Monday, 21 July
Class debut from one of Glasgow's hottest tips, launched on Optimo Trax. The progeny of Subclub/Subculture's Harri, Jasper cut his teeth DJing in the southside Glasgow institution before progressing to production with a very healthy knowledge of house and techno thanks to his dad's record collection. On the 'Sneaky EP' we hear classic '90s & '00s house influences filtered with a younger energy and swagger from the Mood II Swing style funk of 'Sneaky' to the Carl Craigstyle synth drama of 'Listen To My Buttons' and the Beltram/Reese-informed rave techno of 'V-moog'. Cannily, his dad Harri's Hillhead Young Team duo with Esa give the latter a fruitier boost.
Om Unit intersects a critical nexus of modern UK sound system music from himself, Kromestar, EAN, Boxcutter, and Danny Scrilla. From the top Om Unit goes in with the Footwork-Jungle flex of 'Nuff Music' alongside Moresounds, and dappy digi-dub in 'Gentrification' alongside Danny Scrilla, who also knocks up the slowfast artillery of 'X (VIP)' and the slyding grimy square waves of 'Geometry' alongside Moresounds. Kromestar comes with the chromed-up funk of 'V7STX', Boxcutter does his astro-physicist jazz-funk thing with 'Active Transformation' featuring Star Fu, and former Various Production figure EAN gets off on a future gangsta hardstep tip.
Hot on the heels of his Bronze Teeth 12" with Dom Butler, L/F/D/M takes to Glasgow's Clan Destine label for 'LHF3'. Four track explore elastic ground between mellow Tin Man style acid on the title cut thru to murkier acid styles reminding of Acido and Busen in 'After Circle' and 'PROX' via the industrial funk grind of 'Ad Reinhardt'.
Piquant electro-techno from France's Voiron, including more exotic remixes by Portuguese producers Violet and Pal+. The hardstyle-d chicanery of 'Hardchore' opens for the Automat-like electro-acid of 'Harlem Juno Shake' and a Stingray-ready electro-techno ace, 'RN12 91'. One-Eyed jackers Violet and Pal+ bring up the rear with syncopated machine grooves, humid strings and tribal acid vibes.
Mysterious, heady ambient groove from New York's Tallesen on OPN's Software Recording Co. With bot all bar his soundcloud page for background, we're left with the aesthetics and curious emotions of 'Strike Silver, Love Green', meshing out a sound somehwere between K. Leimer's new age prototypes, the melancholic melodies of Plaid, and the queered, smudgy arrangements of Tri Angle's Boothroyd.
**Revelatory, amazing Japanese album somewhere between jazz-fusion, free-improv, and new age ambient** "An enigma. A band records their second album in 1985, but sits on it for twenty-nine years, and releases it as a new album, not a "lost gem", in 2014. The authors of this enigma are known as Inryo-fuen, a Japanese trio formed in 1978, meeting via a Surrealism circle in Yokohama. With the intent of applying the Surrealist idea of Automatic Writing to sound, they began performing their improvised music in 1980, with their first performance at the legendary Tokyo venue "Minor", which was run by… Read more
Zola Jesus returns with a blooming massive synth-pop sound befitting of her recent move to Mute. Largely shedding her goth and operatic inflections in favour of unabashed pop, the altogether more common sound of 'Dangerous Ways' may well lose her some fans in the process, but is bound to gain her a raft of new followers.
Heralding a debut full length for Stones Throw, Ringgo Achetta debuts a diffuse mix of spiritual jazz, ambient and syrupy beats as Mndsgn on Leaving Records. 'Surface Outtakes' clears his cache of outtakes, B-sides and unreleased ideas travelling dream distances between the motorik jazz roil of 'A Brand New Couch and the dusty breakbeat crack of 'Overwhelming Gratitude' via sparkling G-Funk in 'Eating Starfruit' and the charming lounge downbeats of 'Goodbye Wavs'.
