Review: With this sequel to December's brilliant, compilation style "The Orbitant" EP, FU ME boss George K is spoiling us. With a high quality threshold and five varied cuts to enjoy, it offers excellent value for money for clued-up electro DJs. Heinrich Dressel sets the scene via some wonderfully spacey, widescreen ambient electronica ("Sem Intro"), before Galaxian wraps 1990 style Yorkshire bleeps and fizzing, minor key electronics around a booming bassline and ghetto-tech style drums on "Source Reality". Foreign Sequence's throbbing, acid-laden "Negative Vibe" sits somewhere between surging Italo-disco and pulsating electro, while Lake Haze's "System Glitch" combines creepy, deep space electronics and ragged acid lines with a rolling electro groove. Arguably best of all though is the mutant funk overload that is Jenson Interceptor's techno/electro fusion workout "Faceless".
Review: There is little to nothing that we know about the enigmatic Facket Strejkar, but what we're hearing is certainly placing the producer firmly onto our radars. Coming through on the fiery Varvet imprint, out of Germany, this is surely the best amalgamation of electro and dubstep that is currently on the scene, and we expect plenty of imitators to come busting through real soon. "Blyga Violer" is a tough, sharp-edged electro killer with undeniably UK-style bass at its core, while "Kolatorsk" launches a shape-shifting techno bullet styled on something utterly sci-fi, and the flip's "Svit & Sprit" provides us with a mean, heavy-weighted bit of industrial techno for the floor. B.A.N.G.I.N.G.
Review: French producer Alec Falconer presents his third release, following up some great EPs on EXT and Entity London. "Flicker Zone" comes courtesy of local imprint Rue De Plaisance and sees the Parisian deliver more retro influenced flavours. From the booming high intensity workout that is the title track that goes for an electro vibe to the very Dopplereffekt influenced "Les Volets" - this is material made for the dancefloor. On the flip it's all about the chill out room though: from the mellow breaks of "L3D 121D" to the acid ambient journey "View From The L2", this 12" successfully demonstrates Falconer's vast sonic repertoire.
Review: Valcrond Video continues its devilish run of form with this new single from Fallbeil, a project that has previously been spotted on New York Haunted, Return To Disorder and Mannequin. That should give you an idea of the kind of deviant sonics we're dealing with here, skirting around industrial, electro and techno with limber and dirty hardware jams for the sinister dancefloor. "Rolling Dutch" clearly nods towards The Hague way of doing things, all eerie pads, gnarly acid lines and rasping drums, while on the flip side "Rave On Plastic" pushes the bubbling monosynth action to the front of the mix.
Review: Given that Fantastic Man's last outing on Kitjen, 2016's "Galactic Ecstasy", was one of his more interesting and on-point releases to date, hopes are high for this belated return to the German label. First up in "Solar Surfing", a spacey affair built around stuttering machine drums, intergalactic electronics and a thickset bassline. Acid-fired workout "Native Power" follows, with psychedelic TB-303 lines and minimalist bleeps riding a flowing electro groove, before closing cut "Avocado Conception" sees the Australian combine Balearic-minded synthesizer flourishes and bubbly acid lines with a slower groove. Like the rest of the EP, it's ear pleasing but surprisingly off-kilter.
Review: Electro is very much back in vogue, but for Steffi's vital Klakson label it's a sound that never went away. This EP is a particularly special one that welcomes Fastgraph, aka Dutchman Frank de Groodt, back into the fold more than a decade since his last official release (which also came on this label). These tracks are fast, funky machine music with crispy, crashing metal hits and warped synths that are made to devastate the dance floor. The frazzled bass of "Number 8" sure is pleasing, but to really make a mark, drop the manic lines and overdriven drums of "Interface" and see people really lose their minds.
Review: UK techno producer Sigha returns to his experimental project Faugust for the first time since the Devotions (1984 - 2006) EP on the short lived Avian sub label Mira five years ago. Unlike its predecessor, "Parallel Rave Fantasies" resurrects his long-dormant Our Circula Sound imprint and dives into new sonic territory, incorporating more IDM and generative music. Check the mind-mangling and glitchy "Cold Harbour", the demented digitized soundscape of "Process Aesthetics" and the brutalist, body bashing industrial of closer "Definition".
