Special Request exerts hardcore Yorkshire G-Force while wearing his Y-fronts for the raving joyride of ‘Vortex’ with Houndstooth
Paul Woodford’s 4th album under the Special Request guise is also his loosest and nuttiest, monkeying around all aspects of his cumulative rave knowledge to draw zigzagging lines between electro, Detroit techno, breakbeat rave, jungle-tekno, and rushing hardcore trance in his own style.
On a handful of highlights he appears to crack out the same software FX employed on his Bobby Peru classic ‘Erotic Discourse’, namely in the mazy, AFXian electro chicanery of ’Sp4nn3r3d’, the Tango-flavoured hardcore nosedrip of ‘Vortex 150’, and his ruthless fast couplet of ‘Fett’ and ‘A Gargantuan Melting Face Floating Effortlessly Through The Stratosphere’, while the best of the rest draws on a very ‘90s sort of electronic dance music soul in the likes of his Luke Slater-esque techno buzz ‘Memory Lake’, and the rude rave rolige of ‘Fahrenheit 451’.
One of Manny’s finest DJ/producers Anz offers this funked-up ‘Invitation 2 Dance’ on Finn’s 2 B Real following her introductory EP for Chow Down and production for grime gob Jammz
Built to spec as ammo for both her own sets and Finn’s, the EP shots flavas for all ravers in four parts, gearing up with a transition from ‘80s laser-funk chops to early ‘90s rave noise and hardcore breaks in ‘No Harm’, before ‘Helps Your Two Hips Move’ does it loosey goosey with spannered dembow claps synched to ghetto-tech electro bounce.
‘But At Least We Have This’ brings a big splash of colour to the EP with Todd Edwards-style vocal cut-ups and wavey AF G-funk leads on a skippy charge recalling Finn’s style, and the EP’s killer title cut winds up on a darkside electro pivot replete with pinging cowbells and vocoder vox.
Anz sez: “to the boys who used to muscle me off the decks at house parties. Play these ones loud.”
Debut album time for one of the UK’s revered deep DJ/producers, making good on the reputation she’s earned since her 2013 debut and ensuing, globe-trotting DJ slots.
Following several 12”s issued on her Peach Discs label, Idle Hands, Future Times and others, ’Tangerine’ spells out Shanti’s tastes in clear, crisp strokes of hyaline ambience, tumpin’ house, subaquatic electro, and beatless rollers styles, all riddled with canny appearances of her own voice and a slinky, Latinate suss.
If you’re after big club trax, run check for her swanging, simmering jacker ‘Infinitas’, the breakbeat garage house roller ‘Want’, and the gorgeous techno glyde of ‘Sesame’ where her vocals come into play. Vocals also inform one of the album’s slinkier highlights, albeit synthetic this time, in the killer, Beatrice Dillon-like stepper ‘Voz (Instrumental)’, which sweetly represents the album’s lusher, romantic side shared with its balmy bookends ’Sun Notification’ and the crepuscular charms of ‘Moons’, and the FSOL-esque hyperoprism ‘Natura.’
Knox-Om-Pax lets the light into his cavernous spaces with a light-footed album influenced by Berlin techno and L.A. sunshine and featuring cameos by Silvia Kastel and Nightwave
“On ‘Ways Of Seeing’ Konx-om-Pax has switched up the mood and hit gold. He has made an album that is filled with joy and sunshine, saturated with the classic feel of Berlin Techno. Tom Scholefield has moved on from the dark ambient and brittle rave of the first two Konx-om-Pax albums, which were a reflection of his hometown Glasgow's electronic music scenes. After a recent move to Berlin, the textures of Glasgow's musical strains have fused into an accessible and friendly mix of poppy melodic electronica built from a stricter 'less is more' sound pallete, closer in spirit to the music of his adopted city. It is also a record which was made in opposition to recent music he has been hearing, in particular the troubled, dark and noisy experimental music coming out of Berlin. Tom wanted to focus on more joyful qualities, making this a record imbued with warmth and happiness, a panacea to the darkness and disorientation all around in 2019.
