Review: The Masaala label are laying claim to a unique curio from the '90s here, unearthing the forgotten sounds of Cutmaster Singh from Leicester. This unsung DJ legend was amongst those trying to fuse acid house and bhangra, and on this 12" we're treated to a selection of edits that do a mighty fine job of crossing the cultural divide to bring the infectious energy of Indian music into a dancefloor context. First up is a dubplate from 1994 titled 'Acid Agah', which rides a bubbling 303 and resplendent strings to create a jaw-dropping showpiece. 'Rani' is steeped in bashy '80s drums and more of that lysergic throbbing, offset by a stunning female vocal, while 'Nachdi Drums' unsurprisingly leans in hard on percussion to whip up a frenetic energy that is as much techno as it is bhangra. 'Balle Shava' takes things back to a kind of new beat freakiness which will appeal to old-skool diggers looking for something spicy in their sets.
Review: According to the accompany information, VRIL and Rodhad's first collaborative full-length was dually inspired by a desire to "subvert the expectations of their previous work" and the real world phenomena of unusual artefacts that baffle both archaeologists and historians (in their words, "strange anomalies scattered throughout the world"). Musically, the album is something of a slown-burn treat, with the pair slowly ambling between heady ambient soundscapes, buzzing, slow-motion psychedelic techno, creepy and bass-heavy electronic experiments, acid-flecked IDM, deep dub techno and productions that cannily blur the boundaries between these various stylistic touchpoints. As a result, Out of Place Artefacts is a startling and hugely enjoyable collection of mysterious musical movements.
Review: Naming records after colours is nothing new; in fact, British tech-house pioneers Circulation spent much of their career delivering tracks named in honour of Pantone colours. Perhaps it was this that inspired Alex Falconer and Jean-Pierre Ahtuam to follow a similar pattern with releases on their 2X label. Circulation certainly would have been proud of 'Stray', the flipside cut on Tim Schlockermann's 2X Orange 12" (his first for the imprint). Featuring meditative ambient chords, pulsing and pleasing synthesizer melodies, chunky synth-bass and snappy, hypnotic machine drums, it sits somewhere between early 2000s tech-house and machine-made deep house. Over on side A, Schlockermann opts for a fuzzier, quirkier and more lo-fi sound on the analogue house sweetness that is 'Measuring Trips'.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: 'Something From Nothing' is a four tracker that fuses techno sensibility with house swagger, a voice calling to Detroit's Second Wave while a hand beckons the shadowy waters of house.
Hearts Of Darkness are immersed in late nights and smoke-filled basements, with past form seeing them play Fabric and Bugged Out!. An unhealthy loyalty to vintage hardware and long forgotten code means their music is analogue, not for fashion, but because it feels right.
On the A, 'Sequential Circus' is purest machine funk as a driving bass bubbles into self-oscillation. Next, 'Just On For The Ride' bounces to a millennial deep house swing. Flip it for a dense future dub workout in 'Charlie Don't Surf,' then 'Hotshot' closes with a pad soaked vibe for the discerning warm up. A melting pot EP with all the right ingredients.
'Something From Nothing' opens the door to Hearts Of Darkness. Step inside.
Review: There's an undeniably far-out feel to the Zenker Brothers' second album, Cosmic Transmission, which adds further layers of trippy textures, hallucinatory sounds and smoky intensity to the aural blueprint first explored on their 2015 debut full-length Immersion. There's much to admire throughout, from the mind-bending ambient weirdness of opener 'When Nothing is Safe', and the slipped dub haze of 'Whose In Control', to the drug-addled IDM of 'Natural Connection', and the polyrhythmic techno trip of 'Divided Society'. Most striking of all is the trio of tracks that close the album, all of which are powered forwards not by heavy techno beats (or even their usual crunchy, off-kilter breakbeats) but rather a series of ear-catching, fuzz-soaked synthesizer arpeggio lines.
