Review: Aubrey's status as a pillar of underground UK techno comes into focus with this reissue of a 1995 classic from the Solid Groove archives. 'Ginger Biscuit' is a riotous party starter, riding a funked up loop and feverish percussion to make for techno perfection. 'Long Player' is a trippier affair awash with heavy reverb, pads and submerged acid bleeps. 'Shimmer' goes even further out with some shimmering dub techno chords riding elongated filter sweeps for pure eyes closed transcendence. 'U Be Dick' seals the deal with a micro-dub excursion that nudges towards house territory with soaring synth strings to boot. Seminal stuff.
Review: 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of Allen "Aubrey" Saei's first 12" release as Panic. Because of this, it seems a fitting time for the long-serving techno producer to return with his first solo single for two years. He begins by wrapping delay-laden synth stabs and tipsy chords around a heavyweight bassline and crunchy machine drums on 'Sleeze Funk', before further exploring dub-tinged alien techno pastures on the similarly impressive 'Break'. B-side opener 'Jazz Sunrise' expertly combines driving drums and insanely weighty bass with drowsy deep house chords and jazzy synth flourishes, while 'Buddy's Groove' is on off-key trip into strange (but brilliant) loop-house/deep techno fusion.
Review: Berlin-based Italian producer Audri has been scattering his smart, fine-tuned machine soul across a handful of labels over the past four years. Picking up the thread from the emotive and inventive end of the 90s techno spectrum, his latest drop on Albion should appeal to all those who can't get enough of that B12-flavoured sound. 'Inner Movement' sports plenty of classic Motor City influences, but given a crisp modern finish. 'Dizzy Freq' has a deeper demeanour that jacks and jives in equal measure, with a nod to the formative sound of bleep techno. Domenica Rosa delivers a fun and freaky twist on the original, before the legendary Titonton Duvante dubs things out nicely on his version of 'Inner Movement'.
Review: Whether or not you've checked the mixed version of Avalon Emerson's contribution to the DJ Kicks series - and if you haven't, you should - we'd heartily recommend this unmixed vinyl version. There's so much high quality DJ-friendly material on show, from the bouncy, polyrhythmic Afro-techno melodiousness of Oceanic's 'Yellow Cone (Unison)' and the Detroit techno futurism-meets-acid-house brilliance of Lady B's 'Cruising Around The Motor City', to the breakbeat-driven brilliance of Waveform's 1998 gem 'Breakers In Space (D.A.T Remix), and the low slung disco-punk brilliance of Dirtcombs (a killer cover of 'Sharevari') and !!! (as remixed by Rub 'N' Tug). The collection also includes three tasy, previously unreleased tracks from Emerson, with dark Italo throb job 'Poodle Power' and weirdo acid electro number 'Wastelands & Oases' standing out.
Review: Although rarely spoken about in hushed tones, Peter Adshead AKA Baby Ford is one of British house and techno's true pioneers. As many readers will know, he spent the first decade of his career exploring acid house and rave, before switching to a deeper and more minimalistic techno and tech-house sound towards the end of the '90s. It's in that period that BFORD14, which is finally being reissued, first appeared in stores. Intoxicating, bass-heavy and entrancing, the EP's many highlights include the hissing hypnotism of 'Serpentine Tale', the deep bass, melancholic synthesiser chords and crunchy drums of 'Night D3 Died', and the spacey, deep techno warmth of deliciously hazy closing cut 'The Introducer'.
Review: Fluid Electronics is a new sister label to the boogie-focused Fluid Funk imprint, though it's focus will naturally be more contemporary variations of electronic music. To kick things off, they've smartly recruited Dutch producer Rob Belleville, an artist who previously impressed via releases on Symmetric Records, Common Dreams and, most recently, Guangzhou Underground. This time round he's in a contemplative mood, flitting between the IDM-influenced deep and melodic shuffle of title track 'Still Waters', the rushing, Motor City techno inspired sci-fi positivity of 'The Golden Hour' and the bustling, extra-emotive sweetness of retro-futurist treat 'Lost From View'. The EP also boasts a superb rework of 'Still Waters' from fellow Dutch producer Conforce, who thrillingly re-imgaines it as a dark and foreboding electro-techno stepper.
Review: It's been a while between drinks for Alexander Green, who has not released a solo record under the Boddika alias for nearly seven years (his most recent outing was a 2016 collaboration with Joy Orbison). The Walk Talk EP, which marks his return to the Nonplus label he founded 11 years ago, is therefore something of an 'event release' - in certain circles at least. Interestingly, opener 'Walk Talk' is a creepy and clandestine chunk of brooding analogue techno in its most traditional form, while the track that follows, 'Croak', adds buzzing and brain-melting bass to an otherwise similarly moody groove. Over on the flip '808 (Hacked)' doffs a cap to the polyrhythmic techno sparseness of Livity Sound, while 'Metal Forest' is as weird, wonky and mind-altering as they come.
Review: Sound the alarm, Borai is back with another essential drop of rough n' tough breakbeat business on his Higher Level label. In the same vein as his celebrated Club Glow work with Denham Audio, these are well-schooled rollers with sonics to make the sternest soundboy shock out. 'Sanctuary' calls to mind the earliest strains of Good Looking Records in its dreamy moments, with ample space afforded for the amens to get gnarly too. 'Carpet Bagger' strikes a deadly blow in the hardcore vein, piling on the darkside synths for a rave-ready showstopper to get synapses tingling and jaws clenching.
