Review: Chris Romans has been rolling out crucial electro jams for a number of highly regarded labels since the early 00s. Amongst them are Touchin' Bass, Shipwrec, Frustrated Funk and Central Processing Unit, so that tells you everything you need to know about the level he's operating at as 214. Now he comes to 20/20 Vision with some body-poppin' jams of the highest order, broadening the tech house label's remit to embrace the thriving electro scene with one of its most vital practitioners. "Potential Events" is a brooding, atmospheric affair while "Windeye" draws on a more playful, Detroit indebted palette of sounds. Radioactive Man remixes "Windeye" with a steady, finely detailed approach, and then "Back To Sine" finishes the record off with another snappy salvo of funky drums and bubbling synths.
Review: Fresh from an inspired outing on 20:20 Vision, Chris Roman once again dons the 214 mask for a four-track missive of Steffi's resurgent Klakson imprint. Fittingly, opener "Soapdish" - a proper peak-time Rotterdam electro workout - utilizes synths sounds and ragged riffs that invoke memories of Dexter's Klakson classic "Intruder", while "Synthesizers Made of Paper" brilliantly wraps spacey, life-affirming electronics motifs around a suitably crunchy machine beat. Over on side B, "Snow Banks" is a mildly foreboding, surprisingly melancholic chunk of deep electro brilliance and closer "Pattern Rotate" buries chiming lead lines below a deluge of twisted acid lines and distorted, funk-fuelled electro drums. Simply essential.
Review: Frustrated Funk, Shopwrec and Central Processing Unit are just some of the quality labels on which the enigmatic 214 has delivered his wayward strains of electro and techno. This new single for Lunar Disko is straight-up, high calibre business, as per usual, starting with the mesmerising pads and alluring soundscapes of "The Breakfast Club", a beat-driven escapade through a wave of majestic synths. "Lunar Landing" is more on the Dutch electro side of things, thanks to its sub-aquatic beats and general demeanour while, on the flip, "Jade" injects some Chicago house live through an industrial filter, and "Hurley" liquifies its synths down to a thick pool of sonics and subtle beats. Gorgeous music.
Review: 4E used to be Khan's apartment number in New York City's East Village back in the late 90's. 4E became the trademark sound for his downbeat acid infused electro work. On his kitchen floor he produced a very unique brand of futuristic funk tracks with only a ROLAND TB-303, SH-101 and the Hip-Hop fundamental SP1200 drum sampler. Besides a couple of 12"s for Force Inc. Music and the "Gentle Killer E.P." on Freddy Fresh's Socket imprint, 4E released the highly acclaimed downbeat electro album "4E4ME4YOU" on German glitch label Mille Plateaux. Back in 1998 4E shared the now legendary 12" with I-F "Space Invaders Are Smoking Grass" on the "From Beyond Series" by Ectomorph's Interdimensional Transmissions. Pills & Thrills" on Temple Traxx is four previously unreleased acid-electro stomper that are as funky and noisy as it can get on an East Village kitchen floor.
Review: Since 2011, or what we could describe as the rebirth of vintage electronic music and the muddled, increasingly convoluted evolution of 'bass' music, Nick Harris aka A Sagittariun has been providing our charts, and the wider scene, with consistently high levels future-proof techno. Slightly Ajar is his third release of 2017 already, and it comes through on his own Elastic Dreams imprint with a squadron of deep and effortlessly mesmerizing electronic shapes. "Stingray" opens with an ocean of euphoric pads and industrial rhythms coming together as one, and is followed elegantly by the much deeper, more reflective broken patterns of "Burning Crystal". On the B-side, "An Infinite Number Of Possibilities" kicks the gears into motion with a much bouncier, club-centric techno groove filled with surreal melodies, and "720 Degrees" buries a load of bleeps into a hypnotic bundle of sci-fi sonics for total dancefloor domination. Effective and ultra-sleek - the lot of them!
Review: The latest must-have EP on Rawax's always on-point Motor City Edition series comes from Simon Hamelin AKA A-Sim, a producer who has previously impressed via No Suit Records and Rawax's main label. He begins in confident fashion via "Disaster Theory", a Drexciya-inspired workout wrapped in cybernetic motifs and deep space chord sequences. "Dub Bells" sees him wrap blissful bleep melodies and starry chords around a tougher, chunkier electro beat, while "Human Disease Network" is a deliciously angular and analogue invitation to dance bristling with heavy electronic bass, ghostly pads and crispy machine cymbals. To round things off in style, he once again reaches for the bleep melodies on the sparse but heavy closing cut "Ting Ting".
Review: A new project based out of Copenhagen - Aether's Spring comes shrouded in mystery but makes a bold statement with this first transmission. WATER: Dancing Moon 12" leads in with "House In Blue Rain," a downcast track bathed in melancholic pads and blown out percussion around a steady 4/4 tick. "Dancing Moon" is a more kinetic affair that works with all kinds of synth shapes alongside some primal drum machine percussion that lends the track a new wave quality that suits it just fine. Closer "Throne Of Clay" spreads across the B side in a brooding, journeying epic fit for the likes of classic James Holden or a more wave-minded Jon Hopkins.
