Review: Back in stock. My word! This amazing, ice cool four track excursion into dark ambience and swirling spooky minimalism is at long last with us again. "Näkinkenkä (Shell)" sounds like early electro-acoustic droneage ala Charlemagne Palestine but with a 21st century edge - absolutely lush. "Suomot (Scales)" is purest early Sähkö, amazing and weird like the finest slo-mo Richie Hawtin minimal throb filtered through Delia Derbyshire's Radiophonic Workshop wires, killer. "Viimeinen Monni (The Last Catfish)" is amazing - deep bass, Rhythm & Sound vibed background static, minimal melodic drops - too, too much. Lastly comes "Jään Alla (Beneath The Ice)" which is a perfectly formed classically influenced repetitive piece. An amazing end to an amazing 12", buy or die.
Review: Slowly but surely Voodoo Down has built up a reputation as a deep house label you can trust. Its biggest release thus far was last year's Unstable Phenomenon EP by October (featuring a Joey Anderson remix), while other 12"s have featured STL Anton Zap and L'estasi Dell'oro. Of the six records that Voodoo Down has released, the artist/entity 12 x 12 has featured on half, and now the label offers the enigmatic 12 x 12 their own solo release. All three tracks are experimentally edged with "Partial" the most out-there and broken down production, while "Typical Male Behaviour" sounds like the workings of a robotic forest and creepy crawlies that inhabit it. Lastly, the title track is synthy, sunny and spaced out. More original, dope jams from the Voodoo Down crew.
Review: Jochem Peteri's material under the NewWorldAquarium moniker has, in all honesty, kept the house and techno scene grounded over the years. So much so that the Dutchman's simple yet singular touch is still seen by many as the pinnacle of the last ten years of dance music resurgence, and it is difficult to think of anything he has put out that isn't memorable. He's here with his 154 alias this week, up on Boomkat's Ediitons imprint, with two ethereal slices of house bliss, tinted by a warm and peaceful ambient glow. "Wherever You Go" and "I Will Follow" are two sides of the same coin, the journey told in two separate chapters, where vast electornic soundscapes drive the tracks forwards; the beats, a placid collection of distant kicks, linger in mid-air magnificently. This is Ross 154.
Review: Nicolas Motte, Raphael Top Secret, and Antinote's head honcho Zaltan debut their 18 Rays project with this sublime little album and, although this might sound like we're heading into hyperboles, it is probably the best example of modern cold wave that we've heard over the last five years. "I Feel Rain" is a wonderful piece of music with a subtle hint of Joy Division's melancholic drone at the core of its vocals, while "The Empty Stairs" encapsulates everything that we love about downtempo. "Long Time Ago" meanders into open seas thanks to the outfit's solemn vocals and electric use of sparse and explorative guitars, which leaves the fluttering harmonics of "North West Plaza" to linger beautifully in their own ambient swing. Warmly recommended.
Review: French producer 1977 aka Matsa, delivers a bold and subtle blending of ambient textures, deep pads and raw rhythms perfectly mixed with some minimal sequences. In Brief, a fine and complete piece of electronic music, made with constant attention to detail. Starting out with the hauntingly emotive ambience of "Tkg" where sub bass pulsations lurk between the crackling of surface noise, pitch shifted vocals and transcendental chilling pads, then the dusty and emotive deep house of "Soso" which is informed equally by Fred P as it is by the likes of Lawrence. On the flip, there's the rather Fred P sounding "Mondat" which is the highlight a smoothly emotive deep house number while "Toine" gets dubbier and subterranean in a way that UntilMyHeartStops fans will appreciate.
Review: London label No More Dreams are back with more dry-as-a-bone techno reductions by Sweden's Axel Backman. This will appeal to fans of Waveform Transmissions era Jeff Mills (particularly on the savage and cyclical grind of "93") or classic Regis and Surgeon. Shadowy British duo Rezzett get onboard for a remix of "94" on the flip , where the Trilogy Tapes affiliated artists replace the gutsy tribal stomp of the original with a deep and slow burning rendition that slithers away beneath dense tape saturation and hiss -much like a vivid dream sequence captured to VHS. Bold stuff indeed. Tip!
Review: Seattle-based producer Chris Roman has been an active contributor to the international electro scene for well over a decade but has found renewed vigour since he began to operate under the 214 alias. A 2010 debut on Andrea Parker's Touchin Bass label introduced 214 and since then Roman has racked up releases for Car Crash Set, Harbour City Sorrow and its parent label Frustrated Funk. Ahead of a second 214 album due on Shipwrec, Roman lands back on Frustrated Funk for the Lyle At Dawn 12". Those electro fans who like their music to be a bit twisted and abstract will be all over this four tracker with the title cut and "Ektes" particular highlights. A fine precursor to Roman's upcoming album.
