Review: BOOM! Our favourites, Cititrax, roll the third editions of Tracks out onto our shelves, and the results are unsurprisingly strong on this excellent various artists comp. It's a mixed bag of skills, as per usual, and the sounds are those of a new NYC, fuelled by a new sort of post-industrial sensibility. Amato Y Mariana open with the tight beats and groove of "Queires Bailar", followed closely by the ominous compositions of the EBM-flavoured "Montgat" from The Sixteen Steps. On the flip, His Dirty Secrets bleeps out some morphed acid on "Structures", and "Another Stranger" from Further Reductions churns out a slow, mild-mannered house experiment with its roots clearly planted in the coldest of waves. Sick.
Review: There's a delightfully celebratory feel about this debut volume of Cititrax Tracks, a new 12" series from Minimal Wave offshoot Cititrax. As beautifully presented as we've come to expect, Tracks Volume 1 boasts a quartet of dancefloor-ready smashers from a blend of new faces and label stalwarts. Amato (aka The Hacker) kicks things off with the glistening EBM funk of "Physique" - all restless synth refrains and pounding bottom end - before LIES affiliate Tsuzing go all dark, psychedelic and twisted on the thrillingly intense, acid-flecked "King of System". An-I go all DAF (with a touch of Front 242) on the fuzzy and dystopian stomper "Mutter", before Cititrax regulars Broken English Club delivers a storming chunk of industrial-tinged analogue funk ("Glass"). Bravo!
The Sixteen Steps - "Signals From The South" (6:28)
The Sixteen Steps - "Promises On The Run" (7:17)
Review: Rampant and 'up for it' as usual, the Cititrax label is back with a new set of wayward technoid experiments for the more trained ears on the dancefloors. This time it's Romania's Borusiade and newcomer The Sixteen Steps who share two sides of a wax plate and, of course, proceed to annihilate any idea of a quiet night in. The former sets off with the mechanical acid bumps of "Infatuation", guided by an eerie set of vocal blurs, and that's followed by the comparatively more beat-centric techno of the apocalyptic "Confutation". On the flip, The Sixteen Steps first lands on "Signals From The South", a house banger with noxious levels of mutant bass at its core, followed by the single-minded industrialism and sheer techno brutality of "Promises On The Run". WOWZAH!
Five Times Of Dust - "Computer Bank" (The Floor mix) (7:12)
Five Times Of Dust - "Armoured Car" (6:57)
Unovidual & Tara Cross - "Like I Am, Comme Je Suis" (The Floor mix) (7:11)
Unovidual & Tara Cross - "Imponative" (3:28)
Review: Thanks to the eternally revered Minimal Wave imprint, out of NYC, Mark Phillips and Robert Lawrence's Five Times Of Dust project is going through a bit of a revival. The duo had first released some post-punk cassettes back in the 80s, and they clearly have not been forgotten. On this new remix EP, "Computer Bank" is given a makeover in the form of a The Floor remix, who proceeds to add all sorts of quirkiness over the tune's tough, heavy bass and driving rhythm; "Armoured Car" breaks the 4/4 in favour of something much closer to the band's original drum machine style. Once again, on the flip, we have a remix of "Like I Am, Comme Je Suis" by The Floor, who throws up a gnarly electro bass onto shady, neo-romantic vocals, and the whole things is finished off by "Imponative" from Unovodual and Tara Cross, who produce a slow, heady industrial groove for the dancefloor.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Gravity Graffiti has been doing great things with its series of split 12"s already, but now the Italian label goes one better for its tenth release with this mighty double pack of heavy hitters. First up is the ever-untouchable Yoshinori Hayashi, who gets as straight up as he possibly could with the freaky house burner "Dissociative." Telephones is feeling particularly dubbed out and groovy on "Kalimbalimbo", while DB.Source and Riccardo Schiro take things strung out and textural on "Montevago". Dynamo Dreesen is in rave mode for the pepped up and delightfully weird "Reactivate", leaving the final side to Oyvind Morken & Kaman Leung's chugging "Tunnel Visjon" and the rubbery side swipes of Acidboychair's "The End (At Any Speed)".
