Review: Fresh off the back of Cryptographic's intense 'Echo' release comes this fitting V/A from the ever-intriguing Swiss experimental 170 label Re:st. Music to realign our Covid-ravaged chakras to 'Re:align' introduces three new names to the label; Alternate Current steams out of the gates with a dub techno juggernaut 'Borrowed Language' while Dreadmaul & Tobe:n whip a rhythmic stampede that's screaming to be unleashed on a big system with 'Homunculus'. Flip for two slightly more cosmic tales as label founder LCP gently pats us down with the trickling lolloping loops of 'Off Limits' before Books signs us out with the sparse and skippy 'Cosine'. Refine your alignments.
Review: BOOM! Our favourites, Cititrax, roll the third editions of Tracks out onto our shelves, and the results are unsurprisingly strong on this excellent various artists comp. It's a mixed bag of skills, as per usual, and the sounds are those of a new NYC, fuelled by a new sort of post-industrial sensibility. Amato Y Mariana open with the tight beats and groove of "Queires Bailar", followed closely by the ominous compositions of the EBM-flavoured "Montgat" from The Sixteen Steps. On the flip, His Dirty Secrets bleeps out some morphed acid on "Structures", and "Another Stranger" from Further Reductions churns out a slow, mild-mannered house experiment with its roots clearly planted in the coldest of waves. Sick.
Review: There's a delightfully celebratory feel about this debut volume of Cititrax Tracks, a new 12" series from Minimal Wave offshoot Cititrax. As beautifully presented as we've come to expect, Tracks Volume 1 boasts a quartet of dancefloor-ready smashers from a blend of new faces and label stalwarts. Amato (aka The Hacker) kicks things off with the glistening EBM funk of "Physique" - all restless synth refrains and pounding bottom end - before LIES affiliate Tsuzing go all dark, psychedelic and twisted on the thrillingly intense, acid-flecked "King of System". An-I go all DAF (with a touch of Front 242) on the fuzzy and dystopian stomper "Mutter", before Cititrax regulars Broken English Club delivers a storming chunk of industrial-tinged analogue funk ("Glass"). Bravo!
Review: Time Horizon's second episode enlists another team of dancefloor snipers delivering 5 brain-dancing tunes crafted appositively for late night use. After his appearance on the first XCPT record, Andrea is back on the label with his unmistakable shuffling drums and a heavy square bassline followed by Anybody Anytime covering the uptempo-zone with a rotative junglistic tool dressed with celestial pads; closing the A side TANS reveals his new robot alias The Sympathizer providing a neurotic electro progression fully based on his modular system. Flipping the records you will find two XCPT homies bringing the audience straight into Matera landscapes: Farron gets a 909 unceasing toms orchestra surrounded by his atmospheric leads while Kreggo illustrates clearly his hypnotic mid-low vision of breakbeat locked by a mystic bass for the whole track.
Review: The brilliant Chronicle has been quiet for a minute, but comes back in fine form with this keenly curated various artists 12" that re-affirms the label's vision of cerebral, deep and driving techno. Damon Wild shows his tender side on the gorgeous, immersive "Constant Search", while Ben Sims brings a tougher palette to bear on peak time percussive belter "Vicious Cycle". Steve Bicknell summons a fearsome, metallic dervish on the monolithic "Chapter Of Self", and Tadeo takes things bleepy, loopy and uplifting on "X Marks The Spot". It's a 12" of stunning modern techno from start to finish.
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".
The Sixteen Steps - "Signals From The South" (6:28)
The Sixteen Steps - "Promises On The Run" (7:17)
Review: Rampant and 'up for it' as usual, the Cititrax label is back with a new set of wayward technoid experiments for the more trained ears on the dancefloors. This time it's Romania's Borusiade and newcomer The Sixteen Steps who share two sides of a wax plate and, of course, proceed to annihilate any idea of a quiet night in. The former sets off with the mechanical acid bumps of "Infatuation", guided by an eerie set of vocal blurs, and that's followed by the comparatively more beat-centric techno of the apocalyptic "Confutation". On the flip, The Sixteen Steps first lands on "Signals From The South", a house banger with noxious levels of mutant bass at its core, followed by the single-minded industrialism and sheer techno brutality of "Promises On The Run". WOWZAH!
