Review: The good chaps over at Hardwax, Klockworks' own distribution network, are calling this a "perfectionist techno compilation" and, in their own words, it comes "warmly recommended". We agree with both of statements, and believe this to be a fine piece of work from the Ben Klock collective. Perhaps listeners won't hear anything drastically game-changing in here, but it is certainly all dance music of the highest calibre, from a collection of artists who have truly crafted a neat and elegant vision of techno music. On this double, the first in an upcoming series, there's a mixture of old and new faces all coming together to showcase the sound they've been so close to over the years; the wonderful Sterac makes an appearance with a refreshingly off-kilter blur of dub techno on "Lately", while Ben Klock himself comes through with the ice-cold bleeps of "Twenty", and the mighty DVS1 blasts out some penetrative percussion folds on "In The MIddle. Trevino rocks the boat with "Sombre Tones", whereas relative newcomers Etapp Kyle and Jon Hester turn in their own 5am bullets.
Review: For the 24th release on his Klockworks label, head honcho Ben Klock has reached out to fellow Berlin native (and chief of Kanzleramt Records) Heiko Laux, who delivers a collection of highly engineered dancefloor weapons. Klockworks 24 features the immersive and mentalist epic opener "Self", powered by its minimalistic and cavernous acid pulse that lurks beneath steely rhythms and apocalyptic pads. It definitely deserved the A side in its entirety because this one is serious. On the flip, we have the deep and affective "Antipode" followed by another hypnotic journey down the vortex in the form of - and fittingly titled - "German Turbine" which heads straight for that strobed-out style of tunnel vision. Tip!
Review: Kanzleramt boss Heiko Laux has been releasing underground techno for over 20 years, during which time he has undoubtedly influenced DJs like Ben Klock. This debut on Klockworks is tacit recognition of Laux's influence, and it's also a reminder that he is a master in his field. "Savannah" is a deep, throbbing groove, with layered synths unfolding over a warm bass, while "Dry Me" sees Laux combine tranced out synths with a surging, big-room groove. The highlight though is "Dry Me (Acid Mix)", where the veteran artist combines heavy kicks and thunder claps with the kind of searing acid line that would make Woody McBride blush.
Review: Stef Mendesidis is a Greek DJ and producer now based in Russia. After releases on underground imprints such as Semantica, Projekts and Ben Sim's Symbolism, he proves he really is on the ascent with this killer EP for Ben Klock's esteemed imprint. The three cuts on Klockworks 23 merge the best of direct and impactful big room techno with the atmospheric textures of deeper/hypnotic strains as best heard on the ethereal opener "Valley Of Machines" and "Senzo" in particular, which evokes those adrenalised moments with your eyes closed under the strobe light. The real killer on here is "Gendarme Classe A", a mentalist thriller that nails that Berghain 9 AM vibe so perfectly with its devilish Mike Parker style loops and claps on the kick for added impact.
Review: Rotterdam techno hero ROD (better known as Benny Rodrigues) throws down an impressive release for Ben Klock's imprint, showing some restrained and cyclical, yet cleverly executed techno. First track "Distance" is proper cruise control much in the vein of label mate DVS1 on this minimalistic killer! Second track "Screw Democracy" repeats that very phrase persistently over another minimal arrangement, but it's superbly efficient. "Sat" sounds more like the ROD we know on this full frontal, peak time cut that will annihilate dancefloors crowd with its onslaught of laser zaps. Finally "Catch" get's back to the more reductionist aesthetic where he proves that all you need are nice synth stabs, a decent kick and a shaker.
Review: Benny Rodrigues' (Alves Fortes Monteiro) Rod alias debuted on Klockworks in 2007 giving Ben Klock's label its seventh release. Following Etapp Kyle's debut on Klockworks earlier this year, Rod returns with the first creatively titled EP the label has released. Anindica (Klockworks 11) provides two productions, and the title track is in line with a zapping Detroit style of techno, and perhaps something you may hear played in a current Eddie 'Flashin'' Fowlkes DJ set, while the muscular, dub-tinged, European B-side of "Hux" is well a truly destined for some heavy Ben Klock rotation.
Review: Rotterdam techno legend Benny Rodrigues aka ROD returns to Klockworks for more functional and powerful DJ tools guaranteed to rock any room with energy. Opening with the epic "Hor" guided by its absolutely explosive synth arpeggio (think Vitalic!) that builds up to a mighty crescendo, there's more dancefloor fodder on the A side courtesy of the darkly hypnotic drone techno of "Dubix" treading a similar path as label mate Etapp Kyle. On the flip, Rodrigues throws a nice curveball on the dark and aggressive electro-funk workout "Nitecollage" while "Pull" is sure to get some hands in the air with this adrenalised and euphoric number geared for some serious dancefloor drama.
Review: Burning question of the week here at Juno: who, or what, is Rod? Here's how our file reads so far: He/she/they have just released a record on Ben Klock's Klockworks imprint. That's about it so far, but we're working on it. What we do know is the three tracks on the Malmok EP speak for themselves. The unsettling sonic architecture and tension building hi-hats on "Malmok One" are more indebted to the spooky exploratory techno of Jeff Mills' Something In The Sky project than the booming techno and punchy house Klock is known to admire. Flip over for the more sparse, almost quirky vibes of "Malmok Two" and "Malmok Three", which, although fascinating in their own right, are somewhat overshadowed by the groove built on the A Side.
Review: ** Repress ** Thriving in his emergent Trevino moniker, Marcus Intalex makes a prominent step further up the chain with an appearance on Ben Klock's label Klockworks, further cementing his authority as a producer of techno means. "Forged" has no doubt had plenty of test runs at Berghain with its stalking, growling bassline and ever-pressing forward momentum, crafted out of immaculate elements to do all the right kinds of damage. "Uptight" is a more tripped-out affair, with minimal drums and an acidic pulse hovering just below the surface where you have to submerge your head to catch it. "Doldrums" meanwhile shimmers and shudders with a Reese-sized bassline and intricate percussive ripples to create a hulking beast of track.