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30 Apr 12
Played by: Millhouse, Paul Mac, Mark Archer, Joachim Spieth (Affin), Shadow Dancer, Balankin, Jay Wong, Aka Tell (A.g.trio), Chris Chambers, Spektral, Submerge, DJ Srle (Perpetual), Harvey Mckay, Mind Field Records
Review: The UK techno veteran twists and teases his machines to the point of exhaustion on Air Rage. "Move In Time" is a grimy rhythm that spews forth nightmarish, ghoulish riffs, but then leads into a spacey filter. "The Parade" is of a similar disposition, but it's the grungy beats and glitchy percussion that remain in focus. "Machine Funk" sees Sims deliver a more upfront, slamming approach, its tunnelling, filtered riff swirling above the terse metallic framework, while the title track takes the prize for most intense track. Powered by hissing percussion and propulsive drums, it's the grinding air raid siren that powers in overhead that makes it so memorable.
07 May 12
Review: Sims has gone back to his roots for his second release on Hardgroove this week. The vocal version of "Dollar Bill Y'all" revisits the late 90s/early 00s period, with insistent drums supporting intense filter builds and a ponderous black vocal. The instrumental version sees Sims get busy with stabbing techno chords and a series of effective breakdowns, while his approach is more musical on "In The Middle". There, a hard funking track provides the backing for the kind of jazzy piano keys that made I:Cube's "Disco Cubizm" a classic. Sims also has a softer side and as "Reject" demonstrates, this is articulated through skipping drums and deep chords.
13 Feb 12
25 Jun 12
Review: Sims made his name as a DJ, but increasingly, his productions are proving to be impressive. The title track is a huge club track: based on steely, slamming beats, it features a whooshing filter and jarring, discordant riffs, while its 'in my life' and 'hardcore sucker' samples provide a reminder about Sims' own rave background. Orlando Voorn's "Search & Destroy" remix also mines the past and sees the Dutch producer drop heavy claps and evil siren riffs. Ritzi Lee's version is more restrained, featuring a walking funk bassline, and even the siren riffs that cascade in over the arrangement sound tame by comparison.
12 Jul 10
25 Nov 11
22 Mar 13
Played by: Paul Mac, S-File, Joachim Spieth (Affin), Shadow Dancer, Aka Tell (A.g.trio), Chris Liebing, Trevor Benz, Resident Advisor
Review: It's hard not to admire Ben Sims' ability to reinvent himself. On "Something", he delivers a typical slamming tribal groove, but it features noisy, crashing percussion and a vocal intoning 'there's something inside', which is culled from the kind of hardcore record that he used to play back in the day. Sims' own remix features splintered rhythms and insistent claps over hammering beats, while his choice of remixers is also of a high quality; Truncate's take features merely a snippet of the vocal over hammering beats that lead into a deep chord sequence, while the Rivet version is more stripped back and laced with bugged out acid lines.
07 Jun 11
05 Mar 12
Played by: Paul Mac, Enthousiaste Gasten, Joachim Spieth (Affin), Juno Recommends Techno, Axer Rouf, 2562 / A Made Up Sound, Chris Chambers
Review: It's been a while since a Theory joint graced our ears but Ben Sims returns to his imprint to bring us a taste of his warmer, deeper take on techno. "New Blood" is all about the dubby chords and distorted hats, making for the perfect slice of techno refreshment in the context of tougher stuff to be found at this tempo. Meanwhile the Skudge boys get stuck into "Slow Motion", reducing the original to a heavily grooving beat workout with just a whisper of melody that gradually morphs into a nasty late-night steamer, bringing that touch of sexiness to techno that they do so well.
27 Feb 12
Review: For those who had assumed Sims was merely a loop techno producer, 0401 provides a pleasant surprise. The UK producer's love of slamming beats and dense, claustrophobic rhythms is present and correct, but on this occasion it sounds like there is a more fluid, dynamic approach at play. This is due to the use of rasping percussion and a malevolent filter that rises through the track. Former UR operative Rolando shows that he hasn't lost his magic touch on the remix of "New Blood". Coruscating drums and a wild acid line make for a thrilling combination, but Rolando hasn't forgotten his house leanings and the swinging rhythm also features a repetitive vocal sample.
