Review: Cong Burn made a mighty splash with its first release, clearly flaunting the kind of wares you'd expect to hear from Livity Sound alumni or other such esteemed techno renegades. The second installment is no slouch either, featuring a new cast of crooked creators offering up their wares for the modern mutant dancefloor. BFTT has a weighty low end thrum powering "Public/Private", while Lack takes things in a scuffed and nimble direction. Chekov pushes out into more experimental pastures with the broken beats and displaced sound design of "Celeste" and Howes creates a wonderful strain of mystical deep house for darkened souls. Each one of these tracks is loaded with flair and personality, yards ahead of your average generic knock offs and presenting something with real merit to the convoluted world of dance music.
Review: This steadfastly experimental three-tracker has its origins in a Hamburg instillation by F#X and Nika Son. That installation was created utilizing a battery of tape machines, broken synthesizers, cheap drum machines and their own manipulated vocals. The resultant tracks are dark, woozy, atmospheric, densely layered sonically, and devilishly hard to pin down. So while nine-minute A-side "Geroll" revolves around a manipulated, hip-hop style breakbeat, it's the ghostly electronics and curious effects that catch your ear. Flipside "Diptongues", seemingly created from densely layering up reversed vocal samples and creepy electronics, is even more impressive, even if it may inspire nightmares amongst the squeamish. Bizarre music concrete cut "Tenno" completes a fine package.
Autarkic - "Screaming (To Be With You)" (feat The White Screen)
JD Twitch - "Dalbouka"
Sneaker - "I Looked For You"
Die Orangen - "Rattling Ghosts"
Review: After teaming up to release the scintillating works of C Cat Trance in their original 80s form on Screaming Ghosts, Emotional Rescue and Malka Tuti join forces once again to deliver a ludicrously talented roster of remixers who catapult John Rees Lewis' cult group into thrilling new spatial and temporal zones. Autarkic decides to go for the full-tilt cover version on "Screaming (To Be With You)", with ample help from The White Screen, while JD Twitch roughs up "Dalbouka" into a quintessential slab of ethno-motorik body music. Sneaker's take on "I Looked For You" emphasizes the atmospheric tension in the original, giving the track a cinematic scope, and Die Orangen's "Rattling Ghosts" finishes the record on an appropriately ominous, subtly industrial tone.
Review: Emotional Rescue and Malka Tuti serve up another round of top shelf remixes and revisions of John Rees Lewis' mid-late 80s project C Cat Trance, following in the wake of the Screaming Ghosts compilation. First up to bat are Red Axes, who bring a seductive line in loose and limber drumming to "Shake The Mind" that should suit the Fourth World dancefloor massive just fine. Jamie Paton brings a tough, clamouring intensity to "Take Me To The Beach," while Prins Thomas takes a truly spiritual approach when weaving the intricate arpeggios and percussion of "Sudaniyya." Khidja and Borusiade team up on "Simple Helen," presenting a dense and hazy trip into exotic territory with sinister undertones.
Review: Although he built his reputation as party-starting DJ, Mister Saturday Night co-founder Justin Carter has always been a singer-songwriter at heart.This debut solo release sees him delivering evocative, folksy vocals over plucked acoustic guitar lines and ghostly backing vocals. The song's fragile, slightly woozy nature comes to the fore on the flipside "Version" mix, which only emphasizes the weary beauty of Carter's lyrics and vocal performance. It's a bit of a sideways step for Mister Saturday Night, but then the label has never played by the rules.
Review: Certain Creatures in Oliver Chapoy who has appeared previously on Style Upon Styles and was involved in the BM/CC/WW project back in 2014 with Brendon Moeller and Clay Wilson. These five harsh and textural abrasions in greyscale techno are pretty serious; for fans of Shifted and Sigha; pay attention. On the A side it's all about the peak time fury of "Compulsion" which borrows from classic Regis in terms of brutal repetition in all its stripped, compressed and saturated glory like something of his classic Gymnastics LP. On the flip, the title track uses more restraint with its hypnotic and arpeggiated bell melody modulating out of control hysterically, executed as finely as Domenico Crisci has done of late; be warned! Closing track "HTMDML" is guttural electro beats served up as grungy and overdriven as you like and will appeal to Killekill fans.
Review: Based in Peckham, Tokyo Wax is a unified collection of creatives sharing an appreciation for a broad range of Electronic Music. Having refined their tastes and gathered experience through promotion and radio shows their focus has since shifted to releasing records and in doing so, providing a platform for auspicious piers to bloom. In the wake of the success of that inaugural record from label owners Presence and Persona they ready their carefully crafted return with the second installment coming courtesy of 20 year-old mastermind Circula backed up by Endeguena Mulu of Ethiopian Records on his first ever remix.
Review: It's the big, bad Joe Claussell, and the master reigns in the new year with this absolute stunner of an EP for the Sacred Rhythm label. This is Claussell at his most daring, however, and while you might be expecting some phat-ass house beats and groovy tribalism, the man goes far left of the field on here. The opening "Dungeon Maggots" is a translucent blend of crystal synths and subtle dub echoing, while "Matter Of Factness" injects a delicate house flow into the mix, propelled into motion by a dubby guitar riff. "Affect", "Nuances", and "Seciov" all act as beatless electronic tools, a trio of synth sways to add extra effect to your DJ mix. Yes, Joe!
