Review: The legendary Dutch producer Martijn Hoogendijk aka Alden Tyrell (of Clone Records fame) teams up here for some main room bangers with Berlin based American Kevin McHugh aka Ambivalent: who has had a productive past decade recording for such respected imprints as m_nus, Ovum Recordings and Kompakt in addition to running his Delft and Valence imprints - where he records as acid expert LA-4A. The Detente EP brings the furious warehouse style bounce of the title track (featuring some relentless drum work!), the dusty and greyscale dub techno workout of "Dutchless" and the totally heads down and strobe-lit affair of "Wallfall" that is reminiscent of Jell Mills seminal Waveform Transmissions series.
Review: Last year, Extrawelt delivered their first album for five years, the wonderfully expansive and on-point Fear of an Extra Planet. Less than 12 months on, they're back with another suitably epic full-length outing, "Unknown". Across three DJ-friendly slabs of wax, the German duo eschews the willful electronic eclecticism that's marked out their recent career in favour of 12 tracks that mine the world of electro for inspiration. While there are subtle nuances and incremental shifts throughout - a little more acid here, a nod to early '90s IDM there, and regular tempo changes throughout - the majority of the album is as spacey, weighty and punchy as you'd expect. It's almost as if Extrawelt has spent the last year exclusively listening to Drexciya records. Superb stuff all told.
Review: It took Extrawelt some five years to get round to recording last year's wonderfully expansive and on-point "Fear of an Extra Planet", a willfully eclectic album that remains a high point of their production career. Happily, "Unknown", their fourth album, didn't take nearly as long to gestate. Interestingly, it's more tightly focused than previous outings, consisting almost entirely of electro workouts. While there are subtle nuances and incremental shifts throughout - a little more acid here, a nod to early '90s IDM there, and regular tempo changes throughout - the majority of the album is as spacey, weighty and punchy as you'd expect. It's almost as if the German duo has spent the last year exclusively listening to Drexciya and Central Processing Unit records. Superb stuff.
Review: Given that they've long been one of techno's busiest live acts, it's perhaps unsurprising that Fear of an Extra Planet is Extrawelt's first album for nearly five years. We'll forgive them for taking their time, though, because it's really rather good. It's largely warm, atmospheric and melodious, flitting between shuffling techno floor fillers, analogue-rich electro, low-slung breakbeat-driven creepiness (see the Brown Album-era Orbital style goodness "Oddification" and "Gentle Venom"), acid-flecked late night throb-jobs ("Silly Idol"), deep space hypnotism ("Fear of an Extra Planet"), James Holden style positivity ("The Friendly Coroner") and surprisingly loose, Giallo-influenced soundtrack fare (excellent closer "2084").
OFF - "Electrica Salsa" (feat Sven Vath - Roman Flugel remix)
Mirko Loko - "Artificiel"
Wouter De Moor - "Tesla Coil"
Tim Green - "Among Wolves"
Christian Burkhardt - "Karambolage"
Jimi Jules - "Euphrasia"
Einzelkind & Robin Scholz presents Rhythm Factory - "N.2Guts"
Chymera - "7 Hours"
Markus Fix - "Baroon"
Sven Vath - "Robot" (Kolsch remix)
Argy - "How Late It Was, How Late"
Ricardo Tobar - "Red Light" (Lawrence remix)
Review: For the fourth installment of their Dots & Pearls mix series, in which a selected DJ gets busy with the label's back catalogue, Cocoon has enlisted the services of Frankfurt's Markus Fix. His mix is designed to showcase the melodious and atmospheric tech-house tracks lurking in the Cocoon vaults, and predictably does a fine job of fulfilling this remit. There are impressive contributions from the likes of Sven Vath, Tim Green and Chymera, plus a quartet of previously unreleased tracks. These are invariably excellent; check, for example, Fix's own "Baroon" - a kind of woozy 21st century riff on the '88 "Pure Trance" version of The KLF's "What Time Is Love" - and the ethereal melodies and early morning fuzz of Argy's "How Late It Was, How Late".
