Review: Under the SolarX alias, Roman Belavkin was one of the leading lights of the Russian IDM scene in the mid-to-late '90s, though very few copies of his cassette and CD releases ever made it in to record stores outside the former Soviet Union. Furthermore, this is the first ever reissue of Belavkin's 1997 sophomore set, "X-Rated", an album that remains a firm favourite in the Russian electronic underground. There's much to admire throughout, with Belavkin effortlessly joining the dots between the skittish, angular rhythms of Autechre, Rephlex-esque "Braindance", Aphex Twin style ambient, early Squarepusher-esque "drill and bass" business and hypnotic ambient techno.
Review: Russian twosome Species of Fishes first emerged in the mid 1990s during the period's infamous IDM book. While still active, it's their early work - and specifically 1996 full-length Trip Trap - that gets collectors hot under the collar. The album was largely overlooked on its initial release, but is now considered something of a classic: a joyously weird, distorted and moody take on the Skam/Autechre sound with a chilling Eurasian twist. There's perhaps a little more dub influence than you'd perhaps expect - "Theweb" is particularly good - while the duo's trips into more melodious, spacey territory recall the icy brilliance of vintage Biosphere. Brilliantly, this reissue stretches the tracks previously crammed onto one record over two, allowing for a much louder and bass-heavy cut.