Review: The Wizard is getting a little reflective in his old age. While still remaining one of the Motor City's premier futurists, Mills has decided to inaugurate a series built around overlooked or hard-to-find gems from his vast back catalogue. He begins volume one by offering up a stomping and mind-altering "Unreleased Version" of 1993 horror-techno cut "Suspense", before allowing us a second chance to enjoy the off-kilter rhythms, dystopian electronics and melancholic organ chords of 1995 classic "Gamma Player". Over on side B, you'll find the metallic, industrial style percussion, deep space riffs and thrusting drums of "Transformation B (Rotwang's Revenge)" and what appears to be an alternative version of "Exhibitionist 2" track "Hydra & Synergy". The latter is arguably the most "sci-fi techno" cut on the EP.
Review: Adiel continues to demonstrate her importance in the Italian deep techno firmament with this incredible link up with the mighty Donato Dozzy. As you might well expect from the meeting of these two minds, the results are spellbinding, leading in with a collaborative track entitled "Cavallina" on the A side. It's a pattering percussive meditation that strikes a fine balance between functional DJ tool and richly rendered drum study - impeccable minimal techno with an organic pulse. Dozzy goes it alone on the B side with a more mechanical workout - "Cavallina Matta" uses a sparse palette but makes the few ingredients speak volumes through careful sequencing and patient modulation.ation.
Review: Some tip-top Transatlantic business here, as EPM Music brings together Motor City legend Robert Hood AKA Floorplan, and veteran UK techno producer Mark Broom. There's a treat on side A as Broom finally allows us access to one of his secret weapons: a previously dubplate-only remix he did of the Floorplan gospel-techno throbber "Never Grow Old". Broom's version is tough and percussive, but also makes great use of rumbling bass, restless organ stabs and glassy-eyed late night rave riffs. Broom's own techno jack-track "Jungle" - a blizzard of distorted percussion and wild electronic noises - opens side B, before Hood offers up a chunky "Re-Plant" of classic Floorplan roller "He Can Save You". It not only features spoken word preacher-man vocals, but also a mind-altering riff reminiscent of Lil' Louis classic "French Kiss".
Review: Having delivered one of the strongest electronic albums of 2018, Skee Mask AKA Bryan Muller returns to action with a tightly floor-focused 12" of broken techno rhythms and UK rave-influenced workouts. A-side "Trackheadz" is suitably weighty and forthright, with Muller wrapping drowsy deep space chords, hardcore style breakbeats and orgasmic vocal snippets around sturdy techno drums. Both B-side cuts are far more mellow in tone, with Muller underpinning swelling ambient chords and blissful chill-out room melodies with skittish, early IDM style beats. As with a lot of the producer's work, the vintage influences and inspirations are obvious, but the resultant cuts still sound warm, fresh and life affirming.
Dim Dim (Melchior Productions LTD Reconstruction) (6:55)
Review: As you'd expect, Sushitech has pulled out all the stops on this second selection of remixes of tracks from Paul St Hilaire and Rhauder's recent top notch dub techno full length, Deredoc. Ion Ludwig steps up first, laying down a rolling, peak-time take on "Stability" that wraps dubbed-out synth motifs and atmospheric snippets of St Hilaire's vocal around a chunky, tech-tinged deep house groove. Over on the B-side, British techno veteran Steve O'Sullivan delivers a deliciously dreamy, late night interpretation of "Control", before minimal house maestro naturally emphasizes the dubbier aspects of "Dim Dim" on his standout rework.
Review: You have to admire Alex "Omar" Smith's work rate. He's been slinging out regular releases now for the best part of a decade and shows no sign of slowing down. "1992" is his second EP of 2019 and contains a trio of contrasting cuts in his distinctive, hardware-driven sound. Perhaps the biggest surprise is closing cut "Homey Trinitron", a techno-tempo workout that wraps fuzzy, lo-fi synth motifs around weighty and distorted, ghetto-house influenced drums. He provides a chunk of loose but locked-in deep house drowsiness (see the warm, shuffling and punchy title track), as well as a cheery, piano-driven A-side that's as warm, rush-inducing and anthem-like as anything he's released to date.