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: Oh yes, we love it when Theo represses some of his most sought after tracks and this one is particularly well-timed. Leron Carson is still an unknown figure, a kid who used to make viciously raw and futuristic techno tracks in the late 1980's! "China Trax", alongside the rest of his tracks on a different Sound Signature double 12", is totally ahead of its time and if it was truly made in 1987 then it is nothing short of amazing. Of course, it's not just the year it was made in that's interesting but also the fact that it's music without an age, able to be appreciated by any generation of techno freaks. Theo's own "Insane Asylum" on the flipside is also pretty monumental; rigged beats, off-kilter grooves and that familiar spontaneity so heavily associated to the label. RECOMMENDED.
Review: Released simultaneously with a 12" containing the original version of the Advent and CJ Bolland's joint re-make of the latter's 1992 Belgian techno classic "Camargue", this second EP boasts a trio of undeniably tough remixes that will definitely set the pulse racing of anyone who loves the Drumcode label. The standout version comes from Adam Beyer and Layton Giordani, who pepper a hybrid house/techno groove with Bolland's original organ stabs, strings and metallic bassline. The Advent delivers a tougher but arguably deeper techno mix - it's very hypnotic - while Enrico Sangiuliano joins the dots between techno, trance and old school flavours.
Review: Italian imprint Better Sound has released some cracking split EPs of late, offering a side of wax apiece to Dawl, Moxx, Steve Marie and Astral Body. Here they repeat the exercise with similarly strong results. The A-side belongs to Madrid musician Corp, who first peppers a jacking house rhythm with squelchy bass, '90s US house organ stabs and razor-sharp acid lines (the rather good 'Distorted Reality'), before reaching for more ragged TB-303 motifs on the dark, sweaty and spooky 'Time Machine'. Long distance collaborators Tonnovelle take over on side B. They explore similar sonic territory whilst also doffing a cap to the Hartnoll brothers' early work on both 'Mind Bending Chemical' and 'MK Ultra', both of which have heaps of hallucinatory, acid-fired appeal.
Review: Some wicked underground sounds coming out of Ukraine (and beyond) on offer here by new imprint Hypnohouse. Darren Woollard aka Dawl who has been putting out some wicked grooves on Libertine, Furthur Electronix and Klasse Wrecks lately gets into some proper bleep techno action on "Output" while Kiev-based Trippsy finishes up the A side with the strobed-out and tunnelling sensations of "Flashback". Flip over for Uruguay's Fede Lijtmaer who channels some Dopplereffekt vibes on "Passing By" followed by Wulffius' retro techno jam "Salty Breeze". Tip!
Review: Speaking at length for Resident Advisor's Exchange series of podcasts recently, Panorama Bar resident and Dolly label head Steffi was in typically straight talking mood and her apparent lack of interest in engaging in the promotional game for releases on Dolly speaks volumes as to how she approaches the label; it's an outlet for her to release the music from artists she likes with the minimum of fanfare. Of course it helps to sell records when Dolly releases are of a consistently high standard, as this Various Artists 12" resolutely is with 3 cuts from her Panorama Bar mix CD present and correct! Despite the illustrious presence of Klakson co-founder Dexter, Third Side and Steffi, it's the playful classicist US deep house of "Reality" from John Barera and Will Martin that truly stands out!
Review: First volume of house tracks picked from the Velocet catalogue, Nail's previous label, which he ran very badly between 1995 and 1997. Most of the unsold, OG copies now lay in his ex-wife's cellar, covered in mushrooms.
300 on clear vinyl, no repress.
