Review: The Cursory EP is the second collaboration between Italians in Berlin The Analogue Cops and UK bass producer Blawan. It's the debut release on a new label run by another Italian duo, Raw People, but what is more notable is that the release maps out new possibilities for that grey area where house, techno and bass meet. "Aurum", with its loose, organic drums, could be easily mistaken for a Workshop release were it not for the wired vocal sample and interplay between the spacey, ambient chords and the arrangement's cheese-wire percussive licks. "Illy" is straighter and more representative of the Analogue Cops' approach, with its filtered groove and insistent stabs underscored by firing percussion, but it sounds functional when played next to "Quarto". The standout cut on the EP is based on a driving but more offbeat rhythm, while viscous acid lines cosy up to crashing cymbals, creating a woozy, edgy feeling. Put simply, "Quatro" is the kind of track that captures lost moments from late nights without making the listener feel uncomfortable. Finally, "Sickle" sees the trio return to dance floor techno, but with a difference. Blawan's input ensures that the rolling rhythm is fluid and less regimented, while the rasping percussion that tracks the building chord is rougher than a Ryanair red-eye out of Berlin on a Monday morning.
Review: The fifth Vae Victis release sees Analogue Copper Lucretio collaborate with Die Roh and Steve Murphy under the Durant banner. The Dove Ultimatum, Durant's four track debut EP, is described by Vae Victis as "most loyal to the label's soul" of all their output to date, and plunges deep into dirty electronics, canvassing a range of booty-centric genres, with rough and ready drum tracks taking precedence over booming low end. The A-side houses the more "experimental" tracks, with "General Motors" and "At Ten" recalling an even rougher version of Drexciya's broken beat electro, while the B-side of "Vigo's Jones" and "Buffalos" sees the trio drop the tempo into bumping ghetto house territory.
Review: Vae Victis follow their smashing debut release from The Analogue Cops and Blawan with apparent newcomer(s) Nightjars taking the reins but still maintaining the philosophy of analogue processes and hybrid styles. The concept is further crystallised here with two distinct sides to the record; starting with the 'raw' side, "Thing Movin On" steps and shudders in a sparse fashion, using very little percussion besides a kick and rimshot playing against a looped synth refrain and a purposefully distorted vocal sample. "Heavy" however fares far better with some nasty processing, as a mean acidic bassline rubs up against razor sharp hats in belting fashion. The more melancholic material in Nightjars' repertoire has been wisely saved for the 'clean' side, starting with the plush finish of "Left People". The drum patterns maintain the stripped back ethos, but in this instance a gently delayed melody rings out in a never-ending loop of repetition that seems to come from the Terry Riley school of composition. After that ambiguous exercise, "Everynight" positively shines for its focus and dynamics. While there's no greater complexity at work in the music, the pace and flow of the track feels far more engaging, not least when the vintage garage-house bassline comes in. Recommended.
Review: Returning to Vae Victis, for whom they provided the label's inaugural release, Blawan and The Analogue Cops nevertheless make their debut under the Parassela banner, a moniker inaugurated by a blink-and-you'll-miss-it white label this summer. In terms of sound, the Label Nightmares EP is a heavier affair than those early productions; "Never A Night Rest" throws abstract sound waves and distorted synth blasts in among its jerky tom-led rhythm, while "Bad Treatment" is a nod to the heyday of 140bpm techno, as gurgling bass and rough percussion are contrasted with ambient chords. On the flip, "The Berlin Experiment" has all the demonic qualities of Blawan's recent missives for Hinge Finger and Black Sun, as twisted vocals mingle with raw analogue noise; Vae Victis's Die Roh round things off with a suitably hard remix of the track, all pulsating chords and jackhammer rhythms.
Review: The Vae Victis label firmly ensconsed themselves in the affections of the Juno review crew with their debut release from Blawan and Analogue Cops, and the Berlin based imprint have not put a foot wrong since then. The fourth release arrives debuting the sounds of Die Roh, an Italian duo formed of Luca Segato and Marco Zanin, whose mastery of analogue equipment is undeniable across the three original tracks on the Van Draft EP. A brutal kick drum is at the core of "Esploratori", however it's the dizzying levels of detail hidden beneath that keeps the needle returning to the start, while "De Throw" sounds as good as anything to emerge from the studios of Danny Wolfers recently, demonstrating a perfect unison of rattling drum machines and heavily saturated analogue sounds that pulse with dramatic consequences. "Look Out" fizzes from the depths of the channels atop a rugged thump and quickly settles into a demonic thrust akin to 10000 volts in an electric chair and is given a complete makeover by the excellent Tessela. In a week of many reccomendations this release ranks high!