Review: Always a reliable destination for cult talents operating on exciting frontiers of techno, meandyou this time shine a light on J.S. Zeiter, who adopts the Analog 1 alias for some dense, meticulously crafted trips into the strange psychedelic underbelly of dub techno. "SM4L" features pastoral chord swells straining behind a babbling brook of high frequency sound design, while "Mistral" takes a classical approach to ambient composition, all yearning arpeggios and lingering keys. "Interlude" is a brief twirl around blown out drums and textural impulses, and then "SKIV Loop (Rework)" sets a more positive tone for the end of the EP, pushing classic dub techno sounds into a hazy, summery space away from the usual icy tundra the genre normally inhabits.
Review: The recent news that the Jealous God label is planning to wind down was slightly softened by the impressive selection of releases that will appear before it does. Chief amongst those was this EP from Champagne Mirrors, an alias of Blackest Ever Black contributor Alex Barnett. Extended Communication Techniques is as dark, unsettling and creepy as you'd expect, with occasional shards of light - a headline melody here and there, with similarly rare slivers of woozy electronic positivity - helping to balance out Barnett's dystopian tendencies. It's one of those sets that benefits from repeated listens, with each successive play revealing additional layers of moody detail.
Obsolete Music Technology - "High Top Fade" (6:32)
Specter - "Butters Whipped" (6:02)
Isoke - "Soul Glo" (3:10)
Damon Lamar - "Bermuda Triangle" (7:02)
Chicago Skyway - "Edged Out" (6:04)
Review: Perpetual Rhythms is already well-regarded as a bastion of quality amongst contemporary Chicago house labels, and now they've downright sealed the deal with this mammoth compilation from a stellar cast of local cats. There's too many to all list in detail here, so focusing on the highlights, Dcee leads things in with the tumbling cosmic jazz leanings of "Suavecito," Hakim Murphy teases with a spacious and daring exploration in the liminal zone between ambient and house, and Obsolete Music Technology gets invigorating with the bouncy "High Top Fade." Those tracks alone are enough to deserve your hard earned, but there's reams of other excellent forward-facing Windy City jams to sink your teeth into.
Review: UK based French underdog Arnaud Le Texier returns on his Children Of Tomorrow imprint with a collection of fierce and functional cuts for clandestine warehouse parties. On the Spilt 7 EP, the label head honcho himself takes care of proceedings on the A side: with the tunnelling, mentalist epic "Ooze" that's perfect to take the punters further down the spiral, while the greyscale and textural mood of "Le Gratteur" calls to mind the sinister industrial experiments of Shifted's Avian imprint. On the flip, the reins are handed over to Russian producer Unbalanced - who hasn't been on our radar for a while, but we're certainly curious to hear what he's been up to since his stellar releases on his eponymous and Rebalance imprints. Indeed "Warehouse Tool 2 & 3" respectively do exactly what they say on the tin. These two seething, steely and austere cuts are perfect for maintaining the adrenaline levels on the dancefloor.
Review: Icelandic techno veteran Yagya enjoys a release on X/OZ that celebrates both new and old material. The tempo is noticeably ramped up on "One Weak Light" but never at the expense of that dark and mysterious Icelandic hue. "Existence Is Weird" is no slouch either, but Yagya shapes out his atmospheres with such a refined touch that you barely notice how quick the tracks are running. "A Very Long Daydream" is a gorgeous ambient track dug out of the archives, while "Getting Closer To An Unknown Goal" sees the re-release of a track Yagya released as Rhythm Of Snow back in 1999.