High grade computer music from Heinrich Schwarzer, generating glorious chromatic colour and ribboning, polymetric dynamics from crafty synthesis on a doozy for Calum Gunn’s keenly watched label, Conditional
Chasing up a smart 2018 debut with Manchester’s Mutualism, Schwarzer articulates a singular twyst on the sort of styles associated with Mark Fell (Rian Treanor, Gávor Lázár, Second Woman, Barker et al) in ‘Zähler, Figur, Puls 0 - 2’, getting the most out of his minimalist, hyper-processed tekkers in eight hyperpointillist arrangements flush with humour and accented with uniquely endearing turns of phrase.
As we gauge from message board threads, this sound really appears to split the crowd right now, and that’s always a sign that the musicians behind it are onto something. Far as we’re concerned, it’s some of the most thrilling music around, unshackling olde world conventions and offering ravishing new perspectives on dance and electronic music’s most vital components. But that’s just us, and if you’re a curmudgeon we simply can’t help ya.
Use your ears and the sheer brilliance of works such as the hyperballetic ‘Zahler2 2-36,’ the diffractive genius of ‘Figur&Puls0 1-42’, and the monkeying acrobatics of ‘Figur0 3-39’ will be apparent to fans of those listed above and through to the likes of Jlin, Goooose, Vladislav Delay, and the widest angles of free jazz and early electronics.
Be daft not to.
Shed scrapes your serotonin receptors for residual rave energies with rounds of bolshy breakstep, clipped wing IDM, and more thunderous tekkers for Tectonic
The Berlin producer’s first release proper for the Bristol bastion follows a tight rework of Peverelist’s ‘Junction’ 10 years ago with a see-sawing session taking in the proggy build of ‘Try’, beside a shoulder-rolling industrial breakstep killer ‘Box’, and a wooden techno slammer ‘Sweep’ landing somewhere between Blawan and some giddy DJ Rush tonker.
We hardly need any convincing on the quality of Rian Treanor's productions as he's been completely unfuckwithable from day one, but "File Under UK Metaplasm" is still next damn level.
Rian bashed out the initial demos on returning from a trip to Uganda in 2018 for Nyege Nyege Festival. Inspired by the producers he'd collaborated with in Kampala, he switched up his workflow and began jamming out ideas at higher tempos, harnessing the energy of singeli music without simply carbon copying the style. Initial sketches were eventually fleshed into proper tracks and tested on audiences (and on soundsystems) around the world where Rian could assess the power of each element.
It was worth the hard work, the result is a fiery set of tunes that sound like everything at once and nothing at all. Opener 'Hypnic Jerks' is ragged kick-bubbling 200-bpm club on secondment to Tanzania; 'Vacuum Angle' is wobbly DMT-step that sounds like an attempt to use aging educational computer software to power the Stargate; 'Mirror Instant' is shuffling bassline house kicked up to 45rpm; 'Opponent Process' is EP7-era Autechre with the fun switch turned on; 'Debouncing' is double-speed grime that glides into parts unknown. By the time the album reaches a close on 'Orders From The Pausing', a melancholic gabber tune with an almost inverted, whisper-soft kick (?), Rian suddenly introduces reverb to the mix, just because he can.
Peerless, unfathomably inventive electronic music from the North of England, via East Africa - fucking essential.
A seriously deep and heavy mix of ’96-’98 techstep meticulously sequenced and blended by Logos to cover the key strain of D&B at its late ‘90s zenith.
Following Raime’s mission deep in the jungle on ‘If This Is A Dream I Don’t Ever Want Wake Up’ earlier this year, Logos shifts the ‘nuum-bar to ’96-’98 for 90 minutes of the tightest, nastiest techstep by key architects of the style which dominated the best UK raves around 20 years ago. This sound is a proper formative touchstone for us so the DJ had to be totally on it: Logos was a natural selection - we’ve heard him rinse this sound out before and it’s very clear to hear techstep is a strong influence on his productions - but even still, his mix has knocked it clean out of the warehouse.
From the era of computer virus to the age of corona virus, OG late ‘90s Techstep appeal has only gained with age like the best vintage, and Logos’ Reel Torque Vol. 19 is a masterclass in the style: perfectly pressure gauged and methodically laid out in a way that highlights how its unparalleled mix of High Black Secret Technology, rave art and autist engineering physics laid the template for so much technoid, syncopated UK body music in its wake; from El-B’s dark garage experiments to proto-dubstep, thru a whole wave of new D&B disciples and mutants such as Pessimist or AYA, to the rolling industrial tekkers of Regis, and on an international scale from T++ to Peder Mannerfelt, and the rollicking experiments of Slikback and 33EMYBW.
Trust this mix is the absolute lick, serving the choice cuts of this era with nano-tight mixing and pacing that properly does them justice placing them in ideal context primed for home raving workouts in lieu of a club or warehouse for the foreseeable.
Autechre drop ‘Plus’, the ruder counterpart to their brooding ’Sign’ album, rinsing squashed drums and harsher textured tones in a newly aerated, noisier sort of sound design.
If you were left glowing but still hungry for some rufige after ’Sign’, this album’s for you. Their staunchest North Manc C++Boy attitude is in spine twisting, neck snapping effect on nine unusually raw cuts that bleed dank air and squeeze melody from scuffed and scaly surfaces. It’s definitely still AE, but allowing for more space and finer graded textures in the mix, from their juiciest sloshing basses, to the rusted drums and iridescent, aerosolised timbres in a subtle new mutation of their sound.
As we commented with ‘Sign’, it feels like they're haunted by their older forms on ‘Plus’, but still inexorably pulled toward a futuristic unknown. We can feel those opposing forces at action in the stunning hyperstep dynamics and almost nostalgic ken of ‘X4’, which is one of the album’s durational highlights along with the totally absorbing concrète setting and avian chirrups of ‘ecol4’, and the quicksilver techno slipperiness of ‘TM1’, while the likes of ‘7FM ic’ deliver sharper shocks of impossible limb movements, and ‘marhide’ epitomises a noisier approach with straight-jacketed electro extruded thru some kind of imaginary airlock, saving bittersweet touches for the extended melodic thoughts of ‘lux 106 mod’ and the aspartame flavour tang of their beatless roller ‘ii.pre esc’, which is bound to become a favourite.
Warp’s Indian summer of archival downpours gives up LFO’s early ‘90s session for legendary Radio 1 DJ, John Peel
Holding all exclusive material, LFO’s turn on Peel’s show is a real gem for all bleep and bass fiends. Opener ‘Take Control’ is one of the duo’s more mellow and floaty workouts, replete with heaving subs, while ‘To The Limit’ takes it to the warehouse with diva vocals and hypnotic, breezy melodies. ‘Rob’s Nightmare’ follows with a nagging mix of horror film-esque motifs and darkly lush choral pads driven by natty electro rhythm, and ‘Lost World’ pines for early acid rave vibes in signature LFO style.