Review: Considering the hazy, spaced-out and immersive nature of grad_u's dub techno productions, we were rather surprised to discover that "Umwelt" is his first full-length collection of cuts for almost seven years. We're glad he's finally got round to making another album, though, because it's the extended format that offers the best chance to wallow in his becalmed and beguiling blend of fuzzy aural textures, deep dub rhythms, woozy ambient soundscapes, fluid electronics and deep space beats. While it would be easy to pick out highlights - the up-tempo beats and pulsating chords of "Racing Thoughts", say, or the Basic Channel-esque throb of "Mars Odyssey" - the genius of "Umwelt" is how it hangs together as one intoxicating, slowly shifting set of dubbed-out electronic movements.
Review: Since many of Jeff Mills's strongest albums have been new scores to classic sci-fi films, hopes are naturally high for this audio interpretation of Georges Melies' 1902 silent movie, A Trip To The Moon. As you'd expect, it's an impressively cinematic musical journey, with the Detroit legend using synthesizers and drum machines to do the work of an orchestra. It touches on many of his usual musical tropes - think star-hazing ambient and futurist Detroit techno - while also offering nods towards Chicago acid, the kind of cyclical, phase-based compositions pioneered by Steve Reich, experimental noise, and neo-classical. It's emotive, immaculately produced, and hugely entertaining.
Review: Lithuanian label Greyscale has the kind of sharply focused aesthetic you can really sink your teeth into - they deal in dub techno, tastefully packaged and all bound to the idea of the label name. It's a truism for much in the dub techno oeuvre, where melodies interrupt the flow of billowing reverb clouds and submerged pads. So it goes on this collaborative album from Sibling and Heavenchord, where the immersion ranges from meditative pulses to beatless echo chambers. For anyone who needs a daily fix of cavernous delays and those chords, you won't find a more faithful interpretation of the dub techno sound than right here on this CD.