Review: For its seventh release, southern Italians Obscura Music return to welcome exciting new talents and core label acts. Head honchos Agents Of Time venture down an electro route with "East Coast", as do the ever impressive London Modular Alliance on the hypnotic "Buck One". Man of the moment Aussie Jensen Interceptor channels classic Drexciyan aesthetics on "Manix" before homeboys and label staples Hiver come through with the slinky and hypnotic tech house of "Stasys" and Detroit veteran Kris Wadsworth makes a surprising appearance with some slow burning minimalism displayed on closer "Abroad".
Review: Exotic Dance Records founder J.Albert has been scouted out by Will Bankhead for the man's The Trilogy Tapes imprint, and we have to say that this feels like the perfect match. Both the label and the artist have a knack for the unexpected, with the former having released an infinite multitude of electronic genres and the latter twisting and turning between techno, electro, and something undefinable. Made up of glitchy breaks and surreal waves of electornic dust, "Money Between Friends" and "Envy Turned Curiosity" both exude an industrial dubbiness that is rarely achieved by others. On the B-side, "Deepstate Riddim" is some neo-jungle badness that evolves the genre magnificently, and "Designer Life" ends on a more sinister note, launching a minimal wave of electronics surrounded by warm blasts of sub-bass. Recommended, naturally...
Review: RMXD is Armando 'Alpha 606' Martinez' second release on Interdimensional Transmissions and is the rather tardy follow up to 2008's Electronica Afro-Cubano. Flanked by high-profile remixers, Martinez does well to impress with "808 Trax". A linear drum track takes a ride through an inner city at night, the screeches, groans and howls of its nocturnal population kept under the surface by steely claps. Label owner BMG's take on "Armambo" is similarly inclined, this time with spacey undercurrents fusing with tight 808s. Erika's version of "We Leave Tonight" is a more understated deep techno track, while at the other end of the spectrum, Anthony Shakir turns "808 Trax" into a full-on, drum-heavy techno track that is more complex than a spaghetti junction at rush hour.
Roger Van Lunteren - "On And Dna No (The Sun Riser)" (5:06)
Phil Gerus - "Prelude To Love" (4:37)
Review: The XXX crew are on a mission to celebrate the adventurous and utterly well-informed dance music scene of Amsterdam, and they move to the fourth release on their label with a strong cast of characters that all have something different to say. Alterleo opens up the 12" with the low-throbbing psyche out of "Train To..." before Al Gobi takes over with the aqueous hardware house bubbles of "Rule Of Three". On the B side, Jack Pattern & John Parsley work together to lay down a fierce blend of industrial and disco that will send shivers down your spine. Roger Van Lunteren meanwhile revels in the squelchiest kind of esoteric acid with a new age mystique thrown in for good measure, and then Phil Gerus provides a soothing soliloquy to finish this distinctive record off.
Rob Amboule & Manuel Schatz - "Manz Not Hot" (6:30)
Peter Raw - "Brotherhood" (5:52)
HDV - "Digital Delight" (5:44)
Kosh - "The Mess" (5:08)
Review: Sounds Benefit founder Tom Joyce cast his net far and wide when sniffing out cuts to include on the label's latest multi-artist EP. There's plenty of little-known talent on show across the four tracks that make-up the EP, which come from artists based in Frankfurt, Paris and - most surprisingly - Casablanca. We're particularly enjoying the hybrid electro/spacey tech-house bounce of Peter Raw's wonderfully swinging "Brotherhood", though the deep and melodious electro bounce of Kosh's "The Mess" is also really rather good. Elsewhere, Manuel Schatz and Rob Amboule offer up some bold and snappy Motor City techno/acid house fusion, while HDV's "Digital Delight" is raw, analogue, funky and decidedly alien in tone.
Review: More dark, euphoric and moody dancefloor 12"'s from Lobster Theremin's new sublabel UNDR. Following a terrific inauguration by Hidden Spheres, the second edition comes courtesy of Andrew Red Hand. The Romainian producer who has previously released on labels such as Twilight 76, M>O>S and Chiwax kicks things off with the spooky, cinematic John Carpenter-goes-electro vibe of "In The Cemetery", before bringing in the brooding Italo-influenced gloom of "Slaying The Dictator" and even displaying a fondess for the acid life (but hey don't we all) on the wicked 303 grind of "Bombing For Peace".
Review: Animistic Beliefs' January 2018 debut, "Sinuous Gullies" on Between Places, flew out of stores almost as soon as it arrived. We'd expect this delayed follow-up on Cultivated Electronics to be similarly popular. Opener "Molucca Quake" is particularly potent, with the pair wrapping Drexciyan electronics, ghostly synth sweeps and a pulsating analogue bassline around a rubbery four-to-the-floor groove. The accompanying Exaltics remix - a throbbing, acid-fired peak-time workout - is, if anything, even better. Elsewhere, the duo serves up a trio of varied but suitably elastic and bass-heavy electro workouts to satisfy DJs who like their beats broken, robotic and futuristic.
