Review: The Innate label made a sizable impact with its first release - a killer various artists 12" with Mark Hand, Lerosa and others. Now it returns with another balanced mix of established and emergent artists, leading in with a stunning A side cut from A Sagittariun delivering what might be his most beautiful production to date - a swooning, snaking slice of melodious techno that brims with emotion and canny programming. After turning heads on the first Innate release, Gilbert returns with "Polynoid," a punchy, Lately bass-powered workout with lashings of Motor City soul heaped on top. Sean Dixon completes the package with "Our Love For Music," a pointed machine mantra that maintains the classic techno tone Innate is shaping up as its MO.
Review: Since Zip and Villalobos made it one of their coveted deep digs to be heard pealing out of a thousand after hours sessions, the Metamatics remix of A1 People has been a teasingly out of reach dream grab for many a minimal electro head. Now Yossi Amoyal has done the good deed of getting the track remastered and repressed as part of his Fluere series toasting 15 years of Sushitech. As well as that masterclass of elegant machine funk, there's also Kosmogonik's mind-bendingly brilliant 'Circuitry', Silicon Scally's body-popping electro-noir 'Relay' and Matt Chester's melancholic 'November Pathways' to keep your up-all-night marathon sets peppered with spangled surprises.
Review: For the first release on their freshly minted Euphoric State sub-label, London label OPIA has turned to '90s survivors A2 & Stopouts, a trio of producers who first made their name as British tech-house pioneers in the late 1990s. The four tracks showcased on "Go With The Flo" apparently date from this period, though this is the first time they've seen the light of day. There's much to admire throughout, from the rolling, funk-fuelled house grooves and intergalactic pads of opener "You Gotta", to the jacking tech-funk of closing cut "Suits You", via the glassy-eyed rush of "Techfest", where sci-fi motifs and dream house electronics rise above bumping beats and a deliciously squelchy bassline.
Review: The third release on Verdant frames AOS and Sonitus Eco opposite each other for an original production and a corresponding remix, plumbing the depths of submerged techno to dazzling effect. "Hubble" is a soothing lullaby of machine soul, which then receives a shot of adrenaline for the snappier "Red Shift" version. "Supernova" has a tougher framework, but the synths continue to reach for the stars with uplifting results. Then the "Blue Shift" version of "Supernova" taps up a melancholic house approach that wouldn't sound out of place on an early Kompakt release.
Review: Over two decades into its lifespan, Adam Beyer's Drumcode imprint keeps evolving and excelling, pushing techno forward while remaining wholly respectful of its roots. On Part 3 of A Sides Vol 7, Beyer brings in the scene's top guns to expertly execute some main room peak-time action. On the first side, it's an undeniably Dutch affair with Amsterdam hero Bart Skils stepping up to deliver the deeply hypnotic tunnel vision of "West Of The Moon", while veterans Secret Cinema & Reinier Zonneveld deliver the darkly druggy dancefloor drama of "Pain Thing". On the flip, Pig & Dan should need no introduction and are in fine form as always on the adrenalised "Pushing On" while ascendant Aussie Juliet Fox similarly impresses on "Wanted Me".
Stojche - "The Exchange" (Gian Hydrocity Refix) (5:40)
Review: Blackhall & Bookless have been pursuing a fantastic strain of house and techno via their Jaunt label for many moons now. They're back and celebrating 10 years with a series of fantastic remixes that highlight the scope of their artistic vision, and that of those close to them. Inland leads in with an oceans deep version of the label bosses' "Spirit", which is smartly followed up by Jonas Kopp's equally submersive take on Hiver's "Itria". Jasper Wolff and Maarten Mittendorff lets the swooning "Meandering Rivers" by Kaelan burst its banks and fill out an expansive landscape, while Stojche pings Gian's "The Exchange" out into an electro-speckled cosmos.
