Review: BOOM! Our favourites, Cititrax, roll the third editions of Tracks out onto our shelves, and the results are unsurprisingly strong on this excellent various artists comp. It's a mixed bag of skills, as per usual, and the sounds are those of a new NYC, fuelled by a new sort of post-industrial sensibility. Amato Y Mariana open with the tight beats and groove of "Queires Bailar", followed closely by the ominous compositions of the EBM-flavoured "Montgat" from The Sixteen Steps. On the flip, His Dirty Secrets bleeps out some morphed acid on "Structures", and "Another Stranger" from Further Reductions churns out a slow, mild-mannered house experiment with its roots clearly planted in the coldest of waves. Sick.
Review: Manchester's meandyou. collective take their time over releases, averaging just over a 12" per year. Here they kick off 2016 with another collaborative EP, full of drowsy deep house, crackling techno and tipsy, world-weary ambience. With label conspirator Herron otherwise engaged, it falls to Workshopper Even Tuell to kick things off with the slowly unfurling new age chords, blazed vocal samples and sparse-but-chunky deep house groove of "Boys Truth". Sul "Does It For Andy" on the creepy, discordant dark world ambient track of the same name, before Sensu brings back the beats on the hypnotic, experimental dubby techno shuffle of "Sigmon". Finally, Fabric lays back and lights something fragrant on the similarly dub techno influenced, metallic IDM-goes-ambient of "Pink Grid".
Review: Drew Lustman aka FaltyDL has long been inspired by both US and UK rave culture, so it's little surprise to see him exploring these influences further on his first Unknown To The Unknown 12". Check, for example, opener "Untitled 111vgr" where jumpy rave piano stabs, sped-up vocal snippets and bombastic bass ride a groove that sits somewhere between happy hardcore and booty bass. "Beast" is the kind of rumbling electro/IDM fusion that could once have appeared on Rephlex, while the druggy "One for UTTU" sounds like Lustman paying tribute to Drexciya. Arguably best of all, though, is the ludicrously titled "Piano 4 9 18 Feux Master Erie 25%", a spacey slow jam that recalls the halcyon days of ambient electro.
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: Newcomer Feon up next on Optimo Music, with some some gorgeous and sunkissed balearica. The London based producer wrote these tracks in a brisk 10 day session, shortly after the experience of Ayahuasca ceremony - which is evidenced in the psychedelic sound of the first track. He has explained that the production involved his vocals being layered 30 times in different harmonies, then put through a space echo and you can sure hear it! This one was awesome. On the flip, we have the trance inducing muscle disco of "Holland Fly By" with its super cosmic influences enough to propel your mind into the stratosphere. Finally there's something much more experimental on the solemn, breaks-driven tripper "Without Sound".
Review: After first emerging with his cosmic electro project back in 2009, King Britt is back on Hyperdub after last year's The Phoenix album with a short but sweet collection of blissed out beat-scuffing business. "Sonic Six" is a true heavens-scraper with its dense layers of broken beats and wistful key lines, loaded with emotive intent and crushing bass. "Faith" meanwhile takes the scenic route through twinkling arpeggios and swooping pads over a blissful 12 minutes, before "Past" meanders into some strange soundtrack-ready excursions of the highest calibre. It's another stark and surprising artistic statement from one of Britt's most adventurous aliases, and it sits just right on Hyperdub.
Review: Shadowy London producer Filter Dread returns from Beyond Saturn with four new futurist designs. This time on Seattle newcomer label Tech Startup. Maintaining his stark ravey elements, pneumatic breaks and grainy bass signature, the vibe remains hardcore, rough around the edges throughout. "Rainforest" is near militant with its drum edits and warped, detuned synth washes while "Blizzard" brings a crush sense of decay to the percussion and much more of a subverted electro feel to the mix. Flip for two more weapons: the gnarled, schizoid "Tripping Up" which touches on breakcore but at a much slower tempo and "RX 4 Real" which taps into the classic hardcore aesthetic and flips more switches than Battersea Power Station.
Review: For their first trick, recently launched label Ex Machina presents a selection of tunes extracted from M. Finnkreig's 1988 debut cassette, Exit/Accidental. There's much to admire throughout, from the foreboding, fuzz-laden new beat pulse of "Blank Order" and "Clean State", to the bubby but moody, alternative synth-pop bustle of "Discover The Truth" and high-pitched, manipulated acappella vocal cut "Medium". Elsewhere, "Exit-Accidental" is a cheery and out-there chunk of pitched-down electro rich in moody, post-apocalyptic chords and stuttering sample stabs, and "Liberia" is a woozy collage of layered spoken word snippets, lilting synthesizer melodies and wobbly drum machine programming.
