Review: Mark Ambrose doubles up on his appearance on Was/Is with this strident bout of deep end dwellers, kicking off in style with the charged up strut and punchy mono bass of "Makossa (mix 1)," making a point of stepping into a more peak time sound. "Makossa (mix 2)" takes things in a more bugging direction, but there's still plenty of pressure to be felt in the wriggling low end mess and nagging hi hats. The Teakup mix of "Makossa" is a devilish broken beat track, and then "Wagamama" slips in a loopy melodic hook and lets a firm but freaky slice of techno roll out underneath.
Review: Moto Music round off a cracking year with this essential collection of deep diving techno finery from Bigeneric, one of Marco Repetto's many long-lasting aliases. The Swiss polymath is a dab hand at wringing illustrious machine soul out of his machines, whether it be crafty, head-snagging rhythms or plush and expressive threads of synth work, and on this double pack you get an abundance of both. With one foot firmly in the heritage of Detroit and the other gazing into the stellar orbit of the finest European techno dreamers, this is elegant, thoughtful electronic music of the highest order.
Coefficient - "Wavefunction Collapse" (P God remix) (6:58)
Coefficient - "Wavefunction Collapse" (6:52)
Ben Gibson - "Frontier" (5:50)
P God - "Hoag's Object" (6:20)
Review: Italian label Prototypes is pretty straight up with their mission statement. It's all about 'classic techno elements blended with eerie atmospheres, dark synths and sharp percussion as essential characteristics.' UK producer Coefficient pursues the bleepier end of hypnotic techno in the same vein as the legendary Sahko, as heard on the trance inducing atmospherics of "Wavefunction Collapse". The fierce remix up next by label boss P.God goes for the jugular in the same style as recent Pole Group or Avian efforts. New Zealander Ben Gibson is featured too, with the lush deep techno excursion entitled "Frontier" which proves that this guy is on point as always. Finally we have P.God again with another fine effort in the form of "Hoag's Object". While certainly not as furious as his aforementioned remix, it certainly is jam packed full of drama and suspense. With its trance inducing melodies, droney pads and strict rhythms channelling that now classic Sandwell District kind of vibe.
Review: Hailing from the fertile community they have built up around them in Bucharest, Delusion Men and their label Future Nuggets represent a very different twist on the contemporary Romanian electronic music scene. This album is a prime case in point, dealing in off-kilter wavey synths, intriguing rhythmic approaches and spooked out atmospheres that speak as much to the folkloric mystery of the East as any electronic traditions from other parts of the world. If you're drawn to music that sends you to exotic new places on the fringes of your imagination, then Stuck On The Border is the album for you.
Review: Three years after the release of Adrift, Ebauche (aka Alex Leonard) returns with a beautiful new ambient LP. It is inspired by a strange disconnected dream during a long cross-country journey through Poland in the depths of winter in 2014. Mutable reflects the rhythms of that journey and the ethereal dreamscape which enveloped him.
Each track on Mutable pulsates and wraps around itself, gradually evolving its soundscape and encasing the listener in a deep and rewarding world. There is careful exploration of polyrhythmic variations within juxtaposed morphing drones bubbling out from stacks of synthesizers. The pieces are densely layered with fine detail, often only revealed on repeated listens, and are subtly backed by field recordings from locations around Poland.
Chwiac opens the album with scintillating polyrhythms and pulsating bass tones; continuously folding in on itself teasing elements in and out of our awareness. Zmienny evolves gently over its 11 minutes, voices skittering in the background whilst synths, horns and strings grow, waver, and vacillate. Rozwijac' is a lovingly constructed soundscape full of warmth and gentle tones which lull the listener to serenity as the album closes.
Each piece on the album is accompanied by a unique painting created by Polish artist Adrianna Snochowska. The paintings are 50 x 35 cm mixed media (texture & oil paint) on canvas. Adrianna spent many hours listening to the draft mixes whilst creating these paintings and moulded the texture effects to the sounds on each track.
Additionally, long-time producer Arovane has provided a remix of Chwiac which is included on the release. The remix picks up on Chwiac's pulsing polyrhythms and wraps them in layers of gritty distortion and subtle melodic nuances, underpinned by driving beats.
Review: Eric Cloutier launched Palinoia last year with a single of his own, but now he's turned to Berlin mainstays Exercise One to lay down some of their trademark psychoactive machine music for the second installment. "Heptagon" sports metallic synth notes clanging out over a freight train of techno drums, while "Prism" takes a more nimble approach to twist out its various synthetic squeaks. "Nitrogen" is a warmer proposition, placing the emphasis on chords and melodies while still aiming squarely at the dancefloor. "Thirty Four" finds the duo veering away from the 4/4 dogma to deliver a captivating kind of broken techno in a soundscape loaded with tension and ominous empty space.
Review: Brazilian producer Fernando Seixlack has previously impressed with a couple of notably punky albums of experimental techno under the Innyster alias. Here he makes his debut for Ron Morelli's esteemed L.I.E.S imprint with a first full-length under his own name. While still as fuzzy, lo-fi and out-there as its predecessors, "Fernando" is a surprisingly melodious and tuneful affair, with Seixlack wrapping glistening - if distorted and pixilated - guitars and trippy synthesizer motifs around bustling machine beats and wayward electronic percussion. At times it touches on electro, at others IDM and more experimental, abstract pursuits; throughout, the album remains both hugely entertaining and pleasingly atmospheric.
Review: Fresh from releasing the superb Pink Flamingos album on Dement3d, In Aternam Vale returns to Minimal Wave. This time round, he's not alone. Each of the tracks features the breathy, stylish vocals of Madrid-based Belarusian, Anneq. Her sleazy, whispered refrain is the headline attraction on the throbbing, industrial pop-meets-techno hustle of "Je Ai Dissous", while she also chats seductively over the undulating arpeggio lines, restless drums and dystopian atmospheres of "Tendencia (About Blank Version"). The ambient-leaning "V6" take of that cut is also hugely inspiring, while the Page R version of "Je Ai Dissous" is a dark, atmospheric and intoxicating celebration of legendary '80s "computer musical instrument", the Fairlight CMI.
Review: Florian Meindl is no newcomer to the house and techno domain; the artist has been around since the early 2000's, and has been a prominent figure throughout the development of the two genres' various mutations and developments. Originally from Austria, Meindl has put out a vast majority of his music through his own Flash Recordings, but he's been a difficult one to pin down thanks to his constantly shifting array of sounds and new fascinations with dance music. Time Illusion sounds like one of his most accomplished pieces yet, and there isn't a moment on here where the listener is faced with predictability; instead there is a noticeable feeling that each new track will bring something new to the table. For instance, the switch from bleeping, acid-laden techno to breakbeat-driven nu-jungle between "Isometric" and "Space Traveler" is a masterclass in style and pace, and the same goes for the passage between the Axis-style techno of "Wild Sequence 2" and the deeper, more magnetic hypnosis of "Loader's Number". What an outstanding LP from the veteran!