Review: AUX88 The 1990's launched an onslaught of projects and musical influences to a new generation of listeners to a re-emergence of electro. Paying homage to those before, a four-man crew from the east side of Detroit, AUX88, laid down the foundation of the gritty sound of the streets, and made their presence known via urban radio, dance clubs, and overseas venues. The time has come for those who were major influences to add their touch to the continuation of that sonic pallet.
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.
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: This tidy EP gathers together some of The Hacker's most sought-after early tracks, all of which have been re-mastered to leave them sounding weightier than ever. First up is the pulsating brilliance of electro-techno fusion workout "At Night", which - like two other cuts on the EP - first appeared on legendary 1998 12" "A Strange Day". This prime chunk of mind-altering body music is swiftly followed by the sparkling, saucer-eyed alien electro-funk of "Leather Dreams" and the hard-wired Kraftwerk style electro heaviness of "Body Electric" (a fuzz-soaked slammer based around the Robots' "Numbers" that initially came out in 1998). "The Night Flight", a bubbly Drexciya style number from 1999, completes a fantastic package.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Larry McCormick's Monotone label is one of the finest outposts for darkside electro operating in these bountiful times for the genre, and following on from the first volume of vinyl-only compilation MonoTrax, brace yourselves for round two. The Hacker is at his stalking, sinister best on "Rhythmus Machine," while McCormick himself brings a tough, street-level grittiness to "Root Code." Cosmic Force is on a dystopian sci fi tip with the nagging synth patterns of "Maximilian Of Roma", and DeFeKT completes the package with the audacious synth acrobatics and jackhammer beats of "I Am Here." What more do you need to know? This is high-end electro business for down and dirty, sweat-box dancefloors.
Review: When it comes to exploring the full potential of Roland's iconic TB-303 bass synthesizer, few are quite as capable of I Love Acid and Balkan Vinyl chiefs Posthuman. Here the long-serving duo pops up on X-Kalay with a particularly robust and club-friendly three-tracker. For straight-up heaviness you can't beat "King Rat", a muscular and sweaty fusion of booming beats, clanking drum fills, outer-space effects and energy-packed acid lines. Arguably more exciting, though, is A-side "Airwave Uranium", an acid-electro bubbler rich in psychedelic TB-303 lines, moody chords and bleeping electronics. X-Kalay artist Lou Karsh provides the accompanying remix, giddily emphasizing Posthuman's razor-sharp acid lines while subtly beefing up the beats.
Review: Prolific Dutch producer Boris Bunnik wears several hats: Conforce, Silent Harbour and Vernon Felicity, but some of his most exciting music is produced under the Versalife alias where he delves deep into the electro sound. He makes his debut here for Leeds institution 20/20 Vision with "Machine Life", taking the classic electro sound further but with a modern twist. We're going deep underwater on the moody title track, before coming up for air via the soulful android funk of "MO5". On the flip, the eerie dystopian themes continue on the sombre "Monospace" and the seething reductionist electro-bass of "Axion".