Monday, 02 March
Club music's pre-eminent mutant, Powell, launches a daring raid on the mainstream with this screaming double header for XL. Marking his highest profile release to date, following the '11-14' 2CD issue and remixes for Nico Jaar and Daniel Avery, he unswervingly sticks to his modern No Wave mission with the tumbling, ravenous rhythm and noise of 'Sylvester Stallone' and 'Smut'. Operating at the extremes of the XL's remit, the Diagonal Records captain takes a hot-wired joyride thru techno badlands, colliding a cornucopia of reference points with a Ballardian sense of visceral, descri… Read more
Kai Hugo aka Palmbomen II drops one of the most distinctive entries to the proto and lop-sided slo-house discourse with this suite of sidelong, sidereal chuggers. RIYL High Wolf, Danielle Baldelli, Beautiful Swimmers… "Guided by voices hardwired into machines of dance productions past, Kai Hugo redirects the collaborative context of his Palmbomen project and escapes within to create the self-titled debut of Palmbomen II. Possesses the qualities of an artist slipping from one reality to the next, yet welcomes listeners to experience this transcendence in tandem."
**2LP in gatefold sleeve** Parisian Afro-futurist Bambounou projects a mystic, dystopian premonition of things to come with 2nd album, 'Centrum' for Modeselektor's label. Inspired by the sci-fi predictions of Akira and Dune, and operating in aesthetic orbit of Jeff Mills, Jamal Moss and Untold, we find ten tracks unfolding a cracked narrative of night vision synths and scuffed, semi-organic rhythms that seem to have a micro-life of their own. It works very neatly as a play-through listen, twysting between frayed, Afro-centric shuffle and Detroit-style electronics in 'Composer' and the polychr… Read more
Swinging modern rare groove by South London's Wbeeza. His first entry for 2015 errs to a stripped down, ascetic house style, dicing with Joe-style Afro-centric kick/clap syncopation with 'Can Of Worms', and minimal, gritty filter house in 'Circles' while 'If I Ever' gets on the boogie downstroke inna Moodymann style, and 'Upside Down' blushes a more romantic, uptempo house vibe for big people.
Hip-notic trance-house dancers from New Jersey's Joey Anderson. On return to Dekmantel after 2014's 'After Forever' album, he reveals a more insistent, psychedelic sound stacked with buzzing synth sounds: '1974' oscillates sparkling arpeggios and starburst dynamics yoked to roiling kicks in spiralling escalation across the A-side; on the other, 'Under Water' inverts the formula to droning, warped and brilliantly discordant effect, and 'Back Draft' puts the drums down properly for the dancers.
Livity Sound's Asusu launches his Impasse label with four killah shots of Bristol techno rolige. More stripped and streamlined than Livity Sound, these tracks owe more allegiance to the Berlin-style tech-dub flux and atmospheres of T++, Monolake or Felix K than most of his UK peers, bar Pev. A-side is given to slippery hydraulic motions with the glancing drums and heavy subbass swing of 'Serra' matching that killer Skee Mask 12" for funked-up insistence; B-side is given to a trio of ambient excursions touring vaporous 4th world zones between the crystalline sculpture of 'Anglo Skin' and the recursive chords of 'Low Art'. Recommended.
Coarse but canny house trax from Venetian producer, Steve Murphy aka DJ Octopus, Die Roh… Murphy clearly doesn't mind a bit of grit under the nails, running hard-working house rhythms thru a crackly filter for proper bite on the 'floor, from the kinky build of 'Climax' thru the burned-out piano house banger, 'Something Around The Sun', to the Analogue Cops-style slam of 'Venus' and the jagged jack of 'Movida'.
The man behind 'Bullet In A Gun' (don't hold it against him) dons his Rex The Dog costume for a new party two-tracker on Kompakt. Expect more of that hiccupping tech-house funk, with a canny vocal stab on the B-side's 'Korgasmotron'.
Low-key and dreamy deep house trax by new producer, Aleksander Grozdanovski aka Herzel, backed with Palms Trax remixes. The Herzel originals are charmingly spacious, subtly shifty pieces of deep house for the wee small hours, working with rolling kicks and plangent, almost shoegazy harmonics in 'Daydreamer', feat. Jordan Kolevski's processed trumpet, while 'Closure' does a more breezy sort of garage-house abstraction with haunting organ, and 'Shades' eases off with percolated, Afro-centric and ambient house vibes.
Akito twysts the lines of grime and ballroom in the 5th volume of Rushmore's 'World Series'. 'Dalston Dips' in two parts - a stripped, monotone version, and a duppied, darker alternative mix - beside the roadwise tribal swagger of 'Stratagem' and a screwed, radioactive grime mutation entitled 'Sordid Forfeit'.
AI-style techno and machine groove experiments by Elastic Dreamer, A Sagittariun. The uptempo tilt and bristling tribal futurist elements of 'The Code Breaker' recall vintage HIA and B12 productions; 'Aruba' settles down to a slinky latin shuffle with a touch of Plaid about the drum programming; 'Triangulum' swings out with a crisp '90s trance-techno appeal.