Review: Tim Green has been promising to deliver a debut album for much of his decade-long career, so it's good to see that it has finally arrived. It comes on the back of strong dancefloor-friendly singles for Get Physical, Dirtybird and, of course, Cocoon. Intriguingly, Green produced Her Future Ghost as "a film soundtrack for a film that doesn't exist", and the album is shot through with cinematic tropes (think sweeping musical movements, atmospheric compositions, a loose narrative and exploration of a variety of moods). That's not to say that he's abandoned the dancefloor completely, of course; like recent single "Echo" (which is of course included here), the majority of the tracks pepper European techno and tech-house style grooves with rising and falling synthesizer melodies, emotion-rich chords and mood-altering electronics.
Wasps Under A Toy Boat (Planetary Assault Systems remix) (8:22)
Missp (Tom Demac remix) (7:21)
Review: To give you a little bit of context, Belfast's Phil Kieran has been producing effective, floor-ready techno since the turn of the millennium, and he's appeared on many 'above the line' labels such as Skint and Scotland's Soma. The spritely dance specialist lands on Sven Vath's larger-than-life Cocoon Recordings, but only in a cameo role as the original producer of "Pkrmxd". The two sides of the record are given to Planetary Assault Systems and Tom Demac, respectively. The former contorts "Wasps Under A Toy Boat" into a driving, hypnotic beast that is tailor-made for the dance floor, while the latter transforms "Missp" into a jagged, electro house bomb with a steady 4/4 beat but that unleashes a grizzly load of bass. Just like the old days - thank you!
Review: Acclaimed live act Strahil Velchev aka KiNK is said to have been a vital ingredient of Cocoon's ecstatic nights on the island over the years. The man from Sofia offers up a recording of one of his explosive performances there, featuring well known tracks and exclusives alike on what the label best described themselves as a 'spontaneous tour de force through the history of electronic dance music.' The Bulgarian hardware maverick takes the best of The Windy City and The Motor City alike, and all the while adding his distinct magic touch. It's a wild ride from start to finish, with peaks coming in at moments like that of "The Russian" with its massive Detroit style chord progressions, the heads-down and direct techno attack of "Kink In De Kabel" through to last year's thrilling anthem "Perth" and the uplifting "Disco Transition".
Kuniyuki Takahashi - "The Session" (Cobblestone Jazz remix)
Terrence Dixon - "Beat"
Pacou - "Funk2Funghi"
Present Perfect - "Lession 01"
Differ-Ent - "Gem In Eyes" (feat DJ Bone)
John Daly - "Solar Sailing"
Implosive Inc - "Russ Key"
Hot City Orchestra/Einzelkind & Charlotte T - "Phantom Force (Delt Mix)/Don't (Acapella)" (CD2: Einzelkind)
Rhythm Factory/Einzelkind - "Oh Oh/Maferefumeco"
Hot City Orchestra - "Barimu"
Einzelkind - "Just In Jack"
Hot City Orchestra - "Metropolis/The Observatory (Tool)"
Einzelkind & Robin Scholz/Villalobos & Einzelkind - "Clubnight/Arnorac"
Einzelkind - "Meinste !? (Delta Mix)/Lumumba"
Einzelkind - "Aya Curanderito"
Implosive Inc - "In Tracy" (feat Markus Fix - Delta mix)
Implosive Inc - "Milli Jean"
Einzelkind - "Imagine They Came To Get Everything We Took From Them Back" (Delta mix)
Einzelkind & Markus Fix - "Good Evening Anoserl"
Review: As the rather matter-or-fact title suggests, Cocoon's latest double-disc mix-up showcases the DJ skills of two extended family members: globe-trotting Ukranian selector Nastia and Frankfurt's Einzelkind. The former handles disc one, touching on both traditional and off-kilter techno via cuts from the likes of Slam, Luke Slater, Calibre, Terrence Dixon and Luke Slater. Einzelkind's disc is, as you'd expect, a much more trippy affair, and is made up entirely of his own productions (either solo or collaborative). While some may see this as being a little on the indulgent side, it actually gives the mix focus. Given that a number of cuts have never before been heard outside of his DJ sets, it's something of a treat for fans of his particular blend of wonky late night techno.
