Review: Man of the moment Dax J is back with more doom laden and treacherous techno. The Monnom Black head honcho is this time launching The Invisible Man EP at us. Featuring on the A side we've got "The Wonk" but there's no Life & Death style melodies on this one: that stuff could only wish to be as fierce as this peak time adrenalizer. The title track is a rough acid techno stomper reminiscent of something on his last Shades Of Black album. On the flip "Wir Leben Fur Die Nacht" reminds us that yes he lives in Berlin, he most likely passed his Deutsch A1 class and indeed we do all live for the night etc but this sounds more like Sunday mass at Berghain: an industrial strength menace that is absolutely ferocious! A surprise addition is the dark and immersive ambient journey "Surrender" featuring Cat Yen's curious Chinese dialogue drenched in delay.
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: Long-serving, jungle-loving experimentalist Christoph De Babalon is on a roll. This rock solid EP comes hot on the heels of his latest inspired album, "Exquisite Angst", which slipped out in early December 2018. The four tracks offered up here are typically bolshy and bass-heavy, with De Babalon mixing and mangling IDM and Atari Teenage Riot style "digital D&B" insanity to suit his own twisted ends. In terms of highlights, we're particularly enjoying the bass-weight, skittish breakbeats and ghostly electronics of "Harakiri" and the more loose and languid - but no less bass-heavy - flipside opener "Shakes and Shivers". That said the dark and apocalyptic "Endless Inside" is also superb.
Review: We are proud to present two new EPs from De Bons en Pierre, the duo of Beau Wanzer & Maoupa Mazzocchetti. Beau Wanzer spends the majority of his days sifting through paraffin embedded animal tissues and reading old issues of Fangoria, occasionally breaking his monotonous routine to record in various fits and bursts. As well as solo material, he is also in numerous projects including Streetwalker, Mutant Beat Dance, Civil Duty, and Corporate Park. Maoupa Mazzocchetti is the pseudonym of Florent Mazzocchetti, a French producer based in Brussels. His sonic vision is one which constantly straddles the line between wild experimentation and rhythmic compatibility, drawing influence from early concrete, 80's tape scene and Birmingham school techno. After working together on the 'Crepes' EP that we released in 2017, De Bons en Pierre reunited for a two day recording session in Brussels. The duo recorded 13 tracks that we've split across 2 EPs with 6 tracks on 'EP No. 1' and 7 tracks on 'EP No. 2'. Beau says, "We hooked everything up and just pushed play. We didn't really discuss much about the process....it was very 'spur of the moment'." The equipment set up included a Roland TR-808, TR-606, SH-101, CR-78, CR-8000, two Syncussions and effects. Each EP contains 25 minutes of dance floor perversions that tackle an array of rhythmic forms. Sludgy synths, serrated percussion and viscous distortion goops over leviathan rhythms. All songs are mastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. 'EP No. 1' is housed in a sewage green jacket featuring a monster mask duo and spiky motifs designed by Florent Mazzocchetti, and 'EP No. 2' is radioactive orange with a different pair of monster masks.
Review: Long time minimal techno pusher Franklin De Costa steps up to Jersey City label Green Village to thrown down a ruckus with four serious cuts of advanced house and techno. "Derp Journal" may be flippant in name, but the bassline it packs is not to be trifled with, nor the edgy drums and lashings of reverb. "Bogart Space" is a more house-minded affair, but it's still reaching to a contemplative space using unfamiliar sounds. "Good Day Bad Day" gets into a cyclical, psychedelic mood thanks to a trippy synth circling overhead, but then the EP gets dealt a tough finishing blow by the cranked up hustle of "Flashmelo", coming on like a crunchy mid 00s minimal jam of the highest order.
Review: Nigel "Perseus Traxx" Rogers last used the Ellis De Havilland alias back in 2013, simultaneously releasing a pair of EPs to launch the Bunker 4000 series. Three years on, he's set to do the same. This first EP (of two) contains a sextet of straight-to-tape machine jams that variously pay tribute to early acid house, wild and experimental jack-tracks, Larry Heard, Jamal Moss, and mind-bending industrial techno. The beats variously swing and bang, the acid lines spurt from the speakers at odd intervals, and tape hiss rises and falls in volume from track to track. Each of the six tracks is eminently playable; taken as a whole, 1 is a pleasingly forthright collection.
Review: Spanish hi-tech soul maestro Eduardo De La Calle on the true home of it: Planet E - and it's about friggin' time if we do say so! Over the last several years, the Madrid native has respectfully borrowed from the traditions of first and second wave Motor City sounds, but he undeniably carved his own path via his respected Analog Solutions imprint. The Icosahedrite EP features three life affirming explorations in techno-soul. From the the galaxian Jupiter jazz of the A side, through to the classic funked up futurism that pays homage to greats like Transmat and Metroplex like on "Mr Dewey D". There is also the more powerful and straight ahead functionalism of "Rhythmic Soundscapes" which is just as heads down and DJ ergonomic as his aforementioned AS material. This follows up some great releases by him in 2017, on the likes of Anemone, Forbidden Colors and Monogram Systems.
Review: Charlotte De Witte has been threatening to break into the big time ever since her earliest releases on Tiga's Turbo label back in 2015. Following a prolific 2017 in which she released a string of acclaimed EPs, the Belgian producer makes her first appearance on Spanish imprint Suara. Check first the relentless, full throttle techno heaviness of A-side "This" - think foreboding voices, constantly building drum machine percussion and occasional creepy electronics - before turning your attention to the strangely beguiling "This Heart of Mine", where solo vocal snippets echo over another bombastic rhythm track. To round off a fine EP, Lewis Fautzi delivers an intoxicating rework of "This" that's in the same sonic ball park as Kowton's remix of Throwing Shade's "Chancer" on Happy Skull.