Review: It was way back in 2004 when Eric Prydz decided to launch the Mouseville label as a vehicle for his techno productions under the Cirez D alias. While missives have been few and far between in recent years, both producer and label returned with bang back in June with the In The Reds 12". Happily, the Swede is in fine form again here, expertly combining trance style electronic riffs and thunderous techno beats on the stomping, club-ready "Backlash". In contrast, "The Tournament" is a much more groove-driven affair, with Prydz utilizing additional percussion hits - made out of the sound of ping-pong balls hitting bats and tables - to increase the energy throughout.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Aubrey is a man on everyone's lips at the moment. After nearly 25 years of releasing music, the South Coast techno pioneer has just completed a busy 2013, including a remix for Juan Atkins' Metroplex Records and is pushing his own DOT Records to new heights. Here, Aubrey has followed up his earlier Ferox releases "Abstractions" and "Inner Feelings" with two super deep cuts on this techno jazz fuelled 4 -tracker. On remix duties are label boss Russ Gabriel and his RT-Transmissions partner - Germany's Hans Thalau.
Review: Icelandic dub techno outpost Thule close out 2016 with a welcome reissue of a classic from the archives. Thorhallur Skulason has been operating since the 90s in a variety of guises including Sanasol and Oz Artists, but his classic T1 12" from 1998 is surely one of the high points of his career as Thor. "T1" leads the charge on this remastered release, perfecting the art of throbbing, trancey techno with sparse ingredients and a killer groove. "T2" is the light to "T1"'s shade, leaving the door open for harmonious synth ripples to chime through amongst other delicate sonic delights.
Review: Vancouver-based Segue is Jordan Sauer, who has become a fixture on the Vancouver Island Silent Season after several releases including 2013's brilliant "Pacifica" LP. His new opus "Over The Mountains" is another deep and dubby ambient excursion of dreamy and hypnotic glory, no doubt influenced by the serene surroundings of the Alberta countryside and his former home British Columbia. The entire album is beautifully consistent and cohesive, allowing you drift away blissfully over its full duration, but if we had to pick some great tracks at random, our suggestions would be the echo-laden glacial dub of "Celestial", "Deep Valley" where Sauer proves his deft hand at sublime and ethereal electronica, or the deep and dusty armchair techno of "Alpenglow".
Review: To coincide with the twenty-fifth anniversary of Berlin club Tresor, Juan Atkins and Moritz Von Oswald have released a second Borderland album together. It begins in ominous mode, with the title track's brooding bass tones casting a long, dark shadow, but the pair soon find a way to break away from the gloom with the mesmerising chords and heavy rhythm of "Lightyears" and the wonderfully spacey Detroit techno of "Riod". Both "Odyssey" and "Merkur" push the tempo back down but keep an emphasis on hypnotic, woozy textures, snappy drums and jazzy tones, while "2600" shows that Van Oswald hasn't lost his ability to craft dub-heavy, dreamy techno.
Review: Thule Records brings a brand-new material from the Icelandic techno legend, Exos. The A-sides, Downgarden and Citric are both hypnotic, yet unrelentless, techno grooves with dub influences - sure to be a essential in the record bags of all true techno DJs. The B-side starts with Hin Heilaga Threnning, unforgiving track yet full of grace. Finally we have Ormus, a dark yet atmospheric journey - tastefully tying together the EP and therefore igniting exciting new era for Thule.
With his numerous successful releases on Force Inc, Delsin & Mosaic (to name a few) and the recent release on Trip label, which is managed by the techno diva Nina Kraviz, listeners are sure to expect yet another future classic from Exos.
Thule Records is considered by many to be a pioneer in the field of dub-influenced techno music and was a starting point for many of Iceland's most renowned electronic musician
Review: 13 months on from his last outing for the label, Detroit veteran Delano Smith returns to Sushitech. From Silence is typical of his output for the imprint, and presents an evocative late night fusion of shuffling techno hypnotism and locked-in deep house. "A1" sets the tone, with warm, delay-laden riffs stretching out across a hazy, trance-inducing groove. The more up-tempo "B1" keeps a similar ethos while moving further towards techno territory, as does the more obviously dubby "C1". "D1" is a deep, picturesque treat with a brilliant extended breakdown, while closer "D2" is as toasty and comforting as a drunken, fireside cuddle. It's this track - dreamy and tactile, with slightly looser beats - that arguably stands out, despite the high quality threshold throughout.
