Review: Back in 2016, legendary Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen approached techno pioneer Jeff Mills with the idea of working together. A series of live gigs and off-the-radar studio sessions followed, with the first fruits of their joint efforts finally appearing on this must-have 10". As you'd expect, the duo's collaborative work combines Allen's traditional Nigerian polyrhythms, traditional Afrobeat instrumentation, and the far-sighted, sci-fi inspired electronic futurism that has always marked out Mills' work. The result is a quartet of cuts that could arguably be described as retro-futurist Afro-tech - all delay-laden beats, basslines and organs subtly sparring with gentle acid lines, Motor City electronics, beguiling deep space textures and shimmering, 31st century motifs. It's arguably Allen's stylistic contributions that dominate, but that's no bad thing.
Review: Modularz presents a new release by Japanese producer Hattori Hanzo - recorded in seclusion in a studio near the mountains of Mt.Fuji Japan - Hattori delivers a great body of work focused on Extremely functional tracks with lots of driving rhythms, space influenced hypnotic grooves with the right amount of tension and drama. This is a sure thing get it quick - TIP!
Review: Fresh off introducing the Bulb project from William Burnett and Crimes Of The Future bosses Tim Fairplay and Scott Fraser, the label adds to its growing roster of artists with the introduction of Tapan. Steeped in Belgrade's club scene as residents at Disco Not Disco, Tapan are evidently well equipped to the Crimes cause on the basis of the two productions presented here; both "Volumes" and "Who's There?" are creeping, slow techno numbers rich with psychedelic qualities with the latter featuring some fine guitar work from Vladimir Djordjevic. Willie Burns and Drvg Cvltvre have been collared to remix the title track and both opt to up the tempo whilst taking "Volumes" in distinctly different directions. The former reimagines the track as heavily processed shoegaze techno that could feasibly have surfaced during the Hacienda's pomp, whilst the latter mutates "Volumes" into an exercise in dank acid.
Review: After making a splash with releases on Twig and Lumbago, Raphael Beneluz brings his classy machine music to Cartulis with the P 12". Things get off to a pumped-up start with the dynamic, detailed thrust of "Xzomet" before the night draws in around the tastefully creepy workout "Darkanethesie". "Hostile Planet" opens up the B-side with more eerie atmospheres and stout box jam beats, and then "System Down" completes the package with another thumping tapestry of nervy acid and old-skool jack. For all the familiar touches, this is music dripping with personality and attitude, bottom-heavy and sure to devastation in the dance, real or virtual.
Review: Marco Pellegrino is Ancut, and here he make his debut on Wicked Bass with more fresh cuts that show off his ever evolving style. His opening statement is a strong one that finds him making his machines really dance - the drums are bumpy, the pads soulful, but there is a lithe looseness to the whole thing that stands it out. After "Sinergia", "Renaissance" is a more wonky late night tech house workout with twisted pads and spinning hi hats underpinned by double kicks. Innershades remixes with a slick Chicago energy and analogue hits, then "Stasis" trips you out with bubbly acid lines, smeared pads and the sort of dreamy emotions that capture your imagination at 4am.
Review: Paris talents Armless Kid and Aes are back together sharing a hot slab of wax for the Luud label. Yes takes the a-side and gets us underway with deep cosmic house and sauced out breaks of jazz-tinged gem "Jhonedo." "WAYD" ups the ante with fluttering sheet metal snares and ticking hits that ride over bumpy kicks for a truly sci-fi adventure. Armless Kid goes for a scintillating techno cut with warped acid and manic percussion working you into a lather on"603" then a wonky house kicker on "604" that will unhinge any club.
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: These days, we're all familiar with Jan Jelinek's trademark brand of dusty, dubbed-out, jazz-sampling downtempo explorations. That wasn't the case when Loop Finding Jazz Records, his acclaimed debut album, first appeared back in 2001. It has since become an in-demand item, making this reissue more than handy. It remains a fine album; a blazed shuffle through a sonic world where dub techno, ambient, minimal house, jazz and downtempo grooves and seductive vinyl crackle merge into one intoxicating hybrid sound. It's not showy and over-the-top, but rather becalmed and subtly seductive. In other words, it's still a brilliant album and if you don't own already own a copy, you should add this to your cart sharpish.
Review: For Finitude Music's 5th release, label owner Marcel Heese and Alexander Kowalski aka d_func. share their visions on ""Thought Control"".
