Review: Aussie imprint Salt Mines made something of an impact with their debut release, a multi-artist EP that offered a distinctive take on the dreamy, head-in-the-clouds world of ambient-leaning, analogue deep house. This follow-up is every bit as enjoyable. There's a wonderfully spacey, loved-up feel about the intelligent techno electronics, tactile pads and hissing drum machine hits of 92 Spacedrum Orchestra's "Raw Bass (Dub 1)", while TV Out sneakily combines the new age haziness of Hashman Deejay, with the rolling grooves of Chez Damier style deep house on "Always Anyways". Hymn's "Route Acid" sounds like an unlikely jam session between Global Communication, Larry Heard and Psychik Warriors Ov Gaia, while TUC's sublime, ultra-deep "4x5_83x2" feels like a long lost, early '90s ambient techno masterpiece.
A Rashim & H Bergqvist - "Tales Of Ordinary Madness" (5:18)
Review: While we obviously respect and adore the likes of Adam Beyer or even Skudge, the Swedish house and techno scene has been lacking new, young talent over the past five years. There is clearly no problem in the more mainstream department, but cities like Stockholm have not produced the same sorts of scenes such as, say, other towns like Bergen or Oslo. The Trouble In Paradise crew are set to resolve this issue, however, and they have certainly started this mission on the right foot. Now on their third release, an alluring collaborative effort from the young label's main members and associates, the imprint must continue its path to glory if they are to make a real mark. "My Cartoons" by A Philstrom is capable of such a feat thanks to its understated yet ridiculously effective Chicago roll, a bubbly, pseudo acid cut that can be left on repeat for hours, and the same goes for the equally raw and organic techoid sounds of "Deraling" from Noah Gibson. The B-side is graced by the excellent "Hydro RMX", a lo-fi techno swarmer from D-Man that reminds is of Neil Landstrumm's wacky excursions, and finishes off with the equally excellent "Tales Of Ordinary Madness" by, yes, Abdulla Rashim under the 'A Rashim' moniker, and H Bergqvist. This is pure class - don't miss it!
Review: By now you should be more than familiar with the concept central to the Brothers label, which has seen a succession of techno artists collaborating with like minded contemporaries. Mancunian techno brutalists AnD are the main players on this latest edition, swiftly following up that LP for Electric Deluxe with a 12" of joint productions featuring Headless Horseman, Sunil Sharpe and D Carbone. Though typically dystopian in sound, there's an element of restrain to the opening HH hookup "Dead Hush", whilst the nicely swung rhythms make a change from the relentless techno thud. On the flip Sunil Sharpe leads AnD down a mind bending acid wormhole on "Security Breach" whilst REPITCH artist D Carbone turns matters towards straight up warehouse techno on the finale "Sonic Erosion".
Review: Repressed and back in. Old skool Chicago tech-house. For fans of the Relief label, Mike Dearborn, and the recent Steve Poindexter record (which featured a Hieroglyphic Being cut). Just as funky as it is techy.
Review: Discos Capablanca dig into the undergrowth of German acid culture to unearth ADSX, otherwise known as Andre Fischer. An electronic music lifer since the 80s in Frankfurt, Fischer has avoided the limelight but been involved in all manner of movements. His ADSX (or Audiosex) alias was responsible for some serious acid heat back in the 90s, and it's revived here alongside former Tresor and Snax DJ Hanoben. "Phone Sex" is a dense and trippy freakout, while "Acid Sex" takes a lean and mean approach with the 303 front and centre. On the B side, resurgent Detroit champion Sharif Laffrey gets busy with a remix of "Scream" that stretches out over 12 minutes in his usual heavy-loaded, feverish and utterly on-point style.
Review: For its seventh release, southern Italians Obscura Music return to welcome exciting new talents and core label acts. Head honchos Agents Of Time venture down an electro route with "East Coast", as do the ever impressive London Modular Alliance on the hypnotic "Buck One". Man of the moment Aussie Jensen Interceptor channels classic Drexciyan aesthetics on "Manix" before homeboys and label staples Hiver come through with the slinky and hypnotic tech house of "Stasys" and Detroit veteran Kris Wadsworth makes a surprising appearance with some slow burning minimalism displayed on closer "Abroad".
Review: Agrippa builds on his previous on the likes of Version and Brotherhood Sound System and takes to the runway with his brand new imprint Par Avion. Flight path set to the darkest corner of the known bass universe as the captain lays down another brutal fractured neck snapper in the form of "U C Me", label mate and compadre Henry Greenleaf flips the coin for a more intergalactic mission before Meta brings us right down to earth with the techno shatter jam "Fault Line" that feels like an appropriately venomous and paranoid update on Woolford's classic "Erotic Discourse". Ready for take off?
