Review: Back in January Carrado Viggiano and Gabriele Ruggiero returned to action as Asymptote for the first time in two years, via a blistering EP of rugged, acid-fired techno stompers on Surburban Avenue. There's a similarly robust, no-nonsense feel about this follow-up for the same label, which lands exactly 11 months after its predecessor. They begin by peppering jacking, industrial strength techno drums with raw stabs and mind-altering acid lines on 'Metro Area', before opting for drums, drums and more drums on heavy industrial techno slammer 'Liquid Love'. Over on the reverse side, 'Action & Reaction' is a buzzing, hold-and-release audio assault, while 'CTFF' is a dark, twisted and deliciously funky slab of warehouse-ready acid techno.
Review: ** REPRESS ALERT ** Originally released back in 2017 on Demdike Stare's Distort Decay Sustain imprint, Shinchi Atobe's critically acclaimed opus still sounds as fresh as it did back then. We've all heard the story of how Sean Canty and Miles Whitaker tracked him down in Japan and convinced him to release some of his first music in 15 years, and it was certainly worth the wait. From the glassy-eyed and mesmerising deepness of 'Regret', to the greyscale dub techno experiments across both parts of 'First Plate' which hark back to his debut on Chain Reaction at the turn of the millennium. There are even moments of lush ambient texture as explored on tracks like 'The Test Of Machine' part 2 while 'Republic' is a more dancefloor ready cut yet, still very much loaded directly off the factory floor.
Review: DDS continues to offer up new editions of some of Shinichi Atobe's finest full-length excursions. The latest, which lands on a limited-edition clear vinyl pressing, is 2018's Heat, a set that's amongst the enigmatic Japanese artist's most enjoyable excursions. In keeping with his boundary-blurring style, the set's seven tracks offer a warming blend of semi-organic deep house, dub techno hypnotism, spaced-out late-night grooves, echo-laden early morning loop jams and bleeping, sweat-soaked early morning epics. Our picks include the hazy, morning-fresh shuffle of 'So Good, So Right 2', the extremely dubby and intoxicated 'Heat 4', and the electric piano-sporting soft-touch techno of 'Heat 2'.
Review: Since vinyl copies of Shinichi Atobe's debut album Butterfly Effect are still in demand, DDS has decided to offer-up a new clear vinyl pressing of the acclaimed set. It remains one of the mysterious, publicity-shy producer's most magnificent and fully-formed works: a singular musical vision that was released some 13 years after his then sole single, 2001's 'Ship-Scope'. Like much of Atobe's work, it offers a particularly atmospheric musical vision where ambient, off-kilter electronica, deep house and dub techno explorations come together to create one distinctive, otherworldly whole. Butterfly Effect has long been revered in certain circles and listening to this new pressing it's easy to see why.
One of the Motor City's hardest working producers is back! 7 Days Entertainment chief Big Strick presents Paper Chase, a four track EP featuring the sort of emotive, real proper deep house jams you have come to know and love from the man. From the glassy-eyed and bittersweet inner city soul of 'Detroit Domino', to the introspective 'Still Hustlin' and its rich tapestry of twisted analogue synth textures, and ending with what was undoubtedly the most surprising addition to the EP in the form of 'Deep Don't Die' - a droning and mentalist techno journey that would make even Mike Parker stand up and notice.
Review: Porter v Brook was a classic welterweight boxing match up in 2014, and Porter Brook the producer brings a sound that is just as powerful and action packed as was that world title fight. This Groundwork release is the second on the label and is techno workout of the highest order. 'True Belief' is an eerie broken beat with misty sound design and grainy synths, then 'Deliverance' again locks you in a mystic world of churning synths, lo-fi textures and cavernous grooves. Closer 'Avec' is the sound of a warehouse in decay, a post-apocalyptic landscape once all human life has left and the machines are starting to take over.