Both tracks on the EP harbour the same intent, but each of them approaches it in a different way. d_func.'s take revolves around Sahko-like bleeps - if you are into early Mika Vainio or Sleeparchive - look no further! But instead of being loopy, it's definitely a builder. Its original trance track-like structure is sure to rock many an underground dancefloor.
Marcel's vision is slower and less straight-forward but creates and maintains a high tension. Based on dense a bassline and intricate soundscapes, it builds up slowly, only to explode halfway through. An extra payoff also comes at the very end of a track - its noise/ambient outro making a perfect way to wrap up an amazing party at 8AM somewhere deep in the heart of Berlin.
Review: For the sixth release on Final Chapter, Sean Dixon provides three tracks of warm and precise electronic sound complimented by a very deep and full remix from Analog Solutions label boss and director of the electronic music documentary "Beatz," Eduardo de la Calle.
Opening with Yearning and deep feel with Dixon?s trademark scattered percussion building layer by layer as the bass tones are modulated, he weaves then a complex emotion with pads and melodies. Continente takes things more towards Detroit based territory. Definite dance floor action with percussive whistles, as keys and pads seem to meld playfully throughout. Eduardo de la Calle?s take on the same track, drops things back towards the deep, with feeling of pressure and density punctuated with waves of sci-fi sound that give the feeling of being in some kind of great machine, floating in deep space. Roots of Funk provides a very danceable track using vocal samples within the music to put across a more serious idea, as synth piano?s gently echo into the distance and horns gently swell over the track.
Review: When a white label launches from an artist called MPX with single letters for track titles, you know there's some serious techno incoming. This four track EP is brimming with rugged, street-tough energy; from the slapping drum jack and throbbing b-line pulse of opener "G" to the crunchy strut of "J." There's plenty of psychoactive flair to match the classic drum machine flourishes though - "L" has a wicked arp coursing through its veins, while "K" takes the same rhythm section and boils it down to a hypnotising whirl of techno perfection.
Review: Turin techno stalwart Andrea has been serving up slabs of goodness on Ilian Tape since way back in 2012, though "Ritorno" is remarkably his very first full-length excursion. The 12 track set is far more varied than his fine club-focused singles, with the Italian variously turning his hand to swelling, Global Communication style ambient techno ("Attimo"), ultra-deep breakbeat dreaminess ("SKLYN"), melodious, jungle-influenced IDM ("LS September"), bassbin rattlers ("TrackQY", the skittish brilliance of moody roller "Reinf"), dreamy soundscape techno ("LG_Amb"), angular fusions of bass music and dark Italo-techno ("Drumzzy") and picturesque ambient dub slow jams ("Twin Forests").
Review: Charitable acts carry more significance than ever right now, and Needs are on hand with another instalment in their brilliantly curated series to give something to those in need while also presenting some wonderful, exclusive music. This one leads in with a truly uplifting blast of sunshine from Telephones before dropping into the edgy, swinging tech-funk of Ciel's "Faye Wong Plays The Strings". Al Wootton is on point with another of his fresh and dynamic twists on the soundsystem blueprint, with a dubby, percussive vibe that should appeal to those who miss proper dubstep. Eliphino completes the set with a squashed and feverish garage thumper that sounds like it has an iconic vocalist chopped up somewhere in the signal chain.
Review: The Swedish techno hero Eric Prydz is back under the Cirez D alias, which has kicked into action full throttle recently - alongside music under the Pryda and ToNjA Holma monikers. His new main room thumper "Dare You" comes courtesy of his own esteemed imprint. From the title track and its tunnelling adventure down into the vortex, to the strobe-lit adrenaline of "The Glitch" or "Black Hole" with its druggy mid-noughties style of minimal shuffle: there's something to rock the dancefloor at any time of the morning by this A.M. expert - on Mouseville's 24th vinyl edition.
Review: Die Orakel's superb "0114 Series" - a trilogy of 12" singles from Frankfurt artists paying tribute to the turn-of-the-90s Bleep & Bass sound of the Steel City - concludes via a suitably bass-heavy four-tracker from Koga. It's not pure Yorkshire bleep by any means, but the untitled tracks certainly include many knowing nods to the style (think deep and weighty sub-bass, alien electronics and an intoxicating, sci-fi fired late-night mood. Interestingly, Koga's extensive use of breakbeats throughout is perhaps closer in tone to the "Bleep and Breaks" sound that sprung up in London from early 1990 onwards, though the boldness of the bass is thoroughly in keeping with the aesthetics of Warp's early Rob Gordon-mastered releases. Either way, all four cuts are superb, whether or not you're a bleep aficionado.