Review: For the latest volume in their essential reissue series, Tresor has decided to offer up a brand new edition of Robert Hood's celebrated 1994 debut album, "Internal Empire". A quarter of a century after Hood first committed it to wax, it remains one of the Motor City maestro's most potent and inspired works. It effectively defined his throbbing, minimalist style, with heavy and hypnotic cuts such as the bleeping "Minus" and deep and wonky "Within" perfectly encapsulating the stripped-back genius of Hood's production. If you've yet to acquire a copy, we'd recommending grabbing one of these: in truth, no techno collection is complete without it.
Review: Over the last year or two, Darren "Dawl" Woollard has proved to be one of British techno's most on-point revivalists. Here he pops up on Libertine with more mind-altering peak-time fare full of subtle references to records of old. There's something particularly wild and psychedelic about EP opener "Bad Trip", a throbbing chunk of mid-tempo techno rich in ghostly chords, glassy-eyed spoken word samples and layer upon layer of TB-303 acid lines. "Tune In Space" doffs a suitably oversized cap to "bleep and breaks" style early UK hardcore (think "LFO" chords, "Testone" bleeps, heavy sub bass and skittish drums), while "Alpha 101" sounds like the kind of record "Evil" Eddie Richards might have made around 1990. "Dark Space" meanwhile, is a killer electro cut laden in bleep-style melodies.
Review: You'll struggle to find another LP opener that's quite as striking as "Oh, Lovely Appearance of Death", the stunning ambient-folk cut that kicks off Phillip Sollmann's first album as Efdemin for five years. It's utterly beguiling and features a traditional folk acapella over layers of hushed electronic chords. It sets the tone for an album in which Sollmann effortlessly saunters between atmospheric and droning dancefloor techno ("Good Winds", the 14-minute, Berghain-friendly "New Atlantis"), woozy experimental ambient works ("At The Stranger's House"), Jew's Harp-sporting club cuts ("A Land Unknown"), discordant free tech-jazz ("Temple") and the kind of hazy, traditional music-meets-electronica cuts that have previously been a hallmark of Firecracker's Mac-Talla Nan Creag ("The Sound House").
Review: Sometime PAN regular and UIQ head honcho Lee Gamble pitches up on Hyperdub with what the label says is the first of a three-part "sonic documentary" that "loosely explores three stages of 'Semioblitz' - the aggressive onslaught of visual and sonic stimuli of contemporary cities and virtual spaces". What's most exciting about "In a Paraventral Scale" is the sheer scale and quality of the music. Gamble is in fine form throughout, from the gentle, Boards of Canada-ish IDM of "Folding" and hybrid orchestral/electronic sweep of breathtaking opener "Fata Morgana", to the skittish, automotive energy and fizzing synth lines of "In The Wreck Room", and the almost ecclesiastical lament of closing cut "Many Gods, Many Angels". In a word: stunning.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: After two solo releases on Lovefinger's ESP Insitute, and two more 12" as Greenvision (his collaborative project with Trent) Juan Ramos graces Berlin's Cocktail d'Amore Music with a new outstanding EP.A'Incorporeality' and 'Liquid Sky Drone' are both vibrant, hallucinating, trance inducing tracks. Full-on sonic layering and unexpected drum patterns compose these two bangers. Multidimensional is the right term to describe Ramos' music. His futuristic approach, yet full of references from the past, is gaining a strong reputation within the contemporary electronic scene.AMelbourne-Berlin based Kris Baha is on remix duties. 'Liquid Sky Drone' becomes an industrial ballad - cinematic and romantic, at the same time bouncing and synthetic.AArtwork by Boldtron, virtual reality artist based in Barcelona.
Review: Originally released on the seminal 10 Records compilation Techno 2: The Next Generation in 1990, these two highly sought-after classics receive a much needed reissue in 2019 courtesy of new imprint Preservation Sound. With a catalogue number like DETROIT001 we can be fairly certain what the label's M.O. will be in the months to come - respect! Two Detroit techno classics from Metroplex Records by Juan Atkins and Martin Bonds are featured. Label boss Atkins dons the Infiniti alias on the infectious sci-fi funk of "Techno Por Favor", delivering it in his idiosyncratic style as always, while on the flip Bonds aka Reel By Real successfully captures the zeitgeist of the burgeoning Motor City sound at the time on the mechanical and futurist groove of "Sundog". Absolutely timeless tracks on offer here.
