", a handy DJ tool that doubles as an intoxicating chunk of blissful synthesizer ambience, completes a fine EP.
Review: Former 50Weapons regular Bambounou (real name Jeremy Guindo-Zegiestowski) was last seen dishing up Afro-fired tribal techno on Disk last summer. Here he joins the growing roster of top talents signed to Nic Tasker's effervescent Whities label. All three tracks on offer hit the spot, with pulsing A-side "Temple" - an alluring mixture of drum machine polyrhythms, metallic electronic melodies and glitchy electronics - beautifully setting the tone for what's to come. "Tour" is an arguably more out-there - and certainly weightier - chunk of late night broken techno, while "Seize-Sept" sees the Parisian producer layering bleeping melodies over a spaced-out deep techno groove.
Laksa - "It Feels Like I've Been Here Before" (7:00)
Review: More mighty fine goodness on Whites' ongoing "Blue" series of 12" singles. The A-side boasts a debut from "E-Talking", a new alias from one half of French machine music mavericks Nummer. "Telephone Rose" is crusty, intense and wonderfully distorted, with the Gallic producer slowly ratcheting up the tension before unleashing pulverizing sub-bass, restless drum machine handclaps and all manner of druggy, mind-altering spoken word snippets. Laksa's flipside cut "It Feels Like I've Been Here Before" feels deeper and looser in comparison, though there's still plenty of dancefloor weight behind the track's tasty combination of loose-limbed, pitched-down jungle breaks, booming sub-bass and sparkling, high register electronics.
Review: Since bringing their brand of "avant-techno" insanity to Timedance last autumn, Giant Swan has become one of the most talked-about twosomes in electronic music. This outing on Whities has been getting a lot of heat, and it's easy to see why. Opener "Pax Britannica", for example, is a near perfect fusion of doom-laden, punkish paranoia, skewed techno-punk and Livity Sound style broken techno percussion, while "Ianah" is rubbery redlined techno-punk of the highest order. There's no letting up on the B-side, either, where "The Plaque" sees the West Country misfits douse distorted, speaker-rattling techno beats in torrents of razor-sharp fuzz-bass, heavily processed vocal screams and oodles of electronic noise.
Review: Second up on Young Turks offshoot Whities is UK techno artist Joe 'Kowton' Cowton, whose sonic horizons seem to have expanded since he made the move to London from Bristol. The Livity Sound man touches on quite a few bases across the three tracks. While his usual heavy rhythms, guttural percussion and dense swing are well represented - particularly on the throbbing "Doing Nothing" and "Bits & Pieces", which also features some heavenly but icy chords - the real standout is lead cut "Glock & Roll". Here, the Cumbrian makes the most of a melodious glockenspiel line, lacing it over bouncy, Afro-influenced percussion and low-register sub. It's a far picturesque sound than we've come to expect, but is nevertheless superb.
Review: Rising Scottish studiosmith Lanark Artefax returns to Tasker's Whities with four more essential abstract compositions. "Flickering Debris" is a raw game of contrasts as soft chords and harmonies are juxtaposed by shattered and alarming designs, "Touch Absence" is a brittle break electro daydream, "Hyphen To Splice" splits the technoid atom with disarming affect while "Voices Near The Hypnocentre" brings us back down to earth with more harmonic hazy warmth. Blink and you'll miss it.
Review: Five years on from the label's first 12", Whities has finally decided to offer up an album. It comes from Leif, an artist whose output has consistently been getting deeper and more downtempo the longer his career has progressed. "Loom Dream" is a fine set, with the Freerotation regular effortlessly mixing and matching gentle off-kilter rhythms, drowsy ambient chords, claustrophobic aural textures, bubbly melodies and fluid, effervescent electronics. There's much to admire across the six tracks with highlights including the humid, glassy-eyed tropical bliss of "Myrtus", the hypnotizing, Steve Reich style marimba minimalism of "Rosa" and the slow techno creep of "Borago".
Review: Since launching last year, Young Turks offshoot Whities has provided listeners with high quality material from Terron and Kowton. For the imprint's fourth release, they've turned to Minor Science, whose 2014 debut on The Trilogy Tapes, Noble Gas, sat somewhere between experimental deep house and shady techno. "Closing Acts" kicks off proceedings, with nagging bleeps, curiously jazzy chords and minor-key electronics tumbling over and undulating, off-kilter groove. Flip for "Glamour", an outer-space deep techno odyssey built around fizzing, alien electronics, spitting drum machine rhythms and sparse, otherworldly melodies. It's this ghostly excursion that stands out, despite the best efforts of the equally impressive A-side.
Review: Angus Finlayson made his Minor Science debut back in 2014, delivering a robust EP of experimental house and techno for The Trilogy Tapes. Here, he returns to the Whities imprint he first graced last year. There's something undeniably British about A-side "Naturally Spineless", which seems to distil three decades of UK-made, bass-heavy electronic music - the alien electronics of bleep techno, the surging low-end wobble of dubstep, and the broken techno dynamics of Hessle Audio - before dropping into the kind of grandiose, loved-up breakdown that should be capable of sending shivers down the spine of all but the most miserable of listeners.
