Review: The Cornish boy wonder Luke Vibert has spread his wings so brightly during the last decade as Kerrier District, Yoseph, Amen Andrews, Spac Hand Luke, Plug and of course Wagon Christ, you'd be forgiven for thinking that he's covered all the ground. Demented filthy disco, killer aquatic blue ambience, drill n' bass, breaking funk, library music, instrumental hip-hop and lethal acid styles. With only a rare promo 12" issued five years ago, the name Ace Of Clubs will probably mean nothing to the even the most obsessive Vibert geeks. Now the next chapter is here in the form of "Benefist".
Review: Barely six weeks after dropping her debut single on River Rapid, Henrietta Smith-Rolla pops up on Skam with a surprise debut album. As first full length excursions go, "Break Before Make" is undeniably impressive. Beginning with the spooky, minor key electronics and angular IDM rhythms of "Day Turner", the 14 track set sees Smith-Rolla successfully turn her hand to bittersweet synth-wave ("And!"), dystopian pitched-down electronica ("Guess What"), spacey electro ("Work It", "Wtfwtfwtf"), clandestine electronic soundscapes (the panicked shuffle of "Blanket Ban") and grandiose sci-fi soundtrack fare ("The Middle Middle"). Throughout, the Manchester-based producer consistently delivers otherworldly musical melancholia with a panache not associated with a producer of her relative inexperience.
Maurice & Charles - "Sofa Love" (Jamie Paton Remix)
Cowboy Rhythmbox - "We Got The Box"
Carisma - "Talento Matematico"
The Emperor Machine - "RMI Is All I Want" (Erol Alkan extended rework)
Manfredas - "Square Lights" (Zongamin remix take 2)
Phreak - "Acid On"
Erol Alkan - "Sub Conscious"
Andre Bratten - "Trommer Og Bass"
Tom Rowlands - "Through Me"
Fumes - "Jack2000"
Victor Shan - "How You Want It" (Shan Warehouse version)
Boot & Tax - "Acido"
Erol Alkan - "Bang"
Ben Jenkins - "K3M"
Todd Osborn - "Put Your Weight On It" (Chicago mix)
Voiski - "From White To Red"
Claro Intelecto - "Tone"
Ghost Culture - "Red Smoke"
Daywalker & CF - "Supersonic Transport"
Erol Alkan/Saint Etienne - "A Hold On Love/Only Love Can Break Your Heart"
Review: Given his status, it's a little surprising that it's taken Fabric this long to ask Erol Alkan to contribute a mix to their long-running FabricLive series. Pleasingly, the Phantasy Sound-founder is in fine form, laying down a mix heavy on gnarled electronics, ragging acid and strobelight-friendly future anthems. Alongside thrillingly riotous moments - see Tom Rowlands' jacking "Through Me" and Fumes "Jack 2000" - Alkan also finds space for the melodious tech-house of Ghost Culture, the spiralling, synth-laden rush of Daywalker & CF, and, most pleasingly of all, a self-made mash-up that blends his own "A Hold on Love" with Saint Etienne's piano-laden Balearic anthem "Only Love Can Break Your Heart".
Review: Third time around for Cylobotnia man Aleksi Perala, as he unleashes MU 3, his first full length under the AP Musik guise. Glistening with vintage synths, intergalactic chords and stargazing melodies, it's in parts refreshingly icy and oddly tropical. Certainly, Perala has a way with melody, and he excels at lacing bubbling electronics on top of warm drum machine rhythms. There are moments of leftfield dancefloor goodness - see the skittering "Summer DNB" and pulsating braindancer "Hexagon" - but he's really his best when laying down picturesque post-IDM warmth, as on the thrilling "Bench" and "Snowfall", both of which benefit from some glacial, almost child-like melodies.
Review: It's rare that an electronic album is the biggest album of the year, or at least the most hyped. That's certainly the case with Syro, Richard D James first official release under his Aphex Twin moniker for some 13 years. So, is it in any good? For starters, it sounds like an Aphex Twin album. Listen through to the 12 tracks, and many of his familiar staples are present - the "Digeridoo" era rave breakbeats, the mangled synth-funk mash-ups, the intoxicating ambient-era melodies, the warped basslines and the skittish drill & bass style rhythms. There's madness, beauty and intensity in spades. In other words, it's an Aphex Twin album, and - as so many have pointed out since the album's release was announced - there's no-one else quite like Richard D James.
Review: Having impressed with the mutant electronic funk of "Ghost Feeder" and "Fly Vision" in 2008 and 2009 respectively, Alan 'Arcadion' Dobson (occasionally known as Hungry Ghost) is finally ready to unveil his debut album. It develops the sonic style first outlined on those excellent singles, taking inspiration from original electro, P-funk, go-go, the low-end wobble of early J Saul Kane/Depth Charge and the party-friendly ethos of block party hip-hop. For the most part, the results are impressive, coming on like a day-glow sprint through alien funk pastures in the company of breakdancing robots, George Clinton and Han Solo on acid.
Review: Artist Unknown are Germany's cloak-and-dagger electro project. Artist Unknown covers itself with regards to their biography and presents selected pilgrim travels to Kathmandu, guitar roadie performances for Oasis and video stores in Turku as its highlights. In terms of music, this displays a complete mix of references. The result is a new uncompromising headstrong album that leaves all established models and borders of current music electronics behind. Soundtrack meets Bodyrock. Song structures search for counter-deconstructive compositions.
Review: It's amazing how fresh and forward-thinking much of Juan Atkins' early material still sounds, nearly 30 years after it was first created. Take Cybotron's "Alleys Of Your Mind". Recorded and released in 1981, it's sparse electro beats and wonky electrofunk synths - clearly inspired by Kraftwerk and Conrad Schnitzler - sounds like it was beamed down from another planet, billions of years in the future. You could say the same for much of the material on this reissued Metroplex 20th anniversary set (first issued in 2005); from the far-sighted intergalactic hypnotism of Model 500's "The Future" and "Vessels In Distress", to the clanking proto-techno of Channel One's "Technicolour" and Inifiniti's rush-inducing "Game One", Atkins has consistently stayed ahead of the game.