Cage & Aviary - "Lean On Me" (Felix Dickinson Foolish dub)
Posthuman - "Make More Man"
Review: Just as the new football season settles into it's groove, the fourth edition of the highly collectable Rothmans arrives sporting some high profile signings! Leading the way on The Claudio Gentile Release is a Foolish Felix dub of Cage & Aviary's "Lean On Me" whose deranged acid gurglings provide a nice contrast to the thrusting Escape From East London stylings of Posthuman's "Make More Men". On the flip Ali Renault returns for Rothmans duty with the Weatherall worthy "The Black Heart" whilst Iron Blu is loaned from Flight Recorder for the synthy swamp of orchestral drama that is "Oiche Shamhna"
Review: KM Editions and Pleasure Unit are proud to anounce the launch of Pleasure Wave. A new imprint to release special projects.Our first release "Tarnished Idol comes from the multi faceted g-Marie a friend of ours for over 20 years. This mini LP was concieved over the first few months of 2015 after various travels around Europe and Asia and then recorded at his home studio in South London.
Review: On the day today tonight, Ethyl & Flori launch their own imprint, E&F Records. With dancefloor focus, EFR001 guarantees crowd reactions reminiscent of Clinton's welcome home after machine-gunning 400 buffalo.
Review: Second time around for Transparent Sound single 'Orson's House', a classic chunk of driving, sub-heavy tech-house that first appeared in 2001. The duo's original 'Mix 1' and 'Mix 2' versions - here featured on the flip - are classic examples of the early British tech-house sound, which fused the sub-heavy strut of early UK techno with the sci-fi sounds of Motor City techno and the swinging machine drums of house music. Those looking for a more fully formed, funk-fuelled take should check the A-side 'James Harrison Subfunk Mix', where spacey pads, tweaking acid lines and alien-sounding lead lines ride a chunkier, more energetic groove.
Review: Originally released back in 2011 on two singles, Shades of Detroit is a journey of six deep and dubby house monsters! The new limited reissue includes both Dark and Light parts, marbled vinyl and a new updated artwork. Essential Detroit house classic!
Review: Presenting the fourth vinyl release, Los Angeles imprint Reinhardt welcomes Romanian sonic explorer Akim# to the fold. Culminating in four tracks crossing genres and themes, pulling from influences and experiences throughout a history crafting his art within the Bucharest electronic music scene.
Taking elements of ambient, electronica and techno, channeled through a dream-state lens. The Phosphene EP is created for the dance floor with a soundscape sensibility, making for an unmapped odyssey.
Review: Canadian minimal veteran Tomas Jirku has been a little quiet of late, but now he makes a welcome and unexpected return with something quite different for Silent Season. You can hear echoes of his earlier work in the soundscapes he's sculpted across Touching The Sublime, as high-definition sonic manipulation draws on his experience and eye for detail in wielding music technology, but rather than creating pointillist rhythmic structures, he's more concerned with billowing clouds of ambience. It's easy to draw parallels with the likes of Tim Hecker, but there's space for more techno-oriented productions in the midst of the maelstrom. Epic in scope and powerfully rendered, this is an album that will feed your head for a long time to come.
Review: London based Rico Casazza has been sliding out warm, harmonically rich techno for over 10 years now, shoring up on labels such as Bonzai Elemental, Archipel, Stock5, Cartulis Music, Variance and more. On his latest release, which lands on sterling techno imprint Murge Recordings, he's channeling the spirit of Detroit in a plush spread of warm and expressive synth shapes. "Transmutation" is strong in its original configuration, but it's also propped up by some classy remixes from big hitters. Kirk Degiorgio steps up first with a tense, darkside techno workout for the peak of the night. Aubrey then pings things up into a trippy, heavy-rolling workout drawn from the freakier end of the spectrum.
