Monday, 02 December
Montgomery Clunk returns to Error Broadcast an altered, vowelless, cyborgian mutation as Clnk with the soundtrack-y 'Black Ecstasy'. Taking inspiration from more rugged, primitive forms of early techno rather than hyper-flash hip hop, the producer arrives at a bleaker, stripped down sound nodding to the post-punk era of West Berlin as much as early Detroit and UK AI techno. However he neatly sidesteps questions of nostalgic wallowing with a distinctly modern production palette, allowing everything to suspend in a strange, illusive hyperspace as though we're witnessing some flickering simulation in action.
"At the core of Kansas City’s vibrant classic-era soul scene was no record label or studio, but America’s Best Attractions, run by booking agent Allen Bell. America’s Best, and the exceedingly above board Bell, kept countless road acts that bounced through enviable careers without ever having to enter a recording studio. Even so, “Bump” Scott did lead his band into one of the region’s best-known facilities: Damon Studios (deeded to Victor Damon, inventor of the spring reverb, and not to be confused with big band great Vic Damone). Bump and com… Read more
Jesse Somfay's Borealis alias offers up a muscular stack of dark and moody rave electronica. The enduring influences of early '90s hardcore and techno are amped with the energy of contemporary production for an expansive, sweeping suite taking in widescreen trance on 'Foldfrost' along with the peaking techno of 'Pewter Sigh', and at best, hgis unique style of rugged swing in highlights such as 'Angelsmoke' and the Darling Farah-like 'Nightlong Language' or the rogue hardstyle of 'Streamsnare'.
Classy, diverse grip of trax from Milan's Boot & Tax for Optimo Trax. Lead cuit 'Acido' is a stripped back acid swagger with anthem potential written all over it, whereas 'Egon' beams out into cosmic techno-disco space, and 'The Simone' dices with dubbed-out wave disco charm beside the spaghetti western Italo of 'Comprendes'.
**Metallic-ink embossed and letter-pressed jacket** Strong techno-house/electronica trax from the Belgian collaboration of Sagat, &apos and Walrus. Their muscular and mind-bending 'Kikkerkelik' synchs driving kick/bassline with a a twirling, virulent synthline that burrows deep and tweaks the nerves, whilst 'Kaketu' works out a big-bottomed acid house chug stung with sharp EBM stabs and 'Swth Central' gets down with a spaced out and swinging Detroit techno vibe.
British techno veteran Ben Sims steams thru 44 tracks in 70 minutes on his Fabric 73 entry. Kicking off with his pal Paul Mac's Kryptic Minds collaboration, 'Icon', the mix takes in some of the freshest techno and jackin' house releases around, scanning recent aces from Alden Tyrell, J Tijn, Clouds, L-Vis 1990, Mike Dehnert, Fokus Group, Ø, Truncate, Gingy & Bordello, Marcel Dettmann, Ben Klock, Rod and many, many more. Pounders a plenty.
*bEEdEEgEE is the performing alias of Brian DeGraw of Gang Gang Dance* "SUM/ONE’ is his debut record as a solo artist. Brian’s immersion in art and music has covered the spectrum of performance, sound and visual mediums. Well regarded on the underground New York art scene, DeGraw has shown his paintings, sculptures and drawings around the world, both independently and as part of the James Fuentes Gallery stable in NYC, and has collaborated with the likes of Harmony Korine, Rita Ackerman and Doug Aitken. Best known as a core member of Gang Gang Dance, his group’s creative energy has always point… Read more
In the running for best title of the year, Automatic Tasty's 'Sentimentalist's Choice' is a fine session of Braindancing quirks from Sheffield's Central Processing Unit label. The lad's latest release follows issues for Ireland's Lunar Disko and Acroplane Recordings with four tracks ranging from the Larry Heard-like bassline programming and Other People Place vibes of the title track to slick but low-key electro-funk sounding like a long-lost Detroit vibe on 'Late In The Afternoon', thru to bleeping early '90s techno of 'Praise Brigade' and the sweetly harmonised AFXian acid of 'Window Funk'.
Dark 'n sleazy house funk from Finnish player, Arttu. 'UFO Funkin'' has the sexy, alien drive of Detroit's Blake Baxter or Juan Atkins, but done with a stripped down, rugged flair of his own, whilst 'Passing Out Privileges' leans in with a Larry Heard-like bassline and scuffed, barely-hinged jakkers drums bound to send 'em wild.