Review: Robert Hood's Floorplan alias has been a real hit over the years. Not content with captivating audiences for two decades with his minimal-futurist hypnotism on M-Plant, Floorplan explored his love of sampling, bringing back the vibe of early noughties DJ tools that looped up funk and disco classics for infectious dancefloor dynamics. The Victorious LP is the project's second full length since 2013's Paradise and is co-produced by his daughter Lyric. It features the absolutely massive "Tell You No Lie" which works those loops from the 1977 disco classic "Lovin' You Is Really My Game" by Brainstorm to full effect.
Living Is Serious Business (Carl Craig remix) (7:05)
Review: Given that he's always approached life with a cheery gusto, there's something rather ironic about Tim 'Love' Lee being involved in making a track called "Living Is Serious Business". Happily, he has man-of-the-moment Aaron 'Fit' Siegel by his side. The duo's original version is something of a trippy, late-night treat, with dubbed-out keys and percussive flourishes riding a dark Detroit bassline and fizzing, Motor City techno groove. It sounds like something that the brothers Fett would release on Sex Tags Mania, which is definitely a bonus in our book. Carl Craig does a sterling job on his flipside remix, retaining some of the original's eccentricity while adding a sweet melodiousness and production polish all of his own.
Review: Crete's Lena Platonos is a Goddess of the piano, and her illustrious career spans over thirty years. Having reissued the excellent Platonos album Galop last year, Dark Entries return with another dose of Lena goodness, transforming her gentle harmonics into dancefloor bliss. The culprits are Tel Aviv's Red Axes, who start their thrashing by moulding "Witches" into a deep, sleek, and masterfully contained groove featuring the artiste's vocals at the helm - perfectly detuned and distorted. "No9" is a broken shred of steely drums and bass, while "And We Hear I Love You" goes for an industrial approach, and "Liqueur Ruby" for the lo-fi and mystical. Warmly recommended.
Review: A lot more eyes are on the brothers Zenker and their Ilian Tape label in the aftermath of Immersion that fine exercise in the art of the techno album but it doesn't seem to be fazing Dario and Marko. If anything they are remaining resolute to the approach, and the artists, that have served them so well as the label as risen these past few years. Junt sees the welcome return of Skee Mask, who delivered a real highlight of Ilian Tape's 2014 schedule in Serum, and the four tracks suggest the unheralded producer is quite the talent. The mood veers from tense dystopian electro on the title track to rolling abstract soundscapes ("Hover") to deft wall shakers ("Larus Canus"). Final track "Start Up Trak (edit)" is quite beautiful!
Review: Stenny has been one of Ilian Tape's most reliable and prolific artists over the last few years. Consume IV marks his fifth appearance of the Zenker brothers' imprint, and sees him joining the dots between hardcore-era breakbeat house, techno and UK garage. Opener "Lights On" brilliantly fuses together loose rave breaks and spacey deep house chords, while "Consumer's Tool" is a bumpin' garage roller complete with skipping New Jersey beats and bass-heavy British attitude. Stenny heads back towards standard techno territory on the heavy and hypnotic "Scanner", before breaking up the beats once more on the bruk-goes-to-Detroit-via-Sheffield loveliness of "Westward".
Review: Blawan's new side project Bored Young Adults is up next on Will Bankhead's label The Trilogy Tapes. The Shy Dancers On Bungalowdorf Beach features some restrained and slow burning techno experiments that differ from Jamie Robert's more usual hard-hitting sounds. The seething title track treads the same path as Kassem Mosse or Vactrol Park. The Fentanyl techno of "But We Need This Bench" sounds like an old Regis record played on -8, while devoted fans of the young UK producer's sound will get something a bit more familiar on the menacing hypnotic techno grinder "Check Up From The Neck Up".
