Review: During the early '90s, Adam 'X' Mitchell - brother of the more celebrated breakbeat techno producer Frankie Bones - made some of the most intense, mind-altering and rave-igniting techno on the planet. For proof, check this killer compilation of material he released (under a variety of aliases) between 1992 and '94.It puts wild, intense, brain-melting TB-303 acid lines right at the heart of the action, variously wrapping them around jacking drums ('Faces of Death',' Octane Propellant'), body-contorting electro beats ('Electropolis'), and breathlessly pounding Teutonic techno rhythms ('Acid Over Wiesbaden'). If you like your techno to sound psychedelic, ragged, aggressive and unfeasibly heavy, then you need this in your life
Review: Given the sheer size and depth of his back catalogue, it's not so surprising that Alan Sei AKA Aubrey has begun reissuing some of his most formidable 1990s work. The latest vintage 12" to get flipped is 1995's Ginger Biscuit EP, whose dense and heady techno title track peppers a robust kick-drum pattern with layered, carnival-ready percussion, an ear-catching melodic hook and a weighty bass loop. While inspired and club-ready, it's the deeper and more dub-informed nature of the rest of the EP that makes a greater impression. For proof, check the hazy, post-bleep, deep techno vibes of 'Long Player', the outer-space techno hypnotism of 'Shimmer' - all heavy dub bass and sparkling synth riffs- and the slipped dub techno warmth of 'U Be Dick'.
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: 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: When Marie Davidson announced last year that she would be, "retiring from club music", many wondered what she'd do next. Renegade Breakdown, her first album recorded with a full band (L'Oeil Nu), answers that question. It sees the Canadian artist and her new collaborators deliver suitably arresting, personal and ear-catching songs built on mixing and matching a surprisingly wide variety of musical inspirations, from Blondie, classic disco and mutilated heavy metal guitars, to Kraftwerk, Billie Holiday, Fleetwood Mac and Daft Punk. It's a big shift for the previously highly experimental artist, but thanks to her skill as both a a producer and performer, one that works magnificently well.
Review: When Marie Davidson announced last year that she would be, "retiring from club music", many wondered what she'd do next. Renegade Breakdown, her first album recorded with a full band (L'Oeuil Nu), answers that question. It sees the Canadian artist and her new collaborators deliver suitably arresting, personal and ear-catching songs built on mixing and matching a surprisingly wide variety of musical inspirations, from Blondie, classic disco and mutilated heavy metal guitars, to Kraftwerk, Billie Holliday, Fleetwood Mac and Daft Punk. It's a big shift for the previously highly experimental artist, but thanks to her skill as both a a producer and performer, one that works magnificently well.
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.
Review: Fittingly, the first release from Barcelona party crew Maricas's offshoot record label was written and produced by one of their co-founders, resident DJ ISAbella. Rich in analogue electronic sounds that hark back to techno's dim and distant past, not to mention some suitably weighty basslines inspired by Warp Records bleep-era output, it's as vibrant, exciting and interesting a debut 12" as we've come across of late. Highlights include the sub-heavy, club-ready intoxication of "Track 90", the psychedelic, breakbeat-driven heat of closing cut "Contacta", and the alien-sounding, early LFO style intoxication of EP opener "Extrema".