Review: The ever prolific Lee Renacre is on Constant Sound in his 100Hz guise for a fresh trip through expressive techno and house music delivered with a warm, old-skool flavour. 'Jive' skips and twirls across the A side in a swung, sprightly exploration of soft and rounded synth lines and pleasingly chunky beats, capturing a dusky ambience along the way that's so easy to melt into. 'Honkey (Crazy Hats)' takes things deeper with a more rhythm-focused joint that maintains a submerged feel throughout. 'Ochos' completes the set with a deep tech house meditation rich in melodious uplift, striking a spiritual tone which would go down very well with someone bumping records on Yoruba and other such labels.
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: The Advent is a legendary techno outfit dating back decades. Originally consisting of Mr G and Cisco, now only the latter remains, and he brings a certain hardness to the techno remakes that will connect with those who are fans of that style's recent resurgence. Of course, Perc Trax has always dealt in that stuff so makes a perfect home. 'Planting Seeds' is a manic, dense opener, yet 'Night Seeds' manages to up the ante with even more frenzied grooves. 'Scorched' leaves the warehouser behind and has a more Motor City style, looking to the future and filled with machine soul.
Review: Fresh off the back of Cryptographic's intense 'Echo' release comes this fitting V/A from the ever-intriguing Swiss experimental 170 label Re:st. Music to realign our Covid-ravaged chakras to 'Re:align' introduces three new names to the label; Alternate Current steams out of the gates with a dub techno juggernaut 'Borrowed Language' while Dreadmaul & Tobe:n whip a rhythmic stampede that's screaming to be unleashed on a big system with 'Homunculus'. Flip for two slightly more cosmic tales as label founder LCP gently pats us down with the trickling lolloping loops of 'Off Limits' before Books signs us out with the sparse and skippy 'Cosine'. Refine your alignments.
Review: Last year Anunaku debuted on Whities with an essential EP of tribal-infused breakbeat bass music and clanking, speaker-bothering Afro-techno. It was an insanely good debut and this follow-up on 3024 is every bit as impressive. Restless African hand percussion, intergalactic electronics, spacey riffs and tactile house beats combine brilliantly on A-side "Stargate", while fiendishly heavy flipside opener "Teleported" is a wicked mix of crunchy breakeats, elongated hoover bass, tight vocal stabs and mind-altering snake charmer solos. Closing cut "Atlas4088" meanwhile is a locked-in Afro-techno drum track with just the right amount of ethereal flute sounds.
Review: Trauma Collective returns with four cuts of decidedly hypnotic and abstract techno from ever-prolific ASC. Rounding out the last decade with a string of stand-out releases on his own imprint, Auxiliary, the San Diego producer brings his cerebral sonic aesthetic to the fledgling Madrid label. "Loop Research" showcases a singular artist unbound by tempo and at the top of their game.
Review: Aubrey's status as a pillar of underground UK techno comes into focus with this reissue of a 1995 classic from the Solid Groove archives. 'Ginger Biscuit' is a riotous party starter, riding a funked up loop and feverish percussion to make for techno perfection. 'Long Player' is a trippier affair awash with heavy reverb, pads and submerged acid bleeps. 'Shimmer' goes even further out with some shimmering dub techno chords riding elongated filter sweeps for pure eyes closed transcendence. 'U Be Dick' seals the deal with a micro-dub excursion that nudges towards house territory with soaring synth strings to boot. Seminal stuff.
Review: 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of Allen "Aubrey" Saei's first 12" release as Panic. Because of this, it seems a fitting time for the long-serving techno producer to return with his first solo single for two years. He begins by wrapping delay-laden synth stabs and tipsy chords around a heavyweight bassline and crunchy machine drums on 'Sleeze Funk', before further exploring dub-tinged alien techno pastures on the similarly impressive 'Break'. B-side opener 'Jazz Sunrise' expertly combines driving drums and insanely weighty bass with drowsy deep house chords and jazzy synth flourishes, while 'Buddy's Groove' is on off-key trip into strange (but brilliant) loop-house/deep techno fusion.
