Si Begg & Neil Landstrumm - "The Pusher (M)" (3:59)
The Exaltics - "00045.00.2" (3:53)
Amato - "Sueur Et Poussiere" (6:13)
DJ Overdose - "Industry Repeats" (4:55)
Review: As ways to introduce a new label go, this first outing from Hearse is pretty special. It's something of an all-star affair, with cuts from scene stalwarts and a lovely screen-printed sleeve. To kick things off, old pals Neil Landstrumm and Si Begg join forces on talkbox-sporting ja, "The Pusher (M)", where bleeping melodies and intergalactic electronics cluster around a mind-altering electro groove. The Exaltics offer up a razor-sharp slab of arpeggio-driven 4/4 electro insanity ("00045.00.2"), while Amato smothers an EBM/industrial funk style beat in foreboding electronic riffs and suitably wonky modular motifs. It's left to DJ Overdose to close proceedings, something he does in style via the distorted drums and mangled electronics of industrial electro workout "Industry Repeats".
Review: New label Nuances de Nuit kick off in fine style with a various artists 12" that draws on some emergent names to lay out a vision of cross-style dance music that favours the deeper end of the pool. Things get going with an organ-rich house bumper from DJ Steaw that pumps in all the right places, before Armless Kid switches things up with an untitled slice of dynamic, richly layered electro. T. Jacques thumps out a crafty, swinging cut with techy inclinations and oodles of groove, and E. Wan takes things in a more linear, deep techno direction laden with gorgeous synth work and plenty of artful effects processing.
Review: Vox Populi's Field Works Vol.II sees the Berlin based label travelling to different parts of the world in order to collect sounds and archive some of the finest musical traditions. This record is the result of a trip to Japan led by Swiss anthropologist and label founder Fred Scharf. It was inspired by academic methods: particularly ethnomusicology and incorporates everything from field recordings, studio recordings, religious rituals, fighting championships and even wedding ceremonies. From the slo-mo acid of Japan Blues (Berceuse Heroique) seductive "Chapter V" to Frenchman Tim Karbon's exotic polythyrhms that hypnotise you on "Chapter VI" and Shizka (aka Inoue Shirabe) getting into some abstract groove theory on his splendid offering "Chapter VIII".
Review: EYA Records branch out with this crafty, wriggling slab of freaky techno diversions on new imprint Lonewolf. Meta4 twists all kinds of gnarly subversion out of "Four Body Centers," where the funk of foundational Detroit techno collides with the rampant machine messing of UK acid for stunning results. There's an eerie ghost train vibe hovering over Jorge Gamarra's "Pact", while "Langan" by Twophaseu drops a fresh UK twist on electro. Meta4 returns to bookend this ear-snagging EP with the equally catchy oddball trysts of "666blank", another devilishly deviant slice of underground party music for the ghoulish crew.
Review: It's been some six years since Caroline "Miss Kittin" Herve and Michel "The Hacker" Amato last delivered fresh material together. While we await further news of their long-mooted comeback, there's this tasty EP of previously unheard archive material to enjoy. Made up of tracks recorded between 1997 and '99 - when their production partnership was in its' infancy - The Lost Tracks Volume 1 contains a number of fuzzy, stylish, floor-friendly bangers, from the S&M-themed madness of opener "Leather Forever" and stripped-back electro gem "Nightlife" (a tribute to Berlin clubs of the period, apparently), to the high-tempo acid-loaded freakishness of "Loving The Alien". Top-notch sleaze.
Rawmance - "Mondonotte, La Mattina Dopo" (Security re-drums) (3:30)
Review: La Beaute Du Negatif's fourth multi-artist EP arrives with little fanfare or fuss. Instead, the Rome-based label has decided to simply offer-up the EP and let us come to our own conclusions. For what it's worth, ours is that it's well worth checking - especially Monomorph's blissful, acid-flecked IDM opener "Rystal", which previously appeared on a hard-to-find CD way back in 1996. There are plenty of highlights elsewhere across the EP, though. Head first for the sparse, spacey cheeriness of Brainwaltzera's "Phos Harbinger", before getting your ears around the ambient jungle-techno brilliance of "Opener" by The Jaffa Kid. This is followed on side B by the shuffling, sun-kissed downtempo grooves of SSIEGE's "Sogno In BB" and a drowsy, mind-altering chunk of late 90s Warp Records style electronica by Rawmance.