Having a social scene full of producers has also influenced the album. The opening track 'LA Melody' came from staying with Ross Birchard (Hudson Mohawke) at his house in LA, hanging out in the glorious sunshine with him and Lunice working on tracks. "Initially Ross asked me to write some melodies to use in a project he was producing, but I ended up liking it so much I decided to keep the riff. I generally write music alone, but being around other producers gave me a certain excited energy that reminded me of after-parties back in Glasgow where Ross and myself spent our youth together. Spending time in Clark's studio also helped me improve my workflow and sequencing the album by seeing the way he does things". On 'Säule Acid' he collaborates with Silvia Kastel and in 'I’m For Real' the vocals of Glaswegian DJ/producer Nightwave filter around the track.
Stripped away to just the good bits, 'Ways Of Seeing' is a pleasure to listen to.”
Superb, variegated debut LP of twysted vintage drum machine crack and cinematic techno synths from Maria Inês Borges Coutinho’s Violet for Dark Entries, marking one of their rare forays into contemporary productions.
Covering all bases between Serpente-like jungle deviations to lamping, latinate techno, metallic boogie and ambient breeze, ‘Bed Of Roses’ ‘fesses to the full spectrum of Violet’s style, as previously heard in 12”s for her Naive imprint, and the One Eyed Jacks and Paraíso labels since start of this decade.
The 10 songs were conceived as a “healing device” or “a sort of childhood-teenage memories diary” and see her come to terms with nostalgia and buried feelings. As such she strikes a fine balance of introspection and dancefloor escapism, taking in the Jasss-like fusion of dark, lustrous synths and deviant, reticulated junglism with her striking opener ‘Tears in 1983’, while the FM synth-refracted feel and title of ‘Bed Of Roses’ harks back to herself as a 9 y.o. with a thing for Jon Bon Jovi. But if you’re after proper club gear, best check the whirling metallic dembow of ‘In The Aquarius’, or the Nite Jewel boogie flex of ‘They Don;’t Wanna Know’, and the bruxist thump of ‘Spectral.’ But they’re really all best heard in the flow of the album, along with its swaggering downstrokes in ‘Half Crazy’ and the Teresa Winter-like vectors of ‘Never Leave.’
L.A.’s Mor Elian does tech-breaks with nimble flair on her Fever AM label
A-side carries the pirouetting arps and jiggly hang drum nano-breaks of ‘Radical Spectacular’, while B-side swangs out with testy electro syncopation and ‘Farewell To The Snare’ rolls out on a bubbling breakbeat pivot with nervy synth tweaks.
Vancouver lasses Minimal Violence are bang on the £$¥ with the EBM/rave/techno collisions of ‘InDreams’, their startling debut album for Technicolour
We were late to MV’s game, only clocking on with their ‘MVX/U41A’ bombs, but we’re full backing ‘InDreams’, one of the fiercest sets of hardcore techno in circulation this side of Live Adult Entertainment. In nine original productions plus a Cardopusher remix and a Powermoves megamix, they absolutely take the skin off it with a wild-eyed and ruthless barrage of hi-impact heavyweights.
They’re not necessarily remaking the wheel, but we haven’t heard this sound executed with so much gnashing energy and style in years. Trust it’s no piss-weak revivalism or slap-a-tinny-break-on-it dilettantism, but the real fucking thing, ravenous and ravishing, chomping at the bit, not hanging in the smoking area cos it’s actually shit inside, where everyone’s going thru the motions, waiting for a good tune.
‘InDreams’ is rave techno as punk music inspired by sci-fi literature and cinema. It’s highly visual stuff, connoting imagery of cenobites at Thunderdome, darkroom chase scenes and dancers pushing themselves to exhaustion between massive highlights in the hard acid trance peak of ‘InDreams’, the mentasmic gush of ‘L.A.P.’, and the lockjaw scally bounce of ‘June Anthem’ or the clattering skullduggery of ‘Persuasive Behaviour’.
Sometimes, it’s hard for us to reconcile first hand experience of older raves, when folk were far less self-conscious and more up-for-it, with many of rave’s current iterations, but ‘InDreams’ is the kind of record that could bring the joy of utter, unbuttoned abandonment back to the centre of the ‘floor. Just imagine a horde of fleggin’ Morley scallies invading your space. That sort of feeling.