Review: Cong Burn made a mighty splash with its first release, clearly flaunting the kind of wares you'd expect to hear from Livity Sound alumni or other such esteemed techno renegades. The second installment is no slouch either, featuring a new cast of crooked creators offering up their wares for the modern mutant dancefloor. BFTT has a weighty low end thrum powering "Public/Private", while Lack takes things in a scuffed and nimble direction. Chekov pushes out into more experimental pastures with the broken beats and displaced sound design of "Celeste" and Howes creates a wonderful strain of mystical deep house for darkened souls. Each one of these tracks is loaded with flair and personality, yards ahead of your average generic knock offs and presenting something with real merit to the convoluted world of dance music.
Review: Antonio Marini aka Healing Force Project is back with the Tranhumanism EP on Ambiwa. Starting out with the ever mysterious "Methodical Ear", it's more of the same later on "Sinapsi Sonora" which like the previously mentioned track sounds like the dusty and emotive deepness of early Sound Signature via the tough and rusty swing of fellow Italians Relative; a nice touch indeed. He then gives us the brooding and hypnotic "Shadow Manipulation Of The Mind" awash in delay drenched organs and skeletal vintage drum machine flair. But the fierce yet restrained functionalism of "State Of Induced Hibernation" with its near tribal moments supported by a series of exotic and mindbending drones is pure bliss. We'll say it again: Marini is undoubtedly one of the most underrated producers in techno at the moment!
Review: To say that Lauren Halo's peculiar brand of organic-electronic fusion is "acclaimed" would be an understatement. Her 2012 debut LP, Quarantine, was named as The Wire's album of the year. Here, the Ann Arbor raised producer continues to dazzle with another off-kilter selection of curious compositions. Veering from tipsy, near ambient soundscapes (see the unruly "Serendip" and psychedelic "Melt") to clattering percussion jams ("Oneiroi"), via deep techno ("Chance of Rain") and blissful musical simplicity (the piano lament of "Out" and beatless tropical jazz of "Dr Echt"), Chance of Rain is every bit as enthralling, unusual and inspiring as its predecessor. That's high praise indeed.
Review: Over the last few years, the team behind the Moog Sound Lab has encouraged a range of forward-thinking electronic musicians to come and jam on its obscure (and very rare) Modular 55 System prototype. The latest edition in the ongoing series of session recordings sees intergalactic Afro-futurist Hieroglyphic Being treat us to The Replicant Dream Sequence - an eight-part modular electronic treat that moves from drowsy, surprisingly colourful ambience ("Seq 1") and foreboding deep space soundscapes ("Seq 3"), to dreamy electronica ("Seq 4") and hypnotic EBM (standout "Seq 6", which also features his distinctive spoken vocals), via blistering techno ("Seq 8", "Seq 2"). Unlike many of his own releases, the sound is sparkling and crystal clear, allowing the quality of his compositions and arrangements to shine through.
Stanislav Tolkachev - "While You Are Drawing A Butterfly" (2:10)
Hoavi - "Aya Horizon" (3:57)
Review: Crimean label Krym Mryk returns with its sophomore release: a Various Artists collection putting the spotlight on several top musicians from Russia and Ukraine as well as a few newcomers to the scene. Highlights come fast and thick throughout; we're particularly loving the grinding cyclicality of Rim Menko's "Illusion", beatless yet hypnotic arpeggio workouts ("Amb Day Out" and "November Bad") by Pavel Milyakov (Buttechno), man of the hour Stanislav Tolkachev with slow-mo entrancer "While You Are Drawing A Butterfly" and Hoavi's "Aya Horizon", which closes the LP with its sublime ambience.