Review: Eric Cloutier has decided to launch a new offshoot to his consistently impressive Palinoia label. The basic idea seems to be limited edition EPs featuring tried-and-tested club cuts from like-minded machine abusers. To begin this sub-label debut in style, he offers up a killer cut from pal Donato Dozzy that's as hypnotic and mind-altering as you'd expect. Built around a rock solid kick-drum pattern, hissing cymbals and a deep bassline, "Aquatica" is sparse, unearthly and intoxicating, with trippy noises, metallic electronics and watery sounds bubbling across the sound space. Cloutier takes over on side B with "Ekpyrosis", a thrusting, muscular mixture of locked-in grooves, faintly foreboding psychedelic acid motifs and the kind of swelling chords that make your synapses snap.
Review: After a bit of a hiatus, Roots Unit return with some deep house hybrids from their bulging vaults. "Learn To Love" is a melodic dub-house / techno infused big sound system warmer that comes from a studio session with former 2 Lone Swordsman Keith Tenniswood and will be familiar to those who tune into Tim Sweeney's Beats In Space show on the regular. "Morning Sequence" is a lovely early morning hypnotic slinky electronic house jam that gets under your skin and into your mind. This latter track is mutated into a heavy floor filler by Mark E in full on peak time mode.
Review: Strap in for a wild techno ride on the first ever offering from Psionic. The new label kicks off with an EP from Astral Travel. The aptly named artist reaches for beyond the event horizon on "Sky's The Limit", with its punchy kicks and relentlessly wobbly bass. "As One" gets into a nicely mechanical groove built on stomping kicks and rigid synth movements that make for perfectly robotic funk and the trip closes out with "Orbiting." With its urgent drums that are smooth and silky and serene synth work, it's one for peak time techno cruising.
Review: Anyone who has caught Helena Hauff in action will excitedly tell you that she's one of underground electronic music's top DJs - a mixer who combines top-notch technical skills with an exhaustive knowledge of music to deliver distinctive sets that set her apart from the crowd. It's for this reason that her contribution to Tresor's "Kern" mix series has been so hotly anticipated. Having now given it a listen, we can confirm that the two-disc mix-up is every bit as good as we'd hoped, with Hauff surging through a breathless, 32-track selection built around scuzzy, fuzzy and forthright slabs of electro, techno, ghetto-tech and industrial strength early UK hardcore. Piled high with rare, hard-to-find and previously unreleased tracks, it may well end up being the mix of the year by some distance.
Review: Ghetto-house originator DJ Deeon continues to dish up devilishly dancefloor-friendly material a quarter of a century after making his debut on Dance Mania. This first ChiWax outing is really rather good. As with much of his output, all bar one of the six cuts (the curiously off-beat, pitched-down "Much Respect") are powered forward by beats and basslines so springy that you'd think they were made with some future fusion of rubber and elastic. There are a few cuts that boast chopped and looped vocal stabs (see "In This House" and the classic late night ghetto-house jack of "Da Bomb"), while the A-side's three booming cuts offer subtly different takes on percussion-rich, bass-heavy ghetto-tech.
Review: Second time around for David "Move D" Moufang and Benjamin Brunn's first full-length collaboration, a set of unsurprisingly deep, minimalistic house, techno and ambient workouts that first appeared in record stores way back in 2006. It's one of those albums that's arguably best listened to while flat on your back in an intoxicated state, despite the presence of such hypnotic, early morning club workouts as "On The Magic Bus" and the dreamy and delightful "O". You see, the majority of the album's eight tracks are spaced-out in the extreme and all the more alluring for it, as Moufang and Brunn expertly showcase their ability to create impeccable slices of hushed, otherworldly electronic minimalism.
Review: Valcrond Video invites you into the world of Helmer's "Roccale". Helmer's second release picks up the pummel that began with his first release, and continues the attack with three tracks of thoughtful, pulsing darkness. "You Say I for Me" presents a forbidding metallic landscape, a snake winds through it in the aural form of an eerie growl, making its way among the crunch and clutter to periodically emerge and rear with menace. "Corrib chun Mask" is what they play for prisoners sentenced to hard labor in the gulag of the future, if hard labor = dancing for days. "spry -Env", the closing piece on Roccale, is perhaps Helmer's most masterfully evocative. We have walked in on a ritual, dominated by an incense pendulum that swings and smokes, and carries with it the sound of an ancient transgression.