Review: Two Canadian veterans unite here: acclaimed DJ/producer Colin de la Plante aka The Mole, with dub techno expert and BLKRTZ chief Scott Monteith aka Deadbeat. They both cut their teeth on Montreal's techno scene in the early noughties and released music on homegrown imprints such as Wagon Repair and Cynosure. The now Berlin-based pair present an album of 10 tracks here, taking in low slung house ('I'd Rather Be Lonely'/'For All That Was Lost'), dub ('Keep On Goin''), hip hop ('Return To The Towers'/'New Stone') and smoked out sound collages ('Ciao Uncle G') which were all created during the 2020 lockdown.
Review: The fourth multi-artist EP from blog-turned-record label Innate takes the imprint's inherently warm and far-sighted sound into new intergalactic directions. Offering a quartet of cuts from established producers and rising stars, all inspired by dreams of cross-cosmic travel and the alluring weightlessness of deep space. 004 explores the love of stargazing electronics in much greater deapth.
The A-side is all about melodious and spacey electro with Dutch legend Aroy Dee making a rare appearance away from his acclaimed M>O>S Recordings label. "Leegte" A1 is impressively immersive, cloaking a jaunty bassline and lo-fi beats in sumptuous aural textures and glassy-eyed chords. Accompanied by Innate label regular Gilbert, "Furthest Planet" A2 is a deep roller whose lilting lead lines, shimmering electronics and tumbling acid lines are little less than life-affirming.
On side B, the sound subtly shifts towards the multi-coloured, sci-fi shimmer of techno. Newcomer Jonski, (aka Bristol electro producer Zobol) drops "Venusian Surface" B1 - a classic interstellar jam full of vivid chords, echoing synth squiggles and alluring leads that rise above a classic tech-funk bassline. Last but not least, effervescent Welshman DJ Guy (Unthank/Other World Music) slams down an energetic techno stomper in "Aphelion Orbit": boasting brilliantly breathless drum programming, illuminated by the celestial shimmer of accompanying chords. A perfect conclusion to Innate's most action-packed release to date.
Review: Ambien Baby's Isla label is back at it with a new release from Dosis, and it's a hot one. Steeped in noirish electro and minimal wave moods, the lead track 'Confusion' strikes a mood somewhere between vintage Dopplereffekt, Front 242 and Doxa Sinistra with Spanish vocals. 'Copas' is more evocative, using an electro template to express a melancholy which stands apart from the gutter-dwelling creepiness found elsewhere on the EP. 'Sombras' strikes a balance between the two extremes, whereas 'Delirio' submits to a more pure machine-rooted abandon punctuated by a tough rhythm, and does so in style.
Review: A taster for Robert Hood's second Floorplan album, this EP puts a spotlight on the radical nature of his musical transformation. On "Music", the visceral rhythms of techno minimalism are gone; in their place is a rolling, tracky groove that boasts a repetitive vocal loop and which has shades of classic Relief /Derrick Carter. "Tell You No Lie" is even more impressive. It sees Hood use a gospel vocal over a stomping, funk guitar-sampling disco house workout. There is an audibly religious dimension to "Tell You No Lie," but Hood's knack for writing a great tune means that it sounds celebratory rather than self-indulgent or preachy.
Review: Two slices of wonderfully wonky techno explorations from the genre's leftfield territories from Us producer Jack Coleman aka The Jak, following appearances on a host of respectable labels including Torque, Fade Records, Subspec, 530Techno and his own SubSensory Recordings. This limited-to-300 run features 'Tribute', big on bulging, vivid bleeps, dayglo tones and skittering electro-related drum machination, while flip track 'Wicked Hysteria' offers slightly steadier if still relatively giddy grooves. Gorgeous analogue delights aplenty, in short.
