Review: Par Avion collective member Agrippa returns with his first full release since last year's "Mygraine Urgraine". Once again getting playful with his titles, once again covering some vast and unforgiving terrains, each of the four cuts takes you to a different corner; "Squid Girls" is an aquatic bashy piece with its techno tendrils lashing wildly, "Dead Wait" is pure crushed stomps with a crunchy warehouse vibe while "Spice Raiders" takes us deep into techno territory; loopy, paranoid and laced with unnerving sound designs before "Scabs" brings us to a fractured close as the 'hot pick' of the EP (not sorry). Time to get Agrippa yourselves...
Review: There's a decidedly rushing, saucer-eyed feel to Ellen Allien's latest album, her eighth since launching the BPitch Control label at the dawn of the century. The Berlin veteran shows no desire to soften her sound or move away from the dancefloor, delivering an eight-track set that giddily charges between neo-trance (the loved-up "Empathy" and tech-trance throb-job "Free Society"), post-dubstep electro (the swirling "MDMA" and atmospheric "Exit To Humanity"), raging acid ("Bowie In Harmony"), decidedly muscular techno (the arpeggio-driven heaviness of acid fired smasher "Love Distortion" and the creepier "Electronic Joy") and bubbly acid electro (superb closing cut "Stimulation").
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 "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 the slamming techno beats, looped electronics and mind-mangling TB-303 motifs of "Dusty Acid". Also impressive is "Space Animals", a deliciously dubbed-out affair rich in sub bass and drifting, deep space chords.
Review: Following two appearances on Adam Beyer's Drumcode, British producer/DJ Boxia and self-confessed "rave anorak" returns to the label with his debut full length "A Night In The Life Of". Nine powerful and highly engineered peak time techno weapons aimed squarely at the main room. Opening with the glassy-eyed title track (feat Lyke), Boxia knuckles down and lunges straight for the jugular via the pummelling "Unofficial Everything", deep sonar transmission of "Primal People", seething and barrelling power of "Sunshine State" before rounding things off with the emotional, ambient IDM number "Last Nightclub".
Review: We are pleased to present 'Hallways' the third full length from Austin, Texas analogue hardware enthusiast Bill Converse. Immersed in the early days of the 90s midwest rave scene, Bill began DJing at a young age in Lansing, Michigan. Luminaries such as Claude Young, Traxx, and Derrick May were key early influences. Techno, noise, ambient and tape processing are all part of his uncanny sound palette. 'Hallways' is an 80 minute journey spread across 12 tracks and 2 slabs of vinyl. All tracks were recorded directly to tape with no overdubs, made at Converse's home studio over the past 2 years. Bill says, "One idea for this album is 'through bardos', the gap or moment of transition between two things according to Buddhism. Like an experience in meditation and attempting to find realization/s on the way through the illusory and interdependent nature of good old fashioned REALITY." Built around crunchy synthesizers, harsh drum machines and jarring acid lines, the tracks share a darker tone than Bill's previous albums and one song features guest vocals by music gourmet Carlos Souffront, a true DJ's DJ from Detroit. All songs have been mastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. Each 2xLP is housed in a jacket designed by Eloise Leigh with rich purple and smokey turquoise kaleidoscopic patterns.
Review: The release of any new Gerard Hanson record is a cause for celebration, but we have to admit to being doubly excited about this one. It marks the long-serving producer's first solo Convextion release since 2016 and contains two killer cuts. The un-titled A-side is particularly impressive, with Hanson wrapping immersive, delay-laden electronics and sumptuous deep space chords around a bustling, dub-fired Motor City techno groove. Even by his standards, it's superb. Over on side B, he's back in atmospheric deep techno mode, offering up a poignant and melancholic affair that's as deep, spacey and emotional as anything he's ever done before. Given his track record, that's some accolade.
Review: As their bleak, black-and-white artwork and penchant for naming EPs after long-lost factories suggests, Craven Faults are post-industrial daydreamers with a neat line in hypnotic, kosmiche-inspired electronic workouts. "Nunroyd Works" is the third in an ongoing series of EPs crafted in part using the artist's vast armoury of modular synthesizers. Interestingly, it's a little more upbeat and melodious than its predecessors, with lead cut "Engine Fields" offering waves of over-lapping electronic motifs, Detroit-influenced futurist synthesizer lines and emotive piano flourishes. It's absolutely stunning and every bit as alluring as its' darker predecessors. While the other two tracks don't quite reach these dizzying heights, they are also superb.
Review: In the face of all those Clone reissue compilations, Tresor are doing the right thing and digging into their own archive of seminal aquatic machine funk from Detroit electro legends Drexciya, and stepping up with the Hydro Doorways EP is the kind of power move that most labels can only dream of being able to make. From the cinematic drama of "Quantum Hydrodynamics" to the textbook boogie down synth abandon of "Polymono Plexusgel", not forgetting the heavy-on-the-one throwdown of "Lost Vessel" or the alien gurgles and peppy pace of "Species On The Pod", or the... oh you know the drill. This is timeless, essential business for anyone that takes electronic music seriously.
Electro Music Union - "Electroshock Mountain" (5:55)
Sinoesin - "Static Bodies" (4:57)
Sinoesin - "Angels Of Altitude" (part 2) (7:55)
Electro Music Union - "Immortal Cities" (4:30)
Review: For a brief period in 1993 and 1994, British imprint Metatone released some seriously good electronic music. The label was the work of former Jack Trax man Damon D'Cruz and J.M.Atkins, who wrote and produced almost all of the releases under aliases including Electro Music Union, Sinoesin and Xonox. This fine compilation from Cold Blow and AVA. Records showcases the best of this work, drifting between deep and intergalactic workouts (see the spacey ambient influences and pitched-down grooves of "Angels of Altitude (Part 1)"), blissful ambient techno ("Structures 1"), rush-inducing dancefloor positivity (the overwhelmingly good "Structures 3"), spacey ambient ("Descent") and heavyweight, post-bleep brilliance ("Electroshock Mountain").
Review: Platform 23's celebration of Exquisite Corpse wraps up with this fourth installment of visionary proto trance bubblers from the dream team of Robbert Henyen, Debbie Jones and Tim Freeman. As with the previous installments, they've picked choice tracks from across the spectrum of the PWOG-affiliated project's output, kicking off with a transmission from the debut release, "Honeymoon". Throughout the mood is loose and wigged-out, with a pleasant stew of New Beat, acid, house, trance and dub among the core ingredients flavouring this thoroughly early 90s dish. This is psychedelic dance music crafted before the genre boundaries were established to ruin everyone's fun - savour the vibe as we return to more freewheeling times once more.