Five Times Of Dust - "Computer Bank" (The Floor mix) (7:12)
Five Times Of Dust - "Armoured Car" (6:57)
Unovidual & Tara Cross - "Like I Am, Comme Je Suis" (The Floor mix) (7:11)
Unovidual & Tara Cross - "Imponative" (3:28)
Review: Thanks to the eternally revered Minimal Wave imprint, out of NYC, Mark Phillips and Robert Lawrence's Five Times Of Dust project is going through a bit of a revival. The duo had first released some post-punk cassettes back in the 80s, and they clearly have not been forgotten. On this new remix EP, "Computer Bank" is given a makeover in the form of a The Floor remix, who proceeds to add all sorts of quirkiness over the tune's tough, heavy bass and driving rhythm; "Armoured Car" breaks the 4/4 in favour of something much closer to the band's original drum machine style. Once again, on the flip, we have a remix of "Like I Am, Comme Je Suis" by The Floor, who throws up a gnarly electro bass onto shady, neo-romantic vocals, and the whole things is finished off by "Imponative" from Unovodual and Tara Cross, who produce a slow, heady industrial groove for the dancefloor.
Review: Last year Burial and the Bug joined forces as Flame 1, delivering an in-demand EP on the latter's Pressure label featuring two sizable slabs of industrial strength soundsystem science. Here they return as Flame 2, once again offering up a pair of weighty dancefloor excursions. A-side "Dive" is a loud and claustrophobic affair, as the duo wraps dystopian dub bass and sparse, mutilated post-drill rhythms in layers of apocalyptic aural textures and mind-altering dub techno style processed noise. Flipside "Rain" is arguably more suitable for dancefloor plays and sees the esteemed twosome combine pulverizing sub-bass heaviness with dancehall style drums that come smothered in mind-melting effects and paranoia-inducing aural smoke.
Review: Last year, Burnt Friedmann and Uwe Schmidt reunited as Flanger for the first time in a decade, releasing the IDM-meets-future jazz full-length Lollopy Dripper. Here the experimental electronica veterans are at it again, delivering three more eccentric chunks of body-popping electronic jazz-fusion. They begin with the spacey throb of "Spinner", where broken computer noises and glitch electronics ride an undulating, off-kilter drum machine groove. "It From Bit" retains the attractive glitches of its' predecessor, blending them with an up-tempo, dub-influenced techno rhythm. Finally, they let their jazz influences run free on the computerized broken beat-meets-IDM-in-dub fizz of "Loose Joints".
Review: Current heroes of the industrial techno sound here tend to focus on the industrial side of things for The Cast Project: a vinyl affair from Los Angeles based on the collective sounds from a faction of artists. They are said to gather a few artists; each of them providing several unique audio samples, clips and/or field recordings that best define their sound. They then collect the samples from each artist and redistribute them to the artists as a master pack, at which point they create a unique track. First up fellow Los Angeleno Luis Flores delivers the grinding and guttural first offering, while 138 then delivers some impressive Autechre styled IDM on his/her effort. On the flip, Dutch terroriser Bas Mooy delivers a furious and powerful warehouse techno stormer that blows the doors off as always. Finally Serbian duo Ontal deliver some more of their typically contorted takes on techno.
Review: For their ninth release, Berlin's mindcolormusic present another stellar release by a debutant, as well as an old schooler. Shane Teal aka Flux is based out in the Pacific Northwest U.S.A. and is said to have been recording music for over a decade, making anything from electro to drum and all that's in between. All these disparate influences can be heard on the unholy mixture of "2linx" which comes off sounding like some broken-beat offworld IDM experiment - and sounds pretty awesome. On the flip, it is over to Eddie Symons: a veteran producer based in the UK, who after releasing on his own Struktur and [d]-tached imprints, made his debut as Bovaflux for the Highpoint Lowlife label back in 2005. Four deep and dystopian electro bass offerings from Symons here, and we particularly enjoyed the Aphex/Autechre spounding melancholia of "Lmp_Nrg".
Review: 12 months on from his last outing on Ron Morelli's celebrated L.I.E.S. label, former Napalm Death noisenik Mick Harris once again dons the Fret alias for another exploration of techno's farthest, darkest corners. He hits the ground running with "Slowly Moving In", a polyrhthmic industrial techno workout full of ricocheting, end-of-days electronics and distortion-soaked drums. "The Hill" is, if anything, even more panicked and bone-rattling, as if Harris had re-imagined the soundtrack from notorious Sheffield-based nuclear winter drama "Threads". Over on side B, "Pirates" is a formidably fuzzy and mind-altering attack on the senses, while "Walking With Cameras" adds creepy refrains to one of Harris's weightiest rhythm tracks yet.