Stojche - "The Exchange" (Gian Hydrocity Refix) (5:40)
Review: Blackhall & Bookless have been pursuing a fantastic strain of house and techno via their Jaunt label for many moons now. They're back and celebrating 10 years with a series of fantastic remixes that highlight the scope of their artistic vision, and that of those close to them. Inland leads in with an oceans deep version of the label bosses' "Spirit", which is smartly followed up by Jonas Kopp's equally submersive take on Hiver's "Itria". Jasper Wolff and Maarten Mittendorff lets the swooning "Meandering Rivers" by Kaelan burst its banks and fill out an expansive landscape, while Stojche pings Gian's "The Exchange" out into an electro-speckled cosmos.
Heidi Sabertoorh - "So You Want To Take Back Your Will" (6:37)
Synapse - "Shiny" (locked groove) (0:30)
Somatic Responses - "Strategy Of Desire" (5:22)
John Selway - "Brainchild" (5:29)
Pointsman - "Dirty Shirt" (locked groove) (0:30)
Review: Seminal New York City imprint Serotonin lives on. John Selway and Jason Szostek present It's What We Live For: Volume 2 - the second in a series of compilations sharing their vision of sounds of tomorrow. Szostek himself dons the well known BPMF alias again for some fierce breakbeat techno action on "Zu Heib Fur Uns", the equally legendary Healy brothers aka Somatic Response still going strong - as heard on the slo-mo acid trance journey "Strategy Of Desire" and relative newcomer Heidi Sabertooth of Opal Onyx delivers some sludgy electro-punk antics on "So You Want To Take Back Your Will". There's some handy locked grooves on the electro-bass tip featured too by Synapse and Pointsman, which were pretty wicked too.
Review: This is the end of Rivulet Records after seven years of existence. Over the years, they have presented fabulous works by the likes of Jonas Palzer, Momo and Skipless. The very last release comes from co-founder Stanley Schmidt, who collaborates with his long time friend Hobor on the Made In Paint LP. For these two Leipzig based artists, it had been a long time in the making and to present this work as the final product felt just right. A captivating collection of downbeat electronica and ambient, that is for the most part textured and melancholic in its expression - while at time other lush and uplifting, There are even a few moments of dancefloor friendly techno, such as the soulful acid stomp of "Swirling Paranoia" or the ecstatic junglist stepper "From Outside".
Identified Patient - "Stretch Out For Nothing" (6:43)
Scarlit Port - "Marg" (4:39)
Scarlit Port - "Touch U Without Touchin Ur Skin" (4:44)
Review: Following up some great releases by the likes of Greek analogue punk Morah, Gavin Pykerman aka Koova and French veteran Automat - London's Brokntoys are back with a wicked double header. On the A side of this Split EP we have Identified Patient (Pinkman/Common Thread) who serves up the guttural slo-mo techno of "Weerlos" and the electro-noir body music of "Stretch Out For Nothing". On the flip, the EBM/industrial vibe continues with Nurse boss Ali Najafi aka Scarlit Port - who delivers the slow burning sleaze of "Marg" (reminiscent of Front 242 circa Geography) and the factory floor groove of "Touch U Without Touchin Ur Skin" powered by appropriate metallic clangs, acidic arpeggios and brooding strings.
Review: The latest instalment in Pinkman's white label Broken Dreams series is a collaborative affair with imprint affiliate Identified Patient joining forces with vocalist Sophie Du Palais, who has previously contributed to one of the producer's other EPs. Du Palais is in full on mascara-clad minimal wave mode on trippy opener "Peaceful Panic", a throbbing fusion of raw synthesizer riffs, mind-altering arpeggio lines and crunchy drum machine hits. Her stylish spoken word vocals come to the fore on dark and psychedelic electro number "Sleep Without Rest", before Lasznikoff joins in the fun on closer "Everything is Done", a fuzzy and up-tempo workout rich in macabre, low-register riffs, incessant percussion hits and trippy, late night aural textures.
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".
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.
