Review: Fresh from conjuring up fresh remixes of Sabres of Paradise classic "Lick Wid Nit Wit", A Sagittariun returns to his Elastic Dreams label with more floor-focused techno alchemy. As with much of the Bristol-based veteran's work, A-side "The Golden Apple" is a no-nonsense affair, where psychedelic electronics and sparkling, ambient techno style melodic refrains slowly rise above a tough-as-teak groove. "Blue Lotus", on the other hand, makes heavy percussion the star of the show, with layered, broken tribal percussion and feverish tropical noises wrapping themselves around a slipped, mind-altering kick-drum pattern. As for flipside "Liebe Tanzen", it's a sweaty, retro-futurist peak-time treat that sits somewhere between Robert Hood, vintage Detroit techno and the psychedelic '90s UK techno that's always been one of A Sagittariun's greatest influences.
Review: Nick Harris aka A Sagittariun lands on Bristol's Idle Hands with a smacking two-tracker for the techno puritans! Fair enough, the flow and structure of "Pseudo Science" might not be typically classed as traditional techno, but there is so much freedom in its half-step beats and circular percussion shots, making this a beautiful relic of the sort of dance music that was being made just before the rise of 'minimal'. On the B-side, "Heavy Manners" is slower to pick up pace, kicking off with a frosty, barren procession of hi-hats and mild beats, both giving way to the much more powerful swing of the pads and harmonies in the backdrop. Excellent.
Review: Since 2011, or what we could describe as the rebirth of vintage electronic music and the muddled, increasingly convoluted evolution of 'bass' music, Nick Harris aka A Sagittariun has been providing our charts, and the wider scene, with consistently high levels future-proof techno. Slightly Ajar is his third release of 2017 already, and it comes through on his own Elastic Dreams imprint with a squadron of deep and effortlessly mesmerizing electronic shapes. "Stingray" opens with an ocean of euphoric pads and industrial rhythms coming together as one, and is followed elegantly by the much deeper, more reflective broken patterns of "Burning Crystal". On the B-side, "An Infinite Number Of Possibilities" kicks the gears into motion with a much bouncier, club-centric techno groove filled with surreal melodies, and "720 Degrees" buries a load of bleeps into a hypnotic bundle of sci-fi sonics for total dancefloor domination. Effective and ultra-sleek - the lot of them!
Review: The Innate label made a sizable impact with its first release - a killer various artists 12" with Mark Hand, Lerosa and others. Now it returns with another balanced mix of established and emergent artists, leading in with a stunning A side cut from A Sagittariun delivering what might be his most beautiful production to date - a swooning, snaking slice of melodious techno that brims with emotion and canny programming. After turning heads on the first Innate release, Gilbert returns with "Polynoid," a punchy, Lately bass-powered workout with lashings of Motor City soul heaped on top. Sean Dixon completes the package with "Our Love For Music," a pointed machine mantra that maintains the classic techno tone Innate is shaping up as its MO.
Review: We're not sure who's behind the mysterious AC-EXP project, but the shadowy figure returns with more of that strange, submerged house music he's been tickling discerning DJs with over the past few years. After taking last year off, "1A" is a fine place to start things up again with a strutting jack track carrying acidic synth pulses that flirt with measured delay processing. It's a jam that sounds steamy and sinister all at once. "1B" maintains this restrained but seductive vibe with the slightly trancey throb of the lead synths pivoting around the snappy drums to great effect.
Review: Los Angeles based acid freaks Absurd return with another chapter in their Acid Test series. For their 13th controlled drug trial they have tapped label staples Achterbahn D'Amour - the duo comprised of Edit Piafra and Iron Curtis. This is their seventh release for the label thus far. With this project they express their love for the raw side of Chicago house, techno and EBM but specifically the sounds of the infamous little silver box. There's some deeply aquatic trance induction on offer, with for instance the dynamic opener "Balustrade", while they channel some Donato Dozzy (who has also appeared for the label previously) styled hypnotic techno on the sinister "Dehaveland" which also gets a respectful and more powerful VC-118A remix by the always impressive Samuel Van Dijk. Finally things end on a sublime electro tip with the emotive robotic movements displayed on "Don't Talk To Me".
Review: Given his impressive credentials and track record, you'd expect any new release from former Galaxy 2 Galaxy and Los Hermanos member Esteban Adame to be rather good. Predictably, "Descendants" is rather special - a spacey, melody-rich chunk of Motor City positivity that recalls some of Underground Resistance's finest moments. Tresillo's interpretation is trippy, hypnotic and bass-heavy, with all manner of additional percussion hits and looped melody lines to catch the ear. On the flip, the mighty Juan Atkins takes the track in a completely different direction, combining Adame's spacey synths with jazz-fuelled electro beats and jammed out organ lines of his own.
Review: The latest release on DJ Bone's Subject Detroit label is a split 12" featuring Esteban Adame and Santiago Salazar. This is how they do techno, Californian style, and you can tell it from the off. The beats are tough as hell, but there's a sun-kissed vibrancy to the synth work that positively leaps out of the speakers and shakes your cerebellum. Adame leads on the A side with "Guaguanco", an effervescent stomper that takes a turn for the deep when Frequencia jumps on board for a remix. Salazar is in a housey frame of mind on "October 17", letting smooth pads lead the way without losing that all-important impact. The "Dub mix" of the track actually beefs things up with a grinding lead synth pitched at big room scenarios while maintaining a steady tempo.
Review: Adiel presents a collection of narcotic and trance-inducing grooves for Kangding Ray's new (ara) imprint, following up an impressive inaugural release by the man himself. The Danza Tribale boss steers crowds into deep ecstasy with her hypnotic sets as resident at the famed Goa Ultrabeat, and on her new Musicfilia EP she serves up exactly the kind of sounds that comprise her acclaimed sonic journeys. Adiel surrenders to the void on the tunnelling opening cut "The Call" (a truly majestic exploration!) and on the B side we have the pure adrenaline of the title track - which will have you in mental overdrive. This one fully channels that 'Sound Of Rome' vibe. The EP ends with the deep and introspective melancholia of "Rednight".
Review: As one of the foremost energies in Rome's electronic music scene, Adiel's productions on her own Danza Tribale label have communicated her take on minimalist, rhythmically inventive techno to the wider world. On this fourth installment, Adiel pays tribute to the Japanese capital with the snaking immersion and insistent propulsion of "Tokyo". On the flip, she truly opens up the filters of possibility with the kinetic, hyper-detailed percussive ripples of "Jungle". In an eerie, cavernous space, these needlepoint drum lines interlock and drive the listener deeper into a well of meditation, delivering the intended outcome of submission and transcendence that Adiel's music is engineered for.