Review: A dream team line up for this four way that heads off in various directions across detailed and trippy techno landscapes. Those who have been following these heads will understand what we mean- with the quartet all beginning to rise to prominence now and finally claiming the kind of respect they deserve. Saverio Celestri brings 'Ethereal', packed with direct cymbal work, lilting reversed organs creating leftfield-but-dancefloor business with plenty of usability. Midgar label manager Jacopo, toughest from the names here, takes us down an arpeggiated acid route, never quite unleashing but acting as precursor to whatever bangs come next. Otis' 'Axes of Continuity' has a simple three-four note melody mirrored by bumbling bass, and should sound ideal at anything with a free party vibe. Finally, Fede Lijt's 'Deflexion' goes deepest, twinkling chimes, submerged lows, plenty of snares.
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.
Ames Henry & Paul Kav - "Business In Hasenheide" (5:57)
Ames Henry - "Tribute" (6:28)
Fanu - "Dubia" (6:48)
Octo Octa - "For My Girls" (3:29)
Review: It's been two years since Kellam Matthews launched his retro-futurist, breakbeat-driven Frendzone label via a fine split EP featuring cuts from Ames Henry and Octo Octa. This follow-up is therefore arguably long overdue. Fittingly, it's Henry that gets things going in stellar fashion via Paul Kav collaboration "Business in Hasenheide", an urgent fusion of two-step drums, thrusting acid bass and jumpy synth stabs. Ames then goes solo on the breezy bounce of "Tribute", before Fanu successfully roughs things up via the mutant sub-bass, dystopian noises and distorted breakbeats of "Dubia". The undisputed highlight, though, is Octo Octa's "For My Girls", a wonderfully spooky and hectic jungle roller that's guaranteed to set pulses racing out on the dancefloor.
Review: EYA Records presents a double 12" of plush techno and house spanning styles, giving four producers the chance to showcase the breadth of their sound with two tracks each. Innershades brings emotive 90s swoon and peppy acid to the A side, before Two Phase U slips in a little uptempo robo-disco sauce and a feisty jack track. Otis takes things in the direction of wiggy proto-trance and bleep techno, and then Zots finishes up with freaky synth work dripping with mischievous personality. This is a set of tracks that demands to be noticed - don't sleep.
Manuk & Oli Silva - "Nevermind The Crispies" (5:55)
Eliaz - "Verdico" (7:06)
Meta 4 - "Urnammu" (7:45)
Jorge Gamarra - "Dypac" (5:42)
Review: There's a certain air of buy-on-sight mystique around EYA Records, somewhere between the low-key presentation of the music and the cult artists they're calling on to realise their particular vision of deviant dancefloor business. This is unabashed freaky party tackle, from Manuk & Oli Silva's delirious B-movie jack track "Nevermind The Crispies" to the uneasy electro snarl of "Verdico". Meta 4 has equally nightmarish moods to share on the graveyard acid of "Urnammu" and Jorge Gamarra seals the deal with the schlocky braindance horror of "Dypac". It's the kind of record that you'll be reaching for come Halloween, trust.
Review: AE Recordings turns its attention to Oculus, who they describe as a "titan of the Icelandic techno scene", famed for his live sets that have kept bodies moving for the past decade. He commits some of his sounds to wax here, maintaining the otherworldly emotional lilt that often comes from the scene orbiting AE and Thule Records, but with a bolder sound palette than some of the icy dubbed out artists he rubs shoulders with. "Nostalgia" deals in powerful, swooning chord progressions, while "Rydgad" pings a set of metallic percussion around a sturdy but crooked low end groove. "Morph" takes things deeper, while "Flod" offers up a classy take on the minimal techno aesthetic, with added sound design trysts for good measure.
Review: The crew behind the Clut label has put together a fine debut EP here. It offers up a quartet of cuts from techno and electro producers renowned for the warm, melodious and emotive nature of their sound. To our ears, the best track comes from Riccardo Rizza, whose EP-closing "Mars" is a fine fusion of rolling tech-funk grooves, spacey chords and life-affirming, B12 style melodies. That said, John Shima's similarly-minded - and arguably even more positive - "Circulate" pushes it close, while Odracir's analogue bass-propelled bleep-out "Set" and Alec Falconer and Rob Amboule's wonderfully deep "Clarkspin" push it mighty close.
Review: Version co-bossman Orson seems to only drop a release once a year. But when he does, it's always worth paying close attention to. As with all things Version, it's a full trip that joins dots well beyond the assumed or conventional dub continuum. "Agadir" is a hazy Latin mooch into dub disco territory while "Delivero" is positively Balearic with its 105BPM plod, delicate arpeggiated weaves and sudden drop into soulful vocals. Flip for "Toxic Waste" as Orson goes all percussive and broken beat (think Tyrant) while "Garzweiler" closes on an stormy ambient note. Batten down the hatches.
Review: More fine fare from Bristolian bass-head Otik, a producer last seen serving up a spacey chunk of percussively intense headiness on Intergraded's multi-artist "Orbitration". Our pick of a very strong bunch is "Dioxide", a pleasingly spaced-out post-dubstep exercise in sparse but weighty drums, alien electronic melodies and out-there aural textures. The obligatory rework can be found on side B, where the "Bruce Carbon Reduction" offers a skittish and fizzing dancefloor interpretation. Elsewhere, "Theia" is a crackling, slowly unfurling slice of yearning ambient bliss, while "Tuskanary" sees Otik pepper a drunken rhythm track with wonky modular motifs.
Review: Rupture regular Outer Heaven will tickle your inner badboy with this highly anticipated return to the underground nuclear bunker of UVB-76. Four tracks of solid dark sonic matter "The Last Men" takes the lead with a powerful percussive hook maintaining a marching sensation that breaks into momentary splashes of breakbeat chaos. It's backed up the three more equally disarming and trippy tracks. "Blemish" is a swampy drill laced cut with noxious harmonics, while "Still Waters" takes us into the murkiest two-steppy territories you might imagine. Finally "Trapline" shuts, locks and bolsters the front door with a pounding steppy rhythm that's coated in echoes and dubby warmth. Buckle up.