Review: Automatik-Datamatik is a label based in western Germany and founded in 2008 by Adalbert C. Kupietz. He would like to present you with this release, which is a tribute to his late father Leszek J. Kupietz. He was passionate drummer in the 70s/80s and is said to have toured intensively with his band all over the world. Although they never had the opportunity to collaborate directly, Adalbert had access to some of his recorded drum skills on this record. Electronically packed with analog synths accompanied by Leszek's Sonor drums. Used extensively on the album were PPG Wave 2.2, Fender Rhodes, Rhodes CHROMA, Hohner Clavinet, Yamaha CS-50VP-330 diverse ARPs, Korg and Roland Synths.
Review: Mancunian lo-fi house heroes Natural Sciences are back with a bang in 2018: now giving us a second serving of throwback electro sounds courtesy of one Antonio Barbetta. He has had some great releases recently as Raw Ambassador on Mannequin and Ortloff. The Germany based Italian producer serves up what the label best described themselves as 'panzer funk and mechanised thrash metal from the shadows of Frankfurt's industrial district' and that's pretty spot on! There's the guttural futurist sludge of opening track "A Violent Collision" that will appeal to fans of Lux Rec or Return To Disorder, not to mention other excursions through heavy dystopian machine funk like on "Destroy This Fucking System". The breakneck "Adriatic Funk" is a full frontal assault that calls to mind the UK sounds of Bass Junkie & Dexorcist from a while back, while "Cyborg" is a fitting tribute to his new hometown's favourite son: the one and only Anthony Rother.
Review: Appleblim teams up with the Middle Eastern label Boogie Box once more for some hybridized explorations on the cutting edge of soundsystem music. "Vurstep" is a wildly psychedelic banger that keeps the rhythms broken while the sound design levels tap into the same delirious vein as his ALSO work with Second Storey. "Dream Wisdom" takes things in a smoother direction, riding on laid back breaks and plush threads of melody in a vintage ambient techno style. Shed steps up to remix "Vurstep" and delivers one of his pointed masterclasses in stripped, UK-leaning techno, and then Forest Drive West trips the whole thing out with a heavily dubbed meditation.
Arctor - "The Gulf" (David Harleydson remix) (6:03)
Review: New Glasgow electro label Tremors presents their first vinyl release, featuring a collection of remixes of tracks from their Bandcamp back catalogue. Aftershocks Volume 1 kicks off with a particularly bold remix by Klakson boss Dexter who turns Old Boy's "Tracer" into an electro-bass monster, James Shinra (Analogical Force) channels the best of the Motor City on his emotive rework of Arctor's "Memory Gene" rounding up the A side. On the flip, Arctor remains the focus, with remixes of "Selfish Lover" by Forward Strategy Group's Patrick Walker and Hungarian newcomer David Harleydson impressed us likewise with his fierce and futurist perspective of "The Gulf".
Review: The second part of Garage Hermetique's ongoing trawl through the archives of Kirk Degiorgio's acclaimed As One project offers up some classic, previously album-only tracks from 1994 and '97. First up is "Mihara", a wonderfully spacey, positive and dreamy fusion of elongated synth chords, funky, Clavinet style motifs, rich bass and skittish, Detroit-influenced drums. Deep breakbeat-techno cut "Destination Other" showcases two of Degiorgio's primary influences - namely jazz-funk and Motor City electro - while "Shambala" (B2) is a breezy, attractive and aesthetically pleasing chunk of techno/electro fusion. Fittingly, Convextion man Gerard Hansen dons his E.R.P alias to deliver a 2018 update of the latter track, in the process turning it into a warm, yearning and loved up chunk of deep electro full of lilting melodies and drifting pads.
Review: Electro from down under proudly represents here, courtesy of current scene favourites Jensen Interceptor and Assembler Code. The Sydneysiders deliver yet more of their distinct style of darkly dystopian bass on Melbourne's LKR Records. Proudly wearing their Drexciyan influence on their sleeve for "Geralds Aqua Lessons", more sci-fi futurism is catered for on "DIY Action Cinema" and the electro-funk of "Upper Function" which receives a brilliant rework by another ascendant Aussie: Perth's Roza Terenzi.
Review: More from regular studio partners Assembler Code and Jenson Interceptor, whose previous joint EPs for Boyznoize, Private Persons and Cultivated Electronics were little less than essential. First, turn your attention to superb opener "Random Pain", a melodious and evocative deep electro cut that morphs into something dirtier, darker and far more hard-hitting midway through. "HRL6" is altogether moodier and more Drexciyan in tone, while flipside opener "Drive Shift" fixes elastic electronics and gently pulsing motifs to an altogether more relaxed and rolling 4/4 electro groove. It comes accompanied by an altogether darker and moodier remix by The Hacker that boasts raw electronics, spacey bleeps and a slightly paranoid vibe.