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: When it comes to melodic, layered, emotion-rich techno, Tim Jackiw is a master craftsman. While he's demonstrated his aptitude before - mostly via some lauded singles and EPs - we'd argue that "Monuments" proves it beyond a shadow of doubt. It's a wonderful album; a set of club cuts whose spacey electronics, warm basslines, dreamy chords and futurist synthesizer flourishes combine on tracks capable of making the feet move and the heart sing. Highlights are plentiful throughout, from the dub techno influenced beauty of "Solar" and the picturesque emotional rush of the near symphonic "Beyond The Family", to the dense-but-dreamy intensity of "Soul Appease" and the analogue chunkiness of "Aerophone", whose raw, angular bassline is offset by some suitably bouncy piano riffs.
Review: Berlin-based British producer Joe Seaton dons the Onno Fudd alias once again, following up a couple of releases on Will Bankhead's The Trilogy Tapes label - namely 2016's terrific Blue Dot EP. Five deep and meditative cuts that merge classic house/techno flavours with IDM and ambient aesthetics - all with a modern experimental twist. We are loving the floaty and entrancing drifter that is the title track, the driving EBM style arpeggio that is central to the epic groove of "Joyride To My Inside" and the hypnotic heads down bounce of "Earth Queen Voice". On the flip, he even dons his more popular Call Super alias for the Rhythim Is Rhythim-ish vibe of "The Mess".
Review: Since making his debut six years ago, Sergio Moreira has released countless singles exploring his personal take on drowsy deep house and left-of-centre electronic futurism. Because of that, this debut album feels long overdue. From start to finish, it feels like the set of a producer comfortable in his own skin. While many will be dazzled by the three-part suite at the centre of the album - "Bring Back The Night", which subtly twists and turns over 15 warm, glassy-eyed minutes like a breakbeat-sporting deep house version of a classical epic - there's plenty to set the pulse racing elsewhere. Highlights include the bass-heavy, breakbeat-driven peak-time dubbiness of "One Last Thought", the Motor City techno electronics and shuffling bottom end of "Controlling Transmission" and the hazy opener "From Here To There".
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".
Sly & Lovechild - "The World According To Sly & Lovechild" (Andrew Weatherall Soul Of Europe mix) (8:25)
Deniro - "Epirus" (6:34)
Psyche - "Crackdown" (5:59)
Hiver - "Paert" (7:04)
Aphex Twin - "Vordhosbn" (4:46)
Review: South Korean star Peggy Gou continues her seemingly unstoppable rise by serving up her first ever DJ mix CD. It's a contribution to one of the longest running series in the business, DJ Kicks, and she's used the opportunity to showcase the depth and variety of the music in her crates. Beginning with the classic early '90s ambient of Spacetime Continuum, Gou flits between humid, mid-tempo Balearic house (her own "Hungboo"), acid-fired downtempo electronica, throbbing 1990 peak-time anthems (Weatherall's ace but largely forgotten remix of Sly & Lovechild), hypnotic techno minimalism, main room throb-jobs (Hiver), pulsating electro, classic breakbeat hardcore, post-dubstep, dark tribal drum jams and sunrise ready Motor City brilliance (Deniro).
Review: Given his stargazing, intergalactic ethos, it's perhaps unsurprising that sci-fi techno overlord Jeff Mills has decided to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo XI moon landing by releasing an album containing his musical "interpretations of Earth's moon". As you'd expect from an artist of Mills' standing, it's a very good album. Evocative, atmospheric and hugely spacey - this is Jeff Mills after all - the seven-track set moves from scene-setting, string-laden ambient ("Control, Satva and Rama") to sparse, acid-flecked dub techno ("Electromagnetic") via a string of fine cuts that variously touch on electro-fired broken techno ("Stabilizing The Spin"), Steve Reich style minimalism (the brilliant "Lunar Power"), and semi-orchestral electronic positivity ("The Tides").
Review: Italo-Iranian producer Sciahriar Tavakoli, commonly known as Sciahri, after releasing on renowned label as Ilian Tape, Mord, Opal Tapes/Black Opal and MANHIGH finally presents his first long playing record "Double-Edged", and he does it on his own imprint, Sublunar Records.
The LP is an extended, carefully compiled exploration of the many facets of his signature sound, where emotional melodies collide with dense and rasping basslines.
The artist aims to express emotions with unsettling simplicity, showcasing techno compositions that are both thoughtful and primal.
Within the space of ten tracks, Sciahri's sound design reveals his structure, pushing the listener through a labyrinth of textures and rhythms.
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: Danish producer SOS Gunver Ryberg is known for her compositions in soundtracks, video games and theatre, as well as her own A/V installations. She now presents this mini LP for Berlin-based imprint Avian, following up some exciting releases on Contort and Noise Manifesto. "Entangled" includes six tracks focused on the dancefloor, including four "micro compositions", which illustrates Ryberg's vision of contemporary techno and her ability to hypnotise through sound design. From the barrelling intensity of opener "Palacelike Timescale Of Black", introspective ambient drifter "The Presence Eurydike", to powerful moments of textured greyscale techno ("Levitation") and intoxicating IDM deconstructions as heard on "Magnetic Force" - prepare yourself for one intense sonic experience.
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.
Review: Like Delsin label mates Conforce and Claro Intelecto, veteran producer John Beltran seems incapable of producing duff albums. "Hallo Androiden", his first full length outing for two years, is another wonderfully atmospheric, melodic and emotive set that recalls the producer's impeccable 1990s output. The nine tracks are as lushly produced as you'd expect, with Beltran effortlessly drifting between eyes-closed ambient techno, lilting electronica, slowly shifting sunset soundscapes and the kind of grandiose, life affirming ambient compositions that have long been a feature of the veteran producer's work. As with much of his output, there are enough intricate details and emotion-stirring motifs to suggest that the album will sound just as good on the 50th listen as it does the first.
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: Crisp Recordings is a record label and production company founded by legend DJ Ra-Soul and Chicago by way of Memphis' Don Crisp. Black in Time is the moniker used by the pair which has resulted in three previous collaborative releases on the label, and they're back with the fourth after a long hiatus. Now they present the politically charged "Democracy Is Hypocrisy" with its powerful narrative fuelled by a groovy minimal acid arrangement. Comes with a handy instrumental version on the flip, in addition to a rough and ready acid dub that's perfect for getting weird at the afterhours. Much crossover appeal anticipated on this little treasure -tip!
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.