Review: More from the seemingly endless deep archives of Andy Panayi and Alec Stone's long-running A2 production partnership, which first tickled our senses way back in 1997. There's much to admire throughout, with nine-minute A-side cut "Seriously" - an acid-flecked fusion of bustling breakbeats, alien melodies, woozy chords and post-electro electronics - offering a brilliantly club-ready opening. They begin the flipside with what sounds like a turn of the millennium club electro workout (think punchy beats, pulsating analogue bass and moody chords), before adding a little UK garage flavour to their basslines and beats on the deep space bounce of "Feel The Rhythm".
Review: Gabriel Reyes Whittaker is The Abstract Eye: an L.A.-based producer also known as GB (Gifted & Blessed) and Frankie Reyes. Regarding the dynamic pace of the music industry, he asks the question, what's real anymore? For him, it comes down to the feelings this music evokes. Last year saw the much needed reissue of his underrated 2011 opus Cool Warm Divine on Holland's Rush Hour, and this new record is another emotive release which explores classic electro and techno sounds - borrowing from the best of the genre's recent past but reinterpreting it in his own distinct way. From the old school deep techno bounce of "Land, Sky & Sea" to the chill groove of "What's Real Anymore?" or the mellow electro of "Butterfly Patterns" - thia is as real as it gets.
Review: The second release on Glasgow imprint Tremors is by Tom Livingstone aka Arctor. He has a way of making music for moments where the crowd has just melted in the palm of the dancefloor. His latest EP entitled Heartless bursts with kaleidoscopic melodies and streamlined percussion From the high octane electro bass of "Exploding Head Syndrome" with its respectful nod to greats like Drexciya or Dopplereffekt, or the more UK electro influenced "Bad Blood" with its heady booming acid vibe, to the emotive B side cut "United" showing the more contemplative side of his sound - the Glaswegian producer continues his run of sophisticated electro euphoria.
Review: Second instalment from Belgian electro-label ZwaarteKracht, once again assembling a dream team of international producers to bring together this extraordinary selection of dancefloor tracks with dark sci-fi moods. All dynamically mastered by Karel De Backer to keep those subs moving like they should. Features Arsonist Recorder with the hard hitting retro futurism of "Brain Mode",
Deemphasis going deep on "In My Mind" with its underwater acid, Datawave served up our favourite on the darkly dystopian electro bass of "Quadrant" while Francois Dillinger's "Moon Prison" provides the abstract and minimal vibes.
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: 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: Emotional Response do a great service here to all lovers of braindance craving new fixes since Rephlex shut up shop. Brainwaltzera's debut EP Marzipan was a self-released concern that sold out quickly back in 2016, meeting with emotionally charged responses from those wanting to nab a copy. Now it's more widely available, the gorgeous lilt of bubbling 101 melodies and delicate drum machine patterns can spread their wings and bring some healing vibes to a broader audience of electronica devotees. Coming on with the sensitivity of Wisp and other contemporary braindancers, this is how comforting home listening beats should be done.
Review: Florin Buechel aka Contra Communem Opinionem first appeared on our radar a few years back with some killer EPs on Swiss electro imprint Lux Rec - in particular the collaboration with label boss Daniele Cosmo as Savage Grounds in 2016. Here he presents new Berlin label Omega Men's third installment, serving up yet more gritty analogue machine exploits on "The Transformation Problem". Hear that legendary Roland silver box hard at work throughout the four-tracker: we're loving the soaring resonance and glide of frantic opener "Dead Labor", the dystopian noir vibe of electro jam "Necessary Labor" and our pick of the bunch that is neon-lit exhilarator "Living Labor". Tip!
Review: On the A1 Chekov follows up their moves on Peach Discs and Timedance with a proper peak timer, they've been described by Ben UFO as 'king of the build up' and that's evident on this one. At the A2 London's Doppelate makes their Cong Burn debut with an elegant tech-house roller. Fresh from Russia's underground is Camin, on this, his debut 12" release he drops a useful tool which squeezes between electro and techno. Cong Burn founder Howes closes the B side with some warm hypnosis that could have landed in the golden era of Workshop.
Review: Anyone who takes their electronic music history seriously should already be hip to this one, but a brief rundown for those new to the roots of electro and techno. Cybotron were the project from Richard Davis and Juan Atkins, who went on to help forge the sound of Detroit techno as Model 500. Released in 1983, their debut album "Enter" was a blueprint for so much music that came after, with "Clear" being the standout track that send 80s heads spinning into a state of funky future shock. This tasty little 7" reissue puts "Clear" on the A side, and 1981 sci-fi boogie belter "Alleys Of Your Mind" on the flip. Two evergreen gems no machine music aficionado should be without.
Review: London-based retroverts Art Of Dark return with a wicked double header here for their third vinyl release. Antonin Hifda aka Daif takes up the A side, offering up the hardcore rave reductions of "Another Version Of The Truth" followed by the deep down Detroit styled electro beats of "Devil". On the flip, it's all about newcomers DC EFX who follow through with the electro bass vibe on the absolutely booming "Expansionz", before closing with the bass-driven acid techno "The Roller Express".