Review: Multi-Culti has invited us to join their "Calypso Cult", a shadowy musical organization with two named leaders. First to set out their tropical pagan manifesto is Mexican maverick Inigo Vontier. He first layers trippy, dubbed-out spoken word snippets and whistling synth lines atop a chugging arpeggio groove on "Jubile Is OK", before reaching for the hand percussion, dark electronics and weird noises on heavyweight throb-job "Masicka". Fellow cult leading light Thomass Jackson steps up to the podium on side B. His message is a little hazier and more spaced out, with the hypnotic eccentricity that is "El HiHat" being followed by "Naive Song In E Minor", a wonderful combination of undulating melodies, locked-in tropical percussion and feverish Balearic flourishes.
Review: As part of the mandatory Record Store Day celebrations, Young Turks pull together productions from Jamie XX, Four Tet, Koreless, and John Talabot for a limited 7" release. The more attentive followers of Young Turks will know the music here originates from a commission by artists Sofi Mattioli and Rebecca Salvadori who enlisted the four to provide short compositions for their film Continuum. The two minute productions were available to download for free at the time, but Young Turks obviously felt there was an audience out there that would want the music in a more tangible, and collectible, format. Of the four, it's the rather epic "Horizon" from Koreless that hits the hardest.
Fjader & Lioness - "There There Theremin" (feat Ravens'vor) (7:39)
Review: Each successive EP on Nikki Pryke AKA Lioness' Envelope Audio imprint has been a multi-artist affair, offering tracks that explore the margins of techno, electro and ambient. The label's latest EP follows this template, with Pryke playing a central role on a selection of tracks that veer towards the more slowly shifting and spacey end of the ambient spectrum. Pryke first joins forces with Johanna Knutsson on the languid, synthesizer-heavy bliss of "Oramics", before collaborating with Tora Vinter on "Delian Archives", a fine tribute to Radiophonic Workshop pioneer Delia Derbyshire rich in icy motifs and modular bleeps and glitches. Arguably best of all though is B-side "There, There, Theremin", a celestial ambient excursion crafted by Pryke and Fjader that wraps deconstructed Theremin sounds and ghostly chords around tactile, easy-going electronics.
Review: It's been some six years since Caroline "Miss Kittin" Herve and Michel "The Hacker" Amato last delivered fresh material together. While we await further news of their long-mooted comeback, there's this tasty EP of previously unheard archive material to enjoy. Made up of tracks recorded between 1997 and '99 - when their production partnership was in its' infancy - The Lost Tracks Volume 1 contains a number of fuzzy, stylish, floor-friendly bangers, from the S&M-themed madness of opener "Leather Forever" and stripped-back electro gem "Nightlife" (a tribute to Berlin clubs of the period, apparently), to the high-tempo acid-loaded freakishness of "Loving The Alien". Top-notch sleaze.
Nocturnal Emissions - "Even The Good Times Are Bad (1983)" (4:33)
Innyster - "Todis" (6:08)
Review: Contort Yourself reaches its sixth installment with yet another era spanning gathering of post-punk and industrial oddities for the most deviant of dancefloors to digest. In the contemporary corner we have Penelope's Fiance, a promising industrial artist from Greece. Meanwhile on the B-side, Nigel Ayers as Nocturnal Emissions takes us back to 1983 with the utterly chilling "Demon Circuits Bloodbath" and "Even The Good Times Are Bad". L.I.E.S boss Ron Morelli steps up as U202 to remix "Even The Good Times Are Bad" as a death march of malevolent percussion.
