Review: Having only previously appeared on various artist releases in the past, Darren Harris gets his first full release on Ferox - a fine place for this promising techno talent to stretch his legs. There's a recognisable Ferox shimmer to "Tears" on the A side, using myriad layers in the mix for a full-bodied sound without sacrificing depth. "Inner Cycles" is a more stripped back affair, while "Arthropod" ditches the dancefloor in favour of a chill out room headspace, but all the tracks share the same ingredients of clean, thoughtfully programmed beats and synth lines that hark back to the good old days.
Review: Mihail P first came to light on respected label Seventh Sign before popping up just recently on Verdant Recordings alongside ESB, and now he's back once again with the Multiverse EP on Distant Worlds. His influences are clear, from the elegant melancholy and attention to detail of early UK techno to the snappy electro rhythms of Drexciya, and he exercises those influences brilliantly on each of these four tracks. There are abundant tender synth lines criss-crossing intricately programmed drum machines in a true celebration of machine soul, all shot through with a heavy-lidded ambience that makes for some of the most captivating techno out there at the moment.
Review: Betonkust has been spotted lurking in the realm of seedy late night body music alongside artists such as Palmbomen II, landing his noirish wares on 1080p, Pinkman and most notably Dekmantel. Now he makes the logical leap to Crimes of The Future alongside equally accomplished Belgian producer Innershades, previously spotted on Wicked Bass, Creme Organization, Hot Haus and many more besides. The sound on Forever In Boccaccio is totally fitting for Crimes of The Future, all muscular drum machines beats and analogue synth lines angled to send a shiver down your spine. Watch out for the unexpected rave hit of "Jambers At Carat Afterclub" which comes on strong with some fist-shaking peak time Euro techno motifs.
Review: Ste Roberts has popped up intermittently over the years alongside the likes of Marc Ashken, DJ Linus and Will Azada, but now he's taking a focused step into the fray with his own hand-stamped 12" series, packed full of crafty techno variations for adventurous souls. "Poem 87" is a stripped down and nasty workout with a submerged rhythm and a housey groove that feels like it's itching to worm its way onto the dancefloor, while "Broken Sleep" takes a more full-bodied approach with all kinds of trippy synth interplay feeding into a noirish, dynamic atmosphere. It's a record of two distinct halves, both of which crackle with ingenuity and personality to stand out from the crowd.
Review: Icelandic techno veteran Yagya enjoys a release on X/OZ that celebrates both new and old material. The tempo is noticeably ramped up on "One Weak Light" but never at the expense of that dark and mysterious Icelandic hue. "Existence Is Weird" is no slouch either, but Yagya shapes out his atmospheres with such a refined touch that you barely notice how quick the tracks are running. "A Very Long Daydream" is a gorgeous ambient track dug out of the archives, while "Getting Closer To An Unknown Goal" sees the re-release of a track Yagya released as Rhythm Of Snow back in 1999.
Review: Following last year's full-length outing on Dekmantel, Robert Hood returns to his long-running M Plant label with a typically forthright three-tracker. Given that he's not released anything on the imprint under his given name since 2014, it feels like a significant release. Opener "Low Life" is certainly a slammer in the legendary producer's typical style, with a creepy, mind-altering organ line looping away over bombastic beats and a rumbling, sub-heavy bassline. "Go" is more tribal in feel despite the presence of a bleeping synth motif, with Hood adding and removing different percussive elements throughout to keep excitement high. As for flipside "Clocks", it's dirty, druggy, alien sounding and insanely weighty.
Review: Dub techno doesn't come deeper than DeepChord, and Mike Schommer is one of those responsible for launching the legendary project. Making his return after 15 long years, Steve O'Sullivan's re-energised Mosaic Records is the perfect place to get reacquainted with the chap. "Invitation To Love" is as romantic as the title would suggest, letting gorgeous chords and pad washes ooze out over a steady ticking beat. The rhythm gets chopped up a little on "Remember When", while "Into The Night" heads into head-nodding dubstep territory with mammoth bass replaced by elegant Motor City synth shimmers.
Review: Rekids' special Record Store Day 2018 release features two extraordinary re-edits: of recent Radio Slave tracks by Pampa boss DJ Koze. Taken from his Feel The Same album, Matt Edwards has certainly received a brilliant rendition from the Hamburg legend right here.The euphoric remix of the title track still features the looped-up diva vocals of the original and is exactly the kind of track you'd expect him to drop on a Sunday night one of his his regular appearances at Panorama Bar. On the flip, the hard hitting and tunneling "Reverse" is more on the techno tip and originally appeared as the B-side to 2017's Overdue EP. Both edits are secret weapons for any serious DJ's set.
Review: Melbourne party enthusiasts Animals Dancing launch their self titled label with the sophomore release from Krautback duo Coober Pedy University Band (Tornado Wallace & William Paxton AKA Tom Moore of Otologic). Kookaburra, once described as "a bit too mental for me", continues in the vein of their Moon Plain release, but this time takes it a step further. Perhaps too far.
Review: BOOM! Our favourites, Cititrax, roll the third editions of Tracks out onto our shelves, and the results are unsurprisingly strong on this excellent various artists comp. It's a mixed bag of skills, as per usual, and the sounds are those of a new NYC, fuelled by a new sort of post-industrial sensibility. Amato Y Mariana open with the tight beats and groove of "Queires Bailar", followed closely by the ominous compositions of the EBM-flavoured "Montgat" from The Sixteen Steps. On the flip, His Dirty Secrets bleeps out some morphed acid on "Structures", and "Another Stranger" from Further Reductions churns out a slow, mild-mannered house experiment with its roots clearly planted in the coldest of waves. Sick.
