Review: Having rounded off their fifth anniversary celebrations at the tail end of last year, Midnight Shift Records has decided to look to the future. In a bid to wet our appetite for releases yet to come, the Singapore-based stable has put together a killer compilation of "soon-come" sounds from label artists old and new. Highlights include the industrial strength stomp of Hodge and Gramrcy's Kowton-esque "Barnohl", the rolling, peak-time positivity of Mark Forshaw's "Power Grab", and the clanking, off-kilter lo-fi techno bounce of Innsyster. Those looking for more contemplative moments should check the gentle marimba melodies of Thelonious Harmonious's "Iron Beat", while electro freaks will definitely enjoy the cyber-sonic squelch of Amato's "Joie Automatique".
Review: Despite an impressive discography and a well-deserved reputation for crafting high quality techno and electro, Lee Xhin's releases have been few and far between in recent years. In fact, this wonderful four-tracker is the sometime Token, Stroboscopic Artefacts and Semantica artist's first release for two years. It sees him exploring the potential of dancefloor futurism by flitting between melodious, piano-sporting electro/techno fusion (the surprisingly melancholic "Everythingremains"), punchy but spacey peak-time electro ("Vision Electrified"), angular and mind-altering modular experimentation (twisted, beat-free closing cut "Dust") and moody, off-kilter breakbeat techno (electro influenced roller "IKNx2", where strummed shoegaze guitar motifs rise above claustrophobic chords and pummeling drums).
Review: Dutch native Intergalactic Gary is as cult and revered as they come. A cult selector from The Hague, he's been at the forefront of the West Coast Sound for more than 30 years. Though his studio productions are few and far between, they are never less than essential and this first solo outing in 15 years for Midnight Shift is very special indeed. Four deep space bangers made from rugged vintage machinery, "Signs Of Disarray" opens with the blistering electro of the title track, leading into the slow motion cosmic funk of "Invisible Intruder" and broken techno brilliance on "Nickel From The Bumper" before closing out with "Mystified", a brilliantly tripped out voyage to the edges of the solar system. Utterly timeless stuff.