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: 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: Following up last year's Moments EP, Dea Dvornik and Enrica aka Eris return to Japanese imprint Cabaret with yet more impressive minimal electro shenanigans. The Italian/Croatian duo are in fine form on the Champions League EP, which kicks off with the deep and trippy bass-driven jam that is the tile track, followed similarly by "Redemption In Friedrichshain". On the flip is the most upbeat and lively track by the pair here named "Moloko" which will mix well with the rest of the label's recent discography - this bleepy and funky old school techno groove is absolutely infectious!
Review: From Patron and Wolfskuil to this first drop on Or:la's new label Cead, Utrecht producer Lewski is fast establishing himself in the buzzing space that exists between techno, electro and more experimental fare. "Guadala" has an uptempo bite, but there's plenty of dubby immersion to be felt in the bubbling synth drops and splashy reverb trails. "Jara" has its own kind of crooked intent, pockmarked with acid swerves and interlocking rhythms to get synapses firing. "Mariachi" takes things back to the peppier end of the tempo spectrum, clearly aiming for the peak time without making any cliched moves - no mean feat - and then "Descacorde" switches things up with a stomping electro house workout that brings a wholly different flavour to this excellent EP.
Review: British legend Carl Finlow has always explored the darker, deeply charged realms of electro as Silicon Scally and he's feeling more dystopian than ever on this fierce four tracker for Sheffield's Central Processing Unit. Following up last years' terrific Projections EP, prepare to go deep underground on the brooding and cinematic drama of "Cobalt Blue", only to resurface once more on a serene note on the charming Kraftwerk influence of "Scintillation". On the flip, he's back to the program on the booming electro bass epic "Asynchronous" while the futuristic tension and suspense of "Protocol 2" closes out another fine effort by the genre's finest producers.
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: 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.
Manuk & Oli Silva - "Nevermind The Crispies" (5:55)
Eliaz - "Verdico" (7:06)
Meta 4 - "Urnammu" (7:45)
Jorge Gamarra - "Dypac" (5:42)
Review: There's a certain air of buy-on-sight mystique around EYA Records, somewhere between the low-key presentation of the music and the cult artists they're calling on to realise their particular vision of deviant dancefloor business. This is unabashed freaky party tackle, from Manuk & Oli Silva's delirious B-movie jack track "Nevermind The Crispies" to the uneasy electro snarl of "Verdico". Meta 4 has equally nightmarish moods to share on the graveyard acid of "Urnammu" and Jorge Gamarra seals the deal with the schlocky braindance horror of "Dypac". It's the kind of record that you'll be reaching for come Halloween, trust.
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: 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: Fresh from another killer collaboration with regular studio sparring partner E-GZR on Wania, Laura "LNS" Sparrow goes solo and offers up the second volume in her ongoing "Recons" series. It's another confident and hugely entertaining affair, with Sparrow flitting between electro-influenced space funk ("Recon Two"), deep and dubbed out breakbeat shufflers ("Ecumene"), sunrise ready analogue deep house warmth ("Prahvist"), bleep and bass influenced machine techno ("Lehkist") and spacey ambient beauty ("To Be Continued"). Old pal DJ Sotofett is also on hand to remix "37th Degree" in a typically warm and woozy dubbed-out manner.
Review: Russian label Mosaique has thus far carried some serious heat from artists like JASSS, Caron and Savage Grounds, and now they're shifting their nightmarish electro tendencies back to the various artists format of their Universe series. Umwelt leads the charge on this second installment with the eerie machine snarl of "Fallen Empire", followed up by two versions of the devilish "Sleep When You Die" by Moralez & The Horrorist. Alessandro Adriani is first up on the B side with the driving, noirish techno pulse of "Cosmic Transmissions," and then Morah rounds things off with the squelchy, spiky workout "Track 5".
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: 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: Although Emile Facey has been producing as Plant 43 for roughly six years, the UK producer appears to be in a rich vein of form right now. Having debuted in impressive fashion on Dutch label Frustrated funk earlier this year, Plant 43 resurfaces on Semantica with this equally worthy five track 12" The Sentient City Awakens. No stranger to Svreca's label having first graced Semantica last year, this record will please Plant 43 fans no end, with "Inward Stream" and "Hydro Subway" showing equal reverence to melody and booming percussion that few other current electro practitioners can match. Concluding production "Frond Of Stars" is beautifully epic.
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.