Review: Cong Burn made a mighty splash with its first release, clearly flaunting the kind of wares you'd expect to hear from Livity Sound alumni or other such esteemed techno renegades. The second installment is no slouch either, featuring a new cast of crooked creators offering up their wares for the modern mutant dancefloor. BFTT has a weighty low end thrum powering "Public/Private", while Lack takes things in a scuffed and nimble direction. Chekov pushes out into more experimental pastures with the broken beats and displaced sound design of "Celeste" and Howes creates a wonderful strain of mystical deep house for darkened souls. Each one of these tracks is loaded with flair and personality, yards ahead of your average generic knock offs and presenting something with real merit to the convoluted world of dance music.
Review: This steadfastly experimental three-tracker has its origins in a Hamburg instillation by F#X and Nika Son. That installation was created utilizing a battery of tape machines, broken synthesizers, cheap drum machines and their own manipulated vocals. The resultant tracks are dark, woozy, atmospheric, densely layered sonically, and devilishly hard to pin down. So while nine-minute A-side "Geroll" revolves around a manipulated, hip-hop style breakbeat, it's the ghostly electronics and curious effects that catch your ear. Flipside "Diptongues", seemingly created from densely layering up reversed vocal samples and creepy electronics, is even more impressive, even if it may inspire nightmares amongst the squeamish. Bizarre music concrete cut "Tenno" completes a fine package.
Autarkic - "Screaming (To Be With You)" (feat The White Screen)
JD Twitch - "Dalbouka"
Sneaker - "I Looked For You"
Die Orangen - "Rattling Ghosts"
Review: After teaming up to release the scintillating works of C Cat Trance in their original 80s form on Screaming Ghosts, Emotional Rescue and Malka Tuti join forces once again to deliver a ludicrously talented roster of remixers who catapult John Rees Lewis' cult group into thrilling new spatial and temporal zones. Autarkic decides to go for the full-tilt cover version on "Screaming (To Be With You)", with ample help from The White Screen, while JD Twitch roughs up "Dalbouka" into a quintessential slab of ethno-motorik body music. Sneaker's take on "I Looked For You" emphasizes the atmospheric tension in the original, giving the track a cinematic scope, and Die Orangen's "Rattling Ghosts" finishes the record on an appropriately ominous, subtly industrial tone.
Review: Emotional Rescue and Malka Tuti serve up another round of top shelf remixes and revisions of John Rees Lewis' mid-late 80s project C Cat Trance, following in the wake of the Screaming Ghosts compilation. First up to bat are Red Axes, who bring a seductive line in loose and limber drumming to "Shake The Mind" that should suit the Fourth World dancefloor massive just fine. Jamie Paton brings a tough, clamouring intensity to "Take Me To The Beach," while Prins Thomas takes a truly spiritual approach when weaving the intricate arpeggios and percussion of "Sudaniyya." Khidja and Borusiade team up on "Simple Helen," presenting a dense and hazy trip into exotic territory with sinister undertones.
Review: For their label's second release, the team behind Brooklyn-based underground Japanese music specialists Bitter Lake Recordings has turned to early '80s electronic experimentalist C.Memi. Heavenly Peace is not a new release, though, but rather a first 12" edition of a sought-after 1983 EP. There's something especially pagan about the stark tribal drums, creepy synthesizer motifs and dead-eyed vocals of opener "Ishin-Denshin", while "C'est Une Chanson" a DIY take on French lounge-pop that features far more accordion than your average minimal wave workout. Arguably best of all, though, is flipside lead cut "Hilojichi", where Medi's sparse and weird vocals ride a druggy backing track full of mental white noise stabs, mind-altering keytar solos and a notably dark arpeggio line.
Review: Just the fact that the Shahr Farag imprint is from Iran is enough to grab our attention. This is both because it feels like a novelty to the scene, but also because that vast majority of arts that come out of the country are always so interesting. This time, label owners Lenta and Ahu are joined by Romanian minimal expert Vlad Caia, who serves an excellent, Eastern-minded quasi-dance rhythm in "Declination", and a purely abstract barrack of drones and low frequencies on "Neptune". Lenta himself drops a fuzzy wash of sounds and disparate beats through "Your Existence", while Ahu's "Blind By The Sun" has something in common with dub-techno, except that here the sounds that flutter up and down are grainy and imperceptible...and wholly wonderful. Tip!
Review: Hugo Capablanca may be best known for his more disco-minded output from his time on Gomma Records, but increasingly his scattered output and his label have been reaching towards more abrasive material. Nothing will prepare you for the confrontational nature of this daring, 'no label' transmission. The artwork alone is enough to challenge the senses, while the opening track is a metallic drone that gives way to the distended mutant beats of "Top Less". Guy Debord is no less cut throat in delivering a "Disco Punish" remix of "Lap Dance" on the B-side, all deconstructed groove and guttural noise, and then "Dance Less" rounds the record off with another excursion into unsettling, heavily processed noise.
