Review: Before the recent rise in '90s style psychedelic, ambient-influenced electronic music, one of the only producers offering up this kind of hallucinatory revivalism was Nick Harris AKA A Sagittariun. If truth be told, his productions are still a cut above the rest, as this fine outing on Craigie Knowes proves. The famously cynical (and, we should add, hilarious) Bristolian is in a positive frame of mind on bubbly, melodic opener "Heart Sutra", where a variety of melodic elements spar cheekily atop a rubbery electro beat. "The Soft Machine" sees him introduce some typically tough, mind-altering motifs on a darker and more psychedelic electro workout, while "Interzone" is rush-inducing, sunrise-ready dancefloor straight out of the top drawer.
Review: The Innate label made a sizable impact with its first release - a killer various artists 12" with Mark Hand, Lerosa and others. Now it returns with another balanced mix of established and emergent artists, leading in with a stunning A side cut from A Sagittariun delivering what might be his most beautiful production to date - a swooning, snaking slice of melodious techno that brims with emotion and canny programming. After turning heads on the first Innate release, Gilbert returns with "Polynoid," a punchy, Lately bass-powered workout with lashings of Motor City soul heaped on top. Sean Dixon completes the package with "Our Love For Music," a pointed machine mantra that maintains the classic techno tone Innate is shaping up as its MO.
Review: For the first release on their freshly minted Euphoric State sub-label, London label OPIA has turned to '90s survivors A2 & Stopouts, a trio of producers who first made their name as British tech-house pioneers in the late 1990s. The four tracks showcased on "Go With The Flo" apparently date from this period, though this is the first time they've seen the light of day. There's much to admire throughout, from the rolling, funk-fuelled house grooves and intergalactic pads of opener "You Gotta", to the jacking tech-funk of closing cut "Suits You", via the glassy-eyed rush of "Techfest", where sci-fi motifs and dream house electronics rise above bumping beats and a deliciously squelchy bassline.
Review: Given its title, you might expect Aaron K's second vinyl outing to be filled with forthright, sub-heavy sleaze. While there's some weighty low-end pressure to be found - especially on the sparse, dubbed-out delights that are 'Superbass 1' and 'Superbass 2' - for the most part the EP delivers blends of atmospheric, analogue deep house and jacking acid house that prioritise mood and melody over significant bass-weight. It's a fusion that works really well throughout, with highlights including the subtle electro influences and deep, spaced-out riffs of 'Transphat', the picturesque, arpeggio-driven melodies of 'Folding Arps', the jaunty deep acid of 'Everyone in the Pool (Filtered Mix)', and the cosmic late night hypnotism of 'Walls'.
Review: Israeli tech house stalwart Shlomi Aber has sure thrown a few curveballs at us in recent years and this could possibly be the biggest yet! The man behind such celebrated titles over the years such as 'Detroit Days/Chicago Nights', 'Sea Of Sand' and 'Clones In My Backroom' moves away from sunny and slinky tech house sounds (as heard on his esteemed Be As One imprint) and now presents a darker, fierce and functional sound that's more suited to clandestine warehouse parties. Adam Beyer's Drumcode seems like a perfect fit for his new style, which has recently impressed via similarly straight up labels like Odd Even and Figure. From the tunnelling peak-time specialism of opener "Inflict", the old-school acid stomp of "Accelerator" (which really bangs the box!) and the stripped back, heads down Millisan hypnotism of 'Typeface', these are some sturdy mixing tools that will make a worthy addition to any serious techno DJ's arsenal.
Review: The Abstract Eye is Gabriel Reyes-Whittaker, a producer who releases music most using the monikers GB, The Reflektor, Frankie Reyes and Julian Abelar. Five prolific, soulful/melodic tracks originally released in 2011 on Valentine Connexion, now available again courtesy of Amsterdam's always reliable Rush Hour. The extraordinarily gifted Los Angeleno creates striking electronic songs here which integrate the technological with the spiritual and ancestral. There's respectful nods to Motor City greats like Japanese Telecom ("Cool Warm Divine") and John Beltran ("Nobody Else") on here. "Nobody Else Pt. 2" channels the cyclical/minimal soul of Internal Empire era Robert Hood: absolutely sublime!
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: This year marks 30 years since the launch of New York's first dedicated record shop (and later label) Sonic Groove. There are numerous celebratory releases planned, but first L.I.E.S. is treating us to a fast-paced sprint through the "acid archives" of Sonic Groove co-founder Adam "X" Mitchell and his sometime production partner Jimmy Crash. The EP boasts two significant early '90s cuts from their collaborative X-Crash project: the insanely raw, fast and druggy insanity of "Executioner" and the squelchy thrust of "Sick Trick", where psychedelic acid lines buzz around another bombastic techno groove. The 12" also includes a couple of Adam X solo missives, with the previously unreleased acid techno slammer "Swamp Thing" arguably being the EP's standout track.
Review: This time last year, Rome-based DJ/producer Adiel joined forces with fellow Italian techno heavyweight Donato Dozzy to deliver the first collaborative release on her Danza Tribale label. 12 months on she's back with another joint effort, this time in cahoots with Northern Electronics artist Anthony Linell. The pair conjure feverish, mind-altering aural textures, psychedelic acid motifs and restless drums on opener "Raso", before opting for a denser and arguably even more intense, moody and throbbing techno sound on "Decoro". Arguably best of all, though, is flipside "Punto In Aria", a surging fusion of chugging industrial bass, ghostly chords, metallic sounds and foreboding, brain-melting bass.
Review: Mannequin boss Alessandro Adriani returns to Stroboscopic Artefacts with 'Embryo' - an immersive four-track micro-odyssey spanning across jagged ambient scopes,unmapped acidic grounds and further leftfield-friendly sonic territories, opening up the path for his forthcoming sophomore LP and first ever for Stroboscopic Artefacts, 'Morphic Dreams'.