Review: Pleasure Unit is doing a damn fine job building up a catalogue of discoid deviance from the likes of Skatebard, Lunar Concept and Loose Change, and now it's the turn of debutant project Field Of Dreams to lay down some 80s-tinged grooves for the smoother kind of dancefloor. "Pourquoi" features Queenie, and it shows off the individual heritage the two producers in Field Of Dreams have (one was in 90s chart toppers D:ream no less), all plush chords and slinky grooves with an alluring French vocal thread coursing through the middle. "Draw The Line" is a more synth-rich affair that leans towards the moodier end of acid-tinged disco, and then "Line Drawn" drifts out into Balearic boogie of a dubby nature, providing plenty of variation for the warm up or melt down dancefloor.
Jason Fine - "Puttin It Out" (A Made Up Sound remix)
Jason Fine - "Human Need" (Heinrich Mueller Celestial Sphere mix)
Review: Repress: As one of the younger breed of Detroit talents, Jason Fine is still just starting to get a foothold, despite having a good few years of releases behind him. His Kontra Musik relationship has proven to be the most fruitful, and this remix package capitalises on that with two top shelf commissions. A Made Up Sound brings his unmistakable broken house swing to bear, with warming subs and thick swathes of pad and melody twisted to Dave Huismann's crafty designs. Heinrich Muller brings the Drexciyan vibes in abundance with his punchy electro stance that remains peerless after all these years.
Review: Unstoppable electro machine Carl Finlow (aka Silicon Scally) lands on Orson with more of that impeccable robo-funk he's so revered for. "Elastic Collisions" leads the charge with a tough and teasing workout that works around a heavy low end and plenty of sparkling sound design up top. "Octodecillion" keeps things on a dystopian tip, where a bleak future sounds as funky as it does ominous. "Probabilities" heads into a less floor-focused space where thick layers of buffed and polished synth wriggles collide in high-definition. "Mechanomics" completes the set with another taut belter geared towards the heads down section of the party.
Review: For their ninth release, Berlin's mindcolormusic present another stellar release by a debutant, as well as an old schooler. Shane Teal aka Flux is based out in the Pacific Northwest U.S.A. and is said to have been recording music for over a decade, making anything from electro to drum and all that's in between. All these disparate influences can be heard on the unholy mixture of "2linx" which comes off sounding like some broken-beat offworld IDM experiment - and sounds pretty awesome. On the flip, it is over to Eddie Symons: a veteran producer based in the UK, who after releasing on his own Struktur and [d]-tached imprints, made his debut as Bovaflux for the Highpoint Lowlife label back in 2005. Four deep and dystopian electro bass offerings from Symons here, and we particularly enjoyed the Aphex/Autechre spounding melancholia of "Lmp_Nrg".
Review: Lustwerk Music presents a mysterious new entity known simply as The Fock. With little to no background information, this record stakes its own claim within the Galcher-verse by offering up a range of mixes of "Shat Pop." The "Saldes Mix" is a proper immersion heater of cerebral techno, while the nervy, stomping "Flood1 Remix" is credited to White Material regular Young Male. The "Electro Mix" has a squelchy, boogie-inflected palette offset by woozy atmospherics, and the "Ambient Mix" unsurprisingly does away with the drums and drifts in limbo with a disembodied tannoy announcement for company.
Review: After releases for Discos Capablanca and Moon Glyth, Minneapolis collective Food Pyramid align with Especial for a remix EP based around "Oh Mercy", a track from their 2012 album Mango Sunrise. Apparently a long term favourite of label boss Stuart Leath, the warped breakbeat jam-fusion of the original is ripe for reinvention and gets the remix treatment from Especial in-house team Apophenia, Inhalt and Jamie Paton. It's the full on italo pumper remix from San Francisco's Inhalt that really impresses too, with Especial right to compare it to Timmy Regisford classic remix of "Rules To Survive" by NOIA.