Review: Pan Pot's Second State label strides into 2021 with a big new slab of techno from Joyhauser. It is a direct to dance floor three tracker that launches off with 'Think People', a techno tune as frazzled, high impact and hard hitting as you could wish for. The drums are monstrous, the kick swing low and the whole thing will fry your brain. 'Molly' is more stripped back but not less high impact as it barrels forwards on a surging groove with sleek synths peeling off the beats. Michael Klein remixes 'Think People' to close out on another powerful techno groove.
Review: Following her breakthrough year in 2017, Amelie Lens has been surprisingly quiet on the production front. In fact, this is the Belgian's first solo EP of 2018. It is jam-packed with high-grade dancefloor material, beginning with the mind-altering techno-jack of A-side "Never The Same", where intense acid lines and matter-or-fact spoken word snippets ride a thunderous groove. Lens keeps up the pressure on side B, where the functional techno slammer "Energize" - a rhythmic beast full of ricocheting vocal samples and drum machine handclap fills - is followed by the rave-friendly angular techno-funk of "Basiel".
Review: In a bid to make the first release on their freshly minted Philoxenia label stand out, Neu Verboten and Luigi Di Venere have turned to the invaluable experience of Steve Marie, a Paris-based Corsican producer known for his heady blends of techno, EBM and trance. It's a smart move, because Ho! hits home hard from the word go. Marie first offers some retro-futurist flavour in the shape of the bass-heavy, 1990 bleep and breaks style weight of the acid-flecked title track, before combining his EBM and neo-trance fascinations on the chiming and creepy 'Devil Inside'. He retains the deep bass and razor-sharp TB-303 motifs on laidback and angular electro number 'Romanee Conti', before puffing his chest out on trance-inducing, faintly foreboding late-night throb-job 'Trancia'.
Review: Steve Marie's debut album on Libertine Industries is part of a new series from the label that aims to shine a light on fast rising talents. It's a cross-genre mashup of acid, new beat, techno, electro, wave and more, with a thrilling sense of forward motion and plenty of haunted atmospheres. 'That's The Way' opens with old school baselines and sci-fi vocals setting the strobe-lit scene. 'The Worth' is then a hard hitting jam built on sark metallic drums and with real urgency in its bones. Amongst other highlights, 'Stress Valley' really drills deep and makes you jerk your body in multiple directions at once.
Iberian - "I'm Still There" (Oxident Audios anthem) (4:57)
Review: Spanish producer Alex Martin went under many aliases since the early '90s, many of which are featured here on this EP packed full of unreleased classics from his archives which come to you courtesy of O.C.D (Open Channel For Dreamers). As A3K, the Barcelona-based veteran released only two EPs between '98 - '99, but the never before heard exclusive 'Left Blank' kicks off the A side, followed by 'Offtune' under his Sideral alias where he traversed genres diverse as techno, acid and even trance. On the flip, he presents some early UK tech house flavour on 'Pilot' and some intelligent Detroit techno similar to Carl Craig on 'I'm Still There' (as Iberian).
Review: Earlier in 2020, Molly Oshana decided to launch her new Psionic label via a fine 12" from Astral Travel, her occasional collaboration with Anthea Nzekwu. Fittingly, for release number two she's decided to go solo, in the process delivering her first lone EP for well over 12 months. We're particularly excited by A-side 'Techno the Planet', a bouncy and bass-heavy affair that wraps cyber-sonic electronics, sci-fi chords and retro-futurist synthesizer melodies around deep sub-bass and snappy beats. Arguably even better though is the bleeping, Motor City techno-meets-acid-funk squelch of 'Back to the Source', which closing cut 'Meditation Meditation' sits somewhere between druggy Belgian new beat and rubbery, mid-'80s EBM.
Review: Singaporean imprint Midnight Shift readies up another release, this time by Voitax co-head Paal. The Hamburg-based producer is now handed the reins for full creative curation over the course of six tracks on Soothing Songs For A Cultural Affair: from the contorted breakneck jungle of fierce opener 'Peace Keeper', to the body bashing bass onslaught of 'Problem with Privilege' to the mellowed subterranean breaks of 'Red Sky At Night' (featuring British producer Cressida) and the dystopian slow burner 'Bon Voyage' closing out proceedings.
