Review: Former DK7 and The Mighty Quark member Mark O'Sullivan was something of a mainstay of the Irish techno scene throughout the noughties, producing a string of well-regarded singles. His recording career peaked in 2009 with the release of debut album Fragments From a Long Country. Here the album gets a deserved reissue, allowing a new generation of techno and house heads to enjoy its multiple charms. Musically, it's aged impressively well. Certainly, O'Sullivan's trademark sound - a mixture of rolling techno beats, throbbing electronics, IDM and electro influences, and melodic elements more often found in deep house - feels surprisingly current. More importantly, the album still sounds great all these years on.
Review: Despite building his reputation as a creator of tough, left-of-centre club material, Objekt is smart enough to realize that the full-length format offers more room for experimentation and personal musical exploration. Like its predecessor, 2014's "Flatland", "Cocoon Crush" rarely goes in search of dancefloor thrills, instead offering up a refreshingly eclectic, fearlessly experimental take on off-kilter electronica that not only draws heavily on IDM, glitch-hop and ambient, but also regularly veers from glassy-eyed, melodious positivity, to intense, paranoid darkness. It's a blend that guarantees great results, and we're not surprised if he jettisons functional club music for good.
Review: Omar S has always been something of a maverick, but even by his own high standards, surprise second album It Can Be Done, But Only I Can Do It is something else. Like much of his work, it's an album of acute contrasts: tough and aggressive on one hand (the ragging acid of the opener and "Ganymede"), soft, calming and blissful on the other ("Nite's Over Comption"). Along the way, highlights are plentiful, from the heady deep house of "You Wish", sparse porno beatdown of "Look Hear Watch" and hypnotic rhythms of "Bobien Larkin", to the next generation Motor City techno of "Over You Two" and near-anthemic simplicity of "Here's Your Trance, Now Dance".
Review: Before Omar-S became a global cult hero amongst the underground house and techno community, there was Oasis - a collaborative project with fellow Detroit producer Shadow Ray that spawned two full-length albums of deep, stripped-back Motor City grooves. This timely reissue offers an expanded version of their 2004 debut set, Oasis Collaborating. Given that it was Alex "Omar" Smith's first attempt at an album it's pretty impressive, offering a hypnotic, otherworldly mix of cuts that icily flits between stone-cold drum tracks, droning ambience, mildly aloof club workouts and glistening, space age techno. This edition also includes three previously unreleased cuts, including two 2011 remakes that bring the originals bang up to date.
Review: Having patched up their much-reported musical differences, Phil and Paul Hartnoll seem to have recaptured some of the studio magic that made Orbital such a fine outfit during their 1990s heyday. "Monsters Exist", their tenth studio album, contains some undeniably fine moments in their inimitable style - see the moody creepiness of "The Raid", the cinematic techno sweep of "Buried Deep Within", the post-apocalyptic grandeur of "The End is Nigh" and the ambient symphony "There Will Come a Time", featuring rave's favourite scientist, Professor Brian Cox - as well as a few festival-friendly future live favourites.