Review: Alien atmospheres, bassy sonar blips, crackling ambience, fizzing white noise and a barely-there groove makes the A-side of this second Nautil 12" a delight for ambient, industrial, drum and bass, techno and by and large experimental lovers alike. 943 has all the hallmarks of a Felix K production only without the rolling D&B beats, but who needs them when you have spatial textures like this! Toolshop drums with the rhythm of a hammer hitting a nail out of time provides the B-side with a awkward groove while dubby stabs form and disappear in the background behind the sound of hissing pistons from a make-believe steam works.
Review: Felix K's Hidden Hawaii is now a staple of Berlin-style techno, but describing it as such doesn't really do the label its full justice. That's because this isn't just another bunch of relentless club tracks; instead, the label has always been careful to release material that is prone to opening one's mind and allowing the techno genre to broaden its general outlook. This year, Felix K himself, alongside frequent associate DB1, have been focussing heavily on their latest Elemnt moniker, and this new EP is the latest iteration of this project. Split from 1-4, each mix of "Water" offers something that's just out of reach, a blend of morphing, techno-reminiscent sounds that never quite manage to take a full shape, or dissolve into straight-edged dance music. The hollowness, and the kinetic energy within that, is what we've always loved about this fine imprint, and we urge you to find that same piece of inspiration.
Review: German jungle subversion: Martin Heinze delivers his debut album Kerner and it's every bit as beguiling, unique and forward-thinking as his back catalogue on the likes of Med School, Commercial Suicide and Warm Comms foretold. Back on Hidden Hawaii for the first time in years, Kerner is his most explorative and wide-ranging piece of work to date: the minimal techno ricochet of "Kickoff", the industrial whirlwind breaks of "Krine", the ever-distorting elastic bassline venom of "Gryphe", the echo chamber cosmosis and reverse-warping of "Human Error", the playful steps and trippy dribbles of "Shades", the suspense and release of the tribal pounder "Impending" and the cathedral-like chimes and reverbs of the far-out finale "Maxicle"... Seven examples of genuine 170 innovation.
Review: Hidden Hawaii's Gilga offshoot is gaining more traction with each new week and, most importantly, the label is bringing new talent to the scene on a constant basis. This time, newcomer - and mysterious beatsmith - Myself 69 lands on our Experimental pages with a magnificent, seven-part myriad of electronic compositions. "Premillenialism", for instance, is an indescribable labyrinth if sounds that verges onto hip-hop while still keeping one foot firmly in the electronica game; similarly, "Ghosn Run" and "Gilga 400" mash up lo-fi riffs, distorted beats and fuzzy bass frequencies to form a truly spectacular array of meditation material. The flipside pushes the boundaries further still, with "Hi, Waves" sounding like some neo-krautrock, "Oude Ou" bringing in some mad strings to an off-kilter rhythm, the daring "CE 96/PPE Wolve" goes on a mad bender of sparse jazz samples and eerie FM synthesis, leaving "Naima Jam" to provide the cool, bluesy tones for the free jazz lovers. What an EP. Warmly recommended!
Review: Hidden Hawaii's Gilga offshoot - which was inaugurated with a fine EP by the great Legowelt - returns with their third release and this time it's by newcomer Parlament Der Fische, who delivers a fresh and provocative take on electronica. "Tape 1" is broken, jarring and barely held together by a swarm of metallic percussion and ultra-compressed kicks running in its underbelly. On the flipside, "Tape 2" unleashes a punishing low-end beneath aqueous synths and submerged melodies in what is surely the EP's finest moment. Dubby, abstract, dark and utterly recommended.