Review: Following up appearances by veterans such as Josh Wink, Hardfloor and Acid Rain (Milton Bradley), Dame Music takes no prisoners on the third installment of The Melting Pot, delivering another series of unrepentant 303 ultraviolence. Label chief Bloody Mary steps up to deliver the punishing and disorienting psychedelia of "Acetic" awash in gliding resonance from that little silver box plus clattering 909 mayhem. Splice then lunges straight for the jugular on "Tactile", a frantic session where the abrasive overdrive of the kick will have you begging for mercy. Finally, the legend Thomas P. Heckmann returns since his appearance on the series' first episode - he delivers the seething restrained fury of "The Space Between".
Review: UK dub techno maestro Steve O'Sullivan is back with another payload of deep immersion heaters under his Bluetrain guise, this time on the Future Primitive label. There's a deadly restraint at work on "Congo Shuffle", where the elements get reduced to needlepoint precision and the low end rhythm section stalks with purpose. "Invisible Guest" takes things in an explicitly dubwise direction, channelling serious Rhythm & Sound vibes for an immaculate head-nodder, before "Paralyzed Dub" slows down further into an end of the line skank for the weary to find solace in - masterful movements in the echo chamber from start to finish.
Heidi Sabertoorh - "So You Want To Take Back Your Will" (6:37)
Synapse - "Shiny" (locked groove) (0:30)
Somatic Responses - "Strategy Of Desire" (5:22)
John Selway - "Brainchild" (5:29)
Pointsman - "Dirty Shirt" (locked groove) (0:30)
Review: Seminal New York City imprint Serotonin lives on. John Selway and Jason Szostek present It's What We Live For: Volume 2 - the second in a series of compilations sharing their vision of sounds of tomorrow. Szostek himself dons the well known BPMF alias again for some fierce breakbeat techno action on "Zu Heib Fur Uns", the equally legendary Healy brothers aka Somatic Response still going strong - as heard on the slo-mo acid trance journey "Strategy Of Desire" and relative newcomer Heidi Sabertooth of Opal Onyx delivers some sludgy electro-punk antics on "So You Want To Take Back Your Will". There's some handy locked grooves on the electro-bass tip featured too by Synapse and Pointsman, which were pretty wicked too.
Review: Scott Fraser and Timothy J Fairplay's Crimes Of The Future label has had quite the banner year, ushering in various projects from the pair as well as seeking out like-minded contemporaries such as Perseus Traxx. The latest Crimes of the Future release introduces Bulb, another project bearing the label founder's finger prints along with a high profile third colluder in one William Burnett. Apparently laid down at WT Records HQ in the spring of 2014 whilst Fairplay and Fraser were committing Crimes in NYC, Bulb is a bold offering from the trio with two extended dancefloor workouts taking a side each. "Light It Up" pairs ghetto techno breaks with something from wayward Kosmiche studio experiments in deepest Germany, whilst "Dimmer Switch" plunges into a world of psychedelia and cavernous cave dwellings thanks to some dark ambient synthesis and stabbing drums.
Review: Many of the great record labels are born out of an already-established movement such as a clubnight, and this is the route Amsterdam techno crew Konstrukt have taken. The past few years have seen residents Doka and SHLTR bring Dozzy, Svreca, and Stan Tolkachev to the city and 2015 saw Konstrukt expand into a record label. The debut offering gave SHLTR a chance to demonstrate his production prowess but this second Konstrukt 12" finds them reaching out to some highly respected techno partnerships that have been previous guests. Cassegrain and Sendai bring the heat, each providing two weighty techno tracks that all emphasise the noisier side of their respective production styles. "Antennaed" by Sendai is a definite highlight!
Review: The second instalment in Yossi Amoyal's Fluere compilation run brings further leftfield house and techno delights into one place, in honour of Sushitech's 15th anniversary. First up on this 12" is Baby Ford's impeccable remix of Jin Choi, which adds extra layers of drama to Ford's trademark minimal clicks and pops. Sten's 'Circles' is a pristine, dubby tech house workout, while Mark Broom's 'Gira' sounds all the better for a modern remaster 25 years after its original release. Edward's 'Sender' finishes the record off on a nervy, unsettled note where lingering off-key tones hover over a dense and twitchy minimal beat.