Review: The legend from Leipzig Daniel Stefanik helms the third instalment of Dots & Pearls for Frankfurt institution Cocoon. The long time affiliate of the Leipzig's famed Distillery club has been on the scene for over a decade, with releases on the likes of Moon Harbour and Mobilee so you can trust the DJ on this one.. For this edition (said to be a retrospective of sorts for the label) it will come in a continuous DJ mix with some brand new and unreleased tracks. Stefanik will also include four of his own edits including Guido Schneider & Andre Galluzzi's "Mario" and Luca Ballerini's "Impressions Of A Dawn" and "Orizzonte".
International Anything - "The Future Is Here" (8:44)
Eduardo De La Calle - "Caravaca's Distortion Theory" (7:06)
Inigo Kennedy - "Black Light" (6:04)
Ambivalent & Alden Tyrell - "War Island" (6:30)
Pig&Dan - "Shattered Minds" (5:58)
ROD - "Abel" (5:41)
Ingo Boss - "Junghof Love Star" (10:01)
John Heckle - "Fantasy" (8:06)
Cristi Cons - "Bird In Space" (12:07)
Lusine - "Parallel"
Isolee - "Yes Let"
Mano Le Tough - "Vanishing Landscapes"
International Anything - "The Future Is Here"
Eduardo De La Calle - "Caravaca's Distortion Theory"
Inigo Kennedy - "Black Light"
Ambivalent & Alden Tyrell - "War Island"
Pig&Dan - "Shattered Minds"
ROD - "Abel"
Ingo Boss - "Junghof Love Star"
John Heckle - "Fantasy"
Cristi Cons - "Bird In Space"
Review: In the comprehensive press release accompanying the latest Cocoon compilation - "R", the eighteenth compilation in their alphabetical series - there's a lot about blurring the boundaries between different genres of techno. The basics, though, are pretty simple: like its' predecessors, the club-focused set boasts 12 cuts selected by boss man Sven Vath. There's plenty to enjoy from start to finish, from the stylish, '80s new wave pop-meets-Euro-techno vibes of International Anything's "The Future Is Here", and the driving tribal drums and sweeping, alien-sounding chords of Inigo Kennedy's "Black Light", to the moody Dutch techno freakiness of Ambivalent and Alden Tyrell's "War Island", and the sparkling electronics, positive vibes and skewed drum machine hits of John Heckle's superb "Fantasy".
DJ Shufflemaster & Chester Beatty - "Our House Music" (feat DJ Funk)
Patrice Bdumel - "Serpent"
Red Axes - "Sami"
Nicolas Masseyeff - "Muse"
Tom Pooks & Joy Kitikonti - "Climb"
Butch - "Countach"
Fabrice Lig - "Dark Commodore"
Robag Wruhme - "Veddel Braav"
Stimming - "Frankfurt Main"
Ejeca - "Attack"
Radio Slave - "Reverse" (DJ Koze edit)
Ilario Alicante - "Cocoon"
ANNA - "Hidden Beauties"
Michael Mayer - "Lout"
Younger Rebinds - "Tim's Symphony"
Krystal Klear - "Neutron Dance"
Review: Next summer, Cocoon will notch up their 20th straight season hosting parties on the White Isle. Before then, boss man Sven Vath has offered up this two-disc journey through the records that defined his residency in the summer of 2018. Beginning with the seductive two-step flex of Nightmares on Wax main man DJ EASE's own remix of "Deep Shadows", disc one sees Vath shuffle between glassy-eyed Balearic deep house (Adam Port, Vermont), retro-futurist chuggers (Talaboman) and wonky late night house (Edward, Red Axes). Disc two, meanwhile, is an altogether heavier and more muscular affair, with the legendary German DJ gleefully charging between mind-altering techno, tech-house and big room anthems from the likes of Butch, Anna, Robag Wruhme, Radio Slave and Fabrice Lig.