Review: From the minds of Direct Beat and Detroit Bass Classics, comes the first initial compilation of electro/techno heat. "Electro In The Key Of Detroit Vol 1" presents 4 proven dance floor dope and record crate staples that provide the hungry ears of masses the groove to move. A Side features two sure-fire steppers - a rare AUX 88 voyage entitled "Phantom Power" and Blak Tony's tempo-pushing "Holla Holla" finally see the light of day on this wax collectable, giving praise to Motor City footwork culture. On the flip, DJ K-1's "Erase The Time" rocked the airwaves and global clubs with its signature thumping style laced beneath alien-like melody and repetitive vocal structure while Posatronix's mutant-rhythm mantra, "Pure Techno Sound" pulls the weight of Detroit's street dance roots down to the origin of how to boogie in space. This collection of re-issued jams and new explorations is the must-have for the electro/techno & bass aficionado.
Review: Following his highly praised album "Word Color" from last year, Gacha Bakradze offers up this stunning EP on Fever AM. "Monument" sees the Tbilisi based art- ist taking us on a refreshing, sublime journey over 4 pieces featuring his signature melodies, broken beats and striking sound design. Gacha pulls off a very well rounded EP here that works perfectly on headphones at home or on a sound system in the club. This is also the first artist besides labelheads Mor Elian and Rhyw to appear on Fever AM, opening up a new phase for the label.
Review: Fresh from his exploits with King Kashmere, beat alchemist Bambooman crashes the party at Accidental with four more singular experiments; "Shudder" rolls on a stuttering break that's paced in such a way it's as much UKG as it is techno. Both "Grasp" and "M1" show off more of a house side to B's spectrum as the former insists with an almost Detroitian charm while "M1" scrapes strange strings to create unique texture. Finally "Kyrian" takes us on a futurist twist on broken beat with spacious kicks and a warm, fat analogue synth. Some say shudder, we say goosebumps...
Si Begg & Neil Landstrumm - "The Pusher (M)" (3:59)
The Exaltics - "00045.00.2" (3:53)
Amato - "Sueur Et Poussiere" (6:13)
DJ Overdose - "Industry Repeats" (4:55)
Review: As ways to introduce a new label go, this first outing from Hearse is pretty special. It's something of an all-star affair, with cuts from scene stalwarts and a lovely screen-printed sleeve. To kick things off, old pals Neil Landstrumm and Si Begg join forces on talkbox-sporting ja, "The Pusher (M)", where bleeping melodies and intergalactic electronics cluster around a mind-altering electro groove. The Exaltics offer up a razor-sharp slab of arpeggio-driven 4/4 electro insanity ("00045.00.2"), while Amato smothers an EBM/industrial funk style beat in foreboding electronic riffs and suitably wonky modular motifs. It's left to DJ Overdose to close proceedings, something he does in style via the distorted drums and mangled electronics of industrial electro workout "Industry Repeats".
Review: Manchester artist Belly is back with his second EP of 2014 released through his new inprint Belly Dance and this time he is joined by East End Soul vocalist Shona Carmen & one half of Asphodells Tiimothy J Fairplay on the remix. The second EP see's Belly up the pace slightly from his inagural release moving slightly away of the slow beat of tracks like Dark Autumn and Farewell and embark on a sligtly more up tempo , swing style bordering on the style of Machine Drum. The first track 'Control' is a hazy club track with strong vocals from both Belly & Shona backed up by drum and bass beats which is followed by vocal heavy space beats in the form of 'Zu' . On the flip side we see the real inpact of Shona Carmen with a clubtrack loaded with summer vibes called 'Painting' . The vocals are soulfull and beautiful with a swing tempo and drum patterns that lift throughout. This is followed by Timothy J Fairplay bringing in his own take on 90's chicago garage music with a banging clubtrack remix of Dark Autumn off of Belly Dance 001.
Review: Amsterdam-based lo-fi expert Swiere Westveen aka Betonkunst takes time out from working with good buddy Palmbomen II and flies solo here for French imprint Nocta Numerica. The Sent Items EP features four edgy and gritty cuts that are well fit for retroverts: from the unholy mixture of coldwave, EBM and acid on "Fentanyl", to the neon-lit dystopia of electro bass thumper "Because I Want To Fit In" and the dreamy B side cut that is the title track going for a slo-mo almost pop feel. We're pretty sure you'll be all over this grainy/all analogue affair from this rising Dutch artist. Comes as a limited edition of 300 copies.
Review: Analogue synthesizer enthusiast Bezier first surfaced on Dark Entries in 2012, delivering the hard-wired retro-futurist fantasy Ensconced. Two years on, he's finally ready to release the follow-up, the similarly sharp and sci-fi themed Telemores. As with his previous output, the influences are obvious - think Radiophonic Workshop, electro, minimal, new wave and Italo-disco - but he smartly steers clear of pastiche and empty revivalism. Instead, we're treated to a range of dancefloor-friendly instrumental cuts, cyborg jams, and intoxicating robot rinse-outs. Closer "Fukushima", in which he doffs a cap to the synthesized horror-disco of John Carpenter, is particularly potent.
Review: Biochip are a new duo making the right start on the mighty CPU. Julian Kochanowski and Melissa Speirs have no previous to speak of, but their deft take on electro speaks to years of research and immersion in the language of sequencers and synthesisers. There's an emotional weight to the music they've charged this debut EP with, where billowing pads and soaring Detroit leads meet with some crafty sound design and canny programming. At times things get intense, as on the rowdy "Acid Billy", not to mention seriously funky on "Tone Forest", but there's always an otherworldly shroud hovering over the music that makes it Biochip's own.