The second EP on the Counterbalance delivers 3 tracks from Surgeon. The standout for us is the first track on the flip, a proper looped techno cut that's reminiscent of Dave Clarke's Red series with its cutting percussion and deft editing backed by those awesome filtered synths. Lastly, a straight and almost housey version ends the side, with cleaner drums, reverbs over the vocal samples and an ultra tight groove that works a treat.
Demented, brutal, heavy squashed techno, the collaboration between Surgeon and Regis that just gets better and better.
Immense and twisted brace from Surgeon and Regis. 'Learn Your Lesson' revolves around spinning sonar-esque bleeps and some deft filtering that overrides a robust framework, while a disorientating breakdown allows crazy cut-up radio voices to interfere with the mix, turning it into a Basic Channel style clanger, melodic keys bouncing around the speakers, filtering down to a crushing finish. Flip for 'Rule By Law' which treads a harder line complete with brutal drums that relentlessly plough their way, dark and shadowy reverbs and subtle edits all making for a relentless and incredibly solid cut.
Second in the British Murder Boys 'series'. While the trademark intense, industrial atmosphere is still at the fore, there's also an increasing use of disorientating and ever-evolving delays that give the EP a dub edge. Of course the beats are still slamming, so club destruction is inevitable...
Demented, brutal, astonishingly heavy squashed techno, the collaboration between Surgeon and Regis that just gets better and better.
Another sick twelve, "Waiting for Me" finds Surgeon digging deep into his diverse mine of influences to produce another variation on his always-expansive techno templates. Utilisng samples from the cult Delia Derbyshire produced album 'An electric storm in hell' by White Noise, he builds three deeply atmospheric pieces that ebb and flow but always keep the floor in mind.. Ambient techno anyone? Killer twelve.
Three utterly classic tracks from Surgeon on the 2nd in the Midnight Club Tracks series, a deeper excursion that centres around the ultra filtered opener which deploys an addictive riff played on modelled noises, backed by a crisp and crunchy techno underlay. With Surgeon hitting the filters hard, check the last cut on the flipside, a relentlessly oppressive track that heads off with clanging percussion and tight drums and a couple of synth lines that gradually seep into the mix to sound like an old Rhythim is Rhythim hook.
The second of two specially selected reworks of sections from Surgeons recent operations, the remixes come from the esteemed hands of Monolake, Vex'd and Surgeon himself with two versions of bad hands break. The Monolake remix is possibly their toughest industrial techno workout to date, reinforcing the original samples with precise beat engineering evidently inspired by T++, and Robert Henke's super-structured pad arrangements. Roly Vex'd takes a less direct approach and diverts the energy of the original breakbeat techno into an industrial subbass stepper falling into a … Read more
Operating at the bleeding edge of current techno, the latest package from Surgeon is the first of two remix selections featuring some of the most forward thinking techno constructions in recent times. Surgeon draws first blood with the original mix of the bone hard 'bad hands break', first heard by these ears in the perfect setting/state of the Ae headlined Sequence rave in Manchester last year, and belying Surgeon's current fixation with the darker end of the dubstep/breakstep spectrum. Also played that same night was the headf*cking 'DisinVectant Dislocated Fing… Read more
Recorded at the Fabrikken club in Oslo on July 4th 2008, these are four sick reworks of tried and tested Surgeon classics culled from his live set. But don't worry, this is defintiely not "Surgeon Unplugged" so there's no acoustic guitars or bongos in earshot, instead you get fortified versions of 'Screw The Roses', 'Body Request', 'October Request' (nope, us neither) and 'Bad Hands Break', all retooled with an intuitive and deadly effective flavour so pungent you can almost taste the sweat on the walls of the club. In the absence of any new Surgeon gear this will fill the gap nicely, but if … Read more
Resurrecting the Counterbalance imprint for his own devices, Surgeon gets back to making stone cold club killers in the the same mould as 2000's classic midnight club tracks, but given a rigourous overhaul of '06 techniques. Surgeon applies his unique touch to 3 tracks of deadly techno ranging from monolake-indebted deepness to wavey synthetic floaters. Lean future techno bombs.
