Monday, 20 May
Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti have spent the last couple of years absorbed in collaboration (chiefly with Nik Void in Carter Tutti Void) and laying the body/ghost of Throbbing Gristle to rest, so it’s really good to have them back functioning as a self-contained duo, the well-practiced configuration that’s yielded so much distinctive and prophetic material in the past. ‘Coolicon-A’ is brilliant, a dense, Fourth World technoscape that reminds us of late Clock DVA and early 90s, heatsick cyberfunk offerings from Richard H Kirk, Dean Dennis, et al, but rendered in a more sophisticated, in… Read more
Koreless returns with his first proper offering of 2013, an EP on Young Turks. Less club-focussed than last year's 12" on Jacques Greene's Vase, the Glaswegian seems determined here to prove there's more to him than nicing up the dance. There are certainly some good moments: opener 'Ivana' affects a nice Vangelis synth-glide but is compromised a little by its glottal, percussive vocal edits, which persist on into 'Sun', another trancey, string-led number which, despite a dressing of sub-footwork drum patter, is effectively beatless. On the EP goes, laying the stargazing synths on thick, never quit… Read more
Mike Paradinas, boss of the sprawling Planet Mu imprint, does what he does best with his first new µ-Ziq material in over half a decade. 'XTEP' is flush with the sort of nostalgic melody, rave romance and charm that endeared him to so many in the first place. It's an unashamed return to his roots, from the bubbling pastoral melody and proggy chimes of 'XT' to the happy-as-larry piano house of 'Ritm' and 'Pulsar''s nEuro-electro futurism, while the footwork-style drum flux and swooning, emotional melody of 'Monj2' and the bluer swing of 'New Bimple' concede to current trends but not at the expense of his integrity.
Visionary DJ/selector and sonic theorist Steve Goodman aka Kode 9 mans what is inarguably Rinse's most crucial mix CD to date. With mercurial sleight of hand he blends 37 tracks spanning the rhizome of techy, contemporary, bass-rooted funk and leaves most other selectors for dust. Bridging tempos, styles and patterns from myriad sub-strains of house, garage, hip hop, grime and footwork, he sums his intentions thusly; "This style has emerged out of me trying to fit all the stuff I want to play in a set… Generally these sets start relatively simple rhythmically and then get more f*cked-up as the mi… Read more
Following last year's one-off hook-up with Blackest Ever Black, which showcased storming versions from Regis and Monoton, Desire Records go it alone on their second volume of Ike Yard remixes. Tropic of Cancer get top billing with their take on the NY post-punk minimalists' 'Half A God': they offer up a cold-to-the-touch, marbled slab of sepulchral, introspective dub, Camella Lobo's phantasmal vocal presence and reverbed guitar beckoning you into a colour-bled zwischenwelt; deadly sparse and unforgiving, at times it sounds like it could be a lost instrumental sketch from Han… Read more
Pearson Sound shares four lean, moody and experimental riddims on his eponymous imprint. Up front he unleashes the strafing, darkside synthlines and fractured steppers flux of 'REM' and a daedly body swerve entitled 'Gridlock' laced with proper subbass pressure and almost Anthony Shakir-style percussive edits. Down town, 'Figment' figures Mr. Kennedy at his most reflective, jettisoning the beats in place of Popol Vuh-style chorales and piquant synth sparkle, and almost acting as an intro for the rugged, filtered 'ardcore tessellations of 'Crimson (Beat Ritual). Really strong twelve...
Shed keeps it 'Burning' on an old skool Power House tip with his 3rd Head High single. The title choon comes in rollin' 'Keep Calm Mix' with classy keys for the debonaire raver, and a more rugged 'Keep It… Mix' for the whistle posse, both built to deliver the vibes proper. 'Keep On Talking (Dirt Mix)' is craftier, cutting into that early '90s no mans land between US and UK rave styles nodding to Mark Archer and Kevin Saunderson classics.
Various Production twyst-up with future junglist torque on this one-off bomb. Flighty quick-step rhythms are subject to a tonne of high pressure atmospheric disturbance, churning up far-away chants, disembodied duppies and splintered breakbeats in its cyclonic force. We never know where Various are going next, but we always wanna go there. Tipped!
**Upfront exclusive** Tomas More's woozy, abstract fusion of Badalamenti-esque pads and opiated groove, 'Break O Dawn' is served with two frayed and psychedelic remixes by Madteo. His 'Meglio Subito Che Mai Mix' stumbles and sputters around the groove, constantly in stereo flux and barely standing but still buoyed with bumping bass hits. His 'A Dawn Cracker Fascion House Mix' is more blunted yet, practically forgetting the groove and rambling off into smoked-out head zones.
