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: Italy's TGP label has been a strong presence in the more wayward division of the house and techno game since 2010, and this has been thanks to the persistence and unifying vision of its most regular artists. Here, they team up in fine style on the label's third instalment of the TGPEXTRA series, with Claudio PRC and UNC leading the pack with "CXXV", a sombre, minimalistic techno deviation with just the right hint of dubby haze. "III" by Blazej Malinowski is an equally sparse and aqueous affair, stretching cold beats and placid stars of bass over a consistently shifting backdrop of soft harmonies and industrial sonics.
Review: Do or Die has already made an impression on Nicolas Lutz's My Own Jupiter and now makes a sideways step to Binh's Time Passages, another label associated with a deep digging selection of underground DJs who are some of the most revered of the moment. Opener "90s" makes you wanna scream "aciiiiiiiiid" at the top of your voice, "EBM" channels some old school rave, breakbeat and techno vibes with its energetic drum patterns and bleeping synths. The title track is the most unusual of the lot, pairing withering synth lines with metallic drums and distorted drones that all add up to some powerful, warehouse-ready sounds.
Review: The 110th release from Kompakt Extra comes from Extrawelt, a long-serving electronic band from Hamburg that has previously impressed via albums and singles on Traum Schallplatten, Border Community, Darkroom Dubs and Cocoon Recordings. They naturally hit the ground running with "Pink Panzer", a bustling affair that mixes live drum breakbeats and tough machine percussion with moody, booming bass, creepy strings and evocative, ever-building tech-house electronics. Flipside "Argonaut" is an altogether sleazier and heavier affair full of thrusting, non-stop distorted bass, redlined post-electro drums and all manner of mind-mangling electronic effects. It's effectively the Yang to the A-side's Ying and, like its' predecessor, very good indeed.
Review: Re:st regular Lcp has so far proven to be a producer with many musical talents, offering up a string of releases that flit between ambient, techno, IDM and off-kilter dancefloor moves. "Carried From Secret Seas" marks the producer's first solo EP for two years and sees him combine club-ready rhythms with evocative ambient chords and far-sighted, intergalactic electronics. The most robust of the three tracks is "Rural Nightline", a heavy, stripped-back and effects laden drum workout that's as creepy and clandestine as it is tough and intense. The other two cuts, "Minus 10" and "Carried From Secret Seas", are both far more dreamy and positive in tone, with Lcp wrapping ambient textures and soft focus melodies around deep broken techno beats.
Monic & Grebenstein - "Cutting The Ties That Bind" (7:31)
Review: Following Overlook's EP on the label this spring, the young UK experimenter returns with a whole gang of Osiris affiliates. He takes the lead with the airy tribal soul of "Former Self" before we're hurled deep into the humanised pads and creeping arpeggios of Pessimist's swampy subs on "Indigo". Flip for two slices of Monic; first a physical percussive trip in the form of "Stampede", then a much more sedate, exploratory and introspective experiment with Grebenstein for a far out finale.
Review: Steven Porter: easily the funniest alias we've heard in a long time. No, people; this ain't the American, early noughties progressive house legend who once famously described his style of music as 'Porterhouse'. In all seriousness: this is the collaborative project of Japanese artists Yuji Kondo and Katsunori Sawa who have appeared previously with their extreme noise terror for the likes of DJ Nobu's Bitta and Berlin's Weevil Neighbourhood. On the Superbad EP they give us the bleak body bashing industrial textures of "Dwell In Hell" and the Sunn O))) sounding black metal guitar drone of "Wild Pitch". Elsewhere, the brutal futurist extremism of "Ignorance Reins" calls to mind classic British Murder Boys.
Review: Mike Jefford is back under the Positive Centre guise presenting us with more brutalist slabs of noise executed with the most skilful precision for the shadowy SNTS imprint. "The Arrival" sounds like the soundtrack to a post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller with its haunting and immersive pads supported doom laden rhythmicity of metallic textures. "Prepared Platform" is more straight ahead: a brutal and body bashing industrial techno attack full of reverberating night terrors. On the flip is "Direct Searching" which continues on with the doom-laden techno aesthetic that's become associated with Jefford's sound by now; a pulverizing slow burner. "Microlith" is definitely the fiercest offering on here: this loopy and hypnotic DJ tool is extreme and brutal and will make one secret weapon to covet in your arsenal.
Review: Puglia, Italy based imprint Out-Er has had quite a year, with releases by the likes of Detroit minimal techno innovator Terrence Dixon aka Population One, British tech house hero Aubrey and Dutch techno legend Orlando Voorn. The label (run by Simone Gatto) now presents an impressive compilation celebrating five years in business and it is rather impressive, if we do say so ourselves and signifies some brilliant prospects on the horizon for 2017 and beyond. Highlights here weren't limited to: Dial Records and Berghain regular Efdemin with the oddball avant garde/techno crossover of "Don't Bang Your Fingers" where its hypnotic groove supports a bizarrely used dialogue from a cooking show. Then, quick: hide your AIRA because The Analogue Cops are here! They give us the slow burning and dusty hardware jam "Speculation", which is very good. Also, don't forget to check the aforementioned Voorn's collaboration with Motor City don Juan Atkins on "Reloaded" for your fix of hi-tech soul.
Review: Dutch techno luminary Orland Voorn receives the makeover treatment on this latest juggernaut from the blooming Out Er imprint, who have out together quite the line-up on this one! The track in question is "Gain Upwards" and the first to rewire its structure is Detroit techno pioneer Juan Atkins, and the producer is in no mood to fool around thanks to his injection of heavy percussion stabs and molecular sonics - a truly fantastic return to form by the man! Atkins is swiftly followed by Berliner ROD and his moodier, swamped-out reinterpretation; on the flip we have Dial's Efdemin with a chuggy house and bouncy house version, and finally Haiku's cerebral take on the original...a ride into the darkest quarters of techno. What a pack!