Review: Emotional Rescue did the diggers another great service by gathering up the recorded material from Bordeaux synth-pop outliers Takenoko, and now they're sweetening the deal even further with this EP of wild style mixes from Dresden maverick Sneaker DJ. Picking three of the strongest tracks from the L'Amour Est Mon Arme collection, he comes up with three drastically diverse end results to suit the most adventurous selectors. The "Maquette" mix of "Lee Harvey Oswald" has a wonderfully lo-fi finish that accentuates the DIY new wave angles of Takenoko, while the "Traaans" mix of "Trans Amor Express" becomes a trippy, brittle beat excursion that should appeal to lovers of oddball 80s dub mixes. The "Dynamic" version of "John Wayne" finishes the record off in bombastic fashion, all boxy beats and powerful synth lines punching out underneath the quintessential wavey vocals.
Review: We love Talking Drums. At the core, they are simply our type of band. An album, a few EPs, and then disappear before the scene kicks off and becomes commercialized. Boxes all well and truly ticked. The early 80s were a period of change what with punk music evolving into post-punk, and while the nu-romantic fashion that came to prominence in the mid 80s was a national movement, it was bands like Talking Drums which initiated it. Thanks to the ever-reliable Dark Entries, we now get to enjoy their best single, Courage, in all its glory - and it sounds like it's been pressed up properly, too! All you need to know at this point, if you haven't come across this already, is that it's one of the best disco-not-disco singles you'll ever cop...and we don't have a favourite tune...they're all equally raw, drum-heavy, house-envisioning, and utterly addictive. Hotly tipped!
Artificial Intelligence (Daniele Baldelli & Marco Dionigi remix) (4:53)
Artificial Intelligence (DJ Ralf remix) (9:40)
Review: Paolo Tarsi, enigmatic Italian producer of electronic and chamber music, follows up an impressive full length on Rebirth last year with "Artificial Intelligence EP" for Cattolica-based imprint Mondo Groove. Dark Italo disco on Giallo kind of vibes throughout - the EP presents three remixes of the title track by Italian pop outsider Andrea Tich, Daniele Baldelli and Marco Dionig with their slow, lo-slung and cosmic rework and DJ Ralf (founder of Laterra) who brings things to a close with a hypnotic polyrhythmic version that rides on an acidic house groove.
Review: Both "Corner Song" and "The Flying Man" were first featured on Tempelhof and Gigi Masin's second collaborative album, 2016's arguably overlooked album Tsuki. Both are naturally worthy of a single release, though, as they deserve wider recognition. Both are quietly beautiful, drowsy and hazily picturesque, with gently percussive opener "Corner Song" just edging out the beat-less brilliance of "The Flying Man" - in which Masin delivers a weary and heart-aching vocal - in the "best track" stakes. On the flip you'll find a radical re-interpretation of "Corner Song" by New York producer Jex Opolis, who wraps Tempelhof and Masin's glistening guitars around a wonderfully colourful and tactile Balearic boogie groove.
Review: Nico Jaar is evidently enjoying juggling his own creative urges with the responsibilities of running Other People, with the label's latest transmission a most daring experiment indeed. Under the banner Terepa, NHK'Koyxen called on Rashad Becker, Laurel Halo, Julia Holter, Charlotte Collin, Lucrecia Dalt and Gregoire Simon to join him in an international improvised recording session. These two 20 minute sessions were conducted without any form of communication with the results layered and mixed by NHK'Koyxen into the two pieces presented here. Despite the number of people involved there is a remarkable serenity to opening composition "28th October 2014" whilst "8th August 2014" is more redolent of the abstract noise one expects when Becker and NHK'Koyxen are involved. A most interesting sonic endeavour.
Review: Bursting onto the scene with some impressive releases on Hotflush and Permanent Vacation, Danielle Caldelas aka Terr presents a brand new thriller on Correspondant. The Neuromancer EP features yet more of her trademark dark romantic techno, with influences of EBM, synth-pop and house. From the sultry and euphoric title track that's packed full of soaring synths, rushy arpeggios and a distinct retro flair throughout, the falling acid of "Multiverse" with its unashamed Kraftwerk influence or the roaring and neon-lit remix by New York by way of Dublin's Krystal Klear on the flip.