Black Acre follow up their issue of Memotone's debut album with this RSD exclusive. Industrial percussions clank, cloaked by gloomiest atmospheres and dread dubbing on 'A-side, 'Koma', and 'Goldair' offers throbbing bass pulses toiling below aerated samples with hints of Senufo Editions or The Caretaker releases.
Modeselktor's 50 Weapons wield two swinging techno tools from Phon.o. 'Schn33' builds a trancey head of steam for the big rooms; 'Go' is friskier, flightier, motioned by pendulous bassline and tight dub chords with a surging drop and climactic finish.
Hard-nosed yet playful experiments with dancefloor rhythm from Japan's Aoki Takamasa, recommended if you like Mark Fell, NHK, etc. Despite its forbidding exterior and opaque, joyless track titles ('Rhythm Variarion 01', 'Rhythm Variation 02', etc), Takamasa's computer constructions are very lush indeed, with luminous, melodically advanced synth patterns and skippy, club-ready rhythms that variously invoke Skam's North-West b-boy roll, Sensate Focus's juddering Chi-house-derivations and, on the awesome 'Rhythm Variation 04', a space somewhere between hip-hop, techno and 2step garage. 'Rhythm Var… Read more
Amazing return from Alex Zhang Hungtai's Dirty Beaches; a sprawling double header opus of labyrinthine darkwave pop, knackered electronics and chamber experiments. We're usually impressed by his work but this one is really something else, feeding forward the traces of dilapidated rockabilly, blues and garage that informed his brilliant 'Badlands' into a deeply captivating new sound more akin to Suicide, Andy Stott or Loren Connors. Crafted over the course of winter 2012 while living between Montreal and Berlin, it's leaden with heartbreaking gravity and existential self-r… Read more
Public Information collect diverse reinterpretations of F.C. Judd's pioneering electronic music from Pye Corner Audio, Chris Carter, Peter Rehberg, Bandshell, Ekoplekz, The Boats, Mordant Music, Holly Herndon and many more. The groundbreaking, experimental originals are chopped, sliced and refried into wonderfully abstract shapes in keeping with F.C. Judd's vision, ranging from instrument builder Ian Helliwell's fractured, wire-fried disassembly of 'Solid States' to Peter Rehberg's brilliant, marrow-freezing electro-acoustic render 'FCJUDDmix 032013' and fellow electr… Read more
Yes Fit!!! One of Detroit's most exciting current imprints pulls up three deeply Afro-futurist grooves from Howard Thomas aka H-Fusion. The keen-eared jocks and D-heads might well remember Howard's 'Experiment #1' 12" released on Sound Signature back in 2005, surely one of the strangest, most compelling records to emerge from the motor city of the last decade. Well, it's was no fluke, and Howard's not easing up on the oddness here, playing relatively straight yet sickeningly hypnotic groove 'Wicked Bitch Witch' with Marcellus Pittman on the A-side, before really cutting loose with the noisy,… Read more
Raffertie's reinvention as a future soul boy is complete with the Mary Anne Hobbs-championed 'Build Me Up' EP. Stepping further from rave styles, he alloys blue-eyed soul croon with more subtle R&B/electro dynamics in 'Build Me Up' and a cover of Hot Natured + Ali Love's summer anthem 'Benediction', beside a warbling organ and vocal duet with YADi, 'Trust', and the Tri Angle-ready gloom of 'Known'. RIYl oOoOO, HTDW, Jamie Lidell.
Clouds take no prisoners on this one. Proper aerodynamic synths tussle out with heavily frictional groove in the fierce 'Radical Cutting Methods', and 'Chained To Dead Camel' lamps out murderous kicks and raving synth slashes, also included as a more brooding, pensive Edit Select mix and a galloping, spacier take from Sosak.
Regular as clockwork, Yorkshire bleep survivors TBD mount their latest effort in an ongoing crusade against "the bland compliant mainstream." The followup to their recent pair of 'Darkhaus' 12"s for Ostgut's 'Unterton' offshoot and their own Dust Science label revolves 11 tracks intended as unique components in a machine-like body of work connected by five "bolts", in their own words, "small bits of music that help or disrupt the transition between tracks." Collected, it documents the ongoing refinement of their sound rooted in classic Detroit techno and arcane UK synth music in key wi… Read more
Speedy J and Stroboscopic Artefacts' Lucy debut their Zeitgeber (German for "synchroniser") collaboration with two scuffed and craftily experimental rollers. 'Body Out' tucks a crumpled groove of offset bass hits and spidery hi-hats below elemental, droning synth dissonance and barely tamed noise disturbances, marking their most freeform and psychedelically engaging work.'Body In' doesn't even bother with a rhythm, falling deep into an abyss of metaphysical noise and shimmering, church like harmonics.