Review: To complement Objekt's masterful 36-track session for their irregular Kern mix series, Tresor have put out two self-explanatory 12" samplers. Kern Vol. 3: The Exclusives sees contributions from accomplished electro technicians Clatterbox and Polzer as well as Bristol's rising Shanti Celeste and Via App of 1080p fame. "Aspect Ratio" from Clatterbox and Celeste's understandably incandescent "Lights" both feature in a movement on the mix that is a real highlight of Kern Vol. 3, but DJs will be happy both have been pressed her for full club play. On the B-side, the swift and snappy metallic tunnelling of Polzer's "Static Rectifier" could be mistaken for an angry DJ Stingray, whilst Via App's "From Across The Room (Edit)" is a more playful, if pensive affair.
Alessandro Adriani - "Do Not Deliver Me Into The Enemy's Hands" (6:01)
Raw Ambassador - "Attack, Attack!" (5:49)
Review: New Italian label Hiroshima 45 Chernobyl 86 Windows 95 present Pubblicazione 001. Starting off on the A side is Penelope's Fiance from Thessaloniki, who serves up a lo-fi and coldwave perspective of the Boards Of Canada on "Run & Gun", while Italians Rawmance and Security team up on the slo-mo EBM mutation of "Un Bon Flic" - bringing you the sound of latter's Knick Knack Yoda burger club in Rome. On the flip, Mannequin boss Alessandro Adriani gives us the gnarly 303 acid epic "Do Not Deliver Me Into The Enemy's Hands" and Raw Ambassador aka Antonio Barbetta gives us the early industrial sounds of "Attack, Attack!" with its rusty aesthetic calling to mind the classics of Portion Control or Skinny Puppy.
Review: Having cut their teeth on crucial releases for Lux Rec, Pinkman, Broken Dreams and more, Savage Grounds come to Mosaique with more of their dark, spiky industrial and minimal wave deviations. The pair are more than qualified, with Daniele Cosmo being the Lux Rec boss and CCO being a veteran of the punky underground techno scene. This latest release matches up to what they've achieved so far, with "Schnell Ausser Kontrolle" especially standing out with its chunky, forward-thrusting synth hooks matching edginess with catchiness in a most artful of ways. There's plenty of lo-fi experimentation going on, not least on the dystopian gurgle of "Parasomnia", to keep all denizens of the night shocking out under the moon.
Review: With this sizable EP electro techno staple Scanone makes another appearance on regular haunt Yellow Machines, bringing five tracks of diverse, sci-fi infused electronica that kicks where it counts but keeps the tone esoteric on top. "Moon 2" is a fast-paced, dark-toned break cut, filtering in just enough melody to keep things emotional while the beats dutifully snap around the mix with an energetic grace. "Scene 7" is a more gentle affair, moving from anchorless strings to twitchy diversions into micro-sampled rhythms and rounded synth. "Darklight" calls to mind some of the earliest of Aphex Twin's breakbeats, but the melodies on top have a more tangible kind of melancholia to them which serves the spiritual impact of the record well. On the whole, it's the electro informed approach of classic labels like Skam that Scanone brings to mind with Scenes, and as an under-represented sound he is bringing a welcome focus to it.
Review: Hotflush head honcho Scuba returns to his esteemed imprint, following up hot releases by Liverpudlian newcomer Or:la, scene stalwart/acid freak LA-4A and the experimental electronics of Munich's Pyur. Under his SCB alias, he is probably best known for 'heads-down' style grooves and definitely more on the aggressive side. The dusty and dank "Test Tubes" is warm-up music for clandestine warehouse raves, while "Freedom For The Fifty" sees him offer up an impressive perspective of old school, Detroit style electro. From here, you start to see that it's a really diverse yet cohesive offering: with the hypnotic dancefloor drama of "Oration" showing something more consistent with his label's overall sound, while the evocative and life affirming retro electronica of "Laboratory Conditions" closes out the EP in style - something you would have heard at one of those legendary raves under the M25 back in the early '90s.
