Review: Leonard "Big Strick" Strickland is perhaps best known for his family ties with Omar-S (they're cousins), though his productions are well worthy of praise in their own right. Here, he offers up a sampler 12" featuring cuts from his recent (and excellent) Reservoir Dogs LP. Perhaps the most noteworthy cut is "Family Affair", a lovingly constructed chunk of hypnotic, melodic deepness written with Omar-S. That said, Strick's solo effort "Armed & Dangerous" - a winding chunk of voodoo techno - is arguably better. The mazy techno-funk of Reckless Ron Cook's "Night Moves" is also outstanding.
Review: A dream team line up for this four way that heads off in various directions across detailed and trippy techno landscapes. Those who have been following these heads will understand what we mean- with the quartet all beginning to rise to prominence now and finally claiming the kind of respect they deserve. Saverio Celestri brings 'Ethereal', packed with direct cymbal work, lilting reversed organs creating leftfield-but-dancefloor business with plenty of usability. Midgar label manager Jacopo, toughest from the names here, takes us down an arpeggiated acid route, never quite unleashing but acting as precursor to whatever bangs come next. Otis' 'Axes of Continuity' has a simple three-four note melody mirrored by bumbling bass, and should sound ideal at anything with a free party vibe. Finally, Fede Lijt's 'Deflexion' goes deepest, twinkling chimes, submerged lows, plenty of snares.
Obsolete Music Technology - "High Top Fade" (6:32)
Specter - "Butters Whipped" (6:02)
Isoke - "Soul Glo" (3:10)
Damon Lamar - "Bermuda Triangle" (7:02)
Chicago Skyway - "Edged Out" (6:04)
Review: Perpetual Rhythms is already well-regarded as a bastion of quality amongst contemporary Chicago house labels, and now they've downright sealed the deal with this mammoth compilation from a stellar cast of local cats. There's too many to all list in detail here, so focusing on the highlights, Dcee leads things in with the tumbling cosmic jazz leanings of "Suavecito," Hakim Murphy teases with a spacious and daring exploration in the liminal zone between ambient and house, and Obsolete Music Technology gets invigorating with the bouncy "High Top Fade." Those tracks alone are enough to deserve your hard earned, but there's reams of other excellent forward-facing Windy City jams to sink your teeth into.
Review: DJ Central presents three new aliases on this elegantly put together 12". Conjuring up the perfect recipe for a DJ Cake, Central blends and explores the likes of pulsating atmospheric techno on the track "Balast", smoothly escalating breaks on "Ko Ko Dak Dak" and hazy crackling ambient on the finale "Daeksel". Unique, inspiring and truly excellent works from the one they call DJ Central.
Review: The latest audio missive from the My Own Jupiter camp brings together debutant Nicholas Lutz (here using the previously unused Draculas Lutz alias) and former CABARET Recordings producer Omar Chibarro. They pair begins proceedings with arresting A-side "Instrumento", a bold, bass-heavy and angular electro jam packed with mind-altering acid lines and shimmering, deep space motifs. They change tack on the flipside, accompanying snappy, organ-laced NYC garage bumper "Tschuss" with the hybrid acid-jack/spacey house bluster of quality closer "Gerogliftko". While stylistically varied, the EP's three tracks are united by an attractive looseness that only emphasizes the thrillingly wayward nature of the duo's otherworldly electronics.
Review: Current heroes of the industrial techno sound here tend to focus on the industrial side of things for The Cast Project: a vinyl affair from Los Angeles based on the collective sounds from a faction of artists. They are said to gather a few artists; each of them providing several unique audio samples, clips and/or field recordings that best define their sound. They then collect the samples from each artist and redistribute them to the artists as a master pack, at which point they create a unique track. First up fellow Los Angeleno Luis Flores delivers the grinding and guttural first offering, while 138 then delivers some impressive Autechre styled IDM on his/her effort. On the flip, Dutch terroriser Bas Mooy delivers a furious and powerful warehouse techno stormer that blows the doors off as always. Finally Serbian duo Ontal deliver some more of their typically contorted takes on techno.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Gravity Graffiti has been doing great things with its series of split 12"s already, but now the Italian label goes one better for its tenth release with this mighty double pack of heavy hitters. First up is the ever-untouchable Yoshinori Hayashi, who gets as straight up as he possibly could with the freaky house burner "Dissociative." Telephones is feeling particularly dubbed out and groovy on "Kalimbalimbo", while DB.Source and Riccardo Schiro take things strung out and textural on "Montevago". Dynamo Dreesen is in rave mode for the pepped up and delightfully weird "Reactivate", leaving the final side to Oyvind Morken & Kaman Leung's chugging "Tunnel Visjon" and the rubbery side swipes of Acidboychair's "The End (At Any Speed)".