Review: Following the release of his angular, intense and deep debut album, Krona, on Northern Electronics last year, Evigt Morker decided to take his time before unleashing any new material. 5, his first EP since, arrives 13 months later and offers a starker, more uniformly club-centric sound. Of course, these new productions still boast tons of depth and musical texture, as is proved by the grandiose, slowly rising chord progressions and intergalactic rhythms of 'Lossa De Bunda', and the alien-sounding dancefloor hypnotism of 'Hall I Mig', where tight TB-303 loops and gaseous pads wrap around a locked-in techno groove. The EP's most startling moment, though, is a more rugged and robust affair: the gently psychedelic and intense peak-time techno bustle of 'Slunga Aska'.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: relik returns with a repackaged edition of one of the catalogue's most treasured releases. "Overcome" and "Lady Science (NYC Sunrise)" need little introduction, and now come sporting the new TR11:11 matrix number. Written and produced by Thomas Melchior and Baby Ford aka Soul Capsule, these tracks came from one of the many sessions recorded at the West London Ifach Studio in 1999. On the A Side "Overcome" is stripped back and energetic, driven by rolling and shuffling garage style beats, tight bubbling bass and atmospheric synth pads. The intermittent vocal samples and the release's signature organ set you up for the flip, "Lady Science (NYC Sunrise)". Possibly one of house music's most emotive pieces, the track builds slowly with the introduction of each part building a story of soulful optimism based around a sparse palette of deep synths, uplifting keys and warm analogue bass. The understated beauty of the main vocal riff never seems to grow old or tired with the track lending itself perfectly to either main room, peak-time play or after-hours sessions alike. Remastered by Rashad at D & M.
Review: In line with the timely reappraisal of all things R&S related, the resurgent Apollo have seen the opportunity to bring one of their most celebrated records back for another round. Aphex Twin's ambient recordings mature magnificently with age, sounding ever richer and more emotive as the rest of electronic music continues to play catch up all around. From the gentle breakbeats of "Xtal" to the aquatic techno lure of "Tha", the airy rave of "Pulsewidth" to the heartwrenching composition of "Ageispolis", every track is a perennial example of how far ambient techno could reach even back then. It's just that no-one quite had the arm-span of Richard D. James.
Review: Malin Genie's purple patch continues to yield more delights with this latest drop on his self-titled label. This time around the prolific Dutch artist is delving into smoky, hidden corners of house music where dub lingers thick in the air and rough textures scuff depth and character into the synth work. "Aventijn" has a purposeful drum machine tick but its utterly somnambulant in its execution, while "KIAR" lilts on a dusty groove and woozy clouds of funk. "Duppy" has a distinct dub techno influence, but it's still a steadfast house groover at heart, and "Amulius Numitor" ditches the beats for a pure interstellar exploration. With some bonus locked grooves for creative DJs, this is a versatile and imaginatively rendered EP with creative spark to match its usefulness in the mix.
Review: The sixth installment on Malin Genie's self-titled label welcomes Will & Ink resident Yaleesa Hall into the fold. Regular collaborators Malin and Yaleesa have turned out plenty of joint 12"s in the past on Will & Ink and this very label, and they sound more comfortable and sonically aligned than ever on this mighty record. There's no messing with "Alpha Decay," a loose and lysergic dubby techno workout. "Tachyon" orbits a similar soundworld, but shears the fat away for a minimal palette that sounds powerful echoing around the ample space in the mix. "Muck" slips into freaky after hours house territory, and "Stocha" drops a massive Basic Channel dub techno chord around a whisper of a beat to devastating effect.
When Is Deep (Thor & Octal Industries remix) (7:15)
Review: Russian techno mastermind Anton Kubikov has enjoyed an incredibly productive run that has seen him grace Nervmusic, Mayak and his own Pro-tez label. Now one of his finest works, 'When Is Deep', lands on AE Recordings in four new versions from a cast of top-shelf remixers. Idealist is up first, rolling out a smooth and sublime dub house medication to keep dancers locked in and shuffling, while Ben Buitendijk simmers things down to a hypnotic pulse. Dot kicks off the B-side with an immersive, propulsive techno blend before Thor and Octal Industries complete the set with a quintessential dub techno meditation to take your mind to spell-binding new spheres of exploration.
Sean Dixon - "Reconcile" (Palms Trax remix) (6:38)
John Barera - "Black Snake" (6:26)
John Barera - "Space Station" (7:18)
Review: Final Chapter was started in 2013 by Stockholm's Sean Dixon, along with support from Perseus Traxx. A label which is happy to let the music do the talking, Final Chapter is now on it's fifth release, and shows no sign of being prepared to letting the book close. The journey of Detroit and Chicago influenced house and techno continues on this release as label head Sean Dixon presents an EP split between himself and Boston's John Barera, who's previous releases outside of his own label, Supply Records, have issues fourth on Soul Clap and Dolly, as well as Steffi's Panorama Bar Mix CD on Ostgut Ton. Remix duties come courtesy of Berlin based producer, Palms Trax, who's first outing was in 2013 on Lobster Theramin.