Review: Some two years on from debuting with the Acid Beth 12" for Young Turks, London producer and carpenter Quirke resurfaces for the latest single from Nic Tasker's Whities label. Once you get past the rather sumptuous sleeve art for Whities 007, Josh Quirke has delivered a really intriguing triplet of productions here. The Beatrice Dillon-approved "Cylinders" can best be described as star gazing trance music shorn of beats (weightless trance anyone?) whilst "Cope" is a brief exercise in scratchy beat design that will appeal to fans of Bruce's "Relevant Again." Quirke saves the best till last with the snapping "Sa 45 Circles" which is reminiscent of Selected Ambient Works-era Aphex Twin.
Review: Fresh Young Turks sub label Whities follows up great releases by Terron and Minor Science with a new one by Reckonwrong from Amsterdam, who has previously released on Pinkman. It's an oddball house affair here, no doubt about that, but intriguing all the same. Take first track "Luscious Lips" for instance, with its broken beat that dances alongside a mental synth harpsichord solo, spiralling out of control, only to leave the rhythm to carry on but with a gnarly sub bass. "Magical Journey" gets on an eighties vibe, capturing drunken late night guitar and synth solos over a relentless and messy beat. On the flip "Radio Magic Tricks" gets more sensible; a dark and brooding groove with odd synth noodlings and tight rhythm section but finally "Tucked Away" is a beatless affair with synth horns sounding off all over the place over dark strings. Rather interesting stuff!
Review: Coby Sey's monthly NTS show has long been essential listening for those with a passion for skewed hip-hop, experimental electronica and off-kilter ambience. Last year saw him successfully step into music production for the first time with an industrial-tinged 7" of left-of-centre sonic experiments. This EP for Whities is even more impressive, and features a range of tracks that variously draw influence from glitch-heavy electronica, glacial soundscapes, offbeat techno and the kind of hazy downtempo fare that's hard to pin down. It's a hugely entertaining collection that belies its' creator's relative lack of production experience, suggesting the Londoner - whose spoken word vocals appear throughout - could be a name to watch in the years to come.
Review: Next up on Whities' new Blue series are a couple of terrific offerings. On the A side is SMX: a duo comprised of Max O'Brien and Sam Purcell, who serve up the hypnotic and emotive techno journey "Sleep". It's a reduced take on the early '90s bleep techno sound that is said to have been a recorded live jam (circa 2015) and 'explores themes of discordance and euphoria'. On the flip, Berlin based Bristolian Daniel Koehler, who has previously displayed his contorted takes on techno via labels such as Die Orakel and Diagonal - serves up the frantic rave deconstruction of "Thief" which is jam packed full of breakneck rhythms, snarling sub bass exploitations and wonky synth stabs.
Review: Nic Tasker's Whities imprint touches down this week with the return of Terron to the young label, the artists who started off the festivities not too long ago with his debut EP. The A-side, "No 29 Pareto 20/80" is reminiscent of Levon Vincent's output on Deconstruct, where massive layers of delay and reverb clash to form spectral waves of sound, whereas "No 33.1 The Game's Ouverture" winds the machines down to form a cinematic soundscape with an industrial edge. The beats return on the foggy and utterly dubbed-out "No 33.2 Hawk (Part I)", and "No 34 Dove (Part II)" heads further down the rabbit hole thanks to an eerie sci-fi bassline and a whole load of FX trickery. Strong stuff from the young London label!
Review: Whities is the new offshoot label of Young Turks (itself connected to XL Recordings), which has been started as an outlet dedicated to 'forward-thinking club music' with NTS resident and Boiler Room host Nic Tasker at the helm. The label's first release comes from the unheralded duo Terron, who deliver two cuts of dark, idiosyncratic techno music. "No 17 Governing" is the kind of thing you'd get if you combined Shed with John Talabot, a percussive swung deep house track with a touch of dub techno influence. In its cavernous chords. "No 3 Proposition" is a much grittier beast, combining elements of contemporary techno with early Detroit minimal to create something genuinely fresh. A strong start for the imprint indeed.
Review: For the third volume in the label's ongoing "Blue" series of split EPs, Whities boss Nic Tasker has recruited two rising stars: De School resident and Nous'Klaer regular Upsammy and Cong Burn alumnus BFTT. It's the former who tops and tails the EP, first brilliantly mangling electro, broken techno and bass-heavy UK techno on mutant stepper "Vacate or Annihilate", before later returning with the blissful, far-sighted electronics and rubbery machine drums of "Warm Puddles". In between, BFTT serves up two tasty treats: a suitably out-there chunk of intergalactic techno (the polyrhythmic brilliance of "Kueen") and a more melancholic, dystopian take on early morning techno hypnotism.
Review: London based producer Jules Venturini is up next for Whities, following up great releases by Avalon Emerson and Lanark Artefax. On the label's 14th edition, Venturini follows up some sludgy lo-fi techno/house derivatives on Polish label Brutaz with some more similarly rusty and dust covered aesthetics. Beginning with the 12 minute epic "Flying Kites" which channels early '90s British bleep IDM, until that fast hitting groove hits at just the right time towards the end. Lush ambient piece "Keep Me Close" works as an effective intermission of sorts on this grainy and saturated dream state captured to VHS. Finally, Venturini displays a more aggressive side as seen on his previous release with the gnarly and slow burning industrial electronics of "Trace Of Smoke".