Nocturnal Emissions - "Even The Good Times Are Bad (1983)" (4:33)
Innyster - "Todis" (6:08)
Review: Contort Yourself reaches its sixth installment with yet another era spanning gathering of post-punk and industrial oddities for the most deviant of dancefloors to digest. In the contemporary corner we have Penelope's Fiance, a promising industrial artist from Greece. Meanwhile on the B-side, Nigel Ayers as Nocturnal Emissions takes us back to 1983 with the utterly chilling "Demon Circuits Bloodbath" and "Even The Good Times Are Bad". L.I.E.S boss Ron Morelli steps up as U202 to remix "Even The Good Times Are Bad" as a death march of malevolent percussion.
Review: Transhumanism is a collective of Dutch producers who first met on the dance-floor at Dave Clarke's Whip It party at Melkweg in Amsterdam, so that will give you a reliable indicator of their sound: it's brash, serrated electro that fires your synapses and awakens your every sense. Juan Atkins and Helena Hauff have been dropping it all summer and it's easy to see why. There is strobe lit action from Slaves Of Sinus, walls of high intensity sound from RXmode, rave tinged stuff from W1b0 and a more throwback jam from TFHats to round out a high impact EP.
Review: As much as we love keeping our ears to the ground, this new release from DJ Sotofett's personal WANIA imprint is leaving us guessing at every turn. The music, of course, is utterly on-point, as per usual, but we know little to nothing in regards to the mysterious Tech-Droppers. Taking much more of an electro spin compared to the imprint's more natural approach around techno, this feels like the right place for Wania to be exploring, and this is especially true if every track sounds as hot as this! The first three cuts on the A-side all offer different infusions of industrial high-tek, kicking off with the synth-driven "Crystal-Tech", followed by the rougher, more bass-centric approach of "Acid-Tech", and then onto the moodier, more broken arrangement of "Crystal-Dub". On the flip, "Tech-Strobe" is all wave and far-out vibes, while "Strobe-Revenge" churns out a beat spun the wrong way, and "Tech-Acid" bleeps its gentle waves of acid alongside Wania's characteristic atmospherics. Killer!
Review: Veteran Excel teams up with rookie Test to output four smooth yet beat driven tracks that bridge the gap between the genres. Not one of the tracks will disappoint. This 12" is a breath of fresh air for breaks and electro alike.
Review: More two-for-the-price-of-one brilliance from the 777 label, which in recent times has served up a number of EPs showcasing cuts from two or more artists. This time round, Texan booty-shaker Textasy handles side A, first serving up the clanging, distorted and skip-heavy electro-acid madness of "Highland Park Acid" before once again showing his love of Miami Bass via the fizzing, floor-friendly thrust of "Hold Up Wait A Minute". Sometime Serious Trouble contributor Nasty King Kurl comes to the fore on the flip. "No Thanks" is a wonderfully wild, twisted, bouncy and weighty chunk of acid-fired techno insanity, while Kiki collaboration "Sucka DJs" offers a twisted, 21st century take on the classic "booty bass" sound.
Review: Domenico Torti is best known for his high profile remixes of Daft Punk, but this outing on Ed Banger finds him indulge in his first love: the sounds, colours and scenes of New York City in the 1980s. To help authenticate his quest, he enlists expert beat maker Afrika Bambaataa. Their single "Radar" is a wild disco ride with electro synth work and plenty of future retro motifs, from the vocoder vocals to the sounds of spacecrafts taking off. Deena Abdelwahed flips it into a heavy drum work out with rising chords, Dimitri From Paris layers in brilliantly funky bass and Adesse Versions and Borussia go for jacking club workouts.