Review: After a bit of a hiatus, Roots Unit return with some deep house hybrids from their bulging vaults. "Learn To Love" is a melodic dub-house / techno infused big sound system warmer that comes from a studio session with former 2 Lone Swordsman Keith Tenniswood and will be familiar to those who tune into Tim Sweeney's Beats In Space show on the regular. "Morning Sequence" is a lovely early morning hypnotic slinky electronic house jam that gets under your skin and into your mind. This latter track is mutated into a heavy floor filler by Mark E in full on peak time mode.
Review: Bam Bam is an old school techno legend and 'Where is Your Child?' is one of his most essential acid cuts. Back to Life is a young label but by reissuing this one on vital one sided 12", it continues its early run of form. Originally released on Bam Bam's own Westbrook Records in 1988, this is the records only fully licensed repress after more than thirty years, and it also includes a Bonus Beat tune. The original is of course where its at - scintillating drums, dark and lacking percussion and haunting vocals, all run through with a caustic acid line. Pure rave perfection.
Review: While 1990s Italian techno duo Lino Monaco and Nicola Buono may have called themselves Quiet Men, the music showcased on this first EP in 21 years is anything but. It's made up of tracks recorded - but largely not released - between 1994 and '97, which the pair recently rediscovered on dusty DATs. There's much to enjoy across the five tracks, from the angular acid bass, heavy beats and angular, post-bleep melodies of 'Doubled', and the aptly-named, early Moby style techno immersion of 'Deep', to the stomping, buzzing intensity of 'HE', and the introspective dreaminess of stripped-back ambient techno number 'Brain'. The latter comes accompanied by a stunning, previously unheard, beat-free revision.
Review: After they last shared wax on Mosaic back in 2017, UK dub techno veteran Steve O'Sullivan and prolific minimal house rising star Frazer Campbell link up once again for the sleek and sophisticated sounds of "Straight To The Source". It's a shuffling, funky workout with understated b-lines to suck you in and subtle splashes of reverb to shape out a heady atmosphere. "Hypnotonic (West Side Shuffle)" on the flip has a more bubbling, psychedelic quality to it, without losing that cool Mosaic veneer that makes these joints so workable in so many different situations.
Review: It's always a treat to spot Edward donning his Desert Sky guise for another trip into the hinterland of minimal techno, where expression reigns free and all kinds of sound sources tumble into a truly exotic mix. On this album for PAL SL, all bets are off as we get whisked down a mysterious and meandering path where organic and electronic matter merge in the shadows, all strapped to subliminal but pronounced grooves that make this some of the most potent, intriguing club material in circulation right now. Buy the ticket, take the ride and dance out under that Desert Sky.
Review: Fresh from a superb outing on Wisdom Teeth (the wonderfully deep and meditative Terrapin EP), Dwayne Parris-Robinson returns to The Trilogy Tapes for the first time in three years. A-side 'Harajuku Girls' boasts just the right blend of melodic accessibility, dancefloor weight and rhythmic ingenuity, with the Bristol-based producer wrapping a jumpy, UK-funky influenced beat in rumbling bass, fluttering synthesizer motifs and cut-up vocal snippets. He gets dreamier on side B, first combining crunchy, post D&B-beats with seductive ambient chords and chiming melodies on 'Yurei', before brilliantly combining barking dogs, twinkling electronics, hazy chords and dubbed-out breakbeat hardcore beats on the equally as impressive 'Aqua Surge'.
Review: F Comms is one of techno 's most influential early labels and its 25th anniversary reissue series is reminding us why. Next up to get a second time in the spotlight is Deepside's self titled EP from 1992. Deepside was Guy Rabiller and Ludovic Navarre. It's a blistering one, too, with twitchy synths over hulking great kick drums. Rave stabs and twisted basslines all bring that old school energy, while 'Get On Your Own Way' (Trance mix) is a nice one to get lost in when you're coming up. All tracks are mixed by Ludovic Navarre himself, who is if course best known as St Germain, so the quality is superbly high.
