INCLUDES 13 TRACKS
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various artists - Return to the Center
For the three years it's been in existence, Peter Van Hoesen's Time To Express has been a watchword for techno quality, Return To The Centre is its first compilation, and in collecting key work from Van Hoesen and his fellow travellers it shows just why the Belgian imprint is held in such high regard. Time To Express grew out of the more experimental Foton Records, and Van Hoesen pays homage to that questing past with three productions under his old Foton alias, Object. These largely beatless, industrial-edged interludes beautifully frame the 'floor-oriented material that dominates. The most striking contributions in club vein also come from Van Hoesen himself: squelchy stepper 'Below K-Pun', 'Hope In Honsterror' (a cavernous epic which gives the Sandwell boys a run for their money) and the lean, mean Donato Dozzy collaborations, 'Dock' and 'Elektra'. That's not to say the guests don't pull their weight: Sendai's broken, Milton Bradley-esque 'North East' is monstrously good, Tr nch & Iori impress with the shark-eyed minimal groover 'Barreleye' and Lucy's remix of Van Hoesen's 'Defense Against The Self' brings bleepy counterpoint to a rigid lattice of tunnel-reverbed kicks, while Temporary's 'Blue Box' is a tricksy, dystopian take on the post-dubstep fall-out and arguably the most forward-thinking thing on here - fans of T++ and Anstam will rightly lap it up. Quite simply, PVH and his cohorts know exactly what techno music ought to be: dark, grooving and evocative of the dank warehouse spaces that birthed it and continue to nurture it. Highly recommended.