Brussels' best back on Time To Express with his latest lab creations. 'Seventy Secrets' initiates with the eponymous ambient piece, written and used as his opening track at Japan's Labyrinth festival 2014. From there on in the tempo stays at a steady keel between the Afro-centric bobble of 'Protagonist', the dried out tribal functions of 'Shadow Ground', and a slick highlight in the subtly funked arrangement of 'Swerve Damiao'.
The venerated German producer appropriates African musics in a long-standing Teutonic tradition on his latest for Hamburg's Dial. 'Black Towers' stretches out for nearly 12 minutes of effortless, subtly shifting groove repetition and awning, earthly synth pads; 'Sliced Africa' locks down to a percolated bounce with natty keyboard melodies reminding of recent Fiedel and MMM styles, 'Spiritual Enhancer' gets off on a sort of slow-mo mix of Roedelius and old skool electro.
Ostgut's occasional Unterton label follows that smart Kobosil session with four Berlin techno-house standards by Nitam. A-side offers a slightly trancey tech-house roller and some grittier, spaced house; B-side gets down with a rugged Chicago acid sound and a killer, pumping breakbeat piece reminding of recent Zenker Brothers styles.
Clockwork and Atavism with a gritty blend of techno and electronica, backed by Lucy and Dario Zenker remixes. The granulated techno groove 'Day of Riddance' gets down with some primal rolige, whereas 'Lintwurm' is more staggered, brukken up and smeared with gasping vocal samples and swelling organ chords. Check Lucy's remix of the latter for a straighter rhythm, and Dario Zenker's remix of the former for a disciplined dose of modern jungle-tekno rufige.
Chunky club constructions from Berlin's Chambray for Jimmy Edgar's Ultramajic label. Peak time big room play in four parts sustaining pressure between bucking house and shiny chirds in 'Anew' thru to Ballroom brawn in 'Work That' and a Fiedel-esque organ rider in the cantering killer 'Those Jawns'.
Pendulous and steppin' techno motors from Alex Coulton, backed with a churning, muscular refit by Function/Inland. Up top, Coulton's 'Freefall' carves out a super-wide swinging techno groove punctuated with woodblock snares and blooming dub chords, while 'Antagonise' jacks up a direct deep techno momentum rent with gauziest pads and sparky percussion. The Function/Inland remix of 'Freefall' excels with an intricately tucked style of techno rufige and radioactive synth burn making a smart follow-up to their 'Odeon' cut. Killer.
Rolling tech-house minimalism from Montreal, Canada's Devon Hansen in Stefan Jós mode. Last spotted on a lovely ambient split with Austin Cesear for Opal Tapes, he presents another side of Jós for Japan's Flau with four tracks of tenderly melodic, dubbed out and lower case dub-house. Mastered by Miles Whittaker, cut by Lupo.
Parisian bang gang ClekClekBoom do their raw, kinky house thing. Up top, French Fries and NSDOS double-down on the moody groove, '8 Hours From Nation', and Aleqs Notal tweaks out the midnight electro-house shift of 'Mare IMB'. Down below, Jean Nipon and WL run the clean, biting drums and willowing blue pads of 'Cause Of Action' and Barbara Ford glydes off with the smooth vibes of 'Frostbite'.
Nervy electro from the Hamburg native, taken from her upcoming 2nd EP for Werkdiscs / Ninja Tune. Much slinkier, crisper than her soggy acid bangers, 'The First Time He Thought, He Died ' is a shivering, skeletal piece of electro with brooding Bunker-style basslines and creepy gothic tronix.
Phonica start their 2015 schedule with a haul of deep and percussive house tracks by the Italo/Hispanic unit, S. Moreira and Xinner. Slow Life's Berlin-based percussionist, S. Moreira lends a loosely fluid patter to Xinner's lushly spacious electronic in the free-floating velocity of 'Through The Rings of Saturn' and the night-drive momentum of 'Communication Breakdown', before going dolo with the psychy broken beat cleft of 'Orbiting Around' and a woozy whorl of a 'Spacedub' for 'Communication Breakdown'.
Shifted follows up his 'Under a Single Banner' LP for Bed Of Nails. Part 1 of a twin 12" set, 'Arrangements in Monochrome' yields four mechanically worn-down grooves seeping from the oily, emulsifying drones of 'You're a Replacement' to the thrumming grey techno missile 'Arrangement In Monochrome I' and over to the viscous momentum of '6ft of Silence' or the ventilation shaft extrusion, 'The Velvet Rope'.
Shifted takes a quieter, creepier tack towards cinematic industrial scapes and pulsing rhythms on 'Part 2' of his 'Arrangements in Monochrome' session. Dangerously opiated and out-of-reach, his sound here marks a subtle step forward/away in terms of sound design, and a more noxious reduction of his signature palette, guiding us from lightless drone and drizzle in 'The Incoherent' to urgently scan ocean floor depths in 'Arrangement In Monochrome II' and the bleakly gorgeous 'Second Wash', while 'Entartung' gets tangled in a flux of rusty aquatic rhythm and 'Lenine' leaves us stranded in alien space station atmospheres.