Review: Yaleesa Hall returns to his Will & Ink imprint with some fascinating techno derivatives on the Hayley Laura EP, although these are much more straight ahead than his usual stripped down experiments - best heard on his 2016 debut album. Beginning with the electro-bass assault of "Zoe Price" bringing that UK style sound popularised by Carl Finlow or Radioactive Man in true style. "Hayley Roach" with its splintered beats and and tunnelling sequences are reminiscent of Regis' output in the late '90s, while "Laura Pomeroy" being the the most atmospheric cut on offer here - going down a more lush and hypnotic route. This is the first solo output from the Amsterdam based producer on the label.
Review: Always known as a wild maverick on the fringes of electronic music, Healing Force Project follows up on stellar appearances for Firecracker and Bedouin to deliver this incisive creation to Wicked Bass. With drums at strange angles and a certain touch of discordant dread around the synth tones lingering in the background, one would think "Kinetic Drawing" is a chaotic, clamouring mess, but instead it comes on like a poised, perfect slice of transcendental mystery. For those wanting a little structure to work such a mood into the mix, who better than Porn Sword Tobacco to shake a little salt into the track with his "Yoga BBQ Night Beach Edit"?
Review: More oddball grooves from Down Under, courtesy of new Aussie imprint Vulcan Venti - which follows up a great debut by Tambo's House earlier in the year. The Melbournians present Perth's Hamish Rahm aka Hame DJ, whose Dog Swamp EP features three tracks carefully constructed for the discerning disc jockey. Enjoy the throwback sounds of '90s rave on "LL", the frantic yet rather evocative electro bass of the title track and "Exe" which goes for that classic West Yorkshire techno sound of yesteryear.
Review: Melbourne's Andy Hart is known for heading up the Voyage imprint, which over the last few years has pursued the many shades of deep house with releases by the likes of Harvey Sutherland, Urulu and Youandewan. Here he inaugurates his new Voyager sublabel, which sees a noticeable change of tune. On "Neutron Capture" he delivers a slow burning deep space transmission aboard the acid express, while the functional B side cut "Lftrr" is a dubby and hypnotic techno jam suited to heads-down moments in dank warehouse spaces. If this is a sign of things to come for Hart's new outlet, expect a string of club ready and dancefloor orientated cuts.
Review: UK trip hop legend Howie B teaming up with the Jersey deep house don Jus Ed? You better believe it! According to Howie B himself, who proudly declared on his Facebook page "The theme is cinema. The mood is deep." Cinetrax Vol. 1 is the first part of three 12"s which will be presented for the project. The slow grinding electro pop of "Salty Dance" is something that you could have imagined Ryan Gosling cruising the streets of DTLA after midnight in Drive, while "The Breach" does have cinematic aspects about it, in a way, but sounds more like an early Robert Hood track on -8; we really liked this bleepy and cyclical excursion in minimalism. On the flip "The Essence Of New" fuels some exotic daydream fantasies with its chilled and atmospheric beats while "Phat Harp Ban" is a darkly aquatic smack electro number, that brings to mind that epic underwater bank heist in scene in Sexy Beast.
Review: 500, 12" 180g, hand stamped, individually numbered records, single press only. Tusk says "I wanted to go back to the way the label started for the 20th release, so I've put together a VA which captures the way the label has moved in the past couple of years and will continue to shift"
Review: Chicago's Jon Hester spent years as a dancer before he even touched the decks and that shows in his floor facing cuts for Transmat, which follows other high grade outings on taste-making techno labels Dystopian, Deeply Rooted and Rekids. Infectious rhythm is at the core of Hester's work and all the tracks here: "Dimension Seven" is epic techno that surges to the cosmos on warm solar synths and chattery percussion from the Windy City. "Return" is deeper and infused with a warm sense of machine soul then "Onward" has some fantastic drum programming and pinging kick drums that sweep you up and along for a most thrilling ride.
Hakim Murphy & Christopher Rau - "Floorz Hop" (6:14)
Hakim Murphy & Christopher Rau - "Again Agin" (6:48)
NC 17 - "Gasoline Or Dettol" (6:46)
Mezigue & Christopher Rau - "Honk For Peace" (3:08)
Review: In support of the joys of teamwork, Smallville regular Christopher Rau has launched Totally Together, a new label committed to releasing collaborations between producers. He handles the first 12" himself, joining forces with a succession of artists across four fine tracks. The A-side boasts two hook-ups with Chicago's Hakim Murphy; the sweaty, jackin' drum machine beats and wayward electronics of "Floorz Hop", and the bass-heavy deep house wooziness of "Again Agin" [sic]. On the flip, Rau joins forces with Nathan Jonson as NC 17, delivering the ghetto-house influenced Chi-town bump of "Gasoline or Dettol" (think winding synth horns, crunchy drum machine handclaps and throbbing sub-bass), before laying down the ultra-deep, ultra-melodious "Carrier" alongside Mezigue.
Review: Since first pitching up on Terminal M back in 2015, Metodi Hristov has become one of the Monika Kruse-helmed label's most consistent artists. Predictably, his latest effort ticks all the right boxes. The title track, in particular, is something of a throbbing late night treat, with the Bulgarian producer wrapping a forthright, arpeggio-driven techno group with creepy melody lines and trippy, Eastern European tech-house effects. Flip to the B-side for "Sirius", a kind of "Plastic Dreams"/Romanian tech-house/8-bit videogame music fusion, and the thrillingly heavy and bouncy "Prometheus", whose echo-laden stabs and dubbed-out riffs help to create an infectious late night groove.
Heidi Sabertoorh - "So You Want To Take Back Your Will" (6:37)
Synapse - "Shiny" (locked groove) (0:30)
Somatic Responses - "Strategy Of Desire" (5:22)
John Selway - "Brainchild" (5:29)
Pointsman - "Dirty Shirt" (locked groove) (0:30)
Review: Seminal New York City imprint Serotonin lives on. John Selway and Jason Szostek present It's What We Live For: Volume 2 - the second in a series of compilations sharing their vision of sounds of tomorrow. Szostek himself dons the well known BPMF alias again for some fierce breakbeat techno action on "Zu Heib Fur Uns", the equally legendary Healy brothers aka Somatic Response still going strong - as heard on the slo-mo acid trance journey "Strategy Of Desire" and relative newcomer Heidi Sabertooth of Opal Onyx delivers some sludgy electro-punk antics on "So You Want To Take Back Your Will". There's some handy locked grooves on the electro-bass tip featured too by Synapse and Pointsman, which were pretty wicked too.
Review: In some ways, And Silently Vanish Away is an odd title for an EP packed with tracks that linger long in the memory. Certainly, electro heads will appreciate the heavy 808 hits, droning bass and fluttering, deep space electronics of Exterminador's brilliant "Alien Soundscapes", not to mention the trippy, delay-laden vocal samples, warped hardware melodies and scuttling drum machine rhythms of NGLY and Exterminador's "Broken Flowers". We're big fans, too, of Hinode's bustling, razor-sharp opener "Mission4" - the kind of track that would leap out of a DJ mix and send you rushing online to find out its identity - and the fuzzy, dust-encrusted techno hum of DJ Nephil's hypnotic "Codex".