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: Time Horizon's second episode enlists another team of dancefloor snipers delivering 5 brain-dancing tunes crafted appositively for late night use. After his appearance on the first XCPT record, Andrea is back on the label with his unmistakable shuffling drums and a heavy square bassline followed by Anybody Anytime covering the uptempo-zone with a rotative junglistic tool dressed with celestial pads; closing the A side TANS reveals his new robot alias The Sympathizer providing a neurotic electro progression fully based on his modular system. Flipping the records you will find two XCPT homies bringing the audience straight into Matera landscapes: Farron gets a 909 unceasing toms orchestra surrounded by his atmospheric leads while Kreggo illustrates clearly his hypnotic mid-low vision of breakbeat locked by a mystic bass for the whole track.
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.
Review: In 2012, the Zenker brothers introduced a new series on their Ilian Tape imprint: The Bias Tapes. We are now into the third edition come 2018 and it's a great one, we must say. Like the name may suggest, The Munich Edition features some heroes of the local scene such as Kareem El Morr: who delivers the dark side electro bass of "Eros 404", likewise label boss Dario Z. (ft. Maurice P.) goes down the same toute on "CEJ". Elsewhere, dubby and cyclical warehouse techno in the vein of G-Man can be heard on Konrad Wehrmeister's "CWS" and usual suspects Marco & Stenny hammer the message home in typically bold fashion with the emotive "Imcon".
Review: A fair few DJs will go weak at the knees when they spot this collaboration between Workshop overlord Kassem Mosse and Fit Sound supremo Fit Siegel. The three tracks showcased on the EP were actually recorded in Detroit back in 2016, though Siegel only got round to completing finished versions last year. There's much to enjoy throughout, from the snappy, slightly wayward machine drums, slowly shifting TB-303 acid lines and subtle Detroit electronics of "Saboten", to the dubby late night hypnotism of closing cut "Cycle Blue", where woozy intergalactic chords, blissful piano motifs and vaguely threatening electronic pulses cluster around fizzing drums and a suitably bubbly bassline.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Gravity Graffiti has been doing great things with its series of split 12"s already, but now the Italian label goes one better for its tenth release with this mighty double pack of heavy hitters. First up is the ever-untouchable Yoshinori Hayashi, who gets as straight up as he possibly could with the freaky house burner "Dissociative." Telephones is feeling particularly dubbed out and groovy on "Kalimbalimbo", while DB.Source and Riccardo Schiro take things strung out and textural on "Montevago". Dynamo Dreesen is in rave mode for the pepped up and delightfully weird "Reactivate", leaving the final side to Oyvind Morken & Kaman Leung's chugging "Tunnel Visjon" and the rubbery side swipes of Acidboychair's "The End (At Any Speed)".
Review: P-Balans is a new imprint in the Future Nuggets emerging constellation. A tehnodelia ramification within the Bucharest electronic scene that will host rising names like Khidja and Borusiade while introducing new characters like The Holy Fix (Camil Dumitrescu, co-member of Delusion Men) and Utopus (Ion D, producer of Steaua de Mare, Raze de Soare, Anahore?ii among others) already featured on "Sounds on the Unheard from Romania vol. 2". Keeping the same strategies of fusion and diffusion as Future Nuggets, P-Balans will explore the space traversal to techno, entering and exiting the dark halls of the club through multiple doors.
Review: Magda, Troy Pierce and Marc Houle's occasional label Items & Things makes a welcome return, featuring four more superlative grooves from Marc Houle, Kasper, Thrill Cosby and Alexi Delano. The label was created as an outlet for the weird, experimental and beautiful sounds the trio often come across on their travels and "Spies & Lies" fits the bill perfectly, containing music that will stimulate, overwhelm and confound in equal measures.
Review: On the next record from Main Drain Studios, Chicago artist K-rAd brings two high-tempo cuts loaded with their distinct blend of bright, nimble production.
The A-side, "174_B7B5" is a total D&B tear-out. Thundering subs carry along waves of arpeggiated synths, while whimsical samples cut the tension of the winding breakbeat flurries.
On the flip side, horns fade in and out of "154_Materials Stardust Memories ", conjuring visions of a metropolis at dusk, with jazzy interludes telling tales while lean, skittering drums & warped bass lines pepper the road along the way.
Review: After their last release under the labels Ornate Music (UK) and Finale Sessions (US), Ka One & St-Sene are back with a special Flyance Records release. REWORK: the action of redoing, correcting or rebuilding"; that is the spirit they put in this Ep with those four House music anthems of those consider today as the father figures of this music. Without sampling, replaying all the keyboards and arpeggio, they turned thoses anthems into modern acid and techno vibe. From 1989 to 2015 Ka One & St-Sene give great tribute at Lil Louis, Mr Fingers, Kerri Chandler and Laurent Garnier.
Review: Malmo based artist management agency now run a label. This is their third release and they've tapped the legendary Karl Axel Bissler to do the honours. "Soul" is bleepy and driving hypnotic techno in the same vein as fellow Swede Staffan Linzatti that has all the right elements: white noise splashes, reverberated percs and just enough funk in its bassline. He throws us a bit of a curveball next on the deep tribal tech house workout of "Armando Alvarez" sounding more like early Jori Hulkonnen or Nick Curly. But he gets back into the techno side of things thankfully on the flip with "By The Lake (Karl M Redefinition) another entrancing and atmospheric stomper pushing the same vibe as Ness or Claudio PRC. That's what we're talking about!
Review: Longstanding Detroit deepsmith Kage returns on his brand new label Michigander. The result? Three superlative exercises in synth soul and an on-point version for later hours. "The Arc" prowls with all the string-soaked majesty of an early Rolando cut while the stringless version hits a little harder. "D Drive" jacks with a slappy bass groove while tipping a slight nod to Yazoo with its vibrant riffy ripples while "Transcending" is all about the big dubby synth washes and off-kick bass palpitations. Let's hope there'll be more to gander from Michigander very soon.
Review: Kimochi Sound introduces a new artist for their 30th release. This debut record is all deep beats and breaks and it's full of the fuzzy feels and swollen atmospheres we've come to expect from the imprint. It's a bit of a mini album, moving from Ilian Tape techno influences to a closing number reminiscent of Ulrich Schnauss.