Review: Amsterdam based Tom Ruijg has been producing since 2010 but has really come into his own under the alias Tracey. He serves up some seriously emotive and reflective modern electro for Aus Music on the Metamorphosis EP, which follows up some great releases of late for locals Tom Trago's Voyage Direct and on Midland's Intergraded label. From the sublime and hypnotic title track, to the moody sci-fi bounce of "Blue Invasion" and the old school analogue soul of "Helix" reminiscent of Detroit legends like Dopplereffekt or Drexciya - Ruijg proves his uncanny ability to summon those ghosts in the machine on this impressive release.
Review: ** REPRESS ** Following the series of Drexciya retrospectives on Clone, Tresor has dug their own sizable archives to revisit some of the work James Stinson and Gerald Donald committed to the Berlin institution in their time working together. Having already reissued the Drexciya LP Return To Neptunes Lair, Tresor now present a reissue of The Opening Of The Cerebral Gate, the 2001 LP from the late James Stinson's Transllusion project. Initially released on Tresor offshoot Supremat, this new triple LP edition from the label includes three cuts that were not present on the original vinyl version. Given how much og copies command on the second hand market, Drexciya fans without a copy should consider this an essential purchase!
Review: The resurgent Transparent Sound outfit (made up of UK electro veterans Orson Bramley and Martin Brown) have been riding high since their classic "Punk Motherfucker" got picked up for a reissue from Pressure Traxx, finding favour with the Club der Visionaere set. They're back on their own label with a rich and plentiful EP loaded with robotic box jams, leading in with the dark and seductive body popping beatdown "What Is Your Name?". The vocal mix is killer, but there's also the added bonus of an instrumental take for those who prefer a pure machine sound. Acidulant also steps up with a blinding remix that does a great service to the original, threading some seriously nasty synth wriggles and wobbles into the mix.
Review: Long-serving electro project Transparent Sound come back full throttle with this expansive album of masterful machine music. Opening track "Pretend Like You Care" is a startling opener that feels like a wormhole back to the Cologne laboratories of the kosmische movement. The beats kick in proper from that point, and in consummate noirish fashion, with "No Call From New York", and proceed to trip through all manner of nocturnal dreamscapes lit in sleazy neon strip lighting. It's a lurid, evocative sound world the veteran duo concoct, and one you'll find yourself returning to again and again.
Review: Traditionally, Darko Esser's outings as Tripeo have tended towards the hypnotic and trance inducing. It's notable, then, that his latest EP - the first Tripeo 12-inch for 18 months - mixes things up a little. "Food For Thought", for example, fixes melancholic, Convextion style musicality to crunchy, EBM-influenced techno drums, while the fuzzy, dirt-encrusted "Resist" sees the producer give deep electro an angular, lo-fi makeover. "Tuesday Blues", meanwhile, sees him stack layer upon layer of positive electronic melodies atop rubbery, Afro-house influenced techno drums before Bassiani/Horoom resident HVL rounds things off with his skittish, breakbeat-powered revision of "Food For Thought", which sounds like a giddy blast from the past despite the poignant nature of Esser's melodies.
Review: With brand new interest in beats and rhythm once again coming into play, Puzzlebox label owner, Keith (K-1) Tucker, has now decided to revise and revisit the music from his catalog as "Puzzlebox Classics." "Atomaton EP" opens with "Nemesis", which brings on Tucker's signature Electro/Techno beats, a tough as nails funky bassline, and his trademark eerie strings. "Oscillator (bonus beats)" maintains that perfect beat, a dramatic bassline, and swinging percussion attitude to the fold before closer "Techno It's On My Mind" with its mind-bending arps and clicky pecussion shoot this off-world thumper into overdrive for your ears. If you like your snare hard and relentless, battling for attention against a triggered piece of electrofunk provided by a classic 'K-1' bassline, you're in for a treat.