Monday, 25 November
Egyptrixx becomes the latest member of the Night Slugs crew to emerge from the maturation chamber dripping with futurist fluids and wielding terrifying cybernetic implants. The Canadian producer had always been one of the more alien elements of the NS team, a status borne out by his neglected 2011 LP Bible Eyes. While whatever memo almost all the label's producers got has often resulted in stylistic changes beyond recognition, Egyptrixx has retained his unique character in the chiming synths, dark chords and flair for the epic. While other ice-hot future releases of this ilk: Jam City'… Read more
One of 2013's most exciting producers follows exemplary issues for Leisure System , Lit City Trax and his Lost Codes label with two uniquely ductile riddims for Ramp. They're both ghostly, mesmerising things, siphoning from and augmenting essential traces of grime, dubstep and that vapourous sound with reductionist efficiency. On 'M' he meditates in cool, glassy cyberspace with flitting synth voices suspended above plunging, precisely punchy subs and razor-cut hi-hats synched with exquisite swagger, whereas 'Secrets' feels like everything's dragged down an octave with the sensation of rolling… Read more
Aerobic mystics, Joe McBride (Synkro), and Liam Blackburn (Indigo) aka Akkord, present a slickly engrossing debut album for Fabric/Rob Booth's Houndstooth label. It's the definitive manifest of their convergent interests in sacred geometry, mathematics, minimalism and bassbins, deftly balancing dancefloor appeal with the sort of detailed production appreciated by headphone and home listeners. Over its ten tarcks the genes of jungle, dubstep, techno and ambient electronics are spun out and re-encoded with razor-sharp grasp of spatial dynamics and rhythmic aptitude, presenting a perspective on … Read more
Having just recently been unmasked as the producer behind Blackest Ever Black's excellent Alexander Lewis album, Shifted follows up last years ‘Crossed Paths’ LP for Mote-Evolver, as well as releases under the Covered in Sand and Pacific Blue aliases with this strong debut album for Hospital Productions offshoot Bed of Nails. 'Under A Single Banner' consolidates the ductile reference points of his nebulous aliases, from cranky, club-crunching gear to noisier experiments, making for the bleakest definition of his sound to date. It's an uncannily tight fit with the Bed of Nails' aesth… Read more
Vatican Shadow, Rrose, Recondite and NSI remix Function's debut album tracks for the 'floor. We're quite partial to the gloomy grandiosity of Vatican Shadow's 'Psychic Warfare' remix, especially when he flips the switch on those patented goth-techno drums in the 2nd half, but the DJs should also be checking for Rrose's hypnotic reinforcement of 'Against The Wall', or the slink shift of Recondite's 'Incubation' remix, whilst NSI's 'Inter' version harks back to their great work on the 'Shut Up And Dance!' compilation of dance music for ballet, all whirring polymetrics and calculated arpeggios.
Massive grime 12" starring the blinding 'XE2' from promising first timer, Mssingno on Leeds-based Goon Club Records. Already hotly tipped by the likes of Fact and Pitchfork, Mssingno's debut is a blazing highlight of the UK's revitalised instrumental grime scene in 2013. 'XE2' is the big one, a low-riding blend of buyoant Reese bass, twinkling marimbas and an earworming R Kelly vocal hook that somehow refreshes the whole R&B-sampling thing by virtue of its simplistic innocence and Ruff Sqwad-like emo swagger. There's also the darker, roadwise Nightmare On Elm Street vibes of '124th', a Rihan… Read more
**Includes bonus tracks 'Tug (Alt Mix)' & 'Ooh'** One of the most enduring, influential and critically respected UK dance producers brings a weighty album to land for Loefah's Swamp81 label. Ahead of launching his new Biasonic label platform for the UK scene, he delivers this timely reminder of why he's king of the bassbins, swaggering across lines between house, garage, broken beat and even electro-funk with Roy Davis Junior. In fact, the electro thing seems to be a running theme throughout the album, whether in the shocked-percussion of 'Eingang', as a Mr De' like presence on the aforementioned … Read more
Mutant electronica from Turin, Italy's Daniele Mana aka Vaghe Stelle, backed with BAT's murky remix refraction and a future-primitive Gand Of Ducks version. As with his excellent 'Out Of Body' EP for Danse Noir, Vaghe's original tracks fall outside any pre-ordained genre, preferring to let his imagination run free in the dark from the off world R&B romance of '4th Hope' to the pneumatic grime and lushly discordant trance sensations of '8th Hope', and something like a radioactive mutation of Saharan cellphone anthem on '10th Hope', thru to the Ferraro-esque '11th Hope'. The Best Available… Read more
IVVVO deads the rave on five darkly infectious killers for Ramp. Stepping on from his ace 'Future' EP for Public Information, the Portuguese producer triggers strangest emotions with his gauzy style of impressionist collage and worn-out yet driving meld of 'adrcore, house and techno. 'Light Moving' sets the pace with bouncing techno blips cheered by a choir of hyperventilating Gregorian monks, and 'Hardcore World '94' cannily crowbars samples from Mark Leckey's 'Fiorucci…' soundtrack over lip-biting DHR-style mentasms. On 'Strangers' he spins in the dark with more of those nasty mentasms and c… Read more
Kaleidoscope curator, Patten returns on this lushly disorienting and super handsome EP for Warp. Since dosing the waters with his unpronounceable 'GLAQJO XAACSSO' LP for No Pain In Pop in 2011, Patten's stepped back from releasing his own material and issued acclaimed and singular works by Sculpture and Karen Gwyer on his Kaleidoscope label in the meantime. On 'Eolian State' we're presented with some 22-minutes of mercurial electronica bending time, space and light in five uniquely elusive grooves fathoming the discordant merry-go-round of 'Aviary' alongside the decelerated swang of 'Toward… Read more
'HD7' sees Darkstar remix themselves alongside a dreamy Zomby take on 'You Don't Need A Weatherman'. The trio give their own 'Timeaway' a lilting, glassy overhaul for the 'floor, sweetly synching a swinging house groove with chiming harmonics to sound even more like Pantha Du Prince, whilst their 'Hold Me Down' is budged towards a sort of pastoral techno sound. The 'Cult x Zomby remix Kollaps' is the highlight, taking the original to celestial, slinky garage heights.
