Monday, 01 September
Airhead curls out a coupla bass-sprung aces for Untold's Hemlock label. 'October' pivots crisp, live drums off big boy 808 booms and dissonant electronics like some mutant offspring of AFX's 'Windowlicker'; 'Macondo' goes wiggly, spannered tribal house laced with scuttling electronic gremlins.
German house and electronica's most enduring producer presents a deadly new album - only his 2nd solo LP in 18 years! In contrast to 2011's 'Fatty Folders' side, 'Happiness Is Happening' is more inquisitive, lush but gritty, and still crafted with the same exquisite delicacy we've come to expect from the man behind total classics as Acid Jesus, Warp 69, Alter Ego, and not least Eight Miles High. It starts out with fine nods to motorik kosmische styles in the grinding momentum and smudged celestial synths of 'Connecting The Ghost' and the Kraftwerkian elegance of 'Friendship S… Read more
Lethal drum trax from the new look Randomer on Clone's excellent Basement Series. It's manna for DJ and dancer who just wanna get the fxxk doon, dropping two slamming mixes of the title track up top and a pair of echoic 'Percussion Workout''s dicing purely with tribalised techno drum cadence. Bangers all round.
Peckham's newest imprint presents tasty, rooted rhythms from Al Dobson Jr, backed with remixes from Ptaki and Ruf Dug. The well-tucked shuffle of 'Santiago Black' is expanded to nearly 7 minutes of dusty balearic disco bump suffused with a silky new vocal, breezy synth and keys by Poland's Ptaki for the connoisseurs. Taking it slower, lower, the tickled boogie loop of 'Kirton Street' is teased into a chug on Ruffy's 3am Canavans Special.
'Imagin' is the eagerly awaited debut album from Dark Sky for Modeselektor's Monkeytown label. Since their early 12"s for Black Acre and Pictures Music, we've witnessed Dark Sky evolve from a dextrous duo dealing in twisted post-dubstep, pop and techno hybrids to a canny trio pushing near-symphonic big room electronica/techno on a level with the likes of Jon Hopkins and Modeselektor. It feels very much of its time, spanning murky trip hop/dubstep-pop references in 'Nothing Changes', 'Vivid' and 'Rainkist' alongside lean, techy London house in 'Odyssey', and at best in the Kraftwerk-meets-Thom Yo… Read more
Deftly broken house and shifty tech swingers from Appleblim & Komon. In duo, they deal the trippy mixing and squashed rave vibes of 'Motion Blur' and the late night tuck of 'Key Vision'. Gwan dolo, Komon goes darker with the dirge-like chords and scuffed. hard-edged swagger of 'Astir', contrasting with the lucid cosmic synths and off-kilter shuffle of 'Blim's 'Echo's Retreat'.
Collecting 10 'Lost Reworks' by, and of, probably the best goth tech-house producer in Denmark. Watch out for the searing kohl-eyed missile 'River Of Life', the Powell-esque clatter and throb of 'Deceive', and the shifty T.O.M. And His Computer Band remix.
Afrikan Sciences' superb 2nd album, 'Theta Brain Wave Sync' arrives in digital form. For those new to the world of Eric Douglas Porter aka Afrikan Sciences, this is a perfect portal to his colourful sound field of chiming, bustling rhythmelody and kaotic harmonies hingeing on house music but projecting much further into the musical cosmos. Imagine a Jamal Moss DJ set deconstructed by Plaid and re-fused with The Arkestra and you're in the right zones.
Heaving techno drama from Tommy Four Seven, braced with a wicked Oscar Mulero shake-down. T47's trax veer from distroted and broken in 'OX1' to snarling industrial 4/4 momentum on 'OX2', whereas Oscar Mulero shakes in between the cracks and around them with the kinky shift and gear-crunching edits of his 'OX1' remix.
Peter Van Hoesen distills his Belgian industrial/EBM roots as much as current Berlin techno styles on his first 12" for Time To Express since 2012. The meantime has seen him release an LP of live material on Tresor, but 'Call & Response' is five tracks of pure studio muscle. 'Rift' makes the first move with an powerful update on Front 242-styled Fairlight basslines and rugged kick drum swing; 'Situation Two' is slinkier, Berlin-ified techno with hints of Ron Hood; 'Hollow Eye' is skippy, almost psychedelic; 'Chroma 3 (Dark Dub)' is a heads-down acid techno charge; 'call and Response' twysts out a modular tribal shake-out.
Sweetest, deepest house from Hamburg. After years in orbit of the Smallville family, collaborating with Christopher Rau and contributing to the 'Thirtyfive Ways' compilation, he makes his fully fledged solo flight with four tracks rounding on classic Chicago, New York and Detroit templates, from the plump square bass rump of 'Jasemine's Dream' and the Carl Craig-like sensuality of 'Sunday Evening' to the sublime, chiming chords and Dream 2 Science styles of 'The Sails' vintage NWAQ vibes realised in 'Vision Of Blue'.
