Review: Robin Ball's Memory Box builds on the success of early releases with a big new outing that features two of his own tracks and one from the legendary Luke Vibert. Memory Box is a party that has hosted Derrick Carer, Trevino and A Guy Called Gerald among others, and is a place to hear proper acid house. Ball himself is a master of the genre and most often released on his own Groovepressure label, having been making music since his teens. Now his latest labour of love is once again reaffirming his status as a vital voice in the UK scene. Luke Vibert has a rich history that makes him a key part of the UK's dance counterculture over the last 30 years. His always animated music is wild and inventive and comes on greats like Mo Wax, Warp and Planet Mu. Here he offers 'X to C', a wild melange of warped synth tones, grizzled basslines & acid flashes. It will twist and turn the dance floor inside out. Robin Ball's excellent 'Gripper' is a corrugated bit of electric house music that never sits still. Pensive pads in the background are offset by a busy lead synth line and old school stabs that make it a perfectly timeless, energetic fusion of moods and grooves. Lastly, Ball serves up 'The Edge,' a brilliantly brash cut with stepping acid sequences, raw drum work and warped bass that distills decades of UK music into one essential track. These are three devastating club cuts that expertly draw on the past, present and future of acid.
Review: Since 2015, Jacob Chenaux has been serving up singles made in collaboration with fellow Offenbach resident Martyne. Here he goes solo for the very first time with a four-track outing on Traffic. He eases us in gently via the crunchy techno-funk of "Frostnach" - all bouncy drum machine beats, rumbling bass and minor key organ melodies - before heading to deep space via the sci-fi bleeps, supersonic noises and robust drums of "Challenjour". Flip to the B-side for the wayward early morning techno throb of "Jericho" and the rubbery goodness of "Wrath", where Motor City style chords and chiming melodies rise above unfussy machine beats and a squelchy analogue bassline.
Review: Ben Sims' Hardgroove label opens its 2019 account with a four track EP comprised of cuts from the Londoner's recent 'Tribology' mix-comp. M-Plant artist and UK techno don Mark Broom features alongside Clone's Cadans with Italian emerging talent Marco Bruno and Hardgroove alumni Avision serve up hefty, peak time workouts.
Review: Or:la launches new label Cead with an EP from the Utrecht based producer and DJ Lewski. Drawing on his ability to mesh a mixture of house, techno and clattering electro, 'Mariachi Guadalajara' is a fast paced dexterous work which melds vigorous percussion and spacey synth lines.
Review: The next logical step in the Chronicle catalog sidesteps the typical press-artist relationship and comes to us straight from the (un)known. A record that is as compellingly clandestine as it is forceful, it wastes no time securing a slot next to some of the most enigmatic ""Unknown Artists"" of our time, which count some of the most prestigious artists out there among them.
Upon hearing the music, identity becomes irrelevant. The typical rough and booming kicks have been replaced here with something more streamlined and tactful. A certain eerieness permeates throughout the entire body of work, gently hypnotizing us into a cadenced submission. A record for moments of phantasmal bliss within times of uncertainty.
Review: Old school meets new school here, as French techno stalwart Laurent Garnier joins forces with rising star Chambray for a cheery, glassy-eyed workout on Rekids. In its original form, "Feelin' Good" is a rushing chunk of piano-driven techno positivity, where sparkling riffs, fuzzy analogue electronic motifs and nagging electronics burst through a tough but squeezable techno beat. It should be an essential listen for all those hankering after something that recalls the celebratory glee of the early '90s while sounding suitably contemporary. Label boss Radio Slave steps up to remix, first re-imagining it as a dreamy but powerful jack track, before embracing his inner hardcore hero on a breakbeat and piano-heavy flip that's as rush-inducing as triple dropping the strongest happy pills around.
Review: After slowly building his career over the last few years via well-received singles on Rave Or Die, Khemina Records and, most recently, Perc Trax, Guillaume Labadie delivers his hotly anticipated debut album. It's something of a beast, too, with 12 lengthy tracks spread across two CDs. After scene-setting via a constantly-building blast of symphonic synth strings, new wave style guitars and crashing drum rolls ("The Beginning of the End"), Labadie sprints through bombastic, mind-altering stompers ("Crossing The Mirror"), dark and twisted soundscapes ("Impossible Love"), distorted techno thumpers ("The Night Is Our Kingdom", "You Are Not Alone"), redlined downtempo soundscapes (the filthy "Partner In Crime"), industrial strength insanity ("Romantic Pyscho") and pitch-black throb-jobs ("Eternity Is Burning").
Review: Frankfurt record shop Gosu are back with the next instalment of their in-house label by OFFM regular Rob Amboule. The British producer has been making records for some years now, on labels like 20:20 Vision, Heidi's The Jackathon and more recently OSMAN and NorthSouth, initially starting out in London. A chance encounter led him to Frankfurt and after a short while he decided to relocate out to the Main area. A long-time friend of the label as well as Freebase (RIP), his skills developed with the encouragement of label bosses Manuel Schatz and Phil Evans. Amboule presents Gosu 9.5: on the A side we've got the funky and chunky all analogue electro futurism of "9.5 B", while on the flip things go in a more straight ahead direction on the classic techno excursion of "9.5 D" - taking the very best elements of Detroit and Yorkshire in its stride.