Review: AE Recordings turns its attention to Oculus, who they describe as a "titan of the Icelandic techno scene", famed for his live sets that have kept bodies moving for the past decade. He commits some of his sounds to wax here, maintaining the otherworldly emotional lilt that often comes from the scene orbiting AE and Thule Records, but with a bolder sound palette than some of the icy dubbed out artists he rubs shoulders with. "Nostalgia" deals in powerful, swooning chord progressions, while "Rydgad" pings a set of metallic percussion around a sturdy but crooked low end groove. "Morph" takes things deeper, while "Flod" offers up a classy take on the minimal techno aesthetic, with added sound design trysts for good measure.
Review: Fresh from the success of two top notch EPs on iile, Leo Pol unveils his most ambitious release to date. All I Got In Me is something of a beast, with seven tracks stretched across two slabs of wax. It's a rather pleasingly varied affair, all told, with the experienced producer flitting between Detroit style techno futurism ("BH2"), warm, chunky and occasionally tough deep house ("All I Got In Me", "Live Concrete"), spacey beatbox electro ("Live Love") and the kind of tech-house cuts that look to both the Motor City and Chicago for inspiration. As a bonus, he's also included a collaborative cut under the St Ouen Connection moniker, the deep and hazy, techno-tempo positivity of "Masile".
Review: Leeds veteran Paul Raymono continues with his winning streak of releases with this new thriller on Darius Syrossian's Moxy Muzik. It's all tough rolling tech house for the main room on this four track banger focused on the tripped-out hypnotic bounce of "Initiated" and rolling afterhours groove business of "Esperanza" with its rather familiar vocal house refrain. The latter receives a killer rework by the FUSE London affiliated Seb Zito on the flip, followed by the "Brandub 'Space' Remix" which gets down to business in minimal and bumping fashion.
Review: New York techno mainstay Reade Truth has skirted around widespread recognition with a long-standing commitment to underground techno approaches recognised by those that know as some of the best in the business. This release sees him dust down the first release on his label Path, 20 years after it originally did the business. It's high time tracks like "The Path" that get a fresh airing - the dynamic, detailed approach to drum programming and warm acid undulations sound as relevant now as they did back then. "319" is a more reflective jam that heads into emotive, moody territory that highlights the breadth in Truth's sound, before "Give Me Insanity" round things up by taking it super-deep thanks to expansive pad sweeps and shimmering hats aplenty.
Review: Times have changed since Jake Williams first donned the Rex The Dog alias for Kompakt in 2004, but his ability to deliver ear-pleasing, synth-heavy dancefloor cuts has never faltered. "Vortex", the lead cut from the producer's first EP on 2019, is a particular potent example of his art, with Williams building and releasing tension via sparse, spacey lead lines, new wave style synth chords, matter-or-fact techno beats, trance-inducing motifs and some suitably mind-altering breakdowns. It's arguably his strongest club cut for years and certainly the most alluring. Over on side B, "Elektromekanik" sees Williams brilliantly alternate between moments of loved-up, rush-inducing dreaminess and thrillingly angular, hard-wired modular electronics.
Review: Earlier in the decade, Alexander Skancke released a swathe of admired singles on NeoStrictly, Eskimo Recordings and Shadow Hide You, before promptly vanishing from view. "Jungle Japes" sees the Norwegian return to action after three long years via a heavy and mind altering four-tracker that we believe to be his strongest work to date. For proof, check the mangled, bowel-bothering two-step garage/minimal house fusion of "Dig It", and the lolloping "bassline" swing of "Inaflow", where Eastern European tech-house electronics bubble away above a suitably rugged and sub-heavy groove. Elsewhere, "Acid Cave" is a bounding chunk of out-there tech-house retro-futurism, while "Jungle Japes (Monkey Mix)" is a bounce-along slab of high-grade dancefloor silliness.
Review: After brief dalliances with Metereze, Meander and Serialism, Stefan Nicu aka Sublee brings his idiosyncratic, sublime and ethereal tones to inaugurate new Sao Paulo / Berlin / London-based imprint Moving People with the Moving Spaces EP. Quite possibly the most in-demand producer to have emerged from Bucharest's blossoming but elusive music scene recently, Nicu delivers the four-tracker in confident fashion beginning with the sublime yet tough rolling tech-funk of "Still About You", "Rokit" and the title track before going in deep with the hypnotic and evocative breakbeat action of "Miurshinis".
Review: Japanese techno legend Fumiya Tanaka returns to his own Sundance imprint with a brand new 12" with a customary strange and cryptic title. While information is scarce on the theme behind "We Would Like To Do Song For The Step", we can happily report that the Berlin-based artist's penchant for deep, hypnotic minimal house is on full force across the EP. We can easily imagine the dusty and understated title track being played on a Sunday afternoon at Hoppetosse, along with "In A Memorable 2018" where ethereal samples sit atop a groovy percussion layer. If you're longing for some old Tanaka material, the bass-driven and rolling minimal funk of "Don't Stuporous" calls to mind some of the quality grooves found on his acclaimed "Beautiful Days" series a couple of years back.
Review: 21 years have passed since Silverlining (aka Asad Rizvi) and Nathan Coles first joined forces as Two Right Wrongans and released "The Not Quite Right EP", a brilliant three-track collection of pioneering tech-house treats. That 12" has long been tricky to find - unless, of course, you're willing to fork out rather a lot to purchase an original copy online - so it's great to see the EP's two standout tracks getting the reissue treatment. A-side "System Error" is particularly potent, with fizzing sci-fi electronics and gently pulsing chords rising above a techno-tempo, house style rhythm track. "Straight Ahead Then Take The Next Wrong" is more hypnotic in tone, sounding like a blueprint for today's glitchy, bass-heavy tech-house tracks.