Review: Crew love is true love: Beste Freunde 05 is upon us and it's not likely to hang around. Once again it's a whole new collective of like-minded souls together for a fresh expedition. Anil Aras leads the mission with a rippling Detroitian understated number simply called "Track 1". He's flanked by Paolo Rocco and Moises. The former ups the temperature and gets us in a lather with the insistent pace of "Ill" while the latter sooths our souls and oils our joints with the slippery hypnosis session "Easy Beauty". Finally Esposito & Nadje run point with the heaviest tool of the trip - the bubbling technoid "HBP". Friends till the end!
Adam Beyer & Enrico Sangiuliano - "Preset Heaven" (8:17)
Timmo - "Muzik" (6:11)
Pig&Dan - "La Bruja" (6:37)
Julian Jeweil - "Nasa" (6:11)
Review: Some serious peak time weapons for the main room on offer here, from the ever reliable Swedish label Drumcode. Usual heroes of the label such as Luigi Madonna, Sam Paganini and Joseph Capriati step aside for some other equally reliable staples. On the A, side label boss Adam Beyer teams up with Enrico Sangiuliano on the evocative and life affirming "Preset Heaven" which takes its cues from early trance with its amazing chord progression. It is something more typical of the label next, on the pummelling warehouse stomp of "Muzik" by Bulgaria's Timmo. On the flip, there's more trance nostalgia on offer again - this time from legends Pig & Dan on the hypnotic/melodic bliss of "La Bruja" which we could imagine melting the minds of festival crowds well into the new year. Finally they save the best for last with French peak time specialist Julian Jeweil, serving up the furious, tunneling and strobe-lit ultraviolence of "Nasa" which will have your adrenaline going from the first beat. It has been a stellar year for the powerhouse label, with great releases by Moby, Dubfire and newcomer Layton Giordani.
Review: The Bassiani label is the platform for the infamous Georgian club to present its sound to the wider world, and it does so in fantastic fashion with this run of various artist releases. This fourth release kicks off with the dark, textured and brilliantly rendered techno immersion of Cassegrain's "Departure Seven", while Ersatz Olfolks gets a little more heated with the strafing synth work that courses out of "Straight Road". Hector Oaks is also in a rowdy frame of mind with the peak time belter "Move In Circles, Walk On Lines", and it's down to Thomas Hessler to cool things off with the heart-rending electro of "Memories".
Review: Alexander Kowalski has been immersed in techno for a long time, and his sound is massively representative of the reduced, late night Berlin sound. As d_func. he's contributed many times to Marcel Heese's Finitude label, and now he's back to pay tribute to UK free party techno legends Spiral Tribe. Kowalski's own interpretation may be more minimal and hypnotic than the wild, raucous energy Spiral Tribe was best known for, but his trancey approach comes on like a nostalgic vision into the early 90s, while also aligning with the modern masters such as Donato Dozzy and Peter Van Hoesen.
Review: DJ Central presents three new aliases on this elegantly put together 12". Conjuring up the perfect recipe for a DJ Cake, Central blends and explores the likes of pulsating atmospheric techno on the track "Balast", smoothly escalating breaks on "Ko Ko Dak Dak" and hazy crackling ambient on the finale "Daeksel". Unique, inspiring and truly excellent works from the one they call DJ Central.
Review: E Versions is a brand new edit-focused offshoot of Merc, seemingly allowing label boss Mark E an outlet for some of his unreleased reworks. Given the title, the spotters out there might easily guess what the source material for "Kahn" is, and it immediately calls to mind all those great reworks the Midlands-based producer did for Jiscomusic, Running Back and Golf Channel in the pre-disco edit flood era. It's complemented by the B-Side track "Mingo" which is much more indicative of the brand of hypnotic machine music Mark E is currently specialising in, and will appeal to fans of drums!!!
Review: Fresh from a fine vinyl debut on Let's Go Swimming, William Earl pops up on freshly minted label Cherub. There's much to admire here, too, not least the fluttering, sunrise-ready melodies, dreamy chords and rolling deep house grooves of opener "Figure of Skate". Doppelate doffs a cap to the Vancouver style of new age deepness on his fine remix of the same track, before Earl serves up a "Stokey Waltz". This hot-stepping concoction packs a punch thanks to its loose and sweaty drum machine programming and some trippy, effects-laden vocal samples. Pepe remixes, craftily combining the futurist sonics and farsighted ethos of Detroit with the drifting melodic warmth of vintage Italian dream house.
Review: Although the Lovers Rock label run by Daniel Martin McCormick - better known as Ital - has previously been an output for his own music, this year see the label expand operations with records from other artists. Although a future collaborative 12? between Ital and Mutual Dreaming's Aurora Halal has also been promised, the label first looks to the music of Earthen Sea, the musical project of San Francisco artist Jacob Long, who previously performed alongside Martin-McCormick as part of Mi Ami. Although Long played bass as part of Mi Ami, the Earthen Sea project - which has released a number of cassettes since 2003 - sees him utilise various electronic textures to create his own immersive style of ambient music, which takes both a rhythmic and beatless approach incorporating elements of dub techno, drone and minimalist composition.
Review: Earthen Sea adds to the Kimochi Sound with a soulful examination of indistinct margins, suffused with dusky haze. It's a heady atmosphere and has a palpable heaviness throughout. Starting the record are the concrete reverberations of You Don't Never Know, followed by the murky ebb and flow of Fly. 13 Beat(less) is diffused ambience.
Shielding fittingly closes the record, and weaves Earthen Sea's many textures with intricate syncopation.
A Burger - "Device C" (DJ Sotofett 808 club mix) (8:32)
Review: Legendary Austrian experimental label Laton has been kickstarted back into action for the first time since 2015 - the last release being DJ Sotofett 's TDD-DDRR-IPP MIX. The Sex Tags Mania boss returns to hand in a moody smack electro remix of Andreas Burger's "Device C" from 1996, while the mysterious Ectro Usic delivers one of the more innovative electro tracks we've heard in a while. "Kratal" (Upspeed mix) is a mean and distorted mutation, that's easy on the more oft-used detroit cliches but heavy on the distortion/overdrive and getting 'off the grid' in aggressive fashion.
Review: Edanticonf has been a mainstay of Silent Season for many years now, first delivering an album and EP to the Canadian label back in 2012. Since then he's travelled to labels such as M_REC, Wolfskuil, Phorma and Linear Movement, but he's back home to roost with this gorgeous four-tracker that plays on his trademark sound. Rich with melancholic synth work and moving with a purposeful but thoughtful pace, this is exactly the kind of evocative techno that makes Silent Season a buy on sight label. Every track tells its own story, but the starry twinkle of "The Metamorphosis Of Plants" is especially captivating.