Review: Retro techno in the vein of Art Of Dark, Libertine and Time Passages et al courtesy of Giacomo Robbenspierre. He's an Italian producer based in Cuneo, who presents the sophomore release for System Error - the Berlin-based label run by Moses Mawila. On The Age Of Loneliness EP you can venture into late night madness with the euphoric rave energy of the title track, then feel the power of the splintered beats which fuel the second Summer Of Love vibe of 'Organ For The Dead' and likewise on the blissed-out sunset breaks of "DJ".
Review: Brand new label Awakening The Past slipped out its first EP at the end of 2020, which is never the best time for new music, especially as this one truly deserves as much attention as possible. 'Message 1' is a sleek and driving technoid groove with muted but hardcore hits and twisted synth stabs that are subtle but impactful. 'Message 4' is a more old school techno workout with elastic drums, 'Message 6' traps you in unresolved loops with hammering hits and scintillant pads, and 'Message 8' cuts loose with freeform kicks and flailing percussion perfect for any rave.
Review: Nail is back on 89:Ghost with more of his sublime trippers delights as Smoke. This is the UK tech house don at his deepest, eking out a perfectly fluid strain of dub-inflected grooves to take you further in and farther out. Lead track 'DBSDUB2' is awash with gorgeous chords and strung out soul licks, all underpinned by a simply perfect groove. 'BAQDUB' uses a more broken thread of percussion to accentuate the rhythm, while 'HOTARU' keeps things more tightly clipped without losing that shimmering veneer. 'BAUCH3' is the more ambient of the cuts on this 12", taking the aesthetics of the other three and jettisoning off into pure dubbed out bliss.
Review: When he made his debut in the summer of 2019 with the rather good Simple Minds EP on Marginal Returns, Sohrab had the look of a techno artist with bags of potential. This belated sequel for Undersound Recordings only confirms that first impression. For proof, check opener 'The Fool', a bouncy and otherworldly chunk of futurist techno in which Middle Eastern style synthesizer melodies and intergalactic electronics rise above bubbly acid bass and Motor City techno drums. It's the EP's most ear-catching moment, but there's plenty to set the pulse racing elsewhere across the 12", with highlights including the fizzing, subtly EBM-influenced thrust of 'Resolution', and the breakbeat-driven ambient techno psychedelia of 'Digital Bliss'.
Review: For the second release on his new label venture Pure Hate, STRISC has turned to sometime Inner Surface Music, Clan Destine Records and Infidel Bodies contributor Ryuiji Takeuchi, an experienced techno producer with a raw, driving and hypnotic sound all of his own. As you'd expect, the Japanese artist hits the ground running on fuzzy, slamming opener 'Inner Justice'- check the densely layered tribal techno drums and razor-sharp electronic riffs - before serving up ten-ton tribal drums, distortion and buzzing electronics aplenty on the titanic 'Solidarity'. Elsewhere, 'Duct Tapers' is a fiendishly fuzzy, high-octane lo-fi techno workout, while D. Carbonne's remix of 'Inner Justice' is a pin-sharp, armour-plated peak-time romp.
Review: According to the accompany information, VRIL and Rodhad's first collaborative full-length was dually inspired by a desire to "subvert the expectations of their previous work" and the real world phenomena of unusual artefacts that baffle both archaeologists and historians (in their words, "strange anomalies scattered throughout the world"). Musically, the album is something of a slown-burn treat, with the pair slowly ambling between heady ambient soundscapes, buzzing, slow-motion psychedelic techno, creepy and bass-heavy electronic experiments, acid-flecked IDM, deep dub techno and productions that cannily blur the boundaries between these various stylistic touchpoints. As a result, Out of Place Artefacts is a startling and hugely enjoyable collection of mysterious musical movements.