Drunken hyper-boogie bounce from Zack Christ. 'Fu*king At Disneyland' is a fine display of ductile future groove dynamics shotting heat-seeking chords on a fractured, seasick riddim. I Got Hard Wubs and So Many Huneys M8' is EDM inverted to a strange, skittish bad robot style.
Bright-eyed new single - their first on Electric Voice, away from the Weird camp that nurtured them - from cold wave perennials Xeno & Oaklander, eschewing the stygian atmospherics they normally peddle in favour of sunny if faintly melancholy synth-pop that sounds like Saint Etienne by way of Vince Clarke. As ever, Martial Canterel's impeccable sequenced basslines and zig-zagging arpeggios will prove irresistible to 80s retro-fetishists, and Liz Wendelbo's vocals have moved away from robotic affectlessness to channel not only Sarah Cracknell but also Virginia Astley, Angela Conway and other… Read more
René Pawlowitz (Shed/EQD/WAX) coming on strong with two killer Power House workouts. As WK7, he rolls out super-robust bass and simmering chords with a kinky Jersey skip on 'Do It Yourself', while he reprises the Head High alias on the flip with a thunderous Dirt Mix of 'Rave' designed to bring the house down in deadly style. Definitely recommended for dancer and DJ!
WK7 is a pseudonym for René Pawlowitz aka Shed operating in pure early '90s Techno/Hardcore mode. Original copies of this coveted 12" were only sold through the Hardwax store in Berlin but you lucky ravers now have a 2nd chance to nab a copy. There's three cuts and they're all standardly heavyweight; from the chunky, kicking original to the flexing 'Hardcore PCK' mix on the flip. Don't sleep!
*Shed returns to his WAX project with his first new release for 2013* Shed's yearly dose of Wax action for 2013 is a relatively mellow, dubby affair compared with his previous techno tools. There's a blue and spaciously atmospheric stepper on the front - all gaseous chords and muscular subs sprinkled with decaying hi-hats in proper Berlin fashion - whereas the flipside carves out some laidback and dubby house swing accentuated with white noise snares and rumbling subs just how ya like it.
Fresh outta Shed's Berlin matrix, two optimized Techno-House killers! A-side whips dancers into shape with proper early '90s Detroit styles, all cracking hanclaps, fizzing hi-hats and a Reese style sub for your behind. B-side is a bit more pumping and dubby, with deftly diffused dub chords and hydraulickin' bass pressure. Like all the other wax sessions, this is pretty much an essential purchase. Sick twelve.
Hey-O-Hansen and Shed remix the 3rd Wax 12". A-side D&M mastering and cutting engineer and producer Helmut Erler links with Michael Wolf as Hey-O-Hansen for a rumpy Alpine Dub version. Flipside Shed his-self reworks his own cut, reinforced with calamitous kicks and a deadly, offset percussive shuffle. Killer twelve!
Serious techno tools from Shed's revered Wax project. The previous installments have become staple fixtures with all the big techno jocks and this one is set to do the same. On the A-side we get a stripped and stylish New York style workout, all Latin shuffling hi-hats, cracking handclaps and a powerful yet liminal subbass deigned to stroke your ass into action. Over on the flip he cracks out the trusty organ stabs, fluidly dubbed for enhanced flow while the rhythm drives out in a funked up Techno motion with smothering subs and bold swinging syncopations. Basically indispensible. Recommended!
For the first Wax remix session Shed invites two of his favourite dubstep producers to revise his '20002' 12". Pinch exceeds expectations with a truly masterful dubstep swing joint on the A-side, keeping the hard-swung rhythmic integrity of the original and augmenting it with growling subs, roaring lions and and a kinky Bristolian twyst. Elemental takes the flipside with another crafty re-calculation, flipping the original vibes into tightly tucked Breakstep motion with a triplet-synced breakdown. Deadly 12". Recommended!
Of all the anonymous white labels to emerge from the Hardwax camp, two names have caused quite a stir; The Equalised and Wax imprints. Their limited nature and club-perfected rhythms have ensured they're some of the most in-demand bits of the black stuff from the last couple of years, and all but the deafest techno/house fan should be able to figure out who's behind them! Wax 20002 may well be the only 12" the label drops this year, but it's all about quality and certainly not quantity here. The untitled A-side follows 10001's lean and toned aesthetic with purified house rhythms strictly made for the d… Read more
More essential warehouse ruffage from the mighty Hardwax camp, this time with a well known berlin producer taking the reins to kick-start a beautifully anonymous imprint to keep you guessing. The A-Side is a bassline killer, with a Claro-style bassdrum and padded chords setting the scene for skittering percussion and a staggered bassline that just OWNS it. It's just mighty stuff. The flipside is even better, employing a similarly robust low-end spine but re-configuring surroundings for a woozy Basic Channel meets Claude Young style, complete with fuzzy white noise motifs and some serious head-spinning … Read more