Review: New York label and party Mister Saturday always brings roughed up, raw and steamy house grooves. This new one is no exception to that unwritten rule and it comes from Russell El Butler who serves up four platters that matter. 'Blah Blah' is a brilliantly brainless house romp with vocal loops and distorted kicks making you march. 'Kruymska' is more tight and taught thanks to the pinging kick drums and molten melodies up top, while 'Tout Va Bien' is a late night cut that glistens thanks to its prickly bass and razor sharp hats. 'Alone At Pisecka 12' closes out in malfunctioning fashion to round out a wide-ranging EP.
Review: Chuck 'em in a black bag and give 'em a blotchy stamp. That's Delsin's modus operandi when it comes to re-releasing their favourite older material. And following their re-up of Son.Sine's beautiful Upekah 12", Claro Intelecto's first ever release makes its way on to the prominent Dutch label, a solid decade after it was first released on the now defunct Ai Records. For that 'must have' feeling "Tone" is the track you want to hear first; a gnarly acid work out of Drexciya-influenced techno that's been dragged through the mud and sounds all the better for it. Before that though there's a deeper and electro-leaning "Peace Of Mind (Electosoul)", and while "Signifier" mirrors it somewhat, it's deep house that's pure as the driven snow. And if you needed any more proof that Intelecto is the master of a phat-bassline, look no further than "Contact".
Review: Portugal's Conversion is the latest new imprint to chuck its hat into the ever growing electro pool. The label is run by an artist of the same name who is also known as Jorge Caiado, who runs the Carpet & Snares label and shop, as well as doing A&R for Chez Damier's cult Inner Balance Music. It's been two years since he serve up the first release but the wait was well worth it - these are five more tracks of serene and cinematic electro. There is sparse, ambient laced dreaming material, more driving and punchy dance floor tackle and futuristic soul searching of the highest order.
Review: ** REPRESS ALERT ** Originally released back in 1998 on Synewave sublabel Deja Vous, Airwaves by underrated Chicago veteran Ellery Cowles receives a much needed reissue here on Milan's Dark Groove. It's emotive and spiritual tech house all the way on the acid-inflected epic 'Electronic Seduction', while 'Music' nails that classic Windy City deep house sound oh-so-well. On the flip, it's all about the ultra-sensual mood music of 'Get Up' which follows in the tradition of Chicago greats like Boo Williams and Glenn Underground - respect! This was a record fetching obscene amounts on the second hand market not long ago, so don't sleep on this one!
Review: Long-serving Swedish producer Joel Mull, previously best-known for his club-focused techno sets, first started work on Nautical Dawn, his first album under his occasional Damm alias, over a decade ago. Inspired by the natural phenomenon of 'nautical dawn' - that point when the sun is not yet above the horizon, but bathes the sky in vivid colours - he wanted to make music for the break of dawn that combined home-made field recordings with suitably drowsy, opaque electronic motifs, slow-burn ambient chords, tactile aural textures and, when the mood took him, horizontal and hypnotic beats. It may have taken him a while, but the resultant set is little less than inspired: an evocative set of enveloping compositions that tease and tingle the senses.
Review: DJ Plead (real name Jared Beeler) has won plenty of praise for his EPs to date, and especially his recent hook-up with Anunaku on AD 93 (the imprint formerly known as Whities). It's likely that critics will purr about this Livity Sound debut, too, because it's really rather good. Over the course of four tracks, the Melbourne man confidently strides between ultra-percussive, polyrhythmic techno brilliance (the Joe Clausell-meets-Kowton flex of 'Going For It'), bustling broken techno weightiness ('Rough Text'), bass-heavy business built around Stomp-style pots-and-pans percussion (the seductively sweaty and energetic 'Espresso'), and synth and guitar-fired, loose-limbed bounciness (the impossible to pigeonhole 'Ess').
Review: Having already surfaced as a digital release earlier this year, Dycide's impeccable deep techno excursion Fluctuation gets a vinyl pressing. Existing outside of space and time, this is immersive body and mind music of the highest order. 'Fluctuation' The title implies a sense of urgency in its kinetic rhythm patterns, but the beats are slender vessels for an expansive palette of atmospheric tones and impulses. 'Fluent Iteration' plumbs darker depths in a manner that calls to mind Consumed-era Plastikman. 'Inflation' adopts a broader set of sonic tools, using poised inflections of percussion and found sounds in a wide-open space that remains betrothed to the night. Claudio PRC comes on board for a remix of 'Fluctuation' that weaves subtle threads of warm melodic material around a straight and narrow groove, slotting neatly into the deep techno veteran's formidable canon.
Review: The latest drop on the consistently brilliant Kimochi comes from Eho Kates, a new project from Todd Gys and Brendon Moeller. While the names involved may be familiar, the resulting sound is something wholly fresh. Certainly, Moeller's rightly heralded instinct for dubwise processes is no great shock, but there's a playful sense of experimentation powering every element of this release from the scuffed, fractured rhythms of 'Anxiety Sensitivity' to the submerged echo chamber surrealism of 'Emotional Distress Endurance'. Inquisitive processes and otherworldly sound design shape out the whole record, shot through with the alluring mystery that defines Kimochi output overall.