Review: While the name may be new, A New Line (Related) is supposedly the work of an already established musician, although Kimochi was never a label that cared about hype. The music stands just fine on its own, digging into the kind of dusty and dusky house and techno formations that the label has forged its hand-sprayed identity on. There's plenty of ambient techno twirls to be enjoyed on the likes of "Dancing On Soft Borders", while the beats melt away entirely on "After A Short Illness" and grandiose EP closer "RIYL Failures". Once again Kimochi comes up with the kind of meaningful variations on the 4/4 framework that keep our record bags full and our souls enriched.
Review: French electronic legend Sebastien Devaud returns as Agoria, on his always impressive Sapiens imprint with new single "Remedy" taken from his latest album entitled "Drift". Here we are treated to two wonderful remixes, both blessed with the French touch. Emmanuel 'Manoo' Kossi takes the A side with an emotive and electrifying hi-tech soul rendition while on the flip, legends Cassius make a triumphant return to production by taking the track into deeper and sexier sonic territory.
Review: Helena is a record label based in Porto run by Goncalo (808). Limited vinyl only releases thus far have come courtesy of Module Werk, Aleks and Ephemeral and it is now over to one Altitude who, to those that know: is none other than Torontonian legend Matt Thibideau, who since the late '90s has been expertly executing dub techno experiments via his Blue Recordings imprint in addition to appearances on Daniel Bell's 7th City and more recently the promising Assemble Music: also from Portugal. A side cut "Transforming" has razor sharp precision in everything from the bass to those super tight dub chords and rhythms: shows the man is still as on-point as ever. Glacial aesthetics prevail well into the B side, with the deep and cavernous journey "Touch Sensor" and its immersive tones which gently scream 'welcome to the North' much in the same vein of Rod Modell or Brian Kage.
Review: The legendary Dutch producer Martijn Hoogendijk aka Alden Tyrell (of Clone Records fame) teams up here for some main room bangers with Berlin based American Kevin McHugh aka Ambivalent: who has had a productive past decade recording for such respected imprints as m_nus, Ovum Recordings and Kompakt in addition to running his Delft and Valence imprints - where he records as acid expert LA-4A. The Detente EP brings the furious warehouse style bounce of the title track (featuring some relentless drum work!), the dusty and greyscale dub techno workout of "Dutchless" and the totally heads down and strobe-lit affair of "Wallfall" that is reminiscent of Jell Mills seminal Waveform Transmissions series.
Review: Techno heads with an appreciation of forgotten and almost-lost gems will be happy with this one. Mark Ambrose's 'Dimensions' first saw the light of day on Steve O'Sullivan's Mosaic way, way back in 1997, and here is finally remastered for the modern world. And what a treat it is. A shining example of just how compelling, addictive and inescapable tracks can be without needing to be particularly hard, those looking for adjectives will find them in the likes of tough, solid and crisp. The four tracks all follow a similar trajectory, deep but purposeful dancefloor stuff where sub bass rules and alien noises become warbling hooks- not leat on 'Cable Talk'. Those looking to stomp in the dark may find 'Signs 'N' Lights' is the go-to, 'Photo Funk' is pure darkroom mechanical groove and 'Bassoon' a sharp tech builder.
Ed Ed & Petja Virikko - "Sundroina" (feat Jinadu - Jimi Jules remix) (7:18)
Review: Zurich based DJ and producer Jimi Jules is one of the most promising upcoming artists within the international underground. With previous releases on top labels like Superfriends, Cocoon and local imprint Zukunft - he tops all that by being picked as selector for esteemed Berlin institution Watergate's 24th mix album. Here we get treated to a few exclusives from the mix on special vinyl format: on the first side we have Jules & Jesaya's +4 BPM Update of Ame's "119 BPM", there's also his collaboration with Domenico Ferrari on the sleazy lo-slung pop of "Parkuhr". On the flip, we soon discover its almost entirely a Jimi Jules affair (naturlich!) with his remix of Swiss/German duo Egopusher's "Flake" (venturing into truly sublime territory) and the dreamy and bittersweet tones of Ed Ed & Petja Virikko's "Sundroina" (feat Jinadu).
Review: When Cristi Cons and Vlad Caia launched the Amphia label way back in 2011, they talked about creating "a world with no boundaries" and "an infinite ocean of musical shapes and ideas". It's the sort of wide-ranging, open-ended remit that seems tailor made for Amorf, an "experimental live techno" trio whose fluid and otherworldly tracks are deliciously hard to pigeonhole. For proof, check "Recall", the A-side to their second Amphia outing. Built on loose and languid tech-house drums and a similarly undulating bassline, the cut bobs and weaves through waves of restless piano motifs, deep space chords and out-there electronics. Further evidence of the threesome's hybrid style arrives via "Momentum", where poignant electric piano motifs and melancholic deep house chords envelop a crunchy, minimalist rhythm track.
Review: The mysterious (possibly German) producer Aprapta returns on Offenbach based imprint Movida with some quirky microhouse that will flip your mind and shake your ass at the same time. There really is something in the water in the Frankfurt Main-Rhine area which has created another generation of producers doing great things: such as Hardworksoftdrink and Traffic. On the A side we have the subtle and hypnotic "Mama D" awash in alien voices, lean rhythm arrangements and rubbery bass tones which you could imagine hearing at 09:00 at Robert Johnson next Sunday morning. On the flip, we have the groove reduction of "Get The Rhytm" and this one is really psychedelic mini-funk in a Perlon kind of way: basic trance induction. This follows up some great releases on Baile Musik, Matcha Music and of course his own Aprapta Music imprint.
Review: Usually one half of Dubsons, Vlad Arapasu has gone on to produce some of his best music since he started flying solo a couple of years ago. Following up last year's appearance on Priku's Atipic (one of the 2018's highlights) he's back with the fifth edition for the label's Lab series. Arapasu goes deeper into the night in more abstract fashion for these three moody backroom dubs. From the rolling hi-octane groove of "Basic Moves" which is aimed squarely at Tent 3 at this year's edition of Sunwaves, to the moody and glacial dub techno workout of "Vandab" and the moody yet sultry afterhours groove of "Pitch Mode".