Review: Given he's previously released some seriously creepy, atmospheric techno on Berceuse Heroique and Pinkman, you'd expect Black Merlin's Mannequin Records debut to be similarly unsettling. That's certainly the case with A-side "DEF", a hypnotic and feverish affair where raw and restless, industrial-inspired riffs rise above paranoid, held-note chords and a locked-in drum track. You'll find more brain-melting, razor-sharp modular motifs on the arguably even more intense and wayward "Oba Enka", while closer "Ham" wraps undulating, acid-style electronic motifs around an altogether fuzzier, looser groove. It sounds like it would be capable of inducing vivid hallucinations in early morning dancers, which in our book is no bad thing.
Stojche - "The Exchange" (Gian Hydrocity Refix) (5:40)
Review: Blackhall & Bookless have been pursuing a fantastic strain of house and techno via their Jaunt label for many moons now. They're back and celebrating 10 years with a series of fantastic remixes that highlight the scope of their artistic vision, and that of those close to them. Inland leads in with an oceans deep version of the label bosses' "Spirit", which is smartly followed up by Jonas Kopp's equally submersive take on Hiver's "Itria". Jasper Wolff and Maarten Mittendorff lets the swooning "Meandering Rivers" by Kaelan burst its banks and fill out an expansive landscape, while Stojche pings Gian's "The Exchange" out into an electro-speckled cosmos.
Review: Another great EP from the 3 boys from Sweden, the Blotnik Brothers. Strong percussive big room electro, thick melodies and perfectly-timed arrangements are the mark of their second EP. Kraftwerk on steroids!
Review: Not On Earth's first release sold out in quick time - unsurprising given the reputation of Frankfurt based founders Bodin & Jacob. Their second is a various artists affair that shows off some of the talents they have unearthed, while Bodin also reappears with "A Walk In The Park." It's a brilliantly militant cut with clipped, marching beats and rasping bass squelches, and elsewhere Philipp Boss opens the EP with the slippery electro rhythms of "Lava". Griezman's "Decheterie" is an uptempo bit of proper first wave tech house a la Terry Francis. Closing out this more than handy EP is the hard edged electro-tech of "Zoober" from Martyne.
Heidi Sabertoorh - "So You Want To Take Back Your Will" (6:37)
Synapse - "Shiny" (locked groove) (0:30)
Somatic Responses - "Strategy Of Desire" (5:22)
John Selway - "Brainchild" (5:29)
Pointsman - "Dirty Shirt" (locked groove) (0:30)
Review: Seminal New York City imprint Serotonin lives on. John Selway and Jason Szostek present It's What We Live For: Volume 2 - the second in a series of compilations sharing their vision of sounds of tomorrow. Szostek himself dons the well known BPMF alias again for some fierce breakbeat techno action on "Zu Heib Fur Uns", the equally legendary Healy brothers aka Somatic Response still going strong - as heard on the slo-mo acid trance journey "Strategy Of Desire" and relative newcomer Heidi Sabertooth of Opal Onyx delivers some sludgy electro-punk antics on "So You Want To Take Back Your Will". There's some handy locked grooves on the electro-bass tip featured too by Synapse and Pointsman, which were pretty wicked too.
Review: This remix package by the mysterious Brainwaltzera (Furthur Electronix/Analogical Force) features cuts from his enviable discography, including reinterpretations of recordings featured on the recently released Poly-Ana LP on Berlin based Film - which received plaudits from underground dance music heavyweights. From the the candy inflected electro of "Muddy Puddle Trot" remixed by legend Luke Vibert, Berlin based synthesist Eva Geist (AKA Andrea Noce) and her brooding, slow-burning gothic noir on the "Kurzweil Dame" remix or Philipp Otterbach's evocative ambient rendition of "Triangulate Dither" awash in reverb drenched textures and metallic FM synthesis.
Review: Orson Bramley has a long-standing legacy in UK electro history as part of the Transparent Sound production crew, and he's been recently aligned with Robin Ball's Memory Box parties in London where he's been able to display his years of experience whipping machines into funky configurations in a live environment. This release speaks to that experience, with the various versions of "Then Again" punching out an irresistible sermon of crafty synth lines, swooping strings and crisp beats. Ball steps up for two remixes on the flip that equally reside in the electro realm, but come at the component parts from a different rhythmic angle. One refined idea done five ways - what more do you need to know?
Review: Ben Westbeech continues to impress under the Breach alias, a pseudonym used for the Bristol producer's most dancefloor-focused material. In the past, much of this has been weighty and dancefloor focused, but in recent times Westbeech has served up far more melodious fare. "SOST", the track that opens the latest Breach 12", takes this approach, peppering a relaxed, funk-fuelled electro rhythm with cascading synthesizer melodies and attractively spacey electronics. The skewed deep electro vibe can also be heard on similarly attractive flipside "Turtle Dance", which fixes the far-sighted sounds of IDM/electro sort B12 to a rubbery synth bassline and punchy machine beats.
Review: Emergent duo Broken Arrows were previously spotted lurking around Giallo Disco back in 2015, so you should have some idea of the kind of lurid late night machine sleaze they like to get their hands dirty with. They've now slid over to the sympathetic but marginally more techno-minded Vivod imprint with a new clutch of deviant heaters for those adventurous dancefloor spaces where B-movie sounds reign supreme. "Female Predator" is a tough EBM-tinted workout with plenty of jack in its stack, while "Fear Eats The Soul" takes a more synth-wave approach with some speech samples thrown in for good measure. "Edge Of Darkness" is a more tense affair that pings arpeggios around a minor key refrain, and then "Basic Structure" whips out the hardest track on the record, a lithe industrial stomper laden with rhythmic noise and a mean synth bassline that will hit your solar plexus like a battering ram.