Review: Some six months after Paul "Scuba" Rose delivered a fine first album from his vowel-free SCB project, Hammer and Mor Elian step up to remix two of that set's most celebrated tracks. Bicep associate Hammer handles "Test Tubes", rolling out a mix bristling with crispy percussion, mind-mangling electronic riffs, foreboding electronic bass and chiming melodies. In contrast, LA producer and Hypercolour regular Mor Elian opts for a more loose-limbed and broken rhythmic approach, cannily showcasing her love of alien electronics and fuzzy ambient textures over stabbing analogue bass and sweaty, jazz-wise machine drums.
Review: Georgia-born, Brooklyn-based Sophia Saze set up Dusk & Haze to release 'genre-free' experimental music, exhibited in the label's debut release entitled 'Solace' EP featuring four versatile cuts from Sophia herself and twisted electro and techno remixes from Umwelt and Benjamin Damage. The second release comes from the enigmatic SDX, a masked artist who's fiercely championed left-of-centre dance music for decades. Crunchy drums and a thumping bassline kick things off in 'MS 04' before Los Angeles duo 138 provide an outstanding remix incorporating a cacophony of raw breaks. Modulated flutters, warped blips and white noise create 'MS 08', leading into the organic drums and off-kilter arpeggios of '007' until New York's SC- 164 reworks '007' delivering a pulsating sub and distorted vocal chops.
Review: Central Processing Unit chief CP Smith is keeping tight-lipped about the identity of the shadowy producer(s) behind the Secret State project. Smith describes this debut EP as "an attempt to rise above the all-pervasive, vacuous, decaying culture." We'll let you judge whether the men or women of mystery have succeeded in that aim, but we certainly think it's a fine EP. By CPU standards, it's a rather eclectic affair, flitting between druggy, arpeggio-driven alien funk ("CIA UFO Google Search"), ghetto-tech influenced deep electro (the wonderful "De-Pattern"), sparkling dacenfloor electro positivity ("The Sleep Room") and glistening, bass-heavy techno/proto-house/deep house fusion (sublime closer "Weep For Joy").
Review: When John Selway brought his dancing hands to the keyboard to begin work on his first full EP on Serotonin Records since 'Zoids Vol 2' in 1998, he channelled cosmic soul to create the next generation of intergalactic funk. His EP 'Light Language' surfs the solar winds to the space between breaks and electro where his musical adventures are free to explore the frontiers of dance. 'Light Language' permeates with the angelic voices of our true selves. The voice is the primary and complete musical instrument. When John was not yet born his mother sang to him in utero. A musical soul so innate it resonates celestial tonalities. All captured here on this twelve inch disk delivered by the galaxian voyager and pressed for human kind by Serotonin Records.
Review: ??Introducing Paris-based contemporary sculptor and music maker Erwan Sene joining the exponential Unknown Precept roster. Gathering pieces thought of as little narratives for his debut release, not without a bit French irony around the concept of work, 'I Heard You Laughing' wavers towards mechanical repetition and something more outdated at times. Purposely slowing down the tempo to fit the apparent redundancy of an industrial environment and its steadily running engines. An eroded atmosphere of sorts, analogous to the smokestacks emanating from factory chimneys. Accentuating the ambiguity of a wild thought which is hard to grasp. Despite its machine-driven aspect, Sene primary questions the difficulty to manage one's life stuck in a primitive mindset, making intuitive associations in a grid pattern. Carbon copy music for the tangled minds out there, leaving room for nothing but sedated feelings.
Review: It would be fair to say that Series-A's Evolution Technology is something of a long-lost electro classic. Written and produced by Detroit friends DJ Maestro and Kid Fresh in 1987, 50 promo copies of the record were pressed before the label they'd signed to, California's Satellite Records, went bankrupt. This was always a shame, as "Evolution Technology" is something of a killer: a spellbinding chunk of futurist electro that updated the Cybotron blueprint for the emerging Motor City techno generation. As well as the original 7" and Dub versions, this first "proper" release also features a brand new rework from Tad Mullinix (under the JTC pseudonym), which appropriately re-casts the track as a spacey Detroit techno shuffler.