Review: Over the last four decades, we've come accustomed to veteran electronic experimentalist Uwe Schmidt surprising us with each successive album. Even so, we were still pleasantly surprised by his latest Atom TM release, whose title - Walzeryklus ("Waltz Cycle") - offers a hint to his latest inspiration. Recorded with angel-voiced singer Lisokot, the album is entirely made up of tracks recorded in the 3/4 time signature of classic waltz. Naturally, these waltzes are unlike anything you'll have heard before, variously taking in neo-classical inspired ambient, eccentric left-of-centre synth-pop, bubbly electronica, fizzing Rephlex style "Braindance" and even a gtouch of wonky, mind-altering techno.
Review: Irish duo Lakker have been on something of an epic musical journey over the last decade, beginning life as an experimental noise and industrial outfit (delivering an overlooked debut album in that style back in 2007), before expanding their sound to take in a far wider range of sounds and influences via 12" singles for Blueprint, Candela Rising and R&S. Here, they deliver their sophomore set, Tundra, a collection of intoxicating, atmospheric electronic compositions that joins the dots between early Aphex Twin style IDM chaos, creeping electronica, dystopian ambience and Actress style machine jams. It's hardly the cheeriest record you'll hear this year, but it's certainly a very good one. It suggests that we'll be hearing a lot more from Lakker in years to come.
Polished Chrome (feat Gary Numan - The Friend Part 1)
No Regrets (feat Aleen - The Friend Part 2)
Review: While he forged his reputation on fearlessly mechanical, no-holds-barred techno, Chris Liebing's occasional albums have tended to take a more widescreen approach. For example, his last solo set, 2003's "Evolution", jogged between spoken word, ambient, techno and left-of-centre breakbeat. He's taken a similarly eclectic approach 15 years later with "Slow Burn", a full-length low on rip-snorting club fare but high on atmospheric electronica, hypnotic chuggers, woozy ambient, early '80s cold wave influences, nods to early industrial music and a clutch of impressive collaborations (Gary Numan, who pops up on "Polished Chrome", being the most eye-catching guest). For the most part, this approach pays dividends, with the intoxicating "Trilogy", becalmed "So Then" and John Carpenter influenced "Ghosts of Tomorrow" standing out.
Review: Christian Loffler has been producing pensive, cinematic electronic soundscapes for a long time now. 10 years since his first EP landed, the German producer presents his third studio album on his own Ki Records label. Once again Loffler has continued to grow through the album recording process, embracing more adventurous textural and sound design practices whilst also enriching his songwriting chops. The vocal turns from Josephine Philip and Mohna help deepen the seductive melancholy of his compositions, but even in its instrumental moments the pensive synth lines sing their own heartfelt messages. If you're a fan of Jon Hopkins, Nathan Fake and other such emotionally charged electronica artists, you won't want to miss this album.