Review: Despite an impressive discography and a well-deserved reputation for crafting high quality techno and electro, Lee Xhin's releases have been few and far between in recent years. In fact, this wonderful four-tracker is the sometime Token, Stroboscopic Artefacts and Semantica artist's first release for two years. It sees him exploring the potential of dancefloor futurism by flitting between melodious, piano-sporting electro/techno fusion (the surprisingly melancholic "Everythingremains"), punchy but spacey peak-time electro ("Vision Electrified"), angular and mind-altering modular experimentation (twisted, beat-free closing cut "Dust") and moody, off-kilter breakbeat techno (electro influenced roller "IKNx2", where strummed shoegaze guitar motifs rise above claustrophobic chords and pummeling drums).
Review: UK techno producer Sigha returns to his experimental project Faugust for the first time since the Devotions (1984 - 2006) EP on the short lived Avian sub label Mira five years ago. Unlike its predecessor, "Parallel Rave Fantasies" resurrects his long-dormant Our Circula Sound imprint and dives into new sonic territory, incorporating more IDM and generative music. Check the mind-mangling and glitchy "Cold Harbour", the demented digitized soundscape of "Process Aesthetics" and the brutalist, body bashing industrial of closer "Definition".
Review: The consistently great Olympos series reaches its fifth installment with none other than Aphrodite on the credits. The goddess of love is a marquee booking in this celestial scene, so expectations for the beats she yields are high. "Aligenis" makes for a strong opening statement as lysergic layers of effects processing and sound design writhe around a snaking techno backbone. "Enalia" nudges down into a more subterranean sound without losing that attention to detail, before "Morpho" swerves towards electro-flavoured beats without breaking the shroud of mystery and studio proficiency at work elsewhere on the EP. "Pitho" possibly saves the best til last - a simmering, subliminal ride through atmospheric percussion for the Dozzy-devotee crowd to get lost in.
Review: Some five years after re-launching his Crayon label via a fine EP of vintage "Tracks From The Vault", original 1990s tech-house producer Mark Ambrose serves up more gems from his bulging archives. The quality threshold remains dizzyingly high throughout. Check first the moody, back room dub of "Nightshift (Deeper Mix)", where gentle, alien synth lines and deep space chords tumble down over a heavy analogue bassline and locked-in beats, before turning your attention to "Space Animals", a deliciously dubbed-out affair rich in sub bass and drifting, deep space chords. If that's not enough, flip over and trance out to B side "Seduction" and finally, the slamming techno beats, looped electronics and mind-mangling TB-303 motifs of closer "Dusty Acid".
Stanislav Tolkachev - "While You Are Drawing A Butterfly"
Hoavi - "Aya Horizon"
Review: Crimean label Krym Mryk returns with its sophomore release: a Various Artists collection putting the spotlight on several top musicians from Russia and Ukraine as well as a few newcomers to the scene. Highlights come fast and thick throughout; we're particularly loving the grinding cyclicality of Rim Menko's "Illusion", beatless yet hypnotic arpeggio workouts ("Amb Day Out" and "November Bad") by Pavel Milyakov (Buttechno), man of the hour Stanislav Tolkachev with slow-mo entrancer "While You Are Drawing A Butterfly" and Hoavi's "Aya Horizon", which closes the LP with its sublime ambience.