Review: It's common knowledge now that #.4.26. is Ilian Tape mainman Dario Zenker, who under this alias released a slew of hard hitting DJ tools on cult label Frozen Border - and this is his first new material under the name since five years. From the sheer terror of dynamic opener "Mono Middle", a dystopian electro number saturated in dense lo-fi fuzz, the broken beats continue on the minimal boom and thump of "Whenever Voi". But it's the B side that proclaims no more Mr. Nice Guy here, with the slamming old school energy of "Free Upload" calling to mind the early '90s sound of Djax or Pro-Jex, while "Van Cul" again demonstrates Zenker's fine ability to weave broken beat arrangements into epic, big room techno bangers.
Review: With this the 3rd instalment of Hell's my definition of house 12" series, two new massive Gigolo old-school tracks are resurrected for the pleasure of a modern listening public. In 1986, three young DJs began making music on a 4-track recorder in a Baltimore basement studio. Little did they know at the time that more than 15 years later they would be viewed as pioneers of American dance music. 33 1/3 Queen (aka Basement Boys aka Jay Ateinhour, Reddy Souglas, and Thommy Davis) took samples of A Guy Called Gerald's classic "Blow Your House Down" (originally released in 1988) and made their single "Searchin'" which quickly turned out to be an underground club favourite. To date, the boys have remixed songs such esteemed acts as Michael Jackson, Erykah Badu, The Shamen, Angie Stone, Lenny Kravitz and Paula Abdul. In addition, they continue to expose and nurture new talents on their own label, Basement Boys Records, which was established in 1995. The Basement Boys have been responsible for some of clubland's biggest anthems and their hit "Searchin'" is as relevant today as it was ten years ago. Earth People's (aka Pal Joey) house masterpiece reach up to mars originally released in 1990 on Underworld Records finally gets a re-issue on Gigolo Records. The original with its monster drums shuffling guitars synth stabs great use of vocal samples and incredible production skills still withstands the test of time sounding like it could have been made yesterday. This is classic material here that will destroy any dancefloor!! House maestro Pal Joey released this tune, a funky cross-pollination of garage classics from Toney Lee ("Reach Up") and Dexter Wansel ("Life On Mars"), in 1990, and you have to thank Hell for making it available now once again to a 2006 audience. There's a fine line between classic and dated. Hell knows this well and selects only for his 12" series "My Definition Of House" those which were groundbreaking when they first appeared and still sound hot to 21st century ears. So keep your mind and ears open, for you never know what Hell will dig up from the basement next. Stay tuned for "My Definition Of House part 4"!
Review: One year later, UVB-76's shadowy collective 4 6 2 5 strike again with two more unique startling schematics. Flexing across the tempo axis, "Sedition" leads with a fast 170 twist as hard pneumatic kicks cut through the dense foggy atmospherics before doubling up the momentum and taking unpredictable twists midway. "Crown Of Nails" maintains the hunchback pressure and that heavy foreboding sense synonymous with each member of the collective, but does so at a cool 105BPM pace giving space for each percussive element to ricochet around your purdy little pranged-out soul.
Review: Back to 96: The 4th Wave was a producer named Steve Paton. Also operating under aliases such as The Invisibles and Lo-Fi Sensibilities (when he appeared on Mo Wax), Steve didn't remain active for too long outside of the 90s but he left us two killer EPs. One on Planet E in 95 and this one on Kirk Degiorgio's Op-Art in 96. Reissued for the first time, and now featuring the twinkling downtempo delight "Lounge Music" (which was only ever previously available on a compilation), it's a powerful example of the Detroit/UK feedback loop at the time as both techno hubs were influencing each other. "Attention Please" rolls out the breaks, "Mean Streets" bites like a woozy UR record while "Cosmic Dance" whips up a tribal frenzy for the finale. 23 years old and still sounding future.
Review: Surface Records has never pulled any punches as one of the UK's toughest techno labels, and The 65D Mavericks have embodied the same spirit with their charged, lyrically provocative approach. After a lengthy hiatus label and artist are back in action, and sounding as fierce as ever. "False Prophets" is not for the faint hearted - an avalanche of thunderous drums and expletive-laden diatribes. "Cosmic Drift" is marginally more meditative, but still positively unhinged in its execution. "You Lost Your Mind" flails around a muddy, punky swamp of deviant sonic behaviour, and "Immovable (dub)" throws one last curveball into the long grass, stripping out the bark without losing the bite of this proudly individual group of techno marauders.
Review: While the name may be new, A New Line (Related) is supposedly the work of an already established musician, although Kimochi was never a label that cared about hype. The music stands just fine on its own, digging into the kind of dusty and dusky house and techno formations that the label has forged its hand-sprayed identity on. There's plenty of ambient techno twirls to be enjoyed on the likes of "Dancing On Soft Borders", while the beats melt away entirely on "After A Short Illness" and grandiose EP closer "RIYL Failures". Once again Kimochi comes up with the kind of meaningful variations on the 4/4 framework that keep our record bags full and our souls enriched.
