Review: Some five years after re-launching his Crayon label via a fine EP of vintage "Tracks From The Vault", original 1990s tech-house producer Mark Ambrose serves up more gems from his bulging archives. The quality threshold remains dizzyingly high throughout. Check first the moody, back room dub of "Nightshift (Deeper Mix)", where gentle, alien synth lines and deep space chords tumble down over a heavy analogue bassline and locked-in beats, before turning your attention to "Space Animals", a deliciously dubbed-out affair rich in sub bass and drifting, deep space chords. If that's not enough, flip over and trance out to B side "Seduction" and finally, the slamming techno beats, looped electronics and mind-mangling TB-303 motifs of closer "Dusty Acid".
Review: Ben Sims has been busy of late, what with the Tribology compilation and its strong run of companion singles. Now the UK titan is revisiting the project once more with these additional tracks from household names and newcomers alike. Marcu Bruno leads the charge with the frankly massive "Any Given Sunday", which slams a whopping great techno chord front and centre and rides it to perfection. Cadans brings a bit more tribal pressure to "Bite", and it sounds just as mighty. Mark Broom takes things in a simmering, rolling direction on "Loop It" and Avision finishes the record off with shimmering stomper "Rebel".
Review: On the A1 Chekov follows up their moves on Peach Discs and Timedance with a proper peak timer, they've been described by Ben UFO as 'king of the build up' and that's evident on this one. At the A2 London's Doppelate makes their Cong Burn debut with an elegant tech-house roller. Fresh from Russia's underground is Camin, on this, his debut 12" release he drops a useful tool which squeezes between electro and techno. Cong Burn founder Howes closes the B side with some warm hypnosis that could have landed in the golden era of Workshop.
Review: Resurgent Welsh techno wizard DJ Guy launches his own label with a fresh batch of deep diving jams that put the soul back in the machine. From the twinkling, starry-eyed delights of "Music Is Life" to the horizontal meditation of "Interplanetary," this is immaculately executed electronica in the fine tradition of UK trailblazers like B12 that sounds as fresh as it did in the 90s. "Warmth In Rhythm" sports a nagging house groove to suck you in with ease, while "Propulsion State" fires off a dazzling arpeggio that heads skywards with a twitchy electro backbone for company. Top shelf tackle from a seriously talented cat.
Review: With previous releases from some of the top heads of the electronic spectrum, including Leif, Steevio, Arnaldo and more, the imprint UntilMyHeartStops returns with its latest release, this time for mysterious producer Ekeko. Rich analog tape waves sit nicely beside thick 909 rhythmic elements throughout this killer three tracker. The title track "Beyond Good & Evil" starts things of with strong spirit, taking pulsations of warping synths and balancing them with hazy club driven patterns. This theme continues through "FM Joy" and "Eye Ache" but with a wider focus on the dubbier elements of the electro and house spectrum.
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: Three years on from his last outing as Head Front Panel, machine-loving acid maestro John Heckle finally delivers a new EP from his techno-focused side project. After opening with a scene-setting chunk of weirdo ambient, Heckle dives into peak-time techno pastures via the sharp, alien synth loops and pounding beats of "Cube" and the grainy, acid-fired dancefloor psychedelia of intoxicating throb-job "Poly Wind". The intensity keeps coming via the minor key bleeps and thrusting drums of "Stretch". There's more tipsy fun on side B, too, meaning this is one wonky techno EP that you don't want to miss out on.
Review: From Patron and Wolfskuil to this first drop on Or:la's new label Cead, Utrecht producer Lewski is fast establishing himself in the buzzing space that exists between techno, electro and more experimental fare. "Guadala" has an uptempo bite, but there's plenty of dubby immersion to be felt in the bubbling synth drops and splashy reverb trails. "Jara" has its own kind of crooked intent, pockmarked with acid swerves and interlocking rhythms to get synapses firing. "Mariachi" takes things back to the peppier end of the tempo spectrum, clearly aiming for the peak time without making any cliched moves - no mean feat - and then "Descacorde" switches things up with a stomping electro house workout that brings a wholly different flavour to this excellent EP.
Review: Loop LF is back on Well Street with another classy set of leftfield rhythm explorers that orbit a similar sound world to Livity Sound, Cong Burn, UntilMyHeartStops and other such adventurous contemporary techno labels. "Terra" kicks things off in a delicate fashion with shivering synth patterns skirting around gossamer thin percussion - it's subtle and incredibly effective. "Always NV" is even more stripped back, but no less engaging in its deployment of crooked rhythms and eerie atmospherics. "Natural XT" calls to mind the mellow, dubby refractions you might hear from Leif, and then Martsman steps up for a razor sharp D&B revision of "Always NV" that stays true to Loop LF's minimal aesthetic.
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.
Stanislav Tolkachev - "While You Are Drawing A Butterfly" (2:10)
Hoavi - "Aya Horizon" (3:57)
Review: Crimean label Krym Mryk returns with its sophomore release: a Various Artists collection putting the spotlight on several top musicians from Russia and Ukraine as well as a few newcomers to the scene. Highlights come fast and thick throughout; we're particularly loving the grinding cyclicality of Rim Menko's "Illusion", beatless yet hypnotic arpeggio workouts ("Amb Day Out" and "November Bad") by Pavel Milyakov (Buttechno), man of the hour Stanislav Tolkachev with slow-mo entrancer "While You Are Drawing A Butterfly" and Hoavi's "Aya Horizon", which closes the LP with its sublime ambience.
Review: Since opting to release more music under his given name, DeepChord man Rod Modell has largely stuck to dubbed-out ambience and heady drone soundscapes. His latest full-length is a little different, though, offering up club-focused cuts that mix his usual fuzzy aural textures and dub-fired motifs with up-tempo techno rhythms. By his standards, it's a very forthright set, with highlights including the noise-soaked stomp of "Reiki", the thrusting heaviness of "ITO", the hypnotic slam of "Jade" - where breezy, early morning electronics flutter away above tough drums and a mind-altering bassline - and the boisterous peak-time techno anthem "Scrawler".
Review: Straight out of Glasgow via Slovenia - Dixon Avenue Basement Jams are proud to present Maya Medvesek aka Nightwave on their new sub-label Neutralizer Records. With previous releases in recent times on exciting labels such as Unknown To The Unknown, Warp and Fool's Gold, she serves up yet more of her retro flavoured house, with a classic sense of bounce to it all. From the squeaky, life affirming and soulful bliss of "Rainbow Body, the brooding yet adrenalised EBM power of "Quadratic Mind" (which soon goes all Robert Hood/M-Plant on you) to the futuristically booming electro bass action of "Transmute" (feat Marnie) - this is one killer EP from start to finish. Tip!