Review: Acido Records is rightfully gaining something of a cult following akin to the Sex Tags crew it is vaguely affiliated with, though the Berlin based label has its own defined aesthetic approach thanks to the stewardship of founder Dynamo Dreesen. In a week where the label serves up some excellent new produce from the Dresvn pairing of Dynamo Dreesen and SVN, Acido also slip out a second round of their Soundtracks For No Film series. Heavily conceptual in tone and execution, 291out largely contributes this time with a hefty six productions of outer spatial electronics which at times sound befitting of a contemporary Kafka screen adaptation and other times eminently suitable for the dancefloor ("Automobil Club Lugano" in particular) Do check the flip which has Sequencias contributor Healing Force Project excelling with the suitably named "Opium".
Review: Andrew Hogge's ESP Institute have enjoyed a fine 2013, issuing a range of music from Tambien, Pharaohs, Tornado Wallace and Shocks that have deftly widened the label's sonic parameters whilst very much retaining the overarching aesthetic approach the man known as Lovefingers has cultivated. A final release of 2013 sees yet another label debut and it's a new name to us here at Juno; 33-10-3402 is a code name for Nenad Markovic, an imaginative and limitless musician and producer from Belgrade, Serbia. The Mecanica 12" is apparently the first in a trilogy of "opium den and whorehouse inspired" releases planned with the label and the two tracks further demonstrate just how wide of the mark it is to brand ESP just another disco label. The title cut is an erratic, abstract exercise in cacophony, with Markovic treating a stuttering vocal and crazed drum programming to all manner of delay - no one would bat an eyelid if this came out on PAN. "Byot" meanwhile offers some soothing sanctity and is reminiscent of the excellent KWC 92 LP recently issued on LIES.
Review: The esteemed ESP Institute label overseen by digger extraordinaire Lovefingers seems to be right in the midst of a purple patch right now having just dropped excellent long players from Young Marco and the Blase duo of Secret Circuit and Suzanne Kraft. Ahead of exciting returns for Tambien and Tornado Wallace, ESP offer another sublime slice of electronic funk for the open minds out there from Nenad Markovic's 33 10 3402 project. This is the second installment of Markovic's Mecanica series and it's a sound we've personally some to associate with Beppe Loda's infamous mix tapes from the mid-80s cosmic scene in Northern Italy. Both tracks are heavily reminiscent of that era, where brash African drums meet intricate electronic manipulations and funky basslines. A beautiful crossing of post-punk, cold wave and funk. Sublime!
Review: Last year, it was unofficially announced that Serbian musical misfit Nenad Markovic (AKA the snappily-named 33.10.3402) had delivered an album to L.I.E.S. While we're still waiting for that set, this 12" marks the experimental techno and ambient producer's third EP for Ron Morelli's prolific imprint. He begins in predictably creepy, otherworldly fashion, effortlessly blending backwards percussion, snatched field recordings, heavy bass and ghostly electronics on epic A-side "100 Drone Radio Passive Scape". Things get a little more upbeat on B1 cut "No Decline A (121 Roland MC303), where manipulated, acid-style electronic lines rise and fall over a metronomic kick-drum. Meanwhile, Markovic's innate ability to turn experimental productions into atmospheric ambient classics is once again showcased on closing track "O Tom Protom ST".
Review: Nenad Markovic's four releases for ESP Institute were amongst the strongest releases on the label to date. Hopes, then, are naturally high for the Serbian's debut on Ron Morelli's L.I.E.S imprint. Opener "13" sees the Belgrade producer indulging his melancholic side, with bittersweet chords and mutant electronics wrapping themselves around a dense, Afro-influenced rhythm. "Mecanica Number 1" takes this new-found rhythmic funk into a more distorted, L.I.E.S-ready direction - think ricocheting hits, post-industrial textures and redlined rhythms - while "LVIV" sounds like the aural accompaniment to a druggy jog through a South American rainforest after dark.
Review: After completing a quadrilogy of Mecanica releases for ESP Institute inspired by "opium dens and whorehouses" earlier this year, Serbian artist Nenad Markovi? brings his 33 10 3402 project to Music From Memory offshoot Second Circle. If you indulged in anyone of those Mecanica 12"s for Andrew Hogge's label you will be all over this Bura EP with Markovic channelling similar depths of rhythm and texture across the four tracks. There's enough semblance of rhythm on display in cuts like the title track and the dubby machine funk of "Syg" to intrigue the more adventurous DJs out there whilst "P-Tok" could easily be mistaken for a forgotten Borft B side. A superb record.