Review: Libertine's 14th release is something of a beast: a double-EP from sometime My Own Jupiter Producer Do Or Die that squeezes in nine impressively varied tracks. The fast-rising producer's roots are of course in techno and electro, but he's not shy in exploring every avenue of these wide-ranging genres. For proof, compare and contrast the acid-fired, new wave-influenced bubbliness of "Galactic Bang Bang", the fast-paced acid-electro intensity of "Blackmail", the Italo-disco style throb-job "Morning To Lose", and the chiming, all-action cheeriness of quirky closing cut "Small Town Yoky 11". The rest of the double-pack maintains this interconnected eclecticism, portraying Do Or Die as a producer with a head full of ideas and an eccentric musical vision of his own.
Review: Electro titan Zeta Reticula, otherwise known as Slovenian hero Umek, is back with another salvo of heavy-hitting belters for your bag. "Digital Card" is a highly strung workout loaded with searing lead lines to stir up all kinds of intense emotions, which Exzakt and BFX rework into a bleep laden, low-blowing machine funk fest. "Endless Clue" finds Reticula amping up the dystopian theatrics even harder, while "Message In Code" takes a leaner approach with a mean tempered low-end synth and some gnarly acid to get you freakin' in all the right ways.
Review: For the first reference, Sounds of The City is happy to welcome the mysterious Spirit Of The Black 808, responsible for one of the hottest pieces of wax in 2013 for Eargasmic Recordings in Chicago. Invasion Of The Black Bass is also following the Eargasmic record in terms of style. It's warm in every way and infectious. Let's get invaded with Invasion of the Black Bass and Invasion of the Black House. Both tracks share the same chords grid, one could be a re-interpretation of the other. Both are very warm and melodic. Frenzy In Firenze on the other side demonstrates SB8's skills for groovy tools and more DJ oriented tunes.
Review: Man of many aliases Rene Pawlowitz has recorded under many pseudonyms over the years, though it's his Shed and Head High monikers that tend to get the most interest. Here he delivers a rare outing as Wax, a nom-de-plume he first used 11 years ago. A-side "No. 70007 (Part 1)" is a bona-fide techno club cut built around a rubbery rhythm track that boasts far more swing than your average Berlin production, with Pawlowitz's selected musical elements - drowsy, almost ghostly chords and slowly rising strings - only coming to the fore as the track progresses. The flipside "Part 2" version expertly re-arranges the same elements, breaking up the beats further while adding a druggy, almost metallic stab to add a frisson of intensity.
Review: "Abyssopelagic" is the third release on Tresor Berlin resident Marcel Heeses label Finitude Music. This time he teamed up with d_func. aka legendary Berlin producer Alexander Kowalski who has been around for almost 20 years and surely needs no further introduction. The title track is a slow piece of nautical Techno aiming at the bigger floors. As the title suggests the B-Side includes a stripped-down version of "Abyssopelagic" for the deeper moments on the floor.
Review: The third Skudge album is here. Dedication to details, attention to structure and a tireless pursuit of that specific and circular sound. The contextual element of 'Time Tracks' seem to be placed in-between the most cordial music that Skudge has presented up until now, as well as bridging the singularity and adrenaline from the previous albums and EP's.
Review: Colin McGraw's MDA Analog project continues to enjoy a renaissance after more than 20 years of silence, serving up the third instalment of vintage techno with a house-spirited warmth. "Lost But Not Broken" capitalises on some particularly soaring synths to create a uniquely uplifting flavour, while "A Theory Of Everything" takes things deeper with dubby pulses underneath an ear-snagging set of keys. "Mimico Creek" has a particularly playful arrangement marked out by nimble arps and bleeps, and "Scavenger Hunt" completes the set with a punchy rhythm section and yet more plush layers of harmonic interplay.
Review: The 7th release on BLKMARKET MUSIC comes from Samuel Jabba and is the first part of the Dystopian Future series.
Samuel Jabba is the label co-founder of a new vinyl only label called From the Void Above. Hailing from Bogota, Colombia, Samuel is a young DJ and talented producer who creates music spanning different genres of electronic music.
On his debut release for Blkmarket Music, the A side starts off with his electro track 'Acid Pleasure' on A1. The A2 track 'Space Mirage' takes you on an outer space voyage focusing on the more deeper side of techno.
The B side kicks off with his heady breakbeat track 'Robotics' on the B1. On B2, Samuel takes us on a dark journey with his minimal electro track entitled 'Random Demise.'