Review: SVN and Philip Gelberg's tracks under the PG Sounds moniker have been among our very favourites out of the ever-impressive SUED catalogue. The imprint, led by Sven (SVN) Reiger himself, has never veered away from their core sound and aesthetics; an analogue approach enwraps a particularly glitchy, improvisational, dubwise sound that has a particular tendency of sounding different upon each new listen. Their latest collaboration in the studio marks the imprint's 20th release to date, with "Track 1" showcasing their itchy sound across an endlessly pleasing acid palette. On the flip, we have a muted continuation of the previous 303 sounds with "Track 2", swamped and dubbed-out for maximum impact, followed by the more ethereal, more tropical mannerisms of "Track 3" - a SUED classic! Recommended.
Review: Riding high on the renewed energy within the Icelandic techno scene, Ohm and Octal Industries make their first appearance on Solid Groove with some truly spellbinding exercises in patience, restraint and soul-stirring composition. "Bardo" is a truly haunting piece with the most delicately balanced rhythms and stunning deployment of piano and what sounds like clarinet. "Under Influence" is a more snarling affair, but the same sense of control grips the track as it ploughs its furrow. "Rider" is a looser affair that piles a lot more detail into the frequency range, with some particularly delightful lead warbles and other high frequency matter to delight the mind. "Flow Machine" strikes a note somewhere in the middle, keeping things moody but open compared to the foggy A side.
Review: Exotic Dance Records founder J.Albert has been scouted out by Will Bankhead for the man's The Trilogy Tapes imprint, and we have to say that this feels like the perfect match. Both the label and the artist have a knack for the unexpected, with the former having released an infinite multitude of electronic genres and the latter twisting and turning between techno, electro, and something undefinable. Made up of glitchy breaks and surreal waves of electornic dust, "Money Between Friends" and "Envy Turned Curiosity" both exude an industrial dubbiness that is rarely achieved by others. On the B-side, "Deepstate Riddim" is some neo-jungle badness that evolves the genre magnificently, and "Designer Life" ends on a more sinister note, launching a minimal wave of electronics surrounded by warm blasts of sub-bass. Recommended, naturally...
Review: It's been a little while since we last heard from Donnell Knox, but he's back in action finally on his regular haunt Sonic Mind with some of that evergreen US techno tackle that he's forged a long and winding career out of. "No Time" is steeped in the smoky pads of the Motor City, with a rugged rhythm section and errant bleeps thrown in to seal the deal. "Rat Race" takes things in a more housey direction, but there's still a certain mysticism that reaches beyond the average club banger. "Sick Mind" continues the theme, but ties more knots in the programming to make for another essential slice of techno, and then "Repetition" finishes the job with a razor sharp slice of sky-scraping hardware science.
Review: Hailing from the dark and mysterious world of Bunker Records, Shemale makes a welcome return after many years of silence with this fantastic release on Tabernacle. "Star Chamber Summoning" sets a powerful tone - this is ambient music that demands attention through its sheer force of presence. "Way To Hyperborea" actually taps up some kind of beat structure, but it still behaves like a wayward backroom track with its undulating bassline and gravelly, brutally submerged beat. "Shores Of The Western Sea" is all analogue soundtrack bombast of the finest B-movie kind, and "Wisdom Of The Stars" strikes a more nightmarish note in its use of discordant synth drones.
Review: After his controversial remarks regarding the 2015 Paris attacks and the following act of contrition in the form of the For Paris full length, New York born producer Levon Vincent gets on with things in fine fashion here. A side cut "War Phase" (version) likely gets its name from the missile strike sounds that shriek from above crunchy and dusted down analogue rhythms - the bouncy and cavernous boom of an 808 and its cracking claps that shimmer in endless trails of reverb. It could sure cause some drama on the dancefloor, during a moment of downtime. On the flip, it's a much deeper affair on "Falling Out The Cars". Said to be inspired by the night a friend ate too many baked potatoes and ran himself over while being sick - but that's another story! We do know that this one will hypnotise you into submission with its evocative, finely executed dub-chords, ethereal atmosphere and smoky drums.
Review: While establishing the Fit Sound imprint affiliated with the Detroit distro outlet of the same name , Aaron 'Fit' Siegel has been careful not to load the imprint with too many of his own productions, choosing instead to deliver material from Marcellus Pittman, Anthony 'Shake' Shakir, MGUN and Dungeon Acid. Here he makes a welcome return with two tracks of melodious, atmospheric, Motor City deepness. "Carmine" is particularly alluring, with twinkling melodies winding their way around yearning pads, bittersweet chords and shuffling, cymbal-heavy percussion. "First Found" is a little more forthright, with off-key pianos and scattergun electronics riding a tougher, locked-in groove.
Review: Kiev's Andrew Vanzhula and Dennis Andriyanov have been collaborating under the Woo York moniker for almost a decade. Since their first releases began to appear back in 2009, they have provided us with nothing but deep-minded electronic experiments, never tired of pushing the boundaries or exploring unchartered terrains. Chasing The Dream, which lands on Tale Of Us' Afterlife label, is actually the duo's first studio LP, but it sounds in no way like an amateur move. In fact, their quest for the deepest and most cavernous electronic sounds allows these 13 tracks to converse with one another, and to weave their magic into just about every corner. It's not really techno, it most certainly isn't house, and it isn't your typical flurry of ambient sounds. It's simply Woo York.