Review: BOOM! Our favourites, Cititrax, roll the third editions of Tracks out onto our shelves, and the results are unsurprisingly strong on this excellent various artists comp. It's a mixed bag of skills, as per usual, and the sounds are those of a new NYC, fuelled by a new sort of post-industrial sensibility. Amato Y Mariana open with the tight beats and groove of "Queires Bailar", followed closely by the ominous compositions of the EBM-flavoured "Montgat" from The Sixteen Steps. On the flip, His Dirty Secrets bleeps out some morphed acid on "Structures", and "Another Stranger" from Further Reductions churns out a slow, mild-mannered house experiment with its roots clearly planted in the coldest of waves. Sick.
Review: The Hardfloor label's new release '707' features Spanish producers Andres Gomez and Andreas Lundman carrying the torch for the Hardfloor sound, old school meeting new school. Jackin' acid-tweekin' filth backed by a tune from the Hardfloor boys themselves, which showcases their unique ability to make a 303 bounce and funk like crazy!
Review: Philpot's Traxworx series got off to a blinding start earlier this year with the dust down from Roman Rauch and label regular Ike and it looks to be quite the promising endeavour if the line-ups remain as strong as this second duel featuring Arttu and Hakim Murphy. Neither artist really needs a formal introduction here and both are well suited for the floor focused nature of this series. Arttu is first up with "Can't Get Down" a collaboration with Kaye that bounces along with loose and deadly intent - if you liked the Geeeman stuff on Clone you will love this pappy, especially when that sax comes in! On the flip Innerspace Halflifer Hakim Murphy goes for the abstract approach on "ES1" which features some superb drum edits.
Review: It may be a slight shift down in gears from the Brothers' first sonic ear-bashing, which saw the biologically linked Truss and Tessela supply the fizzing hot "UC" alongside Andrew and Dimitry of AnD and Tom Dicicco's monstrous "Multiple Visions", but BROS002 sees the label continue to canvas UK techno's all-embracing reach of industrial and experimental styles. A new cast of all-caps headline this second missive, which sees the label maintain it's sub rosa approach to releasing music. It's since been made known however that AW\\PB, aka Perc and Sync24 supplied the heated "209", while the Cassegrain duo, aka AT\\HE deliver "Liars Go Astray" - both of which furtively skirt between raw and steroid-injected electro and pulsating club techno.
Review: Scottish label Craigie Knowes are back with Knowes Universal Broadcast: Seg 1. Considering the likes of local heroes Vince Watson and Stephen Brown; we know the Scots have knack for hi-tech soul and this release does not disappoint. Starting out with "Baltra" then the epic acid odyssey "Fade Away", we then get treated to the soulful and emotive electro of Highfield Casual's "Highfield Daze" which will appeal to fans of Gerald Hanson or Gerald Donald without a doubt. On the flip Natureboy Gold (what a name!) serves up "Prozac Test" which is reminiscent of Laurent Garneier's acid epics of the mid noughties; you can't beat that for a compliment can you? Finally "Qaua" by Stephen Simpson closes the release out in sublime and dubby deep house territory; loving' it! Tip!
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: By their standards, 2014 has been a relatively quiet year for Belfast boys Bicep, with a remix 12" and the Circles EP on Aus Music their only releases of note. "Lyk Lyk" is, then, a welcome return to action. The title track is particularly sweaty and once again mines vintage rave influences, with fluid synths and cut-up vocals riding a classic late '80s/early '90s breakbeat groove. "Poly Pineapple" is a little deeper, with waves of wide-eyed synths crashing over a thumping house groove. On the flipside, the duo join forces with partner-in-blogging Hammer for a couple of cuts; the woozy, glacial, synth-heavy "Icebowl" and "Day 3", a stomping chunk of retro-futurist techno smothered in 808 State style synths. Balearic techno anyone?
Review: Tracks from SoYo veterans The Black Dog and UK techno upstart Happa feature on this fifth and final 12? in the Bleep Green Series. Launched in 2012, The Green Series saw Bleep jointly curate a succession of contemporary techno with acclaimed photographer Shaun Bloodworth and design collective GiveUpArt. Launching the series with productions from The Analogue Cops and Karenn, The Green Series has maintained a focus on the Berlin school of techno with subsequent editions featuring music from Cosmin TRG, Lucy, Steffi and Objekt. Although there was no initial hint that The Green Series was a limited affair, this fifth edition puts the series to bed and features two distinct generations of UK techno in The Black Dog and Happa. Despite the difference in age and experience, both sides of BLP-GRN 005 edge the listener into the darker realms of techno, with Happa continuing to display a penchant for the rougher industrial sounds on "Red Place".
Stojche - "The Exchange" (Gian Hydrocity Refix) (5:40)
Review: Blackhall & Bookless have been pursuing a fantastic strain of house and techno via their Jaunt label for many moons now. They're back and celebrating 10 years with a series of fantastic remixes that highlight the scope of their artistic vision, and that of those close to them. Inland leads in with an oceans deep version of the label bosses' "Spirit", which is smartly followed up by Jonas Kopp's equally submersive take on Hiver's "Itria". Jasper Wolff and Maarten Mittendorff lets the swooning "Meandering Rivers" by Kaelan burst its banks and fill out an expansive landscape, while Stojche pings Gian's "The Exchange" out into an electro-speckled cosmos.