Review: More abrasive and pitch black electronics from France's Nocturnal Frequencies camp. Their new various artists EP sees them debut on vinyl after a series of great digital and cassette releases - and in rather frightful fashion indeed! From the aufnahme + wiedergabe affilated Codex Empire who presents the brooding "Ourang Medan", the guttural analog intensity of American veteran Paul Birken's "Slipper Dimple" comprising the A side- the latter one's a respectful tribute to the old school techno sound. On the flip, a more direct and dancefloor oriented techno represents here- yet be assured that it's as bleak and metal-edged as expected on "NF1" by Spanish duo NX1. One half of Talker Jonathan Krohn aka Stave completes the carnival of lost souls here - reaching right for the jugular on his fierce IDM epic "Shove" reminiscent of the British Murder Boys' sound.
Review: For their second missive, freshly minted Ukranian label Hypnohouse has chosen to showcase cuts from two hugely experienced producers: Madrid-based Unusual Systems founder Corp and sometime Slow Life regular Saverio Celestri. The former handles side A, first fusing chiming lead lines and formidably filthy acid bass on retro-futurist jacker 'Celestial Bells', before reaching for the strobes on the buzzing, trippy and intoxicating late night throb of 'Trancemotions'. Celestri meanwhile invites us to indulge in a little sweaty 'Virtual Sex' on a clanking chunk of cold wave/techno fusion, before offering up a blistering blend of high-octane drums, alien-sounding chords, bleeping electronics and buzzing bass ('Self Control').
Review: Skatebard's Digitalo Enterprises label hits release number 20 with the boss himself linking up with felt cult hero DJ Sotofett for one tune, while the oddball producer also goes solo on a remix. Italian dance music is very much in focus here but as seen through a new, weird and wonderful lens. 'Decoded Satellite' distills menacing synth drones with a pounding groove and Italo disco synths are stripped of all joy and repurposed as prowling late night miscreants. Flip it over for a much more airy and libidinous DJ Sotofett Synth-Dub-Mix of Lauer & DJ Sotofett's 'Privat & Scharf.' Serious stuff.
Review: Tony Rodriguez has many strings to his bow already as Brothers' Vibe and the head of Mixx Records, and now he's embarking on a new venture in the shape of the Toad Red label. Focused on a harder-edged sound than the deep house he's normally associated with, Rodriguez has invited Esther Duijn and youANDme to join in the fun with some finely crafted techno for open-minded dancefloors. Meanwhile there's an original BV jam in the shape of "Dee's Drama", while Rodriguez also unveils a new modular-focused alias named Silent Rodgerz. It's a new chapter for the New Jersey mainstay, and it promises exciting things to come in the future.
Review: Czech label Detach launched back in 2015 with some low key firepower from Moll+, and now they're back with a split release that showcases some fiery upcoming talent in the field of experimental electronica. The sound DYL is exploring on "Phrases" is rabid and deconstructed, but equally bristling with analogue energy. Senking jumps in with DYL for the more rhythmically structured "Destroyed City Lights", which balances sweet and savage tones beautifully. DYL and DB1 create a stern, percussion led variation of electro on "Uniformity Of Nature" and Senking's solo piece "Launch" jettisons off into misty blue pools of synthetic expression, making this a record that surprises and satisfies at every turn.
Review: In 2012, the Zenker brothers introduced a new series on their Ilian Tape imprint: The Bias Tapes. We are now into the third edition come 2018 and it's a great one, we must say. Like the name may suggest, The Munich Edition features some heroes of the local scene such as Kareem El Morr: who delivers the dark side electro bass of "Eros 404", likewise label boss Dario Z. (ft. Maurice P.) goes down the same toute on "CEJ". Elsewhere, dubby and cyclical warehouse techno in the vein of G-Man can be heard on Konrad Wehrmeister's "CWS" and usual suspects Marco & Stenny hammer the message home in typically bold fashion with the emotive "Imcon".