Review: Maceo Plex clearly saw the commission to do a Fabric mix as an opportunity to flex his musical muscles. The Miami-based DJ/producer has delivered an impressively atmospheric and cleverly produced studio mix that cunningly shifts in different directions, opening with 20 minutes of superb deep electro jams (think Sebastopol, Carl Finlow and Jenson Interceptor) before unleashing the producer's more familiar tech-house, techno and new wave selections. From then on, it's a sweaty sprint to the finish with Plex building the tempo and intensity throughout. Along the way, you'll encounter no less than 13 exclusives and unreleased tunes, including a string of previously unheard Fabric dubs from the man himself.
Review: During the 1980s, Mike Mangino was one half of New Jersey proto-techno punks Smersh, an outfit whose work has long influenced the more industrial-minded end of the lo-fi techno community. Here he re-surfaces on Joachim Nordwall's iDEAL imprint with a solo album that's altogether deeper and more dubby in tone that some of his previous work. Apparently created via live jams with a range of electronic instruments (synths, sequencers, drum machines and so on), "Coisas" sees Mangino flit between hypnotic dub techno ("Ramona Corner"), bleeping turn-of-the-90s deep techno (the superb "The Way You Are"), languid early morning soundscapes (the locked-in dub house of "Slowly I Turned"), tracks that doff a cap towards tactile Italian deep house (the rather lovely "Solitaire") and more experimental, glitched-out dub ("Amphetamine Jitters").
Review: Somewhat surprisingly, this collaborative album had its roots in a 2013 request from Michael Mantra for dub techno and ambient dub stalwart Mr. Cloudy to remix tracks from his Silent Season-released 2013 LP "Light In My Head". Six years later, and after sending parts and versions back and forth, the pair has conjured this set of lengthy, deep and mind-altering excursions. Mr. Cloudy provides versions of the collaborative "White Dub": an ultra-deep, spaced-out "Remix" that smothers a gentle, slowly shifting ambient dub rhythm in heavily processed snatches of field recordings and atmospheric aural textures around and a sparser, more spaced-out "Edit" that's closer in tone to Mantra's otherworldly, dub-influenced soundscapes. Sandwiched in between you'll find a hypnotic version by Mantra that was partly created using music concrete techniques.
Review: Since many of Jeff Mills's strongest albums have been new scores to classic sci-fi films, hopes are naturally high for this audio interpretation of Georges Melies' 1902 silent movie, A Trip To The Moon. As you'd expect, it's an impressively cinematic musical journey, with the Detroit legend using synthesizers and drum machines to do the work of an orchestra. It touches on many of his usual musical tropes - think star-hazing ambient and futurist Detroit techno - while also offering nods towards Chicago acid, the kind of cyclical, phase-based compositions pioneered by Steve Reich, experimental noise, and neo-classical. It's emotive, immaculately produced, and hugely entertaining.
Review: Given his length of service and the sheer volume of music he's put out, it would be fair to say that a Jeff Mills career retrospective is well overdue. Happily, as "best of" compilations go, "Sight, Sound & Space" is up there with the best. The three discs boast no less than 42 tracks plucked from Mills archives - and those of his Axis Records imprint - with the accompanying 50-page booklet containing detailed commentary on each by the man himself. It's a superb package for both fans and newcomers alike, with the decidedly intergalactic and alien-sounding tracks perfectly summarizing the breadth and depth of his far-sighted work (think Motor City techno anthems, heavy loop jams, sci-fi fuelled electronic soundscapes, neo-classical soundtrack comp, heady ambient works and early morning minimalist club jams).
Review: Since opting to release more music under his given name, DeepChord man Rod Modell has largely stuck to dubbed-out ambience and heady drone soundscapes. His latest full-length is a little different, though, offering up club-focused cuts that mix his usual fuzzy aural textures and dub-fired motifs with up-tempo techno rhythms. By his standards, it's a very forthright set, with highlights including the noise-soaked stomp of "Reiki", the thrusting heaviness of "ITO", the hypnotic slam of "Jade" - where breezy, early morning electronics flutter away above tough drums and a mind-altering bassline - and the boisterous peak-time techno anthem "Scrawler".
Review: Is there a more forward-thinking and proudly distinctive outfit in contemporary electronic music than Modeselektor? Certainly, the German duo's latest album - their first studio set for eight years - suggests that they have few competitors for this crown. Underground but accessible, diverse but consistent thanks to the pair's fuzzy-but-polished production, the set sees them showcase a range of cuts that expertly meld club-friendly beats and sounds - think grime, techno, post-electro, acid house and the punchy-but-rubbery rhythms of UK funky - with skewed pop hooks, oddball vocals, hazy electronics and a big dollop of experimental intent. As you'd expect, the results are little less than superb.
Review: Spanish techno stalwart Oscar Mulero trailed this fourth album in as many years with Dualistic Concept, a set of typically dark, hypnotic and ghostly remixes. That can be found on the second disc, and ties in neatly with the robust, forthright and atmospheric sound of the album itself. Muscle & Mind has moments of beauty, of course - see the blissful ambience of "Mental Causation" and enveloping chords and found sounds of "Unconscious" - but for the most part it's concerned with the power of rhythm. Few are better at wringing maximum intensity from loop-heavy jams, and Mulero's love of dusty white noise, trippy melodies and skittering percussion guarantees variety in the grooves throughout.
Review: The infamous Air Texture imprint steps up with this new collaborative effort from some key producers across the house and techno reign. Berlin tech-house queen Steffi opens with the subtly pounding forces of "Between Form & Matter", leading the way for all sorts of sci-fi house rolling from the likes of Tracing Xircles, As One, Afik Naim and Late Night Approach. Crucially, you get some sick new tunes from a number of contemporary legends like Basic Soul Unit, Martyn and Answer Code Request. All of this goodness in two discs!