Review: Despite an impressive discography and a well-deserved reputation for crafting high quality techno and electro, Lee Xhin's releases have been few and far between in recent years. In fact, this wonderful four-tracker is the sometime Token, Stroboscopic Artefacts and Semantica artist's first release for two years. It sees him exploring the potential of dancefloor futurism by flitting between melodious, piano-sporting electro/techno fusion (the surprisingly melancholic "Everythingremains"), punchy but spacey peak-time electro ("Vision Electrified"), angular and mind-altering modular experimentation (twisted, beat-free closing cut "Dust") and moody, off-kilter breakbeat techno (electro influenced roller "IKNx2", where strummed shoegaze guitar motifs rise above claustrophobic chords and pummeling drums).
Review: On celebrating 22 years of Josh Wink's cult acid classic "Sixth Sense" on his legendary Ovum imprint, they've invited one half of Masters At Work, Louie Vega, and Israeli techno hero Shlomi Aber for a set of remarkable updates. Vega looks after the A side with a couple of sweltering reworks: from the bouncy, bass-driven groove attitude of the main remix which retains industry veteran Ursula Rucker's powerful vocal performance, to the handy dub version up next. On the flip, Aber certainly has come a long way since the days of Chicago Days/Detroit Nights - it's about spending all weekend at Berlin's Berghain these days - getting on some proper tunnel vision with his steely and austere rework.
Review: A four-track acid EP by veteran producer Warlock, out on Kalbata's Brush & Broom label. Ex-amount of jaw-grind action from the London underground legend. "Violent Rays" and "Swearings" are both straight-up warehouse workouts, comfortably placed next to reflective after-hour gushers "Run DC" and "Cave Tone". Once again, Warlock demonstrates stunning crisp production, touched by old-school heritage, dating back to pre-94 legislation times. Essential.
Review: Berlin-based techno imprint Repitch returns with more austere and pitch-black techno, courtesy of Polish producer Martyna Maja aka VTSS. A proud alumni of Warsaw's Brutaz club night and Jasna 1 club, in addition to being one of Discwoman's most recent additions, she's in fine form on "Identity Process", following up some great releases on Intrepid Skin and Haven recently. From the brooding rave energy of "Bring The Noize", the barrelling peak time intensity of "Code Red" to the powerful adrenalin of "Devil May Care" which is perfect for those "heads down" moments under the strobe light - Maja lunges straight for the jugular from the get-go on this truly ferocious outing.
Review: Once again diving into the mysterious electronics of decades past, Platform 23 strike gold with this cult release from short-lived Canadian duo Vini Vidi Vici. In its original form this 1989 private press mini-album emerged from the Montreal underground with a prescient take on house and more experimental minimal wave fare - it's no surprise original copies fetch hefty prices in the second hand market. From the psyched-out house thrum of "Club Stuff" to the percussive bounce of "Vini Vidi Vici" and the more madcap sample juggling of "Ou Sommes Nous?" this is a killer record unbound by scenes or trends - just pure, primal hardware experimentation.
Review: Despite the matter-or-fact title, there's little ordinary or mediocre about the three tracks that make up Levon Vincent's first EP of 2019. Check, for example, the untitled A-side cut, where glassy-eyed, old school style piano riffs and fluid solos ride a chunky, thickset retro-futurist groove. It's quite deep in tone, despite the loved-up musical elements on show, but also feels like an underground anthem in the making. Over on side B, Vincent first combines Steve Reich style cyclical marimba loops with wonky club beats and warm deep house chords, before peppering a locked-in rhythm track with intergalactic synthesizer melodies and ultra-deep atmospherics.
Review: Robin Ball's Memory Box dips once more into the acid-laced honey pot and comes up with the lysergic maestro Luke Vibert, who delivers a crucial gurgler in "X To C" that ranks amongst his most incisive 303 workouts in recent memory. A snappy 808 drum line and quintessential vocal chops make this an all-round masterful jam for heads down moments in the dance. Robin Ball himself steps up on the B side with two equally proficient cuts, from the big and bold peak time propulsion of "Gripper" to the punchy tech-noir of "The Edge".