Ames Henry & Paul Kav - "Business In Hasenheide" (5:57)
Ames Henry - "Tribute" (6:28)
Fanu - "Dubia" (6:48)
Octo Octa - "For My Girls" (3:29)
Review: It's been two years since Kellam Matthews launched his retro-futurist, breakbeat-driven Frendzone label via a fine split EP featuring cuts from Ames Henry and Octo Octa. This follow-up is therefore arguably long overdue. Fittingly, it's Henry that gets things going in stellar fashion via Paul Kav collaboration "Business in Hasenheide", an urgent fusion of two-step drums, thrusting acid bass and jumpy synth stabs. Ames then goes solo on the breezy bounce of "Tribute", before Fanu successfully roughs things up via the mutant sub-bass, dystopian noises and distorted breakbeats of "Dubia". The undisputed highlight, though, is Octo Octa's "For My Girls", a wonderfully spooky and hectic jungle roller that's guaranteed to set pulses racing out on the dancefloor.
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.
Old Apparatus - "Old Apparatus Meets Shangaan Electro" (4:00)
Review: Honest Jon's present the last twelve inch instalment of their impossibly varied Shangaan Shake remix project with the perma excellent MMM and Old Apparatus at the helm. Fiedel and Wiegand's take on the Tshetsha Boys is notable for two things: firstly it continues the duo's recent fascination with rhythms of a decidedly UK Funky nature (as executed with devastating effect on their recent Dex/Rio 12") and it further strengthens the impression Honest Jon's have given the commissioned artists a blank canvas to retain or toss as many elements of the source material as they deem fit. Thus recognisable snippets of the vocals remain alongside a brilliantly twisted treatment of the tinny melodics wrapped infinitely around butt slapping drum textures. Completely different in tone and execution, the elusive Old Apparatus invoke the spirit of Scratch Perry at his most intoxicatingly brilliant with a rusted, half stepping arrangement caked in all manner of feedback which serves to demonstrate how far reaching the project has been over the course of the 12" releases.
Review: The third sampler from Ben Sims' barnstorming Machine mix compilation presents another four cuts of militant, unrelenting techno from some of the finest operators in the field. Oscar Mulero heads up the A side with the spacious, ominous march of "The Calling," which contrasts sharply with the jacked up, tense energy of "Distorted Logic" by O Aka Phase. Tasha's "In The Zone" kicks of the B side in a head-spinning loop of rasping drums and disorienting layers, and then Sims himself rounds off the record with the poised and deadly "Drop Out." If you're after a potent collection of chiseled techno bombs guaranteed to do the business, then look no further.
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: An ode to their fair city in the state of Hesse here by homeboys Die Orakel and their local hero Orson Wells. Referencing the classic Motor City sounds of electro and ghetto-tech on this fine EP. "Park Jit" and its sleazy electro-funk takes it cues from the early Databass sound, while the breakneck dystopianism of "The Message" goes for more of a Dopplereffekt vibe. Bringing the funk and emotive feel on the B side we have "Frankfurt Tek" a saturated lo-fi memory recording (direct to VHS) that would make even local legend Anthony Rother proud. But hey wait, he's from Offenbach anyway! This is Lennard Poschmann's second recording for the Frankfurt based imprint which has had previous releases by Christopher Rau, Pablo Mateo and Koehler.
Review: In what is surely an unexpected collaboration in the field of house and techno, Mosaic mastermind Steve O'Sullivan teams up with Ricardo Villalobos for a hypnotic trip through minimal landscapes that plays to both of their strengths. The rock-solid rhythm of "Sullric" surely belongs to O'Sullivan while the rich, subtle layers of samples, tones and other such sonic decorations come straight from the Villalobos school of production. The two mixes on this 12" only have minor differences - whichever side you drop things will get considerably deeper than they were previously. Of such ingredients are classy, immersive techno joints made.