Review: There are many things about this debut album from exiled Sheffielder 96 Back that are, frankly, remarkable. For starters, it's utterly brilliant and sounds like the work of an artist with years in the game under his belt, rather than a 19-year-old who is still making his way in the scene. As you'd expect, it's rooted in electro, with the Bristol-based youngster flitting between dashing alien funk ("Matryoshka"), freestyle-influenced cheeriness ("Excited, Boy"), weighty, Drexciya style rollers ("Ghzel Tea"), sub-heavy sleaze ("Digi Trigger"), early Aphex Twin-meets-DMX Krew melodiousness ("Vennsate") and rush-inducing workouts that are giddier than your average toddler after a few too many shots of neat orange squash.
Review: Back in 2012, C.P. Smith's Central Processing Unit label launched via a fine EP from Texas-based producer Philip Washington AKA Cygnus. Having continued their relationship via an album and further EPs, it would be fair to say that the American is one of the Sheffield label's most significant acts. "Deep Analysis" is Washington's first release on CPU for four years and delivers a sextet of high-grade electro cuts. There's much to admire throughout, from the bustling computer beats and deep space chords of "Decent Of Man" and the angry vocoder vocals of bona-fide club-rocker "Sheffield Bleep", to the Drexciya style intensity of the title track and bubbly brilliance of EP opener "Her Majesty (The Universe)".
Review: In our eyes, at least, Central Processing Unit was the most consistent label of 2016. The Sheffield imprint has started 2017 in fine fashion, too, with this debut album from Ukranian producer Andriy Vezdeno AKA Noumen. Aperion is a fine set of off-kilter electronic treats, drawing on a wide range of classic and contemporary influences. There are mutant, Autechre-like moments, uncompromising electro workouts a la Drexciya, nods to braindance-era Rephlex releases, melodious explorations of Boards of Canada territory, and thrillingly mangled interpretations of drum & bass. In other words, it's a hugely enjoyable, turbo-charged sprint through Vezdenko's contemporary interpretations of classic IDM tropes.
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: After a series of sporadic, utterly windblown techno EPs over the last 4 years, Nadia Struiwigh lands on the constantly growing Central Processing Unit with a pair of mindbending dance sketches that blur the liens between industrial and something verging on techno. "Lenticular" and "Trip In Fiction" are made up of the same cloth; two hazy, broken down club deviants that power forwards with the help of grainy power electronics and hardware fuzz.