Walid - "Human Injection" (Western World mix) (6:13)
Hank Rideau - "Tape 1" (5:10)
Review: Seuil's Eklo imprint returns, riding the post minimal wave of electro-techno on this fine three tracker by various artists. The Unknown Cities Of Gold Vol 1 is the first release from the Paris based imprint in 2018 thus far, and features the mysterious France 98 (a member of Tearss) who delivers a deeply meditative bleep techno excursion on "July 7" following the tradition of B12. We're loving Walid's trippy retro-tech jam "Human Injection" (Western World mix), which is the kind of track you'd hear at a Berlin party like Libertine or Melliflow alike. On the flip, it's TB-303 vs SP 1200 on the deep down and dirty "Tape 1".
Review: Aside from a few early EPs by the likes of Sven Weiseman or Nyra, among others, the Freund Der Familie imprint, run out of Berlin, has mainly featured the label's two head honchos, Klaus Rakete and Mirko Hunger. The experienced duo return to our shelves with the sublime sounds of "CRM (radio mix)", a slow but rich house nugget with a dubwise techno aesthetic, followed by "NML" and its cavernous folds of sound, along with the more break-friendly dispositions of "PRS", the EP's electro swinger.
Review: If it's authentically 80s-sounding electro tackle you're after, then allow us to point you in the direction of Furious Frank's '2 Frank 2 Furious', which opens what's only the second-ever release from Melbourne, Australia-based label Global Skywatch. Arthur Miles' 'Native Way', which follows, is a more current-sounding affair that could easily slide into melodic/progressive sets, while on the flip, 48V's 'In Place' is a sparse, steppy number - think a slo-mo take on footwork and you're somewhere in the ball park! - before the same artist's 'Prospecting' closes out the EP with nine minutes of cinematic ambience.
Review: One of the great joys of Matthew Puffett's Future Beat Alliance productions is the stargazing futurism that oozes from each far-sighted melody, intergalactic chord and impeccably programmed beat. That sci-fi-centric positivity is evident throughout this EP, from the smooth and emotive goodness of opener "Truth?" and the sharp, spiraling alien melodies of "Leave This Planet (Alone)", to the ghostly ambient techno bliss of "Enter 030" and the becalmed, beat-free electronic fluidity of sublime ambient composition "Virtual Shoulder (To Cry On)". Elsewhere, "Zuidas" wraps ethereal electronics and funky acid bass around snappy broken beats, while "Bitten" is a dusty chunk of hip-hop/electronica fusion.
Junior Fairplay - "End Of Love" (Roy Of The Ravers remix 2) (4:46)
Freeform Five - "Throwing Stones" (Jamie Paton remix) (7:23)
Red Axes - "Waiting For A Surprise" (Kris Baha remix) (7:21)
Bal5000 - "Kids" (7:26)
Review: (Emotional) Especial heralds its 30th release with a killer package from an all-star cast that takes in label regulars and newcomers alike. The vibe starts heated and heavy with modern acid champ Roy Of The Ravers taking a blunt instrument or two to Junior Fairplay's "End Of Love," firing off the kind of bludgeoning b-line and fizzing drums that makes his direct approach to the dancefloor so potent. It's somewhat surprising to see Freeform Five pop up on this 12", but Jamie Paton's remix of "Throwing Stones" sounds utterly natural in the habitat - a brooding, simmering trip shot through with noirish synths. Kris Baha gets busy with Red Axes' "Waiting For A Surprise," twisting out an exotic bubbler perfect for the low tempo chugging crowd, and then Bal5000 wraps things up with the gorgeous electro-disco delights of "Kids".
Review: Soundscape Versions delivers its third edition of the various artists series and offers four effective cuts between subtle house breaks, acid house, electro and atmospheric techno. Featuring Kintaro 89, Faune, Arian Alexander and Douala.
Review: The tenth missive on Vortex Traks is full to bursting with tasty treats. As with many of the Berlin-based imprint's previous outings, it's a multi-artist affair. Marshall Applewhite kicks things off via the deep electro/dusty IDM fusion of "Better Do Not", where eight-bit electronics and undulating acid-style motifs rise above a crunchy beat, before Forehard attempts to batter dancefloors into submission via the full-throttle, Klakson-style Rotterdam electro filth of "Rhythm Device". Das Ding invites us to party in deep space via the high-tempo beats and swirling, some would say psychedelic electronics of "Analog Devices", before VCS2600 serves up some seriously punchy, acid-fired electro ("Modular Device").