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Sleeper is Mihail P's first release, and it would be hard to pick a more revered label to debut on. Established by Sub Club resident Dominic Capello in 2001, Seventh Sign has been home to Dan Curtin, Marcellus Pittman and Keith Tucker as well as one of the great house records of the past 20 years, Lil' Jazz' Sound of the City. Needless to say, Mihail P is in good company, but his own material is of the highest quality. "Theta Wave" is a sublime, slinky deep techno track, laden down with blips and bleeps, while on "Semblance" he goes slightly darker, as steely drums and a moody bass underpin those mysterious chords. Cappello turns in an early Ron Trent-style version of "Sonder" (the synths are very Altered States), while the Gnork take on "Semblance" is redolent of techno-soul producers like Derek Carr. It's a stellar, sublime release.
Center is Tobias Freund's third studio album for Ostgut and its title provides a good indication of where its author is at. It veers in style from the dense electro of "Cr 24" to the experimental abstractions of "Autopoiesis" and "Single Minded" and ominous dark ambient compositions like "In Between". There is more dance floor friendly techno tracks such as "Blind Mass", but it is not like Freund makes conventional music and both "Mass" and "Syndrome" resound to stepping rhythms, layered textures and insistent percussion. This has a lot to do with Freund's background as a studio engineer and his perfectionist approach, and it feels like every note, tone and frequency on Center has been carefully, expertly calculated.
Culled from Monkeytown's second album, Othona, as well as the preceding single, "The Walker" and "Kilter" get reshaped by two of electronic music's most respected emerging artists. First up is Miami's Danny Daze; his take on "The Walker" starts inauspiciously with ghostly electronic chants, but they are soon joined by a pulsing, acid-soaked bass that pushes the original track into a tripped out disco finale. Meanwhile, the German techno duo the Zenker Brothers get to rework "Killer". Grainy percussion drizzles over a steppy rhythm and billowing chords, while metallic drums knock out the clanging beat. With the addition of grandiose woodwind, it makes for an epic treatment



Supposedly, the Swedish word for porch is 'altan', and the gathering referred to in the title is about a private gathering at label owner Ulf Eriksson's home to celebrate Kontra's ten years in business. Frak then decided to name their latest release on Kontra after said soiree. It starts with the low-slung electro of "Greater" - a mood later replicated on the sleazy "Humalog" - before moving into the rougher acid house of "De Klos". By the time the veteran trio reach "Reynerdes" and the gritty lo-fi pulses of "Arcade 1673", they have entered full on fuzzy analogue techno mode. As birthday party soundtracks go, it takes some beating.
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