Review: The Innate label made a sizable impact with its first release - a killer various artists 12" with Mark Hand, Lerosa and others. Now it returns with another balanced mix of established and emergent artists, leading in with a stunning A side cut from A Sagittariun delivering what might be his most beautiful production to date - a swooning, snaking slice of melodious techno that brims with emotion and canny programming. After turning heads on the first Innate release, Gilbert returns with "Polynoid," a punchy, Lately bass-powered workout with lashings of Motor City soul heaped on top. Sean Dixon completes the package with "Our Love For Music," a pointed machine mantra that maintains the classic techno tone Innate is shaping up as its MO.
Review: Since Zip and Villalobos made it one of their coveted deep digs to be heard pealing out of a thousand after hours sessions, the Metamatics remix of A1 People has been a teasingly out of reach dream grab for many a minimal electro head. Now Yossi Amoyal has done the good deed of getting the track remastered and repressed as part of his Fluere series toasting 15 years of Sushitech. As well as that masterclass of elegant machine funk, there's also Kosmogonik's mind-bendingly brilliant 'Circuitry', Silicon Scally's body-popping electro-noir 'Relay' and Matt Chester's melancholic 'November Pathways' to keep your up-all-night marathon sets peppered with spangled surprises.
Review: For the first release on their freshly minted Euphoric State sub-label, London label OPIA has turned to '90s survivors A2 & Stopouts, a trio of producers who first made their name as British tech-house pioneers in the late 1990s. The four tracks showcased on "Go With The Flo" apparently date from this period, though this is the first time they've seen the light of day. There's much to admire throughout, from the rolling, funk-fuelled house grooves and intergalactic pads of opener "You Gotta", to the jacking tech-funk of closing cut "Suits You", via the glassy-eyed rush of "Techfest", where sci-fi motifs and dream house electronics rise above bumping beats and a deliciously squelchy bassline.
Review: Given its title, you might expect Aaron K's second vinyl outing to be filled with forthright, sub-heavy sleaze. While there's some weighty low-end pressure to be found - especially on the sparse, dubbed-out delights that are 'Superbass 1' and 'Superbass 2' - for the most part the EP delivers blends of atmospheric, analogue deep house and jacking acid house that prioritise mood and melody over significant bass-weight. It's a fusion that works really well throughout, with highlights including the subtle electro influences and deep, spaced-out riffs of 'Transphat', the picturesque, arpeggio-driven melodies of 'Folding Arps', the jaunty deep acid of 'Everyone in the Pool (Filtered Mix)', and the cosmic late night hypnotism of 'Walls'.
Review: Israeli tech house stalwart Shlomi Aber has sure thrown a few curveballs at us in recent years and this could possibly be the biggest yet! The man behind such celebrated titles over the years such as 'Detroit Days/Chicago Nights', 'Sea Of Sand' and 'Clones In My Backroom' moves away from sunny and slinky tech house sounds (as heard on his esteemed Be As One imprint) and now presents a darker, fierce and functional sound that's more suited to clandestine warehouse parties. Adam Beyer's Drumcode seems like a perfect fit for his new style, which has recently impressed via similarly straight up labels like Odd Even and Figure. From the tunnelling peak-time specialism of opener "Inflict", the old-school acid stomp of "Accelerator" (which really bangs the box!) and the stripped back, heads down Millisan hypnotism of 'Typeface', these are some sturdy mixing tools that will make a worthy addition to any serious techno DJ's arsenal.
Review: The Abstract Eye is Gabriel Reyes-Whittaker, a producer who releases music most using the monikers GB, The Reflektor, Frankie Reyes and Julian Abelar. Five prolific, soulful/melodic tracks originally released in 2011 on Valentine Connexion, now available again courtesy of Amsterdam's always reliable Rush Hour. The extraordinarily gifted Los Angeleno creates striking electronic songs here which integrate the technological with the spiritual and ancestral. There's respectful nods to Motor City greats like Japanese Telecom ("Cool Warm Divine") and John Beltran ("Nobody Else") on here. "Nobody Else Pt. 2" channels the cyclical/minimal soul of Internal Empire era Robert Hood: absolutely sublime!
Review: We're not sure who's behind the mysterious AC-EXP project, but the shadowy figure returns with more of that strange, submerged house music he's been tickling discerning DJs with over the past few years. After taking last year off, "1A" is a fine place to start things up again with a strutting jack track carrying acidic synth pulses that flirt with measured delay processing. It's a jam that sounds steamy and sinister all at once. "1B" maintains this restrained but seductive vibe with the slightly trancey throb of the lead synths pivoting around the snappy drums to great effect.