Review: Some of the less charitable critics out there referred to Juan Atkins and Mortiz Van Oswald's side-project as 'boredomland'. While the pair's debut album under this name was a largely sedate affair, on the evidence of this single, they will be opting for a more engaging approach for the follow-up. It's not hard to hear both producers' influence on "Riod"; Van Oswald's love of layered textures and hollowed out drums comes up against Atkins's vivid melodies and synths from outer space. On the alternate version they venture even farther down the dreamy route, with hypnotic chords guiding the way.
Review: Increasingly known for his productions as much as his storied DJ sets, Eric Cloutier approaches the studio with the same kind of precision that marks out his club and festival appearances. On this first release on Palinoia he exercises a keen sense of control over playful elements, not least on lead track "Heuristic". The nagging lead synth may hop around the mix, but it stays locked on to a thoroughly focused undercarriage of drums and low end that suits the professional techno set. "Ipseity" is lighter in its demeanour thanks to some calming pad tones, but the strong structure of the track remains. The release rounds up with the slower thump of "Opprobrium", surmising Cloutier's attitude to the warm-up part of a serious, long-lasting DJ set.
Review: Cititrax's first Tracks 12" sampler did a good job in showcasing material from some of the Brooklyn-based label's favourite contemporary producers. This follow-up, arriving only a few short months after the first, aims to do the same. Returning for his second appearance, Tsuzing kicks things off with the razor-sharp shuffle of "Nonlinear War", whose intoxicating electronics and wild synth lines recall Brown Album-era Orbital, before London-based L/F/D/M takes a trip into bleak techno territory with the acid-laden "Mouth Holes". Flip for Silent Servant's deliciously grandiose, muscular electro-disco workout "The Touch", and the clanking industrial percussion, EBM attitude and humming electro beats of Maelstrom's "Lithium".
Review: Mind melting techno from Xosar on her new new label Gyrocyre!!! "When people on our planet hold built up psychic tensions under the skin, the energy gestates in a womb-like growth until it's ready to burst through the flesh manifest as a creature called a Gyrocyre. Many people opt out of ever letting the beast emerge, happy to function at levels they can predict without having to face the challenge brought on by the Gyrocyre. It grows heavy and bloated with untapped potential. Those who embrace the change slice through the flesh and let it out. It fuses with the host, covering his or her skin like a mask. Depending on the nature of their heart, it gives them tools to save or destroy the world. We invite you to embrace the change and let your Gyrocyre out."
Review: With this release, the Zenker Brothers' Ilian Tape label has delivered something of a curveball. It sees experimental D&B producer and all round bass head Djrum join the party, sharing space with unknown quantity Struction. Djrum begins with broken techno gem "Untitled 9", cutting up sweaty broken beats, heavy basslines and deep techno electronics. On the flip, we are treated to the sounds of Struction, combining punchy breakbeats with ambient-influenced electronics on the rolling "Don't Blame", before moving further towards beat-less, end-of-night territory with the acid-flecked trip that is "Struktur".
Review: In the space of just a few years, Luca Lozano has made a busy schedule for himself. Managing Klasse Records and Grafiti Tapes, he has released a load of music both form himself and a number of artists, such as Kris Wadsworth and DJ Fett Burger, among many others. This time he's up on the excellent Super Rhythm Trax with a little vintage flavor; "Outer Space" makes up the A-side and it's a gorgeous, break-ridden dance stepper in the same vein as stuff from the likes of Horsepower Productions, back in their day. On the flipside, "End Of Line" is a certified UK swinger, a grimey beast of a tune with a heavy percussion march and that inimitable London feel. Recommended.