12 Mar 12
Played by: Paul Mac, Enthousiaste Gasten, Joachim Spieth (Affin), Juno Recommends Techno, Gregor Tresher, Trebor, Chris Chambers, Posthuman, Mike Hindle - Immersed Audio, Submerge, Reilly Steel, A.trebor, Jon Saigon, Carl Craig, Tom Dicicco
Review: After the rip-roaring reception that the Skudge remix of "Slow Motion" received, who better to raise the bar on this series of Theory 12"s than Robert Hood? Ben Sims' original track "Straight From Bolivia" is a stripped workout, showing his more minimal side but no less focused on tough techno principles. Robert Hood however takes "New Blood" and turns it into a fearsome peak-time smasher, working around a pneumatic groove and artfully looped vocal hits. It's a very housey kind of 'serious' techno, not unlike the last remixers for Theory (Skudge), and Hood nails it with ease.
07 May 12
Played by: Millhouse, Matt K, A.paul, Darkmode, Aaron Liberator, Juno Recommends Techno, Chris Chambers, Technopodcast.com
Review: It's slamming techno all the way as Hardgroove drops four killer remixes. Advent and Industrialyzer are the first to tackle "Welcome to the Club" and do so in a typically up-tempo fashion, with rolling, dense techno abandon. The duo is mindful of Sims's disco fixation and amid the intense, doubled-up beats; vocal snippets and subtle filters are audible. Sims's own version is more restrained, but only slightly, as a series of smart drops support his filters. It's a similar situation on his take on "Gotta Have House", but the bassline is darker and rumbling and the undercurrent more menacing. Finally, the Paul Mac take on "House" is the most distinctive remix, with a double bass and insistent, rolling drums fused with what sounds like a car alarm filtered through a space invader console.
18 Nov 10
11 May 09
06 Apr 10
28 Sep 09
09 May 11
Review: When Ben Sims's contribution to an EP is the most laid back track on offer, you know that the release isn't for the faint-hearted. Cesar Alemna's "Firewall" proves this observation to be correct, its waves of jarring noise riding over a stomping looped backing. Sergy Casttle's track is slightly more restrained, with the hardcore-era chords tempering the pumping beats, and DJ Stay's "Seko" boasts a wiry, pulsing techno rhythm underpinned by deep pads. That leaves Sims's "Space Woman Affair"; the UK DJ's love of loops is audible on the dense, rolling rhythm while the gurgling acid and dramatic synth sweeps reveal a softer side to Sims's production.
12 Mar 12
28 May 12
Played by: Millhouse, Paul Mac, Detroit Grand Pubahs, Enthousiaste Gasten, Balankin, Slam, Chris Chambers, Hannah Wild
Review: Ben Sims's label delivers a diverse but hard-hitting three-tracker. The label boss is first up and "Bite This" sees him sever the links with his loopy past. It's still a repetitive track, but as its basis Sims deploys a pulsing electronic groove and firing percussion, while a malevolent riff makes the transition from jarring and abrasive to atmospheric and eerie. Ritzi Lee travels a similar path on "Reverse Processed", where snappy percussion and a nagging bassline underpin metallic stabs and jarring riffs that reach out into the darkness. By contrast, Paul Mac's "Dry Run" is a more soulful experience. Despite the proliferation of spiky, metallic drums, it's the screeching, slightly deranged male vocal that stands out.
19 Dec 11
Played by: Jay Wong
20 Dec 10
17 Oct 11
26 Nov 12
Review: What happens when one of techno's harder proponents teams up with a champion of its most esoteric sounds? On the evidence of Theme, it sounds like seduction has prevailed over force. "Machine Theme" is based on robust, dubby drums, but it's the synths that move from mellow and understated to dark and forceful that really impress. That's not to say that Sims isn't represented here: his dub take on "Machine Theme" features dark, tonal bleeps and a ravey climax, while "Metal Works" is an ideal compromise. The rhythm is stripped back, the percussion hissing and insistent, but at its heart there's a sense of musicality that could only come from Degiorgio's hand.