Review: For the latest single on Umwelt's essential Rave or Die label, the Lyon-based producer finds himself sharing vinyl space with Perc Trax regular Ansome. The South London producer handles side A, assaulting the senses via distorted breakbeats, chilling, held-note horror strings and gory electronic riffs on the industrial techno insanity of "Vakuum". Umwelt's track, "Affres", explores similar sonic territory, though his use of macabre audio loops, redlined electronics and rapid-fire, ray gun drumbeats gives the track a much more rolling and hypnotic feel. Both cuts are wild-eyed and aggressive in tone, even if they are every bit as sci-fi as classic Detroit cuts.
Five Times Of Dust - "Computer Bank" (The Floor mix) (7:12)
Five Times Of Dust - "Armoured Car" (6:57)
Unovidual & Tara Cross - "Like I Am, Comme Je Suis" (The Floor mix) (7:11)
Unovidual & Tara Cross - "Imponative" (3:28)
Review: Thanks to the eternally revered Minimal Wave imprint, out of NYC, Mark Phillips and Robert Lawrence's Five Times Of Dust project is going through a bit of a revival. The duo had first released some post-punk cassettes back in the 80s, and they clearly have not been forgotten. On this new remix EP, "Computer Bank" is given a makeover in the form of a The Floor remix, who proceeds to add all sorts of quirkiness over the tune's tough, heavy bass and driving rhythm; "Armoured Car" breaks the 4/4 in favour of something much closer to the band's original drum machine style. Once again, on the flip, we have a remix of "Like I Am, Comme Je Suis" by The Floor, who throws up a gnarly electro bass onto shady, neo-romantic vocals, and the whole things is finished off by "Imponative" from Unovodual and Tara Cross, who produce a slow, heady industrial groove for the dancefloor.
Review: There are no prizes for guessing the sort of music that defines Rave Or Die. Next up with some dynamite club tracks are Stranger and Umwelt, who take one side each of this new marbled 10". Stranger's "Motief" is a techno crescendo that builds on hard hitting techno drums. The urgent synths and increasingly brash hi hats work you into a manic state that is all consuming. Umwelt then gets even more abrasive with caustic synths and retro rave stabs, slapping metallic hits and pounding broken kick drums all forcing you to move on "Shut Up & Dance". This is truly arresting stuff once again from Rave Or Die.
After The Cremation (Area Green Green Grass version) (4:23)
Pankow (SW Electrofunk mix) (5:36)
Steamed Up Window (Skookum Reminiscence) (4:06)
Review: Mystery production unit UD returns to Kimochi, one of the more overlooked imprints of the last few years, with four new cuts and a rather fine selection of remixers to boot! The mood is pensive and the sounds are atmospheric throughout, where tracks like "Lollipop Robot" or "Adapter" stand somewhere between ambient and electro-acoustic. The remixes give the tracks slightly more dancefloor weight, and both Area Green Grass and label regular Skookum contribute with a set of pretty killer reinterpretations a-la outsider house, but the silent killer is most certainly SW's remix of "Pankow". The SUED records co-owner fixes up a wonderfully bizarre concoction of sounds and shapes, moulding them into a dubby, sparse and cinematic twister. Another fine slice of Kimochi, beautiful artwork and all.
Review: Russian label Mosaique has thus far carried some serious heat from artists like JASSS, Caron and Savage Grounds, and now they're shifting their nightmarish electro tendencies back to the various artists format of their Universe series. Umwelt leads the charge on this second installment with the eerie machine snarl of "Fallen Empire", followed up by two versions of the devilish "Sleep When You Die" by Moralez & The Horrorist. Alessandro Adriani is first up on the B side with the driving, noirish techno pulse of "Cosmic Transmissions," and then Morah rounds things off with the squelchy, spiky workout "Track 5".
Review: Material from Russian producer Unbroken Dub has been somewhat limited in recent times compared to his prolific emergence five years ago, but he resurfaces to kick off the Resonance Moscow label with more of his singular, daring techno variations. "Lullaby Arp" is certainly a bold A-side track, eschewing a beat in favour of the titular arpeggio, and amazingly he manages to make it an engrossing listen. "RX303" may have some more detectable percussion, but it's by no means a de rigeur dance track. The acid line seems to lope on its own terms while all else remains utterly restrained in its demeanour. "Factory Presets Improvisation" too heads far out with its distorted bleep tones and deconstructed electro exoskeleton.
Review: Pitch black antics by Greek industrial noise terror (and Liber Null main man) Unhuman, alongside Dutch modular maniac Derk Reneman aka Roberto Auser for this collaboration between imprints Gooiland Elektro and Enfant Terrible out of Holland. Unhuman (Emmanouil Simotas) takes care of the A side of the release, immediately treading the left hand path on the slow burning acid sludge of "Faces Of Death", followed by the seething EBM reduction of "Seven Days". On the flip, Auser lunges straight for the jugular on the brooding and contorted techno experiment that is "Avalon", followed by the pummelling four to the floor grindcore of "Unexplained".
Review: Trustworthy techno outpost Chronicle are the kind of label you can still get behind when they drop an unnamed artist. Whoever's behind Cycle De Motifs, the bar remains reassuringly high for those wanting fresh firepower in the serious techno game. "GPS" is a fist-shaking piledriver, but it's not without its cerebral nuances between the surging low end. Who needs a kick when you can have a relentless sub to carry you through the night? "C-Signature" darts out into equally intriguing territory with a creeping, insectoid array of sound design working around a minimal beat. "Gateway To Infinity" piles the eerie, looping figures on and continues spiraling outwards, and "Nepthys" plies an old-skool drum machine jack in the finest Plastikman tradition.
Review: Unknown Assailant is a limited run vinyl only label shrouded in mystery. Each of the four tracks on the first release touches on a different style of techno ranging from cinematic acid of "Forgiveness But No Surender" to the peak time energy and in your face style of "Silent Scream". Incorporating the dark and stripped back minimal style of "Whippet" along with the clunky dance floor groove of "The Sickness" it is a well-rounded eclectic package that fuses analogue textures with ambient moods and bursts of energy. Each of the tracks have been made in collaboration with an artist who wishes to keep their identity a secret, so the music does the talking for itself. Unknown Assailant pins the release together featuring on each of the collaborations, and the four Silent Assassins range from artists known for their top selling releases on well-known labels to others lesser known in the realms of techno. This release is limited to a vinyl pressing of only 200 copies with more in the series of secretive releases to follow in the coming months.