Review: 500, 12" 180g, hand stamped, individually numbered records, single press only. Tusk says "I wanted to go back to the way the label started for the 20th release, so I've put together a VA which captures the way the label has moved in the past couple of years and will continue to shift"
Review: "Privacy has released well-received records with labels like Lobster Theremin and Klasse Wrecks. Now he thinks it's a good idea to enlist with the ranks of determined weirdos over at Valcrond Video. Why? The Valcrond offices are replete with alluring snacks. Cornucopia-level amounts of treats, both sweet and salty. Mr. Privacy would hang around all day eating stuff and listening to Siamese Dream with Luke until the office manager who keeps things in line was forced to ask them both to leave. A deal was struck: In exchange for a continued flow of free snacks and treats, Privacy agreed to provide these 4 tracks. In the same way Privacy is unable to resist a warm chocolate croissant, no one who plays records in public for a living will be able to resist these audio delights."
Review: After their last release under the labels Ornate Music (UK) and Finale Sessions (US), Ka One & St-Sene are back with a special Flyance Records release. REWORK: the action of redoing, correcting or rebuilding"; that is the spirit they put in this Ep with those four House music anthems of those consider today as the father figures of this music. Without sampling, replaying all the keyboards and arpeggio, they turned thoses anthems into modern acid and techno vibe. From 1989 to 2015 Ka One & St-Sene give great tribute at Lil Louis, Mr Fingers, Kerri Chandler and Laurent Garnier.
Review: Italy's Andrea is now a trusted member of the Ilian Tape collective, having only released for the German label thus far. But, why would he go elsewhere? These guys are on fire, and releasing some of the most interesting shades of industrial 4/4 these days. This is his fourth EP for the throng, and "Floating" starts off with a beatless, wide-eyed landscape of soft pads to introduce the twisted, shifting, break-driven tech of "Timed". "Queue A", on the flip of the disc, is a driving pile of rusty kick drums and oceanic pads that head into the deeper end of the techno sphere, while "22:22" goes all-out on the jungle patterns with its broken groove that recalls the likes of LTJ Bukem or Dego at their more pacy moods. A killer of an EP!
Review: "The Links EP is Blackhall & Bookless' latest outing for their increasingly renowned Jaunt Records imprint. A highly personal release, the EP is a homely affair, celebrating the boys' upbringing in Whitley Bay with a gusto that's indicative of the area's unique charm. "Links" serves up a dreamy, atmospheric landscape - and one that reflects the location around which the EP is titled. Don Williams' interpretation goes down the rabbit hole further still, teasing the listener thanks to a range of slashing echo chords and clever sub bass techniques. The duo's second original is "Vision", aAdark techno jam that manifests into a stunning tribal hypnodrome.AClosing out the EP is "Cognition", another highly atmospheric track that keeps the listener locked thanks to its many dexterous capabilities. The striking artwork, meanwhile, showcases a black and white image of where the pair would hang out as teenagers. In that essence, the image echoes their production style, with the two sides of the links joining at the bridge and working together in unison. JR004Ais dedicated in loving memory to Ian Blackhall."
Review: P-Balans is a new imprint in the Future Nuggets emerging constellation. A tehnodelia ramification within the Bucharest electronic scene that will host rising names like Khidja and Borusiade while introducing new characters like The Holy Fix (Camil Dumitrescu, co-member of Delusion Men) and Utopus (Ion D, producer of Steaua de Mare, Raze de Soare, Anahore?ii among others) already featured on "Sounds on the Unheard from Romania vol. 2". Keeping the same strategies of fusion and diffusion as Future Nuggets, P-Balans will explore the space traversal to techno, entering and exiting the dark halls of the club through multiple doors.
Review: More conceptual techno from the The Wizard. Jeff Mills presents the Domino Effect, the first installment of 12" EP from Jeff Mills new solo LP, Free Fall Galaxy, the ninth chapter of his "science-fiction story" Sleeper Wakes and first since 2014's Emerging Crystal Universe. It is a sublime serving of Millsian intergalactic ambience on "The Hunted", while "Solar Crossroads" sees the man employ his classic, cyclical minimalism on this bleepy and hypnotic groove full of rich strings his magical 909 touch. On the flip he takes us deeper into the void on "Rabid Star Clusters" with its snarling use of 303 acid and "Triangularism" which keeps things stripped and minimal on this wonderfully executed method of trance induction. Often imitated yet never matched, Mills still has it and this EP is brilliant from start to finish. Oh... And that cover art!