Review: Although he built his reputation as party-starting DJ, Mister Saturday Night co-founder Justin Carter has always been a singer-songwriter at heart.This debut solo release sees him delivering evocative, folksy vocals over plucked acoustic guitar lines and ghostly backing vocals. The song's fragile, slightly woozy nature comes to the fore on the flipside "Version" mix, which only emphasizes the weary beauty of Carter's lyrics and vocal performance. It's a bit of a sideways step for Mister Saturday Night, but then the label has never played by the rules.
Review: Maryjane Dunphe and Laurent Dagincourt's debut as CC Dust, the Night School released "Shinkasen No. 1" 7", was impressive enough to mark them out as an act to watch. This eponymous EP delivers on that early promise, offering synth-pop cuts that gleefully reference some of their favourite bands. "Tonopah", for example, features synths and guitar motifs that recall early New Order, while "Never Going To Die" has the sort of low-slung bass and evocative vocals that will be familiar to fans of The Futureheads and Franz Ferdinand. Intriguingly, flipside cut "Mutiny" sits somewhere between those two tracks, while "Abra" is a synth-driven blast of emotion-rich pop melancholy.
Review: Certain Creatures in Oliver Chapoy who has appeared previously on Style Upon Styles and was involved in the BM/CC/WW project back in 2014 with Brendon Moeller and Clay Wilson. These five harsh and textural abrasions in greyscale techno are pretty serious; for fans of Shifted and Sigha; pay attention. On the A side it's all about the peak time fury of "Compulsion" which borrows from classic Regis in terms of brutal repetition in all its stripped, compressed and saturated glory like something of his classic Gymnastics LP. On the flip, the title track uses more restraint with its hypnotic and arpeggiated bell melody modulating out of control hysterically, executed as finely as Domenico Crisci has done of late; be warned! Closing track "HTMDML" is guttural electro beats served up as grungy and overdriven as you like and will appeal to Killekill fans.
Review: The mighty Cherrystones originally dropped the crackling party heat of "Blood, Campari & Sand" on his own Bandcamp page, and now he's doing the right thing and committing it to wax via Duca Bianco. It's a vital, funk-rooted jam that revolves around dusty drum licks and piano, as badass as it is considered. "Meta Weta on the flip is equally cool in its execution, this time using some uneasy synth pulses that reverberate between the laconic step of the beat. Drawing on library music, Giallo and deep-digging grooves from the outer reaches, Cherrystones once again demonstrates his knack for off-kilter tackle to get the freakier party set moving in approval.
Review: Fresh and contemporary intergalactic reissue action from the ridiculously on-point Finders Keepers! For many old-school gamers and general niche nerds, the sounds of the inimitable Atari machines were the foundations of gaming culture. Never strictly available in soundtrack format until now, Suzanne Ciani's shimmering, quasi-techno sounds are the perfect example of the futurism that characterised the 1980s. This particular release features the opening theme and jingles from the Liberator game, which means that the wonderful Finders Keepers could certainly be planning another Atari-related release in the near future. He right, but in the meantime do not sleep on this badboy
Review: Based in Peckham, Tokyo Wax is a unified collection of creatives sharing an appreciation for a broad range of Electronic Music. Having refined their tastes and gathered experience through promotion and radio shows their focus has since shifted to releasing records and in doing so, providing a platform for auspicious piers to bloom. In the wake of the success of that inaugural record from label owners Presence and Persona they ready their carefully crafted return with the second installment coming courtesy of 20 year-old mastermind Circula backed up by Endeguena Mulu of Ethiopian Records on his first ever remix.
Review: It's the big, bad Joe Claussell, and the master reigns in the new year with this absolute stunner of an EP for the Sacred Rhythm label. This is Claussell at his most daring, however, and while you might be expecting some phat-ass house beats and groovy tribalism, the man goes far left of the field on here. The opening "Dungeon Maggots" is a translucent blend of crystal synths and subtle dub echoing, while "Matter Of Factness" injects a delicate house flow into the mix, propelled into motion by a dubby guitar riff. "Affect", "Nuances", and "Seciov" all act as beatless electronic tools, a trio of synth sways to add extra effect to your DJ mix. Yes, Joe!
Review: Material by London duo Astrud Steehouder and Nina Bosnic, aka Finders Keepers duo Paper Dollhouse, gets pulled into new rhythmic shapes by Joe Cocherell and Montalk on this compelling record for Resilience. Given his background as drummer in DVA Damas and propulsive techno output on Frozen Border, Cocherell is well placed to reinterpret "Space III" as eleven minutes of kraut addled techno that you could easily visualise James Holden closing out a Sonar performance with. Complementing this, Resilience's in-house mystery production unit Montalk take a more abstract approach to "Drone 1", submerging the vocals of Paper Dollhouse in all manner of spectral delay on a remix that forgoes rhythm in favour of all encompassing atmosphere.