Catnapp & Otto Von Schirach - "Rattle Snake" (2:38)
Gajek - "Large-Scale/Small-Scale" (5:14)
Redshape - "Dirt Box" (7:47)
Siriusmo - "Extra" (3:09)
Mouse On Mars - "Krautzig" (feat Drumno) (4:07)
Review: Modeselektor have never been all that keen on looking back, so it's little surprise to find that they've chosen to celebrate 10 years of their Monkeytown label with an album of brand new cuts. As you'd expect, it's rather good. As well as their own "My Friend The 201" - a rush-inducing fusion of glittering, star burst electronics and weighty bottom-end pressure - highlights include the insanely heavy warehouse flex of Shed's "Rigger", the off-kilter techno breeziness of Redshape's "Dirt Box", a skittish and jumpy workout from German veterans Mouse On Mars and a woozy chunk of experimental ambient/IDM fusion from Anstam.
Circling Vultures - "Frothing Over The Fruit Of Original Sin" (7:30)
Israfil - "Psy ~ K" (5:56)
Locked In Blue - "Say God" (4:17)
Years Of Denial - "You Should Worry" (5:38)
Joshua Cordova & Sam De La Rosa - "El Gusano Pendejito" (4:34)
Raum-Zeit - "Toni Fahrt Motorrad" (3:46)
Champagne Mirrors - "Evelyn's Doll" (4:02)
Review: With a true curation of artists, this double LP marks the eclectic and passionate works from Public System. The latest in the synth-heavy sludgedown from the ever impressive imprint, invites a new cast of characters into the dungeon dance. The common theme throughout this collection, seems to be wide, slowed down melancholy. Some tracks take a floor-focused jump, while others demand the attentive consumption of a more serene setting. These two discs are packed with dynamic, chugging, and forward thinking jams that make you mesh all things the imprint is clearly passionate for.
Review: Welcome to the world Cosmocities Records, a new French label whose first release is an incredible, triple-vinyl collection of what it calls "rare and beautiful instrumental tracks". It's a rather eclectic set, all told, but thanks to immaculate track selection and programming it hangs together exceptionally well. Flick through the clips and you'll find some next-level ambient bliss (Pepe), a crazy, flute-laden percussion workout (DJ Maboku), sunrise-ready dub techno (Segue), melodious ambient techno (Leif), Balearic space jazz (Jitwam), warm analogue deep house (Jaime Read) and a clutch of cuts that blur the boundaries between jazz-funk and broken beat. In other words, it's a stylistically diverse collection of brilliant electronic music that you'll want to listen to again and again.
Review: Trustworthy techno outpost Chronicle are the kind of label you can still get behind when they drop an unnamed artist. Whoever's behind Cycle De Motifs, the bar remains reassuringly high for those wanting fresh firepower in the serious techno game. "GPS" is a fist-shaking piledriver, but it's not without its cerebral nuances between the surging low end. Who needs a kick when you can have a relentless sub to carry you through the night? "C-Signature" darts out into equally intriguing territory with a creeping, insectoid array of sound design working around a minimal beat. "Gateway To Infinity" piles the eerie, looping figures on and continues spiraling outwards, and "Nepthys" plies an old-skool drum machine jack in the finest Plastikman tradition.
Review: Russian label Mosaique has thus far carried some serious heat from artists like JASSS, Caron and Savage Grounds, and now they're shifting their nightmarish electro tendencies back to the various artists format of their Universe series. Umwelt leads the charge on this second installment with the eerie machine snarl of "Fallen Empire", followed up by two versions of the devilish "Sleep When You Die" by Moralez & The Horrorist. Alessandro Adriani is first up on the B side with the driving, noirish techno pulse of "Cosmic Transmissions," and then Morah rounds things off with the squelchy, spiky workout "Track 5".
Review: Story has it that UK techno legend Tim Taylor paid a visit to DJ Slip in Minneapolis, where they collaborated on "Pleasure Unit" back in 1998 - and it quickly became a cult track. The intention was to return to work on some tracks from that session, and they entertained the thought of releasing them as an alternative limited series project named "Fear Of Music" on Taylor's Missile imprint. 21 years later, Dame-Music proudly presents the original track in all its barrelling and austere intensity, remastered by Thomas P. Heckmann. It also features remixes by Super Rhythm Trax's Jerome Hill, plus a truly pounding rework by label boss Bloody Mary that can easily match the brute force of the original, complete with a bonus functional "Drum Workout" mix.