Review: We're living in a unique time in history. Most of our planet has already been traversed and catalogued by people who have come before us. Earth, at least from a geographical perspective, has few discoveries left for us. The true unknown lies in the worlds beyond our own. It's likely that in the next few decades, humans will finally have the means to take our first tentative steps on the surface of our neighbouring planet, Mars. We will be the first known species that has both the knowledge and the desire to transcend our existence beyond our home planet and expand further into space. There may even be people alive today whose children will be born on a planet that isn't called Earth. For them, the concept of "home" has a very different meaning to our own. They will be Tomorrow's Explorers, redefining what it means to be human, whilst retaining the very thing that makes us so - our unquenchable thirst to explore the unknown.
"Tomorrow's Explorers is the follow-up to my 2015 EP 'Sine Dust'. Usually when I finish a record, I draw a line under it and move onto the next concept, with the explicit desire to do something different. After 'Sine Dust', I felt that there was more of a story to tell. Space is a pretty big place! Whereas 'Sine Dust' was a 100% synthesiser-based record, 'Tomorrow's Explorers' expands the sound gamut considerably, introducing heavy string-based sections, that work alongside the synths and pads to create expansive, enveloping walls of sound. This culminates in the 13 minute title track, which I feel is one of my most audibly rich, melodically complex tracks to date. Drawing influence from every other record I've made, whilst taking the sound to new and unfamiliar places, 'Tomorrow's Explorers' is sure to please fans both old and new. The endless themes of space have been explored countless times by artists in the past. It's a limitless source of inspiration for many of us and always a joy to discover. As usual, I hope you enjoy where it takes you." -36
Review: AVN #011 sees Shifted and Ventress' Avian label look to the USA for the first time, as it taps up New York producer Shaun O'Sullivan for a six-track EP under his new 400PPM alias. O'Sullivan already has a deep knowledge of techno developed over a broad range of musical projects as anyone who has heard his excellent releases for The Corner and L.I.E.S. will attest. Bookended by two stark explorations into noise, the EP is joined by four solid techno productions which all marry the hard-hitting industrial sounds of pioneers like Adam X together with the rolling percussion and impressive sound design of the Berghain school of Dettmann and Klock. The off-kilter syncopations and metallic clutter of "Monoculture" is a particular highlight in what is another essential 12" from Avian.
Review: Having recently devoted more of his time to the breezy, melodious bliss of the D.K project, Dang Khoa-Chau once again dons the 45 ACP alias for a more downbeat E.P on L.I.E.S. It's arguably far more accessible than his previous work for the label under the now familiar moniker, but still pleasingly left-of-centre. There's much to admire throughout, from the poignant melodies, drifting keys and spaced-out drums of "Hang In There", and Marimba-laden deep space techno of "Smoked Out", to the clarinet-laden ambient textures of bittersweet closer "Graveyard Shift". While opener "Slick Response" - a bubbling, ear-pleasing chunk of metronomic techno - feels a little more positive, it's still largely melancholic in tone.
Review: The sixth issue from Jealous God, and the first of what promises to be another year of intrigue for the label, pairs up visual director Juan Mendez with 51717, aka New York artist Lili Schulder. Any fans of Schulder's 51717 cassette for Opal Tapes or her Shadowlust collaboration with Svengalisghost will be excited by the prospect of some new music committed to wax and she's on wonderfully abstract form here. Listening to opening track "The Glove" is an experience similar to being slowly covered by a viscous liquid to the point of suffocation, with her barely audible spoken word delivery only adding to the sense of foreboding. Complementing this, 51717 provides two shorter but equally striking compositions with "Regard" especially chilling. It's a mood that seeps into the two Silent Servant productions with "Severed Union" ripe mixtape opener material. Do check the mix CD from Surface Tension pair Nihar Bahall & Jason Polastri too!
Review: Mark Phillips and Rob Lawrence made some of the heaviest industrial music during the 80's, and certainly some of the best the UK has seen, under the name 5X0D. This 1982 reissue was way beyond its time back then, bringing together the energy and cutting edge of techno and acid together with the chilling ambience of early synth music by the likes of Kraftwerk and the rest of the German 70's lineage. Take away the vocals and "Negativ Terminal Data" literally sounds like an early Chicago experimentation by the house legends of the day. It's certainly a recommended title and a highlight for this week's digging selection.