Review: Wayfaring sound explorer Sw. is best known for his stellar stints on SUED, Acido and Apollo (often alongside Svn) but he's also got firm roots in the illustrious world of Kimochi. Area's oddball label is a perfect fit for Sw.'s roaming, inquisitive approach, where scuffed sound design exploration sits alongside subdued garage and red-lining electronica faces off with melancholic '80s hauntology. For the bold DJs, there are certainly potential bangers folded into the mysterious fabric of this record, but as with all things Kimochi the overall mood looks past functional dance music while celebrating many of its tropes.
Review: REPRESS: Rising Sun Psyche aka Berlin's hugely prolific but somehow rather lowkey Steffen Laschinski hits an amazingly bittersweet spot on his latest offering. It combines post-rave ambient, breakbeats, IDM and deep house into a real trip. "The River Experiment II" is a dreamy opener with gorgeous synths while "Back Home" is backlit with a celestial glow of melody and spoken word snippets that add to the reverie. There's gentle minimalism in "The River Experiment I" and followed by punchy and emotive number "Feel What I Feel" amongst many other highlights.
Cat: REALITYUSEDTOBEAFRIENDOFMINE 20181CLEAR. Rel: 27 Aug 20
In My Heart (5:28)
Heal Yourself (10:18)
Review: Repressed after its original release, we're talking super-emotionally charged electronic music recalling, at different moments, classic Orbital, the most euphoric hardcore breaks and the hybrid dance-chillout sound popularised during the 1990s. Forget the nostalgia trip, through, while this is grounded in - and coming out of - the ongoing classic 'rave music' revival, it's clearly born in our era.
Opening on the staggeringly confident "Goodbye", broken kicks and loose percussion brings the weight beneath one hell of an epic, slow looped string harmony, vocals crying out passionately over the top. Flip it, or skip it, to find the equally melodic but more rolling "In My Heart" (who said synthy dub techno was dead?), while closer "Heal Yourself" might be the best of the lot - beatless, blissful, indescribable noises wrapped around invisible rhythms that could just as soon open or close a club set as score your meditation.
Review: Berlin-based Italian producer Audri has been scattering his smart, fine-tuned machine soul across a handful of labels over the past four years. Picking up the thread from the emotive and inventive end of the 90s techno spectrum, his latest drop on Albion should appeal to all those who can't get enough of that B12-flavoured sound. 'Inner Movement' sports plenty of classic Motor City influences, but given a crisp modern finish. 'Dizzy Freq' has a deeper demeanour that jacks and jives in equal measure, with a nod to the formative sound of bleep techno. Domenica Rosa delivers a fun and freaky twist on the original, before the legendary Titonton Duvante dubs things out nicely on his version of 'Inner Movement'.
Ivano Tetelepta & Jasper Wolff - "Classic Power Burrito" (7:01)
Kaap - "Relic" (4:24)
Ignez - "Arcane" (4:26)
DVL - "Hotel Vibes" (2:35)
Review: Though we cannot dance, the aeX label insists they must continue supporting artists by releasing their music, and continue to explore the outer edges of the dance floor while they do so. This time out the team has called upon beats from nine different producers, making this their broadest comp yet. Warsaw-based duo Private Press are veterans of the label having done solo EPs here before and they kick off with the raucous and bouncy cosmic techno pumper 'Beardman Driven'. It sets a fine tone for a collection of always interesting techno that goes from deep to peak and back again.
Review: G Man's "Quo Vadis" which is Latin for :where are you going?" first landed in 1995, but 25 years on makes just as much impact. It is inspired by the film of the same name and, says the artist, Gez "LFO" Varley, it was designed for transitioning between house and techno when in the club. Now it is represented in all its slick, dubby, smooth and hypnotic glory complete with a grittier D. Diggler remix that has never been released on vinyl before. G Man's "Sparticus" is also included and takes you on a bumping trip though tight, taught dub house cum techno perfection.