Review: Traditionally, Darko Esser's outings as Tripeo have tended towards the hypnotic and trance inducing. It's notable, then, that his latest EP - the first Tripeo 12-inch for 18 months - mixes things up a little. "Food For Thought", for example, fixes melancholic, Convextion style musicality to crunchy, EBM-influenced techno drums, while the fuzzy, dirt-encrusted "Resist" sees the producer give deep electro an angular, lo-fi makeover. "Tuesday Blues", meanwhile, sees him stack layer upon layer of positive electronic melodies atop rubbery, Afro-house influenced techno drums before Bassiani/Horoom resident HVL rounds things off with his skittish, breakbeat-powered revision of "Food For Thought", which sounds like a giddy blast from the past despite the poignant nature of Esser's melodies.
Review: To date the Electronic Leatherette releases have featured a whole spread of noirish synth brandishing producers on two split 12"s, including Heinrich Dressel and Plant43. This third trip out into the grubby climes of the wave-inspired scene comes courtesy of Exhausted Modern and CCO, both of whom know a thing or two about channeling sinister monosynths and brittle drum machine rhythms that bridge the gap between the DIY 80s and these hardware abundant times. Exhausted Modern's "Loss Of Self-Identity" is especially strong, while CCO's "Serendipity " struts with a satisfyingly deep and nagging acid twist.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: The quality of the Cong Burn releases shows no signs of slowing as they reach their fourth volume, rounding off a sterling year for the label. Russian producer Flaty makes an appearance here with the metallic, motorik electro of "Clearences" before Lack slows things down with the clanky funk of "Multiplier". Chekov has a more full bodied techno sound to impart, using spacious sound design to create a rich and immersive modernist jam, while Martinou completes the set with a subtle, shuddering and shimmering effort that dips below the radar of dancefloor convention to achieve a more subliminal effect.
Review: After a period of reissues, retrospectives and reflection, Luke Slater is once again ready to take on all comers with his full-throttle techno project Planetary Assault Systems. As the title suggests, "Straight Shooting" is not for the faint hearted, though fans of the producer's work under the long-held alias will absolutely love it. As with previous reelases, Slater pairs the far-sighted, sci-fi inspired futurism of Detroit with the bombastic, all-action loop techno flex of fellow British veterans Surgeon and Regis. Highlights include the alien techno slam of "Beam Riders", the relentless percussive pressure of "Humans Use Concrete", the dystopian darkness of "Engage Now" and the sweaty, glassy-eyed warehouse flex of EP standout "Give It Up".
Review: Last year, dub techno veterans Paul St Hillaire and Rhauder joined forces for a superb collaborative debut album, Decoded. Sushitech has wisely chosen to breathe new life into their soulful, dubbed-out exploits by handing over the parts to a string of high profile remixers. The first of three Reconstructed EPs begins with Cobblestone Jazz's peak-time take on "Skank", where St Hillaire's patois vocals ride a metronomic techno backing track rich in restless late night stabs, delay-laden woodblock hits and bleeping electronics. Flip to the B-side for a warmer and hazier take on "Control" by Amorf. Sitting somewhere between bass-heavy tech-house and head-in-the-clouds deep house, it's something of a hypnotic delight.
Review: Sometime Northern Electronics contributor Acronym made his first outing on Stockholm stable Stilla Ton back in June 2018, in the process serving up a trio of trance-inducing techno tracks. Here he returns to the imprint with an EP produced in collaboration with fast-rising female and occasional studio buddy Kali Malone. What's on offer is an intriguing blend of soundscapes and club cuts, with off-kilter ambient cuts such as "Call From The Tower" and closer "Tarmar" coming accompanied by poignant, sunrise-ready modular techno cuts such as the dancefloor-ready "A Sunspot". There are dark, trippy cuts, too (see the throbbing "Tempest Of Joy" and the buzzing thrust of "Legs Of The Fly"), resulting in a versatile and well-judged collection of cuts.
Review: Today Kimochi Sound gets Baltic Sea sonar pinging techno deep, maybe something like bridging the gap between Sleeparchive and Mono Junk.
There are enough hypnotic spaces and hallucinatory frequencies in these loops to tide over the dark winter months, with enough funk packed into the riddims to inspire some heated early morning grooves.