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: Although Clone's series of remastered Drexciya retrospectives are excellent, it's nice that Tresor have decided to reissue the majority of material the Detroit pair released through the Berlin label in its original format. This way you get the music in the manner Donald and Stinson originally intended. The four tracks on Digital Tsunami were drawn from the same recording sessions that resulted in the sublime Drexciyan document Harnessing The Storm and thankfully got pressed on an addendum 12" after not making the cut for the double LP. With Tresor having just reissued Harnessing The Storm it seems only fair Digital Tsunami should be granted the same treatment. Some 13 years after it's original release and all the music here still sounds like it was drawn from the future, with Donald and Stinson excelling at rapid fire bursts of abstract subaquatic electro, such as towering highlight "The Plankton Organisation".
Review: Frustrated Funk's latest missive boasts cuts from two of electro's most reliable artists: Convextion man Gerard Hanson (under the deep electro E.R.P. guise) and Rotterdam scene stalwarts Duplex. Hanson handles the A-side, delivering a punchy, club-ready electro workout rich in intergalactic electronics, Egyptian Lover style synth flourishes and restless drum machine cowbells. Interestingly, it's a far bolder and retro-futurist affair than we've come to expect from the dreamy and emotion-rich E.R.P. project. Ironically, Duplex's atmospheric and spacey "Molecular (Ovatow Reclock)" is undeniably deep and sumptuous, matching Hanson's most melodious and evocative moments.
Review: Proud and in charge, Exzact returns with more unfaltering electro aimed at the purists in the room while still exploring avenues that will appeal to ears of a wider sonic disposition. Three tracks of broken futurism all equally accomplished and irresistible. 'Feeling' is perhaps the most upfront here, its arpeggiated introduction building atmosphere before beats drop that can only really be described as fresh, picking up tracking high-hats as things progress before introducing an echoed synth arrangement plucked straight from Bladrunner's deleted party scene. The BFX remix throws in four-to-the-floor sections, using these to build tension, breaks acting as explosive moments to unleash the true vibe. Kenethetic joins on the high pitched 'Above', while man of the moment- in this genre at least- Brice Kelly turns said track into a moody, evil work of genius.
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: Phil Gerus is a rising talent that fits right into the (Emotional) Especial mould with his sharply realised 80s bombast and dynamic electro funk production style. Treating body-popping club tracks as a vessel for heartfelt expression, these tracks have it all from Linn Drum boogie to fully capable instrumental chops, all shot through with Gerus' choice new wave vocals. Lauer hops on board for a seductive remix of "Still Blind" that ups the sensual intensity of the track while keeping the club foremost in his mind, before Jamie Paton steps up on the flip with a couple of freakier turns that dub the original out into deadly, spooky jams for more adventurous party people to get loose to.
Review: Roza Terenzi has had a head-spinning past 12 months, notching up a wave of high grade electro releases on labels like Oscillate Tracks, Butter Sessions and Dekmantel. Now she's debuting the Gloworm alias on start up concern Sides, and sounding as vital as ever as she delves into deviant jack tracks dripping with tripped out FX processing. "One Ten" has a slow and nasty acid vibe to it, with a groove that rolls with ease and wobble bass wielded to perfection. "One Twenty" has a more brittle electro bent to it, while "One Thirty" pumps things up to a more peak time flavour of machine funk. As you might have guessed by now, "One Forty" takes things even higher til you're flying at ghettotech levels - Terenzi sounds utterly on point so select with confidence, whichever tempo you need to reach for.
Review: Cool contemporary electro vibes are the order of the day on this four-tracker which, notably, is both the first full EP from Goiz AKA Pablo Arrangoiz (following a number of previous appearances on V/A collections), and the debut release from his new label Open Space. 'That's Green' blends tropical sounds, sweeping pads and tiny hints of rock guitar, 'Mid-Pack' is meandering and glitchy, 'Zero Cap' has a weirded-out kinda feel with lots of sub-aquatic sounds in play, while 'Woods' brings proceedings to a suitably laidback close. If icy synths and fractured rhythms are your idea of a good time, there's much to enjoy here.
Review: For the latest release on her admirable Planet Euphorique imprint, Sophie Sweetland has gathered together a quartet of box-fresh club cuts from up-and-coming artists. As you'd expect, much of the material is psychedelic and intoxicating, reprocessing a range of vintage influences in a myriad of ways. Killer DJ's kick things off via the epic trip that is "Track 1", a saucer-eyed fusion of tropical house drums, ambient techno electronics and humid samples. Dj Donini raises the temperature further via the retro-futurist techno trip of "Donini's Dream", before CCL and Flora FM join forces on the bassbin-bothering tribal shuffle of "Liquify Interference". SMP rounds things off in fine style with "Natty Bop", a similarly bass-heavy fusion of skipping, post two-step beats, spacey sounds and low-end power.
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.