Review: One of the genre's funkiest groups, continuing where Cybotron, Model 500 and Drexciya left off and heading to a style all of their own, Aux 88 aka Tom Tom (Tommy Hamilton) and Keith Tucker (DJ name DJ K1) give two tracks from their classic 2009 album Mad Scientist an inaugural outing on vinyl, getting electro fans everywhere dribbling with instant Pavlovian desire in the process, no doubt. 'Voice Modulation' is slower, heavier and steadier, built around a shuddering b-line that anyone with a pulse will find hard to resist. 'Mad Scientist' the track, meanwhile, is faster and, with its vocoder-ed vocal delivery from Tucker, gives a good flavour of what makes the Michigan pair a vital live act as well as a legendary studio prospect.
Review: Verdant continues to provide a platform for interesting variations on the deep techno tradition with lesser-spotted names. This intriguing collaboration comes from Iranian producer Nesa Azadikhah and the UK's Alison Marks (also spotted in the Wallflower project alongside Leah Floyeurs). Between them, the artists sculpt expressive, immersive atmospheres that use a classic palette but tell their own unique story. 'Pathetic' is a highlight with its fusion of steady-pulsing dub house rhythms and swooping, straining pads. 'Love Note' whips up a swirling, hypnotic blend with an urgent pace, while 'Understandings' injects a little forthright energy into sparkling synthscapes that return focus to the sci-fi idealism of techno at its inception.
Review: If polyrhythmic, hard-to-pigeonhole UK bass mutations are your thing, this new EP from Roska's occasional Bakongo project is a must-listen. Starting with the tribal rhythms and deep bass of 'Oww', the veteran producer offers up a succession of cuts that blend elements of UK funky, dub techno, and what was once called '140' with weighty sub-bass, tough drums, occasional chords and plenty of densely layered African and South American style percussion sounds. The emphasis throughout is on rhythm, rather than music, making all four cuts perfect for those DJs who love to pepper their sets and mixes with drum tracks and percussion jams.
Review: For the first volume in the "Secret Sun" series, Open Channel For Dreamers offers up a first retrospective of Jeroen Borrenbergs' now sought-after work as Ballet Mechanique, all of which was originally released between 1992 and '99. First up is "See You", a cheery, bass-heavy electro track rich in cheery IDM melodies, which is quickly followed by the intergalactic ambient techno bliss of "Zoo Is Out", where mangled analogue bass and Black Dog style electronics buzz around a bustling dancefloor groove. Elsewhere, "Electro" is a razor-sharp, funk-fuelled electro-acid workout, while "Under The Surface" sounds like "In Sides"-era Orbital after a fistful of sleeping pills.
Review: It's always good to hear from Benjamin Damage, and especially so when he is in this sort of fine form. As always, the UK talent brings his unique brand of muscular, striped back techno to the fore from the off. 'Alpha Centauri' is all deep rhythms and pounding bass, spooky pads and haunting vibes. 'Circle Machine' ups the ante with more propulsive and driving kick drums surging ahead and 'Remote Viewer' is more pensive groove that comes with sustained churchy chords up top and a kicking drum line that never lets up. 'Glavset Bubble' is warm, tunnel vision techno par excellence to close things up.
Review: Following flirtations with the Trilogy Tapes and L.I.E.S, techno noise-maker Robert Bergman returns to Brew with two more intensely lo-fi club jams. He opens with 'Champion Sound', a throbbing and pulsating affair in which squelching acid motifs, fizzing electronic riffs and weird noise fight for attention atop a jacking and weighty techno beat. It's hard to describe and, as is his usual style, a touch messy in parts, but that's always been part of the charm of Bergman's decidedly dystopian music. Over on side B, 'Invaders' is a more sci-fi sounding affair, with the producer's usual mind-mangling noises and angular motifs coming accompanied by hybrid techno/electro beats, rising and falling TB-303 lines and deeply spacey pads.
Review: After capturing the imagination of many late last year, bespoke cutter returns with 5 cuts of skeletal club futurism. Raw yet polished, experimental yet undeniably danceable, stripped bare yet brimming with funk, every sound on this meticulously crafted record hangs in its rightful place. An invigorating release - highly recommended.