Review: EYA Records presents a double 12" of plush techno and house spanning styles, giving four producers the chance to showcase the breadth of their sound with two tracks each. Innershades brings emotive 90s swoon and peppy acid to the A side, before Two Phase U slips in a little uptempo robo-disco sauce and a feisty jack track. Otis takes things in the direction of wiggy proto-trance and bleep techno, and then Zots finishes up with freaky synth work dripping with mischievous personality. This is a set of tracks that demands to be noticed - don't sleep.
Manuk & Oli Silva - "Nevermind The Crispies" (5:55)
Eliaz - "Verdico" (7:06)
Meta 4 - "Urnammu" (7:45)
Jorge Gamarra - "Dypac" (5:42)
Review: There's a certain air of buy-on-sight mystique around EYA Records, somewhere between the low-key presentation of the music and the cult artists they're calling on to realise their particular vision of deviant dancefloor business. This is unabashed freaky party tackle, from Manuk & Oli Silva's delirious B-movie jack track "Nevermind The Crispies" to the uneasy electro snarl of "Verdico". Meta 4 has equally nightmarish moods to share on the graveyard acid of "Urnammu" and Jorge Gamarra seals the deal with the schlocky braindance horror of "Dypac". It's the kind of record that you'll be reaching for come Halloween, trust.
Review: AE Recordings turns its attention to Oculus, who they describe as a "titan of the Icelandic techno scene", famed for his live sets that have kept bodies moving for the past decade. He commits some of his sounds to wax here, maintaining the otherworldly emotional lilt that often comes from the scene orbiting AE and Thule Records, but with a bolder sound palette than some of the icy dubbed out artists he rubs shoulders with. "Nostalgia" deals in powerful, swooning chord progressions, while "Rydgad" pings a set of metallic percussion around a sturdy but crooked low end groove. "Morph" takes things deeper, while "Flod" offers up a classy take on the minimal techno aesthetic, with added sound design trysts for good measure.
Review: Having just recently dropped some fresh wares on the Waxing Gibbous 12", London-based production duo OdD return their attention to their Tapes Of Old label and the pursuit or archival material from the vaults. Quite how far back these dusted down gems reach is unclear, but it hardly matters - what's important is whether they bang, and these tracks certainly do that. "Oops" is a pumped up and muscular roller that places all the emphasis on percussion with a tech house tendency. "Abhorrent" is a more introverted affair that explores intricate threads of synth expression in between a dubbed out set of drums, and then "I'm Complete" finishes the record off with a cool, calm and collected trip through the minimal undergrowth.
Too Late For Nonesense (Omar live Out Of Box tool) (6:25)
Review: Indigenous Electronic's second release the "No Market for Emotion" EP pushes further into organic territory with a hardware driven release. The A side sees two tracks on the dubbier end of the spectrum recorded by Iranian producer Ramtin Niazi, a musician with a background in instrumental music, now with a greater focus on machine orientated electronic music. Niazi's contribution sees him delivering two low slung tracks: "Naked Dub" progressing with Lush emotional pads and "Cash Dub" a moodier counterpart. The B side sees the label's head Omar Jayyusi's debut release, with two entirely out the box jams recorded straight to two track. "Pyramid" has a deep and solid rumbling low end, acid basslines and percussive drums. "Too Late for nonsense", is a sub-bass focused micro house dj tool, punchy and reaching the lower end of the dynamic range.
Limited release of x 200 vinyl only without repress.
Review: Halle's Monaberry imprint receives nowhere near the amount of praise that it should. In all honesty, this has been one of the most consistent imprints to grace the tech-house sphere, with artists like Super Flu bringing some innovation and cutting-edge to that particular dance formula. Here, we have the label's seventh edition of the Herberts Best series, with a whole selection of new artists being given the chance to shine - including the ever-present Super Flu, of course. Stand-out tracks include "Gattara" by Bebetta, a tribalesque deep house joint with mounds of hypnotics; Jobe's "Maasai" makes for a supremely dubbed-out ocean of sonics; Sobek's "Handmade Desire" adds some industrial waves to what is a relatively 'housey' EP; "Arpo33" by Douglas Greed ends with a painfully on-point tech groove that dancers will find impossible not to shake to.