Review: The eighth instalment in Dutch powerhouse Dekmantel's 10 year anniversary series comes courtesy of the techno scene's current heavy hitters. On the A side we have inimitable pairing of some hypnotic techno dons: Rome's Donato Dozzy and Brussels' Peter Van Hoesen - who turn in an epic tribal trance cut in the form of "Storta". The Trip affiliated Dutchman Deniro finishes up the A side with his deep and functional DJ tool "Serval" powered by thunderous toms and distant blips and bleeps. On the flip, American acid retrovert Matrixxman delivers more sturdy 303 wobble business for dank warehouses on "Sexual Frustration" and grunting and squealing away in similar fashion is Talismann's dirty epic "Aciano". With an EP released every month, the series has been embracing all the musical varieties they've come to represent. Featuring label favourites, along with a whole bunch of new faces, iconic artists and select debutantes alike - it's a collection of timeless music that embraces everything they've done to date, while setting a precedent for things to come.
Review: A promise is a manifestation of intent to act or refrain from acting in a specified way at some point in the future. It's communicated by one party, to at least one additional party, to signify a commitment has been made. The person manifesting intent is the Promisor. The person to whom the manifestation is addressed is the Promisee.
Five Times Of Dust - "Computer Bank" (The Floor mix) (7:12)
Five Times Of Dust - "Armoured Car" (6:57)
Unovidual & Tara Cross - "Like I Am, Comme Je Suis" (The Floor mix) (7:11)
Unovidual & Tara Cross - "Imponative" (3:28)
Review: Thanks to the eternally revered Minimal Wave imprint, out of NYC, Mark Phillips and Robert Lawrence's Five Times Of Dust project is going through a bit of a revival. The duo had first released some post-punk cassettes back in the 80s, and they clearly have not been forgotten. On this new remix EP, "Computer Bank" is given a makeover in the form of a The Floor remix, who proceeds to add all sorts of quirkiness over the tune's tough, heavy bass and driving rhythm; "Armoured Car" breaks the 4/4 in favour of something much closer to the band's original drum machine style. Once again, on the flip, we have a remix of "Like I Am, Comme Je Suis" by The Floor, who throws up a gnarly electro bass onto shady, neo-romantic vocals, and the whole things is finished off by "Imponative" from Unovodual and Tara Cross, who produce a slow, heady industrial groove for the dancefloor.
Review: Weapons Of Desire kick off what is presumably a new series of various artist releases under the Machine Funk banger, and do so with a right royal collection of dance music punks. Drvg Cvltvre, for example, is a Dutchman who makes dirt, sleaze and noise an art form in his techno tracks, and the brilliantly brainless 'I Hate Thinking' is proof of that. UK hardware lover Perseus Traxx also brings plenty of lo-fi brilliance to his 'Hi-Tech', while Rennie Foster's 'Deposition Acid' achieves some hypnotic brilliance with the 303. Add in more rough and ready excellence from Type-303 and Bad Outfit and you have a hefty EP.
Gus Gus - "Your Moves Are Mine" (Sanasol remix) (9:24)
Thor - "Black" (7:32)
Biogen - "Stream" (Sanasol Lost In Time remix) (6:39)
Review: Next up on the ever-excellent Oscillat is "Spellbound" by the supremely talented Matthew Dekay. This moving deep house jam uses a few key elements to make a soul-stirring confection for truly spine-tingling moments in the middle of the dance. From the slithers of vocal to the insistent key riff that bounces throughout, this is an outstanding slice of contemporary house music loaded with feeling. Mandar then take the original and inject it with a feisty peak time energy shot through with a little trancey magic and an acidic undertone. It's not a raging beast but rather an energizing workout for the brain and the body - just what you need in the midst of a marathon.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Gravity Graffiti has been doing great things with its series of split 12"s already, but now the Italian label goes one better for its tenth release with this mighty double pack of heavy hitters. First up is the ever-untouchable Yoshinori Hayashi, who gets as straight up as he possibly could with the freaky house burner "Dissociative." Telephones is feeling particularly dubbed out and groovy on "Kalimbalimbo", while DB.Source and Riccardo Schiro take things strung out and textural on "Montevago". Dynamo Dreesen is in rave mode for the pepped up and delightfully weird "Reactivate", leaving the final side to Oyvind Morken & Kaman Leung's chugging "Tunnel Visjon" and the rubbery side swipes of Acidboychair's "The End (At Any Speed)".