Chicago's D'Marc Cantu at his most atmospheric, sci fi-inspired. 'Zone 4' was conceived as a singular release around the same time 'A New World' (2012) was produced. It finally arrives on Shaddock, involving a four-part narrative leading us from the scanning, slow-motion groove and epic synth strokes in 'Point Of Fracture' thru lush, dark house in 'Psychotronics', heavier electro on 'STS - 115', to the acid-driven jakk ov 'Zone 4'.
All-American house showcase from Anthony Naples' Proibito gang. Former psy-trance producer Alexander Falk thuds out the fudgy but floating house of 'Mitsuda' beside the hazy subtlety of Hank Jackson's 'Mongoos' up top; down below Jackson Lee grips the hips with a shuffling, sub-heavy Afro-centric groover 'Sumba Togola', and Independence Ave charms with the faded deep house of 'Welfare'.
Presenting a digital edition of the super-limited (65 copies) 8 x tape boxset by longtime Hospital Productions associate Matthew Folden aka Dual Action. 'Nightmare Angel of the Expressways' is a personal vision of isolationist industrial and EBM probably best consumed on very long drives down the infinitely straight highways of North America. The tracklist reads like the psychogeographic diary of a modern day highwayman getting progressively sozzled on neat booze behind the wheel, drifting thru 33 glistening electronic reveries powered by sodden motorik throbs and choking on noxious FX.
Timeless, dreamy Detroit techno house from Santiago Salazar aka UR's S2 and member of Galaxy 2 Galaxy. 'New Beginnings' gives up some deft hi-tec electro-soul; 'Technik' contrasts warmest chords with darker bass to divine effect, whilst Defend:R brings out it's latent electro elements 'pon the remix.
Killer UK house rufige from Champion's Formula label. Three tracks get progressively tuffer from the tight house stepper, 'Drop To The Max' to the billowing bassline and clipped cowbells of 'Raw Sex' and the grimy dread lash of 'Dollars'. Check!
Monday, 25 August
Masterful modular techno poundings from the Brummie techno boss - his first proper Token release following a remix of Grovskopa's 'Sex and Violins' in 2008. Both cuts are recognisably Surgeon productions, but perhaps not instantly so due to his new palette of modular synths. The original 'Fixed Action Pattern' galvanises signature shuffle and bruising kicks with a bristling, chaotic noise energy that's a thrilling new addition to his sound, whilst the aquatic Dub carves the groove to a solemn halfstep lurch steeped in sepulchral groans and consumed by oncoming waves of masticated electricity. It's a real burner.
Enchanting, refreshing house from Deepblak's Damon Bell for London's Meda Fury division of R&S. Positively spilling over with good vibes, 'Hue-Man Made' serves five tracks of Afro-centric rhythms sprinkled with lush keys and radiant synths to mark out ground between Jamal Moss at his most lucid, and the supple grooves of Mr Raoul K or Aybee. Check for the breezy strums and triplet gyrations of 'Hue-Man Made' or the beaming cosmic grooves of 'Radius' and 'Enthusiastic Minor'.
Nimble, dreamy remixes from LoVil (Ricardo Villalobos and Max Loderbauer) and the Booma Collective's Oren Ratowsky & Solpara. The LoVil version of 'Pendule' is surely one of the best (of many) remixes in recent memory from the venerable Berliners, squashing the groove to a seductively sticky pulp swarmed with old skool early '90s ambient pads inna 2014 hi-tech jazz style. Ratowsky & Solpara's remix is pedestrian by comparison, but useful for dreamier tech-house times.
Space-headed slo-mo techno/hip hop trips from R&S's new signing. Five tracks explore downtempo zones akin to Cloud Boat in 'On The Edge Surrounded With The Shores Of Assudrey', beside the sci-fi hip hop noise of 'Deer Drink From The River' and two pieces of scratchy modular noise in 'Dialectic A' & Dialectic B'. Fans of Fhloston Paradigm or Herva should check it oot.
Nimble, fruity tech-house standards from UK legend Colin McBean aka Mr. G. 'P Bar Jam' pays dues to Berlin's most notorious nightspot with a skipping 909 groove and sultry chords; 'Tripped Out' eases off on a skanking deep techno/house flex midway between Radioslave and Chain Reaction styles; 'End Of Day Jam' slydes out to poised organ chords and laidback, effervescent groove.
Slickly irresistible swing-jaxx from one of the biggest UK house production units. 'Mistakes' is a perfectly measured, in-the-pocket burner with sweet vocal, '90s Korg M1 riff and supple subs; 'Dimensions' is tuffer, reminds of Karizma productions; 'Bird Flu' is a freakier tribal driver with wicked balance of dark stabs and frothy 4th world vibes; 'Foorest' is a sonar-scanning reduction of trippy bleep techno and skanking minimal house.
Bobby Champs, West Norwood Cassette Library, Kevin McPhee and J. Tijn as remixed by J. Tijn, Knowing Looks, Kamikaze Space Programme, and WNCL. J. Tijn turns Champs' 'Krenshaw' into a bruising/bruised techno tool and Knowing Looks sparks WBCL's 'Drop' as a breakbeat 'ardcore ruction. Kamikaze Spacxe Programme runs roughshod over Mcphee's 'In Circles' for a rugged drum tool, and WNCL cools off on a remix of J. Tijn's 'Flat'.