Future-tribalist swagger from one of Bristol's finest young producers. 'Up top, 'Murda' comes off like Joe meets Blank Mind's Alan Johnson inna step-off - all crazed percussive cadence and a promiscuous, ruffneck approach to funky, techno and wot-the-f**k-dya-call-it sounds. Flipside he harks back to the junglist sound of Brizzle elders, Smith & Mighty, with the dubwise rolige of 'Break Pressure'.
Midland cuts loose on his Graded label with three trax: some of his best work yet. He plays out three pieces of deep, tribal and tricky broken House, swinging from the electro-technoid funk and freakin' weird voices of 'Drumtrak' with its surging bassline on the front, and over to the lush minimalism of 'Diving Bell' and crooked, percussive drum dub backed with two useful locked grooves.
Blackest Ever Black welcome Barnett + Coloccia to their coven with the desolate scapes of 'Retrieval'. Whilst both artists have a background alloying metal and experimental modes - Faith Coloccia with Mammifer, Pyramids and Everlovely Lighteningheart, and Alex Barnett in Oakeater or more recently, solo for the likes of Catholic Tapes and Nihilist - their introspective 'Retrieval' collaboration is perhaps best defined in terms of their palette: tape-manipulated recordings of acoustic instruments layered with synths and AM radio sounds. Recording sessions for the album with legendary eng… Read more
Rushing futurism from Teengirl Fantasy on their striking follow-up to the widely acclaimed 'Tracer' LP for R&S. Four cuts orbit intersecting styles of junglist footwork, trap and streaking, vapourous electronica all meshed together with the duo's signature, lush harmonics. 'Nun' is a taut exercise in pointillist, hyper electro and the kind of gleaming, marimba-like chimes also used by Fatima Al Qadiri, whilst 'Eric' projects a rapid flux of Footwork and Jungle with sweeping '90s trance motifs recalling D'eon at his fanciest, whilst 'Platinum' is a brief but lovely piece of romantic sci-fi nodding to computer game soundtracks and classic New Age.
When You Are Crawling' is a 35 minute addendum to Vatican Shadow's recent album, 'Remember Your Black Day'. The iconography and track titles clearly follow the album's theme, but the music is more focussed on the 'floor thanks to assistant production from Juan Mendez aka Silent Servant and the crucial inclusion of the 15 minute techno stepper, 'Atta's Apartment Slated For Demolition (Bouthayna Engineering)' on vinyl for the first time. It opens with a reinforced mix of Remember Your Black Day (Bouthayna Tradition)', suitably augmented by kevlar kicks and flaying hi-hats fo… Read more
The man with the red face deals out his signature, rugged deep technohouse in two parts. 'Made Of Steel' rolls with fat, wide square bass and tense strings seared with a fizzing electro lead; we prefer the grubbier, jagged metallic groove of his 'Punked' mix on the flip.
"Femme fronted pocket punk and domestic-synth pop from French DIY workaholics X Ray Pop. Compiled from the mastertapes of the original 1980s privately pressed vinyl LPs and minuscule cassette runs. X Ray Pop are a group of whom are easy to scratch the surface, but almost impossible to get the bottom of. With an iconic moniker, telltale graphic style and demanding ‘buy me’ Day-Glo colour coding policy the French vinyl output of X Ray Pop as a specialist subject is, at first glance, memo- rable and achievable. Cocksure fans of Euro wave pop often proclaim X Ray expertise from behind many… Read more