Surgeon's seminal 'Patience' 12", the first release on his Dynamic Tension imprint recieves an invaluable reissue, bringing these four tracks of elegant yet brutally effective techno.
A four tracker from Surgeon on the 5th Dynamic Tension release, with his straighter sound dropped perfectly on the opener, pure percussive techno with that looped feel executed superbly and the filters put to work on the percussion, backed by a driving 4/4 and a rough as hell bassline that sticks to the groove throughout. A2 is similar but comes complete with bright looped synths that get louder and more prominent as the track progresses, lots of little drum edits keep the groove tight, and the vibe is a tad lighter than the full frontal A1. Flip for a funkier Surgeon heading out with crunchy… Read more
The 6th release on Dynamic Tension delivers 4 stormers from Surgeon, and one incredible edit that sounds like a Carl Craig edit, looped out and squashed with precision. The dark chugging a2 cut dispenses with the kick drums for a hard beatless groove, ultra looped and very industrial, while the flip has two dry house cuts from Surgeon. The drums are less distorted, the eq's are a little softer, and the percussion is more funky than sharp, both cuts are minimal, and well worthy of checking for a different take on the Surgeon sound.
Surgeon continues to be the most consistent and impressive Techno producer in the world. Forget about all dancefloor variants, fashion, minimalism or any other trends that happen to cross your radar - Surgeon has developed the kind of intricate yet funked-up hybrid of propelling 4/4 shuffles and impossibly intricate productuion that people have tried to emulate with no success for most of the last decade. Despite (or perhaps because of) his immensely punishing schedule over the last few years, there have been few Surgeon 'solo' releases. Instead he has concentrated recently on British Murder Boys … Read more
Ten years since his last album, Surgeon returns riding a nine-headed beast on 'Breaking The Frame'. A decade is a relatively long time in musical terms, and while his (increasingly uncommon) singles over that period have remained resolutely 4/4 and heavy, his DJ sets have incorporated a wealth of influence from Dubstep and Bass music in general. This album absorbs those influences and refracts them into an impressive spectrum of styles. His taste for Scorn-like halfstep manifests on opener 'Dark Matter', finding that dynamic tension between turbulent flow and hunchback lurch. Next 'Tr… Read more
Two tracks of advanced techno transmissions from the one and only Surgeon. 'Compliance Momentum' is the first new Surgeon release in three years (not counting the "live" release 'Hello Oslo'), making an assuredly solid return to the scene with two pure and incremental progressions of his legendary style. 'Compliance Momentum' bravely shows his ability to draw in outside influences while remaining resolutely techno. He fires off an intricately shaking pattern of sliding Afro-latin syncopations swung around the all important kicks while even incorporating Theo-styled midnight chords bu… Read more
'Body Request' from 2000 is an excellent full-length excursion for Dynamic tension and Surgeon, including the classic 'Instinct', which you should check straight away if you're unfamiliar with it, awesome chords looped over spacious and crisp beats, bright percussion carrying over punchy kick drums and almost Red 2 synths looped tightly and set to a solid and tight groove. 'Sleep (Ultra Violet)' heads in another direction, an almost tech house template that carries the sonar-esque synth noise that repeats and modulates throughout the track, and a more subtle Rob Hood synth that flows across… Read more
'Screw The Roses' is just immense, kicking off with a typical dark starter 'The Prowler' which makes its intentions known straight off the bat. There's a searing ambient number, 'Another Body' which has a cold and bleak feel, but head for the storming tour de force of 'Exhibit (Send The Dogs)' which deploys relentless clanging synth and drums, while 'Shaper Of The Unknown' offers harrowing Ligeti style vocal strings for a serious and dark excursion from the outer reaches of Techno.