Review: Material by London duo Astrud Steehouder and Nina Bosnic, aka Finders Keepers duo Paper Dollhouse, gets pulled into new rhythmic shapes by Joe Cocherell and Montalk on this compelling record for Resilience. Given his background as drummer in DVA Damas and propulsive techno output on Frozen Border, Cocherell is well placed to reinterpret "Space III" as eleven minutes of kraut addled techno that you could easily visualise James Holden closing out a Sonar performance with. Complementing this, Resilience's in-house mystery production unit Montalk take a more abstract approach to "Drone 1", submerging the vocals of Paper Dollhouse in all manner of spectral delay on a remix that forgoes rhythm in favour of all encompassing atmosphere.
Review: Joe Coghill presents his debut release on Transit Valley. A multi-disciplinary artist, musician and experimental publisher based in Edinburgh, he works in an improvised and often haphazard way. It incorporates disparate field recordings, modular synthesis and other sonic ambiences to create unpredictable and ephemeral multi-layer performances. Alongside this, he has been producing music recreationally in his various bedroom studios over the past 14 years. There are some intriguing perspectives on modern dance music here that Coghill provides his perspective on: from entrancing/slow-motion tribal techno workouts, textured and semi-abrasive ambient/noise and even a bit of lo-fi electro - such as on the EP's standout "Exit Lane".
Review: Largely found bashing out bastardised machine jams on Dark Entries, Bill Converse makes a logical move to Tabernacle for this new double pack of devilishly decent burners for the adventurous end of the night. The nagging hisses and end-of-days bleeps on "Tinnitus" will get right under your skin, while "Permission" stomps out a broken down jack to get the waifs and strays shaking. "Borealis" takes star-gazing techno into a particularly noisy dimension, "Operation" channels the spirit of Jamal Moss-minded acid freakery and "Mutiny" depicts the unkempt groove left after the breakdown of the hardware. "Awakening" ends things on a brighter note, twisting out grubby acid lines through some beautiful but distant chords and a snaking set of blown out drums.
Review: While Netherfield Works might, on first listen, sound a bit like the cosmic side of German rock music pioneered by the likes of Can or Cluster back in the early 70s, the album is very much a product of post-industrial Britain. To be precise, Craven Faults are from Yorkshire, and this is their protest - their view of an existential future laid bare by the downfalls of industrialist culture. Debuting via the newly formed Lowfold Works, this lot sound like they know exactly what they want to say, with two 15+ minute voyages showcasing their skills as musicians, and their vision as an outfit. "Eller Ghyll" bounces off the walls with its supremely echoed riffs and meandering basslines, sounding like an ode to the powers that be; "Tenter Ground" is comparatively gentler in its approach, launching a barricade of starry harmonies up into the sky along with a driving, hypnotic percussive roll that could well slot this into the deeper of DJ sets across the board. TIP!
Review: Crotocosm is an occasional collaboration between Jordan Czamanski (Juju & Jordash) and Willie Burns of WT Records. The tracks on Setting The Scene For An Island Battle were recorded together live in Amsterdam and Brooklyn over the last 21 years and are some of the most experimental pieces that we have heard from either producer yet. From freeform synth improvisations and dark ambient soundscapes, through to slow burning industrial noir and deeply hypnotic slo-mo techno - there certainly are some fascinating sonic perspectives to be heard here.
Review: CS + Kreme are the duo of Melbournians Conrad Standish (Standish/Carlyon) and Sam Karmel of Bum Creek and F ingers (Blackest Ever Black), serving up some sexy late night instrumentals on the Cold Shoulder 12". The A side features the spooky mood lighting of "Eyes On Ceiling" awash in sombre and celestial FM synth tones, while on the flip we have smooth saxophone-led ambient of "Husk". This fine record follows up releases by the pair on Vancouver's Total Stasis and The Hague's Wichelroede (R.I.P.)
Review: Raster Noton's Unun series continues with more droned-out techno goodness, this time by Carl Michael Von Hausswolff and Martin Rossel aka Gomila Park! The likes of Mika Vainio have appeared on this series before and we can safely say that the label has only put out pure heat. "Leipniz" is a nasty, apocalyptic showdown of metallic drones and steel-eyed drums, while on the flip, "Ramon Llul" is a cavernous head-nodder, and "Calculus" heads into deep space thanks to its sudden bursts of alien speech. Wonderful stuff, not to be missed.
Review: With this release, WOW Signal Records presents a modern view on bass oriented electronic music. From Russian producer Cyberworm's "Breath Slow" (future garage), Kontext's dub techno epic "Doubling Theory (Meteors)" to the techstep of Melotronics' "Launch Pad" and Diagram's leftfield drum & bass on "Orbital Collapse". These genres are united by a uniform deep sound of the planet. They even released it on vinyl, because they are intent on spreading the music that makes them vibe with other bass lovers the world over.
Space Afrika - "After They Entered It Was Only Evident" (3:59)
Review: "Shared Meanings" has been one of Mumdance's most ambitious and explorative projects to date; pulling together the four corners of the hardcore continuum and tying them in a tight bow, his mix has drawn elements and parallels between all genres and laced them in a narrative that mirrors and reflects throughout. Now, for limited time only, we have five of the 32 tracks he included in the mix ranging from his and Logos' totem track "Teachers" which pays homage to the UK's forefathers, to the pulverising thumpy bumpy techno of Nkisi's "Kinenga" via stasis sensation ambience from Space Afrika in the form of "After They Entered It Was Only Evident". Coordinates don't come much broader or deeper, "Shared Meanings" is Mumdance in full on explorer mode. Long may his meaningful trips continue.