Review: Ted Krisko and Eric Rickers hail from Detroit, and their distinctive brand of snappy, playful electro and techno has already landed them releases on KMS, Visionquest and others. Now they land on 20/20 Vision with the devilishly fun "One LFO," an unremitting acid jam shot through with crafty drum programming and enough robotic lubricant to get the rustiest joints greased up and moving. Fellow Detroit champs Luke Hess and Delano Smith shore up on the flip with classy remixes, Hess waving his dubby strains over the original in inimitable form and Smith taking things deep, smooth and just a little spooky.
Review: We're not sure who's behind the mysterious AC-EXP project, but the shadowy figure returns with more of that strange, submerged house music he's been tickling discerning DJs with over the past few years. After taking last year off, "1A" is a fine place to start things up again with a strutting jack track carrying acidic synth pulses that flirt with measured delay processing. It's a jam that sounds steamy and sinister all at once. "1B" maintains this restrained but seductive vibe with the slightly trancey throb of the lead synths pivoting around the snappy drums to great effect.
Review: Los Angeles based acid freaks Absurd return with another chapter in their Acid Test series. For their 13th controlled drug trial they have tapped label staples Achterbahn D'Amour - the duo comprised of Edit Piafra and Iron Curtis. This is their seventh release for the label thus far. With this project they express their love for the raw side of Chicago house, techno and EBM but specifically the sounds of the infamous little silver box. There's some deeply aquatic trance induction on offer, with for instance the dynamic opener "Balustrade", while they channel some Donato Dozzy (who has also appeared for the label previously) styled hypnotic techno on the sinister "Dehaveland" which also gets a respectful and more powerful VC-118A remix by the always impressive Samuel Van Dijk. Finally things end on a sublime electro tip with the emotive robotic movements displayed on "Don't Talk To Me".
Review: Brazilian label Allnite Music is back with another sure shot from label boss Apoena that locks into an immersive, head-nodding groove from the get go. "Retoside" is a perfect deep house burner, understated and yet utterly grooving where it counts. "Attachment" has a more sprightly, uplifting quality tailored to sunny situations, while "Hemp Restriction" takes things in an airy direction while rocking a solid 90s backbone. "The Sutilties" completes the set with a dreamy roller splash, with sweet leads and some chopped up vocal hooks that accent the innate funk of the track in fine style.
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: 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".
Review: Last spotted on Vakant, Detroit's man of mystery returns to D'Julz' Bass Culture after four years with three more rough, warm Motor City jams. "Castaway" takes off without so much as a compass. Heading towards the light with every added rhythmic element and cascading arpeggio, it drives into the horizon with equal measure of focus and looseness. "Doin It To Ya Baby" takes a subaquatic disco approach - the wide beats are wrapped in subtle slapbass twangs and dubby overlays while "Wara Coco" is a trippier twist into the shadows as raindrop textures trickle over a low and slow groove and incessant humanised loops. Remix-wise Orlando Voorn peppers the lead track with a little analogue funk and mild acid tweaking. After this castaway you'll never want to come home...
Review: Crew love is true love: Beste Freunde 05 is upon us and it's not likely to hang around. Once again it's a whole new collective of like-minded souls together for a fresh expedition. Anil Aras leads the mission with a rippling Detroitian understated number simply called "Track 1". He's flanked by Paolo Rocco and Moises. The former ups the temperature and gets us in a lather with the insistent pace of "Ill" while the latter sooths our souls and oils our joints with the slippery hypnosis session "Easy Beauty". Finally Esposito & Nadje run point with the heaviest tool of the trip - the bubbling technoid "HBP". Friends till the end!
Review: It would be fair to say that Claque Musique, a freshly minted outlet for tactile tech-house, skewed deep house and otherworldly techno, has hit the ground running. Their debut release is something of an epic, featuring eight tried-and-tested cuts stretched across two slabs of wax. There's plenty of subtle variety on show throughout - compare, for example, the hissing percussion, jaunty synth bass and trippy spoken word vocals of Carola Pisaturo's "Ganzirri" and the jazzy, dub-flecked deep house shuffle of "Cenere" by Calma - plus a swathe of notable highlights. This include the spacey machine funk of Analog Inside's wonderful "Deep Time '88" and the psychedelic acid madness of Iuly B's "Alien Acid", whose delay-laden percussion hits are particularly wonky.
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.